Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects approximately one in seven people worldwide. With this in mind, in 2005, Monash University’s Department of Gastroenterology research team launched a major study into the management of IBS through dietary treatment.Through this exploration into the gut and the ways food can impact intestinal health, the team developed the Low FODMAP Diet – a plan to control the gastrointestinal symptoms associated with IBS.

What are FODMAPs?

During its study, the Monash research team discovered a group of short-chain carbohydrates that are either poorly absorbed in the small intestine or are completely indigestible.Thanks to the Monash team, we now call these carbohydrates FODMAPs: fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. Their poor absorption in some people triggers IBS symptoms.

How do FODMAPs cause IBS?

Because FODMAPs are relatively small in size, they attract water into the bowel. When they reach the large intestine, the resident gut bacteria ferments them, producing gas. This is what results in IBS symptoms – bloating, distension, pain, constipation and diarrhoea.


High FODMAP foods that can trigger IBS symptoms

Fructose – found in honey, high fructose corn syrup and some fruits

Fructose is absorbed efficiently when it’s in the presence of enough glucose. When you’re digesting more fructose than glucose, your gut absorbs it less efficiently. We call this ‘excess fructose’. In high doses, excess fructose may not be absorbed properly and can lead to IBS discomfort.

Fructose is a monosaccharide (one sugar unit). It is the smallest FODMAP which means that it attracts the most water into your bowel (known as an osmotic effect) and produces more gas (and potential IBS symptoms).

The absorption of fructose in the small intestine relies on the activity of special ‘sugar transporters’ that are found in the wall of the small intestine. Most people are able absorb fructose without any issues, but around 30-40% of all people are unable to absorb excess fructose.

Lactose – found in milk and milk products

Lactose is a disaccharide sugar (two sugar units joined together). To absorb lactose, the lactase enzymes on the wall of your small intestines break it into two single sugar units. People who lack this enzyme are unable to absorb lactose well and experience gastrointestinal discomfort.

Polyols – found in some fruits and vegetables, sometimes added as artificial sweeteners

In most people, polyols aren’t absorbed completely in the small intestine, which can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. Sorbitol and mannitol (often used as artificial sweeteners) are the most common polyols. So if you have IBS, it’s a wise choice to restrict your intake of artificial sweeteners in foods and drinks.

Oligosaccharides – found in wheat, rye, onions, garlic, legumes and lentils

Oligosaccharides are made up of fructans (FOS) and galacto-oligosaccarides (GOS). These are longer chains of sugars that humans do not have the enzymes to digest. They are not well absorbed by anyone (we all know a joke about beans…), which leads to fermentation by bacteria in the large intestine and a higher production of gas. People with IBS have an extra sensitive gut – so this gas production can trigger uncomfortable symptoms of pain, bloating and wind (flatulence).

Why do people with IBS experience discomfort?

Malabsorption of FODMAPs is normal. What differs between people with and without IBS is the potential of these carbohydrates to cause discomfort. In healthy people, FODMAPs move through the bowel without much consequence. But, in people with IBS, the malabsorption of these carbohydrates causes severe reactions such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, wind (flatulence) and abdominal pain and discomfort.The symptoms that occur in people with IBS might be explained by a number of factors including:

  • Gut hypersensitivity to gas production
  • Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine
  • Higher production of gas in the large intestine

In addition, in some people with IBS, bacteria that are normally located in the large intestine may move up into the small intestine. This relocation is called ‘small intestinal bacterial overgrowth’. When bacteria in the small intestine process and ferment FODMAPs, the resulting gas stretches this narrow section of bowel, causing abdominal discomfort, distension, bloating and abdominal pain.

What is SIBO?

What Is SIBO?

SIBO is the acronym for “small intestinal bacterial overgrowth,” defined as excessive bacteria in the small intestine. While bacterium naturally occurs throughout the digestive tract, in a healthy system, the small intestine has relatively low levels of bacteria; it’s supposed to be at highest concentrations in the colon.


The small intestine is the longest section of the digestive tract. This is where the food intermingles with digestive juices, and the nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. If SIBO is indicated, malabsorption of nutrients, particularly fat-soluble vitamins and iron, can quickly become a problem.

When in proper balance, the bacterium in the colon helps digest foods and the body absorb essential nutrients. However, when bacteria invades and takes over the small intestine, it can lead to poor nutrient absorption, symptoms commonly associated with IBS, and may even lead to damage of the stomach lining.

