The relationship between the growth of undesirable yeasts in the human body and a host of health concerns such as fatigue, digestive distress, muscle aches and brain fog are well documented (1).
Yeast killers have been developed by both pharmaceutical and herbal companies with little lasting success.
From the Ayurvedic perspective and a growing sentiment in the west, the proliferation of undesirable yeasts like Candida albicans is a result of the loss of good bacteria and good yeasts that naturally reside in the human body.
Stress, sterile foods and almost a century of killing bad bacteria with an overuse of medications has left the body with an irritated intestinal wall and a lack in the diversity and volume of good intestinal bugs.
Restoring balance to the gut wall starts by supporting the optimal health of the inner skin – the skin that lines the gut, the respiratory tract, the arteries and more. A balanced gut wall will nurture a healthy volume and diversity of good bugs.
Herbs for supporting the inner skin is turmeric. Turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family, has been used for thousands of years to support the function of the liver, boost bile flow and maintain the optimal health of the inner skin.
In one study, turmeric was shown to significantly support the body’s natural defense against undesirable microbes and yeast (2).
Perhaps the most exciting research being done regarding yeast balancing is with a yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii, which was originally sourced from the mangosteen and lychee fruits.
While it is known that certain probiotics have been shown to support the health and integrity of the gut wall and a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria and yeasts (3), Saccharomyces seems to take the word “probiotic” to a new level. In fact, Saccharomyces boulardii has been given the name “immunobiotic,” indicating its ability to support a healthy immune response to undesirable microbes and yeasts in the gut (2).
1. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Sep 15;26(6):767-78. Review article: yeast as probiotics — Saccharomyces boulardii.
2. FEMS Yeast Res. 2010 Aug 1;10(5):570-8. Epub 2010 Apr 23. PMID: 20528949
3. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2009 Feb 2. PMID: 19187507
1. Boosts you’re immune system
Lemons are high in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting colds and potassium stimulates brain & nerve function and helps control blood pressure.
2. Balances pH
Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food, believe it or not. Yes, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). As you wellness warriors know, an alkaline body is really the key to good health.
3. Helps with weight loss
Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster. And, my experience is that when I start the day off right, it’s easier to make the best choices for myself the rest of the day.
4. Aids digestion
The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Lemons and limes are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract.
5. Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic
Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.
6. Clears skin
The vitamin C helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well.
7. Hydrates the lymph system
This cup of goodness helps start the day on a hydrated note, which helps prevent dehydration (obviously) and adrenal fatigue. When your body is dehydrated, or deeply dehydrated (adrenal fatigue) it can’t perform all of it’s proper functions, which leads to toxic buildup, stress, constipation, and the list goes on. Your adrenals happen to be two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, and along with your thyroid, create energy. They also secrete important hormones, including aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormone secreted by your adrenals that regulates water levels and the concentration of minerals, like sodium, in your body, helping you stay hydrated. Your adrenals are also responsible for regulating your stress response. So, the bottom line is that you really don’t want to mess with a deep state of dehydration!
Adopting just this one practice of drinking a cup of warm water with lemon in the morning for a month can radically alter your experience of the day. Don’t be surprised if you begin to view mornings in a new light.
Amino acids bound together
make up peptide chains, which make up proteins. While we don’t need massive
amounts of protein to thrive, we do need a regular supply of amino acids to
survive. Some seem more important than others.
One of the more
important amino acids for the body is carnitine, which is found in all
proteins but higher in meats, dairy, and avocados. Carnitine
has many functions in the body but none more important than its impact on the
function of the mitochondria. Mitochondria are the powerhouses found in
every cell, which are responsible for the energy of the cell and the overall
production of energy in our bodies.
The mitochondria burn fat to make
most of the body’s energy, so when they become non-functional as we age, so does
our ability to burn fat well.
We all want to
become good fat burners because fat is the body’s non-emergency, de-stress,
detox, sleep through the night, make energy last all day, and lose weight
Carnitine is particularly important
for maintaining the fat-burning energy supply for the muscles of the body, most
importantly the heart. Folks who have low carnitine levels don’t only have weak,
tired, flabby muscles, they may also be at higher risk for heart issues
(1).Studies show that as we age,
carnitine levels decline in all the body’s tissues, which undermines the process
of healthy, graceful aging (2). One of the reasons for this decline is not just
a lack of protein in the diet, but an inability to break the proteins down into
their more medicinal amino acid components.
