How To Make Kombucha

What is Kombucha?

Consumed for thousands of years, kombucha, a fermented tea drink, has been known to improve digestive health, immune system and general vitality. It starts as a tea full of polyphenols which is then fermented with a ‘scoby’ which introduces and grows the healthy bacteria in the kombucha.

Why is it good for you? Not only is it re-introducing lost strains of good bacteria, kombucha also stimulates the release of stomach acids to aid in breaking down and digesting incoming food.

  • 1x kombucha scoby (you can pick up starter kits like this one
  • Kombucha starter (100ml of starter liquid)
  • 1/4 cup of raw organic sugar – this feeds the bacteria but doesn’t end up in the final product
  • 1 litre of filtered water
  • 2 organic black tea teabags (or loose leaf equivalent)

You will also need a ceramic pot or glass jar to store your fermenting kombucha that allows at least cms of breathing space once you fill it with 1.1 litres. Stainless steel brewers are commonly used when making beer but damage the beneficial bacteria in the scoby when making kombucha



  1. Start with clean dry hands and clean dry equipment to ensure you don’t introduce any unwanted bacteria to the mix.
  2. On a stove top, bring the water to a boil in a clean saucepan. Once it is bubbling, add your teabags/loose leaf tea and turn off the heat to allow the tea to steep for five minutes and then remove the tea bags/tea leaves
  3. Add the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve (remember – avoid using anything stainless steel).
  4. Cover your sweetened tea with a clean tea towel so nothing falls into it and leave to cool to room temperature.
  5. Pour the whole brew into a glass jar and add your scoby and the starter juice, mix and cover the jar with a dry, clean cloth and an elastic band.


  1. Allow the tea to ferment at room temperature for up to 7 to 10 days during which time a new scoby will form on the surface (in hot weather, it ferments faster). The growth of the new scoby can vary. It is not unusual to see rounded opaque patches and or brown jellyfish-like tentacles forming underneath the scoby. These rounded patches are not mould if no green fuzzy growth that mould produce is seen. If any mould is seen, discard the brew and start again with a new scoby and clean equipment. Taste the kombucha after 3 days of fermenting to get a sense for what it tastes like. The kombucha tea should taste pleasantly sour and faintly sweet.  The longer you leave fermentation, the more sugar ferments outs and the more sour/tart the brew becomes.


  1. Once the kombucha tea has reached a taste you like and a new scoby has formed, remove the newly formed scoby and 100ml of the kombucha tea to start a new batch and repeat the process. If the newly formed scoby forms stuck to the older scoby simply tear off the new SCOBY to use with the new batch. Dispose of the older scoby.
  2. You can drink the remaining kombucha tea straight away or refrigerate.
  3. If you want a fizzier kombucha drink, (also known as secondary ferment), pour the kombucha tea into a glass bottle and place a lid tightly on and leave at room temperature.  After 1 to 2 days, you can drink or refrigerate.
  4. Larger quantities of kombucha may be prepared from the second batch onwards, by increasing the ingredients proportionately.

Recommended Dosage

Kombucha is best consumed 20-30 minutes before meals to improve digestion of the meals. Start with just a shot of 30mls a day and slowly build your way up to half a cup to 1 cup per day.



Your kombucha can be kept refrigerated (for up to two week in fridge or up to two years in freezer) when you are not fermenting.  The kombucha tea can be kept in refrigerator for up to two weeks



Mould can form on the culture if the brew is not acidic enough – usually because insufficient starter was used. It can also form because of poor hygiene.  If there is any mould on your culture throw it away and do not risk drinking it. Insufficient air flow to your bre can also spoil it, hence why we cover it with just a cloth and not a lid. Kombucha can become spoiled with a variety of other microorganisms, depending on the environment and conditions under which it is brewed. The acidity of kombucha will normally protect against harmful microorganisms, when spoiled, it will smell or taste unpleasant.

Kombucha isn’t for everyone – those with histamine issues, some allergies and some digestive issues react to the bacteria in kombucha. Not sure if kombucha is for you? Ask Carly !


Everything You Need To Know About Soaking & Cooking Your Legumes

Full of plant based protein, fibre and starch for your health, legumes should be a major part of your healthy diet. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends everyone age 14 and older eat legumes at least 3 times a week but many people find them harsh on stomach. Those with SIBO and IBS can react negatively to legumes but you can minimise this by preparing them correctly. Enjoy the benefits of legumes without the draw backs.

