Yes, it’s another garden nuisance, growing like crazy at the moment, flowering and setting seed almost before you have time to blink. But like a lot of vigorous weeds, it has benefits to offer us.
It’s a very confusing picture. In the first place, a lot of the foods we call ‘nuts’ are not nuts at all in the botanical sense: you probably know that about peanuts, but it’s also true of almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios and Brazil nuts.
Hotter Hereford Store Manager Jan Paton probably never considered herself inspirational, but when she sent us a photo of her latest craft creations we knew there was a very special story to be discovered.
Right now, Devon is full of primroses. The common primrose, Primula vulgaris, is one of those early spring flowers, like sweet violet and coltsfoot, that have a particular virtue in soothing coughs and sore throats.
I talked last week about acid reflux, and the medications that are often used to control it.
A patient rang me this week to see if there was anything I could do about acid reflux. ‘I’ve always had it,’ she told me, ‘But it’s got worse recently.’
It is universally accepted that humour can defuse an explosive situation, spice up a flagging event and lift a grounded party.
There’s an interesting new piece of research just out.
Hay fever season is almost upon us.
In just a short time, my beloved husband has gone from someone who hasn’t had a day’s sickness for many, many years, didn’t go to the doctors’ unless there was no alternative and wouldn’t even take headache tablets unless absolutely necessary, to someone who now takes eight tablets a day and will have to do so for the rest of his life.
A useful tool in social work (and indeed in life) is to be able to hold an assortment of different versions of reality in your head at the same time. And that is what is going on here in New Normal land at the moment.
A few weeks ago I wrote about how transplanting bacteria from a healthy person’s gut to someone suffering from irritable bowel or other digestive problems can dramatically improve their health.
Two of my patients went to see their GPs last week, one for back pain and one for digestive problems. Both were sent away with prescriptions for antidepressants.
So this is the new way to live forever, according to the latest guidelines.
It’s a thing we all worry about these days, as we get older, and it’s now overtaken heart attacks as a major cause of death in the UK.
Yes, it’s that time of year again. Though of course, people are less likely to need aphrodisiacs in spring, when the sap is rising and – as the joke goes – ‘young men’s fancy turns to what young women have been thinking of all year’.
No, it’s not about drinking two litres of water every day; I hope that myth has now been thoroughly busted.
For a lot of people, the first step into herbal medicine is when they get fed up with HRT or antidepressants or whatever, and try to find something in the herb world that will do the job without the side-effects.
Starting to feel the cold? Now is the time when the lovely warming spices come into their own: ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice.
Hippocras: the clue is in the name. It’s basically mulled wine, but the quantities of spices that go into it are enough to give it real medicinal qualities.
In social work we used to do '6-month Reviews' where we cast our eyes back at where we had come from and where we seemed to have landed up. (Other definitions are available!)
Of course, it comes around every year, but the cycle of feasting followed by ‘detox’, or insane overconsumption of rich foods and then complete abstinence, just when you need some solid sustenance to get you through the winter, is neither good for man nor beast.
You could not make it up. Already I was writing the headline. 'Cancer victim in midst of chemotherapy served eviction notice two weeks before Christmas.'