Vinegar has many uses: it can be food or beverage, a cure, a means of preserving, and a cleaning agent. While it’s good to know what vinegar can do for the health, if you’re considering using vinegar as a health supplement or natural remedy, do take note that many studies on vinegar that rattle off long lists of health benefits are all preliminary. They are either done with too few subjects or with animal subjects. When you try something new, it’s always wise to ask your doctor for possible risks, even when what you’re planning to take is labeled “natural” or “organic.”
Supplementation of vinegar may be generally healthful, but there are still risks in taking too much vinegar. Since vinegar is acidic, it can damage the tissues in the throat and the enamel in the teeth. Apple cider vinegar, which is receiving many accolades for its apparent health benefits, can actually do that much damage if taken without proper dilution.
It doesn’t hurt, however, to enjoy vinegar for what it is: a condiment! Use it as a dressing for salad, as a spicy-sour dip for your grilled meats, or drizzle it over ice cream (in Italy, they use balsamic vinegar for this last one). Add a splash to a soup recipe to enliven the taste, and don’t forget to make those delicious dishes that call for vinegar: paksiw, adobo, and kinilaw!
Vinegar is a kitchen staple; and it doesn’t need to have medically-proven health benefits for people to buy it. Actually, by just being its ordinary, naturally-occurring, acid-and-water self, vinegar is all-good: it makes food delicious, contributes to health, and helps in keeping the house clean sans chemicals. It’s no wonder that for 10,000 years, vinegar’s popularity has never really waned.