Natural Remedies

Author: Kombu Wholefoods   Date Posted:1 October 2014 

Welcome! This section of the site contains a range of information from our local naturopath.

We hope you find the information useful. Comments and suggestions for future articles is always welcome :-)

Switch Off Sunday

By on 1 October 2016 click here to comment

What can you not do with a smart phone? I've seen apps for just about everything. From social interaction, to searching the worlds almost infinite databases of information, navigation, gaming, photography, time keeping, note taking, organisers, menstrual cycle charting and more. Did you know you can even make phone calls on them!? These wonderful little gizmos have found there way with alarming speed into just about every nook and cranny of our lives. It is rare for many people to be found without a phone any more. We are connected 24/7 to the world. News on demand, access to friends and vast social networks waiting to entertain us at any time of the day. It feels great to be connected, always in touch, never on our own. But what are the consequences of living in this cyber city which neve... continue reading

Vitamin D Goodness

By on 5 September 2016 click here to comment

Vitamin D Goodness This wonderful vitamin is really just beginning to receive the recognition it deserves for its years of hard work. Research is now showing that there are vitamin D receptors to be found throughout many areas of our body. These are like switches which only vitamin D can turn on and off. Where ever a receptor is found, it indicates that vitamin D most likely has a role to play. Vitamin D's biggest claim to fame to date is its important role in bone health and modelling, however evidence is rapidly emerging that vitamin D may also have important roles in prevention and management of diabetes, improved fertility outcomes, immune system modulation, cancer prevention, balance and reduced falls in the elderly, muscle health, brain health and proliferative conditions like... continue reading

The Dreaded Lurgy

By on 22 April 2016 click here to comment

The Dreaded Lurgy As the colder weather is beginning to slowly set in and we are all uttering our first “brrrrssss” for the year, my mind turns to runny noses and those coughs and colds that can begin to appear. With the changes in weather comes a need for our body to change and adjust to new outside pressures. Sometimes, for a diversity of different reasons this transition doesn't go so smoothly and we find ourselves literally feeling a little under the weather. So what can we do to support ourselves so we can all stay healthy and happy this winter? The first and very un-Australian is to actually acknowledge that it is winter and dress accordingly. Warm clothes and shoes prevent cold from seeping inand draining needed vitality. This drop in v... continue reading

The Benefits of Healthy Food

By on 15 July 2015 click here to comment

One of my personal passions when it comes to healthcare is helping people to achieve optimal nutrition through their day to day diets eating simple, delicious wholefoods. I am blessed in my part of the country to have a diversity of climates within 100km ranging from coastal through sub-tropical to the more temperate areas. This means that we are also blessed with a wonderful diversity of food choices from freshly caught seafood and bananas through to delicious apples, blueberries, macadamia nuts and pecans. What we eat everyday is so important. It is our fuel for movement and function, contains the catalysts for hundreds of miraculous chemical reactions inside us happening each second, provides the integral building blocks we need for growth and repair and my favourite, also provides us with a... continue reading

The Home Herbal

By on 17 March 2015 click here to comment

A few weeks ago I took a quick look at some of the amazing medicinal herbs that can be found masquerading as weeds in and around our homes. Over the coming weeks I would like to take some time to introduce and explore more of our local and common backyard plants. What are they useful for as medicines and to keep my aspiring chef happy, perhaps a few culinary uses too! I think it is one of the most exciting and empowering feelings to be able to meet at least some of our own needs from the garden and wilds. Firstly, to start us off, I'd like to explore a few of the cornerstones of naturopathy/herbalism. These create the framework that then means these herbs can be best utilised. Some are common sense and perhaps you've never thought of some in that way before. ... continue reading

Micro-organisms - An Introduction

By on 4 June 2014 click here to comment

From Little Things.... There has been a lot of focus and interest of late around the world of microorganisms. My father in law has dubbed 2014, for the second year running, the year of the microbiology. I think that it is about time that we acknowledged the huge role that these tiny creatures play in our world. Recent attention has been focused primarily around our digestive health and how important gut bacteria are for our health and wellbeing. However, the realm of the microbe does not stop there. We are surrounded by them and have contact with them on many different levels. Just as a healthy population are so important for our inner health, so are certain bacterial populations for the health of our skin and in protecting and maintaining balance in areas such as our nose and mouth. Recent research has shown that not only do bacterial populations change from person to person, there are also certain bacteria that... continue reading

Micro-organisms - Our Internal Flora

By on 4 June 2014 click here to comment

Carrying on from last week's article introducing the amazing world of microbiology, this week I would like to focus more on the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Imagine your GIT being a complete ecosystem. The food comes in which provides nourishment, the pH is perfect for these little micro-organisms to thrive and keep the balance so that they prevent harmful bacteria from colonising. The diversity of bacteria help support your immune system, feed the GIT cells so that there is energy for digesting and help absorb nutrients from food, as well as preparing the waste for elimination. The health and balance of this ecosystem is incredibly important. More and more research is showing that the health of our GIT bacteria not only effect local digestive health but can also have further reaching connections with our mental and emotional wellbeing. So where does it all begin? Your entrance to the world is where your first c... continue reading

