Vinegar is one of many foods created by bacteria and yeasts. Most vinegars start
from crushed fruit or grains and exposed first to yeasts and later to bacteria.
The yeast ferments the sugars in the fruit to create alcohol. Then, specific
bacteria break down the alcohol to form acetic acid, the main component of

Vinegar can be made from any fruit, many grains, and even wood chips! Starches
are first converted to sugars to begin the fermentation process. The source will
determine the vinegar result.

For instance, from apples, we get hard cider first and then apple cider vinegar.
Grapes are made into wine and then wine vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is specially
made from Trebbiano or Lambrusco grapes under delicate conditions. Hops and
barley are made into beer and then into malt vinegar (the starch converts to
maltose). Rice is made into sake or rice wine and then rice vinegar. Distilled
white vinegar is the most familiar and processed from common grains. Other
vinegars can be made from coconuts, pineapples, cactus fruits, and herbs along
with a variety of sugar sources – molasses, sorghum, honey, beets, potatoes,
melons, or maple syrup to get the process started.

The acids in apple cider vinegar improve digestion and deter the growth of
disease-causing bacteria in the digestive tract. The minerals (potassium,
sodium, calcium, and magnesium) bind to the acids and neutralize them when the
digestive tract needs to be more alkaline.

Acetic acid is formed only by the Acetobacter family of bacteria. These bacteria
are found everywhere in food, water, and soil and is naturally produced as
fruits spoil. In humans and other primates, acetic acid is a component of the
female vagina, where it serves as an antibacterial.

The acetic acid content of vinegar will determine its use and varies according
to the fruit or grain used to start with. Rice wine vinegar is quite mild with a
low acid level making it a good choice for salad dressings. On the other end of
the scale is distilled white vinegar which is highly acidic and suitable for
making pickles. All other vinegars fall in between.

Malic acid, in particular, is the main digestive acid found in apple cider
vinegar as well as in our own body cells. It has many health benefits, including
boosting immunity, maintaining good oral health, reducing the risk of toxic
heavy metals, and promoting good skin tone. Its most significant contribution is
the ability to stimulate the metabolism and increase energy production.

The Mother
Homemade, or good quality vinegar, will have a thick, filmy substance floating
in it. This is called the mother, which consists of cellulose as a result of
interaction between the bacteria and the alcohol. Because the mother is a
concentration of Acetobacter bacteria, it cannot be disturbed during the process
and must float on the top to feed on oxygen. If it is moved, it will sink to the
bottom and die thereby halting the vinegar process.

At one time, it was thought that this substance acted similar to a yogurt
starter, but thoughts have changed. It is now known that the mother is the
result of a process rather than the initiator, changing alcohol into vinegar.
Since there are countless members of this family, no one particular strain can
be counted on to make only one kind of vinegar.

While it may take several months for homemade vinegar to complete, industrial
vinegar has speeded up the process by adding more surface area for oxygen to
reach the bacteria. Unfortunately, vinegar manufacturers usually filter out the
mother and any sediment to make their product more aesthetically pleasing. Doing
so robs the product of its healthful qualities, which can be compared to refined
flour versus whole grain flour.

Making Your Own
Fill a sterilized wide-mouth jar about two-thirds full of hard apple cider. For
larger quantities, use a large crock. Hard apple cider has already been
fermented and ready to go into the next stage which is the making of vinegar.
The cider found in grocery stores will not work.

Add a little unpasteurized, organic apple cider vinegar with the mother (sold at
many health food stores or online).

Cover with a cheesecloth to allow oxygen to feed the bacteria without insects
also getting in. Allow to sit for about 4 weeks in a dark place at room
temperature. Do not disturb because the mother has to float. If disturbed, it
could sink to the bottom where it will decompose; thus destroying what could
have been vinegar.

As cider is transformed into vinegar, the alcohol content drops while the
acidity rises. The only real way to tell if the process is complete is to taste
it. When ready, there should be no taste of alcohol. A litmus paper test should
give the proper reading of between 5 and 6 per cent acidity. Do not try to make
pickles with it unless you are very sure that the acidity is at least 4 per

Apple Cider Vinegar Nutrition
Apple cider vinegar is a concentration of acids, flavonoids, polyphenols,
pectin, enzymes, minerals, and amino acids that form during fermentation.
Scientists have found about 90 different substances in apple cider vinegar,
including 13 kinds of carbolic acids, 4 aldehydes, 20 ketones, 18 types of
alcohols, 8 ethyl acetates and much more.

