collagen boosting is better than botox for anti-ageing

collagen boosting for anti-ageing
collagen boosting for anti-ageing

collagen and ageing

Collagen is a protein our bodies make that gives our skin it’s structure and elasticity, but as we get older production tends to slow down, and that’s when wrinkles appear.

We can undergo a range of cosmetic procedures in our quest to retain youthful-looking skin. But some of them are not without risk.

the frozen botox look and filler ‘fish-lips’ are being abandoned

Botox is a neurotoxin (think botulism) that reduces wrinkles’ appearance by paralysing the muscles under your skin. It’s a ‘preventative’ procedure that stops signs of ageing from getting worse.

However, Botox is temporary. Your face has no movement. And it doesn’t stop your skin from ageing.

Cosmetic fillers stretch your skin smooth and plump it. Fillers are also a temporary fix and should be used in moderation.

Excessive use of fillers can result in damage, including wrinkling, disturbance of your facial fat pads, skin ageing, and internal scarring.

Our love affair with these short-lived cosmetic procedures is over because they are not anti- ageing.

Instead, a new generation of collagen-stimulating procedures is emerging that is anti-ageing and delivers a natural-looking result.

collagen-stimulating acupuncture

Cosmetic (facial) acupuncture is a collagen-stimulating procedure that is gaining fans worldwide.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) cosmetic acupuncture works by increasing blood flow and circulation to your face, as well as stimulating your skin’s natural collagen production to create firmer and more resilient skin.

Cosmetic acupuncture is used to treat:

  • fine lines and wrinkles,
  • sagging skin,
  • discolouration,
  • a dull complexion,
  • bags under the eyes,
  • scarring,
  • hydrating your skin from the inside,
  • as well as treating skin conditions such as acne, cellulite and rosacea.

Cosmetic acupuncture is a treatment that’s been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for facial rejuvenation.  It’s a natural, effective, and safer alternative to Botox and fillers.

collagen-boosting nutrition

Stimulating collagen production, staying well-hydrated, limiting sun exposure, sleeping well, and reducing stress are all beneficial for healthy, younger-looking skin.

But there’s a growing body of research that reveals the best anti-ageing strategy of them all is nutrition.

In our blog – skin loves nutrition – how to stop ageing your skin – we share the foods your skin loves and the nutrients that promote collagen.

It’s amazing how much your skin, hair, and nails improve with the right nutrition.

and don’t forget to smile – you’ll look younger and feel better too!

skin loves nutrition – how to stop ageing your skin

How to stop ageing your skin
How to stop ageing your skin

 

Skin – thinning dry skin, wrinkles, age spots, sagging, benign growths – how your skin ages will depend on your health, lifestyle, sun exposure, heredity factors, and personal habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol.

Can you do anything about it?

Yes, you can.

ageing and collagen

Collagen is a protein in your body that gives your skin it’s structure and elasticity.

Our bodies make collagen. But as we age production slows down, and that’s why our skin sags and wrinkles.

However, there is good news.

There is growing evidence that the most effective way to prevent skin ageing is to encourage collagen regeneration through nutrition.

skin ageing studies

Research has established a direct link between nutrition and skin condition. What you eat affects your skin:

  1. Diets high in trans fats (the bad fats) make you vulnerable to UV damage and severe photo-ageing.
  2. Diets high in sugar inhibit collagen repair.
  3. Diets rich in nutrition can protect and restore skin.

stop eating what’s ageing you

If you want your skin to be as youthful as possible, stop eating foods that age you:

  1. Highly refined foods offer little nutrition – don’t eat them:
    • Eat whole, organic, natural food. If you’re not sure what to eat, have a look at The Mediterranean Diet.
  1. A diet high in sugar will age your skin:
    • Raw honey, dates and stevia are healthier sweetening alternatives.
    • Avoid hidden sugar in processed foods – check the labels.
    • And we recommend every family should watch That Sugar Film by Damon Gameau – to learn what happens when you eat a diet high in hidden sugar.
  1. Trans fats age skin including, hydrogenated margarine, animal fat, deep-fried foods, takeaways and junk food – ditch them:
    • Eat healthy monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated (omega-3 and omega-6) fats, which are found in raw nuts and seeds, avocados, olives and their cold-pressed oils. Your skin will thank you.

the anti-ageing nutrition your skin loves

Next, you need to swap what is ageing your skin with food and supplements that contain the nutrition your cells use to make collagen.

The nutrients essential for healthy skin, hair and nails include – vitamin A, C, E and D, zinc, silica, selenium, omega 3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids.

Vitamin A food sources include carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, kale, fish oils and cod liver oil.

Vitamin C is found in papaya, citrus fruits, strawberries, raspberries, pineapples, guava, mango, kiwi fruit, Kakadu plum, capsicum, tomatoes, zucchini, cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and celery. Vitamin C is destroyed by cooking so make sure you eat raw salads and fresh fruit daily.

Vitamin E foods include raw nuts and seeds, tahini, wheat germ, avocado, and cold-pressed organic vegetable oils.

Vitamin D is found in mushrooms, salmon, sardines, egg yolk, fortified foods, vitamin D supplements, raw cacao, and hemp seed oil.

Zinc food sources include sesame and pumpkin seeds, shitake mushrooms, beans, almonds, cashew nuts, chickpeas and oat bran.

Silica is found in oat bran, alfalfa sprouts, leafy greens, green beans, whole grains, brown rice, lentils, horsetail tea, cucumber, leeks, bananas, celery, radish, asparagus and raisins.

Selenium food sources include Brazil nuts, oysters, sardines, mustard seeds, sunflower seeds, rice bran and wheat germ. Always buy organic, non-genetically modified nuts, seeds and grains.

