• Health

    GINGER

    Uses? May reduce cholesterol and narrowing of the arteries Prevention and relief of headaches Tendonitis and sports injuries Intestinal parasites Motion sickness Colds and flu Indigestion Bursitis Nausea Hive Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? There are no restrictions on length of use, so long as it is having the desire effect Side effects? Stomach discomfort Heartburn diarrhoea Available forms? Teas, capsules, tinctures, capsules, tablets, fresh root, liquid extract or crystallised slices Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Root Comes from? Native to south-eastern Asia, cultivated for millennia in China…

  • Health

    The 10,000 daily steps campaign “hardly” improves health

    The 10,000-step campaign has become very popular recently. Its popularity grew almost at the same time with “healthy” apps, smartwatches and smartphones. Apparently, completing 10,000 steps on a daily basis should improve your health by reducing risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases, among others health conditions. But the reality and science offer a different view. So far, there isn’t any scientific basis to prove what apps, watch and phone companies promote with the 10,000-step goal. But where does this idea come from? This round number concept was invented by the Japanese pedometer company just before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, to stop people being lazy. At that time, a marketing…

  • Health

    GENTIAN

    Uses? Loss of appetite Digestive tonic Flatulence Dyspepsia Bloating Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor People with stomach or duodenal ulcers Pregnant or breast feeding How long? There are no restrictions on length of use, so long as it is having the desire effect Side effects? Stomach discomfort Headaches Skin rash   Available forms? Teas, capsules, tinctures, liquid extracts, combination products Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Root Comes from? Native to the mountains of central and southern Europe, it is both cultivated and wild-harvested Other names? Yellow Gentian Gentiana Lutea      

  • Health

    Packaging labels fatting the world

    Confusion! That seems to be the best marketing strategy for some food companies, to increase their profits and to make people sicker at the same time. Packaging labels regulation lacks the unique, unified and common message, code or symbiology, to assist the population to buy healthy products. It varies from one country to another and, as a result of this mess, consumers ignore it or simply go for the most striking packaging, not necessarily the healthiest one. One of the most popular symbols is the traffic light, which simplifies food in 3 categories: green, amber and red. It was designed to give people an immediate idea as to whether something…

  • Health

    GARLIC

    Uses? Stimulating the immune system and fighting cancer Fighting infections and reducing blood pressure Lowering cholesterol and triglycerides Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication, especially anticoagulant. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? There are no restrictions on length of use, so long as it is having the desire effect Side effects? Some people experience heartburn or flatulence Rare cases of allergic reactions are known May interact with anticoagulant drugs   Available forms? Capsules, tablets, tinctures, aged extracts, fresh, powder, dried cloves Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Bulb Comes from? The bulb is unknown in the…

  • Health

    Thanks to Megatheriums and Glyptodons, the whole world enjoys avocados

    Avocados have gained enormous popularity for being an excellent source of monounsaturated fat (good fat) and obviously for their health benefits. They have always been a delicatessen for everyone, including our ancestors. But not our forefathers from 100 years ago. Neither 200 years ago. Nor 300 years ago. We need to look back to the Pleistocene epoch when mammals Megatheriums and Glyptodons were around. In fact, thanks to them the entire world can enjoy avocados today. The avocado tree, originally from Mexico, evolved as a delicatessen for those prehistoric animals. They used to eat the whole fruit, including the hard seed. However, their digestive system couldn’t break it down. So,…

  • Health

    FLAXSEED

    Uses? Reduce risk of breast and colon cancer Irritable bowel syndrome Ovarian dysfunction Constipation Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication, especially anticoagulant. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? There are no restrictions on length of use, so long as it is having the desire effect Side effects? Do not take flaxseed if you have a painful bowel condition or if you suspect you may have bowel obstruction May interact with anticoagulant drugs. Mucilage from seeds may affect absorption of other drugs Available forms? Capsules, tinctures, oils, grounded or powder Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Seed…

  • Health

    Prevent antibiotics side effects with probiotics

    One of the most common questions that my clients ask in practise is if antibiotics and probiotics can be taken together. Answer: yes and no. But it seems more relevant how and when to use them. Many people chose to take probiotics when they start a course of antibiotics in order to prevent side effects and protect their gut flora. The side effects go from diarrhoea, vomiting, indigestion, nausea, abdominal pain to bloating. However, taking a good quantity of friendly bacteria doesn’t guarantee that you will be 100% free of undesired troubles. That’s why it’s important to know when to utilise them. Anticipating. If someone knows beforehand that they are…

  • Health

    FEVERFEW

    Uses? Menstrual problems Migraine Arthritis Fever Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? Up to 8 weeks appears to be safe for most people Side effects? Some people who chewed the fresh leaves reported experiencing mouth ulcers, tongue inflammation, lip swelling and occasional loss of taste   Available forms? Capsules, tablets, tinctures and fresh/dried leaves Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Leaf Comes from? Naturalised in Europe and North and South America Other names? Chrysanthemum parthenium        

  • Health

    Himalayan salt, placebo or real health benefits?

