This is the place that I use to list “stuff” that I’ve found useful, or that clients have found useful. If there’s anything or anyone you think belongs here please let me know firstname.lastname@example.org and we can share it.
Now, I am regularly asked for suggestions for products to help with “maintenance issues”- I mean products that help keep the body in good order, or that might help with problems. Equally I’m asked what I am reading, or where have I been or anything interesting I have seen. I even get questions about recipes - I’m very keen on cooking (especially eating!).
So, I’ve decided to keep a running column to document those things - things that I personally have checked out, and can recommend. It could be a book I have read, a supplement I have tested, an exhibition I have seen or place I have visited, a recipe or, in fact, anything.
Of course, especially if it’s a supplement, that does not mean it will be right for you! Please remember that I am not a doctor or medical practitioner in any way. You must check with your own practitioner before taking anything, and use your own discriminating wisdom in choosing what works for you. But, I’m going to mention things that I have tried and found helpful, or checked out in some way (energetically) and think have benefits to offer.
In case you are interested in how I check something out energetically it’s quite a big subject so I’ll just give you some basic information here. First, most simply- sometimes when I hear the name of a product, or see a package, information comes to me. Usually it is quite quick and “strong”. Woe betide me if I go against intuitive information received like that! Even if I do not understand the message or reaction I have received I must follow it, and I do. Of course in many other cases it helps very much to hold a product. When I do that, I usually get a clear indication of whether it is helpful or not. Sometimes, having “got” an “OK” (better still “good”) message I try it to see how it feels in my body. I hope that makes sense - and also makes it quite clear why I say you must check with your own practitioner. To those who ask for “facts”, I can only say that my intuition is a cherished tool, an invaluable adjunct for me to facts that sometimes it overrules.
August 2020 - going forward, Useful Stuff will now be posted by date. The most recent post will come first, but the posts below it have been ordered according to content. Hope that makes sense, Michal.
YOU MUST SEEK ADVICE FROM A NUTRITIONIST BEFORE TAKING ANY SUPPLEMENTS
20th August 2023 - First, some interesting dental products to mention. A little while ago Kolinka Zinovieff of NHR Organic Oils shared on Useful Stuff how he dealt with gum problems. It was impressive to learn that he avoided gum surgery using aromatherapy oils. But of course, he is a highly skilled practitioner. So here are three products to help dealing with gum problems, or perhaps infections.
BioMedica Bactorl is an Australian practitioner product (you need a practitioner to prescribe it). It’s an oral spray aimed at infection.
Then there is a gel (alternative to toothpaste) and mouthwash that I have had rave reports about. The product is called Dentalcidin, and simplest just to give you the promotional blurb. The makers claim: “Microorganisms and bacterial biofilms cause a number of oral health challenges. Use of the broad-spectrum botanicals in Dentalcidin™ can assist in removing biofilms and plaque, and is an excellent way to promote and maintain healthy teeth and gums. Dentists also recommend concurrent use of Dentalcidin™ LS as an oral rinse for increased support where needed.“
Finally, it’s worth mentioning a possible support for the general anxiety that is so widespread at the moment. It is a B12 liquid formulation, BioCare Nutrisorb MethylFolGuard. It’s water based, which I like and doesn’t appear to have extra unnecessary additions. Especially being water based, the body excretes excess B12, but it is worth remembering that high vitamin B12 levels may be a biomarker of cancer. As ever, asking a professional is advised. But, B12 can be very useful.
Go well, be well. This can be a tricky and potentially stressful time. But it is clearing the way for a much easier phase that follows, a phase that allows for the manifestation of what you begin, or have begun, and are trying to put in place now, perhaps with some reversals or revisions. All good. Love, Michal.
28th June 2023 - Hello again, a quick next Useful Stuff since there have been some responses to last two posts..
Now - as I warned, Toxaprevent does say that severe constipation may be a side effect of use, though not on their website. They actually claim that it could affect 1 in a 1000. Constipation can be difficult to deal with. I have previously given some suggestions of products that may help deal with it, but a new product has come to my notice that I think is worth mentioning. It’s fermented papaya, and very gentle on the system. The product is called Caricol by Nutri.
Toxaprevent is all about Zeolite, which is a mineral I first came across in 2011. That year I worked with a product called Natural Cellular Defence, by Waiora, but since then numerous companies have come out with variations on the Zeolite theme. According to the web, Zeolites are minerals that contain mainly aluminium and silicon compounds. They are used as drying agents, in detergents, and in water and air purifiers. Zeolites are also marketed as dietary supplements to treat cancer, diarrhoea, autism, herpes, and hangover, and to balance pH and remove heavy metals in the body.
I know Zeolites, which can be organic or manufactured, for detox. Most companies selling them for detox claim that they pass through the body absorbing toxins, especially heavy metals. Of course there are discussions about which product is most effective etc etc.. Toxaprevent is a new one, which claims the benefit of a particular particle in its process. But, another Zeolite product comes from Touchstones Essentials. They do at least two Zeolites, one largely for gut or digestive detox, and another that they say works at a cellular level. As ever - professional advice needed! But, it is encouraging that there are many more ways of addressing detox than when I first began to consider the subject more than 25 years ago.
Go well, be well, love Michal.
22nd June 2023 - The warm weather continues in Europe. It is very pleasant to see the sun every day! Now, as promised some suggestions for detox, specifically heavy metal and mercury detox. Some of you will remember that I have offered lots of input on the subject over the years, but it is not something I have reported on for several years now. With the circumstances around the Solstice though, it feels like time to make some new suggestions. As ever, detox is serious. You need proper qualified help. My suggestions are just that - suggestions you might want to take up with a professional if you think they could be relevant.
Toxaprevent, a company name, is new to me. When I called them after failing to find when the company had been registered their phone message simply told me “the person you are trying to reach is not available, goodbye”. Not a promising beginning, but the claim they make is a big one. To quote from their website: 'Toxaprevent is a UK company based in the West Midlands, UK that provides high quality natural supplements and medical devices. Designed to detoxify the body, Toxaprevent products all contain the clean, safe and medical grade Zeolite Clinoptilolite (MANC®) and target specific areas of the body to remove pollutants and toxins. All Toxaprevent products are clinically proven to bind heavy metals, aluminium, histamine and ammonium from the body and skin. They are clinically proven to not be absorbed by the body. MANC® safely travels through the digestive tract binding to toxins and then passes out via natural bowel movement, therefore having no direct side effects.
I have used Zeolite in the past for mercury detox with good results, but this is clearly a little different. The two products I think worth trying are Toxaprevent Medi Sachets, and their Capsules. The company blurb suggests, ‘Zeolites help to eliminate unwanted toxins from the body, as they are clinically proven to bind heavy metals, aluminium, histamine, and ammonium from the body and skin. MANC® particles are optimised to stay only in the digestive tract making sure they never pass the gut barrier. This means the toxins are safely bound and detoxed with the MANC® particles via natural bowel movements. The use of Toxaprevent helps to improve digestive health and can help improve food intolerances’.
What I couldn’t find on the website (though doesn’t mean it definitely is not there) was mention of the warning that their products might produce constipation - which of course could only add to the problem.
Then, Spirulina is a standard mercury detox supplement. It’s one I have consistently found difficult to tolerate. My favourite brand is Royal Green, but even that I sometimes find tough to digest. However, it is not available at the moment. Fushi Organic Spirulina might be a good alternative.
If you are undertaking any sort of detox, or simply on the move with a full schedule, you may need to re-think “every-day” vitamins and minerals. My preference is for a liposomal formula, that is easiest on the digestive system, and eliminates the need to carry around multiple bottles etc... The one I am trying at the moment is “Balanced Liposomal Daily Multis”.
Finally, a product I came across that may appeal to those who like that British speciality, Marmite, or even Bovril. It is a powder that makes Biomed Reindeer bone broth. Maybe worth a try? (But my tester described the taste as “disgusting”! Be warned).
I hope something in the above is helpful, at some point. But, don’t forget the need for professional direction. Enjoy the summer, in the northern hemisphere let the sun speed your healing; and rest well if you are living in a winter zone.
Go well, be well, love Michal
21st June 2023 - I am writing this on June 21, the date of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, and the winter solstice for the southern hemisphere.
The sun is at the furthest point of its journey north. On the summer solstice, the sun's daily northward movement in the sky appears to pause, and the sun rises and sets at its northernmost points on the horizon. After the solstice, sunrise and sunset shift southward again with the northern hemisphere slowly beginning to lose daylight hours, while the southern hemisphere gains them.
The journey of the sun has held mystic significance from time immemorial. The central axis of Stonehenge, in Britain, which was probably built about 5,000 years ago, in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC. was aligned with the sunrise at summer solstice and sunset at winter solstice. The stones of the circle, or Henge, precisely frame the rising and setting sun when days were at their longest and shortest. The question how did the ancients calculate those alignments has never been answered. But, it’s testament to the power ascribed to the solstices.
Objectively, because of its position in the sky, the sun is deemed to be potentially at its most potent on the summer solstice, which has traditionally been recognized as a time of powerful healing.