  1. Start by selecting your legume: Choose organic whenever possible, and check they are relatively all the same size and colour. Toss out any legumes that are cracked or broken. Allow about half a cup per serve

  • Beans – Adzuki, black, borlotti, butter, cannellini, fava, lima, mung, navy, pinto, red kidney
  • Lentils – french, green, red, yellow
  • Peas – blackeyed, chickpeas, split

2. Pour the legumes into a pot and cover them with a few centimetres of recently boiled water (the warm water will also help break down indigestible starches to make them more digestible). Soak for the required amount of time. Drain, rinse again, and return to the (clean) pot.

Adzuki Beans8-12
Black Lentils8
Black Eyed Peas8-12
Black Turtle Beans8-12
Brown Lentils8
Cannellini Beans8-12
Chickpeas9-12 hours
Fava Beans8-12
French Lentils8
Green Lentils8
Green Split Peas8
Green Whole Peas10-12
Kidney Beans 8-12
Lima Beans 8-12
Mung Beans 8-12
Navy Beans8-12
Pinto Beans10-12
Red Lentils8
Yellow Lentils8
Yellow Split Peas8

3. Cover the legumes with plenty of fresh water; it should reach at least 5 centimetres above the legumes themselves. (Optional: Add a piece of kombu, 8 to 10 centimetres long, to the pot. (Kombu, an edible seaweed, has the unique ability to neutralize gas-producing compounds in beans.) Cover, bring to a boil, and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender—soft but not mushy.

Adzuki Beans45-55
Black Lentils20-25
Black Eyed Peas1
Black Turtle Beans60-90
Brown Lentils20-25
Cannellini Beans45
Fava Beans40-45
French Lentils25-30
Green Lentils20-25
Green Split Peas45
Green Whole Peas1-2
Kidney Beans1
Lima Beans60-90
Mung Beans1
Navy Beans45-60
Pinto Beans60-90
Red Lentils15-20
Yellow Lentils15-20
Yellow Split Peas60-90

Top 4 Gut Healing Favourites

“All Disease Begins in The Gut.” said Hippocrates, the Greek Physician knew that good health and well-being came down to how well the person’s gut was functioning. Now science is backing his claims with the development of testing on gut bacteria and digestive absorption.

The trouble is in today’s world, our guts are thrown so many curve balls that Hippocrates would never of thought about. So what can damage a healthy tum tum?

  • Medication – yes many of us need certain medications to get by, but long term use can change how the system works. Antibiotics, antacids, contraceptive pill, pain relief such as ibuprofen all affect the digestive system. Speak to your naturopath or prescribing doctor about alternatives before stopping any medications 
  • Stress – cortisol alters the secretion of digestive enzymes, affects blood flow and the natural waves of movement along the intestinal tract
  • Overuse of anti-bacterial products – from sprays, wipes, sterilising and bleaching, we have spent the last 20 years attempting to eradicate troublesome bacteria but in fact have wiped out a lot of the healthy bacteria that lives n our lives and protests us
  • Environmental toxins – including the soil quality things are grown in, pesticides used and plastic it is stored in, not to mention car exhausts, chemicals used on our skin. The list of what chemicals were are exposed to are at an all time high and negatively affect our digestive function
  • Bacteria imbalances – from how you were born (caesarean or vaginal) what bacteria your parents exposed you to, infant formula ingredients, what mum ate during pregnancy and what you ate as a toddler can all influence
  • Body size – how much weight you are carrying, ,as well as where on the body it is located can also affect how well your internal organs can function under pressure


So what can you do to support your healthy gut to improve function ? Let’s look at the Top 4 Gut Healing Favourites


kombucha1.   Kombucha

It might be a new thing to us, but Kombucha, a fermented tea drink has been consumed for thousands of years. It starts as a tea, usually green tea full of

polyphenols and fermented with a ‘scoby’ which introduces and grows the healthy bacteria in the kombucha. Why is it good for you? Not only is it re-introducing lost strains of good bacteria, kombucha also stimulates the release of stomach acids to aid in breaking down and digesting incoming food. Best drunk 20-30 minutes before meals, start with just a shot of 30mls a day and slowly build your way up to half a cup to 1 cup per day. Be wary of commercially made kombucha that can have more sugars than most soft drinks

2.   Kimchi & Saurerkraut


Another source of fermented bacteria, kimchi is a Korean food made by lightly salting cabbage and radishes and storing well to encourage fermentation and adding seasoning and spices. The key to kimchi and sauerkraut (its German non-spiced relative) is the naturally occurring bacteria on the cabbages that having incredible gut healing properties, encouraging high levels of beneficial bacteria whilst discouraging harmful bacteria from taking up residence in your intestines. Start with a small teaspoon of kimchi or sauerkraut – too much too quickly will increase gut bacteria too fast (think bloating, stomach pains and excess gas). But when combined with a fibre rich diet, the healthy bacteria from 1-2 tablespoons of kimchi per day will ferment your dietary fibre and producing beneficial substances such as butyrate known to protect against colon cancer.


