Weekend Read


Last Saturday I wrote that I will be sending out weekly bulletins in order to keep each of you fully informed of the ever-changing landscape, relative to each of us, so here it is.  In each and every moment more measures are instigated and yet throughout I still remain pragmatic and determined that we will get through this together.  It is our duty and responsibility to do the best we possibly can, and that is what we shall continue doing.

Earlier this week health stores, both online and bricks and mortar, were classified by the Government as a ‘listed exception’ and it was further confirmed that manufacturers and distribution companies supplying health businesses could also continue to operate, having been designated ‘key sector’ businesses. However, running parallel it remains that there is a critical shortage of raw ingredients and on from that, products.

Notwithstanding this, we are still receiving deliveries, albeit with varying delays, but in most cases we are not receiving the volume we require and furthermore we don’t have confirmed dates on anything, which of course creates difficulties in fulfilling our orders in a timely fashion.  Most of you know that under normal circumstances we process and send our orders out within 24-48 hours, but that, together with most other things, has gone flying out the window. As I write this we are several days behind because of the high volume of orders, but we will get there, wherever ‘there’ is!

I am so sorry to repeat this again, but our customer care team are under extreme pressure and our first priority remains the same, to help support and advise the people who need us the most.  Please be mindful of this and refrain from calling or mailing about your order.  Information is sketchy at best, and non-existent in so many cases.  That said, and as mentioned above, we are still receiving deliveries and we are quietly fulfilling all the orders that we can in strict date and time order.

I find it quite interesting that things I said last week, have little or no relevance seven days later.  Actually they had little relevance within 24 hours, but I’m not going to flood you with my daily thoughts, even though I could practically write an opus each day!  At that time I wrote that I would be abandoning the monthly newsletter (more on that towards the end of this bulletin) and would spread out new product launches over the next few weeks on these bulletins.  But I’ve changed my mind on that and I’m putting all new launches on hold for the foreseeable future because it just doesn’t feel appropriate right now.

For the most part I am talking about skincare launches and my view is that we are enough and we have enough.  Several years ago I wrote that I didn’t care if we didn’t do a skincare launch for two years because I was perfectly happy with the skincare brands we list, that still stands.  No doubt having just made that statement, the most amazing product will land before me, it’s the way it rolls, but seriously the only new products I want to be talking about at the moment are either health related (there is one further down) or the health/beauty crossover, which is the category that I still find fascinating after all these years.

So let’s do it.  Let’s take a look at some of the most relevant products as of this moment.  As I write this, they are all currently in stock, but anything can happen and it usually does, so once again, please bear with.  I think it is vitally important to repeat here that there is not a product, in any category, that will prevent COVID-19.  If there was the world would know about it, so once again I will say that we are recommending taking immunity supplementation at this time.  These products serve to support, not prevent contagious diseases, but our view remains unchanged; we must do all we can to help strengthen our immunity at this time.  Here we go:

Shabir is having a moment or two about Life Drink and don’t we all know, because he talks about it all the time.  I talk about other things, which are coming soon, but the reason he loves it so much is because it removes the guess work out of choosing the correct supplementation and offers a deeply nourishing drink containing a range of vegetable proteins, power algae, power greens, berries and mushroom, together with digestive enzymes, omega essential fatty acids, as well as pre and probiotics.

Traditional methods of preserving the nutrients contained in botanicals and phytonutrient-rich food, such as air, oven and spray drying, can degrade important compounds and alter a plant’s delicate biochemical balance.  A fresh freeze-dried method is adopted here which protects and retains the plant’s potency, biochemical integrity and enzymatic activity.  The biochemical profile of these freeze dried botanicals closely resembles the profile of the original plant, but in much greater concentration.  Happily, Life Drink is available in three sizes, as below.
Life Drink by Terranova £28.65 for 227 grams; Life Drink Family Size £49 for 454 grams; Life Drink Sachets 15 Sachets (12 grams each) £31.50

It won’t surprise any of you who follow us regularly that I’m going to talk about Fulvic Acid Elixir.  I once described it as my desert-island-supplement and I have been taking Fulvic supplementation for the past eight years because I believe it has astounding health benefits.  Such is my belief, I have put every member of the VH team on it, together with Magnolia Rhodiola Complex, which we still believe is in a class of its own for helping anxiety and mild-depression that is so prevalent at this time.

