Gastrointestinal tract

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Although ulcerative colitis is often treated as though it were an autoimmune disease, there is no consensus that it actually is such. Microwaving is the cooking method that should be avoided at all costs as it damages DNA and RNA to the greatest extent, and there have been cases of accidental death due to patients having their blood samples microwaved prior to injection to warm it up. Plant extracts from leaves are relatively easy to dissolve into water, but the harder parts, for example, roots, require soaking overnight and simmering in water. A description of the pancreas can be found at the Wikipedia link below. A Catalina Macaw 's seed-shearing beak. Most people tend to have the coldest body temperature in the mornings, and gradually warming up during the afternoon and evening. Genitourinary system Kidney Ureter Bladder Urethra.


Diverticulosis occurs when pouches form on the intestinal wall. Once the pouches become inflamed it is known as diverticulitis. Inflammatory bowel disease is an inflammatory condition affecting the bowel walls, and includes the subtypes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

While Crohn's can affect the entire gastrointestinal tract, ulcerative colitis is limited to the large intestine.

Crohn's disease is widely regarded as an autoimmune disease. Although ulcerative colitis is often treated as though it were an autoimmune disease, there is no consensus that it actually is such. Functional gastrointestinal disorders the most common of which is irritable bowel syndrome. Functional constipation and chronic functional abdominal pain are other functional disorders of the intestine that have physiological causes, but do not have identifiable structural, chemical, or infectious pathologies.

Gastrointestinal surgery can often be performed in the outpatient setting. In the United States in , operations on the digestive system accounted for 3 of the 25 most common ambulatory surgery procedures and constituted 9.

Various methods of imaging the gastrointestinal tract include the upper and lower gastrointestinal series:. Animal intestines have multiple uses. From each species of livestock that is a source of milk , a corresponding rennet is obtained from the intestines of milk-fed calves. Pig and calf intestines are eaten, and pig intestines are used as sausage casings.

Calf intestines supply calf-intestinal alkaline phosphatase CIP , and are used to make goldbeater's skin. Many birds and other animals have a specialised stomach in the digestive tract called a gizzard used for grinding up food.

Another feature not found in the human but found in a range of other animals is the crop. In birds this is found as a pouch alongside the esophagus. Other animals including amphibians , birds , reptiles , and egg-laying mammals have a major difference in their GI tract in that it ends in a cloaca and not an anus. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Digestive tract.

For other uses, see Guts disambiguation. Esophagus , Stomach , and duodenum. Development of the digestive system. Duct of gland outside tract 7: Gland in mucosa 8: Glands in submucosa Meissner's submucosal plexus Areolar connective tissue Auerbach's myenteric plexus Oral mucosa and Gastric mucosa. Serous membrane and Adventitia. This section discusses related diseases, medical associations with the gastrointestinal tract, and use in surgery. Gastrointestinal disease and Gastroenterology.

Ruminant and Methanogens in digestive tract of ruminants. This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see Anatomical terminology. Invertebrate Zoology 7 ed. Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy.

Factor in achieving total enteroscopy? H; Fava, F; Hermes, G. M; Hold, G; Quraishi, M. G; Hart, A A new clinical frontier". The Neglected Endocrine Organ". Introduction to Behavioral Endocrinology. Retrieved 2 September Oxford textbook of medicine: Retrieved 1 July Mitchell; illustrations by Richard; Richardson, Paul Gray's anatomy for students 3rd ed. Human Embryology and Developmental Biology 3rd ed. Histology and cell biology: From Bench Side to Bedside.

Small intestine transit time in the normal small bowel study. American Journal of Roentgenology ; 3: Colonic Transit Study Technique and Interpretation: Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. Key Regulators of Immune Homeostasis and Inflammation". The American Journal of Pathology. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. Influence on innate and acquired immunity".

World Journal of Gastroenterology. Science of everyday things: The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Casotti and Braun In birds, urine is conveyed to the cloaca, and moved by reverse peristalsis into the colon and digestive ceca. Digestive ceca have been well studied for non-passerine birds and have been shown to absorb substrates and water.

The ceca of passerine birds have been suggested to be non-functional because of their small size. Three-dimensional reconstruction of the ceca of House Sparrows Passer domesticus from serially-sectioned tissue showed that the ceca have a central channel with a large number of side channels.

Electron micrographs indicated that all of the channels are lined by epithelial cells with a very dense microvillus brush border as well as a region densely packed with mitochondria just below the brush border.

It is possible that the row of mitochondria below the brush border is present to provide ATP to power substrate transport. Although the importance of small ceca for fluid homeostasis remains to be determined, these data suggest that the small ceca of passerine birds may function in fluid and electrolyte e. Light micrograph and electron micrographs of a House Sparrow cecum. A A light micrograph of a cecum cut in sagittal section.

The image shows one central channel with a proximal opening to the colon upper right of section. Side channels arrows can be seen branching from the central channel. B Higher power light micrograph of a cecum. The image illustrates the columnar cells that line the channels bracket with their well developed brush border arrow.

