From the book The 10 Minute Herbalist by Ralph & Lahni DeAmicis, (c) 2015

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Chapter 3: Alkaline & Acid = pH: An Easy Guide to Health


Too Much Acid Equals Pain. Your body has to convert all of your foods into a salty, alkaline state before you assimilate that nutrition. Your blood has to be alkaline because if it turns too acidic you’ll die, which cancels your warranty. What creates an acid state in your body? Stress, acid foods, consuming large amounts of the acid producing minerals; phosphorus, sulfur and chlorine! What creates an alkaline state in your body? Relaxation, joy, alkaline foods and consuming large amounts of the alkaline producing minerals; calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium in an easy to absorb form!

Are there any health problems that are not caused or made worse by an acid condition? Yes! Getting hit by a truck and other such “out of the blue” incidents. But in cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, digestive problems, nervous stress and so on, excess acid due to mineral imbalances is either the direct cause or a major contributing factor. How do we know this? Because since ancient times, when a person corrects their alkaline-acid balance all of these conditions are improved, often dramatically. Amazing coincidence! If you keep your reserves of alkaline minerals high you’ll improve your long-term health, have less pain and more energy. How do you know how good your alkaline and acid balance is? By testing your saliva for its ‘pH’, or potential of Hydrogen, measured from Zero (most acid) to 14 (most alkaline) and 7 is neutral.

An alkaline body conducts electricity better than an acid body. Pain is a sign that an electrical connection isn’t being made correctly. Acid blocks conductivity. Your body’s systems work best within specific pH ranges. For example, blood needs to be between 7.35 and 7.45. Stomach acid ranges around 2, while the intestinal tract is around 8. 

When acid levels exceed the proper range two things happen; pain and excess acids are dumped resulting in rashes and inflammations of the skin and organs. Red and tender skin means that it’s sitting in an acid bath!

Saliva is naturally mildly acidic and its pH goes up or down based upon the overall pH of the body, making saliva a convenient barometer. If your saliva pH is good, then you’re maintaining good reserves of alkaline minerals. If it’s too acid you’re probably suffering from a degenerative problem and pain. Test your saliva in the morning before brushing your teeth or having anything to drink. Get 100 NSP  pH test strips in a kit with a chart. Get an extra 25 pH charts in case you give strips to friends and family. They also have a pH-testing brochure. If your pH is low, there are two strategies to correct that. First, supplement with A Green Drink, 2 to 4 scoops a day in water will restore your reserves of the alkaline minerals, calcium and magnesium, that your body uses as chemical buffers to convert acids to alkaline. It’s the best product to do this quickly. The more you use the less pain you’ll have!

Taken after dinner it encourages a good night’s sleep by neutralizing pain-producing acids. Potassium Combination  supplies potassium and sodium. Important chemical buffers, they also accelerate the flow of nutrients into the cells and the flow of toxins out. Magnesium helps your muscles relax, the bowels become more effective and also aids the absorption of other minerals. While Calcium most people get enough in their diets, but they can't assimilate because of one of two reasons. If they are low in Magnesium their body can't absorb it. And here's the big one; if a person is eating a lot of grains, bread, bagels, muffins, pasta, oatmeal, etc., there is a component in the grains called a phytate that binds onto the minerals and prevents your body from absorbing it. Even though lab tests show that a grain may be high in minerals when it gets in the body most of those minerals are too bound up to be absorbed.

It was long believed that eating too much lean animal protein was causing excessive acid in the body because it is acidic. However grains are also acidic, although not to the extent that lean animal protein like meat, poultry, fish and seafood. However, those lean animal proteins do not interfere with the absorption of the grains, while the grains block the absorption of the high quality nutrients (minerals) in the meat, poultry and fish. Without those minerals it is very hard for the body to maintain the correct pH. If you want to get your pH in line avoid grains. While you are at it avoid beans too because they obstruct the action your body's enzymes which are essential for breaking down those foods. That is why societies that depend on beans produce small people.

Second: Improve your diet. A food is alkaline or acid depending upon the state it produces in the body. This is due to the types of minerals it possesses, not whether the food is alkaline or acid to the touch. For example, meat is alkaline to the touch, but being high in phosphorus and iron it creates an acid state in the body. With that said, one of the biggest problems people suffer from is a lack of high quality lean animal protein, which is also a great source of easy to absorb minerals.

A healthy diet is more alkaline than acid. Depending upon your blood type, the diet should consist of 60 to 80% alkaline foods and 20 to 40% acidic foods. Generally the A and AB blood types need the most alkaline diet while the O and B blood types need more animal products in their diet. The O needs meat and the B needs dairy. But remember, if you’re in pain, you’re acidic. Here is a partial list of foods by acid/alkaline category.


Acidic Foods:

Butter, Cream, Cheeses, Eggs, Seeds, Most Nuts, Sea Food, Soft Drinks, Beans, Most Oils, Lentils, Coffee, Cocoa, Flour products, Pasta, Most Grains, Animal Fats, White Sugar, Milk, All Meats, Tea, Dairy products, Wine, Alcoholic Beverages.


