Nebulized Glutathione - Maximizing Lung and Respiratory Health

Have you or a loved one been hit with the “100-day-cough” that turns into a “300-day-cough”? Amongst other evidence based naturopathic therapies, inhaled nebulized glutathione can be a very effective way to fight that pesky cough and other inflammatory respiratory conditions.

First thing is first - What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is often referred to as the “mother of all antioxidants”, serving as one of the main molecules to maintain health and prevent the development of chronic disease. It is produced naturally in the body as an assembly of 3 amino acids – glycine, cysteine and glutamine.

The critical roles of glutathione in the body:

1)   Direct chemical neutralization of damaging free radicals produced by Phase I liver metabolism of chemical toxins.

2)   Cofactor of several antioxidant enzymes

3)   Regeneration of vitamins C and E

4)   One of approximately 7 liver Phase II reactions, which conjugate the activated intermediates produced by Phase I to make them water soluble for excretion by the kidneys

5)   Transportation of mercury out of cells and the brain

6)   Regulation of cellular proliferation and apoptosis (natural and healthy cell death)

7)   Vital to mitochondrial function (energy unit of each cell) and maintenance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)

Dr. Mark Hyman, MD explains, “The secret of its power is the sulfur (SH) chemical group it contains. Sulfur is a sticky, smelly molecule. Its acts like fly paper and all the bad things in the body stick onto it, including free radicals and toxins like mercury and other heavy metals. Normally, glutathione is recycled in the body, except when the toxic load becomes too great”.

We can provide glutathione via IV therapy, oral repletion as well as through inhalation. For lung and respiratory-related conditions, inhalation is the most effective delivery method.


Why is glutathione important for respiratory health?

Glutathione (GSH) is known to be in high concentrations within the epithelial lining fluid (ELF) of the lower respiratory tract, which refers to the layer of cells which first come into contact with inhaled air. In fact the ELF concentration of GSH is 140 times that of blood serum concentrations with a redox ratio of greater than 9:1.

 GSH is the body’s first line of defense against oxidative stress imposed from the outside world including but not limited to pollution, cigarette smoke, bacteria and viruses, amongst many other invaders. In respiratory disease, cellular damage and injury is mediated by an increased oxidant burden and/or decreased antioxidant defenses. By ensuring we provide the body with adequate glutathione to counteract the increased demand, we may improve respiratory function and alveolar health.

Glutathione is only beneficial for lung conditions when it is delivered directly to the pulmonary tissue – this is best achieved using a nebulizer

What is a nebulizer?

In medicine, a nebulizer is a drug delivery device used to administer medications (both pharmaceuticals or neutraceuticals) in the form of a mist inhaled into the lungs.

This therapy may be helpful in the following conditions:

·      COPD

·      Cystic fibrosis

·      Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

·      Cigarette smoking detox-support

·      Multiple chemical sensitivity disorder

·      Non-sulfite sensitive asthma

·      Farmer’s lung

·      Chronic congestion

·      Chronic rhinitis

·      Chronis sinusitis

·      Post-viral cough

·      Upper and lower respiratory tract infections

·      Bronchitis

·      Bronchiectasis

·      Pneumonia

·      Chronic otitis media with effusion


Who is a good candidate for this therapy?

Adults and children can both benefit from nebulized glutathione when indicated.

A note for children:

1)   They will need to sit still for the duration of the treatment which lasts for approximately 10-15 minutes

2)   They will need to wear a mas that covers their nose and mouth

3)   There is no pain associated with treatment

Parents are encourages to bring along a favourite book, iPad or any other device or toy to keep their child occupied and calm for the treatment. Parents are welcome to hold their children or sit right beside them during treatment.

 Who is not a good candidate for this treatment?

Any individual who has a sensitivity to sulfites is not a safe candidate for treatment as the GSH may lead to bronchoconstriction or trigger an asthma flair. Before your first treatment, you will collect a urine sample and test for this sensitivity in order to prevent this from occurring.

Nebulized glutathione is NOT used as a treatment for primary lung cancer


How often are treatments required?

