At the end of last month, The Times included an article on Lyme Disease stating: ‘Cases of Lyme Disease have soared and it may be three times more common than previously thought, researchers have said.’
This came just days after my teenage son found a tick bite on his leg after a walk.
So what is Lyme Disease? It is an infection caused by a bite from a tick infected with the bacterium borrelia. A rash can often form around the bite site and grow, spreading the infection to other parts of the body. Often a paler area of skin forms on the inner part of the rash leading to a bullseye appearance. Left untreated, serious symptoms can follow. So what can you do to avoid this happening?
If you find a tick bite, you need to remove it as soon as possible. You can, of course, contact your local GP if you are concerned but if you have a tick remover at home, that may be the best option for you.
The trick with removal is to grip the tick as closely (but carefully) to the skin as possible and then twist it anti-clockwise up and out of the skin, being careful not to crush it or leave any part of the tick in the body. Then clean the area well. I would use hypercal or colloidal silver.
How can you reduce your risk of getting Lyme Disease? Wear long sleeved top and trousers if you are walking in areas where you think there may be ticks. Check your body for ticks after walks.
I gave my son homeopathic remedies to keep his risk of any irritation or infection as low as possible. This was my prescription:
Ledum 30 - Always a good remedy to remember after bites/stings.
Lyme Disease 30
Hypercal tincture diluted in cooled, boiled water to clean the area. I also used a colloidal silver spray.
I didn’t prescribe Aconite but if my son had been younger and shocked/frightened by the situation, I would have done.
If you would like further details about Lyme Disease or homeopathy more generally, please do not hesitate to get in contact. I’d be delighted to chat with you.
Prince Charles becomes patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy
It was thrilling to read that Prince Charles has become patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy, an organisation that supports registered medical professionals trained to use homeopathy alongside their conventional work.
It is well known that the royal family has used homeopathy for many years. In April, Hello! magazine reported that The Duchess of Sussex is also a fan. She was quoted as saying: ‘I travel with all sorts of little homeopathic medicine because it’s what’s familiar with me.’
If you would like further information about homeopathy and how it might be of interest to you and your family, please do not hesitate to get in contact.
Homeopathic Community Health Clinics - Homeopathy in the community
I am delighted to be part of the third clinic that has been set up by experienced homeopath Sarah Worne as director of HCHC, Homeopathic Community Health Clinics.
HCHC is a not-for-profit organisation with the aim of making homeopathy more acceptable and affordable. The idea is to keep costs low as well as providing a place for homeopathic students to gain essential clinic experience as they work with qualified homeopaths.
To start with the clinic will run one Tuesday a month from 10am to 1pm. The next clinic date will be on 9th July. The hope is to add an additional day per month, possibly a Saturday, once the Tuesday clinic fills up.
If you would like further information, please call 07421 368751 or visit the website www.hchclinics.org.
Homeopathy and childbirth
With all the recent excitement over the birth of the royal baby, I thought I would focus this month on homeopathy and childbirth.
I was lucky enough to have two of my three children at home. I couldn’t have been without gas and air throughout labour but other than that, I relied on homeopathy.
I often make up childbirth kits for patients. Here are four of my favourite remedies to prescribe around the birth process:
CAULOPHYLLUM (made from blue cohosh)
I loved this remedy when I was overdue with my first and second children. If the baby is late and you want to avoid being induced, take caulphyllum three to four times per day. In addition, if contractions have started but are ineffective and the labour looks like it is going to be long and drawn out, take every fifteen minutes if necessary.
ACONITE (made from Monkshood)
This is a great remedy to help with the fear and shock of parents during and after the birth. Take every fifteen minutes if necessary. Also, if the baby is shocked at birth or distressed, give aconite up to three or four doses in the first twenty-four hours.
CHAMOMILLA (made from German chamomile)
Another fabulous remedy in childbirth! Use for pains that are unbearable or when the mother-to-be is angry or irritable. She may be swearing or resenting examination. This are very common symptoms but chamomilla taken every fifteen minutes should really help. It’s worth hanging on to this remedy too because it’s a great for teething.
