Not all E numbers are bad!

Ingredients lists that contain E numbers are not always doom and gloom… I grew up in the South of England and I distinctively remember the hushed tones and concerned glances of adults every time the topic of E numbers came up. But what does it really mean?   The letter E simply stands for Europe.   E numbers are set into categories E100-199; colours E200-299; preservatives E300-399; antioxidants and acidity regulators E400-499; thickeners, stabilisers and emulsifiers E500-599; acidity regulators and anti-caking agents E600-699; flavour enhancers E700-E799; antibiotics E900-E999; glazing agents and sweeteners E1000-E1599; additional chemicals As you can see, the […]

Who should NOT be eating fermented foods…

We’ve all heard about fermented foods, but who should NOT be eating them…   1. Folks with Candida overload Candida is an opportunistic yeast. You are at higher risk of overgrowth if you: Use antibiotic, replacement hormone therapy or oral contraceptives (estrogen encourages the growth of Candida) Are pregnant Obese Or have diabetes The use of Kombucha (a fermented tea drink) aggravates candida overgrowth due to the alcohol byproducts of the fermentation as well as the small percentage of sugar that is left in the drink. It is recommended that fermented vegetables are consumed rather than fermented drinks. (1)   2. Patients […]

Why you sound like an idiot when you say “Chai Tea”

In the last few years ‘Chai’ has boomed. It has been branded, packaged and sold in almost all food or health stores. With confidence, it can also be said that most coffee shops in South Africa offer a delicious Chai Latte. Consequently, the phrase “Chai Tea” now roles off the Western tongue. The reality is that Chai MEANS ‘Tea’. So when the phrase “Chai Tea” is used it’s actually like saying “tea tea anyone?”. But no judgement here! I, too, only found this out recently. To make matters worse, I would always buy Chai and avoid Masala Chai lest it taste ‘funky’. Well, […]

A guide to cafes in Inverness that offer alternative food

Hi, my name is Sonia and I like cake… Most cakes, however, don’t like me! I can’t eat dairy. And so, I continually find myself ‘sniffing out’ the alternative food options of an area. Although I cannot claim to have visited all of the cafes that might offer alternative foods in the Inverness area, I have had a very good look! So if you are in the Highlands of Scotland and you need a guide to alternative cakes then this is the article for you. As a side note, the UK is (generally) very much on board when it comes to gluten intolerance. […]

The Ancient Art of the Electuary – Medicine in honey

Electuaries – Medicine in honey The word electuary comes from the Latin word ‘electuarium’, which is derived from Ancient Greek ἐκλείκτον ‎(ekleíkton). It means “medicine that is licked away”. This is somewhat fitting due to the fact that electuaries are made from powdered herbs and pure honey. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, electuaries formed the largest group of medicines. However, in later years the use of the electuary started to decline until it disappeared entirely from modern pharmacy. Electuaries are a useful mode of medication because they have an indefinitely long shelf life (provided water is not introduced to the mixture). For example, 5500-year-old […]

Why the positive health benefits of Green Tea outweigh the taste!

There’s always time for tea I am very excited to say that I have reached the moment in my career where someone has asked me to sample their range of tea and give feedback! As you can imagine… I am more than happy to drink free and beautiful tea. The various blends within this range are based on green tea, due to its positive effect on health and weight loss. Many people feel that they should endure the bitter flavour of green tea “because it’s good for me”, but they don’t really know how and why. For example, you might not know that […]

Bitter food, the taste map myth and detoxing misconceptions

Think about your digestion. Are you thinking about your stomach right now or did you picture your mouth? Because that’s where starts! There is literal digestion of carbohydrates that occurs in the mouth through the enzyme “salivary amylase”. But then there are also the neurological triggers caused by different tastes. Although researchers in Columbia have recently found that the “taste map” we were taught about at school is wrong (Barretto R., et al. 2015), we still have the ability to detect 6 main flavours: salty, bitter, sour, sweet, water and umami (protein). The taste receptors (TRs) for these flavours lie […]

What is antibiotic resistance and how do herbs help?

When I was last in London I went to a conference that addressed the issue of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). So I thought I would share what I learnt with all of you. First of all, lets look at what the word ‘antibiotics’ means to us these days. It is commonly used as a noun but, it is actually more of a verb. Anti- is rooted in the meaning against and -biotic refers to life. Therefore, its action is to wipe out/destroy/inhibit a broad spectrum of life (bacteria and fungi in this case) through various means. This is different […]

Surviving traveling hygiene with three ingredients!

I’ve almost been in Scotland (from South Africa) for one week and it’s been amazing to see the difference between the two countries. I think my favourite thing is that the sun sets at 10pm, so I feel like I have so much time to get things done. My least favourite thing is the Rand to Pound conversion rate! This has meant adjusting to simple, cost effective living (which I quite enjoy). You may have heard me say that I try to only put on my skin that which I would put in my mouth. Many people think that if […]

Learn2Live workshop – herbal remedies for children and babies.

This past week I had the pleasure of working with the Learn2Live team in Wallacedene. I held a 45minute workshop for mums and teachers about basic natural medicine remedies for babies and children. The aim of this was to educate the women and give them more control over the health and welfare of their family. Many of the women expressed that they would try to ‘leave’ their child’s mild ailments, in the hope that it would resolve itself, in order to avoid taking a day off work and sitting at the clinic. According to “Trading Economics” (2013), the total spent […]