C Electron micrograph of a House Sparrow cecum. The image shows a portion of the epithelial cells that line channels of the ceca. Evident is a dense microvillus brush border on the apical surface of the cells and tight junctions TJ between the cells. Just below the brush border is a very dense layer of mitochondria bracket. Reyes and Braun As described above, the colon and ceca of birds can substantially modify the urine that initially enters the cloaca coprodeum.

As a result, the composition of bird droppings can differ dramatically from the composition of the urine and feces that initially entered the colon or large intestine Figure Depending on diet and access to water, droppings may have considerably less water, solutes sodium and potassium , and uric acid or urate than the original urine and feces Figure Of course, if a bird consumes more of these substances than needed, the composition of droppings will differ and more water, solutes, and urates can, as needed, be excreted in the droppings.

The coordinated action of the kidneys, lower GI tract, and the salt glands see below in the regulation of fluid and ion balance is a classic example of the integration of organs required to maintain homeostatic balance.

No single organ appears to have an outstanding capacity to conserve ions and water, but instead they all function in concert to maintain total body fluid homeostasis to allow birds to inhabit a wide range of environments Braun Modification of urine and feces in the lower GI tract colon and ceca of birds. Can birds be ammonotelic?? Uric acid is a relatively non-toxic nitrogen end product.

It is relatively insoluble and hence excreted with little water. Uricotely, however, is costly. More energy is needed to excrete a unit of waste nitrogen as uric acid than as urea or ammonia. In contrast to uric acid, ammonia is highly soluble, cheap to synthesize, but fairly toxic. It can only be used as a nitrogenous waste by animals with high rates of water turnover that permit almost continuous elimination, such as in aquatic animals Tsahar et al.

Preest and Beuchat suggested that it might be advantageous for birds that ingest large amounts of dilute, protein-poor nectar to shift from uricotely to ammonotely. Thus, ammonia can be voided rapidly, and the costs of synthesizing urates can be reduced. Thus, Preest and Beuchat proposed that high energy demands and high water fluxes favor ammonotely. Subsequently, Roxburgh and Pinshow found that the Palestine Sunbirds also switched from uric acid to ammonia excretion under some conditions.

However, Roxburgh and Pinshow noted that in sunbirds with high water intake, the concentration of urate was higher in the ureters the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the cloaca than in excreta. They argued that ammonotely in Palestine Sunbirds was only 'apparent' because it was not a result of excessive excretion of ammonia, but rather the result of a reduction in excreted urate resulting from post-renal modification of urine.

Recently, Tsahar et al. These authors, like Roxburgh and Pinshow found that protein concentration was lower in excreta than in ureteral urine, and hypothesized that some of the protein associated with urate spheres was digested in the lower intestine and recovered. Why would it be advantageous for birds to recover a nitrogenous metabolic waste?

Although uric acid is considered primarily a nitrogenous waste, it also has a major function as a powerful antioxidant in both birds and mammals Tsahar et al. So, can birds be ammonotelic? In some cases, as with Anna's Hummingbirds, ammonotely may be a response to the ingestion of lots of water facultative ammonotely. In other cases, ammonotely may simply be 'apparent', with urine produced by the kidneys being urotelic but the actual excreta being ammonotelic because of reabsorption of uric acid in the lower intestine or colon prior to defecation.

Because the kidneys of birds cannot produce a hypertonic urine with lots of ions like sodium , the excretion of excess salt is a potential problem. Even quicker than humans, birds would be severely dehydrated after drinking saltwater and ingesting salty food.

However, many species of birds, especially marine birds and shorebirds, can drink seawater as their only source of water. This is possible because these birds have another way other than the kidneys to eliminate excess salt - salt glands. Salt glands of birds likely evolved from nasal glands of reptiles, probably in the late Paleozoic.

They lie immediately under the skin in supraorbital depressions of the frontal bone in the skull of Charadriiform birds, but in other groups they may be located above the palate or within the orbit of the eye. Skulls of fossil birds, Ichthyornis and Hesperornis, have similar depressions Figure 14 , suggestin g these birds lived in marine habitats. The salt glands of marine birds and some falconiform and desert birds secrete excess NaCl via the salt glands using less water than is consumed, which generates free water Hughes Hesperornis skull note depression above eye socket where salt gland would be located.

Salt glands have been reported in several avian orders Spheniciformes , Procellariformes , Charadriiformes, Pelecaniformes, Anseriformes, and Phoenicopteriformes. Even though most studies of osmoregulation in birds have been conducted with marine taxa, nasal secretions are not to be restricted to these species.

The presence of functional salt glands has been documented in several terrestrial orders. For example, Roadrunners Geococcyx californianus and Savanah Hawks Heterospizias meridionalis , have active salt glands and can produce hypertonic secretions in response to their protein-rich diets.

