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Keep your children cool as they head back to school - Tips for managing stress in children 0

Last week we introduced our Back To School Collection, consisting of an extensive range of supplements and accessories to help give children a head start when entering into a new term. We have paired the collection with this blog to help parents and guardians with the preparation and sometimes stress that can come with getting your child ready to go back to school

 

Returning to school after 6+ weeks of holidays can be a daunting experience for children. The routine that they have become accustomed to over the course of the summer interval becomes interrupted and suddenly they are faced with the prospect of starting a new school year, filled with unknown variables. In this page, I offer some words of wisdom about how to prepare your children for the start of a new school term and what you should be doing to ease the transition.

Tips for minimising stress

Back to school stress, what a topical subject this week and with good reason, when we consider the many new experiences that children face over the next few weeks:

New school year, new teachers, new classroom, new timetable, new lessons and new homework plus possibly even a new school and new friends.

The long summer days of fun filled activities are suddenly replaced with racing, reading, reacting and routines!

Following are a list of tips inspired by child psychologists who have written about the subject and are aimed at helping to minimise stress.

Watch for warning signs

One of the difficulties for children and parents is that stress in children often presents in an unconscious way e.g.: tummy trouble, irritability, tiredness, being distracted, and generally feeling under the weather and out of sorts. Be aware of any signs which your child does not normally display.

Talk about feelings

If your child talks directly about being fearful, encourage open and honest discussion about the fear. 

Often the sudden change in routine as well as new and unknown factors are the main causes of anxiety. By talking to your child about what to expect and what can be done to help, many fears can be alleviated.

If the fears present through the signs mentioned above, try asking questions about their day, their experiences and what they enjoyed and did not enjoy. 

Questions help to probe deeper whilst demonstrating that you are listening to and interested in what they think and feel. Acting as their guide rather than an instructor helps to build a child’s confidence in their ability to solve their own problems.

Help get them organised

After a long summer, routine and organisation skills may have fallen by the wayside.  Avoiding a last minute rush will help prevent stress for both you as a parent as well as your child.

Tasks such as getting uniforms, stationary, school books and bags prepared in advance allow time for a more relaxed breakfast and a manageable pace the first day back.

Furthermore, ensuring that both you and your child are completely clear about drop off and collection times, places to meet and after school activities help keep everyone calm.

Create a routine

Structure can be a helpful and stabilising resource when faced with new and unknown challenges.

This is a good time to set boundaries around homework times, bedtime and alarm calls.

Maintain a balance

Back to school clubs, extra homework, meeting with friends, all these aspects of a child’s life are important but add to the demands on their time. 

Do keep an eye on their schedule for over commitment and check they are coping with all that is required for completion of homework. 

Pressure of ‘getting it right’ is a known source of stress so talking regularly about homework and how they are managing, provides a great support. Some children really benefit from extra help and outside tutoring if a subject is particularly challenging.

Build in daily downtime

The many demands in the day can be tiring and overwhelming and it’s crucial to schedule in regular slots to stop, relax, breathe and rest in whichever way is best suited to your child’s needs.

Keep calm and exercise

Young children especially can be like mini sponges picking up both on happy relaxed atmospheres and on tension.

Taking care of your own needs and doing all you can to avoid too much stress at this time will pay dividends for both you and your child. 

Do encourage chats about the positive aspects of a new school year such as seeing old friends, making new ones and learning more about the subjects they enjoy most.

Eat and sleep well

Good sleep is critical for us all and particularly for children. Lack of sleep can exacerbate stress symptoms and result in problems with behaviour, alertness, irritability, sadness and/or anger. Don’t wait until school starts to put in the bedtime boundaries but start a week or so beforehand so your children are refreshed before they begin.

A good breakfast is equally important at the start of the school day as well as healthy snacks and regular meals which maintain blood sugar levels and energy. Do keep an eye on hydration levels as well, encouraging regular intake of water (dehydration alone can seriously impact energy, concentration and stress levels).

