A caution about Vinegar

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I found myself shopping at a new grocery store, and looking at a different selection of food products than I usually consider.

can of german potato salad
Can of german potato salad

I noticed a can of German potato salad, which has potatoes, bacon and a vinegar-based dressing. I looked at the ingredients and decided against buying it, but I was reminded of a potato salad I’d made with balsamic vinegar and mustard for a potluck a while back.

I added baking soda to balsamic vinegar to make it less acidic, then I boiled it down. When it had thickened somewhat I added this to cooked sweet potato chunks with some mustard. The ‘salad’ was delicious. Then it occurred to me that I should see what Mr. Cayce had to say about vinegar.

apple cider vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar

I was a bit surprised to learn that the preferred administration of vinegar was as a topical rub with salt. The basic instructions were to wet salt with pure apple cider vinegar, warm it up, then rub into the joint or whatever area of the body needs help relaxing.

Cayce counseled a few dozen times against using vinegar-based condiments (mustard, etc), vinegar-preserved vegetables (pickles, etc), vinegar as a salad dressing, etc. Sometimes “wine vinegar” (balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, etc) was acceptable.

Plain white vinegar is usually made from bacteria that eat corn alcohol to produce acetic acid. Food-grade vinegar is diluted to a concentration of 5% Acetic Acid.

One of my searches found this information about ‘fraud’ in the vinegar industry, and the differences between types of vinegar:

[…] The most common fraudulent practice in the elaboration and commercialization of vinegar is the mixture of different proportions of wine vinegar and alcohol vinegar. These blends are sold under the denomination of wine vinegar as if they were a pure product. Another common type of fraud is the addition of acetic acid of a nonbiological origin to different types of vinegar in order to comply with vinegar industry regulations. These adulterated products do not represent any safety risk for human health, but they constitute a fraud for consumers and are unfair practices before other vinegar producers (Sáiz-Abajo et al., 2004). Besides that, every type of vinegar obtains specific markers. For example, wine vinegars are rich in ethyl acetate, glycerol, methanol, and tartaric acid, while glycerol and ethyl acetate signals are not detectable in alcohol/agrin vinegars. Apple vinegars are characterized by a high concentration of alanine while pineapple vinegar has a high content of tartaric acid. Both orange and rice vinegars possess a high content of lactic acid (Sobolev et al., 2016).
Vinegar (Science Direct)

I think one the difference between white vinegar and wine vinegar is that the wine vinegar still has many of the fruit’s other nutrients, whereas white vinegar has little besides acetic acid and water. Balsamic vinegar would certainly qualify as a wine vinegar, as it too is made from grapes.


Edgar Cayce didn’t really recommend vinegar, or vinegar-based condiments (mustard), or pickles preserved with vinegar. Sometimes people were told they could use pure wine vinegar on their salad, or as a seasoning. If you have a large supply of homemade pickled produce, perhaps try neutralizing the acid with baking soda before consuming them.

P.S. Here’s a page from the A.R.E.’s website about Vinegar: Cayce.com – Apple Cider Vinegar

Cayce Reading Quotes on Vinegar/Acetic Acid

(Q) For dinner – chicken, liver, lamb, salad with wine vinegar, watermelon, or fish with above – iced tea or coffee or occasionally Sauterne or red wine with dinner good for proper chemical reaction of the body?
(A) These are very good if they are not combined with some others that are taken between, or some of the starches that become too much for the body to handle, or too much of sugars of certain characters or too much vinegar that has acetic acid in same. Wine vinegar is very good, provided it is pure wine vinegar.

[849-4 M 21]
The diet will be those as have been outlined, abstaining from meats or butter, but as much of the vegetable forces as possible; especially tomatoes – these are WELL for the body, PROPERLY prepared. The fruit only when well ripened on the vine; not as gathered green and ripened afterward. That that is well ripened, seasoned with salt, pepper, and if vinegar is preferable – or sugar and vinegar – this would be well to use with same. Okra, beets, carrots, and such. These are well for the body. As also spinach. And as an ADDED condition, there may be taken Beef, Iron and Wine in its combination – Wyeth’s preferable.

[1498-1 F 37]
Noons – preferably either green vegetables raw or soups or broths from vegetables, or meat stock; but not mixed. That is, do not have grease with the vegetables in the noon meal – whether cooked or raw; though salad dressing may be taken but not with vinegar.

