Nov 24

Let Life Romance You

WOMANby Corinne K., Authentic Living Coach & Reiki Practitioner

In many shamanic societies, if you go to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited or depressed, they don’t throw a couple of pink pills at you and tell you to come back again in a month if things don’t get better. Instead, they ask you the following questions:

When did you stop dancing?

When did you stop singing?

When did you stop being enchanted by stories?

When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?

Dancing, singing, storytelling and silence are the four universal salves. When we’re depressed, anxious, rundown and stuck, we can look to play, creativity and mindfulness techniques to get us feeling like ourselves again.

When we’re stuck, we fail to see new perspectives.

When we’re stuck, we live in our heads and create scenarios and situations to worry about, that haven’t even happened yet.

When we’re stuck, we’re disconnected from ourselves, others and the world.

Getting unstuck is about getting back to basics: loosening up, tossing out the thoughts, things, people and situations that no longer serve us and getting reconnected to what our gut is telling us we need.

Living is more than following a daily routine. Truly living is about appreciating every moment in the day. It’s about noticing the change in the seasons – the Fall colours. It’s about being grateful for what we’ve got. It’s about focusing on the good. It’s about enjoying moments and making memories.

Getting unstuck and truly living is about letting life romance you again.

Bio PicCorinne K.
Change Catalyst. Reiki Practitioner. Soul Healer.

I help my clients live more authentic and full lives by encouraging them to embrace change and life holistically.  My coaching is a mix of straight-up conversations, goal setting, Reiki, creativity and fun. For more information on Corinne, please check out her website.

Corinne is hosting a seminar, ‘Getting Unstuck’ at IHI Thursday, November 27th 6:30-7:30pm. Sign up here!

Print Friendly
Posted in Mind-Body Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Nov 19

Movember Men’s Mental Health

Tired Man Sitting on BedBy Dr Jen Newell

It’s November, a month where the focus turns to men’s health and our facebook pages are filled with moustaches. I love that there is greater awareness regarding prostate cancer and that younger men are motivated to action. While this is a cause that fully deserves the recognition it gets, I want to also illuminate other health concerns that men regularly experience and that I see frequently in practice. Most often I see the effects of stress, most often anxiety and depression, as the reason men visit a Naturopathic Doctor.

Both men and women get depression but men experience it very differently than women do. Men are more likely to feel very tired and irritable, and lose interest in their work, family, or hobbies. They may be more likely to have difficulty sleeping than women who have depression. And although women with depression are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to die by suicide.

Unfortunately, many men do not recognize, acknowledge or seek out help for depression. They are often more reluctant to discuss how they are feeling and downplay their symptoms. Often the reason I see them in my office is because the women in their lives urge them to seek help.

Signs and symptoms of depression:

  • Feeling sad or “empty”
  • Feeling hopeless, irritable or anxious
  • Loss of interest in work, family, or hobbies
  • Fatigue/exhaustion
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Changes in sleep patterns (insomnia or hypersomnia)
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
  • Increased pain, headaches or digestive concerns
  • Risky behavior or substance abuse

Depression Checklist

Naturopathic Treatment of Anxiety and Depression in Men:

  • Dietary Modifications:

Balancing blood glucose is critical in managing depression. If you are consuming heavily processed foods loaded with sugar, white flour, artificial flavours, colors and sweeteners these ingredients in your can wreck havoc on your body and mind. These “food-like” products lead to decreases in energy, poor focus and concentration and hormonal imbalances that impact blood sugar regulation and other hormonal processes in the body.

  • Supplemental Support:

A number of botanicals and nutrients have a powerful effect on mood and stress. These can be personalized for each individual’s needs but things like St. John’s Wort, 5-HTP, L-Theanine, B vitamins and Kava Kava are frequently used for alleviating depression and reducing the physical impact of stress. Addressing stress has a significant impact on depression and its associated symptoms.

What are you doing to improve the health of the men in your life? Are you growing a moustache to rival Tom Selleck or Groucho Marx?

