Monday, 9 December 2013

Treatment with Naomi

I offer the following services from my clinic in Bridport.

Call 01308 423376 or email


Charge is for consultation, remedies and email or phone support between sessions. If you need more than a brief chat between sessions then we can schedule an acute (mini) appointment.

Initial visit 
(about 1 1/2 hours for an adult and 1 hour for a child)  
Adult                   £60
Child (0-16)        £40

All following visits (about 45-60 minutes)
Adult                   £40
Child                   £30

Acute Appointment
(over the phone for something urgent)
Adult and Child    £15 - inc remedy

Remedies between appointments £8 including postage

Sessions last about an hour and include recipes sent out by email.

Initial visit 
(about 1 1/2 hours for an adult, slightly less for a child)
Adult                   £50
Child (0-16)        £40

All following visits
Adult                   £40
Child                   £30


I regularly teach gluten free baking at River Cottage in Devon. Basic Day and  Advanced Day.

I run basic and advanced gluten free baking, Paleo Nutrition and Traditional nutrition day and evening classes in Bridport for up to 12 people - see here for details of upcoming classes.

You can visit my home in Bridport and have a virtually one to one gluten free or bespoke teaching day if you and a friend (up to three people) would like to club together. During the day we can cover whatever you would like to learn: basic or advanced gluten free cooking using a range of wholegrain flours, cooking without grains, gluten and grain free sourdoughs, fermenting, traditional meat cookery, yogurt making, kefir, pickled veg and Middle Eastern foods. Through the day you get to ask as many questions as you like!

If you would like me to come to your venue and demonstrate gluten free cooking or talk about nutrition, please contact me to discuss a fee and availability.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Healing Broth

Oh my dear readers, what a poor friend I have been! 

Whilst birds perched the frosty branches, round breasts fluffed, beaks touching. As flowers were bought in service stations, heart shaped cakes baked, romantic candle-lit suppers booked and eaten, eyes gazed into, hopes raised, hearts filled, heads laid to rest, the better to dream. I was nursing a cup of beef broth and a tender body, on my way back to health.

A couple of nights before Valentine's eve a nasty Norovirus landed me a sucker punch - right in the gut.

After a long, long night that ended with nothing but moths left in my tummy, I lay and regretted my lost Valentine celebration. Prosecco waited in a cupboard, all fresh bread and biscuit bubbles, a lovely piece of steak at the farm. The liveliest mixture of winter leaves and tender herbs ached to mop up those beefy, buttered juices. Yet I was unable to contemplate even reading a book. Radio four soothed me back to sleep again, whilst my immune system regrouped.

When I ventured out of the bedroom, as wobbly as a new calf, I knew instantly what my body needed. First fresh ginger tea with honey and later some chicken broth. The next day my heart longed for something deeply flavoured, clean tasting and fragrant with star anise. I set a beef broth to simmer with cinnamon, cloves, ginger and garlic, repaired to the sofa under a Jacob fleece and the house sang with savoury.

Broth is healing for all tummies, but especially good for anyone who has just had a bug. I make this broth, strain it and then pick off the meat, add some diced carrot, finely chopped leek, finely chopped garlic and maybe a little winter squash and cook for another hour or so. You can also add a few fresh peas or a little handful of fresh coriander or basil. Start with the broth and then graduate to eating a few of the vegetables with the broth and finally a little of the well cooked meat.

Healing Beef Broth

A couple of pieces of beef shin - with bone preferably - about 500-700g. Add a marrow bone if you have one.

1 red onion (or brown skin)

6 cloves garlic

1 stick celery or a thick slice of celeriac

3 thick slices of ginger - err on the generous side

2 whole cloves

a cinnamon stick

3 star anise

sea salt to taste

Throw everything into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and skim off most of the scum that rises. Turn down to a low simmer, clap a lid on and allow to simmer for at least three hours, taste and add salt to your liking. Allow everything to cool and then strain. Pick the meat off and reserve, adding back in to the stock when you are a little better.

For anyone in London at the end of March, this Wise Traditions conference sounds amazing. I'll be there in spirit, but I can't be there in body.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Convalescence - A Forgotten Art

These days a dose of flu or a bad cold means a couple of days on the sofa feeling terrible, consuming as much lem-sip max strength, boiled sugar cough sweets and as many other compatible painkillers as possible without sustaining permanent liver damage. After which time one is expected to get up and resume normal business whilst coughing alarmingly at anyone who comes near and looking a little bit sweaty and gothic. I was served yesterday in the supermarket by a very pale and clammy person, who coughed violently into her hand before grabbing my unbagged vegetables and swishing them through the checkout. I wished she had been allowed a little more time to convalesce!

In days past a dose of flu was potentially fatal and as such was regarded with proper respect by anyone unfortunate to contract it. Mothers knew how to nurse their children and folk had a few home remedies up their sleeve for such occasions. Fevers were treated by sponging, caution was taken not to chill the patient with drafts, whilst providing enough fresh air and sunlight to the sick room to speed recovery. No food was taken whilst a fever raged and nourishing broths were drunk during the long period of recovery.

The long period of recovery….

