A Sleep Technique For When You Have A Cough and Congestion

Annex Naturopathic

Wet Socks Sleep Technique | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Toronto Naturopathi Doctor

Cold and flu season is here and one of the worst parts of getting sick is the stuffy nose and stubborn mucus that just wants to keep you from getting a good night's sleep.

As a naturopathic doctor in Toronto, many patients ask if there are natural, non-drug ways to manage congestion and allow for a good night's sleep.

Congestion in the sinuses prevents one from breathing through the nose while sleeping, forcing us to breathe through our mouths that can lead to throat dryness, irritation.

This could leave to coughing or chronic lung congestion can may cause incessant coughing, preventing one from sleeping throughout the night.

Sleep is extremely important for recovery when you're sick.

Warming socks technique for a good night's sleep

The warming sock technique is done at night in order to battle these symptoms.

It can also help reduce temperature if there is also a fever present.

Treating cough and congestion | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Toronto Naturopathi Doctor

What you will need for this technique:

  1. One pair of normal thickness socks

  2. One pair of thick wool socks

  3. Extra blanket for your feet for extra warming


  1. If your feet are icy cold it is important to warm them first.This is very important as the treatment will not be as effective and could be harmful.Warming can be accomplished by soaking in warm water for 5-10 minutes.

  1. Next, take a pair of thin cotton socks and thoroughly wet all but the ankle portion with cold water.Wring them out so they are not dripping

  1. Walk to bed and place the wet socks on your feet.

  1. Then cover with thick wool socks.

  1. Get comfy in your bed tucked in with plenty of warm blankets to fall asleep - you can use the extra blanket on the feet if needed.

  1. Get an uninterrupted night of sleep.

  1. In the morning you will find that the wet cotton socks will be dry, and you will feel well rested from a great night's sleep!

In response to the wet socks placed on your feet, the body sends the circulation of blood and lymph (therefore some heat) down to warm the feet, pulling along the congestion from the head and lungs, allowing drainage through the lymphatic system.

Many of my patients report being able to get a full night's sleep when using the wet socks for cough and congestion.

If you feel this will be uncomfortable, don't fret - the discomfort of wet socks on your feet tends to let up after a couple of minutes.

You wake up with completely dry feet!

This can be used for the whole family, ages through 100

If you're curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our NDs feel free to book a visit or contact us.

Yours in Health,

Annex Naturopathic Clinic

572 Bloor St W #201, Toronto, ON M6G 1K1


To learn additional info about health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: holistic doctor toronto

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte: Make This Fall Favorite at Home

The distinct sweet smell and
flavor of pumpkin spice can give us a warm fuzzy feeling during the holidays. What
better way to enjoy this spice that we've associated with comfort than by adding
it to a hot[CO1]
drink? If you're one of those people who absolutely love fall, there is a high
chance that you've sipped a soothing mug of pumpkin spice latte.

However, if you take a closer
look at the nutritional content of Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte, you can see
that it's a health disaster waiting to happen. The sugar content alone is
something that should alarm you, as a standard pumpkin spice latte can pack up
to 50 grams of sugar per serving! mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:
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While Starbucks and other coffee
shops can offer you the convenience of getting your pumpkin spice fix on the go,
they also expose you to a variety of health repercussions because of the excessive sugar

If you're looking for a healthier
and a more natural version of this popular drink, try this recipe instead. Not
only does this recipe use only high-quality ingredients, but it also saves you
from overloading on sugar by using only the natural sweetness of the pumpkin


1 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon Dr.
Mercola's MCT oil

2 tablespoons of
organic pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons of
Dr. Mercola's vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of
pumpkin spice

1/4 cup Dr.
Mercola's organic dark roast coffee


1. Blend
all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

2. Heat
on stovetop until it simmers.

3. Top
with a sprinkle of pumpkin spice.

4. Serve

What Exactly Is Pumpkin Spice?

Pumpkin spice is basically the
same combination of spices traditionally added to a pumpkin pie; hence, the
name. It's a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, dry ginger, clove and allspice. This
means that pumpkin spice, the natural kind made from fresh spices, can offer
you a slew of health benefits. Here are some of the health benefits that you
can get from the following ingredients of pumpkin spice:

Cinnamon. Cinnamon contains high
amounts of calcium, fiber and manganese. These components help promote bone,
reproductive and cell health[DRFS2].

This brown spice is packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants that help
in disease prevention and pain management. It is also rich in manganese, copper
and magnesium, which are essential for cell repair[DRFS3].

Allspice has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help in reducing the
effects of arthritis,
gout and muscle pain. It
can help with digestion, immunity and dental health as well. mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:
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Clove. As an expectorant, clove can
help in alleviating inflammation in the respiratory system. It also promotes
the production of gastric acids, which can aid in digestion[DRFS4].

However, because of the
popularity of the pumpkin spice flavor, a handful of companies have made it a
point to add artificial flavors and shocking amounts of sugar to better
replicate how freshly baked pumpkin pie tastes.

When buying pumpkin spice
flavored products or just the spice alone, make sure that you check whether
they're organic and free of any artificial ingredients. You can also opt to
make your own pumpkin spice blend to be sure that all the ingredients are of
the highest quality.

What Health Benefits Can You Get From Pumpkin?

