Natural Cures for Cold Sores

Cold sores are annoying and painful lesions that occur due to an outbreak of the herpes virus – usually HSV – 1. Over 30% of people have experienced cold sores and there are even more people that carry the virus. Once the herpes virus is contracted it remains in the body for life. It resides in the facial nerve branches and can be opportunistically reactivated by stress or damage.

Cold sore breakouts commonly occur when the body is run down, the immune system is under strain or you are nutritionally depleted. They can also be triggered by physical damage to the lips from sun exposure, very cold weather, kissing, microdermabrasion or dental surgery.


How do you treat cold sores naturally?

The natural treatment of cold sores is focused around removing the risk factors. Our naturopaths and acupuncturists work to help cold sore patients deal with stress more effectively, most their immune systems and support their health using herbs and nutritional supplements. In particular, immune boosting and antiviral herbs can be helpful to prevent outbreaks or to clear up lesion faster.

Topically, lemon balm essential oil is very useful. Applying a 20/80 lemon balm essential oil and coconut oil blend to your lips and surrounding areas at the first onset of the cold sore (when you get burning or tingling in the prodromal phase) and throughout the day to assist with healing can help to shorten the duration of the outbreak.


Lysine and Arginine role in cold sores

The herpes virus requires the amino acid arginine in order to replicate. Lysine on the other hand, has an inhibitory action on arginine, starving the cold sore virus of arginine which inhibits replication.

Using the amino acid L-Lysine can help to suppress the herpes virus, due to this inhibiting relationship with Arginine. Taking 1000mg of L-Lysine daily for prevention can help, and up to 1000 mg four times a day for an active treatment. Pairing this with some zinc and vitamin C can help with the tissue healing process.


What foods can prevent cold sores?

Foods that support your immune system can help to prevent outbreaks. In particular, berries, lemons, pineapple, onions and garlic may be useful. Read more about boosting your immunity here.

Foods higher in L-Lysine such as mung beans, fish, eggs and red meat can also help.


What foods can cause cold sores?

As mentioned above, the herpes virus requires the amino acid arginine to replicate. When you eat foods that are high in arginine, and in particular, those that have high arginine to lysine ratio, you can feed the virus and cause or exacerbate an outbreak..

These foods can trigger the herpes virus to activate:

  • Chocolate
  • Nuts (especially almonds, peanuts and cashews)
  • Coffee
  • Rice (can be high in a gluten free diet)

If you need help with cold sores call Brisbane Natural Health on 07 3367 0337 and make an appointment with one of our Naturopaths now.

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How to buy a cow

Shirley |  Hand Sourced  |  How to Buy a Cow

Brisbane’s Hand Sourced Provedore   |   Better food, naturally

Aussies are big meat eaters. And much of it is wasted.

Australia is now the meat eating capital of the world.
On average, a human eats only 51% of a cow, leaving behind offal, bones, hide, glands, and fat.  Of this 51%, 75% of Aussies will choose a prime cut.

Buying prime cuts is not sustainable.
There are only so many to a cow, so many scotch fillets and so many rump steaks. The lesser known cuts such as shoulder, shank and y-bone have a lower turnover, and are turned into pet food, low value-added products (flavoured patties, for example) or sold offshore for below production cost. This pressure on the farmer means the consumer pays more to cover the ‘wastage’ and the farmer receives lees than the animal’s true worth.

Buying an entire cow is more ethical, and more economical.
By realising the value of the whole animal, we can bring the cost down, and choose to buy pasture raised, grass fed animals from farmers that make sustainable choices –slow grown pasture raised and finished beef that tastes better, is better for you and has greater economic benefits overall.

Buying an entire cow is not always feasible.
This is why we we section our cows into 1/4s; 1/2s; or a whole if you want to distribute it amongst your own community. And, it’s delivered fresh, not frozen.

