The “Mother” – Apple Cider Vinegar

The Mother, Apple Cider Vinegar, Bacteria in Vinegar

The “Mother” – Apple Cider Vinegar


You might have heard about ‘The Mother’ when referring to Apple Cider Vinegar.  ‘The Mother” is a thick, gelatinous layer formed by the acetic acid bacteria on the surface of the vinegar. This layer is known as ‘The Mother’ because it is the catalyst that gives rise to the vinegar and keeps our digestive and immune systems working well.

Why is it so good for us? Doctor John Douillard from sheds some light on this topic below.

Vinegar has a long history of therapeutic use, dating back some 5000 years BC in Babylonia. Hippocrates and Hannibal of Carthage and Cleopatra were fans and today, science backs the numerous health benefits of this fermented beverage. (1)

The Mother

Commercial manufacturers use a very fast fermentation process, which compromises some of the inherent in benefits of vinegar. (1) Allowing the vinegar to ferment slowly allows the acetic acid to create what is called “the mother” of the vinegar. The mother is composed of beneficial yeast and an acetic acid bacteria called Turbatrix aceti (also called vinegar eels or vinegar nematode), which helps keep your digestive and immune systems working well.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The mother of the vinegar is only found in raw, unpasteurized, organic, unfiltered vinegars, commonly apple cider vinegar. (1) Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a type of vinegar made from fermenting the sugars from apples. First, the apples must be exposed to yeast, which does the fermenting and turns the sugars into alcohol. Then, bacteria are added to the alcohol solution, further fermenting the alcohol and eventually turning it into acetic acid.

Bacteria in Vinegar

So when buying your Apple Cider Vinegar, you may see that it comes in two versions: filtered and unfiltered. The difference between the two is the “mother,” which is a somewhat murky collection of cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that’s removed when the vinegar is filtered, be sure to look for ‘unfiltered’, the one with ‘The Mother’.

References with thanks to

Read also our “5 Health Benefits of Apples”