Enzymes are molecular proteins that cause reactions in living cells. Enzymes have a variety of functions in the body, including digesting food, transmitting nerve impulses, repairing damaged cells, and making muscles work. The human body produces some enzymes but it must obtain other essential enzymes from the diet. Most people need a lot more live enzymes than they are getting from the average American diet of processed fast-foods. If it comes in a box or is cooked to a mush, it does not contain live enzymes.
Vitamins are organic micro-nutrients that keep the body functioning at peak performance. They are not energy pills or substitutes for food! In humans there are 13 known vitamins including four fat-soluble (A, D, E, and K) and 9 water-soluble (8 B vitamins and vitamin C). Fat soluble vitamins dissolve in fat and are stored by the body in fatty tissue until needed. Water soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are excreted via the urinary tract. They are not stored and must be replenished often. Vitamins are necessary for growth, vitality, and a healthy immune system.
At most fast-food restaurants, lettuce, tomato, and onions are the only live enzymes on the menu.
Deficiencies of essential enzymes and vitamins can lead to serious problems. We should all eat better, adding more vegetables, herbs, whole grains, lean proteins, seeds, nuts, fruits, cold-pressed oils, and green drinks to our diets.
Enzymes exist in every living thing and act as catalysts for all cellular activity. Enzyme activity is extremely specialized. Most enzymes act together in a complicated network which includes vitamins and minerals.
The three main categories of enzymes are metabolic enzymes, digestive enzymes, and fresh plant enzymes. We can make our own metabolic and digestive enzymes, but we must get fresh plant enzymes from our diets. Raw vegetables and fruits are rich sources of fresh plant enzymes. Good sources are pineapples, berries, bananas, mangos, sprouts, papayas, avocados, and fresh vegetables. Fruit salad with blueberries, peaches, apples, and mint is a delicious mixture of live enzymes. A plate of colorful vegetables like green spinach, orange sweet potato, purple beets, and red cabbage mean live enzymes are in abundance. Gray, beige, or brown foods? Except for whole grains, nuts, and seeds, not so much.
Eat more raw fruits and vegetables to get enzymes, vitamins, and minerals into your diet. All foods in their natural state have the enzymes required for digesting them. The enzymes found in whole, unprocessed foods give the body what it needs to work properly.
Symptoms of digestive enzyme depletion include bloating, belching, gas, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, heartburn, and food allergies. Symptoms can be relieved with herbal remedies, but a good diet gets to the source of the problem and brings real healing.
Enzymes are very sensitive to high heat. Any heat over 120 degrees destroys a food’s active enzymes. Enzymes are also destroyed by microwaves. Many enzymes are also rendered useless by fluorides, chlorinated water, air pollutants, chemical additives, prescriptions, and over the counter drugs.
Metabolic enzymes stimulate immunity in certain parts of the body (especially the pancreas). Enzymes causes the white blood cells to attack invaders and break them up. Enzyme therapy can be used to treat heart disease, malignancies, skin problems, low blood sugar, high blood sugar, colon problems, poor circulation, stomach pain, eye disease, and even headaches.
Some enzymes act as anti-inflammatory agents. They can help heal sports injuries, respiratory problems, degenerative diseases, and surgical wounds. Other enzymes clean wounds, dissolve blood clots, neutralize toxins, and help control allergic reactions.
Enzyme therapy can be practiced at home. Use ginger and milk thistle to help tone the heart, stimulate the liver, and strengthen the intestines. Ginger also contains enzymes that can help turn cholesterol into bile acids. Enzymes in nettle can drive toxins out of the body by stimulating the kidneys. Licorice contains enzymes that have a balancing effect on estrogen hormones and estrogen metabolism.
Aloe Vera has enzymes that remove dead skin cells and help open pores. Aloe Vera also contains special enzymes that help heal wounds. Aloe Vera can heal burns and keep pain to a minimum.
Green tea contains enzymes that help the body to excrete toxins. Hawthorn has enzymes and flavonoids that prevent collagen destruction (and gives the skin a firm foundation). Dandelion enzymes enhance the flow of bile and help to break down fat molecules. Cayenne enzymes trigger stomach secretions that help digestion. Catnip provides enzyme therapy for heartburn and indigestion. Fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits contain an abundance of healthy enzymes -- so add them to your meals on a daily basis!