[2991-2 M 15]
(Q) To what extent may the diet be modified?
(A) Just what the body will absorb, and not too much sweets. Never any preparations, as salads, carrying vinegar – unless wine vinegar is used.

[257-199 M 45]
Refrain from the diets where great quantity of acid-producing foods are taken, as to produce their reaction; such as too great a quantity of any foods that have been canned, preserved, or made with quantities of acetic acid or too large quantities of this in any form for the body. These become stimulating to the very conditions that are aggravated by poisons not being eliminated from the system.

[275-45 F 25]
Noons – such as vegetable juices, or combined with a little meat juices and a combination of raw vegetables; but not EVER any acetic acid or vinegar or the like with same – but oils, if olive oil or vegetable oils, may be used with same.

[303-42 F 57]
But supply, besides the diet, the vital energies through taking each day a heaping teaspoonful of Kaldak. This will add iron and phosphorous and the other vitamins necessary for the body, provided sufficient soups or vegetable soups, raw vegetables in salads and cooked vegetables are taken. Do not take any quantity of foods having citric acid. Especially refrain from the use of acetic acid.

[ 379-7 F 56]
EC: Yes, we have the body, [379]; this we have had before.

Conditions as we find are not so good. There is an acute condition that is a combination of those old disturbances in the gall duct area, as well as a sympathetic condition in the caecum or appendicial area.

As we find, MIND the temperature! So long as there is not more than a degree, then there may be those applications locally; otherwise the condition may become so acute as to necessitate operative measures.

This has been brought on, we find, by that which was eaten that contained too great a quantity of acetic acid – or produced same [vinegar]. Then this with the general condition in the gall duct and the poor eliminations makes for the acute conditions, the cramps, the nausea, the aching or cutting off of the circulation through the lower portions of the body; through the limbs, through the abdomen; and makes for an uneven or ununiform activity of the kidneys – sparse yet frequent, or the burning and feeling of sensation through the area.

[379-8 F 56]
(Q) Does the information mean that I should always abstain from acetic acid foods?
(A) These are only temporary; this is more where vinegars or the highly seasoned foods form a reaction. As has been indicated so often, it is combinations rather than any one particular condition.
(Q) Please state specific acetic acid foods from which I should abstain?
(A) Vinegar in any form, or those combinations that form same.

[427-2 M 14]
Let the diet be not meats of the heavy or greasy nature. Much of the lentils, beans and food values of that nature. Much fruit, and little of vinegar or of those elements carrying acetic acid producing juices. That is, little tomatoes, no pickles unless it’s sweet.

[633-1 M 23]
Hence, for an outline of the diet, we would rather give those things to BEWARE OF; and then the body may use any of those other things as the taste demands:

Beware of bananas; of apples (unless they be cooked – roasted, especially, would be well). Beware of berries, especially those that are out of season in the SURROUNDING territory in which the body resides; that is, don’t use shipped in strawberries, blackberries, or any of those fruits of that nature. Peaches, melons, when grown in the SURROUNDING country, would be very well; but not shipped fruit – for all fruits containing acid, that are gathered in a state that is not of the own RIPENING, maintain for such a condition as with this body very HARMFUL reactions; for the benzoates or the picric (?) or tetric (?) [tetracid – ? acetic?] or citric acids, that are accumulations from such, are harmful to the circulatory system. But the body should maintain each day at least ONE meal that is wholly of RAW vegetables, or if meats are desired eat the meats raw – but no cooked food for one meal each day. Citrus fruit juices, stewed fruits, especially raisins and grapes are well for the body – if WELL-RIPENED before they are used. Whether they are fresh or dried or packed, all of these are well for the body. As to meats, beware of fish or shell fish or any of the seafoods; for these are harmful to the body.

[1532-4 F 22]
(Q) What is condition of teeth?
(A) These need local attention, but are very well in the main.

(Q) What would be best diet for morning, noon and evening meals?
(A) Keep close to an alkaline diet, though don’t overdo it. Leave off any of those preparations carrying acetic acid. Otherwise, have a regular well balanced diet, with plenty especially of Vitamins A, B-1 and G; these from re-inforced grains or flour, or ANY of the yellow foods, or especially fowl – the bony pieces, fish, and liver, pigs’ feet or pigs’ ears, but not the rest of the hog.

