"Let food be your medicine and your medicine be your food. Each one of the substances in a person's diet, acts upon the body and changes it in some way, and upon these changes the whole life depends, whether in health, in sickness or convalescent."
Hippocrates 2 000 years ago.
Before we look at the many uses for vinegar lets start off by telling you that the name vinegar comes from the Latin vinum acer meaning sharp wine.
It is made up almost entirely of water, and although it may contain other related compounds, it is acetic acid, which is what gives vinegar its characteristically sour flavor.
So lets swing right in, and start on these uses for vinegar by giving you the some easy things to do with vinegar for simple household problems.
Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sugar for every 950ml of water in the vase.
Get your mirrors and windows sparkling and clean by using a cloth soaked in vinegar and water.
If you are lucky enough to have an automatic dishwasher - then you must know that if you want to remove soap build-up and odors from your machine, place a cup of white vinegar in the empty machine and run it for one cycle.
Same goes for your automatic washing machine. Put half a cup of vinegar into the soap tray, fill the machine with water and do a full spin cycle.
Got lime deposits in your kettle?
One of the most well know uses for vinegar is to help get rid of this lime deposit.
Fill the kettle with equal parts of vinegar and water and bring to the boil. Allow to stand overnight.
Remove the smell of onions or fish from your hands by rinsing them with vinegar.
Revive old paintbrushes in a distilled white vinegar and water solution, then wash in a heavy duty detergent.
To poach an egg without having the white spread out too far, add one tablespoon of vinegar to the boiling water, place egg in a cup and pour into the boiling water while agitating the water with a spoon
To brighten white clothes soak them in 5 liters of warm water with one cup of white vinegar, follow up with a clear water rinse.
Mix a half cup of vinegar into a liter of warm water and wash flooring with the liquid. Do not use a mop, use a cloth and which has been immersed in the liquid and then squeezed out.
Saturate perspiration stains with vinegar before laundering.
Now we will go to some of those minor, but niggling afflictions that come to taunt our bodies from time to time and we will give you some really useful but simple uses for vinegar to help treat them.
Soak your feet in a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 2 parts warm water for 15 minutes.
White vinegar is believed to effectively reduce the growth of fungus in athletes foot, because of its anti-microbial properties and it will also relieve the itching associated with athletes foot.
Because vinegar neutralizes alkalinity, it will make your skin an inhospitable place for bacteria to live and breed, so simply wipe your underarms with a cloth soaked in vinegar and it WILL help prevent body odor.
My mother always suffered with corns, and she used to soak a piece of white bread in a quarter cup of vinegar. She then used to apply this poultice to the corns and cover with a bandage and gauze for the night.
The following morning, after bathing she would find that the vinegar would have dissolved the thick skin and she just used to peel the corn off, and that I remember her doing this as if it was yesterday.
Bursitis is the inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs in the joints, which can be extremely painful. Try drinking a mixture of 2 tablespoons of vinegar (ugh) and 2 tablespoons of honey.
If ice does not relieve the pain and swelling of a sprained joint, then try hot vinegar compresses, remembering that vinegar has been used for thousands of years as one of the oldest natural folk home remedies around.
There have been scientific investigations which have shown that vinegar has anti-microbial properties which means it is good for killing germs, and will help with ear infections as well as help dry the ear out.
Suffering from an unsightly nail fungus? Then try soaking your nails in white vinegar, it helps to inhibit the growth of fungi due to its anti- microbial properties.
As long as there are no blisters, apply distilled cold vinegar compresses to the sunburned area. Vinegar has antiseptic properties and this will help to relieve discomfort and prevent blisters.