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NATURAL HEALTH UK’s top alternative wellbeing magazine





“My natural ways to breeze the menopause”




The secret to winter wellbeing?




Calming therapies for your happiest Christmas ever










NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 28/10/2016 10:54 Page 2



DEPUTY EDITOR Allison Jacobs

Find out how to boost your dopamine for a healthier, happier life in Jayney Goddard’s latest piece on page 28


The cold weather plays havoc with my skin, so I can’t wait to try the face masks on page 87!


After being hit with a stubborn cold, all my prayers were answered after reading our immune-boosting feature on page 56.


‘Tis the season to be jolly – or so the song goes. But what happens if even just the sound of Jingle Bells invokes more Christmas fear than Christmas cheer in you? Well, that’s where we come in. We know that in between worrying about what you’re going to buy the friend who has everything and trying to work out how you’re going to say no to those extra mince pies, there’s not much time left to focus on your wellbeing. So, to help you stay calm and relaxed – even when everyone else has gone into festive overdrive – we’ve crammed this issue full of expert tips and advice to ensure you enjoy the month of December and take some time out for yourself. On page 95 we’ve got seven of the best stress-busting therapies to try at home, and on page 59 our new columnist Glynis Barber reveals how she stops extra lbs piling on in winter. Been struck down by one of the colds doing the rounds? We’ve got natural advice that will have you dancing around the tree in no time, as well as traditional Chinese medicine beauty tips that will ensure you look as fabulous as you feel. Have a healthy, happy Christmas.

Claire Claire Munnings, Editor, Natural Health NATURAL HEALTH 3




CONTENTS December 2016


9 Over to you Your views plus win our star prize 10 This month Inspiration for the last month of the year 14 Natural news The latest from the holistic health world 17 Therapy of the month How the Bowen technique could help you 19 NH’s talking about We shine a spotlight on hygge 21 Shop yourself healthy Our monthly round-up of must-have items

37 Christmas gift guide Our pick of healthy seaonal buys 42 Body news Research proven to help boost your body 45 Yoga for alignment Keep in shape and agile with these asanas 51 Here’s to holiday health Emma Cannon on keeping sane at Christmas 52 Natural ways to breeze the menopause Wellbeing guru Liz Earle shares her wisdom 55 Herbal heroes

23 Healthy reads Books for your wellness journey

Our green goddess Jo Wood on the best botanicals for winter health

24 The interview “It’s OK to slow down to first gear and enjoy the quality of the ride,” says Strictly Come Dancing superstar Camilla Dallerup

56 24 hours to beat a cold Our guide to giving the bugs the heave-ho!

27 Janey Lee Grace Make Christmas cosy 28 The motivation molecule Jayney Goddard reveals how to get your mojo back by boosting your dopamine levels



59 Glynis Barber Our new columnist on how to have a healthy and happy Christmas


62 The superfood hotlist Fill your basket with the latest must-haves

31 Patsy Kensit The actress on why she likes structure and order

64 In the kitchen with… TV chef and author of seven Chinese cookery books Ching He Huang

33 Ask the experts You talk to our wellbeing wonder-team

67 Should sweet portion sizes be smaller? Ian Marber tackles the debate




27 69 Winter warmers Say hello to December with these tasty dishes from Indy Power 72 Natural remedies for good digestion Nutritional therapist Henrietta Norton reveals ways we can improve our digestion

93 Lynne Franks Our women’s empowerment guru Lynne Franks on why we need to help our girls 95 Christmas stress survival guide Beat the seasonal stress with these therapies

74 Super power snacks Nutritional health coach Madeleine Shaw shares her top seven ingredients



105 Feng shui your home lucky Use a little ancient wisdom to welcome luck and abundance into your house

78 10 ways to perfect your party look Quick fixes to ensure that you’re looking picture perfect for Christmas and New Year 81 Beauty ed’s picks Gorgeous beauty buys hot off the press 83 The beauty detective Enjoy healthy festive drinking with our beauty editor at large Emma Van Hinsbergh 84 China girl Unlock the secret of youth with powerful herbs and ancient healing techniques 87 Time-saving skin boosters

102 Living news Our home, fashion and environmental round-up

109 Winter wardrobe The latest essentials from sustainable fashion pioneers People Tree 115 Family matters Holistic views to keep your clan in tip top shape 119 This month we’ve been The latest from Natural Health HQ


The Beauty Bible guru reveals her favourite brightening face packs

125 Health trends for 2017 From buzzy superfoods to up and coming ancient therapies, we reveal what’s next



90 Is empathy making you ill? Suffering in the name of others may seem altruistic, but in the long-run it could be harming your health

134 Horoscopes What the stars have in store for you this month 138 Jane Alexander On the importance of convalescence

THIS MONTH’S OFFERS 34 Subscribe today and receive a free Phytonutri cleansing oil

99 Win a wellness day programme

117 Win a spa break, a face rejuvenating kit and a wellness supplement bundle



NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 27/10/2016 11:11 Page 6


NATURAL HEALTH UK’s top alternative wellbeing magazine








“My natural ways to breeze the menopause”


Calming therapies for your happiest Christmas ever




The secret to winter wellbeing?











Glynis is an actress, anti-ageing guru and the co-author of The In-Sync Diet


Emma is a fertility, pregnancy and integrated women’s health expert


Editor Claire Munnings Deputy Editor Allison Jacobs Health & Fitness Writer Jody-Ann Miller Content Writer Lauren Godfrey Group Editor Naomi Abeykoon Advertising Manager Belinda Buckle Deputy Advertising Manager Natalie Cleal 01206 506261


Ian is one of the UK’s top nutritional therapists and health writers

JANEY LEE GRACE! Janey is the author of Look Great Naturally and runs the website imperfectlynatural

Senior Account Manager Samantha Wilson 01206 506232 Business Development Executives Lauren Gale 01206 506266 Jess Sayer 01206 506226 Art Director James Philp Designers Debbie Pratt and Leo Bond


Jayney is president of the Complementary Medical Association


Jo is an organic living expert and creator of her own natural beauty range

Design/Reprographics/Typesetting Ace Pre-Press, 19 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester CO2 8JY Accounts Debbie Starrs 01206 505995 Promotions Manager Andrea Turner Subscriptions 0844 815 0036/+44(0)1795 414 669 Publishing Director Helen Tudor Publisher Matthew Tudor



Lynne is a women’s empowerment guru and runs BLOOM Wellbeing Retreats

HENRIETTA NORTON! Henrietta is a nutritional therapist, author and co-founder of Wild Nutrition

DISCLAIMER The views within this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. Articles and advertisements are for information only. They are not intended to replace medical care. Check with your GP before trying any of the remedies in this magazine. Always seek medical advice if you are pregnant or taking medication before following any of the advice given in articles or advertisements in this magazine. © ACEVILLE PUBLICATIONS LIMITED. Company no. 04109672. Printed in England


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I opened a copy of Natural Health at Barnham station whilst waiting for a train to Chichester and was immediately cheered up by your positive articles and visuals. As a former sports massage therapist, it has made me think that maybe I should go back to alternative therapy and avoid the awful commute each day! Thank you for an uplifting and inspiring read. CJ, via email

Ever since picking up a copy of Natural Health in my doctor’s surgery, I have been an avid reader. As a result I have improved my diet, taken up yoga and even started jogging. I am now three stone lighter, my body shape has changed and I’m so much fitter. I also love the natural remedies, such as the recipe to keep ticks away (p12, June issue) which was very useful on my walking holiday in Scotland. Thank you for helping me to find my way. Julia, via email


I really enjoyed reading Janey Goddard’s article in the November issue (The Alkaline Diet: Fact or Fiction?, p28). There are so many different diets nowadays that it can be overwhelming sometimes but she really cleared things up. I now feel I know the facts about alkalising. Caroline, via email


My twin and I are 46 years young and live free of chemicals and processed foods. A vegan lifestyle keeps us youthful and our bodies and minds feel better than ever. Natural living is great and so is your magazine! Thanks for keeping us inspired. Sarah, via email

THIS MONTH’S STAR LETTER WINS... a PHB 18 Piece Professional Palette worth more than £65! PHB’s award-winning cosmetics are hand-pressed using organic ingredients and pure, ethically sourced minerals to create make-up which also looks after the needs of your skin. This palette is perfect for all beauty fanatics and is a great way to add high-quality, natural and cruelty-free cosmetics to your collection. (


I loved the 7 Natural Remedies To Soothe Anxiety (p95, November issue). I am quite an anxious person but I try to manage it through means other than medication, such as swimming and meditation. I think it’s really important for people to look after their mental health and these remedies are a great start. Paul, via email

SEND US YOUR LETTERS: Write to us at, tweet us: @natural_mag and find us on Facebook at for you chance to win our star letter prize! NATURAL HEALTH 9


GO ORGANIC For all of those hosting Christmas dinner this

year, organic pioneers Abel & Cole have taken the hassle out of food shopping for you. Their new Christmas Feast box has everything you need totreat six hungry diners to a fine festive lunch: an organic turkey is the star of the show, and there are indulgent trimmings such as Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and lardons, plus a Prosecco magnum to wash it down with. And you can order right up until 22nd December! Costs ÂŁ159, visit


INSPIRATION MAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS In case you needed another excuse for an evening with the girls, here it is: scientists have discovered women might have a greater need for friendship than men. A new study from the University of Calgary found that female mice released a stress hormone when left alone, but males did not. They say that the results highlight the importance of a social network for females. So don’t feel guilty about socialising non-stop in December – it could boost your health.


DITCH THE DIET DRINKS Healthy habits can slip a bit, come the festive season, but don’t make the mistake of choosing the ‘healthy’ option and having diet drinks with artificial sweetners, especially if you are trying for a baby. A new study found that women undergoing IVF who drank sugar substitutes had poorer eggs and embryos, and were more likely to have embryos with lots of deformities. Avoid anything claiming to be a ‘diet’ product, as sugar substitutes are implicated in a number of other health concerns too.



FLOAT YOUR CARES AWAY Research has proven that floating therapy brings a host of benefits, such as increased happiness from the elevated levels of dopamine and endorphins triggered by the deep meditative state it facilitates. Grotta Giusti in Tuscany, Italy, boasts a 130 million year-old underground thermal cave which provides the perfect natural setting in which to indulge in this therapy. As the water is close to body temperature, you feel totally weightless, as if you were floating in an anti-gravity chamber. Prices start from 200â‚Ź per night at the hotel. Visit


The latest in

NATURAL HEALTH Homeopathy ABC Mani Norland, principal at the School of Homeopathy (, tells us:


is for Urtica

#1 remedy for itchy, burning skin Urtica is particularly useful for skin irritation caused by afflictions like nettle rash, prickly heat and hives. In these cases the patient will often be suffering from violent itching and burning skin. The nettle is also known to reduce inflammation and ease allergy symptoms, particularly those of hayfever, and is a valuable remedy for treating whooping cough and chickenpox.


Meet Rose Brown, founder of PHB Ethical Beauty ( NH: What inspired you to start your business? RB: I feel that the products you use on your body should fit with your beliefs and principles. For me, this means products that are manufactured in an entirely natural and ethical way with full consideration for not only our health and wellbeing, but also that of animals and the environment. NH: What do you love most about your job? RB: I love that my job gives me an outlet for my creativity. It’s also taught me so much about the power of nature to enhance, heal and improve our bodies and lives. I love researching new ingredients for our products and learning about their properties. NH: Do you think beauty products are compromised in any way by being natural and vegan? RB: Not at all – in fact, I believe they work better. The skin is our body’s largest organ and absorbs up to 60 percent of what we put on it. When you use synthetic or heavily processed products, your body isn’t sure how to deal with them and this can have long-term effects on our health and skin. Read the full interview online at 14 NATURAL HEALTH

NH: What three beauty products do you swear by? RB: PHB’s Brightening Moisturiser, Hair Conditioning Mask and Mascara.


Fay Higginbotham at Solgar ( on the benefits of whey protein Little Miss Muffet knew a thing or two when she sat eating her curds and whey. It’s important to consume enough protein in order to maintain good health, but the protein found in whey is particularly beneficial as it is highly absorbent and contains components that help the body in a number of ways, including supporting bones, the immune system, gut function and muscle growth. If you are immobilised or elderly, whey can help maintain muscle function that might otherwise be lost from inactivity. If you are active and regularly doing resistance training, whey can help increase muscle mass more efficiently due to the leucine (an amino acid) content which enhances the synthesis of muscle protein, acting as a sort of trigger for muscle growth. A whey snack, such as a protein shake, will also help you to feel fuller for longer.

“Hygge is a Danish/Norwegian word that translates as a feeling of cosiness and is about taking pleasure in the simple things in life” - p19

WHAT’S THE BUZZ ABOUT? MANGO If you like mango, you might be pleased to know that the tropical fruit has recently been dubbed a natural probiotic. Probiotics are important for keeping your gut healthy, which in turn can help you feel less depressed, keep inflammation at bay and avoid a leaky gut. A new study has revealed that eating a mango a day could keep the good bacteria in the gut alive, making it an effective (and tasty) way of getting your probiotic fix. Researchers also found a link between mangos and a reduction in body fat and blood sugar, so it might be a useful food for helping to prevent diabetes. And to top it off, the fruit is a good source of fibre, proteins, healthy fats and calcium. A perfect excuse for a mango smoothie!

Health kick

Iceland, Singapore, Sweden, Andorra and the UK have been revealed as the world’s five healthiest countries. Go us!

Fat loss

A recent study has found that exercise releases a hormone called irisin which converts calorie-storing white fat cells into brown energy-burning fat cells.


New research has shown that adding cinnamon to your diet can cool your body by up to two degrees and may also contribute to a general improvement in overall health.

The BAROMETER Insomnia

The average adult will spend an hour and 30 minutes lying awake on three nights each week, according to new research. It also found that women lose more sleep than men.


New research on the effects of cannabis has concluded that regular users of the drug are less aware of their own mistakes and aren’t good at creative thinking.

Menopausal symptoms

Women who experience hot flushes and night sweats earlier in life are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease compared to women with later onset menopausal symptoms, new research has revealed.


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Bowen Technique

There’s a wonderful world of alternative therapies out there just waiting to be discovered. This month, we shine a light on the Bowen technique

The Bowen technique, also known as Bowen therapy, is a non-invasive, complementary holistic therapy named after Australian Tom Bowen. He had no formal medical training but referred to himself as an osteopath and actually described his approach as a ‘gift from God’. He died as an unlicensed practitioner of manual therapy in 1982, but several years before his death a public inquiry reported that Bowen had treated approximately 13,000 patients every year and had an 80 percent success rate with symptoms related to a large variety of conditions. Most patients seek Bowen therapy for musculoskeletal problems such as back ache, frozen shoulder and sports injuries, but it can also be used to treat other ailments like migraines. The Bowen move is applied at very precise points on the body and involves the movement of soft tissue in a specific way. It is a rolling-type motion of the thumbs and forefingers and is designed to stimulate the tissue and nerve pathways, creating a focus for the brain. The move doesn’t slide or flick over the surface of the skin but uses the slack in the overlying skin to move over the underlying tissue. As a result the movement only covers a small area and is defined by how far the patient’s skin can move over the targeted section. A key part of the Bowen technique is for the practitioner to take regular, short breaks. Allowing the body to rest for a few minutes initiates the process of repair and although the breaks are one of the least understood elements of the Bowen technique, it is during these respites that the practitioner’s work starts to take effect and changes occur. To learn more and find a practitioner visit


Everything you need to know about your first appointment It is advised to book an initial consultation with a practitioner so that they can ask about your medical history and what you would like to get treated for. You can undress or remain clothed as the Bowen technique can be applied to both bare skin and through loose and light clothing. The practitioner may ask you to drink water as the treatment requires cells and tissues to be fully hydrated. You will lie on a therapy bed or table whilst they apply subtle rolling movements to particular muscle groups. Sessions usually last between 45 minutes to an hour. NATURAL HEALTH 17

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The Danish believe that the outdoors is always preferable to the gym

NH’s talking about:


Say goodbye to the warm weather and get ready to welcome hygge (pronounced hooga) into your home. Everyone has

Health and happiness the Nordic way

been talking about the Scandinavian concept since it made its way to British shores last year, but what exactly is it? Signe Johansen, author of How to Hygge (Bluebird, £14.99), says: “Hygge is a Danish/Norwegian word that translates as a feeling of cosiness and is about being sociable and looking outward; it’s about taking pleasure in the simple things in life, in fellowship with kith and kin.” There are numerous parts to hygge and nature is a key one. The Danish love outdoor activities such as skiing, cycling and hiking and believe that bad weather should never stop you from getting out into the open. “Nature calms you, it settles you and allows you to step back and reflect on the very essence of what living is about,” says Signe. Food is also a fundamental element of hygge. ‘Fika’ essentially means coffee break and is an integral part of the Nordic way of life – in Sweden, employees at a lot of

companies come together every day for a fika moment. Danes love carbs, pastries and coffee and don’t believe in feeling guilty about the food they eat. Sweet treats, such as cardamom buns, are key to Denmark’s thriving cafe culture and according to Signe, sweetness is regarded as just one of the characteristics of good baking, along with grains, spices and seasonal fruit. They say that home is where the heart is, and hygge definitely reinforces this idea. Feeling comfortable and cosy is of utmost importance especially during the colder months and the Danish believe that a hygge home is one that gives you a sense of warmth and calm. Think books, candles, plants, blankets and open fires. Hygge is essentially based on the belief that if you have a roof over your head, a table to gather round with loved ones and delicious food and drink, then all you need to do is spend some time outside embracing nature and all will be well in the world. Who can argue with that? NATURAL HEALTH 19

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Everything you need in your life on one page





If you’re looking to try yoga in the new year then make sure you take this eco-tote made from natural, unbleached and undyed cotton with you. Hey Holla ‘Bend It Like Bikram’ Gym Bag, £20, Say goodbye to your boring bottled water and start sipping gemwater. These unique lead-free glass bottles contain pods filled with gemstones which you can choose based on what effect you want, for example beauty, vitality or balance. VitaJuwel ViA Gem Water Bottle in Wellness, £48.95,


Get your 2017 fitness goals off to the right start with the sleek and stylish Misfit Ray. It records steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned plus sleep duration and quality. Misfit Ray, £79.95,


Nailberry’s luxury breathable nail polish, L’Oxygéné, allows air and moisture to pass through the lacquer resulting in healthier nails and is also vegan and cruelty-free. Nailberry L’Oxygéné Nail Polish in Candyfloss, £14.50,


Relax with this luxurious eye pillow, filled with organic seeds and real lavender and designed to rest on the acupressure points for clarity and calm, making it instantly soothing. Holistic Silk Lavender Eye Pillow, £40, This beautifully scented organic room mist will fill your home with the calming aroma of lavender, enhanced with fragrant rosemary and thyme. Trevarno Lavender, Rosemary & Thyme Room Mist, £15,


Rumour has it that Gwyneth Paltrow swears by this powerful blend of goji, rehmannia, schisandra, pearl and stevia. Add it to water, milk, coffee, tea or smoothies to get glowing from the inside out. Moon Juice Beauty Dust, £17 (10 sachets),


Get cosy this Christmas with these luxury slipper socks from Seasalt. With a thick cable-knit design, fluffy turnovers and non-slip dots on the soles, they’re perfect for wearing around the house and warming your toes after winter walks. Seasalt Cottage Socks, £20, NATURAL HEALTH 21

Healthy Shopping.indd 2

28/10/2016 16:39

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READS We cherry-pick four books worth buying this month...

BRAVE NEW GIRL Lou Hamilton, £12.99, We can’t get enough of this lovely little book here at NH. Through the hand-drawn character of Brave New Girl, we see that by using our creativity and our purpose we can lead a meaningful and happy life. The best thing about this inspiring creation is that you can dip into it for a pick-me-up whenever you’re feeling low or lacking motivation to see what message she has to offer you.

THE PARIS BATH & BEAUTY BOOK Chrissy Callahan, £12.99, Discover the beauty secrets of our stylish neighbours and embrace the art of self-care with more than 50 natural recipes for homemade bath and beauty products, plus fashion and make-up tips inspired by the Parisians. Perfect for those who love a pamper, this book makes it easier than ever to follow an organic and chemical-free skincare regime.



Caroline Artiss, £14.99, This unique cookbook from YouTube sensation Caroline Artiss starts with a diagnostic glossary of beauty ingredients to highlight the best things to include in your daily food regime. Packed with drinks, breakfast ideas, snacks and sides, soups, small and large meals and desserts, Beauty Foods caters for all wants and needs. We can’t wait to try the baobab lemonade!

Rens Kroes, £15.99, The latest book from Dutch foodie and best-selling author Rens Kroes is based on her philosophy that we should be kind to ourselves and enjoy every bite of food, and contains all you need for a balanced diet no matter how busy you are. With on-the-go breakfasts, simple salads, pasta dishes and healthy sweet treats, as well as information on what foods to eat for different beauty benefit, Power Food is a kitchen essential. NATURAL HEALTH 23

Healthy Reads.indd 2

28/10/2016 16:32


It’s OK to slow down to FIRST GEAR and enjoy the quality of the ride Cheerful and chirpy, Strictly Come Dancing superstar Camilla Dallerup has filled our living rooms with joy and laughter for hours on end. Lately, though, she’s been delivering health and happiness through a brand new medium, and, naturally, we’ve got the lowdown You know her as the incredibly talented ballroom dancer from the nation’s favourite reality show, but there’s so much more of Camilla Sacre Dallerup that you’ve yet to discover. Aged 42, the danish televeision star has hung up her dancing shoes in favour of medidation, hypnosis and life coaching as she embarks upong an exciting new venture in the golden state of Calirfornia...

I knew from very early on in my life that I wanted to help people find the happiness within. When I was little I would send motivational quotes to my friends to help cheer them up when they were feeling down. I guess you could say I’ve been a life coach all along, only now I’m extending my services to everyone! The progression from dancing to wellness was very natural because there’s actually a lot of crossover. When I was working on Strictly it was never the steps that fascinated me, but more how I could help my dance partners mentally prepare and work through their issues so they could get on better and perfect their routine. Plus, growing up as a competitor meant that I had to learn how to cope with deadlines and stress from a very early age – tools that I can now pass on to all of my clients and fans. I chose to set up camp in California because I love the outdoor lifestyle. It’s so easy to be at one with nature when you’re surrounded by the mountains, greenery and the ocean. It’s not just that, though! LA is a place where going to therapy or having a life coach is totally commonplace. People thrive on wellbeing over there and that kind of energy is contagious (in a totally awesome way). I feel inspired when I’m there, surrounded by other coaches and gurus who are all extremely experienced in their own fields. It was the perfect place to open my lifestyle, hypnosis and meditation practice. The company is called ZENME and through it I help clients from all over the world. I love my job and being in my office. It’s based in a building full of mindful thinkers, so it has a fabulous vibe. My mission to help


others is only just getting started, however! I haven’t actually shared this with anyone else, but I’ve just finished writing my second self-help book, Reinvent Me, which will be published in July 2017. It’s packed with practical exercises and inspirational advice on how to successfully make changes in your life, whether personal or professional, and in it I share some of the most helpful tools I use everyday. I hope that this book will help people to become the best possible version of themselves! Over the years, I’ve learnt to be much more gentle and respectful to my body. I’m way calmer now in my 40s than I ever was in my 20s or 30s, and I like it that way. I listen to my body and what it needs – whether that’s a rest, a massage or a workout – whereas in the past I would have just pushed through tiredness and injuries until I was exhausted. Meditation has really changed my life, it’s taught me that it’s OK to not always drive in fifth gear but to sometimes slow down to third or even first and enjoy the quality of the ride. Because of this, my immune system is so much stronger now and so are my hair and nails. In the end it all comes down to balance. It’s important to find time for yourself and your family as well as your career. I was very driven throughout my time as a dancer, which was great, but relaxation was not a word that I resonated with and it took its toll on my health and wellbeing. Nowadays, I make sure I schedule in time for nature hikes, gym sessions, yoga classes, hot baths and picturesque walks with the dogs! Life’s too short to miss out on the things you love!



