We are now long past the Autumn equinox and have headed into the time of year where in Traditional Chinese Medicine we call the Earth Element.
The Earth element governs the organs of the Spleen, pancreas and stomach and lies in the Indian Summer, between our summer days and the wet and windy autumn that will head our way shortly.
I sometimes call this part of Autumn Libra Autumn, it is usually sunny with blue skies and gorgeous colours in the trees.
It won`t be long until that changes and we head into Scorpio Autumn where the leaves drop and things get decidedly a little more gloomy. This phase of Autumn in traditional chinese medicine is known as the Metal elements and governs the Lungs and the large intestine.
It is very common to develop respiratory infections at this time of year as the dampness sets in. We can already see the grass is so much wetter in the mornings and the loveliest toadstools and mushrooms are thriving due to the damp conditions. Whilst this is a necessary part of life and our ecosystems, it can cause havoc with an immune system that has dropped it`s defenses.
I see people`s blood test results daily in clinic and one of the things that stands out is the amount of people who`s white blood cells have dropped low. That is a red flag that their immune systems are less than ideal.
I`ll be delivering a webinar on Wednesday the 19th of October at 7pm all about immunity, what causes it to drop and what you can do to strengthen it. This webinar is free to my clients and is £5 for non-clients.
You can book your place here:
If you`d like to hear a little more, have a listen below.
I am excited to let you know that I am now offering nutrient injections from my clinic in Blidworth, Nottinghamshire.
The nutrient injections I am able to offer are:
I thought I would introduce these to you with a short video starting with B12 injections. The video explains symptoms of low B12, reasons for low levels and about the injections.
B12 injections are £30 or £100 for a course of 4.
As many of you may know, hormones and fertility are my area of specialism. I love working with fertility clients as so much can be done through naturopathy and nutritional therapy.
1 in 7 people are statistically going to present with infertility. Out of that number, 30% will be female, 30% will be male only and 40% will be both parties.
So why do we seem to always focus on the woman?
In my clinic, I insist upon working with both parties to nurture fertility. Both the male and female will get a full work up and be treated with the same importance.
For some bizarre reason, male factor infertility still comes across as a bit taboo, hushed up and not really publicaly spoken about. To me, when 70% of infertility involves the man somehow, this is a little strange, so let`s talk about it!
Take a listen...
Did you know that today is Plough Monday?
Hello all, happy new year.
I`m a bit late delivering this greeting as I`ve had the dreaded rona and am only just back to work today.
Quite coincidentally, today is plough Monday... the first Monday following the epiphany (January 6th).
Plough Monday marks the return to agricultural work following Christmas. Traditionally, people would be still enjoying their Christmas festivities up until Plough Monday, when they would head back to work and the farmers would get the fields ploughed up in readiness for sewing the seeds for the year ahead.
The time between Christmas and Plough Monday would have been centred around the tradition of wassailing. Wassailing is a luck- bringing celebration associated with apple trees and orchards.
Dancing, merriment and drinking of cider would be happening in orchards all over England during this time in an effort to enhance the earths fertility for the harvest in the coming year.
I love these old traditions and at home we tend to try to bring them into our lives in simple ways. The old traditions help to keep our lives cyclical and keep us in tune with the seasons and seasonal foods.
Did you know our bodies like to eat seasonally? Our microbiomes depend on us eating seasonally in order to provide them with the right environment to flourish.
Anyway, I`m back and I can`t wait to catch up with all my lovely clients and meet new ones along the path of 2022 also.
Blessings for a healthy and happy year ahead,
The leaves are changing colour quickly at the moment and so is the weather.
It`s this time of year when we start to consider our immunity over the months ahead.
I just wanted to share some tips and tricks I do over these months to keep my family and myself as well as possible over the coming months.
Vitamin C is so important to our bodies. It is needed for over 70 functions in the body, ranging from keeping collagen healthy to detoxifying our system. Most animals can manufacture vitamin C in their bodies for this reason. Humans once were able to make their own vitamin C but over time, humans and guinea pigs (strangely) lost this ability many years ago.
