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
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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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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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Prevent hay fever

Autumn 2015 1

Hay fever facts :

  • Around 12 million people have hay fever in the UK
  • 95  per cent are affected by grass pollen, but many suffer from the tree pollens that are abundant from the spring.
  • Silver birch is the most prevalent hay fever trigger from trees, and it releases pollen as the temperature goes up.

Nutritional changes

More and more people are getting hay fever and age is no  barrier – you can start getting it at any age.   Ali Cullen, nutritional therapist at A. Vogel suggests some nutritional changes:

• Eat foods with anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties: including carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, avocado, mango, apricots, peaches, nectarines, papaya, pears, pineapples, blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, blackcurrants, prunes, plums, raisins, figs, herring, salmon, sardines, trout, and pilchards.
• Cut down on foods that trigger inflammation such as: caffeine and refined sugar.
• Avoid mucus-forming dairy foods – milk products – to help to reduce catarrh.

The symptoms

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen or mould which the body reacts to as alien substances. It causes numerous symptoms:

• Sneezing
• Runny, red and itchy eyes
• Blocked nose
• Wheezing
• Itchy throat
• Coughing
• Headaches and tiredness
• Sleep problems

Although it’s unpleasant the body is dealing with the alien substance by trying to get rid of it through sneezing and runny nose and eyes. Not surprisingly all this makes people feel very run down and unwell for as long as it lasts.

What else could it be?

Different people react to different pollens such as grass pollen, tree pollen and mould spores. Some weeds like nettle can affect people who are sensitive and often sufferers also react to house dust mites, animal fur and chemicals in household products and furniture.

Where you live

If you live in the south-east, the Midlands, north-east or central Scotland, particularly in a city you are more likely to suffer than people in most of Scotland and Wales, the north and the west country. The pollen season is shorter in Scotland and Wales and places like Devon or the Lake District benefit because of mountains and moorland.

What can you do about it?

Most people use anti-histamines, but they can make you drowsy.  There are some great natural remedies including a nasal wash – with a tiny bit of salt in warm water, or beetroot juice (if you can bear it) to clear out the nostrils. You can buy neti pots that enable you to do this easily – it has a little spout. This isn’t a pleasant experience and you might prefer one of the nasal sprays below.

A few tips

  • Avoid caffeine as it triggers histamine release – green teas and herbal teas are better.
  • Stay away from grassy areas particularly in the early evening when the pollen count peaks.
  • Cut down on dairy as it can increase the production of mucus.
  • Refined sugar makes blood sugar levels rise and fall, resulting in a surge of adrenaline which releases histamine.
  • Inhale steam with a few drops of basil, tea tree in to soothe nostrils.
  •  Rub some olive oil, Vaseline or HayMax on the inside of your nose to trap pollen.
  • Keep windows closed where possible. Net curtains can trap the pollen.
  • Wear sunglasses to keep pollen away from eyes

Herbal Remedies

• Luffa is little known but believed by nutritional experts such as Alison Cullen from Ayrshire to be the ‘number one treatment’. Clears a blocked or runny nose, and watery red eyes but has no side-effects, and children can take it. Start two weeks before the hayfever season is in force.
• Echinacea can be taken from one month before the hayfever season and then combined with Luffa.
• Euphrasia as a herbal tincture can ease watery sore eyes.
• Nettle for people who get skin rashes as well – a natural antihistamine.

Quercetin is a substance found in onions that is believed to stabilise the body’s cells that produce histamine and cause the allergic response (sniffing, sneezing, wheezing). It is enhanced by Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, which is said to help the absorption of quercetin into the body.

Homeopathic remedies for hay fever

Susanne Haar, Nelsons Homeopathic Pharmacist recommends trying a homeopathic consultation. Homeopathy can be used to help with the symptoms of hay fever and useful remedies include:

•    Nux vomica: for a runny nose during the day, which is dry at night; irritable and impatient mood; a person who feels worse in the morning, better in open air.
•    Euphrasia: for watery irritated eyes.
•    Allium cepa: for sneezing; runny nose; irritated eyes; when a person feels better in cool open air.
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Hay fever top tips

grass kidsYou’ve started sneezing, your eyes are sore, and you know that this year’s hay fever has started. Read our top tips from Alison Cullen of A. Vogel.

And read Prevent hay fever.

1. Caffeine triggers histamine release which can bring the skin up in a red, itchy, angry looking rash and dilate your blood vessels until everything feels inflamed – try green tea or herbal teas instead.

2. Dairy products are mucus forming. People prone to allergic reactions often struggle with dairy, so check out dairy-free options like goat’s milk, soya milk, almond milk, rice milk, for a start.

3. Refined sugar triggers a dramatic rise and fall of blood sugar levels, which causes an adrenalin surge that activates histamine release. Choose sweet dried or fresh fruit for a natural sugar fix instead, or stevia which is a natural sugar substitute.

4. Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine – fresh fruit and vegetables ensure a steady intake throughout the day. Your body can’t make or store vitamin C, so it has to be available in low, consistent doses to support your nasal lining.

5. Eat anti-inflammatory foods including blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, blackcurrants, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, mangoes, apricots, peaches, nectarines, papaya, pears, pineapples, prunes, plums, raisins, figs, avocadoes, herring, pilchards, sardines, salmon, pumpkinseed oil and flaxseed oil to help counter inflammation.

6. Dry clothes indoors as damp clothes on the washing line will collect pollen.

7. Undress in the bathroom not the bedroom so the pollen from clothes doesn’t float around the bedroom.

8. Spread Vaseline around the edge of each nostril to trap or block pollen. Reapply each time you blow your nose.

9. Keep an eye on the pollen count using the free A.Vogel hayfever app at www.avogel.co.uk so you know when levels are high. It uses GPS to find your location and shows forecast levels for trees, grass and weed pollen.

10. Stock up on A.Vogel Pollinosan tablets (see below), a natural remedy containing seven tropical herbs that work on all the symptoms of hayfever and allergic rhinitis, without the drowsy side effects associated with some medicine. For best results, it can be taken a month before your symptoms usually start.

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Max Strength Bee Prepared 30 caps £11.99
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Vitamin D essential to health

The Government is now advising the public to take Vitamin D supplements in winter.   The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) has produced a report on Vitamin D levels for the Government, emphasising that everyone in Britain over the age of one should take 10 mcg of Vitamin D a day.

Sunshine accounts for 90 per cent of our intake of Vitamin D, which poses a problem for anyone living in northern Europe in winter time and even in summer (when you get poor summers like this one).

Deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to bone loss, poor muscle function and an increased risk of falls and fractures – an increasing problem as people get older.  Migraines, regular headaches,  joint pain, depression, SAD or insomnia can also point to a Vitamin D deficiency.   The Chief Medical Officer is suggesting extending free vitamins to more  young children, rather than just those from low income families who currently receive them.  Also at risk are pregnant and breastfeeding women and the over 65s, who should be taking supplements.   Not only is Vitamin D essential for the bones and heart it is also needed for a healthy immune and nervous system, enables blood to clot normally and maintains healthy teeth.

Why we become deficient:

  • In northern countries we have six months of very little sun.
  • Winter sun in the UK is not strong enough for Vitamin D to be made in the body.
  • Few people get enough Vitamin D from their diet.
  • The skin cancer message may have been taken to extremes – we need sunlight, but not excessive sun bathing.
  • Vitamin D in the body only lasts for three weeks.
  • Some people cover up their bodies for religious or fashion reasons.

All things in moderation mean that you don’t have to lie in the hot sun for hours on end to get enough exposure. A sensible amount of exposure (20 to 30 minutes) will do more good than harm, particularly on sunny summer days that aren’t necessarily hot.

Vitamin D is essential for healthy immune function, cognitive function, and bone health.
 

Dietary sources:

• Salmon and other oily fish
• Eggs
• Milk
• Liver
• Margarine
• Fortified breakfast cereals

Health experts claim that people are not eating enough of the above. In the US the recommended daily levels of intake of Vitamin day are 5 mcg a day.

Problems caused by Vitamin D deficiency
A deficiency in Vitamin D activates the mechanism that boosts blood pressure; stimulates the parathyroid hormone which increases inflammation, and increases insulin resistance – insulin is not recognised by the body, leading to high blood sugar levels.

• High blood pressure/hypertension
• Heart disease
• Alzheimer’s
• Diabetes
• Osteoporosis – affects 1.2 million women in the UK
• Colo-rectal and breast cancers
• Rickets (severe deficiency)

 

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The UK government recommends that pregnant women and nursing mums take 10mcg of Vitamin D daily. Breast fed babies need 7-8.5 mcg a day, while formula milk is fortified with Vitamin D. Although Vitamin D supplements are recommended to pregnant women and children under five, it is this advice is often overlooked by GPs and much of the official information is vague.

Australia changes its sun message

Seven charities in the UK have issued joint guidelines about Vitamin D, recommending short spells in the sun without suncream. Two of the charities endorsing the health message are Cancer Research UK and the National Osteoporosis Society.

According to the BBC, Professor Rona Mackie, from the British Association of Dermatologists, said sun protection with high factor suncream on all the time is not ideal, in terms of Vitamin D levels.

‘Even Australia has changed its policy on this. They’re now producing charts showing parts of Australia where sun protection may not be required during some parts of the year. Some of the messages about sun exposure have been too negative. UK summer sunshine isn’t desperately strong. We don’t have many days in the year when it is very intense.

‘What’s changed is that we’re now saying that exposure of 10 to 15 minutes to the UK summer sun, without sun cream, several times a week is probably a safe balance between adequate vitamin D levels and any risk of skin cancer.”


 

 

 

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