Dee's Blog

10.05.2016

BEATING EXAM STRESS AND SPRING COLDS

Students Studying

It’s Exam Time and the next couple of months are a busy, stressful and sometimes overwhelming time for students. With children as young as 15 complaining of headaches, insomnia, nausea and anxiety, it can be equally worrying for parents trying to help their children to manage such uncharted waters. It's also the time when Spring colds take the opportunity to lay stressed students low.

Dealing with Stress

Over the years, I have been using gentle and supportive herbal remedies to help young people manage stress. These include simple herbal teas like Chamomile, Lime flowers and Rose petals, which gently support the nervous system and ease anxiety. I like to combine these with Rosemary, Shakespeare's herb of remembrance, and Mint which refreshes and helps to keep those sleepy mid study moments at bay.

Here are my top remedies to help you get the most out of your study sessions and to help ease those moments of anxiety:

D. Atkinson Study Blend herbal tea

A delicious blend of herbs, including lemon balm, rosemary and liquorice, to keep the brain sharp and focused throughout long hours of study.

D. Atkinson Study Blend Essential Oil

Our Study Blend is a range of essential oils including invigorating Peppermint and Rosemary, to aid concentration. It also includes Basil, which is excellent for memory and mental fatigue.

D. Atkinson Skullcap, Oat & Passionflower

Back in 1860, Duncan Napier developed and prescribed his Nerve Debility Tonic to deal with stress and anxiety. Containing over 20 different herbs, these days it is known as Skullcap, Oat and Passionflower Compound but is just as effective.

Vitamins and supplements for Studying and Stress management

Fish oil is great for brain function – we stock Eskimo 3 fish oil capsules in our shop.

Vitamin B Complex - is effective in dealing with stress, anxiety and tiredness so aim for a daily supplement of B-complex which contains between 50 and 100mg. Try Viridian B Complex High Five from our shop.

Bach Rescue Remedy drops – a favourite flower remedy for getting through stressful times.

L-Theanine – Theanine may reduce mental and physical stress, improve cognition and boost mood and cognitive performance. We also stock L-Theanine and Lemon Balm - lemon balm has been found to reduce stress.

Dealing with Spring Colds

There are several strains of cold and flu zipping about the place at the moment, and overworked students, preparing for exams, are prime candidates to come down with a bug - just when they need to be at the top of their game. Spring colds are real opportunists, just waiting to jump on you when you're a bit under the weather.

Herbal medicine has a long tradition of treating colds and flu and can also be used as a way to boost your immune system and to try and help prevent a cold developing. Our immune system tackles most bacteria and viruses, it even deals on a daily basis with abnormal cells that could develop into a cancer. It is when our immune system is challenged that we start to find problems developing. Stress, cold weather, poor nutrition, too many late nights, too much alcohol and long term medication for other health problems all affect your immunity.

PREVENTION

Vitamin C increases resistance to bacterial and viral infections.  Take a 1000mg a day as a preventative and if you think you might be coming down with something increase this to 1000mg every 2 hours over a 6 hour period.

Echinacea is a herb that has been shown to increase your resistance to cold and flu. The root extract has specific anti viral activity against the flu virus, and it can be taken throughout the winter and into Spring. Try our range of D. Atkinson Echinacea products, including:

Elderberry & Honey Spray - containing echinacea, this is a soothing spray to relieve sore throats and prevent infections.

Echinacea Tincture - boosts your immune system and fights cold and flu.

Echinacea Super Plus - extra strong for when you really need to hit a cold virus into the long grass!

Echinacea & Wild Cherry Syrup - great for kids (2 yrs +)

We also have Napiers Elixir of Echinacea in stock.

Garlic is one of my favourite immune boosting herbs, and I simply use a clove of organic garlic, chopped up and mixed with some yogurt and swallowed as if it were a tablet. Or swallow it down with plenty of  cold water. This is a great way of reducing mucus and catarrh and can almost stop a Spring cold in its tracks.

One fantastic influenza mix dates back to the early 1900’s. Used by Dr Valnet, it has become a popular self help remedy in my practice.

Influenza Tea

  • ½ stick cinnamon
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 tea spoon of rosemary herb
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Honey to taste.

Simmer the cloves and cinnamon in a good cup of water for 3 to four minutes in a covered saucepan. Turn off the heat and add the rosemary. Allow to cool for a few minutes then add lemon and honey. Drink warm.

YOUR EXAM TIME FIRST AID KIT!

Echinacea Tincture:

Keep your immune system well supported! Echinacea supports and promotes immunity – if you support your immune system then you will be much better able to deal with stress.

Elderberry and Honey spray (with Echinacea)

As well as the well known positive effects of Echinacea, Thyme has anti microbial and anti bacterial actions, Garlic has been used for centuries to manage infection and Sage supports the immune system.

D. Atkinson Botanical Candles

Scented with either Lavender or Rose pure essential oils, these candles create a wonderful calming scent as they burn. The perfect antidote to study fatigue.

Vitamin C

A great immune system booster which will help to keep you fighting fit in the run up to exams. It increases the production of antibodies and white blood cells, which fight infection, and helps prevent the entry of viruses. It can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as lowering blood pressure.

Lavender Essential Oil

Used in a burner, Lavender’s calming scent can help in reducing anxiety and enabling relaxation.

 

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Dee
Dee Atkinson MNIMH

Dee is one of the UK's top herbalists and owns and runs D. Atkinson Herbalist in Edinburgh - a herbal dispensary and shop which provide a wide range of herbal medicines, vitamins, supplements, herbal skincare as well as a herbal dispensary. Next door is Napiers Clinic.

Dee qualified as a Medical Herbalist in 1988 and took over Napiers the Herbalists in 1990, building it up into one of the UKs most respected and trusted Complementary Medicine Clinics.

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