Monday, August 21, 2006

As I walked into my village Fish & Chip shop, the owner said ..
"Hello Love... what can I get you?"
my reply..
"A bottle of your finest Malt vinegar, please, it's for my hair."

Oh the shock - horror expression on his face was.... PRICELESS!!!

Obviously he didn't know that vinegar has been dubbed a "Beauty Bargain in a Bottle".

Vinegar contains minerals & trace elements like potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, iron, silicon, fluorine, phosphorous, chlorine, sodium, vitamins C, E, A, B1, B2 and B6, beta-carotene and Vitamin P (bioflavonoids).

Acetic acid, propionic acid, lactic acid, enzymes, amino acids and roughage (made up of potash, starch or apple pectin - in the case of Apple Cider Vinegar).


It's ALL good!

Apple Cider Vinegar (aka: ACV or cider vinegar) made from - yup you guessed it - cider apples. It's often unfiltered and has a brownish-yellow coloured liquid.

Coconut and Cane Vinegars which are very common in India, the Phillipines and Indonesia.
Coconut Vinegar is made from the sap of the coconut whereas Cane Vinegar is made from the sap of the sugar cane. Both are used in cooking, both have a cloudy white appearance and a sharp acidic taste.
Honey Vinegar also known as honeygar, it's a blend of apple cider vinegar & anti-bacterial Manuka honey.

Beer Vinegar created from beer brewed in the Netherlands, Germany & Austria. The flavour depends on the type of beer, hops & barley used and of course where & how it's made.

Chinese black vinegar which is made from a combination of rice, wheat, sorghum and/or millet with an inky black colour.

Fruit vinegar which is an infusion of whole raspberries, blueberries, figs, blood red oranges & pears added to red wine vinegar.

Sweet & Savoury Herb vinegars are an infusion of whole herbs, such as thyme, basil, chamomile, rose buds, lavender, rosemary or oregano.

These vinegars can be made at home all you have to do is add a couple of sprigs of fresh or dried herbs to store-bought wine or white distilled vinegars. This will usually leave you with a light colour.

Malt vinegar which is the result of grain, softened by steeping in water and then allowed to germinate. Germination causes the natural enzymes to become active.

White Wine Vinegar created through the acetous fermentation of a selected blend of white wines. It's clear and goldish with a distinctly acidic taste and an aroma.

Rice or Rice Wine Vinegar
obtained from the fermentation of sugars derived from rice.

Red wine vinegar, which is created by the fermentation of a selected blend of red wines.


Balsamic Vinegar of Modena in Italy which are made from the white sugary Trebbiano grapes. The grapes are cooked and then matured by a long and slow vinegarization process of natural fermentation and aging. This process takes place in a series of casks made from different types of wood from around the region. Balsamic Vinegar has a dark brown colour, with a distinct, complex and sharp acidic flavour.

I have yet to use Balsamic Vinegar in my hair or on my skin but when I do I will provide an update and more importantly a recipe!

.. and I'm sure there's more..


Tried & Tested:

1. Use either Apple Cider Vinegar OR Coconut Vinegar as a final hair rinse to get rid of scalp build up to help remove the sticky stuff that commercial (SLES or SLS layden) shampoos can leave behind.

2. Use undilluted Beer Vinegar to cure toe nail fungus (eeekkk!!! - I know but it worked for a friend of mine)

3. Add one-half cup of Sweet & Savoury herb vinegar to warm bath water for softer skin and a cleaner bath tub!

4. To relieve dandruff add a few tablespoons of Honey Vinegar or Honeygar, a dash of Organic Nettle or Horsetail herbs and half a cup of warm water to a bowl.
Stir well for 10 minutes, strain and pour the liquid on your hair.
Massage it well into your scalp
Wait a few minutes, then rinse & wash hair as normal.
After a few days you'll notice the dandruff disappear.


Here are some more hints, tips & recipes:

My favourite blast from the past is the Honey Rose & Vinegar Hair Rinse - which can be used as a pre OR post rinse to restore the natural pH balance & rejuvenate your scalp.

Suitable for all hair types.