Omega 3-6-9 fatty acids are found in hemp seed oil, hemp seeds, tahini, walnut oil, walnuts, chia seeds, linseed (flax), evening primrose oil, macadamia nuts and cold-pressed oil, fish oils, salmon, edamame, seaweed and algae oil.

nutritional needs are unique

Our nutritional needs change throughout the different ages and stages of our lives. The nutrients a pregnant mother requires compared to a developing child or an older adult are vastly different.

You also need to consider the state of your health, nutrient deficiencies, food intolerances, allergies, the effects of prescribed medications, your health history, stress, lifestyle, climate, pollution, hydration – all of these issues influence skin ageing.

And everyone’s circumstances are unique.

That’s why the best thing you can do is ask a naturopath or nutritionist to help you create a personalised anti-ageing strategy.

worth watching

That Sugar Film by Damon Gameau

Website link: www.thatsugarmovement.com/film

 

Eat well – your skin will thank you!

ginger zinger is a perfect summer drink

Ginger Zinger Drink
Ginger Zinger Drink

 

Ginger Zinger is a perfect hot-weather drink for rehydrating, flushing your kidneys and giving your immune system some added support.

This recipe is thirst quenchingly delicious. But if you don’t like the taste of ginger simply leave it out of the recipe – do it your way!

Ginger Zinger Recipe

You will need a large drink jug.

Add the zest of half a lemon, a handful of finely chopped mint leaves and half a teaspoon of immune plus.

Pour a small amount of boiling water over the ingredients to release the flavours.

Add the juice of 3 freshly squeezed lemons or limes – both are delicious and perfect for restoring electrolyte balance.

Add 1 teaspoon of organic ginger juice. Or you can use a teaspoon of finely zested fresh ginger.

Top up the jug with sparkling mineral water.

Taste your brew, and add pure maple syrup, raw honey or a few drops of organic liquid stevia if you need sweetening.

To serve, pour over lots of ice.

Recipe Notes

Make this recipe to your own taste. You can add more or less lemon or lime • sweeten or not • play with the flavours until it’s just right for you.

You can also use other fresh fruit juices with mineral water – like mango, orange, fresh apricots, organic apple. Experiment with fresh, healthy ingredients and create your own nutritious summer drinks.

The star of our zinger recipe is ginger – which is used to aid digestion, help ward off infections, and has anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering properties.

You can buy organic ginger juice from gourmet and health food stores.

We buy organic ginger juice from The Ginger People. A little goes a long way and it’s so handy for making iced drinks, hot chocolate and ginger tea. You can also add it to salad dressing recipes, stir fries and curries – a very versatile product and worth keeping as a staple in your fridge.

We use immune+ in this recipe for a delicious dash of spice, and as an easy way to support your immune system throughout the summer months.

Also, check out our recipes – which are all designed to help you stay strong.

Cheers!

PS* we’d love to know how you go with the recipe.

 

cacao spice makes a delicious gift

CACAO SPICE RECIPE • A perfect gift for chocolate lovers
CACAO SPICE RECIPE • A perfect gift for chocolate lovers

A perfect gift for chocolate lovers

Every year, I make up a big batch of Cacao Spice for family and friends – and they love it – so I thought I would share my recipe with you.

Cacao Spice can be added to all sorts of recipes – smoothies, cookies, chocolate cake, brownies, chocolate bark, homemade coconut ice cream, raw balls, truffles, as well as hot or iced chocolate drinks.

Cacao Spice Recipe

The recipe is simple to make. There are only 3 foundation ingredients – raw cacao, bourbon vanilla, and true cinnamon.

No matter the size of the batch you are making, the Cacao Spice recipe is 50% raw cacao (half) • 25% bourbon vanilla powder (a quarter) • and 25% organic True cinnamon powder (a quarter). 

If you want to be more adventurous, you can also add hints of cardamom, cloves and nutmeg powder. I use these ingredients at 5% to 10% of the total batch size. They are strong spices so you don’t need a lot to infuse your drink powder with their beautiful flavours.

Measure and pour your ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir them gently together until they are well combined.

If you are making a smaller batch, you could place the ingredients in a large jar, seal it and shake the ingredients until they are blended.

Fill the powder into mason jars, decorate the lids, and label them ready to go. 

Avery has some great online label templates, or you can create your own designs. You can buy Avery labels from most office supply stores.

Where to find the ingredients

I often get asked where I buy the ingredients I use, so I’ve linked my suppliers for you.

For this recipe, I use Organic Cacao Gold by Power Superfoods because it is one of the smoothest cacao powders I have found. Health food stores in Australia stock it, or you can buy it online.

When it comes to vanilla, I only use bourbon vanilla powder because it is rich, smooth and velvety. Just the smell alone hugs you.

Bourbon vanilla can be expensive, but I have found a reasonably priced online source in Western Australia called The Natural Vanilla Store.

I use a lot of organic cinnamon, so I buy larger amounts from herb suppliers such as Austral Herbs in New South Wales and The Herbal Connection in Queensland. It’s more economical to buy in bulk. 

For smaller quantities, you can buy organic cinnamon from most health food stores. Just make sure the cinnamon you use is True cinnamon – also known as Ceylon cinnamon or Cinnamomum zeylanicum.

Why the ingredients are so good for you

Not only is Cacao Spice delicious, but it’s also highly nutritious.

Here are some of the ways the ingredients are traditionally used and research findings regarding them.

RAW CACAO

Contains nearly four times the antioxidant content of regular processed dark chocolate and 20 times more than blueberries • energy-boosting • blood clot prevention • brain health, cognitive function • supports your immune system • mood stabiliser • anti-inflammatory • memory enhancement • digestion • weight management • high blood pressure and circulation • promotes cardiovascular health • increases levels of specific neurotransmitters in our brains that induce a sense of well being • raises levels of serotonin which acts as a natural antidepressant.

