Friday, 28 November 2008

Woohoo! Exams are over!

My last exam for the year was yesterday, so now I can get back to a normalish life for a couple of months.

Yesterday afternoon, I walked out into the front garden and took a couple of snaps - a Silky Oak flower and one of "our" honey bees in the lavender. Bees are tricky little creatures to photograph - puts me in awe of Cheryl's gorgeous photos.

Now I've got a little more time, there's a few posts I'd like to do. Look out for posts on herbal tinctures, oils and oitments, as well as tips on bottling and how to make glace fruit for Christmas.

love and light


Stewart said...

I'd be interested on anything you know for Irritable bowel syndrome.

Wendy said...

Congratulations on exams done!! I'm looking forward to your upcoming posts on tictures, etc.
It's thursday night right now, november 27th. Strange to come here and see tomorrow's date - Friday, Nov. 28th.
I love blogging!

naturewitch said...

Hi Stewart

IBS is an interesting, diverse and complex condition, best worked through with a qualified practitioner. That is, there is no simple answer, but here goes:

1. Identify any foods that upset you - typical culprits are dairy and wheat, but also eggs, nuts, coffee, chocolate, onions, citrus, tea, potatoes, rye, barley, oats, corn.

2. Ensure good water and fibre intake (avoiding problem foods) to help the bowel regulate itself better. Psyllium husks, available from health food stores and some supermarkets, can be a helpful source of good fibre, but make sure you drink plenty of water. Take 1-2 tablespoons in a full glass of water 1-2 times a day.

3. You could try probiotics (eg, acidophilus) and/or digestive enzymes. Or you could try a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a third of a glass of warm water a few minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner.

4. Slippery Elm powder or capsules can be useful if the intestinal lining is irritated and needs repair - again, this is available at the health food store.

Really, I would recommend you follow this up with a qualified naturopath who could do a thorough assessment and also make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need (gut irritations often mean you don't get enough nutrients because their absorption is impaired).

If I was doing this myself, I would start by trying to identify any irritating foods. Most often, if they are removed for a period of time (say three months), the problem heals itself. Keep a food and symptom diary and you may find a link.

The book "Friendly Food" may be helpful for you also -

One last thought - you could be short on zinc (about 85% of Australians are). It is needed to generate stomach acid and a lack of this (which is quite common) can lead to all sorts of digestive upsets.
Zinc deficiency symptoms include: white spots on the nails, anal itch, fine brittle hair or baldness, slow healing of cuts and wounds, skin cracks on fingers and heals.
Foods containing zinc include: oysters, sunflower and pumkin seeds, baked beans, cashews, egg yolks (soft), beef, ginger, herrings, liver, milk, lamb, whole grains and yeast.

Hope this helps xx

naturewitch said...

Hi Wendy
Thanks. Good to have you drop by. xx

Anonymous said...

Good to hear you got those out of the way, make sure you get some "me" time woman!


River said...

Interesting answer to the IBS question. I suspect I have it myself, but not from any of the usual culprits. Milk and cream affect me, but my biggest problem is red meats. I'm going to try your zinc suggestion. I already take psyllium and other high fibre mixes daily in my breakfast porridge.

Stewart said...

Thankyou for your comprehensive reply, I have printed it out and will go through your suggestions and see what I come up with.
I am wondering if you can suggest a way to find a reputable naturopath?

naturewitch said...

Hi Molly
Yep, a great relief. Although it's back to full-time hours at work on Monday, I'll still feel like I'm having a break. Only two more year to go . . . xx

Hi River
Sounds like you're tracking it down. Red meat could be a problem if you are not producing enough digestive enzymes - the zinc and/or apple cider vinegar might help.
Or it could be intolerance to saturated fats (would fit with the cream) in which case it could indicate an issue with your liver or gallbladder - this often results in diarrhoea after a fatty meal and floating, yellow or light coloured stools. Solution is to go on a liver cleanse.
Or it could be something to do with an iron metabolism issue - Vit C might help here.
If there's no obvious trigger, you'd do well to get it checked out by a health professional, if only to rule out any potential nasties. Good luck! xx

Hi Stewart
To find a naturopath, you could try going to the Australian Natural Therapies Association at
There's a practitioner search function there that might help.
Since you are in Toowoomba, you might like to see if you can get in to see Henry Osiecki in Brisbane. He's a bit of nutritional guru, but not sure if he is still practising. The people at bioconcepts
might be able to help you. xx