The Health Benefits of Elderberry with Pukka Herbs

Elderberries are perfect for wild collection; they grow in abundance and can be harvested every year without harming the plant. Pukka’s wild elderberries come from southern Hungary, where there is still a thriving industry of wild herb collection. The collectors, who are predominantly of Roma origin, have formed a small cooperative made up of about 30 people. Every year they harvest the fresh berries from a patchwork of different sized areas of organically certified land. The fresh berries are immediately taken to Pukka’s local partner for drying and export.

What are elderberries used for?

Bursting with brightly coloured pigments that act as natural antioxidants, elderberries are a natural source of vitamin C. Well-known for supporting our immune function, vitamin C plays an important role in allowing our immune system to communicate and co-ordinate a response.

Sipping on herbal tea is a fantastic way of incorporating elderberries into your day-to-day lives. Pukka Herbs’ Organic Elderberry and Echinacea tea is packed with antioxidants to reduce stress and fight infections. 

If you want the power of elderberries, whilst benefitting from other natural immune-supporting ingredients like thyme and manuka honey, Pukka Elderberry Syrup is a delicious remedy that can be taken by the spoonful. 

Our Nutritional Therapists are on hand to offer health advice – you can pop in store Monday to Saturday, call us on 01737 223499 or contact us for a FREE Winter Wellness Check-in here.

The article has been adapted from Pukka Herbs, you can read the original full feature here.

Puressential Purifying Air Spray

Indoor air pollutants and Covid-19

According to a South African government paper on air quality, indoor pollution levels in developing countries generally exceed the World Health Organisation’s guidelines and is damaging to health.

Indoor pollution can be more toxic than outdoors and treating the air in homes, offices and other interior spaces with essential oils may be effective in countering viruses, bacteria, mould, fungi and dust mites, according to research.

SA Pharmacist, Giulia Criscuolo, says eliminating indoor, airborne allergens by using essential oil sprays such as Puressentiel may counter respiratory allergies, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic when so much time is spent inside.

 “Studies indicate that aroma molecules of essential oils may activate nasal passage receptors, triggering an immune response. Essential oils’ chemical structure resembles hormones, making them uniquely useful for respiratory symptoms,” she says.

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All-natural ingredients

Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray is a 100% plant-based natural biocide with a patented formula made from a unique blend of 41 EOBBD essential oils (Essential Oils Botanically and Biochemically Defined) essential oils and bioalcohol not denatured by phthalates. It is free of harsh chemicals, detergents, dye, preservatives and synthetic perfumes.

The patented formula of essential oils contains: Dill, Anise, sweet Basil, Bay St Thomas, Rosewood, Cajuput, cassia Cinnamon, Atlas Cedarwood, Lemon, Lemon Verbena, Cumin Seed, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Juniper, Geranium, Ginger, Clove, English Lavender, Lavandin grosso, Mace, Mandarin, Wild Marjoram, Melissa, Curled Leaf Mint, Peppermint, Myrrh, Niaouli, Orange, Oregano, Parsley, Petitgrain, Scotchpine, Rosemary, Savory, Sage, Wild Thyme, Tea tree, Thyme, Vervain, and Wintergreen.

Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray also uses innovative technology, the patented propellant gas-free mechanical pump system PES600 which is tamperproof for guaranteed safety, and allows powerful diffusion by micro dispersion.

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Proven efficacy

With over 15 studies for efficacy and tolerance, it is clinically proven to eliminate 99.86% of bacteria and viruses with immediate effect. It also reduces invisible pollutants, smoky atmospheres, assists people with seasonal, dust mite and mould allergies, and removes odours from bedding, animals, child and adult bedrooms, damp rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, offices, workshops, public places, cars, etc.

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Application

Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray is especially right for now during the pandemic due to its antiviral properties – for homes, offices, doctor practices, cars and businesses – wanting clean air and peace of mind.

