Boost Your Mood With Herbal Heroes

holy basil

Q: I would like to find an all-round natural supplement. A friend mentioned she takes an adaptogen: what are they, and how do I choose one for my over-busy lifestyle?

A: I’ve always liked the concept that adaptogens – natural substances that improve your body’s ability to adapt to stress, both physical and mental– go where they are needed at the time, acting on multiple parts of the body to strengthen weakness and bring balance.

According to medical herbalist Katie Pande: ‘Adaptogenic herbs are said to have a normalising effect on the body and mind, reducing the negative changes that can happen in your body in response to stress.’ Read More…



However much we love the festive season, most of us feel a tad frazzled. Practising mindfulness in any form (eg, yoga) always helps. Here are my other tips for reducing festive-season stress.

  • Have a protein-filled breakfast. Eggs are perfect.
  • Consider a supplement such as Siberian ginseng, a powerful adaptogenic herb that helps combat fatigue. Try HealthAid Sibergin.
  • Eat every two to three hours to keep your blood sugar steady – three meals and two snacks a day.
  • Keep a little tin of almonds in your bag for on-the-go boosts.
  • Don’t dry out. Sip still water or herbal teas throughout the day.
  • Keep your feet happy with comfy footwear. We’re mad about the new, super-chic FitFlop Chelsea boots in snake-embossed leather, which feel as though you’re wearing sneakers.
  • Wind down in a warm bath with aromatherapy oils. Try Neom Organics Perfect Night’s Sleep Bath & Shower Drops.
  • Rest your brain with needlework. My favourite book this year is Kaffe Fassett’s Bold Blooms by Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior Lucy with ideas for embroidery, tapestry, knitting, beading and much more.

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The Power of Perfume


A lot is talked about the ‘power’ of aromatherapy (even though in reality, only a handful of essential oils have been studied for their therapeutic effect on the mind/body), but nobody ever really discussed the ‘power’ of perfume, which I think can be just as potent. (And no, I’m not talking about the kind of potency we remember from 80s ‘room-rockers’ like Giorgio and Dior Poison; I’m talking about the emotional power that perfume has. I’ve always loved the quote from deaf-and-blind educator Helen Keller that ‘smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.’

I’m always rather amazed when I meet someone who doesn’t wear perfume. And a bit sad, especially if they claim to have ‘no sense of smell’. I would have a hard time getting through life without tapping into perfume’s ability to reconnect me with my senses, in a world in which I live, mostly, inside my head, staring at a screen rather than stopping to smell the roses. It literally grounds me – and at the same time, lifts me up, so my spirits soar. Read More…

How I Cope With Stress


There are times in life when what’s going on threatens to send someone off the top of the stress-o-meter, and this has been one of them for me. I’ve a ‘fragrant’ new venture launching mid-May (Gill will be keeping you informed about that one!), which threatens to have me running on empty if I’m not careful. (So I have to be.) Throw into that the loss of two people I held very dear, adding grief to the mix – and well, I’d be forgiven for crumpling into a pile in the corner. But over the years I’ve learned a ‘regime’ which can give me inner strength (more of which anon), and keep me going through tough times. I’m pretty sure it would work for most of you, too, so here goes.

I’m OK if I’m sleeping. Which of course doesn’t come automatically, at times like this. There’s the not-being-able-to-get-to-sleep type of insomnia (that’s the bereavements), and the waking-up-at-2 -a.m.-mind-whirring type of insomnia, with the risk of lying there feeling overwhelmed at all that still has to be done before my project launch. Without wanting to sound like a stuck CD here, Aromatherapy Associates Relax Deep Bath & Shower Oil has always been my staple for nudging me sleep-wards – but some time ago I explained to Aromatherapy Associates founder Geraldine Howard that I don’t always bathe before bedtime, and so can’t always experience the knock-out effect (literally) of the oils. Read More…

Skin Superfoods


Our skin is what we eat. It’s that simple. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t want a gorgeous, radiant glowing complexion? Thought not. But because the skin is the last place in the body to receive the nutrients we ingest, many experts counsel that a two-way approach is what pays real dividends. Quite often, the nutrients that boost skin health when we eat or drink them also deliver amazing skin benefits when applied from the outside, too.

We’re well known for taking lots of supplements: can’t live without them. Without Daily Energy, Sibergin, Power of KrillBetterYou DLux 3000 etc. (that’s for our vitamin D levels, more important than ever at this time of year). But we also try to eat well, too, packing our diet with skin-friendly foods. So here’s a run-down of some of the best things to eat, drink – and to slather on – for your best-ever skin…

Pomegranate: The luscious red juice of pomegranate – and the seed-filled fruit itself – are bursting with the super-nutrient ellagic acid, a mega-antioxidant that’s renowned for protecting and repairing skin. Pomegranate has actually been found to turbo-charge the effect of sun protection when added to sun lotions. Read More…

Supplements: What We Take


Our bathroom shelves may be lined with the latest wonder-in-a-jar miracle-promising products, packed with antixoidants, herbs and vitamins – but trust me: it’s only half the battle. True beauty is more than skin deep and over the years, the two of us at Beauty Bible have come to believe that for truly amazing skin, it’s also what you put inside your system that really counts.

Hands down, experts agree that healthy skin is the product of good nutrition. Why? Epidermal tissue – which makes up the outer body – is synthesised from proteins (collagen and elastin), fats, vitamins and minerals. Skimp on those and you’ll short-change skin. Not so long ago, we saw for ourselves just what a difference dieting can make, during a five-day pop-up shop at Selfridges for the launch of our latest book, The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible.

We did 160 back-to-back anti-ageing consultations with real women – and there’s no question: in those who ate well and supplemented their diet, this literally shone out through their healthy complexions. (By contrast, fascinatingly, one woman who came to see us – I’d call her fat-phobic, as she’s eaten a virtually entirely fat-free diet for the past 20 years – looked a good 20 years older than she is, with deep wrinkles. And no, she doesn’t sunbathe: it can only be her fat-restricted diet that is the culprit.)
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