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20 Unusual Uses For Wine

20 Unusual Uses For Wine

Wine is more than just a social platform.

You pop the cork on that 2004 Bordeaux that you’ve been saving for a special occasion, only to find that it’s gone so tart and vinegary, even the most ardent wino wouldn’t touch it. Don’t pour it out! You could use it to trap flies, dye fabric, clean the countertop and make your skin glow. Try these unusual uses for spoiled or leftover wine, and learn a few enticing reasons to knock back a glass of the good stuff at least once a day.

Fabric dye

If you’ve ever spilled red wine on fabric, you know how well the color holds on to just about any type of material. You can use virtually any type of red wine to dye fabric as long as you’re open to experimentation when it comes to the result, which could range from pale pink to deep mauve or even gray. Heat the wine to simmering in a big soup pot on the stove top, add your fabric, stir with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes and allow to cool. Rinse the fabric well.

Skin softener

All of those antioxidants that make red wine a healthy beverage may also provide benefits when applied directly to the skin. Some women recommend using red wine as a toner, which may help smooth and refine skin thanks to the acidity which is similar to that of vinegar. Actress Teri Hatcher reportedly pours a glass of red wine into her bath water, and in India, wine has many beauty uses, like softening and brightening the skin in spa facials.

Frozen cubes of flavor

Pour leftover wine into an ice tray so you always have easy-to-use, single servings of extra flavor on hand for soup, stew, sauces and other cooking uses.

Clean fruits and vegetables

Just like baking soda, wine can be used as a natural fruit and vegetable cleaner. The alcohol in the wine dissolves impurities on the surface, and according to a 2005 study by Mark Daeschel of Oregon State University, components in wine kill several types of foodborne pathogens like salmonella and E. coli.

Kitchen disinfectant

The same microbiologist who discovered wine’s fruit-cleaning abilities also determined that the alcohol in wine can efficiently remove countertop stains and disinfect kitchen surfaces. Daeschel, who is working on a white wine-based cleaner made from waste wine says, “It needs to be recycled, reused, or otherwise it just gets dumped into our waste drain.” If you want to try it at home, he recommends using dry white wines such as sauvignon blanc, because they won’t leave a stain or sticky residue. Warning – don’t try this tip on granite, as acids will eat away at the surface.

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Glass cleaner

Spoiled white wine is on its way to being vinegar, so naturally, it works like a charm on dirty glass. Add a few tablespoons to a spray bottle of water, apply to windows and mirrors and wipe with a newspaper.

Fruit fly trap

Few things are more tempting to pesky fruit flies than an aromatic glass of red wine. Use this attraction to your advantage and soon these unwanted guests will disappear from your kitchen. Just pour a half-inch of red wine into a glass and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Then, poke a few small holes in the wrap, which will let the flies in, but won’t allow them to exit.

Remove grease stains

Pour leftover white wine onto grease and oil stains on garage floors and driveways, and the alcohol and acidity will help them dissipate.

Heal bruises

An old folk remedy recommends soaking a piece of bread in wine and then applying it to a bruise to help it heal faster. Does it really work? It’s hard to say, but there may be some science to support this theory. Wine is rich in flavonoids, which are antioxidants that have a number of beneficial effects on the body, including soothing inflamed tissue.

Use wine to clean wine

You’re at a dinner party, and an enthusiastic hand gesture knocks your glass of red wine over right onto the host’s new white carpet. What to do? Grab the nearest glass of white wine – not to help you forget your embarrassment, but to pour onto the red wine stain. Flood the stain and then blot it up immediately with a towel.

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Help your heart

The antioxidants and resveratrol found in red wine make this alcoholic beverage healthy for your heart. Studies have shown that a moderate intake of red wine can increase levels of ‘good’ cholesterol, protecting against artery damage. If ever there was a better reason to make sure your wine doesn’t go sour in the first place, this is it.

Meat marinade

Not only does red wine make steak extra-flavorful, it may reduce cancer-causing compounds naturally found in meats. Frying and grilling meat at high temperatures turns sugars and amino acids of muscle tissue into carcinogenic compounds but marinating steak in red wine for at least six hours before cooking can reduce two types of carcinogens by up to 90 percent. Use about a cup of red wine, a cup of olive oil and the seasonings of your choice like garlic, parsley, and peppercorns.

Turn it into jelly

Your choice of wine, some sugar and a pouch of liquid pectin are all it takes to make a customized flavor of wine jelly. Who wouldn’t like a little homemade champagne jelly with strawberries on their morning toast? Instructables has the details, which simply requires a few pots and some canning jars.

Relieve dyspepsia

While wine itself can be the culprit of heartburn in some people, it can actually cure it in others. At least, that’s according to old European folk wisdom, which advocates drinking a glass of light white wine, which has low alcohol content. Some types of white wines contain added sodium bicarbonate – otherwise known as baking soda, a proven heartburn remedy – to temper acidity, so that might explain it.

