Save an extra 10% off already reduced sale items!

0 comments — posted 2014 Jul by Flora Organica

Get in quick and save on some amazing products in our SALE!

Ends Sunday 27th July!

Shop the sale HERE

$10 Voucher for every order!!!!

0 comments — posted 2014 Jul by Flora Organica

We love a bit of Christmas in July so we are giving every order placed this month a $10 voucher to use next time they shop at Flora Organica!

THE CLEVER GIRL’S GUIDE TO WINTER SKIN CARE

0 comments — posted 2014 Jun by Flora Organica

 

Winter in a time to nourish your skin from all the damage done through summer. Sun spots, pigmentation, fine lines are just some of the results of a little too much fun in the sun with enough SPF. Here are a few tips and tricks to get your skin back into tip top shape and deal with some of the skin hazards of winter!

Sun Spots and Pigmentation

Use a product that is designed to brighten the skin and uses fruit acids rather then bleaches to lighten pigmented areas.

We recommend 100% Pure Skin Brightening Facial Cleanser, 100% Pure Brightening Scrub + Mask and 100% Pure Brightening Night Balm

Dry Dehydrated Skin

Winter winds and indoor heating can wreck havoc on your skin causing dryness and dehydration. Opt for products that are richer such as creams and oils and try to include a serum and mask for an extra burst of hydration. If you have combination/oily skin opt for an oil cleanser as water based cleanser can strip the skin.

We recommend Dr Alkaitis Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil,100% Pure Superfruits Scrub + Mask , Acure Organic Argan Oil

FINE LINES

Even in winter your skin can be damaged from the sun so it's super important to always apply an SPF! The delicate skin around the eye area can become really dry so opt for an extra rich eye cream in winter

We recommend La Mav Organic BB Cream, La Mav Mineral Foundation with SPF, 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, La Mav V5 Wrinkle Smoothing Day Cream

 

 

Spotlight on Dr Alkaitis - IF YOU CAN’T EAT IT, DON’T PUT IT ON YOUR SKIN.

0 comments — posted 2014 Jun by Flora Organica

 

Dr Alkaitis also know as the Skin Food range has just arrived in store and we couldn't be more excited to have this truly unique brand available!

What makes Dr Alkaitis so special?

Dr Alkaitis products are also referred to as Skin Food because the ingredients are certified organic as food (though please do not attempt to eat them as they are for topical use only!)

Let's explain what that means: One does not eat skin care products thus there is a much laxer guideline for certification as organic, because the idea is that they are topical products that are only put on the surface of one’s skin. But that line of thinking is not correct because what one puts on one’s skin will be absorbed into one’s body. In effect, you are “eating” the products that you put on your skin.

In Dr. Alkaitis’ own words:

I use an absolute guideline in formulating my products which is “if you can’t eat it don’t put it on your skin”. To certify my products as organic would mean actually damaging my brand since the guidelines of certification of the products itself are much looser than the guidelines for certification of the individual ingredients.

Once the system for certification of personal care products reaches a steady state, I will then look at the guidelines and decide what I will do.
As far as the certification agencies involved, I source ingredients from around the world and there are a multitude of agencies involved, mainly European and American. I personally vet each grower, invariably forming a personal relationship with them.

We work with weather conditions. When we receive an order of plants, we open the box and the first thing we do is smell. Each time it’s a little different. Sometimes they had to deal with drought, sometimes there was too much rain etc. Every time we have to work with a new arrival the smell and looks are a little different from the last time.

It’s like cooking, you add a little more of that or a little less. Every single batch is a little different, it’s not like working with chemicals that are always the same.
Making as we do an almost 100% organic skin care product takes a lot of insight, time, patience and knowledge.

It’s grounded on an intimate relationship with nature’s life force.

What types of skin is Dr Alkaitis suited for?

All skin types! Our personal favorite is the Organic Day Cream and Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil (also known as miracle in a bottle and loved by Miranda Kerr) as it can be used on the face,body and hair and is great even for people with oily, acne prone skin. 

 

The best way to find what products best suit your skin is with the Dr Alkaitis Skin/Product chart HERE or try the Perfect Skin Starter Kit

 

Aluminium free deodorants. Do they actually work? Which one is right for me?

0 comments — posted 2014 Jun by Sabrina Jacquier - Parr

The short answer is yes they do work, however we are all different so a little trial and error is needed to find the best natural deodorant that works for you! Some people swear by crystal deodorant which don't work for me at all!

