Category Archives: Natural Remedies

Yeast overgrowth

When people talk about yeast overgrowth in the body, they are referring to harmful yeast organisms. Candidiasis is by far the most common type of yeast infection, and there are more than 20 species of Candida, the most common being Candida albicans (a type of fungus).

We all have small amounts of Candida growing in our digestive tracts and living on our skin. This (along with other harmful gut flora, such as fungi, parasites and bacteria), is usually kept in check by our “friendly” bacteria. In this way, Candida normally co-exists with many other types of bacteria, in a state of balance in and on our bodies.

When things go wrong

It is only when our natural defences are out of balance that we become vulnerable to overgrowth – in other words, the levels of harmful gut flora that can make us ill start to exceed the number of beneficial bacteria which help to keep us well. Illness, poor digestion, a high-sugar diet and medication (such as antibiotics, which destroy both good and bad bacteria), are all examples of factors that can create the perfect environment for dysbiosis – the technical term for too many bad bugs.

In fact, yeast overgrowth is a common manifestation of dysbiosis. When the immune system is under strain, or the liver is functioning poorly, Candida (an opportunistic organism) is able to flourish. If allowed to remain, it can grow in the mucous membrane lining of the small intestine, where it can take root and cause damage. For instance, Candida can worsen any ‘leaks’ in an already inflamed gut (such as those seen in cases of leaky gut syndrome). If the yeast is permitted to enter the bloodstream, it can then also travel to various other parts of the body and promote multiple fungal infections.

Some of the more common signs of Candida overgrowth include:

  • fatigue
  • sugar cravings
  • brain fog
  • food allergies / intolerances
  • blurred vision
  • depression
  • digestive problems
  • joint pain
  • muscle pain
  • chronic diarrhoea
  • yeast vaginitis
  • bladder infections
  • menstrual problems
  • and constipation.

The end result of a prolonged infection can be an immune system that becomes overwhelmed with toxins and reacts by producing antibodies and inflammatory chemicals. In these circumstances, it can be useful to review your overall lifestyle, paying particular attention to your diet, toxic load, hormonal balance and digestion – it is estimated that as much as 70% of our immune system resides in the digestive tract.

The role of diet

The average modern diet and lifestyle are not always conducive to healthy levels of gut flora and efficient digestion, which can in turn make us more prone to yeast overgrowth and a strained immune system. For example, we are exposed to an ever-increasing amount of toxins and chemicals, not least from the processed foods we eat, as well as the pollution and contaminants in the air we breathe and water we drink. It is therefore now generally accepted that people suffering from Candida albicans overgrowth can benefit from the following:

1. Eliminating certain foods and drinks from the diet, which ‘feed’ the Candida and inflame the gut: Some foods provide energy directly to the Candida yeast, while others impact the digestive system, the immune system and reduce the body’s ability to fight infection. If you want to beat Candida overgrowth and avoid it in the future, give your body the best possible chance by avoiding them. Good examples are refined sugar, white flour, alcohol, caffeine, chemical-laden processed foods, foods containing yeasts or fungi (such as mushrooms, cheese and milk) and other acid-forming foods. Wherever reasonably possible, also minimise your use of medication (such as antibiotics).

2. Incorporating more of certain foods into the diet: Just as there are certain foods worth avoiding as part of an anti-Candida diet, there are also certain foods that can support your body’s recovery, your immune system and help to restore gut health. Increase your intake of nutrient-rich fruit and vegetables (preferably raw, organic and seasonal). These natural whole foods are packed with dietary fibre, enzymes and other cleansing and protective nutrients (such as antioxidants, amino acids and phyto-chemicals). They are also naturally alkalising – a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut and a strong immune system is thought to be assisted by a diet which maintains the correct acid/alkaline balance.

3. Taking probiotics: As yeast overgrowth is often linked to an imbalance in bowel flora (as mentioned above), there is also a good case for taking probiotics (good bacteria). This can be through fermented foods or probiotic supplements. Some of the best probiotic foods include kefir, sauerkraut, miso, tofu and tempeh. If you choose to take probiotic supplements, it is a good idea to opt for high-strength, multi-strain products, with bacteria that colonise the gut.

