Manuka Honey and Cider Vinegar – a winning combination

manuka honey and cider vinegar
Healing combination

Some people would swear by cider vinegar for treating weight loss, rheumatism, blood pressure and more.

Others will tell you that manuka honey is the elixir of life, its antibacterial and antioxidant properties can be used to treat complaints internally and externally.

So, why not combine them together?

The wonderfully named Picklecoombe House are doing just that with an active 5+ Manuka Honey & Cider Vinegar.

I’m looking forward to hearing what folk are going to say about this!

Give Candida, UTIs or IBS a knock out punch

If you suffer from candida, UTIs or IBS or similar, listen up.

If you’ve never had such illnesses then you’ll want to know this when you do.

Bio-Kult is a vegetarian supplement range developed to boost our immune system through probiotics. So much so that a standard box of Bio-Kult contains 14 different probiotic strains.

That should be helpful if you suffer from travel sickness, diarrhoea, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowels or eczema.

Advanced probiotic supplements

But there’s more…

Candida can be a life-changing illness when the bacteria gets out of hand – and, apparently, one third of us carry it. So, Bio-Kult have also developed a probiotic supplement called Candéa which includes powerful properties from garlic and grapefruit seed extract: these are believed to strengthen the body’s natural defences against the overgrowth of Candida.

A more common illness are Urinary Tract Infections which cause a lot of unpleasant experiences in the nether regions. Bio-Kult Pro-Cyan uses probiotics with with cranberry extract and Vitamin A to help your body to maintain a healthy urinary tract.

It’s also just recently won an award as the Best New Product from 2012 as voted for by CAM (Complimentary and Alternative Medicine) Lifestyle Magazine readers.

Overindulgence of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday may be remedied by charcoal tablets on Ash Wednesday… obviously!

Had too much on pancake day? A little charcoal on Ash Wednesday may help that stomach trouble.

As surely as Shrove Tuesday is followed by Ash Wednesday, so the excesses of pancake day might be treated with digestive charcoal.

Bragg's Charcoal Biscuits
A suitable choice of food for Ash Wednesday

Back in Victorian times charcoal biscuits were popular for easing stomach trouble. So, if you ate a few too many pancakes last night, they might do you some good too.

Charcoal has traditionally been used to absorb gases in the digestive system, relieving the discomfort caused by indigestion, wind and heartburn. It’s still used by many as an antidote to flatulence today.

Bragg’s began selling the sooty remedy baked into biscuits back in 1879, and still makes the recipe today, though you can now also buy charcoal capsules if you prefer. So, if you feel a little uncomfortable after a little light festivity, the old remedy may well be worth the investment

For the sins of over indulgence there’s Pukka peppermint & licorice tea

licorice and peppermint tea
Feel lighter with licorice and peppermint tea

If you found that over indulgence led to pain and discomfort during the Christmas break then you might be interested in the benefits of Pukka’s Peppermint & Licorice tea.

Peppermint supports digestion and the soothing sweetness of liquorice calms and nourishes.

Pukka organic teas are committed to creating beautiful world and are working with a number of regeneration productions. Every 20p spent on a packet of tea goes towards supporting WWF conservation projects.

What a great way of paying for the sins of over indulgence!

Get the word out about echinacea – great for defeating colds

It’s amazing how many people don’t know about Echinacea (let alone how to pronounce it)…

The powdered flower is used to increase the white blood cells in our body which fight colds and flu.

My own personal experience with echinacea is so good that I recommend it all the time. It stops me getting worse when I’m run down.

Come to think of it there are loads of herbal remedies which people find useful for different purposes. Schwabe make a product called EchinaCold, but they also make various other concoctions for migraines, depression, sleep problems, indigestion, coughs and stress… The list goes on.

For those of us who prefer to use herbal remedies Schwabe make a useful source of medicinal treatments, all with the Traditional Herbal Remedy certification mark.


Common Reflux Drug Linked to Low Magnesium Levels

Jane Hart, MD notes how magnesium is an important mineral that contributes to bone health, heart health, and hundreds of other functions.

While often a useful treatment for health conditions, certain medications may lead to a variety of unwanted side effects, including depleting nutrients. In a study published in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, researchers found that people who took proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)—a common class of drugs used for peptic ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux—were at risk for magnesium deficiency.

PPIs may lower magnesium

In this study, researchers reviewed the hospital records of 487 hospitalised adults and explored the link between PPI use and magnesium levels in the blood. They found that people who took a proton pump inhibitor before being admitted to the hospital had a 2.5-fold increased risk of low magnesium, compared with people who did not take one of these drugs. This was true for people taking the standard or higher PPI dose.

In 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first warned consumers and healthcare professionals of the possible link between long-term proton pump inhibitor use and low magnesium. According to the study authors, “Our study results support the general notion that proton pump inhibitor therapy may lead to sub-clinical degrees of low magnesium levels or deplete magnesium stores as suggested by the Food and Drug Administration and others.”

The authors state that while their findings show an association between proton pump inhibitor use and low magnesium levels, their study does not prove cause and effect, and other factors such as illness or a poor diet may have also led to a lack of the mineral. They recommend further research to confirm these findings.

What you should know about magnesium

Why is magnesium important? Magnesium is a mineral that contributes to bone health, heart health, and hundreds of other functions in the body. Symptoms of low magnesium include nausea, muscle cramps, feeling tired, and irregular heartbeat. As these symptoms are common to many other medical conditions, it is important to see a doctor if you experience any. Severe magnesium deficiency can lead to heart attack and death.