Exercise and outdoor activity will help let off steam, and create the physical (not only mental/emotional) tiredness which promotes sleep as well as boosting those feel good chemicals that being out in a natural environment can help us produce.

Herbal help

If you are in need of a little extra help as your child adjusts to the new school year a gentle addition to the tips above could be a one of the essences from our Flower Essence range, such as child essence or emergency essence, safe for children and created to rebalance emotions in times of stress. 

Passiflora is a combination of passionflower and avena sativa (oats) traditionally used to relieve nervous tension.  It can also help promote sleep. This remedy is also suitable for children aged two and over.

What about echinacea?

With the threat of colds lurking, as well as the stress of returning to school, vitamin C is a suitable option to help both the immune and the nervous system. Nature C is a chewable tablet of naturally vitamin C, obtained from fruit and is recommended for children aged 6 and over. 

When it comes to echinacea, we often get asked if our remedies are suitable for children. Some new research on Echinaforce chewable found that it was suitable for long-term use (for a period of just over 5 months at a time), and in children aged 4-12 years, it helped to shorten the duration of cold and flu infections1. A similar study, also in children of the same age, found that Echinacea chewable did a slightly better job in preventing cold and flu infections when compared to vitamin C2

However, unfortunately, here in the UK, although we still can’t legally recommend Echinaforce chewable for any children under 12, sit tight, as this new research is certainly looking promising for the future!

 

1. Bächler A et al. Dose-dependency of Echinacea in the treatment of acute common colds in children 4-12 years. Sociéte Suisse de Pédiatrie 2018 Lausanne, Switzerland 24 May (SSP, Poster -awaiting publication) 

2. Ogal M et al. Echinacea for the prevention of respiratory tract infections in children 4-12 years: a randomised, blind and controlled study. Sociéte Suisse de Pédiatrie 2018 Lausanne, Switzerland 24 May (SSP, Poster -awaiting publication)

 

Can vitamin D prevent colds and flu? 0

When colds and flu hit they are uncomfortable and disruptive – you may have to take time off work or forgo an afternoon with friends. As a result of this we are constantly on the search for new ways to fend off viruses but could vitamin D be the answer? This issue has been given a lot of attention recently but here I look into it in more detail.

You may be thinking that vitamin D is supposed to help maintain healthy bones so how can it possibly help defend against cold and flu viruses too? Well, I featured vitamin D in my blog ‘3 essential vitamins and minerals for the immune system’  for very good reason! Vitamin D is closely linked to the immune system, helping to support its proper function and fight off colds and flu.

The research

One particular study featured in the British Medical Journal has found evidence to support the suggestion that vitamin D could help prevent colds and flu. It looked at 25 previous studies which had examined the effects of vitamin D on acute respiratory tract infections such as colds and flu, as well as bronchitis and pneumonia. This review involved over 10,000 people and the results showed that vitamin D was useful in preventing respiratory tract infections, particularly when people had low vitamin D levels to start with.

Nevertheless, as is often the case with scientific studies, there are some that would disagree with these conclusions. Earlier research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association recruited over 300 participants for an 18 month study. They found that those who took vitamin D supplements were just as likely to develop infections as the control group who took a placebo.  These researchers also concluded that vitamin D did not have any noticeable difference on the severity of cold and flu symptoms, how long they lasted or the number of days that were missed from work.

So, these are two quite different conclusions about the effects of vitamin D on colds and flu which would suggest there is still more research needed on the issue. 

 

Should I consume more vitamin D?

Although the research into vitamin D and colds and flu has had some promising results, we still need to be cautious about taking supplements. The NHS says that adults could consider taking a vitamin D supplement in the autumn and winter months when colds and flu are rife and there’s less sunshine about. However, these supplements should not exceed 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily. If you are at risk of a vitamin D deficiency however, you could benefit from taking a supplement all year round.

