"So in the V forum it was suggested (and sort of makes sense to me, though I have absolutely no scientific background) that the body's PH is more of a barometer of health vs. something to be manipulated in order to attain health."
We manipulate our body chemistry with everything we put into and on our bodies, including the air we breathe. We are able to (within reason) adapt to our environments over time when we focus on eating indigenous, locally grown/raised foods.
Global migration, import/export, etc. has convoluted this and has added to the confusion over health.
"The suggestion was to alkalize through removing the sources causing acidity - foods, stress, etc."
I agree with that... keep in mind that what may be acidic to one, may not be to another. We all have different body chemistries.
"Has anyone improved their health by alkalizing with moreless' drink?"
I have come a long way with the drink and continue to make big improvements from time to time. I have reduced my consumption of the lime water and the drink... I do not need as much now. Sometimes within a week of manipulating the drink ingredients (I am becoming more sensitive to subtle changes in mineral intake) and/or the baths, I can make huge strides... this past week was one of them.
"Since he recommends dietary changes, also, I find myself wondering how many of the improvements some people make are due in large part to those changes, but there are at least a few people who feel they have benefited greatly from that pickling lime drink (and yet some who felt worse off)."
I radically changed my diet, was eating seaweeds, drinking switchel (my mom had us drinking switchel and taking kelp in the 60s), and going through cleanses well before running into ML and starting the Alkalizing drink... There are a great many things we do not know about those who practice one healing method or another on CZ. For instance, dietary changes and cleanses would be first and foremost BEFORE anything else unless one is facing a health emergency.
"I've got s jar, haven't opened it, still afraid of it, but still gathering information and not ruling it out totally. I'm wondering if I tried it, whether I'd know soon enough if it was helping or harming me, and could discontinue if it didn't feel right before doing irreparable damage. Most likely I'll just try alkalizing without it, first."
Take a look at many supplements and/or manufactured foods. I have posted much about AdvaCal and 3A Calcium and 3A Calcium Ultra which all contain Calcium Hydroxide and have a great deal of Science behind them. I very much doubt that properly diluted, limewater would have any long term negative effect. That said, I do believe those that may be sensitive to the calcium in the limewater may have severe magnesium and/or potassium deficiencies.
"I have a friend with cancer who has a pretty good PH now that she's back on a mostly raw diet. But she still has the cancer, so I guess that might say something about PH...."
Urinary and slaiva pH are not the be all end all to pH...
Here are a few examples...
TISSUE OR FLUID pH RANGE
Gastric secretion 1.0-3.5
Small intestinal secretion
Arterial blood 7.4-7.45
Capillary blood 7.35-7.4
Venous blood 7.3-7.35
Each fluid producing organ, each organ for that matter has its preferences for specific minerals in order to perform its function(s) and maintain its "ideal" pH. Arterial blood being more alkaline than capillary blood and venous blood all makes sense given the purpose of blood. If you feel stressed or acidic... stop and do some deep breathing (hopefully clean air)... this works wonders and is as effective as anything else. Way too many people do not stop to breath and have very shallow breathing habits. Breath deeply by expanding your abdomen... so what, in public when doing this you look like you have gained a few pounds... what is more important, your health or appearances?
Another thing to consider is that too much of one mineral will interfere with and/or inhibit another, for instance too much calcium will inhibit magnesium. If you travel this road, you should eventually get to the point where you will know when you need a specific mineral or not by paying attention to your body's clues... eyes, skin, hair, and finger/toenail appearance (as long as you do not cover them up and ignore them) are all huge communicators of your state of health not to mention current state of well being, including digestive health/habits.
This is a good thread... everyone has provided good information.