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Karen Green Naturopath

Heal your GUT, Heal your BODY

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!

gut healing

What’s covered:

  • 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. 
Heal your gut

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.

Probiotics for gut health

For more on your gut health read &

Karen’s online courses are available here:

Call Karen today 0400836254 or email

Low Thyroid Function links to High Cholesterol!

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). 

Low Thyroid Function & Cholesterol
Low Thyroid Function & High Cholesterol Links

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.

Low thyroid Function Cofactors
Low Thyroid Function Fixes

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).

High & Low Cholesterol
High Cholesterol impacts Thyroid Function

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.

Low Thyroid Function Tests
Low Thyroid Function Tests

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.

Herbs that lower Cholesterol
Herbs to Lower Cholesterol

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, twitter @greeninghealth, Facebook: 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

Lutz, J., Bano, A., & Pearce, E. (2019). Hypothyroid and Cholesterol: Too Little Thyroid Hormone, Too Much Cholesterol, Endocrineweb,

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,

Puppy Treats

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 

Peanut butter dog biscuits

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


  1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced).
  2. Cook the rice as per packet instructions
  3. Place cooked rice, chicken mince. Grated carrot, parsley, and whisked eggs into a bowl and mix well.
  4. Spoon mixture into heart shaped silicon moulds and press in tight.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool, then remove from the mould.
  7. 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


  1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced).
  2. Gently boil the sweet potato in water until soft, drain and mash.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Mix remaining ingredients into the whisked eggs and let stand for 10 minutes.
  5. Line a baking tray with baking paper and press the mixture into the tray.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and leave to cool. Cut into 25 pieces (5 X 5).
  8. Can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days or stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Dog Meditation

Need more information on how to ”treat” your puppy, check out information here

Vitamin K for Health

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.

Vitamin K content in Foods

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!

Health Benefits of Vitamin K

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.

Vitamin K in Food

Content of Vitamin K in selected Foods

Phylloquinone content ug/100g of food

<10 10-50 >100 >200
Milk Asparagus Cabbage Broccoli
Butter Celery Lettuce Kale
Eggs Green beans Brussel sprouts Swiss chard
Cheese Avocado Mustard greens Turnip
Red Meat Kiwi fruit   Watercress
Fish Peas   Collards
Corn Peanut butter   Spinach
Cauliflower Lentils   Salad greens
Grains Kidney beans    
Fruits (most) Soybeans    
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 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:

Developing Resilience

Resilience thinkingDeveloping Resilience

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. Developing Resilience

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

AshwagandhaWithania (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.

RehmanniaRehmannia (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.

schisandraSchisandra 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

Karen is a member of NHAA

Call today: Karen 0400836254 or email: for more information.

Copper Deficiency: Effects on Heart Disease

Copper Deficiency: Effects on Heart Disease

Copper is crucial for health, and its deficiency effects on heart disease are alarming. This story reminds the body needs balance! Interesting and crucial information adapted from David Watts, Ph.D., Director of Research Interclinical Laboratories).

Recently a popular news story warned that high, long term consumption of sweetened beverages such as soft drinks and soda may increase health risks. A study published in the journal Circulation (1) found that sugar sweetened beverages as well as artificially sweetened beverages were associated with mortality rates. The study consisted of over 37,000 men and over 80,000 women who were followed for over 20 years. Their conclusion found that consumption of the sugar sweetened beverage was associated primarily with cardiovascular mortality.
Heart Disease in Men and Women
Typically heart attacks occur more in men than women depending upon age. The average age for men having heart attacks is about 66 years compared to women whose average age is 70. Heart attacks can happen at any age and in either sex, but the rate is similar or equal in both men and women after 60 years of age. In fact, heart disease is the number one cause of death in both sexes. The study published in ‘Circulation’ also found that women fifty years and older, who consumed diet drinks had a 29% increased risk for heart attack and 23% increased risk for stroke.
High Fructose and Heart Disease
It seems that high fructose intake is the underlying factor in contributing to many of these statistics. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2) reported that the consumption of beverages containing 10, 17.5 or 25% of fructose produced a linear dose response increase in factors contributing to cardiovascular mortality. Risk factors include, lipid and lipoprotein abnormalities, uric acid, triglycerides, cholesterol, and apolipoprotein.
The American Heart Association (AHA) published their recommendations for the reduction in the intake of added sugars found in soft drinks and processed foods.
They state in the journal Circulation that “High intakes of dietary sugars in the setting of a worldwide pandemic of obesity and cardiovascular disease has heightened concerns about the adverse effects of excessive consumption of sugars.” The mean intake for all persons was found to be over 22 teaspoons per day. However, it appears that in the age group between 14 to 18 years, consumption is about 34 teaspoons per day. High fructose corn syrup used in most sweetened beverages is playing a role in the epidemics of insulin resistance, obesity, dyslipidaemia and type 2 diabetes (3).