Make red wine reduction

If you’re left with just a little bit of a wine you don’t particularly like, try turning it into an extra flavorful sauce that pairs beautifully with steak (and Portabello mushrooms, for vegetarians.) Red wine reduction sounds fancy, but it’s actually pretty easy. This recipe from Cooking Light uses broth, wine, shallots and tomato paste.

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Boost brainpower

Two new studies have shown that polyphenols in wine (and chocolate!) increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, boosting cognitive ability. The effect gets even more beneficial as you age since there is a natural reduction in blood supply around the brain later in life. All the more reason to have a glass of ‘medicine’ and a little dessert every chance you get.

Improve health… in space

Okay, so maybe it’s not all that practical for most of us, but this is definitely an unusual use for wine. Studies at the University of Strasbourg in France found that resveratrol in red wine could help temper the adverse health effects of zero gravity. When they’re just floating around on lengthy missions, astronauts lose muscle and bone density, but resveratrol may inhibit these effects. And what’s cooler than sipping a glass of Chianti while gazing down at the Earth from a spaceship?

Slow the aging process

Does resveratrol slow aging or not? There’s some debate as to just how much of a benefit we really get from drinking a glass of red wine every day, as recommended by many experts. “As an anti-aging device, it’s as good as it gets,” says Dr. Richard A. Baxter, stating that drinking red wine in moderation is the most important thing you can do to slow the aging process other than not smoking. “A glass a day and your skin will glow.”

Turn it into vinegar

If all else fails, you can always let nature take its course and turn that leftover wine into vinegar. Just leave an opened, 3/4 full bottle of wine out for a few weeks and it will transform on its own. You can also make vinegar from wine in larger quantities by pouring a quart of wine and a cup of vinegar into a sterilized wide-mouthed glass jug, capping it off but opening it for 30 minutes per day. It’s ready when the thick, jelly-like ‘mother’ sinks to the bottom. Just keep adding more wine as you use it.

Power Prince Charles’ Aston Martin

If you’re loaded like Prince Charles, you can use wine to power your ultra-pricey vintage Aston Martin. The British king-in-waiting converted his 38-year-old car to run on biofuel made from surplus wine as a way to reduce his carbon emissions. Of course, we plebes can apply this to our own lives (and less fancy cars) by purchasing pre-made wine bio-ethanol or even possibly making it ourselves.

Photos: photoskate, roland.lakis, [email protected], sdbaywinefoodfest

By Stephanie Rogers

www.ecosalon.com

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20 Unusual Uses For Wine
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20 Unusual Uses For Garlic

20 Unusual Uses For Garlic

Pungent and powerful, garlic has dozens of health and household uses.

Chew up a raw clove of garlic and you might exhale noxious, eye-watering clouds of stink all day, but you’ll also repel mosquitoes (and vampires), increase your immunity, heal cold sores, expel parasites and maybe even get in the mood. Garlic is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, killing bacteria, fungus, viruses, and mold, so it’s an important ally for natural health. Check out these 20 unusual and sometimes strange alternative uses for garlic.

Acne

Slice open a clove of raw, fresh garlic and apply it to breakouts as a home remedy for acne. Your skin won’t smell terribly good, but the antibacterial properties of garlic will help lessen the appearance of acne, even those deep acne cysts that can otherwise be difficult to treat.

Pesticide

Whiteflies, aphids, cabbage loopers and squash bugs. All of these creepy-crawlies and more can totally decimate the beautiful organic garden you’ve been tending all season. Ward them off with an all-natural garlic pesticide spray. Mince three garlic cloves and let them sit in two tablespoons of mineral oil for 24 hours. Then strain out the garlic and add the oil, along with a teaspoon of liquid dish soap, to a pint of water in a spray bottle. Spray on infested plants.

Cold sore treatment

These unsightly lesions always seem to pop up at the most inopportune times, like the morning before a big date. Raw garlic may work just as well as commercial medical treatments, though the acidity may cause discomfort at first. Cut a garlic clove in half and place it directly on the cold sore for 10 minutes, several times a day. Garlic supplements in capsule form may also speed up the healing process.

Mosquito repellent

If you don’t mind smelling like Italian dressing, garlic can work wonders in warding off pesky mosquitoes without the use of DEET and other potentially toxic chemicals. Try this oddball garlic mosquito spray: let a few minced cloves of garlic infuse an ounce of mineral oil for 24 hours, strain, and mix the garlic-scented oil with 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Strain again if necessary and pour into a spray bottle.

Glass repair

Did you know that garlic juice is a natural adhesive? While it’s not up to any major jobs, it can be used to fill in hairline cracks in glass and hold them together. Crush a clove of garlic and rub its sticky, viscous juice into the cracks and wipe away the excess.

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Weight Loss Aid

Even though it’s potent flavor may make you want to eat a lot of it, garlic actually has weight loss properties, according to some research. Compounds found in garlic send your brain signals of satiety, which will actually help you to feel full faster. It also boosts metabolic function helping you to burn more calories as well.

