Featured Articles


The word meditation has its root in the latin word mederi which means to heal .This indeed seems a disconnect with the modern usage of the word but  viewing it  as  it were from the root up I find  it to be rather fascinating.How does one define meditation?Does it mean sitting crosslegged in an ashram in India chanting as a group in unison?or sitting at home under a tent repeating some sonorous sound out loud much to the disconcertment of the neighbours through paper thin walls?!There are so many stereotypical views of meditation and indeed the meditator that the whole area needs a perceptual disassembling simply to uncover the truth and in so doing elevate this ancient art  and way of being to the level of public consciousness that it deserves. Meditation is a practice, a discipline whereby one quietens the inner chatter of the mind and enters a state of expanded awareness remaining calm centred and alert.When one remains concentrated on a state of alert stillness Gabriel Weiss and author of “The healing power of meditation”says something special happens “Stillness speaks”According to Eckhart Tolle in “A new Earth” this shift in consciousness is a type of awakening . The Zen Buddhists say we have woken up from a dream.The Hindu tradition would see the hum drum daily life as a waking dream.Again Aboriginal culture reiterates this concept .How can meditation in its many guises help us recognise the illusory and re connect with our very essence?How may it ground us so we become aware of what the poet Kabir describes as “the wanting creature” within us?Once aware of... read more

When a Weed is not a Weed

A simple fact about a nettle or a dandelion not often universally accepted is a weed is simply a plant growing in the wrong place.Furthermore if the above named plants “growing long and lovely and lush “as the poet Gerard Manly Hopkins fondly declares are elevated to the status of herb then they are nobly engaged in the service of all mankind. With the ever encroaching foothold gained by the pharmaceutical giants of today’s western world ,we can, I suppose, be forgiven for our blinkered view of what cures us.To view medicine merely in drug terms is to embrace a certain paradigm.What we forget is about third of western drugs is derived from herbs.For example aspirin although now in synthetic form is derived from the white willow and the field and hedgerow plant meadowsweet..Luckily for Hoffman La Roche and Pfizer as they potentise phytochemicals, plants are ignorant of copyright! Hippocrates in 400BC is reputed to have said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”ONE MIGHT WELL ASK IF ONE DIDN’T KNOW BETTER WHERE DOES THIS COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIST PRACTISE?!We are told to eat the rainbow and Im not talking Judy Garland here, rather the myriad coloured alchemists AKA fruit and vegetables which give us water,carbohydrates,fibre,vitamins minerals and antioxidants.We have many plants we term culinary herbs{.Some of them like fennel and garlic are also vegetables.}These include ginger,cinnamon,garlic,black pepper,marjoram,oregano,coriander,rosemary,sage thyme and parsley.All have exciting medicinal properties and as an addition to our cooking they stealthily provide free health insurance in a recession. In the middle ages, no self respecting household would be without a herb garden.You see they didn’t... read more

Respect your dosha and lead a balanced life.

What if someone were to hand you a manual for knowing yourself? Suppose they were to pass on to you a key to living your life according to a master plan.This blueprint has been laid out specially for you in accordance with your uniqueness?What internet site offers this rare gift you ask?What price must I pay and to whom?Strangely enough this grand scheme isn’t exactly expounded on u tube.Twitter and Facebook arent buzzing with it.The answer to this puzzle lies in the fact that the master plan belongs to the age old system of Ayurvedic medicine and is awaiting rediscovery by the masses.Dr David Frawley (renowned ayurveda practitioner and herbalist)describes Ayurveda as the 5000 year old Vedic” science of life.”It is the traditional natural healing system of India.Ancient Ayurveda has never been more pertinent than it is at this moment in time.It is about knowing ourselves truly on every plane physically ,spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Unlike the modern medical paradigm where the physicians like “mechanics”look under the bonnet of the body engine so to speak and fix the part that needs repair, Ayurveda adopts a holistic aproach.Should ancient Ayurvedic physicians dialogue with modern doctors in some quantum realm (and knowing Shakespeare!) they might quote Hamlet “There are more things in Heaven and on Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy Horatio”.We are more than the sum of our parts and whilst working at the molecular level of medicine can certainly be fascinating and highly beneficial ,we can never ignore the interlinkage and functionality of every minute aspect of our bodies. Coming from this unique holistic perspective is the... read more

