Having a grandmother who comes from the Caribbean has shaped a great deal of how I interact with food. It became a normal occurrence for the food that I ate to also be used as a cure-all for any problems I had. I will be using my experience as a guinea pig to give you useful tips on how to use food in some fun, helpful ways. The failed experiments will also be provided so that we can all laugh at my pain. First to inspection are apple cider vinegar (aka ACV) and cinnamon. 

apple, juice, cider, sweet, Apple Cider Vinegar, vinegar
Alyssa Modos

Apple Cider Everywhere

For Your Skin

Whether it was a bad hair day or trouble with acne, a bottle of ACV was always on hand. Once my dear clear baby skin was replaced with the horrors of puberty, this type of vinegar became a staple. Although the liquid has the soft aroma of sweating feet, it works as a cheap pimple fighter.  It contains malic acid, which is known for its anti-bacterial properties. This is what helps fight the bacteria attempting to form into an annoying bump.

As someone that never felt the need to buy toners, it turns out that I have been using one all along. The ACV treatment is still a strict part of my regimen as it works quickly to diminish the size of engorged blisters and takes away the inflamed feeling of the skin. Compared to other drugstore brands meant to clear skin, the ACV does not feel harsh on the skin. This is coming from someone that is allergic to most ingredients in face washes. 

Mixing 2/3 water with 1/3 apple cider vinegar will dilute the harshness of the vinegar.  Apply the combo to the skin like you would a toner and you have a new step in your skincare routine.

For Your Hair

Dry and brittle hair in winter can also be combated by ACV.  Sometimes the stress of shampoo on top of the harsh cold can lead to parched tresses.  Apparently, all the hair rinses Grams subjected me to prevented dryness and product buildup. ACV gently cleanses the scalp without stripping it of moisture.  

This can be done with a mixture of 3/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of ACV. Placing this mixture into a spray bottle and applying it to the hair can help cut down a mess and gets the product applied directly to the hair. Leave it on for 1-3 minutes while under a shower cap. Rinse out like you would any shampoo or conditioner.  

Do this after using shampoo. The smell dissipates easily once rinsed out. Just be careful not to get any in your eyes–clear skin and soft hair did not feel that great if my eyes were burning too much to see it.

Cinnamon Paste Cannot Fight the Flu

cinnamon, cookie, sweet, candy, chocolate
Natalie Rodriguez

As far as the mishaps go in playing with my food, this one haunts me. Staying home from school with the flu became another chance for experiments. Rather than Nyquil, my chest congestion was put up against cinnamon paste. It was simply a concoction of cinnamon and honey that was slathered everywhere. While this idea of becoming a human Cinnabon intrigued my nine-year-old self, in retrospect Vick's VapoRub would've been the way to go. The massive rash I obtained the next morning meant that I was itchy on top of being unable to breathe. If the need to baste in sticky confection ever arises, you've been forewarned. 

Of course, everyone's hair and skin are different so test these tricks out on small portions of both to avoid my mishap with the cinnamon. Dig in, get your hands dirty, and have fun playing.

Want More Homemade Remedies and Recipes? Check Out:

- Homemade Face Masks You Can Make with Food in Your Pantry

- 13 Foods You Should Be Putting in Your Hair

- 8 Home Remedies For the Common Cold From Around the World