Originally published March 11 2008
Solving the Great pH Riddle Permanently for Better Health
by Kal Sellers
(NaturalNews) We live in a world where all the developed nations have developed a unique neurosis that I call "pH Panic and Paranoia." Lacking understanding and wooed by the lust for money for their "miracle products" many manufacturers, teachers and salespeople have contributed to the problems - both of the "pH Panic and Paranoia" and of increasing widespread blood acidity.
Thousands of pH regulating products and diets are on the market today and yet, as far as I can tell as a natural healing practitioner, lecturer and trainer, people have more problems with pH imbalance than they did ten years ago.
As a matter of fact, many people are taking products, eating "better" and are actually more acidic than they were a year ago. This is truly mind-boggling. Naturally, we will be addressing the reasons for this and how to permanently change your pH and get the results you should expect from that change.
What are the results you should expect from a change in pH?
First of all, pH, if you do not know, is a scale that rates how acidic or alkaline a substance is. Low pH (1-6.9) is acidic, while high pH (7.1-14) is alkaline. The blood is slightly alkaline in living humans. If your blood actually becomes acidic, you will die in a very short time. When we say that a person is "acidic," we mean that they have acids in their blood, maybe, but we definitely mean that they are on the acidic end of the safe range of the pH scale. That safe range exists entirely on the alkaline side of neutral (7).
When a person becomes "acidic," certain things happen.
We know that when the blood becomes less alkaline (which is more accurate than saying it becomes more acidic), all diseases common to humanity today appear. We know that chronic pain is acid-dependent, as is cancer, most heart disease, arthritis, auto-immune disease and pretty much all symptoms that a person can have.
When the blood becomes more alkaline, it carries oxygen better, is less irritated, carries away debris from the artery walls and much more. Diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis and cancer, simply begin to disappear. Hormonal changes are no longer extreme and out of control and miserable. Digestion improves and the body becomes more relaxed.
The awareness of these benefits have, naturally, excited suffering people and frightened people to make some shifts in diet and supplementing to try to obtain what they see as the Utopian world of the alkaline!
In this process, a great terror has developed of foods that are reported to be "acidic." Interestingly, this label is applied without definition or any sense of what it means or why it may or may not be important. This we shall remedy right now.
Defining "acidic" and "alkaline"
Something tests acidic if it releases positive Hydrogen ions (free hydrogen not attached to anything and which has lost its electron and has thus a positive electrical charge) in solution. These hydrogen ions tend to act as solvents for some substances, which is why strong acids will "eat" metal.
Something tests alkaline if it releases negative hydroxide ions (a compound of one hydrogen and one oxygen which carries more electrons than protons, causing a negative electrical charge) in solution. These can also dissolve some substances and strong alkaline substances will burn your skin just like acid will.
These are the definitions used to define whether something is acidic or alkaline. When litmus paper is used to test pH it is really testing the free H+ or OH- ions in that solution.
Believe me when I tell you that the presence of either or both of these has nothing directly to do with your health and both of them are absolutely necessary for life processes to function at all.
It is the ridiculous outcome of a bold faced lie that anyone should be afraid of their blood or urine or saliva testing acid or less alkaline at any given time. The important matters of health are neither addressed, nor assessed by pH testing. What is true is that if a person remains less alkaline for long periods of time regardless of the normal variations of life, that person has something wrong that must be addressed in order to be healthy.
As we shall point out, what needs to be addressed is usually not addressed by the common approach to pH regulation.
A food can be reported acidic if it actually tests acidic. This is the least useful approach to determining an alkaline diet and I am insulted that any well-educated person would attempt to set a standard by it. Indeed, most foods that test acidic before eating them actually result in aggressive alkalization of the blood and body fluids. They digest easier and contribute to proper hydration and elimination.
Recently someone for some strange reason decided to say that distilled water was bad because it tested acidic. This is clearly a suggestion either born of ignorance or deception. It is possible that that person was selling a water product of some kind.
Indeed, water should be slightly acidic if you want your body to be able to use it. Those acids help your body use water to flush and hydrate. This is why, in my private practice, if someone wants to use Reverse-Osmosis water (which is devoid of the free H+ ions), I strongly encourage them to not drink it unless they add a squeeze of lemon to it, which will restore usable H+ ions (meaning acidity, remember).
Then the water is useful.
Further, many of the most medicinal foods that nature provides are very acidic to start with.
A food can be reported acidic if after normal digestion processes there are unused components of the food that are decidedly acidic.
This is a little better than the first method of determining whether something is acid-forming. It is not the best method (which is to come next) but it at least has some merit.