PULSATILLA (made from the Pasque flower)
Use this when contractions start and then stop. They can’t seem to make up their mind. It’s also appropriate to use if the mother-to-be is weepy and may want fresh air. Take every fifteen minutes if necessary.
I could include so many other really helpful remedies like arnica to help with general bruising, aching and exhaustion from labour. If you are interested to know more, please do not hesitate to get in contact. I’d love to hear from you.
Treating hay fever with homeopathy
Do you suffer from hay fever and dread the months with a high pollen count?
Hay fever is set off by pollens and/or other allergens that lead to irritation in the nose; eyes and throat. There are plenty of conventional remedies available over the counter but they often cause drowsiness and don’t aim to cure the underlying issue. That’s where homeopathy can help.
I have the best results with patients that I start treating over the winter months. I have a three-month hay fever programme that I like to use most of the time. Patients take the remedies away with them and then I suggest seeing them again about one month before they would expect to start feeling their hay fever symptoms. At that point, I give them a toolbox of remedies to help them through the high pollen count months.
But, it is not too late to start now. Have you started reaching for the tissues already?
Even if you have never had a homeopathic remedy, consider getting on contact. There is so much you can do with homeopathy to alleviate the presenting symptoms. Three of the remedies I use a lot (sometimes even in a combination) are:
ALLIUM CEPA (made from red onion) - This is excellent for the type of symptoms you get from peeling onions. That’s why it is made from them. It’s great for itchy, watery eyes. There may be discharge from the nose and lots of sneezing.
SABADILLA (made from the cevadilla seed) - I use this when there is lots of sneezing. The nose itches and there is a very watery discharge from it. There is sensitivity to strong smells and often a sensation of a lump in the throat.
EUPHRASIA (made from the Eyebright plant) - This is a great remedy where eye symptoms are particularly troublesome to the patient. The eyes are red and tears are burning. They are very watery. Symptoms are worse in sunlight but better for being in the open air.
If you’d like help with your hay fever symptoms, please get in contact. I’d love to hear from you.
As you know, I’m trying to make my monthly newsletter not just about homeopathy but also about health and well-being generally. You know the expression ‘You are what you eat’? Well, I think you could also say that ‘You are what you put on your body’. Why? Because so much of what we lather on our skin is absorbed into the bloodstream. Synthetic ingredients are used in many products, for example, parabens, SLS (sodium laurel sulfate), phthalates, synthetic fragrance; petroleum or mineral oil. With increasing health concerns about these, I always read labels and avoid where possible. Luckily, there are lots of good companies selling organic or 100% natural products but it’s not always easy to find them because of a lot of misleading labelling.
So, this month, I thought I’d list my favourite face oils (with no nasties!) to give you an idea of the brands that are, in my opinion, worth investigating not just for their oils but the whole range.
I love anything by this brand. It currently has 140 products that are certified organic.
The Pai website says its products ‘are made for people with sensitive skin, by people with sensitive skin.’ Both the Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil and the Echium and Amaranth Age Confidence Facial Oil are certified organic.
Alexandra Soveral sells organic and natural skincare that smell divine!
4. Coconut Oil
If you want to keep things really simple and your skin will take it, how about coconut oil?
I sometimes use it as an eye make-up remover or if I’m flying, take a tiny pot in my hand luggage to keep my skin hydrated as and when it needs it.
This month…….Where remedies come from!
This is what I see out of my bedroom window every morning when I pull back the curtains. I’ve loved oak trees since I was a child and the one in my garden always makes me smile whether it’s spring, summer, autumn or winter. I like its sense of continuity, the fact that it’s been there for many hundreds of years and will probably outlive me. It is, for so many, a symbol of strength and endurance. Did you know that the oak tree is more struck my lightning than any other tree? But it still endures. (Thank you to Madeline Evans* for that nugget of information).
So why am I talking about the oak tree? Because, did you know that remedies are made from many things? Obviously, some are from minerals like calc carb (the middle layer of an oyster shell) or silica (pure flint). Others are from the Animal Kingdom like apis mellifica (the honey bee)…
Or sepia (the ink from a cuttlefish).