This varies on a case-by-case basis and commonly depends on the condition being treated. Typically, 1-2 times per week for 4-6 weeks is most common. Thereafter, depending on the individual’s progress, a maintenance plan of 1 treatment every 2-6 weeks may be indicated in order to prevent recurrence.

In the case of a severe and progressive condition with acute exacerbations, treatments may be administered every few days or even twice daily for best results. This will be determined by your practitioner with assessment.

Treatment can be monitored by organizing spirometry tests before the first treatment and then periodically throughout treatment to compare objective results to determine effect.


What is the cost of the therapy?

The cost of each session will vary depending upon the dosage of glutathione required for an effective treatment plan. This may range between $50-$100 per treatment. You will require a mask which you can bring to each appointment as well which would be a one time cost of $5.00.

Are there any side-effects?

Minor side effects uch as transient coughing and an unpleasant odor are common with this treatment

 Are there any risks?

An allergic reaction is possible if you are sensitive to sulfites. We will try to minimize this risk by recommending a sulfite urine test to be completed prior to initiating treatment.

 How do I access this therapy?

This is only available to patients of Lemon Water Wellness who are currently under the care of one of our naturopathic doctors.

For more information, please feel free to reach out via the contact page.

How IV Therapy can help your Seasonal Allergies!

For many of us, along with the seasonal changes of bursting flower buds or fluorescent coloured leaves, our allergies decide to overcome us in full force with constant sneezing, persistent watering eyes and sometimes even asthma flairs.

IV Therapy seasonal allergy.jpeg

Taking over the counter “anti-histamines” are an effective and fast way to help the body get rid of the histamines and provide relief from allergy symptoms; however, this is not addressing the possible root cause of where those allergies have originated. In this case, you will be dependant on taking these medications year after year and run the risk of your allergies becoming worse with age.


IV therapy and Allergy Treatment

 One of the ways we approach seasonal allergies is by using high dose Intravenous Vitamin C.  In an allergic response, histamines are released from an immune white blood cell called a mast cell.  Vitamin C, along with other nutrients, help stabilize these cells so it becomes more resilient to the allergic triggers (such as pollen) and prevents the hyper-reactive release of histamine and hence prevents the allergic symptoms from occurring.

We observe this is clinical practice, as well as in the research as seen in an observational study conducted in Germany, with more than 50% of patients not requiring allergy-related medication with the adequate relief provided by the Vitamin C intravenous therapy provided to the cohort.

Reference: Vollbracht C, Raithel M, Krick B, Kraft K, Hagel AF. Intravenous vitamin C in the treatment of allergies: an interim subgroup analysis of a long-term observational study. J Int Med Res. 2018;46(9):3640–3655. doi:10.1177/0300060518777044


Why Intravenous Therapy is superior to taking those delicious chewable vitamin C tablets?

Intravenous administration of Vitamin C is most effective due to the fact that vitamin C is limited to the amount able to be absorbed orally. Should an individual consume orally too much vitamin C it will result in diarrhea. By bypassing the gastrointestinal system, we are able to provide the body with high doses of a safe potent antioxidant without this side effect.

Some patients respond in as little as a few sessions, while others may need this supportive therapy for the entire season along with adjunctive acupuncture and botanical supports depending on the severity and chronicity of your allergic health history.


Extra TIP:

It is important to note that frequent use of Benadryl© has been linked to a possible increase in risk of developing dementia later in life.

Reference: DeGage SB, et al. "Benzodiazepine use and risk of Alzheimer's disease: Case-control study," BMJ (Sept. 9, 2014), Vol. 351, published online; Salahudeen MS et al. "Anticholinergic burden quantified by anticholinergic risk scales and adverse outcomes in older people: A systematic review," BMC Geriatrics (March 15, 2015), Vol.15, No.31, published online.

5 Apps that can Improve your Health

Apps are always changing and improving - so here are my favourite 5 for the summer of 2016 to help you optimize your wellness. Swing by in the Fall for another 5 to make taking care of yourself easy!