When you have SIBO, as food passes through the small intestine, the bacterial overgrowth interferes with the healthy digestive and absorption process. The bacterium associated with SIBO actually consumes some of the foods and nutrients, leading to unpleasant symptoms, including gas, bloating and pain.

Even when treating small intestinal bacterial overgrowth with antibiotics, relapse rate is high. This is a chronic condition that can be cured, but it takes patience, perseverance and a change in diet. In fact, SIBO treatment include a healing diet, and some foods should be avoided until the gut flora is back in balance. (source)

Symptoms Include:

  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Alternating constipation and diarrhoea
  • Food sensitivities
  • Belching and flatulence
  • Nausea
  • Heart burn
  • Fatigue
  • chronic digestive complaints
  • Abdominal cramping and pain
  • Joint pain
  • Skin Symptoms
  • Iron and B12 deficiency
  • Respiratory symptoms (eg: asthma)
  • Mood symptoms e.g.: depression and anxiety

What does it do?

Instead of allowing the villi and the microvilli in your small intestine to absorb nutrients from the food, the bacteria digest it instead, causing it to ferment.  A bi-product of the bacteria’s digestion is methane and/or hydrogen gas, which is only produced by the bacteria and not our bodies.

These cause bloating, flatulence, cramping, diarrhea and more.  It is also believed tis gas can cause leaky gut syndrome where the cell wall of the gut becomes permeable and allows food particles through to the blood stream.

SIBO Summer Cookbook by Rebecca Coomes is based on the SIBO Bi-Phasic diet by Dr Nirala Jacobi ND.  It is a great resource which  I highly recommend and I have for sale in the clinic.  It has 60 recipes for people treating small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

healthy food

This book is not just about recipes.  It teaches you about the foods to avoid and the foods to replace in your diet.  It informs and educates you, along with inspiring you to make easy changes in your diet to improve your health.

The diet and recipes in this book are designed around the 5 pillars of health.

1:  Awareness – being aware of your symptoms is the first step in your recovery

2:  Nutrition – nutrition is vital to a healthy gut life and essential to recovery

3:  Movement – our gut responds positively to movement

4:  Mindset – positive beliefs will support you to achieve wellness

5:  Lifestyle – the way you live your life is fundamental to recovery.

If you are concerned about your health or would like to talk more.  

Please contact Monica at Croydon Herbal Health.  Ph (03)  9723 9755

Your Wellness Matters



Your Body is an Orchestra

Your Body is an Orchestra by Monica Roberts
Today I went with my elderly relative to her rheumatologist . Oh my God!  Seriously!!.  Here’s what transpired..

DR: Good afternoon.

Us: Hello

Dr: How are you?

Us: Well you know not so good… she gave her story.. She’d been in hospital quite sick.

Dr: Oh thats too bad.

Me: U think! ( I didn’t say that)

Me: Do you think that there is a possibility that an infection like Lymes disease could be at the base of this case.  Could we arrange some kind of test.  Me knowing that she’s had a history of bacterial overgrowth, tick bites and ross river fever. 

Dr: There is no such thing as Lymes  disease in Australia.

Me; Hmmm

Me: Is it possible to get her tested for infections, bacterial, viral any other parasites.

Dr: You would have to see the infectious disease Dr for that.

Me: OK, Well she has some bowel issues and seems to play a role in her attacks, what do you think of the bowel or imbalance of bacteria having an impact?

Dr: Well you would have to see a gastroenterologist for that.

Me: How about her diet, do you think that it needs addressing?

Dr: I’m not sure how that would be, but you could see a dietitian I suppose.

Me: REALLY !! (i didn’t say that either).

Me: IN MY PRIVATE THOUGHTS.. DID YOU NOT  know that the body is an orchestra, and all of our organs, brain,  blood, tissues, skin  are linked, each having an effect on each other.  Diet, lifestyle, bowel, brain, stomach, lungs, heart Shall I go on.  You can’t look at one isolate organ to treat a person!. So times up, 10mins.. pay lots of money and off we go, with one more pain management drug to her 4 already.

Ok so I’m on my high horse.   I know there are some excellent Dr and practitioners out there doing amazing things, but at times I get very frustrated.

Imagine if we all worked together, what we could achieve.