Last Bus to Misery or not

Everyone is familiar with the concept of catching a falling star .However I don’t think anyone would consider catching a cold { that last bus to misery} in the same vein. Unfortunately falling stars aren’t much good against the colds or flus of the winter season. When that post Halloween darkness descends over us should we rush out and get the flu injection?I think not, at least for the majority of averagely healthy people. How do we arm ourselves against those menacing bugs which drag us off to the doctors office where we’re joined by the most beleaguered species of our fellow man.They sit in the waiting room spectral like , sniffling, coughing and rendered helpless by big mafia type viruses.The upshot of our visit will likely be a gaping hole in our pockets, advice to take bed rest and paracetamol to bring our temperature down.If the infection has gone deeper, as in a chest infection ,we will be prescribed antibiotics. All of the above is an appalling vista we’re all too familiar with.We don’t need to sit around in dread of the next bug invasion.I say bring on the troops . I refer to our own immune cells .To mobilise them, we need to start with our diet as a foundation stone.Cut back big time on white sugar and refined carbohydrates which rob us of our immunity.Did you know that if you meet someone with a cold immediately after consuming a sugary pudding and a bar of chocolate you have doubled your chances of picking it up from them?! Eat your fruit and vegetables, all colours of the... read more

Awaken Your Agni

Have you ever given thought to the properties of fire? Primitive man discovered it to be a very potent, volatile and transformative element.Fire warms, energises moves, changes, refines, purifies, dries damp.In traditional Indian medicine , man is a composite mix of space, earth, air ,fire and water.None of your atoms and molecules please!We are within as is the planet without.As with that other great traditional medicine system TCM {traditional chinese mdicine},Ayurveda {Indian medicine}lays great store by one’s digestive fire.They refer to it as agni. Agni means sunlight –all the hues of the rainbow. Sunlight poured on raindrops gives us prismic light.How does this tie in with digestion?India is the home of spices which have almost a rainbow of colour between them and hence a high level of agni or fire as one well knows if too many are consumed!These foods if eaten in small quantitities are stimulant and enable conversion in the body.In scientific parlance they enable conversion of food stuffs by enzymes and increase hydrochloric acid.Like fire they transform, refine and purify.Ginger for example assists with absorption of food by stimulating saliva, gastric secretions and bile.Cinnamon is a circulatory stimulant and is used in India for indigestion and nausea.It also increases gastric secretions, and helps with hyperacidity and flatulence. Consuming more spices is just one way to increase our agni and is obviously unsuitable for someone experiencing acid reflux or the discomfort of an ulcer.In Ayurvedic medicine it’s all about balance.Bringing harmony to the body is a matter of changing perception as much as knowing what foods to eat or herbs to take.Digestion actually begins not in the... read more

Hidden Food Allergies

We are all familiar with the story of someone who eats peanuts and goes into anaphylactic shock. This is the very severe end of an obvious food allergy. The onset is immediate and life threatening. Not every food allergy in this category is as sinister but all have common characteristics such as, onset within an hour or two at most after eating. Reactions are confined to very specific food items. The body systems affected are the skin, gut and the airways. Only approximately 5%of the population are affected in this way. So do the rest of us get off scot free? Alas no. One in four of us will suffer from some type of food sensitivity in our lifetime. These are the hidden allergies or food intolerances which can account for several conditions including allergic rhinitis {non seasonal} anxiety, asthma, ADHD, autism, bedwetting, bloating, depression, eczema, epilepsy {with history of migraine or hyperactivity} chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel diseases (crohns disease ,ulcerative colitis coeliac disease} middle ear infection, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep disorders(insomnia, sleep apnoea, snoring}. When Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine”, I’m sure he never dreamt food could be thy poison! What happens in our bodies when we consume food which disagrees with us.?As already mentioned ,in a very small percentage of people, there is an immediate reaction known as an IgE antibody reaction.The antibodies lay in wait for the offending food on top of a mast cell and attack the food particle releasing a wave of histamine.When we experience a delayed reaction to food (taking anywhere from one day to a maximum of seven)we produce IgG antibodies.These... read more

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