Herbal Tea and pH:  The Overview

Herbal tea and pH go hand in hand. Essiac tea is one of the herbal teas that can help with optimal pH levels. You don't want your pH to be too high or too low. We're going after 'just right.' Essiac is great for that because it's an adaptogen--meaning that it helps the body find the happy medium. It can help those with pH that is too high and pH that is too low (although that situation is extremely uncommon).

Herbal Tea and pH:  In Depth

Herbal Tea and pH have much to do with the very important acid-base balance. The Acid-Base balance is crucial to a person's health, because disease states flourish in an acidic environment. If your body is alkaline, disease and illness cannot exist. The primary determinant of whether your body is acidic or alkaline is what you ingest. When a food or beverage is ingested, digested, and absorbed, each component of that food reach the kidneys as either an acid-forming compound or a base-forming one. If the overall diet provides more acidic components, than alkaline components, it will result in a net-acid load on the body. Herbal tea and pH go hand in hand because taking herbal tea can help offset this net-acid load.

Stress can also cause an acidic environment. Sources of stress that can affect body pH include:

--Problems at work, at home, with friends, or in your relationships
--Illness or disease in the body
--Air pollution, both indoor and outdoor

Why a Net-Acid Load is so Harmful

Every cell of the body is designed to function best within a specific pH range (pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of the body). The optimal pH varies depending on the type of body cell in question; however, it is important that the net pH of the body remains tightly regulated. One common problem with most industrialized societies is that our diets produce what's called a "low grade chronic metabolic acidosis." In other words, the average person is chronically in a state of high acidity. While this imbalance would not be enough for most doctors to pick up on it, your body will let you know that things are not functioning optimally. The body must operate at a stable pH no matter what, so the dietary acid load that most people have has to be neutralized by a homeostatic base-producing mechanism. This will keep your pH in the correct balance, but at a price. Here are three of the many potential consequences of your body's attempt to maintain a constant pH in spite of an acidic environment:

1. Hypercalciuria (high concentrations of calcium in the urine). Since calcium is a strong base and bone contains the body's largest calcium store, metabolic acidosis causes a release in calcium from bone. As a result, bone is lost in order to neutralize the acidic environment of the body.

2. Negative nitrogen balance (high concentrations of nitrogen in urine). Glutamine acts much like calcium to neutralize the body's acidosis. Metabolic acidosis causes muscle breakdown to liberate glutamine from the muscle, where it is primarily stored. The amino acids from this muscle breakdown are then excreted, causing a net loss of muscle from the body. This decreases strength and lowers the metabolism. Lowered glutamine means an increased susceptibility to illness and a reduction in metabolism due to lost muscle weight, which in turn can lead to an increase in bodyfat levels and eventual weight gain.

3. Increased blood cortisol levels. This leads to an increase in abdominal fat and is correlated with heart disease.

What's Wrong With The Average American's Diet

Our ancestors evolved eating a diet that was very alkaline/basic, rather than acidic. However, modern people are eating a diet that is high in acid, and therefore very different from what we evolved to eat. As a result, our modern diet is responsible for this net acidic problem. The shift from net base producing foods to net acid producing foods comes mostly as a result of replacing a diet that used to be almost all plant-based with the occasional meats, to a diet that is much higher proportionally in grains and processed foods. Furthermore, the produce we do eat is less rich in nutrients, mainly due to the overuse of the soil which becomes depleted of nutrients over time. Also, the animal protein we consume typically is not free-range, meaning the animals are not eating a nutrient-dense diet as nature intended. They are instead raised to fatten up quickly eating a diet that is largely grain-based.

Animal flesh typically is highly acidic, except fish which is less acidic but still on the acidic side. Dairy products and eggs are highly basic which is helpful for your protein sources. Fruits and vegetables are the absolute best thing you can eat to improve your acid-base balance, and you really cannot get too much. Grain products tend to be a little on the acidic side although not as high as meats. Beans are preferable to grains in terms of carbohydrate sources. Fats are basic, and water, natural fruit and vegetable juices, and teas are basic. Coffee and soda are acidic.

What You Can Do to Improve Your Diet and Your Health and how Herbal Tea and pH go hand in hand

Try to eat at least two servings of fruits and vegetables with every meal, and at least one with every snack. Supplementation with glutamine can also be helpful (available in a powdered form). Avoid capsules because they cost much more per gram. 5-15 grams per day of glutamine is an effective dose.

Products such as green barley leaves and other green powders can also help neutralize acidosis.

You may benefit from supplementing with other vitamins and minerals.

Consuming 2-5g of baking soda in water or adding sodium to your meals can also reduce the net acid levels. Protein from animal flesh, although highly acidic, is more self-correcting than grains, so it is preferable to consume protein from animal flesh but avoid large portions of grains. Dairy products and eggs are also good choices.

Drinking plenty of water is also helpful to reduce net acid balance--in particular, mineral water. Drinking natural herbal teas is also a way to improve your body's health. Find out the amazing benefits of natural herbal teas by clicking here. There are other steps you can take to improve your body's pH and your health. If you want to learn more about alkalization and pH, click here.

It is simple to test your body's pH at home. All you need is some pH test paper. Perform the test first thing in the morning for most accurate results. You will need to fill your mouth with saliva twice and spit it out each time, and then use the third time to spit onto the test strip. A pH of 7.4 PH is desirable and that will correspond with a dark blue color. Do this test first thing in the morning before you put anything in your mouth. The test will be most accurate if you fill your mouth with saliva twice and spit it out each time and then use the saliva from the third time to spit onto the test strip. Once you maintain the desired pH, continue your new habits to maintain your new healthier pH.

Many herbal teas help with pH. Be sure to use ones with no sugar added. Essiac is a great herbal tea to help with pH balance, too.

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