One of our best selling products at Flora Organica is the soapwalla deodorant cream from New York. I was lucky enough to meet with Rachel who developed the product and makes each batch to order. Some people can be a little sensitive to the baking soda or don't like the thought of having to use their fingers to apply it, but you just need to google to see how many people swear by it. The Axilla Deodorant paste from Black Chicken Remedies is very similar but is Australian made.

                       

If you love coconut then the Eco Tan Organic Coconut Deodorant is for you. This comes in a spray bottle and smells like summer holidays. For me it keeps me smelling fresh all day but doesn't help so much to keep me as dry as i would like.

 

By far my FAVORITE aluminium free natural deodorant of all the brands that i have tried is Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Deodorant. I love the solid stick formula which is really smooth and feels pretty luxurious for a natural deodorant. It smells beautiful and actually keeps me dry all day. It doesn't leave white marks on my clothes or yellow patches under my arms if i'm wearing white which some natural deodorants can do. For me it just works and one stick lasts me for ages.

 

What is a BB Cream?

0 comments — posted 2014 Jun by Flora Organica

BB creams have been a major beauty trend since 2011 thanks to their popularity in Asia. Since then many major cosmetics labels such as Garnier, Clinique and Estee Lauder have launched their own versions. In the last 12 months many natural and organic companies have begun launching BB cream but without all the chemicals! 

If you haven't got one in your makeup bag now, you soon will!

So what does BB Cream stand for?

Technically, it stands for Blemish Balm or Blemish Base but that doesn't mean it's a spot cream. It's more of a multi-function cream that has coverage and skincare properties.

What will it do?

This wonder cream is the essential all rounder especially for days when you don't want to wear a full face of make up but like a little coverage. It will give you a good base for makeup like a primer, even out complexion like a tinted moisturiser, cover minor imperfections and redness like a concealer, hydrate your skin like your day cream, brighten and perk-up a dull complexion and some will even protect with SPF. Some also promise healing, soothing and anti-ageing properties.

How do I choose one right for me?

Treat it like skincare and find one for your skin type with natural or organic ingredients. Do you have dry skin? Oily skin? Problem skin? Do you have ageing concerns? Or do you just want a healthy glow? 

How do I use it?

The magic of the BB Cream means you can wear it alone without foundation and you should get a light, natural finish coverage to give you a health glow and cover uneven skin tone. Use it when you don't fancy wearing full foundation or if you want to brighten and perk-up your skin between work and a night out.

This BB Cream phenomenon sounds too good to be true - is there anything it doesn't do?

It won't cover like a foundation so if you suffer from spots you might need to go over problem areas with a concealer. If you are looking for more coverage we suggest using it with a mineral powder foundation such as La Mav Mineral foundations

What brands do you recommend?

Try and go for a BB Cream that uses organic ingredients. We love the Le Mav Organic BB Creme as it was the first organic bb cream in Australia and it is certified organic by the Australian Governement!

Shop Le Mav Organic BB Cream here  

FAQ about 100% Pure Skincare

0 comments — posted 2014 Jun by Flora Organica

Why 100% pure?

“As much as 60% of topical skin-care products are absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream,” says Dr. Nancy Lonsdorf, M.D. an lowa-based physician, “They should be consumed with the same prudence that we use to choose our breakfast cereal.” – April 2006 issue of Women's Health Magazine. There are many toxic chemicals in cosmetic products that have been clinically proven to cause a number of health issues. 100% products are truly 100% Pure - no synthetic chemicals, chemical preservatives, artificial fragrances, artificial colours, harsh detergents or any other unhealthy toxins.

Why Vegan?

We love animals and refuse to support anything that hurts animals, which is why none of our formulas are ever tested on animals (everything we use is food grade and does not require testing, whereas chemical ingredients must be tested). All our makeup brushes are from synthetic fibres. No animals were hurt for their fur and no animals were hurt for any of our ingredients (the only animal ingredient we use is cruelty-free honey).

Why not perfumes or fragrances?

Perfumes and fragrances are synthetic chemicals that do not have any medicinal or aroma therapeutic value. 100% Pure products smell delicious because what you smell is real. The wonderful aromas in 100% Pure products are from real fruits, pure essential oils, and pure absolutes. There are never any synthetic fragrances or anything artificial in 100% Pure products.

Why not thickeners and emulsifiers?

Because those are just cheap fillers. 100% Pure products are never diluted with water, alcohol, thickeners, emulsifiers or any other “fillers”. Instead, 100% Pure products are totally concentrated, which means they are most effective.

