A Guide to Digestive Enzymes

A Guide to Digestive Enzymes

For those troubled by digestive issues it is important to improve the right balance of probiotics, prebiotics and the digestive enzymes that help us to break down our food. If your body is not making the right amount of digestive enzymes (our Napiers probiotic blend has 3 enzymes) then food is not broken down well and starts to break down, and even ferment, in the gut and lower colon where it can cause wind, discomfort and flatulence.


Proteases (proteolytic enzymes) are very important in digestion as they breakdown proteins so that your body can use them.

By breaking down the peptide bonds in proteins, proteases free up the amino acids needed by your body. A protease deficiency lowers protein-bound calcium in your blood that can lead to arthritis and osteoporosis. Protease digests unwanted bacteria and viruses in your blood and a protease deficiency can compromise your immune system, making you more susceptible to bacterial, viral or yeast infections. Poor protein digestion also leads to low blood sugar, expressed as moodiness, mood swings and irritability.


Amylase (amylolytic enzymes) breaks down carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are sugars and starches including sucrose, fructose, lactose and glycogen.

Amylase converts their polysaccharides into monosaccharides such as glucose, digests dead white blood cells, and naturally blocks IgG histamine, stabilising the body’s anti-inflammatory response. Too high an intake of carbs can chronically deplete amylase that in turn increases histamine-related health problems – for example, allergies, hay fever, sinus headaches, IBS symptoms, psoriasis, eczema, hives, insect bites, atopic dermatitis, herpes (all types). There is a link to asthma and lung problems and, if you often get acne, boils, abscesses or recurrent tooth infections, you may be low in amylase.


Lipase (pancreatic enzymes) make lipids (fats) soluble for the body.

Lipids come from triglycerides that form the fatty acids and glycerol found in the oils and fats in your diet. Lipase deficient people often have high cholesterol, high triglycerides, difficulty losing weight and a tendency to sugar in their urine and diabetes. A common symptom of lipase deficiency is muscle spasms, often experienced as pain in the muscles of the upper shoulders, although it can occur in other muscles, e.g. the neck or as spasms in the small or large intestines or muscles around the rectum. It is often implicated in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), whose symptoms include abdominal cramps or pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.

by Monica Wilde
Research Herbalist


July 03, 2021 — Shopify API

8 Easy To Follow Tips for Detox Success

8 Easy To Follow Tips for Detox Success

Let’s face it, most people associate detoxing with boring food, cravings and an all over miserable time. No pain, no gain right? 

We disagree. 

What if we told you that there was a simpler approach to your annual reboot? An approach that gets great results, and dare we say it, may even be enjoyable!

What exactly is a detox? 

Although detoxing may seem like a relatively new fad, ancient cultures have been performing cleanses for centuries. Simply put, the aim of a detoxis to give your body an opportunity to reset. 

It’s a chance for eliminatory organs such as your liver and kidneys to get on top of the task of clearing out all that accumulated junk (you’d be surprised.... environmental toxins, cellular debris, the build up of food waste in your intestines......) Doing a detox is a bit like when the rubbish truck finally comes to take away all the trash after the holiday season; when it’s all gone, you’re left with a clean and tidy house. 

Of course, your body is continually taking out rubbish and working hard to keep your system clean, but there are occasions when it can get overwhelmed (for example if you’ve overindulged, or are under a lot of stress.) It’s times like these when your body needs a helping hand to get things moving.

How to get the best results 

Type the word detox into your search engine and you get approximately 17,800,000 results. There’s so much overwhelming advice around, it can seem impossible to know where to begin. But detoxing really is as easy (or complicated) as you want to make it. Although there’s a lot of advice, and a huge range of programmes and products to choose from, the fact is this; 

No detox will work if you’re unable to stick to it.

Setting unachievable goals that make you feel tired and bored is simply not going to work, so we’ve come up with a no nonsense guide that literally anyone can follow. A few simple changes are all you need for great results.

