Red wine vinegar: something that I don’t want to be without

I haven’t blogged in a while, and it’s not because I don’t have a lot to share.  I just didn’t feel up to it.  During this hiatus, however, I did became closer to my red wine vinegar.  I say ‘my’, because I cultivated it myself, from grape juice.

At the drink store, I found a great direct-pressed Merlot juice, too sweet for drinking but clearly rich in tannins and other good stuff from the skins.  I poured the juice into an emptied (but not cleaned) wine bottle (Cabernet Sauvignon), diluted it with 1/3 the volume of water and corked it (cork had small hole for air exchange).  After about a month, I cleaned out my projects (many went badly) and discovered that the grape juice had developed into a delicious vinegar, which I then pasteurized (briefly) by boiling and strained into an empty grappa bottle.  The bottle has a rubber cork, which is better than a metal screw-top, since the acids in vinegar react with the metal (as I unintentionally confirmed).  A hard non-reactive plastic screw-top also works.

Some things that I use red wine vinegar for are

  • Stopping a bloody nose:  This vinegar really helps speed up the blood clotting when I have a bloody nose.  I pour some onto a sheet of toilet paper and shove this up the affected nostril, and then I replace the vinegar-paper while placing the used one in the toilet to be flushed, repeating until the bleeding stops.  This usually only takes a few minutes (vs. up to 20 mins of using tissues alone).  I think that drinking some of the vinegar also helps.  The ability of the vinegar to tighten the skin, clot the blood and close the wound is due to the organic acids and tannins.  Red wine vinegar is usually higher in tannins than white wine vinegar.
  • Energy and blood circulation:  Coffee makes me sweat but doesn’t energize me very much.  I think that this is related to my poor blood circulation (cold hands, cold feet).  After drinking vinegar, I can feel my body warming and energy rising.  As an astringent, vinegar constricts blood vessels, temporarily causing Thinning of the Blood (caution!) and redistribution of blood within the vessels.  Since undistilled vinegar contains yeasts and their metabolic products, this vinegar probably also contains some B vitamins, which also boost energy.
  • Healing itchy broken skin:  I had a weird itchy rash near my ankle that may have been from chiggers.  Anyway, it was itchy enough that I couldn’t sleep.  I rubbed this vinegar over the area, had instant temporary relief and, after a few re-applications, had complete relief the next day.  Vinegar kills many microbes, both bacterial and fungal, and, as already stated, helps close wounds and heal skin.
  • Hemorrhoids:  I saved the best for last!  The vinegar works the same way that it does for other kinds of bleeding/broken skin:  stops irritation temporarily and speeds up healing.
  • NOT for swelling:  I had hoped that red wine vinegar was a panacea for all of my problems, but it was not.  It was not very effective in quelling my swollen lip (from strong sun exposure) or swollen mosquito and fly bites.  I found instead that fresh aloe vera gel was good for soothing the skin and reducing the swelling.