Cooking for chemo

It’s important for people on chemotherapy to eat well, so as to stay strong through both the illness and the treatment. And yet, because chemotherapy strips away all fast-growing cells, your mouth may be sore and your digestion upset; you may feel sick, and food loses its savour when your taste buds are blunted. So what can you do to stimulate your appetite? Some doctors prefer their patients not to take medicinal her...

Posted by Su Bristow on Fri, 7 Sep 2018

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Boosting brainpower

Herbs that boost brainpower have been attracting a lot of research funding in recent years. It’s not just because we want superpowers like unlimited stamina, mental acuity and brilliant concentration (though that would be very nice, thank you). It’s also to do with the rise in Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and finding ways to improve recovery from strokes and brain damage. When the right...

Posted by Su Bristow on Fri, 20 Jul 2018

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Herbal Remedies - the risks

With my other hat on, I am a writer of fiction. When I meet other writers, they don’t ask me, like everyone else, what they can take for their insomnia or anxiety or arthritis. They ask, ‘What would you use to poison someone?’ ‘What would you give to cause an abortion?’ And of course, I wouldn’t; I use herbs to promote wellbeing, and I’ve sworn an oath to that effect. But for most of human history, ...

Posted by Su Bristow on Fri, 6 Jul 2018

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St John's Wort

St. John’s Wort blooms at midsummer, and its clear yellow flowers capture the essence of sunlight. It’s been well-established for decades now as a reliable remedy for ‘mild to moderate depression’, but its healing action on the nervous system goes much further than that. For anything from easing the pain of post-herpetic neuralgia to slowing down the progress of degenerative conditions like multiple sclerosis, St.Joh...

Posted by Su Bristow on Fri, 22 Jun 2018

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Sunshine - good or bad?

Vitamin D has been getting more attention in recent years, as our understanding of its importance deepens. We’ve always known that severe deficiency disrupts the formation of bones and teeth, leading to rickets in young children and contributing to osteoporosis in the elderly. But not quite getting enough is more difficult to pin down. It can lead to joint pain, muscle fatigue, tiredness and depression, and some nutritionists advise r...

Posted by Su Bristow on Fri, 8 Jun 2018

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Childhood infections

Childhood leukaemia is on the rise in the more affluent parts of the world. This has been known about for some years, but a recent overview of research has confirmed that there is a link with lack of exposure to infections in early childhood. In other words, if we keep the environment too clean for our infants, there is a risk that their immune systems will not mature properly. It is normal and natural for a young child to ...

Posted by Su Bristow on Fri, 25 May 2018

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Variety - the spice of life

A recent poll of 2000 adults showed up some interesting trends in British eating habits. It was commissioned by Arla Foods who market dairy products, so obviously they were hoping to gather information that would help their corner of the food industry, but there were three points that stood out. 1. Six out of ten people usually eat the more or less the same food every day. I can verify this from the food diaries patients gi...

Posted by Su Bristow on Fri, 11 May 2018

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Iron supplements

Six million prescriptions for iron supplements are issued each year in Britain. You can be low in iron for a number of reasons, but it is most common in women, either because of heavy periods, fibroids or during pregnancy. The next most likely cause would be loss of blood, either following injury or surgery, or occult bleeding somewhere in the gut. In any case, symptoms of iron deficiency can include tiredness, dizziness, l...

Posted by Su Bristow on Fri, 27 Apr 2018

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Milk substitutes

Suddenly, milk substitutes are big business. In the past, people who were lactose intolerant (well over half the population of the world) simply didn’t eat dairy products. That left people who have problems digesting milk, and vegans. But things are changing. A Westernised diet – cereal with milk for breakfast, coffee and tea with milk – is getting more popular worldwide. At the same time there are health concerns about mi...

Posted by Su Bristow on Fri, 20 Apr 2018

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Eyes, and how to care for them

As we go through life, the eye problems we are likely to encounter change. Younger people get more infections and acute illnesses, but they can get away with more potentially harmful activities. Things like staying up all night, smoking, staring at screens for hours or going out in bright sunlight are all things that take their toll as we get older. It becomes necessary to take more care, if we want to preserve good vision into old age....

Posted by Su Bristow on Fri, 6 Apr 2018

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