Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a traditional tonic made from fermented apples.
100% Organic apples are crushed and the juice collected. This is then fermented twice, once to produce cider, then again to convert it to vinegar. These processes take quite while and it is during this time that the ACV takes on its beneficial properties.
Many producers then filter and pasteurise their ACV to make a uniform product that looks good on supermarket shelves. Not so with our Devon Apple Cider Vinegar. Once matured (in oak casks), it is bottled, ready for sale, still crammed with its beneficial nutrients.
Chief among ACV's many attributes is something called the 'mother.' This is a cobweb like substance that floats in raw ACV and bestows many of this ancient tonic's health benefits.
To meet strict organic standards, the apples, from Devon orchards, have had absolutely no pesticides or herbicides used on them whatsoever. The vinegar is made under strict conditions using only a traditional, tried and tested method.
Visit any supermarket today and you will find a number of different brands of apple cider vinegar on the shelves. Most of these vinegars are clear, like apple juice. This shows that the vinegar has been filtered and pasteurised.
Unprocessed vinegar should be cloudy, with floating almost stringy matter swirling around in it. This is the all important Mother.
The 'Mother of Vinegar' is a natural substance composed of mostly living enzymes created during fermentation of the vinegar. It also contains friendly bacteria as well as other healthy nutrients. The Mother contains most of the important minerals, vitamins and amino acids that are released or created during the fermentation process.
Commercially produced vinegar, even that supplied by various 'Health Shops,' most often has the Mother removed to make a clear, shiny and consistent product that looks pleasing to the eye on the supermarket shelf. Filtering also makes ACV easier and cheaper to produce.
"Commercially produced apple cider vinegar is highly refined and processed and is not a truly traditional ACV".
If you are looking for the real deal, you've come to the right place.
ACV can be used in a number of ways. It can be used in salad dressings, as a table condiment, every way you would use normal vinegar.
It is most common to take ACV daily to supplement their diet (and many of our customers do). It can be taken off the spoon, or mixed and into a tonic using honey or molasses. It can be diluted in cool or warm water, but never hot. Hot water will pasteurise the apple cider vinegar so never go hotter than room temperature.
As well as its use in cuisine, apple cider vinegar can be used for many household purposes. It is great for descaling water distillers and removing stains from metal (always check on a inconspicuous area first). You can give apple cider vinegar to your pets and it is particularly useful for dogs, horses and chickens.
Vinegar has been used in medicine, for cooking and around the home as a cleaning product since ancient times.
One of the first records comes from ancient Assyrian-Babylonian clay tablets which describe a treatment using vinegar for a type of eye disease. 1
The texts of Hippocrates (c. C5th BC), a Greek physician often dubbed as the father of modern medicine2, mentions the use of vinegar for treating a number of ailments. In particular these texts direct the use of vinegar to clean wounds and ulcers3, or to be mixed with honey to make a restorative drink called oxyglyky4.
It was also a popular tonic during Roman times. Roman legionnaires were all issued with a ration of vinegar while on campaign5. This could be mixed with water to make a safe and refreshing drink known as posca, or used as an antiseptic to treat wounds5b. Posca was available to buy on Roman streets6 and used for refreshment in bathing houses7. Posca was also the drink given to Jesus Christ by a Roman soldier to quench his thirst as he lay on the cross8.
During the Black Death, which struck Europe on several occasions from the 14th-18th centuries, vinegar was used in an attempt to prevent the transfer of disease from person to person9. Although it was not known at the time that the main cause of Bubonic Plague was transmission by a flea bite, it was feared that contact with those infected could bring about illness. We now know this was secondary or 'pneumonic plague'10.
A famous nursery rhyme from the era of the French revolution 'Jack and Jill', tells of Jack bumping his head (supposedly King Lois XVI losing his) and Jill tumbling after him (Mary Antoinette losing hers soon after). A the end of the rhyme Jack's head is bound with vinegar and brown paper, a common treatment for bumps, aches, bruises and swellings11.
Vinegar and brown paper is also used by Mr Pecksniff's daughters to treat abrasions to the knees, elbows and head in Charles Dickens' book 'Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit', a depiction of life in Victorian Britain and America12.
There are records of vinegar being used by soldiers to treat drinking water during the American civil war13 and a vinegar solution is still recognised today as a valid antiseptic to treat war wounds by the International Committee of the Red Cross14.
Some of the most promising research into the health benefits of ACV has taken place in the field of type 2 diabetes.
A number of studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can improve blood glucose levels in those suffering from type 2 diabetes as well as people who are healthy or who have signs of pre-diabetes15.
The results of one of these studies showed that people suffering from type 2 diabetes who took apple cider vinegar, when compared to a control group, improved their blood glucose levels by 25%
Even more dramatic was the results from a group of people who had pre-diabetic signs. Their blood glucose levels improved by 50% compared to the control group.
Many of our customers buy our raw and unfiltered ACV to help ease the symptoms of arthritis.
It is not known why apple cider vinegar with mother helps relieve the agony of arthritis in so many people, but it has been used for just this for many centuries.
One theory is that the ascetic acid in the vinegar helps to break down the build up around joints that causes the stiffness and inflammation. However until proper studies are undertaken we will never know the true method of action. It is interesting to note that Sir Ranulph Fiennes the famous Artic explorer and his mother swore by ACV for just this condition.
If you have any questions at all about apple cider vinegar, or indeed any of our products, please do not hesitate to send us an email or give us a call.
|1||Paulissian, R 'Medicine in Ancient Assyria and Babylonia' Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies, July 2012.|
|2||Diamantis A. & Grammaticos P.C., 'Useful known and unknown views of the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates and his teacher Democritus', Hellenic Journal of Nuclear Medicine 2008 Jan-Apr;11(1):2-4.|
|3||'Hippocrates. The genuine works of Hippocrates :translated from the Greek with a preliminary discourse and annotations' New York : William Wood & Co.|
|4||'Hippocrates. The genuine works of Hippocrates :translated from the Greek with a preliminary discourse and annotations' New York : William Wood & Co.|
|5||Vegetius Renatus, F. 'Military Matters - Book 3 - Dispositions for action'|
|5b||Cornelius Celsus, A., 'On Medicine - Book 5'|
|6||Suetonius Tranquillus, C. 'The Lives of the Twelve Caesars - The Life of Vitellius'|
|7||Cornelius Celsus, A., 'On Medicine - Book 1'|
|9||Lucas, R.M., 'Natures Medicine: the folklore, romance, and value of herbal remedies', 1966, Parker p38|
|11||Chambers Encyclopaedia: a dictionary of universal knowledge for the people, Chambers, Edinburgh 1868, p801.|
|12||Dickens, C. 'Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit',Chapman and Hall, London 1844.|
|13||Young, R. 'For Love and Liberty: The Untold Civil War Story of Major Sullivan Ballou and His Famous Love Letter', Thunder's Mouth Press 2006 p. 407|
|14||Giannou, C. & Baldan, M. 'War Surgery: Working With limited resources in armed conflict and other situations of violence',International Committee of the Red Cross, Switzerland Vol 1, 2010 p237.|
|15||Johnston, C. S. et al 'Vinegar Improves Insulin Sensitivity to a High-Carbohydrate Meal in Subjects With Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes',Diabetes Care, Vol 27, No 1, Jan 2004 p281.|