If you missed last week’s blog check it out here:
This week we will be continuing on talking more about structural digestion issues, and nutritional deficiences/bugs that can cause digestion problems. One thing is for certain, EVERYONE with digestion issues, has this problem.
And that is…
Stomach acid problems. You see digestion of course 1st starts in the mouth, with our saliva and specific enzymes that are produced. But once the food is broken down in the mouth, the stomach then has the IMPORTANT role of actually breaking the food down with our stomach acid.
Our stomach is our FIRST guard post.
You see, the stomach LOVES acid, it lives in a pool of acid, and the acid is what breaks down our food, and also protects us against pathogens who can’t sustain the acidic environment.
Alkaline environments are IDEAL for both candida and well as pathogenic bacteria, and really inhospitable to probiotic bacteria.
Often times when individuals get “acid reflux” They are given acid depressors because they are told the “acid is bad”. Well partly true. There is GOOD acid and BAD acid.
We need the GOOD acid to break down our foods. This acid is hydrochloric acid, ammonium chloride and sodium chloride.
The BAD acids, is just that the acid is in the wrong place. This acid is pyruvic acid and lactic acid. When they are in the wrong place, such as the stomach, this causes fermentation and putrefaction. Good bacteria in our intestines feed off of lactic and acetic acid.
What is most common is hydrochloric acid deficiency. When the pH of the stomach is not adequate because this acid is not adequate, we will not break down our food properly(particularly protein), which putrifies, and we will not be able to prevent pathogenic food born infections like H. Pylori.
What causes the stomach acid to be deficient or in the wrong pH?
- Stress, acute or chronic
- Nervous system dysfunction (gut/brain axis)
- H- Pylori infection
- Refined carbohydrates consumption ( ALL CARBS TAKE ACIDITY FROM A FUNCIONAL MID RANGE OF 5 RO A MORE ALKALINE 6.7-7 PH.
- Not enough fiber in the diet from raw fruits and veggies
- Hiatal hernia
- Acid reflux medications (further deplete the HCL, which causes you to be MORE reliant on them)
This is because our first barrier is down.
Say for instance, SIBO or small intestinal bacterial infection. Bacteria from the lower intestine or other types of bacteria are found in the small intestine where they AREN’T supposed to be. Why?
Well the bacteria got through he first guard post, because the HCL or stomach acid pH wasn’t sufficient enough. Now the infections get into the intestinal tract.
A first step in conquering digestion problems is re-acidifying the gut.
How do we do this?
Well, first of all dealing with the diet. Ditching the typical american diet of high carb, processed foods. Moving to organic whole food options is key.
Alcoholic beverages contain ethanol which is produced from fermenting carbohydrates. Some patient’s present with ethanol producing guts, and this is why. We don’t want our complex carbohydrates we eat to be turned to ethanol, we want carbs to be turned into lactic acid. This will starve out candida and pathogenic yeasts, and feed our good guy bacteria.
Second, dealing with stress if that is the issue.
Third, nutritionally adding in where needed.
- Fermented foods are a great way to re-acidify the gut
- Apple cider vinegar with meals can help re-acidify the gut. (note: if this burns when you use it, you have a stomach ulcer and need to heal that FIRST through specific herbals).
- Specific supplements to help acidify the gut. I like using bitters which stimulate acid production in the gut. Honestly, enzymes do help digest foods, but I don’t really give that many enzymes in my practice because if the stomach acid is dysfunctional enzymes won’t help much. Enzymes are really good for dissolving scar tissue though (clinical pearl).
- Salting our food again! Good salt like Himalayan pink salt or celtic sea salt ( not table salt which is bleached). When we are salt deficient, potassium starts rising. We need the sodium chloride for more good acid.
- Good sources of ammonium chloride for more good acid are dark leafy greens, citrus, black olives.
But, I don’t really have symptoms mentioned above, so I don’t really need to worry about my stomach acid.