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Available in 200ml, simply spray 1-2 times daily in one or two applications into the four corners of a room (12 m²), wait 30 minutes for it to act, then air the room. Each application requires 6 or 8 sprays or 3 to 5ml. Carry out a preliminary test for spraying onto carpets, bedding and fabrics.

Furthermore, eco certified Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray can be sprayed on fabrics (even face masks), carpets, bedding and surfaces without leaving traces. It is gentle on you, your family, propellant gas and aerosol free, and leaves a fresh invigorating, long lasting natural fragrance too.

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Coyne Health have collaborated with Puressentiel in France to introduce Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray to South Africa, the world’s leading natural air purifier. You can read the full details of the product here in the original feature.

Puressential Purifying Air Spray is available in store and is priced at £19.99

Vitamin E for Hair Loss with Fushi Wellbeing

Using vitamin E for hair loss is one of this vital vitamin’s many functions. Hair fall can happen for many different reasons, and there are several potential triggers, including having a nutritional deficiency, crash dieting, an illness or severe stress. A tendency to lose more hair can also be genetic.

There are many potential causes of hair loss, including side effects from certain medications or medical treatments, hormonal changes, and scalp infections. There are also conditions like alopecia areata, trichotillomania and telogen effluvium. In these cases, if you experience sudden or excessive hair loss, it’s important to see a doctor to determine why and get a diagnosis. The appropriate treatment for your condition can then begin.

There are natural ways that can potentially help in the treatment of hair loss. Keep reading to find out how using vitamin E for hair loss may help.

How Using Vitamin E for Hair Loss Can Help Grow Strong and Healthy Hair

Vitamin E is one of the key vitamins needed for growth and maintenance of healthy hair. By protecting your cells from free radical damage, vitamin E works as an antioxidant. The vitamin also supports a healthy immune system by fighting against bacteria and viruses and prevents clotting by keeping the blood vessels wide. A vitamin E deficiency may lead to symptoms including impaired vision and muscle weakness. If a deficiency is chronic, it can lead to kidney and liver problems.

For healthy hair, vitamin E stabilises the cell membranes in hair follicles, contributing to proper growth. It protects the cell membranes in hair follicles to protect against free radical damage and contribute to hair growth. Vitamin E works well with selenium to boost the protection from the free radical attacks on hair follicle cells. It’s important to get a diet full of hair growth promoting vitamins to reduce the chances of hair loss through malnourishment, and vitamin E is one of these.

As well as consuming vitamin E, you can also use a pure vitamin E oil to massage into the scalp. Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp and for a healthy scalp you need adequate circulation of blood in the scalp so that nutrients are transported through the blood to the scalp to nourish it. Regularly massaging the scalp with vitamin E oil increases blood circulation and the supply of oxygen in the scalp. Many hair experts recommend this treatment for hair loss and for growing strong, healthy hair

Oils Rich in Vitamin E

There are also vitamin E-rich oils you can use in different ways to get your vitamin E for hair loss. Here are 3 of them.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a great oil to cook with as the heat doesn’t turn the oil into trans fats, which are harmful to health because they raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol. Therefore, cooking with coconut oil is a good way to use vitamin E for hair loss, and get it in your diet.

HOW TO USE:

You can also massage coconut oil into your scalp as an intensive treatment before shampooing. As coconut oil is in a solid state when cool, you can melt it slightly in a pan. Massage a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil into clean, damp hair, and use it as a pampering session to do whatever you do best when you want to relax and truly practice self-care! Be wary of putting too much oil on your scalp if it easily gets greasy though. Focus on the areas that appear to be the driest and most damaged. Give your scalp a heavenly massage to boost the circulation and nourish with that effective vitamin E content.

Apply in sections to make sure your hair is covered in the coconut oil. Leave for 20 – 30 minutes and let the oil work its magic. You can put your head in a shower cap and wrap in a hot towel to intensify the treatment and increase its effectiveness. Afterwards, shampoo the hair well to rinse and eliminate any excess oil. This may take a couple of tries, but coconut oil will melt away with heat.