VANILLA

Antimicrobial • anti-inflammatory • antidepressant • aids digestion • relieves upset stomach • soothes gut inflammation • lowers cholesterol • alleviates diarrhoea and stomach cramps • natural appetite suppressant • regulates blood sugar and blood lipids • protects and improves tissue damage to kidneys, lung, skin, muscle, liver, gut, breast • alleviates cardiac distress.

CEYLON CINNAMON

Inhibits candida • enhances fat metabolism • increase lean body mass • decreases abdominal fat • improves fasting blood sugar • improves Insulin resistance • promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria • protects colon health • anti-inflammatory • antidiabetic • rich in antioxidants • autoimmune symptoms • bacterial infections • blood pressure (hypertension) • brain food • candida • central nervous system • cholesterol • cognitive decline • dental health • diabetes • fungal infections • protects against cardiovascular disease • insulin resistance • neurodegenerative disorders • viral infections • weight management • wound healing.

I hope your family and friends love Cacao Spice as much as mine do!

And if you love healthy chocolate, you can find more delicious ideas on our Recipe page.

repel flies naturally & enjoy outdoor dining

repel flies naturally
repel flies naturally

Repel flies naturally with lemon & cloves table bowls

Lemon and cloves table bowls are a natural way to repel flies so you can enjoy your outdoor meals.

Depending on how big your outdoor dining table is, you will need 2-3 lemons cut in half.

Then, slice a thin layer off the bottom of each lemon half so they sit flat, and place each half in a small decorative bowl or saucer plate. Make sure you use sealed ceramic or glass.

Next, stick 20 clove buds into each lemon half, and then sprinkle 8 drops of Immune Guard essential oil over the cloves.

Place your lemon and infused clove bowls at intervals along your dining table about 15 minutes before you sit down to eat to allow the scents to get to work.

Repel flies naturally with Immune Guard

Immune Guard essential oil not only guards against airborne germs and bacteria, but the ingredients also make a great natural fly repellent.

Immune Guard combines lemon myrtle with menthol tones of peppermint, woodsy eucalyptus, rosemary and warm spicy notes of cinnamon and cloves. Flies don’t like it – and you can eat in peace without having to wave them away constantly.

Repel flies naturally with your diffuser

You can also use your diffuser indoors to repel flies using Immune Guard.

There are all kinds of essential oil diffusers. However, coldwater ultrasonic diffusion is considered safe and effective.

Ultrasonic diffusers come in different sizes, and it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s directions. 

As a general rule though, if you have a 100ml diffuser, use 3-5 drops of essential oils. For a 150ml diffuser, use 8-10 drops. A large 500ml diffuser requires about 15-20 drops of essential oils.

how long you should diffuse

You don’t need to diffuse essential oils all day long. They are powerful, and you don’t want to overpower a room either. 

It’s recommended that you diffuse essential oils for an hour and turn your diffuser off for an hour.

Make sure you have good ventilation too.

health notes

If you suffer from allergies, you’re pregnant, or you take prescribed medications that are sensitive to interactions, please check with your health practitioner before using essential oils.

Essential oils can be toxic to animals. Please check with your vet before using essential oils near your pets.

Local stockist

If you live locally in Perth, Western Australia Immune Guard is available from Rener Health Clinics in Attadale and Cindy Louise in Beaconsfield – or you can order online.

all the best!

 

bedtime sock therapy for coughs, colds & sinus congestion

bedtime sock therapy
bedtime sock therapy

bedtime sock therapy

Bedtime sock therapy is all about helping you get a better nights sleep when you’re fighting off a cold, flu or sinus infection.

There’s nothing worse than bedtime when your nose is stuffy, your body aches, night-time coughing sets in, and you’re feeling miserable.

That’s when an old pair of thick socks and our foot balm recipe can help you.

what you’ll need

You’ll need tiger balm ointment.

You can use red or white tiger balm. Red tiger balm is warming and great for sore muscles, a stiff neck or back, and relieving joint pain. White tiger balm has a cooling menthol effect and is traditionally used for headache relief, sinus and chest congestion, and to alleviate coughing.

You can buy tiger balm at most chemist shops and health food stores. If you can’t get tiger balm, use a menthol ointment.

You will need Immune Guard essential oil.

The ingredients in Immune Guard are decongestant and can help relieve sinus and chest congestion, and soothe coughing.

Finally, you need an old pair of thick socks to warm your feet, and so the oils don’t stain your sheets. Or wear a cotton pair of socks and place an old towel under your feet to protect your bedding.

how to make bedtime balm

Put a heaped teaspoon of tiger balm ointment and 4 drops of Immune Guard into a small bowl and mix them together.

Rub a thin film of balm into the bottom and tops of your feet and ankles.

Then place an old thick pair of socks on your feet and climb into bed. 

Avoid wandering around the house after you apply balm to your feet – it’s slippery and you don’t want to fall.

the do’s and don’ts of using bedtime foot balm

If you have a lot of lung congestion, you can rub a small amount of this mixture into your chest.

Wash your hands thoroughly after applying the foot balm. You don’t want tiger balm near any sensitive skin areas of your body, especially your mouth, eyes or genitals. 

Avoid open wounds or damaged skin, including sunburn.

If you’re really congested make sure you sleep in a raised position with pillows behind you.

do all you can to support your immune system

Prevention is always the best cure when it comes to protecting your health.

The healthier you are, the more you can protect your wellbeing. That means continually nurturing your immune system so it can protect you from a vast array of viruses. And what you eat matters.

