I meditate everyday. For Meditation May I would like to bring attention to the health benefits of meditation. For each day in May, take time out to meditate, or do nothing, slow down, and take in the amazing things in your life.
Meditation has been found to improve mood, cognition, attention, creativity, self-awareness, present-moment awareness, and quality of life.
Meditation has been found to effectively reduce stress, anxiety, depression, pain, chronic pain, chronic pelvic pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, heart rate variability, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Reference: McEwen B. Meditation
in the management of endometriosis. JATMS 2021; 27(1): 22-23
Earth Day 2022
Invest in Our Planet
Earth Day 2022 is focused on accelerating solutions to combat our greatest threat, climate change, and to activate everyone to do their part.
Let’s bring back the health of our planet. Every day is Earth Day!
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, but since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels (like coal, oil and gas), which produces heat-trapping gases. As greenhouse gas emissions blanket the Earth, they trap the sun’s heat. This leads to global warming and climate change. The world is now warming faster than at any point in recorded history.
Warmer temperatures over time are changing weather patterns and disrupting the usual balance of nature. This poses many risks to human beings and all other forms of life on Earth.
Had the pleasure of discussing product formulation, compounding, ingredient combinations and clinical aspects, specifications, evidence, health claims (indications), dosage and dosage instructions, labelling, marketing, product quality and stability, regulations, and Listed Medicines in Australia.
Had fun presenting at the Complementary Medicines Association Annual Conference yesterday. I presented on “Formulating for a brighter future: Business as Unusual”.
The conference was amazing and a highlight event for the industry. Looking forward to the next conference in 2022.
The future is bright for nutritional and herbal products.
On Remembrance Day we pause to remember those men, women, and animals who have served and those who have died in all wars and peacekeeping operations.
This year, Remembrance Day Service reflects upon 21 years of service in the 21st century. The past 21 years have seen Australians serve all over the world in conflicts, peacekeeping, and peacemaking missions. Here at home, the Australian Defence Force has supported our community through some of the most challenging experiences of our generation – from floods to bush fires and in the front lines of the current pandemic.
We remember. Lest we forget.
World Chocolate Day
Chocolate is amazing! Let’s celebrate.
Chocolate is an abundant source of flavanols such as epicatechin, catechin, procyanidins, theobromine, and numerous minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
Studies indicate that chocolate has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiplatelet, antithrombotic, anti-atherogenic, and vasodilatory properties. Chocolate has been found to modulate glucose metabolism and can reduce endothelial dysfunction, blood pressure (both systolic and diastolic), inflammation, C-reactive protein, oxidative stress, insulin resistance, and atherogenesis. It can also improve lipid profile by decreasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and oxidised LDL cholesterol, and increasing high-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
Additionally, chocolate can improve flow-mediated dilatation, insulin sensitivity, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Chocolate has also been associated with overall better health, optimism, feeling happier and less lonely, and having better psychological wellbeing.
McEwen B. Medical Synopsis: The cardiometabolic benefits of chocolate – can chocolate be the elusive elixir to optimum health? Adv Int Med 2018; 5(2): 80-81
Endometriosis is a chronic severe multifactorial inflammatory disease. The endometrium of women with endometriosis presents abnormalities on a structural and functional level affecting proliferation ability, adhesion molecule expression, steroid and cytokine production, and presence of immune components.
Endometriosis is one of the most common gynaecological diseases affecting around 15% of women of reproductive age. Women with endometriosis experience dysmenorrhoea, dyspareunia, development of scarring and adhesions, pelvic floor muscle spasm, chronic pelvic pain, chronic pain, inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, fatigue, stress, chronic stress, and negative impact on quality of life.
Impairment of immunologic mechanism and inflammatory responses has been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of endometriosis.
Women with endometriosis experience autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin D is involved with the absorption and metabolism of calcium, calcium homeostasis, mineral homeostasis, bone metabolism, modulating inflammation, differentiation, regulation of cellular growth, anti-proliferation, regulation of genes that are crucial for glucose and lipid metabolism, and overall metabolic function.
Vitamin D plays an essential role in cell-mediated and humoral antibody response and in the regulation of the response of the immune system.
A deficiency of vitamin D has been associated with endometriosis, menstrual dysfunction, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), impaired fertility, higher occurrence of fibroids, bacterial vaginosis, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis, and lupus.
Reference: McEwen B. Vitamin D in the management of endometriosis. JATMS 2021; 27(1):24-26.
Endometriosis is a chronic severe multifactorial inflammatory disease characterised by the presence of endometrial-like tissue outside of the uterine cavity. The migration of uterine endometrial cells into the pelvic cavity form lesions on multiple sites across multiple organs. Endometriosis is one of the most common gynaecological diseases in women, affecting around 15% of women of reproductive age. Women with endometriosis experience dysmenorrhoea, dyspareunia (painful sex), pelvic floor muscle spasm, pelvic pain, chronic pelvic pain, chronic pain, fatigue, stress, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, headaches, orofacial pain, inflammation, and thyroid conditions.
Magnesium is an important mineral for normal biological function. It is involved in over 300 enzyme reactions.
