Keep Hope Alive Journal – Healing Baths for sore muscles, joints and other purposes vol 16 N1 2018

Vol. 16 No 1    Keep Hope Alive Journal   2018
Healing Baths for sore muscles, joints and other purposes

Conrad LeBeau

In today’s fast world, the fast shower has replaced the relaxing bath. Most city water has chlorine and or fluoride added. Many people, including myself, don’t like either the smell or the drying effects of chlorine on the skin. A few years ago, I hired a plumber to install a whole house filter to my water system. Its purpose was to remove most of the chlorine. A low cost alternative to a whole house filtering system is discussed at The earth clinic website recommended using vitamin C (ascorbic acid powder) to remove the chlorine and Borax to remove the Fluoride.

After installing a new tub surround and a new faucet for the bathtub, I have been testing and enjoying the benefits of bathing, something I have done without for several years. Recently, I have tried a 20 minutes soak in warm bath water with 2 cups of apple cider vinegar added. I found the experience to be very uplifting and refreshing.

I also tried adding 1 cup of Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate) plus a 1/4th cup of Borax to a tub of bath water. I have found this very beneficial to loosen tight muscles and tendons in the legs. Last fall, I developed a persistent pain in my left knee. While I am getting physical therapy instructions once a week, I have found that adding either Apple cider vinegar or Epsom salts to be very beneficial. With Epsom salt I also added 1/4 cup of Borax to the bath water for the boron.

In researching the subject of healing baths at, I came across a very detailed and interesting article on healing baths written by the editors of They discuss using a wide variety of therapeutic baths including the use of –

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar – an amazing remedy for many health benefits.
  2. Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate)
  3. Borax powder (Source of Boron)
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide – to oxygenate the blood – kill infections systemically.
  5. Oatmeal bath – for itchy skin conditions
  6. Activated Charcoal – to pull poisons out of the body
  7. Herbal baths- for multiple purposes
  8. Baking Soda – to alkalize the body

How I used ACV and Epsom Salt

For joint inflammation, tight tendons and sore muscles, add 2 cups of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) to one bathtub full of water and 1 cup of Epsom Salt. Optional – add 1/4 cup of Borax Using a candy thermometer, adjust the water temperature to reach 103 to 105 degree (F). Soak in this water for 20 minutes once a day in the morning. Do not use soap until the 20 minutes is done. has instructions for a variety of therapeutic baths. Go to – for more info.

My Story – Arthritis, Apple Cider Vinegar and Bath water

In November 2017, I developed a pain in my left knee. The kneecap and the inside became slightly swollen and painful. I soon found myself limping. It was severe enough that I purchased a cane to help get around. Until early January of 2018, I experimented with a number of home remedies including hydrogen peroxide, and also magnets, with some success, but not complete resolution. While experimenting, I continued looking for answers.

Dr. David Brownstein listed the following causes of arthritis on his website-

  1. Bacteria and viruses
  2. Mycoplasma
  3. Sugar Consumption
  4. Milk and dairy
  5. Acidic foods (meat, eggs and dairy)
  6. Dehydration – lack of water
  7. Drugs used to treat Arthritis and joint inflammation.

This list does not represent all of the causes of joint pain. An injury from an accident or damage to cartilage between the bones or a lack of hyaluronic acid or silica that absorbs water may also contribute to joint pain. Joint pain can have more than one cause at the same time.

Gin, Raisins and Juniper Berries

The first remedy I tried was to eat raisins soaked in Gin. The formula was discovered in an internet search. To make it, I added one pint of Gin to a quart jar that was filled half full with yellow or golden raisins. Over a period of days, the raisins absorbed the Gin. Reports claim that relief from Arthritis occurs in 75% of the users over a 3-month period.

The mechanism of how it might work is unknown, but may involve the medicinal effects of juniper berries used to flavor the Gin. The remedy that I used suggested eating about 10 of these Gin soaked raisins each day. “Today’s Herbal Health” by Louise Tenny M.H. suggested the use of Juniper berries for removing uric acid crystals, for infections, and for increasing natural insulin in the blood by improving pancreatic function. Cherry juice has also been used to reduce uric acid crystals.