Although these species are not stressed by high saline load, the active secretions of salt gland allows them to minimize water losses. Other desert birds, such as the Sand Partridge Ammoperdix heyi and the Ostrich Struthio camelus , have functional salt glands that are stimulated in response to high temperature.

Thus, salt glands are not restricted to birds that live in saline or maritime habitats, but are also present in some terrestrial forms that consume little water Sabat Salt glands have a system of countercurrent blood flow to remove and concentrate salt ions from the blood Figures 15 and The paired, crescent-shaped glands each contain several longitudinal lobes approximately 1 mm in diameter and each lobe contains a central duct from which radiate thousands of tubules enmeshed in blood capillaries.

These tiny capillaries carry blood along the tubules of the gland, which have walls just one cell thick and form a simple barrier between the salty fluid within the tubules and the bloodstream. It is here that salt excretion occurs. When a bird drinks seawater, sodium enters the blood plasma from the intestine and the solute concentration of the blood plasma increases. This causes water to move out of cells osmosis , increasing the extracellular fluid volume ECFV.

The increases in blood plasma solute concentration and ECFV stimulate salt gland secretion Hughes Glomerular and medullary architecture in the kidney of Anna's Hummingbird. Journal of Morphology An overview of osmoregulation in birds. Abstract - VI International Symposium of avian endocrinology. Chateau Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.

Integration of organ systems in avian osmoregulation. Journal of Experimental Zoology Hypertonic fluids are secreted by medial and lateral segments in duck Anas platyrhynchos nasal salt glands. Journal of Physiology Protein location and elemental composition of urine spheres in different avian species.

Journal of Experimental Zoology A: Movement of urine in the lower colon and cloaca of Ostriches. As well as being in some cases an endurance exercise, it can also put too much stress on your digestive system and actually dramatically worsen the quality of your digestion just over a couple of days. You may also want to discuss which alternative tests may be as or more useful in your particular case.

Whilst treating the body as a whole, and specifically the methylation processes involved in the production of stomach acid e. Methods to achieve this are described below in the following sections. A gradual decline in stomach acid and digestive enzyme production is sometimes observed in the elderly, and is alleviated through supplementation.

However, in the case of CFS patients, this decline occurs whilst still young and its onset much more rapidly. It should be noted that the every person's body clock tends to be different. However, it is often a case of the actual time being out of synch in each individual.

Most people tend to have the coldest body temperature in the mornings, and gradually warming up during the afternoon and evening.

Conversely, blood pressure is often highest in the mornings, during the first 3 hours after waking usually between 8 and 11a. In the evenings, whilst the body temperature is higher, the body tends to be want to gearing down for sleep. The optimum time for exercise is usually in the mid-afternoon or early evening. Exercising first thing in the morning is usually a bad idea as it puts the most stress on the heart and metabolism, which is why most people have heart attacks in the early or mid morning if they are going to have a heart attack.

Applying this to meals, it is considered by many scientists, but not all, that one should eat more of one's calorific intake in the former part of the day with less in the latter part of the day, as one's insulin is not produced in such large quantities in the evening. Eating large meals in the evening may therefore result in spikes in one's blood sugar levels; and really the calories are more useful earlier in the day. As stated, it may be better to eat smaller meals and more often, and to avoid the general trend in Western Industrialised countries for a large and late evening meal which is more of a social ritual than a biological driven requirement.

Your exact metabolism will however dictate what types of foods you can digest and when, and as stated in the Food Combining section further below, carbohydrates and oils are best consumed earlier in the day with protein later on when the stomach has adjusted and is ready for it. Please note that taking additional digestive enzymes and Betaine HCl and readily assimilated protein supplements will not actually encourage your stomach to produce more acid or enzymes.

It is just relieving symptoms of poor protein digestion and allowing the body to assimilate more nutrients from your food. It will not compensate for the lack of enzyme production in the pancreas, but only the stomach.

It is in effect alleviating a side effect of your current condition to an extent. As mentioned above, curing protein digestive problems in stomach and intestinal tract requires treatment on many fronts, including nutritional deficiencies, hormonal dysfunction, spleen energetic deficiency etc, and may involve complimentary therapies as well as supplementation.

Some patients may require temporary supplementation with a specific amino-acid, depending on his amino acid test results, for example. Some complementary therapies that work on the body's qi energy levels as outlined on the energetic therapies page. Betaine HCl capsules form additional hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Betaine, also known as trimethylglycine TMG , is derived from sugar beet.

Betaine has many commercial uses for example as a homocysteine regulator and a restorer of the body's osmotic balance. TMG is a methyl-group donor and can be used to treat high homocysteine levels, turning it into methionine and itself into DMG dimethylglycine - please see the Nutritional page for more information.

TMG is commonly used with the amino acid lysine in livestock to decrease fat and increase muscle mass, although this effect has not been observed in humans with TMG. Stomach acid contains hydrochloric acid HCl. Betaine HCl releases HCl into the stomach when dissolving in the stomach juices. The stomach lining is protected under normal circumstances against acidity by the protective mucus lining.

