Managing Stress and Overwhelm

Our range of Australian Bush Flowers is very popular and provides support to emotional wellbeing. It has been (and continues to be) a valuable tool to help many people through the recent unusual times.

This article is from the creators of Australian Bush Flowers and is focused on the feeling of overwhelm and stress.

It is easy to feel consumed by mental and emotional pressures. There are times in everybody’s lives where we can feel it is hard to switch off, because the mind is constantly active, and this can make us feel drained and overwhelmed.

It’s okay to admit you struggle, but it is essential to off-load your stress and taking actions to better your emotional wellbeing.

Here at Australian Bush Flower Essences, we aim to help you to connect with your inner self, ultimately improving both your emotional and mental state. We target your health needs with natural remedies combined with our bush flower essences. Uncover the transformative power of nature.  

Finding Time for Yourself is Crucial

To cut down on stress levels and ensure you have more quality “me time”, it is key to simplify your daily routine across – work-family – lifestyle – current situation and things you can’t resolve. Multi-tasking can also overload your brain, leading to impatience, irritability, overwhelm, forgetfulness and a weaker immune system.

Natural remedies which will do wonders to your emotional wellbeing:

Paw Paw is THE essence for addressing overwhelm and is in both the Calm & Clear Essence and Cognis Essence combinations for this very reason.

Paw Paw has incredible properties that can help you overcome these overwhelming negative emotions, and allow you to access your Higher Self, so that you may assimilate new ideas with calmness and clarity. Calm & Clear helps you wind down and better manage your responsibilities with your life and relationships. Cognis help those whose minds wander during times of stress and those who feel confused or overwhelmed.

If you like to meditate, Meditation Essence can be a great essence for you. This natural remedy helps you awake your spirituality through meditation, access your Higher Self and inner guidance that will provide you with greater intuition.

Why use Australian Bush Flower Essences?

· Clarity – Using the essences should help you gain a clearer state of mind. This means you can focus on tasks in your life without clouding judgement, whilst also exploring new emotions that were hidden to you before! Let us help – try > Calm & Clear Essences, Cognis.

· Guidance – You can use the flower essences for guidance through the struggles of modern life. This is due to the imbalances encountered in life, and the essences’ abilities to help you centre yourself. This influences your mental, emotional and physical well-being. We love these – try > Space Clearing.

· Reach the Higher Self – The benefits can be similar to meditation, where your body releases negative thoughts. This allows positive virtues such as joy, love, and faith to enter the body and reach the feeling of the higher self – enabling healing! Let us suggest something great for you! – try > Meditation.

· Relief – The aim of the products is to battle stressful parts of your life. This allows you to reconnect with your soul and gain relief from the alleviation of your stresses. We LOVE these – try > Emergency Flower Essences.

· Rejuvenation– Your body will feel like it has been re-started with a fresh mindset and new energy. This makes every day easier when motivation is key to success – whether that be excelling at work or simply getting out of bed in the morning with a spin of positive thinking. Let us guide you – try > Dynamis Essences.

·Health Balance – Many people use the benefits of natural remedies that may help with symptoms of health concerns both physically and mentally. This can range from harmonising menstruation and menopause, to help to improve the feelings associated with mood swings, anxiety, seasonal affective disorder. These work wonders! – try > Woman Essence Drops.

Detoxing for weight loss

This article has been brought to us by Nature’s Plus, written by Lisa James

When you think about the effect environmental toxins can have on health, weight gain may not be the first thing that comes to mind.

But the link is very real. That’s because the toxins we all carry, which are stored in body fat, disrupt normal metabolism—which in turn makes fat loss that much harder.

Fortunately, there is a way to break this cycle. Detoxification, including the use of foods with purifying properties, has been practiced for centuries to boost overall well-being. Now researchers are beginning to understand how detox can make losing weight—especially the loss of excess body fat—that much easier.

Burdened Liver

All toxins are broken down by the liver, the body’s main chemical processing plant. Trouble comes when more toxins show up than the liver can comfortably handle.

“The liver says, ‘What am I going to do?’” explains naturopathic physician Brenda Watson, ND, CNC, author of The Detox Strategy (Free Press). “It then stores these chemicals within its own cells.” Eventually the liver starts looking for storage space elsewhere—and fat cells within the abdomen will do quite nicely.