Pumpkin is actually extremely
nutrient-dense and fiber-rich. It is also one of the main ingredients in
pumpkin spice latte, because it holds everything together and gives the drink
its natural sweetness. Some of the nutrients you can get from pumpkin include:

A surplus
of vitamins and minerals.
Pumpkin is filled with vitamin A, C, calcium and
iron, which are essential nutrients to promote and maintain good health[DRFS5].

Antioxidants and flavonoids. The high antioxidant and
flavonoid content of pumpkin can help in the prevention of heart disease,
cancer, macular degeneration and other diseases that may be triggered by
oxidative stress[DRFS6].

Fiber. Pumpkin
is loaded with fiber, which helps keep you feeling full for longer periods of
time. Eating foods that are high in fiber can help you lose weight and promote
better digestion. minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;
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When buying pumpkins, make sure
that you go for the organically grown ones instead of those that are conventionally
grown. Pumpkins may not harbor as many pesticides as other crops, but they are
still exposed to a variety of chemicals that can be harmful to you and the
environment. Pumpkins found in bulk bins are most probably conventionally
grown, which means that you should steer clear from these. mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:
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Coffee May Protect You From Chronic Disease

While I don't usually drink
coffee because I can't stand the taste, it would be unfair to snub the impressive
health benefits
of this liquid energy. Coffee has been around for
thousands of years and has been widely utilized for its energy-boosting

If you drink coffee as an
everyday breakfast drink, you're probably reaping the benefits. Just make sure
that you're not pouring insane amounts of creamer, sugar or other artificial
sweeteners into your cup. Some of the impressive benefits you can get from coffee

Protects against
clogged arteries.
A study showed that people who drank three to five cups
of coffee a day were less likely to develop heart disease. Coffee drinkers had
little to no calcium deposits in their coronary arteries compared to non-coffee
drinkers. mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:
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the risk for melanoma.
Coffee has been observed to promote cell apoptosis,
fight against oxidative stress and alleviate inflammation in the epidermal cells[DRFS7].

prevent dementia.
The high caffeine content of coffee promotes brain health
by providing the proper triggers for the release of brain-derived neurotrophic
factors, which are responsible for activating brain stem cell conversion to new

reproductive health.
Studies show that daily consumption of coffee can
lower your risk for prostate cancer or endometrial cancer by as much as 20
percent. mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:
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It should be noted that coffee
consumption is not at all recommended for pregnant women as it can adversely affect
the development of your unborn child. Your risk of suffering a miscarriage also
increases, as well as heart damage and birth defects on the part of the baby.

A No-Bake Breakfast Cookie Recipe For Healthy Eating On The Go

Annex Naturopathic

Nutritional advice | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Toronto Naturopath

I call this recipe, reverse engineering at its finest".

I kept taking a detour on my morning walks with my pup, Maeve, to grab one of these cookies from a local cafe- so I decided to make them myself!

This cookie is great on its own for breakfast, and also makes a great snack when you are on the go.

Not to mention, it's absolutely refined sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free and nut-free making this an extremely hypo-allergenic cookie.

A great option for school lunches. And the best part- these cookies taste great!

They fit almost every health nut parameter, being both vegan and raw.

Watch this video to see how it's done



2 cup gluten-free rolled oats

1 banana (ripe)

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes

8 dates

6 tbsp water

1/2 bar 70-85% dark chocolate

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sea salt

Makes 12 cookies.

Ingredients for no-bake cookie recipe | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Toronto Naturopath

Step 1:

Blend water & dates.

You can use a food processor, a magic bullet, or blender.

Once thoroughly mixed, add banana and blend until a paste is formed.

Step 2:

Mix together the dry ingredients: the rolled oats, coconut, sea salt, and cinnamon.

Step 3:

Combine the banana-date mixture with the dry ingredients.

Step 4:

Chop the chocolate and mix it in with step 3.

Step 5:

Using mason jar lids, form your cookies by firmly pressing the mixture into the lids.

Preparation for no-bake cookie recipe | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Toronto Naturopath

Place in plastic ziploc bag or container and place in freezer for 1 hour to harden.

Remove from freezer and enjoy.

Store cookies in fridge or freezer.

If storing the cookies together, separate them by squares of parchment paper.

If you're curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our NDs feel free to book a visit or contact us.

Yours in Health,

Annex Naturopathic Clinic

572 Bloor St W #201, Toronto, ON M6G 1K1


To see more tips about health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: toronto naturopathic

A Seasonal Garlic Honey Recipe For Sore Throats

Annex Naturopathic

Honey Garlic Tonic Recipe for Colds | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Naturopath Toronto

Tis the season for sore throats!

The fluctuating temperatures of the change of seasons renders our immune system weak, making our bodies susceptible to these floating viruses waiting to find a host.

Or that person standing right near you is just waiting to pass on their strept infection (they may not even know they have it yet).

One of the most common symptoms people experience when catching a cold (or a more severe viral or bacterial infection) is a sore throat.

Being anaturopathic doctor in Toronto, regularlyaround this time of year I receivemany inquiries on how to treat cold symptoms.

There are a number of ways to remedy a sore throat, but one of the most effective (and tasty!) ways is to take a spoonful of raw, unpasteurized HONEY, infused with garlic in order to soothe and heal this delicate mucus membrane.

Medical properties of Honey

Honey has been long used as medicine - with its use dating back to 5500BC until now, the properties of honey have been found to be efiective for infections (internal and external), wound healing, lowering cholesterol and cardiovascular risk.