Your wellbeing matters, and all of you is connected to all of you, you are not JUST a heart or a bowel or a lung.

Monica Roberts.

Suffering Cough and Cold Symptoms? Have some Pineapple

Pineapple – Fruit With Amazing Health Benefits

| This article was posted originally in Healthy Food House.  You can find more amazing articles here – follow this link.

Pineapple is known as king of fruits, fruit which in the past was only available to natives of the tropics and the rich Europeans. This tropical plant originated from Uruguay, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Paraguay.Ripe and juicy pineapple will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Besides good taste there are many health benefits. Pineapple is rich in vitamins and minerals, and contains a low amount of fats and cholesterol.

Health Benefits of Pineapple

Pineapples contain roteolytic enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain breaks down proteins, has natural anti-inflammatory properties and reduce swelling. Pineapple helps in healing the sore throat, arthritis and joint pain.

Anti inflammatory properties of pineapple fruit reduce the symptoms of arthritis and help to reduce pain after surgery and sports injuries.


To increase the efficiency, pineapples should be consumed between meals without other foods. On the other hand, the health benefits of bromelain is improving digestion. If pineapples are consumed with other foods, bromelain will help in digesting it.One of the benefits of this fruit is that it helps to build healthy bones.

Pineapple is rich in magnesium and trace mineral that is needed by the body to build bone and connective tissue. Just one cup of pineapple juice provides 73% of the recommended daily amount of magnesium.

The benefit of pineapples can cause bone growth in young people and strengthening of bones in older people.


This fruit is a good source of vitamin C and it offers excellent protection from free radicals. According to research vitamin C, the most important water-soluble antioxidant is invaluable against the destructive effects of free radicals.

Pineapple is good for colds and cough. Usually when people get sick they consume orange juice as a source of vitamin C, but it is good to know that the benefits of pineapple juice against cold or cough are also good as orange juice, plus with additional benefits because of bromelain, which helps cough and other symptoms of colds and flu.

Pineapples can improve oral health. Eating pineapple reduces the risk of gingivitis and periodontitis. Besides increasing the ability of connective tissue to regenerate, it also increases the body’s ability to fight invading bacteria and other toxins that contribute to gum disease.

Australian scientists have found useful molecules in the stalk of pineapple. Initial studies have shown that they prevent the occurrence of certain types of cancer (cancer of breast, lung, colon, ovarian and skin cancer).

Among other benefits, the royal fruit relieves arthritis, helps with high blood pressure, bronchitis, throat infections, indigestion…

If you want to get all benefits of pineapple it is the best to be consumed fresh.

Allergies and Immune Deficiency

Todays Chat with Monica.

A client has had a spontaneous reaction to allergies. One weekend he decided on a getaway.  Whilst he was away and got bitten by mosquito, and then suffered immune deficiency.

He came to see me and asked me:

‘Why does this happen?’

‘I’m usually really well.’

‘No body else got the virus!’

Well our health is like stacking the deck.  Or sometimes like falling dominoes. 

We don’t just get sick, we don’t just suddenly have heart attack, or hormonal disruption, or diarrhea.   Usually there are many factors that slowly stack up.

This is what happens: Let’s say you get stressed, more than usual.  Then you have a few bad nights of not sleeping  and your social commitments are high.   You don’t eat well because you are busy.   Your body’s resistance starts to fall, inflammation starts to rise, hormones start to deplete and your body’s ability to repair becomes compromised. Your ability to cope decreases.  It just takes someone walking past you with a cold, and before you know it… Your sick!   

We can minimise our body’s responses by remembering to breath deeply right into the belly, eat well, loads up on the greens, and get really good sleep.

See you in the clinic.

Your wellbeing matters.

Love Monica.




Do you suffer with allergies and regularly seek relief from anti-histamines?
Do you have irregular, painful periods?
Do you have a reaction to wine?

Do you suffer from anxiety?
Do experience dizziness or low blood pressure
Do you get hives or a red rash around your mouth?
Do certain foods give you an itchy tongue or runny nose?
Do you suffer from diarrhoea or bloating?


You may have Histamine Intolerance if you answered yes to any of these!

What is histamine?

So much more than just an allergy response!

Histamine is a vital messaging molecule involved in regulating many functions in our body like digestion, sleep, mood, sexual function and our brain. Histamine is found in the mucous membranes in the smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, uterus, lungs, skin, brain; produced by cells in our body; and present in certain foods. There are four different kinds of receptors in the body and each respond uniquely. 