Nutrients include:
Acids – acetic, isobutyric, lactic, malic, and propionic
Amino acids – the number and amount depends on its source with some having
antioxidant properties.

Beta-carotene – helps prevent cancer and protects the body against damage caused
by exposure to toxic chemicals

Boron – is found abundantly in fresh apples. It is a key mineral that assists
other bone-building minerals also found in apple cider vinegar like calcium,
magnesium, and phosphorus.

Enzymes – are built from protein molecules and have many duties in the body.
Those suffering from indigestion, gas, or bloating lack the essential digestive
enzymes needed to digest food properly. Fresh apples are loaded with enzymes,
which increase as vinegar is made. This is why it is important to buy apple
cider vinegar with the mother. That way you know the precious enzymes and
nutrients have not been destroyed in processing.

Magesium – is needed for bone health as well as for proper muscle function,
including the heart where it can strengthen the beat and help normalize blood

Pectin – is a soluble fibre that can absorb water, toxins, and cholesterol in
the digestive tract. Apple cider vinegar contains valuable pectin from the
apples and will go a long way in improving heart health and regularity.

Potassium – is stripped from processed foods and replaced by sodium. To make
matters worse, caffeine and sugar take what little is left in the diet because
both act as diuretics, flushing valuable nutrients out of the body. Apple cider
vinegar is an excellent source of potassium, giving roughly 100 mg per 3.5

Tannins – are released from the crushed cells of the apple. Tannins are the
red-gold plant chemicals that give plants and various fruits and vegetables
their astringency. They are effective antioxidants that help to prevent

Other – During both fermentation processes, many new plant chemicals are formed.
As yet, many remain unidentified and no doubt will add to apple cider vinegar’s
growing list of health-giving substances.
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

TONIC – 1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar in 1 glass filtered water. Drink before or
during meals 3 times a day.

Acne – Mix 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar with a cup of water and dab on
blemishes several times a day. This will help dry them out and curb infection.
You can follow this treatment with a little aloe vera gel to help prevent

Aging – Premature aging can be a sign of an inefficient digestive process.
Drinking a little apple cider vinegar before each meal can help improve
digestion. Taking the TONIC on a regular basis will improve digestion and
metabolism, resulting in better skin tone, less joint pain, improved memory, and
a trimmer figure.

Allergies – Regular use of apple cider vinegar helps strengthen the immune
system and improve metabolism.

Arthritis – Although there is no definitive research on this, many arthritics
attest to its effectiveness. Dosages vary from taking 2 teaspoons a day to 10
with water after a meal until the pain subsides. Arthritis is often aggravated
by food allergies. The most common culprits are nightshade vegetables (potatoes,
tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and tobacco), wheat, dairy, corn, and citrus. By
eliminating one at a time, people can find out which one may be affecting them.

Asthma – Sipping a glass of water containing a tablespoon or more of apple cider
vinegar often helps.

Athlete’s foot – Soak the feet twice a day in half water and half apple cider
vinegar. Applying the vinegar directly to the affected areas several times a day
also works well.

Bladder – Patricia Bragg recommends this healing and cleansing drink to help
overcome bladder and kidney infections: 2 tbsp. cornsilk to 1 quart distilled
water or marshmallow herbal tea. Drink 1 cup 3 times a day, adding ½ tsp apple
cider vinegar and 1 tsp buckwheat honey each time. Adding a little apple cider
vinegar to organic, non-sweetened cranberry juice also works well.

Bleeding – Vinegar has long been used to treat wounds and stop bleeding. It is
believed that the adrenaline-like effect of apple cider vinegar helps to
coagulate the blood. A cottonball soaked in apple cider vinegar and placed in
the bleeding nostril is more effective than a plain cottonball.

