Feeling sluggish, tired, heavy and lethargic? These are often the signs your acid-alkaline balance is out of sorts. This is a good time to give your body a break and help restore your acid-alkaline balance to boost your energy, vitality and health.
The acid-alkaline balance of the body
The human body is composed mainly of fluids, all of which have a specific pH. The pH value indicates how acidic or alkaline a liquid is. Different organs and body systems function within their own particular pH range. The gastric acid in our stomach, for example, has a very low pH of around 2.0, making it very acidic. The skin’s protective layer, the acid mantle is slightly acidic at a pH of around 5.5. Our blood is alkaline with a pH between 7.35 and 7.45.
The right balance between acid and alkali maintains the body’s equilibrium and is fundamental for good health. When we are healthy and vital our body is quite capable of naturally maintaining this important balance. Any excess acidity is countered by using alkaline minerals - such as calcium, magnesium and potassium - that neutralise or ‘buffer’ the acidity and create a waste product that can be excreted from the body though the bowel, skin, lungs and kidneys.
If the acidity in the tissues increases - often from diet and lifestyle factors - the body needs to use more of its minerals to maintain the acid-alkaline balance. So we also become alkali-deficient as the minerals are leached out of the body to maintain this balance. So we can see how over-acidity and alkali-deficiency go hand-in-hand as they are essentially the same thing.
How does this balance get disturbed?
Most of us know that junk food, excess red meat, fried foods and too much sugar and alcohol are not good for our health and an unhealthy diet is being linked more and more to the development of chronic disease. Our dietary choices often combined with lack of exercise or even too much exercise can lead to a build-up of acidic toxins. Stress and associated emotions of frustration, anger, worry and anxiety also create acidity in the body and this together with a lack of stored minerals often results in an over acidification of the tissues.
The body is overwhelmed by the excess acidity and its associated mineral deficiency. It can no longer excrete the acidic toxins and waste products out of the body and instead deposits them in the skin, connective tissue, blood vessels and the joints where they block important metabolic processes.
What are the symptoms?
The skin as our largest organ is often the first to show signs of over acidity and acidic wastes that can cause dry skin conditions, allergies, break-outs and inflamed skin. Also our connective tissue loses its strength and tone which can cause muscle pain, cellulite and varicose veins. The delicate bacterial balance of the gut is affected by an overly acidic environment and this can lead to indigestion, allergies, bacterial overgrowth and yeast infections etc.
Symptoms of longer-term acidity are fatigue, hair loss, migraines, water retention and weight gain, urinary and bladder infections, hot flushes, insomnia, loose stools or constipation. Gout, arthritis and osteoporosis are examples of long-term high acidic/ alkali deficient conditions.
One of the best ways to address these symptoms is at the root – by restoring a healthy acid-alkaline balance. A whole-body cleanse ensures that toxins and waste products are cleared from the body and that the kidneys, lungs, intestines and connective tissue can function properly again. The Ayurvedic approach is a whole-body approach and we can use alkalising bath products, herbal teas, alkalising powders and mineral supplements alongside diet and exercise to help restore acid /alkali balance.
5-point plan to restore healthy acid/alkali balance:
All of our body tissues suffer from excess acidity but the excretory organs are particularly affected. The kidneys, bladder and urinary tract can become irritated and inflamed. Ayurvedic detox teas are great for clearing acidic waste, reducing inflammation and soothing the urinary tract. These organic teas give our system a natural ‘flush’.
Our largest organ, the skin can react to excess acidity with inflammation, dryness and redness, break-outs, increased wrinkles and other skin disorders. Also, excess acidity affects the body’s connective tissue and can cause muscle pain and inflammation.
Alkalising bath saltshelp the skin to release these reactive toxins through our pores. Adding alkaline bath salts to a warm bath or footbath greatly increases the pH of the water, literally drawing out toxins from the skin.
This relieves the pressure not only on your skin, but the entire body. The skin becomes smoother and clearer. It is the high alkaline content of the amniotic fluid in the womb that is responsible for the smoothness of a baby’s skin. We can replicate this for ourselves, using alkaline bath salts.
The digestive system is the most important system of the body when it comes to good health. This unbelievably efficient system is also very sensitive. If the gastro-intestinal tract isn’t working properly, a number of health related problems may arise. An overly-acidic digestive system does not always manifest as abdominal pain or weight-gain. The optimal functioning of the immune system, brain and numerous other organs is directly related to the health of the digestive system.
The optimal balance of healthy bacteria in the gut is easily upset by toxins and excess acidity and so a quality pre and pro-biotic can be really helpful alongside a healthy natural diet. The digestive tract is detoxified and regenerated in a completely natural way and a healthy intestinal flora is restored.
In order to counter excess acidity, the body needs minerals and trace elements. If we use a lot of our minerals in this way we often end up with excess acidity together with a mineral deficiency.
The body compensates for this deficiency by using up its own mineral store. Often the disturbed acid/alakali balance goes unnoticed and this can lead to a weakened bone structure, which can later develop into disorders like osteoporosis or brittle bones.
We can use natural mineral supplements to restore the body’s store of minerals and trace elements. Additionally alkalising powder is also a rich source of minerals that can help replenish the body’s mineral store.
When it comes to health and well-being, healthy activity is essential. Up until the last few decades, for thousands of years people were always on the move. Today, however, the lack of exercise in our everyday lives contributes to a number of illnesses. It has been scientifically proven that it isn’t necessary to run marathons or go to the gym to stay healthy – and over-exercise can cause its own problems. Simply walking for thirty minutes each day is a great way to strengthen the immune system and increase your sense of well-being.
Besides regular exercise, dietary choices is at the heart of the alkaline cleanse. The essence of the treatment is focused on reducing acidity through dietary change. This change can have a significant effect on your attitude towards your own body, and what you put into it. In the next blog we will delve into how our diet can affect our acid-alkali balance and how to eat healthily.
Try our 30-day alkalising cleanse !
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