Uric acid crystals are formed by the consumption of excessive amounts of meat, eggs and fish. They usually affect the toes but can also affect the knees. An X-ray of my knee on Jan 9, 2018 was not conclusive except it showed no cartilage damage but hinted at impaired circulation and possible calcium spurs.

A search of home remedies at listed several other remedies. The most popular one was the oral use of apple cider vinegar. Others listed included cold pressed flaxseed oil – one tablespoon per day and eating one raw avocado each day. Diluted cider vinegar was also proposed for topical use on arthritis and sore joints.

Since I don’t like the strong taste of apple cider vinegar, I decided to add the cider vinegar to my bath water and let some of it be absorbed into my skin and joints for a systemic effect. The results, so far, have been very satisfactory. At least 90% of the pain and impaired mobility has been resolved in a satisfactory way over the past 6 weeks. The specifics of what I did and continue to do are the following:

  1. I filled my bathtub with water to 2 inches below the overflow.
  2. Using a candy thermometer, I adjusted the hot and cold water to get a temperature of between 103 to 105 degrees F.
  3. I added 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to the bathtub water (I purchased a gallon at a local grocery store for $3.49. It appears that the vinegar was not filtered or pasteurized)
  4. Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) – 1 cup was added to the bath water. Epsom salt was obtained at a local drug store.
  5. 1/4 cup of Borax (20 Mule Team) was also added to the bath water as a source of boron, a trace mineral that supports strong bones and ligaments. (Source – purchased from a local grocery store – marketed as a detergent booster)

6 I set a timer for 20 minutes and got into the tub and let the hot water with the apple cider vinegar, Epsom salts and Borax do its magic. Since the tub is too short to immerse my whole body, I allowed my legs to be completely covered and used a cup to pour some of the bath water over my chest and abdomen area.

  1. At the end of 20 minutes I lather with a bar soap and then finished with a short shower while the tub drains.
  2. Once every 2 weeks, I also see a physical therapist that has provided very helpful stretching and exercise suggestions.

The bath water treatment is done daily immediately after rising in the morning.

The benefits I personally observed for this 20-minute daily soak

  1. The tightness of the tendons and muscles in the knees immediately lessened and the soreness was reduced and usually disappears completely within the 20-minute duration of the soak.
  2. Less knee pain. Today, the pain the left knee is about 90 to 95% less than what it was 6 weeks ago, indicating the body is healing itself. I am able to do considerable walking now without a cane. Also pain in my right foot that may also be arthritis has gradually vanished over the past 6 weeks.
  3. Weight loss – I have lost about one pound each week during the past 6 weeks. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has been long used to help burn body fat.
  4. Sweets Cravings has also been substantially reduced for which I credit the apple cider vinegar. Although not tested, blood sugar levels also likely declined as insulin sensitivity improves.
  5. Improved circulation in the feet. – I noticed the appearance of my feet has improved. The heels on my feet are no longer looking gray and dull but instead are slightly pink and youthful looking. The occasional sensation of burning or tingling in the feet is gone.
  6. Leg cramps go away. The painful cramps are often caused by either poor circulation or a deficiency of potassium or magnesium.
  7. Gout, caused by uric acid crystals also gradually lessened and disappeared.
  8. Cholesterol declines. After using the ACV/Epsom salt baths for 3 weeks, my labs showed normal cholesterol, low LDL and a HDL to total cholesterol ratio of 4.0 or less.
  9. Color added to my hair and the hair is thicker. Although not the original purpose of the ACV/mineral baths, my hair color has shifted from white/gray to a slightly darker color on my head and in other areas. Vinegar is known to dissolve mineral deposits.

[It is also possible that ACV may gradually help reverse atherosclerosis by reducing calcium deposits in the artery walls.]