3.   Kefir

A fermented milk drink, kefir is another easy way to introduce healthy bacteria into your digestive system, replacing what has been lost over the years. Brewed with milk and powdered bacteria or ‘kefir grains’ the bacteria feed off the lactose in the milk, turning it lactose free whilst keeping the benefical bacteria strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilusBifidobacterium bifidumStreptococcus thermophilusLactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricusLactobacillus helveticusLactobacillus kefiranofaciensLactococcus lactis, and Leuconostoc species all known for their different health benefits. Start with smaller amounts of kefir and build up slowly – ideal to use in smoothies !


4. Bone Broth

Unlike the other 3, bone broth isn’t a fermented food/drink,but is fantastic at healing the digestive system. Nearly every traditional society boiled bones of meat-giving animals to make a nutritive broth to heal their people. As the bones cook in water – especially if that water has been made slightly acidic by the inclusion of cider vinegar – minerals and other nutrients leach from the bones into the water. Make at home in a slow cooker yourself, purchase it pre made or use the dehydrated form for a quick snack. Aim for 1 cup per day, but it can also be added to soup, curry and stir fry recipes – just use as stock Recipe for Bone broth


Want to heal your digestive system to improve your health & wellbeing? Book a one on one consult with Carly Elverd – Clinical Nutritionist & Herbalist getting long term results for people like you


IMPORTANT NOTE Those who suffer from histamine issues are best to avoid fermented foods and drinks such as kimchi, saurerkraut, kefir and kombucha as these are naturally high in histamine. Check with your naturopath or nutritionist if you aren’t sure

detox drink

Morning Wake Up Tonic

This effective morning digestive tonic stimulates the the production of Gastrin, a peptide hormone released in the stomach that stimulates the release of gastric acid. This gastric acid is responsible for breaking down your  proteins, absorb your nutrients and reduces the gas producing substances that can later affect the lower intestines. This helps with weight, fluid and skin health.

This cleansing tonic is super quick to make and it takes little time to prepare when you have the ingredients handy straight from your kitchen

  • Upon waking, drink a 250mL glass of warm water with or one tablespoon of organic unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Not a fan of apple cider vinegar? Try using the juice of  ¼ lemon.  
  • Add a ¼ teaspoon of Organic Manuka Honey for a prebiotic boost
  • Add some freshly grated ginger or a stick of cinnamon to improve circulation and settle your stomach
  • Sip slowly, over 20 minutes.

Start having this health promoting drink daily for at least three weeks and feel and see the difference!


DO NOT USE Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar:

  • If you take a regular prescription medication called a PPI (proton pump inhibitor) such as Nexium, Losec or Omeprazole.
  • If you have severe heartburn or reflux
  • If you have been diagnosed with a gastric or duodenal ulcer.
  • If you have oesophageal dysplasia.


Instead, start with 250mL of warm water and one teaspoon of Slippery Elm Powder. When your condition has improved, you may begin this process of stimulating the stomach’s natural acid-producing ability with lemon or ACV.

When in doubt, contact your naturopath for further advice

What are Polyphenols?

Polyphenols, previously known as tannins are a large class of chemical compounds found in a variety of plants. The polyphenol component adds astringency and bite to certain plant foods. Think about when your black tea has become too strong or that red white that made the back of your throat squeeze a little. This effect is a defence plants have against attack by insects and hungry animals as well as gives plants their brilliant bright colours.

Most of our well known antioxidants in superfoods have these polyphenols to thank for their actions, neutralising free radicals, reducing inflammation and combating cell damage, providing us with longevity and vitality for many years to come. Studies have shown that a diet high in polyphenols has been found to reduce mortality rates by 30% in older adults (Source).

Used in the treatment of:

  • Irritable Bowl Syndrome
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Gut health
  • Obesity
  • Inflammation

Recommended Daily Intake

Unlike other components of food such as calcium, protein, and vitamin D, there is no specific Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of polyphenols at this stage. Experts instead recommend 5 serves of vegetables and 3 fruits per day, however this doesn’t highlight the need for them to be rich in polyphenols. Other experts suggest you “eat one of each colour per day” something green, something purple, something red etc.