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These things I know...

Make Christmas cosy

I love winter. I love getting all warm and cosy, enjoying simple pleasures and planning the perfect natural and eco Christmas. We briefly discussed going somewhere warm this year but decided we couldn’t possibly miss being holed up by a log fire, lots of fairy lights and the smell of cinnamon and chocolate. It’s really worth putting some effort into making sure your Christmas experience isn’t purely commercial. I like the concept of ‘simple’ being linked to cosy and warm, and we can extend this to our decorations as well as our Christmas gifts. It’s thought that the UK alone throws away enough wrapping paper every year to cover an island the size of Guernsey! It’s easy to re-use newspaper or even some fabric remnants, and tie them with a large ribbon. Forget the tinsel and the fake baubles and literally deck the halls with boughs of holly! You can make your own fabric advent calendar, where instead of a Disney themed window containing a tiny bit of chocolate the children unwrap a tiny little box or bag every day (chocolate can feature of course!).

Forget the tinsel and fake baubles and literally deck the halls with boughs of holly!

Janey is the author of Look Great Naturally and runs the website

It wouldn’t be Christmas without scented candles, but avoid the potentially toxic petroleum ones. Paraffin is the major ingredient in most candles. Significant processing is involved in the bleaching and deodorizing undertaken to manufacture the candle wax. It then releases carcinogenic chemicals when lit, which can contribute to respiratory illness. Thankfully there are some gorgeous natural ones such as those from Conscious Skincare made with eco soy wax, and Summerdown Mint offers similar choices. Go DIY with candles too – just roll a sheet of beeswax around a long wick and decorate with coloured wax and glitter... a lovely crafty thing to do on a cold winter afternoon, and so hygge!


THE MOTIVATION MOLECULE Get your mojo back by increasing your dopamine levels naturally, says Jayney Goddard In this article you’ll learn how to balance your dopamine levels healthily and naturally so that you can regain your zest for life, increase your motivation and improve your mood and overall cognitive functioning. The 86 billion neurons in our brain communicate with each other via a set of chemicals called neurotransmitters. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which is a key driver of focus, motivation and productivity. Low dopamine levels can lead to lack of motivation, fatigue, addictive behaviour, mood swings and memory loss.


Dopamine has been called our ‘motivation molecule’. It has a strong influence on our drive, focus, and concentration. This neurotransmitter is crucial in helping us to plan ahead and resist impulses so we can achieve our goals. Interestingly, dopamine gives us that ‘I did it!’ feeling when we accomplish what we set out to do. It also makes us more competitive and engenders ‘the thrill of the chase’ in all areas of our lives including business, sports, love, and sex. Dopamine is intrinsically linked to our pleasure/reward system, allowing us to experience feelings of enjoyment, bliss, and even euphoria. However, a lack of this chemical can leave you unmotivated, lethargic, unfocused and even depressed. The symptoms of depression are very similar to those produced by low dopamine levels and they include: fatigue, apathy, procrastination, lack of motivation, anhedonia/inability to feel pleasure, low libido, sleep problems, emotional lability/mood swings, feelings of hopelessness, compromised cognitive function, memory loss and poor concentration. In fact, dopamine-deficient mice in laboratory settings become so apathetic and lethargic, they lack motivation to eat and starve to death. Conversely, some people who are low in dopamine compensate with excessive and often self-destructive behaviours to get their dopamine boost. The following behaviours are known to boost dopamine levels – in the short term – but carry a heavy penalty in the long term: use and abuse of addictive substances 28 NATURAL HEALTH

including alcohol, caffeine, sugar and drugs, and participation in destructive behaviours including excessive shopping, sex addiction, overuse of video games, pornography, misuse of power, gambling, or uncontrolled internet overuse.


Thankfully, we don’t have to resort to ‘sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll’ to boost our dopamine levels. Here are some healthy, proven ways to increase it naturally. Foods: Dopamine is made from the amino acid tyrosine. So, eating a diet high in tyrosine will ensure you’ve got the basic building blocks needed for dopamine production. All animal products contain this amino acid – although these are extremely acid-forming and thus unhealthy in my opinion. Furthermore, animal-derived foods are linked to animal suffering and thus are not compatible with a compassionate lifestyle – which as we shall see is intrinsically linked to maintaining healthy dopamine levels. Other foods high in tyrosine include almonds, apples, avocado, bananas, beets, chocolate, green tea and coffee (although these contain caffeine and are very acid-forming due to their alkaloid content), green leafy vegetables, oatmeal and porridge oats, sea vegetables, sesame and pumpkin seeds, turmeric, watermelon and wheat germ. Pre and probiotics – foods high in natural probiotics such as yogurt, kefir, and raw sauerkraut – can also increase natural dopamine production. Crucially, the health of your intestinal flora impacts your production of neurotransmitters. An excess of bad bacteria leaves toxic byproducts called lipopolysaccharides which reduce your levels of dopamine. Supplements that can raise dopamine healthily, naturally and safely include curcumin, the main active ingredient in the spice turmeric. Curcumin readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and can effectively enhance dopamine levels. It has been found to be as effective as Prozac for treating even major depression without concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders. Look for a curcumin supplement that contains piperine — a compound found in black pepper that increases curcumin absorption by at least 2,000 percent.


Kindness and compassion improves

dopamine levels

Meditation: It’s been shown that meditation increases dopamine, and its benefits have been proven in over 1,000 studies. Regular meditators experience an enhanced ability to learn, increased creativity, and deep relaxation. In addition, creative hobbies including knitting, quilting, sewing, drawing, colouring, and DIY can create a meditative state. Loving kindness or metta meditation particularly boosts dopamine – as does cultivating a compassionate attitude towards others.

Ginkgo biloba is traditionally used for a variety of brainrelated problems — poor cognitive function including lack of concentration, poor memory, headaches, mental confusion, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Ginkgo works by raising dopamine along with acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter associated with memory and learning. L-theanine is a component found in green tea. It increases levels of dopamine along with two other feel-good neurotransmitters, serotonin and GABA. L-theanine improves learning, mood and the ability to recall information. Get a dopamine boost by taking l-theanine supplements to avoid the caffeine and acidity associated with the tea in its original form. L-tyrosine, a precursor to dopamine, is available as a supplement, however a better option is acetyl-l-tyrosine, a more bioavailable form that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Phosphatidylserine acts as your brain’s ‘gatekeeper,’ in that it regulates the flow of nutrients and waste in and out of your brain. It can increase dopamine levels and improve concentration, memory, learning, and improve the symptoms of ADHD. Exercise: Physical exercise boosts production of new brain cells. It slows down brain cell aging, and improves the flow of nutrients to the brain. It can also increase your levels of dopamine along with both serotonin and norepinephrine. But you don’t need to exercise strenuously to improve your brain health. Taking walks, or doing gentle, no-impact exercises like yoga, tai chi, or qi gong all provide potent mind-body benefits.

Acts of kindness: Simply being kind to others, receiving kindness and even witnessing kindness and compassion balances out and improves dopamine levels. Listening to music can cause release of dopamine. Interestingly, you don’t even have to hear music to get this neurotransmitter flowing. Just the anticipation of listening can do that. Balancing act: You can balance dopamine levels by using your brain’s reward system. Dopamine acts as a survival mechanism by releasing energy. It rewards us when our needs are met. We love dopamine surges because of the way they make us feel. Our ancestors were on a constant mission to survive. They received a dopamine surge every time they spotted a new patch of berries or a better hunting ground because it meant they’d live another day. Our ancestry aside, there are countless other healthy ways you can enjoy the hunt in modern life. You can forage for new music to download, you can hunt Pokemon, search for specialty ingredients to cook with, or scour the web for the perfect pair of shoes to go with that dress. The act of both seeking and finding activates your reward circuits. The research shows that it takes only 45 days to balance your dopamine levels for optimal functioning – so implement the suggestions above and within only a month and a half you’ll feel happier, healthier, have a brighter outlook, be more goalorientated and have far better cognitive function. Contact Jayney Goddard, president of The Complementary Medical Association at or NATURAL HEALTH 29

NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 27/10/2016 11:12 Page 30


I love routine. I know that


some people dislike it and find it oppressive, but for me it’s heaven. I think it all stems from my childhood. I went to a convent school where everything was really structured. Once a month we had to clean our classrooms and polish our desks and we had mass every week too. I still like the routine that that time of my life brought. I enjoyed sitting in the church once a week and hearing the sounds of mass and smelling the incense – it was so calming. That sense of order was at contrast to my home life. My mum was diagnosed with cancer when I was just four, and as I grew up she was very poorly. Seeing her battle her illness was hard – I’d said goodbye to her 11 times by the time I was 11. She fought and fought and was so strong but it was a very uncertain time for me. It meant I was always worrying about tomorrow and had this constant sense of stress and anxiety. It also meant it was a bit chaotic at times in our house – when my mum was really sick or undergoing treatment she didn’t always have the energy to do things how she would have liked to. My dad was in prison when I was about nine years old and he went away till I was 14 or 15. I can remember always hunting for things that were lost or strewn around the place, and I never seemed to be able to find both pairs of shoes easily. When I was older, I started to lay out my school outfit on my radiator and place my school shoes underneath. I think the order was something that soothed me and although it was just a little thing, getting my clothes ready like that brought a sense of stability.

If you come to my home now it’s very organised and everything is labeled. My daily life has a real sense of routine too and every morning starts the same way – I get up at 6am and spend about 45 minutes meditating. I love having this time for myself and I think meditation has really transformed my life. Even if you only do it for five minutes a day, being able to clear your mind and master your thoughts allows you to feel refreshed and look at things differently. Now I have my radio show on Mellow Magic, I have to make sure I’m out of the house on time each day. After breakfast, I’ll get the tube or walk through Regent Park to the radio station and I love this part of my day. When the weather is nice I really enjoy walking through the park and I make sure I take the time to look around me and really take in all the beautiful gardens. At home, I have all sorts of routines too. We have a rule in my family that we have at least one meal a week where we all sit down together – it doesn’t sound like much but with a 24-year-old and a 17-year-old it can be tricky to commit to anything more. We all have our ways of coping and dealing with different things and this is my way. I thrive on having a routine and it makes me happy.

What I’ve Learned: ROUTINE Actress Patsy Kensit on why she likes structure and order

Patsy’s beauty range, Preciously Perfect, is available from Ideal World ( or on Sky 654, Freeview 22, Virgin 747 or Freesat 812. NATURAL HEALTH 31

NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 27/10/2016 11:12 Page 32


ASK THE EXPERTS Don’t suffer in silence – our wellbeing wonder-team of experts is on hand to answer your health questions I’m prone to long periods of feeling run down and bunged up during the winter. What can I do to prevent this? Eliçca de Vazirani, co-founder of Flexable Health (, says: From a stuffy head to that whistling in your nostrils, breathing clearly isn’t always easy at this time of year. This is because our nasal passages are designed to warm and humidify air before it gets to the lungs and in colder temperatures, the nose overcompensates by producing extra mucus. It can thicken when exposed to the dry air outside and irritate your throat and sinuses. A healthy immune system is the best defence we have against microbes, bacteria and viruses. One of the most important antioxidants for immunity is vitamin C, and vitamin D can also help, so getting enough of these is key to a healthy, energised body. Vitamin C can be found in foods such as citrus fruits and dark leafy greens while egg yolk and cheese are good sources of vitamin D. However, you may need to take supplements in addition, especially during the winter months. Although doing exercise isn’t very appealing when you’re feeling run down, studies show that physical activity can boost energy levels and improves the working efficiency of your heart, lungs and muscles, so try to get moving for at least 30 minutes a day.

My hair has recently started thinning. Are there any foods that might help? Nutritionist Kirsten Brooks ( says: Hair is a good indicator of general health as it’s one of the first parts of the body to show signs of nutritional deficiencies. This is because the hair is considered ‘non-essential’ by the body, so other parts will take priority if your diet is poor. As hair is mostly protein, you should include good quality sources such as chicken, red meat, fish and eggs in your diet. A vegan or vegetarian diet can be particularly low in protein, so beans, lentils and tofu are good alternatives. Avoid faddish and crash diets that may be low in essential nutrients and try not to eat erratically or skip meals. You also need to make sure that you are getting enough iron, as a deficiency will reduce circulation to the scalp and is a major cause of hair loss. Low levels of iron are more common in vegetarians, those with a poor diet, heavy periods, and women who have recently given birth. Good sources of iron include liver, red meat, beans, nuts and green leafy vegetables such as watercress. Mineral deficiencies of zinc and silica can also impact on hair health so make sure you are getting enough of both. Silica is found in green leafy vegetables, whole grains and bell peppers and red meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, nuts and seeds are good sources of zinc. You should also go and see your GP as thinning hair can be linked to thyroid problems, PCOS or auto-immunity.

Can acupuncture help with fertility? Amanda Hair, lecturer in acupuncture at the College of Naturopathic Medicine (, says: Acupuncture seems to regulate the menstrual cycle, and having this therapy around pertinent times of your cycle such as at ovulation and at the highest point of progesterone production can help you to conceive naturally. An acupuncturist can identify the best time in your cycle for you to have a session. Trying to get pregnant can be extremely stressful, and this will cause cortisol – a steroid hormone – to rise, which in turn can stop ovulation. Acupuncture can help to de-stress the mind and body, which is also helpful in preventing miscarriage in early pregnancy. In medically assisted fertility cycles, acupuncture can be used to maximise the health of the developing follicles and encourage blood supply to the uterine lining to aid with implantation of the egg. A naturopathic acupuncturist can also advise on dietary changes, which combined with acupuncture is a great way to help boost fertility naturally. NATURAL HEALTH 33


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NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 27/10/2016 11:12 Page 36



GIFT GUIDE Banish the stress of last-minute shopping and put your feet up – we’ve done the hard work for you!


Ancienne Ambience alteeneh fig candle, £38,

Hyperice Vyper Vibrating foam roller, £161.99,

Sonic Chic delux rose gold toothbrush, £29.99,

Fair fairtrade quinoa vodka, £31.99, Geo terracotta sprouter starter kit, £29.95,

People Tree brass star bracelet, £22,

Misfit Flash fitness & sleep monitor, £78.99,

Hapifork – logs meals for weightloss, £59.31,


Clean Beauty Co Well-earned soak, £20,

FESTIVE PICKS People Tree beanie hat, £32,

Holistic Silk massage slippers, £75, Tangram Factory smart rope LED jump rope, £69.95,

The Wine Butler Christmas box, £40,

Kenwood electric spiraliser, £49,

Lumie Bodyclock Luxe, £170,

Growcycle grow your own oyster mushrooms kit, £16,

Lola’s Apocathery candle, £36, NATURAL HEALTH 39

NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 28/10/2016 15:02 Page 40


Easy ways to look and feel amazing inside and out

According to new research, calcium supplements can increase your risk of having a heart attack. Over half of women aged 60 and above take the pills to keep their bones strong and healthy, but a new study has concluded that they tend to increase plaque build up in the arteries which puts pressure on the heart. Dr Sarah Brewer, GP and registered nutritionist, says: “If you take a supplement, it’s important to ensure that

you are also getting enough vitamins D and K2 so that your body can process

calcium properly.” Foods that contain high levels of calcium include dark, leafy greens, cheese, fortified tofu and almonds.


Body cover.indd 2

28/10/2016 16:21

The latest in

PHYSICAL HEALTH HERO HELMETS Are you a keen cyclist? And if so, do you wear a helmet? Hopefully your answer is yes, as the results of a new study suggest that you’d be silly not to. The major review of bike helmet use around the globe found that wearing head protection reduces the risk of a serious injury to your noggin by almost 70 percent and a facial injury by 33 percent. The study’s authors said that while helmets don’t protect cyclists from injuries to other parts of their bodies, the results of this study do make it difficult to argue against the case for mandatory helmet wearing. In the UK, it is estimated that less than 20 percent of people wear protective headgear when cycling. If you haven’t already got a helmet, or just fancy a new one, try Closca Fuga’s Collapsible Helmet (£100, or a Sawako Helmet which come in a range of prints (£68 - £84,


Dry hands

1 In a hurry to get soft hands? Then you need to try an olive oil and sugar scrub. The oil moisturises and hydrates the skin cells whilst the sugar serves as an exfoliator. Mix together 1–2 tbsp of each, rub it onto your palms and hands and leave for a few minutes, then wash it off with warm water. They’ll feel instantly smoother, but for the best results apply the scrub two to three times a week. 2 Your mitts won’t survive the winter without a good hand cream. Not only will it protect, repair and hydrate them, but daily usage will also lead to stronger, healthier and longer nails. Try L’Occitane’s Soft Hand Care Duo (£34, or Liz Earle’s Hand Repair which comes in three scents – Lavender & Basil, Rosemary & Rock Rose and Orange Flower (£21, 3 It turns out that avocado isn’t just delicious to eat but is also a dry skin saviour. One of nature’s best moisturisers, it’s rich in monounsaturated fats and contains high levels of vitamins A, C and E, all of which are good for the skin. To make an avocado mask, mix together half a ripe fruit and 1 tbsp of honey, apply all over your hands and wait 10–15 minutes before washing it off. 42 NATURAL HEALTH


Head over heels If you’re a high heel addict, you might want to rethink your footwear choice. Michael Ratcliffe, podiatrist at Carnation Footcare (carnationfootcare., gives us five reasons why you should opt for flats instead of heels. • Squeezing the toes into a narrow space, such as a pair of high heels with a pointed toe, can lead to exaggerated toe deformities • When wearing heels, the knees are forced to bend more to overcompensate and protect the feet when the heel hits the ground, which puts pressure on the knee joints and can be painful • High heels increase pressure on the muscles, leading to tiredness and muscle fatigue • When wearing heels, the ankle joint is in an unstable position and points unnaturally downwards which may cause ankle injuries during prolonged periods • Lower back pain can be exacerbated when wearing high heels, leading to potential changes in posture

“We caught up with Madeleine Shaw to find out what we should be reaching for when we need a healthy boost” - p74


Do you suffer from the winter blues? Well, we might have found a cure in the form of a furry friend. New research commissioned by the UK’s leading cat charity, Cats Protection (, has revealed that felines can have a positive effect on our physical and mental health. The results showed that during January and February cat owners suffer 60 percent less headaches than their kitty-free counterparts, are 21 percent less likely to catch a cold and feel significantly less miserable and tense. 55 percent of people aged over 55 also said that their cat had helped them in time of a crisis and 46 percent felt that their feline companion had enabled them to cope better with bereavement.


According to a new study, eight weeks of acupuncture treatment can reduce the frequency of hot flushes by almost half for about 50 percent of menopausal women.


Contrary to the common view that abstinence from sexual activity can boost athletic performance, new analysis has shown that there is no robust scientific evidence to indicate that having sex before doing sport will have a negative impact on how you perform.

Garlic breath

A recent study has found that eating raw apple or lettuce may help to reduce garlic breath. No need to avoid it on dates anymore!

The BAROMETER Trackers

According to a new study, wearable devices that monitor physical activity are not reliable tools for weight loss. Participants without trackers showed almost twice the weight loss benefits at the end of 24 months.

Five-second fool

Researchers have discovered that bacteria can transfer to food that has fallen on the floor no matter how quickly you pick it up. No more five-second rule then...


The FDA has warned against the use of certain homeopathic teething tablets for babies after they were linked to infant deaths.


NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 27/10/2016 11:12 Page 44

YOGA for a



Keep in shape and agile with these asanas, says expert Sue Fuller



This is a wonderful meditation posture that provides time and space to allow the body and mind to settle. Sit with your ankles crossed and spine straight. Take a moment to scan through your body, feeling that your spine is extended and erect and allow your shoulders to soften and release. Place your right hand to your torso between your navel and your sternum. Focus on your breath and notice how your hand moves further away from your spine each time you inhale. Try to focus as much of your attention as possible on the movement of this area as you breathe. Work to slow your breathing down and make it complete and full.



Majaryasana This posture will maintain the agility of the spine and pelvis. Begin on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Make sure that your arms are straight and not locked at the elbow and that your lower legs remain parallel from the outside of your knee to the outside edge of your little toe.


BODY CAT PART 2 Start by breathing slowly in and out through your nose making sure that you engage the lower abdominal muscles to protect the spine. When you are ready, on an exhalation round your back up and drop your chin onto your chest so that you are looking through your legs. Draw your navel up towards your spine as you do this. As you inhale, maintain the lift through your lower abdominal muscles and think about lengthening your tail bone away from the crown of your head, then allow your pelvis to gently tilt as you lift your chest and head. Work to maintain the length of the spine to ensure that you do not compress the vertebrae. Continue for 10 or more complete breaths through your nose and as you do this work to gradually lengthen each breath.



Dhanurasana This posture will gently stretch the belly, the chest, groin and front of the shoulder. It also helps to maintain spinal agility. Begin laying on your front and bend both knees, bringing the heels in towards your bottom. Hold your ankles or feet. Keeping your legs and feet hip-distance apart, push your feet into your hands and your hips against the ground as you lift your legs and chest. Look down as you do this to make sure that you do not compress the vertebrae in the neck. Breathe slowly and hold for five or more complete breaths. After completing this posture, roll onto your back and draw your knees in towards your chest.




Anjaneyasana Sue is a leading yoga teacher and writer with over 20 years of experience. She is also the creator of the

This posture is perfectYoga for 2releasing tension Hear range of audio yoga classes. through the pelvis and with the additional Visit Photography: stretch it will also relieve tension through the shoulder and the back of the arm. From cat step the right foot forwards between your hands and allow the left knee to slide back until you experience a stretch in the front of the left hip. When you feel ready, extend your left arm up and bend the elbow. With your right hand gently direct the left arm closer to your head. If you are very flexible you might find that the left arm moves behind your head. Breathe slowly for 10 or more complete breaths and then repeat on the other side.


