Eloise Charleson Naturopath - Blogs

Eloise Charleson
Friendlies Pharmacy & Naturopathic Clinic
136 Rokeby Rd
Subiaco 6008
08 9381 1468
Perth, Subiaco, Shenton Park, Dalkeith, Nedlands
Eloise has 20 years experience supporting families to reach their health goals with safe, effective, evidence-based natural therapies. Eloise is passionate about the microbiome and the many ways your heatlh can be optimised by ensuring a diverse gut microflora.

Probiotics Can Help Improve Depression and IBS

An article by Eloise Charleson B.H.Sc(Nat)

As another study on probiotics confirms their ability to improve mental health, we gain another small piece of the puzzle. It is an exciting time for Natural Medicine as scientific enquiry begins to confirm traditional naturopathic health care. Optimising digestive function has been one of the central tenants of naturopathic health care since its inception. In the past the existence of bowel microflora was not known but all naturopathic treatments set about reducing pathogenic bacteria in the gut and providing a diet full of prebiotics which ultimately gave the opportunity for friendly bowel microflora to flourish.

A study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology showed that probiotics reduce depression and increase quality of life. ‘The improvements were associated with changes in brain activation patterns’, stated researchers. Previous studies have shown that probiotics improve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome but had not assessed their impact on the other symptoms of IBS such as depression and anxiety. In clinic our patients repeatedly report back daily that their mood has improved and their IBS symptoms have lessened and ultimately disappeared.

The strain of probiotic studied was Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001. While a diverse array of commensal bacteria is ideal for a healthy GIT microbiome, research shows that particular strains have specific actions in the body that aren’t replicated by another probiotic strain. When choosing a probiotic it is therefore important to check that the patented strain used in a study is noted on the bottle. Without the correct numbers after the name of the strain the consumer cannot be sure that they are actually receiving the strain written on the bottle.

Bifidobacterium longum has been shown to inhibit growth of pathogenic species in the gut and maintain ideal function in the gastrointestinal tract. It has also been studied and shows promising results in relation to reduction of lactose intolerance, lowering cholesterol, diarrhoea prevention and reducing the impact of food allergies.

Probiotics and prebiotics are important parts of a comprehensive, evidence-based naturopathic treatment for irritable bowel syndrome and mild depression and anxiety.

Meditation for Kids..

An article by Eloise Charleson B.H.Sc(Nat)

Children are naturally active and enthusiastic and have such an eagerness to learn and explore. For this reason I often recommend meditation for children. I love working with children in the clinic, as I know how quickly their bodies and minds respond to treatment. They are also surprisingly intuitive about their health once they have regained a certain equilibrium, and they can often sense what foods their body is demanding to optimise their health. It is when their little bodies are out of balance that they crave sugar and refined carbohydrates. In the same way they sense the benefits of calming and concentrating the mind through meditation.

When should children learn to meditate?
From 8 years old is a time when it is appropriate to offer children an opportunity to explore themselves and their mind with all its hidden faculties, latent abilities and subtle complexities through meditation. Learning Anapana meditation can plant a wholesome interest in self-introspection and meditation, which may open an entirely new dimension of life for them later on. The next One Day Children’s Meditation Course offered by the Vipassana meditation centre is to be held in Spearwood on Sunday the 18th of Feb, 2018.

What is Anapana meditation?
Anapana is the observation of natural, normal respiration, as it comes in and as it goes out. Anapana is a simple technique that helps develop concentration of the mind. It is easy to learn, objective and scientific. This approach is traced back to the Buddha, who rediscovered and taught this technique 2500 years ago.

What are the benefits for children?
Besides helping them to calm and concentrate their minds, Anapana helps children to better understand themselves and how their minds work. As they learn to calm and concentrate their minds, they gain mastery over their impulses and actions. They develop an inner strength that helps them to choose right and appropriate actions over wrong actions. This is a natural by-product of the technique. For this reason, Anapana provides them with a tool to deal with the fears, anxieties, and pressures of childhood and adolescence. Because of its simplicity, they find the technique easy to practice and understand and they appreciate its scientific and universal nature.

Children report improvement in concentration, greater feeling of being in control of their emotions and less anxiety after learning Anapana meditation. I notice a positive change in their outlook, behavior and attitude. It can be a really useful tool for children who find it difficult to concentrate in class or who experience anxiety.

