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Category: Female Health

What’s the Scoop on: Oregano Oil

Posted: Tue, 16 October 2018, 15:48

You're likely to already be familiar with the pungent spicy smell of oregano that is closely connected to Italian and Mediterranean cuisine; but did you also know that Oregano Oil (also known as Oil of oregano) is one of nature’s most powerful remedies?

Let’s dive a little deeper, shall we?

What is Oregano Oil?

Oregano is a perennial herb which is native to the milder climates of Europe, the Mediterranean and south-central Asia. Oregano oil is extracted from the leaves of the oregano plant through steam distillation of fresh oregano leaves, and it’s within this oil that the real health benefits come from. Oil of oregano contains a potent blend of plant compounds – namely carvacrol, thymol, eugenol, rosmarinic acid and beta-caryophyllin. Two key compounds, carvacrol and thymol are the key infection-fighting powerhouses. They are able to kill multiple strains of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Oregano oil is an incredibly rich source of antioxidants and this help to protect the body from free radicals and their associated damage, caused by everyday toxins, pollutants and through natural human physiological processes.

What is Oregano Oil good for?

Since oregano oil is one of nature’s most powerful remedies, you won’t be surprised to hear its benefits include having antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anti parasitic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and digestive properties.

Oregano Oil may help to:

Boost the immune system

Treat respiratory conditions such as coughs and colds

Treat urinary tract infections

Treat fungal infections

Improve digestion

Reduce topical inflammation

Maintain healthy, clear skin

Protect the body from free radicals caused by everyday toxins and pollutants

Reduce the recurrence and spread of infections

13 Natural and Easy Ways To Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels

Posted: Tue, 11 September 2018, 10:17

Ok everyone, hands up if any of these sound familiar:

  • You constantly crave sugar or a pick-me-up.

  • You often experience feelings of anxiety, sluggishness, moodiness and irritability.

  • You find it difficult to lose weight.

  • You find it difficult to concentrate and stay focused.

  • You have trouble sleeping through the night.

  • If you look up the term hangry, it’s a definition of you.

  • If you miss a meal, you are irritable and say things you later regret.

  • You feel like a new person after you eat.

  • Your cuts and bruises seem to take a long time to heal.

If you’re checking these off one after the other, then perhaps your blood sugar levels need a little tinkering.

What is Blood Sugar?

Blood sugar (aka blood glucose) is the sugar that the bloodstream carries to all cells in the body to supply the body with energy. Glucose is the immediate source of energy for all of the body's cells. The sugar comes from the food we eat and our blood sugar levels change throughout the day, with their lowest point tending to be before our first meal.

After we eat, the body secretes insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows our body to either use the glucose from our food or store it for future use. Insulin regulates our blood sugar levels and tries to keep them from getting too high or too low.

When our blood sugar is balanced we tend to feel awake, energised, clear-headed, productive, happy, have our cravings under control, and are able to sleep well.

What's the Scoop on: Maca

Posted: Fri, 13 April 2018, 10:25

What is Maca?

Maca is a root vegetable that grows in the Peruvian Andes at very high altitudes. Maca belongs to the cruciferous family of plants which includes other such powerhouse foods including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips, and radishes.

This powerful root vegetable from South America is most commonly used to help with stamina, energy, mood, vitality, sexual function, hormone balancing and fertility.


Maca is incredibly mineral rich, boasting high levels of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous and potassium. It also contains trace minerals including zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, manganese, and silica. And it doesn’t stop there; maca is also high in vitamins B1, B2, C, and E, plus it contains 19 amino acids (including 7 of the 8 essential amino acids) and is a rich source of sterols.

Overcoming Anxiety Naturally

Posted: Mon, 16 October 2017, 14:11

We’ve all experienced anxiety at some point in our lives, whether it's speaking in front of a large group of people, performing on stage or heading into an interview for our dream job.

The real trouble comes when these feelings of anxiety become too much for us and even overwhelm us. These feelings can have debilitating effects on our day to day lives, as well as leaving us feeling like we’re not good enough, or worthy enough.

There are several tools we can use to support us when we are moving through difficult and uneasy feelings, and within this blog post I will share with you my favourite ways to overcome anxiety naturally.


Move your body every single day!

Exercise increases feel-good hormones like serotonin, whilst increasing blood flow, moving stagnant energy around and out of the body, boosting your natural energy and banishing anxiety.
Running, swimming, hiking, bouldering, yoga, pilates, tennis, long coastal walk – whatever is your jam, do it, and do it every day.

When it comes to improving your health and your happiness, my advice: Start small.

