Tamanu Oil for Blepharitis and Melasma?

Certified Organic Tahitian Tamanu Oil (Kamani Oil)

Hello Dr. Ettinger,

I suffer from blepharitis and I’m wondering if I can apply tamanu oil on my eyelids.  I came across some info on the internet that it can be used for conjunctivitis (I assume it’s because of its anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal properties).  If so, should it be applied undiluted or diluted (with a Q-tip)?

I also suffer from long-standing hyperpigmentation (uneven patches/streaks on my cheeks) on my cheeks and old acne scars which are more like shallow, irregular craters. Will tamanu oil help in filling in the indentations?

Thank you in advance.

Mary Smith


Application of the undiluted tamanu oil w/a Q-tip should be okay. As far as hyperpigmentation goes, it’s most likely not going to work. My wife has melasma and we have tried everything, nothing seems to work. She does use it as a moisturizer and it works very well for that.


Marcus Ettinger BSc, DC

Dear Dr. Ettinger,

Thank you for your reply.  I will tread cautiously when applying (initially diluted) tamanu oil on my eyelids.

Yes, hyperpigmentation/melasma is extremely difficult to overcome.  You didn’t say if, in your practice, you’ve encountered success with tamanu oil in filling in shallow acne scars (one of the benefits of tamanu oil is that it helps with acne scars, but I’m not sure which kind – raised, rolling, etc.).   Would appreciate a quick feedback with regard to that, at your convenience.  Thanks.


Mary Sue


Deep pits caused by acne vulgaris are hard to resolve, even with chemical peels or laser. Collagen regeneration will help to reduce the depth and plump-up the area, and works best for mild scaring. Everyone’s chemistry is different and what works for one may not work for another. Our Tamanu oil is not expensive and will have some positive impact on your skin. It’s worth a try.

Another option is more expensive, but will yield the best results: Use the oil for a while along with a .5% retinol product 1-2x/wk, and get the skin very healthy. Now the expensive part: You will have to save about $3,000 for Fraxel (less down time), or CO2 or erbium laser (more down time)

Let me know where you live and I can refer you to a reputable cosmetic/laser dermatologist (if interested). Please e-mail me in a couple of months and give me an update.


Marcus Ettinger BSc, DC

Dear Dr. Ettinger,

Thank you for your tips.  I don’t have deep cystic acne scars (fortunately), but do have what I describe as shallow, irregular craters (with several medium-sized indentations).  It was because of that that I went for a peel many, many years ago that resulted in my hyperpigmentation due to sun exposure.  You might say that I traded one skin problem for another (and I still have acne scars!).  It was obviously a potent peel and I was NEVER cautioned by the derm to avoid the sun or use sunblock which wasn’t a household word back then.

I tried various treatments after that fiasco – HQ, Retin-A, Obagi (which resulted in rebound hyperpigmentation when stopped), microdermabrasion (the first two were fine, but the third increased the size of my already darkened areas on my cheeks), Cosmelan II 5 years ago(again, initially I was overjoyed but after a week to 10 days’ use brought forth not only darker patches but streaks as well) and more recently about a year ago the Wonderbar, the negative results of which I’m still recovering from.  My skin has yo-yo-ed between getting worse and better all these years.  Funnily enough, the times when my hyperpigmentation was at its lighter phase were when I stopped doing “treatments” and used natural/organic skin products.  For almost the last two months, I’ve been using rosehip seed oil on my face and it seems to have helped lightened my hyperpigmentation  – not that I haven’t used rosehip oil in the past – but perhaps I didn’t give it enough time back then.   Also the brand or the type may have made a difference.  As you know, rose hip oil is rich in natural retinoic acid – perhaps that’s what helping with both my skin issues.

The fact that I am oriental also complicates matters.  I cannot risk having laser or aggressive exfoliating treatments whether it’s for acne scars or hyperpigmentation/melasma.  Although mine is not melasma per se, one derm and one esthetician did term it as such.  (One very reputable laser I went to see advised me against the laser precisely because of my being Asian.  Of course, laser technology has considerably improved since the ‘80s, but I cannot take that risk).  I’ve often wondered if the peel I had ages ago went too deep because the pigmentation has never completely faded, but the fact that my skin has experienced lighter phases has given me hope for further recovery.

