Photobiomodulation Shows Great Promise for Athletes, Chronic Pain Syndromes and More

By Dr. Mercola

Light is perhaps one of the most underappreciated healing agents available. James Carroll, an expert in light as therapy, also known as photobiomodulation, has the ambitious goal of making photobiomodulation a first-line therapy for 100 diseases in 100 countries, by the time he's 100 years old - which is about 45 years from now.

Carroll has already spent the last 30 years of his life investigating the healing power of light - a passion that grew out of his involvement with the tissue repair research unit at Guy's Hospital in London in the 80s. At the time, he had a business raising government grant money, and Guy's Hospital was one of his clients.

He was able to see some of the work they were doing on cells and small rodents using lasers. “I thought, this is amazing; this is going to be in every corner of every department of every hospital in the whole world within the next five years,” Carroll says. While the technology didn't catch on as quickly as he'd imagined, his enthusiasm for it led to a change in careers as he went to work for the laser company supplying the technology for the research.

From Lasers to LEDs

In those earlier days, most light therapy made use of lasers, as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were not readily available back then. Some of the first lasers Carroll used operated in the 15 milliwatts range. Over time, the lasers got increasingly stronger.

Today, 30-watts LED diodes are quite common. (An important point to be made is that the LEDs used for light therapy are not identical to LED lighting used in homes and offices. The LEDs used in photobiomodulation technologies typically have a very focused and narrow wavelength and cannot be used for lighting a room.)

That's not to say that more power is better. On the contrary, there's a Goldilock's Zone in which most of the therapeutic effects are found. According to Carroll, cells respond optimally to a range between 5 and 50 milliwatts per centimeter squared (mW/cm2).

“If you want to have successful in vitro studies, that's where you need to be. Similar doses seem to work in superficial wound healing and inflammation, and unless you're going for deeper targets, that's usually enough.” As for timing, as little as one minute will typically render results. An average treatment is typically in the 10 to 20-minute range.

Most modern light therapy products are in the 600 to 1000 nanometer (nm) range, with a gap around the 700s. A number of studies have suggested the 700-nm range has no beneficial health effects, although the issue has not been definitively settled as of yet. There's still a lot to learn, but great headway is being made.

According to Carroll, about 500 randomized controlled human clinical trials and some 4,000 laboratory studies have already been published on photobiomodulation, and each month approximately 30 new papers are added to this body of literature. Carroll has developed a database where he collects studies and so far, he has over 80,000 studies in this database on photobiomodulation.

NovoTHOR Improves Athletic Recovery

Carroll makes a photobiomodulation unit called the NovoTHOR, which has been shown to produce incredible health benefits but is not designed for individual use as it costs $120,000. I've used a less expensive version called Joovv that has red- and near-infrared frequencies to treat myself nearly every day before my far-infrared sauna.

Interestingly, Alberto Salazar, who was the U.S. Olympic track coach is a fan of photobiomodulation and purchased a NovoTHOR. Many Olympic athletes, including most of the American track team, began using the NovoTHOR prior to the Rio Olympics. It's currently being used in the Nike Oregon Project,1 the mission of which is to: “Develop the best distance runners in the world with our metric for success being Olympic and World Championship medals.”

“Alberto Salazar has always been trying to pioneer ways of getting people to train harder, longer, and recover faster. He says recovery, on a scale of 1 to 10, is a 10. It's as important as the training itself, he says. It's critical to their success as a team, and he feels that [photobiomodulation] is the best therapy he's ever used for recovery,” Carroll says.

Photobiomodulation has also been shown to increase muscle strength when used in conjunction with strength training. According to Carroll, weight lifters report exceeding their best competition scores even during normal training. “And where they've been stuck for years at a certain weight, they're going way beyond it,” he says.

Another area where photobiomodulation is showing great promise is in the treatment of burns. While there are few scientific studies to back up such claims, the anecdotal evidence consistently shows it can provide rapid and lasting pain relief. “It's not a temporary kind of pain relief,” Carroll says. “The scars heal much better and anybody who's got a low-level laser photobimodulation product, who's tried it on burns, will tell you the same. It's consistently amazing, so it is a disappointment that burn units are not using it.”

Light Therapy May Benefit Those With Kidney Failure, Including Pets

In a previous interview with Michael Hamblin, Ph.D., he mentioned that some people have successfully used light therapy to treat kidney failure. Some have been able to get off dialysis and no longer need a kidney transplant, which is a rather remarkable success.