Our quality grown on grass beef is bred and raised by Les and Kerryn Hellyar on their beautiful cattle farm ‘Trewellen’ situated just outside Kyogle. No hormones or antibiotics have been introduced.  The Hellyar’s handle their kill in a low-stress environments in small numbers, keeping the livestock calm. This quality husbandry is clearly reflected in the quality of the meat. Tender, soft, and buttery, even the most secondary cut can be simply prepared and cooked.

A win-win solution.
We give you the power – by getting a small community together, whether it be family, neighbours, friends, colleagues, teammates or like-minded strangers to share good food and put more money in the pockets of our hard working farmers.

Weight / Size:

Whole beast (average 120-150kg)
Half beast (full fore and hindquarter – average 60-65 kg)
Equal quarter beast (A little from fore and hindquarter – average 30-37 kg)

You can order allhalf, or a quarter of a beast, which comprises of the following cuts:

Hindquarter cuts:
Osso Bucco | Silverside: corned (or) uncorned | Topside whole (or) steaks | Rump steaks | Eye Fillet | Round Roast | Skirt: can be steaks, minced, or whole | T Bone (or) Porterhouse
Forequarter cuts:
Rolled roast | Y-Bone (or) Oyster blade | Rib Fillet Steak | Blade Roast whole (or) steaks | Brisket | Short ribs (or) Meaty short ribs | OP on the bone
You can receive all bones. All trim is minced and bagged into premium mince, and into sausages.

Where will I put it?
1/4 beast will fill a small compartment freezer (ie: a large esky).
All cuts have a freezer storage life of 2 years from pickup.

Where do we go from here?
Eventually, we’d love to be able to offer even more of the animal. Offal, so healthy. Beef cheeks, so gelatinously good and unfortunately so rare. Most abattoirs keep these to on-sell for pet food and other by-products to claw back some of the huge costs that go into compliance and regulation of processing plants, as small scale abattoirs close all over the country. (But that’s a discussion for another day.)

It’s your turn to make a difference. The time is now.
As Arthur Ashe once said, ‘start where you are, use what you have, do what you can‘. We make it easy for you to purchase ethically produced meat in a more sustainable manner and economically more beneficial to both farmer and consumer.

Thank you for your continued support of Hand Sourced wholesale and farm-share. Please feel free to forward our email to a friend.
We’ll be sure to thank you for your efforts in the most delicious of ways.
Hand Sourced is a small, niche market product distribution company based in Brisbane, Queensland.

We help launch small batch producers into the retail and wholesale market at no cost to the farmer.
We run and support Farm to Plate cooperative which in turn, supports small farms.
We source and supply ethically raised premium produce farmer direct, to you.

 We raise the bar on how you can expect fresh, quality-raised produce to taste.

We research, source and select only that which meets our exacting standards. We support producers working with limited, rare and endangered breeds and farms that raise limited quantity of cared for animals. Farms with transparent ethical and sustainable farming practices, bio-dynamics, organics, and best practice in animal husbandry and produce growing are key factors in making the grade.
We like our animals to be happy.

We are situated in Ascot. Street parking is available.
Copyright © 2016 Shirley Harring | Hand Sourced, All rights reserved.
We build relationships with local producers, growers and farmers committed to quality and provenance. If you know someone who is as into ‘real food’ as you are, why not forward this or suggest they join the list.
Our mailing address is:

Shirley Harring | Hand Sourced

PO Box 173

Brisbane, Qld 4011

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Spicy Morrocan Chickpea & Lentil Soup with Chermoula

Ingredients: Serves 4-6

Chermoula marinade:

1 handful of fresh coriander or parsley

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 or 2 fresh red chilli’s (deseeded)

Juice of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 lemon

sea salt – pinch.

Place all ingredients for Chermoula in the blender and pulse until smooth. Set aside to develop flavour.



1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 fennel bulb, chopped

2 onions diced

3 cloves garlic diced

2 tins organic tomatoes (or 2 cups homemade chunky passata)

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger – or 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 cups vegetable broth or stock

1+ 1/2 cup dried chickpeas (soaked overnight)

1/2 cup red lentils

1/2 cup green/brown lentils

2 bay leaves

sea salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

extra water to make soupier if needed.