For the anxious and stressed:

Head Space - meditation made simple, quick and focused on areas of health that matter specifically to you. The app also includes a "guided recovery process" to help regroup from any “mini meltdown” experienced. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't benefit from this app - download it!


For overall health promotion:

Waterlogged- You're not drinking enough water? Keep hydrated this summer. To calculate your minimum water intake use the following equation.

Your weight in LBS  x 2/3  = oz of water to drink per day (divide by 8 to get the number of cups)


For decreasing chemical load:

Think Dirty- allows you to check the chemical toxicity level of any cosmetics, shampoos and other products by scanning their barcode - great to double check your sunscreen choice! Chemicals load has been shown to contribute to infertility, increased wrinkles, brain fog and fatigue along with other common ailments.


For better sleep:

Long Deep Breathing -  is a simple, no frills app that promotes the practice of deep breathing for better health and battling insomnia.

Using what’s essentially a breath gauge, you simply follow the visual cues for inhaling and exhaling. You can adjust the length of each breath and eventually increase the duration. According to the app, the average person breathes about 12-16 times each minute. By practicing and working that number down, you will reap the benefits and calm the mind. Good information about the benefits of breathing is also included in the app - this includes weight loss!


For the mommies-to-be:

What to Expect - an app that is a personalized daily tracker which allows parents to be to track development of their baby day-by-day and week-by-week based on their due date. This includes fruit size equivalents to add excitement even before being able to feel any kicks!

There is no Time to be Sick on your Holidays!

There is absolutely no time to be sick on a holiday! By taking the time to integrate these natural medical supports, you can decrease the potential of falling ill during your holidays and maximize the amount of relaxation, rejuvenation, and enjoyment in each and every day.

Reasons our health becomes unbalanced over the holidays are numerous, however a few of the most common would include:

  • The adrenaline crash after overextending yourself for a long period of time, leaving you vulnerable to developing colds
  • Exposure to foreign viruses or bacteria that trigger your immune system causing illness
  • Lack of sleep due to jet-lag
  • Possible injuries from adventurous activities 
  • Digestive and hormonal changes commonly affected by travel
  • Over consumption and indulgence in alcohol and rich foods

…the list could continue

Continue reading to see Dr. Kate’s staples for travelling.

Healthy Nutrition on the Road:

Coconut water (Zico ® Natural or Grace coconut water are my favourites): Helps to prevent dehydration and electrolyte loss in hot climates

Greens powder/protein powder: Handy for extra nutrition while travelling and in case you miss meals. Common for breakfasts-on-the-go if you are in organized tours.

Healthy convenient snacks:

  • Lara bars ®
  • Almonds, walnuts and small amount of dried fruit for added sugar for immediate energy
  • Fruit (with peels for sanitation)
  • Veggies in ziplocs

Travelling through time zones?

Beat the jet-lag with melatonin and magnesium before bed

Motion sickness holding you back from exploring?

Ginger chews – GinGins are easy to pack, come in several flavours and kids also love them!

Cold & Flu Prevention

·      Probiotics

·      Cold and Flu formulations – usually including a mixture of vitamins, minerals and herbs (to name a few, Zinc, Vitamin C, N-acetyl cysteine, Andrographis, and Echinacea)

Gastrointestinal health

Digestive enzymes: Take with meals to prevent digestive upset if tendency to have upset stomach when travelling

Probiotic – Take with meals to boost the immune system, prevent microbial invasion and aid in digestion. Ensure the product is heat stable for travelling convenience.

Chamomile and Peppermint tea – 1 tea bag of each steeped for 10 minutes covered and consumed 2-3 times per day should help promote a healthy bowel movement if constipated.

Triphala – an Aurevedic herb which helps to maintain consistent bowel movements and alleviate gas

An important note on diarrhea: if you experience food poisoning, there is a reason your body is experiencing diarrhea – it is trying to eliminate the bug from your system. Usually it passes within 24-48 hours. The most important consideration is keeping sufficiently hydrated and replacing electrolytes.

