Natural Health Products Bill Lacks Scientific Credibility

May 31 2016No Commented

Categorized Under: In the News, Natural health information, Natural health supplements

I received an email today from Natural Health Practitioners of New Zealand ( ), with regard to a press release written by Dr Guy Hatchard titled “Ten Reasons Why The Assessment Process For Herbs Adopted By Medsafe Under The Natural Health Products Bill Lacks Scientific Credibility”.

Dr Guy Hatchard, a researcher, is formerly the Natural Health Products Director at Genetic ID, a global food testing company.


            Dr Guy Hatchard

With an alliance of Natural Health companies, practitioners, scientists, and individuals, he is mounting a legal challenge to the Natural Health Products Bill.

Here is Dr Hatchard’s Press Release from the 27th May 2016

Ten Reasons Why The Assessment Process For Herbs Adopted By Medsafe Under The Natural Health Products Bill Lacks Scientific Credibility

Why are hundreds of commonly used traditional herbal ingredients being restricted or banned by the Natural Health Products Bill; so many in fact that traditional herbal medicines and many supplements are at risk of disappearing from retail shelves?

Natural health product producers are now required to apply to Medsafe for permission to continue to use all their traditional ingredients.

Traditional herbal ingredients have been used safely and effectively for thousands of years.  50% of
New Zealanders use natural health products. Many people with serious conditions rely on natural
health products to stay healthy.  Many of these will no longer be available.

Yet a scientific report compiled in the EU rates the risk of natural health products as de minimus, — effectively zero.

So what has gone wrong? Contrary to assurances given to Parliament, the approval process is being administered by Medsafe, our pharmaceutical regulator. Medsafe is unqualified to regulate natural health products because it knows very little about herbal products or traditional medicine.

Doctors receive minimal training in nutrition and none in traditional medicine. Despite the appointment of
an advisory committee of herbalists, and despite clauses in the draft Natural Health Products Bill
mandating that evidence of safe traditional use should be accepted, Medsafe is still insisting that
evidence of traditional use is often insufficient and has decided to utilise the pharmacological
models of testing it is familiar with.

Here are 10 reasons why the assessment methodology used by Medsafe to compile its draft list of controlled substances has gone drastically wrong.

1) Medsafe is using a pharmaceutical assessment model which is only appropriate for single
ingredient allopathic drugs. This will impose huge costs on the industry and lead to invalid results.

2) Medsafe is using toxicology data gathered from synthetic copies of plant alkaloids to restrict the
plants themselves ignoring the well established fact that synthetic copies hardly ever exactly match
the originals (see Addendum 1 below).

3) Medsafe proposes to permit the use of 3000 synthetics and chemicals in natural health products
without adequately testing for safety, relying on the discredited principle of substantial equivalence.

4) Medsafe is committed to the ‘active ingredient’ paradigm of allopathic medicine which ignores the established fact that the whole plant has actions that are different from its component parts.

5) Medsafe ignores the fact that a whole plant is more easily recognised and assimilated by the body’s digestive and metabolic processes.

6) Even if there is a long history of safe use, Medsafe is applying the so called ‘rule of doubt’ to
restrict the use of many herbs, which has been ruled inappropriate by EU courts (See addendum 2).

7) Medsafe has no knowledge of traditional herbal preparation procedures specific to particular plants which enhance digestion and ensure their effects are purely beneficial.

8) Medsafe is ignoring the scientific fact that a history of safe use is a far better measure of safety than research based on Random Controlled Trials (RCTs) (see Addendum 3 below).

9) Medsafe has no knowledge of the synergistic effect of combining herbs which is understood by herbal traditions and which is increasingly being recognised by modern scientific research.

10) Medsafe has no knowledge of carrier ingredients of multi-ingredient herbal products which are used to facilitate the digestion and metabolism of key healing herbs.
Dr Guy Hatchard, a researcher, is formerly the Natural Health Products Director at Genetic ID, a
global food testing company. With an alliance of Natural Health companies, practitioners, scientists,
and individuals, he is mounting a legal challenge to the Natural Health Products Bill.