4. Boosting the immune system: It is thought that overgrowth of yeast tends mainly to occur in those with weakened immune systems or those whose levels of good bacteria have been diminished as a result of some external factor (for instance through stress, pregnancy and/or the use of antibiotics, birth control pills or steroids).

As mentioned above, failure to promptly address a yeast overgrowth infection can lead to Candida organisms entering the bloodstream and colonising other areas of the body, such as the urinary tract, vagina, nails, mouth and skin. This level of infection can result in a chronic systemic problem, with large numbers of yeast germs further weakening the immune system and perpetuating the problem.

Candida albicans can produce around 75 toxic substances that are poisonous to the body. These toxins can contaminate tissue and weaken everything from the immune system, liver and kidneys, to the lungs, brain and nervous system. It would therefore logically be beneficial to take proactive steps to boost your immune system during a Candida infection. This might include cleansing and detoxifying your body, increasing your intake of organic whole food nutrients and (as suggested above) ensuring healthy levels of good bacteria in your gut.

Here are 3 of our most popular probiotic supplements:

Antioxidants vs Free Radicals

We all know that oxygen is essential for all life…

But did you know that, as well as being an absolute necessity for our survival, its use in the body can also result in the production of certain unwanted by-products? They are known as oxidants. Some of these oxidants will act as free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage DNA and cell structure. They cause harm because they are constantly trying to stabilise themselves by attempting to ‘steal’ electrons from nearby molecules. This, in turn, damages those molecules and makes them unstable too, causing them to also seek out other electrons in order to become stable again. And so, a vicious circle is created.

Free radicals are produced as a result of both internal (endogenous) and external (exogenous) factors. Endogenous free radicals are produced as a result of normal biological processes, like aerobic respiration, metabolism and inflammation. In contrast, exogenous free radicals are produced as a result of environmental factors, like:

  • pollution,
  • sunlight,
  • stress,
  • UV rays,
  • poor diet,
  • alcohol intake,
  • smoking,
  • strenuous exercise
  • and X-rays.

Unfortunately, in our modern age, filled with ever-present pollutants and toxins, both in the environment and in the foods we eat, the levels of free radicals within our bodies are higher than they have ever been before. It is impossible to avoid damage from free radicals, and our body’s own defences against it are not foolproof.

When the levels of free radicals within our bodies exceed the protective capabilities of those defences, it results in a phenomenon known as “oxidative stress” which means that the defence system is no longer able to readily detoxify or to repair the occurring damage.

As the time goes on, cell parts which have become damaged by process of oxidation accumulate, contributing to the toxic load of the body as well as speeding up the processes of ageing and causing a further stress on the immune system.

Our bodies are really amazing in terms of being capable to run many complex processes which keep us healthy and in a harmonious balance. One of the main keys to staying healthy revolves around providing our bodies with as much nutritional support as we can, in order to fuel our natural defences. Our primary line of defence against free radicals are antioxidants – substances that help counteract the damaging effects of oxidation in tissue.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, polyphenols and other phyto-chemicals), as well as enzymes (proteins in the body that assist in chemical reactions). While it is not entirely clear how antioxidants work, their most important characteristic in terms of supporting the body against free radicals is that they are stable with or without the extra electron, so they can help to stop the chain reaction (or the vicious circle) referred to above. These beneficial compounds are present in many natural, whole foods (such as fruit and vegetables).

In many cases, it is possible to identify antioxidant-rich sources through their distinctively bright colours. For instance:

  • the deep red of cherries;
  • the deep purple of beetroot;
  • the bright orange of carrots;
  • the yellow of turmeric;
  • and the blue-purple of blueberries, blackberries and grapes.

Vitamin C and vitamin E are two of the most potent antioxidants found in nature, present in high levels in foods such as parsley, rosehips, elderberries, blackcurrants, citrus fruits, broccoli, nuts and whole grains (like oatmeal, rye, barley). Foods that have exceptionally high levels of antioxidants are often referred to as “superfoods” or “superfruits”, for that reason. The most common examples of those are: green tea, acai berries and wheatgrass.

