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An Aussie Mum's Guide To Eco Friendly Babies

An Aussie Mum's Guide To Eco Friendly Babies: April 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fusion Chinese Medicine

You may have noticed I recommend Fusion formulas a lot.  It’s a brand I use myself and for my family and it’s one of the first I recommend at work.  The feedback I get on products I sell is always good and sometimes downright amazing.  I’d like to share some info on the brand as a whole and some particular products they make.

Fusion is Australian made and owned- the parent company, Global Therapeutics, is based in Byron Bay and the manufacturing facility is in Sydney.  The manufacturing stands they adhere to are quite high- they test all raw materials for purity and potency and use cutting edge technology to ensure the products they make are of the highest possible quality.  To see if a tablet will easily digest, you can leave it in a glass of room temperature water and see if it dissolves.  If after about 45 minutes there is no action, you know the tablet will be one that’s hard to digest.  I tried this with a Fusion tablet once, it was completely dispersed in about 15-20 minutes. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is perhaps the most holistic form of medicinal practise in existence.  Herbal formulas will treat an ailment by targeting the cause, addressing the symptoms, and nourishing the Qi (life force) and balancing Yin and Yang, the regulating forces of the body.  You will often find that a formula for one specific thing will treat or nourish other organs- The Kidney tonic increases pelvic blood flow and so nourishes all the pelvic organs.  It helps fatigue, low libido, menopausal flushes, andropause (male menopause), menstrual irregularity and bone health- not bad for something designed as a tonic for a single organ! 

Dosage within the range is quite flexible, with indications ranging from one to six tablets per day.  This is so a higher dose can be taken initially to provide fast relief of symptoms and later reduced to a maintenance dose.  Many of the products are also suitable for children from the age of six (you can dissolve them in water or snap them in half).  The safety of these herbs is such that a two year old can take the liquid formulas (Cold Flu Cough and Astra 8) and most of them are safe while breastfeeding. 

Here are some of my favourite products within the range:

Colds, Flu, Immunity:
Fusion Cold Flu Cough and Astra 8 make a great winter combo to prevent or treat illness. 
The CFC can be taken at a high dose to knock over most infections (any types- includes gastro) in a couple of days.  It acts as an analgesic, expectorant and decongestant as well as anti-infective, antiviral, antifungal and immune stimulator.  I usually take 2 tabs up to 5 times per day- I’ve never had it take longer than 12-24 hours to work!
Astra 8 is taken when well, or after 7 or more days of symptoms.  Great for general immunity or for treating long term infections like glandular fever or Chronic fatigue syndrome.  Contains adaptogens to nourish the adrenals and help to increase energy while convalescing and some symptomatic relief for fevers, pain, coughing, fatigue, stomach upset.

Stress and Anxiety:
This is a formula I have given to my whole family.  My daughter used it when she was having some school related anxiety, my hubby takes it regularly for stress, mood swings and what I call 'cranky man syndrome' and I take it intermittently- I am too scattterbrained to be consistent with it but I find it great for those days that life just overwhelms me.  It starts working after the first dose and the effect builds over a period of a couple of days.  Prescribed for anxiety, mild depression, mood swings, irritability, nerves and chronic stress, it's a gentle formula that is very well tolerated and very effective.  Safe from 6 years, it's a good one for kids who are anxious, or experience things like separation anxiety, angry outbursts or are having adjustment issues.  A great formula for short term use after a stressful period such as moving house, bereavement, divorce or for long term supplementation.

This is one of the very few single ingredient products they make.  Tienchi is a soft tissue healer- I used it from the day I gave birth for about 3 weeks.  I couldn't believe how quickly I recovered!  Not only from the obvious damage (big baby, fast labour... you get the picture) I had also pulled a few muscles when I was lying on my side, having contractions.  Within a matter of days I was feeling well enough to go for short walks, the bleeding stopped very quickly and everything healed up without an issue.  I went back on it after about 2 months for back pain- probably caused by bad posture while feeding and picking up bub.  Again, I could feel it start to work in a couple of days (I had been sore for 2 weeks before starting it).  You can use it after surgery, injury or just to help muscle recovery after working out.

