Naturopathic Treatment For Depression In Adults

Naturopathic Treatment For Depression In Adults | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

If you keep up with the news, you will have heard about several recent celebrity deaths due to suicide, such as Avicii, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, all of whom struggled with depression.

Depression is an important topic, and it’s why we’ve talked about mental health before, and will continue to highlight the symptoms and how it can be treated.

Let’s talk about what depression is, where it comes from, and most importantly, what you can do about it when it hits.

What Is Depression?

Depression is a medical condition that affects 1 in 4 Canadians at some point in their lives, enough that they need to seek treatment.

Depression is similar to sadness or grief, but it persists for weeks or months, possibly with no explanation or reason.

Some people will experience it once, and others will have it recur chronically over their lives and struggle to deal with it.

Types Of Depression

Doctors use a manual called the DSM-5 to diagnose mental disorders, as these different types of depression often need different treatment.

There are three primary types: major depressive disorder, dysthymia and bipolar disorder.

Major depressive disorder is quite debilitating; those who suffer are unable to feel pleasure, and experience constant feelings of hopelessness, guilt and worthlessness.

Dysthymia, also known as depressive neurosis or persistent depressive disorder, is depression which lasts for longer than two years.

While it is milder than major depressive disorder, it can persist for longer, and sometimes these patients experience ‘double depression’, meaning they already have dysthymia when they also develop major depressive order on top of it.

Bipolar disorder, which was once referred to manic depression, is so called because these patients experience both highs and lows.

By turns, they experience the symptoms of major depressive disorder, then will become excited, need little sleep, and have loads of energy for social, physical and sexual activity.

While the manic episode may occur to people as normal, often times manic people feel superhuman, and have skewed perceptions of safety, occasionally harming themselves through their sheer exuberance.

Other than these three examples, there also exits substance-induced mood disorder (experienced while taking a drug or after ceasing drugs), premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (suffered by children and especially teens).

Symptoms Of Depression

The following list is an overview, but is certainly not an exclusive representation of the symptoms of depression:

• Sadness that persists most of the day or longer than a few days
• Loss of enjoyment for things that once were pleasurable
• Insomnia or excessive sleeping
• Fatigue, tiredness, or feeling permanently exhausted
• Problems with concentration, making decisions, or memory
• Weight gain or weight loss
• Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
• Paralyzing guilt that can make people want to punish themselves
• Thoughts of death or suicide, suicidal ideation

The Brain-Gut Connection

There has been increasing attention paid to how gastrointestinal conditions can cause or affect diseases that are non-gastro in nature.

One example is how dysbiosis – a microbial imbalance in the gut – seems to be a factor in mental health illnesses such as anxiety and depression.

Probiotics are effective in restoring that microbial balance, and are being studied for their ability to affect not just anxiety and depression, but schizophrenia and autism.

Inflammation is also a factor in a healthy gut and healthy brain; when the GI tract is inflamed, it places stress on the microbiome, which releases cytokines and neruotransmitters.

The study in the link above did establish that pro-inflammatory cytokines play a direct role in the development of mental illnesses.

Naturopathic Treatments For Depression

There are several different types of pharmaceuticals, and certainly conventional medicine can usually find the right dosage and combination of drugs that effectively manage symptoms of depression, no matter what those may be for any person.

However, for those interested in pursuing more of a natural course of action, here are six natural ways to fight depression.

1. Eat An Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Due to the links between inflammation and mental health, along with recommending you eat a balanced diet, I recommend you also focus on adding more anti-inflammatory foods.

Turmeric is a tried and true option that you can add as a spice to your foods, or you can whip up in a hot cup of golden tea.

Surprise, surprise: leafy greens are also on the list of anti-inflammatory foods…so nosh away on that kale, spinach or some collard greens.

There are several fatty foods that qualify for this list, too: olive oil, almonds and walnuts, and fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel.

For snacks, fruits such as cherries, oranges, blueberries or strawberries will help to keep down the inflammation.

Natural treatments to deal with depression in adults | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

2. Encourage Friendly Bacterial Growth

As discussed above, the condition of your microbiome can have an impact on your mental health, and are often called ‘psychobiotics’ to reflect that connection.

To increase the probiotics you’re consuming, look to kimchi, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut, as these will help reduce inflammation.

As well, consider prebiotics, which are helpful in nurturing good bacteria; these include garlic, onions, leeks, dandelion greens, and Jerusalem artichokes.

3. Get Some Exercise

Exercise helps your whole cardiovascular system, but it also soothes your soul.

