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Vinegar, when applied to the hot iron cannons, cooled them and also helped clean the surface metal while inhibiting rust formation.During the Middle Ages vinegar was well known to the European alchemists of the time.Legend states that four convicted thieves, who attended the sick, survived by daily drinking large amounts of vinegar infused with garlic.Today vinegar steeped in garlic is sold as Four Thieves Vinegar.Tweet Peoples from many lands of the world have used vinegar in many different ways, for thousands of years.Around 5000 BC the Babylonians were using the fruit of the date palm to make wine and vinegar to be used as food and a preservative or pickling agent.The vinegar industry in Europe flourished during the Renaissance.
The French vintners formed a guild of master vinegar makers.By pouring it over lead, they made a sweet tasting substance called sugar of lead.It was used well into the 19th century to smooth and sweeten a harsh cider.The Japanese samurai believed drinking a rice vinegar drink would boost their strength and they drank it regularly.Vinegar throughout history has been useful to everyday soldiers. The addition of vinegar to their drinking water had the additional benefit of killing any infectious agents that might have been present.
Diluted vinegar has been used as a strengthening and an energizing tonic by the military throughout the ages. In early Middle Eastern writings vinegar is mentioned as being used for medicinal purposes ranging from a digestive aid, an expectorant and even a clotting agent. Besides its medicinal uses it was valued as a condiment.