If you can find just two minutes a day here and there, you can start making small changes to put you on the right path to living a happier, healthier life.

You don’t have to overhaul your entire diet and lifestyle overnight on your quest to living a healthier lifestyle.
Throwing away everything deemed unhealthy from the cupboards and signing up to a boot camp on day one is not always the best way to go about it.
In fact, this is actually often counter-productive because of the stress and pressures it puts on your body, both mentally and physically.

Instead, you can embark upon the journey towards a happier, healthier lifestyle simply by incorporating any or all of these 9 healthy habits into your life today.

They don’t take up hours of your time, nor do they squeeze your wallet dry, but they do have incredible health returns!

Do you suffer from PMS and menstrual cramps? You are not alone!

Many of us experience pain, bloating, acne, headaches, cravings, weight gain, water retention, anxiety, irregular periods, heaviness and mood swings during this cyclical hormonal change.

Did you know that up to 80% of women have significant cramping during their monthly cycle?

Many women report that they often miss a day of work each month due to PMS and cramps, and those that do go in say they feel like their productivity is compromised.

While menstrual cramps and PMS are incredibly common, they're actually not normal.

They are our body's way of telling us that something is not working as well as it should be.

Pain and discomfort are not normal for our body. It is an indication that something deep inside is not right. Think of PMS and cramps as warning mechanisms. Our body is sending us messages through pain to get our attention.

Now, like everything else, there is no magic pill and a cure will not happen overnight. You must be patient and consistent and healing will follow through.

In order to have a healthy menstrual cycle, you have to have a healthy body.
An awful monthly cycle tells you that your hormones and reproductive system are not working properly. Lifestyle and food choices work both ways: Make bad ones and your menstrual health may suffer; make good ones and your uncomfortable symptoms can improve.

10 Ways to Look and Feel Amazing Naturally

Posted: Thu, 04 May 2017, 18:44

If you want to look and feel good naturally, then here are my top 10 ways to get you there!

No. 1 - Be nice to your gut

Your gut flora can influence your health in a lot ways, from helping to extract energy from your food, building and supporting your body's immune system, and even having the ability to affect your mood and metabolism.

And did you know that bacteria can also produce vitamins?

Bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria produce B-complex vitamins, including biotin, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), and cobalamin (B12), as well as folic acid and vitamin K.

A happy gut is the first step to a happy and healthy body. If you want abundant energy, glowing skin and shiney locks, then your digestive system is your number one man.

Try boosting your levels with probiotic rich foods like fermenting veggies like sauerkraut (see my blog here on the benefits of fermented veggies), kimchi, pickles, yogurt, kefir, tempeh etc. or supplementing with high quality supplements like Udo’s Super 8.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a condition that causes depressive periods during the winter months.

SAD affects both sexes, but it can affect women more than men. It’s also more prevalent for those who live further away from the equator.

People who suffer from this type of depression in the winter months can lose their energy, suffer anxiety attacks, feel tired and oversleep, feel sluggish and find they gain weight, often as a result of craving the wrong food.

Other symptoms of SAD include irritability, hypersensitivity, losing interest in activities you love, feeling socially withdrawn, suffering with a low/no sex drive and feeling an inability to focus and think clearly.

Whilst it can be normal to feel a little down in the winter months and feel as if you have less energy; SAD is much more than just the “winter blues.” It’s a seasonal subtype of depression that affects many people.

Here are 4 steps you can take to help decrease the effects of SAD naturally with food, supplements, improved sleeping habits, and a bit of light!

Are you stressed?

Are you stressed?

Are you stressed?

Stress really isn't taken as seriously as it should be. How many times have you heard the phrase 'Oh it's no big deal it's probably just down to stress'? I know I have heard it countless times, and have personally fallen guilty to ignoring phantom symptoms assuming they will pass when the stress does.  The problem is, more often than not, stress can become a very serious problem. Many people (myself included) don't know, or even acknowledge the fact that they are stressed until it rears its ugly head in the form of emotional and physical symptoms, by which point your body is already in complete shutdown mode.


So what is stress? Well, stress by definition, comes about in three different ways – emotional (Anxiety, death of a loved one), physical (training for a marathon, heavy lifting) and chemical (eg alcohol, drugs, medicines etc). So how does your body cope with stress? Before we begin let me explain the vital hormones and neurotransmitters involved with stressed....

One of the biggest risks for women past the Menopause is osteoporosis. This condition is often referred to or known as ‘thinning of the bones’, when bones lose their calcium content and weaken. This can due to the lack of hormones that previously maintained the bones, along with several other factors from diet to a sedentary lifestyle. .