100% Pure products are based around antioxidants. Why are antioxidants so important?

Every moment, we are slowly deteriorating. Free radicals such as the sun, smog, smoke, cigarettes, etc. attack us, causing ageing, wrinkles and other health issues. Antioxidants protect us, fighting off the damaging free radicals.

Since there are no preservatives, how long do your products last once I open them?

On each product, there is an open jar symbol with a number on it. That number indicates how long you can use the product once it is opened. Rather than using chemical preservatives, we use natural preservatives such as anti-bacterial herbs. 100% Pure has several other unique proprietary technologies that distinguish the company from competitors. We use unique technology to stabilise active ingredients from oxidising and also have a proprietary 100% natural preservative system, using Japanese Honeysuckle, Thyme, Oregano, Goldenseal, Rosemary, Lavender and a high concentration of vitamins and antioxidants, to preserve all products.

What does 100% Pure Mean?

100% Pure products are truly 100% Pure. That means there are no synthetic chemicals, chemical preservatives, artificial fragrances, artificial colours, harsh detergents or any other unhealthy toxins. Truly health food for your skin.

Is 100% Pure Good for Sensitive Skin?

Because 100% Pure does not contain harsh detergents, chemical preservatives or artificial fragrances that can irritate the skin, they are perfect for sensitive skin.

What are Fruit Pigments?

Fruit pigments are what makes strawberries red, what makes blueberry skin blue - fruit pigments are fruit colours. All 100% Pure cosmetics are coloured from fruit and vegetable pigments. All the antioxidants and vitamins are found in the pigments. 100% Pure fruit pigmented patent-pending technology takes those healthy fruit pigments and puts it into our cosmetics. That is why we have blackberry mascara (mascara coloured from blackberries), pomegranate wine lip gloss (lip gloss coloured from red wine and pomegranate) and cranberry cheek tint (cheek tint coloured from cranberries). The great thing with 100% Pure fruit pigmented cosmetics is that you'll be applying all the healthy fruit antioxidants and fruit vitamins directly onto your skin.

Why are the body washes so thin?

Our shower gels do not contain water, gums, thickeners, or emulsifiers - or any other cheap fillers. However, they are very foaming and work best with a bath net sponge!

Are your products gluten free? If so, where does the Vitamin E come from?

Most of our products are gluten free. We are sensitive to this since we know many people suffer from gluten allergies. One common ingredient that contains gluten is Vitamin E. But the Vitamin E we use is gluten free because it's derived from cold pressing rice bran.

Are the sugars, butters, and salts unrefined?

We only use the best, most organic ingredients in all of our products. Refining ingredients cause them to lose all nutrients and minerals. Therefore, all of our ingredients are completely unrefined and contain all of their natural benefits!

Are your products safe for kids?

Since 100% Pure products do not contain any synthetic chemicals, parabens, sulfates or harsh detergents, artificial fragrances or colours, phthalates, 100% Pure is safe for kids to use.

Shop the collection HERE

The Skin, Digestion Connection

0 comments — posted 2014 Jun by Flora Organica

Toxicity within your body can be expelled through the skin in the form of skin blemishes, pimples, redness, rigidity and dryness. And, worst luck, your face is the softest and most delicate skin so any problems will generally show up there first.

This is where your digestive system comes in. We each have ten metres of tubing with twists, turns and kinks throughout. If not properly and regularly cleaned and toned toxins build-up on the walls of your intestines. This, in turn, leads to the waste not being properly expelled through the ‘proper channel’ and may come out through your skin. A healthy set of pipes is a great way to healthy skin. To make matters even better, a clean and efficient digestive tract helps get more out of the good things you do for your skin - hydrating with water, eating healthy and nutritious food and supplementing your diet.

What’s in The Internal Plumber - Skin Formula? And what’s in it for your skin?

The Internal Plumber are three naturopathic and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formulas - Skin, Slimming and Digestion. With over 3,000 years in natural health practice TCM has a lot to say about maintaining a clean and clear skin, a particularly valued trait in Chinese culture. Within TCM skin problems are seen as Heat, Wind, and Toxicity in the body. TCM practitioners through the ages have used specific herbs to address these factors. The Chinese Medicine herbs in The Internal Plumber are organic and in granular form - granules are becoming more favoured throughout TCM due to their consistency and potency.