[1565-4 M 38]
(Q) What diet should the body take to protect system from reoccurrence?
(A) A plain diet, rather than highly seasoned foods or any quantity ever of foods carrying vinegar or the effects of acetic acid.

[1586-1 F 77]
Noons – ONLY raw vegetables. These may be combined in many varied ways: Celery, lettuce, tomatoes, radish, peppers, cabbage, spinach, mustard, leeks, onions. Any or all of these may be combined. These may be taken with an oil or salad dressing, but not that which has very much of any vinegar or acetic acid in same.

Evenings – do not take fried foods morning, noon OR evening! especially not fried potatoes, nor fried ham, nor fried meats – even fried chicken! But the meats – if any are taken – should be preferably fish, fowl or lamb; and these boiled, broiled or baked. The vegetables should be cooked in their OWN salts, and these juices preserved – NOT thrown away! The broths or juices from the cooking of any of the vegetables in their own broths (or cooked in Patapar Paper) may be saved and taken as a portion of the noon meal, or as a change from the diet outlined for the noon meal. Do not cook the vegetables with meats to season them; only use a little butter, with pepper or salt or such. And preferably use the sea salt entirely, or iodized salt – this is preferable.

[1710-2 M 23]
(Q) The pain in the right shoulder has never stopped. Why?
(A) As has been indicated, this is part a muscular condition and part nerve pressure from lack of nutriment from the blood supply. But with this strain now, as we have indicated, the application of the salt and vinegar (apple vinegar; not just acetic acid but pure apple vinegar and the heavy salt), and the heat, will relax this area so that the adjustments may be made much better at the present time.

[2067-5 F 52]
(Q) Since I am still out of work with very limited funds, what cheap foods are most beneficial for my present condition?
(A) That must be according to the choices of the body itself, in keeping with the outlines indicated. Do not take too much acid-producing foods. These the body should know from experience, as well as the general outline for such; that is, not too much starches or meats, or peculiar combinations, or any foods preserved with acetic acid (or vinegar). Refrain from these. Use rather a fruit and vegetable diet, with meats in moderation.

[2186-3 F 30]
Keep away from those foods that have acetic acid (or vinegar) in same.
Do use a great deal of sea foods and chicken, and especially the bony pieces. Cook it like you would chicken and dumplings, but don’t eat the dumplings – feed these to the dogs! Eat the bony pieces – and the greases of same are good for the body.

Eat raw vegetables, and especially carrots.

[2653-6 M 35]
Not too much sweets; and not ANY preparations where vinegar or pickles or any acetic acid products are used in the foods

[2994-1 M 35]
Begin and, daily, eat beets, carrots. Eat these daily. Prepare them in varied forms, and with the beets eat the tops also – well cooked. These may be prepared in various ways and manners, but never take them with vinegar or acetic acid preparations.

[3316-1 F 53]
In the diet, do have plenty of gelatin, plenty of carrots, beets, water cress. It would be well to prepare these with the gelatin, by juicing or scraping them. These should never be combined with any vinegar or acetic acid. To be sure, these would not be all the foods that should be taken, but have plenty of these vegetables. Use more of the leafy than the pod or bulbular nature. Use little of meats, though fish, fowl and lamb may be taken – but never any of these fried. Vegetable juices, soups or broths will be well. Wild game is excellent, when it is to be had.

[3335-1 M 72]
(Q) Is there any particular food to be avoided?
(A) Keep away from any acid-producing foods, or any large quantities of foods that carry acetic acid as a base – either in the flavoring or in the seasoning.

[5267-1 M 69]
Do increase the amount of this character of foods: The raw vegetables that are oft combined with gelatin. Carrots, spinach, celery, lettuce, radishes, not too much but once a day have some of all of these; chard, cabbage but not with vinegar ever or any products of acetic acid.

[5682-2 F CHILD]
Noons – sandwiches that carry lettuce, tomatoes, with a salad dressing, and milk – or those easily digested, but do not give at this meal any jams, preserves or the like; preferably as much green vegetables as possible, under the circumstance. There may be used the yolks of eggs, but not the white, in sandwiches. Hard boiled and mashed and mixed with dressings, but not with any acid dressing as of vinegar or acetic acid, or pickles. It would be well at this period for the body to take a small dose of olive oil, just before the meals.