Rebecca Brewster – Hypnotherapist

Rebecca Brewster is a registered Counsellor and Hypnotherapist practicing strategic psychotherapy and clinical hypnosis.

Rebecca is passionate about working with clients to break down emotional and subconscious barriers that hold them back from reaching their fullest potential. Through hypnosis and psychotherapy she can uncover and change unhealthy beliefs, which in turn affects behavior and ultimately how confident and content you feel day to day.

Rebecca has lived and worked across three states and travelled extensively in Australia and overseas. After enjoying a successful career as a Public Relations Consultant, Rebecca undertook postgraduate study, specialising in counselling and clinical hypnosis. Over the years, Rebecca has taken her love of people’s stories, and the privilege of listening to the material that makes up the fabric of their lives, to a deeper level in an effective and exciting therapeutic practice.

Having Strategic Psychotherapy with Clinical Hypnosis expertise means Rebecca can work with you to effectively access what is going on for you – both on a conscious and an unconscious level. This enables positive change to be fast-tracked, which works well for both short and long-term outcomes.

Rebecca’s therapeutic framework emphasises optimism, hope, and future goals. Using positive psychology and hypnosis, Rebecca helps people identify both the “gaps” in their lives and the resources that people already have that can be drawn upon to fill them. This collaborative approach can shift thoughts, mood and behavior towards a place where goals can readily be identified and realised.

Whether your issues are changing the negative thoughts that have stopped you from reaching your goals, dealing with unwanted habits, or tackling emotional and relationship challenges, Rebecca can devise strategic treatment plans especially for you.

Read more about how hypnotherapy works here. 

Rebecca works gently and cooperatively with people needing help with anxiety, depression, stress management, addiction, pain relief, sleep issues, grief and loss, career advancement, life transitions, low self-esteem and healthier relationships.

Rebecca’s Qualifications

  • BA Grad Dip Couns.
  • Masters Counselling & Psychotherapy (currently completing)
  • Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance
  • ACT MINDFULLY: Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Training
  • Dr. Yapko’s 100-hour Strategic Psychotherapy and Clinical Hypnosis Training

Call us on 07 3367 0337 to book a hypnotherapy appointment with Rebecca now.

Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome

Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) is a condition causing recurrent attacks of intense nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and sometimes headaches or migraines. Attacks can last from a few hours to several days at a time. The condition is more prevalent among children, and seems to occur less frequently in adults. Many children will grow out of the condition once they reach adulthood. CVS is debilitating, and can be dangerous if dehydration occurs.

A person suffering from CVS typically has pale skin, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, but some patients will also experience diarrhoea, headaches, migraines and light sensitivity.

The cause of CVS is largely a mystery, but there do seem to be some common themes amongst those who suffer with CVS. While the cause is elusive, common triggers for CVS episodes include overexertion, fatigue, hormonal changes around a woman’s menstrual cycle, infections, lack of sleep, temperature extremes, alcohol consumption, allergies, extended periods without eating, and certain foods. Some of the food triggers associated with migraines such as chocolate, cheese and monosodium glutamate, are also considered triggers for CVS.

There are no tests to specifically confirm CVS, rather the diagnosis is based on ruling out other possible causes of the vomiting or abdominal symptoms. Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome is believed to be a class of migraine.

Similar to migraines CVS has four stages.

Symptom free phase – no symptoms appear to be present between episodes.
Prodromal phase – nausea appears with or without abdominal pain. This phase can last a few minutes to several hours.
Vomiting phase – nausea and vomiting can be violent. There is an inability to eat, drink or take medicines without vomiting. Drowsiness, exhaustion, and dehydration may occur.
Recovery phase – after the vomiting stops and skin colour, vitality and appetite returns.


What can be done?

The medical management of CVS often involves avoidance of triggers, symptomatic relief such as the use of medications to reduce nausea, stop vomiting and maintain hydration. Pharmaceuticals may be used also to prevent future episodes if attacks occur greater than once per month. Medications may include tricyclic antidepressants, beta blockers, antihistamines, anticonvulsants and sometimes antibiotics. These medications can be helpful in some cases in the short term, but often come with side effects such as fatigue, drowsiness and are not ideal for the quality of life or long-term use.

