Are you looking for a simple, natural way to soothe your stomach and ease digestive upsets? Look no further than a cup of chamomile tea! People have used this delicate and floral brew for centuries as a digestive aid, and for good reason. What is chamomile tea? Chamomile can refer to German chamomile (Matricaria recutita […]
Herbal medicine and long covid: Can herbs help recovery?
The Covid-19 pandemic is over, but its after-effects linger on for some. Recent findings indicate that up to one-third of people who had Covid-19 symptoms may suffer from long-term effects, known as “Long-Covid”. Ongoing symptoms such as fatigue, breathing difficulties and chest pain are commonly present in these patients. This article explores the potential of […]
Natural Remedies for Deep Sleep: 30 Tips to Get Better Rest
Getting a restful night of deep sleep is essential for our overall health and can make all the difference in our energy levels. So it’s no wonder many people struggle with the effects of persistent poor sleep. Whether the reason is an ongoing medical condition, chronic pain, shift work or a stressful situation, millions of […]
The health benefits of the medicinal herb Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea)
Glechoma hederacea L. — Ground Ivy Glechoma hederacea is a medicinal herb otherwise known as ground ivy. It is a lovely sight in the spring as it is one of the first plants to flower. This evergreen, aromatic, creeping, perennial herb grows throughout the British Isles. It also grows in other parts of Europe, Asia, […]
The benefits of herbal medicine vs conventional medicine
You might wonder, now that we have modern conventional medicine, do we still need the alternative treatment option of herbal medicine? And the answer would be most definitely YES. In this post I will outline why I believe alternative medicine still has a lot to offer people who wish to improve their health. What is […]
Food intolerance testing
Food intolerance testing has become more popular over the last decade, and more tests are available. But how useful are they? I will explain your options. In the past few years, food intolerance testing has become increasingly popular. But why should you test for intolerances? And, what do these tests tell us? What is food intolerance? […]
How does stress affect the digestive system?
Symptoms of stress don’t just affect our mental health but also our overall health, including our gut health. But exactly how does stress affect the digestive system? And what can you do about it? This article will explain why stress causes problems in our gut and how we can fix these problems using simple lifestyle […]
Heartburn or Indigestion? This guide explains all
Do you know the difference between heartburn and indigestion? What about acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease? This article should help make things more transparent if you’re not sure. All these tummy troubles have something in common – a burning pain in the chest. Knowing the difference between these common problems can mean finding a […]
4 ways to relieve acid reflux naturally
Acid reflux is a digestive disorder in which your oesophagus becomes inflamed due to stomach acid coming up into your throat. This causes heartburn, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation and nausea. This article explains some quick ways to relieve acid reflux with natural remedies. Do you have acid reflux? The symptoms of acid reflux include […]
What is a medicinal plant?
A medicinal plant is a plant that contains substances that have a therapeutic value. These medicinal compounds or therapeutic constituents are bioactive compounds that can improve health or general wellbeing. People around the world use such plants for health and healing and have for thousands of years. We know this because we have ancient texts […]
What is holistic health?
Holistic Health focuses on the entire person. Rather than treating one aspect of the body, it looks at how each area affects the others. For example, health conditions don’t affect just one body part. With a holistic approach to health, we can see a relationship between the mind and the body. Stress impacts our mental […]
Natural remedies for sunburn
Finally, we have some sunshine and isn’t it lovely! Except that the sudden gorgeous sunshine, means inevitably people are likely to get sunburned skin. If you have had too much sun exposure here are some natural remedies for sunburn with soothing and healing properties.
Why your gut health is more important than you think
Gut health is more important than most people realise. The good news is that you can improve gut health. Your gut contains hundreds of species of bacteria, many of which can be very beneficial for your health. Beneficial species are beneficial because they produce substances such as vitamins. However, another important role is that they […]
The Gut-Skin Connection: How The Gut Microbiome Affects Acne
Acne affects most people at some time in their lives, causing a lack of confidence and low self-esteem. With an almost desperate need to get clearer skin, it is common to use many skincare products and antibiotic treatments. But, looking at what is happening in your body that causes your acne can be a better […]
SIBO: it’s important to find the possible causes
I see a lot of information about SIBO on websites and social media, especially in relation to giving advice on how to cope with the symptoms. Symptoms Common symptoms of SIBO include: bloating nausea or vomiting diarrhoea fatigue weight loss joint pain skin problems depression malnutrition Yet many of these symptoms are the same as […]
How herbal medicines work from a modern perspective
As a herbalist, part of my work involves the need to keep up with current research. Actually, as a bit of a science geek, it is a part I really enjoy. And especially I have to admit that it is very satisfying when published research supports years of traditional herbal use. Particularly when previous unfavourable […]
Which are the best natural anti inflammatory herbs and spices?