The other core ingredient is organic Diatomaceous Earth or Fossil Shell Flour. This is the naturopathic element to the formulas. Diatomaceous Earth is becoming increasingly renowned in naturopathy for it’s ability to gently clean the digestive system. The Internal Plumber uses only the finest quality, organic fresh water Diatomaceous Earth. Organic, fresh water Diatomaceous Earth (pictured below)  in The Internal Plumber Together the Chinese herbs and Diatomaceous Earth work wonders for your skin.

Organic, fresh water Diatomaceous Earth in The Internal Plumber

The Chinese Medicine-Grade herbs for skin

Ju Hua (chrysanthemum flower)

  • Known to disperse wind, clears heat (bitter, cold). Ju Hua is the lead herb in this blend. Ju Hua can disperse wind and clear heat. In TCM Heat is one of the causes of skin problems such as pimples, itch, rash, skin redness, etc. Wind is the descriptor for pain and movement. With a Wind associated skin problem it is prone to move from place to place. Therefore Ju Hua is known to assist with the easing of pimples outbreak, itching, pain, skin discolorations, etc.
  • Known to Clear the liver - wind-heat in the liver channel. According to TCM theory the Liver is the organ of Wind and Heat. The Liver is the organ that deals with the detoxification of food and drink. If the Liver is clear and cool then the skin is clear and cool. Ju Hua is known in Traditional Chinese Medicine to Clear and Cool the Liver Ju Hua (chrysanthemum flower) - high potency, organic, granular form

Ku Shen (sophora root)

  • Clears heat, dries dampness; expels wind. Ku Shen in known in Traditional Chinese Medicine to be a great herb to clear internal Heat, Dry Dampness and Wind. Dampness is the accumulation of fluid. It there is too much fluid in the body and the body has pimples then there is more puss in the pimples. Ku Shen is known to help this. Kills parasites and stops itching – Ku Shen is also known for its ability to clean out parasites and stop itching.

Huang Qin (baikal skullcap)

  • In Traditional Chinese Medicine Fire is the term for strong Heat or excessive Heat. Huang Qin is know to also have the ability to clear heat, clearing heat, draining fire, drying dampness especially from the upper body. Clears damp-heat in the lower body. Clears heat, stops bleeding. Sedates Liver Yang Rising – TCM sees the Liver as the Yang or hot organ. If the Liver Yang is Rising the more heat is rising to the head and generally this may manifest as skin problems.

The Internal Plumber will help get the most from your personal beauty regime. In short, The Internal Plumber is a health product. It’s not intended as a replacement for your favourite beauty products but will help them work even harder for you. It approaches Skin from the point of view that you need a healthy gut and digestive system in order to have great skin. The formula works over time to clean and tone your digestive system. It is simple to use and tastes great - just mix with water and drink. Follow with plenty of filtered water - the more water the better, especially in the early days of cleaning your pipes.

3 TCM tips for your skin

1. Avoid too much “heating foods” such as sea food, hot spicy food, chilli and curries, etc. as they are known to not be good for the skin in general. It’s not necessary to completely avoid these foods but try having less, especially when your skin condition isn’t optimal.

2. Keep your digestive system clean and detoxed; remedy digestive issues as they and stomach conditions are generally known to lead to skin irritations and pimples.

3. Try to do a general and gentle detox on a regular basis to ensure that all excess “Heat” and toxins that may affect the skin are flushed out of the body. Herbal teas without caffeine are ideal to supplement your fresh water intake.

SHOP THE INTERNAL PLUMBER SKIN FORMULA 

Blog Post courtesy of The Internal Plumber

The Skin supplement that everyone should take but few have heard of!

0 comments — posted 2014 Jun by Flora Organica

Diatomaceous Earth, or Fossil Powder as it is sometimes called, is a soft powder formed from the fossilized remains of diatoms (a type of hard shelled algae).

It is unique in a couple of ways:

  • It has a very high silica content (which is used to build hair, skin and nails)
  • It is very hard (hardness of 7 on the scale where diamonds are a 9) and looks like a tiny tube with holes in it when viewed through a microscope
  • It has a very strong negative charge

What does it do?

Diatomaceous earth’s unique structure makes it a great natural way to kill intestinal parasites, gently cleanse the digestive system, and improve hair, skin, nails, and teeth.

The strong negative charge of diatomaceous earth means that it naturally attaches to and removes from the body things like: chemicals, viruses, bacteria, heavy metals and even radiation. It’s sharp/strong structure allows it to puncture the exoskeleton of insects on a microscopic level, causing them to dehydrate and die (while humans and animals are left completely unharmed).