For me the summer solstice is about fullness, the sap is at its highest, and it is as if what needs to be drawn out of the body is especially likely to come out at this time. The winter solstice on the other hand promotes shutting down, as if the body sinks into a more dormant phase. Accordingly, it’s vulnerable in different ways. But, looking at what is drawn out at the summer solstice, one factor has come to the forefront of my thoughts this year. It is mercury.
It has indeed been very hot in the northern hemisphere. The mercury has risen. Especially for those of us who were “treated” to silver fillings, even if they were later removed, mercury can be a lifelong issue. The body buries toxins in the places it deems safest, to protect itself. That means mercury can be pushed to the edges of the body, away from organs, or into the bones. As the bones are continually renewing, breaking down and being built up again, they are a potential source of mercury into the body. Sometimes though it is more subtle, with the poisoning coming not from the physical body, but from the energy body. The energy body can carry the memory of mercury and cause problems that way.
The symptoms of mercury poisoning are wide-ranging. Some obvious symptoms include headaches, difficulty sleeping, impaired sensations, muscle weakness, emotional changes (mood swings, irritability, nervousness), kidney damage, breathing difficulties and others. Of course, there are recognised protocols for dealing with mercury toxicity, and it is essential to have proper professional help. But I have been looking at some supplements that may have a role to play and will be glad to report on them in my next post.
Meantime, for those in the southern hemisphere, enjoy the rest the winter solstice offers. And, for those in the northern hemisphere, take healing from the sun. Let the poisons, whether physical poisons like mercury, or insidious poisons like a dark mood, fear or anger, be drawn from you, and celebrate the abundance to come.
Go well, be well, Love Michal
November 2022 - I hope this finds you well. The most common health related issues I am hearing at the moment are fatigue, and constipation. There are many reasons for both. On fatigue, specialist help really is necessary here in prolonged cases. But here are some simple products to consider.
First Vitamin C - I prefer liquid or liposomal forms of vitamin C. Where constipation is also implicated Ascorbic Acid is worth considering. But, one of my current favourites is Cytoplan’s food-based Vitamin C as Calcium Ascorbate powder.
Then, I have mentioned NADH before. NADH stands for "nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) + hydrogen (H)". It occurs naturally in the body and plays a role in generating energy. Basically, the NADH produced by the body is involved in making energy in the body. There are, or can be, side effects though. Taking NADH supplements might affect blood pressure as well as having other effects. The brand I like best is by Professor George Birkmayer, though it is hideously expensive.
Constipation is another really complex area. Persistent constipation issues could be connected with Thyroid function. Only blood tests and proper medical assessment can establish that. But there are a number of related approaches that can help to deal with constipation. Probiotics first of all. Some sufferers have had help from BioGaia Gastrus. According to the blurb, these "chewable tablets are Adult Probiotic Supplements, designed to address Stomach Discomfort, Constipation, Gas, Bloating, Regularity", and are Non-GMO, which I think very important. For some people they are really effective. Another option is BioMedica TriFlora 60's. This is a probiotic with added glutamine. Unlike some probiotics it does not have to be kept in the fridge, which is helpful.
Also, it’s worth checking if you are low on vitamin B12. As we get older, our ability to absorb vitamin B12 decreases. Apparently this is because aging adults often develop problems with the acids and stomach enzymes needed to process the vitamin. Common risk factors for low vitamin B12 levels in older adults include: low levels of stomach acid which makes digestion difficult, or less efficient.
Another probiotic - this one with fibre is Optibac Bifido & Fibre. It is particularly gentle. Finally, on constipation, Specialist Herbal Supplies Cascara Compound is an interesting product. The prime ingredient is cascara bark, together with turkey rhubarb root, supported by barberry bark, cayenne, fennel, and other herbs. Some naturopaths believe 2-3 bowel movements a day is the healthiest frequency. (I don’t have a view).
There are two other products worth mentioning because I have encountered them recently and seen good results. The first is Borage oil. I like this both as a hair treatment - oil to smooth on your hair as a conditioner- and also in capsule form (Pure Encapsulations) where it seems to have a variety of effects on different people. Most basically I like it for addressing inflammation - but beware, a little goes a very long way!
Oil makes me think about fats, and problems with digesting fats. This is liver territory and the best support I have found at the moment for liver issues is Nutri Advanced Liver Support.
Please remember you need to take advice from an appropriately qualified practitioner. I am not qualified to give advice and this is not intended as advice. These are simply my own experiential findings.
Finally - I came across a book recently that made me think differently about a subject looming large for all of us at the moment: Climate Change. The book is by Andrew McAfee, a principal research scientist at MIT, cofounder and codirector of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy at the MIT and is called “More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources--And What Happens Next “. It puts up a strong argument for more technology to support the worldwide growth of capitalism, with a decrease in greenhouse gases. His research presents the conclusion that capitalism – together with tech and public awareness – has allowed the Western world “to tread more lightly on the planet”. He writes that the capitalist’s basic desire to cut costs, means that we have learnt to make things cheaper and do “more with less”. He points out that in the past century, economic growth went hand-in-hand with plundering the planet’s resources. But when the century turned, there was a remarkable change. Economic development resulted in new devices and cleaner technology.
Some figures suggest that since 2000, the UK economy has grown by 40 per cent. But energy consumption is down by 20 per cent and that energy is greener, carbon emissions are down 40 per cent. Air pollution is down by as much as 90 per cent since 1970. Apparently, our carbon emissions, per capita, are at the lowest levels since the late 19th century.
I am reminded that human ingenuity, intentions, desire for better (which can include more) and benevolence can make really positive changes in the world. Also, that we do not need to go back to some mythical, primitive state to change the world. We can make the changes needed by going forward positively, imaginatively, co-operatively. That is progress. (And it does not mean that we need to give up the fight for organic or non GMO food, or to rely on pharmaceutical companies for our wellbeing).
Go well, be well.
August 2022 - Hello again, after a long pause. The pause has been partly due to my recommending very simple remedies to anyone who asked, and even in many cases simply suggesting fresh air, walking, breathing, smiling, best of all laughing, as being the most effective “useful things” especially in our current climate.
However I have been prompted to venture a little further afield so here are some of the remedies I have recently mentioned or tried.
B12 in Liquid form. I like Pure Encapsulations version. There’s lots of controversy, most of the time, about whether this is actually “medically” necessary, and doesn’t food give you enough B12? Of course the same argument is used regularly in relation to most supplements. There is also, as ever, the question about absorption. B12 is widely available in a general omnivore diet. Food sources of vitamin B-12 include poultry, meat, fish and dairy products. But it does come up for me in readings from time to time when I may suggest my client takes professional nutritional advice. Basically, Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) plays an essential role in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA, the molecules inside cells that carry genetic information. Tiredness is the big warning signal - but then it can be a warning signal of so much else too! This is just to say that I am finding that the liquid - hence it is super absorbable - B12 from Pure Encapsulations is producing good results at the moment.
Next is bone health. This is always high on my list of interests. According to one estimate overall, the age-adjusted prevalence of osteoporosis, that is loss of bone density leading to brittle bones, fractures and loss of height, among adults in the UK aged 50 and over increased from 9.4% in 2007–2008 to 12.6% in 2017–2018. Osteoporosis prevalence among women increased from 14.0% in 2007–2008 to 19.6% in 2017–2018. There’s no reason to think figures have improved since 2018, and indeed they have probably risen. Genes determine height, but lifestyle and diet are involved in osteoporosis. However, exactly what “lifestyle", and what diet is another matter. All the usual statements about “healthy mixed diet” and the importance of exercise apply, but are not necessarily very helpful, except in so far as moderate exercise helps just about everything. Calcium is certainly involved and helping the body hold on to calcium so that it can be used to rebuild bones (which are constantly shedding and re building) is crucial. Again much controversy as to what form of calcium. Dairy produce was once considered the gold standard in the western world when it came to calcium from food sources. However, there is much debate about that now, including for example consideration of the fact that in Japan calcium obtained from dairy consumption is much less than in the USA yet the rates of osteoporosis are lower in Japan.
All of that simply to say that I recently came across a different form of calcium, calcium from Atlantic seaweed, produced by Together Help. This product takes a different approach, or nutritional route, to the problem of encouraging the body to produce bone. I think it well worth exploring further.
On the subject of bone health, along with promoting hair and skin, Silica is important. Always remembering that supplementing one mineral may be leading to a deficit in another etc., I find Tissue Salts, which act on homeopathic principles, are a very simple good way of supplementing minerals. (But they often have a lactose base, so may not be suitable for those who have real problems with dairy produce). The old fashioned New Era brand remain my favourites for items like Silica.
Considering homeopathy further I have recently come across a brand called BioMedica which is an Australian practitioner only supplier of nutraceuticals and supplements. The “practitioner only” tag is sometimes no more than a play for market share. By marketing to practitioners who will then recommend their “Practitioner Only “ products to clients, companies hope to increase their market share. In return for “prescribing” these products, practitioners may receive a (generous) payback . This is a form of marketing that used to be widely prevalent in the medical world with Doctors being “rewarded” by pharmaceutical companies for prescribing their products, but it has now been largely discredited and discontinued.
