Sunday, 12 August 2018

Top 10 medicinal herbs to grow in your own garden - by Tony Be, Natural Health Coach

This week’s blog has been written by Tony Be, Natural Health Coach of The Ozone Spa in Torquay. He shares the top 10 medicinal herbs to grow in your garden, with the help of Fiona Shakeela Burns of Cancerucan
A good friend of mine Fiona Shakeela Burns who is a qualified herbalist has recently been sharing with me some of her herbal knowledge, and oh my goodness what I have learnt is something I believe everyone should know about, and I am so grateful she has shared this with me.
Fiona has her own herb garden in Bristol and I asked her what do you consider to be the top 10 herbs to grow in your own garden? And this blog goes into those top 10 medicinal herbs. Some of these herbs can help clear a stubborn cold in days, soothes inflammation, ease anxiety help you sleep and much more, plus if you grow these yourself or collect them on a walk in nature they are FREE, or a gift. Plus, they come with hardly any side effects if any.
Yet please check with your doctor if you are on current medication to see if there are any contraindication with mixing pharmaceutical medicine with natural medicine.Elecampane

The root is used to make medicine. Elecampane is used for lung diseases including asthma, bronchitis, and whooping cough. It is also used to prevent coughing, especially coughing caused by tuberculosis; and it helps loosen phlegm, so it can be coughed up more easily. This can also be used to help clear a cold.
Plantain grows like a weed all over the place, I don’t like calling it a weed because it is so incredible. The leaves can also be made into a tea or tincture, and this is said to help with indigestion, heartburn, and ulcers when taking internally. Externally, Plantain has been used for a remedy for rashes and cuts.


Valerian Root can help improves Sleep. Reduce Anxiety. Helps you deal with stress. Helpful for Controlling Hyperactivity and ADHD and decreases Menopausal Symptoms.
Based on the available research, take 300 to 600 milligrams (mg) of valerian root 30 minutes to two hours before bedtime. This is best for insomnia or sleep trouble. To make the tea, soak 2 to 3 grams of dried herbal valerian root in 1 cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes

Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm grows very easily here in the UK and you can make it into a tea to help ease Stress, to calm anxiety, improve cognitive function, and to help with menstrual cramps.  If you do have anxiety try a couple of large handfuls of Lemon Balm in your tea pot.
Wood Betony
Wood Betony can help strengthens the digestive tract. Wood Betony stimulates and strengthens the gut. It can be used to stimulate the appetite, as well as keep your gut healthy. The herb can treat and relieve numerous gastric disorders such as heartburn, gastritis, constipation, bloating, and poor digestion.

Roman Chamomile

By far the most potent and effect type of chamomile is Roman Chamomile. Roman chamomile has the ability to reduce inflammation, relieve depression and anxiety, soothe muscle cramps and other PMS symptoms, treat skin conditions, and boost heart health. To make add the Chamomile flowers to strain in a teapot, and enjoy.

Most people know about Lavender to help reduce anxiety. it also helps improve brain function, heal burns and wounds, improve sleep, restores skin complexion, and helps relieve pain.
Artemisinin, or qinghaosu in Chinese medicine, is an extract derived from the sweet wormwood Artemisinin has been shown to decrease angiogenesis, which is the composition of new blood vessels. Artemisinin supplements have been used traditionally for joint pain and loss appetite, liver problems, menstrual and epilepsy conditions.
Wormwood is a bitter herb affecting the bitter sensing tastebuds that send signals to the brain to stimulate the entire digestive system, salivation, stomach acid production, intestinal tract movement. Anti-parasitic. Anti-inflammatory. Liver Health.
Dandelion Root
Dandelion Root is used for loss of appetite, upset stomach, intestinal gas, gallstones, joint pain, muscle aches, eczema, and bruises. Dandelion is also used to increase urine production and as a laxative to increase bowel movements. It is also used as a skin toner, blood tonic, and digestive tonic.
Calendula flower is used to prevent muscle spasms, start menstrual periods, and reduce fever. Calendula is applied to the skin to reduce pain and swelling (inflammation) and to treat poorly healing wounds and leg ulcers.
Rosemary soothes inflammation, improves digestion, enhances memory and concentration, and it prevents brain aging.