Blood pressure – Take the TONIC to gain the benefits of the potassium in the
apple cider vinegar. Potassium helps balance the body and lower the blood

Bones – Apple cider vinegar contains minerals (magnesium, manganese, and
silicon) which contribute to good bone health. It also contains the trace
mineral boron which supports the metabolism of calcium and magnesium. Several
good quality calcium and magnesium manufacturers are recognizing this and adding
the mineral to their supplements. Boron also helps elevate levels of the
hormones estrogen and testosterone which help keep bones strong.

Bruises – Dissolve and warm 1 tsp salt in ½ cup apple cider vinegar. Apply as a
compress to the affected area.

Burns – Use apple cider vinegar full strength to any burn, including sunburns.
Cancer – Apple cider vinegar contains a number of substances that can help
protect against cancer, including beta carotene and pectin that help fight
against free radicals. One interesting study published in Lancet was done by
researchers at Johns Hopkins University and at the University of Zimbabwe. Nurse
midwives screened more than 11,000 women for cervical cancer, using both acetic
acid (the prime ingredient in apple cider vinegar) and the traditional pap
smear. They found that the vinegar test picked up more precancerous or cancerous
cells than the pap smear.

Cancer sores – Rinse the mouth with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar in 1 glass of
water several times a day.

Candida – As a douche for vaginal yeast infections, mix 2 tbsp apple cider
vinegar and 1 quart warm water and use twice a day until the burning and itching
stop. Adding 1 cup of the vinegar to bath water also brings relief and toning
the skin and helps to heal other skin problems.

Cataracts – Studies have shown that diets high in fat and salt increase the risk
for cataracts. Since apple cider vinegar helps metabolize proteins which, in
turn, improve fat metabolism, it should be added to the diet to lower the risk
of cataracts. Not only that but apple cider vinegar also includes the
antioxidants (beta-carotene, C, and E) known to fight against the free radicals
formed in the body that contribute to cataracts.

Chicken pox – The discomfort of the itching pox can be relieved by applying
apple cider vinegar full strength to the affected areas and by adding 1 cup to a
warm bath.

Cholesterol – Taking the TONIC is an effective way of adding pectin to the diet.
Pectin is a soluble fibre which absorbs fats and cholesterol and removes them
from the body. The vinegar also contains amino acids which neutralize harmful
LDL cholesterol.

Cold sores – Cold sore pain and duration can be lessened by applying apple cider
vinegar full-strength to the sores several times a day.

Colds – During a cold, the body is more alkaline. Therefore, taking the TONIC
several times a day at the onset of a cold can help raise the acidity level to
kill off the harmful viruses and boost the body’s immune system. Nasal
congestion can be relieved by adding apple cider vinegar to a steaming bowl of
water and inhaling the vapors. This will not only open the passages but the
vinegar will help kill the viruses or bacteria causing the problem.

Constipation – Constipation is caused by a poor diet and a reduction in
digestive acids that deminish with age. Along with improving the diet by adding
more fibre, apple cider vinegar taken with meals can also help with regularity.

Corns – Soak feet in a warm bath containing ½ cup apple cider vinegar. Rub the
corns with a pumice stone and apple vinegar full strength. Cover with a bandage
overnight. Apply the vinegar and a bandage again in the morning. Repeat until
the corn has dissolved.

Coughs – One of the oldest home remedies is honey and lemon juice, but using
apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice also works well.

Cramps – Muscle cramps can be an imbalance of nutrients in the body, especially
vitamin E, potassium, calcium, or magnesium. Taking apple cider vinegar daily
will help supply as well as metabolize these nutrients from other sources.

Cuts and abrasions – Applying apple cider vinegar to superficial wounds is an
age-old practice. It will not only cut down on the risk of infection; but it
will also speed the rate of healing.

Dandruff – Use apple cider vinegar full strength on the scalp to destroy the
bacteria or fungus that is causing the problem. Apply to the scalp, rub in, and
leave on for half an hour before shampooing the hair.

Deoderant – A good diet and regular cleansing will go a long way in reducing
body odor; but for added protection, dip a cloth in apple cider vinegar and wipe
underarms with it.

