It’s hayfever time again. You can have allergic reactions at any time of year, but grass and other pollens are definitely one of the most common things to set us off. Anything from itchy eyes and a runny nose to a full-blown asthma attack can result.
Photo copyright Twinings
You might think that one herb tea is very much like another, but you could be missing out on their potential to improve your wellbeing.
A friend walking along a high ridge. Photo copyright Cathie Hartigan
Walking on high ground, as I did this week, takes you back in time. There were sweet violets, newly sprouting nettles in the shelter of walls, brave low-growing dandelions and wind-sculpted hawthorn trees just coming into leaf.
Photo copyright D & S Books
The cool wet spring has given us a bumper crop of goosegrass this year. You might know it as cleavers, or sticky willie, from its habit of sticking to clothes or animal fur.
The sap is rising at last, and the Easter feasting is over. Now is the time to do a bit of spring cleaning, or detox, or simply to freshen up your diet.
February was a bad time for me health-wise. I was already suffering from a tight chest and a virus that wouldn’t surrender; giving me the lung capacity of a punctured bicycle tire.
Herbs are not much good at pain relief. That’s to say, really powerful analgesic herbs, like the Opium Poppy, are not legally available in the UK.
Magnolia, in its many forms from the low-growing stars of Magnolia stellata to the delicate goblets of Magnolia liliflora, is gracing our gardens right now.
Yes, I may have mentioned sugar once or twice before. No apologies for that; it’s taken centre stage in the last few years as the pantomime villain in the greathealth drama. Like the witch in Hansel and Gretel, it seduces you with sweetness, fattens you up and then, suddenly, you’re the one being devoured.
‘I’m a bit sceptical about this sort of stuff,’ said my new patient, leaning back in his chair. His wife had persuaded him to come, and it was obvious that winning points in the marital game was going to be far more powerful than anything the herbs could do.
Patients sometimes ring me up to say, ‘I had to take antibiotics for my bronchitis/cystitis/infection of some sort, so I stopped taking the herbs for a while.’
Entering your fifties marks the beginning of the stage in your life when you are likely to have more free time for hobbies, travel, family and friends.
The latest in the Mature Guide series the Mature Guide to relationships, love and sex is supported by Relate, the relationship people and written with Barbara Bloomfield, who is a Relate couples counsellor with 15 years of experience in the counselling field.
I’ve had a succession of patients recently – including myself – asking for remedies for the flu/sore throat/cold that’s been going the rounds. Quite often they say, ‘But I take Echinacea regularly,’ or ‘I’ve been taking vitamin C for months,’ as though that should make them immune to infections.
Photo reproduced with permission from www.arganiaspinosa.co.uk
‘You should put Argan oil on your hair,’ the hairdresser said. When I asked what it was, he said ‘Oh, I don’t know. They take thousands of Argans and squash them all together. It’s a very good moisturiser.’
Let’s give Flatcap credit where it’s due. He doesn’t let disappointment and failure stand in his way.
Okay we are about to do a guided meditation, so find somewhere quiet and comfortable to sit or lie, where you can relax without disturbance.
When you're settled, take three slow deep breaths. In through your nose and out through your mouth...
Liniments and embrocations, salves and ointments…all different kinds of vehicles for herbs that ease rheumatic aches and pains.
Following on from the post on pregnancy two weeks ago, this one looks at what you can do to ensure a good labour when the time comes. Again, do consult a professional herbalist if there are any complicating factors to consider.
Some can diet, but I’ve found most can’t, and worse than that, WHEN they can’t, they fail spectacularly. Why? Because of the psychology of dieting. And Freedom Eating helps to sort that out.
Sunday was National Bug Busting Day, apparently. The aim is to make a concerted effort to eradicate headlice, which have been endemic among schoolchildren since schools were invented, and in the general population for a lot longer than that.
Well, January is finished – hurray we survived – it's time to seriously consider how to get healthy again after the Christmas indulgences, isn't it?
While you’re pregnant, it’s best to avoid drugs altogether if you can. Even painkillers like paracetamol could pose some risks, so there’s plenty of scope for the gentler, more food-like herbs to get to work. While some herbs are not recommended, there is still a wealth of choice.
We’re feeling the cold in Britain now, as the frost arrives at last. So what can you do to keep warm in wintry weather?
It’s not going to happen. Without any formal announcement, the issue was quietly dropped by the government just before Christmas. It’s a bitter disappointment to herbalists who have spent years campaigning and planning for it, but in some ways it’s not a surprise.
It’s a hot topic nowadays. How can you grow old gracefully, keep your marbles and your mobility, and enjoy those many years to which – statistically speaking – we can all look forward?
When my sons lived at home, they used to make smoothies. I have to confess I have never made one. I have bought smoothies, but they are all so sweet that I stopped buying them.
Crumbs! In 2016 I’ll be three score years and ten. I hope the bible’s wrong about all that! Nevertheless, I’d better get my affairs in order. What have I got to achieve in 2016 to ensure, pearly-gateswise, that I leave no unfinished business?
On the eve of the shortest day in the year, facing a long winter ahead, we need to bring light and warmth into our lives. That’s why Christmas comes now, overlying the older solstice celebrations.