All about cholesterol

Prescription of statins for lowering cholesterol has become more and more widespread, but latest recommendations are that healthy people should not routinely be taking them. NICE (The National Institute for Clinical Excellence) recommends them for people who have a 20 per cent greater chance of developing heart disease within 10 years.

The latest study published in The Cochrane Library claims that there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest that statins should be taken by those who aren’t at risk.  Statins bring a variety of side-effects with them which have been reported as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, swelling of the ankles,  liver problems, kidney failure and muscle weakness.

 Vinciane Ollington,  one of Healthy Soul’s experts, explains the role of cholesterol in the body:

‘There are many myths that portray fat and cholesterol as one of the worst foods you can consume. These myths are actually harming your health.’

What is cholesterol, and why do you need it?

Cholesterol is a lipoprotein – fats combined with proteins which is found in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids. It is also vital for neurological function. Your liver makes about 75 percent of your body’s cholesterol.

According to conventional medicine, there are two types of cholesterol:
1. High-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” cholesterol, removes excess cholesterol from your arteries.
2. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol, circulates in your blood and may build up in your arteries, forming plaque that makes your arteries narrow and less flexible. If a clot forms in one of these narrowed arteries leading to your heart or brain, a heart attack or stroke may result.

When HDL, the “good” cholesterol, takes cholesterol from your body’s tissues and arteries, it brings it back to your liver. It goes back to your liver because your body is trying to make and conserve the cholesterol for the precise reason that it is so essential to life. If the purpose of this was to eliminate cholesterol from your body, it would make sense that the cholesterol would be shuttled back to your kidneys or intestines so that your body could remove it.

Cholesterol and inflammation – what’s the connection?

If your arteries are damaged, cholesterol is necessary in order to replace your damaged cells. This results in a “scar” forming in your artery which is known as plaque. This plaque, along with the thickening of your blood and constricting of your blood vessels that normally occur during any inflammatory process, can indeed increase your risk of high blood pressure and heart attacks.

It is sadly quite common for damage to occur in your body on a regular basis. In this case, you are in a dangerous state of chronic inflammation. Instead of looking at the cause of chronic inflammation, conventional medicine looks at the effect (the increased cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream to repair your arteries) and conclude that cholesterol is the cause of heart attacks.

Where is the wisdom in lowering cholesterol?

If you have increased levels of cholesterol, it is at least in part because of increased inflammation in your body. The cholesterol is there to do a job: help your body heal and repair. It does not seem very wise to merely lower the cholesterol and forget about why it is there in the first place. It would seem much smarter to reduce the extra need for the cholesterol, the reason for the chronic inflammation.

As cholesterol is essential for the good functioning of your body, all kind of nasty things can happen if your cholesterol is too low. These range from depressive symptoms and violent behaviour to higher risk of various chronic diseases. An optimum level of cholesterol would be around 200 mg/dL (5.12 mmol/L).

The adverse effects of statins
Statin drugs work by inhibiting an enzyme in your liver that is needed to manufacture cholesterol. Side effects of statins include an increased risk of polyneuropathy (nerve damage that causes pain in the hands and feet and trouble walking), dizziness, memory loss, decreased function of the immune system, depression and liver problems, including a potential increase in liver enzymes.

Statins also happen to deplete your body of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), beneficial to heart health and muscle function. This depletion can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, soreness, and eventually heart failure.

It makes more sense to lower inflammation, and thereby the risk of heart disease, naturally by adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle. Sadly rather than educating their patients, doctors choose the easier option of prescribing a cholesterol lowering drug….. for life.    Vinciane Ollington, MSc, LCH, MARH  www.completehomeopathy.co.uk

Supplements that lower cholesterol

Dr John Briffa in his book, Ultimate Health A-Z, and renowned nutritionist Patrick Holford suggest that  Niacin (a form of Vitamin B3) can be helpful in  lowering cholesterol, but you need the ‘no blush’ niacin or you can get a kind of ‘hot flush’ in your face when taking it.  Eskimos are very healthy despite their high cholesterol diet, so eating fish all the time is obviously good for your health –  Omega 3 fish oils can have the effect of lowering LDL cholesterol. Patrick Holford also claims in his book, New Optimum Nutrition Bible, that statins block the production in the body of COQ10 (Co-enzyme Q10) which is essential for the healthy functioning of the heart.  These books are available at Amazon (see below).

