When we think of the wild rose (also known as the dog rose), we often envision its delicate petals, but there's more to this beautiful flower than meets the eye. The unsung heroes of the wild rose world are its vibrant red hips—the seed pods that adorn hedgerows in early summer. These humble hips are a powerhouse of natural healing, teeming with vitamins, minerals, and a rich history.
A Treasure Trove of Nutrients: Rosehips
Did you know that rosehips are among nature's most potent herbs? These little red jewels contain a treasure trove of essential nutrients, boasting a staggering 40 times more vitamin C than an orange. During the Second World War, when oranges were scarce, the British Ministry of Food turned to rosehips. They rallied the nation's children to collect these precious pods, paying them 3 old pence a pound. The collected rosehips were transformed into syrup, a vital source of nutrition for children and convalescents.
The Immune-Boosting Elixir: Rosehip Syrup
Today, we can harness the immune-boosting power of rosehips by making our own rosehip syrup. But remember, you should never consume rosehips raw, as they contain tiny, irritating hairs that can be harmful internally. To make rosehip syrup, follow these steps:
Rosehip Tincture: Daily Wellness Booster
For a daily wellness boost, consider making a rosehip tincture. This concentrated herbal extract is easy to prepare and offers a range of benefits. Here's how to make it:
Kid-Friendly Rosehip Glycerite
For children or those who prefer an alcohol-free option, a rosehip glycerite is a sweet alternative. Here's how to make it:
Soothing Rosehip Vinegar for Sore Throats
Rosehip vinegar is not only a delightful addition to your pantry but can also soothe sore throats. Simply mix a tablespoon of rosehip vinegar in a mug of boiling water, drink, and feel the relief. To make your own rosehip vinegar, follow these steps:
Craft Your Own Rosehip Tea
While you can find rosehip tea in stores, crafting your own is a rewarding experience. Simply dry your harvested rosehips, crush them, and steep in hot water for a fragrant, vitamin C-rich brew.
As autumn arrives and the hedgerows burst with vibrant red rosehips, consider exploring the myriad ways this natural wonder can enhance your health and well-being. From syrup to tinctures, glycerites to vinegar, and homemade teas, the possibilities are as diverse as the benefits. Just remember, the power of rosehips lies not only in their potency but in the careful preparation that transforms them into a source of wellness for you and your family.
As the vibrant hues of summer fade and the days grow shorter, many of us unwittingly embark on a journey towards vitamin D deficiency.
The vital "sunshine vitamin," as it's commonly known, is a cornerstone of our overall health and well-being. But during the darker months, from the end of September until March, maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D becomes increasingly challenging.
In this article, we will explore why vitamin D is so crucial, the symptoms of its deficiency, its connection to various health conditions, and why supplementation is often the best course of action, especially for vegans.
The Sunshine Vitamin's Significance:
Vitamin D plays a multifaceted role in our health. It is essential for:
1. Immune Health: Vitamin D is known to bolster the immune system, helping us fend off infections and illnesses.
2. Bone Health: It aids in calcium absorption, ensuring our bones remain strong and healthy.
3. Mood Regulation: Some studies suggest a link between low vitamin D levels and mood disorders like seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
4. Energy levels: Vitamin D deficiency often causes people to experience extreme fatigue.
Common Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency:
Spotting the signs of low vitamin D can be crucial in preventing potential health issues. Some common symptoms include:
1. Fatigue: Feeling constantly tired or sluggish.
2. Muscle Weakness: Experiencing muscle pain or weakness, even without strenuous activity.
3. Mood Changes: Feeling down or experiencing mood swings.
4. Frequent Infections: Falling ill more often than usual.
Vitamin D and Health Conditions:
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a range of health conditions, including:
1. Osteoporosis: Inadequate vitamin D can lead to weakened bones, increasing the risk of fractures.
2. Certain Cancers: Studies suggest that low vitamin D levels may be associated with an elevated risk of certain cancers, including breast, prostate, and colon cancer.
3. Autoimmune Disorders: Some autoimmune conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, have been linked to insufficient vitamin D.
4. Heart Health: Low vitamin D levels may contribute to cardiovascular issues.
Why Food Alone Isn't Enough:
While it's possible to obtain vitamin D from dietary sources like fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products, getting the optimal amount solely through food can be challenging. Moreover, if you follow a vegan diet, your options become even more limited, as plant-based sources are scarce.
