14 histamine lowering herbs known for their variety of actions and potential health benefits. They can improve inflammatory conditions and studies show some they can be beneficial in lowering histamine. Here are 14 herbs including polyphenols that can help!
Boswellia gum resin – (Boswellia serrata)
Boswellia gum or resin (also known as frankincense) is a significant anti-inflammatory herb that has shown clinical benefit in asthma.
In a clinical study of 80 patients with chronic asthma, 70% of those taking 900mg/day over 6 weeks showed improvement well beyond the placebo.
Improvements consisted of: decreased shortness of breath, a smaller number of asthma attacks and inflammation was also reduced. Overall Boswellia has known for anti-inflammatory effects and can assist conditions such as: asthma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus, allergic rhinitis and back ache symptom (Gupta et al., 1998).
Butterbur (Petasites spp.) is a purified extract from the butterbur plant. Studies show Petasites to be effective in reducing migraine attack by up to 60% with 50-75 mg twice daily. It reduced the frequency of attacks over a 4-week period significantly. Please note: Safety of prolonged use has not been established (Cunher, n.d.).
Chamomile – (Matricaria recutita)
Traditionally, Matricaria recutita (German chamomile) has been used for a wide range of conditions, including allergic and inflammatory disorders. Allergy and anaphylaxis are linked with mast cell activation which causes the process of degranulation. This results in the release of mediators such as histamine, leukotrienes, prostaglandins, proteases and several proinflammatory and cytokines.
This study showed the anti-allergic activity of chamomile may be due to the presence of tannins and flavonoids which have been shown to have mast cell stabilising effects and reduces the release of histamines from basophils. The anti-inflammatory effects (through a reduction of nitric oxide production) may also inhibit mast cell degranulation. It seems traditional folkloric use of chamomile in allergies is justified (Finney-Brown, 2011). In a mouse model of atopic dermatitis, application of German Chamomile led to decreased scratching behaviour, attenuated lymphocyte infiltration (white blood cells to the area) and reduced serum IgE levels (Lee, Heo & Kim, 2010).
Cinnamon Bark – (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
Procyanidin polyphenols from cinnamon bark possess anti-asthmatic and anti-allergic potential. In this study the procyanidins stabilized mast cells and caused inhibition of the allergic markers such as histamine, and IL-4, and β-HEX in IgE-mediated manner in mice (Kandhare et al., 2017).
Garlic – (Allium sativum)
In this study allicin (the active constituent in garlic), was found to inhibit degranulation in mast cells (in rats). Observations supported the theory that degranulation of mast cells in the cell membrane is supported by garlic.
Garlic possesses hypocholesterolaemia (cholesterol lowering), hypotensive (blood pressure lowering), antioxidant, antiplatelet, anthelminthic, antifungal, antiparasitic, antibacterial, antiviral, hypolipidemic (blood lipid level lowering) properties. It can be effective to assist eradication of candida and promotes microcirculation. It is therefore not specific for histamine responses however it can assist colds and flus due to its antimicrobial, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antifungal and antioxidant properties. It is best to take fresh (chopped finely) or as a tablet.
High levels of Histamine can cause breathing problems, headache, nausea, feeling burning in the mouth, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and changes in blood pressure. Allium sativum (garlic) and Bunium persicum (Black Zira also known as earthnut), are popular plants with long folk history of use as food additives and, for medical applications. Bunium persicum grows naturally in Iran. The seeds are used as a popular seasoning, widely consumed as a condiment and as a traditional flavouring agent in foods. In this study garlic did not have the same histamine lowering impact as B. persicum however overall histamine levels did decrease with both herbs (Hajimohammadi et al., 2019).
Ginger – (Zingiber officinale)
In a well-controlled study, 100 patients who suffered acute migraines (without aura) were allocated to receive either ginger powder (250 mg) or sumatriptan (50 mg drug). Participants were instructed to take a single dose upon headache onset. Headache severity at 2 hours following treatment demonstrated similar effects for the sumatriptan and ginger groups. In this study, 70% of sumatriptan-treated and 64% of ginger-treated patients showed favourable relief (90% decrease in headache severity). Side effects from sumatriptan included dizziness, sedation, vertigo and heartburn. The only reported clinical adverse effect of ginger was dyspepsia (indigestion) which may be alleviated if taken with food.
Clinical efficacy and safety of oral ginger for the treatment of osteoarthritis was conducted in a literature review. Following ginger intake, a statistically significant pain reduction score was found and a significant reduction in disability was noted in favour of ginger. Daily doses of ginger ranged from 500 to 1000 mg/day (of liquid extract which is a fairly high dose)(Mediherb e-Monitor, 2015).
Licorice – (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Licorice (containing active Glycyrrhizic acid – GA) possesses a wide range of pharmacological actions, including anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties however to date studies have not examined the anti-allergic activity. This study showed that glycyrrhizic acid (GA) can suppress IL-4 (inflammatory marker) and restore immune balance of TH1/TH2 cells. This study showed that GA acted as a “mast cell stabilizer”. It inhibited mast cell degranulation and decreased vascular permeability suggesting it may serve as an effective anti-allergy agent (Han et al., 2017).
Medical Cannabis or Medical marijuana (Cannabis sativa)
Members of the Cannabis plant family have been used for centuries in India, China, and Africa for a host of health issues. They have also been used topically for the remedy of pruritus (itch) and eczema in traditional Indian medicine and it has been used in more recent times in Western Europe and America for similar indications. Cannabis spp. contain several bioactive components known as cannabinoids. The best known are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the non-psychoactive cannabinoids cannabidiol and cannabinol. These compounds affect the itch pathway by acting at cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and by activating various TRPs. Numerous studies in mice suggest that cannabinoid agonists alter itch perception. Cannabinoids have been shown to downregulate mast cell activation. In humans, topical cannabinoid agonists have been shown to attenuate histaminergic itch, pruritus, and pruritus due to lichen simplex chronicus and prurigo nodularis (Facci et al., 1995; Gaffel et al., Haruna et al., 2015; Kusakabe et al., 2013; Tosun et al., 2014; van der Stelt et al., 2005).
Moringa – (Moringa oleifera)
Bronchial asthma is a chronic respiratory disorder affecting a large proportion of population throughout the world. Moringa is a small or medium sized tree, cultivated throughout India. Its leaves and fruits are edible and rich in ascorbic acid. The plant possesses antimicrobial activity, whilst the seeds have antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and diuretic activity. Moringa elicits positive responses in children suffering from upper respiratory tract and skin infections. It has been reported that the alkaloids from the plant closely resemble ephedrine in action and are useful in treatment of asthma. Alkaloid Moringine relaxes bronchioles (part of the respiratory system). This study suggests that the anti-asthmatic activity of M. oleifera seed kernels may be due to its bronchodilator, anti-inflammatory, mast cell stabilization and antimicrobial activity (Mehta and Agrawal, 2008).
Peppermint – (Mentha piperita) has been used medicinally in Japan and Western Europe for millennia. Its most interesting active component is menthol, which gives the plants in this family the characteristic menthol smell. It boasts a variety of complementary and alternative medicine applications. Applied to the skin, it creates a cooling sensation and activates the thermosensitive sensors, inhibits itch signal transmission. It has been reported as effective in relieving pruritus in conditions such as lichen amyloidosis and epidermolysis bullosa (Frölich et al., 2009; Daniel 2015). Peppermint tea can be used internally to relieve indigestion. It helps to alleviate bloating, flatulence, gastritis, nausea and can help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Not recommended for GORD/GERD conditions.
Polyphenols are found in foods and plant sources and they have been investigated for their anti‐allergic effects in different disease trials. Their anti‐inflammatory action is known to impact immune cells relating to the skin and assist in preventing the development of secondary infections following disruption of the skin barrier. The interaction of polyphenols with proteins can modulate the processes of allergic sensitization and effect mast cells inhibiting mediator release, resulting in the alleviating symptoms. Their anti‐oxidant ability limits the extent of cellular injury from free radicals during the allergic insult.
Dietary polyphenols are a class of bioactive compounds that are found in abundance in plant (tea, cocoa, coffee, etc.) and fruit (apple, grapes, pomegranate, etc.) sources and have been studied extensively in numerous disease models. Polyphenols are mainly classified into flavonoids, phenolic acids, tannins, stilbenes and lignans (Singh, Holvoet & Mercenier, 2011).
Stinging Nettle Leaf – (Urtica dioica folia)
Anti-histamines are used in allergic rhinitis to stimulate histamine, acetylcholine and serotonin. It appears contradictory that a plant containing these mediators is used to treat allergic rhinitis however histamine also acts as an autocoid (produces a local hormone response) to modulate immune responses. Histamine, serotonin and acetylcholine are concentrated in the fresh stinging hairs on the leaves of nettle species. It also contains chlorophyll.
A study using 300 mg of freeze-dried Nettle leafin the treatment of allergic rhinitis found 69 patients found it to be effective in relieving their symptoms and 48% found it to be equally or more effective than their previous medicine (Mittman, 1990).
Tulsi – (Ocimum sanctum) is found throughout the semi-tropical and tropical parts of India. Ocimum sanctum commonly known as Holy basil is an herbaceous sacred plant found throughout India. Different parts of the plant are traditionally used in Ayurveda for the treatment of diverse ailments such as: infections, skin diseases, hepatic disorders and as an antidote for snake bite and scorpion sting. Different parts of plant including the stem, flower, seed, leaves and root, are known to possess therapeutic potential and have been used, by traditional medicinal practitioners, as an expectorant, analgesic, anticancer, anti-asthmatic, antiemetic, diaphoretic, antidiabetic, antifertility, hepatoprotective, hypotensive and anti-stress agent. Tulsi has been used in treatment of fever, bronchitis, arthritis and convulsion (Sridevi et al., 2008).
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a plant native to South Asia from which it is well-known as a culinary spice. It has been an element of Indian spiritual and medicinal practice for thousands of years and is still used in the Ayurvedic and Chinese systems of medicine today. Touted for antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties within these traditional systems, turmeric is used topically to treat a host of skin ailments including scabies, ulcers, pruritus, and fungal infections.
There is evidence that curcumin, a bioactive constituent of turmeric, is beneficial in a variety of skin (itching) dermatological diseases. In psoriasis, oral curcumin together with topical corticosteroids achieved greater reduction of the disease than topical corticosteroids alone. Although the relationship between curcumin and the itch pathway remains unclear, it has been shown to decrease expression of thymic stromal lymphopoietin. Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a cytokine primarily expressed by surface cells and is a key initiator of allergic inflammation (Bonchak et al., 2017).
Check with your naturopath or herbalist for the herbs that are most suited to your histamine reactions and your condition. Herbs can interact with medications and therefore it is vital to check before taking them. An experienced clinical naturopath or herbalist will be able to assist.
Seek the help of an experienced naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist who understands histamine. Karen is a fully qualified health professional available for consultations via the internet, face to face and the phone. Head to Beyond Histamine workshop and course here: https://gaininghealthnaturally.teachable.com/courses
Bonchak, J. G., Thareja, S., Chen, S. C., & Quave, C. L. (2017). Botanical complementary and alternative medicine for pruritus: A systematic review. Current Dermatology Reports, 6(4), 248-255. doi:10.1007/s13671-017-0200-y
Cunher, J. (n.d.). What is butterbur and how does it work?, retrieved from https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_butterbur_flapperdock/drugs-condition.htm
Danial C, et al. (2015). Evaluation of treatments for pruritus in epidermolysis bullosa. Pediatr Dermatol. 32:628–34.
Facci, L., et al. (1995). Mast cells express a peripheral cannabinoid receptor with differential sensitivity to anandamide and palmitoylethanolamide. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 92:3376–80.
Finney-Brown, T. (2011). Chamomile and allergies. Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism, 23(4), 183.
Frölich M, Enk A, Diepgen TL, Weisshaar E. (2009). Successful treatment of therapy-resistant pruritus in lichen amyloidosis with menthol. Acta Derm Venereol. 89:524–6.
Gaffal E., et al. (2013). Cannabinoid 1 receptors in keratinocytes modulate proinflammatory chemokine secretion and attenuate contact allergic inflammation. J Immunol. 190:4929–36.
Gupta I, Gupta V, Parihar A et al. (1998). Effects of Boswellia serrata gum resin in patients with bronchial asthma: results of a double-blind, placebo controlled, 6-week clinical study. Eur J Med Res, 3(11): 511-514
Hajimohammadi, B., Raeisi, M., Eftekhar, E., Mohebat, R., & Saffari, A. (2019). Studying the effect of allium sativum and bunium persicum essential oils on histamine production in mahyaveh, an Iranian seasoned fish sauce. Journal of Food Safety, 39(1), n/a. doi:10.1111/jfs.12590
Han, S., Sun, L., He, F., & Che, H. (2017). Anti-allergic activity of glycyrrhizic acid on IgE-mediated allergic reaction by regulation of allergy-related immune cells. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 7222-9. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-07833-1
Haruna, T., et al. (2015). S-777469, a novel cannabinoid type 2 receptor agonist, suppresses itch-associated scratching behaviour in rodents through inhibition of itch signal transmission. Pharmacology, 95:95–103.
Hogberg, B., and Uvnas, B. (1958). Inhibitory Action of Allicin on Degranulation of Mast Cells Produced by Compound 48/80, Histamine Liberator from Ascaris, Lecithinase A, and Antigen, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-1716.1958.tb01617.x
Kanda, T., Akiyama, H., Yanagida, A., Tanabe, M., Goda, Y., Toyoda, M., Saito, Y. (1998). Inhibitory effects of apple polyphenol on induced histamine release from RBL-2H3 cells and rat mast cells. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, 62(7), 1284-1289. doi:10.1271/bbb.62.1284
Kandhare, A. D., Aswar, U. M., Mohan, V., & Thakurdesai, P. A. (2017). Ameliorative effects of type-A procyanidins polyphenols from cinnamon bark in compound 48/80-induced mast cell degranulation. Anatomy and Cell Biology, 50(4), 275-283. doi:10.5115/acb.2017.50.4.275
Kusakabe, K., et al. (2013). Selective CB2 agonists with anti-pruritic activity: discovery of potent and orally available bicyclic 2-pyridones. Bioorg Med Chem. 21:3154–63.