But, a similar practise is now a widespread model among distributors of supplements today. However, from what I have seen, it is not only or largely individual manufacturers making payments to practitioners, but retailers encouraging practitioners to set up accounts offering various "easy" ways of enabling clients to purchase the supplements prescribed by their practitioners. Of course each purchase is associated with a practitioner account, and the practitioner receives a cut of the purchase price for every item the client buys. (A generous cut, like 30%, in some cases). All this is another problem for another day, but something to be aware of when faced with hugely rising costs. (And I am not ignorant of the research costs of manufacturers, or the competition in the market place).
The BioMedica product I wanted to mention is a homeopathic preparation called Batrol. It is a very powerful combination of several homeopath remedies in low potencies, and only available through a Practitioner. Low potencies mean that the product is closer to containing physical traces of substances than homeopathic remedies in high potencies which are designed to penetrate the energy bodies only, not the physical body. That often means they can be more powerful than lower potencies, but in this case I have seen good results from Bactrol in strengthening the immune system to fight inflammation. Worth discussing with a practitioner?
That’s all for now. I pray for peace and solace in ravaged lands. Go well, be well. Love Michal
April 2022 - Please, can I just give you a list of things I have found useful recently? I’m tempted to do just that and let you look up the pros and cons for yourselves - always bearing in mind the practitioner caveat before you use anything. You can decide for yourselves what to read of course! So, here goes.
Lugols Iodine. I was reminded of this with the situation in Ukraine and the threat of nuclear weapons. I bought some and holding it feel it is still a good remedy to have to hand, if ever the very worst should descend.
Himalayan pink salt. I think this is a staple, worth alternating between this and a good sea salt for the multiple mineral benefits of the pink salt.
Now I may have mentioned the next product to you before, but just in case I haven’t, I very much like Oranurse unflavoured toothpaste - a real no nasty product.
On books, though I have read, or skimmed several , only two stand out in my mind at the moment. The Dawn of Everything: A new History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow. The jury is out on this one. I found some bits fascinating, some doctrinaire and tedious, others dismissible, some unreadable, and others offered a genuine new perspective. Feminism for Women by Julie Bindel is a tough read. I winced, and more, so often at the uncomfortable truths she lays bare. I was glad to have read it. As ever - more quite soon. Go well, be well. Love Michal
April 2022 - It’s ages since I have posted and I have a great deal of Useful Stuff to report, news of which has been going out to clients in sessions, but I have not had time to detail here. So, just a few products to mention for the moment, but more asap.
First is an old favourite from long ago that I thought had gone out of production. It is Archturus probiotics. If you remember, I think it’s a good idea to change products regularly - but of course as ever please ask your own practitioner before taking supplements.
Then, there is a new product I have discovered that is well worth knowing about in this time of throat issues/ lingering Covid. It’s Viridian Organic Elderberry Throat Spray. It’s dangerously delicious, made with fresh Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) Manuka Honey and Marshmallow. I have found it does exactly what it claims and is helpful in the early stages of a tickly throat.
Finally, for those of us who have trouble processing fats from time to time, Enzymedica by Lypo Gold, is worth trying if recommended by your practitioner. The manufacturers say ”Lypo Gold™ is a formula that contains the highest potency of Lipase Thera-blend™. It has been formulated to support proper essential fat and fat-soluble vitamin absorption, gallbladder function and cardiovascular health and address the symptoms of lipase deficiency.” It's powerful stuff, to be used carefully.
That’s it for now. I am just back from Cornwall where a small group of us enjoyed a marvellous week- lots to process. More as soon as possible. Meanwhile, go well, be well. Love Michal
November 2021 - Covid is blazing a fiery trail over Europe. Regulations in some areas are fearsome, infact becoming fearsome in many. It’s hard to know what is or isn’t true. I expect we will not know for many years when scientific fact, research and statistics are separated altogether from political and emotional bias. Meantime, there are useful strategies related to all approaches. As ever - check with your own appropriate practitioner before taking any supplements, or herbs.
Top of my list today is a Herbal Detox Decoction offered by the College of Naturopathic medicine in London. It is specifically suggested for use after having a Covid vaccination. The herbal ingredients are Pine needles, Wormwood, Fennel seed and Angelica root. The instructions state 2 teaspoons of herbal mix simmered in 500ml of water for 5 minutes. Then strain and drink 2-3 cups through the day for 3 weeks. Available from naturopathy-uk.com/pv-protocol. Warning: it’s incredibly bitter!
Then, an issue that has come up repeatedly is around digestion. Supplements can be hard on delicate digestion and can even make matters worse not better. Of course I stop everything or vary what I take regularly. But I was delighted to find some new Liposomal products.
I can’t claim to know the science behind Liposomal formulations, but I understand Liposomal vitamins don't use tablets or powders to deliver nutrients. It’s the tablets or powders that can often cause problems with digestion, and absorption. Instead, the vitamins are encapsulated in pockets of fat cells called liposomes (hence the name). "Liposomes are spheres made up of phospholipids which are the primary building blocks of cell membranes.” This means they are much easier for the body to absorb, or so the theory goes.
In practise I have found Liposomal formulations much easier to take than pills or capsules. (Liposomal Vitamin C from Epigenar does come in capsule form though, but apparently the formulation conforms to the liposomal methods). So I was delighted to find four new versions. All come from Lipolife, who are a UK manufacturer. I found them on The Finchley Clinic website, but have seen them elsewhere too. The first three are Liposomal Omega 3 Oil (vegan), Liposomal Curcumin C3 complex, and Liposomal Glutathione. I really like all three at the moment. Then there is a fourth that is especially relevant when facing Covid. (Of course anything and everything that strengthens the immune system is good to use in facing, or avoiding, Covid.) It is Liposomal Vitamin C and Quercetin. Quercetin, according to the College of naturopathic medicine, has a similar action in the body as Ivermectin a controversial Covid drug. There is a great deal of debate about Ivermectin, from claims that it has a miraculous effect in treating Covid especially if given early enough, to claims that such claims are simply false news. I will not comment. But I can say I have taken Liposomal C and Quercetin and felt good on it.
Finally, in terms of liquids, I have a long time favourite Vitamin A, which is BioCare Nutrisorb Vit A.
One more subject that has come up this month is constipation. It’s a huge subject and enormously important. The body has to get rid of waste matter. If it can’t, or doesn’t, waste accumulates, poisoning the system. Especially when we are all working so hard to help our immune systems keep in top shape, it is really important to ensure regular bowel movements. Several sources have reported to me that Maxi-Colon by Conella is excellent. It’s a powder, mixed in a large glass of water and drunk, preferably some say on an empty stomach. It’s great to be able to report such a simple product for such a widespread problem.
To change the subject completely. No one can have missed the furore caused by the woke debate, or transgender issues. I am planning a new year talk to address many of those issues and give you my take. (More details shortly) But meanwhile, anyone with an interest in historical fiction and, or, a historical perspective on the role of women in one era (1400s) of British history, might like to read The Royal Game by Anne O’Brien. I found it fascinating, an escape from the everyday, in some ways, but also truly informative and very relevant to today.
I hope you stay well and happy in the month ahead - go well, be well, Love Michal
ps A couple of requests this week for suggestions of how to deal with anxiety. There is lots of it about! The obvious solutions are meditation, being in nature - even just standing outside, baths or showers, clean water in your environment (no old vases of half dead flowers), and healthy indoor plants. When it comes to supplements I think that Finchley Clinic's “Lavender” formulation is very effective for many people. It's a combination of lavender, oats, hops and a couple of other plant substances. I also favour New Era’s "Kali Phos", again for some this is a gentle, soothing product. Music, hugs, laughter and being under the sky all work very well too!
November 2021 - FYI what follows is a list of supplements sent by a client who in the early days of the pandemic was involved in putting together packages of supplements for front line workers.
IMMUNE PROTOCOL: A protocol for prevention, and in case of symptoms. How to take? ~ everything to be taken with meals, except the Liposomal Vitamin C. It is best taken on an empty stomach before meals.
Vitamin C: is very helpful in assisting immune resilience, and dealing with heavy viral loads. It is helpful to take liposomal Vitamin C which is the best absorbable Vitamin C on the market. I recommend taking Liposomal Vit C when you are at work/out in the world/around lots of people and in case of onset of symptoms. When not at work/out in the world/around alot of people you can use the Vit C capsule. This helps to save on cost. Vitamin C has a short half-life in your body so you need to take it throughout the day. Preventative: - If at work/out in the world/around lots of people where you feel you have been on the receiving end of a high viral load: 1-2g a day – spread through the day - morning, mid-day and evening. If not at work/out in the world: 1g a day. Symptoms: Immediately take 3g at once in onset of symptoms. Then after…. Mild symptoms: 3-6g a day– spread through the day - morning, mid-day and evening. Acute symptoms: 1g every hour.
October 2021 - Hello - a group of us had a very useful conversation yesterday on Covid and our thoughts, and feelings, about being vaccinated, or not, or having Covid. Many different views were expressed. Of course Covid and how to deal with it is essentially a personal decision. We all want to protect our own health and the health of our families, communities and fellow humans. But, as ever we have different ideas, as well as different circumstances to contend with. A couple of people gave some ideas for protocols related to having vaccinations, (also see above) and I am adding a herbal idea that I have come across. This is a product distributed by The College of Naturopathic Medicine in London, and it's to help alleviate any negative effects after having the vaccine (any/all of the Covid vaccines). Like many Naturopathic products it's a tea, known as Peter Jackson-Main’s herbal detox decoction, containing pine needles, dandelion leaf, and fennel seed. No reports on it yet, but sounds interesting. Go well, be well.
