Friday, June 25, 2010

Vinegar Fridays


Two weeks ago, I promised more summertime vinegar tips on the next Vinegar Friday. Unfortunately, an emergency prevented me from posting. So, with the old adage "better late than never,' here they are:

Being seen in public in your swimsuit is not the only issue facing swimmers, although I'm sure for some of you, that isn't a problem. For me, personally, chances are pretty good you're not going to see me in a swimsuit any time soon. But that's not the only problem I have when it comes to swimming. I also deal with swimmer's ear any time my ears get wet...even in the shower.

Once again, vinegar comes to the rescue. This time it's distilled white vinegar mixed with rubbing alcohol (1:1 ratio). Put some drops in your ears before you swim and you'll have a good shot at preventing the pain of swimmer's ear entirely. If you don't have a dropper, just saturate a cotton swab with the mixture and gently dab it in your ear. You can also dab some undiluted apple cider vinegar in the outer ear canals for relief.

If the swimming you're doing is in the ocean, then you might to keep some vinegar on hand in case of jelly fish stings. Relieve some of the throbbing pain, redness and swelling by pouring a couple quarts of vinegar (any kind) over the areas that have been stung. I'd love to hear you explaining to your spouse why you're packing a gallon of vinegar with the beach blankets! But hey, isn't it better to be prepared?

Itchy? That's a common complaint in the summer. If you've been working in your yard or hiking through the woods and come into contact with poison ivy, oak or sumac, grab your vinegar (any kind) and alcohol and make a solution with equal parts to apply to the affected areas. Or, add equal parts of vinegar, salt and buttermilk and rub it on. The vinegar solutions will draw out the poison, in the same way calamine lotion does, and you'll experience less burning and itching.

There are other causes of summertime rashes as well. If the itching is rather mild, you might be able to forgo a trip to the doctor's office by simply applying undiluted apple cider vinegar directly to skin. It's always worth a try.

Bugs can be a big problem in the warmer months. If you have been bitten or stung by an insect, such as a bee, mosquito or ant, apply a paste made from equal parts of vinegar and cornstarch. This will ease the itch and dry up the bite.

If it's your feet that are driving you crazy with itching, athletes' foot might be the issue. This fungus infection can be cured with a simple apple cider vinegar rinse done several times a day. Yes, this will burn initially. But following the burning you'll experience soothing relief. The acidity of the vinegar will help prohibit growth of fungus, so this can be used to help prevent the athlete's foot altogether.

Have you ever bought a killer dress for a summer wedding or a class reunion and then smacked into the foot board of your bed, leaving a nasty black-and-blue mark center shin? I have...and I wish I'd known about this bruise-fading remedy.

Soak a small cloth, cotton ball or gauze pad in some apple cider vinegar and place it directly on top of the bruise for about an hour. The vinegar should help fade the bruise quickly.

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