The following foods contain nutrients that can serve as a building block to a strong immune system:

  • Mushrooms.
  • Blueberries, raspberries and cherries.
  • Citrus fruit including oranges, mandarins, lemon and lime. 
  • Fresh ginger, turmeric and horseradish.
  • The onion family including garlic, onion, leek and shallots.
  • Tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are recommended if you are not buying organic.
  • Seaweed.
  • Carrots, fennel root, celery, parsnip, pumpkin, turnip and swede.
  • Fresh or dried herbs including sage, oregano, rosemary and thyme sprinkled generously over food and used in all soups, stir-fries and casseroles.
  • Add spice to your meals, including anise seed, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, pimento, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, pepper and turmeric. 
  • Raw nuts and seeds – Brazil nuts, walnuts, pine nuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds. Eat 1⁄4 cup per day.
  • For sweetening, use dates, as well as Manuka or pure raw honey – and eliminate processed sugar from your diet.
  • Eat organically grown fruit and vegetables – lots of greens and seasonable produce. 
Eat well to stay well!

If you need inspiration or recipes to keep you motivated, Chef Cynthia Louise is the creator of a series of online cooking classes designed to nurture health with whole foods.

All the best,

Tracey – foodboost.co

 

infection & how to defend your health against viruses

Defend against virus infection
Defend against virus infection
‘To protect yourself from infection,
you need to understand the infection triangle’
Lisa Rieniets ND

The best way to guard against infection is to do everything you can to support your body to defend itself. Your body is designed to be healthy. You are miraculously made up of a community of cells together with a larger microbiome (the microorganisms that live in and on you) that has evolved over thousands of years. They are constantly interacting with each other to defend, balance and heal you.

Covid-19 is a new virus to humans and we are all going to be exposed to it eventually. There is no vaccine yet for this virus, so your body is going to have to fight it off sooner or later. The good news is you are designed to fight off virus infection, as humans before you have for thousands of years.

There is nothing new about coronavirus, which are a group of RNA viruses that cause a variety of diseases in humans and animals. They were first recognised in1960 by virologist June Almeida (1930-2007) when she examined nasal washings of a pupil suffering from influenza-like symptoms. June found a virus infection that was similar to a virus that causes chicken bronchitis. It had probably jumped from chickens to humans.

COVID-19 infecting a cell. SOURCE: Débora Barreto/FIOCRUZ/EPA-EFE

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is ninety-six percent similar genetically to bat coronavirus and has jumped from a bat to a human host, and eventually spread throughout the world.

Bats have a stronger immune system than humans. They live with Marburg virus, an Ebola-like disease, that has a 24%-88% fatality rate for humans, as well as Hendra virus that can cause severe and often fatal illness in humans. For this reason, we need to prepare ourselves for being exposed to COVID-19.

understanding the infection triangle

The best way to guard against a virulent virus is to understand the three major factors involved in fighting off infections, and then do everything you can to support your body to defend itself.

Infections are a result of a three-way interaction between a pathogen (COVID-19), it’s host (you), plus the environment that you and the pathogen share.

The key to managing an outbreak of infection is to defend the host, disarm the pathogen, and disrupt the environment so you can reduce the spread of disease.

The infection triangle clearly shows that your wellness, your state of health – together with the environment you live in – will determine how virulent an infection will be – and not just the presence of a virus alone.

Your First Line of Defence: Defend the Host

There are four steps to creating a strong defence.

STEP ONE: Strengthen your cell receptors and make it harder for viruses to infect you

Burglars have to break into your home before they can steal your possessions, and viruses have to break into your cells before they can grow and reproduce.

First, viruses attach to your cell surface receptors then penetrate your cells. Once inside, they release their genetic material and steal what they need to grow and reproduce, killing the invaded cells and spreading hundreds more of themselves into your body.

COVID-19 docks onto your ACE-2 receptors (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2), which are found in your nose, lungs, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, liver and small intestines. All of these organs are potential doorways for COVID-19 to infect you. BUT the stronger the entrances into your home, the less opportunity burglars have to break in.

Core recommendations for strengthening cell receptors:
  • Vitamin D3: Protects the ACE-2 receptor. (4)
  • Vitamin C: Promotes collagen synthesis for epithelial barrier integrity. (45)
  • Zinc: Supports mucous membrane integrity. (45)
  • Vitamin A: Supports the structural and functional integrity of innate barriers. (45)
  • Japanese knotweed Reynoutria japonica. (13)
  • Chinese skullcap Scutellaria baicalensis. (7)
  • Perilla fructescens. (8)
  • Elderberry. (10)
  • Cinnamon. (11)
  • Reishi Mushroom. (21)

STEP TWO: Restore your gut flora

Seventy percent of your immunity is found in your gut, and your intestinal microbiome performs a powerful function in defending you from infection. Gut micro-flora determines the immunity and inflammatory status of your body. (46)

 Core recommendations for restoring gut flora:
  • Probiotics. (23)
  • Marshmallow root powder. (19)
  • Nutrition.

STEP THREE: Reduce inflammation

 Inflammation is like a fire that is sparked (switched on) when your cells are injured, infected, damaged, burnt, traumatised, poisoned, cut, sprained, or you suffer an allergic reaction.

The four signs of inflammation are swelling, redness, heat and pain. These symptoms signal your body.

Inflammation tells your immune system to remove harmful infection/toxins/pollen/gluten or repair damaged tissue from accidents/allergies/falls/burns. This is called acute inflammation and is resolved (switched off) once your self-healing mechanisms kick in.

Chronic (ongoing) inflammation results when a systemic imbalance occurs and your body doesn’t have the resources to recover. It is like a smouldering fire that keeps getting reignited and damages surrounding tissue.