Anyway, anyway, I’m not writing reams because I will refer you instead to Shabir’s article below, which covers all you need to know.  One more thing here.  I have been prowling our shelves looking for things to share with you and behold, I discovered a stash of the 240 ml version of Fulvic Acid Elixir, which is worth £15.  So whilst we can, with every bottle of Fulvic Acid Elixir (480 ml), we will send you the 240 ml size free of charge.  I have no idea how long these will last, but all I will say here is that this will not show up on your invoice and will automatically be included with your order.  In the spirit of sharing, please give this to somebody who you think will benefit from taking this.
** Sorry this promotion has now ended **
VH Editorial: The Elixir of LifeFulvic Acid Elixir £30 for 480 ml

And here is the new product that I referred to earlier.  It’s Sinol-D and it has been formulated to help give fast relief from sinus and allergy issues.  Non-habit forming, it will help clear nasal congestion rapidly and will also help reduce headaches stemming from sinus pain.
Sinol D All-Natural Nasal Spray Decongestant £14.95 for 15 ml (114 Sprays) (Vegan)

A mention here for the Saltpipe Inhaler.  I think this is relevant because it was created for those suffering from breathing difficulties and respiratory disorders, such as asthma and hay fever.  A few minutes of regular daily use will help you breathe more easily and will also help cleanse the respiratory system.  Once again, this will not prevent any of us catching the COVID-19 virus, but I believe it will help bring a modicum of comfort to some.  It is also important to note that at first use you may experience some coughing or sneezing as your system clears.  This is perfectly normal, so please don’t panic.  Its effectiveness has been proven in clinical trials and it is a registered Class 1 medical device.  The active ingredients of the inhaler will last for approximately five years.
The Saltpipe Inhaler by Higher Nature £29.95

Onwards from last week’s bulletin, we are still in stock of some of our essential products, which would include DermSafethe clinically proven hand sanitiser, DLux 3000 Sprayto help reinforce immunity and Mega Probiotic NDwhich we believe is a must-take supplement.  We have always believed that, so I think it is prudent to put a link to Shabir’s article on probiotics once again.
VH Editorial: Probiotics: The Most Important Supplement For The Whole FamilyMega Probiotic ND £19.50 for 60 Capsules; DermSafe Hand Sanitiser £14 for 59 ml; Dermsafe Family Pack Hand Sanitisers £35 (Three x 59 ml)

Let’s lighten this up because heaven knows we all need it.  In this space of non-essential things, I would like to announce to the world (well the VH world) that I have cut my nails off and filed them right the way down.  Naked, short nails are the way forward right now for so many different reasons, including hygiene.  If anybody at all is remotely interested, I still have my favourite red polish on my toenails, except nobody can see them.  Never mind that, after a lifetime (well almost a lifetime) of wearing polish, I have now taken to massaging Fulvic Acid Nail Cream into my hands and nails at least twice a day.  Nail recovery alert perhaps, but in any event I am keeping the price at £10, instead of the normal £12.  And onwards!
Fulvic Acid Nail Cream £10 for 30 ml

If I may, I am going to write a non-essential section on each of these bulletins just to keep me sane, if nothing else.  It is at this point that I need to tell you that we continue to be overwhelmed with your love, support and encouragement.  After last week’s bulletin we were, once again, flooded with emails.  I think that I have personally responded to each of you, but forgive me if one or two got lost somewhere in the ether.  I remain human, although Shabir would disagree.