  1. Systolic blood pressure has dropped 15 points or more at the end of the 20-minute soak. This effect has lasted for several hours.
  2. Sleep quality and duration has improved significantly. I now only wake up just once during my nightly sleep cycle instead of 2 or 3 times. After waking up, I return to a deep restful sleep in about 30 to 60 minutes.
  3. Eyesight showed noticeable improvement after using the bath for 4 weeks. There are fewer eye floaters and less need for reading glasses.
  4. Psoriasis and athletes foot is gone. [Other skin conditions may also clear up when used in therapeutic bath water.]
  5. Sinus congestion abated and sense of smell has improved.
  6. Memory and brain function has improved. Names are easier to recall.

The cost of adding ACV to your bath water is about 50 cents a day. Even when adding the Epsom Salt and the Borax, it is still less than one dollar a day, a real bargain in health benefits. Other types of therapeutic baths and their benefits are discussed at

Other Anti-Inflammatory Remedies

I continue to take one tablespoon of cold pressed flax seed oil daily and also eat half or one whole raw avocado each day. Both remedies are highly recommended (at for their anti-inflammatory effects in treating joint inflammation.

The physical therapist has been surprised at the degree and speed of my recovery. I was born in August of 1943 that makes me 74 y.o. As you get older, recovery from any injury takes longer than when you are young. The reason the baths work is that the skin absorbs some of the vinegar, Epsom salt and other minerals like boron from the Borax that is added to the bath water. The benefits spread throughout the body.

Earth Clinic Comments on ACV

Earth Clinic lists 35 health conditions that improve with the use of ACV, and this is ACV used orally. The usual dose is one teaspoon 3 times a day before meals. The ACV is usually added to water or juice. Earth Clinic recommends using raw organic ACV.

However, the product I used was not certified either to be organic or even raw, although I suspect that due to some pectin floating near the bottom of the gallon jug that it was raw and unfiltered but not organic. I could not beat the price at less than $3.50 a gallon.

Anti-inflammatory foods, herbs and spices

Raw Pineapple – has the enzyme bromelain

Raw Ginger root – enzymes

Turmeric/Curcumin – supplement

Glucosamine Sulfate – supplement.

Juniper berries extract

Devil’s Claw extract

Horsetail herb extract – high in silica

Dead Sea Mud Mask – apply over sore joints.

Kombucha tea


Raw garlic cloves

Onions – raw or baked

Yams, parsnips, yucca, carrots and beets.

Gelatin – one tablespoon daily dissolved in cherry juice.

Green leafy vegetables – Endive, Spinach, Parsley, Romaine, Cabbage and Kale.

Red sockeye salmon and canned sardines.

Lentil soup and green peas.

Avocado fresh – one a day.

Extra Virgin Olive oil – for cooking or salads

Coconut oil.

Castor oil – up to 1 tsp. daily.

Cod Liver oil – 1 Tbsp. daily

Flax seed oil – cold pressed 1 Tbsp. daily

Whey Protein from grass fed farm animals.

Vegan Digestive enzyme blend with meals

Important: Avoid inflammatory foods including refined sugar, soda, cake, white bread, GMO corn and soybeans, soybean oil, canola oil, eggs, ice cream and milk, lunchmeat with nitrates, and red meat while inflammation exists. Limit nightshade plants especially green tomatoes and green pepper. Rice is preferred over potatoes. Yogurt and kefir are OK if you can tolerate milk products. Honey, maple syrup, xylitol or stevia may be used as a sweetener in recipes.

White Birch Water Mineral Water

Used historically in Finland, Sweden and Norway for centuries as a panacea for Arthritis and Cancer. Here is the latest info on how it was originally made.

Hardwood ashes are made by burning White Birch wood in a cast iron stove or on a stone pit outdoors. Add 1/2 cup of ashes to a quart or liter of water. The mixture is boiled (simmered) in well water in a glass coffee pot. Do not use aluminum. Boil or simmer on low temp for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand for 24 hours and pour off the clear liquid leaving the ashes at the bottom. Store the clear liquid in a glass jar and label as Birch Ash water – a very alkaline solution (pH 13) containing potassium hydroxide and trace minerals. May be applied topically on sore joints, slow healing cuts or tumors or taken orally in fruit juice – For oral use, add 1 or 2 tablespoons to a glass of juice or water and consume between meals one to 4X daily).


