Artichoke vera gel. 9Chickweed essences powders
scolymus) supports digestive and liver function. With the increased alcohol and sugar intake of the summer season, our livers might take a beating. Globe artichoke protects and restores the liver. It’s also a mild bitter tonic that works at multiple points along the digestive tract to increase the release of digestive enzymes and bile. With increased bile come softer stools; so this one is also a gentle laxative. Avoid if you have gallstones. 6Aloe
Moving on from indigestion and onto summer sunburn. Aloe vera gel is a traditional cooling balm for sunburn. Fresh from the plant is best – just make sure you cut the spines off first! Bottled aloe vera gels are also available. The resin of Aloe barbadensis is also a powerful laxative
ointment for insect bites, wounds, and burns. This soothing, cooling, multipurpose ointment is available from health food shops or can be made up by your herbalist. I always have a jar by the bed to rub onto itchy sand fly and mosquito bites, and it works like magic.
somnifera). If there were one herb I could spike the public water supply with, it would be Ashwaganda. It is one of a number of herbal adaptogens, a family of herbs that enhances our ability to deal with stress – mental, physical, and environmental. The holiday season can take its toll on our adrenals and leave us fatigued. Ashwaganda comes from the Ayurvedic tradition and translates to ‘strength of a bull’. I recently used it to recover from giving birth and tolerate newborn-induced sleep deprivation, and it’s the reason I’m able to write this article! Add a teaspoon of the powder to smoothies or have your herbalist make up a tincture for you.
incarnata). Relieves any anxiety surrounding family reunions, and is great for irritability too! Along with magnesium, it’s lovely for tension headaches that can pop up after too many hours stuck indoors with a droning relative, or screaming kids. 12Flower
for stress, such as Bach Rescue Remedy, or Australian Bush Flower Essences Emergency Essence, are essentials to have on hand when things just seem unmanageable. Black-eyed Susan (Australian Bush Flower Essence) is also good for impatience and irritability. 13Calcium
fluoride tissue salts are great for joint pain, muscular strains and injured ligaments resulting from overly boisterous football games and poolside slips. 14Arnica
(Arnica montana) is a brilliant anti-inflammatory and analgesic and can be used topically for bruises, sprains, and inflamed insect bites as a cream. Homeopathic preparations are also available. 15Green
such as barley grass, chlorella, and spirulina help promote detoxification, and are antiinflammatory as they provide antioxidants – things we all need a little more of during this season to combat the effects of stress. They can help supplement the lack of green leafy vegetables of a busy lifestyle or when drought strikes and the garden greens die!
Remember, foods are our most important source of nutrition – food is medicine! But many of us can do with an extra boost of just a few nutrients and herbs to keep us humming happily along over summer. If you have specific health concerns, team up with an integrative doctor, nutritionist or naturopath to help you get through summer in one piece, and feeling great. n
Casey Conroy is a holistic dietitian, nutritionist, herbalist in-training, yoga and Acroyoga teacher who loves kale sautéed in butter and dark chocolate. She is the founder of Funky Forest Health & Wellbeing on the Gold Coast, and advocates a light-hearted and practical approach to natural health.
The third point – stomach meridian ST3, which improves cataracts and swelling under the eyes – is located on the cheekbone at the same level as your nostrils, about one-and-one-half fingers outwards. Use three fingers and you are sure to touch this point. Do gentle circular movements. Alternatively, you can also just press and release.