Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Using Herbal Medicine for Viral Illnesses

Although the current Coronavirus has recently emerged from the microbe soup with which we share the planet the same anti-viral strategies apply to using herbs for the flu like symptoms as for all such similar viruses.

The key to maintaining good health in an epidemic is avoiding contact as advised by Government agencies.

Washing hands frequently with soap and warm water is the gold standard, so don’t panic if you cannot source hand sanitiser in the shops.

Be assertive, offer a tissue to anyone not taking cough and sneeze hygiene seriously if they are in your company, we will all find it hard to consciously remember consciously.

Children are relatively resistant to the effects of the virus but may spread the virus, parents are advised to limit contact the contacts of their children with children outside the family, and limit contact with vulnerable people.

Good hydration with water or preferably herb teas e.g. Boost tea, lung tea, relax tea or any combination or single tea including Ribwort, Elderflower, Mint, Yarrow, Wild Oats, Rosemary, Rose Hips, Lemon Balm etc.




Drink herb teas with catechins e.g. Green tea

Eat catechin rich foods 


READ ON - EXTENSIVE RESEARCH AND MORE


Monday, 12 April 2021

 




Dr Clare’s Apothecary - Witch Hazel Cream


At Dr Clare’s Apothecary, we have created a comprehensive range of traditional herbal-based natural personal care creams to help with our customers physical and emotional wellbeing. Our personal care creams are part of our integrated medicine approach that combines the best of pharmaceutical medicine and complementary medicine.

Dr Clare’s Apothecary has carefully curated a high quality, sustainably sourced range of therapeutic herbal medicines. This includes a wide range of supplements, dried herbs, tinctures, capsules, pessaries and creams. Our therapeutic herbal medicines are available from the clinic dispensary, online shop or by telephone order. We also provide online consultation about the health and wellbeing benefit of all our products.


Witch Hazel Cream

Witch hazels (Hamamelis) are a plant family, with three species in North America, one in Japan and one in China. Witch hazels are deciduous shrubs with leaves that are oval with a smooth wavy border. Hamamelis means "together with fruit" which likely refers to the plants flowering and the maturing of their fruit both happening at the same time.

Witch hazel cream offers a broad range of medical applications that can be used in a number of different ways. Its leaves and bark can be made into ointments and applied to the skin for its ability to ease inflammation and soothe sensitive skin. 


Here are Dr Clare’s top 5 benefits of witch hazel.

1. Relieves Inflammation

Witch hazel contains numerous compounds that provide anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidant properties also help to prevent further spreading of inflammation and neutralize the build-up of free radicals within your body. It is therefore understandable that witch hazel is widely known for its potential to help with conditions such as acne, eczema or psoriasis.

2. Helps Sensitive and Irritated Skin

Research has suggested that witch hazel can be beneficial for sensitive skin including the treatment of inflamed, irritated or broken skin. Witch hazel may help to reduce skin redness and provide relief for irritated and sensitive skin.

3. Helps Fights Acne

Witch hazel offers powerful anti-inflammatory properties that could be useful in the treatment of acne by acting as an astringent, causing your tissues to contract and help shrink skin pores. This has the benefit of preventing acne-related bacteria from entering your pores.

Witch hazel is therefore commonly found in many over-the-counter acne products. It is particularly useful for people with oily skin and can also be applied through steaming.

4. Relieves Scalp Irritation

Witch hazel may help reduce scalp irritation and inflammation, including the treatment of dandruff and dry skin. Scalp sensitivity can be caused by a number of factors, ranging from cosmetic hair treatments to dermatological conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema.

Dabbing your scalp with witch hazel before washing your hair may help treat scalp sensitivity and provide relief from dryness, itching and tenderness.

5. Offers Relief from Hemorrhoids

Witch hazel may be used as a natural remedy to provide relief from the itchiness and pain frequently caused by haemorrhoids because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Add witch hazel to a clean cloth or cotton ball and dab directly to the affected area to soothe the skin.


