Benefits of a Hot Vinegar Bath

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A young woman is sitting on the edge of her tub. (Image: Kraig Scarbinsky/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Vinegar stands out as one of the go-to solutions for various home remedies. Folk medicine, natural healers and Ayurvedic medicine use hot vinegar concoctions, soaks and baths to address issues as diverse as pain relief, immunity building, detoxification and treatment of skin conditions. Though the Food and Drug Administration has not endorsed any of these claims, your physician may have a professional opinion as to the potential benefits of hot vinegar baths as a complementary treatment.

Detoxification Bath

The Natural Cure Alternatives website lists a couple recipes for hot vinegar detoxification baths. You may soak in these hot apple cider vinegar baths for up to half an hour, with the intent of flushing toxins from the body. Combine 1 cup of raw apple cider vinegar with either 1 tbsp. of ginger or 3 cups of kosher salt. Add to a bath with water as hot as you can comfortably stand. Rinse yourself at the end of the bath. You can do a detoxification bath twice a week.

According to an article published by the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, you should only use unprocessed apple cider vinegar for detoxification because commercial formulations have lost many minerals, resulting in a weak electrolyte solution.

Sunburn Pain Relief

Author and master herbalist Andrea Candee recommends adding apple cider vinegar to a bath to relieve pain. Add two cups of apple cider vinegar to the warm bath. Soak your entire body, or just immerse the parts affected by the sunburn, for about 15 minutes. If you only need to treat a small area, make a poultice by soaking a washcloth in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and warm water. Gently press the washcloth to the painful areas. Repeat this process as needed throughout the day.

Athlete's Foot Treatment

McDermott Footcare mentions beneficial aspects of hot vinegar baths. Raw apple cider vinegar has agents that help kill the bacteria and fungus that cause athlete's foot. In addition, the vinegar helps restore skin's pH levels. Soak your feet in a hot apple cider vinegar solution once a day. Leave your feet in long enough for your skin to absorb the solution, typically about 15 minutes.

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