Well, not really true. Do you suffer from gas? Gas that smells really bad? That means you aren’t breaking down proteins and it is putrefying into sulfur.
Or maybe just gas that doesn’t smell but excessive? You are fermenting your food and either have yeast overgrowth or a gut pH of 7.2.
Don’t have gas? Well here are some other flags for low protein in the body, meaning you aren’t consuming enough or ding ding ding not really breaking it down to use (stomach acid).
– difficulty putting on muscle mass
-edema or swelling
-low blood pressure/heart rate
-cravings ( blood sugar isn’t regulated)
-muscle and joint pain
-slow recovery from injuries
-hair, skin and nail problems
So, having proper acidity in the stomach is HUGE for digestion. Also, HCL is a triggering mechanism for the pancreas to produce it’s enzymes needed for digestion as well.
But another point to be made is also the small and large intestine need acidity as well. They prefer a pH of 4-6.6. The LOADS of beneficial bacteria need this environment to thrive. They also produce lactic acid, this acid keeps yeast/fungal growth in check.
Without acidity, pathogenic bacteria and candida thrive. This leads to dysbiosis, then pathogenic bacterial infections, which sends the average patient to their PCP for an antibiotic prescription.
As we know this only exacerbates the problem by killing off more good bacteria, which means less lactic acid, more alkalinity, more bad bacteria, no good guys to check yeast overgrowth=full blown yeast overgrowth.
** This is what I see most common in my office is that the patient with digestion problems now has loads of pathogenic bugs in the body and intestines because there 1st barrier was never really that great.
After we’ve acidified the stomach, the goal is then to acidify the colon. We can do this by simply giving by products of lactic and acetic acids. This slightly acidic environment inhibits the growth of undesirable bacteria like salmonella, shigella and E. Coli.
While we acidify the stomach and intestines, it is also important to clean out the hidden pathogens. Which leads us on to our topic next week.
Digestion problems from hidden pathogens.
But really, most ALL start from improper acidity.
This is one big problem I have with all the alkalinity companies out there, alkaline water and the such.
Alkaline water is great. Many health benefits of alkalinity, since a lot of our foods are acidic. But the principles I stated before still apply. We NEED acidity! Or else our digestion is inhibited.
I do use a neutral pH water myself, and I will recommend if you do drink alkaline water, do NOT drink it when you eat. Yes, the stomach acid is strong, but continual use of alkaline water in my perspective could definitely impact it’s pH. There’s not really much studies on this that i’ve seen. Based on one study i’ve seen in Japan showed that alkaline water increased stomach alkalinity in all 6 volunteers by .5 pH to almost 1 pH. Keep in mind an increase of 1 pH is a 10-fold increase in alkalinity!
Remember it’s not just stomach acid either, it’s intestinal acid as well!
So be weary of these companies trying to alkaline everything. You gotta know the anatomy of the body and where we NEED acid!
I do know that there are a lot of health benefits from alkaline water, but I just think more research needs to be done about what it specifically does for digestion and acidity, until them i recommend NOT using it when eating.
Ginger Oil Product Description
Widely known for adding spice and flavor to many popular dishes, the ginger root has a variety of benefits and uses that reach far beyond the culinary realm. Taken from the underground stem of the ginger plant, Ginger essential oil has warming and soothing properties that make it useful in everyday life. Taken internally, doTERRA Ginger essential oil can be used to ease occasional nausea and aid in digestion.* With a spicy, fresh aroma, it works well in a variety of diffuser blends. Ginger oil can also substitute for ginger flavoring in your favorite recipes.
Ginger Oil Uses and Benefits
- For centuries, ginger has been an integral ingredient in many recipes, particularly for Asian dishes. When you want to add the sweet, spicy flavor of ginger to a meal, you can simply use Ginger essential oil in the place of whole ginger in your favorite recipes. For an exotic meal featuring Ginger oil, try this recipe for Steamed Shellfish in Aromatic Asian Broth, which combines the powerful flavors of Ginger, Lime, Black Pepper, and Coriander oil.