If the presence of noxious substances from the outside wasn’t bad enough, toxins are produced internally by the very metabolic processes that keep us alive. What’s more, stress results in a biological chain of events that may also lead to weight gain.

Cleanup Crew

The body doesn’t just stand idly by as toxins build up, of course: Noxious substances are constantly being eliminated through the kidneys, bowels, skin and other channels. However, the sheer amount can overload the system.

This explains why many complementary practitioners recommend detoxification on a periodic basis. “Almost everybody needs to detox, cleanse themselves and rest their bodily functions at times,” says Elson Haas, MD, author of Staying Healthy with Nutrition (Celestial Arts).

That’s especially true of people looking to lose weight. “If you can reduce your exposure to toxins while aiding in the elimination of current toxins, you can support a healthy—and possibly faster—metabolism,” says Watson.

Fiber is an effective cleansing agent. There are two types, which Watson compares to the yellow and green sides of a kitchen sponge. “The yellow side, the soluble fiber, soaks up cholesterol and toxins,” she explains. “The green side, the insoluble fiber, scrubs—it gives you bulk and curbs appetite.”

In addition, fiber affects hormone production. Watson says that people on a high-fiber diet release a hormone called CCK, which is “really good at making you feel full and leading you to eat fewer calories.”

As fiber helps sweep toxins away, beneficial micro-organisms called probiotics can set up shop in the intestines. Watson says that fiber and probiotics work hand in hand because “good bacteria love to eat soluble fiber,” allowing them to multiply and flourish.

What’s more, many detox products include the so-called “superfruits”—especially açai, a South American berry. These fruits supply what are known as phytonutrients, substances that, among other functions, help the body deal with internally produced toxins.

Diet and exercise are crucial in the fight against excess pounds. But they work better after you’ve reduced your toxic burden. Watson says, “I hope we can educate people to understand that total-body cleansing and weight loss go hand in hand.”

†The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described.

The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Is vitamin D the secret to staying injury free?

As the UK continues to embrace daily exercise, natural health experts share another key reason to supplement vitamin D.

Article powered by BetterYou.

Over 60 per cent of the adult population is now considered ‘active’, an increase of 1.5 per cent year-on-year, with people admitting to undertaking at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every week, according to Sport England.

Despite this time of great uncertainly, people are finding fun and creative ways to get moving, with over 60 per cent of adults saying it is more important to be active now, compared to before the coronavirus crisis.

Armed with the knowledge that increasing amounts of Brits are addressing their activity levels and are forming new exercise habits, International High Jump Athlete, Beth Partridge, discusses the impact this can have on our overall health and how a simple vitamin hit may just be the secret to keeping us injury-free. 

“Vitamin D is vital for many processes within the body and may be crucial for recovery and staying injury free. It is important, not only for its role in bone function, but it can also help to reduce the risk of autoimmune and chronic diseases”, explains Beth.

“There are various factors that can impact the amount of vitamin D an individual naturally absorbs from sun exposure and this can be dependent on time spent outdoors and sunscreen use, as well as skin pigmentation and diet.

“Our bodies endure a high state of stress when exercising regularly or at a high-intensity compared to those that do not exercise or those that have a lower volume of training. This, coupled with a higher energy requirement, means that the body can be at an increased risk of injury.

“Due to the nature of the lifestyle, it can be reasonable to suggest that vitamin D may be of greater need to an individual who undertakes a lot of physical exercise”, Beth continues.

“Playing a significant role in muscle structure and function, adequate vitamin D levels can help to reduce the risk of inflammation of the body, impaired muscle function and infectious illnesses, with optimal levels often resulting in improved health markers among those that are highly-active.

“For those that train regularly, a vitamin D deficiency may result in musculoskeletal discomfort, viral tract infections and stress fractures, all of which will have an impact on performance due to the time lost to illness or injury.

“From a dietary perspective, oily fish such as mackerel and salmon, egg yolks and fortified cereals or milk are the best sources to maximise your vitamin D intake. However, it can be difficult to obtain adequate levels from natural sources alone, so supplementing is the best way to ensure good health.