How to support the level of antioxidants within your body?

Our bodies produce metabolic enzymes that are extremely effective antioxidants but their capability of sufficient production drops dramatically in our twenties. Likewise, if we are adding to the free radical production though our lifestyles, it is a good idea to support the antioxidant levels through external (dietary) sources.

Antioxidant foods
Eating a balanced diet, rich in a variety of seasonal (preferably organic) fruits, vegetables, green leafy plants and whole grains, is one of the best ways to support your body’s antioxidant levels.

However, if you feel that you need additional support due to your life and health circumstances, a more concentrated intake, or a more convenient and reliable source, food-based antioxidant supplements can be the perfect solution.

You can find plenty of antioxidant options to suit your lifestyle and healthcare needs in our eBay shop.

Antibiotics vs Gut

Good health begins with balance in the body.

Friendly Bowel Bacteria
Did you know that there are twenty times more bacteria than living cells inside our bodies?

Having the right kinds of bacteria (often “friendly bacteria”), in appropriate quantities, is essential for virtually everything from healthy digestion and nutrient absorption, to immunity and defence against infections. It’s no wonder that more and more people say that health starts within your gut- it really does!

What can disrupt gut flora?

The delicate balance of healthy gut flora can be disrupted by a range of circumstances, which may include:

  • excess alcohol consumption,
  • diet high in sugar,
  • poor digestion,
  • stress,
  • exposure to toxins and environmental pollutants.
  • antibiotics

For the purposes of this article, we will look in more detail at one of the most common causes of the imbalance of bacterial flora within the gut – the long-term or frequent use of antibiotics.

How do antibiotics affect the digestive tract?

In present times, antibiotics have been arguably prescribed and used far more than they should have been and, a result, antibiotic resistance is, unfortunately, now a fairly common problem.

Antibiotic Resistance
Antibiotic resistance is a type of drug resistance where a pathogenic microorganism is able to survive exposure to an antibiotic.

If that wasn’t enough, one of the most notable effects of antibiotics is their negative impact on the digestive system and the fine balance of gut flora since antibiotics destroy both good and bad bacteria within our bodies, with no differentiation between them.

Antibiotics work by either killing bacteria or by preventing bacteria from growing – which great news in terms of ‘bad’, pathogenic bacteria, but really bad news in terms of our ‘good’ bacteria, which help to keep us healthy!

It is somewhat ironic, when you consider that people start taking antibiotics in the first place because they are ill, often not realising that the medicine is destroying one of their bodies primary lines of natural defence.

The most important part of our Immune System resides in the gut, where Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue (special antibody-producing cells) works hard to prevent unwanted micro-organisms (such as bacteria or viruses) from entering our body.

I’m not completely dissing antibiotics, they do have a very significant role to play and can certainly be highly effective in resolving bacterial infections but there should be a time and a place for them, when there is no other, less drastic and more natural alternative at hand. It is so important to use antibiotics sensibly and to support your levels of beneficial bacteria both during and after antibiotic treatment, in order to ensure that they won’t cause any longer term damage. This can be done through a specialised detox treatment which can deal with any residual after-effects whilst helping your body to regain the optimal balance.

If your levels of good bacteria fall, you provide opportunistic ‘nasties’ (like bacteria, parasites and yeasts) with an excellent environment in which to thrive and spread. An overgrowth of harmful gut flora (called dysbiosis) increases gut toxicity and can result in a number of unpleasant symptoms and conditions, which may include:

  • bloating
  • constipation
  • diarrhoea
  • abdominal pains after eating
  • wind
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • and Candida overgrowth

This is one of the main reasons why antibiotic programmes often result in thrush (an infection caused by overgrowth of Candida which is an opportunistic yeast).

Digestive Problems after antibiotic treatment
Research has shown that the damage done to the digestive tract by antibiotics can last for far longer than was previously thought.

