From the June 2008 Idaho Observer:

Digestion: The cornerstone of good health

After years of suffering from digestive distress, Bob Nicholson read compelling information that lead him to believe his health problems were caused by the formation of stones in his gallbladder. (The IO, April, 2007). By doing Dr. Hulda Clark’s liver cleanse and gallbladder flush, over and over again, he was able to remove nearly a thousand gallstones. Since his gallbladder is not large enough to contain that many stones at once, Nicholson reasoned that new stones must still be forming as older ones were being flushed out. Following is what Nicholson has found to be the cause of gallstones forming and how to create the digestive environment to prevent their formation while promoting proper digestion.

By Bob Niocholson

Digestive disorders are among the most common ailments afflicting people throughout the "civilized" world. Americans who consult their physicians with digestive complaints are commonly diagnosed with "irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)."

"Experts" claim that the cause of IBS is unknown. However, a diagnosis of IBS covers a whole range of symptoms for which physicians readily prescribe a host of pharmaceutical drugs including low doses of antidepressants.

Millions of people have been living with digestion problems for years, even decades, and find only temporary relief after taking prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies—both of which can cause additional medical complications.

If you have come to the point of trying to solve your digestive problems yourself, you can start by paying attention to what you are eating and drinking and avoiding foods and beverages that promote digestive distress, such as coffee and fried foods. The next step is understanding what is going on in our digestive tract.

Common Sense solves IBS mystery

The first concept to understand is that constipation is the primary reason for digestive distress. Constipation is the result of undigested food lingering in the large and small intestines for extended periods of time. Incomplete digestion causes an overgrowth of bacteria that can compromise proper immune function. Chronic constipation has also been linked to the development of degenerative diseases such as cancer.

The symptoms commonly referred to as "indigestion"—gas, bloating, heartburn, acid reflux and bad breath—are the most common complaints among the chronically constipated. Indigestion can be indicative of hiatal hernia or ulcers and can cause inflammation of the appendix and gallbladder. Chronic indigestion has also been linked to stomach cancer and heart problems.

What is causing chronic constipation and indigestion?

In order to digest food properly, stay immune from parasites and avoid fungal infections such as candida, we must have plenty of hydrochloric acid (HCL) available for digestion. As we age, our stomach acid secretions decline. The underproduction of hydrochloric acid (HCL) is called, "hypochlorhydria." There is even an expensive and complicated test known as the "Heidelberg Gastric Analysis" that can be done to determine stomach acid production levels. As a result of insufficient HCL, food that is consumed will rot and ferment, developing abnormal acids which will then back up into the esophagus.

Taking antacids can only worsen the problem by making sure there remains a mass of undigested food in your stomach. With this undigested food mass decaying and traveling through the gastro-intestinal tract, all kinds of undesirable bacteria begin to proliferate. Parasites, which could have been neutralized by your body’s HCL, are now finding a suitable environment to thrive in and candida starts multiplying to consume the steady supply of "bad" bacteria.

Low HCL and gallstones

Lowered levels of HCL can also cause gallstones resulting from insufficient digestion of fats; these undigested fats then coagulate into stones. This blocks bile from entering the digestive tract and can be very painful. A liver and gallbladder flush may be necessary to purge the stones while starting an HCL program. Readers are encouraged to follow Dr. Hulda Clark’s flush schedule at It is also interesting to note that operations to remove the gallbladder are among the most common operations in America. Before attempting to heal your gallbladder in order to avoid it being surgically removed, do your own research. There are numerous articles available on the Internet that can guide you through the process. Type "stomach acid" ... "hydrochloric acid" and "stomach pains" into a search engine to begin your quest for knowledge.

Getting started

Following are excerpts from various relevant articles on the Internet compiled in a logical sequence to set your thinking straight:

"Historically, hydrochloric acid was prescribed for many symptoms and clinical conditions and was listed as a therapeutic intervention in various pharmacopoeia. However, beginning in the late 1920s and early 1930s, its common use by the medical establishment began to decline. While the therapeutic efficacy of oral administration of HCL is still equivocal, largely due to a scarcity of outcome-focused clinical intervention studies, a substantial body of evidence indicates the necessity of proper gastric pH for optimal health."

"Low stomach acid has a history of not being taken seriously by the medical community. As a result, it is an often misdiagnosed and under-diagnosed condition. The sufferer is prescribed copious amounts of antacids, in effect treating their symptoms as though they had too much HCL, rather than too little."

"Since our entire digestive process depends upon food being doused with a healthy amount of hydrochloric acid (HCL) when it gets to the stomach, the digestion of protein, carbohydrates and fat cannot be properly completed without it. And hydrochloric acid helps the body absorb essential vitamins and minerals and increases the activity of white blood cells."

"The normal gastric juice in humans contains some two to three parts per thousand HCL whereas in healthy dogs five parts per thousand is found. It is curious that a healthy dog can eat septic meat and if its stomach is opened one half hour later the foul odor of the meat will be found sterile."

"Numerous studies have shown acid secretion declines with advancing age and impaired HCL production and secretion is seen in a variety of clinical conditions. While the underlying factors leading to impaired or complete lack of HCL secretion are not well understood, longterm supplementation [with HCL] is safe."