Lee S-H, Heo Y. and Kim Y-C. (2010). Effect of German chamomile oil application on alleviating atopic dermatitis-like immune alterations in mice. J Vet Science, 11:35–41.
Mediherb e-Monitor (2015). Ginger is Proving to be Clinically Effective for A Variety of Painful, Inflammatory Disorders, No.53 retrieved from Mediherb Library.
Mehta, A., and Agrawal, B. (2008). Investigation into the mechanism of action of Moringa oleifera for its anti-asthmatic activity, Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine, 8(1), 24-31, DOI 10.3742/OPEM.2008.8.1.024.
Mittman, P. (1990). Randomized, double blind study of freeze dried Urtica dioica in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Planta Med, 56:44-47.
Rogerio, A., Kanashiro, A., Fontanari, C., da Silva, E., Lucisano-Valim, Y., Soares, E., and Faccioli, L. (2007). Anti-inflammatory activity of quercetin and isoquercitrin in experimental murine allergic asthma, Inflamm Res. Oct;56(10):402-8.
Singh, A., Holvoet, S., & Mercenier, A. (2011). Dietary polyphenols in the prevention and treatment of allergic diseases. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 41(10), 1346-1359. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.2011.03773.x
Sridevi, G., Gopkumar P., Ashok,S. and Shastry, C. (2008). Pharmacological Basis for Antianaphylactic, Antihistaminic and Mast Cell Stabilization Activity of Ocimum Sanctum, The Internet Journal of Pharmacology, Vol.7 (1), retrieved from http://ispub.com/IJPHARM/7/1/6038
Tosun, N., Gunduz, O., & Ulugol, A. (2014). Attenuation of serotonin-induced itch responses by inhibition of endocannabinoid degradative enzymes, fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase. J Neural Transm. 3:363–7.
Tsujiyama, I., Tsujiyama, I., Mubassara, S., Mubassara, S., Aoshima, H., Aoshima, H., . . . Hossain, S. J. (2013). Anti-histamine release and anti-inflammatory activities of aqueous extracts of citrus fruits peels. Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine, 13(3), 175-180. doi:10.1007/s13596-012-0093-z
van der Stelt, M., Trevisani, M., Vellani, V., De Petrocellis, L., Schiano-Moriello, A., Campi, B., McNaughton, P., Geppetti, P., and Di Marzo, V. (2005). Anandamide acts as an intracellular messenger amplifying Ca2+ influx via TRPV1 channels. EMBO J., 24:3026–37.
15 Low Histamine Recipes for Histamine Intolerance
Lately I’ve been doing a big deep dive into the world of histamine as I have struggled with symptoms myself and decided the best option was to engage in a low histamine diet. Histamine can be tricky to understand and confusing which is why I developed recipes booklets and a program to help people along the way.
Get your 15 Low Histamine Recipes here
Let’s refresh! Histamine Intolerance is an excess build up or difficulty with degrading (breaking down histamine) in the body for a number of reasons:
- You eat predominantly high histamine foods
- You have a SNP (mutation) on the DAO gene (and too a lesser extent HMNT)
- You have leaky gut (hyperpermeability) or SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
- Internally you are feeding the gut bacteria that stimulate histamine or perhaps your probiotic is contributing.
- Histamine tests are not considered accurate so determining whether its histamine intolerance or another allergy can be part of the process to work out.
Here are the symptoms that can occur with histamine excess:
Common Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance
- Rashes and hives (urticaria). Urticaria can cause red, itchy or blotches on the skin that can be large, that come and go and are sometimes undiagnosed (referred to as idiopathic or from unknown cause).
- A runny nose (rhinitis/ rhinorrhoea) with hay fever like symptoms
- Watery itchy eyes which could lead to conjunctivitis (and not necessarily lead to conjunctivitis).
- Itching of the skin: eyes, ears and nose (with or without an accompanying rash)
- Headaches & migraines
- Digestive upsets and heartburn (indigestion, GERD (reflux), both diarrhoea and/or constipation, IBS for example)
- Psychological symptoms that may include irritability and/or confusion
- Low blood pressure or hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Tachycardia (the sensation of a racing heart)
- Increased pulse rate
- Sweating and feeling faint
- Chest pains that resemble anxiety or a panic attack which may include breathing difficulties
- Swelling of the face and mouth, sometimes around the throat (angioedema) with throat tightening
Not all symptoms occur at the same time and the severity of the symptom depends on an individual’s ability to deal with excess histamine.
The signs and symptoms for “histamine sensitivity” are very broad with almost all people being able to recognise at least one of these. It is expected that less than 1% of the population are histamine intolerant. Therefore, there is a good chance that this doesn’t apply to most people however if you know of someone who has continual, chronic ‘’allergy-like’’ symptoms then it is worth checking histamine.
What do you do about histamine intolerance?
- Eat a low histamine diet is the best way forward. Simple and easy to prepare breakfast recipes are a great place to start. Here is my booklet which give you 15 to choose from. Preparation and making sure you have the foods you need in the house is important with histamine.
- Make sure you eat foods immediately once prepared and if storing freeze meals as much as possible. Histamine develops over time in foods.
- Limit your intake of aged, processed, leftoevers, long cooking of meats and foods. the longer they sit around the more histamine develops. It can’t be removed in fact as a food degrades (the microbes that degrade it) histamine increases.
- Some medications also create more histamine. Head to my new workshop that includes everything you need to know about histamine. This workshop is a dive into the world of histamine so you can understand the do’s and don’ts more easily.
Get your 15 Low Histamine Recipes here
Book a consultation with Karen Green here or email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact 0400836254.
Stress links to Sugar Cravings.
Take GABA to reduce your sugar cravings, anxiety related to stress and insomnia.
We know that when stress increases cortisol rises, blood sugar levels drop and bingo cravings for sugar increase. As you increase your sugar consumption your physical addiction to it increases and so the cycle continues.
How do I decrease or eliminate my sugar cravings, you ask?
Yes, you guessed it. Decrease stress, improve sleep and give GABA a go. Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA for short, is a neurotransmitter that sends chemical messages through the brain and the nervous system and is involved in regulating communication between brain cells. The role of GABA is to reduce the activity of the neurons or nerve cells thereby reducing the body’s response to stress with resulting improved behaviour (less anxiety) and improved cognition (yes when you are stressed thinking and memory is impaired – you know you can’t think straight).
Research suggests that GABA helps to control fear and anxiety when neurons become overexcited.
In a study in 2015, GABA significantly increased circulating insulin levels in the subjects who were either fasting or prescribed food. Although a small study of only 12 people, there were no adverse effects of prescribed GABA reported, and it was rapidly absorbed and tolerated well. It also showed potential therapeutic benefits for those with type II diabetes.
According to Dr Hyman (a well-respected holistic physician in the States), GABA stops sugar cravings, so you don’t need to use willpower. And GABA ends physical anxiety, so you don’t have to manage it. Making food changes, taking nutrients that support and choosing relaxing activities such as yoga to reduce stress can assist in weight loss and managing diabetes. Why not add GABA? Read more on Dr Hyman’s blog on obesity here.
Your Mental Health & GABA
Another well designed study of 63 adults, using capsules containing 100 mg of GABA or dextrin (sugar) as a placebo, showed a reduction in mental stress after 30 minutes of administration. It was concluded that GABA may be responsible for alleviating stress induced by the mental tasks.
In Australia, we have very tight controls on supplements and therapeutic products. So please keep this in mind if you purchase GABA on the net. I can not guarantee the quality with overseas products.
It is recommended to trial GABA if never used before under the guidance of your health professional. Call Karen today to make your appointment or to find out more about consultations visit here
Karen is a full member of the NHAA here
- GABA Guide from Everyday Health, https://www.everydayhealth.com/gaba/guide/
- Study of GABA in Healthy Volunteers: Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics. (2015). Front Pharmacol. Nov 10;6:260. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00260. eCollection 2015.
- 7 STEPS to reverse obesity and diabetes, https://drhyman.com/blog/2014/12/18/7-ways-reverse-obesity-diabetes/
- Oral intake of γ-aminobutyric acid affects mood and activities of central nervous system during stressed condition induced by mental tasks, (20120. Amino Acids. Sep;43(3):1331-7. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1206-6. Epub 2011 Dec 28.
ADHD and Gut Health – A Study Review
Human gut microbiome changes during a 10-week Randomised Control Trial for micronutrient supplementation in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
It has been found that your diet impacts your microbiome (gut health) and plays an important role in the regulation of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) behaviour. There is growing evidence suggesting nutritional supplements and your diet affects both mental and physical health.
A 10-week study was conducted to investigate the effects of vitamins, minerals and amino acids (building blocks of muscle, skin and all tissues in the body) impact on gut health and overall ADHD symptoms. 17 boys took part in this study between the ages of 7 to 12 diagnosed with ADHD. There was both a treatment group who received the treatment and placebo (control) that did not receive the treatment.
It is believed that the diet can have an impact on what is called the gut-brain axis which influences neural, immune system and hormones which affects be behaviour overall.
The impact that our diet and nutrients have on the microbiome has been shown with anxiety in animals and in humans with irritable bowel syndrome. There is growing evidence that suggests nutrition plays an important role in ADHD behaviour with long term studies showing early malnutrition may be a risk factor.
Future long-term studies are required with a larger population base however the results do show possible changes occur in the short term with increasing nutrients.
For both the treatment group and placebo (no treatment), the types of bacteria in the gut shifted from Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes although Firmicutes remained consistent. Actinobacteria decreased significantly in the treatment group with an increase in Bacteroidetes with Proteobacteria having a slight increase. In the Actinobacteria consisting of Bifidobacteria (B.longum, B.adolescentis were the two major species of Bifidobacterium found).
There is a general trend in this study that suggests increased Actinobacteria may be associated with ADHD. Several studies have found Bifidobacterium including B. longum appeared to have a protective effect against developing neuropsychiatric disorders, including ADHD, whereas Aarts et al. report a higher abundance of Bifidobacterium in ADHD cases compared to controls.
The findings in this study suggest that small non-specific changes involving many different bacteria are likely to have contributed towards a minor shit in the microbiome.
This is a small study and was conducted over a short period of time however still provides some valuable insights into gut health and the changes that are possible.
Increase fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet daily.
Quality protein is important for the development of all tissues, organs and hormones of the body and is exceptionally important in the developing growing child and teenager.
Increasing home made meals at home increases the potential for healthy eating.
Sugar and processed meals are meant as a treat and are not meant for daily consumption. Eat fresh fruits, nuts and seeds for those sweet cravings.
Increase prebiotics (specific fibres that can help to populate the nutrients necessary for probiotics to establish.
Seek the help of an experienced professional who can recommend stool analysis to determine types of bacteria present and to assist in re-balancing the gut microbiome. This study suggests that perhaps B.longum may assist ADHD. Flower essences may also assist.
Stress impacts your health overall including gut health. Finding ways to de-stress is super important.
Aaron J. Stevens, A., Purcell, R., Darling, K., Eggleston, M., Kennedy, M., and Rucklidge, J. (2019). Human gut microbiome changes during a 10-week Randomised Control Trial for micronutrient supplementation in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, 9:10128 | https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-46146-3
Ian White, Bush Flower Essences, 1991 Bantam Books.
Contact Karen Green on 0400836254 or email@example.com for an appointment today. Karen is a member of NHAA – https://www.nhaa.org.au/public/find-a-practitioner/find-a-practitioner-listing/1807-karen-green-gaining-health-naturally
Bottlebrush for Spring
Bottlebrush for Spring and it means Spring has sprung! It is used for clearing and cleansing. Whilst studying and learning from my amazing teachers at “Balance for Life” I was taught an old Chinese way of healing; “We heal with what surrounds us”. Although we have a fast paced life a little different from Ancient Chinese ways I couldn’t help noticing the beautiful bottle-brushes blooming profusely here in Melbourne at the moment.
Bottlebrush, from the genus Callistemon, is also a Flower Essence used to heal the physical, mental, intellectual & spiritual aspects. It is used for clearing and cleansing away the old and for us to deal with change easily nd effortlessly.
Bottlebrush – Callistemon linearis
As it clears away (like a brush) bottlebrush helps us to let go and move through change with greater ease. It helps to brush away the past and allows a person to move on to new beginnings and experiences. Life is full of endings and beginnings, bringing constant change. In fact, we know there is constant climate change that is impacting many Australians as I write this. Bottlebrush helps with major life changes or turning points including starting school, getting a job, marriage, divorce, moving house, retirement and even transitioning to the afterlife (death).
If we resist change, we block the flow of life. Today more than ever we need to be flexible, adaptable and develop resilience.
The negative side of Bottlebrush
Overwhelmed by major life changes including in adolescence, parenthood, pregnancy, menopause, old age and in approaching death. These are all times when bottlebrush is called for.
- Serenity and calmness
- Coping with ease
- Ability to move on
Note: Bottlebrush flower essences is not advisable for children under 12 years as we need to allow them to have their life experiences without interference.
Bottlebrush can be used for
Addictions, constipation (the need to let go along with boronia), arteriosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries), Back pain (particularly in the thoracic region – between the shoulders), blood disorders (cleansing and clearing), cellulite and swelling (clearing lymph), muscle cramps (can benefit), viruses, foot problems (the need to move forward), haemorrhoids (clearing and cleansing), skin issues,
The positive overall aspect of this essence allows a person to flow through life and its changes, being able to let go of the past and move ahead into the new.
When you see bottlebrush today, know that it has come into your life to help heal you! Take on bottlebrush energy and order your essence today!
Bottlebrush Affirmations for Spring
I, your name, now allow myself to move easily and effortlessly with life’s changes.
I, your name, welcome new change and the responsibility of pregnancy/adolescence.
I, your name, let go of the past, breaking the bonds that bind, so I can move forward with grace and gratitude.