It is available in fruits and vegetables but oxidises very quickly. That means that once the fruit or vegetable has been picked, it starts to degrade in terms of it`s vitamin C content.
Most of us know the value of Vitamin C in terms of keeping a healthy immune system, and you may have even heard about "mega- dosing" in serious illnesses, which appears to be effective. Studies continue in this field.
All year round, I ensure that my family receives a minimum of 250Mg of vitamin C per day as a supplement. The body can only uptake around 250Mg of Vitamin C in one go, so unless you buy a slow-release supplement with a higher dose than 250Mg, it will be wasted and eliminated in your urine.
You can not overdose on vitamin C as it is a water soluble vitamin. Any excess that your body doesn`t need will just make it`s way to your urine.
During this time of year, I dial up the dosage of vitamin C for my family to between 500 and 1000 Mg. I use slow release vitamin C to do this, or, dose throughout the day.
Vitamin C can make some people have looser stools than normal. If this happens to you then you just need to lower the dose.
Vitamin C in foods are all your fruits, berries and vegetables. The more you can eat, the better
Zinc is the master mineral for immunity. Zinc is also necessary for healthy hormone function, tissue integrity (healthy tissues) , brain health and so much more.
I make sure that my family have 20 - 30Mg of Zinc as an adult dose and up to 15Mg for children up to 14 (after that they are classed as adults in the world of supplementation)
There are different quality zinc formulas. Zinc has to be attached to another compound in order to be transported into the cell efficiently. The most bioavailable forms are Zinc picolinate, Zinc bisglycinate or Zinc citrate.
Some important information regarding Zinc - ALWAYS take zinc on a full stomach after a meal containing protein and carbohydrates. If you take zinc on an empty stomach or with a very light meal, it can cause nausea and vomiting.
Zinc can be taken preventatively and is also great for keeping to hand if anyone comes down with an illness. In the case of treating an illness then be sure to take a natural compound called Quercetin along with your Zinc. It will help transport the Zinc right into the part of the cell needed to kill off viruses.
Zinc is available in food sources such as shellfish, meat, poultry and liver. These are the main sources. The vegetarian sources that contain zinc have very little so again, it is best to supplement if vegetarian or vegan. Vegan sources are quorn, peas, tofu, chickpeas, oats, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds.
Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin. It is essential for bone health, energy levels, digestive health, mood balance, cardiovascular health and for a healthy immune system.
Did you know that studies show that a large proportion of cancer patients are deficient in Vitamin D? The immune system is not only responsible for keeping seasonal illnesses at bay but is on patrol daily for pre-cancerous cells. It`s natural and normal for some of our cells to form with defections. It is the immune system`s job to spot them and eradicate them before they multiply. If our immune system function lowers, this process of seek and destroy goes awry.
Vitamin D is vital for immune health but from October until March (between the Autumn and Spring equinox) the angle of the sun on the earth`s altered axis means that the UVB rays (responsible for the reaction on our skin that forms Vitamin D) just can`t get through to us, even on the sunniest of days.
The NHS are now publicising this and urging the public to take a Vitamin D supplement throughout the winter months.
The RDA for Vitamin D is 400iu, however, RDA means the minimum amount to function! It is unlikely that 400iu is enough for anyone, unless your Vitamin D stores are absolutely tip-top! The bare minimum I advise to supplement with over the winter is 1000iu. For some, I recommend 4000iu daily and for deficiency, even more in the short term.
It`s a good idea to get your Vitamin D levels tested in order to know how to dose as Vitamin D is fat soluble. This means it gets stored in our body and so too much can cause toxicity.
If you wanted to test your vitamin D levels, you can either visit your doctor or do a private finger prick test such as Thriva.
I use this NHS test that costs around £30 to do privately. You can do it at home as a finger-prick test.
When I look at peoples Vitamin D levels, I ideally want them to be 100 - 140 nmol/L
Vitamin D is available as a food source in Salmon, egg yolks, beef, liver, milk, some cheese and certain mushrooms. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you definitely need to supplement with vitamin D.
