The Magic of Enzymes for Good Gut Health

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since Gary Young’s passing, we have been taking stock of the tremendous contributions he made to the world by revisiting his presentations, such as this fascinating blog post series on enzymes and gut health, originally published in 2011. This is part one of a three-part series to come.

Enzymes are found in every living cell, whether in plants, animals, or humans.

Ancient people believed that plants were magical because they didn’t know about enzymes. They watched the plants come out of the ground or trees put on buds and sometimes flowers, then leaves change color over the spring, summer, and fall, and finally fall off.  Ancient people believed that plants and trees were magical because they saw this process.

They also learned that when they killed an animal and hung it in the trees, the longer it hung there and the more it aged, the better flavor the meat had, and the more tender it was.

Why did this happen?

An enzyme releases into the meat when the blood stops circulating, which starts the aging process. The meat eventually starts to rot and smell because it’s decomposing. Enzymes are there, just like they’re in the leaves of the trees to turn them brown, decay, rot, and go back into the soil. It’s part of the cycle of life where everything is nurturing and feeding life.

Without enzymes, plants, trees, and grass could not grow. Seeds would not germinate, flowers would not bloom, tomatoes would not turn red, and bananas would not turn yellow.


Enzymes are involved in every process, like digestion, breathing, and even thinking. Even just thinking about getting up this morning required enzymes.

Enzymes enhance the absorption and utilization of food nutrients, but their production decreases in the absence of “live” food, disease, stress, aging, and petrochemicals.


You are born with a savings or reserve account of enzymes, except for amylase, which you are supposed to get from your mother’s milk when nursing as a baby. When you start eating fast foods or frozen boxed foods, which are dead foods because they are devoid of enzymes, the enzymes you are born with have to come out of the reserve account to do the digesting. It’s like you’re taking out a loan.

As you keep taking out more and more on loan, pretty soon your savings account is spent. Then all of a sudden, when you eat what you have eaten before, you have a reaction. It may be bloating, water retention, acid burning, acid reflux, coughing, or a headache, but it’s a reaction.

A reaction might also be an allergy. Why is it that wheat is the staff of life, according to God, and yet a large number of people are allergic to it? And it’s not just wheat. Some people are allergic to anything with gluten in it.

How many of you have an allergy? Why are you having that reaction? Because your storage reserve, your savings account, has been depleted of enzymes.

How do you replace your reserve? You have to eat “live” food and drink “live” juices, or you have to supplement with enzymes.

For starters, fasting helps. One of the reasons I have always been an avid faster is because when I’m fasting, I’m not depleting my enzymes savings account; and if I’m drinking raw juices while I am fasting, I have one-way traffic going in. Therefore, because I have stopped the outgo, I am building up that storage reserve.

If you do a juice fast, for the first 10 days after it, your digestive system feels clean, you feel light and alive, you feel vibrant, and your energy comes up. That would not be the outcome the first time you fast or if you come off the fast wrong; but if you do it right, that will be how you feel, because you are building up that storage reserve, and that’s what’s important.

You would also have to take out petrochemicals—aspirin, Tylenol, and ibuprofen—which are inhibitors of enzyme production.

Why do many people take an aspirin? They have a headache. Why do they have a headache? Because they have an enzyme deficiency. What does taking an aspirin do? It stops enzyme production and blocks enzymes from working in your body. Is there something wrong with this picture?

How many people take Tylenol because they have a migraine? Migraine headaches indicate that you have a hormonal, structural, or enzyme problem, or all three; so Tylenol, ibuprofen, and aspirin are not the answer for your problem.

I had a discussion with one of my professors years ago when I was at the Anadolu University in Turkey studying oil chemistry and GC and mass spectrometry. I had been having a fascinating debate with Dr. Bashir, who later visited me when I had the clinic in Springville.

I told him that I believe essential oils have enzymes in them. He just about went ballistic and said that there is no way essential oils have enzymes.

