The Sneezing Season: How a better diet could help

Hay fever is a common allergy that affects 1 in 5 people at some time in their lives.  Tree, grass and weed pollen, which are often more prevalent in the spring and summer, can aggravate the membranes lining the nose and eyes.  The body reacts by producing histamine, stimulating inflammation and leading to the symptoms we are familiar with – sneezing, itching and redness of eyes, and a runny or blocked nose.

Supporting the immune system with the right nutrients through diet and supplementation can have a very positive effect upon symptoms.  People sometimes find that the effects are cumulative, that is to say, that by continually supporting their immune system, their symptoms gradually improve each year.

Foods rich in vitamin C can help build the immune system, as well as having anti histamine and anti inflammatory properties.  Beta carotene containing foods are precursors to vitamin A, and can boost the integrity of mucous membranes.  Brightly coloured fruit and vegetables are good sources for both of these vitamins, as well as containing other anti oxidants which can support the immune system. Quercetin, a plant based flavonoid has been found to be particularly anti-inflammatory and can be found in green tea, red onions, red grapes, tomato, berries (especially raspberries and cranberries), and apples.

Natural enzyme, Bromelain, has also been shown to relieve symptoms of hay fever or sinusitis, being a decongestant, anti inflammatory and anti histimine. Pineapple is high in bromelain and may support healthy nasal and respiratory airways.

Omega 3, an essential fat found in foods such as oily fish, flaxseeds and avocados is an important anti inflammatory agent.  A German study involving 568 people found that a high content of omega-3 fatty acids in red blood cells or in the diet was associated with a decreased risk of hay fever. Ginger, rosemary and turmeric have also been shown to be anti inflammatory.

Vitamin D plays an important role in the immune system, and it seems that having good vitamin D levels can help to reduce inflammation in the body, and contribute to the easing of symptoms of hay fever.  Here in the UK many of us are vitamin D deficient, especially given our recent weather.  Spending at least 10 -20 minutes in the midday sun, until your skin goes pink, but does not burn, may help to improve vitamin D levels.  Otherwise a good vitamin D supplement is advisable.  Your Nutritional Therapist can arrange for vitamin D levels to be tested if you are at all uncertain.

Good gut flora has many important roles in our body. There is evidence that probiotics may also be useful in the treatment and control of hay fever.  It has been shown that children who use anti biotics in their first 2 years of life have a much higher incidence of developing hay fever.

In order to get the best advice on which probiotic supplements to use and help in dealing with hay fever you may wish to get in touch with a registered nutritionist or nutritional therapist.

Marianne Andrews, Nutritional Therapist, DipNT, mBANT

Give yourself a mental spring clean with Hypnotherapy

Our recently fully qualified Hypnotherapist, Dipti Tait from The Cotswold Practice is focusing this month on how Hypnotherapy can help people to achieve their goals and get more enjoyment out of life as we head in to Springtime.

Winter can send us into a state of physical and mental “hibernation”, and although many people look ahead to the arrival of Spring with great optimism and pleasure, for many people (for example those suffering with depression) the lighter evenings and longer days can in fact create more feelings of loneliness and low mood, as the days seem longer with less opportunity to “hide away”.

Dipti Tait explains, “This is a good time of year to take stock and give ourselves the opportunity to have a kind of mental “spring-clean”. What do I mean by this? It’s about coming out from that hibernating, wintery mind set and having a really good clear- out of things that might be holding us back.”

“Negative self-talk can prevent us from doing things we want to do or from behaving and acting in a positive way. Our minds cannot differentiate between imagination and reality, so if we keep thinking about things we should have done, or tell ourselves we will never be able to do something, that negative repetition impacts on us and becomes a habit- to think we can’t rather than think we can.”

“If the average person thinks about 60,000 thoughts a day, and about 10 per cent of those are negative, that’s 6000 negative thoughts a day! The good news is that we can change these negative thoughts and habits in to more positive ones – we just need to know the tools with which to do so!”

Just as we start to sort out our spring and summer clothes, or sort out our clutter at home, we can sort out old thoughts, feelings and issues and re evaluate them – are they useful to us any more? And how can we do this anyway? Dipti suggests that Hypnotherapy can really help people to move forward in a positive way and put those negative thoughts and feelings away; not just for Spring and Summer, but for good.

She explains, “Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a modern, research-based combination of Psychotherapy and Hypnosis, aimed at encouraging clients to focus on how they want things to be. It’s great for people who have negative or self-critical thoughts or experiences that inhibit them from getting the very best out of themselves. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a forward looking approach that is really effective in lowering stress and anxiety levels, and also helping with the replacement of negative habits and behaviours with positive ones.

“To be physically healthy, we have to be mentally healthy, and more people recognise these days that medication alone or “just getting on with it” may not be enough and want to make change happen in an ongoing, realistic and sustainable way. Through Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, you learn how you can use your full mental resources to achieve your goals and give you tools that you can use right now, and for the rest of your life.”

