Good-bye period cramps!

When it comes to ‘that time of the month’ most women have experienced menstrual cramps at one point in their lives or another. Painful periods are often accompanied by other symptoms such as headaches, breast tenderness, heavy/clotty flow, low back pain, mood swings and food cravings.

All of these PMS symptoms are due to a hormone imbalance called ‘Estrogen dominance.’ This basically means that your body has an excess of estrogen in relation to progesterone.

Excess estrogen could be caused by:

  1. The build up of xenoestrogens in your body
  2. Liver Qi Stagnation: a Chinese medicine syndrome where your liver cannot process and eliminate the xenoestrogens fast enough so they build up in your body causing symptoms.
  3. Low progesterone: Your estrogen could be normal but if your progesterone is low it is not able to balance the effects of estrogen and creates a relative estrogen dominance picture.

How do you know if you have estrogen dominance?

  1. Your symptoms fall under the estrogen dominance category (see above)
  2. You do a blood test for estradiol and progesterone. Blood tests should ideally be done on day 5 and day 21 of the menstrual cycle.  Your hormones change throughout the cycle and this gives a more accurate picture of what is happening in the first half versus the second half of the cycle.
  3. Saliva hormone testing: This test is run through a private lab such as Rocky Mountain Analytical and is usually ordered by a naturopathic doctor. Here is more info on their Female Hormone Panel.

What are some treatment options for estrogen dominance?

  1. Minimize your exposure to xenoestrogens.
  2. Support your liver through diet, herbs and acupuncture so it can clear out excess estrogens.
  3. Boost your progesterone levels through diet, herbs and acupuncture. Or consider Bio-identical progesterone cream if indicated for your individual situation.

To learn more speak to your naturopathic doctor today!

FREE health talk! Strategies to detoxify your body

This month I kick off a series of FREE health talks on ‘Strategies to detoxify your body.’

My goal is to increase your awareness of the negative health impact of toxin exposure.  I’ll provide  information on how to avoid environmental toxins in your home and work place.  You will learn practical tips on how to improve your body’s ability to detoxify using naturopathic medicine which includes clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture and lifestyle changes.

These talks are part of the Ottawa Public Library Program guide.

Click HERE to register for the program at the Sunnyside branch, Thursday, February 26, 6-8 pm.

Click HERE to register for the program at the Greenboro branch, Saturday, February 28, 2-4 pm.

Looking forward to sharing lots of great info with you!

FREE health talk! Strategies to detoxify your body

This week I kick off a series of FREE health talks on ‘Strategies to detoxify your body.’

My goal is to increase your awareness of the negative health impact of toxin exposure.  I’ll provide  information on how to avoid environmental toxins in your home and work place.  You will learn practical tips on how to improve your body’s ability to detoxify using naturopathic medicine which includes clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture and lifestyle changes.

These talks are part of the Ottawa Public Library Program guide.

Click HERE to register and find a library branch in your community.

Looking forward to sharing lots of great info with you!

Start 2014 with a 10 day detoxification challenge at Bikram Yoga Ottawa

Bikram Yoga Ottawa Detoxification Program

Top 5 naturopathic treatments for healthy skin

Want healthy glowing skin? Check out my latest article on page 20 of Healthy Directions Magazine:

healthydirections

Enjoy!

Delicious, detoxifying, energizing juice!

Spring is almost here and with it comes the buzz words  ‘detoxification’ and ‘juicing‘.  But what does detoxification through juicing really mean? Find out by reading my latest article for Healthy Directions Magazine: Delicious, detoxifying, energizing juice! Found on page 14-16.

It also includes delicious juicing recipes! Enjoy!

Juicing! A simple and delicious way to support detoxification

Detoxification is a hot topic in the world of natural medicine, but what exactly does it mean? In the body, detoxification is the process of removing toxic substances.  It is a constant occurrence through various organs of elimination such as the lungs, skin, liver, kidneys and large intestine.

Detoxification is an important concept when it comes to staying healthy and balanced.  This is because a build up of harmful substances impairs the body’s ability to function optimally and is linked to the development of disease.

Most people think of detoxification as a temporary avoidance of exposure to harmful chemicals and removal from the diet of harmful foods such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar, gluten and dairy. 

However, it is ideal to support detoxification on a daily basis and this does not always have to involve the restriction of foods. 

Adding functional foods to your diet that support the organs of elimination is great way to support your body’s innate ability to detoxify.   Supporting the delicate balance between intake of beneficial nutrients and elimination of harmful is essential for good health.

Juicing is a simple and delicious way to support your body’s natural methods of detoxification.

Benefits of juicing

1. Nutrients are more efficiently digested and absorbed

2. Increased amount and variety of fruit and vegetables can be eaten

3. Increased energy, detoxification and immune support

There are many juicing machines available which range from beginner to super deluxe models.  It is recommended that you start with a beginner model before investing in a higher level one to first master the basics of juicing combinations and see how juicing can be incorporated into your healthy lifestyle routine.

Choose organic fruits and vegetables and wash them thoroughly.

Apple, pear, watermelon and carrot juices are great for sweetening bitter vegetable juices and not too overpowering in flavour compared to other fruits.

Drink juice immediately or store in the refrigerator and drink within one day since the juice is not pasteurized.

A note of caution: Juicing is not a meal replacement, but a pleasant addition to a meal! Pure fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals but deficient in fibre, protein and healthy fats which are required for an optimally nutritious meal.