Australian National Herbarium – https://www.anbg.gov.au/callistemon/
Ian White – Australian Bush Flower Essences, 1991, Bantam Books
I have so much gratitude to my teachers past, present and future including Glenys Rochford, Marshall Lever & life! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
Make a booking with Karen today for your unique flower essence to be made including Bottlebrush on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0400836254 or head to https://access2speechpathology.com.au/services-consultations-with-karen-green/consultations/ for more information.
In the ”heal your gut, heal your body” online workshop you learn everything you need to know about healing your gut and gut microbiome. Your gut health is crucial to your overall physical and mental well-being. Gut health issues can lead to autoimmunity, mental health problems, skin issues and digestive problems including lack of appetite, diarrhea and or constipation. It may be that you even have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Hippocrates stated, “All disease begins in the gut” and natural health practitioners work closely to heal your gut issues as the start of disease. Even scientists are catching on to this as more research show this too be true!
In a series of videos, audios and handouts the ”heal your body, heal your body” workshop, helps you to dive easily into the world of healing your gastrointestinal system. Listen in the comfort of your home or perhaps the audio of your car. This workshop is for both the general public and practitioners. Handouts are provided to help you along the way!
- How and what to do to heal your gut – Leaky gut (Intestinal Hyper-permeability), SIBO & parasites
- What to do when parasites are present & understand if you really need to eradicate them
- Holistic healing of your gut through the Microbiome Diet
- The Microbiome Make-over Protocol
- The benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
- Easy tips & information on hpw to heal your gut
- How antibiotics affect your gut
- Testing options – CDSA, Lactulose/Mannitol, Zonulin, Parasites.
Have you had a gastrointestinal issue for a long time and don’t know what to do? The ”heal your gut, heal your body” workshop helps you on the road to better health. Whether you are a practitioner or have general interest in healing your gastrointestinal tract there is something for everyone in this workshop. Need a guiding light into your health or business?
About Karen’s Courses
Karen designs practical & insightful workshops for those who are starting out in clinic & for the general public who want to embrace all things ‘’natural’’. It can be difficult to wade through the vast amount of health information available today. Trust a fully trained health professional who will take the confusion out of it for you. Embrace learning how to make your own beauty products, setting up your clinic, histamine, rotational eating & much more…
Why not sign up today and at your leisure learn about your most important aspect of your health, your gut microbiome and YOU! New Launch Discount includes 20% OFF until end of December 2019. Click here to sign up.
For more on your gut health read https://access2speechpathology.com.au/gut-microbes-affect-stress-and-your-health/ & https://access2speechpathology.com.au/lets-talk-constipation/
Karen’s online courses are available here: https://gaininghealthnaturally.teachable.com/
Call Karen today 0400836254 or email email@example.com
Low Thyroid Function (or hypothyroidism as it is known), links to high cholesterol levels. Hypothyroidism is a common metabolic disorder in the general population. Surveys show a 4.6% prevalence of hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) in the general population (USA). 9.5% of the Colorado Prevalence Study participants had high levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). A naturopath looks at the optimal range being between 1-2 (TSH). Thyroid failure is more common in women with the prevalence rising with age. Hypothyroid patients have increased levels of triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Hypothyroidism is seen as a common cause of secondary dyslipidaemia (high cholesterol levels).
Research shows that hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) can put you at a greater risk for high blood cholesterol, which can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Keeping your thyroid in balance helps to keep your cholesterol in check.
How Low Thyroid function impacts Cholesterol Increase
Decreased thyroid function is accompanied by reduced activity of the enzyme involved in making cholesterol, triglycerides (TG) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels which are increased in patients with hypothyroidism (due to lowered activity). Decreased LDL-receptor activity results in decreased clearance of LDL. This decrease in LPL activity is found in hypothyroidism, decreasing the clearance of triglyceride rich lipoproteins.
Why T3 is important?
Just remember thyroid hormones enhance the release of the enzyme involved in the first step of cholesterol synthesis and regulate cholesterol clearance. Too little thyroid hormones mean there is not enough cholesterol clearance and a build up of bad cholesterol (LDL) occurs. It is particularly important for T3, being the active thyroid hormone, as it upregulates and controls the LDL receptor gene activation. Low thyroid hormone may cause greater intestinal cholesterol absorption. The net effect is hyperlipidaemia (increased or high cholesterol levels).
A team of scientists at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, examined data of 9,420 patients enrolled in the in the Rotterdam Study for nearly 9 years, looking at their levels of TSH, free thyroxine (fT4) and risk of heart disease or cerebrovascular disease. What they discovered is that as fT4 increases, the risk of developing heart disease is doubled, and there is an 87% greater risk of suffering from an atherosclerosis-related event such as heart attack or stroke.
Abnormal Levels of Cholesterol
The higher abnormal cholesterol levels of both LDL and HDL have been linked with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease as cholesterol builds up on the arterial wall. Elevated levels of plasma cholesterol, particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglyceride levels, are mainly responsible for hypercholesterolemia, which can also lead to other diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
Basella alba, known as remayung, belongs to the family of Basellaceae and is a wild vegetable that was used for human health in ancient times. The leaves and stems of B. alba are used as an analgesic, antifungal, and antiulcer activities. This herb has been studied for its cholesterol lowering properties along with Bergamot. Further studies are still required.
Yes, this is all very complex, so what does it actually mean?
Your Thyroid Function
Maintaining proper thyroid function is crucial particularly in women as they age. Post-menopausal are particularly at high cardiovascular risk. This has been well documented however it is known your thyroid could definitely be playing a part.
How do you improve Low Thyroid Function links Lower Cholesterol levels?
- Maximise thyroid function through minimizing impacts from chemicals in the environment (chlorine and fluoride in particular) and reducing heavy metal exposure. You may need to be tested.
- Support your body and make sure you have the thyroid function co-factors – Selenium, Iodine (checked first) and B-Vitamins) for optimal daily thyroid function.
- If stressed, your thyroid will be affected. They come together! Fix your stress through gentle exercise and ensure good sleep.
- Check your hormone levels. It’s important to know what is occurring not stabbing in the dark.
- Fix your gut function. Optimal gut function is needed for proper absorption of all nutrients.
- If you want to check if you have the APOE gene risk factor. Ensure your MTHFR is optimal through a whole body approach.
- There are several phytochemicals (from plants) that have been studied over the years with promising effects.
See a qualified Naturopath Karen Green for your specific needs. Contact Karen on 0400836254 or firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter @greeninghealth, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GainingHealthNaturally Read more on thyroid health here
Baskaran, G., Salvamani, S., Ahmad, S.A., Shaharuddin, N.A., Pattiram, P.D. & Shukor, M.Y. (2015), HMG-CoA reductase inhibitory activity and phytocomponent investigation of Basella alba leaf extract as a treatment for hypercholesterolemia, Vol.9, Pages 509—517, DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S75056
Lutz, J., Bano, A., & Pearce, E. (2019). Hypothyroid and Cholesterol: Too Little Thyroid Hormone, Too Much Cholesterol, Endocrineweb, https://www.endocrineweb.com/news/thyroid-diseases/59757-hypothyroid-cholesterol-too-little-thyroid-hormone-too-much-cholesterol
Rizos, C., Elisaf, M., and Liberopoulos, E. (2011). Effects of Thyroid Dysfunction on Lipid Profile, The Open Cardiovascular Medicine Journal, Vol.5, p. 76-84,https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3109527/pdf/TOCMJ-5-76.pdf
Puppy Treats – Our puppies love treats just as much as we do! At least mine does. Here are some easy peasy healthy ones to make for your pooch. Erik loves this one!
Peanut Butter Cookies – Makes 12-16
1 cup rolled oats (if the chunky ones I did grind them a little)
100g peanut butter
¼ cup hemp seeds
½ Tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil
1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced).
2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl with a little water until biscuits come together.
3. Shape dough into small bone shapes and place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
4. Bake for approximately 10 minutes and then turn over. Cook a further 10 minutes until light golden brown.
5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Puppy Love Hearts – Makes 30
- 500g chicken mince
- 2 eggs whisked
- 50g chopped parsley
- 1 carrot grated
- ½ cup long grain rice
- Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced).
- Cook the rice as per packet instructions
- Place cooked rice, chicken mince. Grated carrot, parsley, and whisked eggs into a bowl and mix well.
- Spoon mixture into heart shaped silicon moulds and press in tight.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool, then remove from the mould.
- Can be kept in the fridge for 5 days
Salmon and Sweet Potato Slices – Makes 25
- 3 eggs
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 415g tin of pink salmon
- 1 medium sweet potato peeled
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced).
- Gently boil the sweet potato in water until soft, drain and mash.
- Whisk the eggs in a medium sized bowl.
- Mix remaining ingredients into the whisked eggs and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and press the mixture into the tray.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and leave to cool. Cut into 25 pieces (5 X 5).
- Can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days or stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Need more information on how to ”treat” your puppy, check out information here
Vitamin K for Health
Vitamin K is an important fat-soluble vitamin for health. It consists of two main subfamilies: vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (menaquinone). Naturally occurring forms of phylloquinone (K1) are found in green plants and vitamin K2 is synthesized from bacteria with the intestine. Vitamin K1 has an important function in blood clotting and vitamin K2 moves calcium from soft tissue into bone.
Vitamin K is:
- Essential calcium metabolism and maintenance of bone health
- Assists normal healthy blood coagulation
- Reduces bone mineral density loss in health post-menopausal women
Calcium, vitamin D & A, and estrogen are necessary to maintain bone health and even people with adequate calcium, sunlight and vitamins A & D can struggle to maintain bone health particularly in the latter years when estrogen is also lost. Vitamin D increases the need for vitamin K2 as well as increasing its benefits. Mega-dosing of vitamin D is not recommended as this can increase the risk of calcium deposits in soft tissues, another reason for more is not better! Quality of calcium and the correct nutrients is however important.
Evidence has emerged of the crucial role of vitamin K2 in maintaining health tissues. Vitamin K2 has been shown to assist calcium from blood vessels into bones and in doing so protects against cardiovascular disease whilst depositing calcium in bone and teeth. Vitamin K2 deficiency can occur within 7 days of a vitamin K2 deficient diet. Those that are considered at greater risk are those with:
- Impaired gastrointestinal absorption
- Chronically treated with antibiotics (minimising the ability of favourable gut bacteria to produce K2)
- Newborns with immature gastrointestinal systems
- Diets low in vitamin K
- Fat malabsorption disorders
- Intestinal bypass surgery
- Liver disease and pancreatitis
Vitamin K2 and Bone Health
Vitamin K2 activates certain proteins (i.e. osteocalcin) which then allows them to bind to calcium. Vitamin D is dependent on vitamin K2, and together with vitamin A stimulate the production of osteocalcin (bone forming protein) and inhibits the production of osteoclast cells which break down bone tissue. Estrogen assists vitamin D to form bone and when estrogen levels drop in menopause this activity potentially increases bone loss. It is important to supplement with K2 along with vitamin D in menopause, in the prevention of osteoporosis, although it is equally important to check vitamin D levels (vitamin D 1,25-OH2-D3) before supplementing. Although unclear osteocalcin appears to be involved in bone remodelling or calcium mobilization. Even though vitamin A assists the production of osteocalcin, more is not better. Vitamin A and E excess has been shown to antagonise vitamin K uptake (i.e. prevent absorption and metabolism). It is always about a balance with nutrients!
As vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin it is best absorbed with dietary fat. People who have difficulty absorbing fat generally have difficulty absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.
Menaquinones are classified according to their side chains. The longer the side chain the longer it potentially resides in the body (i.e. MK-7), which determines the uptake within the intestine and its distribution throughout the body.
The menaquinones produced by bacteria are predominantly found in animal products such as meat, egg yolk, butter, cheeses and legumes. The most well-known MK-4 is a short chain structure predominantly found in eggs, meat and liver whilst MK-7 is found in higher concentrations within fermented cheeses and in the traditional Japanese food natto (produced by Bacillus subtilis from fermented soy beans.
Cardiovascular Disease and vitamin K2
As calcium is one of the causes of hardening of the arteries, a high arterial calcium score can be measured as a potential risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that adding vitamin K2 to the diet can reduce the arterial content and increase flexibility of the arterial wall.
Interestingly in the northern hemisphere calcification is highest in the Winter months and lowest in August (Summer), due to the animal sources of vitamin K. Grass fed however not grain fed animals have higher K2 in the fat of the animal. Chickens must be fed inopen pasture to have K2 present int he yolk, conventional grain feed reduces vitamin K2 content. Processed (hydrogenated) margarine and other oils that contain cheaper versions of fats have synthetic forms of vitamin K (DHP) which studies have found contain lower amounts of K2.
Content of Vitamin K in selected Foods
Phylloquinone content ug/100g of food
|Eggs||Green beans||Brussel sprouts||Swiss chard|
|Red Meat||Kiwi fruit||Watercress|
|Tea (brewed)||Coffee (brewed)|
Cautions and Warnings
Pregnancy and lactation – all forms of vitamin K supplementation needs to be used with caution and under supervision only.
Using vitamin K in conjunction with anticoagulant medication ie. warfarin is not recommended and needs to be under supervision only.
See Karen Green your professional naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist for further support and guidance at gaininghealthnaturally.com and information here: Karen Green or information calcium read here
Gropper, S., Smith, J., and Groff, J. (2009). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, 5th ed. . CA, USA. : Cengage Learning.
K2 for Bone Health. (2016). Australia: www.bioceuticals.com.au
Warming Winter Recipes
Warming Winter Recipes are a great why to nourish, satisfy and warm your inner heart. Who doesn’t love hearty, unctuous and gently cooked meat, veggies and stock on the stove when the days are shorter and the nights are cooler. Vitamin and mineral packed veggies, healing bones and gelatin (collagen) that help to heal your gut are particularly nourishing. Here’s a few easy healthy recipes that can help you embrace the season of Winter. Enjoy Winter warmers with friends and family beside a warming fire…
Developing resilience in a busy hectic life is as important as balancing your microbiome! We all have busy times and how we respond in those busy times is the key to leading a less stressful life. How can we ensure that we respond in positive ways when things are hectic or going awry?
