|Amino Acid / Protein|| Histidine
| ||Bitter herbs are thought to stimulate digestive function by increasing saliva production and promoting both stomach acid and digestive enzyme production. As a result, they are particularly used when there is low stomach acid but not in cases of heartburn or too much stomach acid. |
These herbs taste bitter, thus the name. Some examples of bitter herbs include greater celandine, wormwood, and gentian. Bitters are generally taken either by mixing 1–3 ml tincture into water and sipping slowly 10–30 minutes before eating, or by making tea, which is also sipped slowly before eating. There are many combination products available from your health food store.
A more comprehensive list would include andrographis, artichoke, barberry, bitter melon, bitter orange, blessed thistle, boldo, centaury, dandelion, devil’s claw, elecampane, gentian, goldenseal, greater celandine, horehound, juniper, Oregon grape, picrorhiza, prickly ash, vervain, wormwood, yarrow and yellow dock.
Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum frutescens)
| ||Capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne, is believed to assist digestion by stimulating the flow of both salvia and stomach secretions. One or two capsules of cayenne pepper taken before meals stimulates hunger also.|
| ||Fasting gives the digestive system a needed break from the nearly constant effort that is required to process what we swallow. Unless we have been eating very healthfully, and sometimes even if we have, fasting will provide a period of rest to allow digestive rejuvenation to occur.|
Juices / Juicing
| ||A juice fast gives the digestive tract a rest from its heavy responsibilities, and strengthens a digestive weakness.|
| ||Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice taken with meals mildly stimulates hydrochloric acid production.|
Hydrochloric Acid (Trial)
Digestive Enzymes / (Trial)
| ||A trial using plant-based enzymes to enhance digestion demonstrated their additional benefit of improving hydrochloric acid production in those individuals who were hypochlorhydric.|
Vitamin Folic Acid
| ||In cases of low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) or no stomach acid (achlorhydria), supplemental use of hydrochloric acid normalizes folate absorption.|
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
| ||Several B-vitamins are needed to support hydrochloric acid production. Thiamin (B1) may stimulate digestion by improving hydrochloric acid production and intestinal muscle tone.|| |
Achlorhydria: The complete absence or failure of stomach acid secretion.
Allergy: Hypersensitivity caused by exposure to a particular antigen (allergen), resulting in an increased reactivity to that antigen on subsequent exposure, sometimes with harmful immunologic consequences.
Amino Acid: An organic acid containing nitrogen chemical building blocks that aid in the production of protein in the body. Eight of the twenty-two known amino acids are considered "essential," and must be obtained from dietary sources because the body can not synthesize them.
Antacid: Neutralizes acid in the stomach, esophagus, or first part of the duodenum.
Chronic: Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.
Cobalamin: Vitamin B-12. Essential for normal growth and functioning of all body cells, especially those of bone marrow (red blood cell formation), gastrointestinal tract and nervous system, it prevents pernicious anemia and plays a crucial part in the reproduction of every cell of the body i.e. synthesis of genetic material (DNA).
Dermatitis: A general term used to refer to eruptions or rashes on the skin.
Helicobacter Pylori: H. pylori is a bacterium that is found in the stomach which, along with acid secretion, damages stomach and duodenal tissue, causing inflammation and peptic ulcers. Although most people will never have symptoms or problems related to the infection, they may include: dull, 'gnawing' pain which may occur 2-3 hours after a meal, come and go for several days or weeks, occur in the middle of the night when the stomach is empty and be relieved by eating; loss of weight; loss of appetite; bloating; burping; nausea; vomiting.
Histamine: A chemical in the body tissues, produced by the breakdown of histidine. It is released in allergic reactions and causes widening of capillaries, decreased blood pressure, increased release of gastric juice, fluid leakage forming itchy skin and hives, and tightening of smooth muscles of the bronchial tube and uterus.
Histidine: An amino acid. Precursor to histamine, a vasodilator and gastric juice stimulant. Has been used as a therapeutic aid for arthritis.
Hydrochloric Acid: (HCl): An inorganic acidic compound, excreted by the stomach, that aids in digestion.
Hypochlorhydria: The condition of having low hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach, often the cause of digestive disorders.
Pernicious Anemia: Anemia caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Protein: Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: A long-term, destructive connective tissue disease that results from the body rejecting its own tissue cells (autoimmune reaction).
Stomach: A hollow, muscular, J-shaped pouch located in the upper part of the abdomen to the left of the midline. The upper end (fundus) is large and dome-shaped; the area just below the fundus is called the body of the stomach. The fundus and the body are often referred to as the cardiac portion of the stomach. The lower (pyloric) portion curves downward and to the right and includes the antrum and the pylorus. The function of the stomach is to begin digestion by physically breaking down food received from the esophagus. The tissues of the stomach wall are composed of three types of muscle fibers: circular, longitudinal and oblique. These fibers create structural elasticity and contractibility, both of which are needed for digestion. The stomach mucosa contains cells which secrete hydrochloric acid and this in turn activates the other gastric enzymes pepsin and rennin. To protect itself from being destroyed by its own enzymes, the stomach’s mucous lining must constantly regenerate itself.
Thiamine: (Vitamin B-1): A B-complex vitamin that acts as a coenzyme necessary for the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, which is burned in the body for energy. It is essential for the functioning of the nervous system.
Urticaria: Commonly known as hives, urticaria is one of the most common dermatological conditions seen by allergists. Urticaria is not just an allergic disease, however. It can be caused by metabolic diseases, medications, infectious diseases, autoimmune disease, or physical sensitivity. Traditional allergies to foods or medications as well as viral illness are frequent causes of acute urticaria which usually lasts only a few hours but may last up to 6 weeks. Chronic urticaria (lasting more than 6 weeks) is more complex, given the vast number of potential triggers. Symptoms include sudden onset; initial itching; then swelling of the surface of the skin into red or skin-colored welts (wheals) with clearly defined edges; welts turn white on touching; new welts develop when the skin is scratched; usually disappear within minutes or hours. Welts enlarge, change shape, spread or join together to form large flat raised areas.
Vitamin B6: Influences many body functions including regulating blood glucose levels, manufacturing hemoglobin and aiding the utilization of protein, carbohydrates and fats. It also aids in the function of the nervous system.
Zinc: An essential trace mineral. The functions of zinc are enzymatic. There are over 70 metalloenzymes known to require zinc for their functions. The main biochemicals in which zinc has been found to be necessary include: enzymes and enzymatic function, protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism. Zinc is a constituent of insulin and male reproductive fluid. Zinc is necessary for the proper metabolism of alcohol, to get rid of the lactic acid that builds up in working muscles and to transfer it to the lungs. Zinc is involved in the health of the immune system, assists vitamin A utilization and is involved in the formation of bone and teeth.