Pack It! Winter Sun Natural Mosquito Spray (that works)

mrs-whites-unstung-hero-insect-repellent-blog-review-natural mosquito spray

While everyone’s talking Christmas Eve Eve (a phrase which I’ve never heard before but is now strangely trending on Twitter right now), I’m talking insect sprays, because instead of packing presents I’m in battle against mosquitoes on holiday in Asia – a very un-Christmasy situation! (But trust me, I’m so not into Christmas I’d rather be waging war against mosquitos than fighting another kind of battle on Oxford Street).

Luckily I’d recently been sent some natural insect repellent to try. And luckily for me on this amazing winter sun holiday, it doesn’t just work but is genuinely gorgeous to use too. If you’re in a hotter climate that calls for mozzy spray but want to avoid the awful stench of deet (the most common ingredient used to ward off biting insects but so powerful it can send you dizzy too), then meet Mrs White’s Unstung Hero.

mrs-whites-unstung-hero-insect-repellent-blog-review-natural mosquito spray

 

A cologne that cleverly doubles up as a bug repellent but smells like a fragrance you might actually like to wear. It’s uplifting and citrusy – like a summer breeze blowing through a lemon orchard – and leaves skin lightly refreshed.

I love the vintage-style, apothecary-inspired glass bottle but as it’s not made for travel, sadly I have gone away with a decanted version in a far less-glamorous 100ml spray.

I’ve been splashing Mrs White’s religiously onto my ankles, legs and arms this holiday and remained bite-free for 10 days in India but as I hit destination no.2, Indonesia, I relaxed for one night only and took my eyes off the ball, or should I say the fragrance off my skin. I paid the price as I instantly became prime mozzie target and now have the war wounds to show for it.

If you want to avoid deet or even looking for an alternative to citronella, the most common botanical ingredient used in anti-mosquito spray (after travelling through Thailand ten years ago, the smell of citronella for me, is forever locked in with drunken nights on SangSom whiskey buckets) then what a find Mrs White’s Unstung Hero is. A cool cologne that takes the bite out of mozzy sprays. Don’t go away without her.

£20 for 250ml, roullierwhite.com

 

How to cure a cold

How to cure a cold

Colds, flu, coughs, sneezes, headaches, sore throats, germs, illness – there’s something in the air at this time of year. A new season, a new start. But if your immune system is buckling under the pressure of seasonal change then you need to get your hands on some effective winter health care. I’ve discovered, tried and tested three easy, natural ways to prevent and cure a cold. Notepads at the ready:

1. Elderberry tincture If you’re suffering with a full, heavy cold like I was a few weeks ago then I highly recommend popping to your health food shop and asking for some elderberry tincture. Avoid the syrup version (sweet and thick and loaded with sugars) but find the concentrated oral liquid version which is just distilled herbs. Most come with alcohol (minimal amounts) and there are some without, which are slightly more expensive.

Elderberry Tincture - How to cure a cold

What does it do? Just 20 or so drops in a shot of water 2-3 times a day basically reduces the severity of your cold or flu symptoms. I was back on my feet in miracle time and back to work the next day. I can’t recommend it enough! I paid £4.99 from Haelan Centre in Crouch End, North London. I found one from Nature’s Answer online here.

2. A Vogel Echinaforce Sore Throat Spray

Another health-ranger but for prevention more than cure is Echinaforce Sore Throat Spray with extracts of echinacea and sage. Whenever you feel any symptoms such as a tingling, scratchy or sore throat then spritz a few pumps of this to the back of the throat to stop things from getting worse.

The brilliant team over at A.Vogel including the resident nutritional therapist Ali Cullen, who is a wealth of knowledge, introduced me to a pile of winter-care products and this is one of my favourites. I now carry it with me almost everywhere I go and especially on a flight where germs are rife and illness is waiting to happen. A quick spritz before getting on the plane, one during and one after seems to stop germs their tracks.

Echinacea Throat Spray - How to cure a cold

What does it do? The echinacea extract is from the fresh leaves and root, thought to be the most potent parts in supporting the immune system. The sage is antiseptic so if you already have a sore throat, it’s great at helping to relieve symptoms and clear it up. Buy it here, £8.99, avogel.co.uk.

3. A Vogel Bronchoforce Chesty Cough  Another tincture – yes I love a tincture! This oral liquid contains ivy, thyme and liquorice root to help get rid of a chesty cough, mucus and catarrh. All those pesky ailments that never quite leave your system after having a cold/flu. My yukky, hacking cough remained for a at least a week after I kicked the cold away.

Chesty Cough Spray - how to cure a cold

What does it do? I took about 30-40 drops in a shot of water when my cough felt bad and sore. I kid you not, my cough was gone in less than 24 hours. It was another miracle cure that I had to share! It doesn’t taste great (but most tinctures don’t) and totally worth it. Buy it here, £9.15, avogel.co.uk.

Would love to hear how you fight off a cold and flu and any other natural remedy suggestions..!

 

Winter beauty alchemy

Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Lotion

The February freeze keeps coming and going and with it goes the integrity of our skin. So it’s another chance to share the winter beauty alchemy I’ve been swearing by this winter – the mix of lotions and potions that have saved my skin and kept it super soft and strong.

This has been my morning routine every day for the past few months:

1. Add a few drops of facial oil to face moisturiser.

My oil of choice at the moment is Maggie Brown’s Yin 1 (rose oil) perfect for winter as it strengthens skin’s barrier against the cold and plumps it up with nourishing essential fatty acids.  I’ve been mixing this with Origins Make A Difference Cream which is a hydrating gel-like cream.

2. Add a few pumps of body oil to body moisturiser.

I’ve been using two or three pumps of  Aromatherapy Associates Renew Rose Body Oil muddled with Weleda Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Body Lotion, all over my body from neck to toes. It’s a luscious mixture that I can’t get enough of. I love both products on their own (and would be perfect for spring) but together they make cold mornings worth getting out the shower for.

Finally, a great quote from Geraldine Howard, founder of Aromatherapy Associates on why essential oils carry so many skin benefits which is so apt for this time of year:

“Essential oils are made up of very small molecules and therefore able to penetrate into the bloodstream and optimise the cell renewal process. The skin absorbs oil-soluble substances more easily than water soluble ones, so as essential oils are oil soluble, when diluted with a plant or vegetable carrier oil (most are too potent to apply directly to the skin), they travel through the epidermis, into the dermis, delivering results deeper down than products that do not contain essential oils.”

So get some oil into your beauty regime and you’ll welcome spring with better skin. What beauty concoctions do you swear by?

 

Winter health – how not to get a cold

The Organic Pharmacy Immune Tonic

The Organic Pharmacy Immune TonicThe snow caught up with London today and it was freezing! So I thought I’d introduce you to my secret weapon for warding off a winter cold. Something we could all do with at this time of year. And this little saviour is the business when it comes to keeping away aches and pains, and it’s completely natural.

It is The Organic Pharmacy Immune Tonic.

This special tincture is a blend of herbs such as Cat’s Claw (great for kidney health), Elderberry and Thyme (great for fighting infection) to strengthen the immune system and keep you feeling fit against the raging elements outside.

Add a few drops in water (I recommend juice as it doesn’t taste sweet) and down it quick! Keep this up all winter and you might have a few less sneezes than expected.

I love it. Tell me what you use against the winter chill…

£10.76 from The Organic Pharmacy