Acidity and Alkalinity are measured in pH or potential of Hydrogen. A neutral pH of 7 can be found in water. Acids have a pH below 7, while an alkaline substance has a pH above 7. The ideal pH for the human body is between 6.0 and 6.8 (yes, we are a little bit acidic). When we find a person whose blood is below 6.3, they are considered acidic and above 6.8, alkaline.
When the body is too acidic the following symptoms are often present: frequent sighing, insomnia, water retention, recessed eyes, arthritis, migraine headaches, abnormally low blood pressure, acid or strong perspiration, dry hard stool, foul smelling stool accompanied with burning anus, alternating constipation and diarrhea, halitosis, a burning sensation in the mouth, sensitivity to vinegar and bumps on tongue and roof of mouth.
Eat more than 80% neutral and alkaline forming food (see chart) and less than 20% acid food, especially red meat. Eating raw fruits and vegetables is very beneficial to lower acidity. Chew your food more slowly and don’t over indulge, as this can have a dramatic change in the acidity of the body. Try to drink as little fluid as possible with your meals. Umeboshi plums from Japan have been quite successful in reducing acidity. Take four plums daily (spread throughout the day), for three days. I find the use of green drinks like Greens Plus to be useful to lower acidity and help maintain a good pH balance.
Single Herbs: Chlorella, Umeboshi plums, Kelp, Corn Silk, Uva Ursi.
Nutritional Supplements: Vitamin A (25 – 50,000 IU daily), B complex, Phosphorus, Potassium, Apple Cider Vinegar.
This is the opposite of Acidosis and is not as common in North America, but still does happen. Alkalosis produces an over-excited nervous system with the following symptoms: highly nervous condition, hyperventilation, seizures, sore muscles, creaking joints, bursitis, drowsiness, protruding eyes, hypertension, edema, allergies, night cramps, asthma, indigestion, night coughs, vomiting, thick blood, menstrual problems, hard stool, prostatitis, thickening of the skin. Alkalosis often occurs with eating disorders or from taking to many alkaline pharmaceuticals like sodium bicarbonate.
Eat more acid forming food (see the Acid/Alkaline chart). Do not use antacids, and reduce mineral supplements, unless necessary.
Single Herbs: Alfalfa
Nutritional Supplements: B complex, B6 (50 mg, three times daily), Vitamin C (3 – 6,000 mg daily, throughout the day), Vitamin D3 (400 IU daily), Vitamin E (400 IU daily), L-Cysteine (500 mg, twice daily), MSM, Selenium (200 mcg daily).