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is recognized as safe for human and animal use, and food grade DE is considered safe for human consumption

How is Diatomaceous Earth Good for the Body & Skin

  • Reduce Blood Pressure/Cholesterol/Skin Problems- The detoxifying effect on the body and its ability to remove foreign matter and reduce inflammation makes diatomaceous earth beneficial for some people with these problems. 
  • Hair Growth-  DE has an extremely high silica content which makes diatomaceous earth beneficial for improving hair growth and skin quality 

Important Notes:

Not all diatomaceous earth is food grade. We only recommend The Internal Plumber Products which can be found on our site.

The New Organic Haircare range that will transform your locks!

0 comments — posted 2014 Jun by Flora Organica

My mission was to find an organic shampoo and conditioner that feels as good as the supermarket ones but without the chemicals and at a similar price. 

It's like trying to find the holy grail of hair care and here it is!

Acure Organics uses cutting edge stem cell technology with natural and organic ingredients to address hair concerns at the root and follicle level.

Acure Organics is colour safe,paraben free, gluten free, sulfate free, sodium chloride free, vegan, phthalate free and cruelty free

All products from the Acure Organics Hair Care range are $16.95 which is cheaper then than some of the supermarket brands such as Toni & Guy, L'Oreal and Organix (which is not organic!!!)

Recommended for Normal, Damaged, Dry Hair or anyone dreaming of Mermaid hair - Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo & Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem ConditionerMoroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Leave in Conditioner all $16.95

Recommended for Normal, Fine & Limp Hair - Pure Mint & Echinacea Volumising Shampoo & Pure Mint & Echinacea Volumising Conditioner all $16.95

 

           

 

 

 

FREE Dry Body Brushing DVD with a Bodecare Body Brush Purchase!

0 comments — posted 2014 May by Flora Organica

We have an awesome Body Brushing DVD to give away!

Learn the proper technique for dry face and body brushing to revitalise the mind and body! Simply be the first person to purchase a dry body brush and use the codeword FREEDVD.

We only have 1 DVD so get in quick! Shop the Bodecare Body Brush 

Oil Pulling - Benefits and How to do it

0 comments — posted 2014 May by Flora Organica

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for oral health and detoxification. It involves the use of pure oils, normally sesame or Coconut oil to pull harmful bacteria, fungus, and other organisms out of the mouth, teeth, and gums.

How to Oil Pull

1) Put a tablespoon of cold organic coconut oil in your mouth. Go for the best quality Organic Coconut oil you can find, we recommend Indah Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil or Ecocare Organic Coconut Oil . 

2) Swish the oil around in your mouth for 10-15 minutes. This is the recommended time however my mouth gets tired so even 5 minutes will do.

3) Do not swallow the oil as it has picked up the bacteria from your mouth. Spit it out in the bin and not down your drain as it will harden in your pipes.

 

Benefits of Oil Pulling

 

Take an extra 10% off our already reduced sale items!!!

0 comments — posted 2014 May by Sabrina Jacquier - Parr

Use the codeword extra10 and checkout to take an extra 10% off already reduced items! 

Offer ends Friday 16th May.

Shop the sale HERE

Take 10% off the entire Absolution Skincare Range

0 comments — posted 2014 Apr by Flora Organica

Take 10% off the entire Absolution Organic Skincare Range for 1 week only! Offer expires 13th March or while stocks last! 

Use codeword 'absolution' at checkout to redeem

Shop Here

 

Spend $100 or more and get a FREE Pai Body Cream worth $25!

0 comments — posted 2014 Feb by Sabrina Jacquier - Parr

Until the end of Feb we are giving away a FREE Pai Comfrey & Calendula Body Cream worth $25 with every order of $100 or more.

To redeem you must enter the codeword paifreebie at the checkout!

This offer is strictly limited to while stocks last so get in quick!

WIN THE ULTIMATE ORGANIC SKINCARE PACK WORTH OVER $200

1 comments — posted 2014 Feb by Flora Organica

To be in the draw simply sign up to our Newsletter! The pack includes some of our best selling products and pretty much everything you will need be a natural beauty in 2014!

Signup---> HERE

Winner will be notified by email on the 1st March

Good Luck!

xoxox

Health Journey Part II

0 comments — posted 2014 Jan by Flora Organica

*If you’re just catching up, be sure to read Part I of my story first!