Sue is a leading yoga teacher and writer with over 20 years of experience. She is also the creator of the Yoga 2 Hear range of audio yoga classes. Visit Photography:


NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 27/10/2016 11:25 Page 50


Here’s to

HOLIDAY HEALTH Read Emma Cannon’s guide to keeping healthy and sane at Christmas The lead up to Christmas can be challenging, and for many the holidays are not the happiest time of year. Suddenly you are all together cooped up inside with expectations riding high and sometimes things are not quite a merry as you were hoping. I grew up in Germany. My father was in the British army and we enjoyed many as Christmas there. A lot of time was spent outside at seasonal markets and there was far less emphasis on the commercial side of things. As children we would walk from house to house singing and carrying candle-lit lanterns. Trees were put up on Christmas eve when the family would gather together and play games. I have a few abiding memories of my childhood Christmases that I try to integrate them into my own family festive preparations and celebrations. 1) Make stuff. I’m not suggesting that you make all your presents but decide on something to make and set up a mini production line. I remember so vividly making darling little dolls nestled into half a walnut shell. The head of the doll was a small wooden bead, her hair a bit of yellow wool and there was a little red and white checked fabric for a blanket. Try making something edible and decorating with a pretty bit of ribbon. 2) Wash up! Being one of five girls meant there was always a moment at Christmas when washing up seemed like the best thing to do. When things get heated being on washing up duty can keep you out of a lot of hot water. Actually, simple household chores can be very rewarding and therapeutic. 3) Switch traditional pickles for spiced lacto-fermented vegetables; these will support your digestion and move the stagnation in the digestive system caused by sitting and over-eating. 4) Get outside and go for a long walk. Moving will stimulate the digestive system and this will improve digestion, energy and mood.


Eat this tangy, delicious condiment to boost your digestive system

•1 large red cabbage,

shredded (one outer leaf reserved) 1 apple 1 beetroot, grated 1 tsp grated ginger

• • •

•1 tsp caraway seeds •1 tbsp juniper berries •3 cloves •1 tsp black peppercorns •1-2 tbsp salt •1 kilner jar

1 Place the red cabbage in a large sterilised bowl and add the salt. Massage the salt into the cabbage to draw the water out and until you have enough liquid to cover the cabbage in the Kilner jar. Grate the apple over the cabbage and mix well. Add the spices and grated beetroot. Transfer to the jar and pack in tightly, pressing to release more liquid. 2 Use the reserved cabbage leaf to keep the cabbage submerged in the brine. 3 Cover and leave at room temperature for five to seven days. Check daily to make sure the kraut is still fully submerged. Transfer to the fridge where it will keep for up to one month. Emma is an integrated women’s health expert, registered acupuncturist and author NATURAL HEALTH 51

Emma Cannon.indd 2

28/10/2016 16:31


MENOPAUSE with Liz Earle

The wellbeing guru shares her top natural remedies The menopause, also known as the change, affects almost all women at some point during our lifetime. It’s a natural stage in our lives but still something that is not often talked about in much detail, or openly, and lots of women know very little about it until they experience it themselves. The symptoms can start suddenly – and come as a bit of a shock. And often, because sometimes they are not openly discussed, we may not even be aware that it might be the menopause causing them and that, in the great majority of cases, they can be treated easily, effectively and safely. As well as the hormone treatments (HRT) that are available to women now, there are also a few non-hormone and complementary treatments and therapies available which can sometimes ease some of the symptoms. A combination of these treatments, plus greater nutritional knowledge and our awareness of both the power of exercise, good nutrition and open, frank discussion, can enable the menopause to be an event in our lives that can be embraced and fully prepared for. The best personal advice I can give is keep talking – to your friends and also your GP if necessary. A problem confronted and shared is very often a problem halved or solved and it’s always reassuring to know that you’re not the only woman suffering with a symptom and for which there will almost certainly be a solution or a treatment.

and available herbal blends over the counter. When buying herbal remedies, make sure you do so from a safe and reputable company and always ask for advice if you are taking other medication or if you are unsure of the Extract taken and best option for you. modified from Healthy Menopause: How to best Agnus castus (Vitex agnusmanage your symptoms castus): This herb is reputed and feel better than ever by Liz Earle which to work on the pituitary is now available as an gland, which sends the ebook for £1.99 message down to the ovary to release hormones. Agnus castus is potentially helpful as a hormone modulator in perimenopausal years and herbalists tend to use this herb as a first course of treatment for early onset of symptoms, including mood swings, tension and anxiety.

The best personal advice I can give is keep talking – a problem shared is often a problem



Although some natural remedies may help with some symptoms of the menopause, they don’t sort out the principle issue of low levels of hormones, so these plants will not necessarily improve the strength of our bones or reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease. On the plus side, though, many women feel that some herbs do relieve their menopausal symptoms and, of course, if the symptoms are alleviated, a better night’s sleep and a feeling of wellbeing is more likely. Even something as simple as a cup of chamomile or valerian tea last thing at night will encourage undisturbed slumber and many women find that lemon balm tea and red clover flowers tea helpful with the insomnia brought on by night sweats. The following are a selection of some of the most recommended 52 NATURAL HEALTH

Dong quai (Angelica sinensis): This traditional Chinese medical herb is a mainstay of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and may be helpful for both hot flushes and night sweats. Herbalists may use dong quai for disturbed sleep and settling hormonerelated insomnia.

Flax (Linum usitatissimum): A plant grown for food and fibre, the seeds of flax plants come from the pretty blue flowers that are increasingly seen growing in farmer’s fields. The seeds are known as either linseeds or flaxseeds and are a good source of essential fatty acids, notably omega 3 (keep fresh linseeds in a cool, dark place or in the fridge to prevent rancidity). Linseeds are also rich in phyto-oestrogens, so called as they are plant-derived (from the Latin phyto) with oestrogen-like activity. These include isoflavanoids, including lignan, also found in sesame. Lignan is important to help feed the beneficial bacteria in our gut, specifically those responsible for converting isolfavanoids into compounds with oestrogenic activity. Red clover (Trifolium pratense): A legume plant in the same family as peanuts and beans, red clover has been shown to be rich in phyto-oestrogens that can help reduce the severity of menopausal symptoms, notably hot flushes and vaginal dryness. Researchers


Natural products to help you deal with menopausal symptoms

The RS2 Care Cream, £68,

Omega 7, £18.95,

at the University of Maryland Medical Centre have found red clover to be especially helpful for mimicking the effects of oestrogen, improving blood circulation, maintaining bone mineral density and even lowering inflammation of the skin. The phyto-oestrogens in red clover include isoflavones, coumestrol and flavonoids, and it is the isoflavones that act like oestrogen within the body. Red clover can be taken in capsules, tincture or dried herbs used to make a tea. It’s one of the most popular and potentially effective herbal remedies for menopausal symptoms. Soya bean (Glycine max): Like the flax plant, soya beans are rich in isoflavones and have been well-documented as having beneficial phyto-oestrogen activity. Soya beans are legumes, like peanuts and beans. They are the mainstay of many Japanese and Asian foods, from traditional soya milk and tofu to fermented soya foods such as soy sauce, miso and tempeh. Oriental women who eat these foods every day have been shown to have far fewer menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness.


Essential oils are fragrant, volatile oils produced from different parts of aromatic plants. They’re highly concentrated and are generally best used diluted and blended in carrier oils before coming into contact with skin. The smell or inhalation of these highly fragrant essences can help shift mood or uplift the senses by a swift and direct effect on the limbic system within the brain (the area responsible for feelings and emotion). Essential oils can be used in the bath or for massage which is, of course, a wonderful way of relaxing, too. The following are most commonly used by aromatherapists with their potential uses:

Nature’s Answer Dong Quai Root, £11.99,

YES WB water-based personal lubricant 100ml, £9.99,

Hughes Health Red Peony Menopause Tincture, £19.99, hughes-health. com

• Bergamot may help reduce depression • Clary sage may be useful for PMS • Fennel may help alleviate water retention • Geranium may help with anxiety and feelings of restlessness • Jasmine may help with depression, tension and anxiety • Juniper may have a detoxifying effect • Lavender may be useful in aiding sleep • Rosemary may help prevent fluid retention when used regularly for massage There are many others, but all essential oils are often best recommended by an experienced therapist. The whole feeling is most enjoyable when combined with a good massage technique. Although little is known about the effect of aromatherapy specifically on menopausal symptoms, any therapy which allows you valuable ‘time out’ is an investment in yourself and will help you cope better with menopause symptoms.


A few simple relaxation techniques – turning off your television, phone and computer is as good a start as any – will help minimise your symptoms and encourage a good night’s sleep. Yoga, acupuncture, cranial osteopathy, aromatherapy, reflexology, meditation and shiatsu are all likely to relax you and help you feel good. Some will also help with your fitness and energy levels and may help you avoid the toxic cycle of sleeplessness and tiredness that you might be in. NATURAL HEALTH 53

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Jo Wood

HERBAL HEROES Our green goddess on the best botanicals for winter health

The leaves are falling, the nights are longer and there’s a distinctive chill in the air. Winter is most certainly upon us, and while it may be the most wonderful time of the year, it’s also a time when coughs, colds and flu run riot on our immune systems. It’s harder to keep warm in colder months, you see, and the drop in temperature often means that our circulation, particularly the lymphatic system, can start to suffer. This has a knock-on effect on our health as the lymphatic system is responsible for flushing out toxins as well as carrying immune cells throughout the body. Luckily, there are many herbs that can assist with all your winter woes...

CINNAMON This fragrant winter favourite warms the body from the inside out to boost circulation and enhance energy. If you seem to feel the cold more than those around you, it’s worth taking a daily supplement or adding it to your morning hot drink. After a month or two of consistent use, you will see that your fingers and toes feel much warmer for longer even when outside! Cinnamon also has potent anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, making it perfect for flu season, and to top it all off, it’s an effective blood sugar stabiliser – very useful for calming down any post-festive sweet tooth over-indulgence.

NETTLE LEAVES These leaves are a good winter detox choice. As temperatures plummet we tend to sweat less and perspiration, just like the lymphatic drainage system, is a key way of getting rid of toxins in the body. But nettles,

with their high levels of flavonoids and potassium, encourage waste to move through urine production instead! It’s also wonderfully cleansing for the skin, so be sure to drink up for a clear complexion.

ELDERBERRY These anti-viral berries are growing increasingly popular thanks to a flurry of studies that suggest they are capable of deactivating flu and virus strains; participants found that regular supplementation shortened their illness period and reduced the severity of their conditions. Of course, it has been used as a home remedy for many years, often being made into a syrup to treat chesty coughs, colds and fever. Take it throughout the winter and daily during a spout of sickness.

GINGER Anti-bacterial ginger is great for warming up your body’s circulation as well as fighting off coughs and other illnesses. Most people like to sip it as a herbal tea, but it’s actually most effective when freshly grated and eaten raw. This allows its anti-bacterial and anti-viral compounds to thrive and multiply rather than being stunted by the heat of the kettle. Just add a bit of raw honey and chew on a teaspoon a day.

SIBERIAN GINSENG ROOT I like to use this powerful herb in my food every day! It’s perfect for the cold winter months as it increases the body’s ability to resist infection, lessening your chances of picking up a bug. It’s also great if you’re feeling run down or exhausted. That’s because Siberian ginseng root is an adaptogen, which means that it helps the body to cope with stress as well as supporting adrenal function by promoting energy conservation. Win-win!


24 hours


Woken up with the sniffles? Never fear, here’s our guide to giving the bugs the heave-ho!


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7AM: POP SOME PILLS But NOT ibuprofen, or any cold ‘remedy’ containing it – a large study found that it has very little benefit for treating colds or flu, and it may even prolong the illness. Take instead the ancient medicinal herb astragalus root, which has been found to activate immune cells within 24 hours. Don’t take if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, however, and check with your doctor for any possible interactions if you are on any other medication. Try Nature’s Garden Astragalus, £15.99,

8AM: TAKE A HOT SHOWER to loosen mucus, and then get cracking with some poached eggs on toast, if you can magage it. Eggs are a complete protein, meaning they have all nine essential amino acids, and your body needs protein to fight infection.

9AM: DRINK UP “Hydration is crucial when you are fighting a cold, as a low grade temperature increases the amount of liquid evaporating from the body, and this puts you at a higher risk of dehydration,” says Egzona Makolli, technical and commercial nutritionist at Kinetic Enterprises. “Adequate fluid intake also helps your body wash away mucus which accumulates in the throat and nose.” And take note: in Ayurveda, the ancient system of medicine, the advice is very specific – drink HOT water. Why? Because it flushes out ama (toxins) that compromise the immune system, it’s easier for the body to absorb, it loosens mucus and pacifies the cold, dry vata dosha. And make it all the more effective by adding honey and lemon. “Warm lemon tea with Manuka honey can help speed up the duration of a cold as lemon stimulates the digestive system and honey gives you anti-bacterial properties and relieves a dry throat,” says Egzona.

12PM: CHICKEN SOUP “Often when we have a cold our digestive system doesn’t work as well and we get bloating and don’t have much energy to digest a big meal,” says Jeannette Hyde, nutritional therapist and author of The Gut Makeover (£9.99, Quercus).

“Have a bowl of chicken broth. If you’ve been sweating due to the cold, and losing lots of micro minerals, this can replace those, and is easy to eat and digest. I keep home made chicken stock in my freezer for days like this, or you can buy it ready made in shops in the fridge department. Add a little salt and sip. “You can pre-make your own by boiling a chicken carcass and bones for a few hours, cooling it down, then storing in containers in a fridge or freezer. The bones leach minerals into the water, which then becomes a highmineral broth or stock food for you.”

2PM: TAKE A NAP But only if you feel like it. Your body’s working extra hard to fight infection, so a quick shut-eye will give it a boost and replenish your energy, but don’t nod off for longer than 40 minutes as you’ll wake up groggier than before and might have trouble sleeping later.

3PM: GET SOME SUN If you’re feeling up to it, go for a stroll. Fresh air will improve your mood and the exercise will get your circulation pumping. And you’ll boost your vitamin D. “Winter illnesses such as flu are commonly transmitted through the air via coughs or sneezes,” says Jonathan Hobbs, vice president of the Federation of Holistic Therapists ( “If you have flu, your body produces large amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, which are typically responsible for the symptoms of fever and headaches. Vitamin D supresses the excessive release of them. It also increases the absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and phosphate, which are all important for our health. However, as we get most of our vitamin D from exposure to sunlight during the warmer months, staying indoors and a lack of direct exposure to sunlight in winter can lower our vitamin D levels, which can make us more susceptible to infection. Those who are frail, housebound or have naturally dark skin may wish to consider taking vitamin D supplements, under medical supervision.”

4PM: MAKE GINGER TEA According to ayurvedic theory, ginger’s pungent nature reduces the kapha dosha which is very active during a cold and produces excess mucus when it’s out of balance. Steep a couple of inches of fresh


Flex-C Delayed Release Vitamin C Supplements, £7.99,

Pukka Elderberry Syrup, £12.46,

Unbeelievable Health Bee Prepared Max Strength Capsules, £14.99, hollandandbarrett. com

grated ginger in boiling water for ten minutes, strain, then sip for the rest of the day. (Don’t combine ginger with any kind of blood-thinning medication as it has a similar effect).

9PM: HAVE A HOT BATH And pour in plenty of magnesium. “Magnesium is a mineral most of us get short on if we are highly stressed, as the nervous system uses a lot to produce the stress hormones,” says Jeannette. Try BetterYou Magnesium Flakes (£3.49, in a hot bath, which will help to boost your body to fight against infection, relax your muscles, and help induce a deep, healing sleep. Which leads perfectly to...

10PM: GET SOME ZZZ Hit the pillow early and get some decent shut-eye. Yes, you’ve heard it all before, but sleep really is important. Numerous studies show our T-cells (a type of white blood cell that is of key importance to the immune system) reduce in number when we’re sleep-deprived. In simple terms, the more sleep you miss, the less ability your body has to fight germs. One reason for this is our body uses fever to battle infection, and it does this more effectively at night. If we’re not sleeping enough, we aren’t getting the full benefits of the body’s fever response. So turn off that light, and look forward to a brighter day tomorrow! NATURAL HEALTH 57

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Are you getting enough

VITAMIN C? Elicca De Vazirani at Flexable Health tells all

Just about everyone on the health scene would agree that vitamin C

(or ascorbic acid) is essential for overall health and wellbeing, especially in the winter months when colds and flu reign supreme. Getting your RDA is easier said than done, however. Did you know that your body doesn’t make vitamin C? No, this must-have vitamin can only come from your diet and good supplementation which is why nutritionists the world over recommend taking a good quality vitamin every single day.


Maintaining appropriate levels of vitamin C can help with... The development of collagen, a structural component of bones, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and skin cells Fighting free radicals from normal metabolism, pollutants and toxins The synthesis of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for your mood

• • •

• The  synthesis of carnitine which is

responsible for the conversion of fat into energy Balancing blood cholesterol and preventing gallstones. Boosting adrenal and thyroid function. Aiding treatment of bacterial, fungal and viral infections and inflammatory problems. Lowering body fat Reducing fatigue

• • • • •


There are several factors that may be depleting your vitamin C levels. Here are the most common causes... Constant stress Smoking Illness Injury Birth control pills Cortisone Aspirin

• • • • • • •

Creating a healthy, stress-free lifestyle is the best way to get yourself back on track. Pay attention to what you’re eating to ensure you’re getting adequate levels from your diet and start a meditative practice such as yoga or meditation to encourage relaxation. You may also choose to take a supplement such as Flex-C to help things along.


This delayed release formula is designed to provide targeted action for maximum absorption in your body. Just one tablet provides 1,250 percent of your RDA and is enriched with rose hips to aid absorption. It is also incredibly gentle on the digestive system due to the fact that the vitamin C is released in the small intestine instead of the stomach!

For more information visit 58 NATURAL HEALTH


Glynis Barber

Stay slim this winter

Have a healthy, happy Christmas with these holistic tips from our new columnist It’s a bit like groundhog day isn’t it? We all start the holiday season with childlike enthusiasm, determined not to repeat the bad habits of the last one and promising ourselves that there will be no more overeating and drinking, no more slouching on the sofa and no more inevitable weight gain. Yet despite our best intentions, we end up doing it every Christmas and start the new year feeling that we need to start a diet. This was certainly the story of my life until four years ago, when I met Fleur Borrelli, a clinician of psycho-neuro-immunology and nutritionist. She looks at nutrition from an evolutionary view point and she completely changed the way I eat. In fact, her advice worked so well we ended up writing a book together (The In-Sync Diet). With a few adjustments using some of the In Sync principles, it’s entirely possible to enjoy the festive season and come out the other end feeling energised and healthy. In our evolutionary history, winter was a time of compulsory fasting as there simply wasn’t enough food around. Nowadays however, it is a

time of lots of food with a large amount of refined carbohydrates and sugar. All these cakes and biscuits will produce fluctuations of blood sugar levels which will create more cravings, lower immunity and weight gain. The first thing you can do to combat this is to not snack between meals. You can then have three good sized meals (two meals would be even better). I used to spend all day grazing and drinking endless cups of tea. By simply cutting these out and sticking to meals you will have more energy and gain less weight. The trick is to also have some good quality protein with each dish. Organic eggs, fish, chicken and all the wild birds and game that are in season are excellent sources of protein and are also high in omega 3 oils for healthy skin, hair, joints and brain. Include lots of healthy fat (such as olive oil, raw nuts, coconut oil and avocados) to keep you full and satisfied too. Despite decades of bad press, it is now accepted that fat is vital for maintaining health and can even help you lose body fat. The In Sync Diet also recommends keeping grains to a minimum as well as sugar, as these are what will cause weight gain. The same goes for alcohol – have a little bit of it with a meal and try not to over do it. Choose a treat with each meal but don’t have it all.


1. Keep up the exercise With all that sitting on the sofa, you need to keep moving. You are more likely to burn fat exercising before a meal than after, so have your walk before lunch. 2.Take digestive enzymes Our bodies require digestive enzymes to break down food but they decline with age, stress and a poor diet. Taking a supplement can be helpful. 3. Eat more veg The greater variety of plant foods you eat, the more diverse your beneficial bacteria. Crudite and home-made dips are good while pickles, sauerkraut and fermented foods are beneficial for gut health. 4. Don’t snack Having breaks between meals will allow your digestive system to have a break giving you an energy boost. Plus, your body will tap into stored energy sources such as fat.

Glynis Barber is an actress, co-author of The In-Sync Diet and founder of


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Eat natural


Living healthily from the inside out

Diageo, the world’s largest producer of spirits, has made its first ever investment in a non-alcoholic drinks company. Touted as a product which solves the dilemma of what to drink when you’re not drinking, Seedlip is the world’s first nonalcoholic spirit. “There definitely seems to be a lot of latent demand for a more adult alternative to alcohol,” says founder Ben Branson. The beverage is available to buy in the UK in Selfridges, Harvey Nicholls and Fortnum & Mason, and has been praised by Michelin-starred chefs. Seedlip is also served in several upmarket London bars, including The Savoy and the Chiltern Firehouse.