“With research suggesting that vitamin D deficiency can impact immune function, bone health and inflammation, I would recommend supplementing with vitamin D year-round to enhance your ability to exercise and ultimately improve performance. 

“For me, the best way to supplement is using an oral spray. This is the easiest way to ensure you have a consistent and measured daily amount without potentially damaging your skin through excess UVB exposure from sunlight.

“Vitamin D can often be overlooked and many of us are unaware that we may be deficient, so I would advise testing your levels using a simple at-home test kit, as maintaining optimal levels could be crucial when trying to maximise physical activity and training availability all-year-round”, Beth concludes.

BetterYou, the experts in effective vitamin D supplementation, is on a mission to eradicate vitamin D deficiency once and for all. The brand is helping to raise public awareness, encouraging people to test their levels to make sure they are supplementing appropriately.

Gut health and the immune system

We can never ever know enough about how tummy health impacts our overall health, and this article by the health experts at Terra Nova explains how your gut health and immune system work together towards a better-feeling you!

Did you know that over 70% of the body’s immune cells are found in the gastrointestinal tract?

Yes… read that again! The gut is home to as many as 40 trillion cells and hundreds of species of tiny living microbes that influence immunity, mood, anxiety, cognition and even pain.

The key functions of the gut microbiota are breaking down complex carbohydrates, producing vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, and defending against pathogens.

The gut microbiome can change dramatically due to stress or poor diet. Therefore, it is super important to promote the best environment to help your microbes thrive.

Here are 5 immune supportive food and lifestyle tips that you can start following today!

1. Fiber is your friend

Fiber is a nondigestible carbohydrate found in fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Fiber is like food for your microbes. The greater the variety of fiber you consume, the greater variety of microbes you have.

Fiber has many other health benefits as well, including helping to lower cholesterol, keeping blood sugar levels stable, and keeping your bowel movements regular.

Beta-glucans in particular, are one form of soluble dietary fiber that are naturally produced by bacteria, fungi and many plants. Mushrooms and oats are some common foods that contain these fibers. These fibers have been extensively researched for their immunomodulatory effects!

Women should aim for at least 25g of fiber and men should aim for at least 38g of fiber daily.

2. Probiotic Power

Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. Taking probiotic supplements or eating foods with live probiotic cultures promotes a diverse gut microbiome and can decrease inflammation. Probiotics can be naturally found in cultured dairy products such as yogurt, and in fermented foods such as kimchi.

3. Eat the Rainbow

The color of each fruit and vegetable is caused by different phytonutrients, natural chemicals that help to fight pathogens. Eating a variety of colors from fruits and vegetables ensures that you are getting a variety of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals!

Some nutrients that play a key role in the immune system are:

Vitamin C: found in citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, tomatoes

Beta Carotene: found in tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli

Vitamin D: found in fatty fish, eggs, and fortified milk or juice.

Zinc: found in beef, seafood, wheat germ, nuts and legumes

4. Make Sleep a Priority

Many studies have proven that sleep deprivation can cause major detrimental effects on your immune system. People who don’t get enough quality sleep are more likely to get sick and need longer to recover after being exposed to a virus.
Try to aim for 6-8 hours of quality sleep per night. Make it a habit to go to bed just 30 minutes earlier the night before until you reach your goal!

5. Manage Stress

Stress! It’s something we all have every now and then, especially these days. Unfortunately, too much stress can cause suppression of the immune system.

Learning to manage your individual stress is an important tool for optimal immune health.

Exercise, meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, deep breathing and laughter are all proven tools to manage stress. These activities help to produce endorphins, which can improve our mood. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day to start putting you in a better mood!

Working on your wellbeing

As lockdown continues, so too do the challenges for our health and wellbeing, but there are plenty of simple holistic steps you can take to help yourself.