"The body produces hydrochloric acid (HCL) which gets pushed into the stomach from the blood! The enzyme, carbonic anhydrase, a zinc enzyme, is involved. Not many ways are known to stimulate this whole process. Drinking water before meals stimulates it in unknown ways but is hard to do for the elderly. Next best is to provide acid."

Low stomach acid simple test

If you have tried antacids and acid-blocking medications and they don’t seem to work for you, try drinking one to two tablespoons of pure apple cider vinegar when you are suffering from indigestion. Dr. Christopher recommends drinking a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and a small amount of honey 20 min. before eating a meal. If this soothes your indigestion, you most probably have low stomach acid.

The one-percent solution

Because strong HCL would dissolve teeth it is not available as a solution to aid digestion. Ask a pharmacist to make a one-percent HCL solution and use 10 drops of it in a beverage before mealtime at least once a day. HCL as a tablet (Betaine HCL) is available in health food stores but doesn’t have enough HCL in it and some tablets are compounded using di-calcium as a binder, further inhibiting the body’s natural production of HCL.

While it is easy to determine if you are HCL deficient, it is important to act now on this vital information before disease takes hold with no choice but surgery and/or drugs. It is also important to note that stress can shut down HCL production completely, leading to acidosis and toxemia.

If a pharmacist is unable to make a one percent solution, a 37 percent solution of HCL is available at pharmacies without a prescription but it must be diluted to about one to five drops to one quart of water. I started with three drops in a quart of water, drinking about 8 oz of this water while preparing meals three times a day.

Additional considerations

Again, it is of critical importance that we replace our gastrointestinal distress-generating dietary habits with a well-balanced diet of preferably organic, unprocessed food if we intend to correct our digestive problems.

Digestive supplements. It also helps to supplement our diets with a good digestive multi-enzyme, probiotics, omega 3s and, in northern climates, at least 1,000 mgs of vitamin D per day.

Colon cleansers. Though I am well on the road to regaining the proper functioning of my digestive tract, I can still get "plugged up." When constipated, I drink 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts mixed with 8 oz. of water every few hours until cleared.

[Note: There are also several colon cleansing products on the market to help remove bowel obstructions. Ingri and I prefer a product called "Perfect 7" and always have psyllium husks on hand to help keep things moving. Ingri has written extensively on colon health and colon cleansing in past editions of The IO and numerous books and websites can provide deeper understanding of colon cleansing—(DWH)]

Natural supplements only. Synthetic vitamins should be avoided. They can create imbalances, actually worsening deficiencies, and thereby adversely affect a person’s biochemistry.

Minerals. Since industrial farming practices have depleted the topsoils of their mineral content, we need to acquire these minerals from food we have grown organically or through supplementation with quality sources of ionized minerals. Unadulterated sea salt is such a source.

Natural salt and the trace minerals it contains is vital to the survival of all living creatures. Seawater has 84 trace minerals and, for our body to be healthy, we need all of them. The body also makes hydrochloric acid from unprocessed sea salt.

Processed table salt has only two or three elements and contains chemicals that do not promote good health.

For more information, go to;; or type "crystal salt" into your favorite search engine. A more detailed article on the value of salt was also published in this column in the August 2001 edition of The Idaho Observer.

Wheat grass juice. One of the finest and most concentrated sources of essential vitamins, minerals and digestive enzymes is wheat grass juice. Wheat grass is easy to grow in sufficient quantity for a minimal initial investment, as long as you can provide soil and sunlight. Wheat grass juicers are easily obtained and range in cost from about $62 for a manual juicer ( to complete kits containing grains, trays and a range of juicers starting at $120 and going up to $260 (

Grasses are complete, life sustaining foods and are the primary sustenance for domestic and wild grazing animals. If grass did not provide essential nutrients, these animals could not survive. For grazing animals to extract the nutrients from grasses requires a complex digestive system with four stomach compartments. Juicing makes the nutrients from grasses available to humans. Fifteen pounds of wheat grass is equivalent to 350 pounds of the choicest raw vegetables in terms of available vitamins, minerals and digestive enzymes.

Sprouts. Sprouting is one way to substantially increase the nutrient content and enzymes necessary for digestion. Sprouted seeds, legumes and grains can easily be produced in sufficient quantity wherever there is a little light, a jar and water. Go to for more information on sprouting.

Now you know; time to act

If you are one of millions of people who, like me, have suffered the symptoms of digestive problems, suffering is now a choice; "IBS" is no longer a mysterious disease but the result of dietary choices and a series of predictable symptoms that can be treated easily and inexpensively. Even if your doctor cannot explain why you have an "irritable bowel" you now understand why your bowels are so "angry" and how to take simple, inexpensive steps to make them love you again.

For a little over $100 you can get set up with a hand crank juicer, a wheat grass kit and a crystal salt package. Once you get set up, it is relatively simple to grow and juice wheat grass and sprout grains, legumes and seeds. It is also easy and inexpensive to replace standard table salt with crystal (sea) salt. Wheat for growing wheat grass, seeds for sprouting and crystal salts are available in most health food stores. If you do not have access to the Internet, easy to read books on juicing, sprouting and crystal salt are readily available.