Digestion: Key to Health
In order to understand true health, one has to know the action of digestion. It is there that either health or dis-ease starts. If digestion functions poorly dis-ease symptoms such as allergies, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, gallstones, kidney ailments, liver cirrhosis, abnormal thyroid function, menstrual problems, eczema, and many other illnesses express themselves. When one is suffering from any kind of physical or mental problem, the following questions need to be asked: How am I assimilating the nutrition from my food? How effective is my body eliminating toxins? Do I eat nutritionally well-balanced meals? It is by finding the answer to these three questions that one will always find the answer to the problem. The solution is uncovered as soon as one comprehends the process of digestion.
Digestion begins when your eyes behold the food on your plate in its rich colors and textures, while the aromas cause an anticipation of tastes. At that very moment, saliva is prepared in the mouth, digestive juices start to be produced in the stomach, pancreas, and smaller intestines, and bile begins to form in the liver so that food can be well taken care of in the body. Many Oriental people sit and contemplate their food with a thankful heart for several minutes before eating it. This act gives the body time to prepare itself for taking care of processing the anticipated food, and tells it that eating will be a pleasurable experience. It is important for the body to know that it will benefit from the food so that it does not look upon food as a foreign object that it needs protection against.
As soon as we start to chew the food it gets mixed with saliva, which starts the breakdown of starches (sugars) into smaller components, and examines the food so that digestive juices can be prepared in the right amounts. The saliva also kills some bacteria (with immune factors and anti-bacterial components prepared in the tonsils) and washes them away. If we do not chew properly, the saliva cannot perform its vital part in digesting the food and protecting lower digestive functions from harmful bacteria.
When food is swallowed, it travels down the esophagus using peristaltic muscle squeezing action, passes through the cardiac valve, which is an ileo-cecal type valve that keeps food contained within the stomach, and enters the first part of the stomach or the fundus, called the enzyme stomach where the contents are turned into a soupy mixture called chyme. The food can stay there for up to an hour, during which time the saliva and the enzyme content of the food can act upon it. The saliva only digests the carbohydrates while the proteins and the fats in the food totally rely on their own enzymes to be digested. That is why it is so important to eat enzyme rich, fresh, raw food during each meal. When you apply heat to any kind of food, the enzymes in it start to die, or rather are rendered indigestible. Food processing and artificial enhancers, preservatives, and flavorings also destroy enzymes. If there is not sufficient saliva or the enzyme content of the food is very poor, the food will start to putrefy and create toxins instead of being digested. These toxins can act upon the cardiac valve, which then gets irritated and, to a certain extent, paralyzed. This can cause problems such as heartburn and acid reflux.
When the food drops down to the second part of the stomach known as the pylorus (the upper and lower stomach parts merge without any visible boundaries) glands situated on the lining of the stomach spray the food with a mixture of digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid. The hydrochloric acid, strong enough to dissolve a nail, tenderizes the food, kills bacteria, and activates protein digesting enzymes. If, however, too many toxins were created in the enzyme stomach they can attack the stomach lining and paralyze its glands. The glands are then not able to produce a sufficient amount of hydrochloric acid, which means that the protein digesting enzymes are not activated becoming locked in the food particle and will putrefy even more, creating further toxins. The bacterium that was intended to be killed by the hydrochloric acid is consequently free to multiply, increasing the amount of toxins to an extreme. Now the toxins are strong enough to do severe damage to the stomach lining, causing what is commonly known as an ulcer.