And here, natural health experts from Rescue Remedy offer their wellness tips to ease stress and boost emotional wellbeing:

  • Smart goals: Smart goals are a way of breaking down aims into five bite-sized categories – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-related – to help make targets doable. Every weekend, carve out 15-20 minutes to work out your aims for the week ahead and break them down into each category. Write them down somewhere that you can tick off when you have completed them. Ticking off completed goals is a great way of seeing how much you’ve achieved and feel positive if you’re feeling low. Here are few things that we have been ticking off our list: workout three times per week, have a bath once this week, walk 10,000 steps every day, read a chapter a night, turn off your phone after 8pm, meditate for five minutes a day.
  • Mindfulness: Here are a few ways that you can weave it into your daily routine. Morning: Try to wake up 20 minutes before your household to practise. If that’s not feasible – and we know how hard it can be – practise this while you’re in the shower or making a cup of tea. Count to four as you breathe in and four as you breathe out. Repeat while you scan your body, focusing on how your toes and feet feel, moving up the legs, hips, back, shoulders, arms, neck, face, jaw and head. During the day: The trick to being mindful during the day is remembering to practise while you are busy. Whether you’re buried deep in work, making lunch for the family or simply popping to the toilet, bring your mind into the present by asking yourself what you can see, smell, feel, taste or hear. At night: When the kids are tucked up and you finally have some time to yourself, make sure you’re really spending it on yourself. The small act of taking pleasure in lighting a candle, getting comfy under a blanket, repeating your positive affirmations, or simply enjoying a few squares of chocolate, will bring you into the now. Try to spend your evening in the now and not worrying about tomorrow.
  • Nutrition: As the saying goes, ‘you are what you eat’. This doesn’t only refer to how food affects your body but may also affect your mind. Having a good diet could help boost your mood, help you think more clearly and give you more energy. Eat regularly; three balanced meals a day will help you to stay away from the (sometime unhealthy) snacks. Eat a balanced diet, eating a mix of fibre, protein, ‘good’ fats and vegetables will help you maintain your energy levels throughout the day. Drink enough – water is great, but you can also enjoy herbal tea and diluted fruit juice to keep you on top of the recommended eight glasses a day.
  • Fitness: It’s hard to stay motivated at the moment, so it’s important to remember that any movement is good movement. Don’t be hard on yourself and remind yourself that you are the only person who can take the pressure off your shoulders. If you have a little more time, it’s important to get your heart rate up. While running isn’t for everyone, try to explore your area by foot and add in a power walk if you want. Otherwise, enjoy an online HIIT class; there are a huge amount of YouTube videos out there that cater for every fitness levels and any injuries you might have. The main thing with fitness is to try to enjoy it!

This article has been featured in Natural Lifestyle Magazine, grab your free copy of this monthly magazine in store now!

Magnesium, are you getting enough?

This article on the importance of magnesium is written by Marta Anhelush of Biocare.

If there’s one nutrient we should all consider supplementing, it’s magnesium. Magnesium is one of the most important elements in our body, being involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions.[i] Up to 60% of it is stored in our skeleton. Therefore, just like calcium, it is important for healthy bones and prevention of conditions such as osteoporosis. Its functions stretch far beyond musculoskeletal health, though, and include:

  • Protein synthesis
  • Muscle and nerve function
  • Blood glucose management
  • Heart function and blood pressure regulation
  • Energy production.[ii]

In fact, magnesium is so essential to so many biological functions, that getting extra through diet or supplementation would be beneficial to everyone.

Unfortunately, many of us don’t consume enough magnesium-rich foods. In addition, modern lifestyle can create a big drain on our magnesium reserves. Because magnesium is used for so many processes, it can get easily depleted, especially by stress, erratic eating patterns, high sugar diets, or overtraining. Some common medications, such as acid blockers used for reflux, can also reduce absorption of magnesium.

HOW WOULD YOU KNOW IF YOU NEED MORE MAGNESIUM?

If you suffer from headaches, PMS, muscle cramps, high blood pressure, anxiety, constipation, fatigue, memory problems, hyperactivity, you could be deficient. In fact, a study done in America showed that 48% of the population had inadequate intake of this vital mineral.[iii]

You can naturally increase your magnesium levels by adding more magnesium-rich foods to your diet:

  • Vegetables: leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, broccoli), and squash
  • Nuts and seeds like pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, almonds and cashews
  • Healthy grains and beans such as quinoa and black beans
  • Also try magnesium baths, using Epsom salts or magnesium flakes. They can be great to relieve muscle pain or help you to relax in the evening.