Micro-organisms - Fermented Foods

By on 4 June 2014 click here to comment

From Little Things.... Once an age old tradition and way of preserving foods, fermented or living foods are back on the menu. More people are becoming aware of how important the world of the micro-organisms are for our digestive health and overall well being. Living foods are a way of increasing our exposure to healthy, helpful bacterial populations and commonly taste good too. Its a funny concept that encouraging bacteria into food you can actually prevent spoiling and usually extend a foods life. In fact there are those who have made an art form out of this process, controlling bacteria to create new and delicious products like cheese, wine, beer, breads, salami, miso and fish sauce to name a few. Outside of these more commercial products most people are familiar with traditional sauerkraut. I grew up with sauerkraut from the can. An interesting experience. Salty, sour and with a very intri... continue reading

Micro-organisms - the connection between gut and brain

By on 4 June 2014 click here to comment

Our second brain? Last week we had a little exploration of fermented or living foods, delicious and wonderful for our digestive health. This week I'd like to take a look at one of the major areas of research at the moment in the world of the micro-organism and the gastro intestinal tract. The connection between the GIT and our minds. A great place to start is the connection that we all understand. At some stage most of us would have experienced 'butterflies' in our stomach before an exam or big event. Likewise, during times of high stress or significant change experiencing diarrhoea or constipation is not an uncommon side effect. On an anatomical level our GIT functions very much like a second brain. Our digestive tract contains approx 100 million neurons in a system known as the enteric nervous system. Most of the chemicals which control the brain are also found functioning within this... continue reading

Natural Remedies for Insomnia

By on 9 April 2014 click here to comment

So many of us have difficulty sleeping. Falling asleep, staying asleep, night terrors/stressful dreams, or waking during the night, unable to return to that oh so wonderful land of nod. A lot of things can have an impact on our sleep. Some common causes include little children and babies, a snoring or restless partner and emotional reasons such as stress, anxiety or worry. Other reasons include overstimulation before bed from music, television, computer or or phone screens or eating certain or too much food close to bedtime. For those who are having trouble sleeping, one of the best places to start is creating a ritual around sleep time, to slowly prepare yourself for a calm and restful sleep. This is called sleep hygiene. This starts wit... continue reading

Ahhh! Burnout!

By on 1 April 2014 click here to comment

Ahhh! Burnout! Constant stress, large workloads, unmanageable lists of tasks piling up in front of you and complete overwhelm. Slowly but surely these pressures can wear you down, draining your zest for life, effecting relationships and damaging mental, emotional and physical health. But with help and support, making time for yourself and reassessing priorities, burnout can be healed. Burnout can stem from all sorts of causes. A job without clear boundaries, acknowledgement or appreciation, boredom from a lack of stimulation and challenge, or complete overwhelm from looking after several small children while running a household. Lifestyle factors such as poor sleep, a lack of close and supportive friends and poor boundaries can all be contribut... continue reading

The Well Loved Wart

By on 25 March 2014 click here to comment

The Well Loved Wart Three out of four of us will have a wart at sometime during our lives and never have come into contact with a witch or toad! Despite what legend says, warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Over 100 types of HPV exist effecting different areas of the body, however the warts I am talking about today are those you most commonly find on your hands, knees, ankles, elbows or feet. Aside from their appearance and the pain that sometimes comes from knocking these warts, they are completely unharmful, though can be quite contagious. The HPV virus is spread through contact with other people and or infected objects. Don't panic though, usually infection will not occur unless there is an easy route into the body such as a small cut or graze. ... continue reading

The Medicinal Benefits of Comfrey and Garlic

By on 19 March 2014 click here to comment

This week is to be our last article exploring local and backyard plants for this series. Our last plants are Comfrey and the locally abundant Garlic. Comfrey - Symphytum officinale as it is known by botanically, is a plant of high esteem. In the garden, its deep root system helps to break up compacted soils in preparation for new planting. It is also a great accumulator of minerals and as such features highly in many permaculture gardens where the plant is chopped and left to break down into the top soil or mixed with water to create a nourishing fertiliser. The leaf has a rich mineral content combined with a soft, soothing gel like character that appears after crushing the plant. Crushed leaves can be used as a poultice to speed the healing of bruises, sprains and brok... continue reading

