February 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Happy New Year. I hope you had an enjoyable holiday and are ready for 2015.

The Australian newspaper tried a sneak attack focusing on a ‘leaked’ and certainly not final draft of the Natural Therapies Review report. I can assure you we have heard nothing formally from the Department of Health, and rebates for our services continue to be in place. 

The ANPA has lined up some very good events for early 2015. Dr Joseph Pizzorno, ND has graciously offered to be our guest in Melbourne on Friday evening April 10th 2015. Dr Nirala Jacobi is offering her first workshop on March 15th in Brisbane.

The recent Gold Coast Chapter meeting was fabulous.  The ANPA Chapter in Melbourne will hold their meeting on March 20th. The ANPA Chapter in Brisbane is finalising a date. We will keep you posted.

Students continue to ask for supervisors and clinics for observation hours. If you are a full member, please go to the website and review the policy. Students want experience and exposure to clinics beyond the clinics at their education provider. I have offered face-to-face as well as Skype support to students as well as newly graduated naturopaths. Be involved so we continue to strengthen our profession.

This edition of the newsletter includes: details about two notable ANPA events - with a special incentive for students who are not yet ANPA members; media news - including a damning report on the NHMRC Homeopathy Review; implications of using overseas products; key research; a herbal monograph on Silybum marianum; and student and full member interviews.
Let's keep the light of Naturopathy burning bright.

Yours in good health.


Editor, ANPA President


A reminder to members to use the CPE forms that are available for download from the ANPA website. There are many categories and it is easier than ever to build up 20 points per year. You can also carry forward points if you have earned more than 20 in a year. Download CPE form.


Please remember to send in your Professional Indemnity Insurance certificates once they are renewed. This goes for First Aid certificates as well. 


A reminder that we now have 3 Facebook pages. One is a general page that anyone can visit or Like. The second is a closed group for ANPA members only and to which you need to be invited. The third is also a closed group called ANPA Media Monitor. See more details below. If you would like to participate in these closed groups, please email the Office.

Full Members

Mikaela Felstead, Ava Maich, Rachael Manns, Kelly Wotherspoon and Natasha Zamburro.

Student Members

Maureen Boh, Narelle Cooke, Cindy Lehfeldt, Melissa Wall, David Kemp, Dearne Marafioti, Maureen Markut, Natsha Mason, Nicole Rachele, Donna Rees and Lucy Watson.

Brisbane - March 15th 2015
Nirala Jacobi

Naturopathic Assessment and Treatment of Digestive Disorders
Dr Nirala Jacobi

Learn from an expert. GIT health is fundamental to good general health. Topics covered include: GORD, SIBO, food allergies, leaky gut, IBD, chronic constipation, dysbiosis and parasitic infections.

Early Bird until February 23rd 2015See flyer and register here.

Melbourne - April 10th 2015

An Evening with Dr Joseph Pizzorno, ND

Join the ANPA and learn from a leading naturopathic physician, educator, researcher, clinician, author and founding president of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.

Dr Pizzorno will present two sessions of particular interest to Naturopaths, naturopathy students, educators and health professionals who support Naturopathy.   
A video recording will be made available after the event on the ANPA website. Of course, being at the event itself will be a transformational counter.
Early Bird until 20th March 2015. See flyer and register here.

**Students who are not yet ANPA members:**
Register for An Evening with Dr Joseph Pizzorno and get FREE membership with the ANPA for one year. Save $$$’s and receive the benefits of ANPA student membership. 

ANPA Chapters

Adelaide - Brisbane - Gold Coast - Melbourne - Sunshine Coast - and more

Attend a meeting in your area. Non-ANPA Naturopaths and naturopathy students are welcome. CPE points can be earned from the educational component of the meetings. Network with peers and keep up to date with your profession. If you would like to get a Chapter started, please contact the Office and we will help you. Find out more.



A closed Facebook group has been created. This group will create a platform for the ANPA Media Subcommittee to be regularly updated with positive or negative information that affects our profession. This information can be posted from print, TV, social media and radio. ANPA members and non-members can join. The entry criteria is your ANPA or other association membership number or education provider name and student ID. We need to verify you are a bona fide Naturopath. The ANPA reserves the right to respond or not to information that is posted on this page. If you want to be invited to the group, please email the ANPA Office

ANPA Media Responses January 2015

ANPA responded to The Australian as well as The Age newspapersBoth articles were related to a ‘leaked’ first draft of the Natural Therapies Review and were baseless. There has been no formal decision from the Health Minister on removing rebates and the Abbott government is in enough trouble that it would be unwise to do anything further to annoy voters. 

NHMRC Homeopathy Review - Five Fundamental Flaws 
CMA - December 2014

Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) called into question the methods used by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to review the evidence of effectiveness of homeopathy.