Food Sources of Polyphenols

  • Vegetables
    • Asparagus
    • Broccoli
    • Capsicums
    • Onions
    • Radishes
    • Spinach
    • Tomatoes


  • Fruits
    • Apples
    • Blackberries
    • Blackcurrants
    • Black grapes
    • Blueberries
    • Cherries
    • Goji berries
    • Grapefruit
    • Plums
    • Pomegranate
    • Prunes
    • Raspberries
    • Strawberries


  • Drinks
    • Filtered coffee
    • Green tea
    • Peppermint tea
    • Red wine


  • Herbs and spices
    • Basil
    • Capers
    • Cinnamon
    • Cumin
    • Ginger
    • Olives
    • Oregano
    • Rosemary
    • Sage
    • Thyme
  • Others:
    • Black beans
    • Cacao powder
    • Flaxseed
    • Hazelnuts
    • Oats
    • Pecans
    • Rye flour
    • White beans

Need to Increase Your Polyphenol Intake?

Book in with Carly to get tailored nutritional, herbal and lifestyle treatment 

Learn about what Naturopathy can do for your Health and Wellbeing

Homemade Toxin Free Toothpaste

This home made toothpaste recipe for a inexpensive and natural alternative to health damaging commercial toothpastes. When we are looking at the toxins that you are putting in your body, its easy to focus on diet. But what other toxins are you putting in your body via your mouth? The bacteria present in the oral cavity is much like the gut bacteria, a balance of beneficial bacteria keeping harmful bacteria at bay. Most commercially made toothpastes are full of harmful chemicals that damage the harmony of the mouth bacteria and can change function in the digestive system.

Ingredients Commonly Found in Commercially Made Toothpastes

  • Artificial sweeteners – Since we have accepted that sugar can lead to tooth decay, manufacturers pumped loads of these lab borne sweeteners into toothpaste
  • Colours – that’s right, toothpaste doesn’t have to be pure white nor does it need to contain red, blue or green artificial colouring
  • Flavours – common mint and peppermint can be wonderful breath fresheners, but the artificial flavouring of them isn’t the same as the real thing. The worst flavours are found in children’s toothpaste, think bubblegum or fairy floss 
  • Fluoride – Despite claims that it prevents cavities, other studies have suggested otherwise
  • Propylene glycol – Also used to make anti freeze
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate – A foaming agent common in shampoos and soaps, this compound has been under much scrutiny for it’s possible pro-cancer history. Regardless of this, foaming soap does not belong in the happy balance of good digestive bacteria in the mouth
  • Titanium dioxide – this white powder is what gives toothpaste its pure white colour, however it too is being linked to cancer
  • Triclosan – an anti microbial chemical wiping out the healthy bacteria in your mouth


Start your morning off with this toxic free toothpaste recipe

120g baking soda (organic is best)
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp coconut oil (optional)
2 -5 drops of peppermint essential oil
Hydrogen peroxide 3%
filtered water

  1. In a small mason jar or glass container, mix baking soda, sea salt, coconut oil, and peppermint oil.
  2. In a dark bottle, mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide 3% with 1 part filtered water and store separately to the powder
  3. To use, dip your toothbrush in the hydrogen peroxide and water mixture, then dip your toothbrush in baking soda mixture. Brush teeth as normal

Detox – Everything You Need To Know

Detoxing has become a popular term in health circles with fad cleanses coming into style, quick fixes, false claims and a zillion different detox products. Do we need to do a detox? Detox from what? What’s the difference between detox and a clinical detox? Let’s break this topic open and get to the bottom of it

Detoxification, Detox, and a Clinical Detox?

Detoxification is a natural metabolic process that occurs in the body every day, breaking down environmental and dietary toxins and by products, and subsequently excreted from the body. This detoxifying process occurs in several parts of the body; the liver, the digestive tract, skin and lymphatic tissue, but it’s important to note that every cell creates by products and pushes them out for these organs to collect and remove.


A fad ‘Detox’ sometimes referred to as a cleanse, is usually designed by those without medical or formal nutritional training, sold to the general population and often involves buying very expensive products. This approach doesn’t take into account your personal circumstances nor does it address your specific nutritional needs, and as they are sold to the general public, they have to have small doses, safe for anyone. This often leads to lots of money spent on things you may not even need, at doses that won’t do anything and no results.