With current on-going social and climate change, we live in a world where aspects of daily life can change in an instant. What was normal on one day can completely change the next. Fires have ravaged through Queensland this week and as I was heading to a conference on the Sunny Coast a semi-trailer ran off the road closing the M1 (the major highway) for hours and I was stuck in it. We had diversions and detours for hours. It reminded me that things can change in an instant. If I responded with anger the remainder of my day is potentially affected for the worst. How I responded in that moment mattered! I decided to pass the time away calling my family for a chat, listening to my favourite podcasts and enjoying the beautiful scenery surrounding me as I passed through the Glass House Mountains.
I could have become completely flustered and frustrated however I chose to remain calm as I continued to move forward. I am not saying that I was completely oblivious to the added burden (the hours spent on a busy diversion) however as much as I could I chose to remain calm and centred. Whilst driving I was reminded of the tremendous power of the Adaptogenic herbs I dispense. In the herbal medicine world, we call these herbs adaptogens as they do just that: help us to adapt to the stress response, adapt to alleviating stress in positive ways such as: reducing fatigue, improving endurance and mental health. More on the adaptogens below!
Without getting to technical developing “resilience” is being able to adapt in an ever-changing world. The aim is to make better decisions under times of uncertainty. How do we do this? My aim is to help people make better health choices, in other words become more resilient internally through health and well being. A stronger internal body means a stronger external life.
Do one thing for yourself every day that sustains you! One simple thing that creates peace and serenity that helps toward developing strength through consistency. If this means making sure you eat healthily then do it, if it means walking every day for 24 mins then do it, if it means meditating for 24 mins then do it. If it’s complex, then it’s probably not it. Make this one simple thing, one action that you consistently attend to like watering a flower until it blooms!
Each day this means to me:
I meditate or a walk on the beach with Erik (the wonder pup), ride my bike, go to the gym or do yoga. When I don’t do this something just doesn’t feel right. This practice helps me to be strong enabling me to handle the challenges of the day, developing my resilience so I can respond in a positive way in this ever-changing world. Commit to yourself – you are the only person you have really!
Here’s a few tips on how to develop resilience:
- Get enough sleep and exercise enabling you to better manage stress when it arrives
- Practice thought awareness – focus on the positive and what you do have that is fantastic in your life
- Practice cognitive restructuring to change the way that you think about negative situations and bad events. when they arrive say okay here you are and thank you. Now I choose something else.
- Learn from your mistakes and failures (it’s okay to fail as that is how we learn)
- Choose your response. I choose to be grateful and positive in my world.
- Maintain perspective. It is not always perfect, there is no such thing.
- Develop strong relationships with others (friends and family). They are important and help you feel supported. It only takes one friend to be there.
- Take Adaptogens! and B-Complex vitamins (you use more during times of stress).
Adaptogens – The modern day stress herbs. A little bit of stress is a good thing for the body. It keeps us alert and enables us to move out of situations that may potentially hurt or put you in danger. It is when stress is chronic, on-going over a long period of time that the damage is done. It causes exhaustion, fatigue, high blood pressure and heart disease, obesity (as cortisol remains high sugar imbalance occurs), and mental health issues. High stress impacts immunity and impacts your gut bacterial balance. In other words can cause leaky gut. Here are a few of my favourite adaptogenic herbs. Like all herbs they perform more than one action.
Rhodiola (Artic Root or Rose Root) grows in the Arctic cold regions of the world). It enhances physical work performance and improves endurance exercise and muscle strength. It calms and enhances learning, cognitive and memory performance, protects the nervous system from oxidative damage.
Please read more on how Schisandra, Rhodiola and Siberian Ginseng were used by the Russian Army here: Russians were studying herbs
Withania (Ashwaganda or Indian Ginseng) is used to enhance longevity and when stress abounds. It helps in times of both physical and emotional exhaustion and fatigue. It can be used as a tonic for the elderly.
Gotu Kola (commonly known as Centella or Indian Pennywort), supports adrenal exhaustion, fatigue and nervous breakdown. It supports healthy memory function, whereby studies have shown it improves speed and accuracy of working memory and the mood in the elderly. It provides relief of skin conditions, promotes healthy connective tissue, reduces swelling and provides support for vascular integrity. It helps wound healing.
Rehmannia (Chinese Foxglove) is an excellent herb for autoimmune diseases as it suppresses antibody formation. It is a major adrenal tonic and anti-inflammatory. It helps to increase stamina and improve general well-being.
Siberian Ginseng helps to balance the ‘’on/off’’ switch when stress engages. It balances the hormone interplay. It restores vigour, improves health and in Chinese Medicine promotes a long life.
Schisandra known as Magnolia vine has bright berry fruits that are used to make the herbal medicine. This digestive herb enhances phase 1 & 2 detoxification, relieves chronic fatigue, physical stress and debility. It improves physical and mental performance and concentration. It is considered a nerve and adaptogenic tonic.
Gynostemma (Southern ginseng) has been used as a rejuvenating elixir by the people in the mountainous regions of Southern China to increase endurance, strength and to relieve fatigue. It is known to the local people as ‘xiancao’ or the ‘Immortality Herb’’.
Book to see a professionally qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist & Herbalist from gaininghealthnaturally.com
Call today: Karen 0400836254 or email: email@example.com for more information.
Calcium, vital mineral & when not?
Calcium, vital mineral and when not? Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, mostly found in bones and teeth, 99%, (1% in blood and soft tissues). Lets go on a journey to explore the why, how and when of calcium supplementation. Too much of a good thing is not always a good thing!
Calcium levels in the blood need to be maintained within a narrow concentration range for normal muscle contraction and nerve impulse conduction. Calcium functions are so vital to survival that the body will demineralize bone to maintain normal blood calcium levels when calcium intake is inadequate. In response to low blood calcium, parathyroid hormone (PTH) is secreted with the aim to restore blood calcium concentration. It does this through activating vitamin D, filters calcium is retained by the kidney and bone resorption is initiated. It is critical to obtain enough daily dietary calcium to maintain the balance.
Several randomized, placebo -controlled trials (RCTs) have tested whether calcium supplementation reduces age-related bone loss and fracture incidence in postmenopausal women. Menopausal women are at greatest risk due to estrogen loss. In the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), 36,282 healthy, postmenopausal women (aged 50 to 79 years; mean age 62 years) were randomly assigned to receive placebo or 1,000 mg calcium carbonate and 400 IU vitamin D3 daily. After a mean of seven years of follow-up, the supplement group had significantly less bone loss at the hip. It needs to be noted in this study that the best most bioavailable form of Calcium was not used as supplementation. A 12% reduction in the incidence of hip fracture in the supplement group did not reach statistical significance, possibly due to the low rates of absolute hip fracture in the 50 to 60 year age range.
Overall, the majority of calcium supplementation trials (and meta-analyses thereof) show a positive effect on bone mineral density (BMD), although the size of the effect is modest. Why the presence of other nutrients and ratios is crucial for calcium maintenance with calcium primarily being laid in bones in early adulthood. Post this it is about maintenance.
8 Common forms and types that are best
- Calcium Carbonate
A common form of calcium supplement, calcium carbonate is an alkaline-based compound found in rocks, limestone, shells of marine animals, pearls, eggshells and snails. It holds one of the highest concentrations of elemental calcium (35-40%), but is not high in bioavailability and requires the production of extra stomach acid to be absorbed. Bioavailability refers to the amount of calcium in the supplement that can be assimilated by the digestive system, and ultimately used for cellular activity and health benefits. Calcium Carbonate is currently one of the cheapest and most prevalent forms of calcium supplements sold today. Its best to avoid this form and check all of your multivitamin and mineral supplement labels.
- Calcium Citrate
Differing from the alkaline qualities of calcium carbonate, calcium citrate has an acidic base. This acidity requires less production of natural stomach acids, allowing this type of calcium to be better absorbed than the carbonate form. It does, however, have less elemental calcium concentration (20%), and again, low bioavailability.
- Oyster Shell Calcium
While it may seem like a more natural form of calcium, and thus higher in absorbable content, oyster shell calcium, as well as dolomite and bone meal, are difficult to quality-control and have been found to show levels of lead toxins. In general, these “natural forms” of calcium should be avoided.
- Calcium Gluconate
A form of calcium with very low levels of actual calcium concentration. You would need to take very large amounts of the supplement to reach calcium requirements, and the bioavailability is still not certain.
- Calcium Lactate
The form of calcium found in foods such as aged cheese and baking powder. It has a medium bioavailability in the body because it can be absorbed at various pH levels.
- Calcium Phosphate
The main form of calcium coming from cow’s milk. Tooth enamel and bones are very high in calcium phosphate, although supplemental forms have not shown to be readily bioavailable.
- Calcium Citrate Malate
A water-soluble form of calcium. It is created through mixing the calcium salt found in citric acid with malic acid. This combination has higher levels of bioavailability than other forms, as it is water-soluble and does show some evidence of being dissolved into cell membranes. More bioavailable than many.
- Calcium Orotate
One of the most effective forms of calcium supplement, created through the use of the mineral salts of orotic acid is calcium orotate. They are found in small amounts in all living beings. It is a primary mineral for the creation of bones and teeth, and fosters cellular communications. Both plants and animals use orotates to create DNA and RNA. Extensive scientific research done by Hans A. Nieper, (M.D) has found that orotates can penetrate cell membranes, enabling the effective delivery of the calcium ion to the inner-most layers of the cellular mitochondria and nucleus.
Calcium supplementation can be beneficial in:
- Preventing osteoporosis
- Reduction of muscle cramps
- Reduction in pain associated with spinal problems
- Maintaining bone health
- Maintaining teeth health
- Alleviation of sleep disorders like insomnia
- Increasing the body’s ability to metabolize iron
- Overall stress reduction and mental alertness
When to supplement and when not to supplement?
As the name suggests the word ‘’supplement – means the addition of an extra element or amount to something” and in the nutritional sense of a nutrient, food or herb to be used for a period of time. If your body is body is in need of repair or stress or when recommendations have been made by your nutritionist or naturopath then that is the time for supplementation. The aim for all of us is to maintain a healthy body through fresh whole & nutrient dense foods with plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds and protein foods. If you are not digesting and therefore absorbing or assimilating well due to hyperpermeability (leaky gut), dysbiosis (bacterial over growth) or for other reasons short burst of nutrient and herbal supplementation is supportive to healing.
Calcium supplements can interact with many prescription medicines, including antibiotics, bisphosphonates and high blood pressure medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about possible interactions between calcium supplements and your medications.
When not to supplement your daily dose?
It’s also a good idea to take your calcium supplements at a different time from your multivitamin or an iron-rich meal. Calcium may not be absorbed as well if it’s taken at the same time as iron, zinc or magnesium.
A large study of 24,000 men and women aged 35–64 years published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2012, found that those who used calcium supplements had a 139% greater risk of heart attack during the 11-year study period, while intake of calcium from food did not increase the risk.
To increase calcium concentrations in the body, consume healthy levels of calcium rich foods like dairy products, sardines, salmon, dark leafy greens and bone broths. Healthy bone formation also dependent on Vitamin D and K with both assist in regulating calcium metabolism. The ratio of calcium to other electrolytes (magnesium and potassium) along with silica support bone health along with regular weight bearing exercise.
In summary, I would not recommend taking calcium on a long term daily supplement basis, (unless prescribed for a medical condition whereby you have consulted a professional), due to its potential unwanted effects.
Hair Mineral Analysis Testing (HTMA) is extremely useful in determining needs and ratios of the body and therefore the amounts needed for short term supplementation along with other trace minerals and heavy metals.
For more information on HTMA testing and consultations contact Karen 0400 836254 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter healing elixirs
Cold nights, rainy days and sniffles marks the beginning of Winter for many areas in Australia. Time to curl up, hibernate and contemplate beside warm open fires – if only, here in Brisbane! Winter still have an insult for many on their immune systems. Time to rejuvenate and enjoy some easy to make herbal elixirs that warm and heal….
Help the sniffles, digestion and general colds….
Winter Wellness Elixir
- 700mL Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (one with the Mother)
- ¼ cup garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
- 1-2 fresh red or green (if you prefer less hot) chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped
- ¼ ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 Tablespoons turmeric powder (organic) or 2 pieces of fresh turmeric finely chopped
- 1/3 cup dried or fresh calendula flowers (optional)
- Sterilize a mason jar (2-3 cup) and set aside.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowel – except the vinegar.
- Transfer the mixture to a mason jar.
- Pour over the apple cider vinegar to the top. Ideally you will have 2/3 dried and fresh ingredients and 1/3 vinegar.
- Close and shake well.
- Keep the jar in a cool dry place for two weeks. Shake at least twice daily.
- After two weeks, strain the liquid through a fine sieve or strainer or muslin cotton gauze. Squeeze all ingredients tightly if using the cloth to ensure all ingredients have been used.
- Take 1 tablespoon every day to strengthen immunity and fight colds over winter.
- Caution: This is very hot and strong (especially with 2 chillies!) and not recommended for infants or children.
- Swallow and eat a slice of cucumber, lemon or lime afterward or plain yoghurt which is cooling.
- Do not dilute with water as it will dilute the effects.
- Check with your naturopath before taking this if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Take after breakfast and start low and increase slowly for best benefits.
Lemon Ginger Elixir
- 2 lemons, organic, washed and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup sliced fresh ginger root
- 4 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
- 1/4 cup raw honey, organic
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 clove buds
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- In a mason jar (med size), layer lemon slices, fresh ginger, cinnamon stick pieces and thyme. Pour honey over the lemon slices, letting it slowly seep to the bottom of the jar. Pour fresh lemon juice over the top. Cover and refrigerated for 3 days before using. Store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
- To serve, place some liquid and a few slices of lemon and ginger into the bottom of a mug. Top with warm water to make the tea.
Highly anti-inflammatory and antioxidant tonic.
