Oregano, a herbal solution to candida

Did you know oregano is also a healing herb?

Research has looked into its ability to fight MRSA and a compound of oregano, carvacrol, is used to treat candida, a fungal infection.

Oregano: healing herb
Oregano: healing herb

Higher Nature now produce oregano oil in capsule form (30caps and 90caps bottles) as it is believed that the carvacrol content may support healthy bacterial flora for the stomach and intestines and bring comfort in digestion.

Oregano also has antioxidant properties and has been used to treat respiratory and bacterial complaints like bronchitis for centuries.

The benefits may also include a healthy immune system, respiratory tract, liver and heart, normal blood pressure, and strong, elastic blood vessels.

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Naturally, Beautifully Nurtured

Make natural products a part of your daily, weekly and monthly beauty routine… and notice the difference!

You know how it goes… you wake up, have a wash (or jump into the shower), moisturise, clean your teeth, put on your deodorant… you’ve probably been going through the same routine for years without taking the time to see what other options are out there. But why not broaden your beauty horizons, and choose products that are more healthy, enliven your senses with a whole array of aromas and avoid some chemicals which are in conventional products.

You might only make one simple change or you could shift your whole approach to how you take care of yourself. Whatever, it’s time for a change…

Daily:

With all the grime and pollution around, it’s hardly surprising that many people choose to wash their hair every day. Spend a day in a large city, and you’ll see what we mean! Over time, this can lead to the hair looking dull and lifeless – stripped of natural oils, which have to be replaced with intensive conditioners. The other downside to washing every day, is that it can sometimes leave your hair looking really greasy if you have so much as a day when you don’t wash your hair. That’s why choosing the right shampoo and conditioner is so important. Remember your crowning glory and try shampoos, conditioners and treatments with natural ingredients. For shine, choose products containing rosemary. For conditioning, choose an intensive hair wash or intensive conditioner (eg leave-in mud conditioners are great for this). There are also some great organic ranges around, which avoid unnecessary use of chemical foamers, pearlising agents and emulsifers. Some also have added vitamins, to condition and strengthen the hair from deep within.

Don’t just grab any old soap off the shelf! Pick one that is best for your own skin. Is your skin sensitive? Then choose a goat’s-milk-based soap, which can help soothe any discomfort. Aloe vera soaps can also temper sensitive skins, and putting on cider vinegar gels can calm raging red skin. For dry skin, go for an olive oil soap, or for skin with blemishes, reach for one containing tea tree oil – a well known antiseptic essential oil. You might indulge your sense of smell and choose a soap containing kiwi and lime, patchouli and blueberry or even one which appeals to your childhood days, such as ‘Clay and Dragon’s Blood’ soap! (Dr Stuarts).

If you like a spell in the shower, liven it up with organic products including essential oils such as mint, lemon, lime and tea tree (which are invigorating and energising). If you’ve got a tough day ahead or want to unwind at the end of a long day, use bath/shower products containing lavender – sandalwood and patchouli are great for relaxing before bed.

Don’t forget to moisturise. Wind, water and heat can all take the moisture out of our skin (and that goes for both men and women). Aloe Vera moisturisers can help soothe temperamental skin, coconut can condition and add shine, vitamin E conditions and restores skin suppleness.

Regular shaving can dry out the skin resulting in lines and chapping. Both pre- and post-shaving moisturisers can help prevent this, containing ingredients such as sandalwood for chapped skin or spots, moisturisers such as vitamin E, aloe vera and wheat germ and lavender for its soothing properties. And don’t forget your hands. Constantly exposed to water and various soaps or detergents, not to mention all the chemicals we come into contact with, our hands can show our age. Look out for formulations which are ‘heavy duty hand cleaners’.

Antiperspirants containing essential oils such as sage, pine or lemon suit men as well as women. Have you ever used one made from mineral salts? These are unfragranced so suitable for the man who wants to forego the perfume and chemical irritation, but not the protection. Foot powders often containing mineral salts and tea tree keep feet smelling fresh while at the same time staving off fungal infection such as athlete’s foot.