Clinical Detox is done under the care and guidance of a health professional, tailored to what toxins and by products you’ve been exposed to and targets the body’s existing detox pathways in the liver, digestive system, skin and lymphatic tissues to eliminate them. Perhaps your liver is breaking metabolites down but the digestive system isn’t eliminating them, and your skin is attempting to do that job for them. Or due to long term exposure, your liver can no longer process as quickly as things are coming in, and it has started storing exotoxins in the lymphatic system. By enhancing those naturally occurring detox pathways, we are able to reduce the load on the detoxing organs.


A clinical detox, if performed well, does not have to be a painful experience, eating just grapefruit and lettuce A clinical detox is a period of rest from exposure to diet and environmental toxins whilst simultaneously supporting the capacity of your key detox organs

How Do We Detox?

Through diet and environment, we are exposed to more harmful irritants than ever before, and although our body was designed to expel by products that are harmful to itself, the incoming toxins can be too much for the body to process. What types of toxins do we process on a daily basis?

  • Medications (over the counter as well as prescription)
  • Environmental exposures (Eg: mould, construction materials, new paint)
  • Byproducts of cellular and metabolic activity
  • Contaminants in the soil food is grown in (Eg: car exhausts near farming areas)
  • Insecticides and pesticides in the environment and on our food
  • Processed food (eg: molecular changes to food when it is being processed)
  • Food additives, flavours, enhancers, colours, preservatives etc
  • Non stick frying pans, plastic bottles, containers and utensils
  • Less than ideal water sources
  • Synthetic clothing and bedding
  • Toiletries and beauty additives – learn more about clean beauty regimes 



All of these are broke down in the liver via 2 pathways known as Phase 1 & 2, taking them from active fat-soluble particles, to inactive water soluble molecules ready for the intestines and kidney to release. These 2 phases require quite the list of nutrients to perform this vital detoxing job and without enough of these nutrients, the liver will store the toxins elsewhere in the body, usually in adipose tissue (tissue made up of fat cells)




Who Needs a Detox?

A  ‘detox’ was previously a term used when describing the process of people withdrawing from drug substances, giving up cigarettes, or something that was only needed by those with terrible diets. Now the picture of someone who needs a detox looks very different. Now anyone with a large load of toxins coming in and/or impaired detox pathways could require a Clinical Detox.

Genetics and background also influence your body’s ability to detox. People with the same diet and environmental exposure have been known to process the toxins differently.

Generally most people are advised to undergo an intentional detox 1-2 times per year for about 4-6 weeks.

Symptoms and signs of Excessive Toxin Burden

  • Food sensitivities
  • Sensitive to perfumes and toiletries
  • Auto immune diagnosis
  • Abdominal Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Prone to thrush
  • Reoccurring UTIs
  • Skin issues
  • Sinusitis
  • Headaches
  • Heavy periods
  • Unexplained weight gain (stores toxins in adipose tissue)
  • Antibiotic use
  • Prescription medications
  • Deviating from good health

The 3 Steps of a Clinical Detox

  1. Tame those incoming toxins. You don’t need a fancy juicer for this, just remove any dietary irritants and include high vegetable intake for fibre and good quality protein for optimal enzyme production.
  2. Repair and Restore detox pathways. This is where supplements usually come into the plan, High nutrients to fuel your body’s functions, anti inflammatory herbs and possibly a powder to optimise that nutrient intake quicker.
  3. Eliminate it out. Gentle stretching and strengthening to promote movement as well as active exercise to encourage sweat and circulation


Detoxification processes are a science, not a hobby. A clinical detox must be tailored to you and your requirements, not an off-the-shelf product sold to everyone


How Will You Feel After a Clinical Detox?

With the elimination of toxins in the body, all bodily functions improve. You can expect to have:

  • More mental energy – concentrate and focus for longer, feel more present
  • Enhanced energy production leads to more physical energy – enjoy greater agility and less physical fatigue
  • Clearer skin – as the skin will no longer need to be eliminating the body of its internal problems
  • Sleeping better – less toxic burden means the body can focus on producing feel good hormones and rest more soundly


Empower your health with a tailored clinical detox with your Naturopath Carly


18 Most Commonly Reactive Foods

The world of food allergies can be overwhelming. Not just because there are SO MANY suspects but also because their are different types of allergic reactions. It may be a lactose intolerance or it could be the histamine in the cheese. It could be a gluten auto immune reaction known as Coeliacs Disease, or it could be the yeast or intolerance/malabsorption of the gluten protein. Some inflammation lead allergic reactions like the IgG work like a bucket, where if you eat only small amounts of certain foods you won’t get a reaction, but lots of them and you’ll get a reaction. This particular reaction is hard to pin point because consumption doesn’t always equal a reaction, it depends on your recent intake of the reactive food. Some foods can be troublesome, like the FODMAP aren’t causing an allergic reaction, but are just not absorbed well, leading to symptoms.