Thus, another way
to boost carnitine levels in the body is to boost digestive
strength. Proteins are primarily broken down into amino acids in the
stomach by adequate levels of hydrochloric acid (HCL), which activates a
digestive enzyme called pepsin, which is responsible for breaking down
Having a strong digestive fire in
the stomach may be the key to delivering amino acids like carnitine and others
to the body. Studies show that aging individuals have 20% less carnitine than
they did in youth, and low carnitine levels are directly linked to accelerated
1. Kobayasahi A.
L-carnitine tx for congestive heart failure. Jpn Circ J. 1992
2. Tanaka Y. Acetyl-L-carnitine restores decreased
tissue levels. J Lipid Res. 2004 April.
Old bone is removed by cells called osteoclasts, and the new bone is laid down by cells called osteoblasts. When the osteoclastic activity is excessive, large holes of bone removal weaken the bone and lead to osteoporosis.
Normally, osteoblasts lay down a substance called osteocalcin, which enables new calcium to be laid down as bone. For the calcium to bind and ultimately become bone, it requires the services of vitamins K-2 and D-3.
Vitamin K-2 plays two important roles in maintaining optimal bone health:
- It protects against excessive osteoclastic activity and the overzealous reabsorption of bone.
- It also enables the osteocalcin to pull calcium out of the blood to support new bone formation via the osteoblasts.
One study followed over 72,000 women for 10 years. It was found that women who had the lowest intake of vitamin K-2 had a 30% higher risk of hip fractures. Women who had the highest intake of vitamin K-2 had a 65% lower incidence of hip fractures. (1)
Vitamin D-3 takes dietary calcium out of the gut and delivers it into the blood. Vitamin D-3 also helps in the production of osteocalcin, which is secreted by the osteoblasts that make the new bone. Vitamin K-2 protects healthy bone and helps pull the calcium out of the blood so the osteoblasts can make new bone.
In short, proper amounts of vitamin K-2 and vitamin D-3, along with an absorbable form of calcium (Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite Concentrate or MCHC), are required to build healthy bone.
Booth, Tucker. Dietary Vitamin K intake associated with hip fracture but not bone density. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000 May. 1201-6
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in our bodies. It supports the function of many systems in the body:
- muscles and nerves
- heart rhythm
- immune system
- blood sugar
- blood pressure
- protein synthesis
- bone health
Along with being involved in over 300 reactions in the body, magnesium also activates the enzymes that metabolize and use vitamin D. Low magnesium has been shown to decrease the body’s production of vitamin D’s active form.
Foods Rich in Magnesium
The following foods are also good sources of magnesium, providing anywhere from 64 -170 mg per serving:
- seeds; especially pumpkin and toasted sesame
- beans; especially pinto and black
- plantain, raw
- nuts, especially brazil nuts, almonds, peanuts
Optimal Intake of Magnesium
The Vitamin D Council suggests optimal daily intake of magnesium between 490 – 700mg to maximize the benefits of vitamin D. The best forms of supplemental magnesium are:
– Magnesium Malate
– Magnesium Glycinate
– Magnesium Citrate
– Magnesiun Oxide
Whenever food enters your mouth and touches the taste buds located on the surface of your tongue, your salivary glands begin secreting saliva. Saliva is needed to lubricate the food and to predigest cooked starches. At the same time, your pancreas and small intestine receive instructions to prepare for the release of the appropriate kinds and amounts of digestive enzymes and minerals necessary to help break down the food into the smallest nutrient components.
The first and most common cause of digestive trouble is swallowing food too quickly. This eating habit indicates anxiety, impatience and nervousness. Eating too quickly reduces saliva production in the mouth cavity, which is a major cause of tooth decay. One of the functions of saliva is to keep the mouth and teeth protected against harmful substances and irritating microbes.
There are other reasons why masticating food properly is so essential for our wellbeing. According to fascinating research conducted at the Gifu University in Japan, chewing actually improves memory by reducing the release of stress hormones. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has demonstrated that the hippocampus, which helps control blood levels of stress hormones, is stimulated by the act of chewing. As a result, the simple act of chewing properly lowers both stress and stress hormones. So chewing your food well can actually reduce anxiety levels.