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The superfood HOTLIST

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Fill your basket with these latest healthy eating must-haves

TIS THE SEASON HECK Crhistmas Meatballs – perfect as a tasty start to your festive feasts. £2.99, Morrisons

SWEET LIKE CANDY Hotel Chocolat teolat – a tasty blend of cocoa shells, herbs and spices. £5 (box of 10),

MATCHA MADNESS T-tox Matcha Tea – choose from Energise, Recovery or Health. £25 (for 40g),

PROTEIN PUNCH Warburtons Protein Range – choose from protein bread, wraps, rolls and sandwich thins. £1.20, ASDA

FLOUR POWER The Coconut Company Organic Coconut Flour – great for baking, £3.99,

PASTA PICK Explore Pasta Pulse Pastas – it’s still the year of the pulses, after all! £2.50, ASDA

CHEERS TO CHIA WOW Cold-Pressed Chia Seed Juice – no preservatives or added sugar. £3.15,

GOING CRACKERS Rude Health Buckwheat & Chia Crackers – the ultimate lunch saviour. £3.50, Waitrose

WATER BABY Flo Essence Water – refreshing mineral waters with a hint of flavour. £10 (pack of 8),

EDITOR’S PICK Fava Mill Granola – pick from five flavours. We love the apple and cinnamon. £5.99,

DOUGHY EYED Bertinet Bakery Sourdough Bread – opt for a white or malted wheat loaf. £3.50, Waitrose

GO NUTS Dr Zak’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie High Protein Peanut Spread – need we say more. £4.96,

PIP PIP HOORAY PIP Cold Pressed Fruit Juice – made with care by organic farmers. £3.29, Abel & Cole

COCONUT CRAZE Urban Fruit Coconut Chips – go for straight up coconut or opt for a sriracha chilli kick. £1, Tesco

PULSIN Tilda Pulses & Rice Pouches – each delicious pack counts as one of your five a day. £1.39, Waitrose


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////////////////////////////////////////////////// NUTRITIOUS INSPIRATION & IDEAS

SEEDY SNACKS Linwoods Snackettes – gluten-free and full of nutritional goodness. £12 (pack of 8),

MILKY WAY Nature’s Charm Condensed Coconut Milk – lactose-free and vegan. £1.68,

BREAKFAST CLUB Lizi’s High Protein Granola – 27 percent of your RDA of protein per serving. £3.85,

MACA MAGIC Bioglan Superfoods Maca Powder – add to juices, smoothies and desserts. £11.99, Holland & Barrett

H2 GLOW OMEGAWATER – feed your skin with these delicious omega 3 infused waters. £2.50, Holland & Barrett

NH LOVES Pura Coconut Oil Blend – a combination of coconut, rapeseed and sunflower oil. £2.50 - £4, Sainsbury’s

MIX IT UP Delicious Alchemy Stuffing Mix – Christmas dinner, sorted! £2.50,

GREEN GODDESS Gorgeous Greens – add to juices to strengthen your immune system. £29,

SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS MOJU Ginger Booster Shot – take one a day to boost your energy. £19.95 (box of 12),


Omega Vertical Juicer Emily McMullin gets juicing There’s no better way to start the day than by knocking back a homemade juice, and with the internet full of mouthwatering recipes to try, you’ll really be missing out if you don’t have a juicer in your kitchen. Enter the vertical low speed masticating juicer from Omega, a brand well-known for its sleek and powerful kitchen gadgets. I decided to test it out by making one of my favourite childhood drinks – apple and mango juice. The preparation was quick and simple (all I had to do was slice the fruits) and the juicer was just as easy to use, plus it did the job speedily. I simply popped the bits of fruit into the hopper chute, made easier by a pusher tool, and watched as the magic happened! Whenever I use kitchen machinery, like a blender or juicer, I’m always worried about pressing the wrong button or getting confused with the settings and causing some sort of explosion. One of my favourite things about Omega’s juicer is that it only has one button and two functions – on and rev – which are pretty self-explanatory, so there’s not much room for error (phew!). I also loved the juice flap, which allows you to pour yourself a glass with no spillage or mess, and the pulp outlet, which gives you the option of re-using the remnants of the ingredients if you wish. To top it off, this gadget isn’t just for juicing – you can also make nut milks, frozen fruit sorbets and smoothies. Omega Vertical Juicer, £399, NATURAL HEALTH 63

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WITH... Ching He Huang, TV chef and author of seven Chinese cookery books including Eat Clean: Wok Yourself To Health

Photos taken from Eat Clean: Wok Yourself to Health by Ching-He Huang (published by Harper Thorsons). Photography by Myles New.Â


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I was born in Taiwan and grew up with my maternal grandmother who had an orangery and a bamboo farm, and my paternal grandparents were into rice farming. I ate simple, honest, seasonal farm-cooked food. If we were sick, we were fed foods to heal us depending on the ‘yin’ or ‘yang’ of our nature. So from a young age, I was taught that food was not only there to sustain us, but that it was medicine too. When I had nosebleeds, my grandmother would feed me cucumber juice. When I was cold and shivery, I was fed more ginger. I was taught to listen to my body’s needs and adjust it through food. I became a professional cook when I graduated out of university and started my catering company Fuge in 1999. It was while I was working on Fuge that I ventured by chance into TV cooking and then had my break on UKTV’s Great Food Live. Teaching people how to make Chinese food at home has always been at the heart of what I do. Its quick, speedy and healthier than takeaways. I was taught by my grandmother that home cooked meals are best because you know exactly what goes into your dishes and I have always been a champion of eating healthily. People don’t necessarily associate eating well with Chinese food, but it can be very healthy – not all of it is deep fried dishes. Stir frying is basically cooking on a high heat but by flash cooking ingredients and searing them, you can retain valuable nutrients and still put up a dish that delivers on flavour too. Steaming is another wonderful healthy technique championed by the Chinese. Instead of boiling all the nutrients away, gently steaming can help to break down fibrous vegetables, retaining nutrients and make them easily digestible too. Chinese believe that raw foods are deemed ‘cleansing’, cooked foods are ‘nourishing’, specialist

ingredients are used for ‘healing’ and fermented ingredients can help digestion. To the Chinese a balanced combination of these are the key principles to healthy eating. My new book, Eat Clean: Wok Yourself To Health, came about after I started to suffer from food allergies about five years ago. I wasn’t eating anything different and I was always mindful of eating a balanced diet but I knew something wasn’t right. I wasn’t overly unhealthy but my body was in serious need of a detox – I was overworked, stressed and I could have eaten a lot better. So I decided to clean up my diet. I found out through a process of elimination that I was allergic to any foods that had been preserved in sulphites – something that is used to inhibit moulds in shrimp, frozen doughs, dried fruits, nut and even cous cous! So I ate simply, cut out meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol and slowly I was able to heal my body from having these severe allergic reactions. Now the occasional glass of wine (which can contain added sulphites) doesn’t cause me to hive out. I decided to compile the recipes that helped me to heal my allergies and put them in my latest book – I wanted to share with people the importance of eating clean uncontaminated foods simply cooked and in season, preferably organic and free from antibiotics, hormones and that isn’t overly processed. Sometimes, we need to reset the system and give our digestive system a break to help the body to work at its best.


ABOUT CHING STUDIED I graduated from Queen Mary Westfield with a degree in Economics (I was headed for the city, but decided to open a catering business). BECAME A COOK I realised I didn’t want to sell my soul to the city. SKILLS / EXPERTISE Wok cooking

foods I’ll be eating THIS MONTH Sprouts I love them stir fried in olive oil and soy with a squeeze of lemon Winter chard I stir fry these with some garlic, season with soy, and then dress with flaxseed oil and toasted pumpkin seeds

Cranberries A cranberry and orange sweet and sour stir fry sauce tastes delicious drizzled over roast duck slices NATURAL HEALTH 65

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NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 31/10/2016 09:56 Page 66

Seriously. A crème fraiche without the crème, which means that for hat fo the first time st tim ever, every one veryon very on can enjoy it. You might ht be thin king: “No crème? How can it be a crème fraiche?” Which is exactly why you should consider putting this ad down and picking up a carton to try yourself. In Sweden, where we make this amazing

product, it has done nothing less than han revoluti revo nise the lives onise of f our veggie, ve gan and ctoseaverse friends e friend because not only is it completely dairy-free, it performs just like fraiche, which is pretty fraiche if you think about it. Oh, one more thing. You’ll find it in the chilled section at Tesco. Enjoy.




“ Should sweet

portion sizes be slashed? ”

Top nutritional therapist Ian Marber asks whether the new government advice on baked goods and desserts is a good thing Have you heard that the health secretary has advised restaurants, cafés and pubs to make the portions of their desserts and baked goods smaller, and to change recipes so they contain less fat and sugar? If drinks manufacturers have to reformulate recipes to reduce their products’ sugar levels then it seems fair that everyone else should be put under the spotlight too. However we should remember that selling food is a commercial venture and run for profit. To sell the maximum amount of products that they can, companies need to make them as tasty and moreish as possible, which usually means being generous with ingredients. And this doesn’t just apply to coffee shop chains or huge pub corporations with vast commercial kitchens, it equally applies to the independent or artisan café which makes small batches of everything by hand. The question that the new government advice begs to ask is if a

company’s usual treat contains, say, 10g of sugar per slice, will it sell as many if that’s reduced to just 5g? Will it taste the same? And, more to the point, who is going to check? Will the pudding police be making regular visits? Bear in mind that labeling is already being taken care of. No longer can a handmade cake get away with just a simple description of what it is, as any day now it will have to display full nutritional details on the label under the EU’s Food Information to Consumers Regulation (FIR), which will enforce mandatory nutrition declarations for the majority of pre-packed foods from December this year. This means a cake high in sugars and fats will be easily identifiable, which should help us make our decisions. Making portion sizes smaller seems sensible as then we can enjoy eating something without having too much of it. Yet how is that to be enforced? Will muffin tins be measured to ensure that no-one is sneaking in an extra few

Ian is one of the UK’s top nutritional therapists

millimetres here and there? And what if they do, will we hear rumours about a larger muffin for sale and then rush to wherever it is to stock up? Even if the larger muffin remains an urban myth, surely it’s pretty obvious that if you want more you simply buy two or three of the offending treat. At the heart of all of this debate is the question of whether it is really the role of government to interfere in recipes. To my mind it all comes down to personal choice – we are not stupid and, while we don’t always make the best decisions, there can’t be many of us that think a muffin or a slice of cake is a healthy food choice. If we want cake, we will eat it and pay the price too, but that’s democracy for you.

Making portion sizes smaller seems sensible as then we can enjoy eating something without having too much NATURAL HEALTH 67

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NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 31/10/2016 09:57 Page 68

We’ve been trying to bring this amazing product to you since we introduced it in Sweden and saw how it changed people’s lives. What’s so amazing about it? It’s a single cream that performs exactly like regular cream but is completely free from dairy making it perfect for our veggie, vegan and lactose-averse friends. What about the taste? Perhaps you should answer that yourself by picking up a carton and trying it out rather than relying on the writer of this ad. You know writers of ads, they always try to make things so positive. Oh yeah, for your convenience, you will find it in the chilled section at your favourite Tesco from now on.



WINTER WARMERS Say hello to December with these tasty dishes from Indy Power


•85g quinoa •125ml water •250ml almond milk, unsweetened

•3 ripe figs •½ tsp vanilla essence •½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to sprinkle

•1 tbsp maple


1 Add the quinoa, water and half of the nut milk to a medium-sized saucepan on a medium heat. Pop the lid on and let it cook for about 13 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and it’s nice and fluffy. 2 Cut two of the figs in half and scoop the fruity flesh from the inside, then add it to a bowl. Use a fork to mash it up, then stir it into the quinoa with the vanilla, cinnamon and remaining nut milk. Cut the last fig into slices. 3 Let the quinoa simmer for another few minutes until it has reached your desired consistency, then stir in the sweetener. 4 Pour the porridge into your bowls, top with the fig slices and sprinkle on a little more cinnamon before serving. NATURAL HEALTH 69

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CAJUN SALMON BURGERS These are so satisfying. The blend of spices is insanely yum and the zesty lime takes to salmon so perfectly. These quickly became a weekly occurrence in my house and once you try them you’ll know why.


•½ large onion •400g fresh salmon •1 egg •30g ground almonds •2 tsp paprika •1 tsp cayenne pepper •1 tsp garlic powder •½ tsp ground cumin •Juice of 1 lime, plus extra to serve •Coconut oil, for frying •Iceberg lettuce, to serve •Coarse salt

1 Chop the onion and salmon fillets into a few big chunks and add them to your food processor. Add in the egg, ground almonds, all of the spices, salt and lime juice too. 2 Pulse it a few times until everything is broken up and comes together. It should be a bit mushy, but still have some chunks (don’t overblend). 3 Lay out a sheet of parchment paper on the counter and then wet your hands. Use your damp hands to shape the mixture into patties, laying them out on the parchment paper. 4 Heat a pan on a high heat and add a little coconut oil. When it’s hot, add the burgers and cook for 4–5 minutes on each side. 5 Serve wrapped in fresh crunchy iceberg leaves with a generous squeeze of extra lime.

VEGAN CHILLI Talk about comfort food. This vegan chilli warms the soul – it’s made for curling up by the fire with a bowl in your lap. This is the ultimate hearty winter dinner, full of yummy chickpeas, kidney beans and sweet potato. Perfect for coming home to after a wintery walk.


•2 sweet potatoes •2 tbsp olive oil •1 tsp ground cumin •1 tsp ground cinnamon •1 tsp cayenne pepper •1 onion, diced •2 red or yellow peppers, deeseded •

and chopped ½ red chilli, deseeded and chopped


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EAT WELL Looking for some help in your quest to eat more healthily? Nutritionist Resource could be the answer, as Ellen Hoggard explains Diet is the cornerstone of optimal health and wellbeing and we believe everyone deserves health, happiness and access to quality nutritional information and advice from professionals. That’s why we set up Nutritionist Resource – a website dedicated to offering a simple way to connect with qualified nutrition professionals across the UK.


•1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained •1 x 400g tin kidney or butter beans, • • • •

drained 2 x 400g tins tomatoes 1 large handful of fresh coriander Coarse salt and pepper Greek yoghurt (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C. 2 Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into small cubes. Add them to a roasting tray and drizzle them with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper before popping in the oven for about 30 minutes. 3 While they’re cooking, add the olive oil to a large pot on a medium heat, followed by the spices. Let them toast and sizzle a bit and then add the onion, peppers and chilli to the pot. 4 Cook for 5–10 minutes until the onion and peppers have softened.

Add in the chickpeas and beans and toss, then add in the tinned tomatoes, stirring well. Let the chilli simmer and reduce for about 30 minutes. 5 When the sweet potatoes are ready, add them to the pot and give it a stir. Let the chilli cook for at least another 5 minutes after adding the sweet potatoes. The longer the flavours can infuse, the better. 6 Serve topped with fresh coriander and Greek yoghurt, if desired.

BOOK shelf Recipes extracted from The Little Green Spoon by Indy Power (Ebury Press, hardback £18.99) Photography: Martin Poole

Whatever your reason, the site can help you realise that change is possible, support is available and you are not alone in the journey. Our website includes everything we wish we’d had access to when starting our journey – a detailed library of fact-sheets featuring useful information about some of the reasons you may want to consult a nutrition professional as well as articles, blogs and recipes to help you keep up-to-date with all things nutrition. All of our members have a personal profile where they provide plenty of information about how they work and who they are, helping you decide whether they are the right person for you. For more information visit


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Natural remedies for



Boost your digestion with these handy tips from nutritional therapist Henrietta Norton A properly functioning digestive system is critical to good health. In fact, problems with the gastrointestinal (GI) tract can cause more than just stomach ache or diarrhea. GI issues may result in several other health problems that seem unrelated to digestion, including autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes, skin problems such as eczema and acne, and heart disease, just to name a few. There are a number of causes of digestive imbalance and natural remedies that can support a return to healthy digestive function. BENEFICIAL BACTERIA 

You can help beneficial bacteria in your GI flourish by ingesting probiotic foods or supplements that contain ‘good’ bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species. Probiotics can help balance your ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria to keep your body working effectively, and they can also be helpful in reinoculating the gut after the use of antibiotics (which unfortunately kill both good and bad bacteria). As more is understood about the complexity of the body, we are recognising that strains of beneficial flora work best in synergy. This means that when buying probiotics you should look for complexes with multiple strains such as those containing lactobacillus, bifidobacterium and streptococcus.  


Fermented foods, such as yoghurt, miso, kefir and tempeh are food sources of both prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms already in the colon. In other words, prebiotics feed probiotics. Prebiotics are available in many foods that contain a fibre called inulin, including artichokes, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, leeks, onion, rocket, chicory, edamame beans. Grains such as barley, flax, oats, and wheat are also good sources of prebiotics. Another good prebiotic source is a supplement called fructo72 NATURAL HEALTH

oligosaccharide or FOS but use these carefully – FOS in supplement form has been shown to encourage the growth of some unwanted bacteria. Prebioics can help in many ways, and in a recent study, it was found that artichoke supplements produced an overall reduction in IBS symptoms in 71 percent of participants within an average of 10 days.


Bloating and wind may be caused by ineffective digestion of food. Enzymes are the catalyst of food digestion and a lack of digestive enzymes or hydrochloric acid may contribute to poor breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. All-encompassing digestive enzyme supplements are available and specifics enzymes, such as amylase for the digestion of starches and carbohydrates, can

GI issues may

result in serveral other chronic health problems



LEAKY GUT SYNDROME Leaky gut is associated with many health conditions ranging from autism to auto-immune conditions. Help the lining of the GI tract repair itself by supplying key nutrients that can often be in short supply in a disease state, such as zinc, antioxidants (e.g. vitamins A, C and E), fish oil, and the amino acid glutamine which is found in lean proteins such as fish, chicken, lamb and fresh meat stocks and broths. Aloe vera has polysaccharides and may offer soothing qualities. Slippery elm is categorised as a mucilage and has been found in research to increase mucus secretion (needed to protect the gut wall). Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in the mucosa (the lining of the gut) and supplementing can be especially helpful at restoring health gut permeability.  

The gut is known as the second brain because it has many of the


also found in the brain


Increased motility (the rhythmic flow) of the colon during exposure to stressful situations has been shown to occur in those with IBS. The gut is also known as the ‘second brain’ because it has many of the neurotransmitters also found in the brain. This explains well the idea of having ‘butterflies in your tummy’ or a ‘gut instinct’ and further explains the link between emotions and gut function. Psychotherapy in the form of relaxation therapy, biofeedback, counseling or stress management training has been shown to reduce symptoms of IBS.

ADD THESE TO YOUR DIET Eating liberal amounts of the following can also help aid digestion • OLIVE OIL – This contains oleic acid – an anti-fungal agent. Choose cold pressed extra virgin olive oil when possible. also be purchased. They can be used in the short or long term but I would recommend seeking advice from a qualified nutritionist if short term supplementation is not working to investigate the reason for this. Stomach acid levels can be low for varying factors (for example as a result of age, prescription medication or an over-alkalised diet), and this can cause poor protein digestion and digestion in general. Stomach acid also acts as a barrier to harmful bacteria and other microbes as well as playing a vital role in the utilisation of minerals such as zinc from food. Therefore those with low stomach acid may have a lower immune tolerance to bacterial and viral infection or experience small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Betaine hydrochloride mimics stomach acid and can be taken short term to re-establish stomach acid production.

• RAW GARLIC – The allicin in raw garlic is a potent anti-fungal. • LEMON – Try adding extra lemon zest and juice into food or in hot drinks for the benefit of your gut. • APPLE CIDER VINEGAR – This is brilliant for your digestion. Add one capful to warm water or use as in dressings as per lemon. Henrietta Norton is a nutritional therapist, author and co-founder of Wild Nutrition ( She has clinics at Grace Belgravia and SP & Co in London.

• GREEN TEA – Loose leaf green tea has antimicrobial properties but try not to drink more than three cups a day.  • HERBS – Rosemary, thyme and oregano are all good for your digestion. NATURAL HEALTH 73

Super Power snacks Nutritional health coach Madeleine Shaw shares her top seven ingredients that pack a mighty punch

What do you grab to fight that 4pm slump? A calorific cappuccino, a handful of nuts, or are you guilty of an afternoon biscuit or two because, let’s face it, you can never just have one. We all need a little pick-me-up towards the end of the day so we caught up with Brita ambassador, bestselling cookery writer and creator of the Glow Guides app, Madeleine Shaw to find out what we should be reaching for when we need a healthy energy boost. Eat on-the-go or combine together into a tasty snack bar and make sure you’re never caught short again.


Referred to as ‘nature’s power fruit’ medjool dates are packed full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. The natural sweeteners are a great alternative to sugar and studies suggest they can help lower cholesterol and boost bone health. “Sticky and sweet, medjool dates are a great source of energy,” explains Madeleine Shaw. “Plus, if you’re making energy balls or raw snack bars, medjool dates are the best way to bind everything together.”

lots of vitamin E,” Madeleine adds. That’s the cherry on top of any snack option, right?


Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. “Full of fibre, protein, omega 3 fatty acids and various other micronutrients, this superseed is a staple ingredient in many snacks,” describes Madeleine. Just 28 grams boasts 18 percent of our RDA of calcium and 30 percent of our RDA of magnesium, plus 40 percent of each teeny seed is gut-loving fibre. Hello healthy!


“This amazing root gives a malt-like flavour to snacks and is a natural energy booster, too” Madeleine says. Clinical trials have reported that maca has a positive effect on energy, stamina and mood, making it the perfect ingredient to see you through those last painful hours at work. It also helps to stabilise blood sugar levels decreasing spikes and dips, and doesn’t cause high energy jitters like caffeine.





“Craving chocolate? Raw cacao is a certified superfood,” says Madeleine. “It’s bursting with antioxidants and is a great source of magnesium which helps to relax tired and sore muscles.” Magnesium is also essential for energy production and with cacao containing around 500mg of magnesium per 100 grams, it’s a sure way to kick cravings and tiredness in one tasty hit.

High in protein, dietary fibre and monounsaturated fatty acids, almond butter is a delicious snack option. Whether you try it on toast, add it to your morning smoothie or enjoy as a dip for apples and celery, it’s sure to give your body – and taste buds – a boost. “Almonds are also great for your skin as they contain

“If your snacks are lacking sweetness, try a teaspoon of honey,” advises Madeleine. Praised for its ability to provide an instant and sustainable energy boost due to the body’s quick absorption of glucose and slower absorption of fructose, it contains no fat, no cholesterol and only 64 calories per tablespoon. “It’s also a natural antibacterial so is perfect for helping you fight colds in the winter month,” she adds.

“If you’re a gym bunny, adding protein powder to homemade snacks instantly transforms them into a brilliant pre or post workout bite to help aid muscle recovery,” explains Madeleine. Studies suggest protein powder also helps to lower blood sugar levels and inflammation plus it promotes weight loss by suppressing your appetite.


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BALLS NGE OAT dients in tasty bite-size A R O E T re osting ing HOCOLA



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TASTY TREATS Need an energy boost on the go? Try these ready-made options picked by the NH team

Good 4 U Superbites, from 85p, available at Asda and Ocado.

Madeleine Shaw is a BRITA ambassador.

Perk!er Cacao and Cashew Quinoa bar, 75p each or ÂŁ2 for three, available at Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons.


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NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 31/10/2016 09:25 Page 76


Better skin, hair, make-up naturally – here’s how

When the streets are filled with the aroma of roasted chesnuts, it usually means one thing: it’s time to think about presents (and no, we don’t mean for yourself!). We’re talking about the stocking fillers that you give to your loved ones, the small items that offer a moment of indulgence come December 25th. Giving a gift of beauty is a great way to treat someone to something they might never have splurged on themselves, and, if a few items do happen to slip onto your list, we promise not to tell!

Top to bottom, left to right Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Solid Perfume, £10, Tropic Colour Click Lipstick in Poppy, £14, Kure Bazzar Nail Polishes in Pigalle, Precious and Cherie, £15 each, Pacifica Pacifica Indian Coconut Nectar Spray Perfume, £20, Jane Iredale PurePressed Blush in Sheer Honey, £23,

Jane Iredale Lip Fixation Gloss in Passion, £22, Pacifica Persion Rose Soy Candle, £14, Goldfaden MD Plant Profusion Energetic Eye Cream, £115, Tarte Young Wild and Free Amazonian Clay Palette, £21, Elemis Travel Japanese Camellia Oil Blend, £12.10, Nailberry L’Oxygene Polish in Rouge, £14.50,



PERFECT YOUR PARTY LOOK Quick fixes for a picture perfect Christmas and New Year



Looking to turn up the volume on your tresses? Toss out your dry shampoo in favour of an all-natural hair mist. A spritz of strand-loving ingredients will add life to lacklustre locks without weighing them down and you won’t run the risk of breakage at the hands of dehydration or worse, the dreaded icing sugar effect. Intelligent Nutrients Certified Organic Volumising Spray, £30,




If fly-away ends and frizz are getting you down, smooth things over with a finishing oil designed for dry hair. Simply style as desired and smooth the formula from the middle of the hair to ends for a super-slick finish, whether that means restoring gloss and bounce to sagging curls or high shine to a straight style. Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Oil, £21,


Dark circles tend to leave you looking like you’re ready for sleep rather than celebrations, but a touch of concealer will soon see you right. Choose a creamy blend that matches your skin tone for best results. “Opting for a lighter shade is a myth,” says make-up artist Anna Rizzieri. “White makeup under your eyes can make dark circles appear grey and ashy or like you wore goggles whilst tanning.” Vapour Organic Illusionist Concealer, £22,


A bold, red lip is a festive favourite and when done right it can transform your look from dull to dazzling in an instant. Pair it with a 60s winged eyeliner (à la Marilyn Monroe) for a classic style or a gold-toned smokey eye for something a little more sultry. Ilia Organic Lipstick, £22,


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Late night shopping sprees, Christmas stress and demanding social schedules can all take a toll on your youthful glow, but you don’t need to wait until spring to restore your rosy visage. Mineral make-up expert Jane Iredale suggests faking it until you make it: “Blush is the number one product for woman with maturing skin,” she says. To find your perfect shade pinch your cheeks and try to match the natural colour you get when you actually blush.


