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In North America, I find it interesting that we have so many skeptics and special interest groups trying to squash homeopathy as a medicine but other countries embrace it with great results. Whenever negative press comes out in Canada, it is amusing, I seem to get more client calls to book appointments. Having traveled to India and seeing the number of cases who benefited from homeopathy, it is utterly amazing. The Ayush minister of India, claims that homeopathic use is up 50% due to its safety and patient satisfaction. A quote from the minister,  “Homeopathy is not a pseudoscience. The conclusion of most comprehensive systematic reviews of studies based on classical homeopathy has concluded that it has a positive and specific effect greater than placebo alone,” he said in a written reply in the upper house." Read more,

When I treat a client with carpal tunnel syndrome, I treat the person infront of me. They may be a person who is low in vitamin B6, zinc or they may need a homeopathic targeted to their condition. Typical homeopathics used are:

  • hypericum for nerve pains,
  • ruta for tendons and ganglions
  • bryonia, when they cannot move their wrist or even write.
  • arnica if carpal tunnel comes after an injury

Each person is different but carpal tunnel symptoms can be greatly helped with natural remedies, best to try the natural route before surgery.


The Medicinal Properties of Hibiscus Tea

The Medicinal Properties of Drinking Hibiscus Tea

By Heather Caruso B.Sc., DHMS, HD

     When the fall approaches, many of us bring our beautiful hibiscus plants indoors with hopes of seeing their beauty last until next year. Hibiscus is a native of Africa, and typically is a yellow flower with a red center. This flower is the national flower of Haiti, South Korea and Malaysia. It is also used in a spiritual way in Hindu writings and art. Hibiscus tea is often paired with rosehips or cranberry, and is chocked full of vitamin C. It contains polyphenol compounds that are anti-inflammatory. Gaia herbs writes that ”5-30 percent of the hibiscus plant is made up of plant acids, including citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid and allo-hydroxycitric acid lactone — i.e. hibiscus acid, which is unique to hibiscus. Other chemical constituents are many; however, some of the most important include alkaloids, anthocyanins, and quercetin.”

     Many people don’t know that hibiscus tea is beneficial for many health reasons. Most people use hibiscus as a tea but it comes in standardized capsule form as well. This herb had been toted as useful for the symptoms of many problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, anxiety, digestive and immune system support and lower inflammation.

     Hibiscus is often used for respiratory problems, coughs, bronchitis or mucous build up. The German Commission E, writes that is helps to reduce and dissolve phlegm. It is often used in combination with other herbs in natural cough syrups. Since it has a significant amount of vitamin C, it is helpful for the immune system. It can also help with the discomfort caused by a fever. A bigger use of the tea is for help with high blood pressure. The American Heart Association wrote in November 2008, that consuming hibiscus tea, lowers blood pressure in pre or mild hypertension. Another study on rats published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, June 2003, found that this herb both decreased blood pressure and reversed cardiomyopathy. Keep in mind this was a lab rat study. It acts as a slight diuretic and anti-inflammatory which helps blood pressure. Research done by Tufts University, found it can reduce blood pressure by 10 points. The participants drank three cups per day, every day for a few weeks.

     Another study of 53 participants published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, August 2009, found that consumption of hibiscus tea helped diabetics lower their cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). It did not appear to increase HDL (good) cholesterol.

     One interesting study published in a journal called Food and Chemical Toxicity, May 2000, found that the pigment (coloured) compounds called anthocyanins in hibiscus can protect the liver from free radical damage from certain chemicals. Hibiscus also contains a compound called “protocatechuic acid “ which has anti-tumor and antioxidant properties. A study published in the journal called “Biochemical Pharmacology”, August 2000, found that these compounds increased cell death in cancerous leukemia cells.

     Other sources claim that hibiscus tea is beneficial for menstrual cramps, weight loss, constipation and water retention. Hibiscus tea is very tasty hot or cold and can be blended with other fruit teas to enhance its taste. Do not use if you have low blood pressure, are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you would like more information on how we can help you naturally, go to to book a free get acquainted chat today.

     Heavy menstrual cycles can be quite exhausting and painful for women. The Center for Disease Control defines heavy menses as bleeding longer than 7 days, needing to change tampons or sanitary napkins every two hours or more and clots larger than a quarter. Heavy cycles tend to run in families and be caused by other conditions like:

  • Uterine fibroids and lesions on the cervix
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Cancer of the uterus or cervix
  • Hypothyroidism, liver or kidney disease, pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Certain medications like blood thinners and apsirin
  • Ectopic pregnancy and miscarriages
  • Birth control like IUDs, intrauterine devices, birth control pills
  • Alcoholism
  • Hormonal imbalances like high estrogen or low progesterone.