In the meantime, I will patiently keep on using what nature has to offer.  I find that switching from chemical sunscreens to physical ones has also helped.  That said, I’m still looking for the ‘perfect’ sunblock.

Thanks again.



P.S.  In your opinion, is it okay to apply tamanu oil over the rosehip oil, or is that overkill? (Will one counter the other, or worse still, will they “clash”?)


The Tamanu will be perfectly okay to use in conjunction with Rosehip oil. Since Rosehip oil can irritate skin I would use one of the oils at night and one in the morning. It’s a personal choice which rotation you want to use.

As far as sun block goes, I like SkinCeuticals Physical UV Defense SPF 30. I sold/used it in my MedSpa that I owned for 3 years. For my Asian patients, I used Tri-Luma to lighten hyperpigmentation. SkinCeuticals Phyto + is a natural alternative to Tri-Luma.

You may also want to get yourself a sun-protection hat. Coolibar is what I carried.

I hope this additional information is helpful.


Marcus Ettinger BSc, DC

Some fighting words for the cold and flu season!

Steps to help combat the Cold and Flu season!

With the cold and flu season upon us it’s important to take some preventative, proactive steps.  We get reports from our customers coping with all stages of cold and flu symptoms — some from the first aches and pains to those with full-blown fever and congestion. Here are a few tips to help during the cold and flu season to hold off and combat colds and flu naturally.

First, it is important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to boost your immune system to prevent illness. Stay hydrated, and eat a healthy balanced diet that incorporates a variety of foods, get between 7-8 hours of sleep and perform some type of exercise, for at least 30 minutes, every other day.  Dr. Marcus Ettinger, with 21 years of treating cold and flu patients recommends taking a daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. By giving your body that needed nutritional support, you’re much better equipped to fight off seasonal sickness.

Want to nip symptoms in the bu**? Have some favorite products on hand at home, so when the first signs of a cold or flu appear you have them readily available. Researching what works best for you and your family in advance will also create a sense of empowerment.

Here are a few natural products that have worked time and again for many people:

1.    Vitamin C has been studied for many years as a possible treatment for colds, or as a way to prevent colds.

2.    Keeping up on your Multi-Vitamin and Mineral supplements:

A.   Liquids Power Multi V™ (for ages 12 through senior adults).

B.    Kidamins™ (for ages 1 through 12) (See below).

3.   Immune-Plus Elixir™ which includes the immune stimulating power of Black Elderberry, Red Raspberry, Pomegranate, Red Beet and Honey.  Great for helping with a cough!

4.   Liquid Immune Barrier Advanced Formula™ with the immune supporting power of Norwegian Beta Glucan and Echinacea.  This is great to take the minute you sense any kind of cold symptom to prevent worsening.

Some people also find oregano oil and Colloidal silver be helpful, whether they are experiencing a bacterial or viral infection.

A.   Oregano Oil: Note: Internally 1-4 drops 2-3 times daily. Use caution Very Strong – suggest mixing with another carrier oil, juice, shake/smoothie or water. When used externally – dilute and apply liberally.

B.   Colloidal Silver: Has a long history of use – that works great for many people.

The key to natural immune support is dosing every two hours. That’s why tincture formulas (liquid dropper formulas) are great — they can be added to juice or water, making it much easier to take more frequently.

Finally, rest, sleep, rest, sleep — staying hydrated and nourished. FYI: It’s OK and probably a good idea to take a day off work.  In most cases the flu is self-resolving with practiced wellness and resting.  Of course, if symptoms have progressed into the chest or symptoms don’t seem to improve, a physician should always be consulted.

Of course if you have specific questions please drop Dr. Ettinger a message at askthedoctor@caoh.com. Or give us a call at 800-643-7188.

Stay Healthy!


Organic Acai products from California Academy of Health

Organic Acai Berry Products from CAOH®

100% Organic and Kosher!

Why USDA Certified Organic?

Important: Why is it important that our Acai be certified organic?  First of all, it guarantees that you are getting a product that is free of additives, chemicals and preservatives.  Secondly, because buying certified organic Acai ensures that you are actually getting real Acai.  We have been selling Acai for about 6 years, and since the recent media focus on Acai it has increased in popularity.  It has also increased the number of Acai products on the market and many of them are not pure Acai or may not even contain Acai.  Buying certified organic Acai ensures that you are buying the real thing at its best!