    Salt is salt, no matter which name it has. Kosher, sea, table or Himalayan salt are the most common types of salt available in supermarkets. However, the Himalayan one has gained some popularity due to its “apparent” health benefits. Nevertheless, there are no studies with enough scientific evidence supporting that Himalayan salt provides more health benefits than common salt. Therefore, this article will try to bring some clarity in the salty darkness. It will distinguish between the myth and reality. Salt is a mineral with the main ingredient: sodium chlorine, up to 98%. So, for this reason we can indistinctly use any of the names. One of the reasons why…

  • Health

    FENUGREEK

    Uses? Stimulate flow of breast milk Loos of appetite Blood sugar Cholesterol Gastritis Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? Up to 8 weeks appears to be safe for most people Side effect? Intestinal wind Diarrhoea   Available forms? Capsules, tablets, seeds for cooking, powdered seeds for poultices Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Seed Comes from? Ancient herb native to southern Europe and south-western Asia, cultivated in warm regions throughout the world Other names? Trigonella foenum-graecum      

  • Health

    Avocados, the cleanest fruit for the third year in a row

    Avocados are one of the top 20 fruits consumed worldwide (1) due to their health benefits. Apparently, their healthy monounsaturated fat reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases. And apart from that, avocados contain the lowest load of pesticides for the third year in a row according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) list 2020. EWG publishes annually a report called “Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen”, with a breakdown of fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest load of pesticides. Surprisingly, “tainted” fruit and vegetables contain more than 20 “toxic” artificial chemicals. However, the clean list contains four or fewer types of pesticide. Around 70% of samples used for the EWG…

  • Health

    FENNEL

    Uses? Mild digestive spasms Flatulence Bloating Coughs Catarrh Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? Up to 8 weeks appears to be safe for most people Side effect? Allergic skin     Available forms? Capsules, tinctures, lozenges and teas. Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Fruit (seeds) Comes from? Native to the Mediterranean and widely naturalised throughout the world Other names? Foeniculum Vulgare      

  • Health

    Strawberries, highly “infected” with more than 20 pesticides for the fourth year in a row

    Strawberries are one of the top 20 fruits consumed worldwide, although their popularity has also a dark side. According to the Environmental Working Group (EMG), strawberries contain the highest amount of pesticide residue, more than 20 “toxic” artificial chemicals. EMG annually publishes a report called “Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen”, with a breakdown of fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest load of pesticides. Strawberries and spinach were the worst offenders for the fourth straight year. One sample of strawberries, for example, contained more than 20 different pesticides. Spinach experienced the same situation, it contained nearly twice the pesticide residue by weight than any other fruit or vegetable. EMG…

  • Health

    EVENING PRIMROSE

    Uses? Fatty acids deficiencies Premenstrual tension Atopic Eczema Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? Up to 6 months Side effects? Abdominal discomfort Headache Nausea   Available forms? Capsules, tinctures and cosmetic creams Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Seed oil Comes from? Native to easter North America and widely naturalised in Europe and western North America, most seeds for oil production are grown commercially Other names? Foeniculum Vulgare Evening star            

  • Health

    Probiotics reduce fever symptoms in elderly people

    Probiotics or “friendly bacteria” reduce the impact of winter infections in elderly people. A study (1) developed for Italian investigators highlighted that a variety of probiotics regimens can improve white blood cell counts in older people. It means that the whole immune system responds quicker and faster to any infection in the body. Investigators recruited adults over the age of 60 for a research to see if friendly bacteria could minimise the impact of winter infections. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to receive a milk drink supplemented with Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus and L. casei DN-144 001. The rest drank a similar beverage without the probiotics. Neither group…

  • Health

    DONG QUAI

    Uses? Menopausal symptoms Premenstrual tension Tonic for the liver Menstrual cramps Hot flashes Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? Up to 8 weeks appears to be safe for most people Side effect? Skin becomes extra sensitive Greater risk for sunburn Skin cancer   Available forms? Capsules, tablets, tinctures and teas Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Root Comes from? Cool mountain woods of southern and western China Other names? Angelica Sinensis Chinese angelica Dong quai Tang kuei      

  • Health

    EPHEDRA

      Uses? Long-term asthma Nasal congestion Sinusitis Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes anorexia, bulimia, or glaucoma People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? Up to 16 weeks appears to be safe for most people Side effects? Loss of consciousness High blood pressure Irregular heartbeat Muscle disorders Heart attacks Headache Seizures Nausea Strokes Death   Available forms? Teas, tinctures, tablets and capsules Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Stem Comes from? Native to the steppes of north and north-western China Other names? Ephedra Intermedia Ephedra Equisetina Ephedra Sinica  …

  • Health

    Zinc bioavailability and benefits

    After Covid-19 exploded worldwide and before countries decided to impose the quarantine, people “suffered” a panic attack by excessively buying everything for a couple of weeks. Pasta, rice, milk, frozen food, toilet paper and immunity supplements literally flew off the shelves. Zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, propolis and echinacea disappeared from every pharmacy or health store. Many news highlighted how beneficial it could be to take some supplements, to strengthen the immune system, especially during the active viral pandemic. However, many people felt totally lost with different forms, brands and an endless variety of them. I focused on some of the most common forms of magnesium two weeks ago. And now,…

  • Health

    ELECAMPANE

    Uses? Antibacterial properties Bronchial coughs Tuberculosis Emphysema Asthma Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? Up to 4 weeks appears to be safe for most people Side effect? Diarrhoea Vomiting Paralysis Spasms   Available forms? Teas, tincture and dried root Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Root Comes from? Native to Europe and temperate Asia, cultivated in Europe and China, naturalised in the eastern United States Other names? Yellow starwort Inula helenium Horseheal Scabwort