In the theme of our Body & Soul issue, we get advice from two Brisbane naturopaths on how to be your healthiest self. Expert Sarah Henschel from Natology and Melissa from Elixir Naturopathy give us easy health tips, tells us about the importance of getting to the root cause of our symptoms and how to prevent illness and disease.

So, what actually is naturopathy? Naturopathy is an alternative therapy that is used to uncover the underlying cause of a health concern, instead of just treating the symptoms. It’s used to support the body’s natural ability to heal using dietary therapy, herbal medicine and nutritional medicine, as well as through diet modification and lifestyle changes.

Sarah Henschel – Natology, Teneriffe

 

What kind of treatments do you most commonly use? What do you specialise in?
I mainly use a combination of herbal medicines and nutritional medicine to achieve the best outcome. I specialize in hormonal conditions, skin issues and gut health. However, I do treat a variety of other conditions such as immune-related problems, exhaustion and mood disorders.

What are your client’s most common concerns?
I would say stress, exhaustion and gastric concerns are really big concerns. Other conditions I come across almost daily would be sleep and thyroid issues.

In what cases should people see a naturopath instead of a doctor?
Health concerns such as fatigue, sleeplessness and gut issues are often the kind of things I see in my clinic. However, it is very important for patients to clear up any acute medical concerns with their GP first. A Naturopath’s role is to support the patient to achieve optimal health again through prevention or health management alongside their primary health care practitioner.

General expert tip you can recommend for everyone?
Prevention is better than cure.
Buy good quality food.
Don’t compromise your sleep.
Your gut is your second brain.

 

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Recommendations for:
Sleep: Magnesium and Gamma butyric acid to go to sleep and stay asleep, meditation.
Anxiety: Magnesium, Withania and Oats Green are great, see a psychologist regularly.
Stress: B vitamins, Siberian Ginseng and Rhodiola, say no to things and prioritising tasks.
Insomnia: Californian poppy and Nervine herbs to calm the mind, a couple of drops of lavender essential oil on the pillow at night for its calming effect
Low energy/mood: Siberian Ginseng and Rhodiola, meditation, declutter your calendar, make recovery and sleep a priority.

SARAH’S PICKS

Drink of choice? Plain fresh water
Coffee order? Almond milk flat white
Go-to workout? A gym class, walks and bike rides in nature.
Gym bag essentials? – Alo yoga pants are my favorite.
Can’t-put-down read? Unleash the power within by Tony Robbins.
Handbag must-have? Organic paw paw ointment.
Can’t leave home without? Healthy snacks.
Favourite cafe in Brisbane? Wilde Kitchen in Teneriffe.
Favourite recipe to cook up? Sunday Roast with pumpkin, sweet potato, baked chicken and greens.
Bucket list holiday destination? Costa Rica and Nicaragua in South America.
Go-to cheat meal or sweet treat? Oatly cold chocolate oat milk – dairy, sugar free and so delicious!
Podcast you’re currently listing to? The time Ferris show for inspiration and Dr. Bruce Lipton on the biology of beliefs.
Daily supplements you can’t go without? Vitamin B complex, Magnesium and Zinc
Skincare products you can’t live without? 50+ sunscreen
One meal you’d live on for the rest of your life? Buddha bowls
Three items we could always find in your fridge or pantry? Carrots, hummus, goats cheese
Fave place to hang out on the weekends? Farmers markets to buy flowers and groceries followed by a stroll down James Street.

Melissa Briggs – Elixir Naturopathy, Paddington

 

What inspired you to become a naturopath? What did you do before?
I grew up in Byron Bay so I was always surrounded by natural health practitioners. I loved hearing them speak about herbal medicine and health. I had very bad depression and anxiety as a teenager and it was a naturopath that helped me with this. I actually used to work as a functional pathology and nutritional supplement sales representative supporting practitioners in their practices.

What do you specialise in?
I work predominantly with women’s health conditions and optimising digestion.

What are your client’s most common concerns?
Acne, irregular periods, optimising fertility, management of conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome, thyroid conditions, stress, fatigue, poor digestion such as bloating, food intolerances and IBS.

General expert tip you can recommend for everyone?
Eat a balanced diet.
Exercise regularly.
Get good quality sleep.
Manage your stress.

 

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Recommendations for:
IBS: Probiotics and fibre
Allergies: Bioflavonoids and probiotics
Menopause: Black cohosh, vitamin D and calcium
Menstrual pains: Magnesium, omega 3, B6

MELISSA’S PICKS

Drink of choice? Water!
Coffee order? I’m off coffee atm, so a matcha latte or chai.
Go-to workout? Walking my dog along the river.
Can’t-put-down read? I’m a bit of a science nerd, so I usually have my head suck in a text book.
Handbag must-have? Weleda skin food moisturiser.
Can’t leave home without? Sunglasses.
Favourite cafe in Brisbane? Kin & Co in Teneriffe.
Favourite recipe to cook up? I love a good green curry!
Bucket list holiday destination? The Amalfi Coast in Italy.
Go-to cheat meal or sweet treat? The coconut and lemongrass pho from Cheeky Poke.
Podcast you’re currently listing to? ATP Science! It’s great for refreshing my knowledge.
Daily supplements you can’t go without? A good quality fish oil!
Skincare products you can’t live without? Eco by Sonya Driver! The açai scrub is to die for.
One meal you’d live on for the rest of your life? Green Thai fish curry
Three items we could always find in your fridge or pantry? Bone broth concentrate, rice, beetroot and ginger sauerkraut.
Fave place to hang out on the weekends? I love having some down time relaxing at home.

 

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Tips for child and adult acne?
SH: Zinc and inositol depending on the underlying cause.
MB: Apple cider vinegar (with the mother) as a toner and avoid makeup and use organic where possible.

Tips for vegetarians & vegans?
SH: Keep an eye on the B12 and iron blood levels. Ensure adequate protein intake as well as iron rich plant foods and a B12 supplement to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Some of the best supplements are probiotics, vitamin C, and zinc.
MB: Make sure to get enough protein. Eat a variety of fruit and vegetables, mix it up! Plus, consume plenty of iron rich foods like quinoa, sesame seeds, tahini, green vegetables and molasses.

Tips to boost immunity to avoid colds & the flu?
SH: Eat a healthy balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Stay hydrated aim to consume 2 litres of water a day. Get plenty of good quality sleep
MB: Andrographis, acts as a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal immune booster. Homemade Ginger infusions, Vitamin C and Zinc throughout winter.

Disclaimer: It’s important to always speak to a practitioner before commencing any herbal or nutritional supplement.

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