Resources:

National Institute of Mental Health – www.nimh.nih.gov

Depression Hurts – www.depressionhurts.ca

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) – www.camh.ca

Movember Canada – http://ca.movember.com

http://ca.movember.com/mens-health/mental-health

Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.

Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.
Photo Credit: Mic445 via Compfight cc

Print Friendly
Posted in Naturopathic Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Nov 17

Physical Restoration Through Breathing and Mindful Movement

mindfullnessBy Odette Oliver, RMT

I can’t help but notice the ‘energy’, the ‘buzz’ our city creates. I see people rushing around with heads down, eating while on the move, constantly checking an electronic devise, sitting for hours at poor ergonomic work stations, and even exercising like crazy. Our fast paced world has led us to set our goals very high for everything; but the stress of our work, and play, is slowly taking its toll.

Stress triggers the release of chemicals such as steroids and adrenalin into our body, preparing our body and psyche to tackle a threat. Today that threat could be a business deadline, an argument with a boss, being stuck in traffic, family obligations, illness, money. How do we get everything done? If these triggers are ongoing those chemicals don’t ‘switch off’. Our nervous system is kept in a hyper active state, and the ‘switch off’ process that would return our body to normal is compromised, and balance is lost. Sometimes the process is slow and we don’t realize that stress has become the ‘new normal’. This loss of balance can lead to both physical and psychological damage.

The body will respond to stress in the same physiological way whether we perceive the activity as fun or as danger. Some of the short term activities we use to deal with our stress can seem like fun for a while: a drink after work, run for the burn, rewarding comfort food. But when these become long term behaviors our immune system can be compromised leaving us open for illness.

In work or play we are not giving ourselves enough time to restore the balance. Stress management techniques can help. We have to re-learn to relax our nervous system without over exciting it.

At IHI I will be running a series of 6 evenings exploring relaxation techniques for stress management. Starting in January………2015

Through mindful movement and breathing the only goal is to be there exploring at your own pace.

Resting on the floor and starting very simply with breathing, imagery,’ body scanning’ and undemanding stretching I hope to explore ‘physical restoration’ so we can normalize our stress responses while negotiating our stressful environment.

Here is a sample exercise:

Isometric exercise

The awareness of muscle tension held in your body.

Only hold your breath for as long as it is comfortable to do so. Breathe in through your nose and out slowly through your mouth.

To start take a slow, deep breath, in and out, 3 times. Then continue breathing normally.

Gradually tense up your whole body as if you were becoming rigid then let go.

Do this with one part of your body (isolate) your arm for instance, then the other arm.

Now breathe in and hold your breath and tense up one arm, as you breathe out release the tension in your arm. Now do this with the other arm.

Now try the exercise isolating one leg and then the other.

To isolate further:

Starting at the right foot then the left, and continue in the following order:

CalfUntitled

Thigh

Buttock

Push your back down into the floor (which muscle are you using?)

Continue up to your shoulder blades

Back of your head

Continue to the right hand, left hand

Fore-arm, upper arm to the face

Squeeze your eyes tight shut and let go put keep your eyes closed

Now purse your lips, let go

Frown and smile

Take 3 big easy breaths in

Again breathe in and hold make your whole body rigid and let go

Breathe normally

Stretch out as if you were getting up in the morning, let go breath normally.

When ready roll onto your side and sit up slowly

 

Odette will be hosting a complimentary seminars on Tuesday, November 18th and Tuesday, December 2nd, please sign up here or here.

Odette graduated from Sutherland and Chan School and Teaching Clinic in 1997. Since that time she has been practicing and teaching massage therapy in Ontario and Nova Scotia. In Halifax she was the School Director of ICT Northumberland College School of Massage Therapy,  where her teaching focused on communication. Throughout her teaching career, Odette has stressed the importance of good body mechanics, physical awareness and relaxation techniques.

