Weekend Read 22 April 2023
Life works in mysterious ways and as such I have always been fascinated by prevailing energies, most especially when those energies serve to create a safe and comforting space for each of us. A sense of belonging has always been so incredibly important, primarily because it is becoming increasingly evident that we are living in a world where our own priorities and values no longer seem to align with many of those around us. But there is a power and a strength in that circumstance which then becomes liberating because the one thing we all share is the freedom of choice and the right to exercise that choice.
The freedom of choice is at the very core of our being and it always has been. If I look back, the What’s The Alternative column in The Sunday Times was ground-breaking in so many different ways, not least because it enabled a platform for choice and education. Demonstrating that, I believe it became the single most important natural health column of its era, and although I am talking over two decades ago, its principled stance determined and embraced a different way of being and, in so doing, that very difference became the bedrock of all we shared then and all we share now.
What’s The Solution is of course based upon the tenets of What’s The Alternative and is led by Shabir. In this moment I would just like to thank the many of you who have written the kindest emails over the past few weeks. I would also like to acknowledge and thank you for continuing to send in questions regarding your personal health issues, all of which we answer even if we are unable to publish many of them. We keep What’s The Solution on the front of our site, because it allows an ongoing conversation between us and those conversations continue to offer support when it is most needed. That’s all.
What’s The Solution?
At the beginning of this year, I wrote that we would be making many changes in the months to come, mostly across products. It is of the greatest importance that we continue to align our recommended products with scientific research and findings in order to achieve the efficacy of any given supplement. As I’ve often said, it is no small thing to ask you to change the supplement you have been taking, but if we are to recommend the products we believe to be best-in-class, then this is what we have to do in order to stay true to that ethos.
The multivitamin market is a veritable minefield essentially because the vast majority of brands offer synthetic and semi-synthetic vitamins and minerals, which do little to nothing in the efficacy stakes. We have always considered it essential to take food-state supplementation and it becomes increasingly important to do so because it is virtually impossible to get all the nutrients we require from our diet on a day-to-day basis. And so, with a tra-la-la, Shabir has formulated a multivitamin and we have called it Daily Multivitamins because that is what it is.
Daily Multivitamins contains over thirty vitamins and minerals in their most bioavailable form, together with additional nutrients to help support the colon, brain, eyes and heart. This high potency multivitamin also provides mushroom extracts to support the immune system, digestive enzymes to help break down the food that we eat, Beetroot and Hawthorn, which will help support the heart, together with a wide spectrum of antioxidants to help protect the body. And that’s not all, also included are Papaya, Prunes and Goji Berries to help support the colon and green foods, such as Chlorella and Spirulina to aid metal detoxification.
We’ve made it easy, or rather Shabir has made it easy, because the dosage is one tablet each day, but within that single tablet you will be receiving the therapeutic dose required of each of the nutrients included to help prevent nutritional deficiencies, helping to ensure the optimal function of the body and all of its processes. And there we have it, a new cutting-edge and pioneering multi-nutrient which supersedes all that has gone before as it helps to future-proof our health and wellbeing. To celebrate this launch, and as an introductory offer, the price of Daily Multivitamins will be £25 across the weekend, after which it will become £30.
Daily Multivitamins One-A-Day £25 for 60 Tablets (offer ends at midnight BST, Sunday 23 April)
So, another new supplement launched, with several more on the horizon, which will probably knock everything else out of the water in their given genre. But nobody can knock Fulvic Acid Elixir out of the water because it remains one of our bestselling supplements, for good reason. Shabir has written about all of those reasons in his article linked below and having taken Fulvic Acid Elixir for the longest time, I truly believe that Fulvic is the elixir of life and I don’t make that statement lightly. So having referred you to Shabir’s article, all I need to do is to drop the price of Fulvic Acid Elixir from £30 to £25 across the weekend.
VH Editorial: Fulvic Acid – The Elixir Of Life; Fulvic Acid Elixir £25 for 480 ml (offer ends at midnight BST, Sunday 23 April)
If I’m talking about bestselling products, Magnolia Rhodiola Complex is one such product. In fact, it is our bestselling supplement for helping to lower stress and anxiety levels, and I know I write about Magnolia Rhodiola Complex often, but I feel it is important to do so because an increasing number of us are experiencing many symptoms of stress and anxiety. Stress, whether physical, hormonal or emotional, causes the increase of cortisol, the stress hormone, and high cortisol levels may block the uptake of the mood-elevating hormone, serotonin.
Furthermore, Magnolia extracts contain Honokiol, which has been shown in studies to reduce cortisol within the body and Phellodendron is considered to be an extremely important herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine as it contains various compounds which are known to help elevate mood. Joined by Rhodiola Rosea, which helps increase tolerance to various stressors and L-Theanine, usually found in Green Tea, Magnolia Rhodiola Complex offers a natural solution for stress and anxiety and as such the price drops from £28 to £25. A word of caution, please do not take this supplement if you are taking prescribed anti-depressants; it will contra-indicate.
