Monday, September 21, 2009

Vinegar does a body good

Talking with a friend recently I was reminded of a wonderful tonic that can easily be made and stored in the refrigerator at home. This tonic is very soothing and is wonderful for nervous stomach, acid reflux, depression and the general blah feelings that come with winter and the shorter days. A tablespoon of ACV(Apple Cider Vinegar) contains 11 mg of Potassium. Potassium has several jobs; it helps control the amount of water in the cells of our body, assists in regulating our heartbeat, helps control our blood pressure, and is critical to our muscle function. While there isn't a standard RDA for Potassium, most recommendations are between 2000 and 3000 mg a day. Now you can't drink that much vinegar without getting an upset stomach, but it certainly helps.

The recipe below is packed with natural ingredients containing high levels of antioxidants, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and can be altered slightly to add additional benefits.

Winter Tonic
1 cup raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar(I like Braggs)
1 cup raw unfiltered honey(local honey is best)
In a mason jar, combine vinegar and honey. Close the jar and swirl around until the cider and honey blend well. Do not shake or you will end up with a frothy mess. You can stir this with a wooden spoon if you desire. Keep stirring until the honey completely dissolves into the vinegar. They will blend well without heat. Keep this tonic in the fridge. You can take a tablespoon straight up or add to a cup of warm water or cool water. It makes a nice tea(reminds me of lemon honey water), but be sure not to make the water too hot or it kills the enzymes that are so good for you. Also similar to lemonade if you take in cold water. Take 1 to 3 times a day. Its great for an upset tummy. I have read that its good for anything from headaches and stomach aches to chronic fatigue, depression and arthritis-even weight loss! Start slow(it can have laxative-like and/or detoxification properties), with one tablespoon a day and use enough water to suit your taste. See how your stomach responds to it. Since it kills bacteria, it may give you some stomach issues as first. If so, reduce to a teaspoon until your body adjusts and then gradually increase the dosage. I recommend 1 tablespoon of the tonic to 8oz of good quality water up to three times a day.

Winter Spiced Tonic
Another variation of this health tonic is to add cinnamon. Get a good quality real cinnamon, not the junk you get for $1 at the local five and dime. You can add one 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the mixture above if desired. Cinnamon is said to lower your blood sugar and combined with honey and vinegar is even more powerful at doing this so use with caution if you have low blood sugar issues. Cinnamon is known to be good for the circulatory system, excellent for treating arthritis, hair loss and many other health benefits. Do some research of your own and see if you would benefit from trying this. I know you can overdo on cinnamon, particularly if you aren't using a high-quality brand, so make sure you research this before trying it at home.

Yet another variation of the Winter Tonic which is good for fighting illness is made this way:

Feel Well Tonic
1 cup raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 cup raw, unfiltered honey
8 cloves of fresh garlic
Put all the ingredients in the food processor and process until the garlic is completely pulverized. Pour into a jar, seal and place in the refrigerator for a week, allowing the antibiotic properties of the garlic to mix with the honey and vinegar. Take 1 tsp with a glass of water or juice each morning to keep illnesses at bay all winter long. Store in your refrigerator. It should keep all winter.

Lemon-like "tea"
One of my favorite ways to take ACV
Boil some water in a kettle. Fill your cup and add 1-2 T of Braggs ACV and 1-2 T of raw honey. Stir to dissolve the honey. Drink. YUM!

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