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February 2017

Over the centuries, vinegar has become well known as a common remedy for a long list of aches and ills. Vinegar is also the cleaning agent of choice for those with allergies, asthma, or are sensitive to harsh chemicals. It is said to be one of the most healthful nutrient filled fluids known to man.

Vinegar contains vitamin A, B-6, folate, ascorbic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. Plus minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese. Oh my, an impressive list!

As an animal sanctuary and a strong believer in home remedies, I have found that humans and pets alike benefit greatly from the use of vinegar as a solution to many daily problems. On the farm, I use vinegar as a cure, cleanser and parasite preventative with excellent results, I’ll share a few of my tried and true uses with you.

Let’s start with apple cider vinegar – Nothing compares with my homemade flea shampoo. I simply mix 1 part Dawn dish soap to 2 parts apple cider vinegar. Shampoo, leave on 3-4 minutes, rinse well. Voila! Fleas are history and your pet’s shiny coat can’t be equaled. For dry, flaky skin, just add ¼ cup of mineral oil. Oily skin can be controlled by using apple cider vinegar as a final rinse to any shampoo. Adding it to your pet’s drinking water helps fight the symptoms of arthritis, freshens breath and is known to keep bladder infections at bay. Spritzing your pet’s coat with diluted apple cider vinegar before brushing will quickly de-tangle hair, leave their coat smelling fresh and calms itchy skin. Mild burns and sunburn can be treated by soaking a cloth in full strength vinegar and applying directly on the burn. Dip and reapply several times. An apple cider vinegar and baking soda poultice works well for taking the “sting” out of a bee sting.

On to white vinegar – A safe alternative to harsh, costly cleaning chemicals is white vinegar. It works well as a fabric softener for your pet’s blankets and toys. As a general cleaner for floors, igloos and dog dishes, it can’t be beat. It also can be used as an odor neutralizer, or used on carpet spots for those occasional ‘accidents”. As I rescue many parrots, I find that vinegar is a safe cleaner for their cages. It also works well for aquariums and fish bowls, replacing strong scented chemicals. Try putting a sock on your hand, dampened with vinegar and wipe that pet hair easily from your furniture. Bacteria and fungus will not build up in your bird bath when cleaned weekly with white vinegar.

The uses for this magical health filled tonic are endless. By far, my favorite vinegar book is written by Emily Thacker. “The Vinegar Anniversary Book” is packed with healthy tips for pets and humans, a great book to keep on hand or to give as a gift.

Home remedies are fun and economical. I hope you will try a few, but when using it for medical purposes, if symptoms persist, please consult your vet.

Questions or comments, call Chic.

Chic Miller Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary 4301 Lower Gas Point Road

Cottonwood, CA 96022 530-347-0544

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