When you’re feeling blue, the best thing you can do is fit in a yoga class, a high intensity workout or a walk.

Exercise reduces cortisol levels and increases serotonin – this serves to reduce stress levels and lift your mood.

Joining others in a workout or dropping in at a neighbourhood gym will also get you out of the house and connected with people, which are both important steps for people suffering from major depressive disorder.

4. Address Any Nutrient Deficiencies

Once again, a blood test can tell us a lot about what you might be missing that could be contributing to the severity of your mood imbalances.

Zinc is an excellent example, because it supports enzyme-enabled reactions, the development of neurological networks and communication.

Another vitamin to check on is B12, which is often referred to as the ‘energy vitamin.’

Some of the symptoms of B12 deficiency are the same as depression, so it can be hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.

However, because it helps with symptoms such as fatigue, confusion, weakness and difficulty concentrating, it can be leveraged to alleviate those symptoms of depression.

Vitamin D deficiency has also been connected with depression. Speaking of which…

5. Supplement With Vitamin D

Vitamin D has been a go-to for many years for both infants who can’t go in the sun, as well as adults who suffer from seasonal affective disorder.

Vitamin D is associated with sunshine, and during the winter or a particularly grey stretch of time, people often feel lethargic, irritable and moody.

These symptoms are similar to depression, so you may need to take vitamin D more regularly, but after a short while, you should feel some alleviation of your symptoms.

6. Supplement With Omega-3

Although more studies are needed, the links to omega-3 helping with depression are generally accepted, and research so far shows improvement in symptoms when omega-3 is supplemented for approximately 8 weeks.

You can either take this fatty acid as a capsule, or you can incorporate more enriched eggs or orange juice, ground flax, and fish into your diet.

Contact The Mindful Healing Clinic

As a naturopathic doctor, I see many people who suffer from depression and anxiety, and who are finding it hard to get the support they need through conventional medicine channels.

One of the great features of an ND is that we spend more time with our patients than a family doctor, so we’re able to identify possible triggers to conditions and symptoms to offer treatment foryour individual case.

If you feel like you suffer from any of the symptoms above, I encourage you to call now to book your free assessment with me, and let me help you with a healing plan for your pain.

The post Naturopathic Treatment For Depression In Adults appeared first on Mindful Healing.


How Can Acupuncture Help With Menopause Symptoms?


How Can Acupuncture Help With Menopause Symptoms? | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

Menopause marks the permanent ending of a person’s periods, and it is the last phase of the reproductive cycle.

During menopause, your body goes through significant hormonal changes, including reduced estrogen production by your ovaries.

These hormonal changes can affect your whole body; but there is natural menopause management available which may aid in controlling the symptoms.

One of the treatments available to help with symptoms of menopause is acupuncture.

But what is menopause, and how can acupuncture help with menopause symptoms?

Keep reading to find out.

What Is Menopause?

Menopause is the ceasing of menstruation, and the term can describe any of the changes you go through just before or just after stopping menstruation.

Menstruation ceases because you are born with a limited number of eggs in your ovaries; when there are no eggs remaining, menopause begins.

In most cases, menopause occurs naturally after the age of 40.

It can also occur due to a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) or damage to the ovaries, such as due to chemotherapy.

If menopause occurs before the age of 40, it is considered to be premature menopause.

Natural menopause occurs in three stages:
Perimenopause occurs several years before menopause; the ovaries begin to produce less estrogen, and menopausal symptoms may occur

Menopause begins a year after the last menstrual period; ovaries are no longer releasing eggs and are releasing reduced levels of estrogen

Postmenopause is the years after menopause; symptoms of menopause usually lessen, but health risks due to lower estrogen levels increase

Common Symptoms Of Menopause

The most common symptom associated with menopause is hot flashes, or the sudden feeling of warmth throughout the upper body.

It can also be associated with sweating and redness.

Other symptoms that you may experience include:
● Irregular periods
● Headaches
● Depression or anxiety
● Joint pain
● Muscle pain
● Insomnia
● Bladder control problems

Symptoms vary on a person-to-person basis.

Menopause and how to use acupuncture to help with it symptoms | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the use of very thin needles, heat, or pressure on specific points on the body.

The theory behind acupuncture is that stimulating these points affects the body’s “Qi”, or natural energy, either by release or redirection.

Acupuncture can also stimulate endorphins, which can help block pain signals.

Acupuncture For Menopause

Although acupuncture cannot affect the onset of menopause, it can help with menopausal symptom management.