We modern souls have forgotten that a potent virus completely saps a person's strength, joy and ability to cope with the ordinary demands of everyday life. We need a period of cosseting following an assault on the system and often don't allow ourselves the time needed for recovery as we restock our reserves in order to fight off the next virus smeared on our shopping at the supermarket checkout.

If you have been suffering from a virus such as flu or gastroenteritis and find yourself feeling just a little flat and unable to return to your former bouncing self, you may need more than a little cosseting to recover your spark.

This cosseting can be self administered, so don't think I'm asking you to check in to a sanatorium, far from it. A few home remedies and well chosen herbs can set you right again. See below for some simple tips to help bring your energy back and raise immunity.

Food and Drink:

Think clean, wholefood and leafy. Broths and soups are easily digested and comforting. That whole chicken soup thing - that ain't a myth you know! Add some ginger, a little chili and garlic to beef up their anti-microbal and mucous beating qualities. Add a handful of grains such as barley, brown rice or quinoa to broths to make them more sustaining.

Stuff a handful of leaves into your mouth even if you can't face a meal; watercress is full of vitamin C and any dark leaf is packed with chlorophyll and folic acid. Greens are naturally alkaline and alkaline blood is more resistant to viruses and bacteria.

Whilst citrus juices are a bad idea due to their mucous producing tendency, vegetable juices are a great tool for recovery - carrot, watercress, celery, and beetroot are fantastic tonics - sweetened with the addition of some apple. Don't drink juices if you have had gastroenteritis though - you need broths which are much easier to digest.

Avoid dairy, refined sugar and alcohol as much as possible until your energy is back and your chest recovered. These will only produce extra mucous and sap your precious energy.

Eat little and often to maintain your blood sugar. Snack on oatcakes, dried fruit and nuts and ripe bananas (unripe produce mucous). If you know that you don't have the energy to cook, buy in some good soups from the chiller cabinet and eat these. Try not to rely on toast and cereal as easy options as they will unbalance your blood sugar and don't contain the nutrients you need to aid recovery.

I'm not a herbalist and most of them taste foul and should be treated with care, by a qualified professional. However, herb teas and essential oils can be great for lifting your mood and shifting you in the right direction.


Lemon balm is anti-depressant, thyme strengthens the lungs, lemon verbena is uplifting, ginger, mint and cinnamon are warming, adding a splash of rosewater is comforting, uplifting and warming too. Liquorice tea is great if you find yourself craving sugar and experiencing energy slumps, it also supports the lungs. Chamomile, orange blossom, rose petals and verbena make a delicious and comforting night time tea that will help you drift off and make the most of your beauty sleep. You can buy teas with these combinations - often labelled as sleepy tea. A word of caution though, if they contain valerian then save them for a pre-bed nightcap, or you will feel even drowsier than you do already in the daytime.

Essential oils:
A steam inhalation is a great way to open up your chest and encourage healing. Use one or two drops of any of the following: eucalyptus is expectorant and anti-microbal, sandalwood or fennel are expectorants (help coughs become productive), thyme is good where there are signs of bacterial infection. A drop of clary sage essential oil in a teaspoon of vegetable oil can be massaged into the neck and shoulders to encourage a good night's sleep. Asthmatics and pregnant women should take advice on the use of inhaled essential oils. If in doubt, don't use it.

Homeopathic remedies:
Tissue salts are a great way to nourish the body after a virus. New Era make a combination (Combination B, for nervous exhaustion) that works really well in my experience, comprising; calc-phos 6x, ferrum-phos 6x and kali-phos 6x. This is a great catch all remedy for convalescence where you have got ill because you burnt out or were rushing around, as many of us do before we succumb. It supports the lungs, helps iron levels return to normal, soothes and supports the nerves.

Another great remedy is Phos-ac. People needing this will feel burnt out completely and just can't be bothered to do anything. They might be craving juice, juicy fruits and refreshing things like sorbet or ice-cream; or they may just be too darned wiped out to crave a thing. These people are generally bubbly and lively when well, so the difference can be a bit of a shock. Try a 30c and take it 3 times daily for about a week or until improvement. Stop taking the remedy when you can see a definite improvement and only resume taking it if there is a relapse. Don't take for more than 10 days without consulting a professional.

Remember, if you are worried about your condition, if it seems to be worsening or simply not improving or if you experience new symptoms - go see your doctor, homeopath or similar and get some qualified help.

Hope you feel better soon! Remember to take it easy, you're not a robot you know, you're just someone who needs a little TLC.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome - Alternative Approaches

What is it? Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an increasingly common condition of the ovaries affecting women of childbearing age. The symptoms can range from irregular periods and PMS, to excessive hair growth, acne, weight gain and infertility - depending on severity.

How do you know if you have it? If you have any of the symptoms above then visit your doctor and ask for an investigation. Diagnosis is made using a non invasive ultrasound scan which will reveal whether you have cystic ovaries and bloodwork which can reveal insulin resistance and hormone imbalance. If you're reading this article, chances are you already know that you have it and are looking for information.

