Top ten healing powers of some common herbs and spices…

  1. Saffron has medicinal and culinary purposes and has been used to treat depression and those with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. Tumeric is great for heartburn, bloating, bronchitis, liver and gall-bladder problems as well as menstrual cramps.
  3. Ginger has been used to treat nausea and inflammation for a number of years but has recently been found to reduce the strain on muscles after a workout. It has ingredients that can also help treat cases of diarrhoea and has anti-E.coli properties.
  4. Pepper is good for digestive disorders including bloating, indigestion and diarrhoea.
  5. Vanilla has been proven to help cure a sweet tooth. Experts believe the smell may affect the brains chemistry for craving sweet foods. It is also used for its relaxing, and sedating qualities.
  6. Cinnamon has been known to help patients with diabetes control their blood sugar level. However, this versatile spice is also able to lower cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots, fight E. coli, and even reduce the discomfort of heartburn.
  7. Cloves known for diminishing toothache pain to fighting arthritis to preventing diabetes. A great all round spice. Its antioxidant and antibacterial principles help to rid the body of infection, reduce inflammation, and stabilize blood sugar levels. It can also resolve skin problems, deter annoying mosquitoes, and promote cardiovascular health.
  8.  Cayenne is an exceptional anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It can combat a wide range of health conditions, such as arthritis, shingles, muscle and joint pain, and nerve damage caused by diabetes.
  9.  Ginseng has been used for centuries and can be found in a variety of medications, as well as, food and drink products. It is believed to boost the immune system and prevent such illnesses as the common cold and flues. It can also lower blood sugar levels, boost overall mood,  and improve mental performance.
  10. Garlic is today considered a strong protector, fighting against numerous cancers, including ovarian cancer, lowering blood pressure, and reducing the size and number of colon polyps. Garlic also promotes cardiovascular health, by slowing down blockage in the arteries.







The obvious use for antidepressants is for depression but now tricyclic antidepressants are used widely for back and chronic pain.

They have been proven to treat some cases of chronic pain. After my first visit to a pain clinic, I was put on a low dose of tricyclic antidepressants to treat my pain. At first, I was a little apprehensive about being labelled ‘depressed’ but then when I looked into the drugs I was being prescribed I understood the difference in them being used for pain rather than depression. The main difference was the strength of the drugs as for pain you are only given a low dosage but for depression, you are given a much larger dose.

Amitriptyline and Nortriptyline are one of the most widely used tricyclic antidepressants used for the treatment of chronic pain which I take at night. They explained to me that it works as a muscle relaxant for my pain and although I was prescribed 10mg I was told I could more than double the amount if I needed it. If the medication is ineffective, your dose can be gradually increased. This approach will help to lower the risk of side effects.

It also says to avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking either of them as the combined effects can make you feel very drowsy. This is important to remember as I found you really do feel very drowsy and drunk if you have had a drink before you take them.

The NHS state that ‘Antidepressant medication can also help to relieve pain for some people with fibromyalgia. They boost the levels of certain chemicals that carry messages to and from the brain, known as neurotransmitters.

Low levels of neurotransmitters may be a factor in fibromyalgia, and it’s believed that increasing their levels may ease the widespread pain associated with the condition.

There are different types of antidepressants. The choice of medicine largely depends on the severity of your symptoms and any side effects the medicine may cause.

Antidepressants used to treat fibromyalgia include:

  • tricyclic antidepressants – such as amitriptyline
  • serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) – such as duloxetine and venlafaxine
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – such as fluoxetine and paroxetine

A medication called pramipexole, which isn’t an antidepressant, but also affects the levels of neurotransmitters, is sometimes used as well.

Antidepressants can cause a number of side effects, including:

  • feeling sick
  • dry mouth
  • drowsiness
  • feeling agitated, shaky or anxious
  • dizziness
  • weight gain
  • constipation’



The HEALTH BLOG AWARDS 2018 is a collaboration between That Protein and the Health Bloggers Community, the awards provide a unique opportunity to celebrate influencers.