Here are some of the ways acupuncture can be effective in reducing menopause symptoms.

1. It Can Reduce Hot Flashes

A recent study found that acupuncture significantly reduced the frequency and severity of hot flashes.

Furthermore, this study found acupuncture has positive long-term effects on hot flashes.

2. It Can Reduce The Effects Of Lost Libido

One of the potential symptoms of menopause is that it can cause a lowered libido.

A 2016 study was done with premenopausal patients with HSDD, or hypoactive sexual desire disorder, which is the most common type of sexual dysfunction in women.

In this study, they tested the effects of twice-weekly 25-minute acupuncture sessions, and found sexual function improved within 5 weeks of receiving consecutive acupuncture treatment.

3. It Can Help Manage Weight Gain

Changes in hormone levels can cause weight gain during menopause.

A clinical trial in 2012 studied the effects of acupuncture on weight gain, lipid profile, immunogenic and inflammatory markers.

The study combined lower calorie diets with acupuncture treatment in obese patients.

When the effects of lower calorie diets alone were compared with the effects when combined with acupuncture, it was found that changes in most of the parameters (weight gain, lipid profile, immunogenic and inflammatory markers) were more significant when acupuncture was used in addition to a diet change.

4. It May Help Reduce Symptoms Of Anxiety And Depression

Acupuncture treatment can release endorphins, which can help in the treatment of patients with depressive or anxiety disorders.

Multiple studies are being performed to test the correlation between acupuncture treatment and anxiety and depression; although research is still being done, results are promising so far.

Contact The Mindful Healing Clinic

Acupuncture has many potential benefits if you are premenopausal, menopausal, or postmenopausal.

If you are in one of the stages of menopause, contact me, Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, at the Mindful Healing Clinic.

During your initial appointment, you and I will sit down and chat about your menopause and if acupuncture will be an effective treatment for your symptoms.

From there, we’ll create a treatment plan based on your unique health needs.

Contact the Mindful Healing Clinic to book your FREE 15-minute introductory session today.

Until next time,

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, N.D

Mindful Healing Integrative Naturopathy
251 Queen St S Unit 4,
Mississauga, ON L5M 1L7

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi is a medical doctor from Colombia where she practiced as a family physician for 8 years until she moved to Canada 16 years ago.

To read additional ways on health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: naturopathy in Mississauga

Making Sense Of Your Blood Pressure

Just like you should know your blood type, you should also understand what your blood pressure is at its normal rate.

If you know about naturopathic medicine, you know that what we encourage is for you to have knowledge about your own body so that you can be aware of when things are not right.

As a naturopathic doctor, I always try to help my clients understand what is healthy, so that they can make good choices about their wellness.

Blood pressure is an important component in understanding your health, so let’s talk about it.

What Does Blood Pressure Mean?

When doctors take your blood pressure, what they are measuring is the pressure in your blood vessels – however, this requires two separate measurements: systolic (the ‘top’ number) and diastolic (the ‘bottom’ number).

More on those in a moment.

Being hypotensive describes when your blood pressure is low; being hypertensive is when your blood pressure is too high, which is absolutely the more common of the two.


Having low blood pressure can be dangerous, and can indicate underlying conditions, illnesses and issues, such as:

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Blood loss
  • Dehydration
  • Endocrine problems
  • Heart problems
  • Lacking nutrients in your diet
  • Pregnancy
  • Septicemia

If you notice any of these symptoms of low blood pressure, you should see your doctor:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of concentration
  • Nausea

These next 4 symptoms suggest extreme hypotension, which means you should call 911.

  • Confusion, especially in older people
  • Cold, clammy, pale skin
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Weak and rapid pulse


Hypertension – high blood pressure – can present very differently, and here are some of the symptoms:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigueor confusion
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears
  • Severe headache
  • Vision problems

Now that we know what it looks like, let’s look at how to measure it.

Systolic Blood Pressure

When your heart beats, it contracts, pushing blood through your arteries; systolic blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure in your blood vessels while the heart is contracting.

A normal, healthy person has a systolic pressure below 120, and hypertension is when it is elevated beyond that, up to 140 or more.

If you measure your blood pressure and the systolic is 180, that qualifies as a hypertensive crisis, and you should seek immediate medical attention.

Blood pressure and how to be aware of it changes | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

Diastolic Blood Pressure

The second, bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure in your arteries in the pause between heartbeats.

Normal diastolic readings are lower than 80, but if your systolic is still reading over 120, then you are nevertheless considered to have elevated blood pressure.