Her previous career began in England as a dancer and choreographer. She worked extensively with painters, photographers, and actors in exploring barriers to ‘freedom of movement’, in the context of character development and performance improvement. Now Odette continues to promote ‘freedom of movement’ as a massage therapist.

Print Friendly
Posted in Mind-Body Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Nov 10

Top 6 Reasons WHY You Are “Soooooo Tired”

tired-woman

By Dr Erin Wiley, ND

Tired? You are not alone, the vast majority of clients I see in practice either generally want more energy, or are exhausted and struggling to understand why. Most people reach for a coffee or sugary snack as a solution to their energy crisis on a daily basis. Despite that fact, one thing is certain, you are NOT suffering from a caffeine or sugar deficiency. So, if you are finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning, can’t get through the workday without that second cup in that afternoon, or don’t have the energy to exercise or socialize, it’s time to get your health back on track and understand the root cause of your less than optimal energy production.

6. Iron and Vitamin B12

We need iron and vitamin B12 to make healthy red blood cells that circulate oxygen to every single cell in our body. Without oxygen our cells literally can’t breathe and will eventually die. Hemoglobin, iron and B12 levels are very easy to test and can be deficient in some cases, especially for those who follow a vegan/vegetarian diet or who have heavy periods or blood loss. While nutrient deficiency is something most people think of when they hear the word “fatigue”, and it is very important to rule out and address, it may be surprising to hear that it is not the number one reason why most people in my practice are experiencing low energy levels. However, if this is the case a nutrition plan from your Naturopath can make all the difference.

5. Pollution and Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Mitochondria are the tiny organelles that live inside our cells and make ATP (the chemical currency of energy in the body). Literally the amount of energy we can make and spend every day is dependant on both the health and number of mitochondria in our tissue. These energy powerhouses depend on a number of micronutrients to run efficiently. Chemicals in our daily environment can deplete the body of these nutrient energy co-factors, cause a great deal of oxidative stress and disrupt our metabolic pathways. Once we hit the tipping point between too much chemical exposure and not enough protective nutrients our mitochondria start to struggle and this can cause a drastic decline in energy, mood, focus and concentration. Chemical exposure can come from everywhere; car exhaust, cigarette smoke, pesticides, dry cleaning, resin and glue in our carpets, flame retardants in our electronics and furniture and even drugs especially some anti-biotics, HIV meds, and chemotherapy. Your Naturopathic Doctor can teach you how to limit your exposure, maximize your protective and energy producing nutrients, and even test your toxic load. That way, you can prevent energy depletion from becoming chronic degenerative disease.

4. Endocrine Disruption Thyroid and Adrenal Health

Your endocrine system is made up of glands that are responsible for making hormones that travel in your blood stream and tell your cells what to do. Your thyroid gland controls your metabolism and your adrenal glands respond to stress. Your endocrine system will start to malfunction when it is exhausted from stress, disrupted or damaged by chemicals in our environment, or lacks the basic nutrient building blocks that drive hormone production. Once these glands are exhausted they cannot function properly. Symptoms usually include fatigue, an inability to loose weight, dry hair and nails, poor wound healing and recovery, no stamina, low mood, poor focus and concentration. You will not feel or perform better until your body has the time, energy and tools to repair your endocrine tissue. This is where Naturopathic Doctors can really help to address endocrine burnout. ND’s have the tools to assess and identify endocrine stress (even in its early stages) and an understanding of the support your thyroid and adrenal glands need to fully recover.

3. Sugar And Coffee Actually Cause Fatigue

Sadly our cultural habits around food promote fatigue. While sugar and caffeine might give you an initial energy boost, do not buy into the short term energy high, you are setting yourself up for a rebound energy crash. There is nothing you can do about it. This is an innate biological response. When you eat sugar or coffee you will spike our insulin and this is what creates the roller coaster of energy ups and downs. Insulin is what I like to call “the hybernation hormone”, it slows your metabolism, signals your body to store fat, causes your blood sugar to drop, making you feel tired and crave more sugar. If you then eat more sugar to feel better you will surly make more insulin and the cycle will continue. The more carbohydrates and coffee you consume the more consistently tired you will feel. Breaking the insulin cycle might seem daunting but your ND can help you make some simple and surprising dietary changes that will get your hormones working with you and not against you.