Other remedies are made from the Plant Kingdom which includes trees like the oak.
I think that’s one of the reasons I find prescribing remedies for patients so enjoyable. There is always such a varied range to consider.
Interested in giving homeopathy a go? Email me to arrange a free introductory consultation on the phone (please see my website for further details). I’d love to hear from you.
* Madeline Evans in her chapter on Oak in Meditative Provings.
This month…….Thinking about EMFs
It’s January and everyone seems to be thinking about a detox. Surprisingly, as someone training to be a nutritional therapist to use along side my homeopathy, I’m no going to talk about nutrition but…EMFs.
What are EMFs? Electromagnetic fields. Exposure to EMFs is not new. Our bodies have their own EMFs but in recent years, exposure to EMFs has been magnified by our use of mobile phones; computers; laptops; tablets; fitness trackers etc.
Some patients come to me knowing that they are sensitive to EMFs. Others don’t but I may look at remedies and give advice on how to reduce one’s exposure if symptoms include headaches; poor sleep; fatigue and fertility issues.
Here’s my thoughts on how to reduce your EMF exposure:
Seek homeopathic advice on remedies to help reduce symptoms from EMF exposure. There are lots of remedies that I use, depending on the facts in front of me.
Don’t sleep with your phone in your bedroom. If you must, keep it on airplane mode and don’t have it on charge near your head. Keep it as far away from your body as possible. t’s worth listening to Episode 270 of The Ultimate Health Podcast - Nicolas Pineault - The Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs. I learnt such a lot from this.
Consider a really good mobile phone case that protects from EMFs. I suggest looking at Defendershield. They also sell laptop shields which you place underneath your device if you are using it on your lap. This stops the EMF radiation and the heat reaching your body. An investment but if you can justify it, well worth it. The company don’t have a Uk website but they do ship to here.
If you are wearing wearable fitness trackers, see if you can put them on airplane mode/ turn the bluetooth off to reduce your EMF exposure.
Make sure the bluetooth is turned off on your computer or laptop if you don’t need it. Just turn it on when you do.
Try to keep your phone on airplane mode when you are carrying it around and it’s on or close to your body. At the very least, shut down its bluetooth capacity as often as you can.
Read as much as you can about EMFs. Dr Mercola’s website is a wonderful resource. Click here for the link to one of his articles on EMFs.
Hope that all helps!
If you wish to discuss EMF sensitivity or any other health issues, please do not hesitate to get in contact. It would be my pleasure to chat with you.
My two small Christmas trees are now in the house and decorated. I always try to get ones with roots so that we can plant them in the garden once the holidays are over. So now my attention turns to those presents I still need to buy. In case you are in the same situation, how about a gift of homeopathy? Here are a few ideas:
I love this book because it’s full of lots of colourful pictures and very easy to follow.
This is my much-loved copy that has seen me through having three children and helped me with so many patients.The perfect gift for a friend or family member who is expecting a baby or a new parent.
This a clear guide to homeopathy for the whole family. A must for any home!
Or this as a stocking filler….
Helios’ A Basic Guide to Homeopathy
This is great! It’s a very basic guide to homeopathy in a slim format so useful for travelling with. Perfect for students on a gap year or at uni. Everything you need in a few pages!
I wish you every success with your last minute shopping and a very happy (and healthy!) Christmas and New Year.
If you would like a first aid kit or any other suggestions for stocking fillers (organic candles; Himalayan salt mills; toothpaste without sodium laurel sulphate; preservatives and colours, please get in contact.
I was lucky enough to run the New York City Marathon earlier this month, an incredible experience that I will always remember.
As I stood at the start line, on the most beautiful sunny day, looking out over the New York skyline, it was difficult to hold back the tears. I’d trained so hard and for so long but with 26.2 miles ahead, who knew if that would be enough? A few other things gave me hope.
I’d eaten well and stayed hydrated over the previous few days.
I’d been lucky enough to be eating at the same diner as Vivien Cheruiyot, the female winner of this year’s London Marathon the night before. She was more than happy to chat and could not have been more charming, even being kind enough to wish me luck in my race. She would be my inspiration when the going got tough.
