• Hahnbee Choi

The Traditional Tonic: Apple Cider Vinegar

Updated: Jan 14

A centuries-old traditional all-around health tonic that was used by Hippocrates and still used today... yes, please!

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used for cooking and medicine for centuries. ACV has been used for various arrays of imbalances in humans such as improving digestion, improving insulin sensitivity, lowering cholesterol, improving heart health, and more.

But... what does this liquid have to do with your animals? Read on to find out!

What Is ACV?

ACV is fermented apple juice. When adding yeast into the juice, it converts the sugars present into alcohol. Then, the bacteria further ferment the alcohol into acetic acid, which is the main element in vinegar. ACV is around 5-6% acetic acid.

To fermenting process can take anywhere from 3-6 weeks and you can even take a stab at making your very own homemade ACV too! Try using this recipe!

This very minimal processed liquid has a big punch! ACV is an easy and cheap addition to any animal's life. So... what are the benefits?

#1 Mother

No, it's not your mom... but instead strands of proteins, enzymes, and bacteria that this vinegar its murky appearance. Although there are no current studies on the benefits, it is said that the mother is responsible for all of the vinegar's health benefits!

Did you know that filtered ACV is pasteurized and has the mother taken out while raw ACV is not pasteurized and still has the health loaded mother!

#2 Bacteria

Vinegar helps kill pathogenic bacteria! Traditionally, vinegar has been used for disinfecting, cleaning, and healing imbalances for centuries. Even Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used vinegar to clean wounds over 2,000 years ago.

ACV also inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria such as E. Coli from food (like raw meat!). That's why you'll see ACV as one of the main ingredients in my DIY non-toxic cleaning sprays!

#3 Heart Health

More and more research suggests that ACV can improve heart health in animals. Literature has shown that ACV can lower cholesterol, triglyceride levels, blood pressure, as well as many other risk factors.

#4 Skin Health

ACV is a common treatment for skin issues such as eczema, dry skin, and yeast! Since the skin has a slightly acid pH, using ACV as a topical allows bringing the balance of natural pH and improve the protective barrier.

ACV is one of my go-to fixes for a yeasty dog! I like to do a daily raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar rinse to balance pH and make yeast an unwelcome visitor.

Yeast ACV Wash:

  • Fill a spray bottle with raw unpasteurized ACV (or dilute it with water with a ration of 1:1)

  • Spray on all over the body (where there is yeast) and massage in lightly

#5 Digestion

My favorite benefit of ACV is its ability to aid in digestion. Since ACV is naturally acidic, it helps balance stomach pH and prevents bloating and gas. And since it is anti-microbial it also helps kill bacteria in the stomach and intestines.

I add a splash of ACV to the dogs' and chickens' water as well to help keep bacteria out and improve digestion! I pour in around 1 tablespoon per 4 Liters (1 gallon) of water so they can barely taste it and still get the benefits! Make sure to always offer a clean bowl (no ACV) of water just in case they're extra sensitive to the taster.

ACV is very beneficial for chickens too since it kills germs that cause respiratory problems, encourages drinking (it tastes good to them!), and improves digestion.

You can also sneak in some ACV by mixing it into your DIY veggie mix or bone broth.

Choosing An ACV Brand

In a perfect world, finding a quality product would be easy peasy. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of different brands all claiming different things! So here are a couple of main things I look for when purchasing a quality ACV...

  • Raw & unpasteurized ACV: the pasteurization process uses heat to destroy all the beneficial enzymes and bacteria of the vinegar. So, pasteurized AC is basically useless

  • Ugly is the new healthy: Get the grossest, ugliest, and murkiest ACV you can get your hands on! The shinier, clearer, and cleaner the vinegar is the fewer health benefits there are

  • The mother: The most important thing I look for is the mother. The mother, as I mentioned above, is what transforms the vinegar and gives this liquid its medicinal properties

Other Vinegars

Well, how about other kinds of vinegar?

While other kinds of vinegar, such as white vinegar, can be used to clean such as ACV, it lacks nutritious and medicinal properties. This is because apple cider vinegar is crafted from a nutritious fruit: apple! Most bottles of vinegar are simply made from diluted alcohol.

Side Effects

Although ACV is all around a safe to consume food, it still is an acidic substance. This means that when given in large amounts it can damage teeth enamel, digestive upset, and throat irritation. When it comes to apple cider vinegar: less is more!

Apple cider vinegar is an all-around amazing health tonic that you and your animals will benefit from! As always, thank you so much for stopping by, and Always Keep Exploring.

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