Vinegar: Popular Home Remedy
By Gary Wickman
Of course we all know that vinegar and oil is a delicious salad dressing and that you always use vinegar when coloring eggs for Easter. But vinegar has so many uses that you can’t even begin to count them ten times over on all your fingers and toes! You can use it both in and on the body, inside and outside of your home and when all else fails, vinegar is your “go to” remedy more often than not. Distilled vinegar by the gallon is quite inexpensive and it can take the place of literally hundreds of medicinal, therapeutic, hygienic and household products.
Medicinal, Therapeutic & Hygienic Uses for Vinegar
There are so many products on the market that are both misused and abused that it’s a wonder the FDA hasn’t mandated much stricter warnings. One of those products is those antacids that are supposed to relieve ‘acid indigestion.’ Unfortunately, what most people assume is acid indigestion is a lack of digestive enzymes which actually creates an alkaline condition in the stomach! The best way to counteract that is to drink a warm cup of water with a couple teaspoons of vinegar in it. If you can’t stomach the taste (pardon the pun) then add a tablespoon of honey to sweeten it up. Here is a list of some medicinal, therapeutic and hygienic uses for vinegar that you may not be aware of. Vinegar can:
Relieve itching from mosquito bites
Soothe sore throats (often with warm water & honey)
Relieve arthritis pain (drunk daily with warm water)
Hasten recovery from colds (w/ warm water and honey)
Provide a natural douche (w/ warm water)
Ease a cough
And that is just a few of the many ways in which you can use vinegar on or in the body. You can also mix a paste of vinegar and baking soda to remove deep seated stains from your hands and skin, or dot vinegar on blemishes to dry them up. Vinegar is cheaper than acne medicine and just as potent an astringent.
Using Vinegar Inside the Home
Most of us know that we can wash our windows and mirrors with vinegar because it cuts grease and leaves the glass streak free. However, you can also put approximately 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar in your laundry rinse cycle if you are having problems with lint. You can also use vinegar to:
Keep bright colors in your laundry bright
Remove unsightly deodorant stains from shirts (1:4 ratio vinegar to water)
Clean mineral deposits from coffee makers
Remove limescale from tubs, basins, pipes and faucets
Counteract tobacco odors in laundry (approx. 1/2 cup to wash cycle)
Counteract tobacco odors in rooms (place an open bowl in room)
Fluff up cotton blankets with 2 cups in rinse cycle
Clean the inside and outside of an electric steam iron (removes limescale)
Soften hard water
Clean your dishwasher by running 1 cup through occasionally
Clean copper, brass and even pewter
Again, the list goes on and on from there. In fact, you can even use a solution of vinegar and water to dampen a cloth to keep monitors and television screens dust free!
Vinegar for Your Lawn and Garden
You probably never thought of using vinegar on your lawn or garden, but if you are opposed to chemical weed killers and fertilizer, vinegar can often provide a safe and nontoxic alternative. Any plants which thrive on acidic soil can be fertilized with vinegar. Some of those plants are:
Chilean Fire Thorn
Spruce and Pine
Sweet Gum (Worplesdon)
Strawberry Tree (not the edible fruit!)
Most perennial flowering shrubs & plants
Most often a solution of about 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar is sufficient to use as a fertilizer for these types of plants. On the flip side, however, weeds and grass do not do well in acidic environments so one sure way to kill grass that sprouts up in between slabs in your side walk or weeds in your rose garden is to spray them down daily with vinegar and water until they literally starve and wither away.
Whether you are looking for cost effective products to save a few bucks every week or a safer alternative to the myriad of toxic chemicals on the market, vinegar is the ‘go to’ product you should always have on hand. It is quite cheap by the gallon and as a result you will find that you can literally save hundreds of dollars annually by using vinegar in lieu of expensive commercial products.