Contact: Dr Guy Hatchard Tel: 022 6367760, 09 4372012, Email:<>

PRESS RELEASE 27th May 2016

1) Plant alkaloids and other plant components have complex molecular structures which are very
difficult to synthesise in the laboratory. Almost always synthetic copies are compromises with
apparently minor differences in structure. However results of clinical trials show that even the shape
of a synthesised molecule, or other minor differences between the synthesised molecule and the
plant molecule, can radically affect metabolic and pharmacological action. Some studies have
concluded that small differences, such as a difference of even few degrees in the angle between a
benzine ring and a hydroxide group, can be sufficient to completely change its action in the human
body. In some cases this generates unexpected toxic effects. Moreover the process of isolating a
single component of a plant from the whole plant can be sufficient to nullify or change its metabolic
action. Therefore results of toxicological assessments of synthetic copies of plant alkaloids or
isolated single components cannot not be reliably used to assess the safety of whole plants.

2) Some herbs are being restricted under the NZ Medical Regulations 1984 by Medsafe, who are
insisting applicants are responsible for the huge cost of building a scientific case if they disagree. In
a similar way, some states in the EU had sought to justify this kind of strict interpretation of medical
regulations by referring to the so called ‘rule of doubt’ under Article 2(2) of the Medicinal Products

They argued that they were justified in restricting a plant as a medicine because they were
in doubt as to its exact physiological effect. This approach was thrown out by the courts who stated
that if there is doubt, the authorities themselves must conduct and fund detailed research to justify
their position before imposing restrictions on a plant or herbal supplement.

The court ruled that the Medicinal Products Directive “does not apply to a product in respect of which it has not been scientifically established that it is a medicinal product by function, even if that possibility cannot be ruled out” (ECJ Judgment of 15 January 2009, Hecht-Pharma GmbH v Staatliches
Gewerbeaufsichtsamt Lüneburg, Case C-140/07).

Thereby plants fall out of the scope of medicine regulations unless the authorities, having regard to the whole of the products’ characteristics, prove to the contrary. In any case, classifications of traditional medicinal herbs as restricted medicines violates international patent law and the traditional rights of indigenous communities.

3) Modern allopathic medicines assessed by clinical trials have accepted a far, far greater degree of
risk than traditional medicine. The FDA reported that in 2014 123,000 people in the USA died from
the side effects of ‘properly’ prescribed allopathic medicines, while 800,000 had serious adverse

The FDA report also records that adverse reactions to prescription drugs have tripled during the last ten years. Adverse drug reactions are now the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer for all age groups. In the UK, one third of hospital admissions for the over 75s are due to adverse drug reactions and one quarter of those patients die as a result.

There is no documented case of a death occurring in NZ through the consumption of a natural product.

Therefore according to the core regulatory principles of the NHP bill there is little or no justification for any regulation beyond verification of a history of safe use and the verification of safe manufacturing processes which is already taking place here under existing law.

The epidemic of side effects from modern medicine has arisen under a safety process dominated by
random controlled trials (RCTs). In most cases serious side effects are not anticipated by the results
of clinical trials.

It is important to note that widespread use over time is considered a better indicator of safety and efficacy than the results of clinical trials even when considering allopathic medicine.

RCTs are a poor indicator of safety because they tend to focus only on one or two outcomes, when
in fact safety requires an examination of a great number of variables or potential outcomes. This
level of safety is only available when long term safe use is verified. This is the case with traditional
systems of medicine.

In fact, it is far, far safer to take a traditional herbal medicinal product than it is to consume a bowl of salad. A significant history traditional safe use is considered to be the premium criteria to use when evaluating any medicinal product and should be used for herbs.

Contact: Dr Guy Hatchard Tel: 022 6367760, 09 437 2012, Email: <>

You can read more about this Bill Here at Health Freedom

Contact your MP Now and tell them why you will not be voting for them if this Bill goes through. NZ Health Trust tell us how to do this here

Introducing Bio-Botanical Research

May 17 2016No Commented

Categorized Under: Health supplement review, Immunity and allergy treatment

We have had the pleasure of working with Medical Research Consultant Corene Humphreys before, when she introduced us to the Clinicians Multiflora probiotic.  You can watch the interview I did with her on this product here.