As well as thinking about all of this though, the product also matters a great deal as well! Some vitamin D supplements can contain a host of ingredients that will leave you puzzling over labels but to make things easier, here at A.Vogel we’re always happy to make a recommendation. 

Our friends over at Jan de Vries stock BetterYou’s DLux1000 Vitamin D Oral Spray which is one of the most effective vitamin D supplements available. That’s because, as it comes in the form of a spray, this product bypasses the digestive system meaning it is absorbed into the bloodstream much quicker than a tablet or capsule would be. Also, you don’t need to worry about the flavour here as BetterYou have added a refreshing natural mint taste to this spray! 

Alternatively, you could try our Balance Mineral Drink which contains a host of vitamins and minerals including vitamin D, zinc, magnesium and calcium. You can mix Balance with water or for a little more flavour, incorporate it into a delicious smoothie!

 

Vitamin D and diet

Although it is difficult to get all the vitamin D you need through your diet, this is a good way to help top up your levels. There are, after all, a range of foods that contain vitamin D including mackerel, salmon, milk, almond milk, mushrooms and tofu.  

You can look for recipes like:

  • Almond crepes
  • Mushroom risotto
  • Herby mushroom and puy lentil soup
  • Tasty tofu kebabs

Are there other ways to fight colds and flu?

Echinaforce Echinacea Drops are made from fresh Echinacea, a plant that has a long history in helping to fight colds and flu. Echinacea supports the immune system and in doing so helps to maintain the body’s resistance to viruses. 

This particular product stands out because the Echinacea is grown organically and then soon after it has been harvested it is put into the Echinaforce product. This means each bottle has many more active substances in it than if a dry herb were used. This, in turn, makes it more effective so this definitely gives you another option when it comes to tackling colds and flu! 

 

9 anti-ageing ingredients to look for! 0

You’re probably all familiar with the basic signs of ageing skin – those thin lines that start to appear around your eyes, the way your skin feels thinner and how your complexion suddenly seems to have lost its lustre. Knowing what to do can be tricky – after all, there’s no cure for growing older! However, there are natural ways that you can support your skin during this time, allowing your skin to age gradually rather than suddenly lose its youthful qualities. In today’s blog, I take a look at a few natural remedies for ageing skin and how you can implement them into your own skincare routine.

1. Rosewater

 

 

Rosewater has been used for thousands of years when it comes to skincare, often helping to ease sensitive or combination skin types. It possesses inherent antioxidant properties which is an extremely important quality for any anti-ageing ingredient since, unfortunately, most of the symptoms of ageing are linked to free-radical damage.

However, it isn’t just the antioxidant benefits of rosewater that make it a worthy entrant on this list – rose water also has natural anti-inflammatory abilities so it’s incredibly soothing if your skin has become more vulnerable to flare-ups.  If you’re considering using rosewater, I would recommend incorporating it into your skincare routine as a natural toner because it’s amazing at balancing your skin’s pH levels and helping to remove oils and residues from your skin. 

 

Natures Answer Triple Strength Rose Water Only £3.95!

 

2 . Aloe vera

 

Aloe vera is a familiar face when it comes to a variety of skin problems. For a start, this plant boasts a wide range of nutrients, including a few favourites when it comes to ageing skin, such as the ACE vitamins, zinc, magnesium and a few essential fatty acids! Unsurprisingly, these nutrients, along with its natural antibacterial qualities, make Aloe Vera well equipped for tackling the symptoms of ageing. 

One study conducted in 2015 seemed to confirm this as it examined aloe vera gel’s effect on skin wrinkling. Carried out over an 8 week period, participants were administered aloe vera gel. At the end of this trial, the aloe vera group demonstrated a dramatic increase in their production of collagen and a reduction in the appearance of facial wrinkles.1 

It’s important to note that aloe vera isn’t just available as a topical cream – many people are now taking aloe vera internally, which may also offer some benefits for ageing skin. Internally taking aloe vera gel can help to support your digestive system due to its anti-inflammatory properties, and relieve symptoms of constipation. Since a healthy gut can also equate to healthy skin, it’s important to bear this particular benefit in mind too!