Honey has potent anti-microbial properties, where studies have shown antimicrobial activity against a number of gram positive and gram negative bacteria, such as Haemophilus influenzae, the Streptococcus family, and the antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA.1

Anti-viral properties of honey have been studies, one finding that honey given to children with upper respiratory tract infections can reduce cough at night time.2

There are many mechanisms involved with the anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties of honey, but one of the most simplest ones comes from the fact that honey blocks the attachment of bugs to the tissues theyre trying to infect.

This is important when youre exposed to someone with strept throat, or sore throat in general - by taking honey after exposure, you may be able to prevent the actual attachment and incubation of this bacteria, steering clear of infection.

On top of its anti-viral and anti-microbial properties, honey is also very soothing to the throat; its strong wound-healing properties stimulates the repair of damaged tissues and protection of mucus membranes from inflammation.

Add garlic to increase the anti-microbial, anti-viral effect

The anti-viral and anti-microbial and immune boosting properties of garlic have been long known in the medical community,3,4so its a no brainer that combining these two natural foods would be a great way to battle sore throats and fight infection.

Along with its ability to fight infection, garlic is full of antioxidants (vitamin C, selenium, B-vitamins etc.), which can help keep the immune system strong during an infection.

By adding honey to the garlic, the slow-moving viscous honey can coat the throat, allowing the anti-viral, antimicrobial properties of both honey and garlic act longer on the affected tissues.

Infused Garlic Honey for Sore Throats | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Naturopath Toronto


This is a very easy recipe - there are many on the web, but this is how I like to make this amazing remedy.


  • 125mL or 250mL jars - or larger if you want to make a big batch!
  • Raw, Unpasturized, Honey (Pasturization of honey rids this functional food of all its beneficial properties so isnt beneficial to use)
  • 1 head of organic garlic for 125mL or 2 heads of garlic for 250mL (or enough garlic to fill about 1/3 of the jar you would like to use)


  • Break apart the garlic head. Crush the garlic with the flat surface of the knife (this will activate the garlic, release the juices, making it more potent, and it helps you peel the garlic quicker).
  • Peel garlic and place the activated garlic in the jar - filling 1/3 of the jar.
  • Fill the jar with honey
  • Close the lid and store in a dark, cool place for at least a month before use (giving a good shake every week)
  • Separate the cloves from the honey, to store in their own, air-tight jars. Keep the honey in a dark, cool place such as a cellar or the refrigerator. If youre saving the cloves, they should definitely go in to the refrigerator.

Medicinal Use

At first signs of infection, you can actually eat the garlic to fight off the infection, but if you dont want to do this (its potent!!), discard.

You can use the cloves for cooking to reduce waste and to give your dishes some extra flare (ahem, its amazing in salsas, and coconut curries).

Keep them in the fridge.

The garlic cloves dont keep as long so use within the month after infusing.

The garlic infused honey should be good for up to a year.

Take 1/2 to 1 tsp of honey when youre feeling a sore throat.

You can take this up to 3-4x/day (its pretty sweet and sugary so you dont want to take too much!).

A great way to use this is for when you or your family are waking up with a sore throat because congested sinuses are forcing you to breathe through the mouth throughout the night.

If this is the case, taking it before bed, and on waking can help.

Due to the potent antimicrobial and anti-fungal effects of garlic and honey, this will prevent bacterial (Clostridium botulinum) and mold buildup in the honey, so this can keep for a while (a whole season).

Ive never encountered any contamination of my garlic honey, but make sure to use CLEAN equipment when making this, and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before handling any ingredient.

DO NOT GIVE HONEY TO CHILDREN UNDER 1.5 YEARS OLD. Honey contains natural botulism spores. In kids over 1 and adults, our immune systems are strong and built up enough to naturally clear these spores.

Babies under 1 years old do not have the immune system to clear these spores and are at risk for botulism toxicity (floppy baby syndrome) and should NOT be fed honey.

Bees are special - they pollinate our plants, encourage genetic strength and survival of these plants by promoting cross-pollination, and are the only insects that produce food for human consumption.

They are important for our survival so please buy honey from ethical, sustainable farms.

If youre curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our NDs feel free tobook a visitorcontact us.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Tanya Lee, N.D

Annex Naturopathic Clinic
572 Bloor St W #201,Toronto,ONM6G 1K1

Q & A with Author, Miriam Kalamian, on Keto for Cancer

To get additional information about health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here:goo.gl/Sr0TmJ-

You have a personal connection to the effects of keto and cancer. Can you tell us how you became involved in this fight?

MK:In 2004, we learned that our son had brain cancer. He was just four years old. First-line treatment, fourteen months of weekly chemo, didn't make a dent. Next, we put him through multiple surgeries followed by a clinical trial but nothing was stopping the relentless progression of his disease. We'd run out of options. Then I literally stumbled across Dr. Thomas Seyfried's work. He'd speculated that the ketogenic diet could slow the progression of cancer. His basic premise was that cancer uses a lot of glucose to fuel its growth, and a ketogenic diet would limit that supply. He tested this theory on mice implanted with an aggressive form of brain...
[Read More ...]

Do the Healing Benefits of Comfrey Oil Outweigh Its Toxic Effects?

To discover additional information about health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here:goo.gl/coEE3D-

Comfrey, while considered an important herbal medicine, is controversial due to certain toxic components in it, which led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to restrict the use of oral comfrey in dietary supplements.1

The dilemma is how to weigh the virtues of comfrey oil while considering the safety concerns that surround it. It has exhibited the potential to treat skin concerns and pain when used topically. Learn about comfrey oil, its practical applications and potential contribution to skin healing and maintenance, as well as the FDA's concerns about it.

