Mother Earth’s root cider might just cure what ails you

By on March 19, 2016

Note: This is a feature article, not an advertisement. No financial or other considerations were provided. The Voice supports all local businesses and often writes about interesting ventures.

“A shot a day keeps the doctor away.”

Mark Welch and Jim Douglas make no claims about the medical benefits of their just-released-to-the-public Mother Earth’s Organic Root Cider.

But their friends and others who were able to buy it during the development and small batch production phase during the past year swear the statement is true.

Their repeat business and word-of-mouth recommendations increased demand to the point where the duo decided to go full-bore with commercial production, including moving production from Douglas’s restaurant kitchen at Chili Peppers to Organic Food Incubator in Long Island, N.Y.

We met with Douglas and Welch at Chili Peppers a few weeks ahead of last week’s public launch.

Before we began talking about Mother Earth’s, there was the mandatory sampling.

Mother Earth’s is made from pure organic ingredients starting with a base of 60-grain raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar.

Next up is lemon, garlic, ginger root, turmeric root, white onion, beets, horseradish root and two peppers; serrano and habanero.

With an ingredient list like that, I expected a little heat. Mother Earth’s didn’t disappoint.

Yet, the heat was quite manageable and dissipates in short order.

The garlic, onion and to my palate, turmeric dominate, but not in an unpleasant manner.

It is definitely unlike anything you’ve ever sipped. It’s quirky, funky and a little bit fun, with a dash of daring.

The idea for Mother Earth’s came from Welch. Welch looks fit, but he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation at age 26.

He also suffered from a number of upper respiratory problems. His condition prevented him from taking over-the-counter medicines, especially for sinus conditions, and in their place doctors prescribed antibiotics.

It got to the point where Welch was taking as many as six different antibiotics annually and he could feel the toll it was taking on his body.

The owner of Oceanside Pools and Spas began a multi-year quest to find a natural remedy to replace the prescription drugs he felt were doing more harm than good. He came across what he refers to as a “master tonic” recipe that contains almost all of the current ingredients.

He started experimenting and refining the “master,” using it on himself and giving samples out to others.

Jim Douglas (left) and Mark Welch hoist a glass of Mother Earth’s.

Welch said he began to feel better on a dose of one-half to one ounce a day and his friends were also coming back, asking for more and relating to Welch the benefits they were experiencing.

He says he is down to one antibiotic prescription, and has experienced increased lung capacity.

A bit of a local buzz developed, and that’s when Douglas, who has a deep interest in natural remedies, heard about Welch’s product.

The two got together and they began using Chili Peppers’ kitchen to make the product.

Beets and lemons were added,because, as Welch said, “the first batches were rough. The beets add some sweetness and the lemons offset the pH.

Douglas and Welch also made a decision to make Mother Earth’s 100% organic.

For each production run, almost 2,400 pounds of natural ingredients are ground down, strained and combined.

The cider is neither heated nor pasteurized, and Mother Earth’s is FDA approved, which means the entire production process is documented.

Douglas said after they produced two small batches at Chili Peppers, demand grew so fast that they decided to pull the trigger and seek out a manufacturing facility that specialized in organic food production.

Hence the move to the Long Island facility.

Douglas himself became a regular user, telling us Mother Earth’s energizes him, and since he began taking it has avoided the usual colds, flus and stomach viruses that seem to make almost permanent rounds along the Outer Banks.

The first shipment from Long Island arrived the week of March 13.

Every ingredient has been tied to health benefits through scientific research; for example, apple cider vinegar has been shown to aid in food digestion and help balance body pH.

Lemon is known as a detoxifier, garlic combats cholesterol, ginger and turmeric root play roles as antioxidants.

The remaining components boast similar attributes relative to circulatory, blood sugar regulation and other benefits.

Douglas makes clear “we’re not doctors” and reiterates that while they make no claims as to medicinal benefits, he and Welch’s personal experiences and the high praise and testimonials from those who purchased or sampled the early batches is good enough for them.

Douglas and Welch alternately explain that “we are making the best product we can, with pure, raw, organic materials. There is no way one person could eat all of these healthy foods, so we’re combining them into one serving.”

The pair also cite Douglas’s excellent reputation in the restaurant business and Welch’s similar standing in the pool and spa business.

Both men are putting their names and reputation on the product and, of course, selling it to friends and customers, an indication they are confident in Mother Earth’s benefits.

The price is $38 for a 32-ounce bottle, which will yield 32 to 64 servings, depending upon the dose.

You can purchase it at Chili Peppers, Apple A Day, Currituck Farm Market, Made in the OBX-KDH, Lob Lolly Pines-Duck, Winks (Duck store), Ed’s Veggie Stand (Seagate North), Spa Koru (Avon) and online at

They plan to add other local retailers quickly.

In the interim, when you miss eating your vegetables, you might smack your forehead and exclaim, “I could have had a Mother Earth’s!”

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