Naturopathic care acknowledges that CVS has many and varied potential causes, that no two people are alike, and as such, there is not a one size fits all medicine. In saying that, there is some good evidence for certain nutrients and herbs for this condition and these may be considered where relevant. For example, the cell’s ability to generate energy is considered to be a mechanism which may be affected in CVS. This is similar to what can happen with migraines and there is some evidence that coenzyme Q10 and L-Carnitine may be useful in addressing this cause and alleviating symptoms. Your naturopath may consider these as part of your treatment if indicated as part of the whole picture of your health. Naturopathic support options may also include stress management, emotional wellness practices and the use of herbal and nutritional formulas suited to your needs.

CVS is a challenging condition to live with and a potentially complex condition to treat, however, naturopathy offers the opportunity to manage the symptoms, treat potential underlying causes holistically, and reduce the need for medication which may have detrimental side effects with long-term use.

Understanding Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmunity is a process that occurs when the immune system becomes a little confused about which cells in the body are foreign, and which are self. In autoimmune disease, the body attacks its own healthy cells causing damage to tissues, organs or glands. This creates a chronic inflammatory response, at the same time, leaving our immune surveillance and defense against external infections depleted.

There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune disease. Some have a genetic link, others are triggered by infections, but in many cases, the causes are largely unknown.
Certainly, there are no one size fits all solutions for autoimmune disease and a thorough health history is required to piece the puzzle together and find the contributing causes. It is not good enough to only attempt to ameliorate symptoms with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs, as in the long term this will generate a new set of health issues.

There are some clear and consistent areas of health that must be addressed in order to manage or restore a healthy immune response:

Stress: Both physical and emotional stress can play a role in developing or sustaining autoimmune inflammation. The body’s response to stress is one of alarm, and an attempt to bring the body back to safety and out of danger. This response creates a cascade of events in the body which can turn off digestion, tissue repair, and cell renewal and increase oxygen and nutrient needs, metabolic waste production and inflammation. The body is designed to recover from short-term stress, but chronic stress can leave this inflammatory response switched on permanently.

Gut Health: The immune system directly responds to anything that crosses from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. Leaky gut is where under-digested food particles, microbes, waste products and toxins are able to breach the gut lining/barrier due to gaps in the tight junctions between cells in the gut wall. The immune system then creates an inflammatory response to these “foreign invaders”, and eventually a prolonged immune response can develop into autoimmunity. Gluten is one of the main culprits for leaky gut and should be avoided if you have an autoimmune disease.

Diet & Toxins: As with gluten, some foods can be a source of inflammation or toxicity in sensitive individuals. With autoimmune disease the gut lining is most likely compromised, contributing to an aberrant immune response to foods that would normally be well tolerated. Additionally, the detoxification system becomes overwhelmed by more reactive compounds or toxins entering the bloodstream. Where a healthy detoxification system may be able to safely eliminate toxins without adverse consequences to the body, an overwhelmed detoxification system may not be as efficient. Additional toxins are potentially introduced in the diet through pesticide residues found on fruit and vegetables. Some of these chemicals have been shown to be associated with an increase in autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, antibiotic residues in meat products have the potential to disrupt the body’s natural microbe balance (the microbiome) leading to a disruption in gut function and immune system behaviour.

With autoimmune disease, it is important that the aim of treatment is truly holistic in order to achieve long-term wellness and reduce the progression towards tissue damage and further dysfunction. Daily dietary, lifestyle, social and emotional behaviours must be addressed in combination with specific therapeutic approaches to both relieve symptoms, restore optimal function, reduce inflammation and balance the immune system response. Your naturopath can help guide you on a specific approach tailored to your needs.