Tienchi also works as a fat mobiliser, breaking down fat cells to be burnt more quickly.  This not only helps weight loss but it's great for conditions like fatty liver.

Ok, I can't say I've tried this formula myself... but my customers love it.  whether coming off HRT or avoiding it all together, women are raving about the efficacy of the Fusion Menopause range.  There is the original Menopause, the Menopause Free (this one contains no Black Cohosh) and Women's Balance, which can also be used for PMS.  The combination of lower dose ingredients is quite different from other products on the market, which tend to focus on one or two single herbs.  It has a hormone balancing effect as well as symptomatic relief for things like flushes, stress and irritability, insomnia and dryness.

This recent New Idea article tells the story of Willow, a ten year old girl with Alopecia.  She lost all her hair (including her eyebrows and eyelashes) and was told by a dermatologist there was no treatment or cure.  Prescribed a combination of Fusion Women's Balance (this encourages the flow of energy to the head while cleansing the blood), Fusion Multivitamins and a Silica supplement, it only took two weeks for fine dark hairs to start appearing on Willow's head!

If there isn't a formula that addresses your needs or you have a condition that you just can't find help for, I would highly suggest a consultation with a Chinese Herbalist.  I've had customers say they've gone through the medical merry-go-round with little or no success only to find a few visits with a TCM practitioner has made an amazing difference!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Colic Cures

'Colic' is a heart wrenching yet common condition defined by long periods of screaming (3 hours or more) on a regular basis, with no apparent cause.  Theories range from tummy pain to anxiety (it's a big change going from womb to world) and everyone has their own 'magic cure'.  Her are a couple of natural remedies that may help:

Probiotics: Infant probiotics help baby's gut flora, enhancing digestions and hopefully alleviating tummy pain.  Very important for c-section babies as some of these good bacteria are picked up while passing through the birth canal.  See a naturopath for one specific for infants.  

Digestive Tonics: Fusion Digestion, taken by the mother, can pass through breastmilk to help alleviate wind and griping pain.

Calmatives: Fusion Stress and Anxiety (taken by Mum) or Bush Flowers Emergency Essence, Brauer Calm,  or Bach Rescue Remedy given to baby can help anxiety, fear, restlessness and insomnia that causes colic in some babies.  Check with a naturopath for other herbs or formulas that can be taken by Mum to relax and calm the baby (and help Mum to cope too!)

Blackmores Celloids: Prescribed by a naturopath, these can work on digestion, muscle relaxation and other possible causes of distress in babies.

Reiki Practitioners, Chiropractors and Baby Massage can also be successful in treating colic in babies.

There is a wealth of online advice on managing colic- don't let baby get overtired, use slings or cuddles to maintain closeness, use bedtime routines and baby massage to relax baby during the 'witching hour' and try a warm bath.  We found that without fail, a warm shower did the trick- Bub never cried in the shower, and if we could get him dry, dressed and in bed quickly enough that was the end of his hysterical crying.  Unfortunately (due to water wastage issues) this wasn't always a viable option, though it did gives us a break when desperate!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Goodbye Tony!

Tony Sfeir, founder of Designer Physique passed away the other day, 15 years later than he was supposed to.  This is Tony's story :
"After suffering a debilitating disorder at age 23, I was unable to digest and absorb foods properly or lead a normal life. I was desperate for answers.

I tried many brands of supplements on the market unaware they were loaded with artificial sweeteners, gluten and other well known suspect artificial additives currently under investigation by health professionals.

Because of this, I was driven to research naturopathic and integrative medicine solutions for my worsening condition.

I sourced premium 100% natural proteins and other quality ingredients (now available in our product range). I am now healthy, can enjoy and digest foods properly and have recovered my quality of life"

For those who are aware of his work in the protein/weight loss/sports industries, a service will be held on Monday 11th April at Tony's home church, Dream Centre Christian Church, 1 Chisholm Rd Carrara.  You can check out the Facebook page for more details.

