by Nelson, Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop
“With many of us we have a hydrochloric acid problem. And this hydrochloric acid may be over, it may be under. And we are too smart in the way of telling [how much we need]. …For instance, the average human will take a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar three times a day. Take the apple cider vinegar and honey and mix it with a glass of distilled water and drink it down. The body is so computerized that it will take the amount of apple cider vinegar and honey that it needs and it will take it to the lower third of the stomach, and there will revitalize that area so that it will start producing hydrochloric acid in the correct amount. Not too much, not too little. Now the human body will do this!
“...If we go to the store and buy some hydrochloric acid … and we start using this because we don’t have enough hydrochloric acid, we have one little problem. After a period of time the bottom third of the stomach says ‘Nuts to them. They don’t like my hydrochloric acid and won’t work with me. I’ll shrivel up and forget about it.' And atrophication sets in. And it won’t work anymore.
“All right, we have too much acid. So we go buy some Alka-Seltzer, or some alkalization of some kind, and we take whatever it is that we’re using, and the human body isn’t happy, because you’re doing the job. And not letting it supply its own.” 1
- Dr. John R. Christopher
This simple remedy alone can address many stomach problems. When asked if it was advisable to use apple cider vinegar when there is a stomach ulcer present, Dr. Christopher replied “Oh yes, if they chew it.” (Dr. Christopher taught that mixing food with saliva in the mouth was part of digestion. He taught “Drink your foods and chew your liquids.” It is important to rinse the teeth with water after putting straight vinegar in the mouth, or it can cause cavities). He then added “But they should have taken cayenne first, because it would have gotten rid of it.”
In my personal experience, I have advised people to take cayenne pepper along with the apple cider vinegar and honey. This not only helps the stomach rebuild, but will provide support if there is an ulcer present. Cayenne is indeed an odd herb. It may be the only herb that is hot and pungent, but soothing when placed over sores.
My father was once dealing with some digestive troubles. His drugs weren't working the way they used to, and he was desperate enough to try some herbs. I gave him some of the pancreas formula, letting him know that it required a certain lifestyle, or it wouldn't work. And he didn't change anything, so it didn't really help him out.
But something unusual did happen the morning after he took it. He asked me “What is in that formula that makes it burn?” I told him it was cayenne pepper. His eyes got wide and he said “I have a stomach ulcer. I'm not supposed to take cayenne pepper!” I remember laughing a little, and then explaining the soothing nature of cayenne, how it would certainly be true that black pepper or mustard would aggravate his ulcer, but cayenne would do it nothing but good. He then cocked his head and said “You know, now that you mention it, I didn't have to take my drug for my stomach ulcer this morning.”
Even if it’s a really bad stomach ulcer, a little cayenne can go a long way. A single capsule can do wonders! So far, it has managed to do the job with every stomach ulcer I've encountered except for one, and they are by no means in short supply. I would suspect that it is 99.9% effective.
When someone complains of heartburn, cayenne can be used to rebuild the stomach so that the food can be better digested. However, it almost inevitably causes heartburn for 4-5 days after initially taking it. But if it is continuously taken, the individual will enjoy better digestion than they had before they started taking the cayenne.
However, cayenne is not a drug, and it will require that you work with the body to achieve permanent healing. The first way you can work with the body is to stop neutralizing the stomach acid. You can neutralize the stomach acid by taking calcium supplements and antacids. Yet this is professed to be the cure!
But a vicious cycle sets in: you feel the burning of the acid in your esophagus, and you think “Cripes! I have too much acid! I need to get rid of it!” Then you alkalize the stomach, and the burning goes away. Then the body says “Oh no! The stomach isn't acidic anymore! It needs to be acidic to work!” So the body sends in backwash from the intestines to re-acidify the stomach, and it triggers your symptoms. Then you really start taking antacids, and there is a fight as you try to neutralize the stomach faster than it can rebuild itself. Over time it gets progressively worse.
So what happens when the stomach is alkaline? Well, ironically enough, the acid cannot activate the enzymes in the food or supplied by the pancreas, and you can get heartburn. The truth is most people have these problems because they are under acid. If they take the apple cider vinegar and honey, most often the condition improves immediately. If it gets worse, then you probably are genuinely over acid.
And why would the body have these problems in the first place? If the food taken is hard to digest, or depleted of enzymes, all the body can do is make more acid. Stomach acid does not 'melt' the food we eat. It provides an acidic condition to activate digestive enzymes. Meat and dairy takes more work to digest than vegetables, and require a lot of enzymatic activity to break down. Too many starchy foods, such as bread and potatoes may also tax the body. If you don't eat a lot of enzyme rich foods, your pancreas will supply some enzymes, but it can only do this for so long. After a while, the only thing your body can do will be to produce more hydrochloric acid.
The enzymes are important. When the Spanish Conquistadors came to the new world, the marveled at how the natives could eat massive amounts of meat without indigestion. They eventually discovered it was because they ate it with papaya (which is loaded with digestive enzymes, and break down meat very well). They then decided that papaya was the cure for digestive diseases. Personally, I think a mostly plant based diet would provide a more permanent solution.
So what can we do if we want to be forever free of heartburn? Eat a supportive diet. Use dark leafy greens daily in copious amounts. Until the digestion is repaired, use fruits, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds moderately, and use dairy and meat sparingly, or not at all. Use the apple cider vinegar [do not use malt or distilled vinegar] as a test. If you feel better, continue to take it before meals. It may be taken with or without honey. If you feel worse, the herbs marshmallow or slippery elm may be employed. This will not only provide as alkalizing an effect as the body needs, but will also coat and soothe the inflamed tissues damaged by the acid.
In any case, feel free to take cayenne. I know of no better herb to rebuild the stomach. A dear friend of mine once had stomach cancer. She had many health problems at the time. She began to use cayenne. She eventually built up to over 20 capsules a day. She used no other herbs. As she learned more, she stopped drinking the gallon of milk a day she used to. After changing to a vegan diet and using colonics, enemas and cayenne, her stomach cancer went into remission, and completely healed. Since then, she eats mostly raw foods. She no longer weighs several hundred pounds. She is a spritely woman with a glow of health. Even in extreme cases, cayenne may be safely used in a weakened stomach.
1 Dr. Christopher's Herbal Lectures (DVD in the School of Natural Healing's Herbalist program).
Find Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Formulas, single herbs, essential oils, books and more at Dr. Christopher’s Original Herb Shop: www.drchristophersherbshop.com.
NOTICE: All information in this newsletter is given out as information only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.