Anne-Marie McDonald

Natural Treatment of PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is the most common condition we see at Brisbane Natural Health. Women with PCOS can present in a number of different ways, however, some of the more common issues associated with PCOS are…

  • Irregular menstrual cycles – the time between periods getting longer or not coming at the same time each month
  • Insulin resistance – which causes issues with blood sugar levels
  • Weight gain
  • Acne
  • Hirsutism – excessive hair growth
  • Fatigue

There are 4 main subtypes of PCOS that can occur, as well as there usually being some overlap between each main type.

  1. Insulin Resistant PCOS
  2. Androgen dominant PCOS
  3. Thyroid dysfunction PCOS
  4. Adrenal depleted PCOS

Insulin Resistant PCOS

In this type of PCOS, there is concurrent hormonal dysregulation and insulin resistance. Symptoms can include weight gain, craving sugar, frequent urination, thirstiness, and fatigue.

Androgen dominant PCOS

High testosterone and androgens cause symptoms like hirsutism (hair growth), acne and irregular cycles.

Thyroid dysfunction PCOS

In addition to irregular cycles thyroid function is low, leading to symptoms of hypothyroidism such as weight gain, foggy headedness, dry skin, anxiety and/or depression and low body temperature. Click here to read more about thyroid issues.

Adrenal depleted PCOS

Caused by excessive stress, adrenally depleted PCOS patients suffer from fatigue, insomnia and sometimes mood issues.


Why is the type of PCOS you have important?

PCOS varies widely in presentation, hormonal changes and also symptoms. When our naturopaths are assessing your entire health, they’re looking for what is specifically going on for you. That means there is no one magic pill for the treatment of PCOS, rather the success depends on treating your individual imbalances with specific natural medicines to correct the condition. If insulin resistance is an issue that is a focus. If you have high androgens then our naturopaths will address this.


Can natural therapies help with PCOS?

Yes! Both naturopathy and acupuncture are very effective in addressing the causes and imbalances that are causing your PCOS. At Brisbane Natural Health we have helped hundreds of women correct their PCOS permanently by supporting them to live a healthier lifestyle and providing treatments that target the underlying causes.

How does naturopathy work for PCOS?

Our naturopaths help PCOS first by looking at your symptoms and pathology results to determine what the individual issues you face are. They then develop a tailored treatment plan which includes herbal medicines, nutritional supplements as well as specific dietary advice. Naturopathy is so effective for PCOS due to herbal medicines ability to regulate hormones, support your adrenal and thyroid health and to reduce insulin resistance.

How does acupuncture help PCOS?

Acupuncture helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and bring the body back into balance over time. It works by stimulating specific acupuncture points on the body to facilitate change. This study found acupuncture to be effective in PCOS, helping to increase blood flow to the ovaries, reduced ovarian volume, reduced number of cysts, improvements in insulin resistance and reduced cortisol levels.

Many of our patients also choose to do naturopathy and acupuncture concurrently. This is ideal if you need faster results, such as if you are treating your PCOS for fertility reasons and want to conceive as quickly as possible.

How long does it take to treat PCOS naturally?

Unfortunately, the natural treatment of PCOS is not a quick fix. Unlike the oral contraceptive pill, which works immediately (although this does not correct the issue, rather masks it), the herbal medicines and acupuncture take some time to correct the issue. For most of our clients, we have seen a significant improvement within 9-12 months, however, it can take 12-24 months to really correct the condition. The success, of course, depends on the severity of your condition, other concurrent issues that need to be addressed and what diet and lifestyle changes you’re prepared to make to make it work. Although PCOS is said to have no “cure” – we have observed that in many of our patients has been reversed, with many of our PCOS patients going on to have healthy babies after treatment.

What if I’m also trying to get pregnant and I have PCOS?

If you’re trying to conceive then your treatment may vary slightly to take this into account. We may prescribe nutrients to support your pregnancy in addition to your regular supplements. As we correct the underlying causes of PCOS your fertility will increase anyway, but there are some other considerations that we make if trying to get pregnant is your goal.