- 4 inch piece fresh turmeric or two teaspoons organic dried turmeric
- 3 inch piece of ginger or one tablespoon organic powdered ginger
- 3 lemons, peeled
- 750 mL coconut water
- Organic unfiltered honey to desired sweetness
- dash cayenne
Juice the turmeric, ginger, and lemons or for the dried add powders to juiced lemon and coconut water. Gently heat honey, coconut and powders in a saucepan over low heat to ensure all powders are combined. Do not heat if you are using raw turmeric or ginger. Add the cayenne and stir well to combine. Store in the fridge for up to three days.
Elderberry Calendula Cold and Flu Elixir
- 1 cup fresh (or 2/3 cup dried) calendula flowers
- 2/3 cup dried elderberries
- 1/2 cup fresh (or 1/3 cup dried) elderflowers
- 1/2 cup fresh (or 1/3 cup dried) rose hips
- 2 tablespoons fresh (or 1 tablespoon dried) orange peel
- 1 tablespoons fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) ginger
- Honey (organic)
- Fill a clean, sterilized mason jar (4 cup capacity) with herbs.
- Add brandy, pouring until herbs covered by 1-2 inches of brandy and jar is approximately 3/4 full.
- Add honey, leaving 1 inch of space at the top of the jar.
- Poke chopstick into jar to release any trapped air bubbles and ensure brandy and honey are coating herbs.
- Put cap on and label jar with ingredients and date.
- Let steep for 4-6 weeks in a cool, dark place, shaking daily.
- Filter elixir by pouring through a fine mesh filter or several layers of cheesecloth over a bowl or wide-mouth jar. Press the marc (plant material) to squeeze out every last drop of elixir.
- Compost the marc and cap and label the elixir.
At the first symptoms of a cold or flu coming on, take 2-3 teaspoons of elixir every two to three hours. Frequent doses are the key to effective treatment! Listen to your body to tailor the dosage to your needs.
Due to its immune-building, antimicrobial nature and high vitamin C content, this elixir can also be used as a preventative for colds and flus. If your friends, family or coworkers start sniffing and sneezing or moaning and groaning with cold and flu symptoms, try 2-3 teaspoons two or three times a day.
Elderberry Calendula Cold and Flu Elixir Recipe courtesy of The Herbal Academy
Herbalist Karen Green can assist you with your next herbal for specifically tailored for your health
The Butterfly Within
The Butterfly Within affects how your body works. How well is your Thyroid functioning?
Migraine Solutions that Count
Do you suffer from debilitating migraines or know someone who has? Here are some vital migraine solutions that count. If you aren’t a migraine suffer then it’s not truly easy to understand what it must be like to suffer in silence. Imagine what it must be like to have nasty migraines that stop you from working, sleeping soundly, having extreme sensitivity too light, noise and nausea and to feel like your head is in a vice. Continue reading
Magic Moon Energy Mists
The Blue Moon Mist – There are many definitions of a blue moon, with the most common one being – it is the second full moon that occurs in one calendrical month. Earlier this year the magic of the lunar eclipse presented with two full moons in one month. When this happens, it is known as a Blue Moon. On an average this occurs every 2.7 years which is not so uncommon to us. What was different about this blue moon, what made it SUPER special, was an ultra-rare phenomenon when a blue moon and a super moon coincide with the blood moon of a lunar eclipse. It was the first time this occurred in 150 years.
The Blue Moon Mist contains the awakening eclipsed energy of the blue moon (essence that occurred in Feb 2018) along with the healing powers of essential oils: Jasmine, Frankincense, Patchouli, Tangerine, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Lavender & Witch Hazel. Behind the lens this ‘’blue’’ moon awakens your spirit to what is the ‘’real’’ to you. Each of the essential oils have been blended to form part of your awakening spirit mist. It also contains Fish Pole Bamboo essence. Bamboo is extremely strong, flexible and used for building homes in many homes throughout Asia. This essence provides the strength to continue through life’s trails and tribulations. Fish Pole Bamboo essence which enables you to focus on the important things in your life, providing you with the ability to learn from your mistakes and to apply that learning to daily life.
As the feminine energy resides with full moons, the blue moon mist helps with clearing things out, doing away with the past and letting things go. This energy puts you where you need to be and beckons you to a higher state of consciousness.
The magical deep red blood moon occurred in July 2018 and was the longest lunar eclipse of this century. The reason this lunar eclipse was the longest of the 21st century is because it passed through the centre of the Earth’s shadow thereby increasing the time the moon was blocked from the sun.
The Blood Moon Mist creates an essence of embracing your ”true self”. The energy of embracing grace helps you stay calm and patient when turmoil occurs around you. It gives a caring, patience and responsible attitude. Mars was the strongest influence on this lunar eclipse and will make you feel strong, sexy and brave. Your quick instincts and fighting spirit can be used to defend your home and family. The Blood Moon Mist contains magical moon water essence along with essential oils: Ylang Ylang, Rose Geranium, Sandalwood, German Chamomile, Lavender, Geranium, Orange Oil & Witch Hazel. It also contains Pastel Flower (bush essence) that creates patience in self and in others. Pastel Flower creates an understanding that through patience you will open to the love that surrounds you and to open to self love. This process is often one that is slow and requires patience.
Purchase your gifts today at:
Spectacular nature in full glory! The Jacaranda Tree
Spectacular nature in full glory, the blossoms of the Jacaranda Tree are in full bloom at the beginning of Spring. I was out driving recently and couldn’t help myself. I had to stop and take a photo of the glorious blooms in front of me. Striking lavender bell-like flowers and the delicate lacey foliage has much to reveal.
If you haven’t yet discovered Bush Flower Essences by Ian White, then Spring may be the time to do so. The bush flowers are subtle yet powerful and can offer much when times get tough, when stresses develop and emotions run high.
So what’s special about Jacaranda for you. The ancient Chinese believed true healing came from healing with what surrounds us. In our modern times we can do the same. Notice what blooms, what we choose to grow and what grows best in the different seasons. Surrounding and immersing yourself with this, is what heals.
Jacaranda – Jacaranda mimosaefolia
With its striking lavender flowers Jacaranda, which grows to up to 30 metres high, is deciduous, with numerous bell-shaped flowers that fall to the ground to form a mauve carpet, is for ditherers.
If you find yourself unable to focus, you are easily distracted, and find it difficult complete projects then this flower is for you. Jacaranda types, are scattered, are rushing here and there, and start many projects at once and find it difficult to finish them.
They move from house to house frequently finding it difficult to settle, and feel insecure about making the ‘right’ decision, which can leave them feeling panic and fear. Their illnesses can be those that change a lot, with pains that move about or suffer from nervous rashes or exhaustion. They can be accident prone as being unfocused can cause clumsiness.
Being still is definitely the antidote for Jacaranda people. We may have times in life when things are unsettled, and it can be useful to take Jacaranda, however the true Jacaranda person doesn’t know when or how to stop.
The Positive: Taking Jacaranda essence or immersing yourself around the glorious Jacaranda Tree and flowers enables you to clear headed, poised and able to easily make decisions. Jacaranda imparts flexibility as required however you are able to judge whether a situation or course of action is likely to achieve your desired results. Jacaranda enables you to easily put strategies into action and successfully complete projects.
Interesting to note that Jacaranda is in full bloom in Spring, when the Spring rains come, with water flowing everywhere. In fact, water being the most difficult to contain of the elements.
Want to experience Jacaranda for yourself? Feel this could the essence for you?
Simply pick some flowers from the tree or ground, place them in a small bag and place them under your pillow at night to allow Jacaranda to do its magic. Take a photo of the beautiful blooms at this time of the year and mediate on this plant to allow the energy of Jacaranda to come into your life.
Alternatively book a consult with Karen from Gaining Health Naturally. A flower essence short consultation (only) and your personalised essences can be sent to you as well.
Ian white Flower Essences About Flower Essences
Bach Flower Essences The Bach Centre
Summer – A time to be Jolly & Merry
As we enter into the season to be jolly and merry, it is also a time when we enter into long hot Summer days across Australia. In the Southern Hemisphere Summer heralds in the harvest. A time to celebrate and be merry. It’s not the time to set goals, make New Year resolutions (no wonder so many fall down), or to start major projects. Now this it doesn’t mean you can’t run your business or keep things chugging along at home. What it is about is letting your hair down a little and embracing the spirit of the sun – the great outdoors, hiking, bike riding, spending fun times, sharing breakfasts and dinners with those you love. Sometimes this can be difficult to do. When we truly stop we look to fill up with doing again as we are not used to being in one place or stopping completely to rest and rejuvenate.
Summer time reminds us to pack up shop for a while, wind down and enjoy good times! Put it this way, if we put all that effort into growing the crop and then we harvest it at the wrong time, or if it’s gone by and you haven’t harvested you could lose a significant amount of value of what you were hoping to do with the item or project you had started. All things come to a time of harvest, embracing and enjoying the wins of the day. It is almost time for that – Summer Solstice is officially that time.
In the Northern hemisphere it is a different matter – as darkness prevails it enters into a time of greater reflection, a time to think about and set what the year ahead will bring and part of that may be to set goals or to strategize about what may be.
I invite you in this holiday period coming to sit back and truly relax. So often we become busy and then when holiday time arrives we become busier. That is not resting, relaxing and rejuvenating. Potentially that is ‘’filling up’’.
This holiday season I am:
- Turning off the computer more and that means social media as well.
- Turning off the internet completely at night – Actually I already do that, this is just a reminder. Allow your nervous system to turn off completely at night so turn off your appliances, take your mobile out of your room and switch off – everything!
- Getting out my favourite books – I have a couple ready to go!
- Sleeping in as much as I can.
- Enjoy breakfasts in the sun in the early morning.
- Walk in nature and enjoy my beach yoga.
What is your commitment to self? I invite you to do this so you come back refreshed.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
One on One Mentoring
Stepping stones toward Success
One on One Mentoring with Karen
Practical business, treatment strategies, marketing and overcoming your fears is part of being a successful Naturopath, Nutritionist and/or Herbalist. When you first start it can be overwhelming, daunting and at times a lonely journey as a new practitioner. Sharing and learning from an experienced professional Naturopath, Nutritionist & Herbalist maybe all that you need to guide you along the way to be the best you can be. We all need a little support and Karen is here to help.
If you have recently graduated or almost finished your studies one on one mentoring may be for you?
Karen works with you to fine tune, find your niche, find your way in this profession and to assist you in making wise decisions on your path.
Karen works with you with on your individualised mentoring plan based on where you would like to head and the concerns and areas that you would like to focus on.
Karen is a qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist, Western Medicine Herbalist and GAPS Practitioner who is passionate about helping others lead, happy healthy lives. She has completed practitioner training in MTHFR with Dr Ben Lynch (USA) and has a special interest in genetic profiling for health, including analyzing and writing genetic reports. She is a Fitgenes Practitioner and is fully registered and a member of the Naturopaths & Herbalists Association of Australia NHAA. She has also studied Education and NLP (neuro linguistic programming). Read more here
January and February 2018 price includes a Tea Reading for your initial mentor session. Find some inspiration in the maze of life.
$90.oo per session – 45mins
To book a session today email email@example.com or call Karen on 0400836254 to discuss your mentoring session/s.
Join our group space called Nourishing Grads Mentoring find us here
Happy Australia Day
Happy Australia Day! Who doesn’t love to celebrate our National Day with a sanga wrapped in bread draped in tommy sauce, or a beer and steak to match? Well these days it may even include something gluten & dairy free! Here are some recipes for you to share! Why not celebrate with healthy options.
Makes: 1 servings
- 1 English muffin, split, toasted and buttered
- 1 teaspoon VEGEMITE
- 1 egg, poached or scrambled
- 1 cheddar or hard cheese single
- SPREAD buttered muffins or toast with VEGEMITE and top with scrambled eggs and cheese. (Poached eggs may also be used.)
from Vegemite Downunder
Gluten, Dairy Free and truly yummy! You just gotta try these!
Lamb Kofta – Makes 8
- 500 gm lamb mince (can use beef if desired)
- ½ small brown onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin ground
- ½ teaspoon sumac or coriander ground
- Pinch Salt and Pepper
- Soak 8 bamboo skewers for one hour in water (stops meat sticking when cooking).
- Well combine in a bowel, the mince, onion, garlic, spices, and parsley.
- Shape ¼ cup of the mince mixture into 8 long sausages. Thread each sausage and wrap around a skewer.
- Place on large tray or plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to develop and for the meat to set.
- Heat an oiled BBQ plate on high heat. Add kofta skewers. Reduce heat to low. Cook turning occasionally for 10minutes or until the meat is fully cooked.
- Transfer to a large baking tray. Cover & rest for 5 minutes whilst preparing a Greek Salad to serve. Serve with plain yoghurt or tzatziki and Greek Salad
Thai Turkey Burgers
- 1 cup sweet potato, grated
- ½ cup carrot, grated
- ¼ onion, brown, finely chopped
- 1 small piece ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 cup fresh coriander, chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried lemongrass or fresh grated (optional)
- 500 gm organic turkey, chicken or fish minced
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Lightly sauté onion, lemongrass and ginger until transparent.
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Form patties and place on a lined or greased oven dish or tray.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked. Serve with light green salad and/or your gluten free burger bun.
High prebiotic Four bean salad 2 serves (~280g per serve)
- 1 can (400g) 4 bean mix drained and rinsed
- ½ large Spanish onion diced
- 1 medium tomato diced
- 1/3 cup bunch parsley chopped including some stems
- 2 tablespoons mint chopped
- 1 pinch Celtic or Himalayan salt
- ½ tsp (2g) cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 2 whole lettuce leaves to use as a wrap
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and toss lightly.
- Serve with whole lettuce leaves to use as a wrap or the Lamb Kofta.
