Enzyme Therapy


Enzymes have been talked about for years and they have a huge potential for medical adaptability. Enzymes are catalysts: as proteins they are produced throughout the human body, and aid in functions such as digesting food and running the metabolism. Every living thing contains enzymes. Enzymes work to ripen fruit, make grain sprout and produce, and are the component that eventually breaks down the tissue and causes it to spoil.

Enzyme therapy revolves around the philosophy that the way food is currently being processed, stored, and even cooked is destroying the important enzymes that these foods contain. This means that most people are not eating the proper level of enzymes to maintain good health. One of the primary changes to improve this is based on eating raw, organic foods.

The History of Enzyme Therapy

Edward Howell is given credit for having started the trend of food enzyme therapy. Howell was an American doctor and worked as a biochemist. His research was conducted during the 1930s and 1940s.  He found that the enzymes contained in raw foods are crucial to the process of digestion and metabolism for the human body. However, he also noted that the processing and cooking of most food in America was destroying these enzymes, along with other nutrients. He concluded this practice was leading to a rapid and expanding enzyme deficiency within the Western world.

As a result of his findings, in 1932 Howell began the National Enzyme Company, which is still the primary global creator and supplier for enzyme products. These products are readily available at clinics and from those who practice enzyme therapy.

Enzyme Therapy In Practice

There are three primary types of enzymes that help to aid in the human digestion; proteases, lipases, and amylases. Each of these enzymes helps to break down a different portion of the foods a person digests.  For example, amylase is the enzyme that helps break down carbohydrates.

Enzymes start working on food through the first part of digestion, when an individual is eating their food; saliva contains amylases and continue throughout the entirety of the digestive system. Though these digestive enzymes can be obtained through a supplement, they are also widely available in nature. You can find enzymes in many natural foods that have not been over processed and over cooked. To get the proper enzymes one may need to change the way they are eating, and turn to more natural organic and raw foods. This is commonly known as a “raw food” diet.

Some of the problems that can result from an enzyme deficiency include tiredness, lack of focus, slower circulation, lowered ability to fight off general illnesses, and being prone to allergies and even infections. It is also thought that those who do not consume the right level of enzymes may be more likely to develop degenerative disorders.

Those who practice enzyme therapy tend to promote not only the raw diet approach, but also encourage people to take supplements, which they think can help increase vivacity and a sense of youth. It is also thought that this type of therapy can help with other body imbalances, including conditions such as heart disease, cholesterol problems, blood pressure difficulties, fibromyalgia, and even dermatology problems such as acne.

What Is An Enzyme Therapy Treatment Like?

When talking to an enzyme therapist, they will want to discuss medical history and your lifestyle. As enzyme therapy is highly connected to the way your body functions they are going to be concerned with the way you are eating. Often these professionals will also ask for blood work to be checked and may possibly even request a urine analysis.

After this initial history session, the therapist will likely suggest supplements that may contain both enzyme replacements and other vitamins or minerals that they feel will help to improve a person’s overall wellbeing. They might also encourage a client to change their general eating habits, suggesting the idea of a raw foods diet.

What Can Enzyme Therapy Help With?

It is thought that many areas of the body can be improved by the use of enzyme therapy. Among them are lactose intolerance, arthritic conditions, rheumatism, and burns.

For burns it was found that the enzymes naturally occurring in the fruit of a papaya can help reduce the pain of a burn as well as to improve the way that the wound will heal.

For rheumatism, it has been found that enzymes can be a quality natural alternative to the traditional anti-inflammatory treatments. By combining, bromelain, trypsin, and rutoside enzymes patients have noticed a decrease in swelling and overall pain. This is a way to help improve symptoms experienced with rheumatic disease without the harmful side effects of traditional treatments.

In the treatment of arthritis, it has been found that an enzyme in the fruit of pineapple known as protease can have significant anti-inflammatory effects. As those who suffer with arthritis tend to have noticeable swelling at the affected area, this enzyme was able to help remove the cause of the pain and improve the patient’s overall life.

Enzymes are a naturally occurring part of a human diet. However, through our desire to improve on the existing plan we have destroyed some of the products that our bodies need to function properly. By working with an enzyme therapist a person can begin to reintroduce those crucial enzymes into their body, which will aid with digestion problems, pain related to swelling, viral diseases, heart disease, MS, cancer and many other conditions. As always, it is important to consult with a doctor before changing a diet in order to prevent any reactions with a current medication or condition. Enzyme therapy can provide a natural way to treat health problems as well as to help prevent new ones from developing. Remember these enzymes are part of the overall diet we eat on a regular basis, but the way we are preserving and cooking our food is removing some of the most important and needed components of it.


  1. Bratman, S. The Alternative Medicine Ratings Guide: an expert panel rates the best treatments for over 80 conditions, Prima Health A Division of Prima Publishing (1998)
  2. Brown, L. Alternative Medicine, NTC/Contemporary Publishing (1999)
  3. Deepak Chopra, M.D. Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, Celestial Arts (2002)
  4. Nancy Allison. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines, The Rosen Publishing Group (1999)
  5. Servan-Schreiber, D. The Encyclopedia of New Medicine: Conventional & Alternative Medicine For All Ages, Rodale International Limited (2006)


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