Ideally, about two to six hours after the food is mixed with the enzymes and the hydrochloric acid, the pyloric valve opens and lets the food down into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). As food enters, a signal goes to the pancreas and to the gall bladder (liver bile storage container), to empty their digestive juices into the duodenum and then food chyme travels the length of small intestines where over 80% of all nutrients are assimilated or “cooked”, causing energy to be released (calories). This is called metabolic activity and the energy it acquires is stored in organic substances and converted by muscular contractions and/or with organic chemicals as required. If this works well, the food will be digested quickly and everything the body needs nutritionally can be released from the food and absorbed into the blood stream through the wall of the small intestine. The main function of the small intestine is to breakdown or separate nutrients from the food into small enough usable particles to pass through its walls, via the blood stream, and on to the liver, but if the food does not get enough balanced digestive enzyme activity and microbes, it will stay in the beginning of the smaller intestines until it does. The body’s one hard and fast rule is that it will store whatever it cannot use; therefore food can be stored for indefinite amounts of time in a putrefied and rotten state. Food that is very hard to digest such as pork, ham, bacon, cow’s milk, cow’s cheese, apples, oranges, bell peppers, peanut butter, celery, carrots, white flour and sugar, iceberg lettuce, and yellow onions need enormous amounts of digestive enzymes and can spend an extensive amount of time waiting for it to be present. Meanwhile, it putrefies and releases a large quantity of toxins which off gas and create serious digestive dilemmas for the individual. Allergies often result, along with other dis-easement from toxins traveling in the blood to other parts of the body.
Usually the first attack of these toxins is on the gall bladder and its bile duct and the pancreas and its pancreatic duct depleting the B-complex vitamins. This stress action will create swelling in the ducts, making the opening very narrow. A repeated occurrence of this can narrow the lengthy ducts down to the extent that almost no digestive juice can pass through. In the event of this, the whole digestive process is severely crippled and food stays in the duodenum even longer, creating toxins that not only put the body out of balance, but starts the dis-ease process. The weakest part of the body will degenerate more quickly from toxic assaults causing the immune system to work overtime in an attempt to protect the individual from their dangerous effects. If the problem is not corrected, the immune system will falter, causing a number of immune deficiency dis-eases. If the toxins produced have time to creep into the pancreas, then any kind of pancreatic disorder can occur, such as diabetes, hypoglycemia, and pancreatitis. The pancreas, in addition to being part of the endocrine system is also greatly involved in digestion and the function of the colon. A sick pancreas slows down the action of the colon, decreasing its efficiency in fluid absorption and eliminating waste. The pancreas is the only digestive organ that produces alkalizing bile enzymes, which it uses B-vitamins to manufacture them from, especially B-12, which neutralizes acidity and halts the break down process of food so that nutrients can be absorbed. If this alkalizing bile is not present the acidic bile continues to break down the food into a heated, rotting, putrefied toxic mass producing off gases that will be circulated throughout the body, creating systemic acidity and toxicity, both of which are the perfect host and breeding ground for bacteria, virus, and fungi.
Food in a very liquid state will pass through the ileo-cecal valve between the small intestines and the colon, which stays closed at all times except to admit food passage. A depletion of manganese by excessive sugar consumption will cause this valve to become weak and stay open allowing yeast, which naturally exists in the colon, to be passed into the small intestine where it transmutes into a fungal form and is passed through blood into other organs creating symptoms called Candida. The appendix, located next to this valve on the colon side, is a major immune organ as it secretes its bacterial fighting enzymes into the food mixture to keep harmful anti-bodies from doing damage and restricting them to the limits of the colon. The appendix valve must also be kept closed except to excrete its addition of active enzymes and immune factors in order to avoid backwash and subsequent infection commonly called appendicitis.
Once the food mixture enters the colon the main action is absorption of water, sodium, and residual vitamins and minerals, which are processed along with symbiotic hosts of flora and fauna containing “friendly” bacteria for this process. Approximately 90% of all water is removed from the fluid digested matter and its volume is compacted, stored, and excreted. Large amounts of mucous are made in the walls of the colon both to hold fecal matter together and for protection against bacterial activity. Over acidity in the colon is the breeding ground for many kinds of parasitic and bacterial growth and will cause mucous to deposit (mucous plaque) on sections of colon wall keeping fluid from passing through walls and reducing the amount of muscle activity (peristaltic action) that moves compacting food toward expulsion. These colon problems are often referred to in escalating terms such as irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, ileitis, Crones disease, and colon cancer.
