Q: I’ve been hearing a lot about different uses for apple cider vinegar. Why is apple cider vinegar superior to other types of vinegar—and how should I be using it?
A: Vinegar, derived from the French vin aigre, which means, “sour wine,” has a long rich history of therapeutic applications. Vinegar has been employed to fight infection since Hippocrates (460–377 BC), who is often called the father of modern medicine. Honey and vinegar is a traditional remedy, often prescribed for persistent coughs. Vinegar has been used to disinfect households, though some question this since pathogens can purportedly survive this natural cleanser.
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Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made from the grinding and fermenting of apples. The best ACV is generally unpasteurized, fermented, and naturally rich in enzymes, vitamins, and amino acids. This variety of ACV is usually a bit brown and cloudy. The “mother,” or primary cellulose produced by vinegar bacteria, is typically present in many varieties of ACV. Some manufacturers pasteurize vinegar to prevent these bacteria from forming but many feel the main health benefits—proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria—are yielded from the mother.
If you are simply cleaning your house, any inexpensive grocery store white vinegar will do just fine, though some find the scent of ACV to be more pleasant. If you are using …