However, too much acid in the stomach may cause considerable discomfort and pain heart burn. Betaine HCl is probably the only convenient way of getting more HCl into the stomach drinking HCl solution is NOT an option, and would not only burn your throat and oesophagus lining but cause extensive damage to your teeth if consumed regularly.

Please see the links below for more information on betaine and betaine HCl. Many brands of Betaine HCl capsules also contain the digestive enzyme Pepsin, to assist in protein digestion, e. When one feels heart burn not harmful to health , then one has taken slightly too much, and next time one has a similar meal intake, one should take slightly less.

If you do take slightly too much, then the sensation heartburn can be a little uncomfortable and last for hours. You can however immediately rectify the situation and reduce the amount of acidity slightly by taking a small amount of an alkaline substance to lower the pH in the stomach such as an algae like spirulina or chlorella, or a chelated strong metal supplement, e. It is probably better if you need to perform this stomach acid correction regularly once or more a day that you take magnesium rather than algae, as algae has a cold energy property which may affect your energetic balance if too much is taken daily.

This is not an issue with magnesium, although excessive magnesium more than the daily requirement may cause a little loosening of the stools - patients are likely taking close to their maximum daily dosage of magnesium already. One may of course elect to only take the magnesium supplement once one has taken the Betaine HCl and other supplements for that meal, and evaluate how much one needs to take.

It is best to be accurate in your assessment of how much Betaine HCl you require in the first place of course. You may need to tailor the amount of Betaine HCl you take according to what type of foods you are eating. For high protein meals, slightly more is required, and for low protein meals, then a lesser amount is required. This is something you have to feel yourself. You may also require additional Betaine HCl capsule s during the night, perhaps at 3 or 4am, if you happen to have woken up at this time and feel that your stomach feels slightly uncomfortable.

You may perhaps find that after taking the extra Betaine HCl that your stomach 'gurgles' i. This is perfectly normal! It should however be noted that the average person's diet is overly acidic, resulting in too high a blood pH, known as acidosis - a major contributor to ill health. Sufferers of CFS also do often tend to have excessive blood and tissue acidity anyway, so whilst it may be more practical to close to one's maximum amount of Betaine HCl at meal times and in between to facilitate digestion, it may not be a sensible idea to do so in terms of promoting a healthy blood pH.

It may therefore be a sensible compromise to take only as much Betaine HCl as you strictly need to take and no more. Those with impaired digestive systems are usually able to comfortably eat 'within their limits' relative to food volumes and types, but if one crosses the limit even a little, the effect can often be disproportionately negative, not only on the stomach but also on the small intestine.

For example, if you eat too much quantity, a very heavy protein meal or a very oily meal, your stomach may not feel very happy at all and the food may remain in your stomach, feeling bloated, for a long period of time, regardless of how much Betaine HCl you take.

This feeling may continue in your small intestine even after the stomach finally becomes empty and may last several days. When this happens, the stomach's and small intestine's energy levels take a bit of a battering and the stomach's ability to produce acid is greatly impaired, and if you repeat the same level of abuse the next day, the same will happen, probably a little worse.

This may severely impact your energy levels. Affecting your stomach's energetic balance in this way often affects your hormonal balance, and in particular your balance of adrenal hormones to melatonin, affecting your ability to sleep for a night or perhaps two. As with many aspects of CFS, building the stomach's resilience back up again can take a long time indeed. It is therefore recommended to understand your limits, listen to your body, use your common sense and exercise self-discipline.

Sometimes it is worth resisting that temptation to have a little more of something or an extra 'course', as 30 seconds of pleasure can result in hours or days of extreme discomfort. As you can appreciate, even crossing your limits and taking enough Betaine HCl can be very problematic.

If you are taking no Betaine HCl at all, e. However everyone is different of course and this is something you will have to figure out yourself. If you do happen to eat too much of a particular food type or too large a quantity during a meal, and your stomach struggles to cope, it may be advisable to treat your stomach gently for the next few days at least, with smaller portions, enough time in between snacks and meals to digest the food, and food types that are easy to digest e.

In certain instances, particular healthy food types that have not been a problem, may over time and after perhaps a couple of years of abundant consumption, may start to create problems for the stomach in large quantities , even when harmful micro-organisms such as parasites and candida are not prolific in the body, and so not causing food allergies.

There may be other reasons why the stomach does not react well to them. The result may be a feeling of having eaten some lead weights! And a total inability for the stomach to break it down and allow food to pass into the small intestine and to get to sleep that night. And the addition of additional Betaine HCl does not help; affecting your stomach's energetic balance in this way often affects your hormonal balance, and in particular your balance of adrenal hormones to melatonin.