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See our article on Soya Good for Cholesterol

Further reading


– Trick and Treat by Barry Groves
– The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth about what really causes heart disease and how to avoid it
by Malcolm Kendrick
– Put your heart in your mouth by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride

Click on the Amazon carousel on the home page to order these books

Don’t get SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

moon winterIt’s that time of year again – nights drawing in and it’s getting dark.  And we only have British Summer Time until Saturday, 28th October!  Winter blues affect some 17 per cent of Britons*, while 7 per cent experience  SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).   Winter blues can mean feeling extra tired, lacking in energy and feeling low.
 
Symptoms of SAD include:

• Depression – low self-esteem, misery, despair, hopelessness, numbness,apathy
• Constant fatigue
• Disturbed sleep patterns with early morning waking
• Lack of energy
• Craving for sweet foods and carbohydrates – consequent weight gain
• Mood swings
• Anxiety and inability to cope with stress
• Loss of libido
• Lowered immune system so more prone to colds
• Bursts of activity in spring and autumn

People who get SAD tend to live far north of the equator (Britain, Scandinavia, Alaska, Iceland), because of the long nights and short days.  They are more likely to be pre-menopausal women than anyone else.

Why it happens

Light deprivation is the main cause of SAD and in some people it causes a deficiency in serotonin and dopamine – chemicals the brain needs to control mood, appetite, sleep and sexuality.

The main cause of SAD is believed to be a drop in levels of serotonin, a brain chemical or neurotransmitter, responsible for:

• hunger   • thirst   • sexual activity   • sleep patterns   • moods    • body temperature   • (indirectly) the production of hormones.

Daylight triggers the hypothalamus gland in the brain to produce serotonin, so lack of daylight leads to reduced levels.At night the pineal gland which is attached to the brain releases the hormone melatonin (a derivative of serotonin) giving the signal to the brain that it is night time and that it is time to sleep. Similarly, during the day when light hits the retina in the eye signals are sent to the brain to bring about change in the pineal, adrenal, pituitary and thyroid glands.

However, if it is dark more often than it is light there is too much melatonin being released and may account for tiredness, lethargy and fatigue in SAD sufferers.

Light boxes

One of the best ways of dealing with SAD is to use a light box, which can be rigged up in the workplace with a minimum of half an hour recommended twice a day. Dawn simulator alarm clocks also help people to wake up with a ‘natural’ dawn when the mornings are dark.

Doctors and complementary therapists alike recommend light therapy.

 How SAD affects our appetite

Comfort eating helps to relieve depression and many people with SAD crave sugary snacks and stimulants like caffeine. These give a temporary lift but blood sugar levels plummet afterwards and cravings become worse. When someone gets trapped into a low blood sugar cycle they tend to put on weight because they are constantly craving and consuming foods and drinks which are high in sugar.

Change of diet

A change of diet to boost serotonin levels, cut down cravings for sugary foods, and eat more healthily is the best way to lose weight and gain confidence to try and avoid getting SAD every winter.   A diet high in proteins helps to boost serotonin levels because proteins contain tryptophan, an amino acid, which is converted by the body firstly into 5HTP and then into serotonin.

High protein foods include:

  • Fish, turkey, chicken
  • Beans – kidney, borlotti, lima and aduki, lentils,
  • Eggs
  • Cottage cheese
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Wheatgerm, oats, quinoa.

Herbal medicine: St John’s Wort (use the code HSoul1 for 5% discount) has been proven to improve some symptoms – 900 mcg a day is recommended from mid-October through the winter. It is essential to consult a GP or registered medical herbalist before taking St John’s Wort  because it contra-indicates some medicines and can cause side-effects when used at the same time as light therapy.

One natural remedy that can be very good for SAD is a type of algae, Blue Green Organic Klamath Algae, (use the code HSoul1 for 5% discount)  which is abundant in minerals and contains a natural (feel-good) endorphin and plenty of antioxidants.

