Garlic, nature’s antibiotic

My first experience of garlic was when suffering from whooping cough as a baby, my father, long before he became a qualified medical herbalist, slathered vaseline on the soles of my feet and stuck slices of garlic on top, before putting my socks on. I obviously can’t remember this but am told that within half … Continued

The Pill – an endocrine disruptor by design

“The pill has to disrupt the endocrine system in order to stop the production of endogenous hormones. The hypothalamus, the pituitary gland – the brain’s control centre for hormones – is what the pill overrides to prevent pregnancy. When we hear the term “endocrine disruptor” it’s normally in relation to other environmental toxins. In the … Continued

The trouble with rest

There is no trouble with rest. The only trouble with rest is the guilt we put on ourselves. Too much to do, keep going, reply to all those emails, especially the ones that say “did you get my email” – oops. It is okay, good and right to rest. You don’t need permission from anyone. … Continued

Getting back to basics

Our lives are a constant interchange of emotions from joy to sadness, from laughter to crying, solemnity to introspection. All of which is normal as everyday experiences interplay with our hormonal ebb and flow. So why do we stigmatise anxiety and depression? Why are so many fearful of sharing their inner feelings as if somehow … Continued

Mental health, the body and the breath

I think that there is often a misconception in our society about what ‘mental health’ is.  We can often associate it with serious mental disorder or illness but I believe that as well as those very serious conditions, it is something that affects us all at some point in our lives.  Have you ever been … Continued

Surviving the sabre toothed tigers

FEELING WOUND UP? STRESSED? ANXIOUS? States of mind that large numbers of us are very familiar with in our busy, full-on, hectic lives. Also feelings that so many of our young people are struggling with, as I see in my work as a school counsellor and psychotherapist. It is thought that as many as 1 … Continued

I’m not ashamed to say I’ve had anxiety

Last Friday was like any other day at Botanica; the unexpected can happen. We have a gentleman in his 80’s who comes to us on a regular basis to collect a tonic for a chronic lung condition. He also happens to have chronic anxiety. Californian Poppy soothes his nerves but we have been unable to … Continued

TB, the Devils Bit Scabious and Immunity

Our picture shows a bee heavy with pollen on the flower of the Devil’s Bit Scabious late on in September. Nicolas Culpepper (1616 – 54) the famed London herbalist and astrologer thought most highly of the medicinal properties of the Devil’s Bit. He said: “The root was longer until the devil bit it away, envying … Continued

Harvest Moon

The magnificent Harvest Moon of last Friday hung low in the dark sky and was a reminder of a change in the seasons and the effect of light on our hormones. The following Monday, newspapers reported that men should expose their body to strong light as this increases testosterone – sex always makes the headlines! … Continued

First do no harm

The most important aspects of health care in my 20 plus years of working in medicine goes like this – PREVENTION LOVING CARE TREATING A PERSON AS A WHOLE BEING AND NOT JUST A SYMPTOM In all health care professions there are caring people and the opposite. I hear about them all, good and bad, … Continued