In Summary

Witch hazel is an astringent that is often used as a natural topical remedy. It contains several compounds with potent anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, which may be useful in treating a variety of conditions ranging from acne and scalp sensitivity to haemorrhoids.

Dr Clare’s witch hazel cream can be applied directly to your skin and safely administered for the treatment of haemorrhoids after each bowel movement. Doing an initial skin patch test on a small portion of your skin can help prevent unwanted side effects and skin reactions.


You can read some of our many product reviews on our Facebook page, to see what dozens of our happy customers think of our range of herbal remedies. If you would like to discuss a specific treatment such as the use of witch hazel or any of our other properties, you can call us on +35391583260, email us at support@drclare.net or book an appointment through our website. 


Tuesday, 15 December 2020

12 Tips for Soothing Family Colds and Coughs This Winter

Family colds and coughs are inevitable during winter months. They can make you feel miserable and can sometimes be difficult to shake off. 

Colds are viral and cannot be treated with antibiotics. They take time to leave your system. While you may not be able to avoid getting a cold or cough, there are some simple measures you can use to soothe the symptoms and ease discomfort in both children and adults.

Tips For Soothing Colds and Coughs

#1. Hydration

Ensuring you drink plenty of fluids to keep you hydrated can help soothe your throat and prevent excessive coughing. Water is best and will help reduce the build up of mucus, reduce dryness and can help keep you cool if you have a fever.

#2. Clearing Mucus

Mucotone is a Dr Clare Apothecary tincture blended from ingredients that contribute to the health of the respiratory tract and can help alleviate the mucus build up caused by colds and coughs.

#3. Relieving Tickles in the Throat

Kinderkind is a Dr Clare Apothecary antibacterial blend designed to help reduce inflammation, relieve tickle in the throat and pharynx and support the immune system. It is suitable for very young babies and children right up to adults and is ideal for soothing the symptoms of colds and coughs.

Both Kinderkind and Mucontone are available to order online and are stocked in pharmacies and health stores nationwide. Please ask your pharmacist/health store staff about them next time you visit.

Dr Clare Apothecary

Dr Dilis Clare is a GP and Medical Herbalist based in Galway. Her GP formulated unique blends and tinctures offer relief for everything from coughs to bladder infections and are based on collaborative science and mother nature. These along with herbs and speciality teas and other items are available to buy instore on Sea Road, Galway, from specialist health stores and pharmacies nationwide and can also be ordered online.

You can connect with Dr Clare Apothecary via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or log onto the YouTube channel for helpful videos with tips and advice on a multitude of ailments from soothing colds and coughs to allergies, digestion and other common health conditions that affect us daily.

#4. Honey

A small teaspoon of honey can help line the throat and reduce the tickly feeling you get with a cough offering some relief. (Please note it is advised not to give honey to children under 1.)

#5. Rest

You often hear the saying the best medicine is rest. When we sleep it gives our body an opportunity to rest and repair and will leave us feeling fitter to help fight infection.

#6. Moisture

Dry, hot air can aggravate the symptoms of a cold or cough. Use a cool-mist humidifier to help keep some moisture in the air. You could also use the steam generated when you take a hot shower to help open up your airways and soothe cold and cough symptoms.

#7. Nutrition

A balanced diet is important at all times, but especially so when you are feeling unwell. Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and a mix of herbs and spices can help reduce inflammation and add virus fighting nutrients back into your body.

Berries, ginger, lemon, turmeric, garlic, green vegetables and fruit are packed with antioxidants and will help soothe the body when you have a cold or cough.

#8. Saline

Gargling with salt and warm water can help if your throat is sore and irritated. While saline nasal drops or sprays can help combat the build up of mucus in your nose.

#9. Sucking

Sucking a hard boiled sweet or a cough drop can help add moisture to the throat and relive the dry, itchy feeling that causes you to cough. Do be careful when giving hard sweets to younger children as they can be a choking hazard.

#10. Heat

Staying warm and comfortable is important when you are not feeling your best. But, hot liquids can also help soothe cold and cough symptoms too.