     First of all have a gynecologist determine the reason for this condition because different causes need different treatments. If a more serious disorder is present one needs to be aware of what they are dealing with. If the bleeding is severe and long term, anemia, shortness of breath and exhaustion may result.

     Medical doctors typically recommend using hormonal drug treatments to suppress menstruation, an ablation which is a surgical procedure that scrapes the lining of the uterus or a hysterectomy. These treatments may be used as a last resort in severe non respondent cases. However, there are natural treatments that are quite useful for this condition. Get tested for hormone levels. A lot of holistic doctors use a salivary hormone test to detect levels of hormones like cortisol, estrogen, progesterone and DHEA. It is best not to assume what type of levels you have because supplementing with a hormone someone doesn’t need is a sure fire way to mess up other hormones. If the hormonal imbalance is excessive estrogen, there are ways to bind that and excrete it better. A compound from broccoli called Indol 3 Carbonol I3C and/or DIM diindolylmethane help the liver to excrete excessive estrogen. If the trouble is due to low progesterone one can take the hormone progresterone as prescribed by their doctor, or turn to more natural remedies such as wild yam, evening primrose, chasteberry or progesterone 4CH in a homeopathic potency. Excess estrogen is thought to affect thyroid hormones, so many people with high estrogen show signs of hypothyroidism which are weight gain, fatigue, cold body temperature, uterine fibroids and excessive flow. Also low progesterone symptoms are similar to hypothyroid symptoms as well.


     There is a lot women can do to naturally to improve their menstrual cycle. Diet and lifestyle are prudent. Here are a few tips:

  1. Caffeine tends to promote fibroids and cysts. Try to avoid caffeine as best you can. Caffeine is found in tea, coffee, chocolate and soft drinks.
  2. Quit smoking. Smokers tend to have more menstrual irregularities and cancer than non smokers.
  3. Try and eat organic foods as much as possible because pesticides are endocrine (hormone) disrupters. Foods that contain the most pesticides in order are apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce, kale and collard greens.
  4. Aim to eat foods that are low glycemic, avoiding high glycemic foods. High glycemic foods are foods that turn into a sugar quickly in the blood and can in the long run decrease health by increasing the incidence of diabetes, insulin resistance, certain types of cancer and increase fat deposition. The more body fat, the more estrogen because fat cells can produce estrogen and inflammation as well. High glycemic foods are sugar, white rice, white bread, refined grain products found in cereals and wheat products.
  5. Avoid alcohol consumption because it is linked to an increase in hormonal cancers like breast and uterine cancer. Alcohol in the form of red wine, seems to be more beneficial for men’s heart health but not for women. That is because the detoxification of alcohol also travels into the liver and impairs its ability to metabolize and detoxify negative and excessive hormones in our body. This is why women who drink more often than others, tend to suffer with more breast cancer than those who do not.
  6. Green leafy vegetables contain iron and vitamin K which promotes blood clotting. Cruciferous vegetables contain compounds that help the liver to detoxify. Cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens and Brussel sprouts, are best cooked because when they are raw they contain goitrogens that can negatively influence thyroid function.
  7. Increase the intake of fiber and eat more vegetarian meals. Fiber binds excess estrogen and brings it out of the body. Daily intake of fiber should be at least 25 to 35 grams per day. Work up to this amount slowly to allow the body to adjust or excessive gas will be the result.
  8. Moderate exercise is best. Those women who over exercise, tend to have heavy flow and/or bleeding during exertion. In traditional Chinese medicine over exercise is said to deplete the kidney and liver yin. This yin weakness is linked to not replenishing the depleted blood supply, exhausting the yin further and the perosn. It is best to exercise 45 to 60 minutes per day.
  9. Manage stress levels naturally with moderate exercise, meditation, yoga, tai chi, counselling or changing negative situations. High cortisol from stress can blunt other hormones from working well in the body, affect sleep negatively and increase weight gain expecially around the midsection.

         Homeopathic mother tinctures are made from herbs and prepared according to the homeopathic pharmacopea’s instructions. They are not diluted and potentized like other homeopathics that have numbers and letters after their name like X, D, K or CH. Some tried and true mother tinctures for heavy menses are as follows:

