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Apple cider vinegar: healing properties?

By November 10, 2008 - 9:28pm
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Following my long distance endurance event this past weekend, I went to a sports massage therapy session. After the session, my new therapist told me to soak in a hot bath to which I was to add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar. The theory is that it would help leech toxins released into my muscles during the therapy.

I've also heard about an apple cider "tonic" to help maintain a healthy immune system and detox your system.

Has anyone any experience with this? If so, do you think apple cider vinegar has such healing properties? What is it about apple cider vinegar that makes it better for detox than white vinegar?

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Hi, Tina:

Thanks for such a terrific history lesson! Upon the suggestion of a friend, I tried a sort of tonic made with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 8 ounces hot water, sweetened with a bit of honey. It tasted pretty good, my friend says she drinks this every day to help maintain good digestive health. I'll have to conduct my own "study" to see if a daily dose makes any difference in how I feel.

I found this on the health benefits of apple cider vinegar.

November 12, 2008 - 6:49pm

Hi Alysia,

Congratulations on finishing your big event. And I have also heard about the many healing properties of apple cider vinegar, but have also read many cautionary tales about its effectiveness. And apparently, it's praises have been sung for centuries .... in 400 B.C. Hippocrates -- the Father of Medicine, allegedly used it for its amazing health properties.

One of the theories in using apple cider vinegar in a bath is that it will help leech toxins from muscles and in effect, help prevent cramping.

Cramping is usually a sign, however, of a nutritional deficiency and the belief is that a lack of fluids and alkalizing minerals (think white vinegar) can predispose the muscles to cramp. Apple cider and natural wine vinegar, on the other hand are supposed to help with this condition as the fruit content allegedly burns to alkaline ash.

But you don’t necessarily need apple cider vinegar to make this happen. Fresh raw vegetables, such as alfalfa sprouts may help.

But to prevent cramping and keep muscles free of toxins, you may want to consider calcium and magnesium.

In many nerve cells, magnesium serves as a chemical gate blocker - as long as there is enough magnesium around, calcium can't rush into the nerve cell and activate the nerve. This gate blocking by magnesium helps keep the nerve relaxed. If our diet provides us with too little magnesium, this gate blocking can fail and the nerve cell can become overactivated. When some nerve cells are overactivated, they can send too many messages to the muscles and cause the muscles to overcontract. This chain of events helps explain how magnesium deficiency can trigger muscle tension, muscle soreness, muscle spasms, muscle cramps, and muscle fatigue.

Foods rich in magnesium, in addition to green vegetables, are raw wheat germ, corn, figs, dates, lemons, grapefruit, apples, cocoa, nuts and seeds. Peanuts, sesame seeds and walnuts are good nut choices, as these are rich in both magnesium and calcium. Other calcium-rich foods, besides green vegetables, are fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir and soy beans. And a note, if you drink alcohol or caffeine, you may find you’re losing magnesium in your urine.

As a side note, magnesium is also considered an immunity booster. Some people with allergies actually receive shots with magnesium. And as far as detox goes, Milk of Magnesia is actually made with .... magnesium. Would doublecheck with your doctor, but it seems many of the qualities people are looking for when seeking out magical elixirs can be found in naturally in our bodies, if we just keep reserves at proper levels.

Hope this helps.

November 11, 2008 - 8:54am
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