In such instances, it is best to avoid that particular food type for a while and perhaps slowly reintroduce it at a later date if desired. This may have been on account of a sensitivity to higher toxin levels. Or perhaps related to the protein type. I had this problem with fish for a period of 12 months or so, both line caught and also farmed, but after this time the digestive system seemed to tolerate it.

Similarly, I tolerated milk whey protein and eggs quite well in the past, but at the time of writing, have found that dairy products are significantly harder to digest than either meat, fish, beans or vegetables, and for this reason, and other reasons TCM recommendations avoid dairy products where possible at the present moment at the time of writing.

As stated below, some people argue that the consumption of dairy products is not 'natural'! It is expected that around 3g mg of Histidine is required at a time, but it may vary according to the individual.

Zinc, Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 also play a part in stomach acid production as discussed on the Nutrition page. I have found that most brands are not effectively utilised by the body, and that a good brand of digestive enzymes to try is Integrative Therapeutics formerly Tyler Encapsulations Similase. Similase contains a variety of different digestive enzymes such as protease, amylase, cellulase, lipase, phytase, lactase, invertase sucrase , malt diastase maltase.

Nutri resold it under its own brand, but as of September changed the formula to an inferior formula not produced by Integrative Therapeutics the Protease preparation method changed from USP XXII method to FCC method, but the product does not perform at all well kinesiologically now - the packaging states that it now contains traces of dairy.

Some brands of Betaine HCl contain additional ingredients such as digestive enzymes or herbs to aid in digestion. Pepsin is a digestive protease released by the chief cells in the stomach that functions to degrade food proteins into peptides. Additional Pepsin may well help digestion. The majority of digestive enzyme supplements are manufactured from plant sources. Animal sourced digestive enzymes are also available. When comparing digestive enzymes, one should take into account the number of different digestive enzymes, their respective concentrations and the overall quality of the supplement.

Which supplements work for you can of course be determined kinesiologically by a qualified specialist. Enzymes are not just involved in processes such as digestion, but in other essential biochemical processes in different parts of the body, for example, metabolism and oxidation of water soluble toxins.

Enzyme supplements can take various forms, not only digestive enzymes but also enzymes for easing inflammation of the tissues. It is also important to consume plant-based enzymes in our food, without overcooking. These herbs are examined below. Forskolin yes I did write Forskolin and not! It is the main active ingredient in the Ayurvedic herb Coleus forskohlii. Coleus is a member of the mint family and grows in subtropical areas in India, Burma, and Thailand.

It has been used in ancient Asia a wide variety of ailments, especially painful urinations. Forskolin helps by enhancing cellular activity in the bladder wall and in this way, the hiding bacteria are flushed out into the bladder or urine, where they can be killed off by anti-microbial herbs.

In much of the gastrointestinal tract, smooth muscles contract in sequence to produce a peristaltic wave which forces a ball of food called a bolus while in the esophagus and gastrointestinal tract and chyme in the stomach along the gastrointestinal tract. Peristaltic movement is initiated by circular smooth muscles contracting behind the chewed material to prevent it from moving back into the mouth, followed by a contraction of longitudinal smooth muscles which pushes the digested food forward.

Of course peristalsis may be assisted with the use of herbs but to what extent this helps with the coordination of muscle movements, I am not sure. A lack of Peristalsis may be a result of poor diet, build up of mucoid plaque, a low blood supply and 'qi level' of the small and large intestines and abnormal brainstem activity.

Intestinal peristalsis can be stimulated by various Energetic Treatments and also herbal products discussed below. Please note that one does not want to encourage too much peristalsis either, as it may result in food passing through the digestive tract too quick and not being properly digested.

It may also result in diarrhoea. You may need to experiment a little to find the optimum balance of number and size of bowel movements, stool solidity and extent of digestion. There are various herbs for promoting peristaltic motion.

They should be taken with meals, and in small doses, usually 3 times a day. If you take too large a dosage of these herbs, then there will be too much peristaltic motion and accompanying diarrhea and too rapid a motion of food through the intestines. This can result in partially undigested food particles in one's diarrhea also, a sign of insufficient digestion time and reduced absorption of nutrients from one's food.

Taking Magnesium in addition may also help to loose the stools a little in lieu of these herbs, to assist in the motion of stool through the intestines, although of course, too watery or loose stools is not desirable. The leaves of various members of the Aloes family are regarded as being the most powerful herbs for promoting peristalsis, and are sometimes referred to as laxative herbs. Do not underestimate their potency! Cape Aloe Aloe ferox - related to Aloe vera Aloe barbadensis ; Cascara segrada is regarded by some as the 'second' most powerful herb for promoting peristalsis; Sennae folium Cassia angustifolia is regarded by some as the 'third' most powerful herb for promoting peristalsis.

I have found it effective in promoting peristalsis. Co-Ton A is a very powerful product, and as well as it's intestinal function, taking 2 capsules with a meal may mean you need to take less Betaine HCl for that meal. It can also help with reducing hypertension high blood pressure. More information is available at the link below.