Hot chicken soup, warm water with freshly squeezed lemon, ginger and honey or hot herbal tea can all help relieve the symptoms of a cold or cough.

The hot liquid is soothing and warming and chicken soup, lemon, ginger and honey are packed with vitamins to make you feel better and replenish nutrients in your body that may be depleted.

#11. Sleeping

You may find that adding an extra pillow to keep you slightly elevated when you sleep will help the maintain the flow of mucus from your sinuses and avoid congestion. This in turn will aid better sleep while you have a cold or cough.

#12. Snuggles

Finally a snuggle on the sofa with your favourite blanket, can help you feel better no matter what aliments you have.

Remember, if symptoms persist or get worse it is best to consult your GP for further advice.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Blog Dr Clare

Women over 50 and Nutrition Changes

by Tara Canning Nutritionist,fMed


What are the main health concerns for women over 50? Going on our average patients in the clinic the top 5 concerns would be-



1. Menopause

For some women this starts before 50 as Oestrogen and Progesterone levels drop. This can be gradual or quick but a good diet high in-


  • essential fatty acids found in oily fish, green leafy vegetables, avocados nuts and seeds
  • good quality proteins to rebuild tissues and provide amino acids for our neurotransmitters to stabilise mood swings
  • certain herbs and spices buffer hormone imbalances eg. fenugreek, raspberry leaves, dandelion leaves and roots.


2. Weight gain or Obesity


The 'fat around the middle' as described by Dr. Marilyn Glenville in her best selling book is the accumulation of fat around the stomach, thighs and bottom, especially for women after the menopause. This too can be linked to hormone imbalances but increasing fibre intake, getting more active and good quality sleep reduce your obesity risk by up to 12%!

Examples of fibre foods tips are-


  • 1 teaspoon psyllium husks into your morning porridge, overnight oats or smoothie
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground seeds every day on your food
  • Aiming for 7 portions of fruit & vegetables daily with at least 4 of them raw, where possible.




3. Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis


Risk of bone fractures increases in menopausal women by up to 37% as the structure weakens over 40. General wear and tear, previous injuries, lack of physical activity and low calcium and highly acidic diets and being overweight plays a part too.

'Use it or lose it'

who hasn't said it!

4. Cancer, especially Breast Cancers

The 'cleaner' the diet the lower the cancer risk is the general consensus. A study of nearly 92000 women in California found that a diet high in plant based foods was associated with reduced cancer risk.

Alkaline rich foods like- see chart


are also associated with decreased risk of disease.

5. High Blood Pressure


There are almost 1.2 million people in Ireland with high blood pressure according to the Irish Heart Foundation. High blood pressure = increased risk of heart attacks and secodary heart conditions.

Exercising the heart muscle to beat regularly and stronger actually lowers blood pressure, like clockwork!

And you don't have to be in the gym 6 days a week.

How much activity should you strive for? A 2013 report by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) advises moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity for 40-minute sessions, three to four times per week.

Heart muscle needs to be exercised just like every other muscle!


Increasing your activity level can be as simple as:

  • using the stairs

  • walking instead of driving
  • doing household chores
  • parking further away from your work or destination
  • gardening
  • Tai Chi or Yoga
  • signing up for a charity event


 If you are worried about any of these 5 health conditions, start with the basics and get your health practitioner, nutritionist or GP to guide you to the best course of action and support to ease your worries.





Tara Canning
Project Manager

Dr Clare Clinic & Apothecary
9 Sea Road,
Galway

091 583260
www.drclareapothecary.com online store
www.drclare.ie clinic site
@drdilisclare1

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Sunday, 27 October 2019

Thinking of becoming a Medical Herbalist or making an appointment with one?



Western Herbal Medicine (WHM) appointment as personalized medicine.


If you think the role of a medical herbalist is limited to knowing what herb or even herbs are useful for your medically diagnosed condition you would be substantially misinformed. They have a lot more to offer.


Herbal medicine is a holistic system of medicine. The important word here is ‘system’. Holistic we will revisit later.


