Natural Ways to Reduce Cholesterol

seyed mostafa zamani / / CC BY

This month our focus is on healthy hearts. One of our key remedies works to lower cholesterol, a word that most of us are familiar and many of us are medicated for.

A number of dietary factors influence cholesterol. Most people are aware that a diet high in animal fats is linked to high cholesterol levels and as such we avoid foods like bacon, cheese, sausages and greasy burgers. But there is much more to cholesterol than steering clear of the greasy spoon!

Making sure your diet contains plenty of good fats is essential. Intake of healthy oils like omega 3 can help to achieve a healthy cholesterol reading. These healthy oils can be found in oily fish like sardines, mackerel and salmon; in walnuts and pumpkin seeds; or in flaxseed and hemp powders or liquid oils.

The other major influencing factors in your diet are sugar and fibre. Eating a diet which is high in sugar, or refined carbohydrates like white bread can also increase cholesterol levels, so keep all sugars to a minimum if you are making dietary changes to help the heart. Instead fill your plate with fibres from oats, oat bran, brown rice, fresh vegetables, beans and pulses which help carry cholesterol from the body.

High cholesterol is a common problem and for some people dietary changes alone are not enough to achieve a reading low enough to be considered acceptable by their GP. This could be due to the fact that their cholesterol was very high to begin with or the fact that genetically they simply produce a higher amount of cholesterol than other people.
There are a range of medical drugs, collectively referred to as statins, which are prescribed for high cholesterol. There are also a number of side effects associated with statins, including, muscle pain, fatigue and even breathlessness. For this reason there are a number of people who do not want to take statins. There are also a number of people who have tried statins but have found the side effects so bad that they have been unable to continue with the medication. So we do see quite a lot of people who are looking for a natural alternative to stains which do not have the same side effects.

The good news is that there is a fantastic natural product which we use to bring cholesterol levels down and we have real confidence in it having achieved over the years a 99% success rate while using it and that product is Cholesterol Maintenance by Solaray. Cholesterol maintenance is made using something called red yeast rice, which has achieved a reasonable amount of publicity over the last few years. Red yeast rice helps to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol being produced by your liver and as a result naturally decreases your cholesterol levels. The even better news is that it works quite quickly with most people seeing an improvement in their cholesterol reading within eight to twelve weeks of starting to take the cholesterol maintenance. On top of this we have never seen a side effect from taking this product either!

We sell loads of cholesterol maintenance and have many great stories about it, but one of my favourites is of a lady who came to us on her doctors recommendation. She had been using statins, but had had terrible side effects from it. The pain she had been suffering with in her leg muscles had affected her mobility and her energy levels were at an all time low. Because the side effects had been so severe her doctor had taken her off the statins and told her to see if there were any natural products which could help her. When she came in we explained about dietary changes, but she said she had tried them all and her cholesterol had stayed stubbornly high, so they presumed that she naturally produced high levels of cholesterol. As there was heart disease in her family, she wondered if it was possibly a genetic problem.

We then told her about Cholesterol Maintenance and the results we had seen with it. Although she was keen to try it she was also worried about the possibility of side effects as she had suffered so badly on the statins. We assured her that no one who had taken it had yet reported a problem to us, so she decided to give it a go. After twelve weeks on it with no problems she returned to her doctor to tell her what she was taking and to have a cholesterol test to see if cholesterol maintenance was doing it’s job. The results that came back were better than we could have hoped for, after just twelve weeks her stubborn cholesterol had reduced from 8.7, which is a high reading to 4.8. Everyone concerned was thrilled. Her doctor has even sent other people along for cholesterol maintenance if they have been unable or unwilling to take statins. It is for this reason and the many many similar stories, that Cholesterol Maintenance is one of our favourite products year after year.
To try Cholesterol Maintenance for yourself, click here.



