Weekend Read 28 October 2023

Weekend Read 28 October 2023

Holding us all together, it remains of great importance that we are balanced in the advice we give and the products that we recommend in order that we may determine the efficacy and safety of such products based upon extensive research.  Such research enables us to take a stance, a stance that we openly share and that stance is often diametrically opposed to the consensus of the health and beauty industry. 

I am not here to win acclaim from the health and beauty industry, because trust me that is never going to happen, and I wouldn’t even want it.  I am not that shallow to think for one moment that it actually means anything, because it doesn’t.  What means something is that we look after each other to the best of our ability and if that means we have to stand in our own truth in order to help make a positive difference to our health and wellbeing, that’s what we will do, most especially when it comes to staying safe, which must surely be the most important thing here.

Many of you will have seen the recent guidance from the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) which has lowered the recommended daily consumption of CBD to 10 mg from 70 mg daily. This updated precautionary advice limits consumption of CBD to approximately four to five drops of 5% CBD oil daily and it is a significant move from the FSA who are concerned about long-term potential health risks. It seems unlikely that the FSA will reverse their decision in the foreseeable future.

Objectivity and balance are critical and with much media coverage on this issue, I would like to clarify our position regarding CBD products.  We do not list CBD products on our site and this was a decision we made several years ago.  There were many reasons for that decision, but primarily it was because we didn’t believe there was sufficient independent clinical evaluation to substantiate the claims being made, we still don’t, and we also knew there could be a potential safety issue with CBD products after extensive discussions and guidance from the Cabinet Office and the FSA at that time, for which I am grateful.

In choosing to uphold that guidance, I am very clear that I would make the same decision again because it may just be a ‘potential’ risk, but it is a risk nevertheless.  So, with all of that said, we will look at the ways we can support our Endocannabinoid System next and I will just end this by saying that we don’t do ‘bandwagon health’ and we certainly don’t do ‘bandwagon beauty’.  In a world where we are led to believe that CBD in beauty products will make a discernible difference, I ask a pertinent question.  A discernible difference to whom?

Given the above, let’s do it our way and we will begin with an explanation of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is a network of lipid type chemicals and cell receptors that are densely packed throughout the brain and the body.  A group of receptors in the brain, called the cannabinoid receptors, or CB1 receptors, control the levels and activity of most of the neurotransmitters in the brain with immediacy, which include hunger, temperature and alertness.  To stimulate the CB1 receptors, the body produces endocannabinoids and we all have these chemicals within our bodies, but in small amounts.

A second type of receptor, called the CB2 receptor, exists as part of the immune system and helps in managing the immune system of the gut.  It also helps control intestinal inflammation and the associated pain that often accompanies inflammation, so we need to look at how we can powerfully feed and support the Endocannabinoid System to its optimal level with targeted nutrients, and I will begin with the supplement that we recommend to help alleviate chronic pain.  That supplement is called Neuro Logical Plus.

Neuro Logical Plus contains Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), a fatty acid naturally found in the body that targets chronic pain.  Working at the site of pain, it turns off pain signals, thereby offering a safe and non-addictive option to pain killers.  PEA is joined by vitamins B1, B6 and B12 to help support neurological functions and although PEA was initially discovered over fifty years ago, ongoing research has indicated that the therapeutic actions of both compounds, CB1 and CB2, overlap in their biochemical roles. 

The efficacy of PEA has been demonstrated in multiple clinical trials and Nobel Prize laureate, Rita Levi-Montalcini, found that PEA can calm overactive mast cells.  As such it is often described as a safe alternative to cannabidiol (CBD), so, in safety, I am dropping the price of Neuro Logical Plus down to £38 from the recommended retail price of £42.95.