I told him that it’s true that you can’t see the enzymes in essential oils under a microscope. But think about this example: It takes a sperm and an egg to make a child, and after that child is conceived, you can’t find the sperm or the egg, but they were there.

It’s similar in essential oils. The enzymes are in the plant that produced that oil; therefore, the blueprints of the enzymes, or their energy signatures, are then in the oil.

Because of that, more and more we’re seeing evidence of essential oils activating enzymes, so when you put an oil on or in your body, with water or under your tongue, you are stimulating certain enzyme production in your body.

Last year I met Dr. Bashir in Cape Town, South Africa, at a conference. He grabbed and hugged me and said, “Gary, you were right.” It was worth going all the way to Cape Town just to hear that.

Are essential oils invaluable to human beings? Absolutely.


The other day Dr. Suhail and I were talking about frankincense, and he asked me if I knew something that I wasn’t telling him, and I said, “Well, I’ll tell you my feeling. Frankincense does not kill abnormal cells.”

He replied, “Well, Gary, I’m seeing the evidence of it every day.”

I told him that what he was seeing was an illusion and that frankincense does not kill anything, because God did not create it to kill. Instead, frankincense digests abnormal cells (breaks them down).

He came up out of his chair and exclaimed, “I knew it; I knew it! Frankincense digests abnormal cells!”

Dr. Edward Close made a similar statement about Young Living’s Thieves formula. He said, “Thieves does not kill fungus; Thieves digests fungus.” So, what does it take to digest? Enzymes.

Enzymatic “blueprints” are in every essential oil, so some of the components in an oil will cause the blueprints of the enzymes to direct the traffic in your body. We don’t know if it’s the smaller amounts of boswellic acid or incensole or a combination of the pinenes and the sesquiterpenes that are directing the enzymatic activity of frankincense in targeting abnormal cells. We don’t have the answer yet, but one day we will know.

Again, are essential oils invaluable to human beings? Absolutely.


Cleaning solvents, antibiotics, household cleaners, microwaves, radiation, and heat over 120 degrees are all things that kill enzymes and enzyme activity and prevent enzyme development in our bodies. Our magnificent bodies create over 3,000 different kinds of enzymes, all with their own job description. Isn’t that interesting?

Within the cells of our lungs, liver, brain, and digestive system, we should have millions of enzymes when we are healthy—literally millions and millions. No one, no scientist, has ever been able to document or determine how many millions of enzymes actually exist in a healthy human body, and part of that is because they are having a hard time finding a healthy subject to study.


Good Health

If you build up your enzyme storage reserve and maintain it, you will discover that you will enjoy good health. I get asked constantly how I go into a country, go into the jungle, deal with what I do, come back, and just keep going and going and going and not get sick. I eat more enzymes than I eat anything else, and I have ever since I made Essentialzyme in 1984. That and the oils are my mainstays. I rub oils on and drink them.

When you do that, you reduce the chance of not feeling yourself, and you are able to do more, perform more, think better, and think more clearly. One of my young colleagues just two days ago was traveling with me, and he asked me how I remember all the things I have to remember. I told him that it’s easy, because enzymes stimulate the brain for memory retention, alertness, and articulation.

I can tell when I haven’t taken my enzymes for a couple of days, because I’ll start feeling a little tickle in the back of my throat or a little congestion in my head, especially when traveling.

Enzymes Counteract the Rigors of Travel

Nothing is harder on the body than traveling, particularly traveling internationally. You are exposed to so much when you travel—radiation, elevation changes, climate changes, environmental changes, and going in and out of hotel rooms whose previous inhabitants you don’t know. So how do you do that and stay healthy?

Recently, I was gone for six days and slept in the same bed for only two nights. Then I came home for two nights and then traveled to Florida. That is stressful on the body. That would be okay if that’s the only thing I had done in the last year, but that is just a sample of my life every month.

So, know how to take care of yourself. Enzymes are the answer. They are also a possible answer to many of today’s health problems.

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