The Japanese researchers also found that when teeth were missing or in a state of disrepair, people tended to chew less. Subsequently, this led to increased stress hormone levels. The conclusion from this study is that good dental health and the ability to chew properly appear to be important factors in preserving our memory as we age and in protecting ourselves against the harmful effects of stress.
After passing through the esophagus, the food enters the stomach. If the food contains carbohydrates (complex sugars and starches as found in vegetables and grains), the salivary enzymes continue to digest these foods for about an hour before the stomach begins to secrete its gastric juices. If the food is swallowed too quickly, these foods remain mostly undigested and begin to ferment.
Gastric juice is composed of hydrochloric acid, enzymes, mineral salts, mucus and water. The action of the acid kills many of the harmful microbes and parasites that are naturally present in fresh produce, meat, fish, dairy products and other foods. The hydrochloric acid also breaks down some of the harmful substances that may accompany the food, such as certain food additives or chemicals. Special enzymes begin to act upon proteins that may be present in the food. Once saturated with enough acid, the food is forced in small jets into the duodenum.
The duodenum is a hollow jointed tube connecting the stomach to the jejunum, which is the central of the three divisions of the small intestine. It represents the first and shortest part of the small intestine, and it is where most chemical digestion takes place. It is called the cap because on an x-ray it looks a bit like a cap. Thereafter, the duodenum makes a C-turn going from the right to the left side of the abdomen. Bile from the liver and secretions from the pancreas come through the ampulla of Vater to mix with food in the duodenum. The pancreatic juices contain digestive enzymes, minerals and water to help break down starches further. The bile, which is forced into the duodenum via the common bile duct, aids in the digestion of fats and proteins. The duodenum participates in this very important part of the digestive process by releasing specific hormones and digestive juices.
Ayurveda calls the entire activity in this section of the digestive system AGNI, or ‘digestive fire’. AGNI ‘cooks’ the food further in order to make its nutrients available for the cells and tissues at a later stage.
The small intestine has a total length of approximately 6 meters (18 feet). It is responsible for the absorption of nutrients, salt and water. On the average, approximately 9 liters (9.5 quarts) of fluid enter the jejunum (upper part of the small intestine) each day, a major portion of which is composed of digestive juices. The small intestine absorbs approximately 7 liters (7.4 quarts), leaving only 1.5 to 2 liters to move on to the large intestine. The absorptive function of the small intestine is brought about by an intricate array of cells within its lining (intestinal folds and villi) that absorb and secrete salts and nutrients as well as water in order to maintain normal salt and water balance within the body. In a healthy person, the absorptive function is so efficient that with a natural, balanced diet, over 95 percent of ingested carbohydrates and proteins are absorbed.
Specific sections of the small intestine perform specific functions. For example, the duodenum plays an important role in coordinating how the stomach empties and at what rate bile needs to be secreted into the intestine to optimize the digestive process. The duodenum is also a major site for the absorption of iron. The jejunum is a major site for the absorption of the vitamin, folic acid, while the end of the ileum (lower part of the intestine) is the most important site for the absorption of vitamin B12 and bile salts. The blood takes up all the nutrients and moves them to the liver for further processing.
The ingested food can be broken down into its basic nutrient components and made available for the complex metabolic processes in the body only when AGNI, the digestive fire, is strong. AGNI is fueled by bile, without which none of the other digestive juices would be sufficiently effective to break down food into its nutrient components.
Bile is alkaline. When food that is saturated with hydrochloric acid enters the small intestine, it first needs to be mixed with bile before digestive enzymes can act on the food. An intestinal pH-value of high acidity would block enzyme secretion and become a major stumbling block for the proper digestion of food. Furthermore, in order for them to become activated, pancreatic enzymes must combine with bile before passing through the ampulla of Vater. To make this possible, the common bile duct and the pancreatic duct combine to form one short duct before joining the duodenum. As long as bile secretion from the liver’s bile ducts and the gallbladder remain unimpeded by gallstones, good digestion is almost guaranteed, provided that the ingested food is fresh and wholesome.
The combination of nutritious food and strong AGNI forms the ideal partnership to help the body make sufficient amounts of amino acids, fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, glucose, fructose, trace elements and other vital substances available to all its parts. This, in turn, produces healthy blood, vital tissues and a youthful body. The quality of the blood and the tissues of the body, including those that make up the skin, mostly reflect the condition of the liver and the small intestine.
[This is an excerpt from the book TIMELESS SECRETS OF HEALTH & REJUVENATION by Andreas Moritz