Today I want to tell you about Bio-Botanical Research Inc. and the 2 products Corene has introduced to us and allowed us to make available to you, from this Practitioner Only Range – Biocidin Throat Spray and Olivirex capsules.

So Who are Bio-Botanical Research?

Recognized leader in the field of natural medicine.

Bio-Botanical Research, Inc. was founded in 1987 in response to the needs of physicians addressing opportunistic infections. The following year, Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratories (now Genova) was sent a sample of Biocidin® by a physician and had it tested for sensitivity against bacteria and yeast species.

They found that Biocidin® was “the most powerful inhibitor of pathogenic organisms” that they had tested, and that it was “equal or more effective than traditional therapies”.

They began to refer physicians, and soon many practitioners across the country were reporting outstanding clinical results.

Leaders in the field of Natural Medicine


A microbe is anything too small to be seen by the naked eye, such as bacteria or a virus

In response to health care practitioners’ continued request for effective solutions to address problems associated with intestinal ecology, immune system disregulation and detoxification, a selection of companion products were developed. Today, over 27 years later, Bio-Botanical Research, Inc. is recognized as a leader in the field of natural medicine.

Founded by Doctor Rachel Fresco

Founding director Dr. Rachel Fresco L. Ac., Ph. D. continues to use her extensive background in medical herbology, functional medicine and clinical nutrition to develop innovative specialty products for health professional use. Dr. Fresco is a popular speaker on the topic of biofilms, microbiome balance, and systemic microbial challenges.

Product Quality and Manufacturing at Bio-Botanical Research

Our products are formulated by and are designed for health professionals. All botanicals used in our formulations are of the highest USP grade quality, are tested for purity, and come with Certificates of Analysis. There are no synthetic fillers or additives used, and all products are hypo-allergenic and are free of artificial flavors and colorings. Vegi-caps are used rather than gelatin capsules in manufacturing all encapsulated products.

Our manufacturing facilities are federally and state licensed to produce nutritional supplements and are certified to follow Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP’s).

Product testing using American Association of Analytical Chemists (AOAC) methods are standard operating procedure. Independent laboratories are used to test for effectiveness and all products are tested in clinical usage by physicians before being added to our product line.

So what are the two products from Bio-Botanical Research?

Bio-Botanical Research BioCidin TS (Throat Spray).  This herbal Throat Spray is indispensable for anyone prone to throat issues, including singers and speakers.  I have tried this spray myself, for the swollen lymphatic problems I get in my throat and noticed a difference the moment I sprayed it on the problematic area.   Not only did the area feel more soothed, I noticed the irritation felt more relieved and the more I used it, the better it felt.  I liked the concept of being able to Spray the herbal ingredients directly onto the problem area, for an immediate effect.  I will definitely continue to use this product as one of my first courses of action, for my throat and lymphatic problems.

Bio-Botanical Research Olivirex Capsules.   Highest potency olive leaf extract available. Olivirex is a synergistic blend of herbal botanicals to assist detoxification. Combining standardised olive leaf extract with a synergistic blend to enhance the broad spectrum qualities of olive leaf. Extracts of Milk Thistle, Dandelion and Uva Ursi assist in elimination via the drainage pathways.  Cordyceps, American Ginseng and Morinda help to stimulate immune response and strengthen the body’s ability to maintain health. Use with Biocidin Throat Spray for seasonal wellness.


So if your immunity is low, you are ailed with reoccurring problems in your throat or pharnyx, if you rely on your voice for your job (a singer or speaker) or have a systemic problem with pathogens that you cant get on top of and if you want to use a powerful, unique 100% natural and herbal Immunity Combination, then give Bio-Botanical Research products a try.


Leanne James
Founder Ideal Health


Vitamin D May Alleviate Period Pain

May 12 2016No Commented

Categorized Under: Health food nutrition, Health product reviews, Healthy eating, Healthy lifestyle

I read with interest a review written by Amber Tovey, from the Vitamin D Council, about how women with low levels of Vitamin D may be more prone to experiencing painful periods.

She was referring to a report done by researchers this year which concluded that a weekly high dose (50 000 IU) of oral Vitamin D supplementation for eight weeks in patients with primary dysmenorrhea and Vitamin D deficiency, could improve pain intensity.