The Fructose Copper Connection

What is the connection between fructose and heart disease? The answer may lie in the fact that fructose is known to antagonize the mineral copper. It has been well documented that adding fructose to the diets of animals induces copper deficiency (4). Although the same has not been sufficiently studied in humans, the response of humans to a high fructose intake may be similar to response to copper deficiency caused by high intake of fructose in animals.

 Copper and Heart Health
Copper is a constituent of many important enzymes. It is involved in oxidoreductase activity, electron transport, free radical scavenging, neurotransmission as well as immunity. When it comes to heart disease copper deficiency greatly affects the functioning of the heart.  Detrimental health effects of copper deficiency include: high cholesterol, poor glucose tolerance, abnormal ECG activity, increased LDL, lowered HDL (happy lipids), and high triglycerides, increased susceptibility of lipoproteins and tissues to oxidative damage. Increased blood pressure, plasminogen activator inhibitor type I, early and advanced glycation end products, atherosclerosis, fatty liver degeneration, cardiac hypertrophy and cardiomyopathy, optic neuropathy, iron overload and connective tissue damage (5). High dietary fructose intake is associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver degeneration (NAFLD) in animal models and is thought to be due to poor copper status. Patients with NAFLD have been found to have low copper availability. Liver and serum copper levels are found inversely correlated with the severity of NAFLD (6).
Lee et al., (2018) reported their findings of low hair copper and its relationship to the risk of developing NAFLD. Individuals with lower hair copper concentrations were found to have higher blood pressure and increased body mass index and waist circumference and lower HDL. Those who had NAFLD were found to have significantly lower hair copper levels (7).
Factors Contributing to Copper Deficiency
Copper should be adequate and in proper balance with other nutritional minerals for normal copper related functions. However, an antagonistic relationship exists between copper and other nutrients that can lead to an imbalance or copper deficiency. Copper deficiency can also be caused by genetic predisposition and malabsorption conditions. Bariatric surgery can also be a major cause of acquired copper deficiency contributing to haematological and neurological symptoms (8).
Copper Deficiency and Cardiac Disease
A study by Kedzierska, et al, (2005), found that plasma copper concentration can significantly affect activity of the erythrocyte sodium transport system, and copper supplementation may have therapeutic benefits for hypertensive patients (9). In hair mineral testing analysis copper deficiency in patients with hypertension and metabolic syndrome can be found. Most patients with hypertension in fact show an elevated tissue of sodium and potassium concentration along with a low tissue calcium and magnesium. The benefits of copper supplementation results in an increase of copper activated free radical scavenging enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (S.O.D.) and increased availability of nitrogen oxide, along with calcium retention affects as well. An increase in tissue calcium would aid in the reduction of sodium retention and thereby reduce elevated blood pressure.
Heart Disease and Gender
The development of heart disease is known to differ between men and women.  However, copper imbalance may be a key factor in both. The fact that men tend to have a greater incidence of heart attacks at an earlier age than women may rest in metabolic types. Men tend to naturally be more sympathetic dominant with lower tissue copper concentrations while women tend to be more parasympathetic dominant with higher tissue copper. However, after menopause women develop heart attacks at a similar rate as men. This is due to the reduction in estrogen which often corresponds to a reduction in copper retention. Often mineral patterns of women before and after menopause show a shift in their mineral patterns from parasympathetic toward sympathetic dominance along with a lowering of copper and elevation of their zinc to copper ratio.
Hair Zinc and Copper Levels and Predisposition to Heart Disease
Zinc and copper concentrations were measured in the hair and urine of patients who were hospitalized for myocardial infarction (MI). Mineral concentrations were also determined in the patient’s descendants and compared to a control group who had no family history of MI. Zinc was found to be higher and copper lower in the descendants of patients with MI suggesting a consistent rise in zinc and lowering of copper reserves in genetically predisposed individuals. The study suggests that in MI patients, a genetic disorder of mineral imbalance at a younger age can be used in predicting susceptibility to heart disease in individuals prior to onset and diagnosis in asymptomatic patients (10).