Saute onion, fennel, garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add the ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, pepper and allow aromas to develop before adding the tomatoes/passata. Cook for 10 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the lentils, chickpeas, broth and bay leaves and allow to cook on low heat for approximately 30-45 minutes or until chickpeas are tender and soup has thickened.  Season to taste and serve topped with as much spicy Chermoula as you like.

Voila! Enjoy

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How to Curb your Sugar (and carbohydrate) Cravings Naturally

Are you at the type of person that is at the café for a piece of cake every afternoon at 3pm? Or perhaps you can’t finish a meal without having a sugary treat. Some of us think about sugar all day long! And no doubt the media has taught you that sugar is the crack cocaine of the food world – so a sugar addiction can’t be good right?

Well, we certainly are eating more of it than ever before, and the type of sugar that we eat is more refined than what  our ancestors were eating. This combined with the fact that most of us sit in chairs all day with limited physical movement has created an issue. However it’s not all bad news. You can have your cake and eat it too – but it’s about understanding the various types of sugar and being in control of when we have it so that we can look after our bodies without feeling deprived.

Sugar is the simplest form of carbohydrate available to the body and can be used as a source of fuel for our cells to turn into energy. It can also be used a little bit like a drug, making us feel good when we are feeling down or giving us that kick of energy in the mid-afternoon when the post-lunch slump turns the computer screen into a blur. When we have a craving for sugar or for more complex carbs (like grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes) when our blood sugar drops a little (or when we are feeling a bit crappy). This can happen with ‘blood sugar imbalance’, which is not really an illness as such, more a slight dysfunction which is easily fixed. What often happens is we can get caught up in a vicious sugar cycle – we crave, we eat, we crave again, we eat again and so on – and a blood sugar yo-yo effect is what keeps us coming back for more. Breaking this cycle is not always easy, but once it is done, we are no longer in the trap, and no longer a slave to sugar.

Let’s look at some simple ways to improve your blood sugar balance and reduce your sugar cravings:

  • Eat protein at breakfast time – this has been shown to be beneficial for many different physiological syndromes of blood sugar imbalance. It also helps to keep you fuller for longer throughout the day and make better food choices.
  • Try some healthy alternatives when the craving hits– an apple and a handful of almonds or cashews makes a great mid afternoon snack to keep you going until knock off time.
  • Make sure to snack on healthy snacks regularly throughout the day – try a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts, a boiled egg, hummus and carrot sticks, bliss balls
  • Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to your breakfast or include in cups of tea. Cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugar, which in turn reduces your body’s likelihood of having a craving
  • Try dark chocolate instead of milk/sweet chocolate. Often a switch to 70% dark chocolate (which is low in sugar) allows you to feel like you have had your treat, without you needing to consume a high level of sugar. Chocolate also contains antioxidants which are protective to your health and theobromines, which make you feel good.
  • If you are going to have a sweet treat, try having it with some protein and fat – this will slow down digestion time, delaying the release of sugar into your blood stream and reducing the yo-yo effect of eating sugar explained above.
  • If you are still struggling with your cravings, please book in to see a naturopath as there can be deeper reasons for this that need examination.


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All about MATCHA

What’s so great about MATCHA?

Matcha is a fine bright green powdered form of specially grown and processed green tea, Camellia sinensis. Historically this tea was used by Japanese Zen monks in the 8th century, as a ceremonial drink for its calming and clarity inducing properties.

The really great thing about green tea, and particularly Matcha is that it has many health benefits, supported by both historical records and literally thousands of scientific studies.

Green tea has a great reputation for it’s health giving benefits as a result of the compounds chlorophyll, theanine and catachins. Matcha green tea is grown in the shade, enhancing its levels of these valuable compounds significantly. 

