Sunday, November 25, 2007

psycho-homatic cures all

I love enthusiastic people. I have to. We're related.

I am surrounded by people who are happy to extol the virtues of all manner of natural remedies, tinctures and tonics that they believe will cure anything that ails you.

In fact, they SWEAR by them.

Sometimes it can be awkward. I try to look into their eyes and keep my smile sedate as they report on how their lives were changed forever by simply ingesting some revolutionary product found in nature and distilled into its purest, pharmaceutically potent essences, and all for the bargain price of more than my car payment.

It's sweet, really. All these people still carrying the torch of hope that they can turn back the clock and can stop the ravage of time with some product they get from their friendly neighborhood herbalist after the AARP magazine cracked the code to some ancient curative in its January edition.

In some ways I'd like to share such enthusiasm but I know my eyes are fixed in their usual upright, 'are you kidding me' position. And the only swearing I'm ever going to do is the four-letter kind when my husband comes home bearing one of the latest recommended remedies:

Apple Cider Vinegar.

Apparently the venerable magazine for aging Americans ran a story touting the miracle drug science has so brazenly overlooked, and my husband’s mom conveyed the news.

To hear her talk about it you'd be convinced a dinner spoon of stuff will cure ailments from one end of the alimentary canal to the other: Acne, acid reflux, arthritis, cancer, chronic fatigue, contact dermatitis, flu, gout, goiter, gastric disturbance, sore throat and weight gain.

For those of you planning on Googling, all you need to know is ACV. That's the lingo. And when you consult Dr. Google, you'll likely find a host of online pharmacies willing to sell you a souped-up holistic version of the bottle store-bought stuff, which the price tag alone is proof that the tonic is at least 75 percent more effective than anything you'd normally put in a salad dressing.

Apparently she convinced her son, who explained to me that in his extensive research into the vast benefits of this wonderdrug he discovered it all hinges on balancing the body's ph. And after only two days on the stuff he's a convert, insisting he's noticed a decrease in acne breakouts, he's more regular and he's not finishing meals.

(Cue harps and angels singing on high).

But that's not why I tried it.

I tried it because I've been experiencing a little stiffness in my joints. Something I SWEAR (with real four-letter words) is related to breastfeeding and not A-R-T-H-R-I-T-I-S.

Now, I didn't have any AH-HA moments. I didn't notice anything get better immediately, but after a few days the aches seemed to diminish. Cure all? Probably not.

When checked with Dr. Google about the nature of such ailments creaky joints, I learned that there's a natural remission process; times when one's symptoms seem to lessen or go away altogether. Perhaps that's what's happening a little here. When my husband tells me he feels like a teenager again … a teen without the acne ... I remember how cyclical the little pustules are, too.

Despite my cynicism, I wake up each morning and knock back a shot of the vinegar, thinking it can’t hurt. But then I wonder 'Could it hurt?'

Back to Dr. Google.

DR. GOOGLE: Seems there's some little controversy over the effect of vinegar on tooth enamel.

ME: Hmmm. Maybe I'll just go brush my teeth.

DR. GOOGLE: No! Don't do that, it may grind it into your teeth.

ME: Oh my, this is getting complicated. Maybe I'll just drink it through a straw.

DR. GOOGLE: Why not try diluting it with water?

ME: Well doesn't that just prolong the pain of the taste? You know, I'll have to just drink more at one time?

DR. GOOGLE: What are you a pansy?

ME: **Blank. Stare.** I tell you what? I much prefer the Red Wine and Dark Chocolate remedies. Maybe I'll just stick with those.

DR. GOOGLE: I knew it. Pansy!

ME: Well, at least I'm not psycho-homatic!

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