It should also be noted that excess tissue copper can result in decreased zinc activated S.O.D. activity and thereby, may contribute to hypertension and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides as well. This biphasic effect emphasizes the need to assess individual needs and treat the patient accordingly, instead of merely treating symptoms. HTMA can be used as a screening tool for the assessment of copper status and more importantly, copper’s relationship to other nutrients. If you would like to obtain your hair mineral analysis to check your levels contain Gaining Health Naturally today on 0400836254 or


HTMA Newsletter – May-June 2019 Heart Disease, Soft Drinks and Copper

1. Malik, VS, et al. 2019

2. Stanhope, KL, et al, 101, 2015

3. Johnson, RK, et al. Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. Circ. June 2010

4. Klevay, LM. Adding Fructose to diets of animals can induce copper deficiency. J. Biomed and Pharmacol. 2018

5. DiNicolantonio, JJ, et al. Copper deficiency may be a leading cause of ischemic heart disease. Open Heart, B.M.J, 2018

6. Song, M, et al. Copper Fructose Interactions: A Novel Mechanism in the Pathogenesis of NALFD. Nutrents, 10,11, 2018

7. Lee, S, et al. Low hair copper concentration is related to a high risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in adults. J.Trace Elem. Med Biol 50, 2018

8. Yarandi, SS, et al. Optic neuropathy, myelopathy, anemia and neutropenia caused by acquired copper deficiency after gastric bypass surgery. J. Clin. Gastroent. 48, 2014

9. Kedzierska, K, et al. Copper Modifies the Activity of Sodium Transporting Systems in Erythrocyte Membrane in Patients with Essential Hypertension. Biol. Trace Elem.Res. 107, 2005

10. Taneja, SK, et al. Detection of Potentially Myocardial Infarction Susceptible Individuals in Indian Population: A Mathematical Model Based on Copper and Zinc Status. Biol. Trace Elem. Res. 75, 2000

Calcium, vital mineral & when not?

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Prescription Caution

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:



The dangers of drinking milk

Nutrition and healthy eating: Calcium Supplements

Osteoporosis Australia Calcium


Understanding Pyroluria

Understanding Pyroluria

What’s in a name?

The mauve factor (Malvaria), also known as hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL), kryptopyrrole and urinary pyrrole, was first reported in 1961. Pyroluria is a blood disorder that affects the synthesis and metabolism of the oxygen carrying component of red blood cells, haemoglobin.  All cells release and produce wastes as part of normal function.  The by-product of haemoglobin is the metabolite called hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL) also known as Pyrrole. In people with pyroluria, these by-products or HPL accumulate in the body and if they are not cleared they can bind to other essential nutrients causing deficiencies. HPL binds to vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), zinc reducing the levels of these vitamins in the body.

Continue reading

Winter healing Elixirs

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.


Turmeric Tonic

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 Elixirherbs that heal


  • 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
  • Brandy
  • Honey (organic)


  1. Fill a clean, sterilized mason jar (4 cup capacity) with herbs.
  2. Add brandy, pouring until herbs covered by 1-2 inches of brandy and jar is approximately 3/4 full.
  3. Add honey, leaving 1 inch of space at the top of the jar.
  4. Poke chopstick into jar to release any trapped air bubbles and ensure brandy and honey are coating herbs.
  5. Put cap on and label jar with ingredients and date.
  6. Let steep for 4-6 weeks in a cool, dark place, shaking daily.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

MTHFR, The Holy Grail or another Fad?

MTHFR, The Holy Grail or another Fad?

My epignetics v2

When a new idea enters the landscape, the idea starts out as a thought and then we do a google search to find out what the heck the fuss is about. The google search shows little and you have to keep asking and listening to others that are leading the way. A few more people feel that this new idea will change their life forever and the word starts to launch. This is what happened with MTHFR. It was only a few years ago we hadn’t heard of it. Now everyone wants to know, and they believe it is the holy grail. Truly nothing is the ”Holy Grail” to life – not one simple thing. Yes, MTHFR can help many people in understanding more about their health, however believe me if it was a matter of taking an activated-B supplement everyone would do it and we would have no further health issues. Let’s put this into perspective. MTHFR – significant? Yes, you definitely want your pathways to be working well (I will explain more soon) however your body is a complex interplay of biochemicals with nutrients feeding organs and glands etc.

Fast track a few years and most people that come to visit me have MTHFR tested before they arrive and some have other genetic SNP’s results as well. They understand more about the underlying mechanisms working within. What next? Now they ask, “How do I manage my MTHFR?”

In Australia, as things become popular supplement companies get on the band wagon and develop new products. Of course, this happens all over the world. When something exciting and leading edge appears in the health industry new products come out.  In Australia we now have many products based on the MTHFR gene and genetic testing available. It can become confusing as there is much information out there and many different products to choose from. 