Here is a quick approximate comparison of the variation of compounds in green tea compared to Matcha.

Compound Green Tea Matcha – 1 teaspoon powder
EGCG (epigallocatechingallate) 80mg per cup 240mg per cup
Theanine 4mg per cup 20mg per cup
Caffeine 31.8mg per cup 68mg per cup

So what do these fancy pants compounds do?

Mood & Brain Food

A 2017 study showed that match tea intake improved attention, memory and suppression of distraction when compared to control subjects.  This was attributed to the unique balance of green tea phytochemicals L-Theanine and caffeine.  L-Theanine reportedly improving relaxation and calmness and reducing tension. The study found that when compared to using caffeine in the form of coffee, green tea had equal or better alertness and focus benefits than coffee without the associated anxiety or jitteriness.

Healthy Heart & Arteries

In a 2016 study, Matcha was shown to improve HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol), reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad guy), reduce blood glucose levels and improve antioxidant levels in rats fed a high saturated fat diet in combination with Matcha. In other words rats eating hamburgers reduced their cardiovascular risk if they had Matcha powder with their meal. This showed good potential for Matcha consumption improving fat metabolism, blood sugars and inflammation. Go green!


Unfortunately we live in a world laden with all kinds of toxic compounds, many of which we are exposed to constantly without our conscious knowledge. PCB’s or polychlorinated biphenyls are one such class of toxic chemical compounds which are found in electrical equipment, inks, glues, flame retardents (used in our clothes, carpets and furnishings) and paints. The unfortunate thing about this compound is that is volatile, it can be measured in our soils, drinking water and in the air we are breathing. PCB’s accumulate in our tissues and in those of the animals we eat. Matcha to the rescue! A recent Japanese study showed that rats fed a diet of PCB’s along with Matcha were able to excrete up to nine times more PCB’s in their faeces and also showed reduced distribution of PCB’s in their livers as compared to rats who missed out on the Matcha.

There are many more studies supporting the health benefits of matcha and green tea for everything from protection against cancer to the removal of mould toxins from the body. Do yourself a favour and switch out a cup of coffee per day for a nice Matcha latte!

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10 dairy free sources of calcium

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Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and wilted greens

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Golden Milk Recipe

Winter’s finally here and I’ll admit, much to the disbelief of my fellow Queenslanders, I absolutely couldn’t be happier! I love the multi-layers of clothes, the amazing night sleeps and best of all, curling up on the coach with a hot drink, blanket and slippers, watching my favourite show on Netflix. For many of you, that hot drink would be a warm cocoa, cup of tea or coffee, but for me, it’s the delicious, calming and immune boosting warm mug of Golden milk.

What’s golden milk you ask? Well, for those of you that are members of Brisbane Natural Health, health food bloggers or just have a keen interest in healthy eating, then you will already know! For the rest of you, let me share this magical drink with you!


Golden milk is fast becoming a popular drink on many websites, blogs, instagrams and healthy chef websites. And for good reason! This potent anti-inflammatory, digestive and immune boosting drink has replaced hot chocolates, and cups of tea and coffee for many health aware individuals because of its strong medicinal active constituents. So what’s in it?

  1. Turmeric – one of the greatest natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich spices known to science. The active constituent, curcumin, has had massive amounts of research poured into its uses as a medicinal food and supplement
  2. Ginger – a circulatory stimulant, anti-emetic (stop you feeling nauseas) and calming spice used for centuries by numerous cultures, and still one of the many superfoods I think needs to be added to everyones diet…
  3. Cayenne pepper – another circulatory stimulant and pyretic (makes you sweat – which is great for detoxifying!). You may also just use black pepper here or a mix of the 2. Black pepper in particular, allows your body to absorb curcumin <2000X more effectively!
  4. Raw honey – the proper stuff you get from your local market or health food store. Real raw honey contains amazing immune boosting properties and is incredibly mineral dense and, of course, tastes delicious!
  5. Milk alternative – Whatever your dietary needs are, you may choose to use almond, coconut, oat or macadamia milk.


