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.

0018 Understanding Fibromyalgia


Fibromyalgia is classified as a syndrome rather than a disease and rightly so. It is a 'syndrome' is when a significant number of people present a similar group of symptoms that can't be linked to any obvious organ or tissue damage. This syndrome often includes as part of its symptoms yet another syndrome known separately as Chronic Fatigue.

We think the number of people suffering with this condition is under reported, as many who do not qualify on all the points required for the medical diagnosis still benefit greatly from the natural solutions available.

It is helpful to understand the underlying issues in order to accomplish any program you begin. An extremely high percentage of people (80%+) report that the onset of symptoms occurred after an extended period of stress that interfered with their ability to get a good night's sleep. For many, their first indication that anything was amiss was their waking up more tired than when they went to bed.

Sleep is said to be restorative, and that means not only restoring energy but actually repairing and rebuilding the body. Every system and organ repairs itself but you must be able to get into a deep state of sleep in order for this process to take place. Level 1 is light sleep, essentially drifting in and out of sleep. Level 2 is when brain waves slow down and Levels 3 & 4 are considered deep sleep, prior to Level 5 or REM sleep. Normally we cycle through all of these stages several times each night.

Deep sleep is when our pineal gland produces melatonin, a powerful antioxidant for the brain which helps us to maintain that deep level of restorative sleep. Remember, the brain is the kingpin of the nervous system so anything that benefits the brain makes the entire system run a bit more smoothly.

Supplementing with Melatonin is tricky because if  you give it to your body too often, your brain thinks that it does not need to produce any of its own, so use this supplement only occasionally. The better idea is to encourage your pineal gland to make its own melatonin. This only occurs in complete darkness. Stand in your sleeping environment after you have turned off the lights and your eyes have become adjusted to the relative darkness. Count how many glowing LEDs and shafts of light from outside, or other rooms enter your space. If you can read with the lights out, you are not going to be making any melatonin!

A great aid that can help develop a new habit of restful sleep is 5-HTP which is the precursor to l-Tryptophan, a well known amino acid with relaxing attributes. One or two capsules a half hour before bedtime can help provide deeper levels of sleep. Yes, you still need to darken the room too!

Getting the underlying sleep issue worked out will go a long way to making your supplements more effective. This is better than taking a more palliative, symptom-based approach. When supplementing, keep the letter "M" in mind. Magnesium, Manganese and Malic Acid are  essential components when addressing the muscle pain of Fibromyalgia. We like the NSP supplements Fibralgia and Magnesium Complex to provide this, sometimes adding extra Manganese if needed. Calming the over-excitable nerves is accomplished with the anti-inflammatory Super Omega 3 EPA. Other nervines can also be beneficial, such as NSP's Stress-J or the Chinese TCM formula Nervous Fatigue.

Sometimes an underlying issue in Fibromyalgia is damage to connective tissue so we add Collatrim in either drink powder or capsule form. These amino acids and collagen help to build stronger systems that don't react to every little stress with pain. A mild exercise program that includes activities like swimming, stretching, walking, yoga, dancing also helps to strengthen tissue so that nerves don't over-react to even mild strain.

We have personally worked with many people who no longer suffer from Fibromyalgia. Lahni has made it a particular study since she overcame this syndrome herself. So take your supplements, turn off the night light, unplug the TV, close the drapes and get a good night's sleep! You body will thank you for it!

(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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