(for a healthy gut, skin, hair and joints)

Silicon is contained in 40% of the Earth’s crust. Silica is an essential mineral in the formation of hair, skin, bones, tendons and ligaments in the human body. It has a similar structure to carbon and bonds with oxygen to form silicates (1). Silica is found in oxygenated rocks, quartz, white sand, and clay. It is absorbed by plants and is contained in significant quantities in oatmeal, horsetail herb, millet, barley, potatoes and whole wheat. [Silica is not found in refined white sugar or in white flour] Silica is also found in several hot springs in Germany and in Iceland. Fiji water sold throughout the world is very high in dissolved silica.

[President Trump who claims he has no aching joints at age 70 has been seen on several occasions drinking Fiji water. Possibly his consumption of Fiji water is protecting the cartilage in his joints.]

Silica in the form of silicone is used in waterproof caulk to keep water out. Silica is what the glass in windows is made of, and silicon dioxide powder is in packets added to absorb moisture to keep salt and pills from sticking together.

Silica is used in the manufacture of electronic devices and in making solar panels. Silicon Valley in California gets its name from their use of silica crystals in the manufacture of various electronic components.

In the human body silica is the 7th most abundant mineral. Signs of silica deficiency are thin hair that has little or no body (thickness), fingernails that are brittle or tear easily, teeth that crack, skin with deep wrinkles, bones that break easily, tendons and ligaments that are easily damaged. Damage to cartilage between the bones is a leading cause of joint pain – sore knees being a common example.

In Positive Health News Report No 18 (1999) “Silica reduces excess IgG and this improves NK function and improves the integrity of the skin and mucus membranes.” (2)

Silica, by helping to rebuild the mucus membranes of the intestines helps to prevent foreign proteins from entering the blood and causing allergies, and inflammation in the joints and elsewhere in the body. The condition of the skin is a reflection of your inner self – the intestines. Silica will help prevent and heal a leaky gut.

The other component to heal a healthy gut is butyrate, a short chain fatty acid produced by friendly flora and naturally found in buttermilk and in butter. Butter from cows fed grass is preferred over grain fed cows. Eating foods high in silica that increase blood serum levels of this mineral will improve the immune function of persons with chronic conditions including arthritis, rheumatism, bursitis, allergies, osteoporosis, HIV/Aids, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, cancer and many other conditions.

In researching whether a silica supplement is a good choice, I am approaching the use of silica gel as a dietary supplement with some reservations because silica gel is a manufactured form of silica that goes through several processes and is not derived from a plant.

We know that the Inhalation of crystalline silica from ground rocks or sand high in silicon dioxide is associated with pulmonary inflammation and silicosis, a disease of the lungs where normal breathing is impaired.

While it may be safe to use Silica Gel, I prefer to use the strictly food based sources of silica as are noted below. I personally prefer to use horsetail herb tea or capsules or extract or eat ½ cup of oat bran or oatmeal cereal daily as a natural source of this vital mineral.

Foods high in Silica (1) mg per 100 grams

Horsetail herb_______3600 (average)

Oatmeal and Oat Bran – 600



Potatoes baked_______200

Whole Wheat________160

Red beets___________21



Sunflower seeds_______15

Note: Vegetables that are boiled will have about half the mineral content dissolved in the water that is used in cooking. Drink the water vegetables are cooked in as it contains loads of precious minerals to support your health in multiple ways. This is not a problem with soup as you consume both the vegetables and the water they are cooked in. Also, organic foods grown in mineral rich soil will have a higher silica and mineral content than foods grown with commercial fertilizers.

  1. 1. Silica – the Amazing Gel – a book by Klaus Kaufmann (Alive Books, Canada, 1993)
  2. Positive Health News – A Consumers’ Guide to Immune Restoration 1999 – the complete text is available at

Enzymes are necessary for digestion and the repair of chronic injuries like damaged cartilage in joints

Conrad LeBeau

Enzymes are proteins that act like the worker bees in a colony that produces honey. Enzymes control thousands of both simple and complex chemical reactions in the body. All plants and all living organisms contain enzymes and without enzymes, the building block of life would not exist and repair and healing in the body would not be possible. Without enzymes, life itself would soon cease to exist.