What foods contain magnesium? Many foods contain magnesium, but foods that are particularly rich in the mineral include whole grains, Swiss chard, spinach, almonds and other nuts, and seeds such as sunflower seeds. Tap water also contains varying levels of magnesium.

Should a doctor check my magnesium level? There are a number of potential causes of low magnesium. Medications such as diuretics (typically taken for heart disease or high blood pressure) and some anticancer drugs can lead to low magnesium, as can medical conditions such as diabetes or alcoholism. Talk with your doctor about whether or not your magnesium level should be checked regularly. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that healthcare professionals consider checking magnesium levels before writing a prescription for long-term proton pump inhibitor use and then monitor a person’s levels during use.

(Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2012;21:553–9)

Jane Hart, MD, board-certified in internal medicine, serves in a variety of professional roles including consultant, journalist, and educator. Dr. Hart, a Clinical Instructor at Case Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio, writes extensively about health and wellness and a variety of other topics for nationally recognised organizations, websites, and print publications. Sought out for her expertise in the areas of integrative and preventive medicine, she is frequently quoted by national and local media. Dr. Hart is a professional lecturer for healthcare professionals, consumers, and youth and is a regular corporate speaker.

It’s getting easier to buy unpasteurised milk

Unpasteurized milk is lauded by its supporters for its superior quality.

It is argued that raw milk has more vitamins, beneficial enzymes and ‘friendly’ bacteria. 25% of milk’s vitamin C is said to be lost through pasteurisation.

fresh milkIt is also believed to be easier to digest and, apparently, studies show it can reduce allergies such as asthma and hayfever. Some even believe the saturated fat found in the cream is good for you.

But surely the best arguement is that it tastes better? When pasteurised milk is heat treated it loses its flavour.

Now, while it is still difficult to get hold of unpasteurised cow’s milk, it is possible to get raw, active, unpasteurized goat’s milk – just like real milk should be!

You can try a brand known as Chuckling Goat. The taste is mild and sweet, and not ‘goaty’ at all.

There was a time when unpasteurised milk was understandably risky, because of bacterial infection, but hygienic methods have substantially improved since the days of Louis Pasteur.

Chuckling Goat are licensed to sell raw goats milk; both the goats and their milk are regularly and rigorously tested to ensure stringent standards of safety and purity.

For more information on raw milk visit

“Silybum Marianum” – guess the herbal remedy

It’s called Silamarie and it’s one of several traditional herbal remedies allowed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Milk Thistle - helping people feel comfortable for generations
Milk Thistle – helping people feel comfortable for generations

The meaning behind Silamarie comes from it’s latin term: Silybum Marianum, but it’s Bio Health’s name for what is commonly known as Milk Thistle.

Milk Thistle is associated with the relief of indigestion and other symptoms of over indulgence. Moreover, it is also believed to be effective for some liver conditions. In particular, as an emergency antidote to poisoning by deathcap mushroom – it was found to completely counteract the toxic effect of the mushroom if used after 10 minutes and significantly reduce the risk of liver damage and death if taken within 24 hours.

With this in mind, it’s not surprising that scientists have also tested milk thistle for its impact on liver disease and hepititis, but results have been mixed.

Scientific studies suggest that milk thistle has certain substances (in particular  the flavonoid silymarin) which protect the liver from damaging toxins . Certainly, silymarin is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which may help the liver grow new cells to repair itself.

Free tickets to The Allergy and Free From Show: 18-20 May 2012

Got an allergy? Is your diet Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Casein Free, Lactose Free, Wheat Free, Yeast Free?

The Allergy & Free From Show 2012 has teamed up with GoodnessDirect to give you unlimited FREE tickets (worth £10 each)!

Taking place from 18 – 20 May at London’s Olympia, this is Europe’s largest public event dedicated to delivering solutions for free from lives. If you suffer from asthma, eczema, sensitive skin, hay fever, chemical sensitivities, food intolerance, coeliac disease or other allergies or intolerances then this is for you.

Last year’s event was an enormous success…

This year there are more free from features and exhibitors than ever before:

  • Try and buy the latest free from foods, skincare and household products
  • Consultations, seminars and workshops with the UK’s top Allergists, Dieticians and other specialists
  • Free from cooking demonstrations
  • Charities, support groups and thousands of like-minded attendees

And a host of additional exciting content!

Come and see us there (Stand 135) for free…

Book unlimited free tickets for you, your friends, family and colleagues at

Why is coconut so healthy?

Recently I wrote about coconut palm sugar. If you’re into health food you can’t have failed to notice that the coconut has become more and more popular lately.

Two impressive claims spring to mind. Coconut water can be taken intravenously (don’t try this at home, but it was found to be useful by soldiers during the Vietnam War). Secondly, coconut oil is the closest food in nature to a mother’s breast milk.

Healthy food from the coconut
Healthy food from the coconut

Other interesting benefits are said to be that it speeds up the metabolism, it’s high in dietary fiber, it helps lower cholesterol, it’s low Gi, it helps those with digestive problems, it provides quick energy, it boosts the immune system.

One company that has capitalised on being able to  providing organic and fairtrade coconut is Tiana. They make coconut flour, oil, milk and sugar which all count as particularly beneficial if you are trying to cut out similar more mainstream foods from your diet.

Tiana’s flour, for example, is gluten and wheat free, the coconut milk is dairy free and while the coconut oil is not fat free – there are still loads of dieters who say it helps them lose weight.