Joint Care and Maintenance – Natural remedies for Joint Pain

When the weather is cold as it has been recently, joints can start to seize up and ache. Knees and hips can become painful and many people come in to see us to see if there is anything they can try to help improve their joint health and reduce their stiffness.
Last year we were introduced to a new product, based on some of our favourite joint remedies, made by a company called Lamberts the product is Glucosamine Complete. Now before you switch off, thinking that I am just writing about glucosamine again – please bear with me! This is actually quite a different kettle of fish to most of the other things on the market! How different can it be, I hear you ask, it’s just Glucosamine! Well no! Let me explain.
Many products out there combine glucosamine with other ingredients for joint health, but when you look at them they contain very little of the important ingredients. Others which contain decent amounts are horribly expensive. Glucosamine Complete manages to provide decent levels of the important ingredients at a pretty reasonable price.
For example, if you take the suggested dose you will get 1500mg of glucosamine plus 300mg chondroitin (many combination products only have 100mg or less of this) plus MSM, another important component in joint health. On top of this the Glucosamine Complete also provides good doses of Quercertin, Ginger and Rosehip. It is the addition of these ingredients in meaningful amounts which really makes the difference to this product in my opinion. Quercertin is a brilliant, natural anti inflammatory, we have used it for years, in fact years and years ago, quercertin was responsible for a dog getting his mobility back and continuing an active life for several years more than expected. Ginger is also a well known natural anti inflammatory, but ginger is also said to help boost the circulation, which improves the flow of nutrients to the affected joint. Finally Rosehip has been used quite successfully for the last few years on its own to help reduce pain and stiffness, so mixing it with other natural joint ingredients seems a great idea.
We have had some fantastic reports on this product. Several people have told us that they have seen improvements in the mobility and reductions in their joint pain within the first bottle! One lady came in for the first time asking what she could take for her painful knees. We suggested that she try the Glucosamine Complete, which she did. When she came back at the end of her first bottle she told us that she had noticed improvements in her pain and stiffness within weeks of starting to take it! I have also been using this product myself recently. I injured my foot a few months ago and it became very stiff and painful. No one seemed to be able to tell me what was wrong with it so I decided to try and do something about it myself and thought I would try the Glucosamine Complete for myself. I have to say that I was very happy with the results. As a woman who likes to wear a heel, I was most upset when my painful foot meant that the only shoes I was comfortable in we’re my scruffy flat boots! The good news was that after a month on the Glucosamine Complete I was back in my normal shoes in comfort again. I have now got my mum trying it for her bad back – I hope she gets as good a result as I have! So if you are looking for a natural product
If you would like to try some glucosamine complete please visit our store where we have £5 off the RRP.


Natural help for Healthy Hair

Letsatsi, the White lion. (Son of Temba)
A Fabulous mane of hair.Arno Meintjes Wildlife / / CC BY-NC

One question we get asked a lot is whether we have anything to help them get healthy hair. The answer we tend to offer is that we have a choice of three things – all for slightly different problems.
For those suffering with badly falling hair, which may have resulted in small bald patches or where the scalp itself has become visible, we tend to suggest a supplement called pil-food. We have had some great reports on this over the years, with many women and even a few men telling us that it has really helped them and that after 3-6 months they have healthy hair. We have also had a few hairdressers send people in to buy pil-food as they have seen some good results on their clients.
For those worried about brittle hair, which breaks easily, maybe accompanied with breaking or brittle nails, we suggest the mineral Silecea. Silecea is involved in supporting the strength and structure of hair, skin and nails. Therefore supplementing with it should help to strengthen the hair and nails and reduce breakage. Again we have had some great reports from this, with a number of the girls who work in the shop also using it and saying that they do think it has helped them get stronger healthy hair.
The final remedy we look at is one I used personally last year when I noticed that my hair was thinning and my hairbrush filling – a supplement called Florisene.
Based on research into what causes hair loss in women specifically, Florisene contains good doses of iron, l-lysine, vitamin C and B12. It was developed after looking at research into the main causes of hair loss in women aged 18-50. It has been shown that iron losses every month during their period causes many women, whilst not actually anaemic, to end up with low iron stores. Low iron stores are thought to play a role in hair loss in women. However the people developing Florisene knew that iron was not the whole solution on it’s own as many women suffering with hair loss had been given iron supplements which had not really helped.
The developers then discovered that there were two additional factors to take into account:
The absorbability of the iron. Many people do not want to take iron supplements because they fear they may upset their stomach or cause constipation. The answer here was to ensure that they used a really absorbable iron, combine it with vitamin C to really boost absorption and divide the required 72mg dose between 3 tablets rather than taking it all in one hit. These measures ensure that even the most sensitive sort should not get upset by the iron in Florisene.
The fact that many women do not eat a lot a red meat. Low consumption of red meat does contribute to low iron, but it can also mean low levels of B12 and l-lysine and it was apparently the addition of these two nutrients which made the difference. Taking the combination of nutrients used in florisene was shown to be much more effective than using any of the same nutrients individually, in fact in one trial 95% of women who tried Florisene saw significant improvements.
These points particularly rang true for me, I do not eat any red meat and have not done since I was a teenager, I also exercise regularly therefore it was highly likely that as a menstruating woman I would have low iron stores.
One of the other key factors though is time and patience – it can take up to three months to get your iron store back up to where they should be and to start to see results. Patience when you are worried about hair loss and trying to achieve healthy hair is not always an easy thing to find. I would say though that it is definitely worth a try for those who are worried about this hair and who do not eat red meat regularly. I certainly saw an improvement in my hair, after two months the amount coming out in my shower and my hairbrush had significantly reduced. After six months I stopped taking it as my hair was back to its usual good thickness and was growing really well again.
If you would like to try some florisene for yourself
“click here”


Time to Circulate – can you boost circulation?