Mr Carl Gibson, Chief Executive of CMA said, 'A number of independent experts in the sector have expressed strong concerns with the methodology of the review, according to information obtained from NHMRC under Freedom of Information laws'.

The CMA has highlighted that the NHMRC Review is fatally flawed in five ways:
  1. Shoddy methodology: The NHMRC provides no adequate explanation of why randomised controlled trials (RTC) were excluded from the Review. The NHMRC decision not to adhere to a search of all Level 1 evidence, as per International standards, should certainly be justified.
  2. Selective research: The choice of databases searched was not broad enough to capture the balance of complementary medicine specific content, and excluded non-English studies.
  3. Lack of expertise: The NHMRC did not appoint a homeopathic expert to the Review Panel. 
  4. Flawed evidence: The NHMRC did not provide an adequate explanation of why only systematic reviews were used given that systematic reviews have inherent weakness as reliable sources of evidence.
  5. Ignoring expert opinion: Two out of three experts who the NHMRC consulted prior to publication expressed numerous concerns over the methodology and selective use of the data, and recommended the NHMRC could not come to its very definitive conclusion. The NHMRC then chose to ignore this advice.
Mr Gibson added, 'The papers released under Freedom of Information show that the NHMRC failed to appoint a homeopathic expert to the Review Panel, left out randomised controlled trials, excluded all studies not published in English, and limited the choice of databases searched, which basically meant that the balance of complementary medicines specific content was omitted'.
'No valid conclusions can be drawn from this Review, except that the NHMRC has failed to uphold its own standards of ethics and quality research in this instance,' said Mr Gibson.

The Degree Education Standards Collaboration (DeSC) Committee has begun work. All stakeholders are working diligently to establish the long-overdue education standards for the Bachelor's degree of Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine, Nutritional Medicine and Homoeopathy. The Steering Committee members are the ANPA, the Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA), Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA), the National Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA), the Australian Register of Homeopaths (AROH) and the Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA). Although Ayurveda is still being offered as an Advanced Diploma in the VET sector, there is a move to raise the standard to the Bachelor's level.
As of December 2015, there will be no Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy taught in Australia. Requests have been made of the government to approve a longer teach-out period. We have not heard back as yet. The DeSC supports an extended teach-out so that students are not disadvantaged when completing their program.  

The ANPA has submitted our application to be a founding member of the World Naturopathy Federation (WNF). We are planning to be in attendance at the ratification of members and the new committee. This event will be part of the Health Fusion Conference organised by the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) in Calgary, Canada June 26th – 28th 2015. 

Overseas products implications for practitioners - CMA

Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) provides information about:
  • the illegal supply of overseas products;
  • risks for practitioners;
  • what you can do; and
  • how to lodge a complaint  with the CMA Complaints Resolution & Monitoring Committee if you are concerned about a product being sold illegally. 
Read more.

Paper: 'Evidence Based Medicine: a movement in crisis.'

Trisha Greenhalgh and colleagues argue that, although evidence based medicine has had many benefits, it has also had some negative unintended consequences. They offer a preliminary agenda for the movement’s renaissance, refocusing on providing useable evidence that can be combined with context and professional expertise so that individual patients get optimal treatment. Read more.

Silybum marianum – ancient medicine for modern times

by Maureen Boh (ANPA Student Member) & Ian Breakspear


The use of Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle) in the treatment of the liver, spleen and gallbladder dates back some 2,000 years. The main active constituent of Silybum marianum considered important in modern times is silymarin, a flavonolignan complex, which is insoluble in water. Research has shown Silybum marianum to be antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, antifibrotic, and has the capability to chelate iron. Besides its well-known use as an antidote to Amanita phalloides poisoning in Europe, other global medicinal indications include toxic liver damage, chronic and alcoholic liver diseases, hypercholesterolemia, acute viral hepatitis, hepatitis C infection, and chemotherapy support. The absence of significant adverse events even at high doses of silibinin and its related compounds, and the ability to reduce the toxic side effects of chemotherapy make it a useful adjunct in a number of conditions. This monograph (an expansion of an assignment submitted by the principal author during 2013) will review Silybum marianum’s primary medicinal properties and clinical usefulness in depth. See full paper.

**Naturopathy students across the country are invited to submit herbal monographs.** We encourage this worthy pursuit and acknowledge the contribution this information offers fellow naturopaths. Please email your submission to the ANPA Office.

Gabrielle Green - WA

Why did you become an ANPA Student Member?
So I could have access to up-to-date information and be supported by other Naturopaths. I want to learn and develop my professional skills from day one. 

