Blog

5
Sep
2018
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Laughter a natural immune booster

As we come to the end of the summer season and school begins with a long awaited excitement of seeing friends again, sharing holiday news and other celebratory moments from the last six weeks, the weather also slowly begins to get colder as the sun changes its location in the sky, and the days become shorter.  This is the time when our immune system needs a little boosting to manage the change and avoid falling victim to often circulating colds and flu.

How can you boost your immune naturally to avoid or minimise the impact of the all too familiar seasonal bugs?  Immunity is compromised in many ways – poor eating and lifestyle habits, mental/emotional and or physical stress and over exposure to the elements through inappropriate dress for the weather.

 

17
Aug
2018
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Bitter herbs to stimulate digestion

When looking at the word “bitter” there are many uses in the English language – to be bitter about something, to have a bitter taste, or to refer to the weather – It was bitter on top of the mountain.  Humans are not exempt from this word “bitter” as it can also be used to describe an attitude or emotion of a particular type of person or a person’s feelings on a situation  – “he is very bitter about…. “. As a naturopath and herbalist, I am especially interested in the bitter taste of certain vegetables, herbs and fruits.  The bitter flavour being generated when bitter taste buds in the mouth are stimulated by a particularly bitter food.

 

24
Jul
2018
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Anti depressants and effect on the brain

Reported in the BBC news headlines this morning is the fact that antidepressant use, based on a doctor’s prescription is increasing dramatically in school children. The UK has seen the fastest rise in the prescribing of antidepressants and other mind-altering drugs to children, a new study of nine countries shows. In total, there were 950,000 prescriptions issued between April 2015 and March 2018.

 

5
Jun
2018
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Gut issues, poor sleep, restlessness - Herbal medicine

German Chamomile (Chamomila recucita) - we all know this flower as Chamomile tea, drunk before going to bed to relax body and mind from infusing the flowers in boiled water.  Known to calm the spirit.  This herb flowers profusely at this time of year creating a yellow and white carpet.  Not only good for calming and relaxing, Chamomile is very effective in addressing gut issues and skin disorders.

 

17
May
2018
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Hay Fever Natural Cure

Earlier this week, I received a call from a lady who was frantically trying to find a cure for her son’s hay fever (allergic rhinitis). His main symptoms were streaming eyes, sneezing, mucous, thick head and the inability to sleep well. Nothing from the chemist was touching it.  This call spurred me to share some ideas for treating hay fever naturally.

The familiar symptoms of hay fever are caused by the release of histamine and other inflammatory chemicals usually worse in hot weather.  Hay fever can be an atopic condition, meaning there is a hypersensitivity to developing a certain reaction to that stimulant, often occurring when immunity is lowered.

 

22
Apr
2018
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Effective diuretic and detoxifying herb

Most of us can relate to the Nettle as mostly an unpleasant experience when inadvertently coming in contact and receiving a tingling, itching sensation to the skin for hours to come. The more nettles that manage to sting you the longer it lasts and the more intensive the tingling.  The humble and prolific nettle is also very nutritious containing vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, as well as being packed with minerals including iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and selenium.  The high iron content makes it useful for treatment of anemia when mixed with molasses.

 

28
Mar
2018
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#Stress Management

The dictionary defines stress as “a pressure or tension exerted on another object; a demand on physical or mental energy; or forcibly exerted influence usually causing distress or strain.”    In short stress is any factor, positive or negative that requires a response or change. Medical research recognises that chronic ongoing stress can lead to illness, aggravate existing disease conditions and accelerate aging.

Many diseases have a foundation of stress.  43% of adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.  75-90% of all doctor appointments are for stress-related ailments and complaints.

 

12
Feb
2018
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Boost gut and immune health

Whilst spending time in South Korea it is obvious that I should blog about the famous Korean Kimchi.  Kimchi is a traditional food made by fermenting vegetables with probiotic lactic acid bacteria and served as a side dish with most Korean meals, along with chilli paste, seaweed, and rice.

The main ingredient is Chinese cabbage, often with other vegetables, such as leek, scallions, cucumber and radish, all of which are fermented together in herbs and spices, usually garlic, cayenne pepper and ginger.

 

26
Jan
2018
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Natural, wheat free bread

Bravo to Heart of Nature for producing this fantastic bread.  It is made from wholesome ingredients including seeds of all kinds – chia, linseed and quinoa, wild oats (Avena sativa) and contains no wheat, no sugar and is dairy free.

I love it both toasted or just sliced and fresh with poached egg, avocado, salmon and humus.  Not altogether!

The main ingredient, Oats gives many health benefits, including insoluble fibre.  Insoluble fibre of which most people need about 26 g to 35 g per day, moves food along through the intestines, and in the process helps to keep you regular by preventing constipation.

 

9
Jan
2018
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Intermittent Fasting - Naturopathic Principles

Put your hands up if you made a New Year’s resolution to lose several pounds, or to get fitter, or perhaps to cut down on sweet things?  This time of the year sees many of us going alcohol free for January, starting that diet which we have been talking about for months, and signing up for that gym membership which we leap into with enthusiasm, but interest soon dwindles when we see limited or little result.