Summer, Stress and Superfoods
The change to British Summer Time is always welcome bringing lighter evenings and the promise of warmer weather to come. It feels like an optimistic time of year to me but that doesn't mean that it is without it's stresses. Hay fever season is just around the corner, summer clothing can show all sorts of bumps and bulges that we vowed to get rid of in the new year and everyday world events can be deeply traumatising.
Cytoplan's recent blog
on stress and brain health is well worth a read. I particularly enjoyed some of the suggested antidotes, one of which is to regularly consume dark chocolate. Personally, I don't need much encouragement there! Stress is an everyday part of our lives and has its own benefits which we can learn to capitalise on with a bit of help and the right information.
Being outside in nature is an excellent stress buster for those not affected by hay fever and seasonal allergies (more about this in a later newsletter). I'm a keen vegetable gardener but recognise that not everyone has the benefit of their own garden or necessarily enough time to spend in it. There are always ways though to connect with nature and I have recently added a bug hotel to my plot to cover a piece of land that was too snarled up with tree roots to be a useful area to cultivate. The wine boxes on the top are seeded with salad crops which keeps them off the ground away from the slugs and in a light shade from the trees. Slugs are something I could get severely stressed about but I am trying to adopt a zen approach at the same time as encouraging hedgehogs to take up residence under the bug hotel and act as natural predators.
Apparently even watching a documentary on nature can help reduce stress levels but if like me you are trying to minimise your screen time then I can highly recommend The Outrun by Amy Liptrot, a book described by the Independent on Sunday as 'blending searing memoir with sublime nature writing'. It will resonate with anyone who has ever been unhappy or unwise (so that will be all of us then!).
Other suggestions mentioned in the article for reducing stress include deep breathing, journal writing, eating healthily and drinking tea - all of which I can vouch for as excellent strategies.
Yoga breathing techniques are easy to learn and if you can't get to a yoga class then a Google search will help point you in the right direction. A recent BBC2 series entitled Incredible Medicine: Dr Weston's Casebook, featured a man who could withstand amazing degrees of cold just by controlling his breathing.
I mentioned The Best Self Journal
earlier in the year and journaling is a recognised way of dealing with stress. Any practice of gratitude however whether written or thought can be extremely beneficial and simply getting into the habit of focussing on three things you are grateful for every morning and evening will reap dividends. They don't have to be big things either - yesterday I was grateful that 6 out of the 10 tomato seeds I planted germinated, that it was light until 7pm and that the washing had dried outside and smelled wonderfully fresh when I brought it indoors. Simple pleasures can ground us and help reduce the amount of time we spend worrying about things we can't possibly change or control.
Diet is a crucial tool for dealing with stress but the plethora of information out there these days can be a huge burden in itself. I know I have said it many times before but food should not be something we stress about, it should be something we enjoy. A nutritious meal shared with friends or family is one of the great simple pleasures of life. Stress in itself stops us thinking clearly but if we constantly remind ourselves that seasonal, fresh fruit and vegetables are our best medicine then we can't go far wrong whatever we chose to serve them with. Every vegetable is a superfood. Eat naturally, guided by the seasons and be grateful for that which nature provides.
Kali Phos is the tissue salt indicated from March 21st - April 19th.
Tissue (or cell salts as they are also known) have been prescribed since their discovery in the late 1800s to naturally correct mineral deficiencies in the body which result in symptoms of sub-par health. They are a safe and inexpensive way of bringing the body back into balance.
There are 12 tissue salts which can be taken individually or in combination and homeopaths often prescribe them alongside constitutional treatment to help with acute complaints. One of the best books on the subject is Natural Healing with Cell Salts by Skye Weintraub, ND.
I use them a lot in my practice to good effect but also find it useful to take each one of the salts during their indicated astrological months. The prime function of this months indicated salt Kali Phos is as a nerve nutrient. It is used around the world as a natural tranquiliser which helps restore direction to both the mind and the body. Known as 'nature's Prozac' it is the main remedy I recommend for anyone suffering from acute or chronic stress.
A 30ml bottle costs just £11. Adults can take 3 tablets 3 times daily and children 2 tablets twice a day. They are gentle yet effective, safe to use and suitable for all ages. Building up a first aid kit of tissue salts throughout the year will cover many acute complaints including sleeplessness, grief, depression, coughs, colds, headaches, muscle spasms, hay fever and much much more.
I strongly recommend you purchase a good book on the subject (such as the one mentioned above) which contain a repertory of complaints.
To buy 30ml Kali Phos 6x please click here
I'll be sending out an interim newsletter in April with some strategies and tips for dealing with hay fever. I have just completed a post-grad practitioner programme in Homeobotanical Remedies and am keen to share some information on their actions and scope with you. Beneficial for hay fever and many other complaints they are produced in New Zealand from organic herbs which are homeopathically potentised. They are a great addition to a natural first aid kit.
With best wishes for a happy and healthy April 2017.
The Rather Lovely Partner Programme
has now been launched. If you are interested in natural skincare and home fragrancing then head over to the website. You can sign up as an Affiliate
, or apply to be a Practitioner
Below is a reminder of changes in my practice which have taken effect from the New Year
Lifestyles have changed so much in recent years and I feel it's now time for me to catch up. As such, there are some important changes to my working practice that I need to make you aware of.