Wheat germ Oil

Did you know that one tablespoon of wheat germ oil provides more than 15 mg of vitamin E? That’s more than the recommended daily allowance. Wheat germ oil is known to soothe the skin and strengthen the hair, whilst calming any skin irritation. Its vitamin E content stimulates blood flow to speed up healing. This makes it an exceptional option for applying vitamin E for hair loss, and for an irritated, itchy or inflamed scalp. This includes painful sun burn that can cause the scalp to flake – wheat germ oil can heal, deeply moisturise and nourish the scalp back to health. As well as its vitamin E rich content, it’s rich in omega-6 fatty acid, also known as linoleic acid. This is known to be revitalising for the hair.

HOW TO USE:

Massage wheat germ oil into the scalp for all the nourishment using your fingertips and pay special attention to the areas where you notice a lot of hair fall. Leave on the scalp for around 30 minutes before washing off. Another way is to use as a hot oil treatment for hair growth. Put oil in a glass bowl and heat over a pan of water until lukewarm.

Or, alternatively, add a few drops into your shampoo and conditioner for an added boost of protection and vitamin E for hair loss. Rub some hot oil between your palms and massage your hair and scalp thoroughly. This is also highly stress-relieving, and reduced cortisol levels may lead to less hair fall, as high cortisol levels can make your hair fall out! A win-win! When satisfied with your massage, either leave in as an overnight treatment before washing out, or, if your hair tends to get greasy, shampoo and rinse when your done boosting that circulation to the scalp.

Do this 1 – 3 times per week and you should start noticing a difference in the amount of hair you’re losing, and how healthy and vibrant your hair feels. And when you feel good, you look good, and vice versa!

Argan Oil

Vitamin E and fatty acid-rich argan oil has been used for a range of health and beauty purposes for centuries by the Berber women of Morocco. These include issues such as eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, fine lines and wrinkles, and most importantly for the purpose of this article… hair loss. It has more vitamin E than olive oil, making it a strong choice for using vitamin E for hair loss.

As argan oil nourishes a healthy scalp and supports an environment to promote growth, it may contributesto the treatment of hair loss. By stimulating the production of keratin, argan oil encourages new hair growth. Because of the vitamin E content, it also improves the blood circulation to the scalp, whereby the enhanced circulation helps hair follicles get the nutrients needed to grow.

By deeply moisturising the scalp, argan oil helps to eliminate dandruff and other scalp conditions, which helps prevent scalp build-up containing DHT. This will damage hair follicle growth, so clearing this up with the help of argan oil will promote hair growth. The oil will also help in the treatment of split ends and frizziness. As thinning hair often goes hand in hand with frizz and split ends, nourishing the roots and ends with argan oil can give your scalp and hair the nutrients it needs to grow strong, shiny and heathy.

HOW TO USE:

Use argan oil as an overnight treatment to the scalp. By massaging the oil into the scalp every night for around 2-3 minutes, it will moisturise the scalp whilst stimulating it, improving blood circulation and opening the pores. Leave on for the night, and over time, perhaps two weeks, watch the quality and health of your hair improve.

Avocado Oil

The rich vitamin E and vitamin B content of avocado oil deeply penetrates into the epidermis. Whilst vitamin B supports hair growth, vitamin E is more known to repair hair damage and strengthen the hair. Avocado oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acid and has a higher content of it than extra virgin olive oil. Monounsaturated fats are incredibly nourishing and health-boosting to the hair, helping to treat dry, damaged and weak hair. They can aid your hair in healing from harsh chemical treatments or environmental pollution. By nourishing the hair, monounsaturated fats can promote new growth of stronger and healthier hair to reduce further damage.

