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For those of you that are conscious of the harm of chemical pesticides used to grow our food, harmful chemicals in our cleaning products that can be avoided and are able to buy organic foods and safe cleaning products – have you thought about what’s in your toothpaste?

Possible ingredients in your shop bought toothpaste

Check the ingredients in your toothpaste to see how many of these it contains:

  • Triclosan, a pesticide and hormone disruptor.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) which can cause cold sores for many people.
  • Artificial colorings linked to ADHD and hyperactivity in children. Toothpaste does not need to have stripes!
  • Fluoride, which can be toxic if swallowed and doesn’t even work in toothpaste.
  • Titanium dioxide, which is added to make a toothpaste white. Most of the data shows it’s safe and is not absorbed by the skin, however there is not a study done to measure absorption by oral tissues. The EWG has a good list of safety concerns around titanium dioxide, however it’s just there to make toothpaste white, does not improve your oral health. So why bother with it?
  • Glycerin, which isn’t toxic, but has no place in the mouth as it’s a soap that strips your body’s natural oral mucosa and leaves a film. This film could coat the teeth, interfering with the structure of the biofilm which could alter the microbiome in the mouth and impact the natural remineralization process — your body’s natural cavity-fighting mechanism.
  • Highly abrasive ingredients, which damage tooth enamel, making teeth sensitive and more prone to gum recession and cavities. Toothpaste should only be a little bit abrasive — this aids the brushing motion to remove the biofilm of the tooth.

We are conditioned to think there is some kind of miracle outside of our ability to make a paste that will clean our teeth and therefore we need to buy it. Unfortunately, I think this belief is also permeated in our society regarding a lot of magical foods/sauces that companies have the ability to process but we that can’t possibly make! These are falsehoods that are believed by our modern society. There are many recipes for toothpaste, this is just one of them.

Homemade Toothpaste Recipe

Here is a simple, easy to make (literally takes 2 minutes to make) and use toothpaste that will help to clean your teeth/mouth without destroying the natural and needed bacteria in our mouths.

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate soda
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Just mix them together and keep in a small pot. Done!

 

A breakdown of the ingredients

Coconut oil – this oil has been attributed many positives. In this use, it can naturally prevent candida in the mouth as well as helping to boost the natural microbiome(the microorganisms in a particular environment, including the body or a part of the body) in the gut (remember there is a connection from mouth to anus, shocking I know!).

Bicarbonate of soda – has a natural, gentle abrasive action that will help whiten your teeth. More importantly, are its alkaline properties. Many of the foods we eat are acidic, attacking our teeth and mouth bacteria. We can neutralise this acidity by increasing certain foods in our diets, e.g. vegetables and also by using bicarbonate of soda, which will help to encourage the right bacteria and protect our teeth enamel from decay.

Turmeric – a little controversial I know, seeing as everything turmeric touches seems to turn orange – my juicer is evidence to this. However, turmeric is an age-old teeth whitener that is widely used in India and other parts of the world. Curcumin, a component in Turmeric has received a lot of focus recently regarding its many beneficial effects on our health. It has natural antibiotic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and therefore could be beneficial for suffers of gingivitis, other gum infections or teeth sensitivity. I am always trying to get more Turmeric in me and by putting it in my toothpaste I am achieving that goal. Also, if you have been reading the research on Turmeric, you will know that it needs to be taken in the presence of black pepper or coconut oil to make it effective. Boom! Probably, most importantly for many, it doesn’t make your teeth yellow/orange.

Pro’s and Con’s

Teeth feel really clean. Yes, okay it’s a little weird at first that you don’t have that mint taste that you are probably used to but seriously, you get over it really fast(well I did because my teeth feel so clean!).

It is good for your mouth/gut health.

It’s much cheaper to make your own and so simple.

I would suggest you don’t brush your teeth in your favourite white linen shirt, just in case.

You need to wash the bathroom sink a little more often due to the coconut oil.

 

I hope you give this a go as it really is so simple to make, use, good for your health and it’s cheap!

Written by Anne French

 

 

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In a recent research paper I came across, I found an alarming statistic: women are exposed to an average of 168 chemicals every day through the application of many personal care products including shampoos, creams, cosmetics and also everyday household cleaning products.

Over the last 70 years, more than 80,000 man-made chemicals have been released into the environment. Increasing scientific evidence shows that some of these chemicals, known as hormone disruptors, are having a profoundly worrying influence on our health.

So, how does a lot of nasty chemicals actually affect the delicate balance of our hormones and negatively impact our health?

Hormones and what they do

Hormones are produced by the endocrine system which includes the ovaries, testes, adrenal, pituitary, thyroid, and pancreas. They are then secreted into the blood where they act as the body’s chemical messengers.

endocrine-system-human-body-diagram

For example, hormones work with the nervous system, reproductive system, kidneys, gut, liver, and fat to help maintain and control:

 

  • Body energy levels
  • Reproduction
  • Growth and development
  • Internal balance of body systems, (also known as ‘homeostasis’)
  • Response to surroundings, stress, and injury.

 

Examples of hormones include adrenalin, oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, insulin and thyroid hormones.