Just an interesting fact whilst I mentioned the equinoxes... It is very common to develop symptoms around the equinoxes... this can be anything from flare ups of eczema or skin conditions, to aching joints, headaches, and minor illnesses. In addition to it`s daily detoxification, the body goes through two natural detoxifications each year, that coincide with the equinox. You can support yourself in preparation for this my cleaning up your diet and drinking plenty of water around a month before each equinox.
The autumn equinox occurs on Wednesday the 22nd of September this year, so get drinking that water!
Elderberry is one of my favourite immune tonics. It has been proven in clinical trials to be anti-viral, both as a preventative measure and a treatment in acute cases. It lessens the length a virus can take hold and also lessens symptoms. It`s powerful anthocyanins are responsible for it`s anti-viral efficacy. It is also a potent source of vitamin C.
Elderberry is widely available in capsule form, or liquid form. You can even quite easily make your own syrup at this time of year. Here`s a link to my video all about elderberries and how to make your own syrup
Our microbiome is one of the most fascinating areas of the human body. Do you know that we have more bacteria than we do cells in our body!?!
The microbiota is something that really fuels my fire... It is a topic that I am passionate about.
Did you know that scientists are currently working on using specific strains of bacteria to target specific illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease? I guarantee that one day, bacteria will save the world!
You can read more information about your microbiome here
In terms of your immunity, taking a good, broad strain probiotic can really help you out. 70-80% of our immune system stems from our gut. If our gut health is out of balance then this will knock your immune system function for six.
Clinical trials have also proven that a daily probiotic for children is actually more effective at preventing the flu than the flu vaccine. It is also known to prevent gastric illnesses such as the dreaded Norovirus - lovingly known to all parents as "the sick bug".
If you can make sure your diet is well-balanced with the foods mentioned here, you will be off to a flying start in terms of boosting your immunity.
Remember that sugar, depresses our immune systems. One teaspoon of sugar will depress your immune system for 1 hour. Think twice about that sugar in your coffee before you go out and about where coughs and colds are likely to be!
There are some great immune complexes that you can get that combine the nutrients I`ve mentioned into one handy capsule.
One of my favourite complexes is Bionutri`s elderberry complex.
They also do a junior version
Please be advised that babies and infants have different requirements in their dosing and you must seek advice regarding this. Elderly people and those with compromised immune systems should also always seek advice before supplementing with the nutrients mentioned.
If you are on medications then these should also be checked with a health professional.
Health and happiness as always,
It’s that time of year again, Where the hedgerows are beginning to brim with elderberries.
These tiny little berries are potent immune stimulants. They have undergone clinical trials that have proven the efficacy of elderberries in not only preventing the flu, but also in lessening its symptoms and duration if you are unlucky enough to have caught it.
I`ve used elderberries numerous times in helping my family overcome illnesses, and the recovery I have witnessed has been astonishing.
You may have concerns about hearing mixed messages about elderberries. Social media was whipped up in a frenzie with claims that elderberry can cause a cytokine storm. I`m afraid that false claims get passed around social media with a tremendous amount of impetus. Whilst elderberry is totally safe to the majority of the population, there are instances when it can cause a very weak body to have an over-reactive immune response (which a cytokine storm is).
As Dr Aviva Romm (esteemed M.D and herbalist) says, this is not something an average person would need to worry about. The human body must be in a really poor state for elderberry to cause a "cytokine storm". Ie, the person must be incredibly ill with serious conditions for such an incidence to occur.
For this reason, if you know of anyone with organ failure, cancer, or any other life-threatening or life-shortening illness I would avoid using elderberry. If you are immunologically suppressed, you may want to do your research into this also.
For everyone else, take a listen to my video all about the benefits of elderberries and how to make the syrup.
For those who want a shorter version…
🌱Gather your berries and de-stalk
🌱Weigh your berries
🌱 Whatever weight your berries are, add half that amount In Water
🌱Simmer gently for 20 minutes
🌱cool and strain
🌱measure liquid in ml
🌱whatever the ml of liquid, half that and add that amount in grams of sugar
🌱simmer gently for 20 minutes with the juice of 2 lemons, grated ginger and a cinnamon stick
🌱strain, cool and bottle
Health and Happiness,
This is a question that I get asked a lot!