If you have a health condition characterised by chronic inflammation, you must reduce the inflammation overload (smouldering fire) before you get infected by a virus that triggers further inflammation (fire).

If an infection overwhelms your immune system, the result is a ‘cytokine storm’ – massive levels of inflammation that damage healthy and infected cells. Unleashed inflammation, like wildfire, is dangerous. The higher the level of inflammation, the worse the outcome.

Health Conditions Associated with Chronic Inflammation
CARDIOVASCULAR High cholesterol or triglycerides, high blood pressure, stroke, sudden death.
ENDOCRINE Type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
PULMONARY Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD).
GASTROINTESTINAL Inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Coelic and Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis).
IMMUNE Autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, allergies, anaphylaxis, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, chronic infections.
CELLULAR Cancer – especially breast, colon and prostate.
NERVOUS Alzheimer’s disease, migraines, schizophrenia, chronic stress, mood-disorders (e.g. depression, anxiety, substance induced).
 Core recommendations for reducing inflammation:

 You can support the resolution of inflammation by increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory substances:

  • Japanese Knotweed. (13)
  • Dan shen Salvia miltorrhiza. (13)
  • Turmeric. (26)
  • Quercetin. (25)
  • Ginger. (20)
  • Fish oils. (47)
  • Cordyceps. (22)
  • Boswellia. (49)

STEP FOUR: Support your immune system to defend your body from infection

Reinforcing your immune competence will give you a better capacity to handle an infection that would otherwise harm the nutritionally deficient, inflamed, overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, weak or weary person.

Core recommendations for reinforcing your immune competence:
  • Japanese knotweed. (13)
  • Zinc. (34)
  • Andrographis. (37)
  • Echinacea. (36)
  • Vitamin C. (34)
  • Reishi mushroom. (42)
  • Vitamin D. (4)
  • Selenium. (33)
  • Vitamin A. (3), (35)
  • Usnea. (49)
  • Astragalus. (12), (38)

Your Second Line of Defence: Disarm the Pathogen

Source: Jason Roberts, VIDRL – Doherty Institute

You can’t kill viruses because, by definition, they are not alive – they don’t breathe, eat or make energy on their own.

Viruses are entities made up of DNA or RNA wrapped up in a viral envelope called a capsid. They float around looking for a living cell to invade and take over.

Spike proteins that pop up from the capsid give viruses their ability to penetrate the membranes of living cells and infect them.

Viruses can only grow once they invade living material and steal their organic matter.

If the spiked proteins can be inactivated, the virus will become inert (neutralised) and unable to infect a living cell.

Substances like rubbing alcohol, hand sanitiser, or washing your hands with antibacterial soap and hot water, can damage the viral envelopes and reduce their capacity to infect you. That’s is why hygiene and washing your hands is so important.

Core recommendations for disarming pathogens

Herbs have been used throughout the ages to disarm infection. Today, research suggests that plant genes act as microbiome gatekeepers that keep infections out of cells. (49)

Stephen Harrod Buhner, a senior researcher in plant-based medicine, has taught for over thirty years and written twenty books on plants. Here are some of his herbal recommendations to help fight COVID-19:

  • Forsythia suspense. (48)
  • Lonicera japonica. (48)
  • Chinese skullcap Scutellaria baicalensis. (48)
  • Japanese knotweed Reynoutria japonica. (13)
  • Licorice (6)
  • Berberine containing herbs (e.g. coptis, phellodendron & golden seal). (13)
  • Pleurisy root. (31)
  • Houttuynia spp. (14)
  • Isatis spp. (15)
  • Sophora flavescens. (17)
  • Eucalyptus spp. (8)
  • Panax ginseng. (8)
  • Artemesia annua. (8)
  • Kudzu (18)

Your Third Line of Defence: Disrupt the Environment

Social distancing, wearing masks and hand washing are designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by altering the environment infection thrives in. But there is more to consider.

Your environment is made up of the external world AND your personal world of lifestyle, habits, thoughts, emotions and behaviours. Together, they have an enormous impact on your health.

We are only as healthy as the environment that we live in

Our ability to defend our bodies against virus infection can be undermined by:

  • Exposure to high levels of stress.
  • Not exercising.
  • Insomnia.
  • Exposure to high levels of air pollution.
  • Smoking and vaping.
  • High levels of radiation.
  • Living or working in a ‘sick building’ (see sick building syndrome and mould).
  • Eating foods grown in poor soil that cause nutrient deficiencies.
  • Eating highly processed foods that destroy nutrition.
  • Adding to your toxic burden by ingesting synthetic chemicals in food additives and preservatives, or applying them onto your skin (cosmetics, fake tan, toiletries, perfume, Botox).

Do the best you can to improve the quality of your environment

  • Do all you can to reduce your stress levels by practising mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing and prayer.
  • Aim for 10 minutes (better than nothing) to 1 hour of exercise five times a week.
  • Aim for 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
  • Buy an air purifier, especially if you live in a high pollution area. And stop smoking or vaping.
  • Clean up mould in your home and workplace.
  • Use natural, organic cosmetics and personal care products.
  • Purchase organic, uncontaminated, non-modified food, and eliminate processed sugar from your diet.
  • Eat as close to natural (unprocessed) foods as you can to give your body the best chance to fight off infection (see Mediterranean Diet Pyramid).

Improve the quality of your environment with essential oils

I also recommend diffusing essential oils to reduce airborne pathogens, especially eucalyptus, lemon myrtle, peppermint, lavender, cloves, cinnamon, lemon, ‘thieves’ blend, orange, bergamot, thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary, or Immune Guard by foodboost.

Use 10 drops of essential oil to every 100mls of water. Double the amount to 20 drops if you get sick until you are well again.

