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Questions & Answers

Below are a few FAQ's answered by Evergreen Experts!

Q. My son keeps getting ear infections. The doctor gives anti-biotics which work initially, but is there anything I can do to stop them happening so frequently?

A. Firstly, try your best to keep the ears covered when outdoors in winter and early spring and if your child goes swimming, try to get him to use earplugs or a cap that covers the ears. St John’s wort oil (for external use only) can help with the discomfort if you rub some directly behind the ear and neck.

Consider giving probiotics, they have proven really effective in trials to minimise the frequency and seriousness of ear infections. They will also help with general immunity and are safe for little ones to take on an ongoing basis.

Zinc is also beneficial, it helps healing especially in the ear, nose and throat areas. Kids who get frequent ear infections are often deficient in zinc.

Elderberry syrup is a tasty anti-viral remedy. It helps build immunity in general, but is particularly good for viral infections for example ear aches related to colds, flu or chest infection.

Q. I went to the doctor with frequent bad period pains and the word endometriosis was mentioned as a possibility. I’m really frightened now, please help!

A. Ok, first of all, try not to panic. Endometriosis is only one possibility and although it can have fertility implications for some people, it’s not so bad for others, it’s very common and very treatable.

I would advise you to seek a proper diagnosis, but in the meantime…

Take flax or fish oil every day. Your body can use these to produce prostaglandins which can help ease cramps, inflammation and pain.

Take milk thistle herb. Your liver needs to stay in good shape to be able to detoxify excess hormones, which is an issue for those with endometriosis.

Consider probiotics for a few months. Recent research shows that a bad balance of bacteria in the gut can lead to hormonal imbalance. Probiotic use for several months could rule this out.

If you drink coffee, you should stop. This is the most important advice I have for you. Women who drink more than 2 cups of coffee a day are more susceptible to hormonal imbalance and endometriosis. Swap it for herbal tea or dandelion coffee and see how much better you feel.

Q. My husband gets really bad cold sores especially during the winter months. Is there anything that really works to get rid of them?

A. A cold sore is a viral infection. Once you have it, it will always be in your system, but yes there are ways to keep it at bay.

The cold sore virus feeds on a protein based amino acid called L-Arginine. L-Arginine is high in foods such as peanuts, coffee, cheese and chocolate. If you have or are getting a cold sore and you are eating these foods, you are basically feeding the virus and making the cold sore worse.

There is a tablet called L-Lysine (another amino acid) which blocks some of your body’s absorption of L-Arginine. Taking this will help get rid of the cold sore quicker and if you are prone to cold sores, help reduce its chances of coming back.

Q. I am prone to getting colds in the winter and I am wondering if there is anything I can take which may prevent them?

A. Recurring colds could be a sign of low immunity, here are my tips to keep your immune system in good shape. Keep your sugar intake to a minimum. Sugar significantly weakens your immune system. Stay hydrated, water, juices and herbal teas are great, tea and coffee should be kept to a minimum. Take vitamin C or eat vitamin C rich foods daily, (viruses can’t survive in a high vitamin C environment) – Kiwis, yellow peppers, berries and tomatoes. Consider Echinacea during the winter months – It stimulates activation of white blood cells and immune compounds. You can take it for 8 weeks, and then take a break for a week or so. Zinc is a primary nutrient in immune function and zinc lozenges in particular are great if the throat is sore.

Q. I recently started a vegan diet and I am wondering if there is any proteins which are suitable on my new diet?

A. The first thing I would like to say is that many foods which happen to be vegan are really protein rich, so taking a separate protein powder may not be necessary.

Quinoa which can be cooked like rice or porridge contains every single amino acid which are the building blocks for protein. Other protein high, vegan friendly foods are: buckwheat, hempseeds, chia seeds, rice and beans and hummus.

If you still want an extra protein as a shake after exercise for example, Sunwarrior do a sprouted rice protein powder which can be made into a shake or added into foods. The sprouted rice is easy to digest and absorb therefore effective for muscle repair, strength and blood sugar balance.

Q. I have sensitive skin and I was looking for a new face cream but am unsure which will be suitable for my skin, is there any you would recommend?

A. Many Irish complexions have sensitive skin prone to redness and inflammation.

I recommend keeping creams as simple and natural as possible to reduce the chance of reaction.

Trilogy Rosehip seed oil is totally natural yet jam packed with nutrients. It can be used instead of a cream and goes well under make-up. The rosehip seed is naturally high in vitamin C which makes collagen, so it’s a great anti-aging and nourishing oil. Particularly good for acne scars, redness and rosacea. It is suitable for all skin types and people with oily skin are actually finding it really effective in re-balancing oiliness.

When shopping for natural skincare, try not to get drawn in by the words “Natural” or “Botanical”. Skincare which is stated to be “Paraben free” is more likely to be free of harmful chemicals and suitable for sensitive individuals.

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