I remember an article I read a few years ago where a person discussed how their anxiety subsided after taking folinic acid.  From this everyone wanted to take the activated forms of folic acid. Folic acid is the synthesized (chemically produced from of folic acid that is placed in many processed foods as mandated in many countries including breads, cereals, cakes and supplements as it prevents neutral tube defects). On my journey as a practitioner, I went to Dr Ben Lynch’s Seeking Health Conference in 2015, which was fantastic learning. After that I put almost all MTHFR clients on 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5MTHF) and after 3 months several reported increased irritability and being over-energised. I needed to know more and set about learning. Since then I know there is so much more to MTHFR than taking an activated-B supplement.  If only it was that simple!  There are many people who take supplements based on google searches however now I am finding more people who want to the best approach to taking supplements (if needed) for MTHFR, in other words based on their individualised health condition (along with testing if required which is often the case in more complex cases).     

What is MTHFR?

It is more prevalent in the Spanish, Italian and Chinese populations and affects approximately 55% of Australians. Yes, that is very high, which means the person sitting next to you potentially has an MTHFR mutation.

How do I manage my MTHFR?  

My recommendation is to gain an understanding of what is occurring beneath the surface through a full holistic approach to health with a practitioner who understands many different aspects of complex issues and uses testing as a tool to gain your full holistic picture if needed. The type of testing depends on you – what is occurring for you individually; the signs and symptoms you have, and the journey you have been with your health. And if you do not want to test that is also okay, afterall it is your body!  the testing provides further insights. 

Most commonly people treat MTHFR using activated B-vitamins. Placing MTHFR into perspective helps with understanding. Believe me it’s not about treating the SNP’s (gene mutations), we have to dig deeper than that. We need to TREAT THE PERSON. Treat you as a whole. I know it is easier to take one pill that will fix everything for you. Your body is more complex than that. We need to find out what is causing the MTHFR SNP potentially not function as well as it could and look at all aspects that are influencing this including yeast/candida, bacterial infections, heavy metals, gut issues etc that affect your genes.

Understanding MTHFR

MTHFR (methyltetrahydrofolatereductase) is an enzyme in the body that is responsible for converting one form of folate (5,10-methylene tetrahydrofolate), into the activated folate (5-methyltetrahydrofolate).  It is then activated and can be used. This process (folate cycle) requires vitamin B2 and B3 for it to function well – so that the road opens (so to speak) and allows things to move through.  

The folate cycle then connects to the methionine cycle (which is termed methylation). This process also needs a variety of nutrients to ensure this and other enzymes are able to work properly. These nutrients include: vitamin B2, B3, B6, B12, zinc, choline, magnesium, energy, and SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine).  The methionine cycle then connects to the transulfuration cycle and the folate cycle connects to the biopterin cycle. All of this requires numerous nutrients and enzymes to function correctly for the super highways (so to speak) to function correctly. The enzymes of all pathways can be inhibited by substances as well – including high levels of vitamins, deficiency of vitamins, heavy metals, unwanted bacterial infections, yeasts and inflammation. The system is complex and an issue in one area potentially impacts the next.  Your body really is about a balance of everything (maintaining equilibrium and homeostasis is the key).

If we use too much of one thing it can impact the next. This is where it is important to learn to understand your body and what is occurring. If you use one nutrient in excess, it can ‘’push’’ others ‘’out’’ or push too ‘’hard’’ against the cycle affecting enzymes and their ability to do their job effectively. A perfect example of this is our electrolytes. If we push hard on one of them for example calcium then this will push out the balance of magnesium. 

An Activated B-Complex often has many B vitamins within it and sometimes other nutrients as well. It is important to support your pathways however over time you will find that an individualised approach is needed.  You need to be assessed based on your holistic picture – what is expressing in your body and treating that along with the underlying issues occurring. When viewing genetic SNPs (23andMe or it often becomes highlighted in a profile which ones are the ‘’main’’ areas that require ongoing support. It is much more than taking a supplement. There are aspects of a person’s life that often need attention – i.e. environmentally mould in a house, a diet needs some attention, blood pathology signals problems with thyroid function or perhaps a person is not sleeping due excess stress. These are all aspects that require a skilled practitioner to look at and understand holistically and then the impact MTHFR is having. We need a holistic well-rounded view of our health and life (not pointing to one gene as the cause to our health issues – a reductionist view it is called).  MTHFR is definitely here to stay. Learning how to manage this with more than activated-B vitamins is the key. Tuning in and getting to know yourself is part of that journey. 

Special Discounts until end Jan 2019

Your Methylation Kit – 1  (For those with High blood pressure use this kit. Those with normal blood pressure can also use this kit).

50% Discount

  • BioActive B – 60 Caps
  • Cal:Mag 1:1 – 60 Caps
  • TraceMins – 90 caps
  • Cost – includes GST – $59.95

Your Methylation Kit – 2 (for those with Normal blood pressure)

50% Discount

  • Basica Active Alkalising Mineral Formula – 300gm
  • BioActive B – 60 Caps
  • Cost – includes GST – $63.50

Digestive Support – Digest Forte – 30% Discount – $25.95 includes GST

If postage required the cost is – approx. $12.00-$15.00 – depending on where you live

Call Karen today to order your kit on 0400836254 or email Orders can be processed over the phone.