Have you heard of functional medicine? I hadn’t until about a year ago. This is not a “woo-woo” form of healing; it is every bit as based on science as Western medicine, if not more so. Functional medicine aims to find the root cause of symptoms, and this can involve quite a bit of digging. Finding the root cause of a symptom is something that conventional doctors tend not to do – instead, they often merely treat the symptoms and ignore the real reason the patient is having the symptoms in the first place. Headache? Take aspirin. Heartburn? Take an antacid. Obese? Staple your stomach. Easy peasy, right?


I never questioned the conventional approach until I learned about functional medicine. Once I became aware of the “root cause” concept, the old Western medicine approach seemed pretty silly to me. This is why I sought out a functional medicine practitioner to guide me in my journey to heal my body. I was exposed to Reed Davis and his school of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (or FDN) through the Underground Wellness podcasts, and found a practitioner near me in Melbourne.

The first step was to take a Metabolic Typing test to determine my metabolic type. This is a 100% online questionnaire – no blood tests, saliva tests, or anything besides just you and your computer screen. How is that possible? Well, an incredibly smart man named Bill Wolcott assembled a giant puzzle of disparate studies to conclude that every human is one of six metabolic types. It turns out that there are varying organs and processes in the body which control the digestion, absorption, and assimilation of the nutrients we consume. I discovered that my body metabolizes carbohydrates extremely quickly, which causes irregularity in my blood sugar level (resulting in sweet cravings, low energy, and getting hungry again too quickly). Therefore the majority of what I eat should be, instead, protein and fat.


My FDN, Darren, instructed me to start out by making my meals 40% protein, 30% fat, and 30% carbohydrates. (Remember, in this case the term “carbohydrate” refers to a macronutrient, not to something like bread. Carbohydrates are in every food, and plants are mainly carbohydrates.) He then told me to adjust the ratios to determine what was ideal for me – perhaps I needed a little more or a little less carbs or fat at each meal. The initial 40-30-30 ratio turned out to work well for me (but I would later notice a shift, and consequently had to adjust my carb intake. More on that later). The biggest adjustment of following this regime was (don’t gag on me now) getting used to eating meat for breakfast. I had no choice, though, since there are no other foods containing so much protein and minimal carbohydrates. Having a steak at 8am was totally bizarre at first, but it didn’t take long for me to accept my fate. When we really want to heal, we can get used to some pretty weird things… More about coffee enemas later!

One of the helpful tools I received from taking the metabolic typing test was a sheet telling me the best and worst foods for my “type.”

Acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes, garlic, and onions were out, but all meat and (healthy) fats were a go! No garlic or onions meant that eating out would be near impossible… but in reality, I had no idea how difficult my restrictions were going to get. (Foreshadowing!)


Within one week of adhering to my metabolic typing diet, I started to notice many of my symptoms improving. My bloating decreased, I felt less tired, my mood improved, I was staying full for longer and my sweet cravings great diminished. However, after about two months, I noticed that some digestive issues were returning (bloating and gas, to be specific). At this stage Darren advised it was time to do an IgG allergy test, which involved pricking my finger and dropping a tiny amount of blood onto a paper card to be analyzed. Note that this type of allergy is not the type where your throat closes up – those are called IgE-mediated allergies, and they result in hives, itchy eyes, and trouble breathing. An IgG allergy, on the other hand, is essentially a food sensitivity with no antigen-antibody response. Instead, the person experiences delayed reactions like fatigue, under-eye circles, or headaches. IgG allergies can go away over time if you avoid the food and heal your gut in the meantime.


When my IgG results came back, Darren was shocked. He had never come across a client with so many food sensitivities. In total, I had reactions to about 36 different foods, including eggs, peanuts, almonds, wheat, cheese, and many more. So from there, my already restricted diet became even smaller. Still, I pressed on, and after a short time I started to feel better again by avoiding all the foods on the IgG test.


But… a month or two later, something familiar happened. My tummy troubles returned slowly, and not in full force, but they were there. However, a stroke of luck had just come my way: I was about to travel back home to the US for a month, where I would be able to do another food sensitivity test that was significantly more accurate than the IgG test. This new test, called the MRT test, is sadly not available in Australia because it involves overnighting live blood samples to a lab in the States. But in early July, I had my blood drawn in Chicago and got my results a week later. Interestingly, the results of the MRT test looked quite different to the IgG results. The only overlapping foods were corn, whey, and pecans. Besides that, I was apparently highly sensitive to beef (my staple!), lamb, salmon (nooooo!), cucumbers (?!?), some chemicals, and many other things (31 in total). So, once again, my allowed foods list shrunk to a miniature size. I was condemned to chicken, pork, or seafood (but not salmon) at EVERY meal. This was a pretty rough time. Looking back, I did really well for the most part, but of course there were breakdowns and self-pity parties aplenty. I try not to judge myself for this, as my reactions were natural given the circumstances. The bottom line is that I got through it and not only am I still standing, but I’m still committed to healing my body! It’s a small miracle.