Toothpastes are often taken for granted. But not everyone wants a standard off the shelf product. Nonfluoride toothpastes are available for those who want to steer clear of this mineral, which can cause tooth discolouration. Health stores also stock Aloe vera-based whitening toothpaste (ESI ALOE DENT), ones that are flavoured with fennel, mint, lemon (Kingfisher), strawberry and sensitive non-fluoride toothpaste with ‘wintermint’ (Tom’s of Maine).

  • Treat yourself to a face pack; antistress, facial tonics, gentle scrub, sensitive masques, hot pacs and peel offs!
  • Brush your skin. Start with a soap containing oatmeal or finely ground walnut shell. Then get to work using a dead-sea salt scrub, containing oils to deep condition the skin. You will glow!
  • Use mud. Condition dry skin areas using a mud preparation. Well worth it.
  • Give your feet some TLC. Peppermint is famously refreshing for feet and there are a number of lotions and creams around. Also gels for tired legs, often using extract of horse chestnut.

    Monthly:

  • It’s been proven that listening to Mozart can boost your IQ, and slow, gentle music can change your brain waves from frantic to calm! Collections of natural sounds such as whale song or sea sounds, or soothing music have been in health stores for years.
  • Dye your hair using a natural hair dye, which won’t strip your hair of its natural oils, and which doesn’t contain harsh chemicals which can irritate the scalp.
  • Cotton tampons and sanitary wear are the natural alternative to conventional products which often contain bleaches (not ideal for those who experience frequent infections).
  • Natural Lifestyle © Natural Lifestyle March 2005 in connection with Natural Health Week

    Menopause – do it the drug-free way!

    The ‘change of life’ doesn’t have to be marked by menopausal symptoms. There are natural remedies and supplements that can help, says Lisa Burn

    For many women, the menopause is seen as something to dread – hot flushes, cold sweats, dryness and tears. Yet shouldn’t it be regarded as another of life’s milestones rather than a millstone? While it does mark the end of babies and birth it by no means marks the end of a woman’s useful life. It can be seen as another beginning, symbolised by the joy of worry-free sex; a time for concentrating on yourself and your partner.

    The average age for menopause is 51, though some women do go through it earlier or later, the usual range being from 47 to 52. While it means the end of ovulation and menstruation it also results in reduced oestrogen levels, which has both emotional and physical effects.

    Menopausal symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, irritability, depression, fatigue, increased weight, sleeplessness and headaches. Oestrogen deficiency can also cause hair loss, dry skin, wrinkles and spots as well as increasing risk of heart disease and stroke while decreasing bone mass, which could lead to osteoporosis. Yet all of these symptoms can be managed.

    For many women in the UK treatment is via hormone replacement therapy (HRT) using oestrogen, progesterone or both, but health scares reported in the press about increased heart disease, deep vein thrombosis and breast cancer risk have put some off going down that route. According to the Department of Health HRT is okay on a short-term basis to relieve menopausal symptoms but long-term, to prevent osteoporosis for example, it should “only be prescribed if other treatments are inappropriate or have proven unsuccessful”.

    So what other treatments are out there?

    Eat well for health

    This is where you can easily make a difference. Cut down on saturated fat from meat and dairy products, cut down on alcohol and if you’re a smoker, stop. During the reproductive years oestrogen offers a high degree of protection for women from heart attacks and strokes but after menopause a woman’s risk rises to that of a man. Reduced oestrogen can also lead to loss of bone density so eat calciumrich foods, such as green, leafy vegetables, as well as those containing vitamin D, magnesium and boron (to help calcium absorption and build bones). Choose semiskimmed or skimmed milk or try soya milk. Vitamin B12, found in meat, fish, milk and eggs, as well as fortified breakfast cereals, also affects bone health, with lower levels of the nutrient corresponding to lower bone mineral density, according to a new study.