Acai Max® – Absolute Acai® – Absolute Acai Capsules™ – Absolute Acai Concentrate

Video on 100% Pure Tamanu Oil from California Academy of Health

Sea Buckthorn a super berry that is gaining popularity

Sea Buckthorn Berries

Sea Buckthorn!

Russian Sea buckthorn Berry (Hippophae rhamnoides L.)  has been found to be  an extremely rich source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, flavonoids, carotenoids, and essential fatty acids!  Over the centuries sea buckthorn oil has been used as a folk remedy and food source by many Asian cultures. This amazing berry has numerous reported medicinal uses.  It has been used as a healing remedy for many ulcerative and inflammation-related disorders such as canker sores, sore throat, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, and inflammation of the cervix.  Russian cosmonauts have even taken the oil while in orbit. Click here to review Sea Buckthorn’s nutrition facts.

Here is Why the Sea Buckthorn Berry is so Special:

  • Vitamins A, C, E and K
  • Alpha, Beta, Gama, and Delta Tocopherol
  • High in Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium
  • 300 mg’s of Vitamin C per 100 g of berries
  • More Vitamin C by weight than Oranges
  • High natural content of Vitamin E
  • Rich Source of Omega 3, 6, 7 and, 9  Fatty Acids
  • More Beta-Carotene than Carrots
  • Rich in Flavonoids

Click here to read a whole lot more!

California Academy of Health Catalog

Full product catolog for California Academy of Health (CAOH).

JAMA Study on Ginkgo biloba Not Quite Clear?

JAMA Study on Ginkgo Biloba Effects on Rate of Cognitive Decline ‘Still Misses the Boat’ – “in fact it may not be in the same ocean.

ginkgo bilobaThe study population should have been one situated closer to the onset of cognitive decline – meaning younger people! 

A study released on Tuesday in the December 23/30 issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that adults who used the herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba for several years did not have a slower rate of cognitive decline compared to adults who received placebo.  The researchers analyzed results from the 2008 Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) study to determine as a secondary outcome if G. biloba slowed the rate of cognitive decline in older adults who had normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) at the beginning of the study.

The Natural Products Association has previously issued comments on the GEM study, which was originally released in November of 2008, questioned the benefits of Ginkgo biloba on preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), saying the study “missed the boat entirely” because the universe of people studied was too limited to make broad statements about the benefits of the popular dietary supplement. [New JAMA Study on Ginkgo Biloba and Alzheimer’s ‘Misses the Boat Entirely’, NPA Member Update, November 18, 2008]

“As we stated in our comments regarding the GEM study last year, the boat has left the dock and this study isn’t on it,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs at the Natural Products Association. “When one considers that age-related cognitive decline may initiate in healthy adults as early as their 30s, it would seem that if the authors were indeed serious about investigating prevention as a secondary outcome, they would have selected a population that was situated closer to the onset of cognitive decline instead of one where its effects most likely have already taken hold.”

One, it looks exclusively at people almost 80 years old who are far more likely to have Alzheimer’s, while ignoring those in middle ages, where the risk for developing the disease rises quickly and prevention could best be analyzed. Two, it excludes completely any consideration of the strong and established role that family history plays with Alzheimer’s. You can’t do a study on the weather without looking at wind and rain,”

It’s is always interesting to us (CAOH) that many studies looking at the benefits of herbal and nutritional supplements never take into account long term use and prevention.  There is never a magic bullet, pill or potion.

Noni – the almost forgotten!

Noni – the almost forgotten superfruit!

Our Beginning – Noni!

Noni juice was the very first product we ever offered, over 10 years ago now.  We were one of the first to import the juice from the island of Tahiti, getting it bottled here in the US.  Since that time noni juice has been sold all over the world and we ourselves have sold literally tens of thousands of bottles.

Over the last couple of years our other Superfruits have stolen some of the limelight from this tried-and-true fruit, to our regret.  We have so many customers that call to tell us that Noni has helped their sports injuries, digestion, and other difficulties.  We wanted to make sure that Noni was still something that all of you were thinking about!

Our Noni Juice is as good as it can get.  Still imported from Tahiti (the best source), certified organic and kosher, and with a wonderful fruit puree blend in our Almost Nude Noni to cut that “interesting” taste.  (We still have the Nude 100% Noni for any purists out there!)