I thought that I would take a moment to share what is usual and what is unusual where periods are concerned.
Many of us think that suffering during menstruation is normal... it`s not. It`s common, but it isn`t how it should be.
So what is a "normal" period?
Well - there`s no such thing as "normal" as we are all so different, but here are some features of what it should and should`t be like...
1. Most peoples cycles (the time it takes between from day 1 of your period until your next one) is usually between 26 - 34 days during your reproductive years. 28 day cycles are not the most common length. Teenages will commonly have cycles from 24 - 38 days and peri-menopause brings cycles of varying lengths - 24 days to missing periods is common.
2. It`s normal for your cycle length to vary by as much as 6 or 7 days from month to month.
3. A period should last anywhere between 3 - 7 days. Any shorter or longer than this is a symptom of something going on hormonally.
4.Usually the heaviest day of your period is day 2. On your heaviest day, you shouldn`t need any more than 6 pads or tampons per day. If you do, then this is classed as a a heavy period and a sign of an imbalanced.
5. 25 - 80ml of blood loss is normal, that`s between 5 regular tampons for your whole period - 16 regular tampons, or 8 super tampons. If you bleed less or more than this over your whole period, you have an imbalance in your hormones.
6. Menstrual fluid should be mostly liquid, with very small clots, if any.
7. Mild, occasional cramps are normal. These should disappear with ibuprofen. If you are still in pain whilst taking ibuprofen then this is excessive and is a sign of an imbalance. Debilitating pain is NEVER normal. Normal cramps don`t disrupt your day or cause time off work.
8. It`s normal for breasts to feel fuller, but painful breasts, cysts or fibrous lumps are a sign your hormones need balancing.
9. You shouldn`t get headaches.
10. Mild mood shifts are normal the week before your period. These should not be extreme or disrupt your life. If you are suffering from excessive PMT or PMDD then your hormones are in need of a balance.
If you think that you are suffering with some of the symptoms that suggest that your hormones are a little imbalanced, and would like to do something about it then get in touch and see how I can help.
Hello lovely people.
Today I wanted to share a resource with you. I have a 15 item plant-based recipe PDF that I want to share with you. The recipes include smoothies, breakfast, lunches, snacks and a couple of sweeter items.
Whether you are plant-based or just wish to have a few meat-free recipes up your sleeve, these will give you some inspiration.
If you`d like all 15 recipes then sign up to my email address and I`ll send them over. I promise not to bombard you with unnecessary emails. There`s a link under the recipe.
Love and health,
Starts September 2021
Back by popular demand - the fertility awareness method online group course.
Learn the wisdom and magic of your cycles.
As an NFPTA registered teacher of the fertility awareness method, I will show you how to use this reliable method of natural contraception to gain a new understanding of your body so that you can have body literacy like never before.
Learn the fascinating side of sex - ed that you were never taught at school to really get to grips with your menstrual cycle and the wisdom that it can reveal to you.
This online course has 6 lessons over 12 weeks.
This course will cover everything you need to know to begin charting, from the anatomy of both the male and female body to the hormonal dance that is performed each month.
The sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness is as effective at preventing pregnancy as the birth control pill.
The human reproduction study found that this method, when followed correctly has a rate of >99% efficacy as a contraception.
Using the fertility awareness method is easy once you know how. It avoids synthetic hormones and the disruption they can cause to wellness, and doesn`t require invasive surgery for you or your partner.
The fertility awareness method is your answer if you are struggling with your current contraception and are looking for a gentle and reliable alternative. It will also give you a greater understanding your body`s amazing rhythms.
