You may have heard “The Mother” being thrown around by your health-conscious friends. Don’t be confused, they’re not talking about their actual mothers, but rather, a substance found in unrefined, unpasteurized, and unfiltered apple cider vinegar. If you’re more of a visual person, it’s the murky film that sits at the bottom of the cider bottle.
Mother of vinegar, also known as Mycoderma aceti, is made of acetic acid bacteria that develops on fermenting alcoholic liquids, which turns the alcohol into acetic acid. To get even more detailed, the acetic acid is specifically created in the secondary fermentation process of the apple cider vinegar. It is added to wine, apple cider vinegar, or other alcoholic liquids to produce vinegar. It’s rich in prebiotics, which serve as food for beneficial bacteria that live in our intestines. One of the biggest benefits of “The Mother” is that it concentrates powerful antioxidants like gallic acid in much higher concentrations than the vinegar itself. It’s similar to SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) in the kombucha-making process.
It may look icky before you mix the bottle to break it up, but “The Mother” has a slew of health benefits that, well, your real mother will totally approve of. In fact, after seeing its pros, it will make you want to soak up unrefined apple cider vinegar, even if it means holding your nose! For the least daunting results, we recommend adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey to a cup of boiled or warm water. Finally, here are some anecdotal benefits of apple cider vinegar with The Mother, in case you’re wondering about what else ACV can do for you.*
- Shiny Hair: Let’s face it, we all want luscious, luminous tresses, and with its beneficial acids, “The Mother” delivers in so many ways. It’s said to help make curls pop, detangle knots, and reduce frizz and split ends. Mix one cup of water with two to four tablespoons of vinegar and pour the mixture over your scalp post-shampoo. Wash after one to two minutes. Repeat once per week or when you notice your hair is particularly dull.
- Healthy Skin: Instead of scoping out Sephora for your next skincare miracle, consider ACV with “The Mother” since it could possibly help with age spots, acne scars, fine lines, and pimples. If you ever experience a sunburn, skin rash, or mosquito bites, rub ACV on it for relief and to help restore your skin’s pH levels.
- Blood Sugar Balance: If your blood sugar is high, it might be wise to incorporate ACV into your healthy diet and exercise routine. “The Mother” can also help with overall health.
- Weight Loss: While “The Mother” is no quick-fix diet, several studies have shown it to increase the feeling of fullness, thus helping you eat fewer calories (especially when combined with a healthy diet and exercise).
*Claims not backed by scientific data