If you are interested in a One Day Meditation Course for your 8-12 year old go to www.children.dhamma.org for more information and some videos on what to expect at a course as well as course dates and a link to register for the next course on Sunday 18th of Feb, 2018 in Spearwood, W.A.

If you are interested in booking a consultation with Eloise Charleson phone Friendlies Pharmacy, Subiaco on 93811468. Eloise has been in clinical practice for 18 years and has three children of her own. She is passionate about the micro-biome and its impact on health, mood, weight and sleep. She has in-depth experience working with neurotransmitter, mood and hormonal imbalance, thyroid conditions and behavioural challenges in children. She takes an evidence-based approach working with her clients to develop individualized management plans that are focused and effective.

Anxious? Irritable? Is it hormones?

An article by Eloise Charleson B.H.Sc(Nat)

Hormone imbalance can greatly influence your mood and anxiety level. If you notice that you become more anxious and irritable prior to your period you can be sure that a functional hormonal imbalance is at least partly to blame. Other symptoms you may experience are headaches, food cravings, fatigue, fluid retention and oily skin.

If the anxiety and low mood spreads throughout your cycle we look closer at neurotransmitter production, thyroid function as well as nutrient levels in the diet.

In a consultation I work closely with my clients to identify the contributing factors and develop an evidence-based strategy for reducing symptoms.

Factors that I assess are the relationship between oestrogen and progesterone production, presence of ovulation, thyroid function, liver function, BMI, the level of inflammation in your body as well as macro and micronutrient deficiencies.

A close look at diet and life-style often discloses a few easy changes that you can make to bring about quick change. My clients improve more rapidly and their results last longer if a diet and lifestyle program is followed that increases digestive health and liver function as well as hormonal balance. The liver is integral in regulating the metabolism and removal of sex hormones from the body once they have done their job. A healthy microbiome is the next step in ensuring that conjugated oestrogens are not recycled back into the blood stream.

To encourage a healthy microbiome include all those fabulous prebiotic foods in your diet such as beetroot, blueberries, chickpeas, leek and onion. If you have difficulty digesting sulphur vegetables and legumes like onion and lentils then we support the function of your liver as well as digestive enzyme production so as to optimise liver detoxification and allow you to gradually include all those healthy foods which are not only pre-biotic but have anti-cancer properties as well.

In a large number of patients we discover that a sub-clinical hypothyroidism is a major contributing factor to anxiety, irritability, depression, low energy and poor libido. Selenium, zinc and iodine are necessary for thyroid hormone production as are vitamin B6, A and C. A growing number of studies on medicinal herbs show their ability to enhance the level of thyroid hormones. In practice I see this constantly replicated in the blood test results from my patients.

A herb I regularly recommend for pre-menstrual mood changes continues to show positive results in scientific trials. Chaste tree has been used for PMS for hundreds of years.

Studies have shown that high quality Chaste Tree balances hormones in the body by interacting with a dopamine receptor. Good evidence and safety exists for the use of Chaste tree for PMS, cyclical mastalgia (breast pain and lumpiness), mild hyperprolactinemia and luteal phase defect (can lead to reduced fertility).

Don’t put up with your symptoms any longer, make the choice for a healthier more fertile you.

Eloise Charleson B.H.Sc(Naturopath) has many years of experience working in women’s and children’s health. She has been in private practice for over 17 years both locally and in Europe. She began her career working with some of Australia’s key figures in Natural Medicine for Women and has gone on to consult, lecture and write in the field.

Sick again? But it is spring!

An article by Eloise Charleson B.H.Sc(Nat)

We all feel the gladdening in our hearts when the sunshine starts to warm up, the birds start to sing and the urge to get out and garden starts up. So when we or our children come down with yet another cold or gastro we ask ourselves, what’s wrong? When will this stop?

It could be as simple as supplementing with some vitamin D! Studies show that Australians are deficient in vitamin D. At the end of winter our bodies are further depleted and this makes us vulnerable to the germs that are also enjoying the warmer weather.

Inadequate vitamin D levels effect an estimated 1 billion people in the world. When applied correctly – sunscreen reduces our ability to absorb vitamin D by more than 90 percent. While sun safety is important we may need to start offsetting the side-effects with vitamin D supplementation.