To make an appointment with a naturopath or acupuncturist at Brisbane Natural Health to help with PCOS, call us on 07 3367 0337 or book online now.


5 Tips for Eating Organic on a Budget

You may be aware by now that health is not just about the types of foods we eat, but also the quality and purity of the foods we are eating. I was about to write an article about which foods to prioritize as organic purchases, but then I remembered that the clean 15 and dirty dozen list we often refer to is based on research in the U.S. by the Environmental Working Group. I have done some research on which foods have the most detectable levels of pesticides and other toxins in Australia for our local reference. Check out the tables below.

The purposes of the 2008 Australian total diet study (1) was to determine whether the detectable levels of chemicals in foods from agricultural and veterinary chemical residues are below the referenced levels for human safety. The findings showed that the estimated dietary exposure for contaminants were below the relevant health standards for all population groups both based on average consumption and high consumption. This is good news, however, I do wonder what is considered safe human levels, and how is this determined? Also, there doesn’t appear to be any safety data on the many possible combinations of chemicals applied to a food, and how these combined chemicals are broken down.  

The evidence is stacking up that in all cases, we want to be minimizing our exposure to any contaminants to prevent a cumulative effect overall. In order to do so, the goal is to choose organic where possible for the foods where the most potential contaminants are going to be present.

“All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison….” Paracelsus (1493-1541).


Organic eating can put a strain on the purse strings, but here are five ways you can reduce your organic food bill.

  1. Start a garden. This can be done even with minimal space using planters on your patio and small pots on your windowsill for herbs.  Strawberries are easy to grow in this manner. This website has some great tips to help you get started.
  2. Avoid the high risk – dirty dozen foods as a priority for your organic food purchase, and wash other produce well.
  3. Buy your produce from your local farmer’s markets. This can save a pretty penny while supporting the grower’s directly, not to mention it’s fun!
  4. Organic home delivery options may be helpful in assigning your food budget each week. Just search organic delivery in your area.
  5. If buying non- organic produce wash it well. This won’t remove all the residues, but will certainly help minimize what you consume. Just prior to use, soak vegetables or hard fruits in a 1 part vinegar 3 parts water solution in a basin for up to 20 minutes. Then rub or scrub each item under running water before setting on a clean towel or strainer to dry.

Dirty Dozen – Make these a priority to buy organic.

Australia U.S (2018)
Apples Strawberries
Cabbage Spinach
Strawberries Nectarines
Capsicums Apples
Tomatoes Grapes
Celery Peaches
Lettuce Cherries
Mushrooms Pears
Nectarines Tomatoes
Grapes Celery
Cucumbers Potatoes
Oranges Sweet Bell Peppers (aka

This table below shows a list of foods with the most pesticide detectable at the time of consumption. Friends of the Earth list of The top 20 foods Australian Foods with the most pesticide detections 2000-2011.(2)

Food Agricultural and Veterinary chemicals detected in foods Adverse effects (see table below for specifics on each chemical)
Apples Captan








Contact may cause dermatitis and conjunctivitis. Classed by the EPA as a probable cancer causing agents.

May cause genetic defects, reproductive toxicity- may affect fertility or cause damage to an unborn child
Causes damage to organs through prolonged and repeated exposure.


Wheat (in breads, breakfast cereals, biscuits) Chlorpyrifos-methyl

Pipeonyl butoxide







A study of the effects of chlorpyrifos on humans exposed over time showed that people exposed to high levels have autoimmune antibodies that are common in people with autoimmune disorders. There is a strong correlation to chronic illness associated with autoimmune disorders after exposure to chlorpyrifos. Among 50 farm pesticides studied, chlorpyrifos was one of two found to be associated with higher risks of lung cancer among frequent pesticide applicators than among infrequent or non-users.Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate, with potential for both acute toxicity at larger amounts and neurological effects in fetuses and children even at very small amounts.
Strawberries Captan

Pp dicofol





Fenbutatin oxide


Contact may cause dermatitis and conjunctivitis. Classed by the EPA as a probable human carcinogen.
May effect the nervous system, human reproduction and damage organs. Product from Asian countries may be contaminated with chlorpyrifos also.
Grapes Dimethoate




May effect the nervous system, human reproduction and damage organs.