Try these blends until you find your favourite: 10 drops of Immune Guard • 5 drops of eucalyptus oil and 5 drops of lavender • 5 drops of bergamot with 5 drops of rosemary oil • 5 drops of lemon myrtle oil and 5 drops of peppermint oil • 5 drops of ‘thieves oil’ and 5 drops of lemon.

Diffuse oils at night if you get an infection that affects your lungs. Traditional Chinese Medicine states that the Lung Meridian is most activated and working hardest between 3am to 5am.

Defending Your Health: A Natural Approach

The basic underlying principle of alternative (natural) medicine is that you are a self-healing organism, more than capable of protecting yourself from infections.

You are not a machine that cannot defend or repair itself. If you think of yourself as a machine, then you become the ultimate victim of disease, fated to get sick and unable to protect yourself. Your mind is that powerful.

Instead, you are more like a garden, a living ecosystem that is not a victim of hostile pathogens. And just like plants, you have an inbuilt capacity to defend yourself from invaders unless you are deficient or weakened.

When soil is depleted, the soil structure becomes imbalanced, the microbiome damaged, and you reap plant life that is diseased and undeveloped. By restoring nutrient deficiencies and repairing the microbiome, you create fertile soil. Strong, healthy plants that can defend themselves from disease grow from fertile soil.

Similarly, if you feed the cells of your body what they need to create and maintain a vital immune system and clean up your environment, you will reap the reward of a healthy body that can defend itself.

Your choices to support your health changes your destiny. You are no longer a passive victim of infections, but rather a dedicated gardener growing healthy plants (cells) capable of withstanding and recovering from invasion (infection).

The information in this article is not a prescription. People have asked me before, do I need to take everything you’ve written about? The answer is no.

The core recommendations I’ve shared with you are researched findings. Our practitioners sit down with you and take into account your case history, your current state of health, and any medications you take, to create a tailored health program. There is no one size fits all. I always recommend – get qualified, personalised advice. All the very best, Lisa Rieniets. N.D

Rener Health Clinics

412 Canning Highway, Attadale. Western Australia 6156

Phone: +61 (08) 9330 2922   Email: [email protected]   Website: www.renerhc.com.au

References

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(42) Batra, P. , et al. (2013). Probing Lingzhi or Reishi Medicianl Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (Higher Basidiomycetes): A Bitter Mushroom with Amazing Health Benefits. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms: 15(2), 127-143.
(43) Bone, Kerry. The Ultimate Herbal Compendium, page 62.
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(45) Maggini S, Pierre A, Calder PC. Immune function and micronutrient requirements change over the life course. Nutrients. 2018 Oct 17;10(10).pii:E1531.doi:10.3390?nu10101531.

(46) Cross ML. Microbes versus microbes: immune signals generated by probiotic lactobacilli and their role in protection against microbial pathogens. FEMS immunology and Medical Microbiology34(2002)245-253.

(47) Wallace F.A et al. Dietary fatty acids influence the production of TH-1 but not Th2-type cytokines. J LeukocBiol 2001;69(3): 449-57.

(48) Dharmanada, Subhuti, Shuanghuanglian: Potent anti-infection combination of lonicera, forsythia and scute, itmonlineorg/arts/shuang.htm,nd.

 (49) Bone, Kerry The Ultimate Herbal Compendium.

immune protect essential oils for diffusers

Essential Oil Diffuser
Essential Oil Diffuser

 

Eating healthy food, washing your hands, getting a good night’s sleep, exercise and stress management help guard your immune system.

You can also diffuse germ busting essential oils to help prevent the spread of airborne pathogens.

immune protect essential oils

BERGAMOT

Antispasmodic, antiseptic, antibiotic and disinfectant in nature, bergamot is traditionally used to relieve congestion and respiratory symptoms including chronic coughing, asthma, colds and flu.

CINNAMON BARK

Antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial and carminative in nature, cinnamon is traditionally used to relieve the symptoms of colds, flu sore throat and congestion.

CLOVE

Antiseptic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal, clove oil is traditionally used for respiratory disorders including coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma, and sinusitis. Chewing a clove bud can be used to soothe sore throats.

EUCALYPTUS

Antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antispasmodic, decongestant in nature, eucalyptus essential oil is traditionally used for respiratory issues including colds and flu, cough, runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion, bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis.

FRANKINCENSE

Antibacterial, antifungal, analgesic, tranquilising, anti-inflammatory, frankincense works as an expectorant to clear the nasal passageway, promotes the relief of congestion, bronchitis, asthma, and sinusitis, encourages easier breathing, is calming, reduces inflammation, pain, and stiffness.

LAVENDER

Calming, sleep-inducing, analgesic, disinfectant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antifungal lavender essential oil is traditionally used for throat infections, flu, coughs, colds, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis and to protect the immune system.

LEMON

Antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, disinfectant, restorative, and tonic lemon essential oil is traditionally used to inhibit viral and bacterial growth and fight infections.

LEMON BALM

Antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, antifungal, antiparasitic, lemon balm (Melissa) is traditionally used to relieve colds, asthma, bronchitis, influenza, candida and herpes.

LEMONGRASS

Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory lemongrass essential oil is effective against a variety of drug-resistant bacteria including those that cause pneumonia and staph infection.

LEMON MYRTLE

This potent antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal essential oil is more powerful than tea tree oil. Beneficial for colds, flu and chest congestion. Fantastic natural germ killer.

LIME

Antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral antipyretic, lime oil is traditionally used to help fight common colds, bacterial infections and influenza, soothe bronchitis, and cool fevers.

NIAOULI

Antiseptic, anti-fungal antibacterial and antiviral, niaouli is traditionally used to aid recovery from colds and flu, sore throats, nasal congestion, and coughing. Inhaling niaouli oil in a steam bath can help open sinus passages to improve congested breathing.

