Soothe your cough

lemonsJust when you need a lot of sleep to make you feel better when you’ve caught a cold you get a cough which definitely gets worse at night.  Coughs can be painful and debilitating and make your stomach muscles ache with the effort.  To try and get a restorative night’s sleep you need to quell the coughing, so here we offer a few tips.

One of my safeguards is to dilute a teaspoonful of honey (preferably Manuka honey) in a glass of  warm water and have it by the bedside in case you start hacking in the night. If  it starts as soon as you lie down it’s a good idea to prop yourself up on pillows, which means you might get at least some sleep.  I always like to massage Vicks Rub into the chest area before going to sleep. It contains eucalyptus oil, but for a completely natural remedy a few drops of Eucalyptus or Olbas oil in a carrier oil (almond, calendula, etc.) has the same effect.

Steaming: You can’t beat steaming either – morning and night and even in between, but especially before you go to sleep.  If you put a few drops of essential oil into a bowl of steaming hot water so much the better.  Cover your head with a towel and breathe in the pungent vapours. I can recommend Olbas oil (a combination of oils), eucalyptus, tea tree, and lavender oils dissolved in water. But be careful – if they are too strong it can be quite overpowering so start with a couple of drops and add more if necessary.

Olbas Decongestant Oil, 10ml, £6.79

Absolute Aromas Organic Tea Tree Oil, 10ml, £7.58

Absolute Aromas Lavender Oil, 10ml, £11.95

Absolute Aromas Eucalyptus Globulus Oil, 10ml, £7.23

To purchase these with a 5% discount go to www.superfooduk.com and put in the promotion code: HSoul1

Gargling

When I was a child we gargled with TCP which was horrible!  Now I prefer something more natural – if you’ve got Himalayan salt crystals put a pinch in a glass of warm water. Or if you’re prepared for another strong taste a couple of drops of Tea Tree Oil in warm water works well on a sore throat/cough.

I also swear by Echinacea and A. Vogel’s Echinaforce Echinacea Throat Spray moistens your throat and can prevent coughing.

A. Vogel Echinaforce Echinacea tincture, 50ml, £10.95

A. Vogel Echinaforce Echinacea tablets, 42, £7.41

Dr Jen Tan of A. Vogel, recommends plenty of hydration with hot drinks and water, but avoiding mucus-forming milk.  He also endorses lemon and honey which can be mixed together and sipped, and plenty of Vitamin C.

Thyme and pine are also cough relievers and they are included, with honey,  in A. Vogel’s Bronchosan Syrup and Cough Spray.

Find out more about these products atwww.avogel.co.uk 

Some other favourites: 

Comvita Propolis Herbal Elixir with Manuka Honey & Propolis, 100ml, £11.99  has a soothing effect on throats.

A. Vogel Echinacea  lozenges, 30g, £5.36

Potter’s Chest Mixture with Lobelia, 150ml, £6.39

Cherry Active liquid made from Montmorency cherries. Delicious and packed with Vitamin C, Concentrate, 473ml, £17.15;  30 capsules, £12.11

To purchase these with a 5% discount go to www.superfooduk.com and put in the promotion code: HSoul1

 

 

Cystitis tips

One in three women get cystitis in their lives and some get recurrent attacks, but doctors can only provide antibiotics as a solution. There are plenty of ways of trying to prevent it and natural solutions when you’ve got it.  At its worst cystitis can be excruciating.There are a number of symptoms and some can be present without the others:

•  burning sensation on passing water
•  pain in the lower abdomen
•  pain in the lower back, the kidneys and in the ureters   – the tubes from the bladder to the opening.

Often the vagina itself feels inflamed and there may be general malaise, depression and fever.

The woman may have to go to the toilet regularly and as this is a painful experience it makes it even worse. The urine becomes cloudy, smelly and often contains blood streaks, although these may not be visible to the naked eye. The pain can be so severe that you feel like pulling your hair or sticking your nails in your palms – this is danger point and requires medical attention.