Very importantly for me, I’d taken lots of homeopathic remedies. Arnica had featured after long, hard training runs. Arnica oil was really useful for massaging into sore areas. I’d had a long flight two days before and so as always when I travel long haul, I took my usual flight remedies: melatonin and my jet lag combination.
My wonderful homeopath also introduced me to Shungite, a remedy to help with the radiation from the flight and in the airport from body scanners and x-rays.
I also took my AAA combination (a classic homeopathic anxiety remedy, also useful for panic attacks, made from Arg Nit; Ambra Grisea and Anacardium) whenever I worried about the 26.2 miles ahead of me. It had got lots of my patients through their driving tests and exams. It would get me through this marathon!
As I crossed the finish line, it had all been worth it! I’d had a great run in perfect conditions with incredible crowds. I will cherish my medal forever. I limped slowly back to my hotel to take some more arnica but buoyed by the news that Vivien Cheruiyot had come second in the female race, her first New York marathon.
If you are interested in any of the remedies mentioned here or would just like to chat about how homeopathy may work for you, please get in contact.
This month …..
As the temperature begins to drop, here are some steps you can take to fight off the common cold…
Neal’s Yard Organic Defence Hand Spray and Dr Bronner’s Lavender Organic Hand Sanitiser
When you’re out and about, carry an antibacterial hand wash. I like to use natural brands that don’t include triclosan. I recommend Neal’s Yard Organic Defence Hand Spray and Dr Bronner’s Lavender Organic Hand Sanitizer. Keep spraying on your hands throughout the day, particularly after being in busy places, such as travelling on public transport.
At the first sign of cold symptoms:
Autumn on the Forest Way
Reach for aconite 200 - certainly within the first 24 hours - and take one dose every two hours. Often this is enough.
Up your vitamin C intake. I know that there are mixed thoughts as to whether this works or not but I feel it’s always worked for me. If I think I’m coming down with something, I increase my fruit and vegetable intake and reach for my vitamin C tablets. I use Dr Mercola’s Liposomal Vitamin C.
Drink hot water with ginger. I either buy ginger root and grate it into my mug or buy ginger tea bags. I love Pukka’s Three Ginger tea bags described as ‘a warming swirl of organic ginger, galangal and golden turmeric’. Try to slow down.
Perhaps get a few early nights. If I’m going down with a cold, my body is often telling me to slow down or that I need to be kinder to myself or that I should try to factor in some downtime. I know that’s easier said than done sometimes but I find it really helpful to be self-aware and try to work out why I’m not feeling 100%.
Take some form of gentle exercise like going for a walk. It might not be what you feel like but getting your body moving outside in the fresh air often helps shift those cold symptoms.
Please get in contact if you want to discuss anything you’ve read here or would welcome some more personal homeopathic advice on keeping you well throughout the winter months.
This month …….
Questions and Answers No. 1
I’m great believer in giving my patients the tools to self-prescribe at home where possible. That doesn’t always mean a phone call; let; email, possibly leading to an appointment, won’t be necessary but often it will be enough. So, here are the sort of questions I get asked. I hope the answer may be helpful and of interest.
1. My thirteen-year-old son witnessed a bad car accident and has been very anxious since. He’s waking several hours after falling asleep with his heart racing and hasn’t been able to focus at school since. Can you recommend anything I can give him? Of course, I would recommend starting with aconite, a remedy you should easily be able to get hold of in a low potency from major chemists or a local health food shop. Aconite is appropriate to give after an acute shock, particularly where symptoms are worse at midnight and include restlessness. Aconite is a really good remedy to start with but your son may need subsequent remedies or indeed aconite in a higher strength if symptoms don’t improve sufficiently.
2. I like to take my two young children to the playground after school to let them unwind before we get home but they are always falling over and getting grazes on their hands and knees. I’d prefer not to use an over-the-counter cream. Can you suggest anything? Yes, I would use hypercal cream or the tincture which is hypercal in a liquid form. You put twenty drops into a small cup of boiled, cooled water and then bathe the area with cotton wool. Do get in contact if you wish to add a bottle of hypercal to your first aid kit. I wouldn’t be without mine in our kitchen cupboard!
