The Amazing Vinegar!

Ancient people discovered a product that would change lives forever – Vinegar! The  Babylonians used vinegar as a preservative, as did Ancient Greeks and Romans. Some people believed that vinegar was a tonic that would give them strength and vitality, as well as bestow healing properties.

Vinegar’s magic ingredient is acetic acid, which comprises about 5 percent of the finished product. Vinegar has been produced commercially for about 2,500 years, making it one of the oldest products in use by humans.

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Digestive Soother

Likely the most popular use for apple cider vinegar is digestive. Use it as a morning tincture, dissolving a tablespoon into a glass of water to detoxify the digestive system and eliminate toxins from the organs. You can also add a touch of honey if the vinegar is too pungent on its own.

Wart Eradicator

Don’t waste your time with pricy over-the-counter wart treatments. Instead, reach for a bottle of apple cider vinegar.  Immerse a cotton ball in vinegar and tape it over the wart using medical tape or a Band-Aid.  It may sting slightly, but the enzymes in the apple cider vinegar will kill the wart, causing it to turn black and fall off, usually within a week.

Healthy Mouth & Gums

Yes, apple cider vinegar will banish horrible halitosis and coffee stains, but on a deeper level, the enzymes will also aid in the healing of gum cuts, tearing, chronic gum decay, and infection as well as soothe fungal infections (i.e., thrush).  Simply gargle with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. You can even swallow this form of mouthwash if you want the digestive benefits. Just be sure to brush your teeth right after to avoid acid wear.

Banish Skin Blemishes

The key to porcelain, glowing skin isn’t expensive, store-bought toner, it’s apple cider vinegar! The vinegar can be used as an effective skin toner (1 part vinegar; 2 parts water) when applied with a cotton pad in the morning and before bedtime to banish acne, oily-prone patches skin, blemish scars, and age spots. Equally effective, apple cider vinegar can be added to a foot soak to expel foot fungus.

Diarrhea or an upset stomach

Sip some apple cider vinegar mixed with water. If a bacterial infection is at the root of your diarrhea, apple cider vinegar could help contain the problem, thanks to its antibiotic properties. What’s more, some folk remedy experts contend that apple cider vinegar contains pectin, which can help soothe intestinal spasms. Try mixing one or two tablespoons into water, or clear juice like apple juice.

Sore Throat

As soon as you feel the prickle of a sore throat, employ germ-busting apple cider vinegar to help head off the infection at the pass. Turns out, most germs can’t survive in the acidic environment vinegar creates. Just mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup warm water and gargle every hour or so.

Boost Energy

Exercise and sometimes extreme stress cause lactic acid to build up in the body, causing fatigue. Interestingly, the amino acids contained in apple cider vinegar act as an antidote. What’s more, apple cider vinegar contains potassium and enzymes that may relieve that tired feeling. Next time you’re beat, add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar to a glass of chilled vegetable drink or to a glass of water to boost your energy.

Magic of White Vinegar

In the Kitchen

Besides adding zest to salad dressings, white vinegar is handy for many cooking tasks. 

Adding a few tablespoons of white vinegar to the water when poaching eggs helps the whites stay formed. Add a few tablespoons to the water when boiling eggs, and if any shells crack, the whites won’t leak out.

If your leafy veggies are wilted, soaking them in cold water with a little vinegar can perk them right up.

After chopping an onion, you can eliminate the odor from your hands by rubbing them with a bit of white vinegar.

When cooking any vegetables from the cabbage family (like broccoli or cauliflower), adding a little vinegar to the water will perk up the taste and reduce the gassiness they can induce. This also works when cooking beans.

Cleaning House

Vinegar can help with a variety of cleaning tasks, since the acid acts as a disinfectant and an odor neutralizer.

Cleaning Clothes

Vinegar works magic on upholstery and fabric, too.

If a child has an “accident” on a mattress, clean it with a solution of vinegar and water. Afterwards, pour some baking soda onto the mattress, and brush or vacuum the residue once it’s dry.

Spraying vinegar onto deodorant-stained shirts before the wash can remove the discoloration. It’s also great for fighting mustard, tomato sauce or ketchup stains.

Adding a cupful of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine can freshen up bright colors and give you cleaner laundry. Acetic acid won’t harm fabrics, but it dissolves the soap residue that can dull dark clothing. It also acts as a fabric softener, a static reducer and a mildew-inhibitor.

Vinegar will also loosen chewing gum stuck to car upholstery, rugs and carpeting.

Outdoor Uses

Tough enough even for the outdoors, vinegar can function as a car cleaner and an organic pest remover.

If your car still sports a bumper sticker from two elections ago, remove it by spraying the decal with white vinegar to saturate the area, and the sticker will peel off in a few hours. (You might need to spray it a few times.)

Wiping down your car windows and windshield with a three-to-one vinegar-water mixture can keep them frost-free in the wintertime.

Kill weeds and crabgrass growing in sidewalks and driveways by pouring vinegar onto them. A half-and-half solution of vinegar and water can even kill garden slugs if it’s sprayed directly onto them.

To extend the life of cut flowers, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the water in their vase, along with a teaspoon of sugar.

Pet Solutions

There’s no need to use chemicals near pets when vinegar can handle most cleaning and bathing tasks.

Wipe out itchy ears with undiluted vinegar to keep dogs and cats from scratching at them.

Cats avoid vinegar, so to keep them from scratching furniture or sitting on certain areas, spray a vinegar solution onto the spot.

For outdoor areas, soak a sponge in vinegar and place it in the forbidden area to keep cats away. If kitty likes to mark his territory, spraying the area with vinegar can help eliminate the smell and deter recurrences.

Vinegar can disinfect, deodorize and de-gunkify just about everything. From shower curtains to sofa cushions, there’s not much that it can’t do. As an alternative to expensive and harsh cleaning chemicals, vinegar is something you can feel good about keeping in your cupboards. White vinegar and baking soda can even remove product buildup from hair and leave it soft and manageable. A product that can clean you, the dog, your car and your house is what I’d call a good, green buy.