Alison Cullen is a Nutritional Therapist with a special interest in Phytotherapy.
Ali will endeavour to give the best advice based on the information provided. However, it is always advisable to have a face-to-face consultation with a doctor or health care practitioner to obtain a diagnosis of any health matter which is concerning you.
Q It has been suggested to me that taking the herb Plantain could be helpful for sinus problems. I have headaches and stuffy/runny nose and react to various things, e.g. newsprint, pollen, etc. I react to the normal medications usually prescribed for this condition.
A Plantago tincture (Plantain) may help you, but I would be inclined to suggest an extract of Luffa first, as it is more specifically suited to the symptoms you describe. It has no side effects and can be taken alongside conventional medication. I would also suggest that you cut down on or preferably cut out all caffeine and dairy products, as these can increase mucous production and make you more prone to allergic reactions.
Q My 6-year old son has chickenpox. Is there anything natural I can give him to help with the irritation?
A Give him Echinacea to ensure that his immune system is working well to deal with the virus. Apply oil of St John’s Wort externally as it can reduce nerve pain and the horrible irritation of the spots. Try not to treat him to chocolate, however miserable he is, as it contains an ingredient that encourages the virus.
Q Four years ago I had shingles on my left shoulder, so painful. After all this time my shoulder is still painful and itchy. What can I apply or take to improve this? The GP says taking painkillers is all that can be done and that it can take years for shingles to clear. Your assistance would be appreciated.
A Apply oil from St John’s Wortl externally to the painful area, as it is excellent for this type of nerve pain. Avoid eating nuts and chocolate, as these feed the virus that causes shingles. Take plenty of vitamin C and you should feel improvements quite soon.