What everyone needs to know about raw apple cider vinegar
Every fall in America, there are some traditions we always do as a family. Some of the traditions are watching football, carving pumpkins, and picking apples at the local orchard.
This fall when you are at your local orchard picking apples and drinking apple cider take a moment to think about the benefits of those apples. Specifically, one beneficial (perhaps the most beneficial) by-product of those apples – raw apple cider vinegar or raw ACV.
What is raw apple cider vinegar?
The origins of vinegar (derived from wine) date back to over 10,000 years ago. It’s one of the great accidental discoveries in history. Some wine was left out too long, and it turned into an acidic substance the French call vinaigre, which means sour wine. Coconut, sugarcane, grains, potatoes, corn, yeast, and fruit can also produce vinegar.
The Aryans created sour apple wine in 2500 BC. This beverage is believed to be the precursor to raw apple cider vinegar, and it made its way through the Mediterranean area. Years later the Greeks and Romans would take sour apple wine a step further and develop raw apple cider vinegar.
How raw apple cider vinegar is made
To make raw apple cider vinegar apples need to go through a process called fermentation. It’s a two-part process in which the juice is collected (through crushing) from the apples. Then yeast is added to it, starting the fermentation process and converting sugar into alcohol.
In the next part of the fermentation process alcohol is converted into vinegar by adding bacteria and creating acetic acid. The strong smell of vinegar comes from acetic acid. This whole process can take between 4 – 6 weeks depending on the desired strength of the acetic acid.
Raw apple cider vinegar and the “Mother”
Raw apple cider vinegar is unfiltered and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. It will have a cloudy appearance and contain some sediment. This is what is called the “Mother” – powerful proteins, enzymes, and healthy bacteria. “The Mother” is produced while raw apple cider vinegar is going through the fermentation process.
What is the difference between apple cider vinegar, apple cider, hard cider, and apple juice?
So raw apple cider vinegar is the juice from the apples that are fermented until they contain acetic acid and are not filtered or pasteurized. Then what is the apple cider we Americans drink in the fall time? Generally, apple cider is juice as well. This apple juice comes from apples that are cut up and mashed then boiled. From there it can be sold as is or pasteurized and filtered.
There is also the alcoholic apple cider or as we call in America hard cider. This beverage is apple cider that has fermented similar to what happens in the first step of making raw ACV. This type of cider is popular in the United Kingdom and other countries. Over there they call it cider.
And we can’t forget the most popular apple beverage of all – apple juice. Apple juice is usually apple cider that is pasteurized and filtered, making it more translucent than apple cider. It can also contain added sugar.
The health benefits of raw apple cider vinegar
There has been much dispute over the health benefits of raw apple cider vinegar. During the ancient Greek times, Hippocrates would advise people to take raw ACV for colds, infections, and a host of other conditions. Christopher Columbus stored it on his ships to hinder scurvy. In the last century DeForest Clinton Jarvis (D.C. Jarvis) wrote in his 1958 book Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health that raw apple cider vinegar and honey if taken three times a day could heal common illnesses like asthma, high blood pressure, colds, rheumatism, arthritis, and improve energy.
Here is what we know about 10 acclaimed health benefits of raw apple cider vinegar based on research or the lack of research.
- High Blood Pressure – Can we lower our blood pressure from consuming raw apple cider vinegar? As of right now, no studies or research shows it can.
- Cancer – Some studies show that vinegar may have some anti-cancer properties, but nothing that proves it will heal cancer.
- Diabetes – A few studies have shown that raw apple cider vinegar if taken after eating a meal, will reduce blood glucose, insulin, and triglyceride levels. There is nothing that proves it will cure it.
- Weight loss – First off raw apple cider vinegar does not contain any calories. So drinking it is certainly not going to add any weight but does it make you lose weight? Drinking raw apple cider vinegar will help you lose weight, and some studies prove it. One 12-week study proved that ingesting vinegar daily lowered body weight, BMI, visceral fat area, waist circumference, and serum triglyceride levels. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you must also change your lifestyle: diet, exercise, and stay active. Raw ACV can help, but it’s not a magic pill that will get you the body you desire overnight.
