That Powerful health tonic!

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I woke this morning to glimpses of sunlight peeping through the blinds, dancing on my skin, which felt so warming and welcoming of the day ahead! I could think of nothing better than a visit to our local Daylesford Sunday Market. I love markets, you never know what you'll find, and today I was lucky to find an age-old health remedy . . . or two!

Walking through the maze of stalls, I came across James Baillie, famously known as "The Arthritis Man" (the title appropriately bestowed due to his successful ‘Arthritis Oil'), but, my discovery today was his most deliciously tasting Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey elixir!! James has spent many years trialing and researching his remedies, and I just know they are good, I can feel it. And, it didn't take me long to get a bottle in my hand (and a taste into my mouth in one clean swig!) Yummmm . . .

Apple-Cider Vinegar (ACV) by long tradition, and been touted to cure just about anything! I was first introduced to ACV about 26 years ago when I worked with Pure Harvest Health Foods. Anybody and everybody who was into alternative, organic, and healthy food, walked into our shop and shared their stories.

Amazing Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is first and foremost a food product, with great nutritional value and health benefits. It's rich in natural minerals, vitamins and enzymes, but if you only use ACV on your salad, you're seriously underestimating its potential. Raw, unfiltered ACV can be used in so many ways (hair and skin care, household cleaning, healing and cooking etc) which makes it an essential key to healthier living!

 

Helps tummy troubles: The enzymes in ACV promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, and can help regulate candida issues. In fact, aiding digestion is possibly one of ACV's biggest claims to fame. It can be very helpful in reducing gas and bloating as it contains pectin, which can help soothe the intestinal spasms, common indigestion, and gastrointestinal discomfort caused by certain foods. It is said to clear up chronic acid reflux when taken religiously before each meal.

Promotes Alkalinity and stimulates Detoxification: With Spring just around the corner, ACV is a great addition to any detox ritual, and the timing couldn't be more perfect! The unique acids in apple cider vinegar can bind to toxins and help the body eliminate them more effectively. It can also help to stimulate circulation and aid liver detoxification by breaking up mucus throughout the body and cleansing the lymph nodes, thereby improving lymph circulation. A healthy lymphatic system can remove toxins from the cells in the body while improving immune system response.

Yes, vinegar is acidic, but don't let that mislead you, the effect of this vinegar on your body is extremely alkalizing, and the same is true for lemons and limes. In ancient cultures ACV was often used to purify the blood. The acetic acid balances your PH to help keep your body alkaline. Why is this awesome? One of the primary ways cancer and other chronic diseases are conquered, is by bringing the body into an alkaline state which makes it an inhospitable environment for cancer. A balanced, more alkaline body means better immune function and increased energy!

Proponents of the alkaline-acid theory believe that a diet high in acid-producing foods leads to lack of energy, excessive mucous production, infections, anxiety, irritability, headache, sore throat, nasal and sinus congestion, allergic reactions, and increased risk of conditions such as arthritis and gout. Researchers have discovered that 45 minutes after eating raw honey, blood tests showed more alkalinity. Diabetics also have lower blood sugar 45 minutes after eating honey. This is because, unlike processed sugar and artificial sweeteners, honey is very quickly absorbed into the body cells for fuel use, rather than sitting in the blood. It is for this reason that the honey and ACV work synergistically so well together!

Promotes weight loss: For those wanting to drop a few pounds and purge some extra weight, you may find a vinegar tonic is just what you need! Not only is ACV rich in important enzymes that help your body detox, but it can also keep you feeling full and control your appetite. This means no more crazy snack attacks! Studies have shown that ACV may aid in weight loss by stabilizing of the blood sugar for a longer period, and helping to control the appetite, which is an essential component of getting and staying lean! If your blood sugar levels are spiking and plummeting (and simple starches like white bread, and sugary snacks will cause this too), your body will store fat and increase your risk for diabetes and heart disease. Don't just rely on ACV to help you trim down though. It won't work if your diet is rubbish. ACV should be an accompaniment to a healthy, balanced diet.

