Thursday, 19 October 2017
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PoppyLately, I’ve been thinking about stomach acid. And chances are, if you deal with heartburn, indigestion or other digestive issues, you have too.

Heartburn or ‘acid reflux’ – the burning sensation in the chest caused by stomach acid leaking into the oesophagus – can in fact be a sign of low rather than high acid production.

Are you drinking safely? A realistic guide to safe drinkingOur aim is not to spoil your fun nor to over dramatise the dangers but to be honest about alcohol and the short and long term effects.
In a commercially driven world we are surrounded by adverts encouraging drinking. There has been an increased number of different brands of Gin and Vodka in the shops recently with attractive shaped bottles with eye-catching labels and images of happy couples enjoying a drink. They never show a picture of someone vomiting in the gutter or legless by the pool because the reality is that there is a down side which goes beyond the morning hangover.
If you want to continue to enjoy those sundowners you may be interested in reading this article rather than dismissing it as yet another sermon on the evils of drink. Trust me it’s not about that. It’s about a realistic view on drinking alcohol in it’s many guises.

DepressionDepression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. Most people go through periods of feeling down, that Monday morning feeling, but when you are depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months. Unfortunately, some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health problem – it is a real illness with real symptoms and left untreated can lead to premature death.

According to Dr Tim Cantopher, a Consultant Psychiatrist in the UK, in his very readable book “Depressive illness – The Curse of the Strong”, says “depressive illness is not a psychological or emotional state, and it is not a mental illness. It is not a form of madness. It is a physical illness. It is a deficiency of two chemicals that are normally present in the brain – serotonin and noradrenaline. The chemical dopamine and the hormone melatonin are also thought to be involved.”

PoppyIt’s that smell of the Algarve we all know and love. The sweet, woody scent of the Rock Rose or Esteva bushes hangs over the hot countryside like a thick blanket from April onwards, reaching it’s heady heights around mid-summer.

Next time you pass by a Cistus plant, take a closer look. Have a feel, too. If it’s the classic Rock Rose, or Gum Cistus (Cistus ladanifer), its leaves will be sticky, and there will be pools of gum where the leaf joins the stem. This gooey nectar, called labdanum, gives the plant its delicious perfume and an array of medicinal properties.

Herbal Medicine for Female Urinary IncontinenceFemale urinary incontinence is much more common than you think. In fact, 1 in 4 women over the age of 18 experience involuntary leakage of urine – and most of these suffer in silence due to misinformation surrounding the condition.

This article attempts to set the record straight on a condition that can be emotionally and physically demanding – starting with some basic little-known facts.

7 Cold & Cough Fighting RecipesThis is the season for stuffy noses, persistent coughs and sore throats. So even if you try, you end up getting these annoying symptoms. If unfortunately you did not manage to avoid catching a cold, here are some tips to ease this common disease at this time of the year.

Longer Life, Healthier Life?The average human being is living longer than ever before. Nearly every country on the planet has seen an increase in life expectancy since the beginning of the 21st century.

But though we are living longer, not all of us are living healthier. Health Adjusted Life Expectancy (HALE), or healthy life expectancy, is a metric used by the World Health Organization to measure the number of years a person can expect to live in good health, taking social and economic factors into account alongside disease and disability rates. When we deduct healthy life expectancy from actual life expectancy, we see the average amount of years someone can expect to live in bad health – or 'Bad Health Years'.

Charity lunch for ex horse riding teacher Gill - March 7thMany of you will remember Gill from the horse riding centre opposite the International School in Porches. She gave so much to her students by helping them not only on the horse but off it. She concentrated on each child to give them confidence and to make them feel special.

Whilst doing a favour for a friend, she suffered a tragic car accident. This left 54-year-old Gill with a severed spine. She is now a tetraplegic without feeling in most of her body. Through concentrated physiotherapy she has regained partial use of her left arm.