Carroll adds further anecdotal support to this, saying he knows of a veterinarian who has been treating kidney disease in animals using photobiomodulation. In cats, by the time you get a diagnosis of kidney disease the disease is typically quite advanced and they only have a few months left to live. Using photobiomodulation, this veterinarian has been able to extend the life of many of these animals by several years.

An added boon is the lack of adverse side effects. Some conditions may feel worse before they get better, but most studies have found there are very few if any side effects. As noted by Carroll, “They report the same number of side effects in the placebo group as the treatment group, which basically tells you it's not a side effect at all.”

Some of the most exciting areas of use is in the treatment of central nervous system disorders, ranging from multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injuries to Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's. This was discussed at length in my previous interview with Dr. Lew Lim. Photobiomodulation can also be used in the treatment of dry, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the No. 1 cause of blindness in the elderly.

“I'm a co-founder of Lumithera, which is another light therapy company, and it has developed a device specifically for treating diseases of the eye. Our first target has been dry AMD …  Nothing has been proven to be effective for treating dry AMD … Our first study showed that in 129 patients there were up to three lines of improvement on the Snellen eye chart. Nothing else does that.

A more recent study (again without a control group) on 41 eyes, we did optical coherence tomography as well, and showed that the drusens, which are the deposits in the back of the eye that are the hallmark of this disease, are receding … We're optimistic that we're going to have the first randomized controlled clinical trial that will lead to [photobiomodulation] potentially being the first line of treatment for dry AMD, for which nothing else works,” Carroll says.

Many Pain Syndromes Can Be Safely Alleviated With Photobiomodulation

While the full-sized NovoTHOR unit is priced beyond what most people can afford, selling for about $120,000, they offer a less expensive desktop unit. It consists of a console with sockets you can plug various accessories into for different types of spot treatment. Accessories include intra-oral laser probes for analgesia, extra-oral probes that can be used for any area except the oral cavity and probes designed specifically for myofascial trigger points and superficial healing of injuries and wounds.

They also have a contract with the U.S. Veterans Administration to develop a helmet, which will be used for research on traumatic brain injuries and Alzheimer's. Dentists, it turns out, have shown great interest in PBM, as it can effectively alleviate oral pain. Carroll actually used the intra-oral device on himself in lieu of local anesthesia during the extraction of a molar.

“It did hurt, but it's tolerable pain. So, if you treat along the nerves and over the neck - over the cell bodies for the trigeminal ganglion, which are located in the neck - then yes, you can reduce dental pain,” he says. “I know dentists are excited about that. I'm more excited about [being able to treat] chronic pain, neuropathic pain, things like shingles and postherpetic neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, shingles around the orbit of the eye and in your hair, burning mouth syndrome …

You know, people commit suicide when they have diseases like these and therefore it's a priority for me to work with specialists in oral-facial pain and to develop these therapies. It feels like the most important place to be, in many ways … So, what I find more exciting is when we're actually solving peoples' chronic pain.”

How Does Light Therapy Work?

So, how is it that light, in certain frequencies, can have such profound clinical benefits? While there are a number of different mechanisms, the one that explains most of the effects seen clinically is the cytochrome c oxidase mechanism, which can be summarized as follows:

When you breathe, the oxygen in your lungs is taken up by hemoglobin, which in turn is carried around your body by red blood cells. The red blood cells deliver the oxygen to every single cell in your body. Similarly, when you eat, the food is broken down into glucose, fats and glycogen, and that glucose is delivered to every single cell in your body as well.

Once it has been transferred across the cell membrane, the glucose is then broken down through glycolysis into ATP and pyruvate. Mitochondria take the pyruvate and break it down further. The resulting byproducts - ATP, FADH and NADH - are then combined with oxygen in the electron transport chain, which creates hydrogen ions that drive ATP synthase.

Normally, the terminal ends on the electron transport chain - the cytochrome c oxidase - is taking up NADH combining it with oxygen and allowing two more electrons to be transferred from the electron transport chain. That pumps hydrogen ions through to drive ATP synthase to make ATP. This process works quite well when you're healthy. However, when you get sick, injured, stressed or old, the mitochondria begin to make excessive amounts of nitric oxide.

How Light Therapy Corrects Molecular Mechanisms Gone Awry

While nitric oxide has certain health benefits, when excessive nitric oxide is produced, excessive free radicals are also produced. Nitric oxide binds preferentially to cytochrome c oxidase and stops the consumption of oxygen, which means you then stop making the hydrogen ions that drive ATP synthase. But that isn't the biggest problem.