Supplementation for Winter Wellness:
To ensure you maintain adequate vitamin D levels during the colder months, experts recommend supplementing with at least 2000 IU (international units) per day. This proactive approach can help you avoid deficiency-related symptoms and reduce the risk of associated health conditions.
For people with very low Vitamin D levels, often they must have a therapeutic, very high dose or even injections for a short period of time. This should be only undertaken under the guidance of an experienced practitioner.
For vegans, vitamin D supplementation is especially vital due to the scarcity of plant-based sources.
While some fortified foods like plant-based milk and breakfast cereals may contain vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), it's often recommended to choose vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplements, as they are more effective in raising blood levels of vitamin D.
Preparing for Winter: Get Your Vitamin D Levels Checked
As the leaves change colour and the days grow shorter, it's the perfect time to start thinking about your winter wellness strategy. One crucial aspect of this strategy is ensuring your vitamin D levels are in the optimal range.
Why Check Your Vitamin D Levels?
Knowing your vitamin D levels before winter sets in is a smart move. It allows you to tailor your supplementation to your specific needs, ensuring you're getting the right dosage for your body.
How to Get Checked:
You have two convenient options to get your vitamin D levels checked:
The Power of Knowing:
Understanding your vitamin D status is not only about preventing deficiency but also about achieving optimal health. With the right information, you can take proactive steps to fortify your immune system and overall well-being.
Explore my Autumn Immunity Boosting Plan:
For those seeking a deeper understanding of their immune system and looking to fend off those pesky winter illnesses, I'm excited to introduce my Autumn Immunity Boosting Plan. This comprehensive program includes assessments of all the key markers for a healthy immune system, including:
This Plan goes beyond mere testing; it also offers:
Ready to Take Action?
To learn more about our Autumn Immunity Boosting Plan, simply visit this link.
This program is your opportunity to equip yourself with the knowledge and support necessary to face winter head-on, all while enjoying the peace of mind that comes from knowing your immune system is primed and ready for the season.
Don't leave your health to chance this winter—take proactive steps to fortify your defences and embrace the season with confidence.
In the meantime, as the sun retreats and winter's chill settles in, don't let vitamin D deficiency cast a shadow over your well-being. Take charge of your health by considering vitamin D supplementation, and ensure you're equipped to face the season with vitality and resilience. Your body will thank you with strong bones, a robust immune system, and a brighter outlook on life.
As the vibrant colours of summer give way to the golden hues of early Autumn, let`s look through the lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and naturopathic wisdom to explore the fascinating concept of "Spleen Energy" during the Indian Summer, a pivotal season in TCM's Five Element Theory.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the concept of "Spleen energy" is closely associated with the Earth element and plays a significant role in maintaining overall health and balance in the body.
It's important to understand that TCM views the body in terms of energy flow and balance, rather than Western anatomical or physiological terms. The Spleen, in TCM, doesn't correspond directly to the anatomical spleen but encompasses a broader set of functions.
In the context of early autumn, which is often referred to as "Indian Summer" in some regions, there is a unique relationship between the changing seasons and the Spleen energy. Here's a naturopathic explanation of this concept:
Spleen/ Earth energy food
To nurture and support Spleen energy during the early autumn or Indian Summer season, it's essential to align your diet with the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and naturopathy.
This season calls for a shift away from raw and cold foods, as these can potentially weaken the Spleen's digestive function. Instead, focus on embracing warmth and nourishment through hearty, cooked meals.
Opt for comforting stews, casseroles, and soul-warming soups that are not only delicious but also easier on your digestion. Mashed and pureed foods offer gentle textures that promote ease of digestion and assimilation.
Root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and swedes, are excellent choices during this season. These earthy, grounding vegetables are packed with nutrients and fibre while providing the warmth your body craves. Squashes, with their natural sweetness and rich texture, also make for a perfect addition to your autumn meals.
Incorporating these foods into your diet can help harmonise your Spleen energy and support overall well-being. Remember, in naturopathic terms, the key is to nourish your body with foods that offer comfort, warmth, and ease of digestion during the transition from late summer to early autumn.