All packages available until the end of January 2019

See Consultations here

See MTHFR testing and Genetic Profiling here 

Genetic Testing

Mulla Mulla – For Fire, Heat & Sun

Mulla Mulla – For Fire, Heat & SunHairy Mulla Mulla

Commonly known as Pink Mulla Mulla or Tall Mulla Mulla belongs to the Amaranthaceae family of which there are 131 species found in Australia (FloraBase, 1998).

Years ago, as a Tour Director, I was touched by the vast spread of Mulla Mulla found across the Pilbara (WA) and in the Red Centre of Australia.  As this bush flower originates in some of the hottest regions of Australia, its ability to help with conditions that relate to heat is well documented.  It can assist in menopause when women may experience hot flushes. It’s pinkish (purplish) hue is reminiscent of sunburnt skin and can be used to spray on the skin to alleviate heat generated from the sun. It could of course also be taken internally for this.

The flowers are densely packed, with a soft downy ‘’hair’’ which provides the appearance of pink emerging through white which indicates the ability of this essence to release stored heat (i.e. from sunburn).

  • It can be used as a remedy with Fringed violet to release stored radiation. When used for this it assists in tolerating higher radiation doses and reduces the amount of radiation burning people suffer in cases studies.
  • It can be used with Little Flannel Flower to deal with past burns and anger.
  • As it grows in the hottest of climates it can be used where there is any burning sensation in the body – for example:  eczema, vaginitis, or burning feet (taken internally and sprayed directly on the area or in a cream).
  • Used in travel (flying) when above 12,000 m above the ground with increased possibility of radiation.

Used with Little Flannel Flower to deal with past burns and/ or repressed anger (White, 1999). Mulla Mulla

With the recent ravages of bush fires across Queensland with more to come as we enter into Summer across Australia, this bush flower essence could be used to assist the fear associated with burning fires that pose a threat to our lives.


FloraBase (1998)

White, I. (1999) Australian bush flower Healing, Bantam Books, NSW.

Mulla Mulla can be obtained from Karen Green – Naturopath, Nutritionist, Herbalist on 0400836254 or email


The Quirky Nature of B12

The Quirky Nature of B12

Vitamin B12

The quirky nature of B12, requires you to check your levels regularly. If you have poor digestion, what naturopaths call leaky gut (hyperpermeability), low hydrochloric (HCI) stomach acid, poor uptake in the small intestines then you could have low B12. Hippocrates coined the phrase – “All disease begins in the gut’’, and this couldn’t be more true than for vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 Absorption

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin as it is known scientifically) is a power house nutrient obtained mostly from animal protein foods in the diet. It relies on gastric acid in the stomach to liberate (release) the proteins that bind to it, which help to protect it from being destroyed in the stomach, as it makes it way to the small intestine.  Once it reaches the small intestine, it is utilised through pancreatic enzymes which release it to intrinsic factor, the cells that help absorption. From here it is transported to cells where its functions are carried out and it ends up in the liver where it is stored.  Vitamin B12 absorption requires many processes, nutrients and enzymes along the way.  As you have probably gathered it can be a bit tricky to obtain in the body especially if your digestion is not optimal (ie often with chronic conditions).


What it does?

Vitamin B12 is essential for the normal functioning of all cells. It affects cell growth and replication, metabolism of carbohydrates (grains & cereals), fats and lipids (butter & oils), and protein (meats, fish & dairy). It is found in DNA (genetic material), and importantly is involved in making red blood cells (in bone marrow). It is involved in methylation processes, (conversion of homocysteine to methionine by methionine synthase), transferring a methyl group from methylfolate.

It helps to make myelin sheath and nerve cells with a deficiency possibly resulting in peripheral nerve damage and pain. B12 helps to regulate immunity and has antioxidant ability. It is important for healthy skin, mucous membranes, bones and blood vessels.

If you suffer from any of theses symptoms you may be low in B12

  • Low energy, fatigue or lethargy
  • Methylation issues
  • Anaemia and pernicious anaemia (an autoimmune condition)
  • Psychological disturbances including depression, irritability
  • Impaired memory, brain fog and dementia
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances such as loss of appetite, intermittent constipation and diarrhea, abdominal pain, atrophic gastritis
  • Folic acid supplementation can mask an underlying B12 deficiency

B12 Deficiency Symptoms

Vegetarians are at risk of low B12 due to it being found in animal sources of food only.  Plants do not process or make B12 because they have no cobalamin-dependent enzymes. Most microorganisms, including bacteria and algae, can make B12 which then makes its way into the food chain.