Did you know that inflammation is an underlying factor in all diseases? It is. From allergies to heart disease and the autoimmune diseases rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, inflammation has a role. But inflammation is also an important part of the natural immune system response that keeps us healthy. Without inflammation, we couldn’t heal […]
What is flaxseed good for?
This small, nutritious seed is full of good fats and fibre. But do you know what flaxseed is good for in terms of your health?
Migraine and nausea
Migraine headaches are very common and affect around 14% of people. With recurrent, moderate to severe headaches that last between 4 to 72 hours each time this health problem can have a devastating effect on quality of life. But it is not just the headache that disrupts day to day life. Migraineurs often have to […]
Herbal medicine vs homeopathy – what’s the difference?
Herbal medicine and homeopathy have similarities but they are not the same. They differ in both the remedy itself and also in how we choose the remedy. Let me explain… Herbal medicine Herbal remedies can be either the medicinal plant material itself or an extract produced from it. In some cases, the remedy might be […]
Take control of your menopause with acupuncture
If you struggle with symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes you are not alone. Changes in hormone levels can make you feel like you’re going crazy. Most women have at least some symptoms at this time. But, for up to 20% of women these are very distressing. Symptoms during menopause night sweats and/or day sweats tiredness […]
Herbal medicine in cancer care
Sky News is reporting today on the use of herbal remedies by breast cancer patients. The article includes comments made by a breast cancer surgeon suggesting that using herbal remedies may do more harm than good and delay the recovery of cancer patients. The article goes on to say that complementary therapies such as herbal […]
Rosehips improve osteoarthritis symptoms
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the world. It causes destruction of the cartilage and other parts of the joints, mainly in the hands, knees, hips or the spine. The damage leads to the osteoarthritis symptoms of joint pain and stiffness, which impair joint function and inevitably impact on quality of life. Non-steroidal […]
Why I have a food first approach to optimum health
People that know me well know that good food is essential to me. I even chose my daughters’ school based on the food they offered. It is the same with my patients. My patients know that I am very interested in what they are eating. I have a food first approach when it comes to […]
The role of ageing in gut health and osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a progressive and degenerative joint disease. It causes a great deal of pain and disability for millions of people. It commonly affects older people and we used to think it was caused by wear and tear. But, scientists now think there might be other causes. One such cause involves a link between gut […]
Can eating mushrooms reduce dementia risk and save your brain?
The number of people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is expected to rise at an alarming rate. Currently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) believes there are 50 million people around the world with dementia. But this number is expected to triple in the next thirty years. Yet scientists believe that we can reduce our risk […]
Sniffing out Alzheimer’s disease
Scientists have discovered that one of the earliest symptoms related to the development of Alzheimer’s disease is a problem with the sense of smell. The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, is increasing rapidly. It is one of the most dreaded of diseases and yet modern medicine seems capable […]
Can we cure autoimmune disease?
Our immune system is meant to protect us from disease. But it can also damage our own cells and tissues. This is what happens in autoimmune disease. But why would our own immune system turn against us? And what can we do about it, if anything? How a healthy immune system works A healthy immune […]
Can gardening reverse cognitive decline?
We know that genetics can play an important role in the risk of developing certain forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Well, we can’t do anything about our genes. But, are there other modifiable factors that might help us avoid this life changing disease? Or, even reverse the mild cognitive impairment that precedes such […]
An intro on adaptogens for stress
Modern life is inherently stressful. The funny thing is that we don’t all respond to stress in the same way. Of course there are situations that we all might struggle to cope with, like the death of a loved one. But in the day to day hurdles of life, it is often the case that […]
What to eat on the Mediterranean diet
As I have discussed before scientific studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet is the healthiest way to eat. There are hundreds if not thousands of studies that support the use of this way of eating for improving health as well as reducing the risk of developing a chronic disease, potentially reversing chronic disease and for […]
Should you eat more whole grains?