I have written about Neuro Logical before, but at that time I was using the lower dose of this supplement.  Of course there is room for both, but Neuro Logical Plus uses double the dose of PEA and we would therefore recommend Neuro Logical Plus for optimum relief.  Notwithstanding that, I am also dropping the price of Neuro Logical from £24.95 to £21.95.  Both for the interim. 
VH Editorial: Supporting Our Endocannabinoid System; Neuro Logical Plus by Lamberts £38 for 60 Capsules; Neuro Logical by Lamberts £21.95 for 60 Capsules

I think it is important to say here that there are other herbs and nutrients that sit alongside Neuro Logical Plus in helping to support the Endocannabinoid System.  Turmeric, a spice that contains curcumin, is known to raise endocannabinoid levels, but Turmeric is ill-absorbed by the body, which is why we recommend Turmeric Curcumin C3 Complex, which contain curcumin-type compounds.  In recognition of its supporting role, Turmeric Curcumin C3 Complex drops in price from £26 to £23.
VH Editorial: Turmeric – The Spice With Health Benefits; Turmeric Curcumin C3 Complex £23 for 60 Capsules

Staying on theme, let me just say that Green Tea contains compounds that prevent the breakdown of endocannabinoids and compounds which bind to cannabinoid receptors helping to support their function.  I haven’t written about Organic Matcha Powder for quite a long time, but it is far more potent than Green Tea and Matcha is very high in antioxidants thereby providing multiple health benefits.  Shabir does the lowdown on Matcha in his article linked below and I will just say that my love for The Perfect Whisk is eternal and I smile every time I use it.  Small pleasures.
VH Editorial: The Benefits Of Drinking Matcha Tea; Organic Matcha Powder by PerfectTed £14 for 30 grams; The Perfect Whisk by PerfectTed £13

Finally, Omega-3 fatty acids are also required by the Endocannabinoid System for the manufacture of chemicals used.  Krill Oil is a source of omega-3s which are surrounded by phospholipids, which means that the omega-3 fats are able to enter every cell and gland with ease.  I absolutely know that I wrote about Neubria’s Krill Oil two weeks ago, but I was writing about it in a different context.  So here it comes again and once again I am lowering the price of Neubria’s Krill Oil to £25 from £29.99.  And I am done on this subject.  For now.
VH Editorial: The Benefits Of Krill Oil; Neubria Krill Oil – For Omega 3 £25 for 60 Capsules

Moving on, Shabir and I are often asked which supplements we take, so let me say here that we don’t take the same supplements.  Inevitably there are certain supplements that we both take, such as Mega Probio, but if you want to know which supplements Shabir takes, he has listed six of them in his article linked below, which he updates on a regular basis.  I have written about two of those supplements above, Turmeric Curcumin C3 Complex and Neubria’s Krill Oil, so all I am going to add here is that I am also lowering the price of Super Ubiquinol CoEnzyme Q10 from £21 to £19, which also appears on Shabir’s list.
VH Editorial: My Essential Vitamins For Optimal Health; Super Ubiquinol CoEnzyme Q10 by Life Extension £19 for 30 Softgels (offer ends at midnight GMT, Sunday 29 October)

I think it is important to take a further look at Co-Enzyme Q10 because there are so many different forms of CoQ10 available. This is particularly important if you are taking statins. Statins, which are prescribed for lowering cholesterol, work by reducing the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver, but unfortunately they also reduce the production of Co-Enzyme Q10.  Co-Enzyme Q10 is required by the heart muscle tissue for its optimal function as well as by all other tissues, so we believe it is imperative to supplement with CoQ10 if you are taking prescribed cholesterol medication.  And in this instance we recommend Super Ubiquinol CoEnzyme Q10 Super Strength.
VH Editorial: Choosing The Right Co-Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10); Super Ubiquinol CoEnzyme Q10 Super Strength by Life Extension £40 for 60 Softgels (drops from £45) (offer ends at midnight GMT, Sunday 29 October)

And as one thing leads to another, let’s talk about heart health and how best to help protect against some of the concerns associated with the heart, which include high blood pressure, plaque formation, restricted blood flow to the heart and of course high levels of cholesterol, which we have addressed above.  High blood pressure is the most common concern and it is often termed at the ‘silent killer’ because unless you know what the symptoms of high blood pressure are, you would not necessarily know that you have high blood pressure. 