Jalapeño Coconut Bread with Mustard Parsley Butter – Makes one loaf
The Jalapeño bread
- 4 organic whole eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 tablespoons semi-melted coconut oil (softened)
- 1 medium carrot, finely grated
- Zest of 1 small lime
- 1/4 cup diced jalapeños (pickled)
- 1 teaspoons gluten free baking soda
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (lemon juice can also be used)
- Big pinch of Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoons tapioca powder/flour (also known as arrowroot powder or potato flour)
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup water
The Chipotle Butter
- 3 tablespoon semi-soft salted or unsalted organic butter
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon parsley, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon organic Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes or pinch cayenne pepper
- pinch of salt (for unsalted butter only)
- Preheat oven to 170-175°C/240°F. Grease a loaf tin with coconut oil and line the bottom and sides with baking paper.
- Whisk eggs in bowel until well combined.
- Add grated carrot, melted coconut oil, lime zest and jalapeños and stir through.
- Place baking soda in a small cup and pour over the apple cider vinegar. This will activate and rise. Pour the foamy baking soda mixture into the batter and mix through until well combined.
- Add garlic, generous pinch of salt, tapioca flour and coconut flour and whisk together. Coconut flour will soak up a lot of the moisture. Add about a quarter cup of water or just a little less and whisk through again.
- Spread mixture the tin and flatten slightly on the top.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before removing (as it will be too soft). Remove from the tin by pulling the baking paper sides and leave to cool on a cutting board.
- To make the butter, place all ingredients into a bowl mash together until well combined. Serve immediately.
Hummus Dip (to serve with the Jalapeno Bread)
- Rinse and drain 2 tins of chick peas. Place into a blender with juice of half a lemon. Add 2 tablespoons of unhulled tahini and blend until creamy. Add extra water as required to make into the dipping consistency. Season with ½ teaspoon of salt. Check and add more salt, tahini or lemon as desired.
- Serve with a sprinkle of paprika and a swirl olive oil.
- Serve with crunchy vegetable sticks – carrot, celery, zucchini and snow peas.
Best Ever Gluten & Dairy Free Lamingtons
Make the Best Bean Chocolate Cake first!
Makes 1 loaf
- 1 cup or 240 g cooked black beans (or 1×400 g/14 oz can black beans, drained)
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup or 80 g raw or coconut sugar, or malt syrup
- 3 Tablespoons organic cacao powder, sifted
- 1/2 cup or 50 g dark chocolate 70%
- 1 teaspoon espresso shot coffee
- 1/2 vanilla pod, scraped or 1 teaspoon of quality vanilla essence
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F/175 °C. Grease and line a rectangle or square tin with baking paper.
- In a blender combine all of the ingredients, except the dark chocolate. Blend until it is smooth and free of any lumps.
- Pour the batter into the lined tin. And yes the batter is very liquid. Chop the dark chocolate and spread it across the surface, some of the chunks should fall into the batter or else help it with a teaspoon, in order to get chocolate inside the cake as well.
- Bake the cake for approximately 35 min, and set aside to cool completely before removing it from the pan.
To make Lamingtons:
- Cut cake into small square portions of your choice.
- Icing: Add quality dark chocolate (100g) with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil into a bowl and place over a saucepan with simmer water (do not get water in the mix). Add 1-2 tablespoons of coconut milk/almond milk. Heat gently until fully melted and combined.
- Dip each piece of cake into the chocolate and place into desiccated coconut (approx. 1-2 cups, organic if poss). Toss the cake into the coconut and place on baking paper. Set in fridge for at least one hour before serving.
- Lamingtons will keep in the fridge, up to 5 days, and it will keep moist and delicious.
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yoghurt or eat straight up! Happy Australia Day!
Sesame Bliss Balls
Deepak Chopra’s Sesame Bliss Balls promote a healthy digestion and purify the body and mind.
- 1 cup toasted sesame seeds
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger powder
- 2 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons ground cardamom
- 2½ tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
Method: Place all the ingredients except for the sesame seeds in a mixer and wiz until smooth. With your hands roll the mixture into small balls. Then pour the toasted sesame seeds on a chopping board and roll the balls in it to top. Place the balls on a plate and refrigerate until hard.
To toast Sesame Seeds: place over low heat in a dry saucepan, stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Toast until golden and cool before tossing.
Enjoy our National Australia Day celebrations!
Consultations with Karen – Book today – firstname.lastname@example.org or here
The Year of the Earth Dog
In the year of the Earth Dog, my gorgeous pooch, Erik, continually reminds me to practice letting go, being dedicated to a worthy cause, shows no fear, and seems to be able to do this so easily without a care. Always on the ball, he let’s go when he needs to.
On his walk each day he demonstrates a willingness to have a go, shows no fear when he jumps flying into the air from the beach front landing edge, always landing perfectly on his feet, running on in joy as if to say, “See I can do it, now you can to” and catch me if you can! He will play ball continuously for hours. I have never known such dedication!
He reminds me to trust and to be loyal. He continues (after 2.5 years), to follow me around the house, wherever I go he is not far behind me. He is generous, loyal and kind in spirit and as you can imagine I adore him. The other great thing is that he never answers back, well honestly, he does try sometimes!
In this year of the Dog, we are reminded to be loyal, trustworthy & trusting, and to dedicate our services to others less fortunate. In these times of continual change may be lending a hand to someone less fortunate may just make a difference to someone.
Apparently, this year is the Male Dog Earth year, the 4715th Chinese year. Brown is connected to the earth and therefore this year is known as the Brown Dog. According to the Chinese Horoscope theory, Male Earth is connected to the mountains. Dogs contain the Male Earth energy with a little Metal and Fire. The sign of 2018 Male Earth Dog year is two mountains sitting side by side or another mountain beyond a mountain. This shows a strong Earth year. People will focus on real estate, agriculture, environment, territory boundaries or on religious, spiritual pursuits. 2018 is also considered the Mountain Dog year, with the mountain dog displaying characteristics of a wild dog, not to be alarmed! It implies that there may be obstacles on your path however you will find ways to execute your plan ie. find a way around the mountain, dig under it or walk over it. Wisdom is required to find the best way forward, consider your options carefully, investigate thoroughly and use strategies to move forward with ease.
If this year is anything like my puppy, I have nothing to be concerned about. He is full of life, completely dedicated to service, is loyal, trusting, kind, lovable, patient and at times impatient, and lets me know who is boss!
So instead of saying Happy New Year as it seems a bit late for that, I will say ‘Happy Year of the Dog’, and may you find your ability to let go and follow your path without fear, and trust as they do. Helping someone else may just help you!!
In dedication to dogs of all kinds I ask you to give generously to your local dog rescue organisation!
To support and dedicate to their loyalty – A Special Offer for Jan and Feb 2018 – FREE Flower Essence for your pooch with every consultation.
Maybe he or she needs help with separation anxiety, being to bold and aggressive, maybe there are bonding issues (particularly if they are a rescue dog), depression or anxiety prevails. Flower essences are subtle energies that can assist with emotional change or calm the nervous system. They are completely harmless to animals as they consist of the vibrational energy (like homeopathics), and are made with water and preserved with vinegar.
Call or book on the front page of this site an appointment with Karen Green today to discuss the best flowers for your family pooch!
School’s Back, Need help to stay on Track?
School’s Back, Need help to stay on Track? We all could use a little support and help in staying on track when it comes to packing those school time lunches. It’s hectic in the morning and you just want the routine to click in. Here are a few easy lunch ideas for you. A little over a month into the new school year and your children are getting into their new routine? You feel something is not quite right? Do they have a learning difficulty and you don’t know what to do? Could it be Pyrrole Disorder?
The Histamine Effect
Histamine Intolerance – fairly common, poorly understood
The Histamine Effect and histamine intolerance appears to be on the increase. What is it and what can you do about it? Intolerance results from an excess or accumulation of histamine and how well your body can break it down. Histamine is a natural substance produced and found in many body tissues especially the lungs, nose, sinuses, skin, intestinal mucosa and in certain blood cells (mast cells and basophils) and in many foods. Continue reading
Celebration indulgences? Here’s 8 Easy Tips to balance
We all indulge, over eat, over consume alcohol during the Christmas and New Year Celebrations. Celebration indulgences? Here’s 8 Easy Tips to balance from those blow out celebrations. It’s not about not celebrating its about enjoying life and pulling back when you know you need to. Listen to what you body is telling you. Continue reading
The 8 Best Nutrients for MTHFR SNPs
Whether you have MTHFR genetic SNP’s or not here’s the 8 best foods to optimize your health and give your body the zing it needs.
When it comes to foods eating naturally wholesome, fresh, and organic if possible is still the best!
Are you a Sugar Addict? Here are 5 ways to remove it!
For years fats have been considered the villain for healthy bodies and today we are canning and talking about the damages and dangers of sugar addiction. Are you a Sugar Addict? Here are 5 ways to remove it!
Menopause – A time of reflection and renewal
Menopause is often a time of reflection and renewal is what I hear myself saying to clients time and again. As I see more women having difficulties during this transitional time, isn’t it time we honour ourselves more? Menopause is the cessation of menses for 12 months or more and is a time of much change for women. It occurs when there has been a change in a woman’s reproductive hormones and the ovaries no longer release any eggs. Menopause can occur naturally and at the expected age, prematurely or early.
Gut microbes affect stress and your health
To my fascination one of the things I learnt at the recent Methylation Summit is your gut microbes affect stress and your health. Gut microbes linked to SIBO (small intestinal overgrowth) have methylation cycles too! They release bacterial by-products, called endotoxins that impact stress and your mood.
Vitamin B3: New kid on the block in prevention against miscarriages & babies born with defects
“Arguably, it’s the most important discovery for pregnant women since folate. The promise is that this could significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and babies born with defects.”
Scientists from the Victor Chang Institute in Sydney investigated why some women have multiple miscarriages and why some babies are born with heart, kidney and spinal defects. They found a major cause was a deficiency of a vital molecule known as NAD, which is important for normal development of organs. Lead researcher Professor Sally Dunwoodie said it was the first time NAD been associated with miscarriages and birth defects.
“We have discovered a whole new cause of birth defects and a way to treat it as well,” she said.
“The promise is that this could significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and babies born with defects”.
NAD is usually formed in the body as part of a healthy diet that includes eggs, cheese, salmon, turkey, nuts and seeds. But you can also get it by taking supplements of vitamin B3.
The head of the Victor Chang Institute, Professor Bob Graham, said the discovery could potentially help millions of women around the world.
“What’s exciting for me is that we may be able to help people who have children who have developmental defects or who have had miscarriages,” he said.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the team proved birth defects and miscarriages could be overcome by taking vitamin B3. They found a disruption of NAD synthesis caused a deficiency of NAD and congenital malformations in humans and mice. Niacin supplementation during gestation prevented the malformations in mice. (Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and others.)
“We gave pregnant mice with the NAD gene knocked out a regular dose of vitamin B3 and we found it prevented miscarriages and birth defects, over-riding the genetic block,” Professor Dunwoodie said.
Vitamin B3 has a universal role throughout human body metabolism: supporting cellular mitochondrial energy production, is anti-ageing, assists with detoxification, provides skin protection, and assists calming of neurological over-excitation (including from over-methylation). These are certainly exciting times for vitamin B3.
NAD Deficiency, Congenital Malformations, and Niacin Supplementation
Vitamin B3 supplements can prevent miscarriages, birth defects: study
Need to consult a professional who can assist in deciding the best approach for you? Contact Karen today!
Let’s talk Constipation
In an ideal world, each and every day it is healthier for all of us to be passing a full mid coloured, sausage like stool. Yes, daily is what a naturopath/nutritionist likes! In the medical model, it is accepted and considered normal to pass a stool twice or three times a a week. Hard, pebble like stools where you have strained are not considered the norm in a naturopathic world. Remember the famous quote from Hippocrates, “All disease starts in the gut!” Imagine what it is like for food and fibre to be brewing in your colon for days on end? Stinky smelly stools are not the norm.
In clinic I have been finding it common for patients visiting to be suffering from constipation. So, what is going on?
In our busy schedules, working families means less time to prepare and more stressful moments where families are eating out more and having more processed foods that are low in fibre. Getting
up and being on the run is not conducive to a relaxed moment in the morning when you need to create a relaxed moment to move the bowels. Sound familiar?
If you have ‘’bowel’’ problems making sure you are drinking adequate water is essential. Often in the Winter months people forget to drink. Having adequate fibre to cleanse from both soluble and insoluble forms and moving your body daily is important.
Your thyroid governs your metabolism so if this is out of kilter or is slowed (as in hypothyroidism), it impacts and slow your ability to digest efficiently. Your gall bladder also plays a role in the whole evacuation process. Gastrointestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic bowel diseases, diverticulosis & diverticulitis to name a few, impact your ability to pass a fully formed stool daily.
Here are my favourite tips to ensure you pass a happy smiley banana stool daily!
- Stay hydrated. Ensure you drink at least 2 litres of water daily. Drinking tea and coffee does not count as these are diuretics.
- A lowered intake of magnesium is known to cause constipation. Increasing good forms of magnesium in the diet along with food sources is beneficial. Food sources include: Almonds, barley, brewer’s yeast, cashews, cocoa, eggs, figs, kelp, leafy greens, legumes (soaked), molasses, parsnips, seeds.
- Minimise your processed grains. Consume seeds over grains. Highly processed flours and grains are not conducive to moving stools along. Gluten free can also be a culprit here. Gluten free products are often filled with highly processed flours with little fibre. Wheat containing gluten is known to constipate. The gluten molecule takes up or absorbs water. Remove this and replace with quinoa or soaked chia, and other seeds to minimise impaction that can occur in the bowel.
- Two servings of fruit daily. It is important to have two servings of fruit each day. Fruits with the peel left on provide valuable fibre such as plums, prunes, raisins, apricots and peaches.
- Eating your vegetables. Most Australians do not eat enough vegetables. The minimum servings for adults needs to be at least 5+ servings and for children it can be the same as for adults however smaller portions. For infants obviously this may be different.
- Lactulose – comes as a sweet-tasting liquid, and works by softening the stool and stimulating the bowel to empty. It may taste better mixed with juice or milk. It can cause smelly wind (farting). The smelly wind generally passes as the healthy gut bacteria are produced with lactulose. It is an easy way of assisting in your child’s passing a stool if they are constipated.