Green drinks are amazing, nutritional, super foods. Why are they green? Because of chlorophyll.
Green drinks and spring tonics can be made from fruits, vegetables, and medicinal herbs.
Plants use chlorophyll along with sunlight to manufacture nutrients. Chlorophyll rich juices, known as green drinks, containing wheat grass and other super foods are great herbal tonics. Their molecular structure is close to that of human plasma! These juices and powdered blends help clear the skin, cleanse the kidneys, nourish the brain, and build up the blood. Green drinks provide hundreds of essential enzymes! They are an excellent way to remove sticky mucus from the body and help ward off spring allergies.
Spring tonics are traditional in many parts of the world. Everything from dandelion to wheat grass and orange juice are used to invigorate the body after a long, stuffy winter. Spring tonics and green drinks bring healing and help build immunity.
Vegetable juices also make good tonics. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and active enzymes. Vegetable juices provide the body with plenty of nutrients without lots of extra calories.
Herbal teas also make excellent spring tonics. They cleanse and provide energy with almost no calories! Try early spring herbal teas made from fresh chickweed, dandelion (greens, roots and flowers), cleavers, nettle, or blackberry leaf. These and other leafy-green herbs are at the perfect stage for harvesting during spring -- when they are tender and juicy.
Herbal teas are natural, balancing, and healing tonics that are easily absorbed when served warm. When taking small sips, alternate with deep breathing. This allows important essential oils to be inhaled with the steam. Herbal teas flood the tissues with concentrated nutritional support to speed up cell regeneration. Herbal teas also speed the release of toxic chemicals and poisons from the body via the urinary and digestive tract.
Try red clover, nettle, sage, alfalfa, milk thistle seed, or echinacea tea to cleanse the blood. For mucous cleansing try mullein, comfrey, marshmallow, rose hip, calendula, ginger, peppermint, or fennel seed. For bowel health try fennel seed, peppermint, lemon balm, parsley, calendula, or ginger. For the bladder and kidneys try juniper berries, ginger, or parsley.
Drinking fruit juice helps to eliminate wastes quickly. Regular consumption of fresh juice helps stop sugar cravings, adds natural vitamin C to the diet, and keeps the digestive system in good shape. Fruit juices are high in water and natural sugars. Drink them a couple times a week, first thing in the morning, for best results. If possible, eat a breakfast of lean protein and vegetables about thirty minutes later. Save heavier foods like grains, dairy, and meats for later in the day. When offered a choice between fruit juice and a piece of whole fruit, choose the whole fruit which adds lots of fiber to your diet. Do not drink fruit juice over once a day, since it can add extra calories to the diet.
When harvesting or purchasing fruits, vegetables, and herbs (culinary and medicinal), beware of pesticides, sprays, and other harmful chemicals. Do not gather from the side of busy highways! Grow or buy organic whenever possible. Always wash fresh produce in running water for as long as necessary to remove any dirt, germs, and toxins. As a safeguard, spray with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water or grapefruit extract before washing. The acetic acid in vinegar kills bacteria and helps to dissolve the wax and pesticide residues found on the skins of many fruits and vegetables.
Colorful foods like fresh vegetables and fruits contain plenty of vitamins.
It is not uncommon for people to suffer starvation and related diseases due to lack of food and vitamins. Vitamin supplements help save the lives of many children and adults during times of famine, droughts, and other disasters.
In America, people are at risk for vitamin deficiency due to poor eating habits -- like living off of processed and fast foods. Even though lots of processed foods (flavored water, white bread, boxed cereals, pasta, and snack foods) are enriched with vitamins – they may be of such poor quality that they are never absorbed by the body.
Many factory farms are producing genetically modified vegetables grown in overused soil. These foods have been proven to contain far less nutrients than the same varieties grown in rich soil. People that grow their own vegetables and fruits or buy from small farmers are much more likely to be consuming vitamin and mineral rich foods. If someone eats a good balanced diet with lots of fresh veggies and fruits, they probably do not need to take many vitamin supplements unless advised to do so by a healthcare professional.