Hormone disruptors and what they do

Hormone disruptors can be classed as synthetic chemicals used in medications, cosmetics, and household products. They’re also present in the environment/atmosphere in the form of pollution and heavy metals (lead and mercury for example).  Some commonly named hormone disruptors you may have heard of include phthalates, plastics such as BPA, dioxins, PCBs, PBBs and cigarette smoke.

endocrine-disruptors

They interfere with the production, transport, release, metabolism, binding, action or elimination of the body’s natural hormones.

 

Usually, our natural hormones bind to hormone receptors in the body like a key fitting into a lock. When the key fits, it unlocks the process of sending messages to regulate functions in the body. Hormone disruptors can tamper with this process and can:

  • Mimic naturally occurring hormones in the body like oestrogens (the female sex hormone), androgens (the male sex hormone), and thyroid hormones, potentially overstimulating the production of these hormones. These ‘fake’ hormones are commonly known as xenoestrogens for example.
  • Bind to a receptor within a cell and block the natural hormone from binding. The normal signal then fails to occur and the body fails to respond properly.
  • Interfere or block the way natural hormones or their receptors are made or controlled.

endocrine-disruption-of-hormones

 

Some of the health problems beginning to surface from the few research studies carried out include early onset of puberty, infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome, fibroids, breast cancer, miscarriages and endometriosis. This is not the full list. In men, some of the risks and health implications include birth defects of the penis, undescended testicles, impaired fertility due to reduced sperm quantity and some cancers such as testicular and prostate.

 

So, what can we do to minimise our exposure to this horrible lot of chemicals?

Natural household cleaning products to try
Ditch the harsh chemical cleaning agents in favour of some kinder, gentler, natural products. I’ve recently been experimenting and wanted to share some of my favourite new methods. You will need:

White vinegar

Bicarbonate of soda

Lemons

Salt

Hydrogen peroxide (available from chemists)

Elbow grease!

Grease and grim
To tackle grime, mix bicarbonate of soda with warm water and scrub the stovetop with a cloth. You can also use this trick to brighten dulled stainless steel appliances, pots and pans.

Ovens and surfaces
Spray a small amount of white vinegar in the oven, on the hob, or on surfaces, let it sit for ten minutes and wipe clean with warm water. You can also use this method to remove hard water deposits in the dishwasher. Be warned, it has a strong smell, so you may want to leave the windows open to air your rooms!

The kitchen bin
A basic mixture of bicarbonate of soda and water will revive a dirty bin – not only does it remove grime and dirt, it also prevents odours, so once you’ve cleaned your bin sprinkle some in the bottom.

Taps and metal finishings
Remove hard water build-up with cotton wool balls soaked in some hydrogen peroxide or use  a mixture of salt/warm water and an old lemon wedge to buff up over the salt water mixture – works wonders!

Mirrors and windows
Apply a diluted mixture of white vinegar and water  with a cloth and buff up with newspaper for a streak-free finish.

Baths and showers
Remove any dirt/grime with bicarbonate of soda and a cloth.

Plants!
As usual, nature provides for us – did you know that plants such as ferns and peace lilies can remove harmful compounds from the air around us and provide us with more oxygen? Plants act as natural purifiers.

Natural /organic cosmetics to try
Natural and organic beauty products are more expensive – there’s no way around that it seems. Some of the best include Neals Yard, Dr Hauschka, Korres (a Greek brand which is fantastic and more reasonably priced), Green People, Burts Bees, Jason products, Pai, Weleda products (their Wild Rose deodorant is good) and I also like the Dr Organic range at Holland & Barrett. For those who like to paint their nails, the brands Zoya and Butter London provide a range of lovely colours, free from harmful chemicals and toxins.

I’ve found a lot of Aussie and New Zealand companies producing really nice, natural, organic and kind products for our face and bodies. Look out for brands such as Antipodes, Trilogy (the organic rosehip oil is just lovely and lasts well), Aesop, and By Nature.

You could also attempt to make your own face creams and cleansers from natural products such as aloe vera, honey and coconut oil!

I hope this has inspired you to seek out some kinder alternatives to try out!

Written by Daniela Barbaglia, Nutritionist

Further reading/recommended books:
Green Cleaning: Natural hints and tips – Margaret Briggs
Household cleaning – Rachelle Strauss
The Organically Clean Home – Becky Rapinchuk
Look Great Naturally – Janey Lee Grace
Natural Beauty – Karen Gilbert

References

  1. Endocrinology. 2006. 147(6):S11-S17.
    2. Developmental Biology. 2001. 238:224-238.
    3. National Toxicology Program’s Report of the Endocrine Disruptors Low-Dose Peer Review. 2001.
    4. Environmental Health Perspectives. 1995. 103:83-87
    5. Endocrine Disruptors: https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/
    6. World Health Organization : Effects of human exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals examined in landmark UN report http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2013/hormone_disrupting_20130219/en/

The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ (sac), located on the right side of the body, directly under the liver. It acts as a storage facility for the pint or so of bile the liver produces every day.

gallbladder

Bile is a green-ish, yellowy substance containing bile acids that are essential for digestion and absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins, as well as aiding the digestion of proteins and starches.