If your diastolic blood pressure is above 80, you are hypertensive.

120 is considered a hypertensive crisis; call 911 immediately.

Measuring Your Blood Pressure

To measure your blood pressure, professionals will either use a machine or a cuff and stethoscope.

Some people find the procedure uncomfortable, but it isn’t painful.

Your doctor might have you take your pressure reading at home – or possibly using a machine at your local drug store – if they suspect you have ‘white coat hypertension,’ whereby your blood pressure is only elevated due to the stress of being at the doctor’s office. If it returns to normal once you’ve left, then your blood pressure is not a cause for concern.

When doing the reading, your doctor starts by inflating the cuff to a pressure higher than your systolic blood pressure.

It will momentarily feel tight around your arm, but then your doctor allows it to deflate, until they can hear your blood rushing again through the stethoscope – this gives the systolic reading.

Still watching the pressure gauge on the cuff, the doctor listens until the sound of pumping blood pauses, and that point gives the diastolic reading.

Blood Pressure Levels – What Is Considered Healthy?

I mentioned above about hypertension, but – in fact – there are different levels of hypertension.

Slightly above the reading would be considered an elevated blood pressure, but then there are stages 1 and 2, and finally hypertensive crisis, which can be fatal if not treated.

For systolic, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Normal: 120 or below
  • Elevated: 120-129
  • Stage 1 hypertension: 130-139
  • Stage 2 hypertension: 140 and above
  • Hypertensive crisis: 180 and above

For diastolic, here are the stages:

  • Normal: 80 and below
  • Elevated: below 80 with a systolic over 120
  • Stage 1 hypertension: 80-89
  • Stage 2 hypertension: 90 and above
  • Hypertensive crisis: 120 and above

Contact The Mindful Healing Clinic

While blood pressure readings may seem complicated to the average person, they can be easy to understand with a little help.

I have helped many patients adjust their lifestyle in order to correct their hypertension, and monitor their blood pressure.

If you’ve been concerned with your blood pressure, call me and book an appointment, and let’s discuss if you have cause for concern or not.

Until next time,

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, N.D

Mindful Healing Integrative Naturopathy
251 Queen St S Unit 4,
Mississauga, ON L5M 1L7

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi is a medical doctor from Colombia where she practiced as a family physician for 8 years until she moved to Canada 16 years ago.

To get more information on health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: naturopathy

Why Are Avocados So Good for You?

Why Are Avocados So Good For You? | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

Our round, green avocado friends have become an extremely popular superfood in the last few years, largely because of all their health benefits, but also because of the wide variety of ways they can be used.

My name is Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, and I am a firm believer that food is nature’s medicine.

In this article, my goal is to educate you on how avocados are excellent for your health, as well as help you understand all the benefits they contain.

The Story Behind Avocados

Avocados are the fruit from the Persea americana tree, and are also known by the very descriptive names ‘alligator pear’ and ‘butter fruit.’

The Hass avocado is the most popular, but avocados can differ greatly in size and shape.

Potential Risks Of Eating Avocados

There are only a couple of risks to eating avocados, so let’s deal with those first.

For those who are on blood thinners, it’s important to be careful with any food containing large amounts of vitamin K, because that controls your body’s blood clotting.

There is another risk to all our health that comes with mass consumption of avocados, and that’s the environmental impact – avocados can only grow in tropical temperatures, and the costs of transporting them to North America do take their toll in pollution.

Pollution is an environmental factor that affects people everywhere, triggering all kinds of conditions and diseases.

Nutritious Value Of Avocados

Avocados have over 20 different vitamins and minerals; here are some quick stats on nutritious avocados before we delve into what they can do for you. Note that the numbers below are taken from 1 serving of avocado, which is about 100g – the average avocado weighs about 170g.

• Avocados contain no cholesterol or sodium
• They are low in saturated fat, which is unhealthy fat, but high in healthy fats
• They are considered a low-carb food, because most of the carbs come from fiber
• Very high in vitamin K, one serving is 26% of your daily recommended intake
• Avocados are also very high in vitamins B5, B6, C, E, Potassium and Folate.
• They also contain magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin A

Health Benefits Of Avocados

Here’s where we look at what all those vitamins and minerals can do for you.

While it’s important to have a varied diet, it’s good to know how foods impact your health so that you can make wise choices.

Part of learning about your body’s functions is so that you can recognize opportunities in your health and take action on them naturally, holistically.