Through all of this, communication remains key and I’m actually wondering whether or not to continue writing the monthly newsletters.  So many people have said to me that they prefer the weekly bulletins; it could well be that I have written my last newsletter, but I am going to take your lead on this and no doubt many of you will tell me exactly what you think.  From my point of view, it keeps us closer and I think I prefer that.  Anyway, I will go with the general consensus and will of course report back next week.

Just a couple of logistical things because I like being neat.  As so many orders are still pending, it may well be that your delivery address is now incorrect.  As I mentioned above, we are still receiving deliveries (will Daily Immunity ever arrive!) and of course we want you to receive your order just as soon as we can get it to you.  If your delivery address is currently invalid, please mail (not phone!) us on customercare@victoriahealth.com.  As we receive an inordinate amount of emails, please put the words ‘change of address’ as the subject matter as this will enable us to work through the list far quicker.

I also need each of you to know that we have implemented multiple preventative health measures above and beyond the current World Health Organisation recommendations for each member of the VH team.  A fuller statement is on the front of our website, but it goes without saying that it is for the health and safety not only of us, but for each of you too.

Finally, I was going to make Shabir one of those sandwich boards to wear with the words ‘I Am A Pharmacist’ daubed all over it, but I thought better of it.  However, he is walking around wearing a mask and clutching his official documentation from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.  I am so tempted to write a whole scenario around this, but best not because it would degenerate rapidly, so for all of our sakes, not least Shabir’s, this section is officially over!

But it’s not quite over, because there is one more thing.  In line with my promise, this week’s feature article is entitled ‘I Come From A Different World’ by Jackie Annesley.  I so relate to this, as many of you will too.  My thanks to Jackie, with a promise that we will always roll together, no matter what.
I Come From A Different World by Jackie Annesley

Before I end this, my thanks go to each of you for your continued loyalty and support throughout these difficult times.  It goes without saying that Shabir and I are blessed to have a team who know how to pull together in times of need, but my thanks also to all of the delivery drivers who are doing the best they possibly can and a most special mention to Royal Mail for trying to maintain a regular service.  For sure, there are understandable delays in the postal system, but they need to be applauded for all that they do.

I wish all good things to each of you.
Please try and have a restful weekend.
Be safe.  Be well.

Gill x

I Come from a Different World

Retro telephone on table in front mint green background

When I was growing up in the Sixties, we had a black bakelite telephone in the corner of the living room.  It had its own allocated table and chair, because that’s where you went for a quiet chat.

This heavy little piece of tech was first introduced by Ericsson in 1931,  so it wasn’t exactly the latest accessory, even back then.  Life was slower and people didn’t “switch things up” on the interiors front so much.  Still, I loved the weight of it in my hands and the smooth curve of its cupped mouthpiece.  There was the thrill of its metallic ringtone, my mother hollering, “It’s for you!’ and the hours spent whispering into it.  I see you can buy them now on eBay for about £170, not that we even have a home phone connection any more.  That went about five years ago.

I come from a different world – not necessarily better, just different – and without wanting to sound like an irascible OK Boomer, some days I miss it.

I miss the bizarre glamour of smoking on planes,  the cathartic tap-tap-tap of a typewriter and the satisfying clunk of pushing another few shillings into a payphone. I especially miss reversing the charges on a phone call – and even just talking to an operator. “Hello Operator!  I’d like to make a reverse charge call!”  Now more than ever in the age of coronavirus,  all human interaction with strangers is funnelled into a brief greeting to delivery drivers.

Nostalgia usually only hits us in midlife, with the benefit of perspective.  Trapped in our homes, we have even more time to stare at the faces looking out at us from our picture frames, to go through albums,  to clear out cupboards and connect with the past.

So much has changed. Read More…

Weekend Read


Earlier this week I sent out an update in an attempt to keep each of you fully informed about the ever-changing landscape, relative to each of us.  At that time I wrote that I would be changing the habit of a VH lifetime and I will not be writing a newsletter in the foreseeable future, but would instead send out weekly bulletins.

