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You may have heard the Buzz lately about ‘Apple Cider Vinegar’, and ‘The Mother’?

Vinegar (made from fermented fruits), has been around for a very long time – dating back to records of its use by the Egyptians in 3000bc. It was used by the Greeks and Romans, and also in the East.

Hippocrates – The ‘Father of Medicine’ found that undistllled vinegar was a great cleansing and healing elixir and used it with his patients.  (1)

What is it?  Apple Cider Vinegar (or ACV), is made from fresh, crushed apples which are then allowed to mature naturally in wooden barrels to boost the natural fermentation process. The ACV is not heat treated, distilled or pasteurised, and is a light golden colour.

What is ‘The Mother’? ‘The Mother’ is the sediment in the bottom of your bottle or the ‘cob-web’ like particles you see floating in the ACV when held up to the light. This is the live enzyme portion of your ACV, which holds all the goodness in the bottle.

ACV containing ‘The Mother’ is rich in many nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, sulphur, iron, copper, silica, trace minerals, amino acids and pectin. If the vinegar is distilled and heat treated the mother enzymes are destroyed, along with many of the healing nutrients.

What to look for when buying ACV – Always look for an organic ACV that contains ‘The Mother’. Hold the bottle up to the light, check the colour of the vinegar and that it contains floating particles when the bottle is shaken. Store in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, and it will last a long time.

Health Benefits – Apple Cider Vinegar has many uses and health benefits. It can be taken internally, and used topically (applied to the skin). It’s a great condiment and preservative, and it can also be used for cleaning and deodorising around the home. The possibilities are endless!

Here are some of the great Health Benefits and how to use it:

1. Weight Loss

  • Balances blood sugar levels – reduces cravings
  • Rids the body of toxins
  • Alkalises the body
  • High in potassium – reduces muscle cramping and stiffness, which is common when losing weight, especially with ‘keto’ style diets.
    • Take 1 tbsp. in a glass of water in the morning upon rising
    • Sip 1 tsp. in ¼ glass water before each meal – this will reduce the Glycaemic Index of the meal.
    • Make a salad dressing using equal parts ACV and Extra virgin olive oil. You can add herbs, spices and garlic

 2. Digestion and Elimination

  • Symptomatic relief of Reflux, Indigestion, Heartburn, Bloating
  • Stimulates the excretion of saliva and digestive enzymes to break down foods efficiently
  • Promotes healthy bowel movements
  • Promotes Kidney and urinary tract health
    • Sip 1 tsp ACV in ¼ glass water just before a meal for good digestion
    • Sip 1 – 2 tsps. ACV in ½ glass water for Indigestion, bloating etc.

 3. Cardiovascular health 

  • Helps to lower Blood pressure (due to the high potassium content)
  • Reduces cholesterol levels (due to the pectin – a soluble fibre)
  • Helps to remove plaque from the arteries
    • Take 1 Tbsp. in a glass of water in the morning upon rising

4.  Diabetes 

  • Improves glucose and insulin levels
  • Lowers Glycaemic Index of a meal
  • Anti-glycaemic effects for people at risk of Type 2 Diabetes (2), (3)

 5. Musculoskeletal System

  • Reduces muscle cramps
  • Reduces stiffness in the joints
  • Alleviates arthritis symptoms
    • Take 2 tsp. ACV with 1tsp. raw honey (or stevia if diabetic) in water 3 x day.
    • In a bath – Add ¾ cup of ACV to the water – great for muscle cramps and joint stiffness, or after that big race! *If you only have a footbath add ¼ cup ACV

6. Skin and Hair 

  • Reduces Dandruff
  • Freshens hair between washes
  • Controls oily roots
  • Can reduce acne, blocked pours and oily skin
  • Reduces body odour
  • Soothes sunburn
    • For Dandruff – Put 2-3 Tbsp. ACV in a small container. Part the hair, and using a sponge apply the ACV to the scalp. Leave for 20 minutes then wash hair as normal. * You can also keep some diluted 50/50 ACV and water in a spray bottle and spray onto scalp as needed. This will help to restore the natural pH of the scalp. This can be used for Dandruff or an oily scalp.
    • Hair rinse – In a 1 litre bottle add 900ml water and 80ml ACV – leave this bottle in the shower. After shampooing pour some of this mix over the hair and leave in for 3 minutes. Rinse out and you will have lovely shiny hair.
    • Acne – Mix 50/50 water and ACV in a spray bottle. After cleansing skin, pat dry and spray on ACV mixture. This can be applied 3 x day

For more advice regarding use of ACV please see the Naturopath/Nutritionist at your nearest Calanna Wholehealth Pharmacy. Always consult your GP or Doctor regarding any specific health complaints and treatments.

More Info and recipes can be found in the Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Book – available at Calanna Wholeheath Pharmacy