So what are the most commonly reactive foods?

1. Gluten

Gluten refers to a cluster of proteins found ingrains such as wheat, rye and barley and is the most common food food allergy. Fuelling autoimmune conditions such as hypothyroidism, coeliacs disease and multiple sclerosis, gluten is often the first thing to look at when it comes to food allergies. But a coeliacs blood test may not be the only thing needed to rule it out as a problem. Many people fail to absorb the gluten proteins, leaving them to ferment at the intestinal wall, causing bloating and low grade inflammation, reducing absorption of other important nutrients

2. Dairy

Another blood test that can rule out an allergy is the lactose intolerance. Although this is important, some people are allergic to more than just the lactose in dairy. Other components found in dairy can be troublesome for many, and the different forms it comes in can also alter your response, example you may be fine with plain yoghurt but cheese will have you feeling very ill. Cow milk alternatives such as A2 milk or goat milk may be tolerated by some but not by others.


3. Eggs

Whilst free range, organic eggs are a great source of fats and vitamin D, some people are very reactive to eggs. Some can be reactive to just the egg yolk or just the egg white, but most foods don’t specify what part of the egg has been used. It can also be a difficult allergen to pinpoint as troublesome as it is used in many foods such as baked goods, sauces like Chicken Tonight, condiments and confectionery. Reactions to eggs can range from the potentially

fatal anaphylaxis to just the queasy tummy

4. Tree nuts

Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts and walnuts are all classified as tree nuts and can cause asthma, skin rashes, itchy throat and swollen eyes but tree nuts have also been found to trigger potentially fatal anaphylaxis. For this reason, many schools are becoming strict “Nut Free Zones” to prevent such disasters in the lunch time play ground


5. Legumes (including peanuts)

A nut allergy often includes an allergy to legumes such as peanuts, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans and other dried beans as they have ve

ry similar structures and are quite closely related. Symptoms can range from swelling in the face, throat and/or mouth, difficulty breathing, asthma, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting but can also lead to less obvious reactions such as bloating, gas and changes in bowel movements. Legumes are often the culprit for those experiencing FODMAP allergy symptoms

6. Plants from the Solanaceae/Nightshade family

Vegetables ARE good for you, but some can cause allergic reactions in particular people, and the nightshade family of vegetables are notorious for causing problems. Linked to fuelling arthritis, fibromyalgia and IBS, the Nightshade family includes tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, goji berries capsicums and chillis. The theory is that these particular vegetables created toxic elements in them to avoid them being eaten by animals in the wild


7. Citrus

Lemon, limes, oranges and grapefruit are also an unsuspecting foe, causing anything from an itchy mouth to anaphylaxis. Citrus allergies tend to occur in those with nut and pollen allergies.



8. Chocolate

Chocolate allergies can be tricky to pick up, as most chocolates will also contain dairy, emulsifiers made from soy and potentially come into contact with nuts. A true cacao (and its processed form known as cocoa) allergy can look like hives, trouble breathing, wheezing cough, nausea or vomiting and stomach cramps



9. Shellfish and fish

A shellfish allergy is a more well known allergy, as the symptoms of it can be fatal so it has been wildly discussed. But it isn’t just an anaphylaxis reaction that it can trigger, some people experience IgG reactions to shellfish which includes shrimp, prawns lobsters and crab and it can be hidden as an additive to things such as miso and Asian sauces



10. Beef

Meat from any animal can cause an allergic reaction but this is usually due to contamination such as gastro responses, or infected animals with tick viruses. Other people can be reactive to meat due to what the animal was fed (such as processed corn or soy feed mixes) or the chemicals used in modern animal farming. Wherever possible, choose organic, grass fed, locally sourced and free ranged to avoid such reactions.


11. Pork

Same as beef – often pork allergies are more to do with the process that the meat undertakes, and the health of the animal more than just the actual meat itself.



12. Yeast

Some people find that although they can tolerate wheat and gluten, it is in fact the yeast in breads that cause problems for them. Most Australians have been raised eating large amounts of Vegemite, a yeast based spread that we put on bread that also contains yeast.