The biggest problem is how this is determined. I guarantee that it is not determined empirically. Rather it can be determined by simulating digestion in a laboratory (an approach that has never proved very accurate) and then measuring the pH of the resultant digested food.
The other method of determining acid residue was suggested by David Wolfe, who, in "The Sunfood Diet Success System," suggested that if you just took the analysis of the nutritional constituents of a food you could determine whether it was yin or yang or acid or alkaline after digestion by observing whether there was more sodium (yang) or potassium (yin), or whether there was more calcium (alkaline) or phosphorous (acid).
This might work; I have very little to say about it except that in my practice, that seems to be true in the case of some foods. Either way, the conclusion that a food digests acid seems to be justification enough for that food to be frantically abandoned by fearful hearts all over the English-speaking developed world.
This appears also to be unwise. Some of the most specific and useful medicines that nature offers appear to digest acidic. Many nutrients are only found in an acid context in nature.
What is true is that if you are not in very good health and your elimination and digestion are not in great shape, such foods will probably make you feel bad for an hour or so after eating them, maybe even for the rest of the day.
For healthy people, however (and by healthy, I am specifically speaking about digestion and system-wide elimination of wastes) those foods will not make them feel worse and, indeed, will prove to be medicinal if the food is natural and whole.
Because of this factor, however, the initial elimination of even natural foods that digest acidic may be very palliative for someone who is suffering.
I am all for that, and yet it should be understood that the acid-yielding foods that nature provides will help in the long-term by improving elimination, hydration and digestion. Thus the frantic and panicked avoidance of all such foods is unwarranted and, indeed, may well create more acidity through worry and stress than the food would ever have created.
In my practice, only when someone is in pain or when someone is in danger of death will I structure his/her diet somewhat around only foods that digest alkaline.
A food can be reported acidic if it does not digest completely or if it causes a residue to accumulate in the body in some way.
Now we are getting to the good stuff.
Give me a healthy person who has kept up with healthy thinking, eating and living and who has regularly maintained his or her digestion and elimination and I will show you someone who can eat any natural, whole food without turning acidic in the least, even if the meal digests acidic (as blueberries apparently do).
Why? Because that person's body has no reason to stay acidic and no barrier to utilizing those naturally occurring acids as it should - for hydration, elimination or medicine.
On the other hand, give me a toxic person whose elimination does not work well and whose digestion is low due to stress or bad eating and who is full of residue and thick, oxygen-depleted blood and I will show you someone who can eat the most alkalizing meal in the world for a week straight and still remain acidic and still maintain a large portion of his or her symptoms.
Why? Because that person's body must continually release acids just to keep the blood in solution and circulating. That person's body has to stimulate heat and blood pressure for circulation, cholesterol as protection and irritation to keep the body from shutting down into complete rest and repair phase at night.
This person will not be helped significantly by supplements and foods that promote, in a rather allopathic way, alkaline residue in the blood.
This person must be cleaned out. This person must be put on a diet that digests completely. This is exactly the approach of Traci's Transformational Health Principles and Traci's Transformational Kitchen Cookbook available at (www.bestfoodist.com) . Traci's approach is no more or less than an approach to natural, whole and mostly raw foods that digest easily, leave no residue and feed the body all it needs (and, as she would want me to emphasize, taste great and are easy and quick to prepare!).
Now that we understand what is meant by acidity or acid food, we are prepared to look for some answers.
In looking for answers, there are 5 vital points to consider in approaching the human condition:
1. No matter how healthy you are, localized areas of the body which have poor circulation, have been damaged or which are under stress and tension can be pools of acidic blood. In order to solve this problem, great circulation, specific herbal aids, massage and other hands-on modalities, hydrotherapy and low-residue eating may all need to be utilized. We will address some of those later in this article.
2. Some health choices improve circulation, while others simply try to manipulate chemistry. Clearly, manipulation of chemistry has little on drugs as an approach to healing. Only using the processes occurring naturally in the body and in nature can lead to long-term, stable success. Improving circulation is one such approach to long-term pH regulation.
3. Good elimination coupled with complete digestion is the most powerful formula for alkaline pH. This is because circulation remains unimpeded by debris in the blood from poor digestion or non-elimination.
4. Thoughts breed acidity or alkalinity faster than any other thing. I have a friend who is a raw foodist who was told that there were diseases caused from being too alkaline. Immediately, without making any changes in her diet or lifestyle, she became regularly acidic and stayed that way until the time that we spoke about her health. This is one of dozens of great examples that I personally have encountered of pH being radically changed in a few minutes to a few seconds just from the thoughts that the individuals tested were thinking. We will talk more about this challenge below.