Suspected of causing cancer

Lettuce Chlorathalonil








Toxic to acquatic life with long lasting effects. Causes damage to organs through long or repeated exposure.
Causes respiratory irritation, skin and eye irritation, suspected carcinogen. 
Nectarine Bifenthrin





Peaches iprodione
Tomatoes edndolsufan -alpha

Endosulfan – beta

Endosulfan sulphate

Cucumber Chlorothalonil





Apricots Captan



Chicken breast & Eggs Nicarbazin


Added to chicken feed to prevent illness and coccidiosis. Affects bird fertility. (? impact on human fertility)
Toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects. Causes damage to organs through long or repeated exposure
Capsicum Pp dicofol




Piperonyl butoxide



Celery Iprodione




Green Beans Boscalid


Broccoli & Cabbage dithiocarbamate
Mushrooms 2-phenylphenol

Piperonyl butoxide



Avocado Piperonyl butoxide


Oranges Imazalil


2,4 -D


May cause genetic defects, reproductive toxin- may affect fertility or cause damage to an unborn child.

Suspected of causing cancer

Pumpkin Dieldrin

Piperonyl butoxide

*Propargite has proven to be the pesticide with the highest dietary exposure in Australia! (2)


For reference, see below a list of some of these chemicals and their associated toxicities, bearing in mind that this does not take into account the effects of combining these chemicals as there is not data on this. (3)


Pesticide Used for Potential effects of exposure
Captan Fungicide used fruits, vegetables and flowers Contact may cause dermatitis and conjunctivitis. Classed by the EPA as a probable human carcinogen.
Carbendazim Broad spectrum antifungal which acts systemically. May cause genetic defects, reproductive toxin- may affect fertility or cause damage to an unborn child
Chlorpyrifos Insecticide A study of the effects of chlorpyrifos on humans exposed over time showed that people exposed to high levels have autoimmune antibodies that are common in people with autoimmune disorders. There is a strong correlation to chronic illness associated with autoimmune disorders after exposure to chlorpyrifos. Among 50 farm pesticides studied, chlorpyrifos was one of two found to be associated with higher risks of lung cancer among frequent pesticide applicators than among infrequent or non-users.Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate, with potential for both acute toxicity at larger amounts and neurological effects in fetuses and children even at very small amounts
Diphenylamine Used to prevent skin imperfections such as SCALD on apples. Used to treat screwworm in beef, goats and sheep. Irritant to mucous membranes, may cause blood disorders affecting hemoglobin, may cause organ damage through prolonged or repeated exposure.
Endosulfan Insecticide Toxic if swallowed. Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects.
Iprodione Fungicide Suspected of causing cancer
Propargite* To kill mites or ticks on plants Toxic if inhaled, suspected of causing cancer.
Tebufenpyrad insecticide Causes damage to organs through prolonged and repeated exposure.
Dicofol Organochlorine insecticide Skin irritation, may cause damage to organs with prolonged or repeated exposure.
Dimethoate Organophosphate insecticide May effect the nervous system, human reproduction and damage organs.
Chlorathalonil Fungicide Causes respiratory irritation, skin and eye irritation, suspected carcinogen
Nicarbazin Antiparasitic/antibiotic Added to chicken feed to prevent illness and coccidiosis. Affects bird fertility. (? impact on human fertility)
Methomyl Insecticide Toxic to acquatic life with long lasting effects. Causes damage to organs through long or repeated exposure

*EPA – Environmental Protection Agency

*Carcinogen = cancer causing agent

*Systemically – means it goes right through the plant, not just a surface action. Therefore peeling or washing won’t reduce exposure.


  4. The risk of adverse reproductive and developmental disorders due to occupational pesticide exposure: an overview of current epidemiological evidence.Hanke W1, Jurewicz J.