Lilly Of The Desert 99% Aloe Vera GellyPukka Aloe Vera Juice 

 

 

3 . Green tea

 

Green tea has really taken off in the West in recent years, although in countries such as China and Japan, the benefits of green tea are old news. When it comes to ageing skin, its green tea’s rich content of antioxidants that make it such a boon. It contains a potent chemical known as EGCG, a type of catechin which not only can help to protect your skin from free-radical damage, but can also help to ward off the dangerous effects of sun damage. 

It’s for this reason that you may have noticed that so many beauty products now have ‘green tea extract’ mentioned in their ingredients list. While it might be worth experimenting with natural beauty products that contain green tea, I’m still a big advocate for trying to include more green tea in your diet – that’s why I mention in my blog ‘The best foods for ageing skin!’

Pukka Clean Matcha Green Tea Clipper Super Green Tea 

Pukka Supreme Matcha Green TeaTick Tock Organic Rooibos Green Tea

4. Comfrey

 

Comfrey is an amazing ingredient when it comes to ageing skin, containing a number of benefits that can help to soothe, strengthen and cleanse your skin. Let’s start with the basics though – it’s a natural anti-inflammatory agent so it’s a great option if your skin is sensitive while its content of allantoin can act as an emollient, keeping your skin hydrated!  

Comfrey also possesses abundant amounts of tannins, compounds that are capable of protecting your skin from toxins, drawing out impurities and encouraging your natural healing processes. Since comfrey can act as a keratinolytic, it can even help your skin to retain more moisture – a big boost considering that this can become a real problem with ageing skin!

If you want to find out more about comfrey, please read my blog, ‘The amazing skincare benefits of comfrey.’ We also offer a soothing Comfrey Cream that's ideal for gently conditoining and hydrating tired, ageing skin.

 

 A.Vogel Comfery Cream

5. Rosehip oil

 

When it comes to ageing skin, rosehip oil should definitely be at the top of your skincare list. Bursting with beta-carotene, vitamin C and essential fatty acids, this oil absorbs quickly into your skin, penetrating the deeper layers to help promote your production of collagen. 

It’s also more than capable of fighting free-radical damage, improving the pigmentation and tone of your skin whilst providing plenty of hydration and reducing any signs of inflammation. Rosehip oil is also effective at combatting wrinkles, as one 2015 study demonstrated, allowing participants to consume rosehip powder for 8 weeks. After this time, it was found that the rosehip powder helped to improve ageing-induced skin conditions and fine lines around the eyes.

 

 

Antipodes Divine Face Oil   

 

 

6. Turmeric 

 

Turmeric is definitely in trend at the moment, acting as a major buzzword when it comes to everything from tea to skincare. But why is this vibrant orange root so prized? Well, unsurprisingly, it often comes down to antioxidants. 

When it comes to the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) scale, turmeric is ranked impressively. This is because it contains powerful antioxidant compounds known as curcuminoids, which can help to protect your skin against scavenging free-radicals. 

There are also studies that show that turmeric may even potentially be able to support your skin when it comes to UV radiation, although further human trials are still needed.3 There’s even some evidence to suggest that turmeric may even help to hinder an enzyme known as elastase, which inhibits the production of elastin, a protein that is essential for smooth, pliable skin!

If you’re looking to incorporate turmeric into your skincare routine then there are plenty of turmeric face mask ideas out there for you to try – just remember that a little turmeric goes a long way! You could also try to boost your internal intake by including the spice in more culinary dishes or by taking a supplement such as BetterYou’s Oral Turmeric Spray!