 

If in doubt contact: The National Institute of Medical Herbalists, www.nimh.org.uk

Other recommended therapies:

• Acupuncture
• Reflexology
• Homeopathy
• Nutritional therapy
• Yoga
• Counselling
• Hypnotherapy

See Complementary Therapies for more information.

*According to an ICM Online Omnibus Survey conducted for Lumie of 2,000 people in the UK.

A little chocolate every day..

Dark chocolate is good for you as flavonols, natural compounds in the cocoa bean, have neuro-protective effects.  Therefore, they  improve blood flow to the brain, especially the hippocampus that controls memory and becomes less efficient as we age*. Apparently flavonols also help to maintain heart health.

Apparently the effect is more pronounced in women and can help those who have had a bad night’s sleep. A good excuse to eat some chocolate!

Milk chocolate is not as high in cocoa but is much higher in sugar, so it does not have the same effect.  But the health warning is that chocolate contains fat so it will also help you to gain weight, if you don’t stick to the moderate amount of two or three squares a day.  And it contains caffeine so too much too late in the day can have the opposite effect and stop you sleeping.

A 50g bar of dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) contains the same concentration of flavonols as two glasses of red wine, six apples or seven onions.

In the past, research at Harvard Medical School showed that it can lower blood pressure by producing nitric oxide in the body, with benefits equal to that of aspirin. Similarly flavenols can improve the cardiovascular system and prevent heart disease, and deep vein thrombosis, which can be experienced when you fly.

One of the other chemical compounds in chocolate is phenylethylamine, which is a stimulant similar to dopamine and adrenaline in the body. It is said to induce the feelings of falling in love, so maybe that’s why chocolate is so popular!

 

* (Source: Frontiers In Nutrition, 2017; 4: doi: 10.3389/fnut.2017.00019)

Holiday health tips

Beach sceneThere are so many health issues that crop up when you go on holiday, particularly abroad, and especially with children too.  Whether it’s travel sickness, upset tummy, insect bites and stings, or too much sun, this helpful A-Z provides plenty of self-help tips for problems that don’t really need a doctor.

ALLERGIES

Foreign lands, strange foods, plenty of heat, insect bites, pollen, chemicals, dust, and cosmetics can all cause allergic reactions.  And if you are out in open spaces where there is plenty of grass you may suffer from hay fever in which case you can try Nelson’s Pollenna.

If there is severe reaction seek medical advice.

  • Apis mel homeopathic remedy for emergency relief to allergic reactions.
  • For burning watery eyes try Euphrasia homeopathic tablets.
  • Pulsatilla is for itchy eyes and blocked nose.
  • Arsen Alb soothes itchy and runny nose and sneezing.
  • Eye drops containing herbal Euphrasia can help sore eyes.
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BURNING

‘Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun’ so don’t. As well as getting burnt you can get sunstroke with symptoms of dizziness, dehydration, raging headache and sickness.

The Aussies say: ‘Slip on a shirt, slap on a cap, and slop on some suncream’.

To prevent burning:

  • Use a high factor sun tan lotion but try to choose one that doesn’t contain a host of chemicals because there are fears that some lotions may have a part to play in skin cancers – see Environmental.
  • Wear cotton shirts even in water where you can still burn.
  • Cover up on cloudy days because the sun still burns.
  • Limit exposure to sun to morning and late afternoon.
  • Take a supplement like VitaCell that contains Vitamin E, beta-carotene and other antioxidants to make the skin more resilient to sun.

For burnt skin:

  • Put one or two drops of either Lavender or Tea Tree essential oils into a bath of cool water to soothe skin, or make a compress with a few drops diluted in one litre of water.
  • Cold compresses can also be made using vinegar, cold tea. cucumber juice.
  • Make a concoction of stinging nettles boiled and cooled and use in the same way.
  • Belladonna 30c is ideal for both sunstroke and sunburn and helps with beetroot skin to throbbing headaches and full blown delirium, according to homeopath, Sue Leach
  • If burning is not too intense try Cantharis.

Severe sunburn is a medical emergency.

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COLD SORES

Echinacea photo courtesy of A.Vogel Bioforce

 The ultra-violet rays of the sun are the biggest trigger for cold sores, but sunbeds also activate them too. They indicate a run down immune system.