VH Editorial: How To Combat Stress Effectively; Magnolia Rhodiola Complex £25 for 60 Capsules (offer ends at midnight BST, Sunday 23 April)
I think it is inevitable that there will always be a crossover with the health concerns we write about on What’s The Solution and the health concerns I talk about on the Weekend Read. One such concern is haemorrhoids, and because we have received many emails about this uncomfortable issue, I am taking it on here. Haemorrhoids are badly swollen, inflamed veins located around the anus and along the very lowest part of the colon in the rectum. The swollen veins that are external are commonly referred to as piles or external haemorrhoids and it is estimated that nearly 75% of all adults in the Western World will suffer from haemorrhoids at some point.
External haemorrhoids can cause discomfort, however internal haemorrhoids are usually pain-free, but if you see blood spotting, we advise seeking professional help to rule out any possible links to other diseases. With that said, Shabir covers all eventualities in his article, linked below, where he recommends three products, two of which are supplements. The first is Complete Fibre Cleanse, which drops in price from £22 to £19 and the second supplement is Diosmin Plus, which we recommend for all circulatory issues, this drops from £28 to £25. The third product is Organic Horse Chestnut Balm, offering topical relief, this product drops from £18.95 to £16.
VH Editorial: Preventing And Treating Haemorrhoids; Complete Fibre Cleanse £19 for 168 grams; Diosmin Plus £25 for 60 Capsules; Organic Horse Chestnut Balm by Viridian Nutrition £16 for 60 ml (offers end at midnight BST, Sunday 23 April)
There are many remedial tinctures on the market, but there are those which will always stand out as punching far above their weight in efficacy. Plantago Tincture is one such tincture as it has a traditional use in the treatment of sinus congestion, middle ear infections and catarrh. Having natural antibacterial properties, it also plays a role in Shabir’s Post-Nasal Drip regimen where it is joined by Marshmallow Capsules and Ivy Thyme Complex, another outstanding remedial tincture. This regimen has been tried and tested almost since the beginning of time. Our time.
Post-Nasal Drip Regimen; Plantago Tincture by A. Vogel £10 for 50 ml (drops from £11.99); Marshmallow Capsules by Power Health £4.99 for 30 Capsules; Ivy Thyme Complex by A. Vogel £10 for 50 ml (drops from £11.99)
In August 2018, the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) issued a warning that methacrylate chemicals, the key ingredients in gel nail polish, along with gel and acrylic nail extensions, were causing a contact allergy epidemic in the UK and Europe which was overwhelmingly affecting women. At that time Sarah did an in-depth investigation into this issue and we published those findings. On from that, I am sure that most of you will have seen the recent headlines which stated that the Government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards has confirmed that it is investigating those concerns including nail loosening or falling off, skin rashes, or in more rare cases, breathing difficulties.
This is a really serious issue and although we each have a choice, these warnings need to be heeded, most especially for, but not restricted to, at-home kits, which can be extremely dangerous. These kits were touted vociferously across varying channels during the pandemic and although it is difficult to estimate the damage they caused, I would urge you to read Sarah’s updated report which highlights the dangers. I will also tell you that Fulvic Nail Cream became one of our bestselling products during the pandemic, as it helped to rescue and heal nails and cuticles which had been affected, and in many cases infected, by the constant application of gel and acrylic nails.
The Trouble With Gel Nails by Sarah Stacey; Fulvic Nail Cream £9 for 30 ml (many of the independent and verified reviews on this product serve as a testimonial to the above)
And whilst I am on the subject of pandemic products, the Tweezy Facial Hair Removal tool really came into its own at a time when we needed it the most. Of course, our priorities were centred on our health and wellbeing, but notwithstanding that most of us really didn’t want to have unwanted dark hairs sprouting on our upper lips and chins even if we were in lockdown. I wrote at the time that I found the Tweezy to be quite therapeutic to use and I still do. It is a permanent fixture on my desk for the moments when and I find that those moments seem to arrive when you least want them to.
Tweezy – Facial Hair Removal £10
Right, let’s talk about eczema and psoriasis. They are quite separate concerns, as Shabir writes about in his article linked below, but both are notoriously difficult to treat essentially because we all react differently to topical products and I write from experience. Although I seem to have grown out of the eczema phase of my life, and I really don’t know how this happened, I remember trying many different natural lotions and potions all promising to help ‘cure’ eczema, yet none of them did.
