Medicinal Value of Vinegar

Every day a coworker pulls out a gallon container of vinegar and mixes it into a half-full bottle of water. For the next hour the whole office stinks. He claims it has significant medicinal value, and I claim he’s nuts.

The main effect of a alimentary canal vinegar wash would be to throw your pH out of whack & wipe out friendly microbes. Even regular douching could be trouble. According to Dr. David Soper (Director of Gynecology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charelston), women who douche once or twice a month are more likely to have pelvic inflammatory disease than those who douche less than once a month due to the emilimation of friendly Lactobacilli.

Due to its acidity, I can even imagine how it would exacerbate the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It can’t be simply the pH shock that does anything [beneficial], because tonic water has about the same pH level, and I don’t hear anybody extolling the virtues of seltzer.

My coworker couldn’t tell me why he does this, just that he always has & so did his gramps. Anybody have any leads into the vinegar angle?

I know that vinigar is a diuretic, and some people take a little every day to fight water retention. Other than that, I have no idea why someone would want to drink it every day, especially by the gallon. Yuck!

But then, some people just love pickle juice too, go figure.

A little in potato salad or a big mug of the stuff?

I couldn’t quite figure out just how the cow-orker in the OP was using the vinegar, drinking it or administering it in other ways in the office.

If you do a search for apple cider vinegar you’ll find claims for all sorts of health benefits. I don’t think there have been any studies to support them, though.

I’m one of those pickle-juice lovers. I drink it straight. It’s good!

People who don’t drink pickle juice never seem to understand how anyone could possibly do such a thing. Then again, I can’t believe that anyone would actually eat olives, so to each his own I guess.

Sounds like something Mrs O, our friendly neighborhood nurse in these here parts, notes with regularity: “People think, ‘If a little bit of something is good for me, then a whole lot of it must be real good for me!’”
This guy probaby read something about a small amount of vinegar having some beneficial effect and is taking it overboard. I cannot see how drinking a gallon of vinegar, cut as it may be with water, can be anywhere near healthy. That and the fact that the rest of you have to live with the smell.
Whatcha gotta do is get the whole office to gang up on him and threaten to cover his body with paper cuts and then pour on his precious vinegar if he doesn’t knock it off. He’ll probably resort to some argument about it being a free country but you can tell him how democracy is based on the decision of the majority. Or something like that.

All I wanna do is to thank you, even though I don’t know who you are…

I’ve known dope-smokers who quaff the stuff in hopes of clearing the resins out of their systems before a piss-test, but none so blatant to drink it right in the workplace.

Vinegar is an old Appalachian remedy for arthritis. I prefer gin.

I’ve read in the Wall Street Journal a few years ago that some French chefs drink vinegar because they like the taste. :stuck_out_tongue:

I strongly suspect the practice is bad for the teeth, because acid eats away at tooth enamel. Chewing vitamin C and/or aspirin tablets is verboten for the same reason.

Work is the curse of the drinking classes. (Oscar Wilde)

If the whole office is really sick and tired of the stink, go to the boss. We had an employee of Chinese descent who drank a concoction whose main ingredient was garlic. The office reeked and you couldn’t stand to be within 5 ft. of her. Thank God I didn’t have to do business with her, but I did have to pass by her occasionally. Her co-workers got sick of it and finally complained to her supervisor.

I love vinegar, but wouldn’t ever <urp> drink the stuff.

I have a co-worker who is going to a doctor for the treatment of a calcium deposit on a tendon in her shoulder. The doctor is putting vinegar (a more concentrated solution than you buy in the store for food preparation (but not gacial (concentrated acetic acid))) on her shoulder, followed by running small electric currents through her shoulder. She told me that the doctor’s theory was that the vinegar (acetic acid) would soak into her flesh, and disolve the calcium deposit. The electricity was to direct the absorption of the acid toward the deposit. Acids will react with calcium carbonate, so that part makes sense to me. Would the vinegar really soak into her flesh enough to get to the tendon? I also wonder why the acid wouldn’t disolve the bones in her shoulder. I guess time will tell.