  • Aletris Farinosa is a tincture made from the herb stargrass. It is useful in women who have profuse menstrual flow, labor like cramps with a feeling of a heavy uterus. Women who need this remedy are flat out exhausted from being anemic and may also suffer with yeast infections.
  • Thlapsi bursa pastoris is a tincture made from shepherd’s purse. It is an excellent remedy for hemorrhaging from uterine fibroids, with clots and cramps. The blood may be dark, staining. Women who need this remedy suffer from extreme pain and uterine colic.
  • Rubus Ideus is usually made into a gemmotherapy remedy, not a mother tincture. That means it is a 1DH potency in a glycerine macerate base. This remedy is made from red raspberry and is useful for painful, heavy menses, vaginitis. It is a drainage remedy for the liver and the pelvic organs.
  • Vitex, Agnus Castus is a remedy made from the herb chasteberry. Chasteberry increases one’s production of progesterone and may reduce bleeding.
  • Apium Graveolens is a tincture made from celery. It is useful for menstrual disorders with headaches, sharp or aching pains and heavy flow. They suffer with pains in the left ovary that cause the patient to double over. These types may have tender nipples around their monthly flow as well.
  • Millefolium is a tincture made from the common weed, yarrow. It is a great remedy for profuse bleeding and bright red blood. It can be indicated when bleeding occurs from heavy lifting or exertion.


     Homeopathic remedies are suited to the symptoms of the patient, so two people with menorrhagia would get different remedies depending on their unique set of symptoms. The beauty of homeopathy as opposed to drugs, supplements, herbs or even mother tinctures is that a potency over 6CH has no side effects. Homeopathic remedies are an energy blueprint of an original substance and are a nanoparticle medicine. Homeopathy matches the symptoms of the patient to the homeopathic remedy and in turn this stimulates one’s own healing mechanism to recognize abnormal symptoms and correct them gently and swiftly. If someone mistakenly takes the wrong remedy, it is simply does nothing because the symptoms don’t match and the person’s healing mechanism doesn’t respond to energies that don’t match. Consider it similar to a key that fits into an ignition to activate healing. Typically a remedy will be administered in a 6, 30 or 200CH potency. Health food stores carry 30CH potencies but a professional homeopath may recommend a different potency based on your specific needs.


     Keep in mind there are at least 279 homeopathic remedies listed under menorrhagia, so symptom matching is the key. Sometimes a homeopath like myself thinks about how much easier it would be to be a gynecologist and opt for birth control, ablation or hysterectomy, only three choices! Here are a few examples of homeopathic that suit heavy menses. For example:

  • Calcarea Carb is useful for types that have heavy flow that starts too early, profusely and lasts too long. They tend to clotting of all types. They may suffer from fibroids and or hypothyroidism. These types may tend to gain weight easily, have cold and clammy hands or feet. Perspire on the scalp during sleep. They feel worse from exertion, mental or physical, cold environments, wet weather and at the full moon. They feel better lying on the painful side and in dry warm climates.
  • Lachesis types tend to have excessive flow during menopause. They suffer from hot flushes, feel worse in the sun, morning and having anything touching or around their neck. They can be feisty, irritable and talkative types.
  • Phosphorus types may be blonde, blue eyed and freckled people, but this is not necessary. They tend to be full of anxieties, are sympathetic and friendly people. They have a hemorrhage between their menses. They may not have profuse flow but it lasts too long. They may have uterine polyps and feel weepy before their periods. They are worse from touch, exertion both mental and physical, change of weather, lying on the painful side or during a thunderstorm. They are better lying on the right, in dark, cold food, open air and sleeping.
  • Sabina types have a mix of clots with fluid blood. They may have a tendency to miscarriages in their third month. Uterine pains may extend to the thighs. They have flow between their menses and may have or have had moles in the uterus.
  • Thyroidinum is a remedy that helps to support types that tend to have hypothyroidism. They may have cold dry skin, tend to water retention, heavy menses and aches and pains.

     In an ideal world everyone would have access to a professional homeopath for remedies suited to their special and unique case. Hahnemann the father of homeopathy, said that individualized medicines are best for treatment. Homeopaths see disease not as an entity onto itself, but an expression of the person’s inner dynamics and treat a person as a whole. Thus two people would have remedies tailor suited to their individualized needs. Homeopathic medicine continues to amaze me over the almost two decades that I have been a homeopath. If you would like more information about homeopathy and how we can support you naturally go to and book a free get acquainted chat today.

  The term degenerative disc disease refers to the changes in the discs which is the cushioning between the vertebrae in the spine. Normally the space between the vertebrae contains spinal discs which are soft and compressible that allow the spine to bend and flex. Degenerative disc disease (DDD) refers to a breakdown of these discs which usually happens in the lower (lumbar) or the neck (cervical) region of the spine. These discs may lose some of fluid which can cause less cushioning between the vertebrae. Tears may occur that cause the disc to bulge or encroach on surrounding tissues causing great pain. As the space in between vertebrae get smaller, it can cause the body to produce some bony growths called osteophytes. These osteophytes cause more pain and inflammation in the surrounding tissues of the spine. The changes in discs may cause spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis and/or a herniated disc.