Histamine and your Immune system

Histamine triggers an immune response which causes your blood vessels to dilate or swell so that your white blood cells can act quickly to an injury or infection. A histamine release can cause headaches and can leave you feeling tired and lethargic. While this is normal and part of the body’s natural immune response, if there’s a prolonged period where you don’t break down histamine properly, you could develop histamine intolerance (HIT).

What is Histamine intolerance?

Histamine intolerance (i.e. increased histamine in bloodstream) occurs when there is an imbalance between intake of histamine and the ability to eliminate it from the body. The condition is often misdiagnosed because it presents with many different kinds of symptoms, which are often misinterpreted.

How does it happen?

Under normal circumstances there is a barrier formed by enzymes DAO and HMNT that work to breakdown histamine in the GI Tract, preventing resorption of histamine from food into the bloodstream. Histamine intolerance can be caused when the amount of these protective enzymes is insufficient or these enzymes are inhibited. In this instance, even ingestion of a small amount of histamine in food (usually well tolerated in healthy individuals) can lead to symptoms of high histamine levels.

Possible causes of high levels of circulating histamine:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Environmental factors
  • Allergy response
  • Methylation issues
  • Psychological Stress
  • Dietary choices
  • Conditions of GI tract (SIBO, inflammatory bowel diseases, infections, parasitic infestations, dysbiosis, leaky gut)
  • Inhibition of DAO from alcohol or medications
  • Histamine-producing bacteria in the GI tract

Each individual’s tolerance to histamine is different and HIT is often caused by a ‘perfect storm’; accumulation of factors subsequently resulting in a symptom picture. Histamine can affect all of your bodily systems, including your gut, skin, brain, lungs and cardiovascular system. This explains why it may cause such a wide range of problems.


For example:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Anxiety
  • Bowel irregularities
  • Depression
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Drop in blood pressure 
  • Flushing
  • Fatigue
  • Fluctuating body temp
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hives
  • Nasal congestion
  • Period cramping, heavy bleeding and pain – due to receptor sites in the uterus
  • Puffy eyes
  • Skin reactions
  • Vomiting 
  • how-to-manage-allergies-in-young-children

What can we do about it?

Diagnosis of HIT is usually made by a person trialling a low ­histamine diet (list found below) for a couple of weeks and seeing whether symptoms improve. To manage HIT, histamine will continue to be limited in an individual’s diet according to their threshold. Please always remember that there is no such thing as a “histamine-free diet”! It is also important to assess all possible contributing factors e.g. GI Tract conditions, stress, environment etc. with the help of a health care professional. HIT is often about management, for some it is life long and for others it is easily managed.


Some foods naturally contain high histamine, while others accumulate histamines as they age. Therefore, a low histamine diet will mainly focus on eating fresh foods. The lists below give indications of some of the foods that affect those with HIT (high in histamine, releasing histamine, DAO blocking foods, low histamine) and helps to devise a diet for sufferers.

Foods high in histamine:  

  • Aged cheese: Goats cheese, parmesan (the older, the higher is the histamine level)
  • Dried fruit: apricots, prunes, dates, figs, raisins
  • Fermented alcoholic drinks: especially champagne, wine, beer, cider
  • Fermented foods: Sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, kefir, yoghurt, kombucha, etc
  • Fruit & Vegetables: Avocado, most citrus fruits, eggplant, pumpkin, spinach, tomatoes
  • Nuts: especially walnuts and cashew nuts
  • Processed & smoked meat products: salami, ham, bacon, sausages etc
  • Soured foods: sour cream, sour milk, buttermilk, soured bread, etc.
  • Tinned and smoked fish: tuna, salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines
  • Vinegar-containing foods: dressings, pickles, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, olives
  • Processed food of all types – preservatives are high in histamines
  • Mushrooms
  • Long cooked Bone broth
  • Pre-made salads
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Yeast, yeast extract

Histamine-releasing foods

Certain foods can stimulate the release of histamine from cells in your body, therefore important to avoid or limit in a low-histamine diet.