Have a good look at this picture. This is really clever and interesting stuff! What you can see here are before and after pictures of somebody’s circulation!
This is from a study done using A.Vogels Ginkgo Biloba extract. They had a look at the circulation before (the first picture) taking Ginkgo and then again, in the same place (the second picture) after 30 days using Ginkgo daily.
What you can see is fantastic for two reasons in this writers opinion –
1. The simple fact that they can take these pictures in the first place is so clever and fascinating.
2. You can see for a fact, that the circulation in the second picture is better – there is significantly more blood in the blood vessels pictured than there was previously. This shows that those with poor circulation could really benefit from taking a good quality Ginkgo supplement.*
I have use the phrase ‘good quality ginkgo’ for a reason – there are different quality products available, as there always is. I remember well, years ago a woman came in to our store to complain to my father that the ginkgo she had taken had not helped her. As she did this she held out the offending product. It was not one of ours! We then explained to her why the product she had taken was very different from the one we had suggested she try. Here are the reasons why:
Some herbal products are just dried, powdered up herbs. These may contain a good amount of dried herb and could look good on the label. BUT, they may not have been tested to ensure they contain any active components or even to ensure that they are what they claim to be! When buying a herbal supplement look to see if it has been standardised and whether you have a guaranteed potency. Even better go for fresh herbal tinctures – we all know from our experiences in the kitchen, that fresh herbs are more potent than dried.


* It is very important to note that those who are already on anti coagulants or medications which affect their circulation, should always check with their doctor or practitioner BEFORE starting any herbal medicines like this*


By Jenny Logan


How NOT to Lose Weight – 5 common mistakes.

ms. independent
Darwin Bell / / CC BY-NC

Running a weight loss clinic has taught us much about the way people diet. We know what works and what doesn’t. Here are some of the most common mistakes we see and the first habits that we encourage people to change.

1. Counting calories – Much more importat than the amount of calories you eat is the type of calories. Calories are used to measure how much energy a serving of food will provide, but it is important to remember that not all calories are equal. For example, you may find that the calorie content of your chicken salad is equal to the amount in the small chocolate bar in your pocket – but it goes without saying that the first meal is the healthier! Think quality, not quantity.

2. Eating too much fruit – Fruit is lovely! It’s a really easy, tasty way of getting nutrition into our bodies. Unfortunately, it’s also full of natural sugars that while tasty, can be detrimental to weight loss if eaten in excess. When getting rid of unhealthy snacks, don’t replace them all with fruit. Dieters who do may find themselves bloated, windy and prone to IBS type symptoms. Look to vegetables for your 5 a day and choose protein based snacks, nuts and raw veggies.

3. Going hungry – Eating less does not mean you will lose more weight. What is does mean is that your blood sugar levels will drop each time you deny yourself a meal. Blood sugar drops will have you searching for sugary snacks or refined carbohydrates because these foods provide your body with quick release energy. Going hungry will make you miserable, your diet hard to stick to and your body very confused. Eat regulary, but eat healthy.

4. Buying low fat ready meals – Fat constitutes much of the flavour within our food and when companies remove it, they also remove the taste! Since nobody wants to buy tasteless food, common practice is to put the flavour back in using sugar. Sugar is the dieters enemy – providing a quick fix to cravings but resulting in more hunger, craving cycles and weight gain. Enjoy fresh foods and consume fats in their natural state but in moderation.

5. Fad diets – If the latest diet you are looking at involves complex regimes, forbidden foods, calculating points, or anything else that sounds like hard work – don’t do it. Even if you stick to it and you reach your target weight, it is unlikely you will maintain that kind of regime for the rest of your life. Dieting is not a temporary thing, it is exactly what it says it is – Your diet. It is the food you eat every day and it should make you happy. Choosing a long term healthy living plan that suits your needs is the best way to ensure that you will lose weight, keep the weight off and stay healthy.

If you would like to know more about eating healthy to lose weight, take a look at
our weight loss clinic
or contact us for more information.

By Nicola Parker