The Medicinal Benefits of Sage and Elder

By on 11 March 2014 click here to comment

This week another two wonderful medicinal herbs from our backyards; Sage and Elder. Sage – A well known but often under rated backyard herb with a diversity of medicinal and culinary uses. The word Salvia from Salvia officinalis , the Latin name for Sage, translates as 'to heal'. Sage, as suggested by its name, is said to bring wisdom and if eaten every May, will bring a long and healthy life. Sage has long been used in Native American ceremony for purification or smudging. As a tasty addition to meals, Sage also helps aid digestion of heavy foods while imparting a unique and delicious flavour. An infusion of Sage makes a great mouthwash to improve teeth and gum health. Its anti-microbial and astringent actions are also beneficial as a gargle for so... continue reading

The Medicinal Benefits of Rosemary and Shepherd's Purse

By on 5 March 2014 click here to comment

Rosemary - Rosemarinus officinalis has a long history of use in medicine and folklore. The Ancient Greeks and Romans would wear a wreath of Rosemary around their heads to help with memory during exams. Similarly, sprigs of the plant were often woven into the hair of brides and placed with the deceased as a symbol of remembrance and longevity. These days Rosemary has a wonderful affinity for the memory helping improve alertness, recall and concentration. A little of the essential oil on the temples can help prepare for exams. For those who have lost their 'joie de vivre', Rosemary can help rediscover a love for life again. A strong infusion or tea or a few drops of the essential oil rubbed into the scalp is said to stimulate the hair follicles preventing premature balding. Rosemary also has... continue reading

The Medicinal Benefits of Nasturtium and Couch Grass

By on 26 February 2014 click here to comment

Continuing on from last week, its now on to the well known and not always loved, nasturtium and couch grass. Nasturtium – Known botanically as Tropaeolum majus , nasturtium have beautifully bright coloured flowers and once established, will grow just about anywhere. The flowers and leaves can be included in salads, stuffed like zucchinin flowers or chopped up into stirfrys. The seeds and young buds can be pickled and used as a replacement for capers. Those who have eaten Nasturtium leaves or flowers will know that they have an intense fiery bite. It is this characteristic that also gives this plant its major medicinal actions. Nasturtium leaves can be used on wounds to help fight infection being a strong antiseptic. The seeds can be ground to a paste and painted onto fungal infections o... continue reading

More Wonderful Weeds

By on 19 February 2014 click here to comment

After laying out some of the foundations of Naturopathy last week, now, its on with Australian plants and their often unknown uses as herbal medicines and (sometimes quite tasty foods!) Farmers Friend – The good old Farmers friend, also known by a few other common names such as Cobblers peg and Beggar's Ticks. These are the plants that have seeds or fruitlets with little prongs on the end that always get stuck in your socks, your clothes and just about everywhere else. They grow prolifically around this area in just about any patch of disturbed soil. They are a wonderfully tough pioneering species, preparing the soil again for the next generation of plants to follow. Farmer's Friends latin name is Bidens pilosa . It has a history of use any many countries around the wor... continue reading

From Bach and Bush (Part 2)

By on 30 January 2014 click here to comment

Made from Australian flowers, the Bush Flower Remedies capture the ruggedness and wisdom of our old continent. Our Australian flora is distinctly unique and the flowers for these essences come from a diversity of regions across Australia, ranging from the remote and harsh climates of the interior to our coastal sclerophyll forests. Similarly to the Bach flowers, each Bush flower essence has a specific emotional state or states for which it can help. Bach's remedies were discovered during the early 1900's and cover many basic human emotional states. The Bush flower remedies, made during the late 1980's, reflect the evolution of that past 60 years and the new challenges that we face in a rapidly changing society. More readily addressed by these essences are issues around sexuality, communicatio... continue reading

From Bach and Bush (Part 1)

By on 27 January 2014 click here to comment

A gentle but powerful tool available to us as practitioners and to everyone at home is the Bach and Bush flowers. These potent essences are what most would consider an energetic medicine, they are fantastic for working with people to resolve mental and emotional patterns and issues. They also work wonderfully for pets who may have anxiety, grief or some other form of distress. The most common of these remedies which many may know is the 'Rescue Remedy'. This invaluable remedy is a blend of essences for fear, shock, terror, panic and that out of body kind of feeling which accompanies any situation which may cause these emotions. The Bach flower essences came into existence through Dr Edward Bach, a medical doctor, bacteriologist and pathologist. While practicing as a surgeon and undertaking early research into vacci... continue reading

Medicinal Weeds

By on 22 January 2014 click here to comment

Before studying naturopathy I had absolutely no idea as to how many backyard plants, be they weed, decorative or food, actually have wonderful medicinal uses too. Here is a snap shot, just a spot on the radar of the incredible resources available to us unbeknown and how they can be used at home. Dandelion – Often seen as a weed, this plant has slightly bitter leaves, great for reducing excess fluid, helping stimulate digestion and a nice addition to salads. The root is also wonderfully medicinal, helping the liver improve detoxification. Stinging Nettle – Painful and som... continue reading