Is Winter-Dry Skin Driving You Crazy? Omega-7 Is The Answer!

Is Winter-Dry Skin Driving You Crazy? Omega-7 Is The Answer!

  Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are known to be beneficial for, amongst other things, skin health. And when it comes to EFAs, omega-3 and omega-6 are usually top of mind. You may even know about omega-9. But most people have never heard of omega-7, let alone know how good it is for the skin! Omega-7 (also called ‘palmitoleic acid’ in most scientific and clinical publications) is a rare but powerful monounsaturated fat (MUFA) that can be found in animal and plant sources, including macadamia nuts, cold-water fish and sea buckthorn seeds and berries. Sea buckthorn contains the highest concentration of this valuable fatty acid, up to 40% as compared to 17% in macadamia nuts. And whilst I’m going to touch on some of the numerous skin and health benefits, it is also known for its ability to support a healthy weight, as well as cardiovascular and gastro-intestinal health. Sea Buckthorn What makes sea buckthorn so intriguing is its unique composition of numerous nutrients, including omega-7. It’s a rich source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoids. Several sources have placed its combined bioactive substances at 190 for the berries, of which 106 of these are found in the oil alone. Although the fruits of sea buckthorn have been used as a remedy by traditional Tibetan and Mongolian medicine since ancient times, according to Oriental history, the Chinese were the first culture to utilise this berry as a drug. In 1977 this plant was formally listed in the Chinese pharmacopoeia by the Ministry of Public Health. Sea buckthorn’s pharmacological effects were recorded in some 1000-year old medicinal classics, such as the Yue Wang Yao and Sibu Yidian...
Did You Know You Can Make Your Own Antibiotics, With Vitamin D?

Did You Know You Can Make Your Own Antibiotics, With Vitamin D?

Sometimes referred to as sunshine in a bottle, vitamin D (a hormone, in actual fact) is a powerful and essential nutrient when it comes to our wellbeing. Almost every single cell in our body contains a vitamin D receptor (VDR) which highlights just how important this UVB-induced nutrient is to our health and cellular function.[1] One of my favourite properties of vitamin D is how – in sufficient quantities – it enables us to make our own antibiotics. Our Bodies Can Make Antibiotics Yes, you read that correctly. No, this is not a drill. Our bodies are, or more specifically our immune system is, capable of producing specific and not-so-specific responses to various immunological challenges. One of the incredible features of this is, when presented with pathogenic (read disease-causing) microorganisms, we endogenously produce our own antimicrobial medication in response – called antimicrobial peptides. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are an ancient arm of the human immune system and these various peptides protect us against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even certain parasites. Virtually all human tissues and cells typically exposed to microbes are able to produce AMPs. Important AMPs belonging to two structurally distinct classes, known as the defensins and the cathelicidins, are produced by neutrophils and epithelial cells.[2] And, these are regulated by vitamin D![3,4,5,6,7] And the reason I have emphasised epithelial cells is – not only does this include skin, but all mucous membranes including the lungs as well. Very important when it comes to cold and ‘flu. Our Lungs Can Fight Off Cold + Flu I want to give a shoutout to cathelicidin LL-37 in particular as this AMP,...
Ultimate Germ Juice

Ultimate Germ Juice

So this is a cold and flu recipe to end all cold and flu recipes! I posted the original Germ Juice recipe here some years ago, and it was already a winner. Handed down through generations of Naturopaths it has a wonderfully soothing effect on sore throats, is a brilliant decongestant for clogged sinuses, and in the event you have the flu – it’s exceptional at relieving those awful body aches that come with it. The original recipe is ideal for children, or those with a sensitive palate. But if you’re an adult and think you can handle it – this is next level. Ingredients 2 cups of water 2 lemons – quartered A bulb of garlic – turn bulb on it’s side and cut in half – splitting each clove 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar 1/2 inch of ginger root, finely grated 1/4 inch of turmeric root, finely grated 2 drops of Thyme essential oil* (therapeutic grade only!) A pinch of cayenne pepper   Method Into a pot place the water, lemons, garlic, apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper. Cover with a lid, bring it to the boil, then simmer for 12 minutes. Add the ginger and turmeric root and simmer, lid on, for another 3 minutes. Remove pot from the stove and dispense 2 drops of Thyme essential oil and stir well. Strain the mixture, and drink as hot as is comfortable and safe.     This brew actually tastes better than it sounds like it will. But, you may add honey to taste if you wish. I recommend Comvita UMF 15+ Manuka Honey. It is more expensive than regular...
How Sugar Disables Your Immune System

How Sugar Disables Your Immune System

One of the easiest strategies to preserve immune function is to avoid refined sugar. Sugar has a significant disabling effect on our immune system which means, if you’re consuming it, you are more at risk of picking up what’s going around – and less able to fight something off should you catch it. In a nutshell, sugar has a negative impact on our immunity due to it’s similarity in structure to vitamin C which – when taken up instead of vitamin C – renders white blood cells (WBCs) vulnerable. Let me explain that in a bit more detail. Sugar Blocks Vitamin C In order to get why this is such a big deal it is important to understand the role of Vitamin C in healthy immune function and the way our body uses it, and therefore how detrimental it is when sugar affects this. Firstly, WBCs (especially phagocytes and t-cells) accumulate 50-80 times more Vitamin C than the blood they’re carried in – and for very good reason. In order to destroy germs, our WBCs produce highly toxic free radicals with which to destroy these bugs. To be more specific – in response to invading microorganisms (i.e. bacteria or viruses), phagocytic* WBCs actually release non-specific toxins, such as superoxide radicals, hypochlorous acid (‘bleach’), and peroxynitrite; these reactive oxygen species kill microorganisms but, in the process, can damage the WBCs themselves[1]. The accumulation of vitamin C to extremely high concentrations  is in order to protect themselves from the oxidative damage these toxins can do[2,3,4]  – and Vitamin C, through its antioxidant functions, has been shown to protect WBCs from this self-inflicted oxidative damage[5].  Vitamin C levels...
Why Mould is the The ‘New Asbestos’

Why Mould is the The ‘New Asbestos’

It seems that mould is commonly viewed as just an ugly inconvenience. And even those who suffer the common respiratory symptoms it can cause*, are not always conscious of the connection. If you’re not yet aware of just how dangerously unhealthy mould is, get ready for an eye-opening read. Because the respiratory issues mould causes is just the tip of the iceberg. Mould + Respiratory Illness Respiratory issues are the most universal and recognisable symptoms of a mould issue. Similar to the way in which pollen triggers hay fever in those who are susceptible, mould and its spores also irritate the delicate tissues of our nose, throat, lungs, eyes – and even inner ear! If you have any of the following symptoms that have been ongoing, and appear unrelated to season or food intolerances – especially if unresponsive to treatment, consider whether mould may be the culprit. Most tellingly, if your symptoms subside or clear up when you’re away on holiday (or staying somewhere else) only to return when you get back home… Houston. We have a problem. *Respiratory symptoms that mould can cause: itchy nose, eyes, and/or throat sneezing runny or blocked nose watery eyes sinus congestion post-nasal drip sore throat cough asthma* *From what I have read so far, it is claimed that asthma cannot be caused by mould. However, in speaking to people about it, I have heard many a story where asthma developed as a result of mould exposure and did not resolve when the mould was treated or the person relocated to a mould-free environment. My thoughts are that, at least at this stage,...