She tells us that Dysmenorrhea or Painful Menstrual Cramps affect up to 90% of women who are of reproductive age.

period pain

90% of women of reproductive age have experienced Dysmenorrhea or Period cramps

She reports “Painful cramps begin to occur after the uterus produces high amounts of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins cause the uterine muscles to contract and help the uterus shed the lining. Excessive amounts of prostaglandins can cause the uterus to contract too strongly or too frequently, leading to pain. Therefore, most primary dysmenorrhea medications aim to suppress prostaglandin synthesis. These medications include contraceptives and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).”

Since past research has found that vitamin D reduces the production of prostaglandins, researchers recently conducted a study to evaluate the effects of vitamin D supplementation on primary dysmenorrhea in women with vitamin D deficiency.

The researchers enrolled sixty women with primary dysmenorrhea aged 18-30 years, having at least four recent consecutive painful menstrual cycles during the past six months and low vitamin D status
(< 30 ng/ml). Women were excluded if they had taken contraceptives within the past two months, since contraceptives would affect the pain severity caused by dysmenorrhea.

Divided into 2 groups, half of the group were given 50,000IU of Vitamin D a week for 8 weeks and the other half, a placebo.

These were the results of the study

  • A total of 50 out of the 60 women completed the study. Among the 50 women, 31 had severe vitamin D deficiency (< 10 ng/ml) and 19 had moderate vitamin D deficiency (10-19 ng/ml).
  • Baseline characteristics were not significantly different between the treatment and placebo groups.
  • After two months of treatment, vitamin D status significantly increased in the treatment group from a mean of 9.7 ng/ml to 55.4 ng/ml; whereas the vitamin D status of the placebo group did not significantly increase.
  • At baseline, in the vitamin D group, pain was mild in 3 patients (13%), moderate in 16 patients (69.6%) and severe in 4 patients (17.4%). After treatment, 95.7% of patients had mild pain, 1 (4.3%) had moderate pain and none of them had severe pain (p < 0.001).
  • Pain intensity reduced significantly in the vitamin D group after 8 weeks of treatment and one month after the end of treatment (p < 0.001).
  • The number of NSAID used by the patients was not significantly different between the two groups at baseline. At the end of treatment, the number of tablets used by the women in the vitamin D group decreased significantly, and there was a significant difference between the two groups (p < 0.001).

Amber tells us the researchers concluded

Based on the study findings, it seems that Vitamin D supplementation with a weekly dose of 50,000 IU for eight weeks could improve pain intensity and decrease the need for using NSAID in patients with primary dysmenorrhea and Vitamin D deficiency.”

While the study presents promising results, the small sample size and the short duration of treatment limited the study’s findings. Therefore, further randomized controlled clinical trials with greater sample size, longer duration and daily dosing of vitamin D are needed to confirm the efficacy of vitamin D for treatment of primary dysmenorrhea.

However, if you have dysmenorrhea, take at least 5,000 IU/day of vitamin D3. Heavier women may need 10,000 IU/day.

In New Zealand, we are limited to 1000IU of Vitamin D per tablet/capsule, in an over the counter product.  This means you need to take a minimum of 5 x 1000IU tablets a day to get this dosage.  As well as this and as the study reports, most of the women were very deficient in Vitamin D, so a much higher dosage may be needed initially to ” top up” deficient levels, before results are obtained.

You can view our Vitamin D supplements here

You can request a Vitamin D blood test, which will cost around $50.  You can go directly to Labtests here in New Zealand and request this test yourself, or alternatively, ask your GP to organise this test for you (they will still charge you for this blood test). Your GP can prescribe you 50,000IU tablets, often taken at a dosage of once a week in very deficient people and once a month in others.  A dosage like this should really help to boost deficient Vitamin D level in the body, so then a dosage of just the 1000IU could maintain this  level.

Vitamin D is synthesized by the action of Sunlight on the skin, however if relying on this source, you need to read this blurb I have previously written on Vitamin D from sunlight.  This blurb also provides a link to more info I have written on Vitamin D.