Bile actually encourages this peristaltic action that eventually leads to a bowel movement and can therefore help to prevent constipation by supporting the natural elimination of toxins. Some research suggests bile also possesses antimicrobial benefits too.

The gallbladder stores the bile until food arrives in the stomach. The cells of the intestinal walls secrete a hormone called cholecystokinin which causes the gallbladder to contract and release bile into the stomach where it gets to work, digesting fats and aiding digestion.

However, if the liver is over-loaded, toxins can get dumped into the gall bladder which can lead to gall-bladder issues. A sluggish gallbladder that doesn’t release its bile can form a sort of grainy/gritty ‘sludge’, contributing to further problems like inflammation and gallstones.

Gallstones form when there is an abnormal concentration of bile acids, cholesterol and fats in the bile. Poor diet is a main contributor to gallstones as well as genetics, including inherited narrow bile ducts. In addition, research suggests that food sensitivities, including both gluten and cow’s milk proteins, can cause damage in the intestinal tract that can lead to gallbladder problems.

Gallstones can range from the size of grains of sand to pea-sized masses. They can be extremely painful and lead to inflammation of the gallbladder. This can cause severe pain in the upper right abdomen and/or across the chest and can be accompanied by nausea, a fever, chills, jaundice and vomiting. Urine may be tea or coffee-coloured. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see your GP.

How nutrition can help
Eating the right foods with good nutrition support can help to keep the liver and the gallbladder healthy to minimise the chances of gallstones forming in the first place. A diet high in fibre (beans, pulses, fruit and vegetables) can help keep the gallbladder and the rest of your digestive system functioning properly.

Foods to avoid
Foods to avoid include coffee, saturated fats (found mainly in meat), fried foods, fizzy drinks, milk, chocolate, meats, dairy products, especially cream, and anything that is in high in sugar.

 

Helpful herbs

Chicory root
The ancient Romans used this herb to help cleanse the blood. Similarly, ancient Egyptians were known to consume chicory root in large amounts to aid in purifying the liver and blood. Try roasted chicory root as a natural, caffeine-free alternative to coffee.

Curcumin (extracted from Turmeric)
Curcumin has been shown to stimulate bile formation and gallbladder emptying. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that helps to support the liver in doing its job, filtering blood and toxins to keep your body healthy.

Milk Thistle
Studies suggest milk thistle (Silybum marianum) supports optimal liver function, enhancing bile production, flow and activity. You can use a tincture daily.  Vogel do a really good one that also includes artichoke.

Ginger root, parsley, fennel and dandelion
These herbs also contain beneficial properties to aid health liver and gallbladder function.

Broccoli sprouts
Eating 1/4 cup per day can decrease bilirubin deposits in the gallbladder thus reducing the likelihood of gallstone formation. You can buy sprouting broccoli from most health food shops now. They taste great in a salad.

Pear, beetroot and apple juice
Beetroot in particular is a fantastic vegetable that is particularly great for the liver. It contains compounds that helps the liver to detoxify and protect and improve liver function.
(See recipe below for my liver-loving juice).

Bitter Foods
Adding bitter foods into your diet helps to stimulate better digestion as well as supporting your liver and gallbladder. Bitter foods stimulate the digestive juices and cleanse the liver. Lemon juice in water, for example, helps stimulate the production of bile, which acts like a natural laxative, and increases stomach acid, helping you break down food more effectively.

Bitter foods to include into your daily diet include limes, grapefruit, artichokes, dandelion, celery and celeriac, bitter greens such as spinach, rocket, spinach and watercress, swiss chard, kale and chicory.

Essential fatty acids
Use unfiltered extra virgin olive oil, walnut and avocado oils for salad dressings. These oils are rich in essential fats which the body cannot make so we need adequate daily supplies through foods.

Lecithin
Adding lecithin granules to your morning porridge/muesli improves the way your body breaks down fat and can help people with poor tolerance to fat, for example, anyone who has had their gallbladder removed. Sprinkle 1 x tablespoon into yoghurts or juices.

Vitamin C
A deficiency of Vitamin C can lead to the formation of gallstones. Aim for 3,000mg daily. Oranges, tomatoes, kiwi fruits, berries and dark green leafy vegetables are all great sources of Vitamin C.

Water
Water is essential in bile synthesis, as a good deal is used to produce bile from the conversion of cholesterol happening in the liver.

 

Other things to consider

  • Physical exercise can reduce the risk of gallstones by 20 to 40%.
  • Women are twice more likely to form gallstones than men. Females aged 40 or over who are overweight and have had children are more likely than most to suffer from gallbladder problems.
  • Obesity and gallbladder disease are related.
  • Rapid weight-gain (and loss) through extreme dieting can contribute to gallbladder problems.
  • If you’ve had your gallbladder removed, you may experience digestive or absorption issues and find it difficult to absorb and utilise essential fatty acids, vital for general health. In addition, you may have decreased absorption of fat soluble vitamins. These nutrients are essential for optimal health and disease prevention so taking steps to enhance fat digestion and bile support is crucial.

 

Try this lovely juice – your liver will love you for it!