Depression – Although depression can range from the mild to the severe, it is a
serious metabolic disorder. Apple cider vinegar can help cleanse the body by
stimulating the liver to get rid of toxins that might be contributing to the
problem. It also helps metabolize the proteins needed to influence production of

Diaper rash – Apply half apple cider vinegar and half water to a diaper rash or
any other type of rash. It also tones the skin.

Diarrhea – Taking the daily TONIC can help get rid of the micro-organism causing
the problem and improve digestion that might also be a contributing factor. Some
people resort to over-the-counter use of Kaopectate. The “pectate� part is
simply pectin. Much cheaper and more natural versions can be found in fruits and
vegetables and of course, apple cider vinegar. Persistent diarrhea, however,
requires medical attention.

Digestion – As mentioned many times, apple cider vinegar improves digestion
especially in metabolizing proteins. It enhances the action of hydrochloric acid
(HCL – which deminishes with age) and digestive enzymes. Digestion begins in the
mouth where the apple cider vinegar stimulates the acid receptors on the tongue
to produce saliva that begins the breakdown of carbohydrates. Taking apple cider
vinegar and water before each meal can help improve the digestive process.

Dizziness – An alkaline environment can produce dizziness and a number of other
conditions. Some people have obtained relief from dizziness by taking the TONIC
on a regular basis.

Earaches – While waiting for antibiotics to work, should one be needed, put some
apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball and place in the ear. This can help kill
off any microbe that might be causing the problem as well as relieving pain.

Eczema – Use half apple cider vinegar and half water to relieve the itching and

Fatigue – The amino acids in the apple cider vinegar can help neutralize the
build-up of lactic acid in the bloodstream that occurs after exercise and
stress. It is also thought that regular use of the TONIC can help prevent

Fever – There is an age-old remedy of wrapping the calves with towels that have
been soaked in 1 part apple cider vinegar and 3 parts water. This seems to have
helped reduce fevers. Resoak and reapply as the towels dry out and until the
fever is reduced, all the while keeping the patient warm, of course.

Flatulence – Stomach gas is a sign of poor digestion, often caused by the
incomplete digestion of carbohydrates. Sipping the TONIC before meals can help
relieve the problem.

Food poisoning – Traveling to other countries often brings on digestive upsets.
Traveling with liquids can cause other problems. However, apple cider vinegar is
available in capsules. Taking them every time you eat can help avoid digestive
problems and kill any microbes that cause food poisoning.

Gall bladder – Apple cider vinegar can be an integral part of what is called a
gall bladder flush. There are many variations to this flush, which is taken over
a period of 2 to 3 days followed by drinking straight olive oil. However, this
should only be attempted if small gallstones are present and even then, should
be supervised by a health care professional. Consuming apple cider vinegar on a
regular basis can help avoid gallstones altogether.

Gums – Bleeding gums are often relieved by using the TONIC as a mouth rinse. The
action of the vinegar dissolves plaque and fight oral infections. It can also
dissolve tooth enamel, so swish well with water after a vinegar rinse.

Hair – Add ¼ cup apple cider vinegar to 1 quart warm water and use as a final
rinse or for loosening tangles. It will restore lustre and shine to dull,
lifeless hair. The mixture will also help fight scalp conditions like dryness,
itchiness, and flaking, especially if caused by a fungus. For hair colouring: If
using a vegetable-based hair dye or henna, rinsing with apple cider vinegar
holds the colour longer. In addition, rinsing the hair with apple cider vinegar
before a colouring or perm process will remove any residue from shampoos and
make the dye or perm take a better hold.

Headaches – Headaches are often the result of the body being too alkaline. The
fastest way to gain relief is to try a little apple cider aromatherapy by
breathing in the fumes of simmered water and apple cider vinegar. Adding the
vinegar to a vapourizer can also help.

Head lice – Over-the-counter head lice preparations are very toxic and often are
not as effective as more natural approaches. Try rinsing the hair with full
strength apple cider vinegar. Do not wash out. Wrap in a scarf and leave until
the next shampoo. Do this for 2 or 3 days in order to kill all the adult lice.
Then for the next few days, examine each strand of hair in the sunlight for
eggs. Use a nit-comb or fingernails to remove these. Wash your hands and clean
your fingernails thoroughly afterwards. Use apple cider vinegar regularly on
your hair to keep the scalp free of pests and other infections.

