HOME SWEET HOME
By Cal Orey
Nature opened the first drugstore.
--D.C. Jarvis, M.D.
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Chances are, apple cider, red wine, rice, and other vinegar—your everyday household products—even more extraordinary healing powers that you might not know about. The next time you need a natural remedy for a minor ailment, check this list first to see if a cure is as close as your kitchen cabinet or pantry.
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Here are several common health ailments, from A to Z, and provide common at-home vinegar folk remedies. Some treatments can be used inside and others outside the body. Keep in mind, these are based on anecdotal evidence. There are no double-blind studies to back up their effectiveness and make it conclusive. Still, read on, and you’ll see why it’s an amazing remedy that you want to have in your home.
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1 Tame Arthritis: Folk medicine holds that apple cider vinegar can help fight ache and pains. While no scientific studies prove this to be true, conventional doctors frown at the thought of vinegar as an anti-arthritis remedy, testimony gives nutrient-rich apple cider vinegar kudos for providing relief for the debilitating disease.
What Vinegar Remedy to Use: The popular cure is simple. Take 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and honey in a glass of water several times daily.
Why You’ll Like It: If it works for you, you will be happy because it’s natural, which means there will be no ill side effects from pain medications. Plus, it’s low-cost and easy to use.
2 Soothe Burns: Ever burn yourself on the stovetop, iron, or fireplace? Ouch! Any burn that affects your body should be attended to ASAP. The reason: You’ll want to keep inflammation and swelling at a minimum.
What Vinegar Remedy to Use: Apply apple cider vinegar, straight out of the bottle, to a burn on the surface of the body. Better yet, apply ice cold vinegar right away for fast relief.
Why You’ll Like It: Vinegar contains both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate smarting and soreness and prevents blisters.
3 Steady Dizziness: Feeling dizzy can be attributed to many causes, from prescription meds to hormonal changes. The fact remains, dizziness is not fun, and if you have ever felt this unsettling feeling, you might be willing to try vinegar to help keep your grounded.
What Vinegar Remedy to Use: DC Jarvis, Folk Medicine: A New England Almanac of Natural Care from a Noted Vermont Country Doctor notes that Vermont folk medicine is successful in treating dizziness, which he claims is due to “an alkaline reaction of the urine.” He recommends the apple cider treatment, with the timing and dosage similar to those used for other ailments. Take a tablespoon or two a few times per day as needed.
Why You’ll Like It: If you have felt lightheaded or like your world is spinning, you’ll love this apple cider treatment, which will keep your feet and head steady without pesky side effects.
4 Embrace An Energizer: Feeling tired, run-down, a lack of drive? You’re hardly alone. According to Edward Conley, D.O., in Grand Blanc, Michigan, an estimated 80 percent of adults complain of fatigue at one time or another. It is believed by many health gurus that vinegar can help you to feel more alert and physically energized.
What Vinegar Remedy to Use: Take 1 tablespoon of the potassium-rich energizer three times a day, preferably in 1 cup of water each time.
Why You’ll Like It: While caffeinated sodas can give you an instant boost, they can leave you feeling like you’re on a roller coaster with their ups and downs. Vinegar beats fatigue and leaves you energized without ill effects. 8 Put Insomnia To Bed: Your eyes are wide open. The fear of not getting a good night’s sleep tonight haunts you like a spooky Stephen King nightmare. The neon numbers on the clock (2:00 A.M.) are a glowing reminder of the sleepless zombie you’ll be tomorrow morning. You toss, you turn. Now it’s 3:20 A.M. Still not asleep. Whether you’ve had too much caffeine, didn’t say not to your nightcap, or didn’t solve your problems during the daytime, it’s time to try an old secret for sweet dreams.
5 Put Insomnia To Bed: Your eyes are wide open. The fear of not getting a good night’s sleep tonight haunts you like a spooky Stephen King nightmare. The neon numbers on the clock (2:00 A.M.) are a glowing reminder of the sleepless zombie you’ll be tomorrow morning. You toss, you turn. Now it’s 3:20 A.M. Still not asleep. Whether you’ve had too much caffeine, didn’t say not to your nightcap, or didn’t solve your problems during the daytime, it’s time to try an old secret for sweet dreams.
What Vinegar Remedy to Use: Dr. Jarvis recommends making a mixture of 3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of honey, and keeping it on the night table to a wide-mouthed bottle or jar along with a teaspoon.