Liver-loving Juice

1 x organic carrot (chopped)

2 x bulbs of fresh raw beetroot (the skin peeled/removed) sliced

1 x Red apple chopped with core removed OR a handful of fresh pineapple, chopped

1 x small Pear chopped and core removed

½ inch of fresh ginger

½ freshly squeezed lemon

Handful of dark green leafy vegetables (watercress/spinach/rocket)

 

Whizz everything into a juicer or blender. Add water to ensure you get the consistency you like. Drink slowly and enjoy!

 

A note of caution
Beetroot juice is high in a substance called oxalic acid, and people with kidney stones or a history of kidney stones should either avoid beetroot juice entirely or use it very sparingly.

Written by Daniela Barbaglia

With the cold weather starting to creep in it’s no surprise that many of us will suffer with colds and sinus problems that can lead to headaches and a general feeling of stuffiness. Here are some facts behind the reason why some of these problems may occur and an outlook as to how osteopathic treatment can help to manage them.

sinuses

As you may already know, there are four air-filled chambers within the facial bones of the human skull which are called sinuses. These are found in the frontal bones above your eyes, behind the upper nose, in the sphenoid bones behind your eyes and in your cheekbones. Their function is to humidify the air as it journeys to the lungs and trap bacteria in the mucus produced by the lymphatic membranes which helps to detoxify the human body. These bacteria can then be removed from the sinuses by swallowing the mucus or pushing it out of the naval cavity when blowing your nose.

 

Sinusitis and blockages occur when the membranes lining the sinuses become inflamed or when the passages allowing the drainage of the mucus become restricted. This can lead to infection and often a headache which may present in your forehead, eyes, cheeks and temples. Temporary relief can be found by taking medication to reduce the inflammation or dry up the sinuses but this does not deal with the root cause of the underlying problem.

sinus-osteo

Osteopathic treatment of sinusitis involves taking a more holistic approach. An Osteopaths aim will be to improve the subtle movement of the facial and cranial bones, which make up the walls of the sinuses, using both structural and cranial approaches to osteopathy. This will help to encourage the drainage of the sinuses and prevents the build-up of mucus within those sinuses. This will allow your breathing to become easier thus alleviating other symptoms associated with sinusitis such as headaches, stuffiness and a general feeling of being bunged up. Your neck, shoulders and upper back will also be treated to further encourage drainage and to help reduce the general tension that can exacerbate the sinus problems.

 

So, if the change of weather has gotten you feeling a little stuffy and bunged up, why not give your local osteopath a visit and see if this alternative approach to conventional medicine can give you the much needed relief that you may need this winter!

Written by Wayne Beck, Osteopath

 If like me you enjoyed watching the Olympics and marvelled over what the human body is capable of, you’ll be interested to know that the amazing Usain Bolt uses homeopathy for sports injuries. Bolt has used homeopathic remedies since he was 16 years old. When he injured his hamstring in July this year, he withdrew from the Olympic trials. Using homeopathic remedies, Usain was able to heal his hamstring and go on to win numerous Olympic Medals, including his third consecutive gold medal in the 100 metres, just one month after his injury.

Homeopathy re-balances the body so it can repair and heal itself – I love it!

This is an interesting article published in the Daily Mail about a recent homeopathic trial http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4040/Homeopathy-works.html

Sulphur

Along with Calc Carb, (last month’s remedy) and Lycopodium (which we will look at next month) Sulphur is one of the most frequently prescribed remedies in homeopathy.  The scope of this remedy is almost impossible to detail in this one article as it covers so many areas on the mental, emotional and physical levels. It is likely that we will all benefit from a dose of Sulphur at one time or another in our lives.

A brief outline of the main characteristics of this remedy are: Unhealthy looking skin, tendency to skin diseases, itching skin- scratching pleasurable but results in burning, acne, burning and and itching piles, tendency to sweat easily, body odour, orifices of body red (e.g. lips) burning pains, feet must be placed outside bedclothes to cool, insomnia, tinnitus, mid-morning hunger, large appetite for highly seasoned spicy and fatty foods, liking for sweets, aggravation from milk, diarrhoea – driven from bed in the morning, constipation with large, painful stools, lack of energy (regained quickly at the prospect of pleasurable activity), tendency to become exhausted quickly, tendency to catch cold easily which often goes into the chest.

Sulphur is suited to deep thinking people who can have a nervous yet independent nature. Those around them can see them as lazy or procrastinators, there will be talk ‘about’ doing something, rather than just getting up and doing it.

One of the leading features of someone needing this remedy can be seen in what they wear (or don’t wear!). You know those people who are always warm and will wear shorts and T shirts even in winter while most of us have a million layers on to stay warm! They are likely to be indifferent to their appearance, a button missing or a dinner spill and matching socks is not a priority.

Worse: from cold, from dampness, at the coast, hunger (and have to eat) at 11am.

Better: from warmth, in fresh air.

Written by  Sarah Allenby-Byrne, Homeopath

Homeopathy is relatively straightforward to use for everyday ailments and accidents and positive results can be obtained when selecting the correct remedy.