A more significant problem is that now you have a “constipated” electron transport chain because the last two electrons cannot be passed from cytochrome c to cytochrome oxidase, and this backlog of electrons in the electron transport chain lead to the production of super oxide and hydrogen peroxide. In other words, excess oxidation.

Some of the super oxide and hydrogen peroxide will leak out of the mitochondria into the cell, where it starts the processes of inflammation and cell death. Inside the mitochondria, super oxide and hydrogen peroxide will also damage the mitochondria, triggering mitochondrial dysfunction, which we now know is a foundational problem in most chronic disease.

“The wonderful thing is that light, in the kind of wavelengths we're using, at the kind of intensity we're using, seem to basically break the bond between nitric oxide and cytochrome c oxidase. The light is flushing out the nitric oxide from cytochrome c oxidase, so now you can start consuming oxygen again, combining with NADH and electrons now pulsing from cytochrome c to cytochrome oxidase again, and you start making ATP.

The cause of the constipated electron transport chain is gone and therefore you stop making too many of these reactive oxygen species that lead to inflammation and cell death,” Carroll says. “The shorter version of all of that is, basically, when we put light of the right wavelength and intensity into people for the right amount of time, the right intervals, we tip the balance … in favor of more ATP and less oxidative stress. And under those circumstances, people get better quicker.”

Why Some Studies Fail to Show Beneficial Results

When it comes to light therapy, even though you're “just” using light, the dosage does matter. It's actually quite easy, and common, to overtreat. Optimal results are obtained within a rather narrow range. Unfortunately, many researchers even fail to understand this. Many researchers also only talk about the total energy delivery, when in fact the rate of delivery is actually more important. Disturbingly, a number of studies have also failed to show a benefit for photobiomodulation simply due to mathematical errors.

“Yes, there are researchers who are overtreating and not getting the results they were hoping for. We got researchers who are not testing the lasers before they do studies, and those that do test the lasers don't actually measure the beam area correctly …

You need scientists and all the right kinds of engineers to know how to do this, but people who are not trained in physics unfortunately are doing tests on lasers and they're really not qualified and educated in the right way to actually, adequately, operate these things, and then they report negative findings.

Sometimes they're just reporting the total dose without explaining [the rate of delivery]. If they gave 4 joules per centimeter squared, was it a 4-watt laser for one second? That could have been, but of course that's not going to work, or was it something else? Doing these therapies have the same principles as cooking, in that you have to get the temperature right and then you put the food in the oven for the right amount of time.

Your favorite TV chef does not tell you to cook this chicken with 1 million joules per centimeter squared. That wouldn't tell you what the temperature of the oven is and how long you must cook it. You should not join those two numbers together in cooking, and you shouldn't do it in this therapy either.

But too many scientist are actually just giving you the one [measurement]. 'Here, use 4 joules per centimeter,' without appreciating that how fast you deliver it is necessary [to know] to get the dose right.”

Light Therapy Is an Excellent Adjunct to Other Mitochondrial Therapies

If you are even half as interested in PBM and using light as a healing tool then you would absolutely enjoy attending one of Carroll's one-day teaching events as he is one of the most knowledgeable people I have encountered in this area. I was able to really improve my understanding in this area thanks to his excellent teaching.

I believe light therapy can be a very powerful tool, and it aligns really well with the dietary aspect of oxidative stress that I discuss in my book, “Fat for Fuel,” which is that when you burn sugar as your primary fuel, you create about 30 percent more oxidative damage than when you're burning fat. Avoiding electromagnetic fields (EMFs) is another important aspect, as EMFs also cause harm by increasing oxidative stress.

In fact, EMFs cause more oxidative damage than ionizing radiation, even though the EMF typically doesn't have anywhere near the amount of energy that ionizing radiation has. The reason for this was explained in-depth in my interview with Martin Pall, Ph.D., who has identified and published research describing the likely molecular mechanisms of how EMFs from cellphones and wireless technologies damage plants, animals and humans.

When you combine EMF remediation efforts with photobiomodulation and optimal fuel intake (i.e., a diet high in healthy fats, low in carbs with moderate protein), you've got a triple win, and you can really optimize mitochondrial function, which is the end game.

Does Smoking Marijuana Lead to More Sex?