Better You Turmeric Oral Spray

7. Grape seed extract

 

Grape seed extract is one skincare ingredient that’s garnered a lot of attention in recent years, cropping up both as an oral supplement and in topical products such as moisturisers and cleansers. It contains oligormeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) which are estimated to have 50 times the antioxidant power of vitamin C.5   

It’s believed these antioxidant properties help to protect your skin from the premature ageing effects of UV radiation and can help to bond with collagen, increasing your skin’s elasticity. Grape seed oil also contains a chemical called ‘resveratrol’ which can help to repair broken skin cells while nourishing and strengthening your skin6  -  no wonder it’s so popular!  

How can you make the most of this new skincare ingredient though? As I’ve mentioned, grape seed extract is now present in many skincare product but, as always, natural is best. Getting more nutrients into your cosmetics is always a good start – so many of us are aware of the importance of having a nourishing moisturiser but forget when it comes to our make-up! PHB Beauty offers a fantastic BB cream that not only contains grape seed extract, but also aloe vera and rose hip oil too!

 

 

Viridian Grape Seed Extract 110mg 

 

 

 

 

8. Coconut milk

 

When you think of coconut-related skin ingredients, the chances are your mind will immediately jump to coconut oil and for good reason. However, coconut milk is another coconut-derived product that’s also worth mentioning when it comes to skincare, particularly with ageing skin.

Let’s start with the basics; coconut oil is an amazing source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin c, calcium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium and fatty acids. 

It’s extremely hydrating so it’s a good call if you’ve noticed that your skin has become increasingly drier or if you’re suffering after spending too much time in the sun! Also, given that coconut milk also contains vitamin C, it still supports your production of collagen as well as strengthening your blood vessels so nutrients are transported more efficiently to the deeper layers of your skin.

You can still consume coconut milk internally of course, but if you are curious about how to introduce this creamy milk into your skincare routine, then why not start by using it to whip up a natural make-up remover? Simply mix 1 part olive oil with 2 parts milk and you’ve created a simple make-up remover that’s perfect for getting rid of stubborn eye make-up!

9 . Avocado oil

Olive oil and coconut oil can make way, there’s a new skin-boosting oil in town. Avocados are incredibly rich in essential fatty acids and carotenoids so it’s no surprise that avocado oil has taken the world of skincare by storm. 

One particular carotenoid that it contains, lutein, is often a nutrient that I recommend when it comes to eye care, however, this antioxidant can also have a nourishing effect on your skin, protecting against sun damage and even enhancing the absorption of carotenoids from other food sources!7  

Not bad and, thanks to its burgeoning popularity, you can find avocado oil in a variety of skincare products, some specifically formulated for ageing skin like Dr Hauschka’s Regenerating Day Cream. Containing a blend of avocado oil, jojoba oil and rose flower extract, this moisturiser has been prepared with ageing skin in mind which is why I only recommend it for those over the age of 40! 

 

 Antipodes Avocado and Pear Nourishing Night Cream  

 

 

 

 

 

1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25759593

2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4655903/

3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20426620

4https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/how-turmeric-keeps-you-looking-young/

5https://www.livestrong.com/article/131725-grape-seed-extract-skin-benefits/

6http://www.skinstore.com/blog/beauty-center/grape-seed-benefits/

7https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-23877/is-avocado-oil-the-next-antiaging-superfood.html

How can I get rid of the puffiness under my eyes? 0

Puffy eyes are a common problem that can be caused by a wide variety of factors, ranging from fluid retention to sleep deprivation to allergies. Since they are often considered to be a superficial issue, when it comes to treatment, home remedies tend to take precedence. Today, I’m going to explore a few of these home remedies, as well as some diet and lifestyle tips that can help you to get rid of those puffy eyes!

 

Drink more water!

When you think about the impact of dehydration, you probably think about your kidneys, digestion and bladder health and, while all of these areas can be affected, your eyes are no exception either! In cases of dehydration, your eyes can start to swell. This is because the retina veins, which carry blood out of the eyes, can become obstructed.  Blood can then start to build-up in your eyes which causes them to become swollen and puffy – not ideal!