Each month I will be introducing a remedy that is used in Homeopathy for you to become familiar with and this month we are looking at Calcarea Carbonica better known as Calc Carb.

Calc-carb

Calc Carb is one of the polychrest remedies (most commonly prescribed), and ranks with Sulphur and Lycopodium at the head of the antipsorics. These three are in a sense the standards around which the rest are grouped. All three have a very wide range and deep action.

The metallic element calcium is widely found in various compounds in minerals, animals and plants. Calcium salts give us our skeletal framework and the remedy is made from the inner layer of the oyster shell.

Calc Carb can be suited to quiet, shy, sensitive people who are subject to depression;  a feeling of being looked at by everyone and a fear of being laughed at; embarrassment when entering a room full of strangers. The typical Calc Carb patient is responsible and hard-working; they have a strong focus on security and practicalities. In many cases there will be a sense of being overwhelmed by the amount they have to accomplish. This in turn creates anxiety and fear.

Some of the keynote symptoms that may arise when needing a dose of Calc Carb are:

  • excessive appetite
  • overweight
  • disliking milk
  • craving for eggs and sweets
  • may feel generally better when constipated
  • tendency to feel the cold and to catch cold easily
  • cold hands
  • cracked skin in the winter
  • itching skin
  • profuse periods, period pains, premenstrual tension
  • toothache
  • vertigo
  • insomnia with much sweating once asleep

Worse: from cold, in damp weather, at night, from standing
Better: in dry weather, from warmth, while lying on the painful side

Written by Sarah Allenby-Byrne

It’s salt awareness week – a chance to remember to check the labels on foods and to be mindful about your salt intake.

It really is so important to focus on how much salt you’re taking in daily. Too much salt in the body means that your body must increase its fluid content and thus blood pressure is forced to rise leading to hypertension (high blood pressure) as well as other problems such as, including kidney and gall bladder stones, arthritis, gout and even cellulite.

However, we do need salt as much as we need water. Every cell structure in our bodies is controlled by salt (and water) and both are vital for the entry and exit of nutrients from the cells. Our nervous system responses could not happen without salt and it’s also necessary for supporting the function of the adrenal glands, responsible for producing vital hormones.

But in the western world, salt is now added to nearly every food we consume including salad dressings, cheese, fizzy drinks, tins of food and junk food, even your breakfast cereal.

Awareness is key though and there are many alternatives to enhancing flavor and taste in cooking that are healthier, smarter options. Why not give these a try:

Himalayan Pink Salt – You may have already come across this as we carry it at the clinic – Himalayan Pink salt is a delightful pale pink colour and perhaps the purest salt available; it’s hand-mined from very old pollution-free marine deposits. It contains an array of minerals and trace elements that confer many health benefits such as promoting good digestion and balancing blood sugar. It also helps to balance the pH levels in our bodies and keep us more alkalised (the optimal state for our bodies to be in, rather than too acidic which can cause issues in the body).

Pick yours up when you're next in for treatment.

Pick yours up when you’re next in for treatment.

Tamari – Tamari is naturally fermented (good for our digestion) and a gluten-free version of soy sauce with a mellow, malty flavour. It’s a delicious addition to stir-fries; you can also add a splash to sunflower/pumpkin seeds to make a delicious snack. You can also whisk it into salad dressings with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.

Lemons – Sometimes a squeeze of fresh lemon is all your food needs to get that tartness to a dish. It’s a great alkaliser for the body and may be a useful salt substitute to try.

Hatch Miso – Miso is a traditional Japanese staple food and seasoning. Hatcho is a very intense Japanese miso and is dark in colour. As a fermented food it is very beneficial for the bacteria in our stomachs. You can add it to salad dressings as well as any Asian dishes or add a spoonful into soups/stews for a really rich taste.

Umeboshi Puree – Umeboshi is a cheek-sucking tart puree made from pickled plums. It’s really delicious added to dressings, or with fish and any hot dish. Again, it packs a distinct flavoursome punch. It stimulates digestion and help with the elimination of toxins.

DillFresh dill adds pep to salad dressings and fish dishes; delicate and wispy with a fern-like appearance, it has a sweet taste. It has anti-bacterial properties similar to Garlic.

Cayenne  Cayenne comes from the Capsicum family (which includes peppers) and has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines to help treat circulatory problems and increase appetite. Capsaicin is being studied as an effective treatment for sensory nerve fibre disorders, including pain associated with arthritis, psoriasis, and diabetic neuropathy.It adds zest and spice to most dishes.

Other herbs and spicesQuite often, the addition of fresh herbs can transform a dish and negate the need for added salt. Try basil, cumin, garlic, oregano, rosemary and thyme.

Ultimately, making home-made food is the only way to really control how much salt you are taking in, so if it is not home-made, be aware, check the label and then make your decision. And remember, as with everything, moderation is key.

Article by Daniela Barbaglia – Dip NT mBANT – Nutritional Therapist

If you’re interested in a Nutritional consultation, please contact me so we can have an initial informal chat.

References

It’s Time to End the War on Salt, Scientific American, July 8, 2011: Melinda Wenner Moyer.

