Tuesday, 28 September 2021

What is naturopathic medicine? Is it safe?

This week 27 Sept to 2 Oct 2021 is Naturopathic Medicine Week.  So, what is naturopathic medicine, and is it safe and effective?

Naturopathic medicine uses the healing power of nature combined with scientific functional and pathology tests to help you achieve vitality and wellness and prevent and/or delay degenerative disease.  

The 6 important principles of naturopathic medicine are:

1.       First do no harm.  Naturopathic medicine selects treatments that are more gentle on the body and have minimum risk of harmful side effects.  

2.       Treat using the healing powers of nature, which includes dietary, lifestyle, nutrition, acupuncture, breathing, bodyworks and herbal medicine interventions.  

3.       Treat the cause, not just the symptoms.  When we treat the cause, we remove the underlying reason why the patient has that problem. Treating the cause requires a detailed evaluation of the reason for the illness which may originate in many areas.

4.       Treat the whole person.  Naturopathic medicine recognises that the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, environmental, social and genetic factors play a role in a person’s state of wellness.


Doctor as teacher.  Naturopaths empower patients to take back their health in their own hands and achieve wellness.  Understanding how the body works, and what creates the obstacles to wellness for each patient helps patients to proactively seek and enjoy wellness.

6.       Prevention – naturopathic medicine aims to prevent disease and attain optimal wellness through education and promotion of healthy ways of living.  Toxins have become the primary drivers of disease.  The concept of prevention in the role of toxins in disease gets us to remove and minimise these exposures and where we have consumed them, to detoxify them safely out of our bodies.  (Toxins include heavy metals and man made chemicals.)

If you have recurring symptoms, chronic health issues, naturopathic medicine is very useful to assist in such situations, making changes in dietary intake, evaluation of adequacy of nutrition, lifestyle choices, evaluate environmental factors and the impact of stress and emotions on your states of health.


Friday, 17 September 2021

Are allergies keeping you sneezing, streaming and itchy?

Are you struggling with allergies? If stepping outside on a sunny, spring day makes your eyeballs feel like they are on fire, and nose stream nonstop, it’s time to heal your gut… my gut?  But my nose and eyes are streaming and my skin is itchy!  Why my gut?

Let me explain…

When your immune system overreacts to something normally harmless, such as pollen or dust mites, triggering inflammation and producing allergic symptom, ranging from sneezing, itchy eyes, eczema and asthma, to life-threatening anaphylaxis, we call this an allergy.

The quick fix pharmaceuticals such as antihistamines, provide symptomatic relief.  However, targeting the underlying drivers of allergy, particularly your gut health and function, can provide long-term health benefits.

The overreaction of your immune system can be calmed down if your gut, the seed and centre of your health, is clean and efficient, i.e. absorbs nutrients from your nutrient rich wholefoods and supplements, and eliminates in a timely manner. 

Your microbiome a.k.a. your gut bacteria is the foundation to regulating your immune system.  70% of your immune system resides in the gut. Dysbiosis, a term used to describe an imbalance in the types and levels of gut bacteria and the integrity of the gut wall have been identified the cause for inflammation causing a downstream effect or itchy eye, streaming nose and itchy skin. The release of histamine causes many inflammatory symptoms related to allergies.


Therefore, looking after the integrity of the gut wall, eliminating trigger foods that cause inflammation and reactivity, as well balancing the microbiome are keys to solving the seasonal allergy problems.  Having and adequate daily intake of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables is a great way to feed the microbiome.  The naturally occurring Vitamin C in fresh fruits and vegetables reduces histamine reactions.  The gastrointestinal wall also requires adequate amount of zinc to function properly.  Zinc rich foods include oysters, mussels, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds and almonds.

Photo:  from Pexels by Nita