The Designer Physique range includes a selection of beautifully created pure protein supplements, from various sources including egg, rice, pea and carob as well as the traditional whey and soy.  The range is invaluable to vegans, allergy sufferers and those looking for plain, high quality protein minus the sweeteners and flavourings that most companies ass.  You can find more about the range at 

Stress Busters

Stress is bad for you.  We all know that right?  We hear it all the time- stress raises our blood pressure, mucks around with our 'happy' hormones and shortens our life expectancy (and our fuses).  So to live longer and feel better... Don't stress!

Um.  Right.  Ok.  Don't stress?  Stress affects pretty much everyone, everywhere, most of the time.  Even those very serene looking Tibetan monks that live in mountains and pray or meditate all day probably have moments of stress.  It's one of the most common afflictions yet everyone will experience and respond to stress differently.  And it's our response to stress that counts.

When stress gets out of control it can turn into anxiety or depression, so it's important to deal with it appropriately.  You can employ relaxation techniques, lifestyle changes and diet in your stress-reducing quest, or in worse cases, use herbs or supplements until things are under control.

There are lots of different relaxation techniques and not all of them involve twisting yourself into a pretzel and chanting an Indian mantra.  Meditation can be as simple as sitting on the porch watching the trees.  My favourite is 'Mindful Meditation', where instead of having to think about nothing, you concentrate 100% on what you are doing at any given time.  Instead of washing the dishes while listening to TV, having a conversation and keeping an eye one dinner, you focus on one single task.  Concentrate on the feel of the hot water on your skin, the smell of the dish soap, the actions of your muscles as they move.  I love to do this while running on the treadmill- as you don't need to see where you are going you can pay more attention to the movement of your body, your breathing and your circulation.  Mindful Meditation can be done anywhere, any time so it's really easy to fit in.  For more info on Stress relieving relaxation, try Helpguide for some great ideas.

Exercise releases endorphins and if you go outside, it gives you a dose of Vitamin D- both are essential for mental and emotional wellbeing.  It reduces cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body and gives you a great opportunity to focus on yourself and de-stress.  Try doing something solo like walking, running or cycling for an alternative to meditation; boxing to relieve tension and frustration; team sports to lift the spirits and socialise.  Physical fitness allows your body to better cope with the physical demands of stress and makes you feel great.

Eating right is also essential.  Certain foods increase feel-good hormones and chemicals and increase the central nervous system's ability to cope with stress.  Protein, B vitamins and Magnesium are extremely important here.  Coffee, alcohol and too much sugar has the opposite effect- they increase anxiety and heart rate and exhaust your adrenals.  Some foods like chamomile tea have a specific use in stress.

Make sure you talk it out, too.  Call your mum, your best friend, or a counselling service if you'd prefer the confidentiality.

Magnesium- relaxes muscles (great for tight shoulders), helps insomnia, essential for wellbeing.  Make sure it's organic magnesium (not mag oxide) for good absorption.  Herbs of Gold Muscle Resus is a great one or Martin and Pleasance Mag Phos for kids/instant relief
Protein- important for energy and balancing hormones and the brain chemicals responsible for mood.  Best to get it from food but you can use protein shakes like Designer Physique to up your intake.
B complex- helps the CNS cope with stress, increases energy and digestion.  Look for about 50-100mg dose. 'Executive B' formulas have herbs added to help specifically with stress.

Ginsengs- adrenal tonics that nourish and support the body in times of stress.  Great for exhaustions.  Good formulas include Fusion Energy and Ethical Nutrients Ginseng 5

Lactium- derived from milk, good for those who get 'wired' when stressed. Try Ethical Nutrients Stress & Anxiety

St. John's Wort- great from chronic stress but check for medical interactions.  Takes 4 weeks to kick in.

My favourite formula:  Fusion Stress and Anxiety.  It's great for acute or chronic stress, low mood and milk depression.  Suitable from the age of 6 or while breastfeeding.  It's a Chinese herbal formula so it works very holistically and very quickly.  It's safe to take long term and the dose is flexible so you can increase/decrease as needed.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My International Guest Post!

Crunchy Domestic Goddess
Have a peek and tell me what you think :)