Make sure you integrate lifestyle strategies to reduce magnesium depletion; eat nutritious foods at regular times, avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates, reduce stress and allow time for your body to recover from exertion. Ensure your digestion is working optimally to enhance magnesium absorption. If you suffer with any digestive complaints, consider using probiotics or digestive enzymes to help.

SUPPLEMENTATION – WHAT’S THE RIGHT TYPE OF MAGNESIUM FOR YOU?

Increasing food sources of magnesium should be a priority but, if your requirements are high, or if you already have symptoms of deficiency, food alone may not be enough. There’s growing evidence that supplementing magnesium, especially specific types, can help with supporting certain aspects of health. You see, not all magnesium is equal. Choosing the right type is critical to successful nutritional support.

Just as with any other mineral, magnesium has to be bound to a ‘carrier’ molecule when it is consumed in a supplement form. The type of this carrier will determine its use and absorption rate, so it is important to choose the one that suits you best. For example, magnesium citrate was shown to be much more bioavailable (better absorbed and used by the body)than magnesium oxide.[iv] You can also benefit from the other molecule that the magnesium is bound to, as they all have their own unique functions in the body. Some of the most commonly used ones include:

  • Magnesium Citrate – a well absorbed, gentle form that delivers a good amount of magnesium per capsule. So it’s a great choice for general magnesium supplementation when you want a higher dose. One particular study successfully used 600mg of magnesium citrate in the prophylaxis of migraines.[v] It also acts as a gentle laxative so may be helpful to relieve constipation.[vi] In addition, long-term supplementation of magnesium citrate alongside potassium reduced the risk of recurrent kidney stones by 85%.[vii]
  • Magnesium Glycinate –glycine is an amino acid used for a number of important proteins in the body, including haemoglobin in red blood cells or creatine in the muscle. It supports the nervous system, reducing stress and promoting sleep, and improving memoryattention and learning.[viii],[ix] Glycine is a pre-cursor to glutathione – our most potent antioxidant and detoxifier,[x],[xi] and one of the largest components of collagen, which is crucial for healthy skin, joints, ligaments, tendons and bones. Insufficient dietary intake of glycine may interfere with collagen production.[xii]
  • Magnesium Malate –malic acid is a natural compound found in many different foods (e.g. apples). In the body, it is important for energy production. It’s been found to reduce tiredness, tenderness, pain and fatigue in fibromyalgia.[xiii],[xiv]So magnesium malate may be a better choice for those people with energy and fatigue issues. It may also be beneficial for muscle pain and cramps. It doesn’t give quite as much magnesium as other forms, but this isn’t an issue as the malate part is just as important in supporting energy.
  • Magnesium Taurate –an amino acid – taurine, is used to create bile which helps with absorption of fats[xv] in the digestive tract and detoxification of toxins. Through its impact on bile production, it aids natural elimination of cholesterol. In studies, it’s been found to lower LDL cholesterol[xvi],[xvii] and triglycerides, while increasing HDL cholesterol.[xviii] It is also used by the heart muscle for contractions, and may improve arterial function, supporting healthy circulation and blood pressure.[xix],[xx] Taurine also supports the nervous system by activating the calming neurotransmitter GABA.[xxi] So to summarise, magnesium with taurine can be particularly helpful for people with liver or heart problemspoor gallbladder function and reduced fat digestion[xxii] or those with high stress levels or insomnia.

Many of us may need additional magnesium support, but it is important to remember that not all magnesium is equal. Choose the best form for your specific needs and if you need any help, you can call our Clinical Nutrition team or see a practitioner for further advice and support.

Dementia

Elderly couple sat on a bench looking out to sea

As we age it’s common to forget things now and again and we might fear this is the first sign of dementia, but that’s not necessarily the case! Dementia is not a natural part of ageing. Dementia is an umbrella term, used to describe a group of symptoms that commonly include memory, thinking, problem solving, language and perception.

Read moreDementia

Anxiety

Picture of woman looking out of train window

Mental health awareness has definitely become more prominent recently and has largely been helped by the Heads Together campaign, from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Dr Chatterjee, from the ‘Doctor in the House’ programmes, also covered mental health in a recent episode, highlighting the important role that food plays in mental health. This is all extremely encouraging as mental health is a serious issue and people need to know what help is available and what they can do themselves, to make a difference.

Read moreAnxiety