What Is Comfrey Oil?

Comfrey oil is extracted from comfrey (Symphytum officinale), a perennial herb of the Boraginaceae family with a black, turnip-like root and large, hairy broad leaves bearings small,...
[Read More ...]

Try This Comforting Keto-Friendly Cabbage and Bacon Soup Recipe

Recipe by Pete Evans

I'm sure that many of you have already read my latest book,
Fat for Fuel - if you haven't yet, I encourage you to pick up your copy now,
as it is one of the most important health books you will read in your life - and
you're determined to incorporate the ketogenic diet into your lifestyle. Now
the challenge is: How can you make sure that the meals you prepare are
keto-friendly? Well, you don't have to worry - we've made it easy for you!

I'm excited to announce that renowned Australian chef and
restauranteur Pete Evans and I are releasing the Fat for Fuel Ketogenic
Cookbook: Recipes and Ketogenic Keys to Health from a World-Class Doctor and an
Internationally Renowned Chef November 14. This fantastic resource offers a
wide array of delectable recipes - from appetizers to main courses to snacks
and sweet treats - that all follow the principles of the ketogenic diet.

I am thrilled to have Pete onboard this project, not only
because of his amazing palate and creativity in the kitchen, but also because
his dedication to eating healthy, fat-burning foods is on par with my
principles of achieving nutritional ketosis in order to reach optimal wellness.

To give you a taste of what our cookbook will offer, Pete
has shared one of his healthy recipes below. It combines the freshness of leafy
greens with the rich taste of bacon, plus spices, to make a comforting and
hearty soup that you can sip when the weather turns chilly. Try it today!


2 1/2 tablespoons coconut

1 onion,

1/2 pound silverbeet, leafy
green part and stems separated, trimmed and chopped

1/2 pound green cabbage, shredded

1/4 pound rindless bacon

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

6 cups organic chicken

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves


Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large
saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for five minutes, or until
softened. Stir in the garlic, silverbeet stems and cabbage and cook for five
minutes, or until softened.

Melt the remaining oil in a frying pan over
medium-high heat, add the bacon and cook until lightly golden, about four
minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel.

Chop the bacon into 1-inch pieces and stir into
the cooked cabbage mixture, then add the turmeric and broth. Bring to a boil,
reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30

Stir in the leafy green part of the silverbeet
and cook for another five minutes until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. To
finish, stir in the parsley leaves and serve.

This recipe makes four to six servings.

Don't Underestimate
the Health Benefits of Cabbage

Many people simply pass
by and ignore cabbage when they see it in the produce section, not knowing that
it actually offers a barrage of benefits. This humble cruciferous vegetable
comes loaded with powerful
antioxidants like
vitamins A and C, as well as phytonutrients sulforaphane, lutein, zeaxanthin
and thiocyanates. These nutrients not only stimulate detoxifying enzymes, but
they also provide protective effects against certain cancers like breast, colon
and prostate.

You can also help
reduce inflammation by adding cabbage to your meals, as it offers a wealth of
anti-inflammatory nutrients like anthocyanins. You can also get your fair share
of B vitamins, including folate, B6, B1 and B5. These B vitamins not only help
boost your energy levels, but also help slow shrinkage in brain regions that
are impacted by Alzheimer's disease by as much as sevenfold.

Another wonderful
thing about cabbage is that it offers variety; red, green and Savoy are some
examples that you can enjoy, each with its own wealth of nutrients. Although
best eaten raw, such as in coleslaw, it wouldn't hurt to add cabbage to your
cooked meals every once in a while.

If you're an avid
gardener, you can also try growing cabbage at home. This vegetable has a long
growing season and can thrive in both warm and cold-weather climates. Check out
my article
All About Growing Cabbage for more helpful tips. [ECF1]

Have You Heard of 'Silverbeets'

You'll probably answer no, but you'll be surprised to know that silverbeet
is actually just another name for Swiss chard. While not as popular as other
greens like spinach and broccoli, this leafy vegetable offers its own array of
benefits, thanks to its impressive nutrient profile. It's a good source of
vitamin C that help fight free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), as
well as phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Silverbeet offers
vitamins K and A, and antioxidants like alpha carotene, beta carotene,
zeaxanthin and astaxanthin. And just like cabbage, it's rich in B vitamins like
folate, B6, thiamin, niacin and pantothenic acid.
[ECF2] Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
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Can Bacon Actually Be
Healthy for You?

While it's true that most processed meats like hotdogs,
sausages and salami can wreak havoc on your well-being, I believe that the
devil's in the details. Bacon, for example, can be potentially healthy but only
if it is prepared properly and the meat is acquired from high-quality sources.

from pasture raised pigs provides good amounts of healthy saturated and
monounsaturated fat,
oleic acid, which is also found in olive oil.
It also offers mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-latin;color:black">palmitoleic acid, which has
antimicrobial properties, phosphatidylcholine that possesses antioxidant
activity superior to vitamin E and fat-soluble vitamin D.


do not buy processed bacon sold in supermarkets or groceries, as that is likely
loaded with health-harming preservatives. Instead, I advise getting bacon that
has been prepared using time-tested traditional methods, so you can ensure that
no unhealthy additives are added to the meat. See if your local farmer who
raises pastured pigs offers this type of meat.