It is vital that if someone is in severe pain and has a temperature that they see a doctor immediately because it can spread to the kidneys and become very serious. At this stage self-help may not work.

Repeat attacks

Some women are particularly prone to cystitis and bladder discomfort, which may not involve an infection but means that going to the loo can feel uncomfortable afterwards with pain in the bladder situated in the lower abdomen or in the back.

The medical profession has found little to no solutions to repeated cystitis and bladder discomfort. Common treatment is by antibiotic which will certainly take away an infection fairly quickly but often has the effect of giving thrush as well. It is possible that the antibiotic you get doesn’t fight the specific bug and you have to go back to the GP and get a different one.

Antibiotics don’t help to prevent further attacks and unfortunately if someone has cystitis regularly repeat prescriptions eventually wear down the immune system making them more susceptible to everything!

Prevention is the answer

As there’s no medical cure self-help is the only answer. Standard advice is:

• Drink plenty of water to flush out the infection;
• Avoid coffee, tea, alcohol which are all diuretics and make you go to the loo even more;
• As germs come from the anal area wipe from front to back with toilet paper;
• Don’t use soaps, shower gels, bath lotions contain chemicals;
• Go to the loo immediately after intercourse and wash in a bidet or bath;
• Wear cotton pants;
• Ask your partner to wash his genitals before sex – often embarrassing!

Intercourse triggers attacks

Intercourse is one of the most common causes of bladder problems and it may be the position of the bladder and the womb that cause it in some females and not in others. Most women don’t want to give up sex for the rest of their lives so they need to find an answer!

Cystitis is caused by bacteria going up into the bladder and causing infection. This is often because the penis causes bruising to the vaginal walls and bladder and the bruising sets up infection. If the woman is using spermicides or the cap it is more than likely that these will aggravate the condition as does menopause when the vagina becomes dryer.

One of the reasons why women suffer from this debilitating problem rather than men is the position of the genitals. The anus is full of germs and is situated very close to the vagina, which is near to the ureter so it is easy for germs to move from one to the other.

Candida

Sometimes repeated attacks of cystitis are due to candida, a yeast infection that takes a hold on the system. There are plenty of symptoms of candida including fungal infections (thrush, athlete’s foot), digestive problems, bloating, tiredness, lethargy. See our article on Candida in Women’s Health.

Natural remedies

There are a several over the counter solutions, many of them based on bicarbonate of soda which aims to neutralise the acid in the urine. There are also plenty of herbal and homeopathic solutions:

  • Uva ursi – a herbal remedy for urinary infection
  • Echinacea – boosts the immune system and can help to prevent an attack when the first twinges start
  • Taking regular probiotics such as Acidophilus helps to keep the gut replenished with healthy bacteria which reduces chances of infections
  • Cranberries – contain PACs (proanthocyanidins) that attach themselves to the bacteria – mostly E-coli – preventing them from attaching themselves to cells in the body. Supplements can be good but choose a juice that has no artificial sweeteners or sugar in
  • D-Mannose, made from the bark of the spruce tree, is a compound which is present in the urine to fight bacteria, but by providing more in a supplement it can ease cystitis
  • Cantharis – homeopathic remedy when there is a burning sensation on going to the loo
  • Witch-hazel squeezed on a piece of cotton wool at the opening to the ureter so that it can be felt right up into the tubes or held in the vagina to soothe inflammation
  • Gokshura and Shatavari are Ayurvedic herbs for urinary discomfort with pain on passing water, urgency, dribbles, burning and blood streaked urine


Complementary therapies

Naturopathy – looks at lifestyle and the causes of the problem which could be emotional as well as finding herbal and other natural solutions. People with bladder problems are said to be holding on to the past or they may be feeling out of control in their lives (literally!).

General Council and Register of Naturopaths & British Naturopathic Association, 01458 840072,  www.naturopathy.org.uk

Reflexology – particularly helpful during an attack because the reflexologist can work on the bladder area and can help it to go away entirely.