October 2021 - The information below came to me from someone who uses homeopathy. Please note that I have no idea whether it is effective or not. I am posting it because I know some of you find homeopathy very useful. But please note, I have not tested it, and can give no assurances about it at all.
A suggestion of Homeopathic remedies that may help prevent or lessen Covid:
- Arsenicum Album 200c or Aconite 30c or 200c – as needed for anxiety, fear of disease, fear of dying.
- Influenzinum 200c – one pill a week for 3 weeks to prevent any flu (including Corona).
- Gelsemium 30c – one pill daily for one week if you’ve had contact with anyone suffering from flu of any kind.
- Tuberculinum Aviare 30c – one pill twice a week for 3 to 5 weeks, if you have weak lungs or start wheezing
Homeopathic remedies that may help treat Covid symptoms: to take until you feel better and can gradually stop taking them:
- Gelsemium 200c – 4 times daily if you have a headache with the feeling your head is about to explode, temperature with shivers up and down the spine, exhaustion, and /or achy limbs
- Oscillococcinum 200c – 4 times daily at the start of any flu
- Belladonna 200c – hourly to bring down a high temperature
- Eupatorium Perfolatum 30c – 4 times daily, instead of Gelsemium if the muscular pains are so strong that it feels like you have broken a bone
- Bryonia 30c - 4 times daily to treat a dry cough and scratchy throat
- Antimonium Tartaricum 30c – 4 times daily to treat a cough with phlegm deep down difficult to expectorate (so the cough can be dry with wheezing)
- Arsenicum Iodatum 30c – 4 times daily if wheezing and coughing lots of yellow green catarrh, or if you have pneumonia symptoms.
- Arsenicum Album 30c - 4 times daily or more for asthma-like symptoms
- Cocculus 30c – as needed for vertigo/dizziness
To help you select the right remedy for the symptoms experienced, in the UK you can contact the Homeopathic Helpline on 0906 534 3404 any day from 9am to midnight. This is a BT premium rate. The maximum call duration is usually 10 minutes and is frequently much shorter. The charge is £1.50 per minute. The advice given is mainly concerned with acute problems or advice about the suitability of your problem for homeopathic treatment. You may be advised to go to see a doctor or an accident or emergency department if homeopathy is not the right solution. The helpline has operated since April 1996 and helped with 165,000 enquiries in its first 12 years of operation.
The suggestions continue with remedies that are aimed at helping when receiving the Covid Vaccine. Again, please note I have no idea whether these are effective, or safe, but pass them on because I know some of you find homeopathy very useful, as do I, in some circumstances.
If anxious about getting vaccinated, take Argentum Nitricum 30c, one pill every time you feel apprehensive about what is to come.
Take one pill of the Astrazeneca or the Pfizer or the Moderna covid vaccine 200c the day before the immunization day (so that the body is prepared). If you do not know what vaccine you will get, you can take both pills, or the three of them, 5 - 20 minutes or more apart.
Straight after vaccination: take Arnica 30c for the physical shock of the injection and prevent blood clots. Take it every 20 minutes or so until you feel back to normal, then 1-2 hours later give Ledum 30c so that the site of the injection doesn’t swell up.
Deal with any reaction to the vaccine as naturally as possible to help the immune system do its good job of detoxing by giving Belladonna 30c every 10-20 minutes for a fever, Hypericum 30c for shooting pain, Chamomilla 30c for soreness, Gelsemium 30cfor tiredness and flu-like symptoms, Apis 30c for inflammation/allergic reaction (although strong allergic reaction/anaphylactic shock is an emergency that should be addressed by medical staff), and Cuprum Met 30c for tremors/spasms.
The day after vaccination: take the Astrazeneca/Pfizer/Moderna covid vaccine 200c, one pill in the morning and one pill in the evening.
If a reaction arises from giving the Astrazeneca/Pfizer/Moderna covid vaccine 200c, also deal with it as naturally as possible by taking Gelsemium 30c for tiredness and flu-like symptoms, Belladonna 30c for a fever, Apis 30c for inflammation etc.
Once the fever / inflammation has been dealt with, take the Astrazeneca/Pfizer/Moderna covid vaccine 200c pill again until there is no reaction to it.
If there is any other reaction (e.g. a cold, loose stools, skin reaction, disturbing dreams, sweat etc.), also wait for this to clear, then repeat the vaccine in potency. Should a further reaction occur, again wait for it to clear then take the vaccine in potency.
Argentum Nitricum, Arnica, Apis, Belladonna, Chamomilla, Gelsemium, Ledum are all in the Helios or Ainsworth remedy kits. Cuprum Met 30c is not.
The Vaccine in potency (Astrazeneca/Pfizer/Moderna covid vaccine 200c) is a homeopathic remedy made from the actual vaccine (hence an application of the “like cures like” homeopathic principle, but this time you treat “the same with the same” - what can cause a problem can cure it if given in homeopathic potency).
Meanwhile, travel well, go well, be well. May the month ahead bring you peace and joy.
YOU MUST SEEK ADVICE FROM A NUTRITIONIST BEFORE TAKING ANY SUPPLEMENTS
October 2021 - Here in the northern hemisphere, as the autumn draws in, I'm less inclined to be out, and more inclined to be in, reading. That can be 'a good thing', but can also deprive me of much needed exercise! So - balance is the key, as ever, of course. One book I have just started is called 'Bewilderment' by the American author Richard Powers.
I heard a radio interview with the author, and though I did not resonate with the energy I felt, I was also drawn to understand the author's approach better. Consequently I bought his novel. The sleeve blurb reads, "At the heart of this novel lies the question: how can we tell our children the truth about this beautiful, imperilled planet?"
That of course presumes there is a Truth, "about this beautiful imperilled planet", which by its language implies danger, peril and perhaps destruction. However, I believe there are many truths, and they can e told in numerous ways with diverse consequences. And of course, I believe in the power of good to hold sway in the hearts of humans. But, it is a power that needs to be unleashed, supported, inspired, embraced.
Now, I am not yet a quarter of the way through the novel, but responses are welling up within me. First, it is beautifully written. An overused phrase, but in this case I mean that Richard Powers conjures up glorious, piercing images that make it very compelling reading for me. The next is the question of gratitude. In the story the lead character takes his nine year old son on a trip into the mountains, an area where there are "more different species of trees than in the whole of Europe". The beauty he describes is breathtaking. But, I do not feel a sense of gratitude, of his being grateful for the wonders, only a mournful note that this is all about to be destroyed, by our civilisation I assume. That may or may not be true. It is not inevitable. I do not believe it need be true. Perhaps more of a sense of a positive creative outcome will follow? Meanwhile I wonder what the "takeaway" is, or will come out of this book?
From what I have read so far, it is in part an attitude that supports those who take extreme steps to force society to become carbon neutral, and who believe the answer lies in the destruction of capitalism. I am quite sure that lying on motorways to protest, as has happened in England recently, is not an answer to the issues "Bewilderment" raises (so far). Nor is the destruction of capitalism. So, I wonder where the positive solutions are? I want a spotlight on those who are looking for the creative answers that support society, the earth and our connections. If the younger generations especially despair of humans' relations to the earth, this indeed is fodder to fuel their depression and nihilism. Where is the creation and the capacity to believe in our power to emancipate ourselves from old attitudes and to transform behaviour and attitudes that have contributed to our problems, while also bringing significant benefits to so many.
Take one example in the battle against carbon emissions. In the battle to achieve carbon reduction, why are our shelves and marketplaces flooded with Chinese goods when China is making so little attempt to reduce carbon emissions? One strategy could be to place huge carbon tax on any nation's goods when the source nation's carbon emissions are above a certain level? Wouldn't that produce a pretty immediate response? There must be many advances of this sort waiting to be applied, using positive energy to create real constructive solutions to the problems we face, without the despair, depression, berating of humankind and sense of hopelessness my reading of Bewilderment has revealed, so far. But, perhaps there is a positive turn to come. I am certainly going to read to the end.
Meanwhile, I believe the personal evolution of each individual contributes to the positive transformation of the planet. It plays an enormous part in freeing us from the cycles of exploitation, and the desire to benefit at the expense of the other. It supports the true freedom of all. (More another time about what that True Freedom actually looks like).
There is another thought that floated into my mind along with the beautiful pictures of the environment Powers creates. Simply that I could never have taken my 9 year old daughter on a camping trip into a remote mountain region in the way the book describes. Could any woman? What a curious paradox that a man uses a story of experiences which a only a man could participate in to decry human kind for its failings (so far, perhaps the novel take a different turn). Again more on that subject another time.
Meanwhile, I believe the personal evolution of each individual contributes to the positive transformation of the planet. It plays an enormous part in freeing us from the cycles of exploitation, and the desire to benefit at the expense of the other. It support the true freedom of all. (More another time about what that True Freedom actually looks like).