The bottom line is that noni is an incredible little fruit, it may not taste very good, but wow the benefits!  We have written and gathered great information about this special fruit – yes even before wikidpedia existed!

Take a look at the following articles:

Morinda Citrifolia (Noni Fruit) Noni Juice History and Use!

Noni (Morinda Citrifolia)

Neil Solomon, M.D., Ph.D

Noni a fruit worth knowing!



Powerful anti-aging effects with resveratrol; it’s more than just the "French Paradox"

barbera_grape_varietyMany research studies have validated the fact that one of the most powerful ways to extend life is to reduce food intake (calories) while still maintaining nutritional needs. Organisms ranging from yeast to mammals experience a much longer and healthier life if they consume just two-thirds of the calories they normally eat. Experiments with rodents, for instance, have increased life span by 50% through dietary caloric restrictions.

Note: Calorie restriction is great in theory but I have found that the average American is not ready to embrace the concept, at least not at this moment in time. 50% if the American population is either overweight or obese.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to mimic the positive effect of calorie restriction without having to change ones diet, by using a dietary supplement. Well, scientists have found a way to do just that. Researchers discovered that Resveratrol, a natural phytonutrient, can mimic the beneficial effects of calorie restriction. (Resveratrol is a polyphenolic phytonutrient found in the dark, red grape skins, red wine [red grape juice is not as good a source as whole red grapes or wine]. It is also found, in lower quantities, in mulberries and peanuts [especially in boiled peanuts]).

Resveratrol is best known for its suspected role in the “French Paradox”, which is the low incidence of heart disease in the French even though they eat a high fat diet. The “French Paradox” is related to the consumption of red wine.

wine-grapes Resveratrol Biological Activity

  • Direct anti-oxidant activity
  • Estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activity. Until more is known about the estrogenic activity of resveratrol in humans, women with a history of estrogen-sensitive cancers, such as breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers, should avoid resveratrol supplements.
  • Biological Activities Related to Cancer Prevention
  • Biological Activities Related to Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Anti-allergic effects
  • Stimulation of beneficial peripheral vasodilator – nitric oxide
  • Platelet aggregation inhibition
  • Caloric restriction mimic of anti-aging, life extending properties.

How Resveratrol Works

In order to understand more clearly Resveratrol’s function and longevity we must understand the calorie restriction connection to longevity. Caloric restriction seems to work by stimulating specific genes, now called “Longevity Genes”. Stimulation of these genes seems to be critical in creating specific beneficial life extension effects. Dr. D.C. Sinclair and Dr. L. Guarente at Harvard Medical School and MIT, respectively, and others have determined that resveratrol seems to act by activating the same genes as calorie restriction. Thus, taking resveratrol seems to do the same thing as caloric restriction and does it under normal calorie intake.

Note: I feel that resveratrol is an amazing dietary supplement but it’s not a justification to eat improperly or consumer too many calories. Eating right and exercising everyday is the hallmark of any anti-aging program.

Marcus Ettinger BSc, DC


Resveratrol Naturelle™

Natural Anti-Aging Support
Natural Trans-Resveratrol –
Red Wine Polyphenols


Natural H R T™ with Protykin® Trans-Resveratrol

Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy
200:1 Concentrated Resveratrol – Liquid Formula

I fell apart after I stopped taking my Liquid Power and Ultra Supreme Greens

Question: I recently had a gout in my foot.  What supplement should I take to overcome this.  I had been taking Liquid Power for years and occasionally Ultra Supreme Green.  What can I take for Vitamin D supplement ?


Answer: Gout is WAY easier to prevent than treat. Start back-up on the greens and LP, (add 1-2 Natural Calm per day. Too much magnesium can cause loose stool. If it happens drop it down to just 1 per day), avoid red meat, alcohol and saturated fat (cheese and butter). Drink lots of water.

Vitamin D comes in many forms. I like drops (Biotics – Vitamin D Forte) 3 drops a day is a good dose.  (After this post we added Vitamin D. Check it out here).

Let me know how you do.


Marcus Ettinger DC, BSc

Response Back: Thank you very much for this information!  It’s interesting that I’ve had a bad cold, gout, and some discomforts while I was not taking Liquid Power and Supreme Green products during the time.  I ordered some more recently.

Thank you,

Douglas Grady

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