What are you studying, and where?
I'm in my first year of an Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy at the Australian Institute of Holistic Medicine, WA.
Do you have any other formal education?  
Yes. A Bachelor of Applied Science - Social Ecology; Statement of Attainment in Human Resources Management; Cert. IV in Business Administration; Cert. IV in Property Services; and I didn't complete a Cert. III in Visual Arts & Contemporary Craft.
Why have you chosen to study Naturopathy?

I was exposed to alternative therapies and medicines as a young girl and have met people who use natural therapies to treat themselves and their animals, particularly horses, for optimal health. After taking short courses in Reflexology and Reiki, I'm now studying Naturopathy and have a feeling it'll lead to the career I'm looking for - one that constantly challenges me and keeps me learning for the rest of my life.
Are you involved in an ANPA Chapter?

I don’t know much about Chapters, but I'd love to be involved and get one going!  
What are aspects of your study do you most enjoy? 

Despite being very afraid of learning the science, I love the scientific evidence that backs up what we do. I love that the students I learn with are enthusiastic and excited about learning. I'm grateful for wonderful teachers who continually challenge me to absorb as much information as I possibly can. 
What aspects of your study could you see improved?

More hours in the day and a younger brain with a photographic memory would be helpful!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

Graduating! I hope I'll be putting into practice all that I've learnt, working with beautiful people, leaping out of bed every morning excited to go to work! 
Do you have any special interest areas?

I feel drawn to specialising in digestive issues and I have great interest and fascination with Homoeopathy.
Any tips for survival with a demanding study load and often working to pay your way through the program?

Be good to your mum - I'm so grateful for mine. She's helping me get there ... 

David McClelland – Gold Coast

What led to your joining ANPA?
I was a member of the Queensland Naturopathic Association (QNA) that joined ANPA. I just followed the crowd! No, actually we did put a lot of thought into the decision.

Where did you train as a Naturopath?
I have three qualifications. I’d rather not say where I did my initial training as I wasn’t very happy with it. I upgraded from a diploma to a degree through The Academy of Natural Therapies (now Endeavour College), Gold Coast. I then completed a post-graduate diploma in Phytotherapy through Southern Cross Herbal Schools. I qualified in 1987.
How many years have you been in practice?
I was in full-time practice from 1987 until I semi-retired in 2010. I’m still practising three half days a week. I’ve actually been in the same rooms since 1995!
Are you involved with an ANPA Chapter?
Yes, the newly formed Gold Coast Chapter. 
What motivated you to become a Naturopath?
Long story. My father was a GP, two of my grandparents were prominent specialists, four great uncles were doctors - the pathology prize at Sydney University is named after my uncle, Thomas Carlisle Parkinson - but I was often sick! You can imagine I had a very conservative education and upbringing, but after being scheduled for a third spinal operation at the age of thirty, I’d had enough of western medicine. I went to a Naturopath who began to address the fundamentals. I began improving. I got increasingly better and ended up cancelling the surgery. My first career was in finance but I was disenchanted with it. I decided to switch to natural medicine. For me, this was proper medicine, and in my case, spinal traction, spasmolytics and analgesia, with all their sequelae, was not!
Is Naturopathy still the same nowadays compared to when you first began?
Mostly, the fundamentals, I think, are sound. In that sense, it’s still the same. With the exception of Mediherb - about which I’m passionate - our pharmaceutical companies are too hyperbolic and sales-focused. Frankly, the one thing I really lament is the too few men taking up the profession. This is a very worrying trend in my opinion and is a subject for another day. Overall though, I’m optimistic for our future.
What modalities do you use in your practice? Have they changed over time? Do you specialise in any particular area? 
I’m a Naturopath, but I use nearly all herbal medicines with a little orthomolecular medicine in the mix. Kerry Bone completely changed the entire face of herbal medicine in Australia, and the profession owes him a debt way beyond any recognition so far afforded him. Indeed, phytotherapy can clearly be defined in this country in terms of the pre-Bone and post-Bone eras. It was very much a case of ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’.
Do you have a vision for Naturopathy in Australia? 
To have a Naturopath awarded an Australia Day honour. We get virtually no media coverage, and that would get the public thinking a little.
What are your interests besides Naturopathy? 
I’m a car nut - I own three. I’m also a drummer and play in a modern gospel rock band. I’m really passionate about the band! We have some really talented musicians and singers - and then there’s me ...
What words of wisdom would you share with a new graduate Naturopath? 
Oh - where do I begin! Find a mentor. Go into practice - don’t work in a retail environment. Stick to your training. NEVER use those Health Appraisal Questionnaires - you can do better! Don’t be politically correct - there is no room for that in clinic. Prescribe elegantly. Be disciplined and complete the repetitive boring explanations thoroughly. You have to work your practice. Have respect for patients paying for their medicine instead of just using ‘Macdonald’s Medicine’. Help the elderly - nobody cares much about them!
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