B12 Food sources

Vital Food Sources

  • Lamb’s liver
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Oysters
  • Egg yolk
  • Fish
  • Beef
  • Kidney
  • Cheese and milk


Serum B12 is usually tested through your GP. Red Blood Cell B12 is a sometimes recommended by Naturopaths.  An important point is that once you have been tested a certain way it is recommended to retest the same way enabling consistency to check changes in levels.


B12 supplementation is usually taken orally (or as a lozenge to bypass the small intestine), and intravenously.


Check your vitamin B12 levels yearly to ensure no deficiency. Consult your clinical naturopath-nutritionist to ensure these levels are optimal. High B12 levels can indicate absorption and/or possible methylation issues. It is important to check with your health professional who understands optimal levels and your requirements.

Products available to support digestion through consultation with Karen in Nov 18

  • Digest Forte – 50% discount
  • Herbal Tincture – 30% discount
  • Sublingual B12 – 30% discount (all only available in consultation).

To book with Karen Green – email  or call 0400836254. Karen consults Wednesday, Thursdays and Fridays. Saturdays (on occasions). By appointment only. consultations available via phone, internet and in person.


Spectacular nature in full glory! The Jacaranda Tree

Spectacular nature in full glory! The Jacaranda Tree

Spectacular Nature - JacarandaSpectacular 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 Spectacular Nature - Jacaranda Tree

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?jacaranda-flowers-3

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

Spring Sale at Gaining Health Naturally



Hi to Hemp! That is the edible kind!

Hi to Hemp! That is the edible kind! 

Hi to Hemp! That is the edible kind as it is now legal in Australia.  It’s been battled for decades but finally changes in the Food Standards Code mean it’s now legal to purchase edible hemp products in Australia!

WHAT IS HEMP? Hi to Hemp! That is the edible kind!

Hemp is a cannabis plant species. Unlike the drug cannabis, hemp has low concentrations, if any, of THC –  the psychoactive chemical – which means its effects are minimal. Instead what you have is nutritious hemp seeds, oil, protein powder and flour. The seeds can be enjoyed raw, sprouted, ground as flour or blended to make hemp milk. Along with the protein powder, they’re an easy and nutritious addition sprinkled over your morning muesli, mixed into smoothies, or on yoghurt. Hemp oil is loved for its subtle nutty flavour, particularly drizzled over salads.

You may have seen hemp products in Australia before; however, these were previously not for human consumption but rather for external use only.

You can now purchase great hemp products from me!


Growing hemp has a low environmental impact compared to many other grain and seed crops. Very few producers, if any, use pesticides or synthetic chemicals while the crops also require less water; meaning it’s better for you and the environment.

Hi to Hemp, hemp oil cuppa

Hemp ticks a lot of nutritional boxes, including being packed with essential omega -3 and -6 fatty acids, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. It’s ow in sugar, carbohydrates and saturated fat. Hemp is suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and as mentioned above is free of gluten.

It’s easily digestible, low histamine, contains great proteins unlike any other plant. The oil tastes nutty, its a great anti-inflammatory so why not pop into your favourite drinks to sustain & keep you full throughout the morning. Great for dry hair and skin, the seeds can also be used as an exfoliant scrub. Please note the oil is low histamine and oxalate. The powder is moderate to high oxalate and the depends on how much you use and whether you have an oxalate problem.

Being highly nutritious and gluten free makes hemp a great option for those in need of gluten-free alternatives.


Make your cuppa in the morning from black, green or rooibos teas. Strain and use the tea for a powerful pick me up that lasts the morning.

In a blender place your cuppa, a teaspoon or glug of hemp oil or MCT oil or phosphatylcholine (prescription only as it is a methyl donor & care is needed), 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 tablespoon of collagen powder and 1/2 teaspoon of hydrolysed guar gum (prebiotic that builds friendly gut bacteria). If you like and can have spices I include cinnamon or cardamon and sometimes sprinkle with nutmeg! Whiz together and serve immediately. Top with a bit of extra water if you need to.

More on Hemp here from Hemp Foods Australia


Summer – A time to be Jolly & Merry

Summer – A time to be Jolly & MerryChristmas wishes

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!

FU consultation package


One on One Mentoring

One on One Mentoring

Stepping stones toward Successnourishing grads mentoring

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.

About Karen

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. Karen Green

$90.oo per session – 45mins

To book a session today email 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

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.