3. My eight-month-old has very watery eyes. They look a bit red and swollen. I’d rather not use antibiotic drops as she is so little is there anything homeopathic I can use? My eldest daughter (now twenty!) often suffered from these sort of eye symptoms when she was small. I always started with euphrasia in tincture form and often in remedy form as well. Again, you use this like you do hypercal - twenty drops in a small cup of boiled, cooled water. Use cotton wool to wipe the liquid over the eye. Use a different cotton wool for each eye. Obviously, if there is no improvement, get in contact.
If you have any questions of your own, please do not hesitate to get in contact.
This month .......
As a mother of three, I'm always keen to find healthy snacks for when we're on the go. Here are my favourites at the moment (all available at major supermarkets).
1. Urban Fruit Straight Up Coconut Chips
These contain only three ingredients: coconut; coconut nectar and sea salt. What's not to like? I even take them on long runs to keep me going.
2. Nākd Bars
Made from 100% natural ingredients.
We love the cocoa delight ones but they come in lots of different flavours.
3. Eat Real Hummus Chips
These make a healthy change from crisps. Also try Eat Real's lentil and quinoa chips.
Provided you or your family don't have a nut allergy, nuts are a filling snack, full of good fats. I love to mix up almonds, macadamias and pecans.
Pistachios are also great to share.
I hope you are having a wonderful summer and please don't hesitate to get in contact.
This month .......
This is the remedy I probably reach for the most when treating babies; young children and teenagers.
Symptoms may include asthma; earache; coughs (dry; worse lying down); colds; eczema; conjunctivitis and catarrh. Often there is a thick, bland, yellow-green discharge.
Pulsatilla children appear shy but good-natured. They are often chatty; affectionate and love cuddles. There is a huge fear of abandonment, leading to the need for attention. They are often jealous of siblings and feel the less loved one in the family. Frequently, they are thirstless, tearful and don't like the heat. They often sleep with their arms over their head.
Fears include the dark and they will often come into their parents' bed at night.
But, I do use pulsatilla for adults too. It is a great hormonal remedy for girls during puberty through to the menopause for symptoms such as period pains; mood swings, headaches and tearfulness.
If you think pulsatilla would help you or a member of your family, please do not hesitate to get in contact. I'd love to help.
This month .......
We all know that we should get eight hours sleep per night but so many people find this difficult. This may be due to problems getting to sleep or waking in the middle of the night.
Here are some suggestions that may help you:
1. Take some form of exercise every day, even if that's only a walk. You may find it helpful to use a fitness tracker to help you reach your recommended 10,000 steps per day. A few small changes can make a big difference like getting off the bus a stop earlier. But avoid strenuous exercise two hours before bedtime as this may well stop you from getting to sleep easily.
2. Avoid looking at screens as much as possible before bed. At least two hours if possible.
3. If you need to use your phone / laptop, make sure you have downloaded www.justgetflux.com for free. It changes the colour of your computer screen to suit the time of day. So it becomes warmer at night but stays bright during the day.
4. No caffeine after 2pm. Remember green tea has caffeine in it too!
5. Try to eat your last meal of the day at least two hours before bedtime. No snacking after that.
6. Reduce your fluid intake after eating your last meal of the day to reduce the chances of you needing to get up in the middle of the night. If you want a drink, try a cup of chamomile tea.
7. Create a relaxing bedtime routine and try to stick to it. Read a good book / magazine or maybe have a warm bath in Epsom salts. This really helps relax the body.
8. Try a mindfulness App. I love Headspace (www.headspace.com). You can sign up for a free trial.
Some remedies to help you:
Aconite - This can be helpful if you feel fearful or agitated getting to sleep / when you wake in the night. Symptoms are often worse around midnight.
Arsenicum Album - Use if you are anxious and restless. It's particularly good for babies / young children who have difficulty getting to sleep or sleeping through the night. Take one dose at 6pm.