Perimenopause & Menopause

Being female and getting to your mid to late forties means you may be starting to wonder what menopause is going to be like for you. Will you suffer from the dreaded hot flushes, mood swings and weight gain or will you cruise through the change of life gracefully? The answer to this question will be different for each woman depending on her genetics, stress levels throughout life, any other medical conditions, surgeries and any hormonal issues throughout the fertile years. The important thing to remember is that menopause will be much easier if you take care of your body and adrenal glands in particular during your thirties and forties.

Menopause is a time of hormonal transition, as the ovaries gradually stop functioning and cyclically producing reproductive or sex hormones. Perimenopause signifies the start of this transition phase and can last several years prior to actual menopause.

Signs you could be going through perimenopause include:

  • Highly variable hormone fluctuations
  • Cycles becoming, shorter, longer or totally irregular
  • Bleeding becoming lighter, unpredictable or heavy.

Menopause is defined once a woman has ceased having a period of at least 12 months. Most women will reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55 and still have over a third of their lives to live beyond that, so it’s important to manage this transition in the least stressful way possible. The severity and duration of menopause symptoms vary greatly and may include:     

  • Hot flushes & night sweats
  • Bloating and or weight gain
  • Crawling and itchy skin
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Sore breasts
  • Fatigue
  • Urinary problems
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings/anxiety/depression
  • Low libido
  • Brain fog or memory problems

Aside from these symptoms once a woman has been through menopause, she is more susceptible to stress on other organs and systems including the heart and cardiovascular system, bones, thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas, pituitary and nervous system. Once menopause occurs and the ovaries have ceased function, the female body now relies on the adrenal glands for the production of sex hormones to assist health, stamina, and vitality throughout the rest of life. The adrenal glands are also responsible for stress hormone production throughout life and this is why it’s so important to manage the stress response in middle age to make the transition into menopause smoother.

What must be remembered is that menopause is a normal process of life. This transition is part of natural ageing and as with most health conditions, prevention is better than cure. To help make the transition through menopause smoother, put practices into place early in life to ensure optimal hormonal, nervous system and cardiovascular health.

Natural Menopause Treatment

If you are experiencing perimenopause or the symptoms of menopause, the good news is, most of the time hormone replacement therapy is not necessary. There are herbal, nutritional and lifestyle supports that can help reduce unwanted symptoms and help you continue to live a full and vital life. Pairing some useful natural therapies with the right diet is very effective in helping to ease menopausal symptoms.

Dealing with menopause can be an incredible stress on your life. At Brisbane Natural Health we love working with women during this transition, helping them to regain their energy, balance their moods and get back living a life that they love. Call us on 07 3367 0337 and make an appointment with a naturopath or acupuncturist at our Brisbane clinic to help.

Why Bone Broth?

It is said in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) we receive qi from our parents and from what we put into our bodies. We take the breath from air into our lungs and food into our stomach and spleen and together they make Qi and blood.

By using bone broth you will nourish the kidneys, support our vital essence (qi), and build blood.

TCM views, blood as an essential fluid.  This means that without blood, your body will not be able to perform its usual functions.  When blood is used throughout the day, it has to be replenished. Stress, exercise, work, and studying are just a few ways that your body uses blood.  Bone Marrow is where the body makes both red and white blood cells. By using bones filled with rich marrow, we are able to extract this property and infuse it into our own cells.  By drinking nutritious bone broth, you are giving your body what it needs to heal itself.

According to TCM theory, bone marrow is produced from Kidney Jing. So, basically drinking a cup of bone broth daily is like drinking a cup of Kidney Jing.

The main functions of the kidneys include:  storing essence, controlling reproduction along with growth and development, producing marrow, controlling the bones, and manufacturing blood.  Because of these main functions, it is easy to understand why drinking bone broth would help to nourish the kidneys. A deficient kidney could lead to impotence and infertility, weak knees and lower back pain, tinnitus, poor memory, and fatigue.  By strengthening the kidneys, bone broth supports skin, nails, joints, connective tissue, as well as the immune system. It contains concentrations of stem cells which have the ability to become red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, white blood cells are crucial for the immune system, and platelets are clotting factors.

