Refreshing Facts about Aronia, ACV, & Honey

We think we can help make things a little better by creating products that are better for the world and your health, and that also just taste better. Studies suggest that sweet-tart or sour-tasting beverages made from ingredients like those in Shrubbly® may actually provide greater refreshment, as beverages with lower pH levels stimulate greater salivation (possibly explaining the appeal of drinks such as lemonade, and more recently, kombucha)[1] .

Aronia Berries

The aronia berry (also known as the black chokeberry) traditionally functioned as a treatment for colds in Native American medicine[2].  Aronia berries contain approximately 5 times the antioxidants per serving of certain types of blueberries and cranberries.  More specifically, the berries contain relatively high concentrations of polyphenols – a diverse group of chemical substances that occur naturally in the plant kingdom[3]. Polyphenols comprise roughly 800 compounds sorted into 10 classes of chemicals that serve various protective functions for plants, including protection from disease and radiation. Meanwhile, they offer healthful benefits when consumed by humans.

The variety of aronia berry grown by our farm in particular contains high concentrations of anthocyanins, a class of polyphenols and subgrouping of flavonoids that give berries their color, but also offer neuroprotective benefits. Their primary nutraceutical property is protection against reactive oxygen species (ROS) – a demonstrated risk factor for neurodegenerative disease[4]

Consumption of aronia berry, which contains particularly high concentrations of both anthocyanins and procyanidins, has demonstrated the following benefits through both in vitro and in vivo peer-reviewed studies: antioxidative, antimutagenic, anticancer, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective (protection against liver damage), gastroprotective, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, radioprotective, and immunomodulatory effects[5].

Apple Cider Vinegar

Shrubbly® may help support functions of digestion, blood sugar regulation, satiety, and weight control through each bottle’s inclusion of apple cider vinegar[6]. At least one study demonstrates the potential antifungal properties of apple cider vinegar, while the substance may even reduce growth of cancerous cells[7].


Another ingredient we use is honey because it is renowned as a healthy sweetener. While certainly a “less bad” alternative to refined sugar, when consumed in moderation, honey may even confer health benefits through its plant compounds and antioxidants.

The Environment

While the benefits of aronia berries are primarily “nutraceutical”, aronia berries also offer climate-friendly attributes relative to other fruit. In 2008, Dale Secher from the University of Wisconsin considered aronia one of the “top five promising plants” due to its high resistance to pests and disease, low input requirements, short time to first yield, and high adaptability[9]. We grow the “Viking” variety of aronia melanocarpa (black chokeberry), which is particularly resistant to pests and disease, and prefers less water than other aronia cultivars[10].

Apple cider vinegar comes from a plentiful fruit grown throughout the U.S. and makes use of the imperfect apples that would otherwise be unsold, which reduces waste. Honey production also supports the management of bees that provide valuable ecosystem services such as pollination for crops.

[1] Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times

[2]Kotkokiewicz, A. et al. “Aronia Plants: A Review of Traditional Use, Biological Activities, and Perspectives for Modern Medicine.” JOURNAL OF MEDICINAL FOOD. J Med Food 13 (2) 2010. 255-269,

[3]Oxidative Stress and Alzheimer's Disease: Dietary Polyphenols as Potential Therapeutic Agents

[4] Ibid. 17

[5] Ibid. 16

[6]Healthline – 6 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, Backed by Science

[7]Antifungal Activity of Apple Cider Vinegar

[8]Global apple cider vinegar market to grow at a CAGR of 10.24% during the period 2016 - 2020; finds new report. (2016, Nov 28). M2 Presswire.

[9]University of Wisconsin – Fruit with Potential for Wisconsin Farms

[10] University of Wisconsin – Uncommon Fruit: Observations from Cavandale Farm