About Pete Evans

Pete Evans is an
internationally renowned chef who has joined forces with Dr. Mercola to create
a healthy cookbook that's loaded with delicious, unique Keto recipes, ideal for
people who want to switch to a ketogenic diet. The Fat for Fuel Ketogenic
Cookbook will be released November 14.

Pete has had numerous noteworthy
contributions to the culinary world. He has not only cooked for the general
public, but he's also cooked a royalbanquet for the Prince and Princess
of Denmark, a private dinner for Martha Stewart, and even represented his
hometown at the gala GDay USA dinnerfor 600 in New York City. Pete's
career has moved from the kitchen into the lounge room with many TV appearances
including Lifestyle Channel's Home show, Postcards from Home, FISH, My Kitchen
Rules and Moveable Feast.

7 Ways to Minimize Jet Lag

By Dr. Mercola

Jet lag, also known as flight fatigue, time zone change syndrome or desynchronosis, occurs when travel across time zones disrupts your internal body clock, resulting in mental, emotional and physical symptoms such as:1,2

  • Daytime sleepiness and lethargy followed by nighttime insomnia

  • Anxiety, irritability, confusion and poor concentration

  • Constipation or diarrhea

  • Headache, nausea, indigestion, dehydration and/or general malaise

  • Decline in physical and athletic performance3,4

There are a number of helpful tricks and "bio hacks" that can help minimize the effects of jet lag when traveling between time zones, or help you overcome the effects faster. This includes pretending you're in your destination time zone while still at home, stimulating your heart meridian at certain times, antioxidant support and use of supplemental melatonin. Interestingly, fasting may be an overlooked but potent antidote as well. I'll review a couple of different dietary techniques below.

How Air Travel Affects Your Body and Mind

Aside from jet lag, air travel can have a number of other health effects as well, including the following (see list below).5 Air travel is even associated with a number of psychological effects, courtesy of low oxygen levels (hypoxia), including increased anxiety, stress and other negative emotions that can make you grouchy and unfriendly.

On the other hand, a heightened emotional response can also present itself as tears of joy and relief when watching inflight entertainment. As reported by BBC News: 6

"A new survey by Gatwick Airport in London found 15 percent of men and 6 percent of women said they were more likely to cry when watching a film on a flight than they would if seeing it at home. One major airline has gone as far as issuing 'emotional health warnings' before inflight entertainment that might upset its customers."

Pressure in the ears due to changes in air pressure. Chewing gum during ascent, and swallowing or yawning during descent can help equalize the pressure

Headache due to low oxygen. Prevent by drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine and alcohol during the flight

Foot, ankle and leg swelling, raising your risk for a blood clot, due to impaired blood flow.

Prevent by standing up now and then, and flexing, rotating and extending your ankles while sitting. Compression stockings may also be helpful

Dehydration due to dry air. Prevent by drinking plenty of water before and during the flight

Toothache due to shifts in air pressure. There's no way to prevent the pain associated with the expansion of gas trapped in fillings or cavities, so see a dentist before traveling if you suspect you have a problem

Fatigue, sleepiness, increased reaction times and reduced ability to make decisions due to low oxygen

Gassiness due to shifts in cabin pressure

Altered/dulled sense of taste and smell. Taste sensitivity can be restored by staying well hydrated

Dry skin due to dry air - a problem easily addressed with moisturizing lotion. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water

Bad breath due to dry mouth. Remedy by brushing your teeth on the plane and staying well hydrated

Minimize Jet Lag by Pretending You're Already There

As a general rule, your body will adjust to the time zone change at a rate of one time zone per day. What this means is, if you need to be at your physical or psychological best, you'd want to fly out one or more days ahead of time. If you cannot squeeze in the extra time, you could act "as if," and pretend you're in your destination time zone while still at home.7

To do this, simply wake up and go to bed according to the destination time rather than your local time. Also, be sure to shift your mealtimes accordingly. As an example, if you were planning to travel from New York to Paris, start going to bed (and shift your mealtimes up) an hour earlier each day, three days ahead of your flight, and avoid bright light for two to three hours before going to bed. Here are a couple of other helpful pointers to consider:

  • In the morning, be sure to expose yourself to bright full-spectrum light. If the sun is not yet up, use a clear incandescent light bulb along with a cool-blue spectrum LED to shut down melatonin production

  • If traveling at night, wear blue-blocking glasses on the plane, and continue wearing them until you go to sleep, as excess blue light will impair your melatonin production and make it difficult to fall asleep

  • Once you're at your destination, get up as close to sunrise as possible and go outside. This will help to reset your melatonin production. If weather and circumstances allow, it would be best to do this outdoors with your bare feet on the ground

The Argonne Anti-Jet Lag Diet

Another jet lag trick you rarely hear about is the Argonne anti-jet lag diet,8 detailed in a 2012 Harper's Magazine article by Steve Hendricks.9 The diet, developed by the late Charles F. Ehret in the early 1980s when he was a senior scientist at Argonne's Division of Biological and Medical Research, claims to be able to help you quickly adjust your internal clock to a new time zone. It's also recommended to "speed the adjustment of shift workers to periodically rotating work hours."