It is involved in the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), DNA, and RNA, mitochondrial health, utilisation of intracellular energy, relaxation of smooth muscle, normal muscle function, neurotransmission, neuromuscular transmission, parathyroid hormone metabolism, metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and fats, and bone health.
Reference: McEwen B. Magnesium in the management of endometriosis. JATMS 2021; 27(1): 18-21.
Endometriosis is a chronic severe multifactorial inflammatory disease characterised by the presence of endometrial-like tissue outside of the uterine cavity. Endometriosis is one of the most common gynaecological diseases in women affecting around 15% of women of reproductive age.
Adolescent women with endometriosis are at particular risk as there are often significant diagnostic delays, which in turn can exacerbate pain.
Women with endometriosis experience dysmenorrhoea, dyspareunia (painful sex), pelvic pain, chronic pelvic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, thyroid conditions, inflammation, peripheral sensitisation, central sensitisation, enhanced pelvic nociception, fatigue, stress, and negative impacts on quality of life.
Meditation can effectively reduce stress, anxiety, depression, pain, chronic pain, chronic pelvic pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, heart rate variability, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Meditation has been found to improve mood, cognition, attention, creativity, self-awareness, present-moment awareness, and quality of life.
Reference: McEwen B. Meditation in the management of endometriosis. JATMS 2021; 27(1): 22-23
Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects 10-15% of women of reproductive age. Some of the symptoms include dysmenorrhoea, dyspareunia (painful sex), pain, and infertility. Epigenetics, altered hormones, inflammation, and immune dysregulation have been implicated in the progression of endometriosis. Herbal medicines have a long history of use for women’s health, due to their hormonal, anti-inflammatory, and immune regulatory properties.
Herbal medicines such as Dong Quai, Feverfew, Japanese knotweed, Kudzu, and Turmeric were found to inhibit the NF-kB pathway and suppress pro-inflammatory cytokines. Experimental studies show promise in the reduction of inflammation for Cat’s claw, Cramp bark, Green tea, and Licorice.
Chaste tree (Vitex) was found effective in regulating hormones and improving pregnancy rates, providing promise in the treatment of endometriosis-induced infertility. St John’s Wort is widely used as an anti-depressant and analgesic and may be beneficial in the management of depression, anxiety, and chronic pain that is associated with endometriosis.
Herbal medicines that possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-angiogenic, antidepressant, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), hepatoprotective (liver health), immunomodulatory (regulation of the immune system), and hormone regulating properties have the potential to positively impact endometriosis.
Further research and clinical trials are required to determine the full effect of herbal medicines on endometriosis.
Reference: Hartmann G, McEwen B. The potential of herbal medicine in the management of endometriosis. JATMS 2018; 24(3): 146-154.
March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. This month I will be posting information on Endometriosis to increase awareness of this chronic silent condition.
Endometriosis is a chronic severe multifactorial inflammatory disease characterised by the presence of endometrial tissue outside of the uterine cavity (e.g. ovaries, bowel, tissue in pelvic cavity). Endometriosis is one of the most common gynaecological diseases in women affecting around 15% of women of reproductive age.
Women with endometriosis experience:
Women with endometriosis experience autoimmune diseases (such as systemic lupus erythematosus and multiple sclerosis), thyroid conditions, headaches, and pain in the face and mouth.
Most women suffer in silence.
It often requires multi-therapeutic strategies to manage the symptoms.
Happy New Year. 2021. Wishing you all the very best for 2021. Chase your dreams and make them a reality.
“Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.” – Goran Persson
The B Vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that include thiamine (vitamin B1; active form is thiamine diphosphate), riboflavin (vitamin B2; active form riboflavin-5’-phosphate), niacin (an umbrella term for niacinamide, nicotinamide, nicotinic acid; vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6; active form is pyridoxyl-5’-phosphate (PLP)), folate (folic acid and the active forms of folinic acid and methyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF)) and cobalamin (vitamin B12; active forms of methylcobalamin, hydroxycobalamin). The B vitamins have a multitude of functions in the nervous, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems, energy metabolism, metabolism of DNA, cell signalling, and various metabolic reactions. Some of the clinical applications include stress, depression, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, memory impairment, anaemia, insulin resistance.
B vitamins have a synergistic effect with each other. It is best to supplement with the complete B vitamin complex rather than supplementing with just one or a couple of the B vitamins. With this being said, after a consultation, a practitioner will be able to determine the primary and secondary B vitamins for the individual and prescribe accordingly.
Conclusion: The B Vitamins are a synergistic group of water-soluble vitamins that have numerous functions in each of the body systems. Some of the clinical applications include stress, depression, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, memory impairment, anaemia, insulin resistance. The B vitamins should be thought of as essential in improving health and vitality.
McEwen BJ. The Clinical Utility of the B Vitamins: A Snapshot. J ATMS, 2020; 26(3): 138-41.
I have been nominated for the Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) Board.
Worldwide, Australian complementary medicine products are highly regarded as safe, effective, and of the highest quality.
My vision for the direction for the Australian Complementary Medicines Industry is to:
If you are a CMA member, please vote. I will do my best to represent you.
Very proud to announce that I am a now a Fellow of Australian Traditional-Medicine Society (ATMS). It is an honour to be recognised.