“Once you’re done with your make-up, a beautiful way of finishing off the look is to add a small amount of creamy highlighter to the very top of the cheekbones,” says organic make-up artist Kristen Kjaer Weis. She also recommends a dab on the inner corner of each eye to brighten up your peepers and give your face an overall glow. Kjaer Weis Radiance Highlighter, £45,


Lily Lolo Make-up Mist, £9.99,


When your festivites take you from to desk to dinner without any time in-between, oily skin (especially if it’s showing through the morning’s make-up) can be a dead giveaway. Keep a pack of blotting sheets in your handbag to quickly wick away unwanted shine whilst delivering nourishing ingredients to skin cells to brighten your visage.

Jane Iredale PurePressed Blush, £23,



If you haven’t yet become acquainted with the world of make-up setting sprays, now is the time to get started. These wonderfully light formulas are made from nourishing botanical oils and waters to hydrate the skin and keep your look flawlessly in place for the entire day.


Of course, it’s not all about the hair and face. The perfect accessory to a killer Christmas outfit is beautiful skin from head to toe. Follow up your body cream with a nourishing dry oil that has a touch of shimmer. It will lock in moisture while giving your arms, legs and décolletage a goddess-like glow. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse OR, £35,

Mai Couture Vitamin C+E Blotting Papier, £11.50,



Nothing says party-ready like a perfectly polished manicure. Swap your neutral go-to shades for a daring red or glitzy gold to add some drama to your look. Little Ondine Winter Wonderland Gift Set, £25, NATURAL HEALTH 79

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NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 27/10/2016 11:12 Page 80


BEAUTY ED’S PICKS Benecos Quattro Eye Shadow Smokey Eye, £6.95,

Jane Iredale Champagne on Ice Kit, £29.95,

Vitage CO2 Micro Peel, £29,

Myroo Superfood Balm Raspberry & Cucumber, £25,

Byron Bay Skincare Instant Relief, £15.10,

VOYA Effervescence Nourishing Sugar Scrub, £34,

OWAY Fabulous Body Oil, £36,


MUST-HAVES These gorgeous autumn buys are hot off the press

Magik Organiks Wrinkle Therapy Peel & Reveal Marine Mask, £4.95,

Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator, £19,

EKIA Créme Originelle, £42.99, hollandand

AA Skincare Vitamin Boost Face Kit, £12.50,


NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 27/10/2016 16:49 Page 82

BEAUTY I haven’t turned into a total party pooper just yet, and while I’ll be spending my Christmas doing sun salutations on a beach in Goa, I’m still planning to have a festive drink or two. I will, however, be taking some advice from the experts to make sure I stay looking fresh-faced. When it comes to choosing your tipple, opt for red wine which contains the skinboosting antioxidant resveratrol – cabernet sauvignon contains the highest levels. Alternatively, choose clear spirits such as vodka or gin with a mixer such as cranberry juice or fresh lime. While we all know we should drink loads of water in between alcoholic drinks, skincare expert Dr Howard Murad’s additional tip is to load your drink with ice to dilute the alcohol and rehydrate your body at the same time. He also advises taking vitamins before and after – include B vitamins as these are depleted by alcohol, vitamin C and milk thistle to reduce oxidative stress on your liver and n-acetyl cysteine (NAC), a form of the amino acid cysteine which helps to reduce acetaldehyde toxicity. To combat AGE damage, leading dermatologist Dr Nicholas Perricone advises eating lots of green foods such as avocado, artichokes, asparagus, Brussels sprouts and kale. Also choose those that help to stabilise blood sugar levels and prevent further damage such as nuts and seeds, lean meats, eggs, tofu, healthy grains like barley, quinoa and rolled oats and low-glycaemic fruits like berries, plums and peaches. So there you have it: the cheat’s guide to wrinkle-free fun. Eat, drink and be merry!


BEAUTY detective Enjoy healthy festive drinking with our beauty editor at large Emma Van Hinsbergh I love a festive knees-up. Rocking around the Christmas tree surrounded by my nearest and dearest with an eggnog clutched firmly in hand is my idea of heaven. Sadly, those carefree days of seasonal excess, feasting on liqueur chocolates and quaffing rumlaced cocktails to my heart’s content are long gone. Nowadays, even a mere sniff of alcohol makes me look like I’m shuffling off to an early grave, so I tend to avoid it purely for reasons of vanity. Yes I really am that shallow. All joking aside, those cheeky little liveners can trigger a serious wrinkle assault on your skin. This is because drinking alcohol results in the formation of two very toxic compounds, acetaldehyde and malondialdehyde, which both generate massive free-radical damage to your cells. Celebrity super-facialist Vaishaly Patel explains that not only does the demon drink lead to broken veins, rosacea and congestion but it also dries the skin, sucking out moisture, which leads to wrinkles and premature ageing. And if that’s not bad enough, alcohol is loaded with sugar, which is fiendishly ageing too. This is due to a process called glycation that produces harmful molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Furthermore, it inhibits the liver’s production of digestive enzymes, which reduces your body’s ability to absorb skin-boosting proteins, fats and antioxidant vitamins. “With the loss of antioxidants, we may age much more quickly, losing our vitality and looks,” warns nutritionist Shona Wilkinson of Superfood UK. Just shoot me now. But despite all this rather dispiriting news,


Skin-booting treats to combat drink demons


Add a few drops of Rio Rosa’s Pure Chilean Rosehip Seed Oil to supercharge your moisturiser with booze-busting essential fatty acids and vitamins A, C and E. £10.49,


Plump up dehydrated skin after a night out with Evolve’s Hyaluronic Serum, which works to encourage moisture retention in the dermal layer. £28,


Repair your skin from within with the Beauty Molecule formula, which contains as much antioxidant-rich resveratrol as 26,000 grapes in each spoonful. £25,


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China GIRL

Unlock the secret of youth with powerful herbs and ancient healing techniques says Asian therapies expert Katie Brindle Beauty is generally thought of as skin deep, but

in the eyes of traditional Chinese medicine it is also an important reflection of health within your body. Chinese medicine considers external skin issues – for example break outs, lack of radiance, increased fine lines or loss of elasticity – to be a reflection of internal organ imbalance. Unlike the ‘outside-in’ approach of Western techniques which are primarily focused on dealing with the epidermis, Chinese medicine doctors advocate an ‘inside-out’ approach to beauty where the entire body and cause is treated, not just the symptoms. In addition, a skin or ageing concern may not just be physical, as the Chinese believe that a mental or spiritual imbalance could be the cause. Our faces are hugely sensitive and home to millions of nerve endings. Chinese medicine doctors believe that the face contains a convergence energy channels – exit and entry points which help maintain the flow of qi – the Chinese term for energy, or life spirit, a vital force that flows through all living things. These facial energy channels directly relate to parts of the body. For example the heart has an energy channel which runs up the centre of the forehead and there’s an abundance of 84 NATURAL HEALTH

channels around the lip area which relate to the digestive system. By keeping the facial channels clear of toxins and tension, your health is better reflected and the relevant organs are strengthened, thereby keeping the aging process at bay internally and externally. All of the following techniques have something in common – they work on the basic principle of Chinese medicine, which is to purge and nourish. By harnessing the power of your blood and qi via the circulatory system you can purge out the toxicity in your body and nourish your organs to achieve improved radiance, inside and out.



medicine doctors advocate an

‘inside-out’ approach to


Dubbed the ‘Eastern face lift’ for its abilities to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, plump, tighten and rejuvenate skin, gua sha is an East Asian therapeutic technique that has been widely practised for thousands of years. It involves using a round-edged tool to ‘press-stroke’ areas of the face in order to manipulate and stimulate energy points. Gua sha works by stimulating blood circulation and detoxification, pulling the toxicity out through the tips of the permeable capillaries while relaxing tense muscles that cause wrinkles to form. It is a perfect at-home treatment and takes as little as just one minute a night to get an antiageing boost.


Revered in Chinese medicine for its restorative, healing qualities, jade is cooling and very gentle on the skin, which makes it particularly good for the delicate facial area. Jade rolling works by de-puffing the skin and toning the facial contours.

Gently stroke the roller over the face, jawline and décolletage to aid lymph drainage and blood flow, eliminating puffiness, toning facial muscles and easing tension.


Unlike injectables, which may have unknown long-term side effects, cosmetic acupuncture is a totally natural and holistic anti-ageing treatment that aims to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It enhances qi and blood flow by bringing oxygen to the blood, which in turn enhances radiance and youthfulness. The treatment involves inserting hair-thin needles into specific points on the face for up to 20 minutes, although some body points may also be used to improve your general constitutional and support the facial treatment. In contrast to injectables, it will typically require a course of treatment to show pronounced results, however, the whole face is treated and as body points are also used, a patient’s health and wellbeing can be greatly improved. Always use a practitioner accredited by the British Acupuncture Council.


Using the same principles as acupuncture but swapping needles for fingers, an acupressure massage can be a very effective weapon in your anti-ageing armoury. A deep acupressure massage manipulates and balances the facial tissue while working away toxins and circulation imbalances. The techniques used in a facial acupressure treatment are designed to tap into the meridians – key areas of the face linked to the nervous system – and cleanse out the facial lymph system.


Moxibustion uses moxa, a soft woolly substance prepared from mugwort leaves, which is lit and held just above the skin over specific acupuncture points or meridians. As the herb slowly smoulders, a therapeutic heat permeates the skin and affects the flow of qi and blood in the area being treated. It can improve the body’s immunity and provide anti-fatigue effects, often the first to show on a maturing face. Moxibustion is a specialist technique demanding skilled clinical judgement and is contraindicated in certain cases. The easiest way to ensure your practitioner is properly trained is by visiting a British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) member. Katie Brindle is a graduate of The Integrated College of Chinese Medicine. She works as physician specialising in Asian therapies, treating patients in her London and Somerset practices.



Take a tip from Chinese women, who’ve been using these traditional beauty boosters for centuries Rice water Often used as a toner for skin, it is made by simply soaking unpolished rice in water until it turns milky Camellia oil A staple in Chinese beauty, it is used to condition hair, as a moisturiser and as a treatment for scars and stretch marks Mung beans Ground up in to a paste and applied to the skin, this can be used to treat inflammation Oyster shell powder This popular ingredient has been used for centuries to prevent sun damage, lighten skin and prevent wrinkles Green tea This is traditionally used to combat ageing due to its antioxidant properties Mint leaves Crush mint leaves into a paste to brighten and tone your complexion Turmeric This spice is used in face masks to rejuvenate the skin and even out skin tone Amla Often used as a hair tonic to strengthen the roots, amla promotes growth and maintains pigmentation Horsetail This can be steeped in boiling water to strengthen hair and keep it looking shiny

Best buys

Stock up on pampering treats that harness the powers of Chinese plants and herbs

1. Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream contains radianceboosting panax ginseng and anti-inflammatory magnolia extract. £20, 2. Hayo’u TreatRite Body Oil is formulated with sea buckthorn and rice oils to aid skin regeneration. Costs £33 from 3. Skin Point Eight Gentle Foam Cleanser is rich in normalising adaptogenic and Chinese herbs to treat skin. £45, 4. Herborist T’ai Chi Mask is a dual combination of yin and yang masks containing red and white peony, bamboo charcoal and ginkgo biloba. £59, 5. Beyond Organic Light 24 Hour Moisturiser is packed full of ginkgo biloba to rejuvenate skin. £14, beyond NATURAL HEALTH 85


MANUKA HONEY & ORANGE BLOSSOM BODY SCRUB A revitalising body scrub enriched with invigorating dead sea salt, crushed natural sugar and original manuka honey, this will gently buff away impurities for healthier looking skin. Added vitamin E and sweet almond oil with fragrant orange blossom will leave your skin silky-soft, and satin-smooth. £18 for 250g,



Calm your skin with this soothing shower crème enriched with manuka honey from New Zealand and vitamin-infused propolis, which will cleanse and soothe fragile surfaces for improved skin health. The evocative aroma of warm orange blossom delivers aromatic wellbeing for mind and body. £6 for 100ml,



Nourish your face and body with these nurturing skincare must-haves from SBC

This is a nurturing skincare gel enriched with soothing propolis to calm and care for your skin. Propolis is rich in amino acids, minerals, vitamins and bio-flavonoids which nourish the face and body. It’s recommended for skin with minor complaints, and may be especially helpful on chapped skin. £18 for 100ml,

MANUKA HONEY & ORANGE BLOSSOM BODY BUTTER A velvety, non-greasy butter, rich in manuka honey, will help soothe, hydrate and soften your skin, while warm notes of orange blossom revitalise the senses. Added shea butter, kukui nut and passion flower oils unite to improve skin texture and health. £15 for 250ml,


SBC is giving NH readers the chance to win a bundle of goodies! One lucky winner will receive a skincare treat containing one of each product mentioned to the right. To enter simply visit* *Terms

and conditions apply. See online for details.

PROPOLIS BATH & SHOWER GEL This enticing bath and shower gel is enriched with soothing propolis, which originates from honeybees and is known for its remedial properties, to cleanse, calm and care for your skin. Immerse yourself in this natural ingredient to soothe and restore hydration for healthierlooking skin. £9 for 100ml,


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I love face masks. To me there’s nothing better than being commanded to lie back and relax for 20 minutes (I can be unusually obedient in such circumstances). But right now, who actually has 20 minutes? We’re counting down to Christmas, trying to stay calm amidst endless to-do lists, often having to prep for an office do or family gettogether in practically no time at all. Enter the ‘quickie’ mask – these intensive facial treatments deliver a skin boost faster than you can say “secret Santa” thanks to potent botanicals known to rev up skin. I’ve a few other tricks up my sleeve when my face is feeling less than fabulous but needs to be party-worthy, however. Splashing the face with alternate hot and cold water can be brilliant or you can fill a bowl with warm water, add two drops of rosemary facial oil, soak a wash-cloth in it and place over the face for a few minutes. I also like to glug back a green juice with cucumber, melon, apple, ginger, carrot and a shot of spirulina – it makes me feel instantly energised and somehow my skin always reflects that. As for the quick-fix masks themselves? I rate all of these – and if you’re really in a hurry, even a minute or two is better than nothing at all. Just be sure to apply to a face you’ve pre-cleansed effectively for optimum benefits.

TIME-SAVING SKIN BOOSTERS The Beauty Bible guru reveals her favourite brightening face packs

Liz Earle Brightening Treatment Mask, £15,

Lacklustre skin is revitalised in just two minutes with the aid of aromatic camphor, witch hazel, white clay and soothing aloe vera. Superfacialist Abigail James actually taught me an amazing trick during a recent treatment that works wonders with this product: massage the mask deeply into the skin for a couple of minutes before muslin-ing away as if it was a regular cleanser. I’m not sure that my skin’s ever looked brighter after doing this twice weekly.

Earth Kiss Million Year Clay Facial Revitalise Bamboo Sheet Mask, £1.99, I’ve always been impressed by Earth Kiss’ affordable mask selection and this bamboo sheet mask is no exception. Infused with Moroccan rhassoul mud and juniper oil, it’s wonderfully invigorating.

ESPA Essential Deep Cleansing Mask, £31,

The mineral-rich clays in this mask detox your skin, while the rose geranium works to rebalance oil levels. As with the Liz Earle mask, I’ve had amazing results not simply applying this onto the surface but massaging it into skin as if it was a regular cleanser then muslin-ing away.

Origins GinZing Peel-Off Mask, £24,

Skin jolts don’t get much more effective than coffee beans, an extract of which features in this citrusscented mask – which incidentally looks like liquid copper, making you look a bit like Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger! Smooth it on and then peel off a few minutes later to reveal brighter, fresher-looking skin.

Bamford Exfoliating Mask, £60,

Bamford’s renewing formula is very much at the luxe end of the mask spectrum, but it’s a complete cureall for a tired-out visage. With a gentle exfoliating action (from lactic acid and fruit enzymes), plus some clay in there for its deep cleansing powers, it instantly plumps as well as brightens. Why not tweet me your top picks? I’m @jojosams and always keen to hear other people’s favourites! NATURAL HEALTH 87


SUPER TEAS BLOOM has expertly blended organic, ceremonialgrade matcha – the world’s most potent green tea – with herbs and exotic flavours to create a range of delicious and 100 percent all-natural super teas which can be used for boosting smoothies, juices and food. A must-have for all serious tea drinkers. £16.99,


CHEERS Cracker Drinks Co has launched a range of natural fruit juice drinks with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. They are high in fruit content, boasting one of your five a day while being less than 90 calories per serving. And they taste delicious! £1.50, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and

Enjoy the festive season without the guilt with these health-conscious choices TREAT YOURSELF

SUPERFOOD SNACKS Eat Real’s innovation in the healthy snacking sector continues with the launch of Quinoa Puffs, giving a goodness packed twist to standard puffs with the addition of superfoods quinoa and kale. Quinoa Puffs are vegan, gluten-free and free from all allergens, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. £1.79, Available from all Health Food Wholesalers from January 2017,

These artisan certified gluten-free biscuits with lemon, coconut and chocolate cream are wonderfully soft and full of flavour – and an ideal treat for winter. They’re free from the top 14 allergens, including dairy, soya, eggs and nuts and are a healthier option than traditional biscuits with high fibre and protein. £ 2.75 for a 150g pack,

WINTER SPICE Add some spice to your winter season recipes with the Winter Spice Set of natural flavourings from Foodie Flavours. These professional, high strength flavours are great in icings, baking, desserts and more and come in mixed spice, mulled wine and Christmas pudding variations. Plus they’re suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and are also glutenfree, egg-free, dairy-free with no added sugar, no added colour and made in the UK. £11.99 for the set,


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Simple steps to balance your mind, body and soul

Are you looking to feel stronger and more successful in 2017? “I think you feel most powerful

when you are happy and healthy,”

says Cassandra Stavrou, co-founder of Propercorn. “For me, this is about ensuring there is balance in my life. Little things such as walking to work to start the day with a clear head, leaving the office on time to see my friends, or indulging a bit over the weekend make all the difference. Be prepared to take risks too. The worst that can happen is that you end up back where you started, but there is everything to gain by going for it.”


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Suffering in the name of others may seem altruistic, but in the long-run, it could be harming your health

Empathy’s a trait that’s held in high esteem. We all want

friends who can empathise when we are in a difficult situation; we want to be surrounded by people who can understand our pain and share our burden. And we like to think we can return the favour. Those without empathy can come across as callous and cold – at the extreme end of the scale are psychopaths who lack the ability to put themselves in another’s shoes. But if you find yourself at the other end of the scale, you could also be in trouble. Over-empathising can leave you sad, depressed and feeling hopeless, and it can seriously affect your health. “Overempathising happens when we give away all our focus and energy to other people and situations, take on their pain, and don’t give enough support to ourselves first,” says Emma Fairclough, founder and mindfulness facilitator at Soulcy Mindfulness ( “When we’re in empathy mode – feeling the pain of others whether they’re family, friends or children on the news starving – we use up so much energy and quite often our health suffers in the process. “When I was a little girl, my mum worked in a giving role, she was a social worker. Constantly surrounded by people’s pain, her job was to support those people and find them suitable solutions to their problems. She did this with everything she had, she was exceptional at giving to others, but the problem was she had little left for her. She over-empathised so much; she eventually became sick. When we are constantly putting ourselves in other people’s shoes, when do we have time left to walk in our own?”

them there – when I need them strong, and to be the light to lead me through it (using sympathy and compassion).”


“The airlines have a point when they encourage us to put our own breathing masks on first before attending to those around us,” says Dr Nick Mooney, chartered clinical psychologist (recognitionhealth. com). “Our ability to empathise and show compassion for others will be affected if we do not take care of ourselves first. But thoughts of selfishness and feelings of shame often act as barriers to self-care.” Issues can arise when empathy is experienced in situations where it may no longer be helpful and it leads you to share excessive periods of another person’s suffering. “Instead of acting from an altruistic or compassionate place, people who overempathise may act with the intention of avoiding the emotional discomfort of guilt or anxiety associated with not being empathic enough,” says Nick. “Problems such as co-dependency in relationships, enabling destructive behaviours in others, and peoplepleasing can quickly arise. Individual symptoms of helplessness, depression, fatigue and ill health are also experienced as people sacrifice their own needs in order to pursue the alleviation of suffering in others. A common example is someone whose commitment to caring for someone in distress is driven by such high levels of empathy that it’s uncomfy for them to step away and care for themselves or engage in other valued actions, such as spending time with family.” EMAPTHY VS SYMPATHY To understand why some people over-empathise it is important to Being sympathetic, however, is a bit different, and much less draining. step back and look at the perceived benefits of over-empathising. “You “Consider empathy and sympathy to be like twins who look similar might feel responsible for the alleviation of this person’s suffering and but are very different in their personality and the impact they have on may be keen to avoid the anxiety and guilt of not assisting,” says Nick. themselves and others,” says Emma. “Sympathy is feeling compassion, “In this situation it is also possible to believe that not being empathic pity or sorrow for the hardship and pain of another, whilst protecting enough will actually increase the levels of emotional distress in the your own energy so you’re still able to remain supportive and strong. person who is suffering. Additionally you may happen to be someone Empathy is going one step further, imagining yourself in their shoes who has trouble regulating your own emotional distress. In this case and feeling their pain as if it was your own. the experience of someone else’s pain creates an added incentive to “Many therapists, healers and intuitive workers use empathy ‘keep digging’ in an attempt to solve and avoid the experience of as a way to connect to their clients and build rapport to facilitate further emotional distress within yourself.” the healing process. When they do not need it, they will switch off When you look at it objectively, it seems obvious that taking on their empathy and turn on their compassion and sympathy, as they the suffering of others and sacrificing your own happiness will not help understand the dangers of being empathic for too long. When I think anyone else in the long run. The message is clear: empathy has a place about my life and the tragedies I’ve suffered, there have been times and is a wonderful trait to have, but not when in overload. First, you when I’ve needed support from those who truly understand and go must look after yourself and practise self care if you are truly to be of there with me (empathy) and there have been times when I don’t want help to others. 90 NATURAL HEALTH


When we are constantly putting ourselves in

other people’s shoes, when do we have time to walk in our own?