Association of Reflexologists, 01823 364951,  www.aor.org.uk

Nutrition – unhealthy eating habits won’t help sufferers of cystitis to get better. A nutritionist can be more specific, but generally it may help to eat organic food so that chemicals aren’t irritating the bladder and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. As the problem may stem from candida, an overgrowth of yeast, avoiding bread and sugar may help.
 

The British Association of Nutritional Therapists, 0870 6061284,  www.bant.org.uk
The Institute for Optimum Nutrition, 020 8614 7800,  www.ion.ac.uk

Emotional Freedom Technique – where tapping the ends of the meridians helps to get out emotional causes for illness.

The Association for the Advancement of Meridian Therapies: www.meridiantherapy.org

Chinese Herbal Medicine – herbs have to be boiled up and drunk twice a day as a tea to build up the ‘chi’ or energy in the kidneys.

Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine, www.rchm.co.uk,  01603 927420

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Autumn health tips

gingerAyurvedic and Chinese medicine put a lot of emphasis on the change of seasons and how it affects the body.   For instance, eating right for the time of year is very important so that you eat salads in summer and soups and stews in winter to warm up your body.

Other issues at this time of year: 

  • Lack of exposure to the sun leads to Vitamin D. deficiency as the winter goes on.
  • Darker days can mean that people feel depressed or get SAD – see Winter blues or SAD?
  • Colds and flu are most prevalent before Christmas.  Read Prevent Colds.
  • Sleep can also become disrupted – see Sleep problems and it’s often hard to get up in the morning!

Winter tips:

Vitamin C will help you to stave off colds – a good dose is 1,000mg and any excess is peed out.  Try Cherry Active or Viridian Ester C.

Warming foods such as stews casseroles and home-made soups help to keep the body warm in cold weather.  Include plenty of herbs and spices to keep the digestive system healthy –- ginger, cumin, basil, mustard, cardamom, black pepper, basil, turmeric, and of course garlic!

Exercise outside when it’s sunny and dry so that you get some exposure to sunlight.   According to Mind, the mental health charity, what they call ‘ecotherapy’ can positively affect your mood.

Take plenty of Vitamin D – there isn’t  enough sun in the UK in winter for your body to make Vitamin D.  So try taking a supplement such as Viridian’s Vitamin D, or Better You’s D-Lux spray.

Sleep well – sleep is as vital as exercise and healthy eating for our wellbeing. To see some tips for sleeping well in winter read: Sleep problems.

Drink spicy teas that are cleansing and warming – those containing cardamom, cinnamon and ginger are particularly good.

Hot water with lemon a slice of lemon first thing in the morning is very cleansing to the liver.

Tip from Sebastian Pole of Pukka Herbs: if the change of season affects your digestion, gives you insomnia, constipation or anxiety, try the Ayurvedic remedy: Ashwaganda ((Withania somnifera). He also suggests a delicious cup of milk simmered with a pinch of nutmeg and cardamom to settle in for a blissful night’s sleep!

You can buy these products at www.superfooduk.com  and get 5% discount by putting in the promotion code: HSoul1 .

 

 

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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Aloe Vera Gel & Tea Tree Aloe Pure 200ml £5.57
Aloe Gold Ultimate Skin Gel Higher Nature 120ml £18.15
Saw Palmetto A Vogel Bioforce 50ml £9.15
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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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Bryonia 30C Nelsons Clikpak 84 £5.45
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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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Graphites 30C Nelsons 84 tablets £5.89