The blend of narrative medicine and clinical examination in the context of lab tests and other biomedical results offers a real-time context for considering your specific health problems. Narrative medicine is your story, especially your timeline in the context of your childhood and life-time past history, your family history, medication, values, and beliefs (including spiritual sustenance which includes but is not limited by religion). Particular consideration is given to how these have changed or fluctuated in relation to your health problems.





Herbal training includes appreciating the overall energy balance, described as the vital force, understood as the breath (pneuma), chi, prana and as many other descriptions as there are kinds of traditional medicine systems.





WHM affects the same physiology systems as drugs, but the main aim is to support healing, in addition to suppressing symptoms. Digestion and elimination are core elements of the healing response, even if this is not an obvious feature of the main presenting complaint. The herbal medicine treatment approach places different emphasis on lymph flow and fascia connections of the muscle and bone structure, which is well described by anatomy and physiology but generally not taken into account as of much importance by pharma-therapeutics.





Each herbal prescription is complex and has its own traditional profile of actions, dose range, synergistic effects and clinical indications. Most have multiple actions, and different expected effects in different patients, depending on the patient’s state of health.


Many herbs are bi-phasic i.e. they have different effects at high or low doses. Others are modulators, which can increase or decrease actions depending on the needs for restoring normal function, like an auto-pilot function in an aircraft. Others can have dual functions, opposite to each other depending on the context. With more than 250 constituents in each herb, they can be expected to have a complex range of therapeutics actions.


This is the art of blending herbs, according to tradition and training. Experience, mentoring and professional support are key to the art and science of herbal medicine.





Their low dosage and subtle but collective physiological effects explain their enviable safety profile.





Food is a major part of health and herbs are often used for nutrition for specific health systems e.g. wild oats for the nervous system. Herbalists spend a lot of time talking about food and teaching you how to change, often subtle gradual changes have the best long term health benefits. Optimum food is essential for healing.





The motivation for change is highly individual and it takes time to find the three practical manageable changes before subsequent appointments.





So a typical WHM protocol will encompass:



  • A timeline of health history


  • Family History implications


  • Medical hospital results impact assessment


  • Clinical examination


  • Food – everything about food is important


  • Smoking and alcohol


  • Movement


  • Spiritual/vital energy: is there enough for healing and enhancing the recovery by any means possible.



WHM treatment protocols typically include:


Food: Often 3 changes identified by patient


Movement: Personalised advice (can include doing less or changing the kind of exercise)


Herbal prescription: Usually oral infusion or tincture to be taken as directed. May include cream/ointment, pessaries or suppositories, inhalations, other topical preparations such as oils etc.

https://www.drclareapothecary.com/collections/dr-clares-formulary/products/hormone-support









WHM practitioners use whole herbs, with very simple low tech processing for preservation. Using whole herbs is core to herbal medicine practice. The traditional practice of using whole herbs is central to safety reassurance.


Processed herbal extracts particularly with non-traditional doses and based purely on small scientific reports do not have the same safety profile as whole herbs used over millennia. Most reported herbal dangers are due to extraction processes, mis-identification by untrained therapists (including doctors and pharmacists) and substitutions in error or for profit.





Diseases and population conditions change e.g. we are in an epidemic of presentations of auto-immune disease and cancer and more significantly 25% of the population over 65 years are on 5 or more pharmaceuticals daily. The training of medical herbalists needs to be aware of scope of knowledge when co-prescribing herbs.





So the role of the herbalist following initial assessment is to:


Co-write an achievable action plan with you and


Write your herbal prescription in the light of your unique holistic health profile.


Outline a plan of action including time-frame and framework for care e.g. for a health assessment no further appointments would be indicated, for mild-moderate chronic health problems such as irritable bowel syndrome or chronic sinusitis 3 appointment at one month intervals and a further appointment after 3 months are likely.





This is a highly skilled professional service depending on degree of expertise, training and mentoring which is a lifelong process.