Heartburn – Ironically, heartburn results from too little hydrochloric acid
rather than too much. Taking antacids only compounds the problem. Regular use of
apple cider vinegar can help eliminate the problem as it properly breaks down
fats and proteins and stimulates digestive enzymes to improve the whole
digestive process.

Heatstroke – This can happen when not enough fluids are consumed, causing the
body to overheat. Apple cider vinegar can quickly restore electrolytes and other
minerals lost during sweating. In fact, an age-old remedy called switchel was
served to exhausted workers. It consisted of combining 2 tablespoons of apple
cider vinegar, 1 ½ tablespoons of blackstrap molasses, and 2 cups boiling water
poured over ice.

Hemorrhoids – Apply full strength apple cider vinegar to the hemorrhoid to
promote shrinking and a reduction in the itch and pain. Regular internal use can
help with the digestion that precludes the onset of hemorrhoids.

Hiccups – There are so many remedies for hiccups that adding apple cider vinegar
should come as no surprise. Sipping a glass of warm TONIC sometimes helps.

Hives – Make a paste of equal parts apple cider vinegar and cornstarch and apply
to the hives or rash to help calm the itching. This also works for jock itch and
other rashes.

Impetigo – Impetigo is a very contagious bacterial infection (staph or strep)
often seen in young children. Applying apple cider vinegar to the lesions every
3 hours should help halt the spread and dry up the areas.

Iron absorption – Apple cider vinegar can help improve the absorption of iron, a
mineral that carries oxygen to the cells and holds it there, thus preventing
iron deficiency anemia. The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar helps
release iron from food. The more iron that is absorbed, the more oxygen will be
in the blood cells and the more energy a person will have.

Insect bites and stings – Apply full strength apple cider vinegar to reduce pain
and/or itching.

Insomnia – A glass of apple cider vinegar TONIC with a little honey before bed
often helps. The carbohydrates in the vinegar and honey will activate serotonin,
a brain chemical that promotes relaxation.

Kidneys – Pyelitis (Pyelonephritis) is an inflammation of a kidney. Some doctors
have used the apple cider tonic with good results. However, always check with
your own health care professional.

Leg cramps – Regular intake of TONIC can help absorb calcium and magnesium. A
lack of these minerals often contributes to leg cramps, especially at night.

Liver function – Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a detoxifying agent.
To promote good liver function, add an additional 1 tablespoon of apple cider
vinegar to your daily TONIC. This will increase the breakdown of fats and
proteins from foods that tax the liver.

Night sweats – Whether night sweats are the result of an illness or menopause,
drinking a glass of TONIC in the morning can help rebalance the hormones and
help the body remove toxins through the perspiration.

Pets – Apple cider vinegar works very well on animals, as well as on humans.
Putting a little in their water dish helps keep their digestive tract healthy,
deters fleas and ticks, and gives them a shiny coat.

Swabbing their ears with diluted apple cider vinegar keeps them free from

Skin conditions are relieved by adding apple cider vinegar to their bath.
Using the vingegar instead of tomato juice can help relieve the smell after a
run-in with a skunk, as well as being healthy for their coats; shampoo as usual
after the treatment. Horses can develop intestinal stones (enteroliths) that can
cause blockages. Veterinary researchers at University of California Davis
recommend 1-2 cups of apple cider vinegar daily in their water to prevent these
stones from forming. In addition, by pouring the vinegar over the feed, flies
stay away.
Poison ivy, oak, sumac, nettles – Mix equal parts of cider vinegar and water and
apply directly to the area. By keeping this mixture in a spray bottle in the
fridge, the coolness will also help bring more relief.

Salt replacement – Apple cider vinegar can be used to replace salt, which can be
a flavor enhancer for fat. In other words, eating too much salt can cause a
person to increase fat consumption. Adding apple cider vinegar to protein foods,
including beans, can go a long way in enhancing flavour and be a much healthier
substitute for salt.

Shingles – This is a painful condition of the nerves caused by a herpes virus.
Applying apple cider vinegar full strength to the areas 6 or 8 times a day can
help the itching and burning. Taking apple cider vinegar internally can help
speed healing as well.