Vegemite Downundervegemite downunder

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

Lamb Kofta


  1. Soak 8 bamboo skewers for one hour in water (stops meat sticking when cooking).
  2. Well combine in a bowel, the mince, onion, garlic, spices, and parsley.
  3. Shape ¼ cup of the mince mixture into 8 long sausages. Thread each sausage and wrap around a skewer.
  4. Place on large tray or plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to develop and for the meat to set.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

Ingredients: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


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Lightly sauté onion, lemongrass and ginger until transparent.
  3. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Form patties and place on a lined or greased oven dish or tray.
  4. 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
  • bean salad


  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and toss lightly.
  2. 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)


  1. Preheat oven to 170-175°C/240°F. Grease a loaf tin with coconut oil and line the bottom and sides with baking paper.
  2. Whisk eggs in bowel until well combined.
  3. Add grated carrot, melted coconut oil, lime zest and jalapeños and stir through.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Spread mixture the tin and flatten slightly on the top.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 loafgluten-free-lamingtons

  • 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


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F/175 °C. Grease and line a rectangle or square tin with baking paper.
  2. In a blender combine all of the ingredients, except the dark chocolate. Blend until it is smooth and free of any lumps.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Ingredients: sesame balls

  • 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 – or here

The Year of the Earth Dog

Year of the DogThe Year of the Earth Dog Erik the viking

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!helping others

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!!Chinese Zodiac

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?

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?

Continue reading

The Histamine Effect

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

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

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!

Continue reading

Menopause – A time of reflection and renewal

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.

Continue reading

Mindfulness for Beginners

Mindfulness for Beginners

Journey toward inner Peace

In a relaxed, safe environment explore:

Introduction to mindfulness, what it is and how it works

How mindfulness reduces stress, anxiety and helps you centre in this busy world we live

Practical skills, techniques that you can take into your daily life

Easy mindfulness discussions

Enables you to get through the “silly season” with grace.

28th October 2017 – 4 weeks

Cost $57.95, strictly small group session

Deception Bay, 9am to 11am Saturdays

To secure your place  head to Mindfulness for Beginners

Karen is a Naturopath, Nutritionist & Herbalist, who runs her own clinic Gaining Health Naturally.

She has a special interest in mindfulness and in focusing on positive mind techniques that have helped her along the way and now she teaches these to others.

Mindfulness for beginners

Gut microbes affect stress and your health

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.

Continue reading

Vitamin B3: New kid on the block in prevention against miscarriages

vitamin B3Vitamin 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”.vitamin b3

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.)healthy foods

“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

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?

foods that help you move

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.

dos and don'ts of constipation

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 worksnatural squatting position

  • 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

Poop posture

anorectal angle

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

I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, what can I do?

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).signs & symptoms of PCOS

‘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.Chaste Tree

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

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…what lies beneath

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

Adrenal Fatigue or Dysfunction

Adrenal Fatigue or Dysfunction

Constantly wired and tired? With Adrenal fatigue or Dysfunction you may be feeling irritable with mood swings, have sweet cravings and a foggy memory?

Adrenal fatigue is a term used since the 1990’s by naturopaths and integrative doctors. More recently understanding the mechanisms that are involved with how cortisol (a hormone produced in the adrenal gland) affects the body has advanced.  Adrenal fatigue or dysfunction is becoming more understood and new information is showing that it is more about how the brain responds to stress than just your adrenals!

What are the signs and symptoms? General Adaptation Stages

  • Dizzy upon standing
  • Craving sweets
  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Low thyroid function impacts: cold hands/feet, thinning hair, and low body temp (low metabolic function, memory fog
  • Low immunity, becoming sick easily
  • Chronic pain with fibromyalgia like symptoms
  • Premenstrual Syndrome or menopausal symptoms worsening

Modern medicine does not acknowledge adrenal fatigue as a condition. Research now clarifies that most situations resulting in low cortisol levels are not a result of your adrenals being “tired” or “fatigued”. The problem lies higher up the chain – the brain.  The problem is linked more with proper brain signalling to regulate the stress response. We are starting to believe the stress response is “in your head”. Now that is not to belittle or say that there is nothing going on; overall there definitely is.

Diseases of the adrenal glands do exist, such as Cushing’s and Addison’s disease. However, these diseases are considered uncommon.

More often it is long-term stress and various other physical or psychological traumas that lead to an abnormal stress response; but it is usually a brain issue more so than an actual adrenal response issue.

Finding out the why?

We treat each and every disease differently. How we treat someone who is legitimately struggling with fatigue due to a damaged dysfunctional adrenal gland is different from an abnormal stress response that is occurring in the brain. It may relate to adrenal dysfunction in metabolism and the clearance of cortisol. Adrenal and adaptogenic herbs and vitamins and other nutrients will support the adrenal glands with their needs. However, if the central point to the dysfunction is in the brain then we need different approach to the problem.

What is occurring with Adrenal Fatigue or Dysfunction?