ORANGE

Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant, orange essential oil is uplifting for both the immune system and emotions.

OREGANO

Antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, analgesic and anti-inflammatory, oregano essential oil is traditionally used for treating fevers and respiratory symptoms, sinus and fungal infections, coughs, colds and flu virus, and to speed recovery.

PEPPERMINT

Antiseptic, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, decongestant, peppermint essential oil is traditionally used to relieve headaches and sinus congestion, soothe airways, disinfecting surfaces, and inhibiting airborne pathogens.

ROSEMARY

Antibacterial, anti-catarrhal, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, expectorant rosemary essential oil is traditionally used to clear the respiratory tract, asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, sinus, colds, sore throats, coughing and flu.

SWEET MARJORAM

Antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, fungicidal, sweet marjoram is traditionally used for chronic coughing, bronchitis, colds, flu, excess phlegm and congestion of the nose, throat, sinus and lungs associated with colds and viral infections.

THYME

Antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and antioxidant thyme is traditionally used to alleviate coughs and respiratory tract infections.

immune protect blends

You can add any combination of your favourite germ busting essential oils in your diffuser to help purify the air in your environment.  We make up 50ml bottles of essential oil blends, ready for use at home and work.

Immune Guard

10ml Lemon Myrtle

10ml Rosemary

10ml Eucalyptus

10ml Peppermint

5 ml Clove

5ml Cinnamon bark

Traditional Thieves Blend

15ml clove

15ml lemon

10ml cinnamon bark

5ml eucalyptus

5ml rosemary

Breathe Easy

10ml peppermint

10ml sweet marjoram

10ml roman chamomile

10ml eucalyptus

10ml niaouli

You can also use Breathe Easy for steam inhalation to help relieve a blocked nose or painful sinuses.

  1. Boil one litre of water and pour it into a sturdy heatproof bowl.
  2. Add 5-10 drops of Breathe Easy essential oil blend.
  3. Place your head over the steaming water and drape a towel over your head, creating a tent that traps the steam so it can drift into your nasal passages.
  4. Gently inhale the steam for about 2 minutes at a time. Keep your eyes closed to avoid stinging.
  5. If your nose is red and sore, apply castor oil on any tender skin before you steam to act as a barrier and prevent stinging or further skin irritation.

Please be careful when you use boiling water. Humidifiers and vaporisers are considered safer to use for children.

how to diffuse essential oils

There are all kinds of essential oil diffusers. However, coldwater ultrasonic diffusion is considered safe and effective.

Ultrasonic diffusers come in different sizes and it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s directions. 

As a general rule though, if you have a 100ml diffuser, use 3-5 drops of essential oils. For a 150ml diffuser, use 8-10 drops. A large 500ml diffuser requires about 15-20 drops of essential oils.

how long you should diffuse

You don’t need to diffuse essential oils all day long. They are powerful and you don’t want to overpower a room either. 

It’s recommended that you diffuse essential oils for an hour and turn your diffuser off for an hour.

Make sure you have good ventilation too.

health notes

If you suffer from allergies, you’re pregnant, or you take prescribed medications that are sensitive to interactions, please check with your health practitioner before using essential oils.

Essential oils can be toxic to animals. Please check with your vet before using essential oils near your pets.

all the best!

stress buster exercise – breathe & refocus

Deep breathing technique for stress management
Deep breathing technique for stress management

 

Chronic stress undermines our immune system, our health, our relationships – our wellbeing.

We all experience things in life that can trigger stress responses – from the thoughts we think to painful memories we revisit, confronting interactions with others, trauma, anger, frustration, inner conflict, worry, grief.

The good news is, we don’t have to be victims of our reactions.

When it comes to stress management skills, the 90 Second Rule can change your life. 

it only takes 90 seconds to release stress

When a person has a stressful reaction to something, hormones are flushed through the body, which puts it on full alert. 

But neuroanatomist Dr Jill Bolte found that it takes less than 90 seconds for those chemicals to totally flush out of your body.

If the initial reaction continues, it’s because the person is keeping the cycle alive by adding their thoughts to the event.

And that’s good news!

let go of stress with gentle deep breathing

The opposite of stress is relaxation.

You can learn to relax your body by consciously breathing into your belly and shifting your focus. 

When you experience a stress reaction – stop – and for 90 seconds practice gentle deep breathing. 

Close your eyes. 

Open your jaw slightly. 

Drop your shoulders. 

Relax your hands. 

Gently wiggle your toes. 

Inhale to the count of four through your nostrils. 

Exhale to the count of four through your nostrils.

Become aware of what’s happening in your body as you breathe deeply and gently into your belly. 

Notice anywhere you’re holding tension and let it go with each breath. 

Feel the tension leave your body as you exhale.

shift your focus stress buster

After 90 seconds of deep conscious breathing – if you continue to feel stressed – you need to look at the thoughts that you’re thinking – the ones that are triggering your emotions and physiological response. 

And then you need to think about something else every single time those thoughts pop into your mind.

Repeatedly shifting your mental focus will help you create new neural pathways. 

When you take your attention away from your old habits of thinking, they eventually fall away.

recommended reading

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientists Personal Journey,’ by Dr Jill Bolte Taylor is a book worth reading. Or listen to her talks on YouTube. They are fascinating.

recommended viewing

If you have never practised deep breathing, have a look at YouTube video Deep Breathing Exercises for Beginners by physiotherapist Michelle Kenway.

breathe • let go • refocus!

germ buster skills to protect your health

germ buster hand hygiene
germ buster hand hygiene

 

There’s growing concern about the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) at the moment, so we thought we’d share some natural ways you can help protect your immune system.