- Herbs – There are many herbs that can assist by stimulating gall bladder function including barberry, globe artichoke, bupleurum, dandelion root and some bitter herbs such as gentian stimulates digestive receptors through the gastrointestinal tract. Depending on the issue that is occurring, consulting a practitioner who is trained to help is important and recommended. Some of these are available as tea. See my Digest Easy tea here.
- Psyllium husk fibre is a natural fibre supplement that helps to soften stools. It is not recommended to add a lot of fibre to a diet if hydration is not maintained. This could compound the situation.
- Heavy going laxatives and herbs are not what a natural health practitioner would recommend. We are more inclined to stimulate through the gall bladder or through improving and healing digestive means. They can cause long term issues if someone becomes reliant on these. If constipation is severe it is always important to ensure that this is investigated. Hemorrhoids can lead to other complications and bowel obstruction should not be disregarded.
- Food sensitivities can be a part of the problem. Finding out the IgG responses to food via a blood draw or using the hair bio-compatibility test can also assist in finding out the food along with kitchen cleaning & laundry products and bathroom chemicals that may be contributing to your health concerns.
- Fermented foods such as kefir, plain yoghurt, sauerkraut, kim chi, kombucha (as long as not too sweet), can be useful for some. If you have histamine problems limiting these foods may be important.
- Relax and allow the moment for a bowel movement in the morning. Many people miss this opportunity in their busy lives. Reducing stress is important for many.
- Some medications can constipate and influence your stools. Opioid medicaitons like codeine, proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) such as Nexxum decrease gastric acid so your esophagus can heal therefore slowing and impairing digestion. Discussing this again with your practitioner is important.
For young children
- As a breast-feeding mother if your infant is constipated look to what you may be eating that is potentiating this. Wheat (gluten) and dairy are the major culprits. Seek advice from a professional if you are finding if difficult to understand. Testing may be encouraged.
- Developing good bowel habits is an important aspect of health. Sometimes children may get used to ignoring the urge to produce a stool. This can happen to adults as well. If we are busy all the time the urge passes. Many young children are too busy playing and put off going to the toilet. Their stool then becomes harder and larger. Toilet time should be set aside to allow for regular, undisturbed visits.
- Sitting a child on the toilet after each meal can be useful. Having regular meal times is therefore also important. Ensuring the seat is an ideal height for the child needs to be considered. Placing the feet on a stool can assist the angle for a pleasant and easy evacuation. See images throughout.
Emptying your bowel – how it works
- Normally you will feel an urge to empty your bowels – this is from the sensors in your rectum that notice this area is full
- You go to the toilet to empty
- Your pelvic floor and anal sphincter muscles relax allowing your bowels to empty
- This process should not require straining or pushing
|Common Mistakes||What this does to your Body|
|Feeling you need to rush/hurry your time on the loo – pushing to “help” it move faster.||This tightens your anal sphincter and pelvic floor making it harder to empty.|
|Putting off the urge because you are too busy – it is best to listen to your body and go when it is telling you it needs to. Do not put off what nature intended you to do.||If you continue to delay going your bowel keeps absorbing moisture from the stool causing it to become drier and harder to pass.|
|Sitting in an upright position on the toilet.||
This is a biggie! Human bodies are designed to empty easiest in a squat position. This allows your anal sphincter and pelvic floor muscles to completely relax, increasing the ease of completely emptying your bowel.
See images below
So next time you are in a hurry and push of the inevitable or maybe you have been suffering from constipation for some time and would like to get to the bottom of it why not visit a professional who can assist. Karen Green Naturopath, Nutritionist, Herbalist – North Brisbane and Sunshine Coast
See my other blog on Your poop your pee here. Your poop your pee
Sleep super important to regulate blood sugar levels
I like to get my 8 hours sleep a night and find when I don’t I can become irritable and grumpy. How about you?
Dr Mosley discusses in a rest article how sleep affects your blood sugar levels.
He mentions that the link between sleep and memory has been around for a long time and one plausible theory is that during deep sleep your brain moves short-term memories, collected that day, into long-term storage, freeing up space in your brain for more memories. So, if you don’t get enough deep sleep those memories will be lost. Whether this theory is right or not, getting a good night’s sleep (rather than staying up late and cramming) is particularly important for students.
Dr Scott from the University of Leeds, recruited a group of healthy volunteers, fitted them out with activity and continuous glucose monitors to see what was happening to their blood sugar levels every 5 minutes or so. Volunteers were asked to sleep normally for 2 nights (so there was a baseline), have two nights where they went to bed three hours later than normal, followed by two nights where they could sleep as long as they liked.
Dr Moseley and the volunteers really noticed a difference. The nights that they stayed up later affected in a negative way their blood sugar levels! They rose and hungry was a common response.
One volunteer put it, “I wanted lots of biscuits and I didn’t just have one. I’d go for 10. I wrote it down on my diary – 10 custard creams”.
All volunteers whether feasting on biscuits or sticking to their normal diet, had marked increases in blood sugar levels. Some of the previously healthy individuals had levels you might expect to see in borderline type 2 diabetics. The problems resolved after a couple of good nights’ sleep.
As Dr Scott pointed out, there is now a lot of evidence from large studies that suggests people who sleep for less than 7 hours a night are more likely to become obese and develop type 2 diabetes.
Dr Scott said: “We know that when you are sleep-deprived this alters your appetite hormones, making you more likely to feel hungry and less likely to feel full. We also know that when people are sleep-deprived they often crave sweet foods, which could explain the custard cream cravings.
“Also, if you’re awake when you’re not meant to be, you produce more of the stress hormone, cortisol, and that can influence your glucose level, as well, the next day”.
Sleep super important to regulate blood sugar levels in children
A recent meta-analysis, carried out by King’s College London, found that sleep-deprived people consume, on average, an extra 385 kcal per day, which could add up over time. It’s not just that your blood sugar levels soar and your hunger hormones go into overdrive it’s the area of the brain associated with rewards that also becomes over active when you are tired! You may be more prone to reach for those late-night biscuits, ice cream or favourite foods you seek out.
Getting enough sleep is particularly important, not only for adults its crucial for children as well. In another recent study researchers took a small group of pre-school children, aged 3-4 years, all regular afternoon nappers, and not only deprived them of their afternoon nap but also kept them up for about 2 hours past their normal bedtime. The following day the children ate 20% more calories than usual, particularly more sugar and carbohydrates. They were then allowed to sleep as much as they wanted. The following day they still consumed 14 per cent more calories than normal.
We can never under estimate the value of a good night’s rest. Need help in getting and staying asleep? Maybe a consultation with Karen can help.
Read my other blog on the importance of diet on sleep here
Read the article here
I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, what can I do?
I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), what can I do? PCOS is a multifactorial, metabolic, endocrine and reproductive disorder. Approximately 25% of Australian women have Polycystic Ovaries however only 7-8% have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). It is usually found in women who are overweight and is caused from insulin resistance (hyperinsulineamia). It is present in 5-10% of women and is a major cause of infertility. Insulin resistance is a common finding among patients of normal weight as well as overweight patients. Those with PCOS with no clinical features usually have normal fertility without insulin resistance (and may not progress any further).
‘Polycystic ovary’ refers to the follicles found in the ovary. There may be multiple small follicles found and the ovary is usually enlarged in volume.
The risk factors involved include: strong family genetic history (does anyone else in your family have this?), increasing age, abdominal weight gain through insulin resistance (poor uptake of glucose into each cell which can lead to type II diabetes), lack of exercise, smoking, eating disorders according to research. Thyroid problems may make PCOS symptoms worse and women with PCOS have a high prevalence of autoimmune thyroid conditions. It is therefore advisable to have your thyroid checked if you have this condition. Approximately 30% of women have raised liver enzymes, diabetes and insulin resistance also increase the risk of non-alcoholic liver disease. Hyperinsulinaemia may inhibit the production of SHBG in the liver.
Stress reduction important in regulating LH & FSH function (sex hormones) in the treatment of PCOS. Women with PCOS exhibit abnormalities in cortisol metabolism. It is important in PCOS (as it is multifactorial) to focus on both the regulation of reproductive and adrenal hormones. It is also vital that any woman with this condition or polycystic ovaries seeks help.
6 Naturopathic ways to heal PCO or PCOS
- Basal metabolic temperature needs to be taken upon rising
- Charting menstrual cycle patterns is helpful
- Regulate blood sugar levels throughout the day to stop cortisol surges to maintain cortisol metabolism. This is done through healthy whole fresh foods with plenty of fresh vegetables and some fruit with quality protein throughout the day
- Ensure stress reduction through lifestyle suggestions such as meditation, walking in nature, yoga, stretching and tai chi
- Minimise alcohol and remove smoking
- Increasing omega-3 fatty acids in the diet along with fish, increasing fibre, phytoestrogens, eating breakfast can all assist
There are several medicinal herbs that can assist to regulate sex hormones, regulate sugar balance, reduce inflammation, provide antioxidant status and assist adrenal stress.
These include Vitex agnus-castus, Cimicifuga racemose, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Cynara scolymus, Paeonia lactiflora and Serenoa repens to name a few.
If you know someone who is suffering this condition know there is much that can be done. Seeing an experienced practitioner is a great place to start.
Call Karen Green Gaining Health Naturally 0400836254 for more information.
What lies beneath, the silence you don’t see
The more patients I see, the more chronic the picture seems to be getting in this busy and stressful world. What lies beneath, the silence you don’t see of the leaky gut, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, environmental toxins, stress from family life, are influencing health in profound ways. The issues are multi-factorial and are compounded by your genetic profile and how you live your life.
My role as a clinician, is to find the underlying reasons why you are not healthy, and what you need to do to change this. Sometimes the job can be overwhelming, which is why the approach needs to be slow and steady, step-by-step. As a Naturopath I often comment to my patients if your disease state is manifesting now, imagine how long it has taken to build (festering) in your body! My rule of thumb (and really there is no rule of thumb because we are all unique), for every year you have had your condition, allow one month of dedicated healing to change it. This appears daunting at first however my aim is to show you that it can take time, patience and dedication to your health, to get you back on track.
3 things that make your life easy now!
- Focus on the now, one thing at a time, that is all you need to do
- Chunk your health condition or issues into smaller bite size pieces – a bit like a puzzle. Each part of the puzzle has a aspect or clue as to what you need to change
- Don’t listen to your negative self-talk. I’m not sure if you are aware, you are not your inner self dialogue. You are much more than that. Often this inner talk is negative and stops you in your tracks.
Each day in every way, I am getting stronger and stronger
Maybe this is your positive mantra or personalise it and make one of your own. This keeps you motivated and moving toward better health in your life. There will be times that you go off track, life’s cycles, ups and downs. That is part of life. And most of all be kind to yourself.
Ask yourself: What dedicated practice do I need to embrace to daily to create what I want in my life? Choose one thing at a time and it slowly and grdaully. Slow and steady wins the race. Do you need more help in getting the results you need? What is holding me back from taking better care of me? And, who would be the best person to help you through? Seeking help from a professional to work and find out your best approaches and resources to create a newer, happier you are super important to you.
The reasons why a clinician tests…
So often after many questions asked, delving deeply into conditions, finding out what lies beneath, compiling research I still ask patients to complete testing with me. We call this functional testing. Why? Finding valid approaches too complex, multifactorial cases is useful, saves time in the long run and provides a direction that can be useful to gain health.
Recently with a client we conducted Heavy Mineral Testing Analysis. Why? You may ask. She was overweight (which concerned her) and part the investigation showed perhaps heavy metals being a culprit. To our surprise the heavy metals were not the culprit, the balance of major minerals was. She had an imbalance of calcium to magnesium, always supplementing with magnesium, and had many minerals out of balance.
Suffering in silence with mood swings, not herself and lacking motivation, I recently conducted a Urine Hormone Analysis with a client that showed adrenal fatigue and lowered sex hormones. An extremely valid test for a woman who was tired, lacking motivation and finding it difficult to feel energetic and vital.
Biocompatibility Hair Testing is another test that I use. It always surprises me the foods that come up as being the culprits that will therefore be placing the immune system on red alert and leading to inflammation, skin conditions, possible weight and energy issues (to name a few). If you have autoimmunity it is highly recommended. The common ones – wheat, dairy, soy, nuts and shellfish usually appear however there are also obscure foods that are unique to you that can be predisposing you to health issues such as leaky gut, SIBO and immune dysregulation.
OATS – organic acid testing provides valuable insights to evaluate four critical areas of metabolism: gastrointestinal function, cellular and mitochondrial energy production, neurotransmitter processing, and amino acid/organic acid balance as influenced by vitamin/mineral cofactors. Results can be used to address chronic systemic complaints ranging from chronic fatigue and mood disorders to headache, muscular/joint pain, and digestive problems. A simple urine test can provide much information about your general internal state of affairs.
MTHFR and genetic testing can be as easy as you would like it to be and as complex. Getting a full genetic profile testing is not for everyone. Some people just don’t want to know what the potential health hazards can be. Let’s put this into perspective. It is genetic potential – that which you are predisposed to, not necessarily going to get! Many clients are happy to stick with MTHFR which can provide some understanding as to why you feel lethargic, cardiovascular dissease risk and slowing of repair mechanisms or detoxification in the body. For more information ask Karen on 0400836254.
Don’t suffer in silence make changes today! The tests that are available today are numerous and too many to mention here. If you would like something explored further there is probably a test that can help however I only recommend testing when I completely believe it will assist the client.
Seek professional help today from an experienced naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist Karen Green from Gaining Health Naturally
Eczema, Removing the itch
With eczema, removing the itch and other symptoms is crucial to leading a normal life. Here’s how natural health can assist.
Eczema is often diagnosed in infants between 2 and 6 month of age, with 85% of people diagnosed before the age of 5 years. The condition may resolve itself however it can also continue throughout life. This hypersensitivity reaction that is often experienced with other atopic conditions such as asthma or allergic rhinitis (or in those who have atopic conditions in their family history) or those with an IgE food allergy.
