Benifits Of Vinegar Vinegar by Linda Gabris Issue #97 Cider vinegar prevents high blood pressure by thinning blood and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels as well as regulating metabolism, which is beneficial in achieving and maintaining weight loss. Because acetic acid in vinegar helps the body break down and digest rich, fatty foods, many cider vinegar-based diets have sprung into being. Whether or not such diets work, they are not recommended. Over-indulgence with any type of acid can cause harm, especially for those suffering from ulcers or other stomach disorders. Too much acid can wear down the stomach lining as well as cause tooth decay. But the good news is, sensibly adding cider and other specialty vinegars to one’s diet promotes healthier eating habits, which in turn lowers body fat. Substituting perky vinegar like cider or malt in place of butter, cream, cheese, or other heavy sauces on vegetables is one tasty way to cut fat from the diet. Sprinkling herbal vinegars on salads is another refreshing way to shape up by cutting down on traditional oily dressings, and using fruity infusions instead of sweet sauces and whipped cream on desserts cuts calories drastically. Thirst quencher. Stir a tablespoon of apple cider or fruit vinegar (see recipes) into iced water for a tantalizing thirst quencher said to regulate body temperature and clear up bad complexion. Diva dip. Cider, balsamic, or herbal vinegars poured into the dip bowl make a delightfully light substitute for sour cream, mayonnaise, and other fatty dips. You can dunk veggies until your heart’s content. Balsamic dip for bread. Here’s a super quick and delicious Old World dish from Italy. Combine 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 5 cloves of roasted mashed garlic, and 1 teaspoon of freshly grated black pepper into a jar. Shake well and let draw in the fridge until the flavors meld. Serve with chunks of crusty bread for dipping. This makes a very elegant appetizer, easy picnic, or impromptu supper. Getting the most out of soup stocks. Adding a squirt of white wine or apple cider vinegar—about 2 tablespoons per pound of bones—to the stock pot helps leach valuable calcium from the bones. There will be no sour taste, and you’ll be on the plus side of calcium. Potassium-rich tea. If your stamina needs improving, you may need more potassium in your diet. One teaspoon full of cider vinegar per cup of herbal tea can fill the bill. A dash in place of lemon perks up tea. Salt substitute. Fill a small-holed salt shaker with cider, malt, or herbal vinegar and use in place of salt on raw onions, tomatoes, poached eggs, steamed vegetables, pasta, or anything else that normally draws you to the shaker. When not in use, keep tightly capped in the refrigerator. Produce wash. Mix three parts distilled white vinegar to 1 part water in a spray bottle. Use to blast away germs from produce. After spraying, rinse well under cold running water. Store leftover spray, tightly capped, in fridge. Making your own herb vinegar. Gather a few sprigs of fresh garden herbs—more for stronger vinegar. Basil, dill, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme, mint, chives, or whatever is handy in your herb patch. Wash, pat dry, and put in a sterilized bottle. Cover with apple cider, malt, or any wine vinegar or blend of vinegars you desire. Let draw for two weeks, then strain and bottle. Peeled garlic cloves, shallots, peppercorns, chilies, juniper berries, or other spices and seasonings can be added. Fruit vinegar. Use raspberry, cranberries, blueberries, or choice of fruit in place of herbs. Create unique flavors by adding orange peel, lemon zest, pomegranate seeds, nutmeg pod, cinnamon stick, or other sweet things to the bottle. For the very best in fruit-infused vinegar, use white wine or Champagne vinegar. In the medicine cupboard Cold prevention medicine. Peel a knuckle of ginger root and put into a pint jar. Add peeled cloves of 1 head of garlic and two small chili peppers. Cover with cider vinegar that’s been brought to a near boil. Cap tightly and store in fridge. Grandmother’s suggested dosage: Take 1 teaspoon in half cup of water when you feel a cold coming on. Saves indefinitely under refrigeration. Makes good stir-fry sauce or enlivening sprinkle for rice dishes. Cold and flu tonic. Mix 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar into 1 cup of boiling water and sweeten with honey to taste. When cool, sip slowly. Good for relieving cough and breaking up phlegm. For congestion, serve this mixture hot and inhale the steam. Heartburn. One teaspoon of cider vinegar mixed into a glass of water taken with a spicy meal makes a reliable neutralizer—warding off heartburn. Nosebleed. Soak sterile cloth in white distilled vinegar diluted with equal parts water and apply to stop bleeding. According to Grandma’s old notes, the acid in the vinegar seals the broken vessel. Headache. Bring ¼ cup white distilled or 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water to a boil. Add a generous handful of fresh or several spoons full of dried mint leaves and steep until infused. Cover head with a towel, hold over steaming liquid and inhale fumes. Good treatment for tension or sinus headache. Itchy skin. Run a cool tub full of water and add 2 cups of white distilled vinegar. This is good for soothing heat rash, hives, mosquito bites, and swimmers itch. Cider vinegar works even better—if you have enough of the good stuff to spare. Sunburn. Pat affected skin with a mixture of cider vinegar and water to cool and relieve pain. This helps prevent blistering and peeling. Foot odor. Put about a pint of distilled white or cider vinegar into a basin of warm water and soak feet. This deodorizes and softens calluses at the same time. Rinsing socks in this solution after washing acts like a built-in odor eater . Itchy scalp. Add a couple tablespoons distilled white, rice, or cider vinegar to a quart of warm water and use as final rinse after shampooing. Dissolves soap residue that causes dry, flaking scalp. Rosemary adds fragrance and shine to hair.