…studies show that acetic acid aids in reducing cholesterol, blood pressure, heart disease risk, and has anti-carcinogenic effects! It is also naturally antimicrobial and can be used to treat various infections, skin irritations, and candida overgrowth.
When kombucha is left to ferment for too long, it quickly turns into kombucha vinegar.
What is Kombucha Vinegar and why is it the Holy grail of heath?
Kombucha vinegar is essentially over-fermented kombucha. When a batch of kombucha is bottled at the ideal time, the finished kombucha liquid is separated from the SCOBY and bottled, halting the primary fermentation process. The average kombucha brew duration is from one to two weeks and results in a well-balanced semi-sweet, slightly tart, probiotic-rich beverage.
However, if the kombucha brew is left for several weeks or even months beyond that target time, the SCOBY continues to feed off the liquid in the fermentation vessel. Meaning, it will eat up every bit of available sugar and tea that it can, converting it into acetic acid instead.
Good gut bacteria (aka, probiotics) are important for optimal health and are particularly essential for proper digestive function. Kombucha tea is made by combining specific strains of good bacteria, sugar, and yeast with a tea (typically green or black), and allowing it to ferment. This fermentation process produces a probiotic-rich drink.
Good levels of healthy good bacteria can help to cool systemic inflammation and even promote weight loss.
Contains all the benefits of Rooibos tea.
Kombucha tea is often high in antioxidants, especially if a Rooibos tea is used.
Free radicals are potentially dangerous, reactive molecules that can damage cells and are a contributor to cancer cell proliferation. Antioxidants are key in fighting these molecules and are found in certain foods (primarily bright colored plant foods, such as berries). One study shows that antioxidants from foods are more beneficial than antioxidants in supplement form. While more research is needed, preliminary studies suggest that kombucha tea might even reduce liver toxicity.
Acetic Acid & Kombucha Vinegar
As gnarly as it may sound, acetic acid is a very natural and healthy type of acid! It is the same good stuff that is in apple cider vinegar. In addition to beneficial bacteria, acetic acid is what makes raw apple cider vinegar so good for you. So, how do they compare?
Acetic acid has many noteworthy health-promoting properties. When combined with a meal, acetic acid helps to slow gastric emptying and reduces blood sugar spikes dramatically. See uses 1, 2, and 3 below for ideas on how to consume kombucha vinegar pleasantly.
Furthermore, studies show that acetic acid aids in reducing cholesterol, blood pressure, heart disease risk, and has anti-carcinogenic effects! It is also naturally antimicrobial and can be used to treat various infections, skin irritations, and candida overgrowth.
6 WAYS TO USE KOMBUCHA VINEGAR
1) Make Fire Cider
fire cider is a natural immune-boosting, crud-fighting tonic that can help prevent, reduce symptoms, or help you recover more quickly from colds or the flu. We sip on fire cider and elderberry syrup regularly all cold-season long. Especially if we have been around someone who is ill. Guess what? We haven’t been sick in three years! I kid you not.
Traditionally, fire cider is made by infusing garlic, ginger, onions, horseradish, and other optional healing ingredients (such as citrus, turmeric, or herbs) in raw apple cider vinegar. After a few weeks, it is strained and honey is added to the final liquid. Hey, don’t knock it until you try it!
As we’ve already established, kombucha vinegar is very similar to apple cider vinegar in many ways, and thus makes a great substitute for ACV in homemade fire cider. Simply swap out all or some of the called-for ACV with your kombucha vinegar instead!
Homemade fire cider can be made with either apple cider vinegar, kombucha vinegar, or a little of both!
2) As Salad Dressing
Do you like to use apple cider vinegar as a salad dressing? We sure do! Our go-to salad dressing is simply a drizzle of raw ACV along with a little extra virgin olive oil. Kombucha vinegar tastes very similar and makes a great salad dressing too.
Even if you don’t love it straight, kombucha vinegar can easily be incorporated into various homemade salad dressing recipes instead of other vinegar. For example, a mix of kombucha vinegar with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, fresh or dried herbs, and perhaps a little fresh-squeezed lemon juice or a dash of aged balsamic vinegar?