According to Ehret, who studied chronobiology, your biological clock is cued not only by light exposure but also by when and how much you eat. The technique involves determining the time of breakfast at your destination on the day of your arrival, and then rotating feasting and fasting four days ahead of your scheduled travel, as follows:

  • Day One: Feast day. "Eat heartily with high-protein breakfast and lunch, and a high-carbohydrate dinner. No coffee except between 3 and 5 p.m." Examples of high-protein breakfast/lunch include steak, eggs and hamburger. Examples of high-carb dinner include pasta (no meatballs), crepes (without meat filling), potatoes and other starchy vegetables

  • Day Two: Fast day. Avoid all carbohydrates and keep calories to a minimum. Eat only light meals of salads, soups, fruits and vegetables. If you must drink coffee or any other caffeinated beverage, drink it between 3 and 5 p.m.

  • Day Three: Feast day. (Same as Day One)

  • Day Four: Fast day. "If you drink caffeinated beverages, take them in morning when traveling west, or between 6 and 11 p.m. when traveling east." Avoid all alcohol on the plane. Remain fasting until breakfast (about 7.30 a.m.) at your destination, at which time you break the fast by feasting on a high-protein breakfast

The above protocol is not intended as a healthy eating strategy other than one that seems to be helpful when seeking to remediate jet lag. But alternating between feasting and fasting overall is a healthy approach as long as your food choices are healthy. As noted by Hendricks:

"Ehret theorized that the diet worked because the days of irregular eating gradually unmoored the body's biological clock from its usual rhythms, while the big breakfast and subsequent meals re-anchored the clock in the new time zone.

In a 2002 study published in the journal Military Medicine, National Guardsmen who followed the diet were found to be 7.5 times less likely than a control group to suffer jet lag after flying from the United States to Korea. On their return, they were 16.2 times less likely to lag. (The difference between the two flights has not been explained, although, as the authors noted, jet lag is more common flying east than flying west.)"

The Anti-Jet Lag Fast

Another even easier strategy was devised by a team of researchers at Harvard and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. The anti-jet lag fast involves determining the time of breakfast at your destination and then fasting (abstaining from all food and drink except noncaloric beverages like water) for 12 to 16 hours beforehand. As noted by Hendricks, "Since most of us go 12 to 16 hours between dinner and breakfast anyway, the abstention is a small hardship."

This strategy is thought to work because fasting causes your master clock to suspend the circadian clock and instructs your body to sleep less. When food intake resumes, the master clock switches the circadian clock back "on." Hendricks explains:

"The master clock probably evolved because when our prehistoric forebears were starving, they would have been tempted in their weakness to sleep rather than forage for the food they needed to survive.

Today, when a traveler suspends his circadian clock before flying from Los Angeles to London, and then reactivates it upon breaking the fast, the clock doesn't know that it should still be on Pacific Time. It knows only that the breakfast and the daylight declare morning in Mayfair, and it resets the body's rhythms accordingly."

On a side note, fasting (calorie restriction) also activates a very potent biological pathway called Nrf2, a biological hormetic that upregulates all of your beneficial intercellular antioxidants. It also lowers inflammation, improves mitochondrial function and stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis, among other things. So, in addition to resetting your body's internal clock, fasting may help you feel better when traveling for these reasons as well.

Minimize Jet Lag With Traditional Chinese Medicine

You can also trick your body into connecting with a new time zone using Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques involving the stimulation of certain acupuncture meridians. As explained by acupuncture physician John Amaro in Acupuncture Today:10

"Borrowing the knowledge of the general circulation of chi, and being aware that each meridian undergoes a two-hour time peak that moves and peaks from meridian to meridian as it travels through its general circulation, it was reasoned that if one were to reset the body clock utilizing the horary cycle, the body in theory could be made to function at the horary cycle of wherever the person is physically located on the planet, disregarding the effects of so-called 'time travel.'

The best part of the theory is that it worked! In virtually every instance in which the subjects were advised to stimulate the proper points based on the theoretical concept, they reported (and it was observed) that jet lag literally did not occur. They felt they were connected to the time zone of their newly arrived destination, as opposed to the time of their departure location."

Amaro details a technique involving stimulating points for a particular meridian based on the Chinese body clock,11 where each meridian corresponds to a two-hour interval. For example, if you were to board a flight in Los Angeles at 7 p.m., heading to Tokyo, where it would then be noon local time, you would stimulate the heart meridian, as it rules between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Two hours into your flight, 2 p.m. Tokyo time, you'd stimulate the small intestine meridian, which rules between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Every two hours, you'd stimulate the ruling meridian until you land at your destination.

Cardiologist Dr. Lee Cowden devised an even shorter version of this technique, focusing on just one meridian - the heart meridian. He explains this technique in the video above, originally taped in 2009. Here's a summary of the steps:

1. The day of your trip, set your clock to match the local time at your destination (depending on the time of your flight, you may have to do this a day ahead)

2. At 11 a.m. (the local time at your destination), stroke your heart meridian three times on the left and three times on the right. Your heart meridian begins just to the outer side of your nipple, up through your armpit and down the ulnar aspect (inner side) of your arm, down the outside of your pinky. Once you reach the end of your pinky, gently press into the base of the fingernail (heart point in Traditional Chinese Medicine). For a demonstration, please see the video above

3. At noon, repeat the heart meridian strokes

Antioxidant Support Helps Ameliorate Jet Lag Symptoms and Shield Against Radiation

Cowden also recommends taking a high-quality, broad-spectrum antioxidant before and after boarding the plane. Astaxanthin may be an ideal choice as it also helps shield against cosmic radiation exposure, provided you've been taking it for at least three days ahead of time. Another antioxidant supplement that can be helpful when flying is molecular hydrogen, which is a highly effective selective antioxidant.

