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Su B Elderflower

Do you use alternative treatments such as herbs for various ailments?  I am delighted to welcome our newest contributor, Su Bristow. Su is a registered Herbalist and will be sharing her blogs with us and is happy to answer any questions you may have via email. I'm sure you will enjoy reading her posts!

I've had a procession of patients up until Christmas with tummy bugs, colds and flu-type symptoms. It happens every year, and the first response is to see it as a big nuisance, just when there's so much to be done. But there is a kind of body wisdom in it too.

Bugs are your body's way of making you slow down

The run-up to Christmas is not full of peace and goodwill, as a rule. Ordinary life and work carries on, but we have to fit in a lot of extra tasks as well, and the anticipation of getting together with people you don't see a lot of is stressful even if you're looking forward to it. Those bugs are your body's way of making you slow down, take time out, get off the treadmill. If you really surrender and have a proper illness, it should only take a day or two, and you'll be better than before.

Jobs do get done, even though they may seem impossible to complete at times!

Herbs like Yarrow, Echinacea, Elderflower, Garlic and Marigold can help see you through. And somehow, the tasks always get done in time.

There's also a bigger reason why bugs come along at the beginning of winter. Autumn is a time of adjustment, and acute illness is one way to make the transition into the next phase. It's good for your immune system to be awake and ready for winter; if you suppress the illness, you may be storing up trouble for later on. So don't worry too much if you got ill; it may be a blessing in disguise. And although Christmas is over and done with, there's still time to feed your immune system before winter really sets in – if it ever does. Happy New Year!



Meet The Author...
Su Bristow
Who Am I?
I studied at the School of Herbal Medicine for four years, and qualified in 1989, becoming a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (www.nimh.org.uk.) The road to herbal medicine led from my early interest in organic gardening and healthy eating, through the study of social and physical anthropology at Cambridge, where I specialised in medical anthropology. What fascinated me was how people deal with their health problems when they have only the natural resources around them, and their own ingenuity. I went on to learn massage and reflexology, and worked at a residential naturopathic clinic, where I learned about the use of diet and other natural ways of healing. After qualifying as a herbalist, I set up practice in mid-Devon. Since then I have continued to expand my expertise, with counselling skills, first aid, and knowledge of the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems of herbal medicine. Besides one-to-one consultation, I have also taught evening classes, students of the Westcountry Massage Association, and various private courses.
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