Heat Exhaustion – what to look out for….

  • moderately high core temperature (the temperature of the body's internal organs, best measured with a rectal thermometer) of up to 39°C (102°F)
  • cool, pale, clammy skin
  • muscle cramps
  • headache
  • nausea
  • fatigue and weakness
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • possible fainting, but can be revived
These are the signs leading up to Heat Stroke. Be sure to pay attention to them and prevent further development.

Homemade electrolyte replacement solution 

– also helpful in dehydration due to diarrhea - 


  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar (or maple syrup or honey)
  • Juice of a ½ lemon
  • 1L water
  • 1-3 tsp berry concentrate (to taste) (I like Proberry 3 ® liquid)


  • Be sure the water is sterilized if questionable (boil for at least 15min)
  • Add the first four ingredients to the water and stir until dissolved.
  •  Add berry concentrate to taste.

Natural Bug Spray Alternatives

* not recommended to be used in places where there is high likelihood of mosquito-borne disease

  • Essential oils: lemon grass, cedar and citronella (mix in another oil - olive oil, etc)
  • Need to reapply every 30 min
  • NO DEET in kids younger than 3 years – generally best avoided (considered a neurotoxin, this age group has extremely rapid development of their neurological system)
  • NOTE: avoid floral shampoos

Kids on the Go!

Arnica (homeopathic and cream) : Shown to help decrease pain, swelling and recovery time from physical trauma.

*Remember to always RICE (rest, ice, compress and elevate) as a first step.

Pulsitilla (homeopathic) : Has been shown to help alleviate painful plugged ears on the plane.

* Remember distraction techniques, suckers (to promote the swallowing action to relieve pressure), and chamomile tea to help calm the nervous system during a stimulating flight can also be implemented to help children with altitude changes.

Before you leave…

1.     Leave your last day of work free – avoid using your last day of work to frantically try to finish a project which will spike your stress levels and make it more difficult to wind-down on your vacation

2.     3 week countdown – life can be so busy that we do not give ourselves time to get excited and anticipate a well deserved vacation. By taking this time to acknowledge vacation is approaching, you will exponentially appreciate your time off away from the daily grind

3.     Come home a day early – allow yourself a day to unpack, regroup and relax before readjusting to everyday life. Try to avoid setting yourself up to return to the same levels of stress which you left from.


 A few last notes:

* Everyone is an individual and depending on personal health history there may be other recommendations that would be more effective to alleviate certain travel-related conditions. Consulting with a naturopathic doctor for guidance is recommended and the knowledge gained can be used for many holidays to come!

*Destination of travel can also change the recommendations based on level of risk during travel

* These recommendations do not replace the need to have a basic first aid kit for when indicated. It is recommended to locate the nearest medical facility in case of an emergency and to seek medical advice if degree of illness is severe and debilitating.

By: Dr. Kate McLaird, ND



Indulge in a Healthy Halloween!

Whether you are at a staff meeting on october 31st, salivating over the table of cupcakes and orange popcorn your colleagues have brought to enjoy the festivities; or perhaps you are preparing your very own goblin for a night of trick or treating - both scenarios will result in an excessive amount of candy that you can enjoy at your leisure. 

What can we do to experience a healthy halloween that does not involve eating orange coloured carrots and mandarins as our celebration?

Read below for 8 ways to enjoy the holiday in a healthier way…it is possible believe it or not!


1)  Encourage your children to donate 1/2 of their treats to those who didn’t have the opportunity to trick or treat!

Explaining that there are children who are too unwell to be able to participate in all the fun and activities often inspires a sense of giving and charity to share their happiness. Allow your family to get acquainted with the local charities and services and your children will become passionate and excited to donate their treats to an organization of their choice. If kids are excited about what they are doing, their passion will be shared with all of their friends and more children will be inspired to do the same! 

Examples: Ronald McDonald House, Sick Kids...

2) Participate in the Trick or Eat Program!