The first thing I want to do is to say thank you to all those who sent emails and called with words of encouragement, they mean so much because we are of course doing everything we can to help support you with products and guidance at this difficult time.  A call out here to Jonathan of Seed & Bean.  Having written that we all need chocolate, he was on the phone literally within three minutes of receiving my email telling me he was sending chocolate.  Retaining my humour through all of this, I burst out laughing and asked if he was sending chocolate to me or to the world!  Anyway, my thanks.

On a more serious note, I remain pragmatic and determined that we will get through this together.  For twenty years we have been fortunate enough to help look after the health and wellbeing of so many of you, and that of course continues.  It is a huge responsibility, we have always known that, and that responsibility extends to the words that I write.

I want to make it abundantly clear that the products I have written about, and will be writing about, do not prevent any of us from catching the COVID-19 virus.  Of course we recommend taking immunity supplementation, we always have.  These products serve to support, not prevent contagious diseases, but we take the view that we must do all we can to help strengthen our immunity at this time.

A word here about supply and demand.  We are living in unprecedented times and if I thought the wait list was extreme when Nigella wrote about Prickly Pear Seed Oil in The Sunday Times, this goes beyond the extreme across all supplementation.  For the most part I have kept wait list notifications on each of the most-wanted product pages.  I think it is better to do this than to give false hope that the products are in stock.  With such fast-moving circumstances, please forgive us if we are late to do this on some products, we are doing all we can.

That said, we are still receiving deliveries of some of the most-wanted products and we will be quietly working through all those orders and doing whatever we can to get these to each of you.  I will not be making any big announcements about stock arriving, save to say that another consignment of DermSafe has arrived, because that will only make the situation worse.  I am confident, all things being equal, that we will get all orders covered in time.  What I don’t know is the time frame, so please bear with us.  I will repeat here that our customer care team are under extreme pressure and our first priority is to help support and advise the people who need us the most, so with the best will in the world, please refrain from calling or emailing about your order, it will help an awful lot of people enormously.

Through all of this, so many are feeling anxious and we have been helping those who are having panic attacks.  At times of stress, the adrenals produce a variety of corticosteroid hormones, including cortisol.  These steroidal hormones suppress the effectiveness of the immune system by lowering the number of white blood cells being produced effectively, making the body vulnerable to infection.  It is all very well me writing that we must try and stay calm, but I understand the difficulty in trying to achieve that.  Deep breathing is helpful, but if you are in need of added support, we are recommending Magnolia Rhodiola Complex, which is our bestselling supplement for anxiety and stress.  For further insight, Shabir’s article is below.  Just to add, if you are taking prescribed anti-depressants, please do not take this supplement.
VH Editorial: How To Combat Stress Effectively; Magnolia Rhodiola Complex £28 for 60 Capsules

Sleep has always played an important role in the health of our bodies; a lack of sleep could adversely affect your immunity.  While we sleep peacefully, our bodies make specific protein compounds called cytokines, which target infection and inflammation.  If you have problems sleeping then we are currently recommending Cherry Night Powder or Herbal Sleep PM.  To add to this, I would recommend slapping on a Spacemask.  They have a tendency to ‘send you’.  Right now I would quite like to be sent to the production line of Daily Immunity.  I do wish they would hurry up!
Cherry Night £25.95 for 150 grams; Herbal Sleep PM £20 for 30 Capsules; Spacemasks £15 for Five Masks

Numerous studies have indicated a relationship between vitamin D and a healthy immune system.  Specifically, Danish scientists have found that the release of specialised T cells, which help destroy bacteria and viruses, are dependent upon adequate vitamin D levels.  A vitamin D deficiency inhibits the proper function of those T cells.  ‘The practice of self-isolation means supplementation of vitamin D is essential to help reinforce immunity’ writes Andy Thomas, Founder of Better You.  And for the record, I agree with him.
DLux 3000 Spray by Better You £7.95 for 15 ml

