Dee's Blog


Dee's A-Z of Health - B



Cabbage is a wonderful anti inflammatory plant and has a long history of use. I often ask patients to put a rolling pin over a leaf to crush veins and to then strap the leaf to sore knees or backs. The heat of the body causes the latex in the leaf to be released and absorbed into the body. If you are prepared to use a poultice I would suggest making a more specific one. Take 25g of Comfrey root, 25 grams of Arnica and 25 grams of Boneset herb. Take two table spoons of each herb and boil them for a few minutes in a pint of water. Allow to cool and soak a cloth in the mixture. Place it on the affected area, cover with cling film and leave it in place for a few hours. This mixture is for external use only, and will help to relax muscle spasm and aid healing in the area. These herbs are available from herbalists or good health stores.


Bad breath is something we have all suffered from occasionally. Its also something we all worry about suffering from. That embarrassing moment when the person your talking to takes a step backwards and you wonder if its because your breath smells or you forget the underarm deodorant that morning.

Bodily smells are part of being human, but there are smells that are acceptable and smells that are not. Bad breath is one of those. Short of relying on your best friend to tell you that its time to clean your teeth, how can you tell that you have a problem. Breathing out with a hand in front of your mouth to catch the offending breath before sniffing doesn’t usually work. A more accurate test is to like the underside of your wrist, allow the saliva to dry and then smell the area.

Having confirmed your worst fears, the problem is then what to do about it. There are a number of possible causes of bad breath. The most obvious being dental problems. A check up with the dentist is the first course of action. Other possible causes include chronic catarrh problems, in which case your sense of smell might be affected as well, or digestive problems.

I have found in practice that most cases of bad breath are caused by either digestive disorders or catarrhal problems, and that to treat it properly you need to tackle the underlying problem. Mouth washes, expensive brands of toothpaste and dental floss whilst only masking the problem for a short while can help while the underlying cause is being sorted out.

There are a number of good herbal mouthwashes on the market which include herbs such as sage, golden seal and marigold that contribute to the health of your gums as well as freshening your breath.

A good home made mouth wash can be made from a sprig of thyme or rosemary in a cupful of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain and when cool gargle and rinse your mouth out with it. Peppermint is another good mouth refresher, two drops of peppermint essential oil mixed with a teaspoon of vodka and then added to a cup of warm water, I find that adding a drop of tea tree essential oil makes this a good antiseptic mix which will clear up any mild infections in the mouth cavity.



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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