1. They Help Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Avocados are high in antioxidants, but they also help the antioxidants in other foods get absorbed in your body (thanks to their monounsaturated fatty acids) – like an antioxidant facilitator of sorts.

There has been research into the reduction of risk for cataracts and macular degeneration – this is because of the beta-carotene that they boast.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two phytochemicals in avocados that help protect against the damage caused by ultraviolet light.

Avocados and what can they do for you? | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

2. They Have High Levels Of Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are important to consume, because we all need some fats in order to properly process other nutrients that we take in through our diet.

Similar to turmeric, which can be better absorbed into your bloodstream by the presence of black pepper, certain nutrients are fat-soluble, which means they are useless to your body – and excreted – unless combined with fat.

Examples of fat-soluble nutrients are vitamins A, D, E and K, along with other compounds, such as the antioxidant carotenoids.

3. They Can Lower Cholesterol Levels

Avocados have caught the attention of the scientific community enough that this 1996 study by Lopez Ledesma et al explored and determined that avocados may very well be able to lower cholesterol levels.

It’s possible that just one avocado a day can lower LDL levels; low-density lipoprotein is known as ‘bad cholesterol.’

4. They Can Help Prevent Osteoporosis

After all you know about avocados, can you believe they can even prevent osteoporosis?

Well, we talked about the fact that avocadoes are loaded with vitamin K, which is a problem if you’re on blood thinners, but great if you want strong bones.

It’s fairly common knowledge that calcium and vitamin D help with bones, but those need to be absorbed properly in the body, and only vitamin K can do that.

Great news: vitamin K is available in abundance in avocados, and it also helps to reduce the amount of calcium that is lost, protecting the work it does in absorbing it.

5. They Can Improve Your Digestion

We’ve already talked about how high in fiber avocados are, and here is why it’s important.

Your digestive system requires fibre to move waste effectively and also allow proper nutrient absorption.

The high fibre content in avocados can help prevent constipation, which helps to reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Contact The Mindful Healing Clinic

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but if it’s brunch with avocado toast, then it may also be the healthiest.

While it’s important to remember that all foods are healthy in moderation, avocados definitely are among the top of the list for healthy options.

If you recognize that you would like to improve your health and wellness through better diet, call The Mindful Healing Clinic now and book with me to learn all you need to know.

Until next time,

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, N.D

Mindful Healing Integrative Naturopathy
251 Queen St S Unit 4,
Mississauga, ON L5M 1L7

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi is a medical doctor from Colombia where she practiced as a family physician for 8 years until she moved to Canada 16 years ago.

To get more ways about health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: best naturopath in mississauga

Health Benefits Of Cinnamon

Health Benefits Of Cinnamon | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

Of all the natural dietary ideas that we have in our arsenal to keep you well, cinnamon is probably one of the most delicious.

A valuable spice, traded as far back as 2000 BC, it was long recognized for its medicinal capacities, and even used to treat sore throats and arthritis in the middle ages.

Now that fall is here and winter isn’t too far around the corner, you might find yourself enjoying some cinnamon flavoured foods.

Let’s talk about this popular spice and what it can do for your health.

What Is Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is a spice derived from a tree bark; Cinnamomum trees can be found in the Caribbean, South America and Southeast Asia.

The stems or bark are removed from the tree, and the inner bark is left to dry before being ground into a powder, which is what you buy at the store for your baklava.

However, you can also use essential oil or extracts, which contain the phenolic compounds, flavonoids and antioxidants that make it such a powerhouse.

Cinnamon’s Active Ingredient: Cinnamaldehyde

Cinnamaldehyde is the active compound found in the oily part of cinnamon sticks – the oil is what gives cinnamon its smell and flavor.

Cinnamaldehyde has many beneficial properties, such as:
• Antioxidant
• Anti-inflammatory
• Anti-diabetic
• Anti-microbial
• Protects against heart disease
• Boosts immunity
• Can protect against some cancers

Different Types Of Cinnamon

There are two different trees that produce cinnamon: Cinnamomum verum and Cinnamomum zeylanicum.

The first is Ceylon cinnamon, which is called “true cinnamon” – the latter is Cassia cinnamon, a more common and cheaper variety that is what is widely available is stores.

Cassia tends to be a darker brownish-red colour and a stronger, spicier flavour.

It’s cheaper and easier to find, since it’s far more commonly found around the world. It has far more cinnamaldehyde in its essential oil, giving it its stronger flavour.

Ceylon, on the other hand, is more tanned brown, and has a sweeter flavour.