For those of us who regularly use probiotics I have a couple of suggestions. First - a warning. These are not cheap, and they need to be taken for a decent length of time to make a difference. Of course what is a decent length of time will vary from person to person. But, I am finding both of the below to be really effective products. For me it's important to give supplements a break from time to time, and to change products regularly.
Vivomixx is from Europe and it's a slightly unusual formulation. BioGaia is lactic acid bacteria and powerful.
Two products which I have not been taking over the summer, but will start again with the approach of winter are Bionutri Elderberry Complex, and Metabolics Elderberry Immune Support. They both aim to do the same thing: to support the immune system and are regarded as especially helpful in dealing with Covid. Of course I don’t take both together, but for me they are good to switch between.
Another pair I sometimes like to switch between at the moment is Cytoplan Vitamin C and Epigenar Liposomal Vitamin C, and I will be using them increasingly as the season progresses.
Just in case anyone is having the same problem as me sourcing a good vegan omega 3 oil supplement. My usual (recent usual) favourite brand has been by Viridian. But that’s impossible to get in the UK at the moment. Apparently there are production (or supply?) problems and a long wait is anticipated. However I like the look of Vivo Omega 3 Vegan EPA and DHA derived from algae, and am about to try it. It boasts a “lemon” taste, which I don’t like the sound of, but the rest of the details sound promising.
Stay strong - go well, be well, Love Michal
July 2021 - Britain is slowly coming out of lockdown. Fingers crossed. I hope the same is happening where you are. Two pieces of “useful stuff” I want to pass on today. First I have been very impressed by Traumeel Cream. It is homeopathic cream recommended for ankle sprains, tendinopathies, strains, contusions and anything related or similar. It also worked wonders on our small spaniel who, being young and curious, investigated something in the woods which might have been a wasps nest. He emerged whimpering, limping, wasps imbedded in his coat, and very miserable. However, Rescue Remedy and Traumeel had him back to normal within a few hours. The client who recommended Traumeel to me had a more conventional sprained ankle which apparently recovered quickly too.
Then on a very different tack - some of you may have joined me to discuss “What should I eat" last week. Bottom line, no processed food, and check out any products for their constituents. I mentioned Biltong a dried meat product that has become very popular, and was a big part of my south African childhood. However, all the biltong I have seen in the supermarkets is stuffed full of preservative and other things I do not recognise. But, British Biltong have a great range of products especially their artisan biltong made without any e additives. Enjoy. I am about to try their Droewors, which is a dried sausage, also part of my childhood. Have a good summer if you are in the Northern hemisphere, and I hope the weather is kind to you on the southern side of the world.
June 2021 - This is a particularly turbulent patch for many of us. If you are feeling under pressure, it might be worth considering increasing your magnesium intake. A very simple way to do that is with a magnesium drink. The one I favour at the moment is called Natural Vitality Natural Calm. I don’t mind the taste too much, although if you want to mask the stevia sweetness you can always add a few drops of lemon juice. Hope you find it useful.
May 2021 - Hello, I hope this finds you well. There is lots of Useful Stuff to talk about. First an eye-opening book - I hesitate slightly at the cliche but I was really impressed by the clarity of this book. The title is "The Coddling of The American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting up a Generation for Failure” by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff. Initially, I was concerned that this book might turn out to be a plug for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, but it is much more than that. This is one of those rare occasions where I feel everyone should read - or listen (it’s on Audible) to a book. Whether or not you agree with the authors’ conclusions, the information marshalled and the way it is organised are impressive. The title, and subtitle, tell you exactly what it’s about. And, it is in full force in the USA and spreading.
Then, on to supplements. As the season changes, I have been trying different supplements, and seeing different programs being used by my clients. As ever I believe that "dipping in and dipping out" is the way to go. First of all, Elderberry. Although there are very encouraging signs in the UK in relation to Covid, of course there are very serious situations elsewhere and it certainly has not gone away. I think there is still a case for using Elderberry which has some good research behind it for supporting the immune system. My two favourites have emerged as: Bionutri Elderberry Complex, and Metabolics Elderberry Immune Support.
Next - energy. The elements that go in to supporting our energy, and indeed increasing energy are numerous. Good will is a decent place to start. A nice view always supports my spirits, which increases my energy. Proper diet and nutrition are important though. Please take expert advice - I am just sharing my experiences here, not giving professional advice. First, I have been trying another Glutathione, by Cytoplan, which is a make I like because the products are very close to food state. Glutathione — one of the body's most important and potent antioxidants — occurs naturally in our bodies and keeps cells healthy by removing free radicals, toxins, and heavy metals. There are claims too that it can also improve energy production, boost immunity, and delay early signs of aging in the skin. I am not sure about the immune booster or the skin and aging, but I do think it boosts energy.
Vitamin E is worth considering here. It crops up for me from time to time. Claims about Vitamin E are wide. For example, that it’s important for stamina, energy, also good for good blood circulation. You can get it in oily fish, eggs and dairy products. It is also called a 'sex vitamin’ because it reputedly increases blood flow and oxygen to the genitalia. It also has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants might protect your cells against the effects of free radicals produced for example when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation. My current favourite, is Good Health Naturally Vitamin E Tocotrienols.
Vitamin C remains a really important staple. There are two new forms I am looking at. One is plant-based Vitamin C and very gentle, especially compared to regular ascorbic acid. It’s by Global Healing and simply called Plant Based Vitamin C. A lovely gentle product. The other is a Liposomal Vitamin C product. Liposomal Vitamin C is much more expensive than regular Vitamin C supplements. According to an industry source, the Vitamin C is trapped in a fatty bubble called a liposome by a new technology only available in recent years. This is done by a complex and costly process. In terms of the physiological benefits, liposomal Vitamin C is absorbed directly via the liver, not via the small intestine, from where it goes directly into the bloodstream ensuring an absorption rate close to 100%. Although all Vitamin C products are beneficial, the higher rate of absorption in the liposomal form means the considerably additional cost may be worth it. It is often claimed that Liposomal Vitamin C is on a parr with giving IV (intravenous) vitamin C where it is injected directly into the bloodstream. My initial response to this product by Epigenar is very positive.
Then, I am continuing to use Biotin, I seem to get a “yes” to it every day from my personal testing system (my hands). I also find that Biotin and chromium taken together seem to regulate blood sugar, or at least any ups and downs effectively.
Next on my radar has been Tyrosine. Tyrosine is an amino acid produced in the body. Supplementing with tyrosine is thought to increase levels of the neurotransmitters. Increasing these neurotransmitters may help improve memory and performance in stressful situations. I am trying Pure Encapsulations L-Tyrosine.
Bone health is always high on my list of interests. I came across an interesting report of the connection with manganese, and consequently thought it might be worth trying. The product I have chosen is Pure Encapsulations Manganese.
As ever, I think that pro, even pre biotics are vital. My usual favourite is Optibac. Optibac also make a special formula for Women, as well as the regular product. But, another option for women is Garden of Life Microbiome Formula One Daily for Women. I am enjoying using this for a change.
Finally, for today is an old favourite, Ashwagandha. It’s a staple of Ayurveda medicine, with a very long history. The word means “the smell of a horse “in Sanskrit, apparently referring to its ability to increase strength. There are wide contemporary claims about its efficacy from increasing Testosterone, reducing anxiety, and several others.
There is also a suggestion that certain groups of people should avoid using ashwagandha, including those who are pregnant or breastfeeding and those who have a medical condition like diabetes, high or low blood pressure, stomach ulcers, autoimmune disease, or thyroid disorders. I can’t comment on either what it actually does, or who should not use it. My own method of assessing whether to use it myself is to put a bottle in my hand and check whether I get a “yes” or a “no”. My current favourite brand is Cytoplan.
And, that’s enough for now. Go well, be well.
YOU MUST TAKE ADVICE FROM A NUTRITIONIST BEFORE TAKING ANY SUPPLEMENTS
March 2021 - Hello! I am surrounded by boxes having recently moved office. It is the right time to move, but what a year this last year has been for us all. It has brought up many problems with varying solutions, and the need, of course, to be much more vigilant. With that in mind, here are some items that I have found useful or interesting recently .
First, books, because lockdown has reduced most of our social outlets considerably and might have led you to read, from time to time. Two books that we have looked at in the Circle Group in the last few months are Sarah Dunant's, Sacred Hearts, and Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens. Lots was said about both - I heartily recommend them!
Then on to products. Toothpaste has been on my mind, having had a client with really troublesome dental problems. Amrita have brought out a new “all natural toothpaste” - Natural Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste. It comes in an adult and a kids version. Amrita say not only is it free of all the usual problems of conventional toothpaste, including SLS (the foaming agent that I believe is banned in the USA but permitted in the UK) but also it contains a "signature ingredient”, hydroxyapatite, which they say is a naturally-occurring mineral that strengthens teeth. I tried it but found my teeth actually seemed a little more sensitive while I was using it. However, it went down really well with another member of the household who tried it too.