Most of you take Mega Probiotic ND, so our recommendation is to continue taking it at this time.  Once again, several studies have been carried out on the effectiveness of the L-acidophilus and Bifidobacteria species, showing that these strains appear to help enhance anti-viral activity.  Shown to help promote the production of the antibodies which help protect the body against infection, Mega P (as we call it) is a broad spectrum probiotic and contains eight strains of beneficial bacteria that are acid resistant.  More in Shabir’s article below.
VH Editorial: Probiotics: The Most Important Supplement For The Whole Family; Mega Probiotic ND £19.50 for 60 Capsules

In the absence of the newsletter, I would just like to say that I will be using these bulletins to bring you all the latest product launches, albeit they we will be spread out over the following few weeks.  For the moment, I have kept these off this bulletin because our health is paramount at this time.  That said, I have to tell you that I am not on a skincare holiday as it were.  I mean I don’t want to come out of this looking ten years older, so carry on and all I will say here is that this is perhaps where Neurophroline comes into its own.  If we are stressed, our skin is stressed, so my skincare product of the day, is of course Neurophroline as it has been clinically shown to help reduce cortisol levels in our skin.  Amen to that.
Neurophroline Serum £18 for 30 ml

And a treat.  Why not.  The aptly-named Brightening Anti-Pollution Mask from Aurelia Probiotic Skincare, is a rich and whipped face mask formulation to help replenish and purify the skin.  It boosts cell-turnover promoting brightness and hydration.  If you buy this Anti-Pollution Mask, you will automatically receive Aurelia’s hero product, Miracle Cleanser (50 ml), which is worth £17.50.  This will not show up on your invoice, but will automatically be sent.  Whilst stock lasts.
Brightening Anti-Pollution Mask by Aurelia Probiotic Skincare £58 for 60 ml (Miracle Cleanser £42 for 120 ml)

Right, I’m stopping now, lest this could actually turn into a newsletter, which wouldn’t be difficult because I have no control over myself when I’m writing, but a couple of things, because I can’t help myself:

As I write this, we are all fit and well here, so I want you to know that we will continue to do the best we possibly can under very difficult circumstances.  I have always believed that we must lead by example and I want to re-assure you that I can see right the way through fear-marketing, which continues unabated.  It is not in my nature to diss products, brands or people, but it’s all I can do to stop myself exploding with anger at the unscrupulous behaviour of some.  I just want to reiterate that there is not a product, in any category, that will prevent COVID-19.  If there was, the world would know about it, so please be vigilant and try and stay away from the dross, which would include the brand that asked me to do a media campaign on a product that they claimed will prevent COVID-19.  I deleted it.

Together with Shabir and the entire VH team, I want to thank you for your trust and loyalty, which at times overwhelms me, but I’ll refrain from getting too emotional, otherwise I’ll start writing reams on that subject and Shabir will have another one of his eye-rolling-moments; in any given day there are several of those moments, let me tell you.

Finally, I said earlier in the week that I would be supported by our editorial team and so I hope you enjoy reading Jo Fairley’s article, Small Pleasures, which I know many of you will relate to, including warming your knickers (read pants for the boys) on a radiator perhaps!
Small Pleasures by Jo Fairley

Please stay safe and have a restful weekend.
My thoughts are continuously with each of you.

Gill x

Keeping Calm In The Storm

keep calm note with blue background and crumpled papers

For the vast majority of us, the corona virus pandemic is our first experience of being on what’s now referred to as ‘a war footing’. And rather like bombs dropping in the Blitz, we don’t know where, when and who the virus will hit next. So it makes sense that we’re anxious.

