The word enzyme comes from the Middle Greek word enzymos meaning leavened. Enzyme therapy has been around for centuries, although people didn’t know that enzymes were what made the therapy work.
In South America, native Indians used papaya leaf to support digestion and promote healing.
In the Bible (2 Kings 20:7), figs were recommended for boils. Figs contain the enzyme ficin, which is still used today in supplements and skin gels.
In the Far East ,the use of molds or fungus called koji is traditional in the production of certain foods and flavorings such as soy sauce and miso. Natto is a food eaten by the Japanese for hundreds of years. It’s produced by the fermentation of soybeans. The enzyme found in natto has been named nattokinase.
In 1894, Dr. Jokichi Takamine filed patent applications for Taka koji from Aspergillus oryzae. This is the fungus used in making sake.
In the early 1900’s, John Beard experimented with juices extracted from animal pancreases and the effects on cancer tumors.
In 1926, Dr. James B. Sumner determined that enzymes are proteins.
From 1932 to 1942, Dr. Francis Pottenger conducted experiments on the effects of cooked foods fed to cats. They were compared to cats fed raw food only. The cats fed the cooked foods developed diseases such as arthritis and diabetes. He concluded the raw foods contained some substance, which was destroyed by cooking, and this substance had nutritional benefit.
In 1940, Dr. Edward Howell began investigating the connection of chronic degenerative disease and severe enzyme deficiency. He wrote two books: Enzyme Nutrition and Food Enzymes for Health and Longevity.
In the 1930’s and 1940’s, Dr. Max Gerson discovered the importance of organically grown whole foods. He found raw fruits and vegetables were the healthiest and concluded that 80% of all disease could be extinguished by eliminating canned, frozen and processed foods from the diet.
In 1963, William Kelley D.D.S. rediscovered the connection between pancreatic enzymes and cancer remission.