This course will be in a small group ( no more than 6) on Zoom and will stretch over 12 weeks. This allows me to work with you over your first 3 cycles. We will meet at 7pm (London time) each lesson as follows:
Week 1 - ~ 2hours - 8/9/21
Week 2 - ~2 hours - 15/9/21
Week 3 - ~2 hours - 22/9/21
Week 4 - ~1 hour - 29/9/21
Week 8 - ~1 hour - 27/10/21
Week 12 - ~1 hour - 24/11/21
If you have recently had a baby and are in your postpartum stage, or are in your peri-menopause years where cycles are becoming less regular, the fertility awareness method is available to you, but this course is not for you. or in the case of postpartum care, wait until your cycles become regular again before purchasing the course. You can contact me for an individual lesson tailored to your unique life stage.
You will need to buy a good quality digital thermometer that has two decimal places. This means that there should be two numbers after the decimal - eg 36.56 degrees.
You should also know that this course is written by a UK instructor and so all temperatures are written in Centigrade, not Fahrenheit.
You need to be available for all the dates set.
The word "Menopause" actually means - Final Period. The part of your life where you are menopausal is actually after your periods have stopped and should be a time where you start to feel pretty human again.
The turbulent times that some people experience leading up to their last period is actually known as perimenopause and is a time frame that can last anywhere between 2 - 12 years before your final period.
Perimenopause is a bit like going through puberty again. Very often, if you have children, one of your children in your house will be having their first puberty as you are going through your second. The universe is very good at planning things like this. One level of thinking about this coincidence is so the parent and child can empathise and support each other with their transitions better.
The reason that I say it is like a second puberty is because the hormone levels are so similar to the first puberty you went through. The difference is that this time, instead of starting this transition as a child, going through puberty and coming out the other side into your reproductive years, hormonally, you will now do this in reverse. You will come out of your reproductive years and finish with similar hormone levels to when you were a child. That`s not a bad thing! Remember how life was much simpler and you were generally pretty happy as a child? You had stable hormones, which are a great thing to look forward to.
Take a look at this diagram:
You can see the similarity can`t you. The child and the menopausal woman have low and stable levels of progesterone with mild bumps of oestrogen, and the teen is similar to the perimenopausal woman in terms of progesterone levels. It is during this final stage of menstruating that oestrogen has a grand finale and goes wildly high between dips, like a grand finale of the orchestra of hormones reaching great crescendos, or a rather haphazard firework show to finish off the reproductive years. It is that fluctuating level of oestrogen and the combined falling progesterone that causes all those crazy symptoms you may be familiar with.
Whilst it is absolutely normal and to be expected to have these high and low oestrogen moments, the reason that some women suffer more than others can be down to oestrogen rising even higher than the graph above. It can also be to do with levels of inflammation in the body.
Perimenopause itself can be divided up into sections:
During this stage you may start to notice small changes to your cycles and even to your mood and energy levels. Your breasts may get more tender and you may get a few headaches or start to suffer with disruptions to your sleep. You may notice weight being layed in places you previously didn`t have to worry about, or it difficult to lose weight.
Your menstrual cycles may shorten slightly, but only by a few days. During this time, you may have less progesterone than before but an increase in oestrogen. This can cause heavier periods and more pain than you previously had.
It is during this stage that you might start to encounter hot flashes and night sweats. This is because you still have the lower progestorone and fluctuating oestrogen as before, but now your oestrogen is dropping lower than previously. During this time, you will notice more variation in your cycle length. Cycles could vary each month as much as 7 days or slightly more. You may still have many of the symptoms from stage 1
You will begin to skip periods during this phase, so a 60 day cycle or more is normal. Night sweats and hot flashes can get pretty intense during this phase as oestrogen continues to drop very low in between peaks. The peaks mean that you may still have to deal with some heavy periods but your breast pain may start to ease.
This is the stage that starts with your final period. You are in this stage for 12 months after having your final period. After that.... congratulations! You will graduate to a freer and more liberating stage of your life, known as menopause.
During this time your body has got to get used to having continued lower oestrogen. It might be a little bumpy to start with but it will ease up and iron out as you move through this part of your life. If you get a sudden and unexpected period within these 12 months, you have to start counting again. Be careful with whichever method of contraception you use during this time. Unexpected and unplanned pregnancies can occur.
Here`s a little corner of the world where I discuss life, our bodies, natural remedies and nature.