Bone broths will give your body a much-needed boost.

Using bone broths will increase the production of qi and blood. Specific types of food such as dates, goji berries, dark leafy greens, and oysters replenish blood. Others such as sweet potato, peanuts, glutinous rice, and prawns restore qi.

Then there are some foods such as bone broth, that will nourish both qi and blood. Bone broth is both nutritious and delicious. Bone broth is made by simmering the bones (from beef, chicken, pork, or lamb) for an extended period of time in order for the gelatin and collagen in the bone marrow to break down and infuse into the broth.

There are four secrets to making good bone broth:

1. Use the highest quality organic bones you can find. Bones from grass-fed animals is best.

2. Add a good splash of apple cider vinegar to the water to draw the minerals out of the bones into the broth.

3. Roast and brown the bones in the oven before adding them to the stock. This gives you a richer flavour.

4. Cook on the lowest temperature for 24 to 48 hours to draw out the gelatin and minerals from the broth.

5. Be in the moment when you’re making it—and see the process as a therapy in and of itself.

Bone broth truly is a super food and daily consumption is highly beneficial for the body. If you can’t make your own, we recommend Meadow and Marrow broth concentrates to make an instant cup (available in the clinic).

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.

Detox isn’t just for hippies, addicts, or those on a spiritual journey!

It’s a toxic world we live in.  According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) there are over 900 identified potential cancer causing toxins in our environment. This is not to mention the literal tens of thousands of chemicals our bodies are exposed to everyday, that may not cause cancer specifically but harm our bodies in numerous other ways.

We are exposed to toxins every day from :


  • Lifestyle factors (nutrition, tobacco use, physical activity, etc.)
  • Naturally occurring exposures (ultraviolet light, radon gas, infectious agents, etc.)
  • Medical treatments (chemotherapy, radiation, immune system-suppressing drugs, etc.)
  • Workplace exposures (chemicals in printing ink, photocopiers, fumes from car exhausts, industrial carpets, cleaning products etc.)
  • Household exposures (cleaning products, body care and hair care products, carpets, polishes and furniture finishes, water supply)
  • Pollution

For any particular person, the risk of developing cancer or other health issues as a result of exposure to toxins depends on many factors, including how they are exposed to a toxin, the length and intensity of the exposure, and the person’s genetic makeup.


There is no longer a pure, uncontaminated place on this planet. Even Antarctica, considered one of the most pristine environments on earth, has documented levels of persistent chemical pollutants like pesticides, industrial chemicals, flame retardants and heavy metals like mercury and arsenic.


With this in mind, we have two choices. We can allow toxins to accumulate in our bodies and deal with the problems when they arise; or we can be proactive and do what we can with the knowledge we now have, to minimise our exposure and enhance our body’s means of getting rid of the stuff it doesn’t need.  A regular “spring clean” or detox is like a maintenance check for our body, mind, lifestyle and environment.


Detoxing or cleansing is simpler and easier than you might think.  Fortunately we are all unique and there is no such thing as a one size fits all solution for detox or your health.  This is why its best to talk to your naturopath for a tailored and supervised program to help you get the best results in line with your specific health needs.


In the meantime here are 3 things you can do now to reduce your exposure to toxins:

  1. Filter the water you drink, even if it’s tank water. If taking water to work or school, use a stainless steel or glass water bottle rather than plastic.
  2. Exercise to work up a sweat most days. Sweating is a form of detoxification. 
  3. Replace hair and body products with toxin free alternatives. For example, coconut oil makes a great hair moisturiser and can be used to make an easy deodorant. Plant based shampoo and conditioner comes in all types. We have a selection of our favourites in store at Brisbane Natural Health.

Anne-Marie McDonald B.