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 A friend has recently been left by her husband and is finding it hard to cope. She doesn’t want to go on to antidepressants – is there something natural she can take? She isn’t taking any medication and usually has good health.
A As long as she is not taking other medication, she can take a combination extract of Hypericum, Hops and Melissa which can eventually help lift mild depression and reduce nervous tension and anxiety. In the meantime she can take Emergency Essence to reduce stress and Female Essence to help her deal with the emotional issues involved. A vitamin B complex will also help her body to cope with the strain, and she should avoid caffeine in all forms, as it puts extra stress on the adrenal glands.
Q I've been reading about the adverse effects of anti-inflammatory drugs, and I am quite worried because I have rheumatoid arthritis and have to use these types of drugs regularly. Are there other things I can use that don’t have the side effects?
A Not a problem. The great thing about natural anti-inflammatory remedies is that they don’t cause the side effects that are associated with anti-inflammatory medication. Try fresh herb Arnica in gel form if you want something to apply externally. Internally, take Devil’s Claw tincture, which reaches all those painful parts from inside. It also has no side effects and can be taken long term if needed. It is safe to take with any other medication and I’ve had some great results with it.
Q I get itchy eyes and sneezing fits all year round. I know there are lots of natural hayfever remedies but I obviously don’t have hayfever. The doctor has recommended antihistamines, but they make me drowsy. What else can I take?
A I use an extract of Luffa (Sponge Cucumber) for patients who have any of the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, which it sounds as if you have. Allergic rhinitis is caused by a reaction to any number of things such as house dust mites, animal hair, exhaust fumes or any other airborne pollutants.
Luffa will work for any and all of these symptoms, usually having an effect within 20 to 30 minutes. If you have symptoms regularly, you can take it on a daily basis to keep them under control. It has no side effects and can be taken alongside any other medication, so it’s very safe and easy to use.
We regret that it is not possible for us to print answers to all the letters Ali receives. Remember that back issues of Healthy Way articles and Ask Ali are available on this website.