     Sometimes the cause of DDD is unknown, but it can be linked to normal aging, injuries and heavy physical labor including lifting. Some researchers have found that improper blood supply is linked to DDD. Medical treatments for DDD may be symptomatic pain relief using anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy and in severe cases surgery. Natural supplements are excellent for relieving pain caused by DDD without the typical side effects that pharmaceutical pain killers do. Luckily homeopathic medicines are suited to the unique symptoms of DDD so the remedies are based on someone’s unique symptom picture.

     Mother tinctures are herbal preparations that are often used in homeopathic prescribing. They are herbal remedies so they may have side effects as opposed to homeopathic remedies. However, if prescribed properly they have minimal side effects compared to prescription drugs. Some mother tinctures used in DDD for pain or support are as follows:

     White Willow Bark or Salix Alba, has been compared to conventional treatments for low back pain, such as cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors (COX-2). Willow bark contains a compound that is used in aspirin however, willow bark does not have the side effects that aspirin has. Willow bark has been used in headaches, migraines, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, low back pain and toothaches for pain relief. It has analgesic compounds that help with pain but it does not reverse any of the damage from osteoarthritis or DDD.

     Curcuma Longa (turmeric) has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties for those with osteoarthritis. This spice is used in Asian cooking and gives food a yellowish color. It has numerous studies on its health benefits such as being beneficial as an anticancer, antioxidant, cholesterol lowering agent, analgesic and for nerve pains. Some people take it as a tea with black pepper to increase its potency. A few interesting studies have confirmed that curcumin reduces inflammatory markers, reduces the activity of a protein that causes collagen to break down and inflammation.

     Boswelia serrata is an ancient herb used in Ayurvedic healing. It has potent anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic and pain relieving properties. Boswelia actually has been studied and found to reduce hormonal triggers for inflammation that causes pain in arthritis and DDD. It helps to stimulate the growth of cartilage, increase blood supply to inflamed areas and repairs local blood vessels damaged by inflammation. This is a top notch remedy for DDD.

     Devil’s Claw otherwise known as Harpagophytum procumbens has traditionally been used as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever for joint diseases, back pain, and headache. There are several human studies that support the use of devil's claw for the treatment of low back pain but it is not clear how devil's claw works. Studies show a mild improvement with its use in back pain and more so benefit in knee and hip arthritis. This drug may help one reduce the use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

     Passiflora Incarnata is useful for sleeplessness due to pain. It is useful for relaxing and the symptoms of anxiety. In homeopathic literature this mother tincture can be used to help break a morphine habit.

     Homeopathy is a medicine that is suited to one’s unique symptom picture, so two people suffering with symptoms of DDD may require different remedies according to their symptoms. Homeopathic medicine in a potency higher than 6CH does not carry any side effects. There are many remedies for symptoms of DDD but here are a few that are most commonly indicated:

     Aesculus hipp is a remedy that is suited to the symptoms of severe, dull aching in the lumbar spine and sacrum. Walking is nearly impossible and these types may take a few tries to get up from any seat. They feel worse from movement. They feel weakness and lameness in the small of the back and need to sit down for relief.

     Argentum Met types have a bruised sensation in the small of the back, loins and the neck. They feel worse in the morning on waking, from motion. These types have a deep violent pain as if sprained in the low back. The left thigh tends pain unbearable when the leg is lifted outwards and this pain compels him/her to limp.

    Bryonia pains are of a stiff character in the lower back and feel worse with any movement, standing, or bending. They feel worse from cold weather and better with rubbing, heat and resting completely still. These types can be irritable and crusty due to pain and want to be left alone.

     Calcarea Fluor is a remedy that is useful in DDD where there are osteophytes (bony growths) that develop. The back feels tired, aching and stiff. These types feel worse for first motion, drafts and coldness and are better for warmth and motion.

     Cimicifuga is a remedy that has degenerative discs particularly in the cervical (neck) vertebrae. These types may have radiating pain down to their left arm, and the neck may be frozen to one side. The neck and upper back suffers from spasms and stiffness. They feel worse from cold, drafts, motion and touch and better for warmth and pressure.

     Nux Vomica cramps in low back from sitting in a sedentary job, constipation, chilly and irritable. Better warmth and worse for cold applications.

     Ruta Grav is a remedy for chronic low back pain that is severe in the small of the back. These pains may feel from within outwards as if it is bruised. The pains may be worse after standing and sitting and bending over or walking. The pain feels worse on the first motion and better on continued motion and lying on the back.

     As you can see homeopathic medicine is very individualized and two people may get different remedies depending on their unique symptom picture. In an ideal world, everyone would have access to a homeopath and a medical doctor that can work together this way the patient can have the best of both worlds.

For more information, go to and book a free get acquainted chat today.




     Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic degenerative neurological condition that affects a person’s ability to control movements. Descriptions of PD have been around as far back as 5000BC. There is no known cause or cure for PD and typically as symptoms worsen the patient may take pharmaceutical medications to suppress the concerning symptoms. PD involves damage and malfunction of the brain’s neurons or nerve cells. It particularly affects an area called the substantia nigra and corpus striatum over time, the enteric nervous system, the medulla and in particular, the olfactory bulb. Some of these damaged neurons produce a hormone called dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that sends messages to the brain that control smooth movement and co-ordination.

     Early signs of PD are a loss of the sense of smell, sleep problems and constipation. These are common symptoms in the elderly population. A tremor may develop on one side of the body only, but in time it may be in both sides. Symptoms of PD may progress to a slow or shuffling gait, slow movement, tremors of the hands, arms, legs, jaw or face, rigid or stiff limbs, poor balance and co-ordination. Sometimes PD sufferers have a blank stare. Emotional symptoms include anxiety, depression and dementia. If PD progresses severely some of the symptoms are a lack of ability to walk, hallucinations and delusions. Typically PD occurs over the age of 65 but there are many incidences of early onset PD. Although there is no known cause, researchers have identified five genes related to PD. They have also found that those over the age of 60, being male, a history of head injuries and exposure to herbicides and pesticides may be have a higher risk factor for the development of PD.

     In the clinic we have seen many cases of PD. The ones in the earlier stages tend to do much better than those with late stage PD. Although, homeopathic and natural medicines do not cure PD they can improve on some of the uncomfortable symptoms. Herein we will mention a few homeopathic medicines and mother tinctures.

     Homeopathic mother tinctures are herbal preparations that are often used in homeopathic prescribing. They are herbal remedies so they may have side effects as opposed to homeopathic remedies however, if prescribed properly they should have minimal side effects compared to prescription drugs. However, if taking any prescription drugs be sure to check for side effects. Some mother tinctures that increase dopamine production are as follows:

Vinca Minor is a herb known as periwinkle or myrtle. This herb contains vinpocetine which helps to improve memory and blood flow. It has many beneficial properties and is used to increase circulation to the brain, eyes and ears. It improves oxygen and blood flow especially in the brain. It has some benefit for post stroke conditions.

Ashwagandha is an ayurvedic herb that helps with stress, anxiety, thyroid function, increases energy and is thought to protect brain cells from damage.

St. John’s Wort is a herb that is often used for mood and depression. A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that St John’s Wort increases the feel good hormones serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. These hormones help to improve mood and can be effective in treating depression and increasing dopamine. As mentioned earlier dopamine helps with the symptoms of poor limb control and jerky movements in PD.

Mucuna pruriens is a legume known as velvet bean and is the best form of L dopa, the gold standard treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Research suggests Mucuna pruriens protects the brain by keeping cognitive functions in check and encouraging neural activity. In a nutshell mucuna helps by neutralizing free radical damage on unstable electrons that may damage neurons in the brain.

Green tea or L theanine has been known to increase dopamine as well and promote feelings of relaxation, improve mood, relaxation and blood flow to the brain. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition found L theanine protects brain cells against toxins like excessive dopamine.

Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogen herb that is helpful for stress and adrenal fatigue. A study published in the Annals of Neurosciences found that Rhodiola actually has a beneficial impact on parkinson’s disease by preventing toxicity of the brain from a particular substance. It is a great supplement for stress, anxiety and fatigue although it is not a cure for PD. Researchers have found that rhodiola influences many hormones and inflammation that can impact and provide a positive potential future management of Parkinson’s disease.

     Homeopathy is a medicine that is suited to one’s unique symptom picture, so two people suffering with symptoms of PD may require different remedies according to their symptoms. Homeopathic medicines help the person suffering from PD not just the name of the disease. Homeopathic medicine in a potency higher than 6CH does not carry any side effects. There are many remedies for symptoms of PD but here are a few that are most commonly indicated:

Agaracus is a homeopathic medicine made from fly agaric. It is helpful for twitchings, during sleep, alcoholics who tend to develop tremblings and twitchings. These types are worse for cold air, drinking alcohol and mental exhaustion. These types may feel stiff all over, pain over the hips. The toes and feet may be cold and frozen. The face and eyes may twitch and suffer as if cold needles ran through them.

Manganum aceticum is a useful remedy for those with parkinson’s that may be due to an excess of the mineral manganese. These types have exaggerated reflexes, with an unusual gait where a person may inadvertently stagger and feel feeble. These types feel better lying down in bed. These types have pain in their body wherever touched. They have a tendency to fall forward and visual disturbances.