HOW TO STOP Nobody wants to be the ice maiden who feels nothing when witnessing the suffering of others. But there are ways to protect yourself from over-empathising. Here are Emma’s tips: • Your suffering is largely because you’re experiencing  the pain of the other person and are disconnected from your own feelings, body and experience. A quick way to snap yourself out of empathy overwhelm is to jolt your body back into the present with something as simple as giving yourself a little pinch. This interrupts your empathy pattern, gets you out of your head and their experience, and brings you immediately back into the moment, giving you the space to look at the situation with a new perspective. • Practise mindfulness. You will learn how to develop compassion for others in pain, while keeping your own experience very separate, enabling you to help them from a position of strength. When we over-empathise we are putting ourselves in the shoes of those in pain. We are feeling their emotions and often overcome by the whole experience of it, deeming us useless. When we become more mindful, we observe our thoughts and in this we realise we can change them. When we change our thoughts, we change our emotions, our feelings and our experiences. Instead of over-empathising, we become compassionate. • Practising mindfulness also cultivates perspective which is so often lost when we find ourselves in empathy

overwhelm. When we watch children starving on the news we can feel such pain and sadness. Some even feel completely helpless, with it hugely affecting their work and home life. Often people who are over-empathising are in way more pain than the children/victims themselves because of the narrative created by the TV show producers. • Give yourself a protective bubble. Imagine a golden thread connected to the bottom of your feet that connects to the centre of the earth, keeping you grounded and in your body. Then, imagine a ball of white or pink light around you, maybe four feet away in every direction. This is the protective bubble that helps you reduce how much you absorb negative energies of others and gives you the ability to manage how much energy you give away. • Lead by example – act the way you would like those in pain to act.  • Put your flight oxygen mask on before your children; this is exactly what you need to do here. • Ask your own friends and family who are outside the situation – am I being too involved here? What do you think I could do to help? They will have a different perspective that they can share with you.


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countries, but many young girls have huge self-esteem issues and thousands are still being sent away from the UK to have the terrible and inhuman FGM operation despite the extraordinary work being done by grassroots activists to stop it. So what can we do? In this holiday season, we can all find charities and organisations that are dedicated to educating and keeping well young girls in societies less advantaged than our own and choose to help them. We need our girls to be inspired by worthy peers such as the young Olympian athletes who shone in Rio 2016; Ugandan chess champion Phiona Mutesi, who took herself out of the slums to become one of the first titled players in Ugandan chess history and of course, the incredible Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize who continues her fight for young girls’ education worldwide. So the news isn’t all bad. There are incredible young women out there in the world creating miracles every day and it is they that are the inspiration for the generations to come. Meanwhile, we need to imprint on our young female relatives that they are indeed capable of achieving anything they set their hearts on and we, as their elders, will continue to support them in achieving their dreams as they create a new future. We need to take this opportunity with the new generation of leaders growing up to show that we can change the way we live and work rather than emulate systems already existing which clearly don’t work for so many. It is our role to show our 10-year-old girls and boys that there is a new feminine, holistic way of connecting with others and achieving success that allows all children to reach their potential in a healthy and peaceful society.

“There are incredible young women out there in the world creating miracles every day”

Has ever a year gone by more quickly? Life is

Women’s empowerment guru Lynne Franks on why we need to help our girls

definitely speeding up and not just for me. Everyone I speak to is experiencing the same feeling of time running by and always being in a hurry. Certainly 2016 has been a big year with Brexit, the farcical America elections, the terrible wars in the Middle East and the subsequent horrific refugee situation and the continuing disastrous effect we humans are having on the environment. There is a real swing in how individuals are losing their faith in politics and the mainstream media and how we feel so helpless in making change. So what is the alternative as we prepare in this holiday season for 2017? I have had many conversations with my women friends on how we can create a new kind of future where we can build a better world for our children and grandchildren. Well, the important news is that according to a report just out from the UN population fund (UNPA), it is 10-year-old girls worldwide who will shape our collective futures. As the grandmother of a 10-yearold girl, her older sister of 12 and her recently born girl cousin, I am particularly interested to read that getting girls through secondary schools could reap billions of dollars a year for poorer countries. But the hurdles girls face in reaching adulthood are significant. Globally, twice as many girls as boys will never start school. They are also more likely to be married young than boys. And millions of girls are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). The report found that 10 percent of five to 14-year-old girls do more than 28 hours of household chores a week, twice that of boys. The authors said that half of the world’s 10-year-old girls live in the 48 countries with the worst gender inequality records. Now we may not think that our own children and grandchildren are suffering in the way so many young girls are from less advantaged

Lynne Franks is the founder of SEED, the women’s empowerment platform, seednetworkingforwomencom and BLOOM Women’s Creative Leadership Retreats. NATURAL HEALTH 93

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Christmas Stress


SURVIVAL GUIDE Has the festive period seen your stress levels go into overdrive? Beat the season with these alternative therapies. Warning, there’s no eggnog in sight...

From choosing the perfect gifts for difficult in-laws to family sleeping arrangements, Christmas tends to be one big headache. To avoid a festive fallout, try these holistic therapies which you can easily practise at home to help you stay calm all season long. REFLEXOLOGY The ancient Chinese practice of reflexology is a great holistic therapy to help manage festive anxiety. It’s based on the belief that there are reflex points in the hands, feet and head which link to other parts of the body, and when massaged they can relieve tension and treat illness. For years, Chinese practitioners have used reflexology to re-balance qi, the life energy which flows through the body, to treat a number of conditions from insomnia to fertility issues, and most commonly stress. “Reflexology can ease specific conditions and improve your general wellbeing,” advises Vicci Cole of Healing Kneads ( “Stress responds really well to the practice. Reflexology helps restore equilibrium, re-balance the mind, body and soul, and trigger the body’s own ability to self heal.” If you find yourself going baubles this season, find a quiet place to help you calm your mind and allow you to practise simple reflexology techniques.

Try this at home

Breathe in slowly and exhale gently while using your thumb to press and rotate into the point where your forefinger and thumb become a V on the other hand. There may be some tenderness but this will ease. Alternatively, gently massage the top section of the thumb or big toe, applying gentle pressure, to help aid stress.


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MEDITATION It is possible to take control of our own state of mind so if you feel your brain has gone to tinsel, give meditation a go. “Meditation is a wonderful tool for stopping the chatter in your mind and relieving stress,” says Dr Maxine Stead, founder of holistic health and wellbeing spa Alexandra House ( “During and after meditation, you feel more peaceful and calm. Your inner energies become balanced creating a sense of happiness. “We have around 50,000 thoughts a day and taking the time to meditate helps to settle them and puts life into perspective, allowing you to concentrate on being happier and healthier.” So before you have a meltdown over gift shopping, take 10 minutes out to help focus your thoughts. “Regular meditation creates clarity in your mind which helps you to solve problems without going into crisis mode,” Maxine adds. A short burst of mediation will help everything become clearer, making Christmas seem that little bit more manageable.

Try this at home

Start by taking a few deep breaths, letting go of any strains or stresses. Concentrate on your feet and feel each toe relax and release one by one. Relax the sole

of your foot, then your ankle and slowly work up your body releasing any tension. Relax your neck, your scalp and your face and feel a stillness in your mind.

EFT What if we told you it was possible to simply tap your troubles away? Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can optimise your health with studies showing it to reduce symptoms in those diagnosed with depression. “EFT, also known as tapping, works by releasing blockages within your energy system. These blockages challenge us emotionally and can lead to increased stress,” explains Melanie Phillips, EFT cognitive therapist of Lothian Therapy ( With similar principles to acupuncture, EFT identifies different pressure points which represent parts of the body, for example the collar bone connects to the kidneys. After distinguishing your issue and the right pressure points to focus on you can tap your way calmer and happier.

Try this at home

Is your head starting to pound due to the stress of the festive period? Start by tapping on your ‘Karate Chop’


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SELF By understanding the structure behind our thought patterns, we can alter our


point on the side of your hand, next to your little finger while saying: “Even though I have this stress I release it and let it go”. Then follow this tapping sequence, by using two fingers to tap each of the following points seven times, while talking out loud about your issue. Start where your eyebrows meet the top of your nose, then next to your eye, under the eye, under the nose, on your chin, under your arm and then on top of your head. Follow this sequence at least three times then return to tapping the side of your hand and rate the intensity of your headache. If you want to reduce it more, repeat the sequence.

NLP Have you ever wished you could change the way you think? By understanding the structure behind our thought patterns, we can alter our thinking to help us better deal with situations, such as Christmas stress. “By understanding what makes up our thinking, NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) can be used to change the elements which are not producing the results we want,” explains mindologist Tam Johnson of Fresh Insight Coaching ( “Because of this approach, NLP can help with almost everything.” From banishing moods to reducing anxiety, eliminating a phobia to helping you get over a relationship, NLP is a proven therapy. “Each of our thoughts are made up of pictures, sounds, feelings and a bit of self talk. These senses all have certain qualities to them. The images and sounds that we experience in our mind, and which cause an emotion, can easily be changed to become less intense. An easy way to use NLP to reduce stress is to simply push that image or sound inside your mind into the distance, make it small and insignificant in your thoughts,” Tam describes.

Try this at home

Visualise how you want your Christmas to be and get your predictions in ahead of time. If we assume the worst version of our Christmas is going to happen, it’s likely we’ll plan for it. Imagine jumping in a time machine to the start of Christmas and submerge yourself in how you want it to be. What do you see, hear, do and how are you feeling? Now draw a line that represents a year in your life. Mark on it the time you will be celebrating Christmas and notice the proportions – it is a tiny dot compared with the rest of your year.

YOGA is a great way to improve your mood with studies

proving it increases GABA levels, an amino acid which is vital for a well-functioning brain and central nervous system, plus it helps to promote feelings of calm. “It’s always best to start with a seated centring,” says Candace Moore, author of Namaslay (£30, Victory Belt Publishing). “Centring can be anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes and during that time, you’ll want to sit tall and breathe deeply. With each inhale, see if you can sit a bit taller and lengthen your body through your spine. With each exhale, feel yourself more firmly rooted into your yoga mat. This visualisation should help you feel empowered and calm.” For three yoga moves to promote Christmas calm, visit


has been used for centuries to balance wellbeing, and all it entails is plant extracts; you can’t get more natural than that,” explains Nicole Barton, consultant aromatherapist at Base Formula ( Natural plant oils boast therapeutic properties and are a great way to escape Christmas chaos. “As long as the oil’s molecules work their way into your bloodstream, either via your sense of smell or through skin application, they can help you feel calm,” she adds. Want to try aromatherapy at home? Simply diffuse essential oils mixed in water and enjoy the aromatic fragrance. “Three drops of lavender (sweet marjoram or chamomile) with sweet orange and ylang ylang makes the room smell delightful while also relaxing your mind and body,” Nicola recommends.


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a wellness day programme for two

WORTH £1,000! Wandering Soul Retreats offers unique opportunities to explore hidden sanctuaries in the most captivating settings, where you can discover your inner soul and rejuvenate. The retreats are a bespoke fusion of hatha yoga, reiki, wellness, snorkelling, fitness activities, delicious culinary experiences and a combination of ancient and modern healing remedies and wellness spa treatments. Carefully selected for their remote untouched beauty, the retreats will be held in the most enchanting of secluded locations with industry-leading facilities, including private villa hotel Jalakara on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India, the Busuanga Islands in the Philippines and Ubud in Bali, Indonesia. Wandering Soul Retreats will be the first to host a private wellness retreat at the Jalakara hotel from January 28th - February 4th 2017, with exclusive use of the facilities and a private chef. This bohemian hideaway, touted as the coolest new hotel on the planet by the Sunday Times, offers a magical ambience amidst the abundance of nature, with views across the rainforest towards the sea and sunset. A full programme of health and wellbeing treatments are included in this tropical retreat in partnership with the managing director of Kloodos Spa Julie Cichocki, skincare guru to a number of celebrities and royals. Wandering Soul Retreats is for the adventurous free spirit, offering opportunities to discover untouched corners of the world where natural beauty combines boho-chic with soul-lifting experiences.

Wandering Soul Retreats is also offering a discount code for the upcoming Andaman and Nicobar Islands Retreat (January 28th – February 4th 2017) to all Natural Health readers. Go to and quote ‘Natural’ to get £100 off when booking a place on the retreat.


Wandering Soul Retreats is offering one lucky reader and a friend a wellness day programme in London sampling the ethos of this luxury retreat company. The prize includes a one night stay in a central London hotel, a yoga class for two at Tri Yoga, a transformational healing facial for the prize winner at Kloodos Spa with skincare guru Julie Cichocki, a meal at clean indulgence restaurant Farmacy and a reiki session with reiki master and founder of Wandering Soul Retreats Beth Roberts.


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5 ways to use


Craving something sweet, tasty and good for you? Tuck into some California raisins... Sweet, juicy little raisins really are nuggets of goodness. Packed with antioxidants which help protect your body from the harmful effects of free radicals, raisins, which are actually dried grapes, also boast vitamin B1, B2 and B6 plus folate and vitamins C and K. Raisins are cultivated all over the world, but the juiciest come from California. But if you think they’re only good as a lunch box snack, think again. We’ve put together some ideas of how you can enjoy raisins every day...

1 AT BREAKFAST Cook up a pan of hearty, fibre-rich, warming porridge on a cold winter’s morning, and then instead of adding sugar or honey, sprinkle in some raisins to sweeten it up. A truly delicious way to start the day!

2 WITH DINNER Rich, wholesome winter dishes like stews, pot roasts and chillies taste amazing with a little bit of sweetness from raisins. Pop a few in next

time you’re making something warming and savoury for a sweet, Middle-Eastern-inspired treat.

3 PUDDING Speaking of treats, indulge over the festive season and soak some raisins overnight in rum. Spoon onto ice cream for a boozy, grownup dessert everyone will love.

4 HEALTHY SNACK Take a break from all the rich, heavy food we eat so much of at Christmas and knock together a quick salad with Swiss chard, walnuts and raisins. Light on the stomach, but still bursting with goodness!

5 TREAT TIME Next time you’re making pancakes, sprinkle some raisins into the batter for a flavour and texture sensation! Just slap into the pan and toss as normal. For details about California Raisins visit


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Everything you need for a greener, healthier life

Are you looking to tone

up and lose a few pounds in the new year? Then you might want to try a standing desk. These contraptions have become increasingly popular due to the positive impact that being on your feet instead of spending your day sat down can have on your health. Using a standing desk not only burns calories but also boosts circulation, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, prevents lower back pain and even increases productivity by 46 percent. To find out more and purchase your own visit


The latest in


Christmas is a magical period but it also means extra work preparing for the arrival of guests and the big day itself. Vanessa Willes, from Mangle & Wringer (, shares her tips for getting the house ready for the festive period through natural, chemical-free means. • Keep a soda syphon to hand for instant stain removal by spraying and blotting the area with kitchen roll. Soda water is particularly good for red wine spillages! • If you’re redecorating, be aware that new items may emit volatile organic compounds and formaldehyde which can trigger allergies. House plants are effective air purifiers so brighten up the place with an English ivy or a Christmas cactus. • Bicarbonate soda is great for cleaning the bath and sink – sprinkle generously to cut through grease and oil or add a bit of liquid soap to tackle bad odours in the fridge.

GOING POTTY FOR PLANTS PG Tips Green Tea recently published the UK’s first ever pot plant census which found that a quarter of us are now tending to plants on a regular basis. When asked about their passion for flora, 12 percent of the population revealed that they actually talk, sing and play music to their plants to help them flourish. 40 percent even said that they would like to learn the art of topiary pruning plants into impressive shapes. The study also showed that greenery-based wellbeing techniques are taking hold, with 46 percent of people using plants as an escape from the digital world. PG Tips Green Tea is now encouraging the nation to ‘Grow for Green’ and bring the outdoors inside, which will not only re-energise our homes and offices but also reduce stress and improve feelings of positivity. 102 NATURAL HEALTH



of the best... ...WINTER CANDLES

1 Creative Energy Spiced Pomegranate Candle, £14.99, creativeenergy


As the colder months approach, it’s the perfect time to start putting out food to help some of the UK’s declining bird species survive the winter. The RSPB has put together a lovely little menu for our feathered friends to help them through the frosty weather and keep them healthy for breeding next year.


2. Pure Light Botanics Luxury Scented Christmas Candle Collection, £55, 3. Beefayre Winter Berry Tea Lights, £7.50,





Fill your bird feeder with nyjer seeds and some no grow ground mix, which is high in energy and easy for birds to eat as there’s no shells to crack open. It includes sunflower seeds, rolled oats, suet sprinkles and flaked maize which will go down well with robins, blackbirds, song thrushes and many other ground-feeders.



“Learn how to balance your dopamine levels healthily and naturally so that you can regain your zest for life” - p28


Are you bored of the bogstandard Christmas tree and after something a bit different this year? Then you might be interested in Danish designer Jonas Støvring’s new ecofriendly creation made from sustainable kebony wood. Comprised of overlapping stacks of wood, these unique and beautifully crafted sculptures are a stylish alternative to the traditional Christmas tree and can be adorned with candles or festive decorations. Kebony wood was selected by the brand, Habitree, for its aesthetically clean finish and sustainable credentials. There are three sizes and two types of wood to choose from get yours at

They might not tickle our tastebuds, but mealworms are great for our feathered friends, especially starlings, blackbirds and robins. Sunflower hearts, fat balls, peanuts and raisins will also be a hit with garden visitors. Things to avoid include dried coconut, as it can swell up inside birds, cooked porridge, margarines and vegetable oils which can smear on feathers and prevent waterproofing and insulation, and milk as they can’t digest it.



For a sweet treat, try serving up some suet cake and a selection of wild fresh berries and fruit. Natural foods like seeds and berries are in short supply during the winter so it’s good to help supplement birds’ diet at this time of year. As for drinks, only give them plain water without ice. For a range of bird food and bird care accessories visit



Your Guide to

MANUKA HONEY Nutritionist Marianna Sulic gives you the low-down on Manuka Health’s wondrous sticky substance

400mg of methylglyoxal per kg is good for sore throats and bronchitis. Traditionally, manuka honey is taken from the spoon, but if you would like to add it to a warm drink, let it cool to a consumable temperature before stirring in the honey.


WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MANUKA HONEY? Manuka honey has powerful health-giving properties and can be used as a natural remedy to assist with an array of health conditions. It works against a wide range of bacteria including those that cause stomach ulcers, sore throats and wound infections. This honey has also been proven to be effective in helping the natural healing of cracked skin, ulcers, burns and boils. Professor Henle, head of the Institute of Food and Chemistry in Germany, recommends looking for a minimum of 100mg of methylglyoxal per kg to feel therapeutic health benefits, such as soothing dry, irritated throats, coughs, mouth ulcers and dry skin (when applied directly). Manuka honey is especiallly beneficial during the winter months and a minimum of

Manuka Health was the first company in the world to introduce a robust sciencebased MGO Manuka Honey rating system that is easy to understand. In 2005, a student of Professor Henle’s discovered that the very high levels of naturally occurring methylglyoxal found in manuka honey – which is unique to New Zealand – are responsible for its reliable antibacterial activity. In 2008, Manuka Health established the MGO Manuka Honey Certification System, which was the first rating method based on the methylglyoxal content of the honey. Methylglyoxal is now accepted by scientists around the globe and acknowledged by the New Zealand government as the key ingredient that sets manuka honey apart from other honeys. Each Manuka Health MGO Manuka Honey product is certified to contain a minimum level of methylglyoxal, ranging from 30mg per kg to 550mg per kg in our highest grade MGO 550+ Manuka Honey. The higher the methylglyoxal content, the stronger the antibacterial activity.

MANUKA WINTER WELLNESS TEA RECIPE (teapot or large mug – serves 1)

•1 small bunch of fresh mint leaves •1 thumb sized portion of grated

ginger 1 slice of lemon 1 tsp Manuka Health manuka honey Boiled water

• • •

1 Put the mint, ginger and lemon into a teapot or mug and add freshly boiled water. 2 Let it sit for 3-5 minutes and then add the Manuka Health manuka honey to your desired sweetness. Enjoy!

Marianna Sulic is a nutritionist at Manuka Health. For more info visit 104 NATURAL HEALTH

9steps to




Use a little ancient wisdom to welcome luck and abundance into your house with these tips and tricks



What colour is your front door? Feng shui has some strong opinions on this, so listen up as it could be time for a re-paint: south-facing doors should be painted red or orange, north-facing doors should be blue or black, west-facing doors are best with grey or white, and east-facing doors will be lucky with brown or green. The ancient art is also very clear on black doors – these can invite bad luck if they are pointing any other way but north.


As with so many other things in feng shui, mirrors are good, and mirrors are bad. Confused? OK, so in the bedroom, mirrors facing the bed are thought to cause relationship problems; their specific crime is inviting unwelcome outside influencers into an otherwise happy partnership. Mirrors elsewhere, however, are good because they express the water element, which represent abundance. Choose gold framing, if it fits in with your home, for the best wealth generation. Which leads on to...




Water is an ancient symbol of abundance in all cultures. If you’re not keen on setting up flowing fountains in your home, fear not. Images will work too to attract fresh energy – think photographs or paintings of fast-flowing clear waterfalls and rivers. The colours blue and black can also help express the water elements, and mirrors help emphasise it too, with their water-like quality.



This pink shade is the eighth colour in the colour spectrum and is a combination of red and violet, thus it combines our earthly self and spiritual self, balancing spirit and matter. It helps us feel fulfilled, and is uplifting.


It’s fair to say clocks are something of a feng shui headache. It’s complicated but there are a few key points to absorb: never leave a stopped clock in a room – it represents death. NATURAL HEALTH 105

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to the home too. And don’t forget, and this is backed up by science – having a dog makes people healthier and ultimately live longer.

And a clock close to the front door or which can be seen from the front door implies – you guessed it – death. Who knew timepieces were so lethal? And don’t even think of buying a trendy over-sized clock – the pressure of time will weigh heavy on the household. Normal-sized, working, inconspicuous clocks, however, should be fine. But make sure you like the clock – if you do not like something, it does not like you back!




According to a Norse superstition, keeping an acorn on a windowsill will protect a house from being struck by lightning. Window blind pulls decorated like acorns are still popular there for that reason!




Pets keep energy flowing while you are out, which makes your home more


Petting and caring for animals gives us and them great feng shui energy. Unconditional love bounding towards you as you come in the front door makes for wonderful house energy. And they keep the energy flowing while you’re out too, making a home more yang. They are also said to offer a protective energy


Displaying fresh flowers will bring good fortune, according to feng shui, but don’t have thorny stems in the mix, because these will disrupt the flow of qi. If in doubt, and the clue is in the name here, buy some lucky bamboo. It’s renowned worldwide as a good luck charm for the home, and is said to bring productivity, peace and better mood. The east, southeast and south areas of the home are the best places for greenery in your house, according to feng shui.