I think we would all be in big trouble if things we put on our skin could soak all the way in to the bones. Sounds like a crock to me.

Ask any Australian whose been near the water, and they’ll tell you the vinegar’s best medicinal use is in the event of a box jellyfish sting. Lifesavers always have gallons of the stuff on the beach to douse any unfortunate swimmers who may have been stung. Mind you, if you’re swimming on your own, its not likely you’re going to have a bottle of Balsamic handy…

When I was in my undergrad program, I had a genetics professor who touted vinegar for weight loss. His contention was that the acetic acid was converted into “acetyl co-enzyme A” that would work to burn off fat.

His advice was to mix a couple of tablespoons of vinegar in a glass of tea (twice a day), and, well, the fat would just start burning off after awhile from the enzymatic action.

I don’t beleive it one bit, but somebody obviously does. I’ve heard a couple of “magic fat burning potion” type advertisements basically say the same thing about acetic acid.

To me, you’re just ruining a perfectly good glass of tea.

Yeah, I think it’s probably a crock too, but you never know… Some chemicals will soak into your body very easily and rapidly. DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) will zoom into you through your skin, and carry just about anything with it. They used to use it to deliver some medicines into your system (and still use it in veterinary medicine), but no longer do for fear of liver carcinogenity (is that a word?). Personally, I think that the main drawback to it was that it leaves an intense garlic flavor (which I’ve experienced… it’s horrible) in your mouth that can last… and last… and last… just like gum.

Looking at my last post, I guess I didn’t make that very clear. DMSO delivers the drugs (and just about anything else in it) to your system through topical application to the skin. The garlic taste came within about 10 seconds of skin contact <shudder>.

And that’s why, Steve-o, if you’ve been handling garlic you wash your hands in cold water.
Warm water would open up your pores. And in a little while you’d be sharing that garlic with your friends.

Ask your friend if this is a homeopathic ‘doctor’ because his or her method of ‘curing’ her calcium deposit quacks louder than a flock of ducks.

And vinegar that gets absorbed past the skin (and precious little will) will get carried through the bloodstream and then through the entire body. Since vinegar molecules are not known for their magno-electrical polarity, the idea that electricity will direct the vinegar to the sight is so ludicrously dumb that… well, words fail me to describe just how completely stupid that it. ‘Homeopathy’ is the only thing I can think of.

And getting back to the OP:

  1. I know of no studies which show that drinking vinegar is medicinal. It’s up to the dolt drinking it to provide the study that shows that it is medicinal. Probably another homeopathic anecdotal superstition.

  2. The fact that the co-worker is not sick or dead shows that there are no immediate concerns. I don’t believe vinegar is much of a stonger acid than orange juice or soda. And it certainly is weaker than stomach acids themselves. If the co-worker is not suffering from indigestion, then there might never be any side effects. Or, one day, I’m guessing he’s gonna get a terrible case of indigestion, acid reflux, or maybe an ulcer.


Enzymes are basically catalytically active proteins… they are (in biological perspective) HUGE buggers…

Acetic acid is a small (in comparison tiny) chemical compound… saying that it gets “turned into” any enzyme is like saying the rock you found in the drive will get turned into a 2 story house.

“If we knew what we were doing, it would not be called research.” - Albert Einstein

Doesn’t cider vinegar (supposedly) contain high amounts of antioxidants, those vitamins which are alleged to counteract everything from cancer to old age? At least, that’s the argument I heard about medicinal vinegar.

“There are only two things that are infinite: The Universe, and human stupidity-- and I’m not sure about the Universe”
–A. Einstein

Eating the normal daily recommended allowance of fruit and dark greens give you more and a better variety of anti-oxidants.

One multi-vitamin or one vitamin-C pill also gives you more anti-oxidants and is much easy to swallow than a gallon of vinegar.


No wait. Ketchup is the new cure-all!! Drink two bottles a day!!