Ginger oil is also very useful for baked goods like ginger snaps, banana bread, pies, and more. If you are looking for a Ginger essential oil recipe that will satisfy your sweet tooth, take a look at our recipe for Mini Pumpkin Pies. This is the perfect recipe for the holidays, and uses the warm, spicy flavors of Clove, Ginger, and Cassia oil to put a twist on a traditional dessert.
- Because of its soothing properties, Ginger oil may help reduce occasional nausea when taken internally*—making it a good essential oil to carry with you on-the-go. When you experience occasional moments of nausea, you’ll want a bottle of Ginger oil close by. Just take a drop or two in water to help ease your discomfort.* When you take a long car ride or drive along winding roads, diffuse Ginger oil in the car or place a drop of Ginger in the palm of your hand and inhale to enjoy its calming, soothing aroma. You can also apply Ginger oil topically, diluting with Fractionated Coconut Oil, as part of a soothing abdominal massage.
- Ginger essential oil may help reduce bloating and gas when taken internally.* This benefit can be helpful before a big workout, especially if you are feeling bloated or uncomfortable. Before working out, take a drop or two with water or in a doTERRA Veggie Capsule to reduce bloating.*
- Have you tried adding Ginger essential oil to your diffuser blends? You can diffuse Ginger oil in the essential oil diffuser of your choice to help create a balanced, grounded feeling. If you feel your energy lagging in the late afternoon, diffuse Ginger oil for an extra emotional boost. For a soothing, tropical blend, try three drops of Wild Orange, two drops of Ylang Ylang, and two drops of Ginger essential oil in your diffuser.
- One common internal use for Ginger essential oil is to aid with digestion.* To experience these benefits of Ginger oil, take one to two drops of the oil daily to help with digestion.* You can add a few drops to a glass of water, or place one or two drops in a doTERRA Veggie Capsule.
- To help support healthy joint function* and for antioxidant benefits,* add one drop of Ginger essential oil to your morning smoothies. To see how you can use other essential oils in juices and smoothies, take a look at a few of our favorite essential oil smoothie recipes.
- The warm, earthy nature of Ginger essential oil makes it useful for massage. When you want a stimulating or warming massage, dilute Ginger oil with doTERRA Fractionated Coconut oil and apply topically. Due to its chemical makeup, Ginger oil is known as a soothing essential oil. Essential oils like Ylang Ylang and Myrrh oil share similar chemical components with Ginger oil, and are also known for their soothing properties.
Looking for more Ginger essential oil recipes? Here are some of our favorites:
Carrot and Ginger Rice with Mint
Dark Chocolate and Ginger Waffles
Glazed Spicy Sweet Potatoes
Moroccan Beef Tagine
West African Peanut Soup
Fun Fact: The scientific name for ginger, “Zingiber,” is derived from the Greek zingiberis, which comes from the Sanskrit sringabera, meaning “horn shaped.”
Ginger essential oil is taken from the rhizome, or underground stem, of the ginger plant. A highly aromatic plant, ginger has thick roots, long shoots with leaves, and pale flowers—though the rhizome or root of the ginger plant is most useful for flavoring and other applications. For centuries, the ginger root has been used in cooking practices to add flavor, or dried and powdered as a spice.
Chemistry of Ginger Oil
Main Chemical Components: a-zingiberene, sesquiphellandrene
Ginger essential oil is made up of a chemical group called sesquiterpenes, which are commonly found in soothing essential oils like Ylang Ylang and Myrrh oil. Ginger oil includes sesquiterpenes called zingiberene and sesquiphellandrene, which contribute to digestive health when used internally* and promote the grounding and balance of emotions when used aromatically.*
Alpha zingiberene, the sesquiterpene that is the primary chemical constituent of ginger essential oil, is what gives ginger its distinct taste. The chemical makeup of Ginger oil contributes to its soothing properties for the body, including its ability to support healthy digestion and to reduce occasional nausea when taken internally,* or to create a soothing massage.
