Hints and Tips

Useful Herbs for Colds and Flu

Its that time of year when everybody seems to have already had a flu or virus of some description. I have put together some useful ways to help keep the germs away.

The following list can be ingested as herbal teas, adding the ingredients to recipes when cooking or in some instances via capsules (found at your local health store).

Peppermint – cleanses and strengthens your entire body. It is a great flu remedy. Easy to drink as a herbal tea.

Goldenseal – is an antimicrobial herb. It also helps your body get rid of excess mucus.

Cayenne Pepper – cayenne has a long list of health benefits and is believed to be a mild immune-booster. Also, cayenne contains large amounts of natural vitamin A, considered to be an important “anti-infection” nutrient. Try adding it to food when cooking.

Cinnamon – cinnamon has been traditionally taken as a warming herb for “cold” conditions, often in combination with ginger. The herb stimulates the circulation, aching muscles and other symptoms of viral conditions such as colds and flu.  Naturally warms the body and helps to dispel fevers. Great added to porridge for breakfast.

Ginger – not only great for it’s warming and anti-inflammatory properties but ginger is a first rate remedy to help fight against colds, flu, coughs and fever. It also helps against nausea and aching muscles.

Echinacea – helps to strengthen your immune system. It also helps to fight of viruses and microbes.

Garlic – garlic is a natural antiviral herb. It helps to cleanse your blood and eliminate toxins and wastes from your body. Try adding it to as many dishes you cook as possible. Perhaps not desserts!

Onions – is a close relative of Garlic and has similar properties, containing similar antiviral chemicals. Use onions and leeks in your cooking when you have a cold or are around people who do.

Sage – has natural antiseptic properties. Hot sage tea will cause you to perspire and throw off some of the toxins. It also helps to soothe your mucus membranes. You can use it as a gargle if you’ve got a sore throat.

Lemon – lemons have natural antiseptic and cleansing properties. They are high in Vitamin C which helps to boost and build your immune system. Squeeze the juice of a whole lemon into a cup of hot water. Drink often. Try gargling with lemon juice if you’ve got a sore throat.

Green Tea – like garlic, green tea has shown the ability to both kill viruses and to stimulate the immune system to fight off flu infections, especially when used daily. Try to drink 3-6 cups of strong green tea per day during the flu season.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables – brightly colored fruits and vegetables are packed with healthy phytonutrients that can strengthen your immune system, lowering your susceptibility to the flu virus.


Thoughts and Updates

Ways to Use Colour

Colour is light and without light there would be very little life on our planet. Colour effects us on many levels: emotionally, physically and spiritually; it’s used in both complimentary and scientific medicine. The colours we see are light waves which vary in length and vibration, the rays are absorbed and reflected by everything the light hits.

Colour has long been used as a form of therapy dating back to ancient Egypt, where healing rooms were built into temples. Each colour has meaning and you can use it to improve your well-being or alternatively visit a Colour Therapist.

Below is list of ways you can use colour to benefit your health:

There are many ways we can incorporate colour in to our every day life and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune, we can eat and wear different colours to boost our mood. We can also brighten up our homes and offices with plants, flowers, pictures, soft furnishing and changing the decor.

Thoughts and Updates

Colour and its Meaning

Colour and its meaning has been incorporated into our language. We say things like caught red handed or we see the world through rose tinted glasses and singing the blues. We can get into a black mood or develop green fingers and we speak of grey areas. It could be argued that colour is used as a way to express our feelings and experiences and having an awareness of colour could help to deepen are understanding of life.

I have put together a brief list of the colours and their attributes:

Blue – communication, peaceful, honesty, loyalty, integrity, idealistic, sadness, creative, calm, wisdom, conservative, confident and authority
Turquoise – emotional control, protective, orderly, idealistic, sophisticated, self-sufficiency, clarity of thought and communication
Green – growth, hope, harmony, sensitive, balance, possessive, envy, rejuvenating and nurturing
Lime Green – perceptive, non-judgemental and fearful
Yellow – happiness, fun, ideas, impatience, cheerful, cowardice, optimistic, powerful, intellect and enthusiastic
White – purity, new beginnings, orderly, spiritual, positive, unity and innocence
Grey – control, neutrality, tranquil, aloof, guarded, compromise, detached and indecision
Black – mystery, serious, secure, authoritative, dramatic, death, sophisticated and pessimistic.
Beige – well-adjusted, balanced, hardworking, reliable and honest
Brown – stability, passive, receptive, serious, loyal, security, natural, wholesome, comforting and protective
Orange – adventure, warmth, joy, assertive, superficial, friendship, enthusiasm, pessimistic, courage, vitality and stimulating
Pink – nurturing, compassion, loving, hope, immature, feminine, calm, maternal and affection
Magenta – practical, balance, transformation, energising, fun, exciting, compassion and harmony
Red – energy, sensual, successful, restless, intense, desire, passion, assertive, aggression, dynamic, action, ambition and motivating
Indigo – intuition, sensitive, spiritual, addictive, open-minded, integrity, wisdom and idealistic
Violet – inspiration, intricate, mystical, spirituality, immature, empathy, dignity, creativity and cynical
Gold – success, wealth, achievement, abundance, enlightenment, generosity and extravagance
Silver – illumination, moon, fluidity, sensitive, calming, soothing, wealth, reflection and femininity