60ml of Apple Cider Vinegar OR Coconut Vinegar
945ml of Water
10g of Dried Pink Rose Petals & Buds (add more if you wish)
1 drop of honey (add a few drops more if you wish)

Prep Time: 20 mins

What you will need:
* 1 Large Pyrex jar or bowl
* Cling film
* 1 Clean & dry glass Jar with lid
* 1 Strainer
* Kettle to boil the water

1. Put the Dried Pink Rose Petals & Buds into the bowl & add Honey
2. Boil the kettle. Once boiled pour the hot water over the Rose & Honey mix, then add the Apple Cider Vinegar.
3. Stir the mixture, cover the bowl with cling film and let steep for 10 minutes or until cool.
4. When the mixture has cooled sufficiently strain the herb from the liquid into the jar.
5. Pour the liquid over the scalp allowing the mixture to saturate your hair, message gently for 2 minutes
6. Rinse with cold water to seal the cuticles
Only make enough for 1 rinse and use it FRESH on the day you make it.

Keep your eyes closed when using the Honey Rose & Vinegar Hair Rinse also do not use if you have broken skin.


You're healed!

Smooth a little Honeygar on cracked, dried skin to help it heal.


Dishwasher Love..

Just put one cup of vinegar in your dishwasher and let it run for one cycle. Do this monthly to reduce soap build-up on glassware.


A spot of Tea or Coffee, perhaps?

If you're a tea or coffee drinker and you have a dirty tea or coffee pot simply boil 1 part water and 1 part vinegar in your tea or coffee pot and while the liquid is warm wipe away the stains.


Don't make a spectacle of yourself..

Use a drop of vinegar on a cotton cloth to clean your eye glasses.


Antz and I don't mean the movie!

Last month we were over-run with Ants. So in the morning before hanging the clothes out to dry I poured vinegar all around the back garden doors and the results were brilliant. I just bent over and watched those pesky critters approach the house and then retreat.


Laundry duty..

To brighten those whites add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.


Grease just ain't the WORD!

To remove grease from clothing just dip a toothbrush in vinegar and gently brush over the greasy spot.


Tights or Hose?

For longer-lasting pantyhose or tights (as we called them over here) add one tablespoon of vinegar to the rinse cycle.


Get Fresh!

Make your own airspray by mixing two cups of White Wine vinegar with one cupful of your favourite crushed herbs like lavender, cloves, pine needles, ginger, cinnamon etc.. Place the ingredients in a saucepan and boil gently for 10 minutes then leave to cool.
Pour into a large jar with a close fitting lid.
Leave to stand for three weeks. Strain and add the mixture to a spray bottle or atomiser
Use it in the same way as you would with any other commercial air spray.


Treat your achy, breaky feet!

Dilute one part ACV to five parts water and use it as an antiseptic to soothe achy blistered feet or better yet - use the same combination as a foot soak.


Out of the sun..

Cool down a painful sunburn by gently applying full strength vinegar to your skin.


Flower Power!

Excellent for fresh cut flowers
add 2 tablespoons of vinegar & 1 teaspoon sugar to 150 ml of water.


Listen up..!

For clean ears dip a cotton cloth in a mixture of ACV and distilled water and wipe around your ears and you're sqeaky clean again.


THE best Steam Clean you'll ever have!
Loosen the daily dirt and grime.
Suitable for Oily skin types

Floral Facial Steam & Tone
Enough boiled water to fill half of a large Pyrex bowl
10g / 0.35oz of Organic Rose Petals & Buds
10g / 0.35oz of Organic Chamomile Flowers
10g / 0.35oz of Organic Lavender Buds

1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar

Prep Time: 20 mins

What you will need:

* 1 Large Pyrex jar or bowl (3 litre bowl if possible)
* 2 Big cotton balls
* 1 medium to large towel
* 2 small plates
* Kettle to boil the water

1. Place 2 cotton balls in a little Apple Cider Vinegar & cold water leave one out and place the other in the fridge or freezer
2. Take a teaspoon of dried Organic Chamomile & Organic Rose OR dried Organic Lavender & Organic Rose
3. Put it into the Pyrex bowl.
4. Boil some water
5. Carefully pour the hot water over the herbs
6. Hold your head over the bowl & drape a towel over your head. Allow the herbal steam to open your pores to loosen oil & dirt.
7. Lightly pat your skin with the Apple Cider Vinegar cotton ball that was left out, making sure that you avoid the eye area.
8. Then take the Apple Cider Vinegar cotton ball that was chilling in the fridge or freezer and pat your skin to close the pores avoiding the eye area.

Overtime this natural toner will even out your complexion and prevent unsightly breakouts.


I'm on holiday but I'll be back with some more recipes as we look at the benefits of milk & honey on your skin and in your hair. In the meantime don't forget to visit our sponsors & get mixing!