1. Plan your detox in advance

• Make a list and shop for what you need beforehand to avoid the      temptation to binge on unhealthy food.
• Start cutting down on stimulants such as coffee and alcohol a couple of  days before you plan to detox. This way it won’t be such a shock to your  body, and you’ll be in the right frame of mind to begin. Likewise, it’s best  not to jump straight back into your regular routine as soon as the detox  is finished. Making gradual changes is always the best way to get  results. 
• Choose a time when you have no social commitments for the best  chance of success.
• Keep a food diarywhile you detox. This is a fantastic way to stay  motivated as you can see at a glance the progress you’ve achieved.  Writing down what you eat will also help you stay on track. Get creative!  You can even stick in photos and recipes of the food you’ve prepared if it  helps you work towards your goal.

2. Eat food you love

When shopping for food, make sure to choose things you enjoy. Most people fail to stick to a detox plan as they either starve themselves, or buy foods they think are healthy, but they don’t necessarily enjoy. 

If you’re stuck for ideas or simply don’t have the time to get creative, try
 Pinterest for a huge variety of inspiring recipes for homemade soups and stews, salads and one pots (trust me you’ll never look back!) Creating a food planner (or Pinterest board) for the meals you’ll be eating is another great motivator, and by trying new ideas you won’t be left feeling like you’re stuck in a rut. 

If you’re hungry, then eat! The point of a detox is to cleanse rather than lose weight (although this can often be a welcome side effect!) By going hungry, you’re much less likely to stick to your goal. To help beat sugar cravings try eating raisins and sultanas or other dried fruits. 

3. Spice up your life 

There are a huge variety of herbs, spices and vegetables known for their detoxifying properties. Try cooking up spicy vegetable curries with chillies and garlic, or raw salads with blood purifying beetrootand carrots. If you’re feeling brave, you could even try juicing celery, lemon, beetroot, apple and ginger for a powerful morning liver boost.

4. Dry skin brushing 

Include dry skin brushing  as part of your regular morning routine. Not only does it get your blood moving and encourage your lymphatic system remove metabolic waste, it also helps banish cellulite (no gym required!) Natural bristles are best, and brushescan be purchased relatively cheaply from most health shops or online.

5. Up your fluid intake 

During a detox it’s important to drink around 1 – 2 litres of water every day. This is because your blood (made up of 90% water) needs it to carry nutrients and vitamins to every part of your body. In addition, water bulks out the fibre in your food so it can be eliminated via your intestines. It’s important not to become dehydrated if you want to avoid constipation. 

If you dislike water, try adding a squeeze of lemon or a few sprigs of mint. Alternatively try a detoxifying herbal teafor variety. If you simply can’t give up regular coffee and tea for a few days, you may want to try using chicory or dandelion coffee substitute, or rooibus tea.

6. Eat more fibre 

As we already mentioned, fibre is important for regular bowel movements. Whole grains such as brown riceare particularly good at promoting elimination.

7. Get out and about

Fresh air and gentle exercise are a great way to give yourself a boost during a detox. Taking a brisk walk outdoors not only improves your mood, but gets oxygen into your bloodstream which helps move rubbish out of your system much more quickly.

8. Support your eliminatory organs

During a detox your liver and kidneys will be under extra pressure to flush out toxins. You can give them a helping hand with products like herbal bitters and Napier’s Detox Formula which contain herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion and burdock, which are known for their cleansing and supporting properties. Another useful trick is to add a few handfuls of Epsom salts to your bath. Sweating out toxins via the skin is a good way to reduce the burden on the other eliminatory organs. 

Remember, the point of detoxing is to rejuvenate and revitalise your system. If you listen to your body and set yourself realistic goals, then there’s no reason to suppose that a few days of healthy eating should be difficult to manage. Some people like to do a one day detox every month, for others, three days to a week works well; at the end of the day it’s really down to you.  

Just a final word of caution; if you’re nursing or pregnant we advise consulting with your healthcare practitioner before starting a detox plan. Similarly it isn’t advisable for small children or chronically ill patients to detox without medical supervision.

You may enjoy these other related articles!

A Herbal Approach to Skin Problems
Advice on Winter Health 
Napiers Tried Tested and Trusted Detox Products


July 03, 2021 — Shopify API