Foods that are rich in Vitamin D include:

Fish liver oils – cod, halibut, herring, tuna, butter, egg yolks, milk and sprouted seeds.

Henry Osiecki tells us that Factors that increase the demand for Vitamin D include:

Those who drink alcohol, have bile problems, cancer, Crohns disease, cystic fibrosis, darked skinned people, the elderly, those with hypoparathyroidism, intestinal disorders, insulin dependent diabetes, kidney disorders, lack of exposure to the sun, in lactation, those with liver disease, multiple sclerosis, obesity, pancreatic disease, during pregnancy, in those with rickets, schizophrenia, in smog exposure, those with ulcerative colitis, those who use anti convulsants (eg phenytoin and phenobarbitol), steroid medication and Vegetarians.

oily fish

Leanne James
Founder Ideal Health

Afternoon Pick Me Up

We (at Ideal Health)  find it easy to talk ourselves into having a 2nd coffee in the afternoon, as a pick me up.

Yesterday I made this drink instead and it really was very satisfying and it certainly “did it for me”.

This is how I made it:

Leanne's Afternoon Pick Me Up Drink

Leanne’s Afternoon
Pick Me Up Drink

2 tsp of Radiance Berry Greens Powder
2 tsp Radiance Coconut Water powder
4 tsp Whole Organic Chia seeds

400ml of water

Mix together in the morning, give it a really good stir and put in the refrigerator.  Stir every time you think about it (probably a good 4 times before the afternoon and particularly within the first hour)

If you like this thicker, then add an extra 1 tsp of Chia seeds.

I personally like the texture and feel of the chia seeds in my mouth when I drink this drink, but some people may not.

I loved this mixture, as not only does it taste yummy, I am getting a complex and varied assortment of nutrients (especially electrolytes from the coconut water and the berries) and antioxidants, in a novelty way to consume them.  It is sweetened with Stevia, so is low in carbohydrates and hence sugars and is flavoured with a natural strawberry flavour.

These are the 3 things i added, plus water

These are the 3 things I added, plus water

Whats your favourite Afternoon Pick Me Up?

Leanne James
Founder Ideal Health

Help for Indigestion

April 23 2016No Commented

Categorized Under: Health product reviews, Natural health information, Natural health supplements

Most of us have experienced some form of indigestion before.  Personally I find the older I get, the more easily I can experience some kind of gastric problem after eating food.  Whether this be actual acid reflux, pain in my abdomen,  a heavy tight, bloated feeling, gall bladder twinges (usually felt on the right side, below the breast, under the rib cage), excessive gas or an urgency to rush to the toilet after eating.  digestive pain

There are many reasons why we can experience symptoms of indigestion.
Some of the most common include:

  • You could have eaten your meal too quickly and not chewed your food adequately (there are only teeth in our mouth.  They are no where else in our digestive system so we need to chew things up well before swallowing).  You may notice when you have a bowel motion, food is still recognisable & either partially or undigested.
  • You could have eaten when you are stressed.  This could affect the amount of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes that are released by the digestive organs, preventing foods from being broken down adequately.  This could result in a heavy feeling after eating, like the food is remaining in your stomach and not moving through your digestive system.
  • Drinking too much liquid at the same time as eating your meal or food.  This can dilute hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes, preventing food from being broken down properly.
  • You may not release adequate digestive enzymes from your digestive organs, so may not break your food down adequately.  A common symptoms of this is gas (a fermentation of the food eaten)
  • Dehydration can cause a “pooling” of the hydrochloric acid and when there is an excess amount of this, you can experience a “spill over” and hence the feeling of acid in your throat and mouth.  If this happens, drinking a large amount of water (say 1 litre) can dilute it and temporarily relieve the symptom.
  • You may have been on a course of antibiotics or some other medication that has affected the balance of good bacteria in your gastro intestinal tract.  This can cause your intestinal tract to feel inflammed or irritated.  Due to this lack of good bacteria you may experience gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and an irritated burning sensation around your anus (some people think they have worms)
  • Your diet may be too high in fatty foods, sugar, alcohol and processed foods.  Your digestive organs may have trouble releasing adequate enzymes, bile and hydrochloric acid to break these down adequately, before they start to ferment and putrefy in the gastro-intestinal tract.  The result can include most of the symptoms I have mentioned above.