To prevent:

  • Take regular Echinacea before holidays in the sun.
  • Eat plenty of garlic in the diet all the time to boost the system.
  • Use a lip cream which contains Propolis, which is made by bees to protect their hives from infection! To treat:
  • Take homeopathic remedy Rhus Tox 6c.
  • Apply Tea tree, Lavender or Eucalyptus oil.
  • Drink lemon balm tea – you can even grow your own!
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DEHYDRATION

Sweating in the heat, travelling on planes, or stomach bugs can all cause dehydration, which can be a very dangerous condition so if someone is shivering and going hot and cold take them to the hospital or a doctor.

To prevent:

  • Don’t spend long hours in hot sun in the middle of the day
  • Avoid coffee and alcohol
  • Drink plenty of water regularly.

To treat:

  • Try drinking coconut water which replaces fluids in the body.
  • Take China 30c homeopathic remedy to cope with loss of fluid due to diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Make up an Electrolyte Solution with 17 fl oz (500ml) of boiled water, 8 teaspoons of sugar and a half teaspoon of salt).
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EYES and EARS

Swimming pools and the sea can affect eyes and ears and cause infections.

Euphrasia courtesy of A.Vogel Bioforce

To soothe sore eyes :

  • Dilute a few drops of Euphrasia or Eyebright in water and apply to eyes on cotton pads.
  • Place cucumber slices on eyes – they’re deliciously cooling.

For ear problems:

  • Soothe earache with two drops of Lavender oil on cotton wool in the outer ear.
  • Inhale Olbas oil to prevent nose and ears blocking.
  • ‘If ears are popping on the plane,’ says Sue Leach, ‘Silicea is a good homeopathic remedy’.
  • ‘Pulsatilla 30c is better if ears hurt on the flight because of a cold.’
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 FATIGUE

Packing, travelling and arriving somewhere new all take their toll and it’s not uncommon to arrive feeling exhausted. Anyone who is working hard and burning the candle at both ends can lose half a holiday recovering!

Self-help tips:

  • Get plenty of sleep on holiday and avoid too much alcohol in the first few days.
  • Do some exercise daily – walking, swimming or yoga.
  • Spend at least one hour a day alone being calm and quiet.
  • Eat healthy foods – plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and lots of water to drink.

Remedies:

  • Nux vomica 30c is good for anyone who is exhausted from too much work.
  • Have daily baths with a few drops of aromatherapy oils in – stimulating Basil, Rosemary or Lemon Grass, or better still ask your partner for a massage!
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 GERMS

Recycled air and other people’s germs on a plane can often result in illness on arrival at your destination. Add to that the stress of actually getting ready to go away and you could succumb to illness when you arrive.

To prevent:

  • Boost the immune system with Echinacea before and during the flight.
  • Coat the inside of nostrils with olive oil to protect from germs.
  • Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins.

To treat:

  • For bacterial, fungal or parasitical infection take 10 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract 2 to 3 times a day – it has an antibiotic effect.
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 HOT FEET

Hot feet can swell and become puffy while athlete’s foot is more prevalent in the sun.

  • Tea tree oil diluted in water or used in a natural lotion can prevent fungal infections.
  • Thuja tincture is good for soothing and healing athlete’s foot.
  • Bathe puffy feet in water with a few drops of peppermint oil, or foot lotion.
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INSECT BITES AND STINGS

Itchy, uncomfortable and unsightly insect bites and stings can also become infectious and make you ill.

To avoid :

  • Light Citronella candles to keep insects away.
  • Use a  herbal insect spray that doesn’t contain DEET to repel bugs and soothe bites –  for gnats, mosquitoes, midges, fleas, biting flies at home and abroad.
  • Put a few drops of Tea tree, Lavender, or Citronella oils in a water spray, or on the wrists and ankles – check that you are not allergic first!

To treat:

  • Apply coconut oil mixed with a couple of drops of lavender and neem oil to keep mosquitoes away and soothe bites.
  • Ledum is the number one homeopathic remedy for bites, according to Sue Leach. Take them every 15 minutes until swelling goes down.
  • For bee and wasp stings take Apis.
  • Soothe insect bites with neat Tea tree or Lavender oil – test first to see if allergic.
  • If nothing else is available put vinegar on a wasp sting.