Read more about how to use colour and how it affects us.

Recommended reading and sources

Colour Therapy by Pauline Wills
Thorns Principles of Colour Healing by Ambika Wauters and Gerry Thompson

Hints and Tips

Lemon essential oil linked to improving morning sickness

I wanted to share some research carried out in Iran and originally published in March 2014.

A controlled, double blind randomised clinical trial was carried out aiming to determine the effect of inhaled Lemon essential oil on nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.

100 pregnant women (6-16 weeks) with moderate nausea and vomiting were divided into two equal groups. The intervention group placed two drops of distilled Lemon oil (diluted in almond oil) on a cotton ball and inhaled when they felt nauseous. The control group inhaled almond oil only. Participants completed a PUQE-24 (Pregnancy Unique Quantification of Emesis and Nausea) questionnaire every day for 4 days.

The severity and frequency of nausea and vomiting decreased in both groups, however the difference was much more significant in the Lemon group. The researchers concluded that inhaled lemon essential oil can be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.

Lemon essential oil therefore offers an interesting alternative, without resorting to antiemetic drugs.

This information was sourced from the Tisserand Institute



Hints and Tips

The Colours of Health

Previously, I looked at the impact of colour and its effect on us. I would like to continue my focus on the subject of colour, but this time from a spiritual perspective. Colour has long been associated with chakras and each chakra is associated with aspects of our health.

The word ‘Chakra’ comes from the ancient Sanskrit language and means ‘circle of movement’ or ‘wheel’. A Chakra is believed to be an energy centre and they are found at different places in our bodies. For this piece I am focusing on the colours connected with the main seven chakras.


Reinforces our physical energy and is said to help cure anaemia, constipation, strengthen the reproductive system and aid the circulatory system. This colour is linked to the root chakra and associated with the spine, lower back, leg and foot issues


A warm colour linked to the sacral chakra and connected to our emotions, feelings and the reproductive systems. Also said to aid allergies, epilepsy, menstruation problems and indigestion. Orange can also help relieve muscle strain and is related to the adrenal glands.


The colour yellow is also connected to emotions and is linked to the stomach, liver and gall bladder. It can assist issues with the bladder, kidneys, spleen, rheumatism, diabetes, good for digestive problems, and the lymphatic system.


This hue is said to reduce anxiety, stress, exhaustion, asthma, hay fever, back problems, boosts the immune system, tissue regeneration and general healing. This colour relates to the heart chakra and connects to the heart, lungs, liver, circulation system and the thymus gland.


Connects to the throat chakra, the centre for communication and links us with our throat and lungs. It can also benefit the following conditions: diarrhoea, epilepsy, skin rashes, jaundice and headaches. Blue can also aid issues with the throat, mouth, oesophagus, teeth and thyroid.


Associated with the third eye chakra and linked to the nervous system, hypothalamus and pineal gland. Violet can benefit ailments linked to the endocrine and immune systems and enhances our sense of smell.


This colour is connected to the crown chakra and relates to the pituitary gland. White can also aid skin rashes, wounds, coughs, strengthen bones and the nervous system.

So how can colour help with my health? You could try wearing clothes and accessories in colours that could benefit your chakras or help specific health conditions. Adding colour to your wardrobe could also enhance your emotional state and general well-being.

I would like to point out that this entry is from a holistic point of view and is not supported by any scientific evidence. I am not suggesting in any way that wearing colour is a substitute for conventional medicine. However, colour does impact our well being and mood.

Thoughts and Updates

The Menopause – a new phase of life

The word menopause comes from the Greek Menos meaning month and Pausos meaning ending. It is often recognised as something negative instead of positive, which is unfortunate as it a natural stage in a woman’s life, we should embrace this phase.