Because of that experience, I am really pragmatic whenever I write about eczema and psoriasis, essentially because what will work for one, will not necessarily work for another. I suppose that is true of all products, but it is much evidenced in the treatment of these concerns. Notwithstanding that, Shabir really likes the Hope’s Relief products for skin that is prone to eczema and psoriasis, so in a way I am abdicating this over to him because I have a bit of a mental block on topical solutions and, as I abdicate, I will tell you that we are offering a 20% discount across each of the Hope’s Relief products. All I need to do here is mention that the bestselling product is their Intensive Dry Skin Rescue Cream.
VH Editorial: Treatment of Eczema and Psoriasis; Hope’s Relief Products (offer ends at midnight BST, Friday 28 April)
Staying on subject, and back in my comfort zone, there has been compelling research indicating that eczema is associated with a faulty skin barrier which allows irritants and bacteria to enter the skin causing inflammation and the dehydration of skin¹⁻². This barrier is composed mainly of ceramides and lipids, which act like mortar holding the cells in place. Although ceramides are present in foods such as wheat and rice, the quantities ingested are insufficient to make a difference to the integrity of skin.
Ceramide supplementation has been clinically proven to be effective in helping to combat itching and inflammation for those with skin prone to eczema and psoriasis. Additionally, ceramide supplementation has been shown to normalise skin surface lipids and reduce chronic dry skin, which so many of us are prone to. Skin Restoring Ceramides have helped so many with these skin concerns, but then I have always believed in treating skin conditions internally and externally. And because they really do make a difference, I am taking the price of Skin Restoring Ceramides down from £25 to £22, whilst stocks last. Caution: Please do not take if you have a wheat allergy.
Skin Restoring Ceramides by Life Extension £22 for 30 Liquid Capsules (offer ends at midnight BST, Sunday 23 April)
Squalane is a very interesting skincare ingredient, writes Shabir, and I agree with him. Squalane is a light oil, called an emollient, which is a type of compound that works like the oil present in our skin, sebum, which helps to prevent moisture loss. There is often confusion between squalane and squalene, so for clarification squalene is an oil that is naturally produced in our skin, but its production declines with age, although encouragingly it can be found in olives. Before squalene can be used in skincare, it undergoes a process called hydrogenation, which turns squalene into squalane, where it becomes very stable and skin-friendly.
Squalane Oil has superb moisturising benefits and being an oil-soluble antioxidant, it will help protect skin from damaging radicals, produced when the skin is exposed to UV radiation. Being a lightweight oil, it does not feel greasy and it won’t clog pores and additionally the skin recognises squalane, as it does with ceramides, where it will work to help repair the skin’s barrier, making it less reactive. As such it is highly unlikely to irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction. Squalane Oil is perhaps an unsung hero, except I’ve just made it heroic and as such I am dropping the price of 100% Pure Squalane Oil from £11.50 to £10.
VH Editorial: What Is Squalane; 100% Pure Squalane Oil by Garden of Wisdom for VH £10 for 30 ml (offer ends at midnight BST, Sunday 23 April)
Two more treats, which I’m bundling into one paragraph, otherwise this newsletter will never end. The first comes from Weleda and they have just released a new shower gel to add to their collection, It’s called Happiness Aroma Shower Gel and it drops in price from £8.25 to £7 for the interim. Also for the interim are Neom’s wonderful travel candles. I have a thing about travel candles and always pack them whenever I go away, I want the room to be fragranced with me, not its previous occupant. That aside, I tend to dot them around my home, so if you wish to do the same, I am lowering the price of all of Neom’s travel candles to £16 from £19. Nearly done.
Happiness Aroma Shower Gel by Weleda £7 for 200 ml; Neom Travel Candles £16 each
Finally, at the beginning of this newsletter I wrote that life works in mysterious ways, and it certainly does. I wrote last week that PerfectTed’s Organic Matcha Powder would probably be out of stock until the end of April, but behold it is now back in stock, earlier than expected. Somehow, it manifested itself onto this newsletter and although I could write reams about how that happened, I think it best if we stay with the fact that we have conquered the wait list. With energetic thought. And trust.
VH Editorial: The Benefits Of Drinking Matcha Tea; Organic Matcha Powder by PerfectTed £14 for 30 grams
And into the Saturday only treat we go, so with every order placed for £30 and above, excluding p&p, we will automatically include a tube of Intensive Hydrating Hand Cream (45 ml) by Margaret Dabbs*. Specifically formulated to help reduce the visible signs of wrinkles and an uneven skin tone, I have linked the product below so that you can read all about it.
Intensive Hydrating Hand Cream
I’m all talked out, so all I really want to say here is that although I have shared this song before, I do so once again because we are brothers in arms, lest we forget, and we are stronger together. And within, the gratitude.
Brothers In Arms by Dire Straits; The VH Playlist
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¹Am J Clin Dermatol. 2003;4(2):107-29.
²Int J Mol Med. 2016;38(1):16-22