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What is depression?

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.”

Cistus, Queen of the Algarve

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 Incontinence

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 Recipes

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?

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'.

"So many old friends" ensure successful charity lunch for horse riding teacher Gill

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.

Fermented foods: where ancient art meets modern medicine

Fermented foods: where ancient art meets modern medicineI’ve been experimenting in the kitchen recently with fermented foods. Many of you will have heard of the fantastic health benefits of consuming live cultures in food such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha – but let’s recap anyway.

How Are Infrared Heaters Beneficial to Your Health

How Are Infrared Heaters Beneficial to Your HealthNot all forms of heating are created equally. Some contribute to the home in a healthy way when others don't. Keeping your house warm is important, but protecting the health of your family has to be the priority. Fireplaces are basically just pollutant machines. Gas fueled forms of heating can contribute to carbon monoxide poisoning.

There are many different types of heating, but not all of these will provide the same benefits as infrared heaters. Adding a heater that uses infrared tech to heat the home provides many healthful benefits that other secondary heat sources simply don't. But just how healthy are they? And how exactly do they work?