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The Value of Folk Remedies

applesModern medicine today often confounds us.  At certain times we find we cannot live without it but when we live with it, it confounds us with discomforting side effects.  Then we find we are taking more ingredients of modern medicine to combat the side effects.
What happened to medicinal practices of yore that worked for families evolving and emerging?  Where did all that innate wisdom go?
Many folk remedies abound in literature and practice, but here is one that I revisited that holds merit for consideration.  Vinegar.  There are many types of vinegars and vinegars can be made with fruit, herbs, and garlic – all healing natural foods.  Vinegars can clean your skin, clean your house, clear nail and foot fungus, reduce arthritis pain, used with apple slices can address constipation, reduce the symptoms of gum disease, brighten your hair, reduce the itching from rashes and shingles – the list goes on and on.
I especially like this one:  drain clearing.  Mix equal parts of cider vinegar with baking soda and salt. Pour down the drain, wait 20 minutes for it to foam up and then flush with boiling water.  This combination breaks down the fatty acids into soap and glycerin that then washes away the clog.
Combine 1 tablespoon of borax with 4 tablespoons of white or cider vinegar and 2 cups of hot water.  You can then put this mixture in a spray bottle for cleaning countertops, appliances and bathrooms.  Borax may be toxic to pets and small children, so keep in a safe upper location for storage.  For a non-toxic cleaner, just use vinegar and salt in equal portions.
For mold and mildew, something we in wet spring north Idaho may experience, mix 1-1/2 cups of baking soda with ½ cup mild liquid soap such as Ivory.  Then add 1-1/2 cups of white vinegar, mix well and apply to surfaces.  Tough mildew stains may require straight vinegar at first, then rinse and wipe dry.
According to a little book I picked up by James O’Brien, his research revealed that apple cider vinegar was helpful in the prevention of osteoporosis.  Apple cider vinegar contains boron, an essential mineral that helps in the prevention of bones becoming brittle due to its association with calcium absorption.  Boron rich foods, he suggests, include apples, grapes, and pears.  Making salad dressings with apple cider vinegar provides a person with a good dose of boron.
There are so many healthy uses for vinegar it is worth a journey on the internet to see how you can apply it for yourself.  It’s natural, it’s healthy, and it is effective.  Give this natural remedy/cleaner/health promoter a try.  Vinegar.  It’s not just for salad dressing!
Krystle Shapiro, MSHN owns NewTritionally Yours! providing nutrition education classes.  She can be reached at 208/290-6760.

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