Rhus Tox is a remedy that is useful in PD where people tend to feel stiff muscles and joints that are better for motion. They may have numbness of parts. They feel better walking in open air, and irritable at night. These types may dwell on past occurrences after midnight which may affect sleep. The limbs feel numb and prickly after exposure to damp and over work. They are better for warmth and movement. Rhus tox types tend to feel as if their legs are made of wood, and their hamstrings are too short. They are better for motion, warmth and worse for straining, being inactive and cold and damp weather.

Zincum Metallicum types are fatigued mentally and deep in their brain. These types are tired, yet their limbs, like their legs and feet are very fidgety. They tend to have brain fatigue, stupor and are forgetful. They tend to be confused and dull after wine. These types feel depression with their disease, sensitive to noise and complains. These types may have burning along their spine, restless legs and their feet in continuous motion and trembling and twitching. The soles of their feet are sensitive. Their hands are weak and trembling. These types feel better for motion, pressure, rubbing and worse for wine, exhaustion and during the menses.

     As you can see homeopathic medicine is very individualized and two people may get different remedies depending on their unique symptom picture. In an ideal world, everyone would have access to a homeopath and a medical doctor and they don’t disparage the other person’s treatment. This way the patient can have the best of both worlds.

     In my years of practice, I have treated many people with PD. Their cases are difficult and those who do the best, know that healing is a process and one remedy will not be a wonder pill cure all. One remedy helps for the constitution and another may be needed at different times for acute problems or side effects from medications. The beauty of homeopathy is that it can work in conjunction with these medications so that the patient can have the best of both worlds to experience their best outcome using homeopathy.

Heather Caruso is a homeopath and holistic nutritionist for the past 20 years in Guelph Ontario. For more information or to book a free get acquainted chat go to





     A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is somehow cut off. Brain cells are deprived of oxygen and the cells die. The effects of a stroke depends on a number of things, where the damage occurred in the brain and the extent of the damage from lack of oxygen and blood flow. Every year in Canada, a person suffers from a stroke every ten minutes and over the course of a year, that adds up to 50,000 people. For every minute of delay in treatment of a stroke, it is estimated that 1.9 million nerve fibers in the brain die. More women die from strokes than men do and more women will have a stroke than get breast cancer.

     The causes of stroke vary but most often in 50 percent of cases, it is due to uncontrolled high blood pressure. Factors that are linked to stroke incidence is as follows:

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure (over 50 percent of strokes are linked to hypertension)
  • Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition where the heart beats irregularly and causes turbulent blood flow, which may trigger the blood to clot. People with AF are 5 times more likely to develop a stroke than people without it. Approximately 15% of all people who have had a stroke have AF.
  • Diabetes are 3 times more likely to develop a stroke. Almost 20% of people who have had a stroke are diabetic
  • Inactivity increases one’s risk of stroke. Those who exercise five times per week or more are less apt to develop a stroke.
  • Smoking doubles one’s risk of stroke.
  • Diet plays an important role in stroke prevention, those who eat a heart healthy, low glycemic Mediterranean diet can reduce their risk of stroke up to 80%.
  • Sleep apnea can increase one’s risk of stroke three times that of a person without sleep apnea.
  • Being overweight with more abdominal fat increases one’s risk of stroke.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse increase one’s risk considerably.

     The symptoms of stroke are important to note because if treatment happens right away, it can prevent a lot of damage to the brain. Some common symptoms are as follows:

  • Sudden weakness
  • Droopy face
  • Speech difficulty
  • Weak arms
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble walking and loss of balance
  • Dizziness

   If you suffer from these symptoms, it is best to take an aspirin to thin the blood and head to emergency immediately. The sooner one gets treatment, the better the outcome. Oftentimes the symptoms of stroke will mock a migraine, but better to be safe than sorry.

   In the clinic we have seen many cases of post stroke symptoms, such as some underlying weakness, trembling or paralysis. Homeopathic medicines are very effective with mild symptoms and can improve on more severe symptoms. Herein we will mention a few homeopathic medicines and mother tinctures.

     Homeopathy is a medicine that is suited to one’s unique symptom picture, so two people suffering with symptoms of stroke may require different remedies according to their symptoms. Homeopathic medicines help the person suffering from stroke symptoms not just the name of the disease. Homeopathic medicine in a potency higher than 6CH does not carry any side effects. There are many remedies for post stroke symptoms but here are a few that are most commonly indicated:

Aconite is well indicated in post stroke, when the event has just happened. There is great fear and anxiety and it may have been precipitated by an emotional shock or a fright. These types feel restlessness and tossing about. There is a hot heavy and bursting sensation in the head. Congestive headaches. Quick pulse and tachycardia which causes anxiety. The pulse is full, hard, tense and bounding. The limbs are numb and tingling, especially the left arm. The hands may be hot and the feet cold. The mouth may be numb, dry and tingling. There may be vertigo on rising.