Like a ripple of stress, a bit of anxiety can be helpful in getting us to take sensible precautions. But this war zone is catapulting some of us into a degree of totally understandable anxiety that’s not helpful in getting through daily life – particularly because anxiety can suppress our immune system, which is our very best defence weapon in one-on-one combat against the virus.

This is not to minimise the potential effects of the pandemic but hopefully to give our minds some degree of calm so we can face the issues and manage them in the best way we’re able.

If you are used to working in an office environment, working from home can present its own challenges so there are tips on this too.

I asked trusted experts including health educator and GP Dr Andrew Tresidder and neuroscientist and psychiatrist Dr Tara Swart to help me compile first aid tips we can all use when anxiety threatens to take over our brains. They’re a pick ‘n mix blend – but I do recommend you start practising the first one now so that it comes easily when you really need it.

Deep belly breathing:

Fact: breathing rapidly, shallowly and irregularly from the upper chest will keep you in a state of anxiety. Whereas breathing slowly and rhythmically down and up from your belly will make you feel calm immediately It’s also helpful if you wake in the night with a racing brain:

So – sit straight, feet on the floor, hands at rest, shoulders down, head above your shoulders (ie not poking forward like a tortoise), eyes shut if you wish.

Take slow, regular, rhythmic breaths in and out through your nose. Feel the breath going right down to your belly. Hold it there for a few moments, then exhale slowly, gently through your nose. There is no precise timing for this but some experts recommend inhaling for a count of 4, holding for 7, then exhaling for 8.

If you like to visualise this breathing exercise, you can imagine sitting cross legged on the sea shore, sun warming your skin, breeze rippling through your hair, listening to the waves. As you breathe in, imagine the water slowly coming up the shore; note how the white fringe of spume hovers at the top as you gently hold that breath; then see it gently flowing out again.

Create a positive mantra/affirmation:

When you have anxious thoughts, replace them with a phrase or sentence that soothes you. Write it out – if you’re creative make it beautiful – and pin on your desk/fridge door/near your bed. Sarah’s longtime favourite is ‘all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well,’ from medieval mystic Julian of Norwich. Women’s health expert Emma Cannon sent us a lovely poem about healing by Kitty O’Meara – find it on YouTube. Please do take a moment to look at it – it’s very special.

Practise yoga, tai chi, dancing or whatever form of mindful exercise you enjoy:

Moving our physical body keeps us in the present and can burn off stress hormones. There are plenty of options online to choose from including movementformodernlife.com, which has been recommended to us and claims it’s ‘Yoga made easy’.

Lean back:

The buzz phrase is ‘lean in’ but if you’re feeling anxious, try leaning back into your spine. You don’t have to do this vigorously, just think it and your body will follow. Feel your shoulder blades going down, your chest expanding and mind chatter stilling.

Look at birds, animals, flowers and trees:

Walk out in a garden or park if you can – or simply gaze out of the window at the sky. Even looking at pictures of nature can help. “Information from nature interacts with our human software and helps restore harmony,’ says Dr Tresidder.

Try flower remedies and other plant helpers:

Keep combination essences to hand, such as Bach Rescue Remedy or Jan de Vries Emergency Essence. Put a few drops on your wrist, or directly on your tongue (avoiding touching dropper to tongue) or ‘lace’ your glass of water. Using one of these regularly day in, day out, as well as on a ‘panic’ basis, may help during this time. We find homeopathic arnica helps bruised minds as well as bodies. Nelsons Arnica 30C is suggested for fearfulness as well as coughing and injury; two pillules every two hours for the first six doses, then four times daily.

Play your favourite calming music:

For some this will be Mozart, Bach, Hildegard of Bingen or Gregorian chant, while for others it’s birdsong, whale music, Bruce Springsteen or rap that reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Try a range of different music and see what gets through to your brain. Spotify has a section dedicated to freeing listeners from stress and anxiety.