The initial interview/assessment is designed to outline the presenting problems, and sufficient relevant detail for mutual assessment as to whether herbal medicine is a ‘best fit’ medical treatment system to suit your needs. For best fit for any professional service: financial advice, legal advice or educational opportunity time is a crucial element for a personalised Best Fit solution. Herbal medicine is a treatment based solution with a large element of education, I say to my patients “it is a qualification in your own unique health, teaching you how to not need a herbalist. Instead of a certificate for your wall you get to live your life with better health”.





The assessment will offer valuable stand-alone suggestions for self-care and/or guide you other directions for treatment where indicated.






Dr Dílis Clare, GP and Medical Herbalist, MBBCh, DRCOG, BSc(Herbal Medicine), Hon. Clinical Fellow NUIG Medical School.






www.drclare.ie





@drdilisclare1


https://www.facebook.com/DrClaresClinics/

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Are Medical Herbalist 'Snake oil merchants'?



Response to Simon Harris (Minister for Health) mud slinging of snake-oil merchants. Such accusations have been slung at everyone not included in the Golden Circle of privileged providers in every system of healthcare throughout the ages.

Traditional herbal medical knowledge is based on the empirical science, an intimate knowledge based on experience of observation and use as healing agents. This knowledge covers the breadth of experimentation on soil, plants, animals and humans. It encompasses both the sustainable medicine and regenerative solutions for the planet.


In addition over the past 150 years a reasoned extrapolation from scientific data validates the effectiveness of herbal medicines.


The art and craft of medicine is embedded in a richness of culture and tradition. To believe scientific evidence to be the sole overriding arbiter defining credible (or even cost effective) healing is delusional. In this world as a magico-realistic complex the placebo effect is an embarrassment to medical science.


Custom designed drugs for the current bio-mechanical illness classification system are toxic, by design. We have become blasé and bewildered by the many deaths due to drugs. My younger sister is one such casualty, she died of liver failure after years of psychiatric medication. This is a slow and painfully aware way to fade from this life. This system of biomedicine is responsible for many such deaths in addition to saving many lives, including my own.





Scientific validation for the effectiveness of herbs has been acknowledged by renowned Skeptic lobbyist Prof. Edzard Ernst in research reviews on treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome, and evaluation of St John’s Wort for depression, Kava Kava for anxiety and Devil’s Claw for back pain.







While science validates practice, in my dual practitioner experience, the real backbone of holistic herbal medicine is traditional knowledge. I would trust this with my health and I trust the individualised Western Herbal Medicine system to address the reality that what patients have experienced of life, food, alcohol, tobacco, worry, sleep, loving, sharing and grieving affects their health. To understand what medicine they need I need time to evaluate their personal life story. After all the patient is the expert witness to their own health. Even the most technically brilliant surgeon relies on the patient’s ability to heal their wounds. Choosing the best herbal medicines to support the healing terrain (a.k.a. the psych neuro immune humoral balance) according to clinical judgment as influenced by the art and science of medicine.





Denigrating all that is not logical, fact based or rational is not reasonable or even desirable however well-intentioned. Blind faith in any dogma or institution including scientism or the current biomedical industrial medical complex lacks mature judgment. Collaborative medicine integrates the rich benefits from the science of pharmaceuticals, with the science and traditional knowledge of plant medicines. We need a truce in medical turf wars so patients can benefit from caring healers influenced by patient values and concerns. This was the original concept of Evidence Based Medicine.





Dr Dílis Clare, GP and Medical Herbalist, MBBCh, DRCOG, BSc(Herbal Medicine), Hon. Clinical Fellow NUIG Medical School.





www.drclare.ie





@drdilisclare1


00 353 91 583260


https://www.facebook.com/DrClaresClinics/





Monday, 7 October 2019

Dr Clare Speaks in Oireachtas on the taxation on food supplements

Dr. Clare was invited to the Oireachtas to speak on the no sense taxation on food supplements. This is really worth a listen. Please leave your thoughts and comments below. We would love to hear what you think. Visit her websites https://drclareapothecary.com and https://drclare.com to find out more.