The cause of adrenal fatigue is a brain signal malfunction. When the balance is out, the signs show up as altered hormone levels in blood tests. The adrenal glands’ lack of output is mainly occurring because the brain is not communicating to the adrenal glands appropriately.  The human body is intricately connected and when one area is out of balance it affects others. The more resilient you are is based on how the brain and adrenals talk back and forth. They are doing this all the time and this is heightened during times of stress.

When our body deals with stress acutely (a sudden event occurring), our cortisol and adrenaline increases to help mobilize energy and put out the fire of inflammation. At the same time, our other hormones stay at healthy levels so we can adapt. This is a normal situation, an alert mechanism from the body to remove you from a difficult or dangerous situation. It is not detrimental to our bodies in fact, a little of this is a good thing.  However, when our bodies have to deal with a continual stream of stress (chronic), over time, the impact on the body results in dysregulated hormones. When your body continues to produce cortisol for extended periods of time, due to an overactive stress response other hormones pay the price.

Cortisol the master stress hormone, is also released in times of low blood glucose, for example, when the body is in a fasting state overnight whilst sleeping.  This is why fasting when you are unwell, is not recommended. It is the prolonged release of cortisol at consistently high levels that results in symptoms such as decreased immunity, tendency to bruise easily, anxiety, irritability, skin eruptions, hormonal imbalances, sweet cravings, weight gain (cortisol indicated higher area of the abdomen), poor or compromised digestion as the body is in a consistent state of alarm in the initial stages and then over time exhaustion sets in. This progression is known as General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). Each stage triggers signs and symptoms and the timing of progression is an individual thing. See below.

General Adaptation Stages

Cortisol production has a daily rhythm. It is secreted in a rhythmic pulsation fashion, higher in the morning and then tapering off throughout the day. Cortisol is designed to help stabilize blood sugar and help deal with stress and inflammation. Stress results in a dramatic rise in blood levels of glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids all provoked by cortisol.

Daily cortisol pattern


The more dysfunctional our adrenals become, the more we start progressing into deeper stages of adrenal fatigue where our brain (the master controller) is not able to communicate with our adrenals properly.

Below are examples of healthy and fatigued cortisol patterns. The question we now need to consider: Is it the brain axis malfunctioning, and what can we do to restore this imbalance?

Various Cortisol Patterns

Assessing the glands that help control and regulate stress is very important to your health. Your body is designed to be healthy, and part of being healthy means how you respond to stress. Your adrenals are instrumental in producing hormones throughout the day that are designed to do just that.

If extreme adrenal fatigue is a part of your life the cortisol pattern can be low in the morning and raise slightly in the evening which impacts sleep.

Which Tests?

The Dutch Test, measuring urinary cortisol, becomes a very useful tool in providing a comprehensive look at what is occurring.  Saliva testing shows free cortisol patterns throughout the day.  24hr Urine testing gives a better test for overall cortisol production and metabolism. DUTCH gives you it all!

How to treat?

There are various patterns to adrenal dysfunction, the most important aspect is determining what is causing the long-term stress. There are excellent adaptogenic herbs, activated B- Complex vitamins, minerals, ensuring hydration and a whole food diet, maintaining blood sugar levels, stress reduction techniques and mechanisms to improve the overall brain, HPA axis balance.

Determining Adrenal Dysfunction 

Count how many of the adrenal symptoms are present in your life.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Sweet cravings
  • Weight gain in the upper abdominal area
  • Dizzy when standing up from a laying position
  • Drinks more than 2 caffeinated beverages throughout the day
  • Memory loss – forgetful
  • Irritable and mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Constant Fatigue
  • Pain

If you have three or more symptoms, there may be a possibility that your HPA axis is under stress and needs support. Measuring using the DUTCH hormone urine test may help to put your health back on track.

Change begins with the first step! – Start your road back to health with Karen Green Naturopath

Eczema, Removing the itch

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.  fresh fruit and veg

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.

The Causes

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?

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.

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How is your Gut Flora treating you?

How is your Gut Flora treating you?

Your Gut Microbiota: The Forgotten Organ!

‘Good health starts in the Gut’ and How is your Gut Flora treating you?, was instilled in me during my Naturopathic studies, and now science is backing this up too! In more recent years, research studies have been focused on the area of the ‘microbiome’; the hidden microbial populations found within humans and how they affecting your health.

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Water Matters

Water Matters

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 Healthbeautiful-coconuts

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-matters

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!2012-05-28-16-40-16

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. drink-up-its-super-cool

Rosemary The Natural Protector

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.rosemary

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 Rubrosemary-1


  • 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

Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Turkey

The best rosemary recipes:

MTHFR, What’s the fuss?

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!

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Heal your gut with GAPS Workshop

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.

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Gaining Health Naturally Naturopathy Brisbane, Sunshine Coast Qld

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