First of all, there are obvious things you can do, like eating a healthy diet, getting a good nights sleep, exercising, addressing health problems, and healing stress issues. All of these actions protect your immune system. And we share a lot of health and healing resources you can explore on our website in our FRIENDS directory.

And there are germ busters you can use every day to protect your health.

germ buster champion – handwashing

There is a simple way we can all help stop the spread of illness and germs, yet some of us are bad at it. And that’s washing our hands!

Studies reveal that 1 in 5 people don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet, and two-thirds of us don’t wash our hands before handling food. Considering germs can thrive up to 48 hours on some surfaces, that’s a scary thought.

We can reduce the incidence of food poisoning, gastroenteritis, influenza and viral infections by washing our hands properly for 20 seconds before we cook or eat, and after going to the toilet. That’s all it takes.

The use of soap is essential for hand-washing to be effective, and we share a natural antibacterial soap recipe that we formulated for practitioners at Rener who required extra protection working with sick people.

Immune Protect Foaming Hand Wash is pure and natural, and powered with steam distilled essential oils. Click on the link below if you want the recipe.

HAND WASH RECIPE LINK

https://foodboost.co/recipe/immune-protect-handwash-recipe/

natures germ buster – sunshine 

The ultraviolet radiation in sunlight provides natural disinfectant and antifungal protection – and also has the potential to kill bacteria that thrive on dust particles.

So let the sunshine into your home. And dry your clothes, bedding and towels outdoors in sunlight and fresh air whenever you can.

fresh air is a fantastic germ buster

Mould can also undermine your immune system, and humid conditions create the ideal breeding ground for mould to thrive.

Ventilation is essential to reduce moisture and help to prevent mould. So open your windows on dry days and let the fresh air blow into your home.

In your kitchen and bathroom, install an exhaust fan to conduct moisture and steam away and keep those areas dry.

Properly airing your rooms, curtains, bedding and clothes will also help eliminate indoor pollutants, especially if you use chemical cleaners.

Natural indoor plants can also help detoxify your home and decrease air pollution.

germ buster star – colloidal silver

Silver is known to destroy bacteria, virus and yeast. It is used in bandages to treat wounds and burns, as well as neutralise ‘superbugs’ that have grown resistant to antibiotics.

Colloidal silver is nanoparticles of silver suspended in liquid and is gaining in popularity because of its broad antibacterial action.

It can be used as a natural antiseptic solution for mild burns, cuts, and wounds • as an antibacterial hand spray • to treat mould and disinfect surfaces • or as a room spray to combat airborne germs.

essential oil germ busters

Essential oils have powerful immune protective properties you can use in diffusers and nebulisers. You can also add them to your natural cleaning products.

lemon myrtle

This potent antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal essential oil is more powerful than tea tree oil. Beneficial for colds, flu and chest congestion. Fantastic natural germ buster.

eucalyptus

Antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antispasmodic, and decongestant, eucalyptus essential oil is traditionally used for respiratory problems including colds and flu, cough, runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion, bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis.

bergamot

Antispasmodic, antiseptic, antibiotic and disinfectant in nature, bergamot is traditionally used to relieve congestion and respiratory problems including chronic coughing, asthma, colds and flu.

peppermint

Antiseptic, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, decongestant in nature makes peppermint perfect for disinfecting surfaces and inhibiting airborne pathogens.

rosemary

Antibacterial, anti-catarrhal, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, expectorant rosemary essential oil is traditionally used to clear the respiratory tract, asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, sinus, colds, sore throats, coughing and flu.

cloves

Antiseptic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal, clove oil is traditionally used for various respiratory disorders including coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma, and sinusitis. Chewing a clove bud can be used to soothe sore throats.

cinnamon

Antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial and carminative in nature, cinnamon is traditionally used to relieve the symptoms of colds, flu sore throat and congestion.

lavender

Calming, sleep-inducing, analgesic, disinfectant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antifungal, lavender essential oil is traditionally used for throat infections, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis and to protect the immune system.

lemon

Antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, disinfectant, restorative and tonic, lemon essential oil is traditionally used to inhibit viral and bacterial growth and fight infections.

sweet marjoram

Antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, fungicidal, marjoram is traditionally used for chronic coughing, bronchitis, colds, flu, excess phlegm and congestion of the nose, throat, sinus and lungs associated with colds and viral infections.

orange

Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant, orange essential oil is uplifting for both the immune system and emotions.

germ busting your home

Essential oils are highly effective germ busters you can use to kill surface and airborne bacteria and viruses.  

If you get sick with a cold, virus or infection, wash all your bedding, towels and clothing in hot water and add 15ml of Eucalyptus oil to every load.

Eucalyptus oil will not only soften and refresh your clothes, but it also has powerful anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. It will even kill dust mites.

You can also deodorise and clean surfaces and floors by adding a capful of eucalyptus or peppermint oil to your wash bucket.

Or mix your own germ busting blends to clean and refresh your home. Peppermint oil marries beautifully with lemon myrtle. Lavender oil and sweet marjoram are soft and soothing. Orange and cloves work well together.  Experiment with your favourite scents and protect your health at the same time.

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils, have a look at The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Wormwood.

essential oil note for pet owners 

Essential oils can be toxic to animals. Please check with your vet before using essential oils near your pets.

special note for you

If you suffer from allergies, you’re pregnant, or you take prescribed medications that are sensitive to interactions – please check with your health practitioner before using essential oils.

advice for travelling

There are websites that can help you keep up to date with changes in the destinations you plan to visit. SmartTraveller provides security, safety, disaster and health information, including the latest advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19). You can also check with your travel agent for updates before travelling overseas.

All the very best!

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