The Acid-Alkaline Balance
A healthy bloodstream depends upon maintenance of an acid-alkaline balance. The blood has a normal pH range of 7.35 to 7.45 which means that blood is naturally slightly alkaline or basic. Only slight variations on either side are compatible with life. When this delicate balance is disturbed by faulty elimination of acid wastes, carbon dioxide, etc., a condition appears known as acidosis, a known precursor of chronic disease.
To help restore the acid-alkaline balance, a change of diet is necessary and also any one of the following teas may assist: Iceland Moss, Bladderwrack (fucus), Kelp, Irish Moss, Slippery Elm, Calamus, Meadowsweet, or Dandelion (which may be taken as Dandelion coffee).
Acid foods are foods that produce acid when metabolised. Ash from these foods contains higher amounts of sulphur, phosphoric acid and chlorine, all essential for efficient metabolism but are usually found in higher amounts in acid foods. These include breads, cereals, cheese, chicken, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, cranberries, eggs, fish, flour, fowl, grain products, lentils, meats (lean), nuts, oats, oatmeal, oysters, pasta, peanuts, peanut butter, pearl barley, plums, prunes, rhubarb, rabbit, rice (white), sugar, sweet corn, tea, veal, wholemeal bread, wheatgerm, fried foods.
Acidosis occurs when the blood has too much acid (or too little base), resulting in a decrease in blood pH. Acidosis is a general term for a number of conditions arising from an abnormal breakdown of fats with rapid consumption of carbohydrates. Oxybutyric acids and other allied bodies usually appear in the urine. Diagnosis may be confirmed by a smell of acetone on the breath.
Causes of acidosis: Diet too rich in fats, the inability to digest fats, high meat diets etc.
Symptoms of acidosis: Physical weakness, pallor, lethargy, acid stools, constant yawning, constipation, diarrhoea in severe cases, jaundice.
Symptoms of diabetic coma when due to salt deficiency profoundly affects the chemistry of the blood.
A reduced alkalinity of the blood allows acidosis to take over.
Herbal Options for Acidosis
Tea Formula: equal parts, Balm, Chamomile and Dandelion. 1 heaped teaspoon to each cup boiling water, infuse 10 minutes; dose – 1 cup thrice daily.
Tablets/capsules: Seaweed and Sarsaparilla, Blue Flag, Wild Yam, Yellow Dock.
Potter’s Acidosis tablets: Anise oil, Caraway oil, Cinnamon, Meadowsweet, Rhubarb, Medicinal Charcoal.
Formula: Equal parts Dandelion, Blue Flag, Meadowsweet. Mix. Dose: Powders: 500mg; Liquid extracts: 30-60 drops; Tinctures: 1-2 teaspoons thrice daily.
Diet for Correcting Acidosis
Diets to correct acidosis should seek to restore body chemistry, and replenish stores in the liver without working that organ too hard. A diet consisting of fruits such as melons, mangoes, papaya, coconut water, leafy green vegetables, fresh natural spring water, herbal teas etc will help to restore balance. Also, herbs such as those mentioned above.
What is necessary is serious cutback in food-fats, especially dairy products, readily assimilable forms of carbohydrate, meats, sea foods, fried foods, oils etc.
Alkalosis occurs where the blood has too much base (or too little acid), resulting in an increase in blood pH. Alkalosis is excessive blood alkalinity caused by an overabundance of bicarbonate in the blood or a loss of acid from the blood (metabolic alkalosis), or by a low level of carbon dioxide in the blood that results from rapid or deep breathing (respiratory alkalosis).
These are foods the body breaks down into alkali. Alkaline foods are high in sodium and potassium. All fruits except prunes – almonds, apples, currants, coconuts, fresh plums, berries, limes, mangoes, papaya, raisins, all green leafy vegetables, lettuce, watercress, herb tea.
Types of Acidosis and Alkalosis
Acidosis and alkalosis are categorised depending on their primary cause as:
Metabolic acidosis and metabolic alkalosis are caused by an imbalance in the production of acids or bases and their excretion by the kidneys.
Respiratory acidosis and respiratory alkalosis are caused by changes in carbon dioxide exhalation due to lung or breathing disorders.
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