Winter’s on the way
And it’s time to think of how to stay well during the more challenging season ahead. We’ve given you the basics before. You know to eat well, to stay active and to keep mentally positive. You know about all the supplements that can keep your immune system fighting fit and we all have our favourites, from elderberry to olive leaf, from zinc to coltsfoot and from Manuka honey to probiotics.
So this time we thought we’d focus on the latest developments with just two of the most important winter supplements, Echinacea and vitamin D, what’s on the shelves and why we recommend them.
Firstly lets look at Echinacea, long revered and used by native Americans and first introduced to these shores in the 1980s. It soon became and still is a much loved and trusted herbal immune booster and has kept many a cold, flu and other infection at bay over the years.
In the last few years a home grown brand called Irish Botanica has appeared on the scene and has already gained a mighty reputation and a huge following. It’s one of a small but growing number of herbal tinctures and compounds brought to market by Irish herbalist David Foley. I spoke to David to get a sense why he chose to introduce an other range of tinctures to the Irish market and what was the ethos behind them. His answers were refreshingly simple.
David started out as a horticulture student and from there developed an interest in the medicinal uses of plants which led him to train as a herbalist. From 1992 to 1997 David trained at the then College of Phytotherapy in Sussex from where many of today’s world class Herbalists and authors on Herbalism have graduated. He followed this with two years’ post graduate study of Chinese Medicine before starting his own practice and going on to take over the two Simple Simon Health Stores in Donegal. The need for the Irish Botanica range was born, says David, from frustration! Seven years’ study had made him acutely aware of the amazing curative properties of plants and yet many products on the market, while purporting to be effective herbal preparations, just didn’t have the quality or strength to live up to their claims. Imagine his annoyance on seeing people try some of the herbal remedies available, find that they didn’t work or did so in a very limited way and assume from their experiences that all herbals were, at best, of limited use. David then thought back to a colleague from Sussex who’s aim after graduation was to grow biodynamic herbs of the highest quality possible in the UK for the production of tinctures and other herbal products. He got in touch with him and the spark was ignited which some years later lead to the launch of Irish Botanica Echinacea Tincture.
So what makes Irish Botanica different? The herb is grown under optimum conditions, then only the root (the most potent part medicinally!) is used to produce a tincture whose strength and concentration is beyond a doubt among the most potent Echinaceas on the market. David’s strong belief in the fusion of tradition and science and his need to provide products who’s effectiveness is guaranteed has brought us a range which is second to none and an Echinacea Tincture which, if you’re looking for our recommendation as winter approaches, we’re more than happy to endorse.
Vitamin D3 gets my vote for the most important nutrient to ensure good supplies of all year round but especially in winter. We’ve written in depth about Vitamin D before so do check out this Vitamin D blogpost for more. We’re also delighted to have taken on the full range of Vitamin D products from Viridian, whom offer a wonderfully ethical, sustainable, quality product which we have featured as this months featured product – Vitamin D3. We are also delighted to be able to offer you 25% of the product during the month of October.
So don’t trust your winter health to chance this year. Choosing and using the right supplements can keep you ‘fighting fit’ all through the winter and I hope we can really be of help when it comes to ‘choosing’.
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