2. Stress, Insomnia and Sleep deprivation

Many of us drastically underestimated how much stress we are under. It has become a cultural norm to work 10-12 hour days, to always be “on call”, to be constantly stimulated and distracted by technology. Stress occurs when the body responds to a challenge. We need to consider not only the stresses that we perceive as negative but also how “busy” we are, the number of demands are on our time, just how many challenges we need to overcome on a daily basis? When we are stressed we engage the fight or flight response. Our brain diverts resources away from digestion, energy production, recovery and repair of our tissue, and our immune system. Resources are channeled towards dealing with the perceived stressor. This response is protective in the short term but very harmful in the long term. I challenge you to consider, if your “to-do” list never ends and you don’t have time to unplug, when does your body have the time to build new healthy cells, repair tissue damage, rebalance our endocrine and nervous system? If you believe that relaxation is not productive, think again? Your cells just might be at their busiest when you are at rest.

1. Sitting At Your Desk, In Your Car And On Your Couch.

A favorite saying around the clinic is that “movement is medicine” but culturally we can easily get caught up in sitting. Sitting at our desk, sitting in our car, sitting at the table, and sitting on the couch. Unfortunately all of this “sitting” means we are not asking our body to make energy. There is a reason why those of us who love spin class, run marathons, and go to cross fit have more energy to burn, we are literally signaling our body to make more mitochondria and signaling those mitochondria to make more ATP (energy). Muscle tissue contains more mitochondria than any other tissue in the body. The more muscle tissue we have, the more energy we can make. However, it is not just formal exercise that signals the body to make more energy but really the total amount of movement we get in a day. Walking or cycling to work, taking the stairs, getting up from your desk at least every hour, all of these choices add up to more energy production. When it comes to productivity and better performance a sedentary lifestyle is having the single biggest impact on our energy potential. So when it comes to wanting more energy literally…. move it or loose it!

If you are concerned about your energy levels, feeling exhausted, or just want to perform at your best? Your Naturopathic Doctor can help you understand the cause of your fatigue and create an action oriented treatment that just might change your entire life.

Want more information? Join Dr. Wiley at noon on Tuesday, November 25th for her seminar on ’6 Reasons WHY You Are Sooooooo Tired’. Sign up here

Dr. Erin Wiley is a naturopathic doctor with a strong focus on preventative and integrative medicine. She is the Co-founder and Clinic Director of the Integrative Health Institute, an integrative medical clinic located in downtown Toronto. Erin has a strong clinical emphasis on stress related illness, anxiety, depression and hormone balance. As a naturopathic doctor, Erin is passionate about working with people to help them better understand their health and achieve their health goals.

Print Friendly
Posted in Environmental Medicine, Fatigue, Hormonal Health, Naturopathic Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Nov 3

Certification in Restorative Medicine #BetterDoctorBetterCare

DSC00079By Dr Jen Newell, ND

I was recently in Santa Fe, New Mexico attending the annual Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine (AARM) conference. This conference was a amazing opportunity to connect with like-minded Naturopathic Doctors, MDs, Nurse Practitioners and other integrative medicine practitioners. Not only was I able to learn from some truly great minds, but I was also able to participate in a certification in Restorative Medicine. This certification encompasses an evidence-based review of thyroid function including treatment protocols for optimizing thyroid health, using Triiodothyronine, botanicals and nutritional medicines to support the thyroid system.

What is Restorative Medicine?

The purpose of Restorative Medicine is to restore the delicate balance of system functions to achieve optimal health. With this goal, Restorative Medicine enhances healthy aging and promotes vitality and longevity. By reaching beyond simple symptomatic relief, it explores the root cause of disease with the purpose of halting tissue degeneration and optimizing cellular, endocrine and metabolic function. Restorative Medicine is patient-specific rather than disease-specific. By working with the biological individuality of the patient, a path is cleared to re-create balance and promote healthy aging.