Alkaline Foods:

Almonds, Bananas, Prunes, Raisins, Figs, Grapes, Pears, Potatoes, Avocados, Melons, Maple Syrup, Dates, Coconut, Spinach, Beets, Molasses,

Green Peppers, Lettuce, Cucumbers, String Beans, Corn, Carrots, Squash, Cabbage, Parsley, Peas, Okra, Olives, Oats, Millet, Yogurt, Soured Dairy Products.


These Fruits can be acidic in the stomach but yet slightly alkaline in the tissue:

Apricots, Strawberries, Apples,  Peaches, Raspberries, Dried Fruits, Papayas, Cherries, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Oranges, Lemons, Plums, Blueberries, Mangos, Apple Cider Vinegar.

Chapter 2: Using Herbs, Practical Tips


The majority of the world’s people use healing herbs to protect their good health. It is a simple art with amazing possibilities and humankind has been expanding and organizing this useful knowledge for millennia. High-quality herbs have proven their safety and effectiveness through many years of experience and extensive, worldwide scientific testing. Modern research shows that more than 90% of today’s health challenges are due to nutritional deficiencies. Herbs are highly concentrated, tremendously nutritious, wonderfully restorative food. This explains why herbs have been used since pre-historic times.

Herbs have been studied for more than 5000 years and have proven to be consistently safer than chemical drugs. When you see the media slamming herbs, consider that the 1.3 trillion dollar a year medical industry uses part of their huge profits to sabotage ‘the competition’ and they are big advertisers. This adverse propaganda has been going on since the 1920’s and it’s nothing personal, it’s just business. The resurgence of herbs as a healing force is due to their effectiveness, not because of high profit margins. The only damage a high quality herbal product might do to you is if a bottle fell on your foot. Ouch! But if it does, don’t worry, we have herbs for that!

No matter what your healing program, start off slowly. Get comfortable with the product by taking 1 or 2 capsules for the first few days, then gradually increasing the amount by 2 every couple of days until you reach your target amount. The three biggest mistakes people make with herbs are, not taking enough, for long enough and with too little water. Herbs are food, not drugs. You serve them up in family sized portions, not minuscule doses. If you’re resolving a problem that developed over years, it takes a while to feed the body completely enough that a true, deep level healing can take place.

Herbs essentially have three actions; they clean you, feed you and restore your balance. It’s a very simple art. When you’re taking a super nutrient, it takes 2 weeks before your body even starts making new tissue. A common mistake many people make is stopping their program after only a few days, or a couple of weeks, just when their body is starting the real healing.  Your body will easily assimilate up to 1 capsule a day for every 10 lbs of your body weight of each herb or combination. Example: a 200 lb person can take up to 20 capsules daily of an herb like Pau d’Arco to resolve a deep-seated problem. In comparison, for basic health maintenance, follow the recommendation on the bottle, usually 2-4 a day, or 1 for every fifty pounds.

Next, nothing serious heals in less than 3 months and then add 1 month for every year you’ve had the problem. Example: If you’ve had anxiety attacks for 3 years, to completely resolve the problem at its deepest nutritional level, you’ll need to take the full amounts of each product for 6 months (3 months plus 1 month for each year) before you can reduce the amounts to the maintenance levels. (An exception to these amounts are hormonal tonics like ginseng, or dong quai, where the body only requires between 3 to 9 daily.) Finally, take your herbs with a minimum of 10 ounces of pure water. How are you going to clean out toxins without plenty of pure water?  

Today, we know more about the healing power of herbs than at any time in recorded history and the knowledge continues to advance. High quality herbs can be used to relieve pain, stress, anxiety, depression, restore the libido, turn back your hormonal clock, lose or put on weight, clean and restore the functioning of body systems, and take the gray out of your hair. The list goes on and on. It’s amazing what thousands of years of study and experience have shown.

The best place to start any healing process is with a gentle cleansing. However, if a person’s vitality level is very low, delay that until some basic rebuilding is done. Good starter products are Algae, the very foundation of all foods. Beyond Algae is only sunlight and minerals. Chlorophyll, which can be added to your water, gently cleans and feeds your system, and Potassium Combination which provides that important alkaline mineral foundation that good health rests on.

Remember, we said “High Quality Products”. The majority of herbs found in local stores are of mediocre quality and effectiveness in comparison to the extremely high quality produced by the established network marketing companies like Nature’s Sunshine Products. For example, they sell the purest, highest potency products by first paying top dollar to their suppliers, paying it quickly and then doing up to 200 tests in their four in-house labs, to verify that the products are the correct species, contain the correct amounts of active ingredients, are pollution and radiation free and fulfill many other demanding criteria. Herbs are living things and the can be debased many different ways, but NSP's commitment quality allows us to use their products with absolute confidence, resulting in tremendous health benefits for our clients. So, be very careful about the quality of the products you use in their your healing process because it does matter.

(c) 2015 Ralph & Lahni de Amicis  

Here's to your health!

Ralph & Lahni de Amicis

Herbal Solutions... your guides to motivated health! 


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