13. Corn

Corn is a less common allergy compared to dairy, nuts, eggs and shellfish but it certainly makes the list. Can can be a difficult enemy to identify as symptoms can be vary in people from stuffy noses, reoccurring sinusitis, asthma and hives as well as bloating, indigestion and changes in bowel movements.



14. Soy

From baked goods, vegetarian mock meats, chocolate and breakfast cereals, soy allergies are on the rise. Sadly, many soy allergies develop from processed soy infant formulas and continue throughout the lifespan. Symptoms can be gut based such as abdominal cramping/pain, diarrhoea, nausea as well as tingling in the mouth, hives, eczema, sinusitis and asthma. Many young children are put onto soy products as an alternative to dairy, however soy can be just as much of an issue for them


15. Alcohol

Of all of the food allergies, the one that doesn’t ever get mentioned is alcohol. In some people, as little as 1ml of alcohol can cause a dramatic response – from flushing of the face, rashes, difficulty breathing and stomach cramps. Most alcohols contain other foods on this list with most wines made with eggs and fish, beers with wheat, yeasts, barley and hops and spirit drinks made with nightshade foods. Keep an eye out for what’s in your glass, not just your plate. It is also possible to lack the enzymes and vitamins required to process alcohol from the blood, through the liver and excreted from the body.


16. Caffeine

Known to stimulate the central nervous system, coffee is a popular drink in today’s modern world. Caffeine intolerance suffers can experience an exacerbated effect of caffeine such as a rapid heartbeat, increased anxiety, insomnia, jitteriness headaches and an upset stomach whilst caffeine allergy suffers tend to experience hives, itchy mouths and eyes and swelling of the mouth and throat area. Don’t justt think coffee – caffeine is in teas, soft drinks, energy drinks and even some multi vitamin formulas


17. Salicylates

Often misdiagnosed, a salicylates reaction can look like many of the other allergic reactions. Salicylate is a naturally occurring organic acid that can be found in certain fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, spices, herbs, beverages and is a main ingredient of asprin. For a more comprehensive list try this resource

18. Food additives

Food additive allergies can also be hard to pinpoint, as they are hard to identify in ingredient lists due to being listed as numbers or complex chemical names. The most common is MSG, but other additives such as food colourings, emulsifiers, artificial sweeteners and preservatives can all cause havoc on an inflamed immune system




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Is Gut Bacteria The Cause of Your Symptoms?

When we think of gut bacteria, we think of our digestive system. Now research is teaching us  that your gut dwellers can be affecting you in areas outside of your digestive tract. With our own cells out numbered 10 to 1, what strains we are housing can be the big decider of our health. An unhealthy balance of beneficial/good and pathogenic/bad bacteria, known as dysbiosis, it is not just your digestive system that can be affected.

So what disease are linked to dysbiosis? 

Digestive Conditions Linked to Dysbiosis

The diversity of your gut bacteria

Let’s start inside of your digestive system. Imbalances to your gut bacteria have been linked to:

  • Coeliac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Diarrhoea
  • Diverticular disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Liver disease
  • Gum disease
  • Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

Non-Digestive Conditions Linked to Dysbiosis

Outside of your digestive system, your gut bacteria interacts with your immune and nerve systems to have an affect on every cell of your body.

  • Alzheimers disease
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma & Eczema
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Depression
  • Diabetes Types I & II
  • Kidney stones
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
Good and Bad Bacteria


Do you think your gut might be out of balance?

A Comprehensive Stool Analysis can test your levels of beneficial, harmful bacteria, yeast overgrowths as well as any parasites

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Is Your Gut Bacteria Making You Sick? Know the symptoms

Is Your Gut Bacteria Making You Sick?

Gut bacteria also referred to as gut flora or gut microbiota refers to the trillions of microbes that call your digestive tract home. In gut bacteria, ibs, autoimmune, parasiteshealthy individuals, beneficial strains far out number any troublesome neighbours, leading to longevity, protection against chronic diseases and a happy and healthy life. Unfortunately in today’s world of overuse in antibiotics, refined carbohydrate diets and a kitchen far far away from the farm in which food are grown, our inner bacteria is at risk of being overtaken by some less than ideal inhabitants. These harmful bacteria have been linked to so many different conditions including obesity, stomach ulcers, particular cancers, diabetes, eczema, impaired immune systems, ADHD, anxiety and depression.

