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The Caruso Homeopathy Blog

There is great controversy about menopausal women taking estrogen and progesterone. Research shows that women who take these hormones after menopause have an increased risk of certain types of cancers. In the female body there are certain types of estrogen and some are more detrimental to health than others. Having a healthy liver that can excrete negative hormones is key. In the clinic we do a saliva hormone testing to see if hormones are at ideal levels and choose what treatment to take after the fact. If you are taking pharmaceutical medications it may be worth assessing what your levels are, moving to a more safe approach to hormonal imbalance through supplementation, herbs or homeopathy, rather than risk an increase chance of developing breast, ovarian or cervical cancer.

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An article from the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology published a research study in November of 2008, that strongly correlates a high glycemic index diet with the development of alzheimers disease. Thus Alzheimer's is now called type 3 diabetes. Those people who tend to consume too many starchy carbohydrates, sugars and alcoholic drinks have an increased risk of Alzheimers disease. A lower carbohydrate Mediterranean diet is best for those who want to preserve their health and cognitive function.

Click here to read study.

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.


A few recent studies have noted that the antiseptic chemical trisoclan, is linked to an increase in breast cancer. If one must use hand sanitizers, try using a natural product instead, not only does it protect you, but it also helps reduce the contamination of our water, with chemicals when we wash.

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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.

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