Jellyfish stings

Very painful and rather shocking when you’re swimming.   The area goes very red and stings as if needles are being stuck in you. So here are some tips:

  • Get out of the water as quickly as possible.
  • Dowse skin with neat vinegar if you can – this works amazingly quickly. The pain goes almost immediately and the redness slowly wears off.
  • If there’s no vinegar you can pee on it – lots of old wives’ tales about this such as male urine is better. It’s obviously to do with the acid as with vinegar, so definitely try it out if there’s a shortage of  vinegar!

 

  • For jelly fish stings remove the tentacles and immerse in hot water.
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JET LAG

Long-haul flights can cause: tiredness, depression, lack of concentration, constipation, and disturbed sleep as the body clock takes time to adjust.

  • On long haul flights Cocculus 30c helps with sleep deprivation – take one tablet every four hours, Sue Leach advises.
  • Arnica 30c helps the body deal with the shock of travelling between time zones – again every four hours.
  • Olive is a good flower remedy to cope with the change your body is going through.
  • Put Neroli (if you can afford it!) or Lavender oil on a tissue and breathe in to induce sleep.
  • On arrival bathe with few drops of Grapefruit, Rosemary, Juniper or Lemongrass oils in water to refresh you.
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KIDS’ CUTS AND GRAZES

Children get into scrapes wherever they are and holidays are a prime time for them to get cuts and grazes.

  • Arnica gel or cream is great for rubbing on bruises particularly after a hard day on the slopes.
  • Take Arnica homeopathic tablets for bad bruises – take regularly until the colouring has gone. For broken skin try Calendula cream or Hypercal which is a combination of healing Hypericum and soothing Calendula.
  • Rescue Remedy cream soothes most cuts and grazes.
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 LIGHT-HEADEDNESS

A mixture of sun and alcohol can cause headaches,light-headedness or sheer exhaustion.

  • If you are hung over or feel generally light-headed try Nux vomica 30c homeopathic remedy.
  • Have a refreshing bath with a few drops of Lavender, Rosemary or Juniper oils.
  • Sip peppermint tea – but not if taking homeopathic remedies as it reduces their effectiveness.
  • Breathe deeply and slowly into your diaphragm.
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MIGRAINES

The sun, alcohol, tension, long distance travelling, and general stress can bring on a severe headache. The best way to stop a migraine is to nip it in the bud before it becomes intolerable.

  • Rub lavender oil on the temples, or any other combination of oils such as Migrastick which contains both peppermint and lavender oils – but don’t get near eyes or they will pour!
  • Take peppermint tea bags on holiday and sip at first signs of headache.
  • A good dip underwater can often clear out the sinuses and stop a headache in its tracks.

Once it strikes:

  • Both Migrastick and 4Head can help – you rub them directly on the skin, but because they contain strong oils they can make your eyes run if too near so be careful how you apply them.
  • For a throbbing headache, redness sensitivity to light and noise try Belladonna 30c homeopathic remedy.
  • For headaches due to a mixture of sun and alcohol, take the homeopathic remedy, Glonoin 30c.
  • When headache is accompanied by feeling sick Nux vom 30c sometimes does the trick.

Sometimes it’s too late to stop a migraine and it may not go away until after you’ve been sick, so don’t hold back!

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 NERVES

Last minute panics and worries about your destination can cause nervous diarrhoea.

  • Take Argent Nit, or Gelsemium homeopathic remedies if you are paralysed with fear.
  • For nervous air passengers put a few drops of Bach Flower’s Rescue Remedy on the tongue .
  • Take Arnica tablets if feeling shocked and traumatised – if this happens every time, start taking before leaving home.
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OVER-INDULGENCE

You don’t have to go away to suffer from indigestion and a bloated stomach – picking at barbeques can make stomachs uncomfortable.

  • Nux vom is a good homeopathic remedy if your stomach feels uncomfortable.
  • Peppermint tablets or tea are excellent for good digestion, relaxing the muscles in the gut and soothing pain and wind, but don’t take with homeopathic remedies as it reduces their effectiveness.   Even sniffing peppermint oil can take away feelings of nausea.
  • Slippery elm is a good indigestion remedy – herbal and totally natural.
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PRICKLY HEAT

For some people the heat and sun brings out an irritating rash which ‘prickles’ the skin.

