Thursday, February 22, 2018

Fire Cider Update

Not surprisingly, I did jump the gun on the timeframe for this fire cider.  If you'll remember, on January 27, I crafted this tonic from apple cider vinegar, onion, garlic, horseradish, star anise, red pepper, rosemary, ginger, jalapeno, fennel seed and turmeric.  At the time, I doubted my patience regarding the recommended month's fermentation.

Sure enough, this morning, I just "felt" it was ready.  It had been busy and bubbling, enticing me to open the crock with its sparkling energy.  I think I was right.  The 25 days or so seemed to be enough.  Here is a shot of it before I drained and bottled it.  You can see the vegetables and spices are soft and fully integrated into the liquid.  Here is how I bottled it:

First, I put my colander inside a larger bowl, and cut a length of cheesecloth long enough to be able to wring out the contents, squeezing out each healing drop of the cider.  My colander has holes instead of mesh.  You may be able to skip the cheesecloth if your colander is tight enough.
And . . . the finished product:  gorgeous, no?  I had to try some right away.  YOWZA this stuff is powerful!!  Delicious, but whoa, nelly, this could kill any germ. It really is delicious, in a "hurts so good" kind of way.  I could only drink an ounce or two, which is good because that's the dose [I read this after I took it].

Fire cider is purported to solve seasonal allergies and ward off viruses [flu!!] and harmful bacteria.  Also, taken before meals, it stabilizes blood sugar and helps with digestion.

I took my dose straight, but most folks add something.  The cursory research I performed yielded these potential mixers:  a spoonful of honey, orange juice, bone broth [hmm -- like a hot and sour soup, I guess?], kombucha, seltzer water and vodka [! now we're talkin'].

Remember, friends, this fire cider is adapted from an ancient home remedy.  Though it holds the wisdom of countless old wives, use it sparingly, medicinally, lest you singe your innards.  If it's a vodka fire cider tonic you choose, let it be your one and only.  I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.  To your health!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome

Have you heard of Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome?  If you're like me:  a #spoonie who sometimes employs a healthy dose of denial to get through the day, the notion of one more thing to have to worry about may bring you down, but ultimately knowledge is power.

What are the chances I'd be diagnosed with MS? 1.5% to be precise.  And yet I've got it.  It'd be nice to think I'd have a pass on anything else, but, alas, we're all fair game for anything.  To add salt to our wounds, it turns out that some of us are more than fair game, shouldering a higher burden of chance for additional illnesses.

Hence -- Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome.  Having one autoimmune disease predisposes us to more of them.  Having three or more qualifies us for Multiple Autoimmune status.  In my case, I also have Raynaud's disease -- a circulatory response to cold or stress that affects extremities with blanching and uncomfortable numbness.  It can possibly be dangerous if it lasts too long.  It rarely happens to me, and when it does, I just have to rub my fingers for an hour or two to keep the blood flowing until it passes.  The photo above, taken today, is unfiltered, and it wasn't very cold, so I'm not sure why it happened.  My hands are fine now and back to normal.  Raynaud's comes and goes.  I also have Hyperkeratosis which comes and goes, and manifests in itchy skin rashes, inflammation and thinning of the skin in patches.  This also causes chronic dry eye for me which makes my eyes feel like they are full of sand.  When it hits, my eyes are bloodshot and teary.

One might expect the notion of Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome to be devastating, but I've actually been relieved to learn what is going on.  My random, transitive symptoms throughout the years have never been adequately labelled or treated on their own. I always thought they were irritations I had to address above and beyond my MS.  Now I know they are related to what is going on with MS. Now that I know they are simply signs that the beast is grumbling again, I tend to the beast:  my immune system.  After a few days of bone broth, clean eating and rest, my outward indicators of disease activity recede.  Who needs an MRI?  I've got my trusty MAS symptoms.