It’s far more expensive than its cousin, owing to its rarity. It has less cinnamaldehyde in its essential oil.

Research has been done on the health benefits of cinnamon, but not enough has been done on the difference between Cassia and Ceylon.

However, Cassia does have a far higher amount of coumarin, a naturally occurring substance in plants with known carcinogenic properties.

The daily recommended limit of coumarin intake is 0.1 mg/kg.

While you still need to eat a fair amount of Cassia to reach that limit, it’s worth considering that if you’re eating a lot of cinnamon you may want to consider switching to Ceylon.

Health Benefits Of Cinnamon

Cinnamon has such a wide variety of crucial nutrients, vitamins, and minerals – especially fiber and manganese – all in just one serving.

Manganese is important for normal brain and nerve function, but it also helps build healthy connective tissue and bones, and is linked to blood-clotting abilities, metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, calcium absorption, blood sugar regulation and sex hormone production.

However, it has more important benefits, which we will look at below.

Cinnamon and the health benefits it has | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

1. It Has Antioxidant Properties

An incredible antioxidant, it is so potent that it can even be used as a natural food preservative.

The polyphenols found in cinnamon protect your body from the damage of oxidative stress caused by free radicals.

2. It Reduces Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone that regulates metabolism and energy, as well as helping transport blood sugar from your bloodstream to your cells.

Some people are resistant to insulin, which leads to type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, but only 1-2 tsp of cinnamon can help manage this effectively, as shown in this 2008 study by RA Anderson.

3. It Reduces Blood Sugar Levels

As well as reducing insulin resistance, it also helps reduce blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon does two things very well: it decreases how much glucose enters your bloodstream after eating, and it also mimics insulin, allowing for far better glucose uptake by your cells.

By blocking digestive enzymes, it slows the absorption of sugar; making cinnamon supplements a good option for diabetics.

4. It May Have Anti-Cancer Properties

Excitingly, a 2007 study by Bhattacharjee, Rana, and Sengupta done on cinnamon and cardamom to assess their anti-oxidative potential in fighting cancer (particularly colon cancer), shows that it does, in fact, help in two ways: by enhancing levels of the detoxifying enzymes, as well as decreasing peroxidation levels.

Note, however, that this study was done on mice, and human trials are still needed in order to solidify that link, but with such a favourable forecast, many people are turning to cinnamon to bolster their anti-cancer and cancer-recovery treatments.

5. It Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is a culprit behind a great many conditions, including arthritis, depression, multiple sclerosis, and others.

Inflammation is helpful when it is fighting infections and repairing tissue damage, but it is a problem when it turns against your own body or becomes chronic.

Cinnamon can help reduce chronic inflammation, so it’s only doing the good work it should.

Contact The Mindful Healing Clinic

With all the information on natural remedies and the health benefits of spices, herbs and food, it’s hard to know, sometimes, what you should focus on.

That’s where I can step in to help.

Call now to book your appointment at The Mindful Healing Clinic and let us help you sift through the data, applying what you need and discarding what you don’t.

Every body’s journey is different – let us help you find your way.

Until next time,

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, N.D

Mindful Healing Integrative Naturopathy
251 Queen St S Unit 4,
Mississauga, ON L5M 1L7

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi is a medical doctor from Colombia where she practiced as a family physician for 8 years until she moved to Canada 16 years ago.

To read additional information about health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: naturopathic doctor

5 Ways Turmeric Can Help With PCOS Symptoms

5 Ways Turmeric Can Help With PCOS Symptoms | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

Polycystic ovary syndrome – also known as PCOS – occurs when women experience elevated levels of male hormones, called androgens.

It occurs most commonly in young women, from about 18-30 years of age, and is often a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as eating too much fast, greasy food.

Some of the symptoms of PCOS include irregular menstruation, difficulty conceiving, excess hair over the face and body, acne, pelvic pain, and dark skin patches.

Luckily, researchers have linked relief and management of PCOS with the many benefits of curcumin, which we will look at here.

What Is Turmeric?

Turmeric is a bright yellow root that is famously one of the main spices used in curry, giving it its distinctive colour.

While it has a unique flavour many enjoy, what you may not have realized just how healthy that spice is that you’re consuming.

Turmeric’s Active Ingredient: Curcumin

The active ingredient in Turmeric is curcumin, a substance that is an exceptionally powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant.

However, it’s important to note that it is not easily absorbed into the bloodstream unless it is activated by black pepper, which increases its efficacy by an incredible 2000%.