Tyler LeBaron's website, molecularhydrogenfoundation.org,12 lists several hundred studies relating to hydrogen. You can also find a number of his lectures on YouTube. In summary, molecular hydrogen consists of two atoms of hydrogen, the smallest molecule in the universe, which:

  • Is a neutral molecule that can instantly defuse across any cell membrane

  • Has no polarity

  • Is a potent, selective antioxidant

Free radicals are not all bad; they do serve important health functions. The problem is excess free radicals, or the wrong ones. Molecular hydrogen has been shown to selectively target the damaging free radicals produced in response to radiation, such as the gamma rays you encounter at 35,000 feet in the daytime. Studies have shown molecular hydrogen can mitigate about 80 percent of this damage.

If you have a healthy microbiome, your body can make about 10 liters a day of hydrogen gas. However, when you have a steady state of exposure, you don't get the other benefits, so you need to pulse it. That's where you get the benefit. I've taken molecular hydrogen tablets on my last few flights, and felt much better than I normally do when flying. There are a number of different ways to get it, but the most practical way is to take molecular hydrogen tablets.

Once you're at about 5,000 to 10,000 feet, put the tablet in a small bottle of room temperature water, as ice water will slow the reaction. Put the cap back on and leave it on while the tablet dissolves to prevent the gas from escaping. Once dissolved, drink it as quickly as possible. The hydrogen gas will continue working for about two hours, so if you're on a longer flight, you may want to do a second dose halfway through.

Typically, what I wind up doing is just swallowing the tablet and make sure I get at least 8 ounces of water to buffer my stomach. I will take one tablet every hour-and-a-half to two hours, so on a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles I will take two tablets, but from Atlanta to Chicago I only take one.

Melatonin May Help You Sleep

Once you reach your destination, take a fast-acting sublingual melatonin along with a slow-release oral melatonin around 10 p.m. (or just before bedtime if you go to bed earlier). Keep in mind that only a very small dose is required - typically 0.25 mg or 0.5 milligrams to start with, and you can adjust it up from there. Taking higher doses, such as 3 mg, can sometimes make you more wakeful instead of sleepier, so adjust your dose carefully.

Also be sure to stay well hydrated before and during travel, whether you're flying or driving to your destination. Your brain controls sleep and it functions best when fully hydrated. As you can see, there are several ways to minimize jet lag, so the next time you fly, try one or more of them to find a combination that works for you.

AIP Stories of Recovery October 2017

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AIP Stories of Recoveryis a success story series about regular people from the Autoimmune Protocol community who are changing their lives using the protocol. Each month a new person is featured and readers have the opportunity to discover all the different health challenges that are being overcome by folks just like themselves on the same path. At Autoimmune Paleo we hope you'll be inspired by,...
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Breast Cancer: Understanding the Risk Factors

Annex Naturopathic

Breast Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention Awareness | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Naturopathic Doctor in Toronto

At our naturopathic clinic, one of our main areas of focus is naturopathy for women's health.

We often see women or hear stories about others who have been affected by cancer in their live's.

Today's article's goal is to provide further understanding around breast cancer, specifically risk factors and prevention, for both women and men.

Women and Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in women over the age of 20.

Research from the Canadian Cancer Society estimates that 1 in 8 Canadian Women will have breast cancer in her lifetime, and 1 in 31 will die from it.

Reducing risk and early detection are important factors in decreasing the amount of people affected by breast cancer.

Understanding the risk factors

There are 2 types of risk factors.

These factors are classified as those that are non-modifiable, such as age, family history, and genetics, and those that can be modified, such as physical activity or smoking.

Non-modifiable risk factors


Breast cancer is significantly more common in Females.

Men with breast cancer make up fewer than 1% of all cases.


78% of new breast cancer diagnosis occur in women older than 501.

About half of all new cases of breast cancer occur in this age group.


BRCA1 and BRCA2 are tumor suppressor genes - they play a role in the body's ability to stop cancer from happening.

5-10% of all breast cancers are linked to mutations in these genes.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 occur in less than 1% of the populations, however, women with these gene mutations have up to an 80% risk of developing breast cancer by age 802.

Personal or family history of breast cancer:

A woman with cancer in one breast has a 3- to 4-fold increased risk of developing a new cancer in the other breast or in another part of the same breast3.

Women who has first-degree relatives with a history of breast cancer has has an increased risk.

Someone with one first-degree relative with breast cancer approximately doubles a woman's risk.

The more first-degree relatives (sister, mother, daughter) with breast cancer, the greater the risk.1

Menstrual History:

Women whose first period was at age 11 or younger and/or women who experience menopause after age 55 have an increased risk of breast cancer.

Those who have more menstrual cycles throughout her lifetime, have greater exposure to estrogen and its metabolites.

Similarly, women who have had one or more pregnancies, have a greater protection against breast cancer.

Pregnancy limits the exposure of breast cells to estrogen and lowers the total number of menstrual cycles a woman has in her lifetime.4

Breast Density:

Breast contain fatty tissue as well as dense tissue such as connective, gland and milk duct tissues.

Women with dense breast tissue in 75% or more of their breasts have a 4-5 fold greater risk of breast cancer.5

Modifiable Risk Factors

Body weight and physical activity:

Women who are overweight have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Breast cancer may be influenced by the amount of estrogen tissue in the breast is exposed to over time.