The increased circulation from massaging avocado oil into the scalp allows more blood flow to the hair follicles to help more nutrients nourish and encourage stronger, shinier hair to grow. Using avocado oil and its vitamin E for hair loss is not a bad option because this antioxidant is easily absorbed into the scalp and hair strands, protecting against environmental damage and providing deep moisturisation. All of these properties and conditions give the scalp its best chance of growing the hair you desire, and most importantly, hair that is less likely to fall out.

HOW TO USE:

You can use avocado oil for cooking at a low to medium heat to optimize your hair’s growth potential. You can also make an avocado oil hair mask using two tablespoons of avocado oil, two tablespoons of coconut oil, a tablespoon of manuka honey and two drops of lavender essential oil. As a powerful antioxidant, lavender will boost the potency of the avocado oil whilst promoting relaxing for a chilled experience. Massage the oil into your hair for one minute. Put on a shower cap and after 30 minutes, massage your hair some more before using warm water (not too hot and not too cold) to rinse out.

This fantastic feature has been brought to you by Jess Burman, of Fushi. You can read the original article here.

Vitamin D and Good Health

Vitamin D is well known for helping to maintain healthy bones but what’s becoming apparent is the many other ways it supports good health.

We can get a small amount of vitamin D from food sources such as oily fish, egg yolks, red meat and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, however it’s difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone.

We get most of our vitamin D from natural sunlight and indeed it’s often called the ‘sunshine vitamin’. Our bodies can make vitamin D when the sunlight touches our skin and this is during the ‘summer’ months (between late March/early April to the end of September). However, in the ‘winter’ months (October to the end of March) sunlight is not strong enough to make Vitamin D. Evidence now shows that many of us in the UK may be low in this important nutrient so supplementation is often needed. Public Health England now recommend supplementation for most of the population through the autumn and winter months in particular.

Vitamin D is available as drops and sprays (straight into the mouth) so is very easy to take, but can also be taken in tablet form too.

Our team of registered Nutritional Therapists are always on hand to provide advice in store and online. Contact us, or pop in and see us to talk nutrition and how to support your health this winter.

Sources: BioCare, NutriAdvanced, Better You and Gov.uk

Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms

Mushrooms may not seem the obvious choice for keeping your immunity strong, skin glowing and blood sugar balanced, but numerous clinical studies have proved medicinal mushrooms can have amazing superpowers when it comes to keeping our health in tiptop condition.  

Everything from boosting immunity to keeping your blood sugar balanced; you can be supercharged with these fabulous fungi. 

Dr. Vivienne Rolfe PhD, and Pukka’s Head of Herbal Research, explains why they should be a go-to natural remedy for staying in good health.   

1. Keep your immunity strong and support natural defences

Mushrooms are high in beta-glucans – natural substances that have been found to help ‘prime’ our immune system, making sure it’s ready for action to fight off bugs and germs (1). Certain types of mushrooms such as reishi, shiitake and maitake are especially rich in the most powerful beta-glucans. So, getting a daily dose of these mushrooms could be beneficial at times when we need extra support, such as during the cold and flu season. A recent study found that maitake mushrooms have a protective effect against the flu virus and reduce cold symptoms, so it’s worth adding a dose of maitake to your wellbeing rituals. 

2. Natural source of vitamin D

Studies have shown that vitamin D plays an important role in our immune systems. That’s why, combined with the fact we are spending a reduced amount of time outside, it’s a good idea to make sure we’re getting a sufficient amount of it. Mushrooms are a great vegan food source of vitamin D. Known as the chestnut tree mushroom, the Shiitake mushroom contains essential amino acids and vitamins B1, B2 and D2. As an edible mushroom, it has been cultivated since ancient times both for culinary and nutritious uses. Vitamin D contributes to the normal function of the immune system and process of cell division

3. Boost energy and help you cope with stress

Certain medicinal mushrooms are traditionally used in many parts of Asia on a daily basis as a mood tonic or ‘adaptogen’. Adaptogens are natural substances that are said to help the body adapt to stress and protect against some of its negative effects, such as fatigue and poor sleep (3) meaning you have more energy too! Maitake and reishi are among the mushrooms said to have adaptogenic qualities.

