You probably think that vinegar is just for cooking, but think again. Behind that bottle of acetic acid (though it is the mildest of all acids) hidden in your kitchen cabinet is a 2,000 year old potion with a lot of health benefits.
Here are six of its benefits not everyone would probably know.
1. Vinegar can ward off vaginal yeast infection. It is common in women but is often untreated because most women are too embarrassed to consult their doctors. It causes itchiness and a whitish discharge from the vagina. Doctors normally prescribe an anti-fungal suppository for seven days, but you can use a douche consisting of one tablespoon of white vinegar mixed in two glasses of warm water. You can use this twice a day until the burning and itching have stopped. You can also use this solution to the external genital area. Just stop using it once the infection clears out, as it may disrupt the normal bacterial aura of the vagina.
If you’re not comfortable using vinegar as a douche, fill a tub with warm water mixed with 1 cup of vinegar. Soak in this bath solution for about 20 minutes. Dry the vaginal area thoroughly using super absorbent paper. Any vinegar will do, but the best results have been found using apple cider vinegar.
Vinegar is a natural cauterizing agent for warts. Soak a cotton ball in pure white vinegar or apple cider. Tape the cotton ball with a band aid over the wart overnight. Do this very day for 2 weeks. The wart will slowly swell but may become painful as it reacts to the vinegar. It will turn black and will be gone in about two weeks. After it has fallen off, continue the vinegar treatment for a few more days to make sure it doesn’t regrow. Ensure that you wash your hands before and after the treatment.
2. To get rid of dandruff, mix one cup warm water with one cup vinegar. After shampooing your hair, apply this solution to your scalp, massaging it near the roots. Let the vinegar solution stay for around 30 minutes before rinsing your hair. Do this once or twice a week until the dandruff clears out. Make a more acidic solution by increasing the vinegar content and lessening the water if you still have dandruff after a few weeks.
3. Vinegar can be used as a home remedy to ear infection. Ear infections usually occurs after swimming in dirty pools and beaches, and it can be an itchy and painful infection of the outer ear. Mix one-half portion of vinegar to one-half portion of clean water and use this solution as ear drops. While turning your head sideways, place a few drops of this vinegar solution inside the ear. Let the vinegar linger for a minute or two before draining it out. Do this twice a day until the infection clears out; but don’t do this if the eardrum is punctured which is normally manifested by intense pain in your ear, if you hear a buzzing or ringing sound or if you have vertigo. Immediately consult your doctor.
4.Vinegar can be used as a foot soak to cure tired feet. To make an inexpensive but effective foot soak for athlete’s foot, mix a cup of white vinegar and a cup of water on a basin. Soak you feet in this solution twice a day for about 15 minutes. Don’t forget to wash your feet with soap and water before soaking. After the 15-minute soak, you can use a pumice stone on your feet to remove the skin from the heels and callused portions of your feet.
Soaking your foot in this solution will also treat fungal infection. The acidity of vinegar restores pH balance of nails and helps in soothing the discomfort caused due to toenail fungus. Though most types of vinegar can be used in toenail fungus treatment, apple cider vinegar is known to be most effective. Apple cider is stringent enough to reduce inflammation and reduce pain linked with fungal infections. You can also use a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it directly to the nail.
5. Vinegar may help control blood sugar. A daily intake of vinegar or apple cider (two teaspoons in a glass of water) may help control blood sugar levels. Vinegar slows down the usual rise of blood sugar after a meal. A study from Arizona State University has shown that the acetic acid in vinegar might slow the absorption of carbohydrate into the blood and even slow the breakdown of starches into sugars. By promoting stable blood sugar, vinegar may help prevent the sugar crashes that encourage diabetics to wolf down the nearest source of carbohydrates which causes the shoot up of blood sugar.
6. Vinegar can help in losing weight. Apple cider, specifically, can help in appetite suppression. Other studies show vinegar may also promote weight loss by preventing fat accumulation through its impact on insulin secretion. In a study made by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition where they compared people given low, medium, high amounts and no vinegar at all along with bread. Those who received the vinegar felt fuller than the control group, and the effect increased with the amount of vinegar ingested.
Vinegar is very acidic though, so the best way to consume it is to incorporate it in your diet. Add it to your meals or use its different varieties as salad dressings. Use balsamic vinegar for your bread. Be extra careful with vinegar consumption if you are hyperacidic.