Athlete’s foot

Garlic is a potent natural antifungal, making it ideal for treating fungal infections like irritating and itchy athlete’s foot. Add a few cloves of crushed garlic to warm water in a foot bath and soak the affected foot for 30 minutes.

Ear infections

A common folk remedy for centuries, garlic can indeed kill the bacteria that cause ear infections. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should shove a clove of garlic into your ear and hope for the best. Crush a clove of garlic with a press and place it in a teaspoon of hot olive oil for five minutes. Strain, allow to cool and drip a few drops at a time into your ear canal. You can also purchase garlic oil made for this purpose at natural health food stores.

Splinter removal

Splinters suck. They’re painful to remove, and sometimes they slice too far into the skin to pull out. Instead of waiting for it to come out on its own, try this odd trick: place a thin slice over the splinter and hold on with a bandage. The garlic should help the splinter work its way out of the skin within hours.

Skin cleanser

It’s not exactly common, but some women swear by using garlic as a facial cleanser to dry out acne and tighten and exfoliate the skin. It will definitely burn, so take care if you have any open wounds. Make a paste of finely minced garlic, olive oil, facial cleanser and sugar; massage into skin in circular motions, then rinse.

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Gas prevention

High in sulfur, garlic can be the culprit for uncomfortable stomach-distending gas for some people, but for others, it can reportedly ease it. The trick may be consuming it on a regular basis in order to maintain intestinal health. Garlic kills harmful intestinal bacteria and promotes the growth of beneficial flora, making digestion much smoother.

Yeast infections

At the first sign of a yeast infection, many women around the world turn to a rather unusual natural remedy: raw, peeled garlic cloves (not cut), typically tied in a strip of cheesecloth and inserted with a tampon applicator. Garlic’s antifungal properties go to work on the yeast, supposedly keeping the infection at bay.

Fish bait

Garlic’s strong smell may repel insects, but it has the opposite effect on fish. Yep, that’s right, garlic cloves are recommended by some fisherman as an unusual bait that can attract catfish, carp, trout, bass and other species. Marshmallows or dough balls made from a mixture of crackers and cat food are coated with crushed or powdered garlic and placed on a hook to lure the fish with its scent.

Psoriasis relief

The persistent tightness and itching of psoriasis could be eased or even prevented by garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties. Active compounds in garlic interact with arachidonic acid, an omega fatty acid in the skin linked to psoriasis. Garlic oil may be rubbed directly on affected areas once or twice per day.

Cough syrup

Ease inflammation in the throat and clear up excess mucus by using garlic as cough syrup. Try steeping raw, minced garlic in hot water, straining it after five minutes and drinking the liquid as tea; you can add ginger and honey to make it more palatable.

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Mole removal

This method is almost certainly not recommended by dermatologists, and mole removal is best left to medical professionals, especially since skin doctors can tell upon excision whether the mole shows signs of malignancy. However, many people choose to go it alone, and garlic oil – applied several times per day and covered with a bandage – is an oft-repeated DIY route.

Cold banisher

Can garlic cure and prevent colds naturally? It’s been in use for this purpose for centuries, and there’s a good reason for that. Researchers believe that allicin, the main biologically active component of garlic, could block enzymes that may impede bacterial and viral infections. Eat three to four cloves of garlic per day, preferably raw and crushed, adding them to soups, stews, pasta sauces and salad dressings.

Road de-icer

Garlic is among the oddball solutions that many towns across the nation have been dreaming up to de-ice roads in winter. Ankeny, Iowa smelled awfully savory in 2008 when winter transportation crews spread garlic salt on the streets in advance of snowstorms. The salt, apparently unfit for human consumption, was donated by a local spice producer.

Hair loss help

Whether you’ve over-dyed your hair to the point of constant shedding or you’re just going bald, garlic may be worth a shot before you resort to more drastic measures (or just buy a lot of hats.) Some people believe that massaging the scalp with garlic oil stimulates hair growth.

Parasite killer

Many alternative health practitioners advise using raw garlic to expel intestinal parasites. Recommended as part of a cleansing diet that also includes raw honey, lemon juice, pumpkin seeds, carrots and beets, garlic consumed in quantities of about three cloves per day may help clear nasty organisms out of the digestive tract.

Aphrodisiac

Does garlic turn you on? You may not like the smell of it on someone else’s breath, but it may incite lust once it makes its way into your stomach. Garlic has been used as an aphrodisiac since ancient times, and modern medical knowledge may have an explanation: it aids circulation, pumping blood to your extremities. This effect might even increase men’s endurance in the bedroom.

By Stephanie Rogers

www.ecosalon.com

Image For Pinterest:

20 Unusual Uses for Garlic
Graphic – www.myfamilysurvivalplan.com. Image – Pixabay (PD)