Meanwhile, my dear friend Kolinka Zinovieff, of NHR aromatherapy, told me that he had had problems with receding gums for years. His periodontist urged him seriously to have his gums, which were in very poor condition, treated, but the procedure sounded so primitive and brutal to him - gums peeled back and cleaned then re-stitched up - that he put it off for years, hoping for a natural improvement. Finally his gums reached their very limits (dangerously low?). He then tried using a special NHR essential oil blend with his toothpaste for the following two years, with remarkable results. Now his dentist says he is the first patient he has seen whose gums have improved without surgery, and that he no longer needs periodontal treatment any more. Now, it is an anecdote and there may have been incidental factors that we don’t know about. But, it is worth serious thought if you are dealing with similar issues. But, please take care, essential oils are very strong and need to be used sparingly, with breaks, and under guidance from an experienced aromatherapist or naturopath. Meanwhile, I am continuing with ‘Oranurse’ an unflavoured brand that is the cleanest I’ve discovered (absolutely SLS free - non foaming).
Finally to Covid. I have become convinced that Vitamin D deficiency is a causal factor in the development of Covid, as well as a great help in dealing with illness caused by the virus. I offer that thought to urge you to think seriously about the amount of Vitamin D you are consuming. At the moment I am taking a fresh brand of Vitamin D - Epigenar Vitamin D3 and K2 Drops, which I am very pleased with. As ever, I think that it can sometimes be helpful to change or rotate supplement brands.
A general anti inflammatory is Tumeric. Cytoplan do an interesting product called Organic Turmeric Plus. It is a herbal complex containing turmeric (curcumin), cat’s claw and gotu kola. They suggest it is especially useful in promoting brain health. I am trying it out, but would be glad to hear your experiences if you have used it. Remember as with all supplements it is advisable to consult a properly qualified practitioner before taking any products. And I am not a properly qualified practitioner.
Long Covid is now a problem some are having to deal with. A recent spate of eye related issues, possibly connected with Covid, brought Vitamin A, one of the most basic eye supports, to my mind. It seems to me that there is material in the atmosphere at the moment which is causing irritation to the eyes; in some cases even the appearance of what seem to be diagnosed as styes on the inner lids - small pus filled “pimples” that can be very painful. They certainly need medical attention, and may need treatment with antibiotic ointment, but it is worth thinking about vitamin A too. At the moment my favourite brand is Nutrisorb Vitamin A drops. Since it is oil based it is possible to overdoes on vitamin A which means proper caution is necessary when taking vitamin A.
If any of the above is helpful, I will be very glad. As ever remember to consult that appropriately qualified practitioner (not me) before taking any supplement. Go well, be well.
January 2021: It goes on! For those of you in the USA my prayers are with you. We all fervently hope and pray for healing and peace in our world - may your new president contribute to that aim.
On the subjects of physical and mental healing, and peace, two products deserve a mention.
First a drink - an “anti-stress drink mix” called Natural Vitality Calm, it’s a magnesium supplement in flavoured powder form, added to water (or whatever you like - but water seems good to me). I find the flavour acceptable and feel it does indeed have a calming or soothing effect (on Amazon).
The other is a form of B vitamins. The B vitamins are of course so involved in regulating the nervous system. After strong recommendations, and a big “yes” from my inner guidance, I am trying BioCare Methyl B Complex. You might want to try it for a short time and see how it feels? I am very pleased with it, so far.
Sending much love and healing at this very stressed time. If these suggestions are helpful at any point to you I will be very pleased. As ever I am not a professional nutritionist and am only sharing my personal opinions and clients experience. Go well, be well.
December 2020: With the festive season and lockdowns in so many places, upon us, food can be a great distraction, nervous and digestive complaints common. I have had some grumbles about weight piling on during lockdown, or constipation sometimes associated with sedentary indoor lifestyles, and the usual range of intestinal or simply internal discomfort.
November 2020: As the so called second wave of Covid gathers strength, I have come across a range of responses. From the frankly unbelieving, or uncompliant, to the terrified - but almost always there is a degree of sheer exhaustion at the seeming relentlessness of the situation. This is not a new normal any of us want to endure.
As ever, my staples are meditation, contemplation, human togetherness and as much joy as you can find! (And, my favourite time for focussing and settling into a steady, elevated vibration is in the morning, often even before I am dressed for the day). On a more pragmatic front, I have been repeating my recommendation of the Finchley Clinic’s Lavender Formula for anxiety, but I have been looking at other options too.
There are actually two products I think worth mentioning. One is a B vitamin by Jarrow called B-Right. It has been on sale for many years, and the makers describe the constituents saying: ”B-Right is a carefully-balanced, low-odour vitamin B-complex formula.” From my layman’s perspective the B vitamins are the vitamins that feed the nervous system. Jarrow’s B-Right can be a good source of B12, which is often difficult to absorb as a supplement, and is involved in the metabolism of every single cell in the body. As ever don’t forget it can be helpful to change your supplement regimen every now and again.
The other product I have identified as potentially helpful at this stressful time is from The Finchley Clinic again, and it is Licorice Formula (A). In this case the makers make a point of saying it is important to take the product for 3 months to feel the benefits. Licorice Formula (A) is aimed at supporting the adrenal glands. I was interested to read the write up of the product. It says, “One thing that vibrantly well people always have in common is healthy adrenal glands. Conversely, chronically unwell people always have low adrenal function regardless of whatever other issues need treating. As Dr Eldred Taylor notes “effective treatment of the adrenal glands leads to optimal functioning of the entire endocrine (hormonal) and immune system. The adrenal gland has a profound effect on sex and thyroid hormones, glucose relations and the immune system”.
The adrenal glands are chiefly responsible for regulating our bodies’ response to stress. They are also involved with immune response, regulation of inflammation, and carbohydrate metabolism. They produce anti-inflammatory steroids (corticosteroids) and the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. Stress, a diet high in refined carbohydrates, excessive caffeine intake, and nutrient deficiencies conspire to ensure that hypoadrenia (depleted or exhausted adrenals) is endemic.”
Of course, different products suit different people, and at different times. Never take what the makers, or I say, as the gospel for your functioning. That is why you need a competent practitioner if you have a serious problem. As ever, I must recommend that you consult your own health care professional before taking any products designed to benefit your health. Meantime, no practitioner required to prescribe meditation, contemplation or joy, I can do that for you, and really hope that you can follow my advice!
October 2020: Emails about health, boosting the immune system and coping with Covid continue to flood in. So, I am re-stating some basics and adding a couple of points.
First, I take vitamins C, D3, K2 and zinc very day. Then, other products depending on what is happening in my life and in the world. I often take Aloe Vera juice, and find that Pukka Organic Aloe Vera juice is the brand that suits me best, soothing and facilitating digestion. I have been trying to establish how long it should be taken for, but so far have not come up with a definite time scale. I guess the answer is follow your own intuition!
Another point where you really need to check in with yourself is when to change supplements. A particular product may suit very well for a while, and then not. Sometimes it can mean your need for a particular supplement has tailed off, sometimes it can mean that another brand, another formulation might suit better. Or something else. Of course, if you are working with a practitioner, I hope they are alive to these possibilities. But, for example, in my own case, recently I found that my favourite liposomal form of Vitamin D3/K2, by Lipolife didn’t seem to suit so well. Instead, MNP’s D3 with vitamin K2 (from The Finchley Clinic) gets a strong “yes” from my system at the moment, despite containing sorbitol and so called “natural” fruit flavours. Equally, I have replaced BioCare’s Vitasorb B, with their B complex and can feel a definite benefit.
At the same time there are phases where I do not feel the need for supplements, just as at certain times a particular food will really appeal, and then not. As ever, fresh, seasonal organic food is always my preference and sometimes it seems quite magical the way I love green beans, for example, just when they are coming in to season locally, or right now, looking out of my window and seeing a gnarled old apple tree heavily laden with Cox Orange Pippins, I am almost overcome with the longing for an apple straight from the tree! (and I always indulge the desire!). As ever - peaceful joy is a wonderful tonic.
September 2020: It's autumn, and it seems tree climbing can become particularly appealing at this time if you are a small, energetic person. (It might appeal to bigger people too, but it's the small climbers I see most often) . With that comes cuts and scrapes. Especially now, with all the measures to protect against Covid, I am concerned about appropriate antibacterial protection, which of course I am hugely grateful for in so many circumstances. One product I have remembered and am keeping to hand is Colloidal Silver which is a natural antiseptic and disinfectant. The one I like at the moment is from Higher Nature.
Colostrum has come up in my work recently. I have been asked if it is helpful to support the immune system. Of course as the first food the breast produces for babies, it's been called “liquid gold”. As far as I know Collagen dietary supplements are of Bovine Collagen. So - is that useful? A conventional, alternative reply is that used "as a dietary supplement, colostrum is rich in immunoglobulins (antibodies) known to stimulate the immune system. Proponents claim that colostrum offers a number of health benefits, including the treatment of colitis, diarrhoea, and upper respiratory tract infections.“ Maybe. I suspect, as usual the answer is better for some people than others, and maybe not useful at all in some (many?) circumstances. Nothing clearer came to mind, so I want to hold a bottle to see if anything comes to me. Consequently, I have looked hard for Organic Colostrum to try. I found a few examples of Colostrum products but it was more difficult to find organic colostrum. However, I found some on the website of The Finchley Clinic in London, under their own brand. I will let you know if I have anything useful to say on the subject.
