When To See a Naturopath or a Doctor

Should I see a Naturopath or a Doctor ?

With so many options for healthcare these days, it can be confusing deciding which type of practitioner is best for your specific health concerns. While both naturopaths and medical doctors (GPs) have education in biomedical and clinical sciences, and are clinically trained to diagnose medical conditions, their approach to your treatment and tools that they use can differ. The treatment approach of naturopathic medicine’s focuses on finding the root cause of what may be causing your symptoms, and focuses on treatment options that provide the least amount of harm, versus simply treating the symptoms. Medical doctors approach focuses more on

Appointment with a Naturopath 

In order to determine the root cause of your health concerns, naturopaths are trained to thoroughly assess each body system and lifestyle factors (such as stress, diet, digestion, mood, energy, sleeping habits, exercise, and social history) to uncover possible triggers related to your symptoms. Initial appointments last 1 hour, to thoroughly investigate what is happening now, as well as what led up to the issue to obtain the full picture of your health. You may also be requested to do some blood tests, food tolerance testing, stool tests or other pathology investigations.

The naturopathic approach emphasises individualised treatment plans for individual people. You may have been diagnosed with the same issue as someone else (such as IBS), but how it affects you and what caused if for yo is unique to your situation. Naturopathic medicine has a large emphasis on prevention – meaning it doesn’t just treat you for what you have now, but what you are at risks of having in the future. We work together to put a treatment plan together to treat today and improve your outlook for the future. This style of treating people also seeks to empower you to take an active role in your health through education and lifestyle changes that work for you.

Naturopathy: a system of alternative and complementary medicine based on the theory that diseases can be successfully treated or prevented with the use of herbal medicine, dietary changes, exercise, sleep and targeted nutrients.

What Types of Treatments Do Naturopaths use?

The word naturopath refers to a large array of treatments, from the traditional, to modern and the evidence based to the energetic. What types of treatments a naturopath uses can make naturopaths very different from one another. The 3 main areas that naturopaths focus on, and what Carly Naturopath uses include:

  • Clinical nutrition: Detailed dietary assessments as well as nutritional and supple
    ment recommendations based on food sensitivities/allergies, nutrient deficiencies, gastrointestinal and skin concerns, weight, energy, and general health.
  • Herbal medicine: This includes the recommendation of herbs in the form of teas, tinctures or supplements which target specific health concerns (for example, hormone-balancing, adaptogenic etc.)
  • Counselling: Qualified naturopaths are also trained in mental health and lifestyle counselling, which is usually incorporated into each visit.

Other treatments that Naturopaths sometimes use include, acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), massage, hydrotherapy, homeopathy and cupping however it is recommended to ensure that your naturopath has qualifications in these sub-categories before engaging in these treatments.

Specialised Testing

Mainstream medicine offer a vast array in pathology testing, however naturopathic testing focuses on ‘Functional Testing’ meaning not just testing if an aspect of the body is sick, but how well is it functioning. Such testing includes:

What Do Naturopaths Prescribe?

After investigating your health complaints and developing a treatment plan, your naturopath will discuss prescriptions. This can include:

  • Specific targeted practitioner only supplements such as vitamins, minerals, probiotics and other health products. These are superior to those found in retails shops as they are at higher doses, with less additives such as soy, sweeteners, fillers etc.
  • Botanical herbs int eh form of tablet, liquid or both
  • Nutrition plans tailored to your needs, based on your calorie and macro requirements as well as foods you enjoy
  • Lifestyle modifications, exercise protocols, stress management techniques, self-care regimes, sleeping habits

Treatment and Testing Outside of a Naturopath’s Scope

So when should you see a GP instead of a naturopath? When you require:

  • Pharmaceutical drugs requiring a prescription
  • Administering of vaccines
  • STD or STI testing
  • Oral contraceptive pill (OCP)/Birth control prescription
  • Requisitions for certain pathology and radiology testing
  • Referrals to specialist physicians
kombucha

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

Instructions

Preparation

  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.

Fermentation

  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.

Storage

  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.

 

Storage 

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

 

Cautions

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 !

legumes

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.

LEGUMES (1 CUP DRY)SOAKING TIME
Adzuki Beans8-12
hours
Black Lentils8
hours
Black Eyed Peas8-12
hours
Black Turtle Beans8-12
hours
Brown Lentils8
hours
Cannellini Beans8-12
hours
Chickpeas9-12 hours
Fava Beans8-12
hours
French Lentils8
hours
Green Lentils8
hours
Green Split Peas8
hours
Green Whole Peas10-12
hours
Kidney Beans 8-12
hours
Lima Beans 8-12
hours
Mung Beans 8-12
hours
Navy Beans8-12
hours
Pinto Beans10-12
hours
Red Lentils8
hours
Yellow Lentils8
hours
Yellow Split Peas8
hours

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.

LEGUMES (1 CUP DRY)COOKING TIME
Adzuki Beans45-55
minutes
Black Lentils20-25
minutes
Black Eyed Peas1
hour
Black Turtle Beans60-90
minutes
Brown Lentils20-25
minutes
Cannellini Beans45
minutes
Chickpeas1-3
hours
Fava Beans40-45
minutes
French Lentils25-30
minutes
Green Lentils20-25
minutes
Green Split Peas45
minutes
Green Whole Peas1-2
hours
Kidney Beans1
hour
Lima Beans60-90
minutes
Mung Beans1
hour
Navy Beans45-60
minutes
Pinto Beans60-90
minutes
Red Lentils15-20
minutes
Yellow Lentils15-20
minutes
Yellow Split Peas60-90
minutes

How to Dehydrate Mango

You’d have to be mad to not notice that it’s mango season. These gorgeous fruits of the gods packed with naturally occurring enzymes that aid the

breakdown and digestion of proteins, about 2.5g of fibre per fruit for plenty of prebiotics, vitamin C, vitamin A  and cholesterol lowering pectin. I was able to pick of a box of 15 ripe mangoes for just $10 at my local farmers market and decided to make some mango chips to have on hand as a snack.

 

 

The Dehydrator

My dehydrator was purchased from ebay a few years ago for about $40 and it’s made plenty of dehydrated fruit and vegetables and seeded crackers in its time. You can of course spend quite a bit more money on a more intelligent dehydrator with temperature control but mine work just as fine.

Try this one for about the same price that is BPA Free

 

or invest in the more robust dehydrator for $107 

Always line the trays with baking paper so that your home made produce doesn’t stick to the trays. You can buy purpose made round paper sheets to fit your dehydrator, but I find ripped up sheets works just as well

How To

  • Start with fresh ripe mangoes and wash them in lukewarm water to remove any residue from the skin
  • Mango pulp can be very slippery to cut so be very careful. Start by slicing them in half, avoiding the pip. Peel the skin off each of the halves and slice the pieces into thin (1/2 centimetre thick) slices
  • Place the mango slices onto the trays and dehydrate for approximately 14 hours (depending on the room temperature they make need more or less time so check them after 10 hours. I personally like them still chewy and not dried to a crisp
  • Store in airtight containers

Enjoy your mango slices all year round for extra fibre, digestive enzymes, vitamin C and because they are just so delicious!