5 Ways Turmeric Helps With PCOS

Turmeric is a go-to when it comes to treating PCOS, because of the following five ways it can help out the patient.

1. It Has Anti-Oxidant Properties

Curcumin is a superhero anti-oxidant that neutralizes free radicals, which are being investigated as the ultimate cause of aging, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, cancer and pulmonary disease.

And even while being an anti-oxidant itself, it also triggers production of the body’s own anti-oxidant enzymes.

Free radicals travel around your body causing oxidative stress, so reducing that stress can help treat conditions such as PCOS.

2. It Lowers Risk Of Heart Disease

According to a 2011 study by de Groot et al, women who suffer from PCOS have an increased chance of heart disease, including stroke, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.

Once again, it is the ability of curcumin to reduce oxidization of low-density lipoproteins that makes it so effective.

When they are oxidized, they lead to atherosclerotic plaque, which is common for women with PCOS.

Studies such as this one conducted in 2009 by Wongcharoen and Phrommintikul show that curcumin serves to protect against cardiovascular issues by reducing oxidative stress, apoptosis and inflammation.

Turmeric help with PCOS symptoms | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

3. It Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

The anti-inflammatory properties of Turmeric are well known, and have been used for centuries to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, as shown in this 2017 study by Arshad, Haque, Abbas Bukhari, and Jantan.

Cysts are also a result of inflammation, and they are one of the symptoms of PCOS.

For women with PCOS, cysts usually form because of abnormal hormonal levels, but this can be alleviated and managed with an anti-inflammatory diet and supplements.

4. It May Help With Weight Loss

PCOS sufferers often struggle with weight gain, which also increases the risk of developing PCOS.

If obesity is a common side effect of PCOS, then maintaining a healthy diet is important in reducing the impact of the condition.

PCOS is a metabolic syndrome, and if your metabolism is compromised, then it’s almost always going to mean weight issues.

Studies have showed positive results that administering curcumin does indeed reduce overall weight in patients.

5. It May Help With Depression

While there’s no cure for depression, a roster of helpful treatments can make a huge difference, and turmeric is definitely one to keep in your back pocket.

This 2014 study by Lopresti et al shows that it is a partially effective antidepressant for those suffering from major depressive disorder; benefits were noticed between 4-8 weeks after the start of treatment with curcumin.

Inflammation has been identified as a contributing factor to depression, and curcumin treats that underlying cause, almost as well as conventional anti-depressants.

Contact The Mindful Healing Clinic

If you suffer with PCOS or any of its side effects, I urge you to book a consultation with me now.

As a naturopathic doctor, I have been recommending curcumin to patients for years and have helped many to manage their symptoms better.

Don’t delay – call now to talk to me about whether curcumin supplements can help one of your ailments, including PCOS.

Until next time,

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, N.D

Mindful Healing Integrative Naturopathy
251 Queen St S Unit 4,
Mississauga, ON L5M 1L7

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi is a medical doctor from Colombia where she practiced as a family physician for 8 years until she moved to Canada 16 years ago.

To get more ways about health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: doctor of naturopathic medicine

Natural Treatments For Bee Stings

Natural Treatments For Bee Stings | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

Bees are definitely our friends, as you’ll know if you’ve ever watched The Bee Movie, but they can also be painful foes.

Towards the beginning of autumn, bees can become more aggressive for a few different reasons, so it’s best to try to avoid them and be prepared in case of stings.

One of these reasons is “nectar dearth,” which is when there is not enough nectar from nearby flowers to go around, and can cause attacks by competing hives to rob them of their nectar.

Compounding this problem, when nectar robbery occurs, bees will emit an alarm pheromone to warn their hive – however, this also triggers the alarm pheromone in the attacking insects, causing quite the fray.

If you notice a lot of dead bees around – or beneath – the entrance to a hive, this is likely what’s happening.

Other animals, such as skunks, will also attack hives for their nectar, with similar results, and this often happens at summer’s end when nature is preparing and stocking up for the lean winter months.

Finally, the heat and humidity that are the hallmarks of late summer in Ontario affect bees by making them cranky, and more prone to stinging.

But what can you do if you experience a bee sting?

Are there natural treatments available?

Keep reading to find out.

Why Do Bees Sting?

Despite all this, bees and even wasps tend to not sting unless they feel provoked or attacked, making avoidance the best course of action.

Part of the reason for this is that certain species of bee have stingers with barbs on the end, which embeds in the victim’s skin.

The only way these bees can escape after having stung you is to tear off part of their abdomen.