Since we discovered the wonderful inner world of gut bacteria, we have been studying them intensely to see what bacteria is found in healthy people and which tend to be seen in people with a range of illnesses and diseases. This data has gone on to create a list of beneficial and harmful bacteria. This can be tested easily with a stool sample sent to the laboratory.

So how can we tell what bacteria we are housing?

An overgrowth of harmful bacteria leads to a range of changes and symptoms, but let’s go through some of the most obvious ones.

1. Digestive Changes

When harmful bacteria take over, one of the most obvious signs is a change in your normal digestive symptoms:

  • Constipation or diarrhoeaconstipation remedy
  • Reflux/heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Gas

Perhaps you are running to the toilet more often, or going days before you need to. Reflux, heartburn and burping can begin due to the bacteria activity as well as gas from the other end. One of the most common is bloating, and that can be above the belly button in the small intestines or lower in the large intestines as the bacteria’s presence leads to rotting of dietary fibres and lots of stinky gas can be produced

diarrhoea home remedy2. Mental Health and Energy

That constant activity in your intestines leads to overly activated nerves that live along the intestinal wall. Add to this new research showing that the microbes in our gut contribute to our serotonin levels , and abnormal bacteria levels in those with mental health conditions and you are starting to see how these little critters can have such an impact on your mental health and energy levels. Gut bacteria over-growths have been linked to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

If you are experiencing these conditions, an investigation into your bacteria levels is wise


3. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Whilst digestive symptoms, mental health conditions and energy levels are hard to document, most vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. But what often happens is that the person presents with a lack of a particular vitamin or mineral, regardless of what they are eating. We often think that the food we eat, is now inside of us, but if it comes into contact with a battle ground of bacteria at the intestinal wall, it may not be absorbed. Alternatively, the bacteria that exists in the intestines can also eat the broke down vitamins and minerals before it gets a chance to cross over the intestinal wall into the blood stream. Common gut bacteria related deficiencies include:

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B12
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Zinc

If you’ve been told you are low on the above vitamin and minerals, maybe it is time to look at what’s happening in the gut

4. Antibiotic and Certain Medications

Many advances in medicine have saved millions of lives, and antibiotics is one of these. However, they are not designed to be usedare antibiotics safe as a prevention of infections, nor are they suitable for viral infections such as a common cold. In fact the over use of antibiotics has been the suggested reason as to the rise in auto-immune diseases. As a general rule, keep antibiotics for use inside of hospitals

Whilst antibiotics are effective against nasty infections, they also wipe out the colonies of beneficial bacteria that live happily in our gut. Even just one round of antibiotics can leave you exposed to have other harmful bacteria take over, that’s why you should see your health practitioner or naturopath if you are taking antibiotics, so together we can replenish the happy populations.

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5. Chronic Stress

Just as bacteria in the digestive system can negatively affect the nervous system, it can also go the other way, with stress causing changes in the gut that promotes harmful bacteria. There are many pathways that link your gut with your brain and vice versa, so they are in constant communication. But when the workload of the brain is high, communication because lost, leading to constipation and other gut issues. Stress reactions raise cortisol and adrenaline, both of which are pro-inflammation and encourage digestive issues.

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6. Skin Issues

Our liver is our number #1 go to when it comes to detoxifying our bodies, working to breakdown by products from normal cellular function and eliminating these via the large intestines. What most don’t know, if this pathway is compromised by a bacterial overgrowth, the skin takes over the detox job, pushing toxins out via the skin. Skin conditions that are linked to gut bacteria include acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema. Your skin acts like a window, showing the effects of the external world as well as irritants on the other side of the glass – your gut. If your struggling with your skin, perhaps it’s time to look inside

7. Autoimmune Diseases

Your cells have little markers on their wall, letting our immune cells (white blood cells) know that we are part of the team. In auto-immune conditions, their is a communication meltdown, and white blood cells start attacking our own cells, thinking they are invading cells. Conditions that have this occurring are known as auto immune and include:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Some types of arthritis
  • Coeliac disease
  • Hair loss – alopecia
  • Diabetes – type 1
  • Multiple sclerosis

Changes in bacteria has been linked to abnormal digestion, perhaps because 70% of your immune system lives along the wall of the intestines, regulating what is coming in and out of the intestines and blood stream. Harmful bacteria over-growths in the intestines changes the function of the immune system and can lead to auto immune conditions and treatment should include gut bacteria

Think you may have a problem with your gut bacteria?

Book an appointment with Carly, the Naturopath Melbourne CBD to start a fixing your gut bacteria.