    Oily fish contains vitamin D as well as the essential fatty acid omega 3, also found in flax seeds (linseeds) and walnuts. Almonds contain boron, magnesium and calcium while all nuts have been shown to protect from heart disease and lower cholesterol levels. Omega 3 is essential for all cells in the body and it has a moisturising effect, so useful if you’re suffering skin and hair problems as a result of menopause. Eating more citrus fruit for their vitamin C content can also have a beneficial effect on skin – vitamin C is an antioxidant and also boosts collagen production, helping keep skin strong and healthy.

    Studies have shown soya to have a protective effect – women in Asia and Japan suffer much lower levels of breast cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease and menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and hot flushes than women in the West. This protective effect is due to the phytoestrogens in soya, so consider switching to vitamin-enriched soya milk or eating tofu (also a good source of protein). Broad beans, kidney beans and chickpeas also contain phytoestrogens, as do cereals such as oats and barley, brown rice, linseeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, red onions, garlic, tomatoes and broccoli. Avoiding spicy foods and drinking less tea, coffee and alcohol can also improve hot flushes, while drinking chamomile tea can help relieve insomnia and irritable moods.

    If you’re feeling low, weepy and prone to fly off the handle you may need to look at your blood sugar levels. Great peaks and troughs in insulin levels should be avoided by eating small, regular meals, up to six a day and choosing low GI foods such as wholewheat bread, brown rice, wholewheat pasta, seeds, nuts and vegetables, cutting out refined and processed foods altogether. Again, avoid alcohol, which can have a depressant effect and coffee, which can exacerbate blood sugar problems.

    Exercise benefits

    Regular physical activity is particularly important during the menopause as it increases bone density. Weight-bearing exercise such as brisk walking, aerobics, tennis or running can help prevent osteoporosis (weakened bones), which, according to the National Osteoporosis Society, affects one in three women in the UK over the age of 50. Exercise also makes you feel good, lifting your mood, as well as helping with weight management – keeping off fat while increasing muscle mass.

    Nutritional supplements

    Many of the nutrients found in food that help combat the symptoms of menopause are also found in supplement form. Phytoestrogens are available in products made from soya as well as those made from red clover, a potent source of plant oestrogens. Calcium and vitamin D formulations can help protect bones, B complex vitamins can improve mood; fish oil and linseed oil, available as liquid or capsules, contain the essential fatty acid omega 3, vital for heart and mental health, the mineral chromium can help stabilise blood sugar levels and magnesium can ease stress. Products specially formulated for the menopause combining various vitamins, minerals and herbs are available as are formulations targeting bone health or skin and hair.

    Evening primrose oil has long been used to counteract pre-menstrual syndrome and tender breasts but it also works for menopausal symptoms including irritability and breast pain as it helps with hormonal balance. It contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA), also found in borage (starflower) oil. On the herbal front, black cohosh is effective for emotional symptoms including mood swings and depression, it can also lower blood pressure; sage works against hot flushes; St John’s Wort can also help depression; gingko biloba improves circulation and memory. Omega 7 supplements, from sea buckthorn, help keep mucous membranes healthy, reducing the vaginal dryness caused by decreased oestrogen levels.

    The menopause should be regarded as a positive experience – after all it removes the fear of unwanted pregnancy and can be a boon if you’ve suffered from painful periods. “The radical and fundamental changes which take place in a woman’s life around the time of menopause are not signs of decay or pathology, but part of an exciting adventure,” says author and health guru Leslie Kenton in her book Ten Steps to a Natural Menopause. “This is a time to regenerate and rejuvenate our bodies, to unearth parts of our personality that have been hidden beneath the responsibilities of the child-bearing years, a time to discover that our creativity is no longer bound to our obligation as a member of the human race to propagate the species.”

    Note: please consult your doctor before taking supplements as they may interact with prescribed medication.

    Natural Lifestyle