The final product I am trying at the moment is Aeterna Gold Collagen. This was recommended by a client and unlike my usual response to collagen products - which is not very positive at all - this one seemed interesting. My interest in collagen is for bone health, but the client who mentioned it is using it for joint pain and feels it is beneficial. Again, it was easy to find on the Finchley Clinic's website.
If any of the above is useful to you, I will be pleased. It comes with the usual reminder: check with your own health care practitioner before trying anything. I am not a doctor, nutritionist or medically trained.
August 2020: "Is there any way of protecting against Covid?” is a question that has of course been high on the list in many of the questions I’ve been receiving. For me the answer is not specifically about Covid but about a much more general quest to strengthen the immune system and promote well being. My own regimen puts food and joy as joint top of the list. Joy is almost the easiest. For me it's about the view out of the window, a quiet joke with a grandchild, a moment of closeness with another, the way a tree bends in the wind - there are so many possible sources of pleasure, little pleasures, and the pause to absorb a small pleasure is the breeding ground of joy.
Food is simple in theory (depending on your choice of theory, of course) and more difficult sometimes in practise. Organic is my first quest, and local wherever possible. Vegetables, salads, fruit (lots of fruit at the moment with summer fruits abounding). I also try to eat what is called resistant starch - for me that is potatoes that are boiled, left to cool and then used - either eaten cold or heated up again. They make an excellent prebiotic, which is food for the good bugs in the stomach. Excellent too is fermented food - that’s sauerkraut, kimchi etc.., all of which I am told is much better if you make it yourself, but despite excellent instruction, I still buy my (Polish) sauerkraut. I am an omnivore. I eat meat - in fact I positively need meat, but do my best to try and source grass fed meat, wherever possible. When it comes to fish I concentrate on wild salmon, mackerel and small sea foods like shrimps and scallops. That is because I am a little hesitant about farmed fish (especially salmon) and very concerned about the mercury that accumulates in larger fish.
Supplements are tricky territory. As ever you must check with your own practitioner, and remember that I am not qualified to give you health advice. My suggestions are based on what I have tried out on myself, or have seen work for clients. I think, especially with Covid fears, Vitamin D is essential, and for me (or anyone who is concerned about their bones) that means Vitamin K2. Vitamin D supplements that I have tired include: Allergy research D3 complete, Lipolife Liposomal D3/K2 my choice at the moment and Phyta D, a spray from Biomedica, but there is no K included in this one.
The next essential at the moment is Vitamin C. Bio Care Vitamin C, or Metabolics (Ascorbic Acid Powder), or Vitamin C from The Finchley Clinic (which I may have mentioned a few years ago as a source of Restore in the UK), which they claim comes from Tapioca and is GMO free (I have no idea of the validity of that claim, however, I like the product).
Another supplement I have suggested to a few clients recently to ask their practitioners about is Lavender Formula, again from the Finchley Clinic which is a herbal preparation, that I think works well to soothe the anxieties that are so prevalent at the moment.
One other product I’d like to mention on this occassion is aimed at dealing with any “Harmful organisms“ in the gut. Of course we all have multiple organisms in the gut, but every now and again it is possible to have parasites of some sort in the gut. I’ve seen good results with Paratrex, a herbal formulation from from Global Healing Centre supplements.
Finally, as ever I am not paid for any mentions! Nor do I take a commission for any supplements bought as a result of my mentioning it. If anything I mention is useful to you I am glad!
As ever I’m not qualified to give advice. Please check any supplements with your own qualified practitioner.
Previous posts: I’ll list Helpful Stuff in no particular order, just as it comes up. I’d love to hear how you get on if you try any of my suggestions, and really glad to have suggestions from you - is there anything you want me to try out, or want to recommend?
Modere Products I really like their shampoo - very clean, at a reasonable price. I think the soaps might be good too. But I’d strongly suggest staying away from all the diet related products.
Davines shampoos are great, but very pricey.
Dead Sea Salt. I have written and spoken about Dead Sea salt often, but it is a staple that I come back to again and again - which is why I am mentioning it again. Dead Sea salt in a bath at the end of the day is an amazingly good way of soaking in magnesium! Magnesium is the great soother. I suspect many of us are deficient in magnesium, or could use a boost from time to time. The one caveat I'd include is to make sure your Dead Sea salt is food grade, because you are, after all, drinking it in to your body. I hope you enjoy your soak!
On the subject of drinking, I have been experimenting. So, water, as ever, is an issue. I have not yet found a filtration system that fits all my requirements - table top and fitting all my criteria including not to add anything to the water. If anyone has a suggestion, I'd be glad to hear it. Meanwhile, at the moment, the bottled water I favour, and I know there are so many arguments for not drinking water in plastic bottles, is Volvic. I think it has particular qualities for drawing out metals from the body. My sense is that it is particularly effective for aluminum. My own favourite "recipe" for metal detox is to sip Volvic through the day having first added a couple of grams of ascorbic acid to the water in the bottle.
I've also tried two new teas recently, and can report that I like both, but cannot yet say that I feel either has a particular role, or efficacy. The two teas are Chaga tea, a mushroom product - a bit musty but OK, on occasion. The other is Cat's Claw which Anthony William, who calls himself the medical medium, is supporting. William says it is helpful in killing the Epstein Barr virus (actually a group of viruses I understand) that he feels is responsible for so much chaos on the health front today. I don't know if he is right or wrong. I think there are so many environmental factors to consider, it's hard to blame one thing. However, I was happy to try Cat's Claw and have to say that it was acceptable - not too horrid a taste, but I'll persevere a little with it before making my mind up on its effects. I am also enjoying Kombucha from time to time, but there I am being very careful to find varieties that are as natural as possible with no added flavourings and also trying to check out the alchohol content. I find I am really susceptible to even tiny amounts of alchohol.
Exercise related: This might seem an odd one, but I have recently found that wearing peep toe yoga socks when inside is a great way of strengthening my feet. It's better than being barefoot and at least as comfortable. I believe you can wear the peep toe socks under shoes as well, but I have not tried that.
I am not qualified to give advice on any supplements and urge you to check with a properly qualified practitioner before taking any supplement. I am only sharing my experience.
I’ve been experimenting widely here. As ever clients tell me what they are using and ask for my input. It means one way or another I am exposed to a wide variety of products.
Problems with absorption? I have seen good results from liquid vitamins. One that I personally have tried is Metabolics B Complex Liquid. The blurb on Metabolics B Vitamin Complex Liquid claims its composed of "highest quality B Vitamins, all in the most bio available, co enzyme forms. This means the body can readily absorb the vitamins“. The information on absorption is correct, in my opinion, and it could perhaps be particularly helpful for anyone whose liver is struggling or overburdened. Check it out with your practitioner.
Jarrow B Right My favourite B vitamin at the moment.
BioCare Vitasorb A Vitamin A in a liquid form. This is a basic for vision and the immune system.
Allergy Research D3 Complete withVitamin D with A, K2 and E. A great supplement for bones, and excellent balancing Vit D with Vit A. I like it.
Thorne Research Selenium, as selenomethionine
Selenium often gets overlooked, actually it’s important for reproduction, thyroid gland function, DNA production, and protecting the body from damage caused by free radicals and from infection.
Collagen is fashionable at the moment - that almost put me off trying it. But, I’m assessing Pure Encapsulations CollagenJS. There seems to be real research supporting this one (there are loads of collagens on the market) especially for benefit to joints. Later: I’ve been very positively impressed by this form of collagen, I’ve seen good results on all those trying this one. "Hair Skin and Nails'. The excellent collagen product from Pure Bio mentioned above (Pure Encapsulations Collagen) has been discontinued. Instead they have come out with this new formulation. I plan to try it and let you know.
Chromium Piccolinate. Good for dealing with sugar cravings - but definitely not one to take too often.
Lughols iodine - lots of uses, from adding to water for washing salad greens and vegetables, to treatment for underactive thyroid. It's very strong! Caution.
If you check out the web you will see there are lots of studies on Berberine and suggestions that it's helpful in a number of different ways from diabetes to heart disease. Personally I’ve seen good results for digestive disturbance and feel it is really powerful.
This has come up several times in the last month or two. My favourite brand at the moment is Optibac Probiotic. There are two versions, strong and regular. I don’t think it's necessary to take the strong unless you know you have a really serious problem. Otherwise the regular seems to work very well. Warning here. if you are tempted by the Optibac version for women, it seems to be heavily reliant on dairy derived strains - not so good for everyone. A probiotic is a good idea, from time to time, or especially if you have been unlucky enough to have to take antibiotics. Another favourite at the moment is Three Lac.
Metabolics Krill Oil. There's no doubt about Fish Oil being good for you (provided its not contaminated by, for example, mercury.) But there is talk now that Krill oil is even better for you. Krill are tiny shrimp-like creatures - not much chance of their containing mercury. Some studies suggest that the body may absorb and use the fatty acids in krill oil better than those in fish oil. I think this brand is rather good.
Jarrow Krill Oil. I have found this a good product - as above, I think it is essential to stay off fish oil now, and the diversity of krill oil on offer can be confusing, but I like this Jarrow product.