They say a cluttered desk equals a cluttered mind, and the same applies to your home. Clutter is particularly unhelpful for attracting wealth energy. The homes of the wealthy are usually full of clear open space. It is all this luxurious open space and breathing room which attracts more wealth energy. Welcome energy into your home by not making it stale or blocking it with lots of stuff.


NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 27/10/2016 11:12 Page 108

General Dietary gluten-free PASTA

Lasagna 454g

Macaroni 454g

Small Shells 454g

Ingredients: Rice flour, water.

Vermicelli 300g

Gluten-free / Casein-free / Lactose-free / Egg-free / Milk-free / Wheat-free / Maize-free / Soya-free / Yeast-free Fat free Saturates free No added sugar(s) Salt/sodium free Suitable for vegetarians & vegans

Energy ......................1406kJ (336 kcal) Protein ............................................7.0g (of which gluten)...........................(nil) Carbohydrate................................77.0g (of which sugars) ............................0.4g (of which lactose)..........................(nil) (of which starch)..........................76.6g Fat ..................................................(nil) (of which saturates).......................(nil) Fibre................................................1.0g Sodium...........................................(nil) Carbohydrate as % of total energy 84% Carbohydrate.................77.0g per 100g Total fat as % of energy ...................0% Fat ......................................nil per 100g

Spaghetti 454g

Shelf-life is 3 years, ambient.

Available from wholesalers

Website: Email:

Phone: 020 3044 2933



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PAULA CHAMBRAY DRESS £78 Find these designs at NATURAL HEALTH 113

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Life support Relationship expert Jan Day shares her advice (

family MATTERS

The latest news and holistic views to keep your clan in tip-top shape BOOKWORM


Research has revealed that reading a book at bedtime can boost a child’s brain power, accelerate their academic achievement and reduce the risk of behavioural problems. Unfortunately, on average children now read for just 2.4 hours per week outside of school and homework.

A recent study has shown that babies who are born underweight are less likely to be good at sports at school or take exercise later in life. This is the first evidence that a low birth weight can make individuals less active in adulthood as well as at a young age.

CHILDHOOD OBESITY According to new statistics published by Cancer Research UK, the number of children who started primary school at a healthy weight but are obese or overweight by the time they leave for secondary has reached 57,100 per year.


Parents should avoid massaging their babies with oils as they could cause long-term damage to the skin, experts have warned. Research has found that even natural oils used for baby massage can damage the protective barrier in their fragile skin.

My partner’s 26-year-old son moved in with us just over a year ago. It was only supposed be temporary, but he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere in a hurry. He’s in and out of jobs and makes no effort to contribute to the household financially or in any other manner (most days he stays locked in his room). I appreciate that my partner wants to look after his son, and I’m all for helping out, but his son doesn’t seem like he wants to help himself. What should I do? It’s clear that this arrangement is unlikely to be helping your partner’s son to be independent, and it sounds like it’s having an impact on your relationship with your partner. Communication is the answer, but before you initiate a discussion I think it would be helpful for you to consider how the situation is affecting you and your relationship. If you don’t get clear about that, you’ll find yourself talking about his son and how it is impacting him which may not be a problem for either of them. Focusing on the effect it is having on you and your relationship with your partner will be easier for him to hear than any criticism of his son or his parenting. Arrange a time to have a talk with your partner and make sure that you know beforehand what you want from the discussion. Do you want his son to make a plan to move out or for him to contribute financially and do his share of the housework? Or do you need more privacy and time alone in the house with your partner? During the talk, be sure to ask your partner how he feels about the situation. There could be a reason why he has allowed it to get to this point and it’s possible he doesn’t feel good about it either. I would also suggest that until you get the chance to have a discussion, focus on things that you like or appreciate about your partner’s son. It will remind you that whilst you don’t like the current circumstances, you aren’t against your partner’s son. It will also mean that when you talk to your partner your heart will be open and he’ll see that this isn’t an attack on his son. Stay focused on finding a solution together and you will all grow and benefit from having the courage to talk honestly. NATURAL HEALTH 115

NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 27/10/2016 11:12 Page 116

BECOME A RELAXATION TEACHER Or just learn to relax yourself

• THE ART OF FINDING STILLNESS AND CALM Relaxation and Daily Awareness Workshop A unique one day certificated teachers workshop with Buddhist monk

Ven. Lama Ngedon Drime (shri sadhu dharmavira) This unique workshop contains all the relaxation techniques needed to experience the wellbeing that comes through a life that is stress and anxiety free. This course was created for those who wish to teach others to be stress free. But, anyone who would like to attend for their own personal wellbeing, is very welcome.

Booking now for workshops In London and York. To ensure quality teaching, workshops are limited to a maximum of 6 participants To receive full details about the workshop and its benefits, please telephone: 01723 862 496 (calls taken between 8am - 6pm, 7 days a week)

VEN. LAMA NGEDON DRIME (shri sadhu dharmavira)




WIN a pampering break at award-winning spa Ragdale Hall Ragdale Hall, located in the rolling Leicestershire countryside, combines state-of-the-art facilities with the charm of traditional Victorian architecture to create one of the most luxurious and relaxing health spas in the country. Whatever you’re looking for – total relaxation, some pampering or to kick-start to a healthier lifestyle, Ragdale Hall is the perfect choice. The great selection of spa days and breaks include something for everyone. One lucky reader will win an Overnight Reviver Break for two in a superior twin or double room worth over £500. The break includes dinner, breakfast and lunch, complimentary robe hire, flip flops and a 50 minute blissful face and back therapy for you and a friend. You’ll also have access to all of Ragdale Hall’s facilities, including the pools, gym, exercise classes and the Thermal Spa, which features a candle pool, waterfall and a series of heat experiences. If you’re not the lucky winner, a Ragdale Hall gift voucher would be the perfect Christmas present. Contact Voucher Sales on 01664 433030 or visit

Prize worth


WIN one of nine AA Skincare Frankincense & Rose Face Rejuvenating Kits Prizes Award-winning

Prizes worth


natural skincare and beauty brand AA Skincare is offering nine lucky readers a Frankincense & Rose Face Rejuvenating Kit worth £28.50. The kit is developed to hydrate, tone and firm skin, helping to reduce signs of ageing. Packed with antioxidants and suitable for all skin types, it includes a cleansing face gel, moisturising face lotion and face cream and a hydrating face gel. To see more products visit



WIN one of three FORZA wellness bundles Natural Health has teamed up with FORZA Supplements to give three lucky readers the chance to win a wellness bundle worth £75 which includes multivitamins, activated charcoal, detox formula, omega 3 fish oil and krill oil. Whatever your body, training or nutrition needs, FORZA is home to a wealth of products to meet your every requirement and support you in achieving your goals, from detox cleansers to seretonin boosters. FORZA is also offering a 20 percent online discount for Natural Health readers – go to and enter code NATURAL at the checkout (ends December 15th 2016).

Enter online at Terms and conditions apply. NH advises that supplements should never be used in the place of a healthy and balanced diet, and winners should always check with a health professional if they are unsure about whether a supplement is right for them


NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 28/10/2016 10:56 Page 118

-Original Patented Product -CE medical Registered -Crystal salt lasts upto 5 years -Ready to use

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The Cisca Saltpipe is a dry salt inhaler that creates a fresh salt/sea breeze derived from ancient salt cave therapy, in the handy original Hungarian designed porcelain pipe. The Salt pipe is filled with Halite crystal salts from famous caves of Hungary and Transylvania. By inhaling air through the Cisca Saltpipe for just a few minutes a day, it is drawn across 20-30 million years old mineral salt and the sensation is very much like taking a deep breath of fresh salt air at the seaside or the visiting a salt cave.

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This month



We’ve been crushing our omega 3 goals with The Fish Society - an online fishmonger that we’ve found so convenient for hitting the recommended two portions a week. The company sources from over 100 suppliers so there’s a huge range to choose from, including some new to the market sustainable fish like stone bass. It freezes individual fillets 20 times faster than what can be achieved in a household freezer, which keeps the flavour and texture and means there’s no deterioration. We love! Check it out at


It’s no secret that a lot of deodorants contain toxic chemicals that we should be avoiding, and there have even been claims that they can cause cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and allergic reactions. Nasties commonly found in deodorants include aluminium, parabens, propylene glycol and talc. NH tried Native Unearthed’s award-winning natural deodorant which is made solely from pure volcanic crystals, so there’s no need to worry about the ingredients. It doesn’t look like your standard roll-on and it has to be wetted before you apply it, but it certainly does the job. It works by leaving an invisible layer of mineral salts which prevents the growth of odour-causing bacteria, and we definitely noticed minimal sweating and after using it. Top marks from us! £6.49,


CLEANSING UP A STORM I’m something of a perfectionist when it comes to cleansing! I simply cannot step away from the bathroom sink until every trace of make-up has been obliterated and every pore has been deep-cleansed. The trouble with washing your face to within an inch of its life is that it takes time, especially if your dead set on doing it the right way (and by that I mean making use of an oil or balm cleanser to ensure your skin is squeaky clean but not dry and tight). On a leisurely Sunday evening, my bathroom ritual is total bliss, but on a weekday morning, amidst rush hour and work deadlines, it can be a bit of a nightmare. Cue the Michael Todd Soniclear Elite. This facial cleansing brush has been hailed as a superior to the Clarisonic, and, as I own both, I can enthusiastically agree!

The device is fully waterproof for in-shower face-washing and puts out an impressive 300 sonic movements per second making it six times more effective (and six times faster) than cleansing with hands alone. There’s six speeds to choose from which is a godsend on those days when you need to blast away dead skin cells and it also has a clever timer that notifies you when it’s time to move on to the next part of your face (one for the day dreamers!). The thing that really sets it apart, though, is the anti-microbial bristles. These keep your brush heads cleaner for longer and prevents bacteria from being transmitted to your visage when you use it. Finally, the morning time saver I’ve been waiting for! £99, Tested by Jody-Ann Miller NATURAL HEALTH 119

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Give the gift of beauty this Christmas with our top picks of natural must-haves


Give a touch of wellbeing this Christmas with AA Skincare’s natural beauty and skincare oils and all-natural ingredients. Try the Face Rejuvenating Kit (£28.50) which features the best-selling Frankincense & Rose range.

Not sure what to buy a natural beauty-lover this year? PHB Ethical Beauty have a range of gift sets which are all lovingly handmade in the UK. Our favourite is the Brightening Skin Care Mini Set which contains a nourishing moisturiser, serum, toner and cleanser. Prices start from £18.50,

top choice 120 NATURAL HEALTH

Are you looking for the perfect pamper hamper for sensitive skin? Check out artisan skincare company Soothe Me’s Relaxing Gift Box which contains its award winning Rose, Geranium and Plum Oil Yum Yum Balm £28,

Give a healthy glow this Christmas with the Dr. Organic Snail Gel Skin Perfection Gift set (£40) available at Holland and Barrett. Made up of three products which all contain helix aspersa muller secretion, a unique substance snails produce to regenerate and protect their shell and skin, the set is ideal for those looking for a unique approach to skincare. If you’re searching for a beauty brand which naturally boosts collagen and elastin production, you’ll be pleased to discover Avalon Organics. The Intense Defense boxed skincare collection contains a Cleansing Gel, Antioxidant Oil and Renewal Cream plus a free cosmetics bag. £34.99 from


must have Give the gift of healthy and radiant skin with a little help from Dr. Hauschka and the Sleep Life Gift Set (£39). Containing a Facial Toner, Hydrating Hand Cream and the company’s brand new Night Serum, the luxury set contains everything you need to let the day slip away before bedtime. Suitable for all skin conditions.

The new Thai Rituals range from SenSpa is the perfect gift for anyone wanting to transport themselves to the exotic oasis of Thailand. With a Thai inspired fragrance, using the gorgeous products makes you feel a world away from home in your own bathroom. Prices from £5.50, available at selected Waitrose stores and

Pevonia’s high-performance Micro-Retinol collection is top of our wish list this year. Promising to leave skin looking porcelainsmooth, gloriously bright and youthfully radiant, the gorgeous gift set features the easy-to-use four step programme beautifully presented in a Pevonia luxury red tote bag. Please Santa, leave this under our tree. £195,

If you could wrap a bundle of radiance and gift it to a loved one you would, right? Thankfully the team at Nourish have made that possible. The beauty brand’s gift set features three travel-sized award-winning products: Radiance Firming Facial Oil, Radiance Rejuvenating Peptide Serum and Argan Skin Renew Moisturiser. All for just £25.

Enriched with the beauty brand’s potent antioxidant complex Rosapene, Trilogy’s Repair and Protect Set (£37.50) is all you need for optimum skin health with a radiant glow. The set contains Trilogy’s Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+ as well as the Cream Cleanser and Vital Moisturising Cream. We want!

Hands, lips and body will be left soft and smooth with Caudalie’s Vine Body Butter Luxury Gift Set. The indulgent formulas are rich in nourishing natural butters and oils making this the perfect gift for a loved one in need of a gorgeous treat. £22,





We’ve always dreaded finding a lump of charcoal in our stocking... until now! The Yes To Tomoatos Detoxifying Charcoal Skincare Kit, £20.99, available at, features a decadent regime of skinbalancing formulas. Exfoliate with the Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser, then pamper with the Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask and detox from head-to-toe with the Activated Charcoal Bar Soap.

If you’re looking for the perfect pamper present for a bath lover, look no further than Kalmberry. Its signature Body and Sole Soak (£19.99) combines organic ingredients with delicate fragrances to leave you feeling totally rejuvenated with no oily skin residue. Bliss!

best buy 122 NATURAL HEALTH

Say goodbye to ageing and hello to firmer skin thanks to Intelligent Nutrients (intelligentnutrients. Give skin the attention is deserves with the Onebody Cleanser, Refiner and Moisturiser to smooth, soothe and nourish. £39.50 for all three, available at Whole Foods.

The Patchouli Clouds Perfume, £95, from Marina Barcenilla Parfums is a great way to show someone how much you care this Christmas. The luxurious blend of beautiful incense, floral and spicy notes has its own cult following amongst natural and sustainable lifestyle advocates and is ethical, cruelty-free and 100 percent natural.

Treat someone special this Christmas to a skincare range that curates the finest authentic elements of Ayurveda to provide effective skincare through a relaxing, holistic experience. We love Samaya’s Pitta Hydrating Cleanser (£69). It removes make-up and lifts impurities, leaving your skin feeling balanced and radiant.

Don’t have time to get a Christmas facial? Treat yourself to the Balm Balm Christmas Organic Facial Collection Gift Set, £45, available at Containing the brand’s key face care products including the Super Light Coconut Cleanser, Hibiscus Face Mask and Little Miracle Rosehip Serum, you’ll have everything you need to ensure skin perfection this season.


we love Looking and feeling beautiful isn’t just about skincare, and if you’re stuck for what to purchase for a yoga-enthusiast this year, she’s sure to love these luxurious bamboo socks (£5.50) complete with a wellness wish on the sole.

Enjoy creating your own fragrance of essential oils with a new and exclusive Make Your Own Blends set from Essence of Arcadia. The beautiful gift box has all you need to create your own aromas including a 100-recipe booklet, pipette and roller bottles, almond carrier oil and lavender, bergamot, eucalyptus and rosemary oils. £24.99,

Do you want to treat a loved one to a spa break this Christmas but are lacking the funds? have got you covered. With a range of leading home-spa products you can bring the taste of pure relaxation into her bathroom at a purse-friendly cost. Prices start from £15.

We’ve fallen in love for the Winter Ritual Collection from Rhythm of Beauty. Containing Cleansing Oil which naturally melts away make-up, tripleaward-winning Seasonal Day Cream and Botanical Night Elixir a superfood for skin, this gift set is sure to noursih and nurture all skin types. RRP £90,

Great skin is possibly one of the best gifts you can buy this December, so treat someone special to the Mel Millis Phytonutri Qi Skincare Essentials Box containing all four products from the Phytonutri Qi Skincare Essentials range, plus a beautiful mixing vessel designed exclusively for Mel Millis by the acclaimed ceramicist Emma Clegg. £195

Akamuti Cuticle Moon Hand and Nail Butter (£6.95) makes the perfect stocking filler. A beautiful buttery moisturiser enriched with organic cocoa butter, zesty lemon and organic honey for potent skin nourishment. Banish dry skin and lack lustre nails forever with this 100 percent natural, gift. We love!











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HEALTH TRENDS for 2017 From buzzy superfoods to up-andcoming ancient therapies, we seek out the wellbeing movements that are set to make serious waves in the new year


Gua sha Katie Brindle, Chinese medicine expert and founder of The Hayo’u Method (, says:

3 GUA SHA ESSENTIALS Hayo’u Body Oil, £33, hayou 126 NATURAL HEALTH

Hayo’u Face Oil, £33, hayou

Hayo’u Body Tool, £35, hayou

When you think of Chinese medicine, images of acupuncture and herbal remedies spring instantly to mind, but there’s a new type of ancient healing taking centre-stage for 2017, and, if its current momentum is anything to go by, it’s one that’s here to stay! Gua sha (pronounced gwar-shar) is an age-old massage therapy from the shores of East Asia that has been widely celebrated for its ability to treat muscular discomfort, musculoskeletal problems, headaches, back pain and skin conditions. It involves using a round-edged tool traditionally made from materials such as jade, horn or copper to ‘press-stroke’ areas of the face and body in order to unblock areas of tension and stagnation (you may have noticed an influx of crystal facial rollers in boutique beauty stores of late – that’s all down the rising popularity of gua sha!). By helping to accelerate the body’s natural detoxification and healing process via circulation and skin stimulation, the therapy effectively pulls toxicity out of the body through the tips of the permeable capillaries. Like many Chinese therapies, Gua Sha’s principal philosophies stem from belief that the body contains a convergence of energy channels which help maintain the flow of qi, a vital life force or energy that runs through all living things. Whether you believe in qi or not, we’ve all found relief from rubbing an injury or sore muscle – which is clearly promoting an increase in blood flow, thus lessening the pain. Gua sha aficionados use the technique to ward off colds, relieve muscle spasms, reduce tension headaches and ease back pain. You can try the practice at the hands of an esteemed practitioner by visiting The Hares Clinic in Peterborough (, but the real trend sees the ancient healing method moving from the Eastern treatment room into Western homes. Our thirst for self-health programmes seems to be unquenchable and gua sha enthusiasts have responded to this by launching a range of kits that include all of the tools necessary to carry out treatment as well as step-by-step instructions to make sure you’re doing it right! The Hayo’u Method is one such example of this. With a focus on beauty, it comprises two one-minute rituals performed morning and night to promote a healthy, more youthful complexion.


Emotional healing holidays Paul Joseph, co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel (, says: With a growing focus on the latest fitness crazes and packing our diets with superfoods, it can be easy to forget that emotional health is just as important for living a healthy and happy life. I believe that being emotionally healthy is about more than being free of anxiety or depression; it is feeling content with life, creating rewarding relationships and adapting to change. You may not be able to buy happiness, but embarking on a healing holiday can boost your mental wellbeing and leave you with an improved sense of overall wellness.

Taking control after an emotionally distressing event in your life – be it a break up, loss of a loved one or redundancy – will motivate you to focus on the positives, giving you the time you need to recover away from pressures at home. Healing retreats are an ideal sanctuary for a singles holiday, where you can focus on breaking the cycle of stress or grief. Alongside wellness consultations and fitness classes, these sorts of getaways provide a range of sensory spa experiences and wellness consultations, to revitalise your mind and strengthen your emotional wellbeing.

3 OF THE BEST EMOTIONAL HEALING RETREATS Top picks from Health and Fitness Travel

Kamalaya Embracing Change, Thailand Improve your emotional strength and learn to embrace change on this healing holiday in exotic Thailand. Expert wellness consultations will assess your overall wellbeing, and these are followed by Embracing Change sessions to help turn your emotional behaviours into healthier habits. A relaxing destination for an Ayurveda spa holiday, you can restore harmony with the ancient healing traditions and holistic spa therapies, find balance and boost your mood during vinyasa yoga sessions, and connect with nature by swimming at the nearby Lamai Beach. Shreyas Silent Retreat, India For those in search of restorative and secluded meditation, it doesn’t get better than this silent retreat hidden on the outskirts of Bangalore. The remote location provides an atmosphere of complete tranquillity where you can truly unwind, let go and connect with your inner self. While there, you will utilise the power of total quiet as a tool for improving your emotional health in reflective meditation classes. Outside of sessions you can choose how silent you want the rest of your stay to be as you make use of rejuvenating massages and outdoor yoga classes.

Maya Ubud Spiritual Journey, Bali Nestled amongst charming island villages, this luxury healing holiday harnesses Bali’s long tradition of holistic wellness to promote recovery and restore wellbeing. Wake up to yoga and meditation sessions that will help you to release negative emotions and start every day positively. The holiday also includes energising walks to help clear your mind, one-on-one sessions with a Balinese healer and rejuvenating Balinese massages.


Kefir & Mushrooms Christine Bailey, awardwinning nutritional therapist and author of Gut Health Diet Plan, shares her superfood predictions for 2017


Bio-tiful Dairy Kefir, £2.95 each, Ocado

Every culture’s traditional diet includes fermented foods. During Roman times, sauerkraut and sourdough bread were eaten because of their health-giving properties and in ancient India it was not uncommon to enjoy a pre-dinner drink of lassi. The list of fermented foods and drinks is quite extensive: while East Asia enjoys natto, tempeh and miso, the Koreans are known for spicy kimchi. Kombucha is popular in many cultures, too. Here in Europe we love pickles, sauerkraut, rakfisk (salted, fermented trout), yoghurts, and, more recently, the fermented milk drink kefir. The growing awareness of the health benefits of kefir is moving into the mainstream for 2017, and companies such as Bio-tiful Dairy are paving the way with exciting new flavours that allow the health drink to be appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

SO WHAT IS KEFIR? The Kefir Company Starter Cultures, £17.99, buywhole

Yorlife Kefir Mango and Passion Fruit Smoothie, £1.70, 128 NATURAL HEALTH

Kefir originates from the Caucasus Mountains over 2,000 years ago and is consumed most commonly in Eastern Europe, Southwest Asia and Russia. Traditionally, it’s made from cow, goat or sheep milk and has always been considered beneficial for digestive and immune health. Today, scientific research has caught up with conventional knowledge and officially supports these claims and the wider therapeutic benefits. It has a wonderful creamy texture and a subtle, tart taste. It is made by adding authentic kefir cultures (colonies of bacteria and yeast) to milk and then letting the mixture ferment. During the fermentation process the beneficial bacteria and yeasts consume much of the lactose – the milk sugar present in dairy – meaning that it’s a great choice for those who are worried about their overall sugar intake. It’s also very low in lactose, meaning it is commonly tolerated by people who are dairy intolerant or find it difficult to break down lactose.

Besides containing less sugar and more protein than conventional yoghurt, kefir is packed with probiotics and billions of beneficial bacteria and yeasts known for the health benefits they incur. These strains of good bacteria have been proven to boost immunity, enhance mood, ease IBS, banish bloat and aid weight loss. Unfortunately, our typical Western diet is missing fermented food – unless you count cheap beer and box wine, of course. Even when we do eat foods that are traditionally fermented, like sauerkraut, pickles or yoghurt, they’re usually mass-produced or heat-treated which diminishes any potential health benefits. And if you take into account the high sugar content of most yoghurts and soft drinks, the key reasons for switching to kefir become even more compelling. Milk kefir is also a good source of complete protein and amino acids. As the proteins in kefir are already partially digested the body more easily absorbs them. Kefir also contains a range of vitamins and minerals: it is rich in B vitamins, particularly thiamin, B12, B2, folate and biotin for energy production, and minerals including calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. It contains vitamin K2 for bone health, too.


Serves 1 250ml Bio-tiful dairy kefir Large handful of spinach leaves 75g pineapple chunks ½ banana chopped 1tbsp chia seeds 1tbsp lemon juice Mix all of the above in a blender and enjoy!

• • • • • •

EXPERT GUIDE When many of us think of mushrooms, we may think of culinary delights such as portobello or exotic shiitake but did you know that many variety have the potential to dramatically improve your health? In Asia, mushrooms such as reishi and turkey tail have been recorded for thousands of years for their system-improving benefits. In essence, we are rediscovering what our ancestors long ago knew; mushrooms are rich reservoirs of power medicines. They contain some of the most powerful medicines in nature, and are especially good for boosting your immune system during the cold and flu season. Like miniature pharmaceutical powerhouses’, scientists have identified an array of constituents in medicinal mushrooms with specific healing properties to improve our health.

Not only are they packed with vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, magnesium and vitamin D, they also contain a unique number immune supporting compounds. These include polysaccharides (including beta glucans), glycoproteins, ergosterols and triterpenoids. It is the combination of these compounds working in synergy that makes mushrooms so medicinally beneficial. Whether you stir the powders into soups, stews, dressings or smoothies they are a natural and potent way to boost your health over the winter months. Here are some of the most well-known medicinal mushrooms: Shiitake is a popular culinary mushroom readily available in the supermarkets and used in dishes around the world. It is rich in a number of health-promoting agents, including the polysaccharide lentinan known for its antiviral and antimicrobial effects. Reishi is known as Lingzhi in China, or ‘spirit plant’. It’s also been called the ‘mushroom of immortality’ and for good reason. Reishi contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds which help protect our cells against damage from oxidative stress, thought to be the primary cause of ageing. It has been used medicinally in Asia for thousands of years and is known to have a range of health benefits. Due to its strong anti-inflammatory action it may also help relieve conditions such as arthritis and dementia. It has strong immune supporting benefits, too, and an antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal action. Studies including one published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms highlighted its cardiovascular-protecting properties and its role in lowering raised blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Cordyceps, also called caterpillar fungus or tochukasu, is a favourite among athletes. Various research studies have demonstrated its ability to boost energy production, strength and endurance including a study published in the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine in 2010. Known for its ability to nourish the adrenal system, it’s the ideal tonic to tackle stress over the festive season. Cordyceps has a long history in both traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine as an aphrodisiac and to support sexual function and stamina. Maitake, also known as the ‘dancing mushroom’, mainly grows in autumn on oak, chestnut, and beech stumps in Japan and North America. With specific polysaccharides, known as beta-D-glucans, maitake is known for its powerful immune supporting properties. An extract of these helpful glucans known as the maitake D-fraction has been found to fight certain cancers, reduce cholesterol, control blood glucose and help reduce weight gain too.

Natural must-haves

Reishi Mushroom Pure Powder, £7.99,

Mushrooms4Life Organic Maitake, £12.96, mushroom

Pukka Mushroom Gold, £21.95,


Epsom salt tanks Jodie Brandman, nutritional therapist, metal health specialist and wellbeing expert (jodiebrandman. com), says:

Floating in salt water for an hour while being locked away from the world in a dark pod may seem like a surreal dream, but Epsom salt floatation tanks are very much a reality, and the latest craze in the wellness world. Research has likened floatation tanks to meditation, with close to 600kg of magnesium-rich Epsom salts in 25cm deep water leading to an intensely relaxing and mood enhancing experience. While some people may think Epsom salt tanks are just posh salted baths, they are actually being recognised 130 NATURAL HEALTH

as a legitimate therapy. The water and surrounding air are precisely heated to skin temperature, with the option of closing the lid to allow total sensory deprivation. No sound, no light and no gravity enable a blissful healing experience. People have even experienced visualisations and greater mental clarity when floating due to their brain waves shifting from beta to alpha or delta frequencies. Epsom salts are composed of magnesium, sulphates and oxygen, and have been used for centuries as a natural anti-inflammatory remedy. When combined with water as a soaking solution, they encourage the absorption of magnesium in the body and promote lymph drainage. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals that we use every day and is essential for cellular health, regulating over 300 enzymes. The mineral itself is involved in energy production, electrical impulses in the body, muscle control and the detoxification of any harmful toxins. In today’s society it is very common to be magnesium deficient as soil is very low in nutrients and stress can actually use up our stores. Magnesium deficiencies can create many different symptoms from leg cramps and muscle aches to insomnia and anxiety as well as high blood pressure, fatigue, migraines and digestive problems. But by increasing magnesium levels through the use of Epsom salts, you can support your ability to recover and heal. Floatation tanks contain such a high amount of Epsom salts that magnesium absorption is greatly increased, which is a much more gentle approach than using strong doses of synthetic supplements. The tanks attract the likes of athletes and those with physically demanding jobs due to the effects of physical muscle relaxation. However, city workers and entrepreneurs are also frequently found floating due to the sheer mental relaxation and rejuvenation that the hour brings. Benefits include faster recovery from injury, an increase in energy, reduction in lactic acid and enhanced immunity, making it the perfect choice for hard working individuals. Of course, they’re not just for those needing a bit of an extra boost. People with serious health conditions, skin disorders, pains, insomnia and chronic fatigue have all felt the benefits of regular floating sessions. There is evidence that blood pressure and heart rate can also be lowered, and, other than during the first trimester, gravity-free floatation can be incredibly soothing for pregnant women! So whether you’re just after a spiritually relaxing journey, or you have some large health issues to tackle, flotation tanks really do cater for everyone. Now, more than ever it’s vital to give ourselves a bit of TLC, so it’s no wonder that this experience is a massive hit in the wellness world. I highly recommend checking out in Vauxhall where a package of three sessions will cost you just £100.

EXPERT GUIDE For 2017, this trend will continue to thrive, and, alongside it, the idea of customisable beauty will also blossom. 2016 has been quite the year for skincare innovation with lots of research being carried out on actives and nutrients that can benefit different skin conditions. Those with beauty concerns, and even those without, will know too well the struggle of finding suitable skincare products. The cream that worked wonders for your best friend may have the opposite effect on you and even if you do find a potion that works, it can often cause irritation later down the line. It’s an incredibly frustrating cycle that can be completely avoided with personalised skincare systems. Not tapping into customisable skincare is much like eating the exact same meal every day, without regard to all the wonderful nutrients and vitamins available which can make up a well-balanced diet to fit someone’s lifestyle and nutritional needs. Granted some brands do try to cater to individual concerns, but this doesn’t really translate into true dermatological personalisation. Your skin’s needs vary sometimes by week, people’s skincare goals change, the weather changes, people travel. In this day and age people need beauty that can complement their ever-changing lifestyles (without having to make multiple trips to a dermatologist, I might add). A customised skincare programme Irene Gonzalez, co-founder of Haute Custom allows someone to truly reach their full Beauty (, says: potential for healthy skin. The goal is not to make someone look like anyone else, but to give them their absolute best From handbags and jackets to scents and stationery, version of themselves in terms of having a healthy, personalisation is everywhere and it’s showing no signs nurtured, beautiful complexion. of slowing down! Consumers have fallen in love with A good personalised programme should take into the concept of purchasing something that is completely account many variables. You can’t target someone’s unique to them – it makes the item all the more special wrinkles without knowing if the person has certain while allowing them to express their individuality. lifestyle factors, sensitivity concerns, acne issues or Of course, when it comes to trends you can never environmental issues that could hinder treatment. have too much of a good thing. And, as such, we are Knowing exactly all the different facets of someone’s seeing a huge surge in customisable health and beauty. skin profile means you push efffectivity to its limits, You’ve probably already seen DNA diets and health which yields better results. Most brands aren’t surveying packs being advertised on the TV. These programmes all the many factors; therefore they have to hold back are able to offer you effective wellbeing solutions by because ‘What if the person is sensitive?’ ‘What if the using your genetic make-up to determine the best person gets blemishes?’. Tailored skincare like Haute choices for your body. They’re hugely successful Couture Beauty takes all variables into consideration to because people are finally wising up to the fact that truly customise a treatment to its maximum potential, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to their health. something that I believe should be the norm.

Customisable beauty TRY THIS...

Haute Custom Beauty Tailored Beauty Ritual, £595, hautecustom



Nutriseed Hemp Protein Powder, £14.36,

Seed protein Robert Hobson, accredited nutrition and author of the Detox Kitchen Bible (, says: The trend for protein doesn’t seem to be going away and we will undoubtedly begin to see more innovation in this area of nutrition. At present, protein seems to be getting added to everything from breakfast cereals to drinks and I don’t think this is set to change anytime soon. From working closely with many food companies, it’s clear that people are looking for nourishing foods with positive health benefits and the market has responded to this with products such as naturally fortified vegetables that include vitamin D-rich mushrooms or potatoes that contain greater levels of selenium as well as a whole host of other functional food products. Seed protein powders fit comfortably into this modern approach to nutrition and I think this is why they will continue to grow in popularity as people seek out the most natural foods to include in their diet. Traditional powders feel unnatural and are often unnecessarily high in protein, whereas products that are made from ground seeds contain less but offer more of a natural way of adding protein to the diet. These products also work well as a way of 132 NATURAL HEALTH

naturally supplementing the diet with other key nutrients such as vitamin E, iron, magnesium, zinc, fibre and omega 3. The ever-increasing variety of these powders looks set to continue as manufacturers use seeds such as hemp, chia, sunflower and pumpkin as well as adding in other nutrient rich and natural ingredients such as raw cacao or matcha, all of which appeal to those interested in health and looking for ‘super-nourishment’. The trend for showcasing new ways of using these powders also seems to be gaining strength as Instagram and other social networking sites showcase novel ways of incorporating these powders into healthy pancakes, snack bars and breakfast dishes. Whether we truly need to be adding all this extra protein to the diet is debatable but it definitely appeals to the current trend for higher fat and protein diets, and the changing attitudes towards carbohydrates. However, what is clear is that the trend for choosing foods in their most natural state is going to progress well beyond 2017 and products such as natural seed protein powders appear to be trending off the back of this approach to eating.

That Protein I Heart Pumpkin and Chia Seed Super Protein, £12.99, hollandand

Pulsin Organic Sunflower Protein, £7.19,

NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 27/10/2016 11:12 Page 133


Find out what December has in store for you with Marjorie Orr

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 22

CAPRICORN Dec 23 - Jan 20

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

You’ll be inundated with invites to social events. One close partner will be fired up so you’ll need to act as peacemaker when they get ahead of themselves. Later in the month you’ll be pondering personal matters and will go out of your way to be helpful.

Tucking yourself away at home and doing what needs to be done, you’ll be content. Push yourself to delegate and try not to be too much of a perfectionist. Your sense of mischief will stop you from getting too weighed down.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 22

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

Your confidence and determination will produce its own luck. The right people will be hanging on to your every word. Be sensible around the 10th when there’ll be a difference of opinion. Towards the end of the month you’ll be getting more attention.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 20

You’ll be at your very best and your passionate enthusiasm will prove infectious. Listen to feedback even if some of it sounds negative. Love and affection will come your way at the end of the month when you’ll want to stick to the familiar.

You’ll get a good deal by not putting up with nonsense. You might not make yourself popular however, so try persuasion instead of force. Be persistent and flexible with confidential matters. Invites to special occasions will keep you glowing.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

GEMINI May 21 - Jun 21

You’ll be happy to take the lead and your mischievous way with words will keep friends entertained. You’ll have a few secret concerns which will make you impatient. Later in the month a wild impulse could result in an enjoyable outcome.

LEO Jul 24 – Aug 23

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Your optimism will be well-placed and you’ll be encouraging friends. You’ll speak your mind and won’t take kindly to hold ups. A setback on the 10th will prompt you to reassess your priorities. On the 25th and 26th you’ll feel like things are going to change for the better.

Chatting away non-stop, you won’t be in a mood to take things slowly. Pleasure will be a priority so you’ll be spending happily. Love will be cuddly after the 7th. Later in the month praise for your accomplishments will keep you smiling.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 23

In a hard-working three weeks, you’ll need to stay fit but don’t push past your limits. Close partners will want to hear what you have to say. After the 19th you’ll feel more buoyant and will want to share your good humour with loved ones.

You’ll have grander plans than usual and will be voicing your opinions. You’ll also be finding private time to mull over personal matters. A close partner might be critical but let them speak. The final week will be challenging but equally full of delight and luck.

Your physical energy and enthusiasm will be high. Try to include loved ones in your enjoyment rather than laying down the law. A positive approach will work wonders. Later in the month you’ll stick close to familiar surroundings.

SCORPIO Oct 23 - Nov 22

If things aren’t going to plan, try not to get irritated with family. A secret adviser will be on hand with helpful encouragement and your own inspiration will be flowing. After the 7th, home will be harmonious and you’ll spruce up the decoration.

Marjorie Orr is one of the world’s leading astrologers, with more than 25 years’ experience. For a personal consultation with Marjorie visit

For your personalised stars from Marjorie call 0905 072 3804 or speak to one of her psychics – call 0906 539 0201. Calls to 0905 cost 75p per min, 0906 cost £1.50 per min; from a BT landline/mobile costs will vary, 18 plus. All calls recorded for your protection and security.


NH HEALTH DECEMBER 16 hot pics Master_NATURAL HEALTH 28/10/2016 11:28 Page 135

Olympian Labs Biocell Collagen Gluten-Free Small Pasta Shells – RRP £45.99, sold by RRP £2.93 - Available on NHS at £26.17 or

100% Organic Natural Flavouring Oils – Peppermint Oil £9.95, Orange Oil £5.95

The Natracare range Available from independent health food stores, Waitrose, Ocado, Amazon and online.

PERK!ER Goji & Cranberry Quinoa bar - 75p per bar

Coffee & Lime scrub - £18.00

120 Delayed Release Tablets RRP - £7.99

Magnesium Body Butter and Lotion - £9.95 each. Available from Holland & Barrett, independent health stores and

NATURAL HEALTH Base Formula Revitalising Overnight Mask with Neroli & Bergamot. 85ml £14.40

Hot Picks

Chiba Kaiten Japanese Spiralizer Super Sharp Japanese Blades and Auto Function - £79.95

Heavenly Organics Skin Care Clay Facial Cleanser with Free Muslin Cloth - £6.99

NEW Puritions’ Raspberry Wholefood Protein Shake - From £1.30 per serving

Clearspring Organic Japanese Umami Paste - Two varieties: Ginger & Chilli, £4.49 for 150g

Cuticle Moon Hand and Nail Butter - 50ml £6.95

Purely VEGAN Probiotics - £24.00 for 30 Capsules

KISSA’s Supermodel’s Secret Matcha Tea - 30 grams £14.95

Doctor's Best High Absorption 100% Chelated Magnesium Seed and Bean Chocolate Bars, - RRP £13.07, sold by other flavours available - £2.49 at £9.15

1.6 NH DEC 16 Classifieds_NATURAL HEALTH 28/10/2016 15:12 Page 136

NATURAL LIFESTYLE Pavilion Healthcare

NEW EYE ELIXIR RRP £65.00 SKN-RG’s Anti-ageing triphase EYE ELIXIR effortlessly, lifts, tones & reduces the signs of ageing. Boasting clinically proven*, anti-ageing technology combined with pre & probiotics. Delivered in a new, easily absorbed, natural lifting, gel, that effortlessly sinks into the dermal layers to reveal agelessly beautiful skin.

Since 1997 we specialise in educating consumers on the health benefits Ayurveda can bring through diet & lifestyle. Blending herbal teas, oils & supplements to balance the body’s needs & Dosha type.

NEW ULTRA MARINE COLLAGEN RRP £65.00 SKN-RG Ultra Marine Collagen effortlessly lifts, tones and firms. Achieved through SKN-RG's cutting edge Evolution® Marine Complex “Your skin reborn”. The anti-ageing restructuring formulation of marine extracts, potent herbs including Panax Ginseng and Ashwagandha diminishes the signs of ageing, combined with new generation Pre & Probiotics which increases healthy skin structure. But that is only the beginning.

Sensitive Skincare Give your skin a daily treat by showering in water that feels as soft and clean as pure rainwater. The easily fitted filter completely removes chlorine and softens hard water therby removing damaging and drying effects that daily bathing can have on sensitive and delicate skin.

SKN-RG MIRACLE MASK RRP £37.00 Loved by makeup artists Armand Beasley and Hollywood Star Goldie Hawn, this transformative SKN-RG Miracle Mask is a firm favorite to increase skin luminosity whilst melting away the signs of ageing. Using potent hand harvested and hand dried Wild Seaweed selected from the purest waters delivering potent nutrients for the ultimate in youthful cellular rejuvenation. *SKN-RG have selected clinically proven, anti-ageing complexes that are shown to give high performance results without compromise.

To find out more visit SKN-RG today and enjoy exclusive 20% off using code: Evolution Did you know SKN-RG is a professional spa formulated skincare product? We offer a full range of treatments and diverse certified organic and natural products. For more information please visit our website or to become a SKN-RG Partner call us on +44 (0)1621 736382 or visit us at

Nahrin Aloe Vera Gel – effective feminine hygiene herbal wash specially formulated for the sensitive intimate area offering up to 20 hours protection. £12.50 from

All available at:


1.6 NH DEC 16 Classifieds_NATURAL HEALTH 28/10/2016 12:49 Page 137


Since 1997 we specialise in detox, fasting, colon cleansing, and holistic weight loss programs at the most affordable prices worldwide on a stunning tropical beachfront location in Koh Samui, Thailand.

Super Hydrating Face Cream 50ml £12.50

Balancing Face Cream 50ml £12.50

Bach Flower Remedies and Flower, Gem & Crystal Essences

Another best seller, their Replenishing Face Cream is formulated for more mature skin and dryer skin. Golden Jojoba oil regulates dry skin by balancing out oil (sebum) production by the glands. Naturally rich in vitamins A, B, D, E and fatty acids to help delay the signs of skin ageing and, of course, nothing artificial; no synthetic ingredients, silicone, dimethicone or chemical preservatives. Vegan and Certified Cruelty Free.

Their most rich and most intensive face moisturiser yet. This cream is smooth and intense and still retains the easily absorbed hallmark of all Handmade Naturals products. So it’s excellent for dry skin and great as a night time moisturiser. The unique formulation includes Panthenol for extra hydration and also wrinkle fighting and sophisticated Frankincense oils.

COSMOS certified Natracare Makeup Wipes for sensitive skin use only the finest organic and natural ingredients, leaving skin beautifully moisturised and refreshed. A Christmas party essential! RRP: £3.99. Available from Ocado, natural pharmacies and health stores.

Replenishing Face Cream 50ml £12.50

Crystal Herbs offers a wonderful range of Essences handmade with love and care. Promoting gentle & natural harmony at all levels of your being. Tel: 01379 608059

A best seller of Handmade Naturals since they started nearly 10 years ago is their Balancing Face Cream. A lovely blend of natural ingredients to their own unique formulations, including organic chamomile and organic shea butter, resulting in a cream which is easily absorbed and particularly suitable for normal and combination skin types. And it’s a Green Parent Natural Beauty Awards winner !

Ultra Light Face Cream 50ml £12.50 Their lightest daily facial moisturiser yet specially formulated for oily or problem skin with soothing Witch Hazel flower water and skin healing Tea Tree oils to help keep your skin clear. Easily absorbed, light and hydrating.

All available at:


Jane is the author of Wellbeing & Mindfulness, The Energy Secret, The Weekend Healer and many other wellbeing titles. See her Amazon author page.

I remember as a child being

tucked up on the sofa, swaddled in

cosy blankets, hot water bottle clasped to my chest”

Get well


Our holistic hero on the importance of convalescence This last month I’ve been battling a really nasty virus. My

doctor prescribed rest, lots of rest but, like most of us these days, I didn’t even think about stopping – I just kept working, coughing until I sent myself dizzy. Then a friend sent me a parcel – herbal cough lozenges and syrup, colloidal silver, a bath soak and the softest pair of cashmere bed socks. “Look after yourself,” she said. “Cosset yourself.” Cosset? It sounded so old-fashioned, summoning up images of invalids wrapped in blankets, looking out over the sea at convalescent homes. It also sounded absolutely and totally delicious. Yet who, in this time-poor, cut-throat world has time for cosseting or convalescence? I remember as a child being tucked up on the sofa, swaddled in cosy blankets, hot water bottle clasped to my chest. Food was comforting and nourishing – predominantly tomato soup as I recall. Lucozade was a special ‘medicinal’ treat. Nowadays we have lost that gentle art of recuperation, of convalescence. We have forgotten that a bad virus or bacterial infection can sap our strength and we simply don’t allow ourselves the time needed for full recovery. The idea of staying home and resting may seem crazy but it’s worth bearing in mind that, in the long run, it could end up saving time. You will return to full health (rather than suffer the lingering semi-sickness of the immune-impaired) plus you won’t run the risk of passing on your bugs to co-workers and random strangers you cough

over in the shops. Another friend told a cautionary tale. “I had a bout of flu but just kept going. With two young children and a business to run, I didn’t think I had any choice. I ended up with pneumonia.” It was the cashmere socks that did it for me. I curled up on the sofa with a good book and did absolutely nothing for a good few days. I could almost see my mother nodding in approval.


• Keep food light, nourishing and nutritious. Broths and soups are easily digested and the power of chicken soup isn’t an old wives’ tale. Add spices for their anti-microbial qualities. Avoid dairy, refined sugar and alcohol. Snack on oatcakes, dried fruit and nuts, and ripe bananas. • Drink plenty of fluids, much more than you would normally: water; herbal teas such as thyme, ginger, mint and cinnamon. If you can, take your water warm – in Ayurveda, this can help loosen ‘ama’ (toxins). • Vegetable juices are great – carrot, watercress, celery, spinach and beetroot are great tonics – add a little apple for sweetness. Avoid citrus juices – they can increase mucus production. • 10 Day Get Well, Stay Well (£26.50, is packed with immune-enhancing, anti-viral and anti-bacterial herbs, vitamins and minerals to help put you back on your feet. • Colloidal silver has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. Spray onto the back of the throat to ease sore throats. Try Higher Nature’s High Stability Colloidal Silver (£7.95) from health stores or as above.


jane alexander.indd 1

28/10/2016 16:34

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NATURAL HEALTH DECEMBER 16 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 28/10/2016 16:39 Page 140

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