Arnica is useful post stroke to aid in healing. This remedy is often called for after chest or heart pain after a vigorous, violent run. It is useful in cases of angina, where there is a severe pain down the left arm and elbow. Stroke symptoms may occur after over exertion, injuries, surgeries fright, financial loss and anger. Strokes in these types have a great effect on the person’s mental function. They may be absent minded, forgetful, forgetting the word they are about to say. These types are famous for saying that they are fine and sending away the doctor when they need help.

Baryta Carbonica is useful for post stroke symptoms in the elderly. These types may tend to take cold easily, suffer from dementia or slow metal grasp. They become slow and inept. They have difficulty concentrating and become shy towards strangers, almost childish. They may suffer from senility and other types of cardiovascular disease.

Crotalis Horridus is a remedy that is useful for post stroke paralysis that tends to affect the right side. It is suited to types that may be overly talkative, muttering and depression. They tend to focus on thoughts of death and cerebral decay. They can be agitated, irritable and cross.

Lachesis is a remedy for post stroke paralysis affecting the left side. These types may suffer from hot flushes, high blood pressure and a sensitivity to things around their neck.

     Homeopathic mother tinctures are herbal preparations that are often used in homeopathic prescribing. They are herbal remedies so they may have side effects as opposed to homeopathic remedies however, if prescribed properly they should have minimal side effects compared to prescription drugs. However, if taking any prescription drugs be sure to check for side effects. Some mother tinctures that help with stroke prevention and symptoms are as follows:

Allium Sativa is made from garlic. Garlic is an excellent cardiovascular tonic, and is thought to thin the blood, improve circulation and heart disease.

Gingko Biloba is a useful remedy for improving the circulation. It helps with memory loss associated with poor blood flow. This herb is known to decrease clotting and platelets, so best not to take it with blood thinners.

Vinca Minor is a great herb that improves circulation to the brain. It helps with cognitive function and also tinnitus and vision.

     As you can see homeopathic medicine is very individualized and two people may get different remedies depending on their unique symptom picture. In an ideal world, everyone would have access to a homeopath and a medical doctor and they don’t disparage the other person’s treatment. This way the patient can have the best of both worlds.

     In my years of practice, I have treated many people with post stroke symptoms. It amazes me that even in some severe cases in time, they get improvements. Post stroke cases are difficult and it is best to seek the help of a qualified homeopath rather than self prescribing. The beauty of homeopathy is that it can work in conjunction with these medications so that the patient can have the best of both worlds to experience their best outcome using homeopathy.

Heather Caruso is a homeopath and holistic nutritionist for the past 20 years in Guelph Ontario. For more information or to book a free get acquainted chat go to



The Medicinal Properties of Marshmallow Root or Althea Officianalis

The Medicinal Properties of Althea Officinalis

By Heather Caruso B.Sc., Hom, ROHP/RNCP

   Althea Officinalis, Marshmallow Root, is a herb that has been used for over 2000 years, in ancient Egyptian, Arabian, Grecian and Roman cultures. It grows in marshy areas and bears pretty pale pink flowers that look smaller but similar to hibiscus flowers. It’s root is used to provide relief for irritations, internally and externally, sooth and moisten mucous membranes (aka linings) of the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tract. Althea officinalis aids the body in expelling excessive fluid and mucous and is a useful poultice for wounds and burns. This plant has been used in for centuries in our food, drinks and cosmetics. Approximately 35% of Marshmallow Root contains mucilage, which acts to coat irritated linings of the body. It acts like a natural barrier or soothing mucous in a way. It also contains flavonoid antioxidants, healing amino acids like asparagine, polysaccharides like pectin and a variety of antiviral, antibacterial and anti-mucilaginous compounds like coumarin, kaempferol, phenolic acids, quercetin and tannins.

   Althea officinalis is useful in dry coughs and laryngitis. It is not great for wet mucousy coughs, but is for the type that are sore and dry. Its medicinal properties work to create a soothing barrier for dry and raw linings of the throat and/or lungs. It also increases immune cells called macrophages that surround and eat infectious viruses or bacteria. Althea is often combined in herbal cough syrups with echinacea, slippery elm, lemon and oregano. Althea helps reduce swollen lymph nodes during an infection. It also helps to increase saliva which helps soothe dry sore throats. Thus it may be good in conditions like Sjorgren’s syndrome or other problems with saliva production due to medication use or radiation therapy.