In the news last week we saw many articles similar to this one from the BBC website. These articles relate to a World Health Organisation (WHO) funded review in the Lancet that looked at the amount of dietary fibre people eat and how it relates to their health and risk of disease. The general impression of the […]
What is a toxin?
If you look for a definition of a toxin in a dictionary you might see something similar to this: – a toxin is a poisonous organic compound, meaning a substance of plant or animal origin, that can harm the human body. While this definition covers those toxins we produce in our bodies all the time, […]
Are detox plans worth doing?
Detox plans are all the rage at this time of year. A New Year – a new you! I get it. And especially after a period of overindulgence over the Christmas holidays, many people are ready to tone it back and get on track. Eat more healthily. exercise more, drink more water and so on… […]
Meditation for brain preservation
We have an ageing population in the UK. This means the proportion of older people is increasing. While living longer might be desirable, it is true that many older people have a decline in brain function. In fact, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is a major cause of death in the UK. This fact highlights the […]
Safe alternatives for morning sickness
In the UK news this week is a story about morning sickness costing the NHS £60 million per year. The article suggests that four out of five women in the UK suffer from nausea and many of them will seek medical advice. In fact, there may be as many as 80 ambulance callouts per day, […]
Can a leaky gut make you ill?
As a practitioner that uses functional medicine principles it is clear to me that to improve the health of someone with a complex, chronic condition, factors that contribute to the progression or the severity of that condition must be addressed. We might start by optimising lifestyle factors, such as diet, quality of sleep, type of […]
Why a low fat diet is not the way to go
It’s not surprising that sometimes people get confused about the healthiest way to eat, whether it’s a low fat diet or low carb or something else. There are far too many contradictory messages in the media about the healthiest type of diet. But, as I’ve been telling my patients for quite some time, nobody […]
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by bacteria
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic arthritic condition of the joints. Like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis causes joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Yet, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are very different conditions. While osteoarthritis is thought of as a disease of wear and tear, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means that instead of protecting the body, […]
Citicoline – a potential supplement for preventing glaucoma
A natural compound made in the body has approval by the EU as a dietary supplement. The supplement is known as Citicoline. Though it is also called cytidine-5-diphosphocholine (or CDP-choline). Citicoline is important because scientists say it may help to prevent damage to retinal ganglion cells. These are a type of nerve cell at the back of the […]
Alzheimers disease and iron intake
Alzheimer’s disease was first described in 1906. It was little known at the time and did not even enter medical textbooks until decades later. So, how come this disease is at epidemic proportions and now a leading cause of death in the UK? We know that certain genes can predispose some people to have an […]
Is your statin increasing your risk of diabetes?
Statins are a group of pharmaceutical drugs that reduce the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood. Your doctor might recommend you take a statin if you suffer from, or might develop cardiovascular disease in the future. Yet, this study found that some statins can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 46%. This […]
Alzheimer’s disease – is fibre good for the brain?
Dementia is now the leading cause of death in England, ahead of cancer and heart disease. Yet, while many people might know someone that has survived cancer, how many people with Alzheimer’s disease do you know that have got better, or even improved? Currently conventional medicine has no treatment for Alzheimers disease that does anything […]
Is it safe to take probiotics in pregnancy?
I’ve written about the many health benefits of probiotics before, but are they beneficial in pregnancy? More importantly, do we know if it is safe to take probiotics in pregnancy? Probiotics are the beneficial microorganisms, usually bacteria, that are found in fermented foods and dietary supplements. The World Health Organisation suggests that probiotics taken in […]
Are group appointments the answer to the healthcare crisis?
The BBC recently reported a story about the success of group appointments within the NHS. The article said that both patients and GPs benefited. Patients enjoyed peer support. And, GPs said they saved time and did not need to repeat their advice. But are group appointments really the answer to our healthcare crisis?
Simple strategies for preventing a common cold
Are you one of the lucky ones that never seems to catch a cold? If not then you might want to read on. This article is for those people who want to know about some evidence based strategies for preventing a common cold. Of course there are plenty of remedies for reducing the symptoms and […]
Some reasons a low FODMAP diet may not work for IBS
Research shows that if you have irritable bowel syndrome, eating a diet low in FODMAPs is likely to reduce your symptoms. I discuss what FODMAPs are and how they help IBS here. Briefly a low FODMAP diet restricts foods that contain certain types of carbohydrates, specifically fermentable carbohydrates. However, though a low FODMAP diet is […]