Hormones, Vitamins and Minerals

The hormone oestrogen is an important factor stimulating the cells responsible for building bones. Gradual loss of bone strength can occur as there are lower levels of this hormone during and after the menopause.

But it’s not only calcium that is important when it comes to bone health.

You also need Vitamin D, C and K, along with minerals boron, selenium, copper, zinc and phosphorus to support good bone health.

Together these enhance the way calcium is absorbed by the body and enables it to be effectively incorporated into the bones.

Good food sources of calcium include: green leafy vegetables, broccoli, soya, figs, millet, oats, almonds, sesame seeds, sardines, chickpeas, tahini, seaweed, watercress and quinoa.
Good food sources of Vitamin D include: Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, canned tuna, eggs, fortified dairy and soya products, some mushrooms and of course, sunshine! 
Good food sources of Vitamin K include: K1 is synthesised by plants and vegetables such as green leafy vegetables, avocados, kiwis; and K2 by gut bacteria e.g natto (fermented soya beans) and fermented cheeses.

For further information and details, I recommend you read Marilyn Glenville Natural Solutions to Menopause.

During the menopause, some women can find their hair loses its bounce and strength; their skin becomes drier and less firm, or that their nails lose their condition and strength.

These are all facts of life as we age, and thanks to those hormonal changes during the menopause they can cause the connective tissue under our skin to become thinner and less elastic, and our hair to thin down.

Eating a nutritionally rich diet, getting plenty of fresh air and exercise are always going to be the key players in keeping you looking and feeling at your best, but here are 3 of the main ones to ensure you’re including:

1. Consume plenty of fresh fruits and veg - these contain vitamin C which is known to help build up collagen which gives skin its elasticity.

They also contain bountiful amounts of antioxidants to repair damaged cells, bring nutrients to the skin, hair and nails, reduce inflammation and even slow down the signs of aging.

High antioxidant foods include: blueberries, green tea, acai berries, goji berries, pomegranates, spinach, raspberries, purple grapes, mulberries and green algaes to name a few.

Hot flushes are those troublesome times when your skin feels hot, causing you to feel almost feverish and sometimes even sweaty. About 75% of women experience this during menopause, but just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it can’t be a nuisance. We’ve pulled together a few natural ways to help combat these symptoms.

Treatment of Menopausal Hot Flushes

Eat a well-balanced, wholesome diet and eat regularly. Low and dipping blood sugar levels can be one of the causes of hot flushes and this can be easily prevented by eating regularly.

Opt for anti-inflammatory and nourishing foods such as green leafy vegetables, colourful fruits and vegetables. Turmeric is also a fantastic herb to include as it boasts anti-inflammatory properties and powerful antioxidant levels. It’s also great for memory.

Consume Omega-3 fatty acids by including oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, kippers and sardines, flax, hemp, chia, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame into your diet.
Fish oil, Krill oil or seed oils are also a fantastic additions to consider. 

Ensure that you have regular bowel movements (at least one a day) by eating enough fibre, drinking enough water and exercising. Constipation can be a major factor in triggering hot flushes.

Drink plenty of pure water/coconut water/green juices/herbal teas to help keep you hydrated. Hydration is essential for everything.

From the age of 40 a woman’s body will start preparing for the menopause. Put simply, the menopause is when women literally run out of eggs. From birth each woman has a supply of eggs and over the years they are used up and die off.

As the menopause happens, a woman’s hormone levels decline and their bodies move into a different stage in life. While this is a natural process, it can be quite taxing for the body, meaning you’ll need to prepare for some of the side effects.

Nourish wants to help you do this in the most natural way possible—from exercise and diet tips to a few supplements designed to give you an extra boost, so we’ve put together a blog series to help you figure out some of the ins and outs of supporting your body naturally during menopause.

Emily’s Guide to a Good Health Regime for Mums-To-Be

Posted: Thu, 20 August 2015, 12:27

There’s a lot of advice rolling around the internet for mums-to-be. What to eat, what not to, how to exercise. It can get a bit exhausting.
Instead of creating a straight wellness post for expecting mums, we’ve instead opted for our 7 top tips for keeping both your health and your sanity during your pregnancy.

Remember, you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new workouts or diets, but once you’ve got the all-clear, dig into our Guide to a Good Health Regime for Mums-To-Be.

1. Focus on your Breath and/or Meditate

Pregnancy is the perfect time to really tune in with yourself and to listen to your body.

Breathing is often something we don’t even think about. It’s just part of the way we function.
Whether you’re expecting or not, it is good to get into a regular habit of really focusing on your breath, though especially when you’re pregnant.

