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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vinegar’s Uses in Natural Remedies

Vinegar is essentially, sour wine. It is not only a useful ingredient in the kitchen, but also aids in natural health remedies. There are several different types of vinegar. These include white distilled vinegar, apple vinegar, cider, and wine vinegar. Vinegar has been used as natural remedies for over 10,000 years.  Over the years, vinegar has been made using molasses, sorghum, fruits, berries, honey and even beer. Vinegar is made by fermentation of natural sugars to alcohol then to vinegar.

Today, vinegar is still produced and used as it has in the past. Today there are many more types of vinegar, especially specialty types including balsamic, rice, rice wine, raspberry, pineapple and flavored vinegars.

Apple cider vinegar is one of the oldest and most useful types of vinegar available on the market. Cider or apple cider vinegar is made from a two-part fermentation process from the juices of apples.  It has a high vitamin content of vitamin C, E, A, B1, B2, b6, proto-vitamin, and beta-carotene. Apple cider vinegar also contains many minerals and trace elements such as potassium, calcium, sodium, copper, iron and magnesium.

Although most people do not enjoy the taste of apple cider vinegar, it has been shown to help relieve the symptoms of allergies from pollen, food and pets. It can cure sinus infections and help treat acne, high cholesterol, sore throats and can help with arthritis. It is traditionally suggested that the best way to take apple cider vinegar is to drink it. The recommended dosage is to add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to eight ounces of water with added honey to improve taste. This should be taken three times a day.

Cider vinegar can also help alleviate the symptoms of a sore throat. Cider vinegar and honey mixed in equal amounts helps clear the congestion in the throat.  Another use for cider vinegar is to drink the cider mixed with one to two teaspoons of honey. This works for some people who suffer from arthritis and rheumatism. Also, people who suffer from chronic fatigue can drink cider vinegar with water to help treat low-grade fevers.

White vinegar is another type of vinegar that can be used to treat symptoms naturally. It can also be used to help remedy the symptoms of a sore throat. Mixing one tablespoon of white vinegar with eight ounces of warm water will help. Use the gargle every hour and swallow after gargling. Vinegar can also be added to a vaporizer with water or to a large pot of water. Inhaling the steam can help with chest congestion.

Rubbing white vinegar can also be used for treating minor cuts, abrasions, itchy rashes and insect stings or bites and can even help alleviate the sting from a jellyfish. It might also be beneficial in treating minor sunburns. In addition, white vinegar can help treat athlete’s foot, by changing the ph levels in the skin. Try soaking the entire foot in vinegar three days in a row.
White vinegar is also a natural remedy to relieve dry, itchy skin and dandruff. Adding two tablespoons of vinegar to a bath helps skin, while rinsing hair with a half of cup of vinegar and two cups of water after shampooing can help fight dandruff.
Toenail fungus can be treated with white vinegar in much of the same way. Using a cotton ball soaked with white vinegar rub the infected area several times a day.

Additionally, with daily ingestion of any vinegar, use caution. Regular ingestion of vinegar might cause harm to dental enamel. It is suggested that when taking vinegar by mouth, it is best to always drink it with water, and rinse your mouth out immediately, but do not brush right away, as this may cause further damage. Also, it is suggested to use a straw to prevent the mixture from coating the teeth.  The use of vinegar is also very acidic and may cause heartburn.

Research shows that vinegar because of its acidic nature, vinegar is self-preserving and has an indefinite shelf life. It does not need refrigeration. White distilled vinegar will remain almost unchanged over a long period of time. Some vinegar may show change such as developing sediment or becoming hazy, but this does not affect the usefulness of the vinegar.

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