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Rose Vinegar: My Favorite Sunburn Soother

Posted Jul 07 2008 7:15pm

Rose vinegar is supremely easy to make and has about a million uses. Here’s how you make it: get yourself a jar, fill it about halfway with dried Rose petal or leaves, or all the way up with fresh petals and/or leaves. Fill to top with a high quality apple cider vinegar. Let infuse for at least two weeks, and preferably six weeks. A plastic lid will prevent the Rose vinegar from eating through the normal metal canning lids (turns your vinegar black too, very unpleasant). Your vinegar will turn a lovely shade of reddish pink to brilliant ruby if you use colorful petals (dunno how yellow comes out it, I’ve never used them).

A cloth can be soaked in this lovely preparation (dilute to 1 part vinegar to about 7-10 parts water) can be used placed on the forehead for headaches (especially heat caused headaches), wrapped around a sprained ankle or used to wash itchy bug bites and heat rashes. It excels at pulling heat from an inflamed area in a very short time. It is especially powerful at rapidly quenching the redness and pain from a sunburn in to time flat. In fact a medium sunburn, if caught within the first 24 hours, can be nearly erased in three or four applications of vinegar over a period of six hours or so. Even where there is threatening sun poisoning and blistering skin, it can greatly ease the pain and lessen the general trauma to the body. While not a replacement for emergency care in severe burns, it is nearly always incredibly helpful.

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 Sunburn Treatment

  • First, do yourself a favor and don’t smother your sunburn in salve or oil. It just holds the heat in and worsens it, no matter how healing the herbs contained therein may be.
  • Depending on the size of the burn, pour about 1/3 a cup of Rose Vinegar into a bowl, then add several cups of water and mix thoroughly.
  • Get a soft, absorbent cloth and dip into the liquid. Gently wring it out, being sure the cloth is still quite wet. You may want to use very large cloths/towels if the area burned is very large.
  • Place the cloths over the affected areas, it will very cold at first but the cloth will rapidly become hot. Keep re-dipping and wringing as soon as the cloth gets warm. Depending on the severity of the burn, I usually re-apply at least a dozen times during the first session.
  • Let the skin airdry. For a medium burns, I repeat the application about once every two hours. For severe burns, every hour. For light burns, as often as is needed.
  • Before bed, a topical application of fresh Aloe Vera gel can be applied (from the plant, not weird preserved stuff from a bottle) to the area.
  • Keep up the treatment until the area no longer feels hot to the touch. If the burns are very severe and there is the possibility (or existence) of infection, dress the burns with Rose and/or Beebalm honey between vinegar applications.
  • Once the area has cooled off (and stays that way) it’s ok to use a healing salve or cream like Rose, Alder and Elderflower to speed the skin’s complete recovery.

If there’s no Rose vinegar on hand, plain or similarly herbal infused (Elderflower, Chickweed, Alder, Plantain) apple cider may be used.

This is such an effective treatment that I wouldn’t dream of traveling without it or not having several quart jars of it in my pantry and medicine chest.

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