The Health Blog Community say that ‘ A blog defines and represents the epitome of all digital content platforms. The HBA recognise the best in digital talent, whilst providing everyone with an opportunity to be entered into the process, no matter how big or small your following.’

I received an email saying that I have been shortlisted in the ‘Best Chronic Illness & Illness Recovery Blogs‘ for 2018 – shock, horror 😦

To vote for me to win this award just click on this link and scroll through the different categories of shortlisted blogs, straight past mine (as I hate the photo, lol)… and then press START under the Vote for the Health Blog Awards 2018. I was chuffed to be nominated but to get shortlisted is amazing. Thanks to everyone who nominated for me.



Important exercises whilst flying. It is essential to increase the blood circulation in your legs when you’re sitting for a few hours or more while travelling.

The ‘Airogym Exerciser‘ is a simple, small, pocket-sized gadget which has been endorsed by consultant vascular surgeon John Scurr.

It inflates to an oblong cushion which you pump up and down.

It can also help the elderly and/or immobile and also for diabetics who tend to have poor leg circulation. It’s also useful for pregnant mums that suffer from swollen ankles and for people with muscle and joint pains.

It’s available from Victoria Health for £11.99 or from Amazon for £9.99

Everyday Health has the following exercises you can do while in your seat travelling.

When you can’t walk, here are movements you can do while seated. Robertson recommends doing a set of five repetitions of each about every half hour, 10 if you’re in a high-risk group.

Foot pumps. Place your feet flat on the floor, and then raise your toes toward you and hold for a few seconds. Lower your toes and balls of your feet to the floor, then raise your heels and hold for another few seconds.

Ankle circles. Raise both feet off the floor and trace a circle with your toes. You could also trace each letter of the alphabet to keep yourself occupied, Robertson said.

Leg raises. If you have room in front of you, raise your left foot off the floor. Straighten the leg slowly, then return your foot back on the floor. Repeat with your right leg. Alternatively, slowly lift your left knee up to your chest, then bring your foot back to the floor; repeat with your right leg.

Shoulder rolls. Although you’re less likely to form a clot in your upper body, it doesn’t hurt to keep your blood flowing there. Simply raise your shoulders and circle them back and down five times. Then reverse direction for five more repetitions.

You can also buy tablets like Bional -V Nal Xtra (Butchers Broom) (40 Capsules) for poor circulation in the lower body and legs can result in tired or heavy legs, puffy ankles or unsightly swollen and twisted varicose veins. V-nal® Xtra is a new and upgraded version of Original V-nal® with added Red Vine leaf extract.

After extensive research, scientists working in Holland have found that a combination of plants such as Butchers Broom, Horse Chestnut and antioxidant Red Vine leaves may help to reduce, repair, and tone the veins, therefore soothing the legs and improving their comfort and appearance. £10.47 from 123 Health Shop.



Understanding how your body feels pain may help you to appreciate how it comes about.

Pain basically results from a series of electrical and chemical exchanges which involves three major components, your peripheral nerves, your spinal cord and your brain.

After pain starts messages move through nerves up the spinal cord. Then the brain intercepts the messages as pain, including where it is, intensity and nature. For instance, burning, aching or stinging.

The speed by which the messages travel can vary. A dull, aching pain, like from an upset stomach or an earache is relayed on fibers that travel at a slow speed. Whereas the feeling of severe pain is transmitted almost immediately.

When pain message reaches your spinal cord, they meet up with nerve cells that act as ‘gatekeepers’, allowing or refusing the messages to pass through to your brain.

The ‘gatekeepers’ open the gate wide to your message of severe pain, for instance, if you touched a red-hot pan. You also have nerve cells in your spinal cord which may also release chemicals that increase or subdue the messages, which can then affect the speed at which they travel to your brain.

All in all, a very clever system is set up to enable us to deal with so many different types of pain.

There are two great UK websites all about pain are Pain UK and Pain Concern, both of which have an abundance of advice and podcasts to listen to.