Keeps your body balanced & lowers cholesterol: Apple cider vinegar devotees claim that this miracle elixir is one of the main reasons they are able to ward of common illnesses. This can most likely be because of ACV's unique blend of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. It also possesses antimicrobial and antiseptic properties.

A 2006 study reported in Medscape General Medicine, showed evidence that ACV could lower cholesterol. In a study published in a foreign medical journal, scientists found an apple cider vinegar-enhanced diet may increase in HDL (good cholesterol), and reduce levels of triglycerides. Research in rats suggests that apple-cider vinegar can help control triglycerides and cholesterol (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, June 22, 2011).

Enhances Beauty: Did you know that ACV can help regulate the pH of your skin? It can be used as a topical astringent for acne prone skin by simply diluting ACV with two parts water, and spread the concoction over your face with a cotton ball as a toner. You can do this at night after washing, and in the morning before you apply your moisturizer. You can also dab apple cider vinegar directly onto age spots and leave them on overnight to lighten their color.

For those with a tub, add a cup of apple cider vinegar and a cup of Epsom salts to a hot bath to draw toxins out through the skin and help jumpstart the cleansing process. It can bring relief to joint pain, as well as skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Deodorant: It might sound a little crazy, but you can actually use apple cider vinegar as a natural deodorant! Most commercial deodorants are antiperspirants, which block your ability to sweat. Since sweat is one of your body's natural means of detoxification, blocking your ability to sweat can block your ability to detoxify. Plus, most drugstore deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminum and a host of unpronounceable chemicals and synthetic fragrances, so you may want to avoid them anyway.

Apple cider vinegar absorbs and neutralizes stinky scents. Simply rub a bit of ACV in your underarms and it will absorb and minimize body odors. The vinegary smell dissipates once it dries.

Alternative Hair Conditioner: Acetic acid, the main ingredient in ACV, will remove build up from styling products and conditioners, and strengthen the hair shaft, leaving you with soft, shiny strands. It balances your hair's pH level, which helps seal the cuticle and makes the hair smoother. As a rinse, it can also help with dandruff, clear away greasy build-up, and soothe itchiness and irritation of the scalp.

Dilute 1/3 cup ACV in 4 cups of water and pour over your hair after shampooing. Leave it in for a few seconds before rinse your hair using cold water to seal the hair shaft and create more shine (make sure to rinse it out well afterwards, or your hair might feel a little crunchy). Because vinegar is acidic, using the rinse daily is not advised. And no, your hair won't stink like vinegar - the smell will go away after your hair dries.

Makes the tastiest salad Dressings!
One part good olive oil, two parts ACV + honey, a little sea salt and you're good to go! I LOVE Marinating a big bowl of Kale with two tablespoons of ACV + Honey, plus half a squeeze of lemon /lime juice. Add Salt and Pepper to taste!

Get the Good Stuff!
I am a big fan of the raw, organic, unpasturized apple cider vinegar, so I can recommend the brand BRAGGs. It's important to buy any apple cider vinegar that is organic and unfiltered so that all of its nutritional value is in tact. The hazy looking stuff that settles to the bottom is called "the mother" and it is said to be the most nutritious part of the apple cider vinegar for its therapeutic benefits.

I now alternate with James's cold -extracted honey infused organic ACV elixir so I can embrace the added benefits of the cold-extracted honey, and our guests here at Samadhi Retreat are reaping the health benefits too!

My Nutritional Mantra . . . "Yummmmmm"
So, if Moo is not your Mantra, maybe ACV infused with honey is it!! Go easy now, a little goes a long way. Try 1-3 teaspoons of ACV & honey elixir into a glass of warm or cool water, about 30 mins before each meal. You can also add it to hot water and drink it as a tea. Make cold -extracted honey infused organic ACV elixir a key component of your nutritional plan, along with a handful of other metabolism boosting ingredients, and discover what this healthy boost can do for you!

To get yourself a bottle of this Life -enriching Elixir, James is at the Daylesford Sunday Market every week which operates from 8.00 am to 3.00 or 4.00pm at Daylesford Station (rain, hail, shine or snow). Alternatively our Spring Detox Retreats incorporate tastings of the delightful stuff before your meals!

Stay Healthy, and Happy!


Annah