Eczema rash experienced by infants and adults may be quite different. Infants may present with moist, red lesions which may crust in places, and these are generally found on the face, neck, buttocks and outer & inner surfaces of the arms and legs. Adults may also have these moist, red lesions on the inner surfaces or the arms and legs, as well as drier, scaly lesions, and thicker patches in other areas. Both infants and children will experience itching which varies in severity.
There can be several causes to eczema such as a genetic predisposition however other factors can be involved:
- altered non-specific immunity (our first line of defence which includes the skin, the protective mucosal layers of our respiratory and gastrointestinal tract (GIT), and the normal bacterial flora present on the skin and surface layers).
- Dysbiosis or an imbalance of the gastrointestinal flora.
- Altered skin barrier function, with the outermost skin layer, becoming thinner and prone to flaking, cracking and drying, which allows allergens & bacteria to enter the skin causing flare ups, infections and allergic reactions.
- Intestinal permeability or ‘leaky gut’ where the tight junction cells lining the small intestine become damaged and more porous or permeable in a number of ways: inadequately digested food, nutrient deficiencies including zinc and Omega 3 polyunsaturated fats, environmental toxins, excessive caffeine or alcohol intake, chronic use of medications such as aspirin or paracetamol, allergic reactions (histamine release), oxidative stress, inflammation or chronic psychological stress, which allows larger than normal particles to pass through the intestinal barrier to the bloodstream or lymphatic system. The intestinal permeability may then progress to immune system dysfunction, greater inflammation and hypersensitivity reactions. This results in food intolerances and sensitivity, a decrease in the ability to absorb nutrients, overload for the liver, increased free radical production, chronic constipation or diarrhoea, skin rashes or fatigue and mental ‘fog’.
Eczema Treatment Aims
- The naturopathic way is to provide a gentle treatment to heal the causes and remove the triggers of the problem.
- Treating the whole person is paramounts, not just the skin, and often we find other symptoms that may be present in the client.
- Gaining Health Naturally helps you to:
- Identify the triggers
- Relieve soreness, redness, itchiness
- Restore immune dysfunction
- Identify the most effective tests and triggers that are appropriate for you
- Using natural products, herbs, nutrients and dietary changes can assist to relieve symptoms of Eczema for both children and adults alike.
For more information on Eczema head to:
Eczema on Facebook Eczema Association
Eczema Association of Australia NICAN
Want to become your own health Guru?
Here are my Fav Naturopathic Books
Want to become your own health Guru? Be well informed, connected and current. Here are my current favourite reads. Instead of becoming confused with so much conflicting information on the net become informed yourself. I often get asked as a professional Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist, “What are my favourite Naturopathic Health books?” Here are a few.. Some are truly science based and technical; the textbooks on the recommended reading in the naturopathic colleges however there are others that are just a pure joy to read. Here is a sample of a few and are updated regularly.
As our sunburnt country heats up in, staying hydrated helps you stay sane. Water really does Matter. Squeeze lemon or lime into a natural spring or coconut water, a splash of chlorophyll or pulping some fresh berries and placing them into a cool filtered water is refreshing and restoring to the body.
Placing the pulp of berries into ice trays in the freezer with coriander or some finely chopped rosemary can add a bit of zing and cleanse to those over indulgent moments! Easy? It is really and sounds cool to me!
The Importance of Hydration – Water for Health
On the average, water makes up 60 to 70% of your body weight. The range difference is due to the fact that different cells contain different amounts of water. Muscle cells, for example, are 70-75% water whereas fat cells are only 10-15% water. Maintaining water in your body is a fundamental step in maintaining your health. It is commonly known that about two thirds of total body weight is water and that the brain is also largely water. Adequate water intake is therefore essential to our general well-being.
Water assists the movement of nutrients throughout the body; flushing and carrying away waste material from our metabolic processes. Lack of water can lead to fatigue and can cause constipation. Poor hydration can lead to dry and itchy skin, acne, nose bleeds, repeated urinary tract infections, dry coughs, sneezing, sinus pressure, headaches and fatigue, as a result of toxins building up in our bodies. Poor hydration weakens the body’s immune system and leads to chemical, nutritional and pH imbalances, which can eventually cause sickness. Lack of hydration is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue, and a mere 2% drop in body water can trigger short-term memory problems and difficulty focusing on reading a computer screen or a printed page.
Water plays a key part in temperature control through perspiration. Our bodies evaporate sweat to prevent overheating. The amount of water loss can vary hugely and can be several litres per day. Body temperature is critical and takes precedence over other functions. It is lost through respiration, sometimes more than by perspiration, as the air we breathe is warmed and humidified in our lungs. Cold air holds less moisture than warm air and in cold climates the body can lose a lot of water this way.
Water is needed for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. It helps to conduct electrical impulses around the body. Often when feeling unfocused, drowsy or mentally down the brain is dehydrated and a glass or two of water can restore alertness.
Our kidneys are intrinsic to water balance; they are equipped with millions of filtering units to remove impurities from our blood and return pure fluid back into the bloodstream. Without the aid of our kidneys it has been suggested we would need to drink 10,000 litres of water per day just to keep our fluid balance steady!
The amount of water used by the body varies widely with lifestyle, climate and physical activity playing a part on what is needed. On average we use about 2 to 2 ½ litres per day (obviously a larger man would use more than a smaller woman). About 1500 mL is lost in urine and faeces, 250 to 500 mL perspiration and 250 to 500 mL in respiration. We usually obtain about 1.25 Litres from our food and 250 mL from the metabolic processes. On an average without any special demands we need to make up about 1 Litre of water daily. This will increase with exercise, hot weather, stress, illness, missed meals etc.
Ideally water needs to be consumed gradually over a day from rising to retiring. If you drink it all at once much of the benefit may be lost as your kidneys will simply eliminate the excess without your body gaining much from it. Sipping fresh clear water over the day is the best way!
Thirst is not always a reliable indicator of your bodies need for water. It is not the earliest sign as we can be dehydrated long before we realise that we feel thirsty. Each body is unique, with difference needs and demands. Knowing when to replenish is something you need to understand with your body. Herbs and small amounts of juices can assist the utilisation.
Water at room temperature is considered the best, so keep a steady supply close to you throughout the day. Sip your way to more health, balance and well-being today!
The key message for you today? Have you had your 8? That is 8 glasses of 250 mL size is recommended daily.
Rosemary The Natural Protector
Rosemary the natural protector, delicately blooms in Spring here in Brisbane. A favourite herb featured in stuffings for Xmas it’s was time to shed some light on its beneficial therapeutic properties.
It is an evergreen bush that is most often used in cooking however it has a wonderful woodsy heady scent that is great in air fresheners and aromatherapy mixes. It is an especially great herb to add to meats where it pairs exceptionally well with lamb.
In old herbal texts it is referred to as Dew of the sea, Elf leaf, and Sea dew and is considered a masculine herb, that has powers of protection, love, increases mental alertness and purification.
In modern day herbalism, Rosmarinus officinalis (botanical name), is used to improve memory, alertness, concentration and mental performance. It possesses antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and acts as a liver protective, circulatory stimulant and improves overall conditions such as dyspepsia (indigestion). It does this through improving biliary (bile flow) and liver clearance enhancing phase II liver detoxification. It can be used to ease headaches and depression.
If you would like to carry the essence of this wonderful universal herb, place infusions or essential oil in hand washes. Placing sprigs under the pillow is said to ‘ensure a good sleep and drives away nightmares’. Rosemary was hung on the porch and door posts to keep thieves from the house in ancient wisdom, and it was carried to remain healthy. Perhaps keeping a pot at the front door may be a useful protector of your home today!
There’s plenty to celebrate with Rosemary that’s for sure. Next time your are in clinic ask me about tailoring your own personalised mix and why not include this magical herb.
Rosemary & Lemon Salt Rub
- 1 1/4 cups salt, Celtic, Himalayan or a good quality sea salt
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, organic Australian first pressed (if possible)
- Juice of 1 lemon, remove the pips
- Zest of one lemon
- 2-3 sprigs of rosemary, finely diced or vitamised
- Garlic, one or two cloves, finely diced
- Roll the lemon over the chopping board to loosen the pith (this enables more juice to be extracted). Grate the zest of one lemon, and juice the lemon.
- Add to the salt. Finely blitz or chop 2-3 sprigs of rosemary (depends on the size, more means stronger flavour & aroma)
- Mix and blend together thoroughly. Use this as a rub over roast or beef or chicken if desired. Will keep for approx. 2 weeks in the fridge.
Natural Body Scrub: Replace the salt with Epson Salts for an excellent rosemary and lemon body rub. I would use macadamia nut, sweet almond oil or apricot oil instead of olive oil which is a heavy oil for the body. Remove the garlic.
Quality Stuffing Recipes
Nigella’s best turkey stuffing https://www.nigella.com/recipes/members/nells-the-best-turkey-stuffing-ever
Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Turkey http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/turkey-recipes/jamie-s-christmas-turkey/
The best rosemary recipes: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/08/10-best-rosemary-recipes
Bio-Compatibility Hair Testing
Allow your own hair to unlock the secrets for a happy healthier you!
Suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Bloating, Headaches or Skin issues? Bio-Compatibility Hair Testing is new to Gaining Health Naturally!
Finding you are sensitive to everything, have persistent migraines, autoimmunity and can’t find solutions?
You don’t have to suffer in silence any more….
The Bio-Compatibility Hair System is:
- The Bio-Compatible Hair Test – Tests for 500 standard foods and household items found in your home such as: deodorants, sunscreens, bathroom chemicals, kitchen cleaning products and toothpaste.
- In addition, it is an easy and accurate test that involves taking a small piece of hair and offers an in-depth examination of your current sensitivities.
- It is a restorative health program that is safe and easy to follow as it involves staying away from the foods and chemicals in your immediate environment that are affecting your health.
- It’s completely individualised to you!
Get to the underlying issues of your health concerns. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, digestive issues, headaches, skin issues and even autoimmunity you may find that food sensitivities are part of the underlying causes and triggers. It’s difficult to guess which foods may be causing the problem, and many people try to eliminate certain foods, only to find the problem is unresolved.
The Cost: $250.00 + GST ($25.00) for 500 items which includes a 16-page dietary advice report.
Order online here today!
Your sample is sent to the lab and a few weeks later the report arrives back at Gaining Health Naturally. The report indicates easily which items are not compatible for you. Yes, that means no more guessing! These items need to be removed for six months, at which time a re-test is recommended to see if foods can be slowly reintroduced.
Another feature is full instructions on how to follow the wellness program for the next six months is also provided.
Please note: If the test is used for a baby, the list of tested items is expanded to include nappies, baby creams and lotions, baby food, and other baby products. The baby test is $260 + GST.
Who may benefit?
Need to get to the underlying issues of your health concerns? This may be part of the picture for you. So often food imbalances and chemical sensitivities affect our health.
Anyone suffering from:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Digestive Issues such as bloating, flatulence, burping, fatigue
- Headaches and Migraines
- Skin concerns such as Acne, Psoriasis, rashes and itching
- Weight Gain
- Autoimmune conditions
- Behavioural issues and more… may benefit from the Bio-Compatible Hair Testing.
- The test involves taking a small hair sample, that tests for 500 foods and household items. It can also test specific brands if you would prefer for a small extra fee.
- It is non-intrusive test with the best thing being there are no blood tests or scratch tests needed!
Your hair test for the 500 items can be ordered directly from Gaining Health Naturally and then an initial consultation is required with your practitioner to follow up your test results and explain how to progress. This is available via Skype @ gaining health or phone.
If you prefer to call and order your Bio-Compatible Hair Test over the phone you can do that as well. Payment can be received over the phone.
Once you place your order, your test kit information will be sent you in the post and complete the information on the form and send your hair away! It is simple and easy to do. After approximately two weeks your report arrives at Karen Green Naturopath. She will contact you to make an appointment to sit down together to discuss your action plan. If you prefer to have your consultation over the phone or via skype this is also possible as this testing comes with a full report that can be sent to you.
Consultations are available with Karen Green face-to-face in Deception Bay, North Brisbane or via skype or phone.
MTHFR, What’s the fuss?
MTHFR, What’s the fuss, began several years ago for me when I noticed that several of my patients continually suffered from fatigue and stress and after providing specific nutrients their health improved. Surprisingly for others nothing changed. I kept asking myself what is going on? In times past, there has been a belief that your genes are set in stone and therefore there is nothing you can do to change them. In other words you were doomed with what you have! We know know this is no where near the truth. Your diet, lifestyle and the environment you live absolutely make a difference. You can influence your genes!
Heal your gut with GAPS Workshop
How to make nourishing bone broths to heal your body!
Karen Green and Trevor Clarke proudly present the first in a series of cooking demonstrations based on the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet. Heal your gut with GAPS Workshop focuses on the benefits of bone broths used to heal the gastrointestinal lining and how this can change your health.
Herb in the Pantry – Herbs that Heal
If you feel like you’ve over indulged already this year, then herbs in the pantry can be just what you need. Gaining Health has some great news for you – it’s never too late to give your body a bit of a clean-up! I’m not talking about going on one of those juice diets; Naturopaths, Nutritionists and in particular GAPS Practitioners work on rebalancing your gut bacteria with delicious ingredients from your kitchen, supplements and even lifestyle and environmental toxicities that may get in the way.
When it comes to SLEEP diet is KING!
Sleep is such an important aspect of optimal health and functioning normally. This latest study found that when it comes to sleep diet is king! It analysed how diet patterns affect sleep quantity and quality. 26 normal weight adults, sleeping 7-9 hours a night, participated in a randomised controlled study, over 5 nights with controlled feeding and ad libitum food intake.
Fat vs Fiction for Weight Loss
- FAT vs FICTION: Dispel the myths & find out the truth about FAT in the weight loss cycle, how to improve chronic disease and gain greater health
- Is dietary FAT good or bad?
- Weigh in on the debate with 30 experts who will challenge your thoughts.
Forget everything you have been told about FAT & tune into the latest information on fat at THE FAT SUMMIT
Genetic Testing – Toward better Health