The liver will try to store and neutralize the toxins from non-eliminated waste causing a build-up, which stresses and overworks the liver. When the liver is overworked, it will start to degenerate, creating an environment where hepatitis virus can proliferate and active liver cells become replaced by inactive scar tissue, resulting in cirrhosis of the liver. An exhausted liver produces abnormal bile that is very sticky and can easily form gallstones in the gall bladder. This abnormal bile cannot effectively digest fats in the smaller intestine, and the body, therefore, cannot utilize improperly digested fats and will either eliminate them totally, causing essential fatty acid deficiency dis-ease, or store the fats in adipose tissue under the skin, causing obesity.
All food is delivered to the liver via the blood fluid, entering by a rather large portal vein where it is processed over several hours of selection, removal, synthesis, and detoxification for digestion and distribution. A liver that is functioning properly will clean up all ingested foods and store and use essential fatty acids, which are imperative for brain function, immune system function, nutrient and mineral absorption, removal of tissue stored fats, bone marrow production, and a host of other life ensuring properties. The liver, our body’s main metabolic organ, is also responsible for distributing food nutrients to all organ functions as well as containing and eliminating all pharmaceutical, pesticide, and food toxins. The liver, our body’s most blood rich organ, can increase its blood storage up to 400% and during a crisis can become the blood storage for the entire body.
Kidneys, while not a direct part of the digestive system, are included here because their primary responsibility is regulating blood volume using fluid salts and water excretion. An imbalance of these factors will result in high blood pressure, (adrenal imbalance will cause low blood pressure). Secondarily the kidneys are responsible for cleaning the blood fluid toxins and acid balancing (pH balancing blood fluids) through a network of two million tiny filtration tubes which can eliminate acidity or alkalinity. Closely related to liver function in terms of blood fluids, which are how all nutrients are delivered to each body system function, as well as how all bacteria, virus, and fungus travel throughout the body, the Kidneys and Adrenals become overworked if the liver is unable to detoxify food particle nutrients and will show stress by manifesting acidic conditions as rashes, toxemia (especially during pregnancy), gout, arthritis, headaches, and nausea.
The spleen is another blood filtration and manufacturing unit in regard to the blood cells and lymphatic fluid. Red blood cells are made in the spleen during fetal development, and if the bone marrow, which later takes over this role, ever becomes incapable of producing red blood cells the spleen can take over. Red blood cells that have become old and abnormal from toxic build up are forced to neck themselves down to squeeze through the soft pulpy area of multiple and complex tubes. If the blood cell has lost its elasticity it will burst and its cell debris will be decomposed and filtered out by special spleen defensive tissue. The white pulpy area of the spleen provides a storehouse of immune system cells, and also contains lymphatic nodules which develop immune cells called lymphocytes. Gallons of blood and lymphatic fluids are passed through this organ daily. When fluids are pumped faster, such as in running, the spleen my become overburdened and “tell you” by making a sharp pain in the left side of the body, telling you to slow down. All of this filtered blood aids the function of both the liver and the kidneys to provide clean methods of transporting food nutrients to the various organs and systems of the body.
This is a simple overview of the function of the digestion. How can you ensure a proper digestion and avoid dis-easement caused by digestive disorders?
These are some simple measures you can take:
- Chew your food thoroughly
- Never eat under stress
- Never eat while doing something else, such as driving a car, reading a book, or watching T.V.
- Always include larger amounts of organic fresh or raw foods than the amounts of the meal that are heated or processed
- Always use B-complex vitamins and potassium to reduce digestive stress and help pancreas produce alkalizing bile enzymes
- Use the spices of thyme, cayenne, turmeric and cloves in your cooking
- Avoid processed and convenience foods that are hard to digest, especially white flour and sugar, artificially flavored and preserved food, and poor quality salt
- Avoid hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats and oils, such as margarine, shortening, and purified oils
- Resist sodas and sport’s drinks, instead drinking 8 glasses of pure clean water
- And last, but not least, be appreciative, grateful and enthusiastic about the food you eat
— Jonathan: Thunder: Wolf & Morning: Spirit: Wolf
Professors and Doctors of Raphaology Medicine