The Long Term Effects of Advice to Cut Down on Salt in Food on Deaths, Cardiovascular Disease, and Blood Pressure in Adults, Cochrane Summaries, January 21, 2009: L. Hooper, et al.

Paleolithic Nutrition – A Consideration of Its Nature and Current Implications, New England Journal of Medicine, January 31, 1985: 312; 283-289, S. Boyd Eaton, M.D. and Melvin Konner, Ph.D.

The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, Michael Murray, N.D. & Joseph Pizzorno, N.D. with Lara Pizzorno, M.A., L.M.T.

Article by Daniela Barbaglia – Dip NT mBANT – Nutritional Therapist

If you’re interested in a Nutritional consultation, please contact me so we can have an initial informal chat.

If you’re looking to make some positive nutritional changes in 2016, these are some of my favourite must-have items that I hope will inspire you. Try some or all of these to add a nutritional punch to drinks, snacks or meals. Enjoy experimenting!

  1. Matcha green tea

This dazzling emerald-green powder contains around fifteen times the amount of antioxidant levels than normal green tea. Quality really does count here. I love Clearspring Japanese Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder. Just whisk a teaspoon of this potent powder to hot water and enjoy. You can also sprinkle it into smoothies.

 It should increase your energy levels; it’s also known to fire up your metabolism due to a specific set of compounds called catechins which can help fat burning and also have a calming effect.

Matcha Green tea also has a positive effect on cholesterol levels and provides impressive quantities of Potassium, Vitamins A and C, iron, protein and calcium. Japanese Zen Buddhist monks drink Matcha to relax and meditate with a level of alertness, thanks to the amino acid L-Theanine contained in the leaves used to make Matcha. L-Theanine promotes the production of alpha waves in the brain which induces relaxation without causing drowsiness.

  1. Apple cider vinegar with ‘Mother’

The cloudier (organic) version of apple cider vinegar is due to the ‘mother’ – a blend of proteins, enzymes and beneficial bacteria. Rich in acetic acid, it helps to lower blood sugar levels and aids better digestion by increasing digestive enzymes, which break down food more effectively.

Try a couple of teaspoons in a little water and sip just before you eat your main meal. It’s also great for sore throats and you can try inhaling with a few drops in hot water to help soothe sinus infections.

  1. Coconut oil

Coconut oil has been used for centuries by ancient civilisations due to its health properties. It’s the most stable oil

Grab yours when you are in the clinic!

Grab yours when you are in the clinic!

to cook with because coconut oil can be heated to high temperatures without breaking down – and therefore doesn’t release harmful carcinogens that many other oils produce when heated.

High in health boosting fatty acids, coconut oil is incredibly versatile – you can cook with it, add it to sweet healthful treats, or dollop a spoonful into a smoothie. It’s also wonderfully healing and nourishing on dry skin or dry hair; it’s effective on many types of odd skin rashes that might flare up.

Coconut oil contains lauric acid which is converted to monolaurin which has antibacterial properties, making it ideal for oil pulling (an Ayurvedic remedy to naturally improve oral hygiene by swishing and ‘pulling’ oil around the teeth and gums). Coconut oil contains high amounts of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are immediately converted to energy and boost metabolism.

  1. Eggs

Eggs are not just protein-packed but also contain a wealth of vitamins, minerals and essential fats. They’re a great source of B12 (helping to produce healthy red-blood cells to carry oxygen around the body and regulate energy metabolism) and are one of the few natural dietary sources of vitamin D, which helps support immunity and bone health. Eggs are also a mood-boosting food as they contain choline, which plays an important role in the function of dopamine and serotonin (our ‘happy hormones’). Poached eggs with a handful of wilted spinach is a quick and delicious way to start the day.

  1. Turmeric

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh.  It has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both Chinese and Indian medicine. It provides potent anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties.  Studies show that this powerful spice may help may protect against cancer cell growth and the management of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma, eczema and inflammatory bowel disease. It is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in manganese, zinc, B group vitamins and iron.

You can add a teaspoon into a hot mug of lemon, ginger and honey to ward off colds; or it can be used in soups, smoothies, dips and of course, curries.

  1. Chia seeds

These nutrient-packed super seeds are versatile and easy to use but the best way to use them is to soak them in some water first. Chia seeds are hydrophilic, meaning they readily absorb water; this helps them to ‘swell’ and creates a jelly-like consistency. Consuming chia seeds in their dry, unsoaked state, can cause bloating and stomach ache in some people. So, soak your chia seeds first and then add them to your morning porridge/granola or add them to a green juice or into soups.

Why are they so great? They have high levels of omega 3 fats (vital for the immune system, skin, brain, heart and can help to reduce inflammation in the body); they provide a good source of fibre (essential for digestion, efficient toxin elimination and for lowering cholesterol) and they also contain high amounts of protein as well as an impressive amount of calcium.

  1. Almond nut butter

Look for nut butters with no added oils, sugar or stabilisers. Nut butters are packed with protein that keeps your body sustained for hours.  They are also rich in antioxidants and minerals that include Vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, niacin and folate.

