What Is Vinegar Good For?

Reviewed on 3/5/2021

Vinegar uses

Vinegar is a transparent solution made of acetic acid and water. Vinegar is good for lowering blood glucose levels, helping with weight loss and boosting skin health. It also has antibacterial properties.
Vinegar is a transparent solution made of acetic acid and water. Vinegar is good for lowering blood glucose levels, helping with weight loss and boosting skin health. It also has antibacterial properties.

White vinegar is mainly used as a culinary staple in your kitchen. The main applications of vinegar in the kitchen include making

  • Pickles
  • Salads
  • Marinades and sauces
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Baked goods
  • Cheese (vinegar curdles the milk)

Moreover, from early records, vinegar has been claimed to have several health benefits, which include

  • Helping with digestion
  • Using as an antibacterial balm to dress wounds
  • Treating dandruff and itchy scalp

Today, more and more people are discovering its health benefits and using it as a go-to remedy for everything from minor ailments to chronic diseases. 

But to be honest, there is no scientific evidence to back the claims of vinegar’s effectiveness in treating chronic diseases. Always seek your doctor’s advice before usng vinegar as a health remedy. Concentrated vinegar may harm your skin and mouth on direct contact. Vinegar and apple cider vinegar are two distinct solutions.

Some of the possible health benefits of vinegar have been touted recently. These are mostly with respect to the apple cider vinegar. These potential benefits include

  • Lowering blood glucose levels: Some human studies have found that apple cider vinegar regulates blood sugar and insulin levels after a meal. However, it shouldn’t replace your regular medications. Adding vinegar as a part of an antidiabetic diet may help control blood sugar levels.
  • Helping with weight loss: Researchers have stated that apple cider vinegar helps with weight management, lowers lipid levels and prevents fat deposition around the organs. Some studies also claim that vinegar causes fullness by slowing the rate at which the stomach empties. As a result, there’s a reduced calorie intake and subsequent weight loss.
  • Providing antibacterial properties: Vinegar has some antimicrobial properties. Hence, it may be useful for treating nail fungus, warts and ear infections in diluted form.
  • Boosting skin health: Vinegar kills bacteria and prevents skin infection, thus enhancing skin health. It should never be applied to the skin in undiluted form.

Apart from these uses, vinegar has a wide variety of household applications. Vinegar can be used to clean the following items

  • Countertops except for granite and marble countertops
  • Showers and bathtubs
  • Toilets
  • Floors
  • Dishes
  • Windows and mirrors
  • Coffeemakers
  • Laundry (as stain removal)
  • Sinks
  • Drains

It also serves as fruit fly, house fly and mosquito repellent in diluted form.

While 5 percent acetic acid in vinegar is strong enough to kill most household pathogens, it does not destroy them all. Vinegar shouldn’t be a replacement for commercial disinfectants. Nevertheless, vinegar is an economical, nontoxic, green product that can be useful for certain household chores.

Vinegar also is a handy solution for the following gardening applications

  • Killing weeds
  • Keeping the cut flowers fresh for a long time

What is vinegar?

Vinegar is a transparent solution made of acetic acid and water. It is made by a two-step fermentation process.

  • The yeast ferments natural food sugars from fruits, whole grains, potatoes or rice into alcohol.
  • The alcohol is then exposed to oxygen and acetic acid bacteria to ferment again over weeks and months to form vinegar.
  • Apple cider vinegar is especially made from fermentation of apples.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved vinegar has

  • 4 to 7 percent acetic acid
  • 93 to 96 percent water

Vinegar with 20 percent acetic acid is used for agriculture or cleaning purposes and should be avoided for human consumption.

The other constituents of vinegar include

  • Mineral salts
  • Amino acids 
  • Polyphenolic compounds (e.g., gallic acid, catechin, caffeic acid and ferulic acid)
  • Nonvolatile organic acids (e.g., tartaric, citric, malic and lactic)

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References
Medscape Medical Reference

Medscape General Medicine


Harvard School of Public Health


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