Sinusitis – Drinking a glass of apple cider vinegar TONIC can balance the body’s
pH level since sinusitis is sometimes caused by the body being too alkaline.
Inhaling the fumes from hot apple cider vinegar and water can also help destroy
any virus or bacteria that might also be the cause of an infection.

Sore throat – Gargling with apple cider vinegar TONIC helps relieve a sore
throat – but do not swallow the gargle since you do not want to swallow any
microbes that might be the cause. Apple cider vinegar can reduce any swelling
and increase the flow of mucus. This is also a good preventative if there is to
be much stress placed on the throat, as singing or public speaking.

Swimmer’s ear – Combining the drying effects of alcohol with the disinfecting
properties of apple cider vinegar can help reduce the itching and pain. You can
use 3 to 4 drops in the ear after swimming or showering.

Teeth – Daily rinsing with TONIC can help maintain good oral hygiene and fight
bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. However, be sure to rinse well
with water afterwards as vinegar can damage tooth enamel in time.

Tinnitus – Tinnitus is an annoying condition with any number of causes. Daily
consumption of TONIC helps improve mineral balance and circulation, both of
which can have a positive effect.

Ulcers – Apple cider vinegar has been used to help keep stomach ulcers from

Varicose veins – A number of apple cider authorities recommend soaking a
compress in the vinegar and wrapping it around the legs twice a day for a month.
The legs should be kept elevated for about ½ hour before removing the compress.
Drinking the TONIC before or with meals, along with the soaks, helps as well.

Warts – Combine 1 part salt with 4 parts apple cider vinegar and apply several
times a day to the wart until it disappears.

Weight loss – Although fat is necessary for the body to function, most people
eat too much of the wrong kinds. Appetite increases as daylight decreases. So
does the craving for fat, which is the body’s main line of defence against the
cold of winter and possible food shortage. The body uses protein for fuel and
carbohydrates for instant energy, but it is fat that provides the resources for
long-term energy.

Fat insulates vital organs (heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys) as well as keeping
the body temperature regulated. It is also involved in certain chemical
reactions in the body involving enzymes, hormones, and fat-soluble vitamins (A,
D, E, and K).

Another responsibility added to fat is its role in a healthy nervous system.
When fat is combined with phosphorus, lecithin is created. Lecithin plays an
important role in the formation of neurotransmitters – chemicals needed for
proper functioning of the brain which, in turn, controls such things as
appetite, mood, and the ability to learn and remember.

Essential fatty acids are essential because they must come from the diet.
Manufacturers remove the omega-3 fatty acids to lengthen shelf life. This means
omega-6 fatty acids are all we get in most foods. The omegas work in opposition
to each other; and by getting too much of one and not enough of the other,
health problems result. For example, omega-6s increase blood pressure, blood
clotting, and cell proliferation. Omega-3 fatty acids do the exact opposite and,
without it, heart problems, diabetes, and cancers – just to name a few –

So, what has all this got to do with apple cider vinegar and weight loss? Well,
I am glad you asked. Apple cider vinegar helps with gradual weight loss. Fad
diets encourage rapid weight loss – which is never permanent. This is how.

The acids in apple cider vinegar help to improve the digestion of protein.
Protein helps to construct some of our hormones, especially the growth hormone
which is instrumental in breaking down fat cells. By increasing the acid in the
stomach before a meal begins, the chances for proper digestion of protein also
increases. All too often people think they have too much acid because they have
heartburn and take an antacid when, in fact, the exact opposite is true. The
stomach is too alkaline and pours out more acid to compensate, but antacids are
taken instead and the whole viscious cycle begins again.

Proper digestion of protein will also improve carbohydrate conversion and,
ultimately, insulin production. Apple cider vinegar starts a process by first
raising the metabolism, which increases the body’s ability to utilize proteins
for insulin formation. This ultimately improves the transformation of the amino
acid tryptophan into serotonin, which is a natural mood elevator and
tranquilizer. In addition, because apple cider vinegar stimulates and improves
digestion, it can reduce the amount of time fats remain in the digestive tract
all the while allowing enough time for other nutrients to be absorbed.

All of these chain reactions will send the fats to where they are needed rather
than being stored where they are not wanted.