The pancreas is an organ that produces both insulin and digestive enzymes. Pancreatic enzymes break down meat and other proteins into simple amino acids, the building blocks of muscle and allow their absorption into the blood. Other enzymes like lipase will digest fats. Amylase will break down and digest carbohydrates. The enzyme lactase will digest the milk sugar called lactose.

When milk consumption causes gas and burping, the cause is frequently due to a lack of the enzyme lactase. Lactose intolerance can be inherited and is common among African Americans. Adding the enzyme lactase to milk will solve this digestive issue. Another way to reduce lactose is fermentation as in the making of yogurt and kefir.

The active probiotics in these fermented milk products reduce the milk sugar lactose and make these milk products easily digestible. A tart or sour taste in fermented milk products (sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt and kefir) indicates the presence of lactic acid and other short chain fatty acids that result from fermentation.

There are enzymes of both animal and plant origin. They will all help with digestion but that does not mean they are tolerated equally. Some people, including myself, do not tolerate enzymes from animal sources such as porcine or bovine pancreatic enzymes. Experience has shown that plant based enzymes are tolerated by most people.

The Pulse Test will tell you if can tolerate digestive enzymes of animal origin just as well as of plant origin. To use the pulse test, swallow an enzyme tablet or capsule of animal origin and measure your pulse rate at the time of swallowing and 30 minutes later. If your pulse increases 10 beats or more per minute, then you may have sensitivity to enzymes of animal origin and should consider using plant based enzyme formulas.

The Pulse Test can also be used to test the effects of enzymes of plant origin on your body or for that matter, any food. Again, if the pulse test indicates an increase in the pulse rate of more than10 beats per minute after half an hour, then you may want to reduce the amount you are using or take your enzymes only with food and not on an empty stomach.

As for plant enzymes, papain from papaya is one of the strongest protein enzymes available. High doses or concentrations should only be used with food and not on an empty stomach. The seeds of papaya are so concentrated in papain that they should never be eaten as they can actually digest holes in the intestinal wall.

Several years ago, a medical doctor told me that one of his patients, an immigrant from Mexico, ate papaya seeds and ended up with holes in his intestines. He told me an extract of papaya seeds has also been used to dissolve herniated discs in the spine.

The papaya fruit does not have this concentration of papain and eating papaya fruit has never been reported to cause a problem. Raw pineapple and kiwi fruit both contain digestive enzymes and can be safely eaten either with or without food. Fresh ginger root is also high in proteolytic enzymes. In fact all raw foods contain a variety of enzymes. All raw fermented foods raw like sauerkraut are high in enzymes. Apple Cider Vinegar and Kombucha, if not pasteurized, are high in beneficial enzymes.

Heat and Chemical additives destroy enzymes.

There is no consensus among experts as to what temperature destroys enzymes. This is because the temperature varies with the enzyme and the time of exposure to a specific temperature.

According to Dr. John Whitaker (1), when raw foods are heated above 140 degrees F, most enzymes weaken and lose their activity as a catalyst. Since catalyzed chemical reactions are needed to produce energy in the mitochondria of the cells, raw foods will produce more energy than cooked foods – providing they are chewed thoroughly and eaten slowly.

Ref: 1.

Enzymes from food and supplements

Ripe raw pineapple is a great source of digestive enzymes to include with your protein rich meals. Kiwi and ripe papaya fruit are also good choices. Fresh grated ginger root will help with digestion as will raw onions and garlic. For supplements, I use an enzyme supplement marked “Vegan” meaning that it comes from plant and not animal sources.

Who should eat foods high in enzymes?

Just about everyone who wants to have a natural high and lots of energy without the feeling of being drugged on caffeine and other stimulants. Anyone who believes in the prevention of disease and who wants a higher quality of life should eat some raw food with each meal or take vegetarian digestive enzymes.

What diseases respond to enzyme therapy?

– a partial list –



Auto immune


Chronic fatigue

Erectile dysfunction


High blood sugar or type II diabetes.