Restorative Medicine is comprised of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies that, combined with lifestyle changes are capable of preventing future disease and slow or halt the progression of existing diseases. It is powered by novel, evidence- based therapies that are published in peer-reviewed medical journals and shared in a variety of medical education opportunities. Both conventional medical practitioners and Naturopathic doctors utilize hormones, nutrition and herbal therapies to effectively practice Restorative Medicine.

How Restorative Medicine can Help You:

I am so excited to be able to offer my patients more innovative care and new ideas to enhance their health. In particular, to promote metabolic processes and thyroid function by establishing optimal body temperature.

Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.

Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

Print Friendly
Posted in Naturopathic Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Oct 27

Do Your Boobs Hang Low?

By Nancy J. Brooks, RMT

I’d like to invite you to consider how much you support your girls… your boobs!!!

From my experience as an RMT, the amount of support from your bra that you give your girls is directly related to the amount of tension in your back, neck and shoulder muscles.

If you want to offer your girls more support, please consider these 3 tips when choosing a bra that will help your boobs to be comfortably lifted and separated:

  1. Your rib cage: Get YOUR proper measurement that fits snug and choose a material that’s comfortable and moves WITH YOU. This area targets the side body muscles that assist in shoulder blade stability and keeps the girls from wobbling to and fro.
  1. The cups: You know you’ve got the right fit when your cup does NOT runneth over and you DO NOT have a uni-boob. Placing the girls comfortably in their own cups helps the neck and mid back muscles with their job of keeping the upper body lifted.
  1. Shoulder Straps: Adjustable! One size does NOT fit all! Be empowered to choose how much lift YOU want to give to YOUR back and shoulder muscles. For a little extra assistance to the mid back muscles, give the racer back or “T” style a try. You can even buy a device that clips on to your old school style bra and “ta-da” you have an immediate racer back or “T” style support.

Show your girls some love! Take them to your local department store or specialty shop and have a professional measure them up right so you and your boobs can feel supported all day long!

Integrative-033Nancy J Brooks has enthusiastically been practicing as a Registered Massage Therapist in good standing with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario since 2000.  Upon completion of her Massage Therapy diploma from Sutherland-Chan School and Teaching Clinic, Ms. Brooks felt compelled to immerse herself in both rehabilitative and spa treatment settings; her goal was to understand and experience the myriad approaches to healing.

For more information about Nancy or massage therapy at the Integrative Health Institute, contact Nancy here.

Print Friendly
Posted in Massage Therapy, Women's Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Oct 20

How Can a Naturopathic Doctor Help with Infertility?

Integrative-083By Dr Jen Newell, ND

There are a number of ways in which a Naturopathic Doctor can support fertility and increase chances of natural conception and success with assisted reproductive technologies. Below are ways in which a Naturopath can help:

  1. Time

Naturopathic Doctors have the privilege of having time to get to know their patients’ and their unique needs. With an initial visit of an hour and half, a Naturopath has the opportunity to understand the patient’s individual concerns and with appropriate follow-ups can devise a personalized treatment plan. Patient’s report feeling supported, understood and listened to, which can help to alleviate the stress often associated with trying to conceive.

  1. Counseling

With the time given to understanding patients unique needs, Naturopathic Doctors are able to learn more about the emotional impact of trying to conceive and can address both physical and emotional concerns.

  1. Holistic Practices

Naturopathic Doctors consider the whole body and lifestyle of a patient when creating an integrative treatment plan. Not only is fertility improved, but overall health is supported so often patients report more restorative sleep, improved digestive function and increased energy as a result of treatment.

  1. Stress and Anxiety Management

Research into Naturopathic Medicine has found that seeing a Naturopath reduces stress for patients by 15-20%. Patients feel listened to and are able to discuss aspects of their care and lives to reduce perceived stress. Managing stress increases chances of successful conception. Naturopathic care is also helpful at reducing anxiety associated with fertility treatments.