Stanford University researchers in America analysed the levels of friendly bacteria in 3 healthy adult women both before and after each of two cycles on the antibiotic Cipro. Following the first cycle, they found that the drug had altered the population of the subjects’ friendly gut bacteria significantly, perhaps even permanently. Following the second cycle, six months later, they discovered that the effect was exponentially greater. As such, antibiotics should never be used as a regular “quick fix” for minor problems and, wherever possible, long courses should be avoided. Where a course of antibiotics is really unavoidable, you may consider a detox therapy or support your levels of friendly bacteria through diet and probiotic supplements, at the very least.

Cultures around the World have observed the health-supporting effects of fermented foods (often referred to as “probiotic foods”) which are often include as a regular part of their diet. These foods include kefir, sauerkraut, miso, tofu and tempeh, to name just a few.

Introducing these foods in your diet on a daily basis is a really good way to promote healthy intestinal flora. However, it is worth noting that most of these foods do not contain strains of bacteria that can actually colonise the digestive tract. Instead, they do good work for a week or two and then pass through. Supplementing with strains of good bacteria that are capable of colonising the digestive tract (such as L. acidophilus, L. salivarius, B. infantis, B. bifidum, B. brevis and B. longum) is arguably a far more effective and powerful means of supporting healthy levels of gut flora for the long term.

Acai Berries – what puts the “super” in this superfood?

Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berries have become incredibly popular in the form of dietary supplements over the past few years, both in capsule and powder form.

Why are they considered as Superfruits?

This is in no small part due to the significant media attention they have received, since being more widely recognised in the Western world as a “superfruit”. In other words, a fruit with an exceptionally high nutrient-to-calorie ratio compared to other fruits of a similar kind. For example, in terms of antioxidant, essential fatty acid, vitamin or mineral content.

Although having only just recently entered the wider public consciousness in the West, South Americans native to the Amazon have been enjoying the nutritional benefits of these tasty berries for many years. In fact, they are considered to be an essential food source for three traditional Caboclo populations in the Brazilian Amazon, because they make up a major component of their diet – up to 42% of their total food intake by weight! A fact which reflects their incredibly high nutrient content.

Found only in swampy areas of the Amazon rainforest (Central and South America), acai berries are pretty exotic – which explains why they haven’t ever popped up on the shelves of our supermarkets! They are small and round (approximately 25mm in size) and grow on large palm trees called açaí palms, which can reach over 80 feet in height. The berries grow in bunches (similar to bananas) and an average açaí palm tree can yield between 3 to 8 bunches of berries.

Once ripe, acai berries bear a strong resemblance to grapes and blueberries, except that they are not quite as pulpy. They contain a large, inedible seed, which constitutes as much as 90% of the entire fruit! Although hard to find in their natural whole food form, everyone can now access the nutritional benefits of these berries on a daily basis through the convenience of health supplements, which will often incorporate both acai berry powder and concentrated extract.

But why might you want to incorporate acai berry nutrients into your daily diet?

  • Immune system support: A big clue to their high nutrient content is given away by the deep blue / purple colour of acai berries. Like most other brightly coloured natural foods, they contain healthy pigments, which support immunity, health and vitality. For example, flavonoids and potent antioxidants (such as anthocyanins). They are also a rich source of Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids (good fats).
  • Heart health support: As well as containing high levels of anthocyanins, research has also shown that acai berries are rich in phytosterols which may provide cardio-protective support for our cells.
  • Energy support: Acai berries contain high levels of plant protein. Combined with their high levels of antioxidants and other nutrients, they can offer ideal support for high energy levels, stamina and general vitality.
  • Weight management support: When trying to shape up, you are obviously looking to decrease your intake of high-calorie unhealthy foods, in favour of nutrient-packed foods that are naturally low in calories. Not only will this encourage a healthy weight, it will also help to ensure that your general health remains strong during any periods of slimming and reduced food choice. In this way, acai berries can provide ideal weight management support.

So now you know why acai berries have been causing a stir in the natural health world! And these are just some of their nutritional benefits. Plus, if you favour an organic lifestyle or are trying to detox, it is worth bearing in mind that acai berries are wild harvested, as opposed to farmed. This means that they aren’t exposed to harmful pesticides and fertilisers.

