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Have you packed your Natural First Aid Kit?

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This may look to you like a crusty bunch of old toiletries but these things, my friends, make up my beloved “Natural first aid kit”. I don’t go anywhere over night without it – not in an anxious something might happen to me kinda way but in a “it’s just so handy to have” way!

Your friends will also be extremely grateful, if you bring it along, when they’ve accidentally had a little too much sun, a nasty mozzie bite or three, sore achey muscles after carrying luggage or if they’ve knocked their shin on your tow bar quite badly when unpacking the car in the dark.

Arnica pills are a great homeopathic remedy for just after an injury, large or small, such as bruising, knocks & grazes.  Homeopathic Arnica helps the body have a speedy recovery and hopefully not so much of a bruise or wound to deal with later. On an emotional level Arnica pills/ drops can also help with the shock of an injury.

Aloe Vera Gel is wonderful on minor sun burn and other minor burns. It also may help to cool itchy, hot & irritated skin.
Put a small amount of aloe vera gel in your palm and add 1 or 2 drops of lavender essential oil, roughly 4 drops of rescue remedy – mix up with your finger in your palm and gently apply to minor sunburn. (Keep essential oils away from eyes and other sensitive areas.)

Rescue remedy Bach flower essences– most of you probably know this one and it is such a godsend! Rescue remedy is excellent to use in times of stress, anxiety, worry or simply when you feel a bit out of sorts. Like the arnica it can be used after an injury for shock. Rescue remedy is extremely safe and can be used in all ages and is also great for animals including the nervous family pet.

Tea tree cream is a great antiseptic – I use it on healing cuts, scratches, boils, sore inflamed skin, infected fingers and nails etc. It helps to kill off bad bugs and can also be drawing for things like splinters and ingrown hairs. It’s great on insect bites and can temporarily relieve the irritation. Tea tree cream is strong so use it sparingly and keep it away from sensitive areas like the eyes.

Fisocream is a muscle and joint pain cream. I use it for sore neck and shoulders (also great if you feel a headache coming on), back pain or if you’ve sprained something. For me, Fisiocream can also be relieving to rub on the lower abdomen for period cramps and pain (add a couple of drops of rescue remedy too).

Lavender essential oil is great in tiny amounts for minor sunburn (see recipe above with aloe vera and rescue remedy) If you’ve had a big and stressful day and need a little help winding down rub a little lavender oil on your fingers and smell it by taking some deep, gentle breaths in and out. Lavender is also antiseptic and great to dab on a pimple (not first aid information I know but in some cases can seem like an emergency!!)

All these things are readily available at most health food stores and many of them are even at the chemist. Use all of the products above as directed on their labels. :-)

So if you’re going camping this Easter, like me, pack your natural first aid kit along with your band aids, tweezers, alcohol wipes and bandages and you will be well prepared!

Love and healing
Carolyn xx

Remember to always consult with a health care professional before taking herbs and supplements especially if you are unsure, taking medications, have an illness or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always take into consideration your individual lifestyle and food requirements before following general health advice. Contact Me to make an appointment to discuss your individual and specific health care needs. 

How GOOD are YOU at Change?

Me? Well I am so so at it… I am moving house next week and it’s a really exciting and positive change. However, I am still feeling those little hunches of resistance, being a tad sentimental about the place I am leaving and packing procrastination has set in. Lucky I know all about Bottlebrush as an Australian bush flower essence.

Using Bottlebrush as a Bush Flower essence may actually help you adapt in times of change and make it feel a bit gentler, especially for those who need to be coaxed and soothed into it. You know who and what I’m talking about. Physically, Bottlebrush essence may also get sluggish bowels moving. Basically this essence may help us to let go in every sense of the word ;-), embracing change, going with the flow and just trusting life’s evolving, ongoing process.

Bottlebrush is such an unusual and striking Australian bush flower, but really all flowers from our beautiful country are pretty unique and quite captivating with their extraterrestrial looks. As nature gives us gentle clues about how something may be beneficial to us by the way it looks – this flower really does resemble a bottle-brush. We could even use our imagination and think that it could gently sweep through our bowels removing stuff we don’t need to hold onto anymore.

I always add Bottlebrush essence to a tonic for someone who is feeling sluggish and constipated especially when it’s stress related. And like I said it is especially great when undergoing life changes (big or small) like moving house, going up a grade at school, having a baby or just experiencing changes at work. This is a great essence for you if you’re someone who is a bit resistant to or feels a bit uneasy around change – even if it’s a good thing and something you want!!

Flower essences are a wonderful remedy that can have gentle and beneficial effects on both physical and emotional health. Flower essences are super safe to use and can be given to babies, grandmas, pregnant ladies and even the family dog. They are a wonderful tool that, when I was introduced to them, changed my life dramatically! But that’s another story. :)IMG_2911

Remember to always consult with a health care professional before taking herbs and supplements especially if you are unsure, taking medications, have an illness or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always take into consideration your individual lifestyle and food requirements before following general health advice. Contact Me to make an appointment to discuss your individual and specific health care needs. 

5 Ways to get your sluggish bowels moving

It’s ideal to use your Bowels and for this to feel complete, once or twice a day, everyday. The bowels are after all a major pathway of elimination. If this isn’t the case we can feel irritable, sluggish and pretty uncomfortable. With all the over-indulgence of Christmas and New Years parties, this issue can become worse. There are so many simple things we can do to ensure we are eliminating properly.

1. Fresh warm lemon juice – drink first thing in the morning to gently stimulate the liver and bowels. Squeeze half or a quarter of a lemon and drop the piece including rind into the same mug. Add boiled water and allow it to sit for 10 minutes to cool. Sip this warm lemon drink first thing and have breakfast at least 20 minutes later.
2. Organic Kiwi fruit – eat one a day (including the skin like an apple) – Always buy organic, if you can, especially if you are going to consume the skin. Kiwi fruit contains enzymes which help with digestion and the soften the stool.
3. Ground Linseed/ Flaxseed – Really easy to do yourself – grind flaxseeds in a food processor or nut/ coffee grinder. Make enough for only 1-2 weeks and keep it fresh in the fridge in an air-tight jar. Consume 1 to 2 tablespoons daily on yogurt, stewed fruit, muesli or in a smoothie etc. Make sure you increase your daily water intake when consuming more fibre to soften and move everything through.
4. Hydration – I know this seems obvious and it should be at the top of the list. The whole body works so much more effectively when it’s well hydrated. Imagine doing the clothes washing – putting in the powder and only filling the tub with half the amount of water needed – the clothes are not going to get cleaned properly and the machine is going to struggle.

We humans are generally get a little bit lazy when it comes to drinking good quality, filtered plain water. This does not include other beverages like fruit juice, soft drinks, regular tea and coffee. I suggest to have about 6 glasses of water a day (this is roughly 1.5L) and more if you exercise.
Hydration Hints:

  • Sip water throughout the day – always have a glass or bottle on the go
  • Add mint leaves, a dash of herb tea or fresh lemon/ lime juice to your water jug/glass
  • Have a freshly filled stainless steel bottle of water in your car with a sipper lid for easy sipping
  • Filter your water – Use a Britta jug and replace the filter once a month

5. Movement & exercise – The bowels rely on movement and exercise to be gently massaged and stimulated. This increases the rate at which food travels through the digestive tract, potentially making it softer and easier to pass. Babies are a great example of this as they naturally do a lot of kicking to get things moving before moving their bowels.

Always take into consideration your individual lifestyle and food requirements before following general health advice. Contact Me to make an appointment to discuss digestive support specific for you. Carolyn :)

5 Ways to reduce Pain & Inflammation

There are simple diet and lifestyle changes that you can make that can help to reduce inflammation in your body:

 
1. Include a colourful range of veggies, berries and a small amount of fruit every day plus good fats from wild fish, avocado and fresh raw nuts.
2. Minimise your intake of refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, white rice, cereals.
3. Reduce your intake of red meat (once or twice a week is great) and opt instead for wild fish, organic free range chicken and eggs or vegetarian protein sources such as chickpea, beans and tempeh.
4. Reduce your intake of alcohol, coffee and processed foods high in sugar and salt.
5. Avoid foods you may be reactive to, such as wheat and dairy products.
 
For optimal health, it is important to dampen down the inflammatory response. Pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories are commonly used to help relieve pain and inflammation, however many of these carry risks such as causing damage to your digestive tract. Fortunately there are some safe and effective natural anti-inflammatory and pain relief solutions available:
 
* Turmeric – This Ayurvedic herb has been used traditionally for the treatment of traumatic injury, and to reduce swelling and pain in arthritic conditions.
* Boswellia – Has analgesic, anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory actions, as well as being effective for arthritis and pain, it may also assist with inflammatory conditions of the lungs, digestive tract and skin.
* Omega 3 essential fatty acids from fish oil containing EPA and DHA, may reduce acute and chronic pain and inflammation.
 
Remember to always consult with a health care professional before taking herbs and supplements if you are unsure, on medications, have an illness or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Contact Me to make an appointment to discuss natural pain relief suggestions specific for you. Carolyn :)

The Best Belly Bugs

There has been a lot of media talk lately about the importance of the “good” bacteria that live in your digestive tract – Have you noticed? This is for good reason.

Roughly 400 species of good bacteria live inside your digestive tract. In fact, you have more bacteria living inside you than you have cells in your entire body! To maintain optimal health and wellbeing, it is important to have the right balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria making up your intestinal micro-flora. An overgrowth of pathogenic “bad” bacteria can cause various symptoms such as:

* Increase in allergies/ intolerances or eczema.

* Immune dysfunction

* Poor digestive function.

* Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome – constipation, diarrhoea, bloating and/or gas.

Stress, illness, antibiotic treatments, poor diet, excessive alcohol or physical alterations in the gut can all contribute to the overgrowth of “bad” bugs which affects digestion and immune system function. Probiotics can help replenish the “good” bacteria, supporting the integrity and function of the gastrointestinal tract.

 

Scientific studies support the therapeutic use of specific strains of probiotics for different conditions. For the best results, it is important to use the right strain to match your health concerns.

 

Probiotic Strain Benefit to you
Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFMand Bifidobacterium lacitis Bi-07

 

Suitable as an everyday probiotic to help maintain healthy gastrointestinal function, and restore healthy gut flora, especially after a course of antibiotics.
 Lactobacillus rhamnosusLGG (LGG®)

 

A restorative strain, beneficial for food allergies and eczema.
 Saccharomyces cerevisiae (boulardii) SB A protective strain suitable for the prevention and treatment of travellers’ diarrhoea.
 Lactobacillus plantarum 299v An anti-inflammatory strain to reduce the symptoms of IBS and inflammatorybowel disease.

 

Contact Me to make an appointment to discuss your digestion and overall heath and whether taking a probiotic could be beneficial for you. Carolyn :)