There are three stages of the menopause:

  • Pre-menopause — used to describe the time from a woman’s first to their last menstrual cycle
  • Peri-menopause – is the point when a woman has her last period and has no further bleeding for 24 months. This phase can last from 2 to 6 years.
  • Post-menopause – the time after the peri-menopause

Some of the symptoms we can experience during the peri-menopause are:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • General feelings of anxiety
  • Low energy
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Changes in skin texture and hair
  • General aches and pains
  • Mood swings
  • Poor concentration and mental focus
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of libido
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Changes to menstural cycle
  • Osteopinoea – loss of bone density

What can you do to help yourself during this phase? There are several options that could be beneficial from hormone replacement therapy (HRT), changes to your diet, aromatherapy, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, homeopathic and herbal remedies to exercise and meditation.

I have put a few suggestions together which were recommended from friends, family and clients:

Herbs* – black cohosh, St Johns wart, Chinese angelica, red clover, sage and agnus cactus
Aromatherapy – geranium, rose, melissa, ylang ylang and jasmine
Bach Flower Remedies* – impatiens, olive and walnut
Diet – flax seeds, soya, oily fish, chickpeas, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and dairy products
Hypnotherapy – can help with stress, anxiety, weight gain and sleep disturbances
Exercise – yoga, walking, weight training and pilates

*Seek advice from a qualified health professional – ‘natural’ doesn’t always mean safe. 

Suggested reading:
Natural solutions to menopause by Marilyn Glenville
The wisdom of menopause by Christiane Northrup
A change for the better by Patricia Davies

Useful websites:

Whatever approach you take to help ease your symptoms I hope it works.

Thoughts and Updates

Aromatherapy and the Menopause

The Menopause is a stage of womanhood that can give rise to a mix of feelings and emotions, some positive and others can be negative. However, this is a natural phase of a woman’s life that is often over looked.

We associate the menopause with hot flushes, mood swings and a change in our menstrual cycle. The physical symptoms of the menopause can vary, below is a list of what some ladies experience:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • General feelings of anxiety
  • Low energy
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Changes in skin texture and hair
  • General aches and pains
  • Mood swings
  • Poor concentration and mental focus
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of libido
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Changes to menstural cycle
  • Osteopinoea – loss of bone density

The list could go on…. These symptoms can be experience individually or several together. I have put together a list of aromatherapy oils that may be beneficial and help ease any discomfort.

Dysmenorrhoea – painful periods, cramping and PMT
Angelica* / Clary Sage** / Carrot Seed / Cypress / Roman Chamomile / Peppermint / Melissa.

Mood Swings
Ylang Ylang / Rose / Neroli / May Chang / Jasmine / Melissa / Damiana / Cypress / Cedarwood Atlas / Frankincense / Clary Sage** / Geranium / Grapefruit* / Bergamot* / Sandalwood / Roman Chamomile.

Peppermint / Angelica* / Sweet Fennel / May Chang* / Frankincense / Grapefruit* / Nutmeg / Neroli / Black Spruce / Basil.

Hormone Regulator
Geranium / Clary Sage** / Cypress / Lavender / Rose / Jasmine / Damiana / Black Spruce / Sandalwood / Thyme.

Irregular Menstruation
Damiana / Cypress / Sweet Fennel / Frankincense/ Geranium / Jasmine / Sweet Orange*.

Night Sweats/Hot Flushes
Bergamot / Cypress / Geranium / Clary Sage** / Lemon* / Lime* /  Roman Chamomile / Peppermint / Eucalyptus.

Sleep Disturbances
Carrot Seed / Roman Chamomile / Lavender / Clary Sage** / Neroli / Rose / Valerian / Cedarwood Atlas / Sweet Marjoram.

Head Aches/Migraines
Helichrysum / Eucalyptus/ Roman Chamomile / Lavender / Peppermint / Rosemary.

Stimulate Libido
Ylang Ylang / Black Spruce / Cardamon / Cedarwood Atlas / Damiana / Jasmine / Nutmeg / Rose.

Mental Clarity/Poor Concentration
Cardamon / Basil / Rosemary / Nutmeg / Melissa.

*Phototoxic: use a weak dilution (1-2 drops per 20mls of oil/cream) and avoid UV rays for 12-18 hours.
**Avoid for 24 hours if you are drinking alcohol.

Application: the easiest way is to add a few drops of essential oil to a bath, vaporizer/oil burner, unscented body lotions and a carrier oil. Please read about essential oil safety.