Tis the time of Christmas cheer for most of us in the Western World. This usually translates into social engagements such as Christmas drinks, office parties, local get-togethers and family gatherings with the aftermath of uncomfortable symptoms from overeating and drinking including brain fog, wind and bloating, to name a few. The weather doesn’t help either with cold, miserable, grey light-deficient days and long nights.
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With the advent of central heating, hot water and food abundance, modern man has forgotten how to protect the immune system effectively from seasonal bugs including coughs, colds and flu.
Watch my video here!
How did our ancestors survive?
With this question, I am not suggesting for one minute that we all go back several hundred years! I too love my home comforts. The question is more about building immune health to live in our populated cities and towns as well as when commuting and travelling on trains, planes and in other forms of transport that can be rife with any seasonal bug that might be going around.
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This year the Herb Society AGM was held at Weleda, who sponsored the entire event. Weleda describes itself as a “unique organisation – economically thriving, kind at heart and committed to the well-being of our planet, our environment and our people.” The weather was perfect and the meeting was held in the terrace conference room that opened out through glass sliding doors on to the original Weleda herb garden. A perfect setting for any meeting. With the strong connection to nature and healing herbs, this could not have been better.
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Some will say the recent news about addiction to prescription drugs is already “old”. But when compared to Brexit, this is certainly not the case!
The headlines I’m referring to include “Hundreds of thousands of people in England are getting hooked on prescription drugs, health chiefs fear.”
Watch my video on this topic here:
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As with most things in the UK around working hours and conditions there is legislation that dictates the amount of hours worked in relation to the time allocated and legally allowed for a break. I would suggest that most companies are not only aware of this, but also follow the legislation, explaining to employees the amount of time they are entitled to for a break and in some situations, such as restaurants, and other service institutions, when that break can be taken. On the other hand there are jobs such as couriers who are paid by the number of deliveries and not by the hour who probably focus more on earning capacity, rather than taking a break to eat something. Despite all the legislation, lunch breaks are being swallowed up as we resign to eating lunch at our desk, opting to
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Having just returned from a holiday in Europe where temperatures were between 30-35 degrees C practically every day, hydration is in the forefront of my mind. Naturally we drink more liquid when the weather is hot and we are perspiring. However, this does not mean that we do not need liquid during the cooler and colder times of the year or in cooler and colder climates.
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Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov was a Ukrainian and Russian pathologist best known for his pioneering research in immunology. Known as the Father of Orthobiosis theory and Probiotics, he was credited in 1882 with the discovery of phagocytes, which came to be known as the major defence mechanism in innate immunity.
No less than 75% of the immune cells of the body are thought to be found in the gut. This means that the gut flora is important to ensuring our immune defence is functioning correctly. Together with Mechnikov’s discovery, functional medicine believes that if the gut is healthy, the person is healthy. Therefore, treat the gut first.
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Anxiety is something that is creeping into our society on a much more regular basis. Some sufferers find it completely debilitating and as a result are not able to leave their homes for fear of an attack. For others, it is the leaving of their homes that causes the anxiety in the first place.
On the other end of the spectrum, some people have random attacks, often with no particular trigger. In other words, anxiety can be an unpleasant emotional state ranging from mild unease to intense fear.
Watch my video on anxiety here
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The importance and power of antioxidants that have the ability to boost our immune system and thus general health, is huge. Antioxidants combat free radicals caused by a diet rich in additives, stress, exposure to electronic magnetic radiation and pollutants in the air and water.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, thereby leading to chain reactions that may damage the cells of organs.
Antioxidants protect cells against the effects of free radicals which are produced as a result of the body breaking down food for production of energy, from stress, or when exposed to tobacco smoke, and other contaminants such as PCB’s, and radiation.
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It is wonderful and very good news that the BBC has been featuring menopause in a week long feature called “Wake up to Menopause”, including identifying symptoms, typical treatments as well as experiences from individual women of all ages, on last week’s breakfast TV.
As a naturopath, herbalist and kinesiologist I look at menopause as a natural process that women go through, just like entering puberty, getting pregnant, giving birth and other major bodily changes which encapsulate the female in all her beauty. In other words, menopause is not a disease to be treated, it is a natural hormonal change that has, mostly temporary impacts on the female body and emotional balance.