You could have a go at making your own delicious pimped-up nut butter. All you need is a high speed blender, 1 cup (250 g) organic almond butter, 1 tablespoon of good quality honey or maple syrup and 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste. Whoosh it all up in the blender and try not to eat it off the spoon in one go!

  1. Manuka honey

Honey is still a sweetener and should therefore be consumed in moderation. However, good quality Manuka honey UMF 15+ has antiviral and antibacterial qualities that are invaluable during the cold season.  You can add it as natural sweetener to home-made banana bread, add it to hot drinks and spread a little on some rye or buckwheat bread.

  1. Lemons

Antiviral, rich in Vitamin C and surprisingly alkalising – I always have lemons in my kitchen and love them. Vitamin C is needed for tissue growth and repair, adrenal gland function, immune system support, iron absorption and stomach acid activation. In addition, lemon stimulates the release of bile and digestive enzymes to help cleanse the body.

Add the juice of half a lemon to warm water in the mornings; add it to a fresh morning green juice for some extra zing or take a little raw if you are fighting a cold. Lemons also bring out the flavour in food, so they’re great for people trying to reduce salt intake – simply use a little less salt and a little more juice.

Ensure you opt for unwaxed lemons; although these cost more, the ‘waxed’ lemons contain nasty chemicals, akin to ‘shellac’ – yes, the coated nail polish used to achieve glossy painted fingernails!

  1. Ginger

Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory warming and full of flavour, ginger can be chopped, grated, sliced and juiced into almost anything for a spicy immunity boost. It gives pep to a morning green juice and is delicious sliced into a speedy stir-fry or slowly cooked with other aromatic spices in curries. This gut friendly spice stimulates digestion, gut motility and bowel function, and can help to relieve bloating, cramping and nausea.

Ok, so I actually have a longer list than a top 10 nutritional favourites but I couldn’t end without a couple of other mentions!

  1. Avocados

One of my all-time favourite foods because they provide a great source of B5, which is important for managing stress and many other biological functions in the body. They’re also a good source of antioxidants such as glutathione, vitamin E and vitamin C, which help protect from toxins in the environment.

Due to its beneficial fat content, avocado enables your body to more efficiently absorb fat-soluble nutrients (including alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein found in brightly coloured vegetables).

And they contain N-acetyl cysteine, an important nutrient for raising your energy levels. Smashed on buckwheat toast with a pinch of Himalayan salt and a squeeze of lime, these delicious nutrient powerhouses will provide a guaranteed morning or mid afternoon energy boost.

  1. Buckwheat

Buckwheat is actually not a grain but a seed (related to rhubarb) that is completely wheat-free. It has a wonderful nutty flavour and is gluten-free, low GI and high in amino acids, soluble fibre (promotes healthy bowel movements) and essential minerals iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc and copper. It is also bursting with B-vitamins.

Buckwheat is also rich in anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant polyphenols like rutin, which can help to reduce blood pressure. It also contains the amino acid tryptophan which helps to make serotonin – one of the feel good hormone mentioned earlier, responsible for feelings of wellbeing.

It’s a complex carbohydrate meaning that it releases its energy slowly so it’s a good choice for maintaining blood sugar levels. As well as being nutritionally beneficial, it’s very versatile and can be used in porridge, salads and risottos. It’s also an ideal flour for baking delicious treats with. It’s becoming a popular choice if you’re seeking a gluten and wheat-free alternative to starchy grains.

 

Article: Daniela Barbaglia – registered nutritional therapist Dip NT Mbant CNHC

References:

  1. BAULCH P. (2006) Hypothyroidism. In: BAULCH, P. (2006) Prescription for healing. 4th Avery Press.
  2. Nutra- Donnelly, Stephen: Green tea http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Green-tea-may-influence-brain-function-boost-working-memory-Study
  3. HOLFORD P (2004) The New Optimum Nutrition Bible. 2nd Piatkus Books.
  4. LIEBERMAN, S (2003) The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book. 3rd Avery Press.
  5. NORMAN A, LITWACK G (1997). Hormones. 2nd Academic press

At the first symptoms of a cold

Many of you are coming in complaining of an irritating cold and cough. It is that time of year…Common-Cold

Here are some very simple cold recommendations, that HAVE worked for me.

Very recently, I awoke with all the symptoms of a cold coming on, sore throat, voice breaking, nasty sinus congestion. It was really important that I could use my voice that evening so I needed to give my body a helping hand if I could. The 2 main things I did:

  • I didn’t eat solid food – It takes effort for your body to breakdown food and I didn’t want my body (immune system) distracted from eliminating the foreign invader. Vegetable juice or warm broth would be fine.
  • I drank copious amounts of lemon & ginger tea (here’s ‘how to’)
  • Salt water gargle(i)

I was amazed as by the evening I had none of the symptoms I was suffering from in the morning. Give it a go – it worked really well for me.

Cough syrup recipe

Cough syrups are full of sugar (which lower your immune system) plus, they don’t appear to do the job. Here is a recipe for a natural cough syrup; a combination of products that reduce inflammation, and respiratory infections. I haven’t suffered from a cough for many years so can’t verify the effectiveness of the cough syrup recipe but I can state that if I was suffering – this is definitely something that I would try.

pineappleBromelainIngredients:

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple (core included as has highest content of Bromelain(ii)
  • fresh ginger(iii) – large chunk, at least 3 inches
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp raw honey (manuka would be great!)