4. Keep blood sugar balanced 

When blood sugar levels get out of control, this can affect everyday energy as well as increase the risk of other problems such as type 2 diabetes and weight gain. The maitake mushroom has been found in studies to help bring blood sugar down by improving sensitivity to insulin (4,5) – the hormone that triggers cells to take glucose out of the blood. It may also help protect the pancreas, which produces insulin.

5. Keep joints healthy 

Missing out on your morning run due to aching joints can set you back, but inflammation around the joints be a major concern for many people, especially those with arthritis or joint damage. Mushrooms are said to be anti-inflammatory, so could help to ease pain and discomfort (6). Reishi and shiitake mushrooms, in particular,      are helpful here. A randomised, placebo controlled double-blind study      (a robust clinical trial)      found that reishi mushrooms helped to ease pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis over a period of 24 weeks (7). So, mushrooms could help keep you moving and doing the activities you love. 

6. Look after your natural glow 

Lastly and certainly not least of all, studies have found that mushrooms such as shiitake (8) and reishi (9) are rich in youth-boosting antioxidants, such as polyphenols, like those found in fruits and vegetables. But mushrooms actually go one better than most vegetables – in fact, two better. Firstly, because their powerful beta-glucans      – which are also helpful for immunity – can have an antioxidant effect. And, scientific reviews have found that mushrooms are also a great source of the minerals copper and zinc (10), used by our body to make its own powerful antioxidants. All this means that they can have anti-aging      and protective activity for our skin, as well as our heart, brain and liver.

How do I get medicinal mushrooms into my diet?

You may have seen shiitake mushrooms in your local supermarket, but maitake and reishi are not as readily available in food form. For a convenient and effective way to get all the health benefits of these      powerful mushrooms, try a good-quality organic nutritional mushroom supplement combining all three. Pukka’s Mushroom Gold is a blend of organic full-spectrum reishi, shiitake and maitake mushrooms.

This article has been brought to you from Pukka. You can read the original feature by clicking here.

Vitamin D and Vitamin K from BetterYou

Maintaining healthy bones is not just about increasing your calcium intake. Did you know that alongside calcium you should also look into vitamins D and K2?

Vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 ensure that calcium is absorbed easily and reaches the bone mass, while preventing arterial calcification. Helping to keep your heart and bones healthy.

Separately, K2 regulates normal blood clotting, whilst D3 supports a healthy immune system and supports muscle function.

optimal bone health

D+K2 – Putting calcium in balance

For increased calcium into the bone

Vitamin D3 ensures that calcium is absorbed easily and K2 (MK-7) activates the protein, osteocalcin, which integrates calcium into bone. Without D3 and K2, calcium cannot do its job effectively.

For reduced calcium plaque in arteries

Vitamin K2 (MK-7) activates matrix GLA protein (MGP) to bind excess calcium and promote arterial flow and flexibility.

How do vitamins D3 and K2 work together?

The power of BetterYou Vitamin D + K2

This fantastic article has been created by BetterYou. You can read the original feature here.

What are Echinaforce® Echinacea drops?

Echinaforce® Echinacea drops are a traditional herbal remedy used for the symptomatic relief of colds, influenza type infections and similar upper respiratory tract conditions. Always read the leaflet. 

Echinaforce® Echinacea is made from fresh extracts of Echinacea purpurea herb (95%) and root (5%). 

Echinacea is a plant native to America but is now cultivated extensively in Europe. The plants which go into our product are cultivated organically in Switzerland at our own herb farms.

Up to 10 species of Echinacea have been identified, but only three (E. purpurea, E. angustifolia and E. pallida) are used medicinally. Echinacea purpurea is considered to be the one which has been most widely researched and this is the species we use.

