Hero herb: Hawthorn – The Heart and Vessel Tonic


Hawthorn is a traditional western herbal remedy for health conditions connected with the heart and blood vessels. It is found growing naturally in parks and bushes.

Hawthorn has been researched and put through several scientific trials and studies. Check out some of them here. It has proved an effective remedy and a great support for most cardio diseases.

 What does it do:  When taken regularly and as prescribed by a professional health practitioner :

  • Can improve circulations
  • Can reduce angina attacks and its symptoms
  • Can reverse age-related heart issues
  • Can be used to reduce or minimise heart–related disease
  • Can act as a tonic

What parts are used: The whole plant is used in herbal prescriptions i.e. leaves, flowers and berries.

What does it contain: Flavonoids, lots of acids and procyannadins amongst other compounds.

Compounds in apples can relieve symptoms of various allergic disorders…study shows

health news





The saying goes that an apple a day keeps the doctor away but there seems to be more mundane benefits to eating this delicious fruit.

After finding that compounds in apples called polyphenols were able to suppress allergic rhinitis in mice, researchers conducted a study with thirty-three patients aged 15 to 65 years with moderate or severe persistent allergic rhinitis, who’d been suffering from symptoms for 3 years or longer.

Allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the inside of the nose caused by an allergen, such as pollen, dust, mould or certain animal danders. Once exposed to them, the sufferer experiences symptoms such as sneezing, itchiness and a blocked or runny nose.

The patients were grouped, some were treated without apple polyphenols, others with a low dose of apple polyphenols, or with a high dose of apple polyphenols. Changes in the clinical symptoms were examined.

Significant improvements were observed in sneezing attacks, nasal discharge and swelling, The highest percentage of patients who showed an improvement in symptoms were those treated with higher doses of the polyphenols.

They concluded that apple polyphenols are effective in alleviating symptoms of persistent allergic rhinitis. So an apple or more a day may really relieve symptoms of various allergic disorders.

The study does not include details of dosage so it  is impossible to recommend the amount of apples one needs a day to achieve relief. However, if you are one of the many sufferers of allergies, it might be worth increasing daily intake of apples. After all, they are delicious.

Find out more by reading the study results here - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17039666



Homemade Beard Oil

As beards are becoming more and more popular, I thought I’d upload a recipe for the perfect natural beard oil to keep your beard soft and the skin hydrated.

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Recipe for 30ml of beard oil

- 30ml Good quality Almond Oil – the base of your oil. Seals in moisture and reduces the drying out of skin
- 7-10 drops Tea Tree essential oil – treats the cause of dryness and flakiness
- 5-7 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil – has a fresh aroma and heals skin irritation
- 7-10 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil – treats oily skin and adds citrusy scent

(Instead of Grapefruit Oil, you could try Rosemary Oil, which has similar benefits)


Shake well and use as regularly as possible! Cover your fingertips in the oil and rub directly on to the skin – give special attention to areas that feel the most dry/itchy.

Hot Oil Treatment

You can do this treatment once in a while for an intense moisturise and condition.

- Apply a liberal amount of the beard oil and use the same method as stated earlier to rub it in

- Soak a towel in the hottest water you can handle and wring it out

- Place the towel on your beard and relax for 10 minutes (minimum)

- When finished wipe of the excess oil and rinse with cold water (adds shine and seals in moisture)


I used this recipe on a bearded gentleman and he has been using it daily for around 3 weeks. Here’s his review:

“For me the beard oil was a perfect combination of everything I needed. The issue for me was the rapidly changing weather in England made my beard at times itchy so the beard oil controlled that by moisturising the skin underneath and adding what felt like a layer of protection.  Finally whats great and appealing about this oil was that it didn’t give my beard that oily appearance. With oil in your beard there is a tendency to have an oily shimmer to the beard which makes it look greasy, but with this rubbed in it didn’t give make a noticeable difference. Overall it gave my beard a healthier, more maintainable outlook at a reasonable price point. Plus, you end up saving in correlation to quantity you get out of it and most importantly you get to control what you put in there, its personal to your needs.” – Aiden Jordan (Beard Owner & Enthusiast)

 Images by Aiden Jordan 

Vitamin D supplement tried and tested.

Here are 6 reasons why I decided to try taking Vitamin D supplements:

Potential vitamin D deficiency – 5 months of winter in London means mainly cloudy skies, rain and more rain. Strong scientific evidence for this use.

Can aid in better mental performance in women over 30 – weekly intake is recommended. Research evidence is unclear.

Low levels of vitamin D especially in winter months have linked to high blood pressure especially in people with dark skin. Research evidence is unclear.

Improve immune function. With colds and flu viruses around it might be worth the protection. Research evidence is unclear.

Can help improve mood – Seasonal Affective Disorder is common in winter. Research evidence is unclear.

Improves muscle strength and reduce inflammation. This is important due reduced outdoor exercise during winter months as well as being accident-prone. Research evidence is unclear.


I have been taking BioCare’s Vitamin Bio D for  3 months alongside multi mineral tablets. It is a liquid vitamin D3 that is so easy to take – a few drops daily under the tongue (D3 is what is lacking due to insufficient exposure to sunlight). I have been prescribing this to a patient with osteoporosis and wanted to give it a try as well.

My trial packs finished at the weekend and I feel already bereft without them and somewhat nutritionally deficient.  I’ve had the flu but not as badly as expected for one with a little girl who’s constantly exposed to nursery germs.

click on image for more information on this product and to buy



Cool your head and sustain energy

with Peppermint and Liquorice Tea. Drink regularly to cool down and combat fatigue.

I always prefer to blend my own teas but you can buy this ready made from Pukka or teapigs among others.

Tea pigs pepp and lic tea



January Essentials

Apologies for the belated January Essentials post! Don’t let that put you off these beautiful items. And this January, it’s all about colour!

1. Bee Lovely Hand Cream – £10 for 50ml
Now that you’ve switched back from the picturesque christmas of sitting by the fire, staying warm in the comfort of your home to the hustle and bustle of everyday life a pocket-sized hand cream solution is the answer to dry hands this January.

2. Diary
Don’t depend on your smart phone to remember all your dates and meetings, a diary is much more fun anyway. Go simple with the classic Moleskin (£13.99) or bring the ‘print’ trend of this season to your stationary with the Tiger Lily Diary (pictured above – £10) from John Lewis.

3.How to be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis – £11.55 from Amazon
In her excellent book How To Be A Heroine, Samantha Ellis dissects some of literature’s most famous heroines and exposes them for what they really are.

4.Tabitha Simmons flats. – Ranges from £300 – £500
Pointy flats are a Spring 2014 favourite and every one should have at least one pair. Chic, comfortable and adaptable for work and play. Tabitha Simmons has every colour and pattern you could wish for, these candy colours are versatile and simple.