One drawback of the Co-Ton A product is the Cayenne pepper component. Whilst some natural health professionals recommend it in certain instances, e. Dr Richard Schulze, there are a number of drawbacks. Firstly, Cayenne Pepper contains Capsaicin, a type of Vanilloid, which gives it its hot property. This heat may imbalance the energetic system according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. In addition, Capsaicin will stimulate the Vanilloid Receptors, resulting in increased Nitric Oxide release.

A significant proportion of CFS, ME and Fibromyalgia sufferers are likely to have elevated Nitric Oxide and Peroxynitrite levels, resulting in a vicious circle of oxidative stress. This is examined on the Nitric Oxide page. In addition, Cayenne Pepper stimulates the adrenal glands and if one is already taking Adaptogenic herbs , then the additional Cayenne Pepper may serve to cause insomnia. The Cayenne is included to assist in increasing blood circulation.

This contains Curacao and Cape Aloe leaf, Aloe barbadensis and Aloe capensis or ferox, Senna leaves and pods Cassia angustifolia , Cascara Sagrada aged bark Rhamnus purshiana , Barberry root bark Berberis vulgaris , Ginger rhizome Zingiber officinalis , Garlic bulb Allium sativum , and Habanero peppers Capsicum species. This comes in dry form, and pre-soaking and boiling for 20 minutes is required to prepare it.

Whether this is true in humans I do not know, but it is plausible. Kola nuts of course contain caffeine, and are an astringent and diuretic. Herbs that stimulate the liver and gallbladder and bile production may also assist with general digestion, as the liver performs a vital role in digestion, especially with regards to the digestion of fats. Please see the Herbs section on the Toxicity page for further information.

Each herb has a specific purpose and a specific mixture of herbs may be recommended by your specialist. Plant extracts from leaves are relatively easy to dissolve into water, but the harder parts, for example, roots, require soaking overnight and simmering in water.

The quality and strength of herbs may vary from supplier to supplier. In general, fresh, organic herbs are ideal. Tinctures in general tend to be more readily absorbed than dry capsules. Whilst the leafy parts of a plant may be readily absorbed in the form of a tea or when consumed as a capsule, the roots of plants are much harder and may not be absorbed very well, even when ground up, and so may require prolonged boiling or their vital ingredients extracted using alcohol.

This is why many Chinese herbs are boiled for 30 minutes prior to consumption. This may not however be very practical! Slightly cheaper or less potent variants of herbs or plants may be used. Non-organic herbs may be lower in active ingredients in any case and coated with small concentrations of herbicides and pesticides.

An article from The Weston A. Price Foundation's web site on the subject of the benefits of Gelatin can found be at the link below. Manufactured gelatin may contain small amounts of MSG some do not and so freshly prepared stock is better although requiring hours boiling! Gelatin is normally derived from cows and sometimes pigs. Gelatin does not occur naturally in animal tissue. Collagen is however found in the connective tissue, i.

This is why broths and stocks are boiled. Gelatin is also a protein. It has been a common staple of western diet until the last century. Collagen is the oldest known glue in the world and its use in rope baskets and embroidered fabrics has been carbon dated to years ago.

Collagen is a fibrous compound. Gelatin is a powder that when dissolved in water forms a thick gel, which when heated melts. Gelatin-based glues are today used in the manufacture of musical instruments such as violins or guitars. It is also a protein supplement and used in desserts and sweets. Please see the links below for more information on collagen and gelatin.

This helps to remove the enzyme inhibitors, mineral absorption inhibiting phytic acid and also indigestible polysaccharides. One may choose to also soak the seeds overnight in order to begin sprouting them. Please see the link below for more information. Sprouting may also be another option for increased nutrition, which can be eaten raw or steamed please see the Hot and Cold Energy section for more information.

Strictly speaking, this does not alleviate digestive impairment but it can ease digestion of these food types if consumed in this manner. The difference however is that blended food does not require so much chewing and is much more finely ground that chewed food depending on one's chewing diligence!

In Edwardian times, great emphasis was put into chewing and digestion. Good digestion was a preoccupation of the Edwardians. However now, few can be bothered to chew properly and gulping down food is the norm. Digestive disorders and bowel cancer are on the increase. This may be useful for those who find partially digested particles of food in their stool on occasion. Blending to many people implies having to blend raw vegetables or making fruit smoothies, but this is not necessarily the case.

Then serve in a bowl or similar. The only downside is that you may consume more liquid with your food that you would otherwise have done if you have eaten it normally, as one needs to put a certain amount of water into a blender with the food in order for the blending to get started. Some foods absorb water, e. In general it is best to avoid drinking too much with meals. One can balance this with the fact that the food is in a more digestible and masticated format.

If one's meal is a little watery, then one should probably avoid drinking additional water with the meal, and if possible swallow one's supplements with a mouthful of the blended, watery food assuming one as supplements to take.

It is inadvisable to swallow supplements just using a thick paste type of blended meal, as there is not enough water to digest the food, let alone for the supplements to dissolve in.