St John’s Wort
St John’s Wort is a popular herbal remedy for the treatment of mild anxiety, depression and sleep problems. It is thought to work in a similar manner to standard anti-depressants, with fewer side effects.

Shopping For Seeds and Tinctures
Whether you have a garden or just room for a few windowsill pot plants, and you are inspired by this blog to start growing some or all of these incredible medicinal herbs above, I’ve put some Amazon Links here for you, so you can get the seeds or tinctures easily.

I hope you found this useful and empowering
To Happy Gardening and To Connecting to Nature
Tony Be
Natural Health Coach

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Products we love: Holiday essentials - by Maxine Sheils, Igennus

This week’s blog has been written by Maxine Sheils from Igennus. With it being holiday season she shares her favourite products that are free from toxic chemicals and help keep the body healthy during the summer…

As it’s that season (and we like to think we’re quite experienced in the area), it seems fitting to share our top holiday product essentials. Whilst many of our customers strive to eat a healthy diet and take supplements to support their health, there are many other things we can include to support the health of our bodies – using products that reduce toxic chemical exposure, for example. Here are our top tips for keeping the body healthy from the inside out over the summer months.

To protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays – Green People’s Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF30 

While some are a lot more prone to burning in the sun, it’s important to provide protection to the skin all year round to guard against the sun’s harmful UV rays. There are many sunscreen options available, so it’s important to understand the function of your sunscreen. When choosing a sunscreen, it’s important to find a product that protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are associated with skin ageing while UVB rays are associated with burning. Although it’s commonly believed that using a high sun protection (SPF) factor will protect the skin from all skin damage, the SPF is only an indicator of UVB protection, but not UVA. Therefore, whilst no surface burning may be apparent, this does not mean that the deeper layers of skin are also being protected against ageing. Finding a product that contains minerals is also important as they sit on the outer layer of the skin to provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Finally, chemicals such as silicone which can block pores, leading to prickly heat, are often found in sunscreen; they may also affect the healthy balance of hormones such as oestrogen within the body and should be avoided.

Green People’s Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF30 is an organic alternative, containing minerals to ensure protection of the skin from both UVA and UVB rays, as well as vitamins and antioxidants to further support the health of the skin. Green People’s sunscreen also protects the hormone system from the damaging effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals with its chemical free formula.

To protect the cells from oxidative damage – Pure Essentials Astaxanthin

Not only does exposure to the sun’s UV rays leave the skin tanned, the rays can also lead to oxidative damage in the skin; in fact, if the skin becomes reddened (even slightly), this is a sign of inflammation that has occurred due to damage to the skin’s cells.
Antioxidants protect the cells from oxidative damage, and whilst many factors, including poor diet, stress and pollution exposure, cause oxidative damage in the cells of the body,  the sun’s UV rays can be particularly harmful, even during the winter months. Long term, oxidative damage is associated with major health conditions including cancer, autoimmune conditions and neurological conditions.

Astaxanthin is an antioxidant which has an affinity for the skin, where it is able to span the whole cell membrane to provide protection from the varying factors that can cause oxidative damage, including the sun’s UV rays. Each bottle contains 90 capsules and should provide a 3-month supply for those supplementing with 1 per day for general health.
Use discount code ‘UVA30’ at the checkout for 30% off Pure Essentials Astaxanthin Complex. Expires midnight 5.8.18.

To keep hydrated – Elete electrolyte

With both increased sun exposure and increased perspiration, the body can quickly deplete its levels of essential minerals required to maintain the healthy balance of hydration within the body and cells. The minerals required for hydration include calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium, with symptoms of dehydration including increased thirst, headache, dizziness and fatigue. Whilst drinking water is important, it is vital to ensure you are consuming essential minerals in order to hydrate the cells, as water that is void of essential minerals is often expelled via the urine as the minerals are not there to help the water to cross through cell membranes.

Checking the colour of urine is a really important way to ensure you are hydrated; if the urine is clear, it would suggest that you are lacking the minerals to provide proper hydration (this can often happen with filtered water), whereas darker urine would suggest that you are not drinking enough water at all. It can be trickier to check the colour of your urine when you are in hot climates, as a lot of water can be lost through sweat, thereby reducing urine output. Therefore, ensure you are drinking lots of mineral-rich water to replace lost water and minerals by using an electrolyte solution such as Elete electrolyte, which can easily be added to your water to provide the essential minerals required to aid hydration.