This program is incredible for all ages and even more so for older kids who love the creativity of dressing up, but are not interested in collecting candy anymore. Trick or Eat is a youth-led national event where thousands of Trick or Eaters across Canada go door to door to collect food for local community organizations to actively show they want to make a difference on the issue of hunger.

Did you know that 1 in 8 Canadian households experience food insecurity, meaning that they don’t have sufficient access to the food they need to meet their dietary needs!? Inspiring children to contribute to a charity on a day that they are excessively receiving treats/food is humbling and a great experience to add to their Halloween memories. It is predominately organized through university and college campuses, but there is no reason why you cannot participate as a family or in high school!

For more information, check our their website at Trick or Eat


3) Enjoy treats only following a meal (excluding breakfast!) or in combination with a healthy food choice to balance blood sugar levels

When adults or children alike consume a sugary treat, a hormone called insulin is released in proportion to the amount of sugar consumed to ensure the calories are absorbed. After eating the treat, the body experiences a spike in blood sugar levels which is associated with a multitude of physiological changes, including hyperactivity and an inability to focus which may be a top concern at school or at work. This blood sugar high is followed by a blood sugar low caused by the hormone insulin triggering high levels of sugar to be absorbed into your cells and this is associated with inattentiveness, extreme fatigue, irritability, anger management issues, amongst others. 

By ensuring treats are consumed after a meal containing protein, the high’s and low’s of blood sugar with be dulled, as will the associated unfavourable symptoms. Furthermore, establishing an accepted understanding that with a treat, you also must have a healthy snack (containing protein) and a small glass of water, should it not be eaten after a full meal. Empowering children to understand types of food is integral for life long understanding of a balanced diet. If you an adult reading this article, it is never too late to learn!


4) Be a role model

Simply put, be as concerned with your personal health as your children’s health. Serve as a role model following your own guidelines you have instilled for your family and consume in moderation.

Dangers of eating too many sweets for both children as well as adults include:

   Raised insulin levels which can contribute to diabetes and heart disease

   Elevated LDL (unhealthy cholesterol) levels and lower HDL (healthy cholesterol) levels

   Severely fluctuates energy levels which is directly related to productivity

   Induces hyperactivity and impulsive behaviours

   Suppresses the immune system (which is the last thing the body needs during cold and flu season!)


5) Have fun with the Halloween Spirit in the kitchen

Enjoy the holiday by being creative in the kitchen and creating snacks with a halloween theme. Children would love to help you in the kitchen as well - teaching them how healthy food can be fun!

64 Non-Candy Halloween Snack Ideas can be found on my Pinterest


6) Avoid using sugary treats as rewards

It is easy to use treats as incentive to accomplish a set of tasks or complete a gruelling list at work; however, it is also very easy for this "treat" to become habit as the lists are steadily completed on a daily basis. Try developing a different reward system involving healthy self care activities, spending time with loved ones, relaxing with a movie or spending time outdoors.

As parents, although it is tempting to use treats as incentive to have chores completed, beds made, and homework completed, this can create an association with accomplishment and reward with sugary sweets and furthermore create an expectation that basic everyday tasks deserve a reward after completion. Of course positively reinforce your children with praise and love, perhaps a healthy activity (example going to the park), but try to refrain from using a treat.


7) Stash out of sight, out of mind

Can you relate when you pass a billboard with a Pizza Pizza advertisement showing steaming, cheesy delicious pizza and you automatically crave pizza for dinner? The same thing can happen with sugary sweets. If the bag of Halloween candy is visible, even if there isn’t a craving for a treat, the brain will start to associate the delicious flavour, happy moments when eating treats and induce a desire for a treat.


8) Gluten free and/or peanut/nut free and don’t know what treats are safe to enjoy?

These websites have very extensive lists to provide many options to choose from.

  Click here for a Peanut and Tree Nut Free list

Click here for a Gluten free list from CSA Celiacs and GlutenAway updated October 2015


Above all have an incredibly memorable,

happy, safe and health Halloween!


Yours in good health,


Dr. Kate McLaird, ND