You may end up finding undissolved tablets in your stools at worst, which is a waste of money and not ideal for your GI tract! Dry foods or those which require more water to digest are to be avoided, according to Joseph McClendon III and all foods should be full of water to aid digestion and maintain health preferably 'natural waters' as he calls it meaning water naturally found in vegetables, or alternatively spring water.

It is well known that the same food and drink, if juiced, will not only dilute the stomach juices less than eating it and drinking the same amount of liquid, but it will remain in the stomach for longer, meaning that you will not become hungry so quickly again.

This is useful for those who are trying to lose weight. You may elect to juice one meal a day or all your meals. One may want to consider that the action of chewing stimulates the nervous system's impulse to produce digestive enzymes.

When juicing, one may want to consider this fact. Some juiced vegetables, like celery, can still be chewed as they are still fibrous. One can still chew juiced or pulped food. Practitioners like Dr Richard Schulze recommend juicing diets for the chronically or terminally ill.

Please see the Detoxification Diets section on the Detoxification page for more information. Such a meal will remain in the stomach longer and start to ferment or fester. This is especially important for those with already impaired digestion and poor stomach acid and enzyme levels.

It is therefore preferable to only drink as much liquid as you need to swallow your food and wash it down and little more, but waiting until your stomach is nearly empty or actually empty before drinking to fulfil your hydration requirements, for the pleasure of drinking or out of boredom! Typically this is around 2 hours after your meal. If not, then you will be compromising your digestion, using up more energy than you should need to digest the food, and absorbing less nutrients.

You may also feel more bloated. If you are dehydrated it is better to drink some liquid 30 minutes before the meal as it is absorbed relatively quickly on an empty stomach as it should be taken. Our modern culture puts little emphasis on digestion and it is easy to fall into the temptation of simpy drinking at least a glass with every meal, often much more if one is eating out or drinking alcohol.

It is ironic that such little emphasis is placed on digestion at meal times and when eating out and we habitually sabotage our digestion on account of our cultural habits and lack of understanding. So is eating huge amounts of raw vegetables good for everyone? Our society seems to be polarised into those who do not eat any raw vegetables or fruit whatsoever, and those who eat far too many raw vegetables or only raw foods.

Much in the same way that political views and social strata are highly polarised. It breaks down starch molecules into more digestible pieces. It 'denatures' protein molecules, helping to 'unfold' their amino acid chains, making them easier to be broken down by own digestive enzymes.

And in most cases, heat softens food, which makes it easier to digest. This is true for vegetables but for fish and meat, cooking tends to soften it to a degree, but then overcooking tends to toughen it up like leather well done steak being virtually inedible! So even though cooked food is no more calorific, the body requires fewer calories to digest it and process it, to extract the nutrition and energy from it.

Previous studies had shown that raw and cooked food were equally well digested because they were focussed on the actual stool coming out of the anus, i.

Some food types cannot be eaten if uncooked as they are either too hard or are simply not digested at all e. How much of this is down to inadequate chewing by the mice and how much is down to actual digestion of properly chewed food pellets? Clearly this has wider implications for CFS patients, as mitochondrial function and digestive enzyme levels are much lower in these individuals, and changing the diet to food types that are harder to digest and require more energy to do so, despite the nutritional benefits, may have disasterous results.

Clearly there are many different and degrees methods of cooking, and this is explored in the section further below on Convenience Foods. Some cooking methods are better than others and retain nutrients better. Light steaming and blanching are better than higher temperature methods such as baking or frying. Microwaving is the cooking method that should be avoided at all costs as it damages DNA and RNA to the greatest extent, and there have been cases of accidental death due to patients having their blood samples microwaved prior to injection to warm it up.

Richard Wrangham, Harvard biological anthropologist, has studied chimpanzee cultures in the wild for over 30 years. He has theorised that homo sapiens would have never have physically evolved if it were not for the practice of cooking. He believes that cooking with fire was the breakthrough needed for Homo erectus, the precursor to Homo sapiens, to develop the larger, brain filled skull and narrow pelvis and rib cage.

A larger brain requires more energy, and most animals with larger brains also have a larger abdomen and pelvis to accommodate a larger gut. A more efficient way of digesting food and absorbing energy from food would thus mean that the gut could grow shorter and the brain size could expand as there was more energy available to power a larger brain.

The driver for this may have been the instinctual desire for softer food that tasted better and was easier to eat. This shift in eating patterns has been estimated as having occurred roughly , years ago, although it is possible that it started up to , years ago. The above hypothesis rides on the concept of eating more 'energy rich' foods, or more specifically, foods where more energy can be obtained more easily.

A recent study on a group of individuals who were to only subsist on raw vegetables, unprepared, who had no blenders and had to chew everything, resulted in weight loss in all participants the majority spending most of their day just chewing food , some with severe weight loss as they gave up on chewing around the clock.

