Opinion

The Natural Way: Healthy uses for cayenne, vinegar

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Get your scissors out and clip this column to save on your refrigerator door. I'll be giving you two different recipes for the use of cayenne and cider vinegar. First, a review of usefulness for each of these traditional healing agents.

Cayenne can be used both internally and externally. The benefit internally is mostly for the stimulant properties of the fiery hot pepper. The benefit externally as a surface rub is mostly as an emollient though one concoction which I will give you can also be used for relief of congestion, sprains and bruises. The emollient use is for the reduction of pain from shingles, diabetic neuropathy, arthritis, rheumatism and fibromyalgia.

Apple cider vinegar has an outstanding reputation with fitness enthusiasts and weight loss supporters, though very little science backing the benefits. Many other folk uses/treatments exist with many stories supporting its usefulness. We know for certain vinegar is acidic and has no vitamins and almost no minerals or trace elements. Sometimes you'll find sediment in the bottom, this is called "Mother". Mother shows this to be an unstrained product which may have additional benefit. The addition of vinegar to your diet may help with the digestion which happens in your stomach before going to the small bowel. If food is better digested, it makes sense better health will follow. Certainly it can help diabetics control blood sugar. Vinegar is also a wonderful extraction liquid for tinctures and may have different flavors depending upon the source of the vinegar (I like rice vinegar for flavor). It also makes for a good soaking medium especially for the nails.

For external use only, boil for ten minutes one tablespoon of cayenne in one pint of cider vinegar. Bottle it still hot, unstrained. Use as a rub to relieve congestion, sprains, pain of shingles, neuropathy and fibromyalgia. Be sure to wash your hands after use and stay away from your eyes and delicate areas.

For internal use as a cleanse, add the juice of four lemons, four ounces of organic maple syrup (grade B tastes best), one to two teaspoons of cayenne to one gallon of pure water to taste. Drink a gallon per each twenty-four hour period. Cleanses can be tricky, so if you go longer than one day be sure you have the support of your healthcare practitioner. Bottoms up!