Just chuck all the ingredients into a blender and blend.

Take 1/4 cup 2-3 times per day.

Keep in the fridge.

Adjust cayenne pepper to taste, if needed.

Let me know how you get on with this.

For more in depth advice on how to Stay Healthy and Happy through the Winter.

Note: If coughing persists, please visit your GP.

Written by Anne French

(i) Salt water gargle, does it work? http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/does-gargling-wlth-salt-water-ease-a-sore-throat

(ii) Short-term Treatment of Painful osteoarthritis of the Knee With Oral Enyzmes. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/406154

(iii) Ginger uses. http://reference.medscape.com/drug/african-ginger-black-ginger-344468#2

The practice of osteopathy was first coined by Andrew Taylor Still in the United States in 1874 with the arrival of the first osteopathic school in the UK in 1917. The concept of treatment was based around a non-invasive and medicine free type of manual therapy that would focus on the body as a whole and try to address strain patterns and mechanical dysfunctions. The efficacy of Osteopathic treatment was finally accepted in to mainstream health care in the UK in 1993 with the formation of the General Osteopathic Council. Since then, many osteopaths have had great success with treating all types of musculoskeletal presentations that cause discomfort on a day to day basis. However, osteopathy can also be used to help prevent some of these types of complaints before they ever happen which may result in less treatment being needed in the long run and saving you some money at the same time!

The human body is a constantly adapting and re-structuring entity that will change to suit the everyday needs of the individual which in many circumstances cause a person to adopt a distinct strain pattern to an affected area. For example, for someone who works at a desk full time there may be aches and stiffness in the neck and shoulders or for people that work manually with lots of lifting involved there can be times of aching low backs and tightness in the surrounding muscles. A paper published by the Health and Safety Executive on sick day statistics found that 553,000 days were lost due to Work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the UK in 2015. This alarmingly high number accounted for approximately 44% of all sick days lost last year and that’s just the cases that were recorded.

So with these statistics in mind, why wait for these types of symptoms to turn in to painful and sometimes quite debilitating presentations before going to see someone? One of the underlying principles behind osteopathy is that “the body has within all the mechanisms needed to heal itself”. This being the case, osteopathic treatment is aimed at returning problematic areas of the muscular and skeletal system back to an optimum position to give the body it’s best chance of being able to heal itself and relieve pain. However, what most people don’t understand is that pain is in fact one of the last indicators or symptoms experienced by an individual with an ailment or structural impairment.

In otherwise healthy people with little or no pain, osteopathic treatment can be used to help maintain a healthy range of motion through most, if not all the joints in the human body, keeping them supple and well lubricated with the body’s natural synovial joint fluids. It can help to relive tension areas and ‘knotted’ muscles which occur as a consequence of day to day over use, thus keeping muscles feeling healthy and vibrant and not hardened and tough. It can be used to influence and enhance the exchange of fluids and arterial blood flow which can, in turn, optimise the delivery of nutrition carried in the blood around the body and also enhance the body’s capacity to dispose of metabolic waste from cells which can be processed within a system called the lymphatic system which helps to cleanse the body. But perhaps the most important aspect of osteopathic treatment is the diagnostic stage.

A very important goal of osteopathy is not to find the problem; it’s to find the reason behind it. When diagnosing a patient, the osteopath will take in to account many factors that they feel may be contributing to this area of pain. It is for this reason that an osteopath has at their disposal a very holistic outlook to the human body trying to encompass all of the contributing factors to the reason behind an area of dysfunction. The same rule applies for people who are not in pain. A practitioner could look at a patient who was not experiencing any pain and spot a strain pattern emerging from their occupation or hobbies’ and treat that area before it ever becomes painful.

This also goes for people playing sports or who are into their fitness and gym training. All of these active past times will put the body under a certain amount of stress which will start to enforce changes to the body’s morphology. A visit to the osteopath could not only try to correct that before it becomes a problem but it could, through the treatment of restricted areas actually enhance performance by allowing that extra aspect of rotation through the spine during that golf swing at tea off, or the extra 5kgs on a one rep max in the gym due to the muscles being in a more optimal bodily position allowing you to perform to your maximum potential.

So is osteopathy only for people in pain, certainly not! If you’re concerned about keeping and maintaining a healthy body in order to stay in work, or you’d like to enhance your performance and prevent sporting injuries, book in with your local osteopath for the human equivalent of an ‘M.O.T.’ and see if you can stay in tip top shape no matter your chosen walk of life.

Written by Wayne Beck, Osteopath.

References

HSE, (2015). Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorder (WRMSDs) Statistics, Great Britain, 2015 [online] http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/musculoskeletal/msd.pdf [access date 23/01/2016]

Parsons, J, Marcer, N. (2006). Osteopathy models for diagnosis, treatment and practice. UK, Churchill Livingstone, p9-11

Taylor Still. A (1874). [online] http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/atsu&CISOPTR=693&REC=1 [access date 24/01/2016]

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