  • Put a few drops of Lavender oil in a luke warm bath to soothe the rash – disturb the water with your hand to disperse the oil.
  • Take Cantharis homeopathic remedy for intense irritation, made worse by the sun.
  • Aloe Vera gel can be very soothing – preferably straight from the plant.
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QUEASINESS

There could be several reasons for feeling sick or queasy when you’re away – it may be due to food, the heat, the change of climate, jet lag, not enough sleep, jet lag, or even yearning for home!

  • For constipation and nausea take Nux vom 30c.
  • With headache and strong thirst try Bryonia 6c.
  • For travellers constipation use Nat mur 30c.
  • Peppermint oil on a tissue or in tablets can quell queasiness (never take homeopathic remedies with peppermint).
  • For home sickness Bach Flower RemedyHoneysuckle – a few drops in water or on the tongue three times a day.
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RASHES

There can be all types of rashes that crop up when you’re on holiday. Check what you are doing that is different from normal – for example, is it your suncream? If you suspect that it is, change the brand. We suggest natural suncreams which don’t include harsh chemicals, such as those containing aloe vera.  Or it could simply be the sun – see Prickly Heat above, or it might be the sea!  Try to make sensible changes before going to a doctor, who might give you strong corticosteroid creams.   A homeopathic remedy, such as Graphites, can ease

 

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STRESS

Packing and organisation before you leave home can leave you feeling stressed on the journey there. Add to that travelling and arriving somewhere new it’s not difficult to feel completely frazzled.

  • If young kids are whining and being annoying give them Chamomilla 30c – it’s a safe homeopathic remedy and they’ll probably like the sugary taste.
  • On arrival relax in a bath with a few drops of Geranium or Lavender oil.
  • If feeling weepy and fed up use Ylang Ylang or Clary Sage oils in the bath or in a tissue tucked in your collar.
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 TRAVEL SICKNESS

Motion sickness can happen in a car, boat, or plane but is much worse on an empty stomach. It’s important for all the family to have a light meal before setting off on a journey.

  • Cocculus 30c is described by Sue Leach as the ‘perfect remedy for sickness brought on by reading in the back of a car or feeling green on a boat’.
  • Nux Vomica can calm the stomach after vomiting.
  • Sniff Ginger oil, sip ginger tea (if possible), or buy ginger tablets.
  • Other teas which may help – Chamomile and Peppermint (peppermint should not be taken with homeopathic remedies).
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UPSET STOMACH

Over half of Britons who travel abroad come back with some kind of stomach upset – from mild diarrhoea to serious bugs.

There are several ways to prevent stomach bugs:

  • Build up resistance before going away with Probiotics which populate the gut with ‘friendly’ bacteria.
  • Do not eat lukewarm food – it should be hot or chilled!
  • Don’t have a meal in restaurants where there are lots of flies around the food.
  • Wash hands before eating.

To treat discomfort and vomiting:

  • Take homeopathic remedy, Arsenicum Alb 30c for upset tums, particularly if exhausted from vomiting, restless and anxious.
  • Carbo veg 30c is good if you are ‘bent double with stomach cramps and laid out with pain,’ Sue Leach says.

Severe food poisoning requires medical attention.

Slippery Elm is good for indigestion when taken after a meal.

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VACCINATIONS

For cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, polio and malaria seek advice from a homeopath about vaccinations. You need to take expert advice about areas where these diseases are rife and can be deadly. There are some remedies that can be taken in areas where there is less of a risk, but you need to check that your travel insurance will cover medical costs if you don’t have the recommended vaccinations.

  • Even if having vaccinations, take Echinacea, garlic and Vitamin C to build up the immune system before and during the trip.
  • There are some homeopathic remedies to prevent Hepatitis, Tetanus and Malaria, but make sure you speak to a homeopath direct or to a company like Helios.

For more information contact:

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 WATER

Meat and seafood may be common culprits where food poisoning is concerned, but in many countries it’s the water that hasn’t been properly treated which makes you ill.