Dipti Tait is a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist practising in Cheltenham at CHHC on Friday’s and in Nailsworth. Call 07818 050999 to book a free initial consultation. To find out more, visit

SPECIAL OFFER on Colonic Hydrotherapy

We have special spring offers on Colonic Hydrotherapy treatments throughout the whole of April and May:

Receive £15 OFF your first treatment from 1st April to 31st May. The original price was £70 but now receive the treatment for ONLY £55.

Book three sessions in advance and get your third HALF PRICE – Total price of three treatments was £195, now £162.50.

To book your treatment click on ‘Book Appointment’ or call us on 01242 584140.


Core Fire: Awaken, Generate, Revitalise™ – Saturday 11th May


An Arica training by Oscar Ichazo.

Presented by Integral View.

The Core Fire: Awaken • Generate • Revitalize training is a day of awakening, generating and revitalizing oneself with the Kath Energy (chi ) of our Core Fire. With Kath Energy first being awakened in the Kath and expanding out into the core area of the body, then the entire body will actually experience the inner fire or chi of the Kath point with this awareness in a direct and alive way.

The training is open to everyone, with no prerequisites, presenting a systematic awakening of our Kath Energy across a series of exercises that open a way to experience, embody and generate this energy. When Kath Energy is fully awakened, we are able to revitalize ourselves with the heightened awareness of the Kath. At the end of the day, two meditations will close the Work, and with generated Kath Energy, we will enter the Higher States produced by this Work. The training will be easily assimilated by seasoned practitioners and new participants alike.

Date: 11 May 2013

Hours: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Location: Cheltenham Holistic Centre, England

Contact: 44/(0)1435 884-551

Some partial scholarships may be available.


  • Arica Members First Time – £75
  • Arica Members Repeat – £35
  • Non-members First Time – £95
  • Non-Members Repeat – £50

To register, please go to:


Copyright 2013, 1972 Oscar Ichazo. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Arica is a registered trademark of Oscar Ichazo; Core Fire: Awaken Generate Revitalize, Kath and Flaming Violet Pearl illustration are trademarks of Oscar Ichazo.


Tips to Relieve and Prevent Hay fever Symptoms

The hay fever season is fast approaching, which means an estimated 15 million sufferers will be desperate for relief from the symptoms of sore eyes, runny nose and sneezing.

Hay fever is a form of allergic rhinitis caused by plant pollen or spores. Alongside inflammation of the nasal lining, the sinuses, throat and eyes are commonly affected.

There are two approaches to dealing with hay fever. Firstly you can take a symptomatic approach, treating the symptoms as they occur. Secondly, you can look at ways of preventing and reducing your hay fever symptoms. Hay fever sufferers will always have an allergy to pollen and/or spores, however at certain times in your week, month and life you can be more sensitive to this allergy due to circumstances happening in your life, foods you’ve eaten and stress. Therefore it is often advisable to look for ways to boost your immune system and reduce stress levels.

Here are our tips on natural remedies to relieve and prevent hay fever symptoms:

Nettle – Nettle is a natural antihistamine that works quickly to reduce sneezing and itching. The best way to use it is in capsules. You can take 500mg three times a day.

Apple cider vinegar for hay fever – Add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Drink three times a day for four days. The allergies will disappear for the season.

Wild Cherry Bark – This can be used to soothe the nose. Supplements, powders and syrups can be found in most health stores.

Cranial Osteopathy – Cranial osteopathy uses manipulation of the skull, thus allowing the body to re balance itself. It also helps to regulate the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which helps relieve congestion.

Local Honey – Taking a spoonful of honey every day can really help. Studies have shown that as an antibacterial and healing agent it is better than over-the-counter remedies for coughs, colds, sore throats and hay fever symptoms.

Elderflower – Taken regularly, slightly before and during the hay fever season, Elderflower can reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.

Chinese Blackberry Tea – Popular hay fever remedy in Japan, which can be bought at health food stores.

Acupuncture – Acupuncture can be successful at relieving many of the Hay fever symptoms by regulating the flow of ‘qi’, your body’s vital energy. Acupuncture can help reduce your sensitivity to the allergies by looking at any stresses and circumstance in your life that are causing high sensitivity. Acupuncturists advise to start treatment before the hay fever season starts, so possibly at the start of the year.

Echinacea – This helps strengthen the immune system.

Reflexology – Reflexology helps the body restore its balance naturally and therefore is useful at relieving the symptoms of hay fever. Reflexology can also boost your immune system and reduce stress levels, which can help prevent symptoms occurring.

Radish juice to get rid of mucus – 1 cup of water, 1 dash of lime juice, 1 dash of radish juice, 4 tablespoons vinegar. Stir everything and take 4 times a day for five days.

Bowen Technique – a natural, drug-free, non-invasive complementary therapy that can also help treat the seasonal disorder, which ‘asks’ the body to recognise the ailment and make the changes it requires.

Homoeopathy – Homoeopathy introduces a copycat illness into the body in order to clear out the original one: the idea is that it will then disappear by itself.