It can harm the body if too many vitamins are consumed through pills and supplements. Excess amounts are excreted in urine or stored until needed and can lead to conditions like hair loss, toxicity, insomnia, and kidney stones. Too many vitamins can actually be life threatening.
People that may need to take vitamin supplements include women with heavy periods, pregnant and nursing women, the elderly, people taking certain medications, people on strict weight loss diets, people who have undergone recent surgery (or serious injury), people with bad teeth, and strict vegetarians.
Other people that may need vitamin supplements include smokers (they need extra B and C), drinkers (they need more C and B), nervous people (may need more B), overweight people (may need more E), and anyone consuming lots of preservatives (need more C). People who don’t eat many fresh vegetables and fruits also need vitamin supplements (but it’s best to change the diet). If vitamin supplements are necessary, buy high quality products from a trusted source.
Wheat grass makes a nourishing green drink that can shrink tumors and help protect from the negative effects of chemotherapy. It is easy to grow at home.
Chlorophyll is one of the active ingredients in wheat grass, along with live enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. Chlorophyll protects from carcinogens by strengthening cell membranes, detoxifying the liver, detoxifying the blood, and chemically neutralizing pollution. Chlorophyll also helps counter the harmful effects of x-rays, chemotherapy,and other environmental radiation. Wheat grass is especially recommended for anyone that spends a lot of time driving in heavy traffic. The chlorophyll in wheat grass helps protect the body from harmful carbon monoxide and other vehicle emissions.
Wheat grass is taken as a fresh liquid or dried, powdered, and stirred into juice or water. Some sources say that fifteen pounds of fresh wheat grass has the nutritional value of 350 pounds of vegetables! Wheat grass is used in the treatment of cancerous growths and other degenerative diseases. It is an excellent choice for use in the treatment of tumors. Combine with turmeric for even better results.
Regular consumption of wheat grass helps cleanse the blood, organs, colon, and gastrointestinal tract. Wheat grass stimulates metabolism and enzyme activity. It also helps treat obesity by stabilizing the thyroid gland and suppressing the appetite.
When used externally, wheat grass ointments, poultices, and compresses help heal skin ulcers, eczema, and other itchy skin conditions.
It also relieves indigestion and helps stop the pain associated with sun burned skin. Wheat grass helps heal athlete’s foot, cuts, burns, scrapes, rashes, insect bites, boils, and itchy scalp. Take wheat grass internally and also apply externally to affected area for best results.
Just place the trays near the bed for a relaxing night of sound sleep. (The wheat grass plants give off oxygen and generate healthy negative ions during the night.) If you have indoor cats, grow a tray for them. They love fresh grass.
Use as needed to sweeten the breath, tighten the gums, and help fight gum disease. Wheat grass juice is good for the mouth, the throat, the stomach, and everything else in the digestive system.
Wheat grass contains large amounts of liquid oxygen which is a natural defense against aging. When taken on a regular basis, the herb rejuvenates cells and helps guard against wrinkles and sagging skin. It also helps increase fertility and sexual function.
If you have an abundance of wheat grass, use the juice in the bath or foot tub. Properties are absorbed through the skin to benefit the whole body. Wheat grass juice also helps get rid of athlete's foot and toenail fungus.
Wheat grass is easy to grow from seed. It is harvested approximately 14 days after sowing the seed.
To grow wheat grass, first soak wheat seeds overnight. Sow moist seeds in a pot of sterilized soil that contains no chemicals or fertilizer. Sow seeds thickly – they should be touching one another. Cover with a thin layer of soil and mist with water daily. When grass appears after about 7 days, place in indirect sunlight. Harvest two-thirds of the new grass with scissors when it is 8 inches tall. If the plants get water and light, they will continue to grow. After three harvests, it is best to start new seeds as grass may get tough. Do not use chemical fertilizers on wheat grass that is going to be consumed.
The following video from the Hippocrates Health Institute shows how to grow wheat grass with step by step instructions:
* Do not take out-of-date vitamins. Always consult with a healthcare professional before taking any herbal remedy, vitamin, or food supplement, especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking other medicines.
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
** Most of the articles in this online herbal encyclopedia were first published by the North Georgia News in a weekly column titled Every Green Herb (by Janice Boling).
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