[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”8887″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

So what’s happening in Only Natural this month??

Do you really want to lessen your environmental impact?

We posted on Facebook a while ago about a visit to Dublin by Bea Johnson whose passion is to encourage exactly that, minimum use of packaging and better awareness of individual contribution to global waste. The meeting was thronged and among the throng was our own Ruth. Ruth is already passionate about these issues and even more so now after hearing this inspirational woman speak. She’s also sparked us to think of ways in which we, as a business, can promote a greater awareness and practical solutions in Wexford so watch out for updates. Here’s Ruth’s resume of the talk.

What’s the future of nutritional supplements?

Vitamins and minerals were first discovered by isolation from food in the early part of the twentieth century. Various diseases such as rickets and beri beri were found to be caused by nutrient deficiencies.  During WWII, the need for nutrition of soldiers overtook the need for remaining true to nature, giving rise to cheap synthetic vitamins. Unfortunately, the industry afterwards stuck to this motto instead of reverting back to what the scientists had known for a long time, that vitamins and minerals are most effective in their natural plant form, surrounded by their co-factors and co-nutrients. Now about eighty years later the idea that synthetic may not be the best is on the rise again.
One company that has espoused it is Nature’s Plus. Their ‘Garden Range‘ is one of the first comprehensive ranges based entirely on organically grown food sources, fruits, vegetables and other botanicals. The ingredients that go into np_legacy_headerthe range are extracted with nothing more than water. No solvents, excipients, or carriers are used in the extraction process and absolutely no synthetics or additives are used. The result is a nutrient range at its most potent and bioavailable because every vitamin or mineral is in its most natural form together with all the cofactors that accompany it in nature and make it truly available to the human body. The added benefit of these co-factors and co-nutrients is that they allow for faster and easier absorption into the body, with minimal to no stomach irritation. Examples of some of the nutrient sources include Amla fruit for vitamin C, Seaweed for calcium, a blend of Certified Organic Guava (Psidium guajava), Mango (Mangifera indica), and Lemon (Citrus limon) extracts for all the major B vitamins except B12, Organic standardized Lantana Camara extract for magnesium, extract of Guava Leaves for zinc. And the list goes on!
Currently the market includes all quality levels when it comes to nutrients: from cheap to produce but less beneficial synthetics to higher quality more nature identical vitamin and mineral supplements. However I think what we’re seeing in the likes of the ‘Garden Range’ from Nature’s Plus brings supplementation to the next level. Grow nutrient rich foodstuffs organically, extract those nutrients together with all the cofactors found in the food source using nothing more than water and offer them as highest potency, highest absorbability single nutrients or nutrient combinations for different life situations and I think the result is amazing. 
I’m getting ready for my annual trip to London for the Natural Health Industry’s biggest annual showcase. I use it as a barometer for what direction Natural Health is taking and I haven’t the slightest doubt that I’ll be hearing lots more like the above. We’ve come a long way from being able to treat beri beri!


What’s for dinner?

I can’t resist a bit of nostalgia this month. I was recently leafing through my copy of Cranks Recipe Book (first published in 1982) and remembered how it had served me well as a source of meatless, wholefood inspiration for many years (long before we knew what a goji berry or a spiralizer was I might add). Nevertheless at a time when few of us thought about the implications of too refined a diet and the choice not to eat meat was regarded with some suspicion it was quite groundbreaking. I have fond memories of making (and eating!) homity pie and I urge you to give it a try. It’s a simple recipe based on the idea of well seasoned potato with cheese and milk in a wholemeal pastry case (too many carbs I hear you cry!) and, served with a well dressed green salad, makes for a truly comforting and tasty dinner. And all I have to do is put on my Men at Work album and I’m right back there.


You should know about this!

I’m always fascinated when something is touted as a panacea, a cure for all ills! Recently I’ve felt this way about diatomaceous earth and turmeric. Turmeric is certainly out there (I’ll be surprised if we’re not adding it to our coffees before much longer!) and diatomaceous earth, while its use is growing, is not quite the subject of chats in the hairdressers yet. Now let me introduce you to a new contender, Black Seed Oil!
Many health experts claim that it is, indeed, a true panacea; able to help cure everything from allergies to hypertension. Quite possibly, the most promising research has been done connecting Nigella sativa to multi-drug resistant bacteria. This is of real importance because these so-called “superbugs” are becoming a significant public health risk.
The key to understanding why black seed oils benefits the body in this way is because it is rich in 3 key natural chemicals: thymoquinone (TQ), thymohydroquinone (THQ) and thymol. Key benefits studied and evaluated are as follows :

1. Cancer

Croatian scientists evaluated the antitumor activity of thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone in mice and discovered that the two phytochemicals in black seed oil can resulted in 52% decrease in tumor cells!.

2. Liver Health

The liver is one of the most important organs in the body. Nearly every toxin gets processed through the liver, and the bile from the liver is the key to digesting fats and keeping your mind and body happy and healthy. For those that have struggled with poor liver function due to medication side effects, alcohol consumption, or disease, black seed oil could greatly speed the healing process. In a recent study scientists discovered that black seed oil benefits the function of the liver and helps prevent both damage and disease.

3. Diabetesblackseed_image

Explained in a recent article published by the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers from the Indian Council of Medical Research highlight that black seed oil “causes gradual partial regeneration of pancreatic beta-cells, increases the lowered serum insulin concentrations and decreases the elevated serum glucose.” This is actually quite profound because Nigella sativa is one of the few substances on the planet that is suggested to help prevent both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

4. Weight Loss

The Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders published a study last June systemically reviewing the literature for plants that have anti-obesity properties and discovered that black seed oil was amongst the most effective natural remedies on the planet.

Not traditionally believed to treat obesity, Nigella sativa is a marvelous anti-inflammatory agent that is known to help people lose weight in the same way that it helps diabetics. Specifically, by decreasing these weight gain triggers, black seed oil has helped millions shed excess weight.

5. Hair

Probably one of the most unique black seed oil benefits is its uncanny ability to help restore hair loss. No one quite understands why it happens, but it’s not too hard to guess that it has something to do with its powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. By strengthening hair follicles, there is very good reason to see how black seed oil can help promote strengthened hair roots.

6. Skin

Produced in the retina, choroid and epidermis, melanin are pigments that protect the skin from damage. You probably are most familiar with it being the main chemical responsible for giving our eyes and skin their individual color. Known to promote and inhibit melanogenesis (melanin production), black seed oil’s benefits on the skin and other cells are profoundly healing.

For example, in a recent study conducted by Iranian researchers, Nigella saliva was found as effective as the  skin cream Betamethasone in improving quality of life and decreasing severity of hand eczema.

7. Infections (MRSA)

Of all the superbugs that black seed oil can kill, Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the most important. MRSA is plaguing hospitals and nursing homes across the globe because ordinary staph infections are becoming resistant to generic antibiotics. The elderly population is especially at risk because it is generally associated with invasive procedures such as surgeries, intravenous tubing, and artificial joints. Primarily due to weakened immunity, the growing population of senior citizens has made MRSA a global public health risk.

Does Black Seed Oil qualify as a panacea ? I’ll have to leave it to you to make up your mind but I think the research is undeniably persuasive.

Stay well