How much vitamin D do I need?
How much vitamin D people need each day is under current scientific debate. The Institute of Medicine, in the USA, recommends tripling the daily vitamin D intake for children and adults to 600 IU per day. Many argue that this is a very conservative recommendation and supplementation of up to 4000 IU per day has been shown to have no adverse side effects.

Can we find it in our diet?
Few foods are naturally high in vitamin D. The biggest dietary source is fortified foods. Other good sources are dairy products and fatty fish. Our bodies manufacture vitamin D from cholesterol. This action is triggered by sunlight on the skin.

Why is Vitamin D important?
A wealth of studies is showing that Vitamin D is not only supportive of immune function. Research is going on into the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and cardiovascular disease, bone health, depression, inflammatory bowel disease and development of allergies.

Vitamin D plays an important role in the absorption and retention of calcium and phosphorus which are essential for building and maintaining bone. Good vitamin D levels are important in infancy, pregnancy and old age.

Acne free skin – naturally

An article by Eloise Charleson B.H.Sc(Nat)

Acne affects nearly 85% of teenagers. However, it can start earlier and persist into the twenties. One of the most distressing sequelae of acne is the scarring and discoloration of the skin. Because acne is so visible it can be a highly traumatic condition at a sensitive time of life. People with acne are at increased risk of depression and anxiety and more likely to experience anger.

So what can we do?

There are a number of factors affecting the onset of acne. Hormonal changes lead to changes in the hair follicle, nutritional deficiencies exacerbate this, as does stress. More and more evidence points to the impact of gastrointestinal health as a crucial factor in triggering acne.

I find that my patients show the greatest and fastest improvement when they follow a gastro-intestinal repair program that I taylor specifically for them. The program increases the health of the microbiome and digestive function. The addition of zinc, vitamin A, probiotics and omega 3 provides needed nutrients for skin health.


Research suggests that people with acne have lower levels of zinc in the blood and skin. In clinic I see a marked improvement when zinc is supplemented as part of a whole program. I know a lot of you will say “but we have tried zinc!!”, but zinc supplementation alone is not enough to treat acne. It must be part of a complete program which starts with repairing the gastro-intestinal tract.

Studies have shown that a significant decrease in the number of papules, pustules and infiltrates after four weeks of zinc supplementation.
Zinc in combination with vitamin A is particularly effective as Zinc is required to release vitamin A, from the liver.


Some small studies are showing positive results associated with probiotic supplementation of improvement of acne. In particular the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii is prescribed in Germany for the treatment of acne.

Reduce the sugar

In clinic we see that dietary factors play a significant role in the control of acne. A diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates is seen to aggravate acne. It is thought to do this by raising insulin levels in the blood which leads to increased circulating androgens and decreased sex hormone binding protein- leading to increased sebum synthesis- a crucial step in the development of acne.

In acne, there is increased sebum production from the sebaceous glands which are larger than in those without acne. Increased sebum allows the proliferation of bacteria in the hair follicle.

Reduce the milk and cheese

Dairy products are also associated with a worsening of acne. One study showed that women who consumed two or more servings of skimmed milk everyday were 22% more likely to suffer from severe acne, and 44% more likely to develop cystic or nodular acne than those who only drank one glass of skimmed milk.

In clinic we find that patients are fine with butter and most are also fine with cream. Yoghurt can be okay but for some of our patients it is necessary to change to lactose free yoghurt. The real culprits are milk, skimmed milk and cheese.

Reduce the treats

People with acne may not be able to tolerate fermented foods well and eating them may lead to a worsening of their acne. People with low levels of the enzyme diamine oxidase have reduced ability to metabolise histamine and will present with digestive concerns alongside the acne. Fermented foods are high in histamine as is wine, cacao, aged cheese and processed meat.

Reduce the stress

Stress also contributes to acne. Adrenalin produced when under stress, blocks the enzyme that clears histamine. Receptors for chemical messengers are also found in the skin. During stress the chemical messenger substance P is increased and once attached to the receptors in the skin, will lead to inflammation

Eloise Charleson
Naturopath and Medical Herbalist
B.H.Sc(Nat), B.A. MNHAA

* All fields are mandatory EMAIL ENQUIRY