If you are taking digestive enzymes, you may have noticed two things: first, you digest way better when taking them and second, you begin to realize that you are becoming dependent on them.
You may think, Am I going to need to take digestive enzymes for the rest of my life? Contrary to what you might have heard, the answer is no.
After 28 years of practice, it still amazes me how many people are taking digestive enzymes. We are told by an arsenal of pundits that the ability to make enzymes decreases with age, and that we all must take digestive enzymes in order to digest our food properly.
I am a firm believer that we can all have the digestive strength of an 18 year old, even as we age, without the help of pills or powders.
If you are dependent on enzymes for digestion, please join me as I share with you some digestive reset strategies.
A few years ago, I was honored to lecture with one of the most brilliant natural medicine doctors of our time, Bernard Jensen. He was in his nineties and, after writing 50 books, developing Iridology and numerous colon cleansing therapies, I was shocked to find out that he was taking 17 digestive enzymes with every meal.
I had so much respect for this man; I just could not believe he was on digestive enzymes, let alone 17 with each meal. Interestingly, he had developed the first bentonite clay intestinal cleanse, which I did when I was 18, and the Colema Board, a slant board enema system.
When I heard he was on so many enzymes, I immediately thought of the hundreds of patients I have seen over the years that I’ve called “cleansing casualties” – folks who have cleansed themselves into having a digestive system that only works if they keep cleansing it.
It became painfully obvious in my practice that you can cleanse out the gut and feel great for a spell, but getting the gut to continue functioning on its own long after such a cleanse was the real test.
I was also struck by the completely opposite approach Ayurveda uses to clean the colon. Rather than hosing the gut down with water, which can dry it out, Ayurveda suggests soaking the gut in herbalized oils that have a soothing and lubricating effect.
I also noticed that Dr. Jensen’s belly was largely distended and bloated – a telltale sign that the villi inside the gut, and the lymph directly outside the gut, were congested and inflamed.
How Can Cleansing Your Colon Turn Off Digestive Strength?
The intestinal wall is dependent on a very delicate balance of not being too wet or too dry. We have all experienced dry skin after a shower. In the same way that water can dry out the outer skin, water enemas may slowly dry out the villi, forcing them to become dry or produce reactive mucus. As a result, your stools may become constipated, loose, or both.
This intestinal irritation will congest the villi and force toxins through a default route back to the liver for a second chance to detoxify. The toxins build up and slowly congest the liver. Thick bile slowly congests the gallbladder and bile ducts. Bile flow may become blocked on its path from the liver to the gallbladder and then to the intestines.
Just before the bile duct reaches the small intestine, it joins with the pancreatic duct. Thick bile will block bile flow, as well as the flow of pancreatic (digestive) enzymes. Bile helps break down fat, scrubs the villi, escorts toxins out and much more. The pancreas produces those famous digestive enzymes. In one study, 46% of patients who had Pancreatitis had thick or viscous bile, indicating that thick bile will affect the function of the pancreas.
Digestive Enzyme Summary
1. Irritated intestinal villi: stools that are too dry or too loose
2. Toxins drain from the gut to the liver
3. The bile in the liver becomes congested
4. The bile becomes too thick to flow through the bile ducts
5. The gallbladder becomes congested
6. The thick bile congests the bile duct and pancreatic duct
7. Digestive enzymes cannot pass with the bile into the small intestine
Alternatives to Digestive Enzymes
Now that you understand why we are lacking in these enzymes for digestion, you may ask, why not just decongest the bile and pancreatic ducts and improve the bile flow?
My sentiments exactly! Here’s how:
Step 2: Drink fenugreek tea. It acts as a decongestant for the bile ducts and helps support normal bile flow.
Step 3: Have cinnamon with every meal. Cinnamon supports healthy blood sugar levels while supporting normal bile flow.
Step 4: Mix 1-2 tbsp of olive oil with 1-2 tsp of lemon juice. Shake and drink every morning OR night on an empty stomach for 1 month. This will exercise the liver and gallbladder, while supporting healthy bile flow in the bile and pancreatic ducts.
Step 5: Drink a big glass of water 15-20 minutes before each meal. This will super-hydrate your stomach, encouraging it to produce more hydrochloric acid and increasing the flow of bile and pancreatic enzymes.
Step 6: Consider regular detoxification of the liver and fat cells, which store toxins that are processed through the liver. Regular cleansing can help one achieve optimal digestion.