In addition to the ovaries, estrogen is also produced in fat tissue.

Therefore, higher body-weight due to excess fat tissue can increase estrogen levels.

Those who do not exercise also have an increased risk.

Alcohol and smoking:

Smoking increases overall cancer risk, including breast cancer.

Alcohol consumption increases a woman's risk for breast cancer.

Even low levels of alcohol consumption (just over 1 drink per day) can increase a woman's risk.

The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed.

Understanding Breast Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Naturopathic Doctor in Toronto

New Research Surrounding Possible Risk Factors

Lack of exposure to sunlight and low vitamin D levels:

There are multiple recent studies that demonstrate that vitamin D deficiency significantly increases breast cancer risk.

While at the same time, another study showed that women with elevated risk, who had high serum 25(OH) vitamin D levels because of regular vitamin D supplementation were associated with lower rates of incident, especially in the postmenopausal population.6,7

Diet and Nutritional Status:

There is some evidence to show that high intakes of saturated fats and and high glycemic load (simple sugars and refined carbohydrates) increases risk.8

Exposure to Xeno-estrogens:

Xenoestrogens are man-made compounds that mimic estrogen's effects.

Postmenopausal women with high serum levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) and mono-ethyl phthalatehad elevatedbreastdensity. Elevated breast density is associated with increased risk.k.9

Prevention and Early Detection

Although people can't change their genetics, age or whether or not they are born with ovaries- they can modify their lifestyle to reduce their breast cancer risk in other ways.

Leading a healthy lifestyle with appropriate diet and lifestyle, correcting for nutritional deficiencies (like vitamin D) and optimizing overall health will reduce the risk for breast cancer.

While at the same time, following Canada's breast cancer screening guidelines and seeking medical attention if you notice any changes to your breasts can facilitate early detection and treatment.

Naturopathic doctors excel at helping their patients optimize their health and make the changes that reduce modifiable risk factors.

Through evidence-informed knowledge, and taking a preventative approach to healthcare we can help reduce the amount of women affected by breast cancer.

If you're curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our NDs feel free to book a visit or contact us.

Yours in Health,

Annex Naturopathic Clinic

572 Bloor St W #201, Toronto, ON M6G 1K1



  1. National Cancer Institute. SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1975-2004. Table IV-8. Available at: http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2004/results_merged/sect_04_breast.pdf. Accessed June 19, 2007.

  2. Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Breast cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment: The expanding role of the Ob/Gyn. Available at: http://www.apgo.org/elearn/APGO_BC_Monograph.pdf. Accessed January 5, 2007.

  3. American Cancer Society. Detailed Guide: Breast Cancer: What are the risk factors for breast cancer? Available at: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/

    . Accessed June 12, 2007.

  4. http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/breast/risks/?region=bc#family_hx

  5. Lancet Oncol.2005 Oct;6(10):798-808.

  6. Pak J Med Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 33(3): 645649

  7. Environ Health Perspect. 2017 Jul 6;125(7):077004. doi: 10.1289/EHP943.

  8. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2011;12(4):1061-5.

  9. Breast Cancer Res. 2013 may 27;15(3):R45.

To discover more tips on health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: doctor of naturopathy

The Symptoms and Treatment of Addison's Disease

Addison's disease is an endocrine disorder that effects a very small percentage of the population. Only between one and four in 100,000 people are diagnosed with it. When the adrenal cortex does not produce enough hormones addison's disease is likely present.

The symptoms show up much more clearly if someone is going through some type of trauma. Another event that will cause the symptoms of addison's disease to surface is a period of metabolic stress.

When the adrenal glands cease to function normally a person can become extremely ill. The adrenal glands produce cortisol which is vitally important to the function of your body. Without cortisol your body would have trouble regulating the metabolism of carbs, fat and protein. Cortisol is also responsible for helping the body respond to stress, keeping the blood sugar level normal and mobilizing nutrients.

Addison's disease goes through three stages of symptom's depending on how serious it is. At first sign of addison's there might be loss of weight, pain in the abdomen, muscle weakness and dizziness when standing up. As Addison's becomes more serious the symptoms become more acute. During the middle stages of Addison's you might see dehydration, drop in blood pressure, end of menstruation, depression and darkening of the skin.

Addison's is often not diagnosed early and makes itself known during an Addisonian crisis. This is the final stage that the disease goes through and is critically dangerous. If you are having loss of consciousness, extreme blood pressure shifts, severe back pain, abnormal heart rhythm, severe pain in the abdomen or kidney failure then you might be having an addisonian crisis. It goes without saying you need to be in the emergency room immediately.

Addison's disease is not something that goes away or can be cured. If you are diagnosed with it you will have to go through therapy to replace your steroids for the rest of your life. Cortisol and aldosterone are chemicals your body must have to continue functioning. A combination of homeopathic remedies and conventional medicine can help you lead a productive life, once again.

Cortisone acetate tablets or hydrocortisone are used to replace the cortisol in your body. The aldosterone is replaced with a medication called fludrocortisone acetate tablets. Some natural medicine's that will help with your addison's include: borago officinalis, eleutherococcus senticosis and astragalus membranaceous.

All three of these support the adrenal glands and help to combat normal daily stress. Another helpful herb is ginger which is good for helping with your digestion and fighting against nausea.

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