Having good digestion is really important

Your intestine is where you absorb the nutrients from the food you have eaten.  Anything you can do to help this process, you will benefit from and hence reduce the possibility of symptoms of indigestion.

To improve digestion, I suggest:enzymes

Taking a digestive enzyme at each main meal.  This will “top up” vital enzymes your digestive organs may not make in adequate amounts or efficiently enough.   We love the Enzyme Specialist range of enzymes by Enzymedica. Enzymedica products are vegan and kosher and cover all aspects of digestion.  They contain some of the most comprehensive combinations of enzymes we have.

We also have chewable enzymes tablets, that offer a similar action to over the counter antacids.  These include Papaya Mint, and DigestEzyme.  These are chewed after a meal, if you start to experience any symptoms of indigestion.  Digestive Ease tea can be made up and drunk hot or cold and can also help to relieve gastric distress.

Hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE! Most of us need to drink more water.  Being adequately hydrated is vital to a healthy, properly working digestive system.  Most people need no less than 2 litres of water a day, sipped on consistently throughout the day, rather than all at once.  If you do not drink much water now, start increasing this amount today.  Start by filling a 750ml sipper bottle and OWN this.  What I mean by this is Be responsible for picking this up and taking it everywhere with you and sipping on it throughout the day.  Make a goal to finish this 1 bottle by the end of your working day.  When you can comfortably do this, increase this goal to finishing 1 by mid day and another by 5pm.  Once you can do this, the last bit will be easy.  Remember, you will benefit from ANY increase in water consumption, so just drink it, dont worry too much initially about How much you are having.  You can read this extra information Leanne has written about the importance of adequate Water

Take a probiotic to replenish the amount of beneficial or friendly bacteria in your gastro intestinal tract.  I love the Inner Health range of probiotic supplements.  These highly researched probiotic supplements cover many different “needs” including probiotic strains for helping with better Immunity, Medically diagnosed Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Eczema, Allergies, Candida albicans, Diarrhoea and the daily combination found in Inner Health Plus.

Eat more fresh raw vegetables and eat these at the beginning of your meal.  If you do not have candiadiasis (a candida overgrowth) mix 1 tablespoon of Organic apple cider vinegar with your favourite oil, herbs and seasoning and mix to emulsify, to make into a dressing.  Pour this on your salad vegetables.  By having your salad at the start of the meal, the naturally occurring enzymes in these fresh vegetables will help to top up what your body didn’t produce, to help you do digest your food better.

If you are stressed, consider putting your meal off for a little while, until you can relax and hence digest your food better.  Try removing yourself from the stressful situation, go outside and get some fresh air and focus of taking some deep breaths in and when you breath out, breath all of that tension out of your body.  Maybe have a walk and a change of scenery. You can get some relaxing essential oils such as lavender, clary sage, aniseed and ylang ylang and add a few drops of this to a tissue.  Breath in the vapour to help you to feel more relaxed.

If you continue to have digestive problems, yet you are taking a probiotic and a digestive enzyme, consider that your digestive system may be reacting to some of the foods you are consuming.  There are a number of ways to help identify what these may be.  These include to keep a food and symptom diary and start writing down everything that you eat and drink (EVER tiny bite or sip!) and what your symptoms are like.  As well as the specific digestive symptoms you may experience, other symptoms that could point to a “reaction” to something you have just consumed could also include fatigue after eating, a heavy head or a frontal headache, yawning, sneezing or coughing after food, especially excessively (like sneezing 4 or 5 times in a row) or a skin reaction like a patch of eczema flaring up afterwards (there are many more, these are the few that come to mind while writing this).  You can also have a Food Sensitivity test, where spots of your blood are tested for a “remembered immune response” or IgG in your body.   This test checks the immune response to 93 common or 96 vegetarian foods in the diet.  If your immune system has responded or over reacted to any of the foods tested, this will show up and will be listed as a reaction.

If you have tried these things and continue to have a digestive problem, call one of our Naturopathic team for further advice.  We would be happy to help you.

Leanne James Naturopath
Founder Ideal Health