Calc phos - Useful for children with growing pains or adults with aching joints and bones. Good for those who feel dissatisfied.
Cocculus - Where the symptoms are from 'night watching' i.e. nursing young children or caring for someone.
Coffea cruda - This is good for an overactive mind. Consider if symptoms are from excessive joy. Use if you have consumed too much coffee that day.
Ignatia - For insomnia from emotional distress (grief, loss or disappointment in love). Symptoms may include sighing, sobbing or a lump in the throat. The person is sensitive to humiliation.
Kali phos - Consider this if your insomnia is from overwork or mental exhaustion. The person may suffer from headaches and blurred vision. Oversensitive.
Lycopodium - This is for lack of sleep from low confidence levels and a fear of failure. The person is irritable and suffers digestive problems, often bloatedness with flatulence.
Nux vomica - Sleep problems from over indulgence in food and drink.
Silica - This is helpful for timid people with low confidence and physical stamina. They tire very easily and lack grit. Stress leads to a headache, often one-sided.
Sulphur - Sleeplessness from heat in bed. The person may feel itchy and burning symptoms and wants to throw the covers off. Often wakes between 3am and 5am.
If you would like any advice on the remedy that is most suitable for you, please feel free to get in contact. I'd be delighted to help you.
This month .......
Holiday Homeopathic Remedy Kit
I always travel with homeopathic remedies. I take either my small, blue Helios kit (36 remedies) or if I've got a bit more luggage room or if I'm away for a few weeks, my green Ainsworths' one (42 remedies). In addition, more often than not, I take my own tailor-made kit.
As the holiday season approaches, I thought it might be helpful to list the remedies that may be useful to you on your holidays.
Aconite - After a shock or a fright. Really helpful within the first 24 hours of feeling unwell with a fever or a cold.
Apis - For wasp and bee stings were the skin is hot, red and swollen.
Arnica - Of course! For bruises and sprains. After accidents. Don't forget Aconite for the shock.
Arsenicum Album - Great for food poisoning. Symptoms can include vomiting and diarrhoea and / or nausea at the sight or smell of food. It's a good remedy for hangovers too!
Belladonna - Take for sunstroke. Symptoms tend to be throbbing, often with a headache.
Euphrasia tincture - For eye soreness / redness. Conjunctivitis symptoms. Bathe with this (ten drops in a small cup of boiled, cooled water. Always wipe to the inner corner of the eye.
Kali-mur - For ear ache on or from a plane. Take in anticipation if you know you tend to suffer from this.
Nux vomica - Indigestion from too much food or alcohol. Bloated, heavy feeling after food. Another hangover cure!
Sol - Homeopathic sunscreen! Always use your usual SPF but this will give your skin an extra protection from the sun.
Hypercal tincture - This and euphrasia are the two tinctures I always travel with. Hypercal is brilliant to dab neat on bee, wasp, mosquito or midge bites. Use on grazes and wounds too.
If you would like advice on the best homeopathic kit for you and your family, please do not hesitate to get in contact.
This month .......
Everyone's heard of arnica, right? It's the number one remedy for bumps and bruises. But are we making the most of the best known of homeopathic remedies?
As a keen runner, I often reach for arnica after a long run or a hard interval session. I find it really helps how my body feels the next day.
But don't just limit it to running. Use it after football or rugby sessions. Or are you a skier? If so, don't forget to pack your arnica and take a dose when you come in from the slopes.
Going on a long haul flight this summer? A dose of arnica before, during or after a long flight should help to make you feel the symptoms of jet lag much less.
Need dental work? Take arnica afterwards to help with bruising, soreness and swelling.
Post-op or after an invasive medical procedure (for example, mammogram) For at least three days afterwards, take arnica. It will really help your recovery.
Childbirth Arnica is the number one remedy I suggest after childbirth. It helps with bruising, aching and general exhaustion after labour, also with the shock and trauma of a difficult birth.
Exhaustion Tired after a hard day at work but still have commitments in the evening? Children exhausted after a day at school? Try arnica in a lower potency regularly and often.