5. If you think you need a special miracle tool to alkalize your blood in an aggressive manner, before you buy someone's chemical product for that purpose, try out the natural method of chemically alkalizing your blood rapidly by breathing. Deep breathing will alkalize the blood faster than anything you could ever take in by mouth. It is good to breathe in deep, hold muscle tension and keep it while you hold your breath for a few counts, breathe out all the way and then hold it out for a few counts. Then, release the muscle tension and repeat. This works great for alkalizing localized areas with poor circulation if you hold tension over that area during the breathing cycle.
Now that we understand the approach to the human body that we should take, let's look at some answers that address this approach in full.
1. Make dietary choices based on digestion and elimination. The best source I know of for this kind of information is found in Traci's Transformational Health Principles, which you can get from (www.bestfoodist.com) .
2. Perfect elimination first, before you try to do anything to regulate your blood pH. This means cleansing your colon, then your liver, then your skin and blood and kidneys and lymph. I really like the products offered through the American Botanical Pharmacy, which you can find on-line. I have also created a comprehensive course on cleansing that is available from my website.
3. Refine diet and elimination needs for yourself. Some people might always have to nourish and support some elimination channel if they were born with serious weakness in an area or if they have a mental and emotional pattern that makes it hard to have proper function in that area. Deal with that when you can, but meanwhile do not be afraid to take herbs that heal and strengthen the bowel or liver, brain or bones for the rest of your life. That might be part of your package to deal with.
Generally, however, you will find that you are not dependent on herbs for healing because they actually heal, not just manipulate. While working with whatever elimination channels need support, it is also good to determine if you have some foods that are particularly problematic for you. This especially means food allergies and reactions. You can get a free report on this subject, called "Understanding Food Reactions," from (www.kalsschool.com) .
4. Use herbs that are area specific. This article does not have room for any kind of discussion of specific herbs. However, it is useful to know that herbs have affinities for certain parts of the body. When such herbs are used wisely, areas of the body with special needs can be healed faster and with greater certainty by using those herbs. In my next news article this subject will be addressed in detail.
5. Use herbs that perfect pH naturally. This is much easier to discuss. First, some foods really help with this, particularly if they are high in organic sodium, such as celery. Some herbs work to help this as follows: Burdock and beet root neutralize acids throughout the body while simultaneously improving circulation and the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood; Kelp supplies buffering minerals and removes radioactive wastes throughout the body while activating the thyroid and improving metabolism; Barberry stimulates liver flow, which aids elimination; Parsley improves removal of uric acid wastes and also activates the lymphatic system and causes it to drain better, resulting in less debris in the body; Plantain works very well with parsley and in a similar way; Marshmallow root, slippery elm bark, charcoal, apple pectin and psyllium husks all absorb wastes, including acidic debris throughout the body that cause both long-term and immediate acidity.
6. Finally, work hard and intensively on controlling your fear. I was reminded recently of a scripture from the Bible where, in Luke 21:26, there is a prophecy about our day that reads as follows: "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." My writings might help you control fear, but I have a formula for controlling fear.
Formula for Peace
Peace = Spiritual Congruence X Refined and Disciplined [Positive] Thinking X Emotions Culture X Physical Wisdom
In this Formula:
Peace is the antithesis of fear;
Spiritual Congruence is living by the standards you believe you should live by;
Refined and Disciplined [positive] Thinking is self explanatory;
Emotions Culture is the development of the skill of looking at what you should want, focusing on that and learning to train your emotions to love that which it is best for you to love;
Physical Wisdom is understanding what nature intended for your body and following that without getting led too easily away from that by anyone selling a "miracle cure" that you can have once you buy their book or product. Each of these multiplies the potency of the others. The result is peace.
In conclusion, it is important to understand the great pH riddle if you are going to get out of it alive and undeceived. In this article, we have explored in remarkable completeness and with remarkable detail the pH riddle and we have exposed it for all to see. Now it remains for you to accept it, believe it and live by it.
About the authorKal Sellers, MH currently operates KalsSchool.com and teaches a 2-year curriculum for Natural Medicine, via live teleclasses.
Kal is a Master Herbalist and holds several other certificates and licenses for hands-on healing modalities. He maintains a current practice in the Atlanta area.
Kal and Traci have six children, the last four of which were delivered at home. They live now in Powder Springs, GA where they teach live classes on food and medicine. Kal is also a full time Chiropractic student.
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