Why You’ll Like It: The Vermont folk medicine doctor touts honey as the ideal remedy for getting shut-eye. Vinegar and honey are worth a try and may beat being sleep-deprived, which can wreak havoc on your health.
6 Blast Low Libido: A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains enhances good health, which result in better sexual energy. Some aficionados claim apple cider vinegar is also a love potion due to its antioxidants boosting the libido. Eating a nutrient-dense low-fat, high fiber diet can help men and women stave off obesity, heart disease, and the need to use medications, all of which can put a damper on sex drive.
What Vinegar Remedy to Use: Try 1 or 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of spring water three times a day.
Why You’ll Like It: Vinegar beats those little blue pills (for men) which have potential side effects that can make any man or woman lose that loving feeling.
7 Lose Muscle Cramps: Ever wake up in the middle of the night and cringe at that sharp, painful muscle cramp? They can strike the feet, legs, and even the stomach. What to do?
What Vinegar Remedy to Use: Doctors Patricia and Paul Bragg recommend taking 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey in a glass of distilled water three times per day.
Why You’ll Like It: It may work, claim the Braggs, by allowing the precipitated acid crystals in your circulatory system to enter into a solution and pass out the body.
8 Rub Out Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac: These three plants contain a poisonous sap that causes dermatitis—a pesky skin disorder. Symptoms include severe itching of the skin and oozing sores. While most cases of poisoning go away in 7-10 days, you can find relief without going to the drugstore.
What Vinegar Remedy to Use: Neal Schultz, M.D., a dermatologist in New York, recommends two vinegar solutions: mix equal parts vinegar and rubbing alcohol and apply to rash. Be sure to wash—thoroughly—plus everything that came in contact with the plant. Or mix equal parts buttermilk, vinegar, and salt and apply.s supposed to do for your health? Evidently, one way to find out is to let vinegar tell you what’s up.
What Vinegar Remedy to Use: Drop your vitamin into ½ cup of vinegar. Stir the solution a few times during the course of 20 minutes. If the vitamin separates into tiny pieces, it’s good. If not, it may be time to look for a different brand.
Why You’ll Like It: When trying this do-it-yourself system, it may work, so you can get a thumbs-up or down for your choice of brand and take care of you and your body.
9 Stop Swimmer’s Ear: A common ailment that I remember getting as a teenage competitive simmer. You can develop this ailment by swimming and showering as well.
What Vinegar Remedy to Use: To protect against ear infections from swimming pools, a popular folk remedy is to try is using a mixture of one part white vinegar to one part rubbing alcohol.
Why You’ll Like It: Vinegar is a good preventive strategy that can help keep pesky swimmer’s ear at bay, while you splash in the pool or indulge in long showers.
10 Rate Your Vitamin Supplement: Ever wonder if your multivitamin is doing what it iinclude medications that you, your family, and your pet are taking, you also want to have a first-aid kit and handbook.
What Remedy to Use: Pour apple cider vinegar into a large plastic container (or two), and store it with your emergency supplies.
Why You’ll Like It: It is the medicine of the twenty-first century. Rather than trying to remember if you have every type of ailment remedy, you will be covered whether you cut yourself, get a bruise, come down with a sore throat, or run into anything health-wise that will irk you during a disaster.
Surprising Vinegar facts you didn’t know…
· * Red wine vinegar contains flavonoids (and perhaps heart-healthy resveratrol), which can help prevent high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.
· * Balsamic vinegar is high in antioxidant polyphenols, fat-free, high in potassium, tasty, and paired with olive oil is the dressing of the 21st century.
· * Fruit-flavored vinegars have a wide variety of health benefits. Persimmon vinegar, rich in vitamins A and C, is “hot” in Korea and good for the body. Shanxi vinegar, made from barley and peas, is a nutritional powerhouse and appreciated in China.
· * Amino-rich rice vinegar can help fight aches, congestion, and irregularity.
· * Herbal vinegar including chamomile, fennel, rosemary, and thyme also have therapeutic effects for your body, mind, and spirit.
— Cal Orey, M.A. is an author and journalist. Her books include "The Healing Powers" series (Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, and Coffee) published by Kensington. (All books were featured by Literary Guild, Book of the Month, One Spirit and Good Cook Book clubs.) Her website is www.calorey.com.
Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Vinegar, Revised and Updated (Kensington), translated in 20 languages, 27th printing