  1. Diet Counseling

Counseling patients to adopt a healthier diet improves overall health and supports fertility. Naturopathic Doctors are able to support patients in this transition and provide support for eliminating dependency on certain foods such as coffee and sugar. They are also able to identify and address nutrient deficiencies through diet and appropriate supplements.

Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.

Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

Print Friendly
Posted in Naturopathic Medicine, Pregnancy, Women's Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Oct 17

Thyroid Health and Body Temperature

takingtemperature Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome

One complaint I see a lot in practice is that despite having normal blood work, my patients still don’t feel well. They struggle to lose weight and have noticed that their hair is thinning or shedding; they are exhausted, have anxiety and depression. Often these concerns began after a significant stressor or chronic stress and even after that stress has passed they still feel awful. They are convinced that their thyroid isn’t working properly and despite what the blood work says, they are often right. What they are experiencing is known as Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome and is the suboptimal functioning of the thyroid gland. I recently attended a conference about this concern and am excited to help these patients really achieve their health goals.

Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome is a diagnosis of exclusion; and the best method to identify it is through a therapeutic trial. In a therapeutic trial, we begin treatment on a patient and monitor their response. To assess for Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome you can also assess the average body temperature of the patient. Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome is characterized by oral body temperatures averaging below 98.6°F or 37°C.

Since most patients complain of symptoms that they experience during the day, it is recommended that temperatures be measured throughout the day.

Recommendations for monitoring temperature:

  • By mouth with a thermometer
  • Every 3 hours
  • 3 times a day, starting 3 hours after waking
  • For several days (not the 3 days prior to the period in women since its higher then) for diagnosis.
  • Every day during treatment.

Patient Resources:

Temperature Log

Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.

Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.
Photo Credit: JD Hancock via Compfight cc

Print Friendly
Posted in Fatigue, Naturopathic Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Oct 14

Immuni-Tea: Strengthen your Immune System

Black_teaBy Dr. Lisa Watson, ND

The evolution of the immune boosting Immuni-Tea started when my eldest son (now seven!) began daycare at just over a year old. All moms know that once your child starts daycare they are bound to bring home all kinds of illnesses! I wanted to do everything I could to prevent this from happening for my son. I was already a fan of using teas with children – both as medicines and for pleasure – and I knew I could make a tea to boost his immune system (and mine!) Thus the Immuni-Tea was born.

The Immuni-Tea Boost

Immuni-Tea is a combination of several different botanicals – each selected to optimize immune function and speed recovery from coughs, colds and flus. For children I use fewer ingredients, and for adults a few more.

Powerful Antivirals

Elderberry

Elderberry berries are a powerful antiviral and help prevent viral infections from taking hold in the respiratory tract. Studies have shown that elderberry is effective against multiple strains of influenza virus and can decrease flu symptoms by several days. Elderberry flowers are also used to calm inflammation in the throat.

Optimal Immune Function

Echinacea

No single botanical has more research on it’s ability to enhance immune function than Echinacea! Echinacea is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial – it can help the body fight off both viral and bacterial infections. It is especially useful for coughs, colds, and infections of the throat, nose and sinuses.

Echinacea is more than just an antimicrobial – it also helps to repair inflamed or damaged tissues, preventing infection from taking hold. It also activates the body’s macrophage defense system – the immune cells that initiate destruction of viruses, bacteria and cancer cells. Echinacea is the ultimate preventative medicine during cold and flu season.

Astragalus

I don’t like to play favourites, but astragalus is my hands-down favourite immune boosting botanical. When your immune system is depleted, astragalus can strengthen it. It boosts both nonspecific and specific immunity, and restores depleted red blood cell formation in the bone marrow.

Perhaps most importantly, astragalus can stimulate the body’s natural production of interferon. Interferon is a protein released by virus- or bacteria-infected cells that cause neighbouring cells to increase their defenses. Interferon protects our cells by letting them know to prepare for a possible viral/bacterial invasion – like an immune alarm system!