Common vegetables to juice:

Carrot, cucumber, celery, kale, spinach, beet, cabbage, broccoli, parsnip, Swiss chard

Common fruits to  juice:

Apple, pear, orange, pineapple, watermelon, mango, kiwi, berries, grapefruit

5 ingredients to supercharge your juice and support detoxification

1. Dandelion greens: contain phytochemicals that improve digestion and support the liver and kidneys. Dandelions are also high in vitamins A and C which are essential for the immune system.

2. Parsley: high in anti-oxidants which protect cells from damage to harmful chemicals. Contains phytochemicals that support detoxification pathways in the liver and kidney.

3. Cilantro: phytochemicals found in cilantro bind to heavy metals, specifically mercury, and remove them from tissues so they can be eliminated. 

4. Broccoli: high in a phytochemical called indole-3-carbinol which helps the liver detoxify and balance hormone levels.

5. Red cabbage: contains a high amount of L-glutamine, an amino acid which heals and supports digestive tract function.

Kidney cocktail juice recipe

(Source: Fresh at Home: Everyday Vegetarian Cooking by Ruth Tal Brown and Jennifer Houston)

Ingredients:

4 medium carrots

1 handful spinach

1 handful dandelion greens

2 apples

½ cucumber

½ lemon, peeled

1. Juice all the ingredients together.

2. Pour into a glass. Serves 1-2 people.

 

 

Did you overindulge during the holidays? Get back on track with this simple solution: the castor oil pack

Happy New Year!

Did you overindulge during the holidays on alcohol, sweets and fatty foods? Did this wreak havoc on your digestions? Are you now complaining about gas, bloating, heart burn or irregularity?  Overdoing it during the holidays can negatively affect your digestive tract health.

It is possible to get back on track and resolve these digestion issues before they get worse with one simple solution: the castor oil pack!

Castor oil, also known as ricinis communis, is extracted from the seeds of castor bean plant.

5 benefits of castor oil are:

  1. Castor oil is absorbed into the lymphatic system through the skin promoting detoxification processes in the body.
  2. Castor oil increases circulation to the area it is applied.
  3. Castor oil stimulates the digestive system function relieving constipation.
  4. Castor oil decreases inflammation, thus reducing pain, gas and bloating.
  5. Castor oil moisturizes the skin and can prevent stretch marks.

What you need to make a castor oil pack: 

  1. Castor oil
  2. Flannel sheet/old towel
  3. Heating source (hot water bottle, magic bean bag, etc).


Instructions for making a castor oil pack: 

  1. Rub the castor oil on your entire abdominal area.
  2. Place the flannel on top of the castor oil.
  3. Place the heating source on top of the flannel.
  4. Castor oil packs are recommended for 45 minutes every other day.

 Do not do a castor oil pack if:

  1. If you are pregnant or pregnancy is suspected.
  2. You are currently menstruating.
  3. Do not ingest the castor oil! It is a strong laxative and you may have explosive diarrhea!

You can even purchase special OJA flannel body compresses with easy to clean, removable inserts for your castor oil pack.

Check out this instructional video on how to make a castor oil pack using the OJA body compress:

 

 

FREE health seminar! Natural solutions to detoxify your body and home

Hi everyone! You are invited to a FREE health seminar next week called “Natural solutions to detoxify your body and home”.

I’ll be speaking about natural ways to support your organs of elimination (digestive tract, liver, kidneys, skin and lungs) with naturopathic therapies like nutrition, botanical medicine and lifestyle medicine.

Also, Bill Mann a colleague of mine from my weekly business breakfast meeting will be speaking about natural and safe alternatives to your household cleaners.  He is a Melaleuca Marketing Executive and has a wealth of knowledge about how to avoid harmful chemicals in your home.

We are also giving away one FREE naturopathic consultation as well as FREE products in a raffle!  Feel free to share this with your friends, family and colleagues and invite them to attend as well.

Here’s all the information:

Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Time: 7-8:30pm

Location: Ottawa Public Library, Alta Vista Branch

2516 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa, K1V 7T1

Looking forward to seeing you next week!

Dr. Ellen

Spring cleaning for your body: 3 herbal teas for detoxification

Spring is just about here which means it is time for spring cleaning and detoxifying our bodies! Herbs like dandelion, stinging nettle and  milk thistle are a great way to support your body’s ability to eliminate toxins.  Try them on their own with a little lemon or honey for taste, or combine them with your favourite herbal teas for some added medicinal properties!

1. Dandelion tea: dandelions appear in the spring and assist the earth by detoxifying the soil.  Why not try a cup to assist your liver and kidneys to detoxify your body?  Check out my post ‘3 things you didn’t know about dandelions‘ for more fun facts about this weed!

2. Stinging nettle: beware of stinging nettle the next time you go for a walk in the woods, topical exposure to this herb can cause a red, stinging rash! But internally, it is useful at decreasing inflammation in your intestines as well as promoting the function of your kidneys because it is a mild diuretic.

3. Milk thistle: this herb is an excellent liver tonic because it helps your liver cells regrow and replenish new cells.  It is not contraindicated with pharmaceutical drug use and can be beneficial for protecting the liver from harmful effects of these drugs.  It has virtually no flavour and can easily be added to other herbal teas.  Or you can be adventurous and add this tea to your homemade ice tea and popsicles for a sweet treat!

Take a moment out of your busy day to enjoy a wonderful cup of tea!