Our Echinacea is produced using extracts of freshly harvested, organically grown Echinacea purpurea herb and root, picked fresh and used within 24 hours of harvest. The benefit of using freshly harvested herbs has been demonstrated in research – extracts produced from fresh plants contain almost 3 times more active substances compared with those obtained from equivalent amounts of dried herb*.

This is why, when you need a herbal remedy to help you fight the misery of colds and flu, not all Echinaceas are the same.

*Tobler M et al: Characteristics of whole fresh plant extracts. Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur GanzheitMedizin, 1994

You can view the original feature by A. Vogel here

The Chlorella Diaries *UPDATED*

Review: Clean Chlorella by Pukka *UPDATED*

I have heard lots of great things about Chlorella, and being one of our ever popular products with our customers, I thought I would give it a go! It is an organic nutrient-rich freshwater plant and is said to be one of the most nutritionally dense foods in the world.

POSITIVES – Clean Chlorella supports the body’s ability to deal with the everyday demands and cope better with our polluted environment. We have had so much feedback from our customers who take Chlorella that they feel more energised, while others use it as part of a larger cleanse.

NEGATIVES – Now these are few and far between with our customers as they generally buy it again and again however Dr Google tells me that side effects can include flatulence, green stools and headaches. Let’s see what happens!

This review is completely independent of Pukka, and the team here at Inside Out Health – it is purely my thoughts and findings. I purchased the Clean Chlorella in store (£13.95 for 150 tablets) and quickly got to grips with taking these tablets with every meal.

You can find Pukka’s Clean Chlorella here on our webshop.

DAY ONE  I have started with 2 tablets before breakfast, and two with my evening dinner. The directions are to take 2-4 a day to start, then up it to 6 per day. Then there is a jump to ‘optimum’ use of 6 tablets, 3 times a day – now that is a lot of tablets but let’s see how the first few days go.

DAY SIX  The first week has been great – so far no naughty side effects and I am feeling pretty energised. I am now taking 3 tablets each time I eat.  The biggest change for me as been my sugar cravings which have all but disappeared. I love love love a sweet treat but I haven’t even thought about it this week at all. Good times!

DAY NINE  BIG NEWS! I have lost weight, now that is something unexpected. I think where the Chlorella has regulated my appetite and reduced sweet cravings I am simply not eating over what my body needs. Still no sweet cravings and digestive system working perfectly. 

DAY TWELVE I am always keen to get the maximum benefit out of anything new that I try, so after the joy of my last update I decided to increase my tablet intake to 6 tablets, 3 times a day. I was OK at first, but got whacked with a huge headache quite soon and just didn’t feel right at all. From today I have reduced my intake to 4 tablets with each meal instead. Note to self: Must Be Sensible With Supplements. Just because you take more, doesn’t mean the effect will increase. I know from working with the team here in store that your body has to get used these new things.

DAY SIXTEEN and last day of this pot of Chlorella. Am feeling really good again now after reducing my intake to 4 tablets with each meal. This is definitely MY optimum, and as with all natural supplements or anything for that matter you have to find that right point that works for you. Have weighed in at another loss, now down another pound so really pleased with that. 

DAY 21 (ISH) and I promise my very last upload!

Three weeks in and have found my ‘optimum’ – have continued to lose weight (another pound down) and feeling less paunchy and more shapely. Realised today that I haven’t had any headaches at all recently, which is great! And my lovely colleague said my skin is quite glowy too. 

Final thoughts....

I have definitely been converted to a Chlorella fan. I have felt great since taking, and other than the blip in the middle have felt clear headed, energised and far less bloated than usual.

Taking four tablets with each meal isn’t a bother, they can live on the side (not in the fridge) and I have taken the pot with me when eating out. No hassle at all. I haven’t had any bad side effects and of course have had the added benefit of lowing a little weight so am feeling rather svelte too.

I will definitely continue taking it. The pot of 150 tablets hasn’t lasted long at all, so I am pleased to see that Pukka also have a 400 tablet version which is better value, so I will make sure we get that in store available to buy.