Practical Issues > Health - Index > Vegan Index
Preventing Mucus & Congestion

"Digestive problems are the leading cause of hospitalization, surgery, and disability in the United States and affect more than 65 million Americans."
- National Institutes of Health

"Ulceration of the esophagus can result in hemorrhage ... the formation of an abnormal lining of the esophagus can become cancerous."
- John Bryant Wyman, MD, University of Wisconsin

A friend recently related to me that he was experiencing reflux and congestion.

He is a chocolate milk addict. I first explained this his congestion is due to milk protein, casein. I have done this before with him. The human body reacts to casein by forming histamines about 12 hours after consumption. Shortly thereafter histamines are produced, mucus forms. Quitting milk consumption is similar to quitting any addiction. Casein is converted to casomorphins in the human gut. Casomorphin is an opiate.

I also explained to him that it's not necessarily what you eat, but how you eat. Human stomach acid creates a gastric environment with a pH of about 1.8, which creates a powerful acid that helps to digest food.

In order to make digestion easier for the stomach, I explained that tiny pieces of food are easier to break down than large pieces of food. In other words, chew your food well.

In addition, I asked him to imagine the inside of his stomach after a meal as the acid is working. I explained that if he drank a lot of liquid during his dinner, the buffering effect of that liquid would raise the acidity level by making it more basic, neutralizing the acidity.

In response, the stomach would squirt additional acid into that gastric "soup" and reflux might result.

I then asked, "Why doesn't your stomach digest itself?"

The answer is that the lining of the stomach is composed of a large amount of mucus so that it is protected from
being self-digested.

I continued by explaining that cigarette smoke produces mucus, both in the stomach and the esophagus. Congestion results. The body also reacts to dairy cow protein from casein by producing histamines and then mucus.

In summary:

1) Chew food well.
2) Limit your drinking with your meals.
3) Cut out the cigarettes.
4) Eliminate dairy products from your diet.

Last but least, I recommend two herbal teas which can reduce mucus.

Lobelia � also called Indian tobacco.
Elecampagne - also called horse-heal

My friend's cure is within his grasp. He is in such denial, that he might never get there.

Robert Cohen

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