During the early autumn or Indian Summer season, not only is the Spleen energy significant in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and naturopathic practices, but the pancreas also plays a crucial role.
The pancreas is closely linked to the regulation of blood sugar levels, making it essential to be mindful of its function during this time. It's important to be aware of potential blood sugar spikes and crashes, which can disrupt overall balance and energy.
To support both the Spleen and pancreas during this season, it's advisable to steer clear of excessive sweets and sugary foods. These can lead to rapid increases in blood sugar levels, followed by energy crashes.
Instead, opt for a balanced approach by incorporating protein-rich foods into your meals. Proteins provide a steady release of energy and help stabilise blood sugar levels. Consider lean sources of protein such as poultry, fish, tofu, beans, and legumes.
Combining proteins with the warming and nourishing qualities of the recommended cooked vegetables and whole grains can help maintain a steady and balanced energy level throughout the day.
By keeping your diet balanced with a focus on nourishing, warming foods and protein sources, you can effectively support both your Spleen and pancreas, ensuring a harmonious transition into the early autumn season while maintaining stable blood sugar levels.
Balancing the Earth element and the Spleen energy is seen as vital for maintaining physical and emotional well-being during this season. So get those slow cookers out and think blankets, cosy evenings and beautiful walks in nature.
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After a hot start to September, this week feels like Autumn is finally here. The night`s are drawing in and the weather has turned. As the seasons change, so do our bodies' needs, particularly when it comes to our immune systems.
To help you navigate this transition and stay healthy throughout the colder months, I`m excited to introduce my "Immunity Boost Plan for Autumn and Winter."
Why Is It Important?
Understanding the Seasonal Challenge
As the weather cools down, our immune systems often need an extra boost. The drop in temperature brings with it an increased risk of colds, flu, and other seasonal illnesses. Moreover, reduced sunlight exposure can lead to vitamin D deficiency, which plays a crucial role in immune function. It's essential to be proactive in supporting your immune system's efforts to protect your health during this season.
Strengthening Your Defences
The "Immunity Boost Plan" is designed to empower you with the knowledge and tools needed to fortify your immune system. By proactively enhancing your immunity, you can reduce the risk of falling ill and enjoy the autumn and winter seasons with more confidence.
Comprehensive Blood Test
Our plan begins with a comprehensive blood test that assesses key markers related to immune health and overall well-being. This includes a Full Blood Count (FBC), white cell count, vitamin D levels, zinc, ferritin, B12, folate, CRP (inflammation marker), TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), and FT3 (free T3 thyroid hormone). This thorough analysis provides valuable insights into your current health status and immune system function.
Personalised 1:1 Review
Following the blood test, you'll have the opportunity for a one-on-one review of your results with myself, a registered clinical nutritionist and associate naturopath. During this session, you'll gain a deeper understanding of your health and receive personalised recommendations tailored to your specific needs. This is your chance to ask questions, discuss concerns, and create a plan for optimal well-being.
Winter Wellness Care Package
As part of the "Immunity Boost Plan," you'll receive a Winter Wellness Care Package. This package is filled with immune-boosting goodies, including supplements carefully selected to support your immune system throughout the autumn and winter seasons. Naturopaths believe in a holistic approach to health, and this care package is designed to provide you with the tools you need to thrive.
Immunity Boosting Masterclass
To kickstart the "Immunity Boost Plan," I`ll be hosting an exclusive Immune Boosting Masterclass on October 3rd at 7:30 PM. This engaging webinar is your gateway to unlocking the secrets of a robust immune system.
We will delve into the importance of immunity during the autumn and winter seasons, explaining how simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can empower you to maximise your well-being. During the masterclass, you'll gain valuable insights into immune-boosting strategies and have the opportunity to ask questions. Mark your calendar and join me for an evening of knowledge and empowerment as we embark on this journey to prioritise your health.
Invest in Your Well-Being
The "Immunity Boost Plan" costs £250.
By joining me on this journey to a stronger, healthier you, you're not only making a sound investment in your health but also gaining priceless knowledge and tools to face the challenges of autumn and winter with confidence. Don't miss out on this opportunity to boost your immunity and thrive this season. Places are limited so secure your spot today and embark on a path to a more vibrant and resilient you.
The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, dietary supplement, exercise, or other health program.