Acai berries offer great all-round healthy living support – why not try them for yourself?

You can find Acai berries in our Acai Immuno Complex, available on our website and Amazon Store.

acai berries, acai berry capsules, superfood, superfruit, superfood supplement, antioxidants, Omega oils, vitamins, minerals, immunity support, weight loss, energy boost, heart health
A High-potency formulation of Brazilian freeze-dried Acai Berry powder and extract, combined with a range of other beneficial ingredients including vitamins, minerals and herbs to provide support for immunity, energy level, bones, hair, skin, nails and more.

Top Tips for Indigestion

We all have experienced indigestion at one time or another. Even if you are not prone to it on a regular basis, you may have noticed an uneasiness in your stomach after overindulging yourself on one occasion or another, like after family gathering, Christmas, Birthday parties and so on…

There are many reasons for indigestion, from occasional overindulgence as mentioned above, through stress, fatigue and overall poor diet or even parasites and fungal infections.

How do I know if I have indigestion?

Indigestion is usually diagnosed based on symptoms which most often include:

  • Bloating
  • Belching (burping)
  • Acid Reflux
  • Heartburn and heaviness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue and feeling of dullness

Note: If you suffer from a severe, chronic indigestion, it could be a sign of a stomach ulcer or inflammation which could have a negative impact on your whole digestive tract.

Best options to remedy indigestion

Widely-advertised antacids suppress the production of stomach acid. The main issue here is that they tend to create what is commonly known as an ‘acid-rebound’ effect where your body produces even MORE acid than it did before (talk about a vicious circle!). In addition, they often contain aluminium salts which may add onto the heavy metal toxicity of your body which comes with a whole new array of problems.

So the question is: will it be the proverbial last straw which broke the camel’s back? How much more can your body take?

What are your other options?

Homeopathy can be very effective in dealing with both chronic and occasional cases of indigestion. The key lies in matching the correct remedy to your experience, i.e.

  • If your indigestion is linked to overindulgence in alcohol, stimulants or rich & spicy foods (as in a post-Saturday Night Out syndrome with an added hangover) then you could seriously consider taking Nux Vomica- a remedy most commonly used when the food lies on your stomach like a stone, you have an acid or bitter reflux and feel overall chilly.
  • If you simply suffer every time you eat something too fat, you could look at getting a dose or two of Pulsatilla or Carbo Veg. The difference here is that Pulsatilla can still taste the food they ate for ages afterwards whilst Carb Veg will have a lot of burps and feel tired and sleepy.
  • If you are not a fan of antacids yet your indigestion in of a long standing, you could take Nat Phos, a biochemic tissue salt which is widely-known for its acid-calming properties with NO acid-rebound effect!
Top 10 Herbs for Indigestion
Top 10 Herbs for Indigestion based on Traditional Usage

There are also plenty of herbal options, depending on the type of indigestion you are experiencing, e.g.

  • Anise- traditionally used in order to relieve indigestion with a lot of mucousy reflux and to improve appetite
  • Artichoke- considered as a liver supporting herb, usually taken for abdominal pain, heartburn and bloating
  • Cayenne- most commonly used by people with sluggish digestion and metabolism
  • Chamomile- ideal for cases of ‘nervous’ stomachs with a lot of cramps and gas
  • Gentian- commonly used to stimulate stomach and gallbladder secretions in cases where there is too little stomach acid
  • Geranium- traditionally used to decrease acidity, relieve pain and help in healing ulcers
  • Liquorice, Slippery Elm & Marshmallow- most useful when dealing with inflamed stomach lining due to their promotion of a protective mucous
  • Peppermint- most commonly used to neutralize excess acidity and spasms

If you are looking herbal and food supplements which were specially selected in order to provide support for digestion, why not visit our online store?

Visit our online store
You can find a wide range or herbals in our online store

If you would like to address the way your body is reacting to certain foods or bring balance back to your digestion rather than taking temporary measures, you could try bioresonance or homeopathic treatment.

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