- Detox – First off, our bodies automatically detoxify themselves (that’s what the liver does). Furthermore, there aren’t any studies that prove detox drinks will remove toxins from our body. Whether you are trying to lose weight or detox your body, you will need to change your lifestyle and what you are consuming. Raw apple cider vinegar may aid in improving your overall body and wellness, but it alone isn’t going to do it.
Want to try a raw apple cider vinegar detox drink?
– 20 ounces of water
– 2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar
– half a cup of lemon juice
– 1 tablespoon of honey
– half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Drink first thing in the morning when you get up.
- Digestion – While most people think that raw apple cider vinegar is a probiotic, it isn’t. It only contains pectin from the fermented apples. Pectin stimulates the development of healthy bacteria called probiotics. Pectin will bind to waste products in your digestive tract to aid in getting rid of them. This process leaves the probiotics behind to thrive and guard your digestive system.
- Cholesterol – A randomized clinical trial of apple cider vinegar and a restricted-calorie diet on obese and overweight individuals proved that it would increase their HDL-C concentration (the good cholesterol). Their total cholesterol also decreased.
- Skin infections and eczema – There is no research or studies that prove raw apple cider vinegar will cure eczema or infections. But what is known is that it is acidic and therefore it will help lower high skin pH levels. Raw apple cider vinegar also contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that help sterilize your skin.
- Energy – Can raw apple cider vinegar boost your energy level? No studies or research are showing that it can, but many people drink it for this specific reason. Raw apple cider vinegar contains amino acids and potassium in addition to enzymes. Amino acids can help neutralize lactic acid (soreness) in your muscles and get you moving again. Potassium and enzymes can help hydrate your body.
- Colds – Were Hippocrates and D.C. Jarvis correct when they said raw apple cider vinegar could cure colds? There is a lot of information out there about this natural remedy for colds. Some people swear by it while some doctors say there is no evidence backing up this claim. 90% of colds are viral meaning they cannot be cured and have to clear up on their own. Warming up and drinking raw apple cider vinegar may help break up congestion and relieve a sore throat but don’t rely on it to get you cured.
Curious if it will help your cold? Try this raw apple cider vinegar cold remedy.
Side effects – Can you drink too much raw apple cider vinegar?
It’s best to do things in moderation, and it’s the same for consuming raw apple cider vinegar. As mentioned earlier, raw apple cider vinegar is an acid, and if you drink too much of it, it may irritate your esophagus and stomach. It may also deteriorate your tooth enamel. When you drink raw apple cider vinegar, always dilute it with water. You may also want to rinse your mouth out with water after you’re done drinking it.
Other benefits of raw apple cider vinegar – use it to clean your home
The acetic acid in vinegar is what makes it such a great cleaner. Raw apple cider vinegar contains about 5-6% of acetic acid, which is about the same as white vinegar. It’s also free of harsh chemicals, artificial ingredients, and toxins and safe to use around children and pets.
Where to use it in your house?
Bathroom – Clean the mirror, toilet, sink, and bathtub with it. Use it with baking soda to unclog your bathtub or sink’s drain.
Kitchen – Use it as a multi-purpose cleaner to clean and disinfect surfaces, cupboards, refrigerator, floor, kitchen appliances (including the coffee maker), and greasy dishes.
Windows – Forget commercial window cleaners. Raw apple cider vinegar will clean your windows without leaving any streaks.
Laundry – Add a cup of raw ACV to a load of laundry to refresh and remove odor.
Warning: Do not use on anything wood, any type of natural stone, or any type of egg mess.
Benefits for outside your home
Have a garden? Raw ACV is great as a fertilizer for plants such as hydrangeas, blueberry bushes, daffodils, and azaleas. These plants love acid, and raw apple cider vinegar will help balance the pH in the soil resulting in a beautiful blooming garden.
Raw apple cider vinegar can also deter bugs, rodents, and even your house pets from leaving their mark on your backyard horticulture.
Now it’s up to you to decide
As you can see, raw apple cider vinegar is a natural, versatile liquid that has a long evolving past. In the last century, it was rediscovered and studied for its health benefits. Nowadays, it has been hailed as an all-natural cure-all and recommended as a cleaning agent and fertilizer. Now it’s up to you to decide.
What has been your experience with raw apple cider vinegar? Did you experience any of these benefits? Let us know in the comments below.