Drinking plenty of plain water every day can prevent this issue from occurring, not to mention it can safeguard a number of other organs too, such as your kidneys, liver and brain! The problem is that these days it’s easy to turn to other beverages such as coffee, tea and fizzy drinks which don’t actually keep you hydrated and, in some cases, can even act as a mild diuretic.

Ideally you should be drinking 1.5 – 2 litres of plain water but I usually try to spice things up by infusing my water with fruit or, if I’m hitting the gym, the A.Vogel Balance Drink,  is rich in electrolytes such as potassium and calcium, helping to keep you hydrated when you're on-the-go.

 

Eye drops!

 

It’s that time of year again and across all of the UK, the pollen count is fluctuating. This means that if you suffer from an allergy like hayfever, you’re probably experiencing all kinds of unhappy symptoms from congestion to itchy, inflamed eyes. In these circumstances, it might be best to consider using eyes drops to supply some much needed moisture and to soothe any irritation. Here at Greenlife we have moisturising Eye Drops that contain extracts of Euphrasia, a herb sometimes known as Eyebright which can help to ease inflammation, as well as hyaluronic acid, an extremely moisturising nutrient.

 

 

Watch what your eating!

 

 

Too much salt can cause water retention which in turn can contribute towards puffy eyes. The problem is that nowadays salt is often concealed even in the unlikeliest places, with frozen foods, sauces, cottage cheese and cereals all having a high sodium content. That’s why it pays to be label savvy and to keep an eye on what you’re eating. You could try including more foods with potassium in your diet, such as bananas, avocados and tomatoes, to kelp balance your salt levels.

 

Aloe Vera!

 

Aloe vera is something of an all-rounder when it comes to your skin, possessing natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Similar to cucumber, the antioxidants present in aloe vera help to ease irritation as well as combatting free-radical damage while the hydrating properties of the plant work to restore moisture to the delicate skin under your eyes. Rather than apply aloe vera juice straight to your skin, it may be worth investing in a high-quality eye serum that already incorporates this ingredient.

 

Ice Compresses!

 

Finally, a cold compress can do wonders for relieving puffy, swollen eyes, even soothing irritation and itchiness. They’re also simple and quick to make – simply wrap a couple of ice cubes in a cloth and apply to your eyes for 10-15 minutes. This should be long enough to feel the benefits and hopefully ease any swelling!

Can you have an environmentally friendly period? 0

Wipes, straws and plastic bottles are just some everyday products that have come under fire recently for the damage they can do to the environment.  However, also in the spotlight are sanitary products such as pads and tampons which are used for a few hours at a time and then placed in the bin. They cannot, unfortunately, be recycled and so are not environmentally friendly. Nevertheless, there are few alternatives that are a little kinder to the world around us and so in today’s blog we'll discuss what these are. 

When it comes to choosing sanitary products, most of us tend to stick to the same type each month without questioning what else is available. After all, it’s easy to nip to the supermarket for our usual brand of tampons or pads rather than investigating what else is available. According to the Women’s Environmental Network, women in the UK will use over 11,000 disposable menstrual products in their lifetime.1  

Of all the sanitary products out there, pads and tampons are used most often, perhaps because they offer so much choice in terms of size and absorbency. However, these products also do the most damage to the environment, partly because of what they’re made from, and partly because of how they are disposed of after use. 

According to an organization called City to Sea, the average menstrual pad contains as much as four plastic bags - that means they are 90% plastic!2 Plus, every day in the UK 1.4 million of them get flushed down the loo, along with 2.5 million tampons.3 This waste ends up in seas, landfill, beaches and rivers and causes havoc for the environment and nature around us.

So, what environmentally friendly menstrual products are available as an alternative to these?

 

Re-useable pads

If you’ve used the same sanitary product for years without change then the prospect of suddenly switching to something environmentally friendly may make you feel a little nervous. However, that’s where re-useable pads come in useful!

What are they?