For the next few months, I continued on the pork-chicken-seafood road. It was boring but at least I could still have bacon, right? Well, until I realized that pretty much all bacon (and cured meat) contains sugar. But I could still have pork belly! No one could take away my pork belly.
Over that time, I felt okay, but far from amazing. I can now clearly see that although it was great to avoid the foods on the allergy tests, based on my symptoms, I had to be reacting to almost everything I was eating. This was an indication of advanced leaky gut.
Leaky gut? Uh, gross!


Yeah, it’s not pretty. Leaky gut is a condition where your intestines become hyperpermeable and can no longer keep in particles that are not supposed to leave the GI tract. As a result, undigested food molecules (along with toxins, yeast, etc.) escape into your bloodstream, where they encounter immune cells. The job of immune cells is to attack and get rid of foreign invaders, and those food particles definitely fit the bill. Inevitably, though, the immune system cannot deal with every single invader, so particles find their way into various tissues, causing inflammation – in other words, symptoms.

So, it was clear that I had a bad case of leaky gut. The consensus in the integrative medical community is that, left unchecked, leaky gut often leads to autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s, Chronic Fatigue, Multiple Sclerosis, etc. Once I realized this, I was even more motivated than before to heal my gut. The last thing I want is to develop an autoimmune disease that can’t be cured; one that I would have to live with for the rest of my life. No thank you.

Check back next week for Part III of Melissa’s health journey, as she discovers how to reduce her symptoms despite being sensitive to everything she eats. Plus, what will be the outcome of her next test? Will she have a parasite or fungal infection? Don’t miss one installment of this thrilling series!

 

Orders Shipped 3rd January 2014

0 comments — posted 2013 Dec by Flora Organica

We are giving our selves a little break after the Christmas craziness and closing the warehouse till the New Year. All orders will be posted out the 3rd January 2014.

 

We would like to thank all our gorgeous customers for the support and look forward to bringing you lots more amazing new natural and organic beauty brands in the new year!

 

xoxo

The Flora Organica Team

An Honest to Goodness Health Journey: Part I

0 comments — posted 2013 Dec by Flora Organica

If you’re a human living in 2013, you’re most likely on a journey towards better health. That might mean losing weight, or clearing up your skin, or letting go of a grudge, or meditating, or any number of other things. Sometimes our physical health is in jeopardy; sometimes it’s our mental, emotional, or spiritual health. To varying degrees, I’ve noticed that most of us are experimenting with ways to improve ourselves.

I have always been the type to constantly experiment (with optimal living, get your mind out of the gutter!). I believe I was born with an inner drive that told me I needed to make things better. This is both a blessing and a curse: while it causes me to perpetually strive for improvement, it also encourages the mindset that things are not okay as they are. That I am not okay as I am. This has proven to be problematic, and overcoming it is part of my journey towards better mental health.

Today, however, I want to share the whole of my health journey with you, not just the mental aspects. For those of us on this path, I think we get bits and pieces and summaries of how others attained great health, but rarely do we get the full story that we can relate to. This is why I am writing about my path, one I am still traveling on today. My hope is that you relate to perhaps one aspect of my story, and possibly be inspired to take on the enormous challenge of turning around the poor health that has been impacting us for generations; the poor health that is essentially our birthright. We are born with genetic disadvantages due to our predecessor’s diet, and then our lifestyles and eating habits simply exacerbate the problem. Reversing this is no small feat and often cannot be accomplished with a 3-day cleanse or even a strict month of Whole30, no matter how great they make us feel for that short period of time.

I can be fairly certain that the poor diet of my parents, and their parents, and their parents all contributed to the state of my health. I was born in 1985 when the low-fat craze was just beginning, and my mother was completely on board. I come from a long line of body- and weight-conscious women, so when fat was declared the devil, my mom took it as gospel. At the time, she was likely eating plenty of low-fat dairy, processed grains, and refined sugar that she thought was benefitting both her health and that of her unborn child.

