Autumn Health

As the season changes from Summer to Autumn, the shortening days can tend to make us feel a bit less chirpy. Symptoms which begin to increase around this time of year range from the depression associated with SAD to general low energy, fatigue and lethargy. In this month’s column, practitioners from Napiers the Herbalists give some advice on how to make this seasonal transition a healthy one.

Dee Atkinson MNIMH
Medical Herbalist

Starting early in the fight against Autumnal disorders is the key here. This is exactly the time when you should be arming your whole system for the coming Autumn and Winter months. Napiers Skullcap Oat and Passionflower Compound is ideal for this time of year as it will help increase energy and bring about a sense of well being. You could also try a warming herbal remedy such as Napiers Bayberry and Capsicum Compound (available by prescription only) to keep your body warm and to gently energise your system. Other herbs such as St John’s Wort, Ginseng and Gotu Kola are reknowned for their energising effects and can be highly recommended to prevent fatigue.

Fatigue can often result after viral infections or colds and Napiers produce several remedies that can be taken to aid convalescence and increase energy. Withania and Ginko Compound combines nerve tonics such as Ashwaganda and St Johns Wort with immune boosters such as Echinacea and Astragalus to support a debilitated system. Ginseng and Gotu Kola are also useful for increasing energy and both increase the body’s resistance to emotional stressors.

Extra B vitamins can help at this time of year as this particular group of vitamins are involved with energy release within the nervous system. Aim for a daily supplement of B-complex which contains between 50 and 100mg.

Shona Hamilton
Food Sensitivity Testing

Autumn is the time to prepare for the long Christmas season ahead. Time for you to think about getting your health in top form, so you can cope with late nights, long shopping days and, inevitably, over indulgence. Many people come for Food Sensitivity Testing when they have been having symptoms of food sensitivity for a long time.

If you leave it too late in the year, it can be extremely difficult to make the necessary, though often temporary, adjustments to your diet in time to get in better health before the festive season arrives. If you get your health back on track now, it means you can join in the Christmas cheer when it comes. Don’t leave it too late to get rid of symptoms like bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. You don’t want to find you have to make dietary elimination plans around party nights and large festive meals where it can be really difficult to take control of what you eat.

Food Sensitivity Testing looks at the frequency a food type is eaten, uses the guide which looks at the foods most commonly implicated in giving the symptoms, and matches these to the results using a Food Checker machine. It’s not about a long list of foods you have to avoid – that’s far too difficult to manage and what would be left to eat?

The system used is unique. It looks at many different factors, which can determine the choice of foods you eliminate and the foods you can still eat. Your life style is also considered to ensure the goals set are achievable. There’s a helpful booklet, which can assist you through the elimination diet and any other dietary changes and there is also a helpline. Making dietary changes is daunting when you go it alone, so support is very important.

So, make the changes now and get on the road to feeling like a party animal again!

Autumn Aromas
One of the nicest and most fun ways of welcoming Autumn and lifting any potential seasonal blues is to experiment with Aromatherapy. There are many ways to introduce the healing and uplifting powers of essential oils into your daily routine at home or in the office.

Using a vapouriser or aromastone, add a few drops of your favourite oil or combination of oils to some water – it will revive the atmosphere and cheer everyone up. Bergamot is a fantastically uplifting oil, good for depression and the blues associated with the change of season. It mixes extremely well with Geranium, Lavender or Neroli to help relaxation or Grapefruit, mandarin or Ylang Ylang to uplift. As the nights draw in, the smell of ginger and Orange will make you feel warm and glowing and if you need a real lift then Clarysage can be used.

Using 8 – 10 drops of essential oil in the bath is an excellent way to lift your mood. The oils will absorb through your skin as you soak away all the tension of the day and you double your benefits by inhaling the vapours as you soak. Why not really indulge yourself by lighting some candles in the bathroom and using some oils such as sandalwood, Ylang Ylang and Frankinsence in the bath.

If your mind is feeling sleepy and you are finding it difficult to stay alert then try a few drops of Rosemary or Eucalyptus on a tissue and inhale to clear your head and mind – Rosemary is known as the herb of remembrance and is ideal as a study aid. Napiers produce Study Blend Oil for helping revision sessions, so if you have your nose in your books, this may help you stay alert.

Finally, wrap up, get outside and make the most of all the wonderful colours and smells this time of year has to offer.To make an appointment with any of Napiers wide range of practitioners call 0131 315 2130 or visit

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