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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Ginger Root Veg Caps Viridian 30 x 400mg £6.85
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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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Slippery Elm Stomach Tablets Potter’s 60 £7.49
Bio-Acidophilus Biocare 60 Veg caps £14.63
Essential 18 Kit Helios Homeopathic Pharmacy 18 homeopathic remedies £26.95
Optibac Probiotics Travla DTEC 20 capsules £10.20
Optibac Probiotics for Babies & Children DTEC 10 sachets £6.65
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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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Siberian Ginseng tablets Lambert’s Healthcare 60 x 1,500mg £10.45
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Rosemary Oil Health Aid 10ml £5.99
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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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Travel Guard Probiotics Biocare 15 £17.60
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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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Lavender Oil Tisserand 9ml £5.70
Rescue Remedy Night Drops Bach Flower Remedies 10ml £7.00
Rescue Night Spray Bach Flower Remedies 20ml £9.45
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Valeriana Officinalis Valerian tincture A. Vogel Bioforce 50ml £9.15
Coffea 6c Weleda 125 £9.15
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HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY

Exam time – keep calm

exam girlIt’s exam season for thousands of British students – at school and university.  After years of hard work it’s important to stay focused, healthy and alert, including the recently heralded Rosemary Oil.

On top of doing lots of work it’s important to:

  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Eat healthy foods, not sugary snacks.
  • Take breaks and relax.
  • Calm down – try Rescue Remedy!

Many students reach for the fizzy drinks, chocolate bars, and caffeinated drinks to keep themselves going, but they often have the opposite effect.  Too much sugar or caffeine in the body can bring about mood swings and poor concentration, while healthy eating and drinking plenty of water help much more.

There are plenty of tips about diet, relaxation, sleep and mental attitude below.  Rescue Remedy drops, spray, or pastilles are a great boon and you can be confident that Confidence Essence and Concentration Essence really can help – see below.  Many of these products are on special offer this May/June.

REMEMBER:

  • Take a bottle of water into the exam with you – your brain needs fluid.
  • Conversely go to the loo before the exam so you’re not thinking abou thow you need to go all the way through.

Life coach, Carole Gaskell, advises:

· ‘Focus on the big picture on what you want to achieve – not just the test or the exam, as they are a means to an end. This helps to lift the pressure slightly and make the brain clearer;

  • Believe that as long as you give it your best shot you’ll be fine;
  • Visualise feeling good during the exam instead of nervous and stressed, and imagine a positive outcome and how you will feel when you get good results.’

‘We all carry our own reality in our heads with words buzzing around so make them positive. Say positive things to yourself such as “I owe it to myself to do my best”.’

Getting zzzzzs

Stephen Palmer, director of the Centre for Stress Management, has a few tips:

  • ‘It’s helpful to get into a routine before going to bed so that you calm down and can sleep well;
  • Don’t do anything too exciting, like watching a horror film;
  • Maybe read a book, drink a glass of milk – avoid Coke or anything with caffeine in it – and unwind.’

He also suggests:

  • Playing some relaxing music before bedtime;
  • Making sure the bedroom isn’t cluttered.
‘If there are school bags around it reminds them of exams, or if the room is messy they may think about their parents nagging them to tidy up. ‘It’s really helpful to lie down and imagine they are on the beach, walking the dog or anything else they really enjoy.’
Some other ways of getting a good night’s sleep:
  • Put a few drops of lavender or geranium essential oils into a night time bath to relax you;
  • Put a couple of drops of Lavender oil on a tissue under the pillow;
  • Take the herb Valerian half an hour before bedtime to promote normal sleep: a trial on students at the University of Surrey found that after a seven day course of Valerian the volunteers were more relaxed and found tests less stressful without feeling dopey – if on medication consult your GP before taking herbal medicines.
  • Drink a glass of milk at night, rather than coffee or fizzy drinks which contain stimulating caffeine.
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Rescue Night Spray Bach Flower Remedies 20ml £9.45
To purchase these products you can go to www.superfooduk.com and get 5% discount with the code: HSoul1

Concentration

Weeks of revising and exams can take their toll and it becomes harder to concentrate and focus, but natural remedies can help.