My symptoms of ill health didn’t start suddenly; they gradually gained speed as I went through puberty and became very noticeable towards the end of high school. At the time, I struggled with digestive cramps, bloating, and diarrhea. I went to my general practitioner who kindly diagnosed me with IBS – irritable bowel syndrome. I now know that this is the diagnosis of choice when there is nothing “seriously” wrong (such as Crohn’s disease or colitis) but the patient is clearly experiencing digestive troubles. If you are one of the 9-23% of people worldwide who are told you have IBS, you are probably as frustrated as I was with this diagnosis. It tells us nothing about the root cause, or WHY we have this mysterious condition. I believe this is because IBS is an arbitrary term doctors use and it has very little actual significance. As you read on, you will understand why I feel this way.

Over the years, I tried many different ways to alleviate my digestive symptoms and also the constant fatigue that I felt. (I was always a light sleeper so I often struggled with getting enough sleep, but on top of that I was always tired. No matter how much rest I got, I could not get through one day without needing a nap or feeling so exhausted that I had to rest.) One doctor prescribed me with the anti-depressant Lexapro that was supposed to help with IBS. This did nothing to help my symptoms. I went to a gastrointestinal specialist who tested me for celiac disease; that came back negative. He tested my stool samples for other diseases but found nothing. I found a doctor across the country who somehow tested me for food allergies over the phone (at the time I must have been desperate enough to believe in magic) and gave me over 13 supplements to take each day. I noticed no improvement.

Later on, a friend told me about a health practitioner who tested her for food sensitivities in a very unique way: she tested the muscle strength in your fingers when various foods were introduced to the skin near your stomach. I was captivated and immediately booked in to see her. However, after thousands of dollars, months of very limited diet, and an excessive amount of supplements, my symptoms still did not let up.

Next I discovered the concept of FODMAPs, where I cut out all foods containing certain types of fructose that I conceivably had difficulty digesting. This seemed to work quite well at first – much of my bloating and gas all but disappeared within two weeks. However, this diet was incredibly difficult to keep up. I was supposed to be able to re-introduce foods and assess whether they still bothered me, but it was too hard to tell which food gave me symptoms. The FODMAPs theory is an interesting one, and one that is still being researched. With what I know now, I tend to think that what seems to be a problem digesting fructose is more likely an indication of leaky gut.

I didn’t completely give up on FODMAPs; I held it in the back of my mind but ceased being too vigilant about it. I stopped eating gluten, which seemed to help a little. I was then introduced to the Paleo diet, and did a month-long sugar detox, as I was fairly certain my body was addicted to sugar. Did I mention I ate a sweet breakfast (oats) and craved dessert after lunch and dinner? Everyday? Yeah, that wasn’t so good. I did successfully beat the addiction within a few weeks, and my body seemed to respond well to eating Paleo. However, after the first month, my symptoms gradually returned in full force. This was also when I discovered the teachings of Weston A Price, and resolved to transition my diet towards his principles: fermented foods, soaked and sprouted nuts/seeds/grains, liberal amounts of healthy fat such as butter and coconut oil, etc.

During this time, the most detrimental symptom started to rear its ugly head. Something was affecting my mood in a drastic way. I was more depressed and anxious than I’d ever been, and I began having emotional breakdowns far too often. I couldn’t handle even a tiny amount of stress. As you can imagine, this had an extremely negative impact on my relationship with my boyfriend, for whom I had moved to Australia from the US less than a year before. At this stage I found a psychologist to support me, and she did a wonderful job. However, this wasn’t enough to really help my mood. Once I discovered Paleo and Weston A Price, I went down the proverbial rabbit hole of progressive approaches to health. I discovered functional medicine, metabolic typing, Paul Chek, Reed Davis, Sean Croxton, Daniel Kalish, Chris Kesser, and so many others.

Eventually I decided to attempt to get to the bottom of my symptoms with another health practitioner – a functional diagnostic nutritionist. I was incredibly wary of doing so, however, as I had spent so much time and money in the past on doctors and other health practitioners, and I didn’t want to try yet another approach that wasn’t going to help me. I went ahead with it, though, because I’ve seen the science and I believe this is how the human body works. I could be wrong, but I’ve chosen to have faith and give it my all this time. As I would learn, a positive mindset is just as important as eating the right foods!

Check back next week for Part II of Melissa’s health journey, as she finds out her metabolic type, gets tested for food sensitivities, and embarks on one of the most limited diets known to man. Can she maintain that optimistic outlook even when her beloved beef is taken away from her?!

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0 comments — posted 2013 Dec by Sabrina Jacquier - Parr

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