The human being is genetically programmed to seek energy rich foods. This is a survival mechanism so that during times of plenty, an individual can stock up on fat reserves, to get him through times of low food availability. The human body was thus well designed for its purpose. If we go back to the early s, the working class of the UK were very poor and were undernourished and very skinny. With the advent of readily available refined sugar-containing foods, and increasing wealth, the working class of Britain gradually became well fed and now there is actually no class difference between the rich and poor in terms of nutritional health and risk of obesity, colonic cancer and heart disease.

Now we have an unnatural scenario where we are living in a western society where calorie-rich food is readily available and cheap, and that one has to actually resist one's natural urges to eat purely fatty and sweet foods or one will become obese and suffer other health issues. One could argue that today's society goes against our genetic instincts and the health epidemic we observe today is a result of this. Extreme self-discipline is required to maintain a healthy dietary regime.

This is why many 'health-freaks' are regarded as killjoys and too 'uptight'. A friend of mine once commented that one day mankind will probably evolve to adapt to the modern environment, computer usage, modern diets etc. The older I get, and the more I learn, the more this seems ridiculous.

The human body still maintains its genetic desire for energy-rich foods, let alone being unable to effectively adapt to the influx of foreign chemical toxins, electromagnetic smog and postural stresses. One could argue that standards and expectations have simply increased in today's society, and that the human body is meant to be mechanically worn out at the end of one's life - and that few lived past the age of 35 if one goes back years.

However, animals stay 'fit' until they die, they do not generally turn obese and unhealthy in their prime! We have simply removed certain stressors and added new ones. We should really treat raw fruit and steamed vegetables seperately from raw vegetables. Everyone should probably eat at least a couple of pieces of fruit a day, and plenty of different kinds of steamed vegetables, no matter what condition he is suffering from.

Of course there is no harm eating an occasional raw vegetable, but to do so regularly may well cause energetic problems in the body in those that are in severe imbalance already. According to TCM, cold energy foods, dairy products and foods contained refined sugar or brown sugar tend to have a detrimental effect on individuals with a weak spleen meridian.

The stomach and spleen meridians tend to be quite weak in indiviuals with CFS, but of course the exact energetic pattern varies from individual to individual and should be identified by a qualified practitioner.

I have noticed that the body appears to be most susceptible to disruption from cold energy food sources when the body is low in energy itself, in particular when qi deficiency, qi stagnation and yin deficiency are present in the body.

This may of course vary according to the individual. A sign of too much cold energy intake is a continuous damp headache, particularly after eating the food source in question e. An excess of cold food consumption cannot be counterbalanced by eating certain hot foods or herbs.

It is unfortunately not as simple as this. Please see the section below on Endocrine System Disrupting Foods for a discussion of those raw vegetables that should be cooked lightly prior to consumption and preferably not eaten raw in any significant quantities raw. Consuming too many sources of 'hot' energy e.

For example, Cayenne Pepper is recommended for both internal and external use by some herbalists for those with chronic illness, to stimulate blood circulation. Whilst this may well be effective in the short term, long term use of chilli peppers will elevate one's hot energy levels and may well be detrimental to one's overall health and energy levels as can be seen in the case study below.

There may be a connection between consumption of excessive hot or warming foods and elevated Nitric Oxide production and nervous system excitation. The vanilloid receptor in the nervous system responds to heat as well as vanilloids which are also hot in nature and produces Nitric Oxide when stimulated.

This is examined in more detail on the Nitric Oxide and Peroxynitrite page. Additionally, foods with 'hot' or 'cold' properties may be an expression of the suitability of the chemical composition of the food in question to one's metabolic typing or oxidising rate - not actually the 'energy' of the food, but more the properties of the chemical compounds in the food, including oil content and several others.

For those suffering from CFS or related conditions, a poorly functioning digestive system and chronic energetic imbalance is often at the heart of their problems, and a raw food-biased diet is unlikely to provide great benefit, and may conversely make the person more ill and further negatively impact the energetic system.

However, some individuals have shown to benefit greatly from such diets. However, response is not uniform, and one has to consider each individual's physiology and digestive and energetic health before prescribing a blanket approach. Those who benefit from raw food diets in general probably do not have chronic energetic problems in terms of spleen function, for example.

There is no 'one size fits all' diet, and each individual's needs, tolerances etc. For those with impaired digestive systems, it is probably best to be conservative and exercise caution, and avoid or limit those food types that will put a strain on one's digestive system or that are too 'cold' in energetic terms, for example, avoiding too many fried foods, soft drinks and too much raw food.

Chinese doctors in general recommend eating fresh fruit, but in general only raw vegetables a couple of times a week for those with impaired digestive systems. The easiest 'vegetables' to digest raw are lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes tomatoes are strictly speaking a fruit, but are usually eaten with savoury foods and not with other fruit.

All other vegetables are much harder to digest raw. Moderation is the key. Once one's digestive system is functioning much more effectively i.