These foods include:  

  • Additives: benzoate, sulphites, nitrites, glutamate, dyes
  • Alcohol
  • Beans and legumes: chickpeas, soy beans
  • Chocolate and other cocoa based products
  • Cow’s milk
  • Egg white
  • Fruits & Vegetables: Avocado, banana, most citrus fruits, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple, pumpkin, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes
  • Shellfish
  • Spices: cinnamon, cloves, cayenne, cloves, chili powder, curry powder & nutmeg
  • Tomatoes
  • Wheat germ

Diamine Oxidase (DAO) blockers (increase histamine levels):  

  • Alcohol
  • Black tea, Green tea, Mate tea  
  • Caeine, theobromine (chocolate)  
  • Energy drinks  
  • Wheat (some HIT suerers)  


Low Histamine Foods

  • Coconut milk, Rice milk, Hemp milk
  • Coconut oil & Grass-fed Butter/Ghee
  • Fresh Fruits: Other than citrus, avocado, tomato, pineapple, bananas and strawberries
  • Fresh Vegetables (except eggplant, pumpkin and spinach)
  • Freshly Cooked Meat & Poultry (frozen or fresh)
  • Freshly Caught Fish
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Gluten-Free Grains: brown rice & quinoa
  • Herbal teas
  • Leafy herbs
  • Pasture-Raised Eggs

Please be aware, due to any other food intolerances or cross-allergies that may also be present the low-histamine level of a particular food alone says nothing definite about whether or not an individual can tolerate it and it is important to follow professional advice. 

Contact the clinic on 9723-9755 to book an appointment or make an inquiry.






26. Histamine Intolerance: The Food List


27. Michigan Allergy: Foods and Histamine


28. International Society Of DAO Deficiency: DAO blocking foods


29. ICUS: Histamine-Restricted Diet


Epsom Salt Baths

Epsom Salt Baths written by Melissa Breyer

Written for Care 2.com

Most of us know about the importance of iron and calcium for our bodies, but what about magnesium? It is the second most abundant element in human cells and the fourth most important positively charged ion in the body. It helps the body regulate over 325 enzymes and plays an important role in organizing many bodily functions, like muscle control, electrical impulses, energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins.

Most of us are deficient in magnesium, so I’m going to put on my wise-granny hat on here and tell you this: soaking in a bath with Epsom salt, which is high in magnesium, is one of the easiest ways to get a boost.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, American’s magnesium deficiency helps to account for high rates of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis and joint pain, digestive maladies, stress-related illnesses, chronic fatigue and a number of other ailments. Who knew?!

Our magnesium levels have dropped by half in the last century due to changes in agriculture and diet. Industrial farming has depleted magnesium from soil and the typical American diet contains much less magnesium than that of our forefathers. And in fact, the modern American diet with its fat, sugar, salt and protein actually works to speed up the depletion of magnesium from our bodies.

Another factor in decreased magnesium levels has been our focus on getting enough calcium. It’s a delicate dance–calcium depletes magnesium yet calcium functions best when enough magnesium is present. Studies indicate that taking a calcium supplement without enough magnesium can increase the shortage of both nutrients. Researchers have found that many Americans have five times as much calcium as magnesium in their bodies, although the proper ratio for optimum absorption of both minerals is two to one.

With such widespread magnesium deficiency one might think that magnesium supplements would be called upon, but studies show that magnesium is not easily absorbed through the digestive tract. The presence of specific foods or drugs, certain medical conditions, and the chemistry of a person’s stomach acid can render magnesium supplements ineffective.

This brings us to Epsom salt. Known scientifically as hydrated magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt is rich in both magnesium and sulfate. While both magnesium and sulfate can be poorly absorbed through the stomach, studies show increased magnesium levels from soaking in a bath enriched with Epsom salt! Magnesium and sulfate are both easily absorbed through the skin. Sulfates play an important role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract. They stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and are thought to help detoxify the body of medicines and environmental contaminants.

Health Benefits of Epsom Salt Baths

Researchers and physicians suggest these health benefits from proper magnesium and sulfate levels, as listed on the web site of the Epsom Salt Industry Council:

  • Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
  • Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
  • Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
  • Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
  • Relieved stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
  • Reduced inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps.
  • Improved oxygen use.
  • Improved absorption of nutrients.
  • Improved formation of joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
  • Prevention or easing of migraine headaches.

All this from a bath? Hurray! While there are many different brands of Epsom salt, they are all the same product chemically, and can be found at most drug stores. Add two cups of Epsom salt and soak for at least 12 minutes. Do this three times weekly.