   Bladder and kidney infections as well as kidney stones with burning and discomfort may benefit from the use of Althea officinalis. It helps with swelling, burning and tenderness and helps to fight infection. This herb is very useful in both Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and peptic ulcers. The root contains a polysaccharide that helps to form a protective layer on the stomach lining and lowers acid levels. It also protects this lining from acidity. Thus marshmallow root can also help to restore the gut lining by forming a protective layer around small junctions which makes it helpful in leaky gut syndrome. It is also used for heartburn symptoms because it protects the stomach from acidity, soothes and coats by creating a healing mucous barrier. It reduces the burning stomach in heartburn. It can also be used to help with constipation due to its high mucilage content.

     Althea officinalis helps with skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and mastitis (blocked breast milk duct). Many herbalist use it topically to help with these and other conditions like insect bites, wounds, burned and chapped skin. It helps to form a soothing protective layer on the skin and interferes with hormones that cause inflammation.

     This herb is known to reduce water retention. It can help with PMS water retention, stomach bloating and edema similar to a water pill. Marshmallow root will help to increase urination and reduce swelling.

     Marshmallow root comes in capsule, tincture and tea form. Those with stomach ulcers, Crohn’s of colitis, should avoid the alcohol tincture or put it in hot water to try and let some of the alcohol dissipate. Japanese researchers have found that Althea off root can lower blood sugar when injected, thus there is a warning for diabetics. However, no research has been found on ingesting the teas or tinctures or applying the herb topically. Because marshmallow root coats the stomach, it could potentially limit the absorption of other drugs. Thus take marshmallow six hours before or after taking other medication.

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The Medicinal Properties of Dandelion, Taraxicum Officianalis

     Dandelion grows wild all over North America and is considered to be a weed. Its leaves are often picked before it blooms and made into salads, sautés and wine. One cup of dandelion greens is quite nutritious. It contains choline, lutein, 218 mgs of potassium, 535 percent of one’s daily recommended intake of vitamin K, 111 percent of vitamin A, 32 percent of vitamin C, 5 percent B6, 10 percent of calcium, 9 percent of iron and 5 percent of magnesium. The leaves and roots are used for medicinal use.

   Dandelion has a great beneficial activity on the kidneys and liver. The French name for dandelion is “pissenlit”, which translates to wetting the bed. This herb acts as a natural diuretic likely due to its high potassium content. It purifies the blood and helps the liver and kidneys remove toxins. It also helps to reduce uric acid levels, stimulates urination and can help with bladder infections. This weed-like superfood helps the kidneys clear out waste and salt making it helpful for edema (water retention) due to excess salt, medication use or PMS. Some use dandelion as a treatment for hypertension due to its diuretic properties.

     Due to its blood purifying effects and support of the liver and kidneys, it is often used for skin disorders like acne, boils, rosacea, psoriasis and eczema. Dandelion helps to remove toxins from the blood and in turn purifies the blood and improves breakouts. Herbal combinations that include dandelion and other herbs like berberis aquafolium, sarsaparilla and echinacea are very beneficial in helping with skin issues due to their cleansing effect.

     Some recent studies suggest that dandelion may help normalize blood sugar levels and lower total cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL (good) cholesterol in diabetic mice. Researchers need to do more research on whether dandelion will work this well in humans. A few animal studies also suggest that dandelion might help fight inflammation.

     Dandelion has bitter properties that helps to improve bile flow from the liver and gallbladder. This can improve fat digestion and aid in promotion smoother bowel movements for those with constipation. In irritable bowel syndrome dandelion has been found to improve elimination. One study found that 95% of sufferers reported they were pain free after two short weeks of use. Dandelion’s bitter properties activate a reflex that increases secretion of digestive juices by the lining of the stomach. This means it can help with digestion of foods starting in the stomach and fats due to its increase in bile flow from the liver and gallbladder. This herb can prevent gallstones but should be avoided in those who already have them. Improved bile flow acts like a natural lubricant for the intestinal tract with helps with harder constipated stools.

     Historically dandelion has been used to treat hemorrhaging from the liver. It also improves liver function, by removing toxins and reestablishing hydration and electrolyte balance. Some research has found that this mighty weed can be quite beneficial in cancer prevention. It is thought that because it is rich in antioxidants, supports toxin release and liver and kidney function which in turn may be why it would benefit those with cancer. One compound called luteolin actually harms cancer cells when it binds to them, making them unable to replicate. This may be most beneficial in prostate cancer. Many more studies are being conducted.

     Dandelion can be found in raw leaf form, tinctures, teas, pills and powders. Some even use dandelion coffee instead of regular coffee. Dosages vary according to its form. If you are allergic to dandelion, have gallstones or are taking antibiotics. Check with your pharmacist if this herb contradicts any medication you are taking. Side effects from dandelion may include increased urination, bowel movements and diarrhea.

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