Apple Cider Vinegar: Natural Options For Holistic Health And Beauty
Credit: Urban Woodswalker a.k.a Mary Anne Enriquez

By now, you've heard emphatic whispers about the miracle benefits contained in bottles of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. This form of vinegar, also referred to as ACV, has long been a medicinal aid to the holistic community (popular even before it became trendy to focus on natural health). ACV retains the high nutrition of the fruit its derived from in its unpasteurized state, but more than that, it possesses additional enzymes that emerge during its fermentation stage. Because it's unprocessed, it retains the high nutritional value that is typically removed from conventional vinegars.


What Is The Mother In ACV and Why Is It Important?

Raw vinegar contains the natural sediment that can be seen floating around in the bottle after one gives it a shake. The sediment formed of apple pectin is called “The Mother” and contains beneficial bacteria, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Its presence indicates that the acv bottle containing it is a living, vital vinegar that will benefit your body upon consumption.

The nutrients within acv and “The Mother” provide serious components for your body to work with. Its calcium content will aid the strength of your bones (including teeth), its malic acid content is antimicrobial, antiviral, and even antifungal, and its ash content is an alkalizer.


What Can Apple Cider Vinegar Be Used For?

Apple cider vinegar is a go to item for both internal, external, pet, and household uses.

  • It's a flea repellent. Add a small bit to your pet's drinking water (try to dilute it enough to be palatable, especially for resident felines). You can also add it to the bathwater or a bath rinse you use for your pets. Spritzing them with a formula of equal parts ACV and water can also go a long way in helping to repel fleas.

  • It's a great clarifying hair rinse that will strip impurities and eradicate dandruff from your hair and scalp while making it softer and lending more shine. After its rinsed out, you won't know it was in your hair, but you can optionally add essential oils to a bottle containing 2 parts ACV to a ½ part water. It's an amazing beauty product.

  • It's an able stain remover for your teeth. Pour a bit onto your toothbrush and scrub away.

  • ACV is a skin toner that can help to clarify and tighten pores. Dilute it thoroughly enough to ensure its comfortable for your skin. It will also make a good aftershave in a formulation of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water. Additionally, it's helpful with sunburns, insect bites (it may also repel insects as a preventative), and the removal skunk-related odors (add it to bathwater for any of these purposes).

  • You can also use a formulation of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in household cleaning. Add in additional green cleaning titans like lemon, baking soda, and salt for the tough jobs if you like.


  • Two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and a few glasses of water has been reported to decrease or eradicate bladder infection symptoms. It can also help to ward off a cold that's attempting to settle in.

  • As a detox aid, ACV will improve your digestion, assist in expelling toxins, help eradicate acne, and alleviate constipation issues.


The Best Way To Take It In

The best way to enjoy the benefits of ACV is through a daily tablespoon. Mixing it with water (preferably distilled or filtered water) is advisable, though. It's potent stuff and goes down much easier if its diluted in a few ounces of water. Undiluted, the acids in apple cider vinegar can damage tooth enamel.

The best ACV formulations are cold-pressed from organic apples. The first step in the process creates a hard cider from apples and ferments it into apple cider vinegar.

Other ways top get more ACV into your system include using it as a salad dressing (add to organic olive oil with a bit of garlic and onion), as a vegetable pickling agent, or as a splash in juicing or smoothie formulations (a teaspoon in 8 ounces of liquid is easily hidden by other ingredients).


Where Is The Best Place To Buy it?

There are a lot of sources that will provide you with quality ACV, but you'll want be sure that you're purchasing unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (no matter what the advertisements might tell you about pasteurized vinegar benefits). We all need good bacteria for our systems to function optimally, and apple cider vinegar is a good source for it. Price-check for bulk options of unpasteurized ACV online for a supply that will last you throughout the season. Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar is a trusted brand, but you might also find farmers and green co-ops online with equally good stock, through sites like LocalHarvest and similar, that offer quality ACV at a fair price.