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
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.
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.