In medical terms, high blood pressure is known as hypertension and it is a serious concern which leads to thousands of deaths every year from heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.  We believe it is imperative that blood pressure levels are monitored frequently most especially if you have any symptoms which could be related to hypertension.  These include vision problems, severe headaches, pain in the chest area, breathing problems, blood in urine and a heartbeat that feels irregular.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must see your doctor immediately.  I cannot overstate the importance of this.

There are of course many supplements available to help support heart health and any number of herbs which are reported to be beneficial to heart health.  Two of those herbs are Hawthorn, which has been used for many years as a heart tonic, and the Indian herb, Arjuna.  These herbs are often termed cardiotonics as they have the ability to enhance the contraction phase of the heart, which means that more blood is pumped around the body.  Several studies have also indicated that hawthorn extracts have multiple actions on the heart, including strengthening and toning the heart muscle.

In recommending Cardio Peak with Standardized Hawthorn and Arjuna, let me also say that Arjuna has been used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine and although it has a wide variety of benefits, its greatest use is as a cardiotonic herb to help protect the heart and its protection properties include its ability to help reduce arterial plaque formation and to reduce LDL cholesterol and help raise protective HDL cholesterol.  It sits well with Co-Enzyme in this regard, so let’s continue the theme as I drop the price of Cardio Peak down to £29 from £32.  Wrapped.
VH Editorial: High Blood Pressure; Cardio Peak with Standardized Hawthorn and Arjuna by Life Extension £29 for 120 Capsules (offer ends at midnight GMT, Sunday 29 October)

Right, before we do some more seasonal gifts, I would just like to say that at the beginning of this month I wrote about the Repose Duo from TEMPLESPA.  Repose Relaxing Night Cream combines aromatherapy and skincare in a rich formulation which will help calm, smooth and nourish your skin whilst you sleep.  For every purchase of Repose Relaxing Night Cream, we will gift you another one jar of Repose free, plus a donation of £6 will be given to the Dreams Come True Charity.  This offer will end at midnight on Tuesday 31 October, so you may wish to order this now and as such we will honour all orders placed up until midnight on Tuesday.
Repose Duo by TEMPLESPA £46

Can we talk about Soapsmith please, and I want to talk about Soapsmith because I love this brand and it is a brand we have supported since its inception.  The range includes the exceptionally decadent Bloomsbury Bath Soak, which is one of my favourite bath treats of all times, but there are so many other wonderful products in the range and they include the two seasonal offerings from Soapsmith, the Christmas Edition Bergenhus Bath Soak and the Christmas Edition Bergenhus Soap.  Bergenhus is a festive part of Norway where the founder, Samantha Jameson, travels to at this time of year to share time with her extended family. 

Wanting to capture the juxtaposition of the Atlantic Ocean and the forest during winter, Sam created these two products using natural and nourishing ingredients.  Both products have top notes of the ocean and festive Fig syrup, middle notes of Ginger, Lily and Jasmine with grounded Amber resin and Sandalwood to finish the base.  Both products are of course limited editions, but there is more, there is a treat and I’m not sure how long this will last, but with any Soapsmith product bought, we will automatically include a bar of Marble Arch Soap (50 grams), which is worth £5 (whilst stock lasts).  Only one gift per customer in order that we may share as widely as we can.
Christmas Edition Bergenhus Bath Soak by Soapsmith £30 for 500 grams; Christmas Edition Bergenhus Soap £12 for 120 grams; All Soapsmith Products

A few months ago, I wrote about a new product launch from Margaret Dabbs.  It was her Pure Nail Strengthening Treatment, an advanced formulation for brittle nails which was designed to aid nail recovery, to promote healthy nail growth and to help strengthen weak and peeling nails.  Used as a treatment on bare nails, or as a hardening treatment base coat under nail polish, it contains Neonyca, a naturally derived Celery seed complex which is known for its deeply hydrating benefits.  Every time I mentioned this product, we went out of stock because the demand was so high, but we made it through. 