To ensure you smell fresh all day long – Salt of the Earth Crystal travel deodorant

You don’t need to be travelling to somewhere exotic to benefit from this advice thanks to the glorious sunshine and heat we have been blessed with in the UK this summer. Many of us dread the consequences of the hot weather as it can lead to embarrassing sweat patches and sometimes less than sociaable smells too. It’s important to understand that sweating is a normal bodily process required to regulate the body’s temperature, so the last thing you should be doing is using a deodorant that blocks the pores. Many antiperspirant deodorants contain aluminium chlorohydrate (check the ingredients label on your deodorant) which works by blocking the pores, and whilst this may seem ideal to many, it has the undesirable effect of disrupting normal skin/sweat gland function and has also been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Other artificial chemicals, known as endocrine disruptors, including parabens, can also enter the bloodstream if applied to the skin (as with a deodorant) and can disrupt the healthy balance of hormones within the body.

Salt of the Earth’s natural deodorant contains no added alcohol, aluminium chlorohydrate or chemicals, just pure mineral salt. It works by killing off the bacteria that can live in the armpits and emit bad scents, allowing for natural perspiration without the worry.

To repel mosquitoes – Incognito insect repellent spray

We all know those pesky mosquitoes can put a bit of a dampener on the holiday, and if you’re travelling to somewhere tropical where malaria and more recently, the Zika virus, is a risk, you’ll want to do as much as you can to avoid being bitten in the first place. The recommendation is to use a product containing DEET (N,N-Diethyl-3-methylbenzamide), a chemical that works as a pesticide to ward off mosquitoes. Whilst DEET can be effective at repelling mosquitoes, it has been found that they are building a resistance to the chemical. Furthermore, studies suggest that DEET can also affect the functioning of the nervous system, specifically the body’s ability to degrade the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, as well as generating free radical damage to DNA.

Incognito’s insect repellent spray uses the active ingredient PMD (oil extracted from lemon eucalyptus) to repel insects from the body’s natural odour, as it is body odour and bacteria found on the skin that attract mosquitoes. Furthermore, studies suggest that PMD provide 100% effectiveness from mosquito bites.

To support the good bugs in your tummy – Optibac for travelling abroad

It is not uncommon when travelling to new and exciting destinations to be hit with a terrible case of ‘Delhi belly’ or something similar. Each of us has a unique microbiome (community of bacteria that lives on the skin and in the body) that is shaped to a certain degree by our environment. When that environment changes (such as when we travel to new destinations), the exposure to different bacteria can often upset the natural balance of your microbiome, and lead to stomach upsets. There are many things you can do to minimise the risk of being hit by a stomach bug – ensuring your water has either been treated or comes from a sealed bottle, applying the same principles to ice and salads washed in water, eating at a restaurant that is busy and doesn’t have food lying around in the heat exposed to flies and so on – but for some, digestive upsets are simply unavoidable. Unlike many probiotics, For travelling abroad does not have to be kept in the fridge and can withstand warmer climates, thereby supporting the health of your digestive tract whilst on holiday to help ward off any digestive complaints.

To keep those lips luscious – Burt’s Bees All Weather SPF15 Lip Balm

For many women, makeup bags are often condensed for the summer season; however, one product we would recommend is a lip balm. The face can be very vulnerable to the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays, and a good quality SPF and a hat can go a long way to protecting the face and lips. With increased water intake, however, it is easy for your SPF to have reduced effectiveness on the lip area so a lip balm containing SPF is a quick way to keep your lips protected all day long.

Lip balms are another product that can often be laden with endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as parabens and phthalates. Burt’s Bees lip balms use zinc oxide to provide SPF15 to the lips, whilst also moisturising and nourishing your lips with ingredients such as beeswax, olive oil and cocoa butter. Not only does zinc oxide work as an SPF to the lips, it also supports protein production required for skin health.

Above all else, don’t forget your sunglasses and sunhat

Whilst we have highlighted some of our favourite products, there are so many more that we could have added to the list. Feel free to share your favourite products with us so that we can try them out on our next escape. We wish you all a wonderful summer holiday full of health, happiness and hydration, with no burning, bugs or bites.