To find more ideas about health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: - 

Node Smith, ND
Sex Sells!
It's the marketing ploy par excellence. Deep down, most of us want to associate what we do, wear, eat, drink and the car we drive with more sex appeal. And research abounds on the associations of many of these things and our sexual habits – much of it psychological research to support the advertising industry. Many things that popular culture would like to associate with sex appeal has actually been shown to decrease the amount of sex that individuals have – tobacco, alcohol, and sugary products. However, a recent study has shown that smoking marijuana is associated with a higher (pun intended) amount of sex.1
Cannabis Sex Study
The study looked at data from 50,000 people from a Centers for Disease Control data set over a 13-year period. It showed that...
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Vegan Dahl: A Seasonal Comfort Food Recipe

Annex Naturopathic

Vegan Dahl: A Seasonal Comfort Food Recipe | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Toronto Naturopath

The change from hot to cold weather has me searching for comfort foods that will provide the feeling of warmth and energy.

As a N.D I'm regularly informing patients about healthy recipes and encouraging them to create a diet around the changing seasons.

One of my favourite spice palettes during the winter season is the warm, aromatic flavours of Indian cuisine -  likely because it's full of warming, sweet spices designed by nature to boost our metabolism, increase circulation and  strengthen digestion, all properties that we need to warm our bodies during the colder seasons.

Any warm recipe containing these spices will be a good choice for the upcoming winter.  

Dahl is essentially made up of lentils, which are packed with protein, B vitamins, fibre and iron, making this legume a super food, especially for vegetarians/vegans.  

Lentils are an amazing source of protein because it contains all but two of the amino acids (the building blocks of protein).  

Lentils are high in one particular amino acid, lysine, a great remedy for viral infections, handy during cold and flu season. 

Top this on a small bed of basmati rice, or enjoy with a few whole grain (non-GMO) crackers.  


3 tablespoons coconut oil (or whatever you have)

1 medium yellow onion

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups of spinach or chopped kale

1 teaspoon of fine seasalt

1 cup dried red lentils

2 tablespoon tomato paste

4-5 cups water or veg broth

5 plum tomatoes, chopped

juice of 1 lime

1 cup lightly packed chopped fresh cilantro

Spice blend

2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

6 whole cloves

4 cardamom pods

2 dried red chilies (seeds removed)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Vegan Dahl Recipe | Annex Naturopathic Clinic | Toronto Naturopath 


  1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, toast the seeds (but not the dried red chili) for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently (make sure not to burn). Be prepare for a strong (but pleasant), spicy aroma.

  2. Remove from pan and let cool. Transfer to coffee grinder, along with the dried red chili and cinnamon, and grind to a fine powder.

  3. Over medium-high heat oil a soup pot, add onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and sauté 5 more minutes. Add ground spices and salt, sauté for 3 more

  4. Add 4 cups of water and stir to deglaze the pot. Add tomato paste and lentils. Bring to a boil then lower the heat a bit and simmer for 20 minutes.

  5. Add the tomatoes, greens, lime juice and cilantro and more water if it looks to thick. Simmer 10 more minutes, or until lentils are completely tender.

  6. Add extra salt as needed for taste

Some Tips to Cooking with Spices

  • You can buy all these spices at any bulk food store store them in a dark cook place

  • Spices like ground cumin and coriander go rancid 6 months after they are ground up that is why you should grind them yourself, rather than buying pre-ground versions keep them in the refrigerator and use within 6 months

  • Toasting the seeds before grinding activates and releases the volatile oils in the seeds, producing the well-known aroma of Indian dishes

  • YOU NEED SALT for any dish that uses these spices salt activates and brings out the flavours of other spiceswithout it you will be disappointed in the overall taste (add salt according to preferred taste but not too much!)

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 discover additional information on health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: doctor of naturopathy

Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Soup

For more natural health and wellness advice, visit:

Awhile back I posted a photo of this gorgeous pile of broccolion Instagram with a call out for broccoli recipe requests. If you replied there, thank you!! It's so fun and helpful to hear your ideas and there were tons Go to the recipe...

The post Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Soup appeared first on Love and Lemons.

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Simple AIP Mediterranean Bowls

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In order to support our blogging activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types or remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

That being said, we only promote authors, products, and services that we wholeheartedly stand by!

The cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea is phenomenal! These 21 countries have some common base ingredients, but with cultures that are European, Middle Eastern, and North African, the variety is seemingly endless.

I've been lucky enough to visit three of these countries in my travels and ever since I've been kind of obsessed about the flavors in their foods. I got even more interested after going AIP, because I found that a lot of the most well-known Mediterranean cuisines can easily be adapted to AIP . . . which is really no surprise, since there is ample proof that some aspects of Mediterranean diets are also very healthful.