3) Take it as a “Gut Shot”
Because of all the health benefits of acetic acid, it is increasingly common for health professionals to recommend a small daily dose of apple cider vinegar with meals. Or kombucha vinegar, in this case. Yet ACV or booch vinegar aren’t things most people want to guzzle down, nor should they! A little goes a long way. Just a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar is awesome to promote general wellness or to improve specific health concerns.
Acetic acid aids in digestion and improves insulin sensitivity. As we briefly discussed above, it also slightly slows down gastric emptying – which is the time it takes for food to move from your stomach into your small intestine. Because of all this, acetic acid helps stabilize or reduce post-meal blood sugar levels. Stable blood sugar is great for everyone, but especially for those with diabetes.
By slowing gastric emptying and reducing sugar spikes, it can also lead you to feel more satiated and less likely to overeat. This could be very helpful for those struggling to maintain healthy portions and weight.
An easy way to get your daily dose of acetic acid is to take a small shot of apple cider vinegar or kombucha vinegar before dinner (or other large meal). If taking a straight shot is too tangy for your tastebuds, dilute 1-2 tablespoons of kombucha vinegar in water or your beverage of choice instead.
4) Like a Natural Hair Rinse
Say what? Yep! Here goes kombucha vinegar, copying ACV again…. Believe it or not, apple cider vinegar is popularly used as a natural hair rinse. Acetic acid helps to clarify hair, remove build-up, reduce scalp itching or dryness, re-balance your natural pH, provide deep conditioning, reduce breakage and frizz, and re-seal cuticles. The result is shiny, smooth, healthy hair! I do either an ACV or kombucha vinegar hair rinse once every month or so. It helps reduce the build-up and dullness created by our very “hard” (high mineral) city water.
To create a kombucha vinegar hair rinse, simply mix 1-2 parts kombucha vinegar to 4 parts water. For example, by diluting half a cup (or just over) of booch vinegar in 2 cups water.
If you make an apple cider vinegar hair rinse, it is recommended to dilute it even further since ACV has a higher acetic acid content. In that case, use 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per 2 cups of water. Some online sources recommend stronger solutions, but I say start light, see how your hair responds, and increase the concentration if you desire.
After washing your hair, apply the kombucha vinegar either using a spray bottle or by gently pouring it over your head. Lean your head back and be careful to not get it in your eyes! Let the kombucha vinegar solution sit for a few minutes, and then thoroughly rinse your hair.
5) As a Facial Toner or Make-Up Remover
Like raw apple cider vinegar, kombucha vinegar is gaining popularity as a natural skin care product. Some people swear that using ACV or kombucha vinegar as a facial toner has drastically improved their complexion, making skin glow! The strong antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties of acetic acid make it excellent at healing acne or other infections. Because acetic acid is also quite astringent, it provides a deep clean and removes impurities.
Using an organic cotton round, I often use kombucha vinegar as a facial toner – Then I follow it up with Roodt Organic facial balm. If you have sensitive or extra-dry skin, you may want to try diluting your kombucha vinegar half-and-half with water.
6) Natural Kitchen or Bathroom Cleaning Spray
We avoid using bleach and other chemical products in this home as much as possible. Instead, we use a variety of natural and non-toxic cleaning products, such as hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, or vinegar, Roodt boerseep, Roodt Bio bubbles, and Dishwashing bars. Vinegar is a great multi-purpose cleaner that can disinfect surfaces plus remove grease, grime, and odors. We use it on everything from the kitchen sink to the floors.
To make a kombucha vinegar cleaning spray, simply add strong sour kombucha vinegar to a spray bottle, and spray away! You could also add some of your favorite essential oils.
Please note that acidic vinegar-based cleaning solutions should be avoided on some sensitive surfaces. It is NOT recommended to use vinegar to clean granite, marble, or other sensitive stone surfaces. The acid can cause staining and etching to them. We use it on our laminate “wood” floors but would avoid using vinegar on natural hardwood floors or wood furniture.
Use kombucha vinegar straight on its own, or create a homemade vinegar & citrus cleaning spray!
Amanda is the creator and also content developer for Roodt Made by Nature. She is in no other way a medical professional. Her remarks, recommendations, and reflections are not to replace any kind of medical advice.