Keep in touch:

Working at home on your own or self-isolating can be a lonely business. So make a list of people you can contact by email, phone or writing (revolutionary idea but we love getting cards/letters through the post). This works both ways: also make a list of vulnerable friends/colleagues/neighbours you can offer help to. Older people can find information and support from Age UK – the free Advice Line is 080 678 1602. The Good Neighbours Network may be able to help those over 70 who are alone; this may take the form of telephone support and delivery of food and/or medicines. Details on their website, goodneighbours.org.uk.

Also…create a routine:

Set an alarm, get showered/dressed and put on your usual skincare/make up. Organise a timetable for your day. If you are working at home, make a list of priorities. Have regular meals – grazing is the demon of home workers. Look for interesting store cupboard recipes online, eg Melissa Hemsley’s How to cook money-saving meals from your store cupboard.

Set limits on news binging:

If you feel you need to know what the latest pandemic updates are, check in once or twice a day – and not last thing at night. Sleep is vital so you do need to switch off properly so your brain doesn’t race in a frenzy of worry all night.

Comfort declutter rather than comfort eat…:

Turning out cupboards and organising the contents is calming and satisfying –putting you in control of at least one section of your life. Some of us like laundry and ironing – dashing away with a smoothing iron and folding things soothes our minds.

Take pleasure in small things:

A warm bath with scented bath oil/salts, dark chocolate dissolving on your tongue, reading a favourite novel or watching your favourite soap/old films/box sets, arranging a vase of flowers – whatever floats your boat.

Eat well and consider supplements:

Take a good quality probiotic; research shows that improving the quality and diversity of your gut bacteria helps reduce stress, anxiety and even symptoms of depression, according to Dr Swart. Many good ones available online such as Mega Probiotic ND  and Symprove. Vitamin D3 is vital for the immune system and may also enhance brain levels of serotonin (the neurotransmitter which is believed to help regulate mood, among other activities). Try BetterYou DLux 3000 Spray. Pharmacist Shabir Daya says that at times of stress, you may need more B and C vitamins to meet the demands of your adrenal glands. He suggests food-based Terranova Vitamin B Complex with Vitamin C.

Magnesium is often called ‘Nature’s tranquilliser’ and most of us have below optimal levels. Dr Swart recommends applying it to the skin as it’s better absorbed that route. Put magnesium salts in your bath – there’s a range of delicious scented bath salts but a less costly option is Epsom salts. Alternatively, try BetterYou Magnesium Oil Sensitive Spray, which is specially helpful for people with touchy skin that may react to topical magnesium.



Small Pleasures

Small radiator with red wall

The world seems big and scary and out of control right now. I remember feeling just like this as a child, hiding behind the sofa and peering out occasionally at The Daleks, who seemed so utterly terrifying. (I met a real Dalek many years later backstage at the BBC and it was honestly like something I might have made as an art project – but that was alas too late to console a seven-year-old who regularly suffered Dr. Who-related Saturday nightmares.)

Fear and blind panic aren’t going to do anyone’s mental health any good, however. And they’re not going to solve or change anything at a time of global crisis. So I thought I’d share my coping strategy when the big picture seems overwhelming – which is to focus on the small stuff. In particular, small pleasures, which really can lift the spirits at dark times in a way that’s totally disproportionate to their size. I don’t think you have to be Pollyanna to get a boost from watching a bunch of daffs blossom on your kitchen table, or feeling happy at the unexpected sight of a rainbow. Read More…

March: An Update


On Saturday I sent an update to each of you, which you can find on the front of our site if you missed it.

At the end of that update I wrote that I would send further updates if I needed to; and suddenly, within the shortest time, I need to.

As I wrote on that update, since the beginning of VH time we have always recommended taking immunity supplementation from the first day of autumn until the first day of spring, but obviously our advice would now be to continue taking supplementation for the foreseeable future. I also wrote that in and of itself this is creating issues as a global shortage of raw ingredients means we may have to adjust the products we recommend almost on a daily basis. Read More…