1 cup of milk

1 thumb sized piece of organic turmeric, grated

1 thumb sized piece of organic ginger, grated

¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or more depending on your taste)

Raw honey to taste



Simply add all the ingredients into a pot on the stove or thermomix and heat up on a low heat until your desired temperature (not boiling). If you don’t like little bits of ginger or turmeric in your drink, simply strain into your mug.

Perfect for those chilli winter nights, taken to work in a thermos, for the kids (or adult kids) to prevent the cold, or simply for yourself because you deserve some comfort and YOU time!

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Is farmed salmon healthy?

Our days of eating wild caught fish are getting numbered with dwindling fish supplies caused by overfishing. The fish that is available is increasingly contaminated with mercury and with other persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like Bisphenol A caused by the huge amount of plastic that has ended up in our oceans.

All fresh and smoked salmon available in Australia is farmed. Farmed salmon is an attractive alternative and may well bridge the gap we need to boost our omega 3 content. There are some pros and cons to eating farmed salmon which we’ll discuss in this article.


Omega 3 content

Farmed salmon traditionally contained higher levels of omega 3 than wild salmon, even though wild salmon has a more favourable omega 3 fatty acid profile. This is likely due to the overall fat content being up to three times as high in farmed salmon. In recent years however studies have found that the omega 3 levels in farmed salmon are dropping. This Australian study for example found that since 2002 omega 3 levels have dropped 30 – 50% in farmed salmon.

This is a result of the change in their diet – farmed salmon used to be fed on pellets made form small fish like anchovies and sardines, however a reduction in supply of these fish has lead to other feeds being produced. These newer generation feeds can contain, soy, barley, algae, trimmings from seafood processing, insects and leftovers from processing almonds and pistachio nuts. There is also a genetically modified yeast that produces omega 3 that some salmon farms are using to bolster omega 3 levels.

This UK study found that farmed salmon that were fed on more vegetable oils were indeed lower in omega 3 than those fed on fish oil rich pellets. It also found that the omega 3 concentrations in the fat of wild caught salmon was higher. Even given this, the nutritional content of omega 3 per 100g was higher for farmed salmon due to the higher fat content of the fish.

Smoked salmon is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids.

Heavy metals and contaminants

Because fish can bio-accumulate toxins through the food chain it’s important to look at levels of mercury, dioxins, PCB’s and pesticides. Toxins levels correlate mostly with the feed given to the fish but also the environment they are grown in. This Norwegian study found that over a 13 year period from 1999 to 2011 contaminant levels of mercury, arsenic, dioxins, PCB’s and DDT had reduced, however pesticide levels remained steady.

In this British study, they found that there were higher heavy metal concentrations in feed than there was in the farmed salmon. Mercury showed a slight degree of bio-magnification – meaning that it could be transferred from feed to salmon. Other heavy metals like lead and cadmium did not transfer across and became less available through the fish. The study found that overall mercury levels in farmed salmon were well below safety guidelines.

In this human study participants ate 380g of farmed salmon a week for 30 weeks and then tested for mercury and POP levels. No increases were found in these toxic compounds as a result of consuming farmed salmon.

As fish supplies dwindle farmed fish may be the only viable alternative.

The verdict?

Based on the research it would seem that farmed salmon is still a great candidate to fill our omega 3 requirements. Even with the decline in omega 3 levels brought about by the increase in vegetable matter in their feed, farmed salmon is still one of the best sources of omega 3 by weight.

Because of the decline in our fish stocks we’ll need to watch this space as new fish feeds are being trialed constantly and they will determine the quality of the end product. With the increase in man made toxins and POPs studies will need to be conducted regularly to ensure that farmed salmon remains safe to eat.

Want to learn more about toxins in our food supply? Come along to our environmental toxins workshop. View our upcoming workshop timetable here.




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10 Tips For Glowing Skin

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