That was then and this is now, because the Pure Nail Strengthening Treatment has transformed itself into the Pure Nail Strengthening Christmas Tree Bauble and it is ever so cute.  I don’t suppose it really matters whether or not you hang it on a tree, I think it is a brilliant stocking filler.  But never mind what I think, this is another one of those limited edition seasonal treats which may not last long.  It is really hard to predict.  So, I’m not going to offer any predictions.
Pure Nail Strengthening Treatment Christmas Tree Bauble by Margaret Dabbs London £16 for 9 ml

Two more seasonal gifts and both are from TEMPLESPA.  Let’s begin with their Recharge Spa, a collection of products including Rest Easy, Take Your Time, Good For You, Zest For Life, AAAHHH! and Seize The Day.  Perhaps you may wish to seize the moment because these products will help to either restore, energise or relax the mind, body and soul, using botanical blends of Mediterranean essential oils.  Full product details are on the product page and I actually think that some of these curated gift sets should be available throughout the year.  For the moments when.  And there are many moments when.  A time to stash.  Perhaps.
The Recharge Spa by TEMPLESPA £28

I think we all have moments when we want to be alone and take the time to be.  It doesn’t mean we are anti-social but taking time for yourself is really important just to get a sense of self, which in and of itself is a gift.  Do Not Disturb contains some of my favourite TEMPLESPA products, which include Quietude, Drift Away, Duvet, Sea-Scape Revitalising Salts and Repose.  Once again, full product details are on the product page, so let me just say that Do Not Disturb is £50, it has a product value of £76 and it comes with an adorable, embroidered pillow to hang on a doorknob.  To gift or self-gift.  Ponder.
Do Not Disturb by TEMPLESPA £50

My goodness, we have almost reached the end of the newsletter and with the exception of Repose I haven’t written about one skincare product, so let’s do it now.  And we might as well do another one of those oversized serums and it’s going to be Neurophroline Serum.  Firstly, because it is one of my favourite serums, secondly because it is clinically proven to take down cortisol levels in our skin and thirdly because it does make a discernible difference to our skin and that’s what really matters here.  Staying real, you will receive 45 ml of Neurophroline Serum for the price of 30 ml.  I’m tempted to write more, but I don’t think I will.  Today.
VH Editorial: Stress Ages Our Skin; Neurophroline Serum by Garden of Wisdom for VH £20 for 45 ml

So, into the Saturday only treat we go and with every order placed for £35 or more, excluding p&p, we will automatically include Green People’s Intensive Repair Shampoo (30 ml)*.  Intensive Repair Shampoo helps to strengthen and repair dry, damaged or weak hair.  Rich in active nutrients and proteins, it is suitable for dry, coloured, chemically treated and frequently blow-dried hair.  Full product details below.
Intensive Repair Shampoo

Still holding us all together at the end of this Weekend Read, music will suffice in the absence of words.
Watermark by Enya; The VH Playlist

With love, gratitude and hope.

Gill x


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Prices and products advertised at times of sending and publishing are subject to change and availability.

*Free gifts will only be granted if the items purchased are physical products and your total basket value exceeds the required amount noted.  Saturday only treats are subject to change should the specified gift run out prior to your purchase and are only included in orders placed between 7.45am (GMT) and Midnight (GMT) on the Saturday the Weekend Read is sent.  VH Addicts membership is a digital product and therefore will be excluded from the basket value.  Some gifts are blocked from international shipping due to local limitations imposed based on the country destination.  If this is the case, we will replace the gift with one that is able to be shipped to your destination.