  • Peppermint, rosemary and basil essential oils clear the head and help concentration – put in an oil burner when studying or put on a tissue and carry into the exam to keep focused – do not use strong oils if taking homeopathic remedies.
  • All schoolchildren used to be given a spoonful of cod liver oil every morning with good reason – Fish oils contain essential fatty acids which are required for healthy brain function, improving focus, and the ability to deal with stress.
  • Concentration Essence combines Larch, Blackberry, Yarrow, Hornbeam, White Chestnut, Nasturtium, Mullein, Wild Oat, Cerato and Peppermint flower essences, especially useful for exam time.
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Basil Oil Absolute Aromas 10ml £9.64
Omega 3 Fish Oils Higher Nature 30 capsules £5.83
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Eating for energy

Nutritionist, Natalie Savona, stresses the importance of good eating when you’re doing exams.

‘It’s so tempting for kids doing exams to put off their meals and just snack on crisps and chocolate. This often puts them off eating a proper meal when they need to be well fuelled.

‘Eating sugary snacks such as chocolate and drinking soft drinks and coffee gives you a short burst of energy but it doesn’t last. And it interferes with blood sugar levels so you get slumps of mood and concentration and brain fatigue.

To calm nerves, boost brainpower and keep you healthy Natalie recommends a high fibre diet:

‘When you get stressed all the body’s energy is diverted to deal with how you are feeling. Less energy is put into the digestive system and for that reason people start to get stomach problems – nervous diarrhoea, bloating and feeling sick.’

Natalie recommends a healthy energy-boosting diet:

  • Fish – particularly oily types like mackerel and tuna – because it builds healthy brain cells;
  • Fruit and vegetables which are rich in nutrients to keep the system in top gear;
  • Plenty of fibre – brown rice and wholegrains such as lentils and beans, wholemeal bread and pastas.
  • Healthy snacks – fruit and vegetables, nuts or seeds, or even healthy snack bars.

‘A really good meal is tinned tuna, baked potato, cottage cheese and salad.’

‘To cope with the stress,’ Natalie suggests,’Vitamin C and Vitamin B are particularly needed, so taking a good multivitamin every day will help.’

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Breakfast is essential

Natalie also stresses the importance of a good breakfast: ‘Scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast or eggs with bacon provide plenty of protein. Try to avoid sugary cereals. If they’re going to sit in a three hour exam they don’t want to be starving in the middle of it.’

Confidence boosting

Lack of confidence can make a capable person under-perform, but natural flower essences encourage self-assurance.

  • Seven drops of Australian Bush Flower Confidence Essence morning and night under the tongue at night brings out positive qualities and confidence, and prevents subconscious negative beliefs!
  • For anyone who doesn’t expect to do well the Bach Flower Remedy, Larch builds up confidence;
  • Gentian Bach Flower Remedy helps someone who hasn’t got much faith in themselves, particularly if they didn’t do well in the mocks.
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  • Calming nerves

    When we panic we shallow breathe prompting headaches, muscle tension, dizziness and a general feeling of tiredness.

    Stephen Palmer of the Centre for Stress Management recommends, ‘Don’t take deep breaths. Breathe slowly and let your stomach go up and down as you do. To really switch off from panicky thoughts pick a number at random and say it in your head as you switch off.’

    Some of Sue Leach’s homeopathic tips:

    • Gelsemium for paralysing fear: ‘If someone feels dizzy, faint, apathetic, heavy, weak, unable to focus and feel like that they’re going to have diarrhoea, it’s ideal. Take one on the morning of the exam and one just before starting.’
    • Argentum nitricum for people getting in such a state that they can’t think straight and their memory has gone to pot. ‘Time seems to stand still yet they operate at double speed and keep wanting sugary things.’ Follow the same directions as for the three As.
    • Rescue Remedy for quick calming. ‘Put a few drops in a bottle of water on the desk to calm down during the exam. Staying hydrated is essential for keeping the brain ticking – studies show dehydration lowers concentration and scores in exams.’
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