Oils that blend well with Ginger oil
The spicy, earthy tones of Ginger essential oil blend well with other warm oils like Cinnamon and Cassia. You can also blend Ginger oil with sweet citrus scents like Wild Orange or Ylang Ylang.
What You Need
- 1 medium head green cabbage (about 3 pounds)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional, for flavor)
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- Mixing bowl
- 2-quart wide-mouth canning jar (or two-quart mason jars)
- Canning funnel (optional)
- Smaller jelly jar that fits inside the larger mason jar
- Clean stones, marbles, or other weights for weighing the jelly jar
- Cloth for covering the jar
- Rubber band or twine for securing the cloth
- Clean everything: When fermenting anything, it’s best to give the good, beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your mason jar and jelly jar are washed and rinsed of all soap residue. You’ll be using your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage, so give those a good wash, too.
- Slice the cabbage: Discard the wilted, limp outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise into very thin ribbons.
- Combine the cabbage and salt: Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. At first it might not seem like enough salt, but gradually the cabbage will become watery and limp — more like coleslaw than raw cabbage. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. If you’d like to flavor your sauerkraut with caraway seeds, mix them in now.
- Pack the cabbage into the jar: Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack them into the canning jar. If you have a canning funnel, this will make the job easier. Every so often, tamp down the cabbage in the jar with your fist. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you were massaging it into the jar. Optional: Place one of the larger outer leaves of the cabbage over the surface of the sliced cabbage. This will help keep the cabbage submerged in its liquid.
- Weigh the cabbage down: Once all the cabbage is packed into the mason jar, slip the smaller jelly jar into the mouth of the jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles. This will help keep the cabbage weighed down, and eventually, submerged beneath its liquid.
- Cover the jar: Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band or twine. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar, but prevents dust or insects from getting into the jar.
- Press the cabbage every few hours: Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the jelly jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
- Add extra liquid, if needed: If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
- Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days: As it’s fermenting, keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature — ideally 65°F to 75°F. Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid.
Because this is a small batch of sauerkraut, it will ferment more quickly than larger batches. Start tasting it after 3 days — when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw on the cap, and refrigerate. You can also allow the sauerkraut to continue fermenting for 10 days or even longer. There’s no hard-and-fast rule for when the sauerkraut is “done” — go by how it tastes.
While it’s fermenting, you may see bubbles coming through the cabbage, foam on the top, or white scum. These are all signs of a healthy, happy fermentation process. The scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigerating. If you see any mold, skim it off immediately and make sure your cabbage is fully submerged; don’t eat moldy parts close to the surface, but the rest of the sauerkraut is fine.
- Store sauerkraut for several months: This sauerkraut is a fermented product so it will keep for at least two months and often longer if kept refrigerated. As long as it still tastes and smells good to eat, it will be. If you like, you can transfer the sauerkraut to a smaller container for longer storage.
- Sauerkraut with other cabbages: Red cabbage, napa cabbage, and other cabbages all make great sauerkraut. Make individual batches or mix them up for a multi-colored sauerkraut!
- Canning sauerkraut: You can process sauerkraut for longer storage outside of refrigeration, but the canning process will kill the good bacterias produced by the fermentation process.
- Larger or smaller batches: To make larger or smaller batches of sauerkraut, keep the same ratio of cabbage to salt and adjust the size of the container. Smaller batches will ferment more quickly and larger batches will take longer.
- Hot and cold temperatures: Do everything you can to store sauerkraut at a cool room temperature. At high temperatures, the sauerkraut can sometimes become unappetizingly mushy or go bad. Low temperatures (above freezing) are fine, but fermentation will proceed more slowly.SIB