Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 10.05.22 AM

What is the “Mother” in Vinegar



I’ve always wondered why Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar boasted of this thing called “mother.”  Recently I was in a store that sells fancy flavored vinegars and they mentioned that they too sold vinegar with “mother” in it.  That got me thinking, what exactly is “mother” and why is it so good for you?

In 1394 French Vitners developed a method for making vinegar that used oak barrels to ferment wine or cider.  They would siphon off the vinegar leaving the bottom 15% which contained the “mother.”  The mother contains the beneficial bacteria that converts the wine or cider into acetic acid and gives vinegar it’s characteristic sour taste. Source

Why would we want to ingest “mother” that is basically bacteria?  Here are a few reasons why.

  • High in prebiotics- Prebiotics serve as food for beneficial bacteria in your digestive system and crowd out harmful bacteria.  This results in better gastrointestinal health and decreased incidence in occurrence and severity of allergies.
  • Contains B Vitamins- B helps to produce red blood cells which carries oxygen and nutrients to tissues.  B vitamins also play a role in the health of your nervous system.
  • Source of Iron- Iron plays a role in creating the protein hemoglobin which carries oxygen in the blood.
  • Source of Phenolic Compounds- These compounds are present in fruits and vegetables and are extremely important to protect us against disease. Source


Where can you find vinegar that contains “mother?”  Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar is available in almost every grocery store is relatively inexpensive.  Other options include oil and vinegar specialty stores like Oil and Vinegar in my town of Richmond, Virginia. I love to dress my salads with a flavored vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  It’s delicious and beneficial to your health.  What could be more health promoting than a big green salad with vinegar containing “mother” on top!  Try it sometime!



Leave a Reply