These are very like regular pads in that they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from thin panty liners to thick pads for night time use. The main difference however, is that these pads are made from naturally absorbent materials such as cotton and bamboo rather than the synthetics and plastics found in regular sanitary towels. This soft material makes them super comfy for day-to-day wear.

How does it help the environment?

As the name suggests, these re-useable pads do not have to put in the bin straight after use and can instead be washed and re-used multiple times.

Other benefits:

These pads come in a variety of colours and patterns which keeps staining to a minimum. Also, with none of the chemical fragrances that you often find in sanitary pads, they are less likely to cause irritation or itching. 

Down side:

You’ll have to switch to another sanitary product if you want to do any sports like swimming.

 

Re-useable tampons

If you are used to wearing tampons then it’ll be easy to switch to re-useable ones!

What are they?

Re-useable tampons work the same as regular tampons but are washable and are made from materials other than plastic such as organic cotton.

How does it help the environment?

Cotton is more biodegradable than the materials used in other tampons plus, because these ones can be used over and over again, you will not produce as much waste as you would with a regular tampon.

Other benefits:

These tampons are gentle on the body and are pretty easy to get in and out.

Down side:

If you choose cotton tampons you’ll have to get used to washing the blood out of them regularly. Also, some of the cheapest cotton tampons are not strong enough for women with a heavy flow. 

Top tip:

After they’ve been washed, cotton tampons can feel a little dry so work them with your hands a little to soften them up.

 

Menstrual cups

These have received a lot of attention recently because they are less damaging for the environment than more traditional products used during menstruation.   

What are they?

A menstrual cup is an internal sanitary product that is made from medical grade silicon, latex or TPE. It comes in various sizes and sits in the vagina where it collects the menstrual flow rather than absorbing it as tampons do. This means it accommodates a whole range of flows, plus it can be used throughout your period, including during the night and when doing sporting activities. 

How does it help the environment?

These are environmentally friendly in that they can be used for several years – some would say up to ten years - just empty and rinse it after use then reinsert. 

Other benefits:

Unlike tampons, menstrual cups come with no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. In fact, depending on your flow, most menstrual cups only need to be emptied twice a day. This means you can do it when you get home rather than worrying about it when you are out. 

Also, as one menstrual cup can last up to a decade, it’s a lot cheaper than purchasing disposable sanitary products every month!

Down side:

At first menstrual cups can be a little tricky to use as they can be hard to insert and it may feel a little strange to have something wedged inside you. So, if you want to give this a go please be aware that it might require a little perseverance!

Top tip:

To ensure your menstrual cup is as clean as it can be I’d recommend sterilizing it in between your periods. To do this you simply put it in boiling water for a few minutes.

 

Natural sanitary pads and tampons

Online and in many large health food stores you can find organic and natural feminine hygiene products.

What are they?

These are much the same as your high street brand of pads and tampons only they are made from biodegradable and compostable materials. 

How does it help the environment?

Natural sanitary pads and tampons are typically made from organic cotton and are free from bleach, parabens, chemical additives, latex and plastic. This means they are biodegradable and so are much kinder on the environment than regular pads.

Other benefits:

These are usually free from fragrance and dyes so are less likely to cause irritation than other pads. This means it’s a great option for women who have sensitive skin.

Down side:

With so many different, natural sanitary products available in a range of absorbencies and sizes, it’s hard to find fault with them!

 

 

Additional help

With all these options available, it is definitely possible for women to have an environmentally friendly period! 

This blog should have given you some information on what’s available so that you are able to choose the best one for yourself. 

However, alongside choosing the right sanitary product for yourself, it’s also important that you are able to manage your period symptoms. We offer arrange of herbal remedies that could help including Agnus Castus, Magnesium + B6 and Shatavari.

1 https://www.wen.org.uk/about-environmenstrual-campagin/  

2 https://www.citytosea.org.uk/about-page/plastic-pollution/menstrual-products-choice/  

3 https://www.wen.org.uk/whatstheproblem/ 

4 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11871874/Period-product-Sanitary-pads-you-can-reuse.html