Pipkin Organic Hemp Seed Oil. This is not exactly a supplement, but I think it works like a supplement. It's Cold Pressed Raw Unrefined Extra Virgin Dark Green Color, and contains Omega 3 6 9. It's not for cooking, but it is good used in small quantities - the taste takes a bit of getting used to - on salad.
Pancreas Natural Glandular Extract Allergy research group. This is an unusual product, sourced from lamb, pork or beef raised in New Zealand, and consequently very pure. It's a digestive aid for those with very sensitive digestion. I think used for a limited period of time could be useful in appropriate cases.
NADH Professor George Birkmayer this was brought to my attention by a client with chronic fatigue syndrome, who found it really helpful. I understand it's used in sports to enhance performance, which would support its claim to help energy production. As with many supplements it is not cheap, infact it's very expensive . Holding the package, I like the energy! (If I don’t like the feeling of the energy of a product I will not try it myself, or ask anyone else to try it). I have asked someone else in an appropriate situation to try it out and will then let you know.
NADH. I have mentioned George Birkmayer’s formulation above. I now have several more very positive reports on it. But, I have also come across a product by Nutri Advanced offering the same NADH, nothing else I can see added - but in a much smaller dose, 5mg versus Birkmayers 20mg, and at a much more reasonable cost. I am going to check it out.
Oliveleaf Colloidal Minerals This is a great small company concentrating on supplements made from handpicked worldwide wild sources, they write : “ We believe that we should demand the same quality from our supplements as we do our food in that they should be free of man made chemicals, processed to preserve the phytonutrients mother nature provides and thus be effective and beneficial”. That says it all. (However, sometimes we do need the man made - despite the problems with “Big Pharma”etc etc..).
BioCare Vitamin C powder. This is a store cupboard essential for me. It’s a buffered, low acid form of vitamin C which reduces the chances of stomach irritation. It's a good antioxidant, and in the appropriate dose (you need a qualified practitioner) very helpful for de-tox too.
Restore. Zac Bush is the maestro of the Biome. This is his signature product for gut health, which is of course absolutely fundamental. Well, I though it might be a forever product, but actually I have found that after 4 or 5 months I no longer feel the need to take this. Will it come up again? I'll let you know if it does. Meanwhile, I am glad to hear that others have found it useful.
Digestive disturbance is something that lots of us suffer from, from time to time. Pain, wind, nausea or variants thereof, are remarkably common. The cause can be too much fibre, or a host of other problems. Poor digestion can also make a consent of taking supplements because they simply don't get digested, and just pass through the body. One possible way of treating poor digestion, in some circumstances, is with HCl and Pepsin, and also Pancreas extract. I am about to try both and will let you know how I get on.
BioCare Hal and Pepsin. Allergy Research Pancreas, which comes from either beef or pork. I'm not very good with beef, so am trying the pork version.
Calcium and magnesium. For some of us this is an essential supplement. I have tried various brands or formulas. At the moment I am trying SAN Cal-Mag, and like it very much. There are various formulations with different amounts of calcium and magnesium. I am going to experiment and again will let you know how I get on.
Digestion..... so much happens in "the gut". All of us probably try to respond to what we feel suits us to eat, and to eat when we feel it suits, which are two remarkably important cornerstones of well being. But sometimes, even with best endeavours, ensuring, encouraging or simply achieving most efficient digestion can be tricky. It's a topic that regularly comes up in my sessions. So I am sharing two of my favourite remedies for soothing the gut.
First Pukka Aloe Vera juice. Aloe Vera is a, or the, traditional remedy for soothing the stomach. At the moment, I think this Pukka product is the best Aloe Vera juice that I have tried. The makers recommend a dose (it's on the bottle) before meals. I like sipping a little through the day when it feels necessary.
Then there is another product that has been very highly recommended but I have not tried. Though, if I felt I needed it, I would. It is for indigestion, or heartburn and is called Fruitin, made by New Nordic. It is based, as the name suggests on fruit fibres, they come in a tablet which is chewed. My guess is that this is a better product than the usual commercial antacid products which are sometimes popular.
Finally, not digestion related but one of the basic supplements that I think many of us need, at least at one point or another, is zinc. I have found a liquid zinc which is very easily absorbed and consequently could be worth a try, when you need zinc. It is called Zincatest, by Lamberts. And I'd be glad to hear your reactions if you try this, or any of the products I mention. But as with all my mentions, or recommendations, check it out with your own health practitioner.
Moths! Clothes moths! I am paranoid about them. Most people living in cities have experienced the damage they can cause. I am using cedar wood chips, doused in cedar wood oil to deter them. So far so good. Fingers crossed.
In this time of Covid, it might be useful to use a herbal or organic oil spray to support the immune system and/or to kill viruses and/or bacteria. You can spray your face mask, or even in some cases use as a mouth wash, or simply spray into your mouth, depending on the product. Always follow the directions on the product, of course. Two suppliers who make sprays that aim to achieve some of these objectives are NHR Organic Oils for one option, and also Olive Leaf. I am trying both. So far I've experimented with the NHR product and love it.
FOOD Food is medicine of course. It's also too closely related to your taste, you at a particular time, where you are and a host of other factors to be prescriptive. But, as ever there are some constants. One of them is sea vegetables. I have often had trouble with these, though in theory I know what a great source of iodine and therefor thyroid support they are. But, taste too awful, potentially contaminated with mercury, impregnated with vegetable oil etc etc.. However, I have now found one that I love! Its called Dulse, and I particularly favour the Dulse from Maine - it feels very clean to me.
Red Notice: How I Became Putin's No.1 Enemy by Bill Browder
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker is described as a Feminist Iliad. I am not sure about that. But I am sure that it is masterly, accomplished and very powerful.
Circe by Madeline Miller. I simply loved this book. I had read and very much enjoyed The Song of Achilles also written by Madeline Miller a year or two ago, but this one struck an even deeper cord. Interestingly, as the names give away, both are inspired by Greek Myths - Miller was a classics teacher - but this re-telling, or indeed re-working of the stories is utterly modern and altogether compelling. I took note of the fact that both she and JK Rowling are drawing inspiration from legend, and that both have been immensely successful doing so (albeit to different degrees in different genres.) But it does say to me that there is something very deep and compelling that speaks to our psyches in those myths and legends.
The Essential Oils Hormone Solution by Dr Mariza Snyder.
The Sight of Death by T J Clark. An experiment in Art writing.
Pierre Bonnard. The Colour of Memory, The CC Land Exhibition. A beautiful book - I dip back into it regularly.
How We Win by Farah Pandith.
Winston Graham. Poldark series. I thought it would be very dated and uninteresting but actually it’s an old fashioned series (I’ve only read two of the series) that concentrates on character development and emotions, as well as the relationship between the characters and the environment. Easy pleasurable holiday reading.
Ursula Le Guin. It’s several years since I last read Tales from Earthsea, but re-visiting them is magical.
Rose Tremain. Restoration and Merivel. History repeats itself. I found these books very compelling.
Philip Pullman. The Book of Dust, volume 1, La Belle Sauvage. I have been wary of Phillip Pullman - too dark for my taste. But, this volume is different. Yes, it's a frightening world, but not without hope. the Light is there. I look forward to reading the next volume.
Sally Magnusson. The Sealwoman's Gift
STUFF TO WATCH
Looming Tower. Excellent series shown on BBC2 in the UK, made in America. Watch it if you can.
Cider House Rules. An uplifting film (older), look for the Michael Caine version.
Dr Jill Carnahan, a functional medicine doctor in Colorado, has some good recipes.
I'D LOVE TO HAVE YOUR SUGGESTIONS FOR ANYTHING YOU'VE FOUND USEFUL OR INTERESTING. PLEASE SEND THEM TO ME AT Michal@michal.uk.com. THANK YOU!
Needless to say I am not paid to mention anything here. I am also not qualified to give any professional advice, everything here is just my own opinion, and I hope it's helpful, entertaining or interesting. If you would like to make a contribution to the cost of my explorations it would be much appreciated, you can do so here.
OTHER PEOPLES SUGGESTIONS
A four part series by Manda Scott, including " Boudica Dreaming the Eagle” , “ Boudica Dreaming the Bull”, and "Boudica, Serpent Dreaming”. It is a fascinating take on tribal Britain and on the Romans and their approach to war and healing. It’s also of course sad as the last battle against the Romans is lost but it really has made me think about the Romans and how different pre Roman Britain was. Also how the Romans are still present to us today in so many places in Britian.
Here are some resources that some of us have come across, or that members of our community offer. We can't guarantee them obviously, but we can say - if you feel inclined to try them out, please do, and please let us know know how you get on.
If you have any resources of your own that you'd like to suggest others might want to try, we'd love to hear from you. Please email team@MichalLevinInstitute.com.
Here they are:
Jonathan Treasure, herbalist
Alliance for Natural Health International send out a regular, information newsletter and alerts on specific subjects
Cathy Mills, Artist
Organic herbal skincare range herbfarmacy.com
The Natural Dispensary nutritional supplement mail order for practitioners and their clients.
Primal Meats for grass fed meat 'best UK source for quality and compassion'
Alma (Indian Gooseberry) supplement to strengthen the endothelium (which Covid19 seems to attack), amongst other qualities.