If you are pregnant or have any health concerns, please check with your doctor before using Epsom salts.

Raw Blueberry Fudge


Delicious recipe from Elemental Health and Nutrition



  • 1 cup of raw cashews
  • 1 cup of desiccated coconut (not the stuff with a heap of added sugar and preservatives)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup of blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 100g of cacao butter (melted)


  • Blend up the cashews and desiccated coconut on low/medium speed, until they become nice and smooooooooth.
  • Add the honey, blueberries, and vanilla extract.  Blend until there are no chunky bits of blueberries left.
  • Add the coconut oil, and blend briefly on low to mix it through evenly.
  • Add the melted cacao butter, and blend briefly on low to mix it through evenly.
  • Tip the mixture into a small square pan which has been lined with plastic wrap, and the put in the freezer for an hour to set.
  • Once set, turn upside down, peel off the plastic wrap, and slice.
  • The finished product should be kept in the freezer or fridge.



  • To make a second “white chocolate” layer, do everything  above again, but without the berries.
  • Pour on top of the blueberry layer one it has set a bit
  • Freeze for an hour



  • Carbohydrates – 17.3%
  • Fat – 77.6%
  • Protein – 4.7%
  • Calories per serve – 126  (based on 20 serves per recipe)

.Gluten Free and Grain Free


Benefits of Epsom Salt Baths

Why You Need to Make Epsom Salt Baths Your Sunday Night Thing
Read more at  Pop Sugar.

Bath time (if you’re lucky enough to live in a place with a bath) is always a relaxing experience. But who ever really has time for it? If you like to go hard at the gym you probably should also lock in some time with your bath and a bunch of epsom salts.

Epsom salt baths are basically made for sore bods thanks to the main ingredient, magnesium sulfate-loaded epsom salt. Magnesium helps to reduce inflammation (hello to your inflamed, tired muscles), stimulates oxygen and blood flow through your body and helps to detoxify your body. But magnesium isn’t only helpful after a workout. A lack of magnesium can be associated with depression, anxiety and abnormal sleeping patterns and a bath before bed can really help. It’s also a godsend when that time of the month approaches. Cramping due to period pain can be relieved by upping your magnesium intake and — if you’re struggling to get magnesium into your diet each day — that’s where epsom salt can assist.

To enjoy the benefits of an epsom salt bath allow 40 minutes to soak and completely relax your body. There’s talk within holistic health circles that 20 minutes in an epsom salt bath pulls the toxins out of your body, which allows the absorption of the minerals to occur in the second half of your bath, and while there are limited studies to back up these claims 40 minutes is a nice amount of time to spend relaxing in the tub. Add one and a half to two cups of salts to pure warm water for best results. An epsom salt bath twice a week is a good start if you’re new to this relaxing way of life.

The bottom line: our bodies need magnesium to function and a smart way to get your body’s fill is through epsom salt baths.

George Calombaris’ Cypriot grain salad recipe

George Calombaris’ Cypriot grain salad recipe

Hellenic Republic bodyandsoul.com.au

You need to make this to-die-for Mediterranean salad, finished with fresh pomegranate. 

Photo: Hellenic Republic

There’s nothing better than a fresh salad, dressed to perfection, overflowing with flavour and texture. Crunchy pumpkin seeds mix with peppery coriander and toasty slivered almonds to make this salad next-level good. Enjoy…

Ingredients: (serves 8)

  • 1 bunch coriander, shredded
  • ½ bunch parsley, shredded
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup freekeh, (or cracked wheat)
  • ½ cup du puy lentils
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons baby capers
  • ½ cup currants
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup thick Greek yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds toasted and ground
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 pomegranate


  1. Blanch freekeh and du puy lentils separately in boiling water until both just cooked.
  2. Drain well and allow to cool.
  3. Mix the yoghurt, cumin and honey until combined.
  4. In a medium bowl place the coriander, parsley, red onion, freekeh, du puy lentils, toasted nuts, capers, currants, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Mix well, season to taste.
  5. Place into serving dish and top with cumin yoghurt and pomegranate seeds.

You can now enjoy at-home dining experiences from George Calombaris restaurants; Jimmy Grants, Gazi and Hellenic Republic via. DeliverooAustralia.

Recipe from Body and Soul