[su_quote]An apple a day keeps the doctor away.[/su_quote]
The age-old saying isn’t without merit. There is truth into it. Thus, apple is one of the most consumed fruit around the globe. And, besides the raw fruit, apple is also eaten in several other forms including dried apple, apple juice, in desserts, as murabba and last, but not the least as apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar (in Hindi, seb ka sirka) is probably one of the oldest home remedies that is being used globally. Though, it may take some time to prepare the vinegar, the patience is worth it. Anyhow, these days you don’t even have to prepare it yourself at home. You can always buy it from your local market, or even order online. There are several brands selling ACV, but we decided to try the one from Healthkart.
Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother: What’s different?
An interesting thing about this apple cider vinegar that got me interested was the fact that it contains mother, in an unfiltered, unpasteurized form. I decided to learn more about the same and discovered that ACV with mother retains the original culture of valuable bacteria that was used to turn the apple juice into Apple Cider Vinegar through fermenting (1). You can actually make out the difference between pasteurized ACV (without Mother) and unrefined, unfiltered ACV (containing Mother) simply by looking at both the solutions. While former is transparent and much clear, the latter has a translucent, murky, slightly congealed cob-like appearance.
While refined ACV is best for cleaning purposes as they don’t leave much residue, ACV with mother is more suitable for culinary use while adding several health benefits as well.
It’s obvious that refined version lacks additional health benefits of apple cider vinegar containing mother, otherwise known as apple cider vinegar with mother.
How is Apple Cider Vinegar Prepared?
The term vinegar is derived from Latin words vinum (i.e. wine) and acer (i.e. sour). Living up to its name vinegar is simply sour wine. Organic apple cider vinegar has been in use for thousands of years. In fact, the use of apple cider vinegar is so old, that it finds mention in ancient scriptures like Bible, while even Hippocrates is known to have used apple cider vinegar for several health conditions.
The basic behind formation of apple cider vinegar is simple. Carbohydrates are turned to alcohol by the yeast, which in turn is converted with the help of bacteria into vinegar i.e. acetic acid chemically.
The process of making apple cider vinegar is so easy that anyone can make it at home by following these simple steps:
- Wash a few cider/hard apples as per your requirement, best to use organic apples for this process as they’re healthier than their counterpart.
- Chop the apples into quarters.
- Leave the apples exposed to clean air at room temperature, so that they turn brown.
- Once they’ve all turned brown, place these apple quarters in a large wide-mouthed glass jar.
- Dispense sufficient water in in the jar until they’re completely submerged.
- Loosely place a cheesecloth over the jar mouth without securing, such that it allows oxygen into the mixture.
- Keep the jar in a warm, dark place like in an attic, well house or a hot water closet.
- Let the covered jar stand alone for up to 6 months, only stirring once a week.
- Fetch the jar after 6 months. There will be a layer of scum on the top of the solution. This is the result of fermentation from alcohol to vinegar by the bacteria.
- Filter the solution through the cheesecloth to another jar.
- Cover the liquid with the same cheesecloth and let it remain in the warm, dark place for 6 more weeks. At the end of the 6 weeks, you’ll have your organic apple cider vinegar. Store it in refrigerator to keep it fresh.
Only drawback of making apple cider vinegar at home is that it takes a lot of time and patience, something that is very rare in our fast-paced life. So, you can always purchase online at popular websites like HealthKart.
What are the Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are many, otherwise why would it gain so much popularity for so long? As a matter of fact, vinegar can be prepared from various sources, however apple cider vinegar is most popular among the community relying on natural remedies of various ailments.
2Fighting diabetes and lowering blood sugar levels
3Promotes heart health and control cholesterol levels
4Possible protection against cancer
Osteoporosis is very common among women above the age of 65 affecting about 30% of them. In fact, about 200 million people suffer from osteoporosis globally (14). At the time of diagnosis, people have already lost up to 50-75% of the materials from their bones. Among these patients about 40% women and 15-30% men are likely to be affected by fragility fractures at one time or another.
Thus, when the intensity of this problem is so great, it’s important to prevent the disease before it’s too late and bones. Research has found that apple cider vinegar improves absorption of calcium in rats (15). Calcium is essential for bone health and preventing osteoporosis, making ACV a great means to delay this dreadful condition. Drinking ACV with meals is beneficial in enhancing calcium absorption and strengthening the bones.
8Beauty benefits of ACV
Apple cider vinegar is also useful in detoxification of the body. One of the mechanism involved is its buffering effect by balancing body’s pH. Research shows that ACV is particularly helpful in detoxification of liver and improving circulation (17). It is involved in various healing processes within the skin and blood, removes harmful toxins from the body.
Another mechanism in detox is through cleansing of lymph nodes and breaking of mucus, allowing improvement in lymph circulation. A healthy lymphatic system ensures proper removal of toxins from cells and improves immunity.
ACV is associated with improvement in immunity. In fact, the legend goes that thieves during the bubonic plague were able to survive by preparing a herbal vinegar from herbs like thyme, rosemary and lavender.
Mother in organic apple cider vinegar has immune boosting properties. Also, it helps in strengthening the vinegar even further with time and enhances its valuable properties.