Hypertension – high triglycerides

Heart disease


Joint Inflammation



Wounds or injuries that are slow to heal

Dosing: Besides eating foods high in enzymes or fermented, (at least 50% of your diet) use enzyme supplements as directed or take 2 or 3 vegetarian enzyme capsules with meals, especially when dairy products or meat is consumed. Check with a doctor for more information and to monitor results.

Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs  Released – Thursday, January 25, 2018

Associate Attorney General Brand Announces End To Use of Civil Enforcement Authority to Enforce Agency Guidance Documents

Today, as a follow-up to a memo issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in November, the Office of the Associate Attorney General issued a new policy that prohibits the Department of Justice from using its civil enforcement authority to convert agency guidance documents into binding rules. Under the Department’s new policy, Department civil litigators are prohibited from using guidance documents—or noncompliance with guidance documents—to establish violations of law in affirmative civil enforcement actions.

On November 17, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo prohibiting the Department of Justice from issuing guidance documents that have the effect of adopting new regulatory requirements or amending the law binding on persons or entities outside the Executive Branch. The memo prevents the Department of Justice from evading required rulemaking processes by using guidance memos to create de facto regulations. In the past, the Department of Justice and other agencies had blurred the distinction between regulations and guidance documents.

“Although guidance documents can be helpful in educating the public about already existing law, they do not have the binding force or effect of law and should not be used as a substitute for rulemaking.”

Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand said.  “Consistent with our duty to uphold the rule of law with fair notice and due process, this policy helps restore the appropriate role of guidance documents and avoids rulemaking by enforcement.” 

From FDA Law Blog ( “Guidance on Guidance”

March 15 2018

By Anne K Walsh

As one of her final acts before leaving DOJ, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand announced that DOJ would no longer permit its lawyers to use guidance documents issued by its “client” agencies as a basis for civil enforcement. The “Brand Memo” provides guidance about DOJ’s use of guidance, as we described here.

In a couple of coordinated speeches, DOJ officials clarified this position…Cox described federal agencies’ use of guidance in lieu of formal regulatory rulemaking required under the Administrative Procedure Act:

“Rulemaking can be cumbersome and slow, of course, and sometimes agencies have used guidance as a short-cut to effectively make new rules when they should have undertaken notice-and-comment rulemaking instead.” He referenced a recommendation from the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) to make clear that “the public may take a lawful approach different from the one set forth in” a guidance document. Per Cox, the Brand memo implements the ACUS recommendation: “

The Brand Memo makes clear that we won’t be using noncompliance with a guidance document to prove a violation of the applicable statute or regulation. In other words, we won’t use our affirmative civil enforcement authority to effectively convert a nonbinding guidance document into a requirement that has the force or effect of law.”

There are many potential applications of the Brand Memo in the FDA context, given FDA’s prolific guidance document library. As an illustration, FDA regulation requires the submission of a new 510(k) under certain circumstances, and FDA guidance walks through the analysis FDA recommends to determine whether a new 510(k) is required.

Many companies prepare a Letter to File as evidence of their decision not to file a new 510(k), but this is not a requirement by statute or regulation. Per DOJ policy, “if there’s a guidance document that expands upon that regulatory requirement – by suggesting that there are additional requirements or prohibitions that go beyond what the regulation actually says – then we’re not going to use noncompliance with those supposed requirements to show that a party violated the regulation.”

Thus, a company’s failure to document its decision-making cannot be used to solely support a civil enforcement action against a company for failing to submit a new 510(k).

These thoughts were reinforced by Ethan Davis, the soon-to-be former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Consumer Protection Branch (CPB), who is leaving DOJ to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Because CPB specifically counts FDA as its client, Davis’ remarks in his speech are specifically relevant to FDA Law Blog readers. He described the basic tenet that “in our system, law is made by statute, and regulations are made by notice and comment rulemaking. Neither should be made by guidance documents.”

Davis renewed the commitment by DOJ CPB to “create an enforcement environment premised on the rule of law, so that you as regulated entities do not feel subjected to arbitrary and unpredictable enforcement actions.”

Only time will tell whether these DOJ principles are followed in future enforcement actions, but it behooves companies to remind DOJ of these stated principles if prosecution appears not grounded in law and only in guidance (documents).

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