This recipe is a 4-for-1 special! You'll see lots of overlap in base ingredients, but with simple swaps, brand-new flavor profiles are born. Check out these four simple ways to infuse some Mediterranean vibes into your life!

Simple AIP Mediterranean Bowl (Greek)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 medium-sized head cauliflower, riced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 small cucumber, diced
  • cup kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 cup plain, unsweetened coconut-milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  1. Brown lamb in large heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat, mixing in lemon zest, oregano, and sea salt as it cooks. Cook until fully browned.
  2. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon, reserving fat. Place in a clean bowl and set aside.
  3. Add cauliflower and onion to skillet. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring only every 2 minutes to prevent sticking, until lightly browned and tender. Remove from heat.
  4. Combine yogurt, lemon juice, and dill in a small bowl, mix well to combine.
  5. Fill bowls with cauli rice, top with lamb, cucumber, olives, and drizzle yogurt sauce over.

Simple AIP Mediterranean Bowls (Italian)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium-sized head cauliflower, riced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • cup packed fresh basil, sliced into ribbons
  • cup olive oil
  • cup balsamic vinegar
  1. Brown beef in large heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat, mixing in oregano, sea salt, and mushrooms as it cooks. Cook until fully browned.
  2. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon, reserving fat. Place in a clean bowl and set aside.
  3. Add cauliflower and onion to skillet. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring only every 2 minutes to prevent sticking, until lightly browned and tender. Remove from heat.
  4. Combine olive oil and vinegar in a jar, tightly secure lid, and shake to combine.
  5. Fill bowls with cauli rice, top with beef, basil, and drizzle oil and vinegar dressing over

Simple AIP Mediterranean Bowls (Spanish)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon saffron or turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 medium-sized head cauliflower, riced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 small carrots, peeled, diced
  • fresh or dry parsley, for garnish
  1. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in large heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp, stirring often and mixing in garlic, saffron, and salt as it cooks. Cook only until shrimp is opaque and garlic is fragrant.
  2. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon. Place in a clean bowl and set aside.
  3. Add remaining olive oil, cauliflower and onion to skillet. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring only every 2 minutes to prevent sticking, until lightly browned and tender. Remove from heat.
  4. Fill bowls with cauli rice, top with shrimp, carrots, and parsley.

Simple AIP Mediterranean Bowls (Moroccan)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dried apricot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped prune
  • 1 medium-sized head cauliflower, riced
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, grated
  • fresh or dry parsley, for garnish
  1. Heat two tablespoons olive oil in large heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, stirring often and mixing in turmeric, cinnamon, salt, and dried fruits as it cooks. Cook until chicken is completely cooked and fruits are softened. (Add a few tablespoons of water if mixture begins to stick to skillet.)
  2. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon. Place in a clean bowl and set aside.
  3. Add remaining olive oil, cauliflower and ginger to skillet. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring only every 2 minutes to prevent sticking, until lightly browned and tender. Remove from heat.
  4. Fill bowls with cauli rice, top with chicken and parsley.

The post Simple AIP Mediterranean Bowls appeared first on Autoimmune Wellness.

Essential Oil Recipe For Lice (Safe for Pets)

For more natural health and wellness advice, visit:


Tea Tree

27 Drops Equal Proportion of each Essential oil.
Add to:

2 ounces of Castor oil
1 ounce of White bees wax

Get your dried, organic herbs, organic essential oils, bulk spices, loose leaf organic teas and aromatherapy supplies at the place where we shop Starwest Botanicals!
Note: I have use it with grape seed oil too.
You can use this on people and Animals.
Lice, Fleas, & Ticks don't like Lavender, Lemon, Tea Tree & Eucalyptus.
I bathe my dog in Lemon, Lavender, & Apple Vinegar. You just put a couple drops of each in the water.

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Achiote: Add Color to Your Plate With This Spice

To learn more tips about health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us

Achiote (Bixa orellana), or annatto, is a spice that is used by a large portion of the world's population. It's easy to decipher whether a dish contains achiote through the distinct red-orange color that it gives off.

While the main use for achiote is for dyeing and coloring, it also adds a subtle flavor to any dish. In small amounts, achiote does not exude a very strong flavor, but if used copiously, people have noted that it has a subtle peppery taste with a nutty and sweet aroma.1
This spice is largely used in Latin American and Asian cuisine. It's widely known in South America in particular, where it is believed to have originated.2 Achiote was also introduced to other countries by trade, which explains its widespread use in various regions.
Accounts say that marketeers from...
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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:
minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";

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