As well, when a colony loses its queen, they tend to get unduly aggressive; however, once a new queen is crowned, this behavior tends to clear up quickly.

This is not true for wasps, hornets, or yellowjackets, but in general these insects are unlikely to sting unless they perceive a truly dire threat.

What Happens When You’re Stung By A Bee?

Bee stings are an initial sharp, burning, localized pain that will spread as the sting site swells.

They inject a small amount of venom into your system when they do so, which is what causes these reactions.

If you’re stung, it’s important to not scratch it, as this only serves to spread the injected venom further from the sting site.

Escalated symptoms include extreme redness and swelling that actually increases over the next several days (instead of receding).

Anaphylactic Reactions To Bee Stings

If you’ve never been stung before – and don’t know if you’re allergic – pay attention to the following, and call 911 immediately if you see these symptoms:

• Swelling of the throat and/or tongue
• Difficulty breathing
• Severe skin reactions, such as hives, flushed or pale skin, severe itching
• An unusually weak or rapid pulse
• Cramps, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea
• Loss of consciousness, including symptoms of dizziness

If you know you are allergic to insect stings, be sure to use your EpiPen (or similar device) immediately, then go to your nearest emergency room to seek follow-up medical attention.

As well, go to the emergency room if you’re stung multiple times.

In these cases, even if you aren’t allergic, the buildup of the toxic bee venom can cause problems and cause you to go into anaphylactic shock.

Natural Treatments For Bee Stings

The good news, especially if you’re camping, is that there are quite a few natural treatments that exist for insect stings.

These old-fashioned ‘home remedies’ have been passed down through several generations, and often utilize ingredients you already likely have stocked in your pantry.

Here’s a quick review on some natural treatments for bee stings to alleviate the pain and swelling quickly:

How to treat bee stings | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

1. Remove The Stinger

If it’s a type of bee that leaves behind its stinger, you’ll want to start by removing that stinger from your skin.

Try to be very careful, so as to not break it off in the process of removing it; a pair of tweezers might seem intuitive, but actually serves to inject more venom into the skin.

The stingers that are left behind will look for a little black dot; remove it by scraping it away with a fingernail or credit card, and then wash the site thoroughly with soap and warm water.

2. Vinegar

Keep in mind that some stings (wasps and certain bee species) have alkaline venom, and others will have acidic venom.

For those that are alkaline, remember your high school science class, and reach for some vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar seems to be the most effective, though white vinegar will do as well.

When the pain is at its worst, you can pour the vinegar directly on the sting, and you should feel quick relief; if the pain comes back, consider soaking a cloth or Band-Aid in vinegar, and plaster it over the site for lasting relief.

3. Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a great go-to for many skin issues, and bee stings are no different.

An astringent, it helps with the inflammation of the sting, and can be applied similarly to vinegar – either poured on, or applied to the skin via a bandage pad or piece of cloth soaked in the liquid.

You may very well have witch hazel in your medicine cabinet, as it can also be used for pimples, mosquito bites and other skin inflammations.

Witch hazel is made from the leaves and bark of the witch hazel plant, and can be bought from most local drug stores.

4. Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera, a well-known treatment for sunburn, can be applied directly from a broken-off stem to the sting site.

Aloe helps soothe the skin, reduce inflammation and pain, and can be grown in your home for ready convenient treatment.

5. Calendula Cream

Calendula cream has been used for decades as an antiseptic to heal or ease skin irritations, including Chicken Pox.

Calendula cream works very well on insect irritations, including mosquito bites, and wasp or bee stings.

To use calendula on a bee sting, simply apply the cream to the sting site, and let the cream dry; don’t wipe it off.

If the sting is under clothes or in an awkward spot, you’ll want to cover the cream with a bandage so that it can continue to do its work unhindered.

Contact The Mindful Healing Clinic

There are many skin issues your family ought to be prepared for, not the least of which is insect bites and bee stings.

While there exist chemical treatments, sometimes the natural treatments are preferable, especially when dealing with children.

The tips above will help you in an emergency, but there are other options that we can educate you on at the Mindful Healing Clinic.

Call us now – before an insect attack occurs – so we can help you prepare your home treatments and keep your family safe this summer.

Until next time,

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, N.D

Mindful Healing Integrative Naturopathy
251 Queen St S Unit 4,
Mississauga, ON L5M 1L7

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi is a medical doctor from Colombia where she practiced as a family physician for 8 years until she moved to Canada 16 years ago.

To get additional ways on health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: naturopathy in Mississauga