Warm a Cold

Peppermint and Ginger

Peppermint and ginger are both warming herbs – they help maintain an optimal yin-yang balance (cold-hot) and can keep the body temperature at the appropriate temperature to prevent viral replication. They are both known “diaphoretics” – they can help to optimize a fever so that the immune system can work properly. Consult with your Naturopathic Doctor before giving these botanicals to children.

Calm a Cough

Wild Cherry

If you’re unlucky enough to already have a cough or cold, your Immuni-Tea can help!

Wild cherry calms the cough reflex, minimizing the symptoms of harsh, irritating coughs. Best used for dry, non-productive or persistent coughs – those coughs that just never seem to go away! It also has a great taste.

Soothe a Sore Throat

Slippery Elm

Slippery elm is a smooth, soothing botanical that can coat your sore throat and decrease swelling, allowing the body to reduce and repair inflammation. It is slightly viscous and adds a distinct thickness to the Immuni-Tea that makes it feel great when you drink it.

Tea Time!

The Immuni-Tea is meant to be taken both preventatively and during active colds and flus. For prevention one to two cups per day is adequate. During a cold or flu increase to three or four cups daily. Steep a tablespoon of tea in hot water for five minutes with the lid covered for optimal potency.

Immuni-Tea is available at the Integrative Health Institute – 46 Sherbourne Street at King Street in Toronto. www.integrativehealthinstitute.ca

 

LwatsonDr. Lisa Watson delivers health care that supports balanced and attainable health at all ages and stages of life. Of primary importance is health care that nurtures the body, mind, spirit, family and community.  As a Naturopathic Doctor and mother, Lisa believes that health care and a healthy lifestyle are intrinsically linked and that each serves to support the other. Dr. Watson practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.
Follow Dr. Watson on Twitter
Check out Dr Watson’s blog: www.drlisawatson.com

 

image via Creative Commons available here

Print Friendly
Posted in Cold and Flu Prevention, Naturopathic Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Oct 9

Pumpkin Pancakes

pumpkinpancakesBy Dr Erin Wiley, ND

Fall is the perfect time of year to make these pancakes for a fun family breakfast. While I am normally a fan of the low-carb breakfast, everyone needs to have some variety once in a while. Thanks to the ground flax seed, cinnamon and pumpkin puree, these pancakes are better on your blood sugar balance than most and exceptionally nutrient dense.

Ingredients

1 and ½ cups of Gluten Free Pancake mix (We recommend Bob’s Red Mill)

1 tbsp of ground flax seed

1 tsp of cinnamon

1 egg

1 cup of almond milk (or milk of your choice)

2 tbsp of melted coconut oil

1 cup of pumpkin puree

Directions

Combine the gluten free pancake mix, ground flax and cinnamon in a large bowl and whisk together. Add the egg, almond milk, melted coconut oil and pumpkin puree to the dry mixture and stir well. The soluble fiber in the ground flax seeds can make the mixture thick, which is great for blood sugar regulation and bowel health. Please feel free to add more almond milk until the mixture reaches your desired consistency. The thicker the mix, the thicker the pancakes.

Preheat your griddle to medium high. Add a little coconut oil to the pan and pour pancakes using a ¼ cup of batter each. Heat until golden on both sides and serve hot.

Top with maple syrup or apple and almond butter for a lower glycemic spin!

Nourish you body, mind and spirit!

Dr. Erin Wiley is a naturopathic doctor with a strong focus on preventative and integrative medicine. She is the Co-founder and Clinic Director of the Integrative Health Institute, an integrative medical clinic located in downtown Toronto. Erin has a strong clinical emphasis on stress related illness, anxiety, depression and hormone balance. As a naturopathic doctor, Erin is passionate about working with people to help them better understand their health and achieve their health goals.

Print Friendly
Posted in Breakfast, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment