Christmas is fast approaching and lots of people are already getting sick with strains of sore throats, colds and sinus problems. At this busy time of year you need to keep yourself protected and boost your immune system to battle with the inevitable germs that come your way. Good fresh food, natural vitamins and minerals, plenty of water and herbal tea's of course are needed as well as taking some time out to recharge and relax.
In addition you can make sure you have some first line Herbal Medicine defense at the ready in case you need it. Things like echinacea, elderberry and plantain will all help at the beginnning stage of that bug trying to pull you down and these herbs and many more can also help when you are under siege. You can take single herbs such as these or have a specific mixture made for your individual needs. You could take also benefit from a relaxing and restoring session of Reflexology which can help to ensure you are more able to fight off the seasonal germs.
After New Year when the winter really gets cold look out for upcoming offers and in the mean time please contact me if you would like any Herbal Remedies or Reflexology.. Take Care!
The NIMH supports
Psoriasis Awareness Week 2016
The NIMH supports Psoriasis Awareness Week 2016
Members of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists will be participating in Psoriasis Awareness Week Saturday
29th October – Saturday 5th November.
Psoriasis Association’s campaign ‘PsoriasIS' encourages people to share their experience of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. NIMH members have experience of people seeking herbal medicines to
manage their symptoms.
Many people explore complementary therapies to manage chronic skin conditions. One study showed 62% of 578 psoriatic patients used complementary therapies, with herbal medicine ranked highest (note1). Medical Herbalists offer expertise in the safe use of herbal medicine and can provide diet and lifestyle advice to those seeking to proactively manage their health and wellbeing.
Psoriasis affects 1 in 50 people, usually starting in early adulthood. This chronic inflammatory skin condition typically develops in patches or plaques of red, scaly skin appearing on elbows, knees, scalp or lower back, which can make some people feel embarrassed about showing their skin and cause them to lose self-confidence. Flare- ups can be triggered by stress, smoking, scratched or sunburnt skin, hormonal changes and alcohol.
Herbalists have access to a wide range of plant medicines they can use to alleviate the discomfort psoriasis causes. Some people find that the symptoms can be reduced by making dietary changes and medical herbalists can also assist in creating personal dietary plans. When creating a formula for the individual, your herbalist may include one of following herbs which have been traditionally used to help manage psoriasis:
Oregon grape (Mahonia/ Berberis aquifolium) extract was found to inhibit the growth of keratinocytes by 50% in vitro (note2). This can be a useful herb to manage the condition as people with psoriasis have a faster than normal turnover of skin cells in the top layer of the skin. NB. Oregon grape is not suitable in pregnancy.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) flowers contain 1-2% essential oil which has anti- inflammatory properties, and a study on human volunteers found it can penetrate below the skin’s surface into the deeper skin layers which is important for its use as a topical anti-inflammatory (note 3).
Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) cream was compared to a placebo in a double-blind, placebo controlled study of 60 patients with slight to moderate psoriasis. After 4 weeks, the aloe vera cream showed significantly higher rates of clearing the psoriatic plaques in 25/30 (83%) patients compared to 2/30 (6%) in the placebo group (note 4).
1 Fleischer AB Jr, Feldman SR, Rapp SR, Reboussin DM, Exum ML, Clark AR. Alternative therapies commonly used within a population of patients with psoriasis. Cutis. 1996; 58(3):216-220.
2 Brinker F. Eclectic Case Histories: Psoriasis Treatment with Oregon Grape Extracts. Journal of the American Herbalists Guild. 2005; 6 (1): 36-39.
3 Merfort I, Heilmann J, Hagedorn-Leweke U, Lippold BC. In vivo skin penetration studies of camomile flavones. Pharmazie. 1994 Jul;49(7):509-11.
4 Syed TA, Ahmad SA, Holt AH, Ahmad SA, Ahmad SH, Afzal M. Management of psoriasis with Aloe vera extract in a hydrophilic cream: a placebo-controlled, double- blind study. Tropical Medicine & International Health. 1996 Aug;1(4):505-9.
Medical herbalists tailor herbal prescriptions, diet and lifestyle advice, to meet the needs of individuals. When taking herbs, the NIMH always recommends seeking the advice of a qualified medical herbalist. Your nearest NIMH herbalist can be found here: http://www.nimh.org.uk/?page_id=1627
More about the NIMH
The National Institute of Medical Herbalists is the UK's leading professional body representing herbal medicine practitioners.
First established as the National Association of Medical Herbalists in 1864, today the National Institute of Medical Herbalists has more than 700 members across the UK and beyond.
The Institute promotes the benefits of herbal medicine and oversees the provision of the best patient care through the work of its members.
NIMH members undergo a lengthy training programme before they can register as qualified medical herbalists. Practitioners train for at least three years and adhere to a strict code of conduct before they can gain MNIMH or FNIMH after their name. Recently qualified practitioners will have taken a BSc in Phytotherapy (herbal medicine). All NIMH-registered herbalists are fully insured, and follow a strict code of conduct.
NIMH-registered medical herbalists are trained in the same diagnostic skills as mainstream doctors but take a more holistic approach to treating illness. Herbalists treat a wide range of acute and chronic conditions and frequently work in collaboration with GPs and consultants to achieve the best combination of treatments for individual patients.
NIMH can be contacted at:
Clover House, James Court, South Street, Exeter EX1 1EE Tel: +44 (0) 1392 426022
Fax: +44 (0) 1392 498963
The 18th to 26th of June is Herbal Medicine UK week.
To celebrate this I'm giving 20% discount from now until the end of June on
ALL Foxglove treatments and products.
You can book through the contact page here or contact me directly as always.
Try Ear Candles...
Treat yourself to some Reflexology...
Get a personalised Herbal Medicine consultation and prescription...
Or speak to me about the range of Creams, Capsules, Fresh Pressed Plant Juices or Herbal Teas...
I'm hoping for a sunny and relaxing summer, lets help it on its way!
This week is Allergy Awareness Week and most people either suffer form or know others who suffer from allergies. There's an estimated 21 million people in the UK alone suffering from allergies and this number is growing by 5% every year. For some it can be a mild food or environmental allergy and for others its life threatening and something to be considered when making simple daily decisions. We seem to have grown used to the fact that allergies have increased and learnt to accept the challenges they bring. We've also become used to reaching for pharmaceutical drugs to help us control the symptoms.
This is a perfect example of where I think we should make decisions about managing our medicine choices according to need and then think about alternative options to assist us. People who are highly allergic to a substance and may need to carry an adrenaline pen due to risk of anaphylactic shock, carry with them a potentially life saving pharma. However many people reach automatically for antihistamines for mild symptoms however and this begs the question of whether introducing a potent chemical substance is better than using natural medicines which can gently ease symptoms without dramatically changing body chemistry.
There are many Herbal Medicines which can lessen symptoms of allergies such as Hay Fever, Asthma, Eczema, they can also be of assistance to decrease the severity of food allergies and other forms of reaction. Nettle leaf for example contains a natural antihistamine and helps reduce inflammation by inhibiting the release of pro-inflammatory mediators thereby helping to reduce or negate symptoms of allergy. Plantain helps to keep mucous membrane tissue healthy and has a lining effect to help provide a barrier to allergens. Feverfew can be taken for asthma, eczema, hay fever and particularly migraines associated with allergies or food sensitivities. Other Herbs I often use include Elderflower, Peppermint, Ginkgo and Chamomile.
You can try some of these herbs by buying good quality tea or wild harvesting herbs from clean spaces and tinctures can be easily obtained from good health shops or your local Herbalist. I always recommend people with seasonal allergies to take herbs before and during their allergic season and for non seasonal allergies herbs can be easily introduced into your daily routine. In all cases you can help your body fight back and make a more informed selection of when to use medcation to restore balance and reduce symptoms.
It doesn't have to be complicated but you do need to take herbs regularly to have a good therapeutic affect. Most Herbalists are always happy to advise and if you require a consultation or personal prescription go and see a professional, but in the meantime, try for yourself and lets see what we can achieve by thinking about allergies and how we can tackle them at home.
I've had a great time learning how to build my website and have just published it to the world wide web. Its only taken me 20 years but thanks to the fabulous website building packages that are now available I've been able to do it myself instead of being baffled or wondering if I should pay someone else to build it for me. Occasionally when I think the digital age is moving faster than I can follow, something happens to make me sit down and really try. In this case it was the piece of beautiful artwork below that had been designed as a logo for me by my talented friend Louise Naomi Best - louloulovesbooks - and of course the knowledge that in this day and age a small business really should have a website. So here it is.
As a professional Herbalist and Reflexologist I want to increase everyday knowledge of Herbal Medicines and practices that can be used safely and effectively in the home environment as well as in a clinical setting such as at The Foxglove Apothecary. I hope you like the Website, please follow and share my blog and contact me at The Foxglove Apothecary if you have any specific enquiries.
I want to share what I know about natural medicine with you. I also love stories and articles about food and nature so in this blog I will be looking at all these subjects and how they come together in our daily lives.