  • In hot countries drink mineral water in bottles unless you are advised that tap water is definitely safe.
  • In undeveloped countries only drink boiled water.
  • If travelling in the East steer away from salads and peel fruit to avoid the water which has been used to clean them.
  • Never accept ice in suspect countries!

XHAUSTION

Long journeys, hot climates, and a change of setting can be tiring at first.

  • Siberian Ginseng can perk you up – it might be good to take before you go on holiday but don’t take when pregnant.
  • Arnica 30c may be well known for bruising but it’s also a good remedy for physical exhaustion.
  • Revitalise with a few drops of Geranium or Rosemary oil in the bath.
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 YEAST

Too much yeast in the body can cause Candida which results in bloated stomachs or thrush. Anyone who is prone to thrush and fungal infections may find they get worse in hot countries with exotic foods washed down with plenty of local wine.

  • Take Probiotics before going away and during the holiday to populate the gut with healthy bacteria and strengthen resistance.
  • Calendula and tea tree creams can be used to soothe itching of thrush or any fungal infections.
  • Live natural yoghurt can be eaten regularly, and applied to a tampon to cool down an irritated vagina.
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Passiflora courtesy of A.Vogel Bioforce

ZZZ

Nerves and excitement combined with a strange bed and jet lag can seriously upset sleep patterns.

  • Try to get back to normal by going to bed at the right time for the country you’re in.
  • Passiflora or Valerian are herbal remedies which can promote a relaxed night.
  • Put a few drops of Lavender or Neroli oil in a hot bath before bedtime.
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HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY

Top ten holiday tips

Packing for a holiday has become a whole lot more difficult in recent years due to security measures at airports. You aren’t allowed to take water through customs so you have to pay airport prices if you want a few bottles on your flight.

And you have to be careful about any liquids, make-up and other things that you try to take on board or they are confiscated! If you put them in a see-through plastic bag you can carry on little bottles of essential oils provided it’s not too many.

So presented with a much more limited choice what are the essentials for your natural remedy kit?

Rescue Remedy: a mixture of flower essences which has an immediate calming effect. Put a few drops on your tongue for fear of flying, anxiety about the trip or shock after an accident.

Echinacea: popular herbal remedy for keeping away colds and flu and boosting the immune system. Start taking before a long-haul flight to avoid picking up germs, if going somewhere where hygiene is poor, or if feeling ill.

Probiotics: prevention can be better than cure. Probiotics help to build up healthy bacteria in the gut and arm our systems against food-poisoning bugs. Live yoghourt contains probiotics as do acidophilus tablets.

Arnica: Tablets and cream help to heal bruises even if you can’t see them, so if you fall or have any accident start taking them straightaway. They also help to ease shock and can be taken if the outward journey is gruelling.

Lavender oil: all purpose essential oil with many healing properties. Use neat for bites, stings, and spots. Dilute in tepid water or buy lavender gel for sunburn or bruises. Has a calming effect if a few drops are put on the bath or on a tissue under the pillow.

Healthy Soul tip: Jellyfish stings

If you ever get stung by a jellyfish there are two remedies – one is vinegar on the site of the sting as quickly as possible – the pain goes immediately and the redness drains away. OR you can get a male to urinate on it! It has the same effect as vinegar.

 

 

More for your holiday kit if you can fit it in:

Travellers Kit: 18 homeopathic remedies with everything you’re likely to need when you’re away including Nux vom, Arnica, and Belladonna.

Calendula courtesy of A. Vogel

Calendula and Aloe Vera: the healing powers of Calendula (Marigold) which helps rough skin and soothing Aloe Vera are perfect for moisturising at the end of a day in the sun.

Tea tree oil – great disinfectant, helps to heal stings, bites and cuts and keeps bugs away.

Neem herbal spray: there are always plenty of bugs in warm countries in the day and at night so a herbal spray keeps them at bay!

Peppermint capsules or tablets: brilliant for that awful bloated feeling when the stomach starts feeling gripey – either after a meal or when you’re starving.

Chamomile Tea: It soothes a sore, bloated stomach, can be used cooled to soothe burnt skin, helps you to wind down and sleep, and calms your nerves, so it’s well worth having with you.

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