Not only does it help to keep you in the moment, allowing you to improve your sense of concentration and focus, but breathing is also a very important part of delivering a baby, helping the body prepare for the process of labour. It helps to relax the body both mentally and physically, helping to take the mind off pain during labour.

Meditating, or focusing on your breath, can be a fantastic tool to help ease the signs or symptoms of anxiety, stress, nerves, or the constant inner monologue that we are all subject to at times.

It can help to teach you how to discipline your mind and be in ‘the now’ and still the mind.

The Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

Posted: Mon, 17 August 2015, 11:28

Prenatal yoga is a fantastic way to provide your body with strength, flexibility and endurance, as well as helping with reducing stress and anxiety. Here are the biggest draws to prenatal yoga:

It can help you connect with the changes of your new body, helping to ease you into these changes and allow you to let go of what your body used to be able to do, and help and guide you to what you can do now and how you can use it to ensure a healthy happy baby.

A lot of things will start to change during your transition into and throughout your pregnancy and it is a good idea to support your body throughout. Prenatal yoga can be a brilliant tool for you to nurture, support and strengthen your body where it needs it most.

Prenatal yoga helps to keep your core and posture strong and can help aid those pregnancy aches and pains. For one thing, your posture is going to change as a result of the centre of gravity adjusting as your baby grows.

In order to stay upright, there is a balance between the lower back muscles and the four abdominal muscles. When your baby grows, resulting in a larger belly, this pushes forward and stretches the abdominals beyond their original shape. This can cause a weakening which results in lower back pain and strain.

A qualified yoga instructor can advise on the best postures to ease this pain and keep your posture supported.

5 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Posted: Tue, 11 August 2015, 09:49

During pregnancy, your body is quite literally building an entire human being from scratch, meaning you’re going to need a lot of good quality sources of nutrients in order to build a strong, healthy baby.

To grow a person inside of you is hard work (!!!), which is why we’ve pulled out all the stops to put together our top 5 tips for a healthy pregnancy.

1. Educate yourself

First things first, do your research. Talk to your midwife, herbalist, an alternative health-care practitioner or doctor before starting on any new diet or supplement regime and gather as much information as you can.
There are plenty of fantastic books on pregnancy, on what to eat, drink, how to exercise with your new bump and so much more.
You have the responsibility for your pregnancy, your health and your baby so educate yourself, and enjoy the journey.

Grocery List

Grocery List

When you’re an expectant or current mother, it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with the nutritional needs of you and your baby. That’s why we’ve pulled together this handy list for you to bring with you to make shopping for yourself and your little one a bit easier.
Scroll to the bottom for our full shopping list.

Fruits and Vegetables

Both fruits and vegetables have a huge variety of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants that are fantastically helpful during pregnancy.
Eat the rainbow as they say, ensuring you are eating a variety of colourful fruits and veggies in your diet and making sure to include lots green leafy vegetables. These can also help raise important vitamin K levels and provide you with plenty of B vitamins, including folate which contributes to the normal growth of the foetus and iron.

You won’t need to buy everything on this list at once, but try rotating weekly your selection from this list to get a wide variety of nutrients into your diet.

Also please don’t hesitate to add as many other fruits and veggies as you like, and don’t feel restricted to this list alone.

If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, you’re probably already aware that you should be eating a healthy diet to ensure that you and your baby receive plenty of good quality nutrients necessary for optimum health and wellness.

But even if you are eating well, you can’t always trust you’re getting ALL the nutrients essential for a healthy pregnancy from your food at the recommended levels, therefore it is advisable to supplement alongside with a good prenatal vitamin.
This will help you to cover any nutritional gaps in your diet and ensure that you obtain the correct quantities of each nutrient to prevent any deficiencies and support you and your baby’s health during pregnancy.

Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet, especially when you’re pregnant or trying to conceive.

So what do you need to look out for and why in your diet and prenatal vitamin?

All vitamins and minerals work together to function and absorb at their best, so it’s best to eat a wide variety of foods to get an abundance of nutrients and supplement with a prenatal vitamin and mineral complex to fill in any gaps.
It is also strongly advised that you do not to take the following nutrients as a separate supplement unless otherwise stated by a health care professional.

1. Folate

Folate is essential for proper cell replication and thus for the development and maintenance of body tissues and systems, especially the nervous system.
Folate is well known for its preventative effects against spina bifida (a condition where the bone encasement that protects the spinal cord is not fully developed) along with other developmental issues, making folate an important supplement.
If you are deficient in this nutrient before you become pregnant, the developing foetus is at an increased risk for neural tube defects, a developmental condition that adversely affects nervous system development in the foetus.

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