Fortunately for those of us who care to look and see, there are many natural remedy ideas floating around that can be put to good use around the home.
There are simply so many different chemical potions and concoctions for remedying just about everything from a nasty burn to warts that you can buy in the store.
So much so that you'd begin to wonder if nature had been completely forgotten under the ton of confusing and often misleading cardboard and plastic packaging that every pharmacy or drug-store seems to contain.
But despite what the media and the cash hungry drugs companies would have you believe, there are a myriad of very cheap or even free to obtain natural alternatives to all those artificial and often unhealthy man-made, money guzzling products.
Here are is one of the better-known (or in many cases not so well known) natural remedies that is probably sitting in your kitchen right now!
This underrated and often unused liquid resource is one of natures great storehouses of quick and easily applied aids for a number of minor altercations!
There are several types of vinegar, from malt, white wine, red wine, apple cider and balsamic. The preferred type for medicinal purposes is either white wine or apple cider vinegar.
I wonder how many of these uses for vinegar you know about, or even use yourself?
Insect Stings and Bites:
Wasp and bee stings are extremely painful but can be almost completely neutralised in a matter of seconds by applying some neat vinegar to the area of skin affected.
With bee stings, you must first ensure the stinger is removed completely. With wasp and hornet stings, dab on straight away and be amazed at just how quickly that discomfort vanishes!
Mosquito and other itchy insect bites:
Dabbing neat vinegar onto the itchy area will quickly reduce the swelling and take away the itch. Keep reapplying for a few minutes until all itchiness has gone.
To get rid of troublesome dandruff, don't buy expensive anti-dandruff shampoos. There is evidence that the chemicals they contain hasten the thinning of hair and eventual hair loss, especially in men but also in women too.
So don't pay for thinning hair, you can have that for free when you get older! Instead, add a cupful of vinegar to a large rinsing bowl and use as a rinse after washing your hair.
The smell soon vanishes and your hair will shine as well! For really bad dandruff, rub neat vinegar into the skin, leave for half an hour, more or less, then wash as normal. Do this regularly to keep dandruff at bay.
As for stubborn dandruff, apply neat vinegar to areas of dry, flaky skin and allow to dry before washing off. When done regularly then over time the dry skin will vanish and you'll be left with smooth, healthy skin.
So you see, vinegar is not just for shaking onto chips or fries, or making salad dressing. It has many medicinal properties as well.
There are many other uses for vinegar that are not health-related but will save you money and help the environment by reducing the amount of unhealthy chemicals we pour into rivers and seas by substituting them for vinegar.
One great use is as a kettle descaler. Instead of using expensive chemical descalers, just put half a pint of white wine vinegar straight into your kettle and bring it to the boil.
Just make sure none of it splashes onto your skin as it will scald every bit as nastily as boiling water.
Allow the kettle to cool and stand for an hour. If all the scale has not been removed by the vinegar, simply bring to the boil and allow to cool once again. That should clear even the worst cases of encrusted kettles!
Vinegar is also great for cleaning your windows with. Clear the worst of the dirt off first with some plain water and a stiff brush (for really dirty windows).
Soak some newspaper in neat vinegar and wipe over the glass, then use dry newspaper to dry it. Your windows will shine and not an ounce of chemical cleaning fluid will leach into your soil!
As you can see, there are a myriad uses for the humble bottle of vinegar sitting in your pantry.
Well, that's all for this instalment. I'll be bringing you more natural cures and remedies and chemical substituting alternatives over the coming weeks, so keep an eye on this blog!