How does it affect fertility? Because ovulation is irregular it can be difficult to time things right and some women may barely ovulate at all with this condition - even though they may have regular periods. Eggs can also become trapped in the follicles of the ovary, causing a cyst to form or there may be a problem with the production of FSH or LH, the hormones which work in tandem to mature the follicle and signal the ovary to release an egg into the womb.

Why does it happen? The condition is synonymous with insulin resistance, many sufferers go on to develop type 2 diabetes if they do not adjust their diet and lose weight. This means that it tends to occur in women who eat a diet high in refined foods, too much carbohydrate, sugar or alcohol and lead a sedentary life. Some women simply have a tendency to insulin resistance and may be eating a healthy diet, are not overweight, yet still develop the condition. Women with very stressful lives are also prone to PCOS, probably due to the combination of hormones released as a reaction to the stressful situations in their lives which burden the liver and influence the reproductive system.

How can I treat it naturally? PCOS responds very well to a combination of diet, supplements and homeopathy. Treatment focuses on regulating blood sugar, balancing the endocrine system (thyroid, adrenals and reproductive system), exercise and dealing with stress triggers and lifestyle. It can be treated naturally, so don't despair!

Who should I see? A Homeopath or Naturopath who also works with diet would be the ideal therapist, but accupuncture can help or you could see a dietitian who specialises in therapeutic nutrition. Ask for personal recommendations from friends or apply directly to regulatory bodies such as The Society of Homeopaths.

Tips for home treatment. I would always advise you to see a professional, but there are a few things you can do to help yourself.

Regulate your blood sugar: choose foods that are low on the glycaemic index. Avoid refined carbohydrates such as white flour, white rice etc. Avoid white potatoes, anything made from maize and all sugar. Eat regularly and always have a snack between meals on something like crudités, a small handful of nuts or some oatcakes - to keep your blood sugar constant. You may need to reduce meal size slightly.

If you really need a little something sweet then use agave syrup or xylitol in place of sugar at a ratio of a third to a half less than the recipe. A couple of squares of very dark chocolate a day (80% and higher) can be a treat that you look forward to without disrupting your blood sugar.

Avoid fatty meat and cut down on cheese and butter, but do eat butter rather than margarine, which is a denatured food. Try to get your fats from sources like nuts, seeds and fish as these have a higher proportion of the desirable Omega 3 which many people are deficient in. Do not eat deep fried food.

Aim to eat real food that has not been processed. Choose lean meat, fish, cultured dairy products, lots and lots of vegetables and a little fruit. 

For more information or to discuss treatment at my practice, please email me directly. I treat all enquiries with complete confidentiality.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Swine Flu - What You Can Do To Help Yourself

It's natural to be anxious when a pandemic seems to be sweeping it's way towards you. Should you stock up on tinned goods and mansized tissues, go to the doctor for some powerful antiviral drugs or go about your business as usual and hope for the best?

Well I guess the answer is a little of all of the above, the best thing to do is to take your health back into your own hands and make sure that you are relaxed, but prepared for any eventuality. Panicking never helped anyone!

My advice would be to make sure that you are taking good care of your immune system - but not overstimulating it, as this can also lead to problems. To do this all you need to do is eat well, keep exercising, breathe lots of fresh air, drink lots of fresh water and have a few remedies standing by just in case. Cut down on foods that tax your liver such as sugar, alcohol and fat and reduce mucous producing foods such as citrus and dairy.

Listed below are some homeopathic remedies that can be used in case of an outbreak in your area.

Contact your local homeopathic pharmacy (Helios, Ainsworths or Nelsons in the UK) and ask for their combination flu nosode. This is a little like a homeopathic vaccine. They will stock it in a 30c or 200c potency which you should take as follows: 1 pill in the morning, another the same evening and a third the following morning. Then put the rest in a safe place and don't take any more unless you know you have had a probable exposure to the virus - in which case repeat again and seek the advice of your homeopath by phone.

If you do contract flu, you must notify your doctor - who may want to give you antiviral drugs. This is your own decision to make and you may not have a choice about it. 

You can mitigate your symptoms with the following remedies, which may be taken alongside antiviral medication. Take in a 30c potency up to 6 times daily for not longer than 4 days. Contact your homeopath for advice.

Aconite: Sudden onset. High fever with restlessness. Dry racking cough. Extreme anxiety.

Ant-tart: Fatiguing rattling cough. Better after bringing up phlegm. Retching, nausea and vomiting with cough. Headache in forehead from coughing.

Arsenicum: Absolutely floppy and exhausted but restless too. Cattarrh feels suffocating. Watery snot makes nostrils and upper lip raw. Everything worse at night. Anxious, nauseas with the desire to vomit.

Belladonna: Bright red sweaty skin, high fever, shining eyes, possibly delirious. Sleepy but can't sleep. Dull headache with dry nose and frequent sneezing.

Eupatorium Perfoliatum: Runny nose, sneezing, hoarse and with a hacking cough that hurts the chest. Arms and legs ache terribly, deep in the bones. Can't get comfortable lying down but unable to sit up. skin pale and sensitive to the least touch or draft of air.

Gelsemium: Sore throat with lots of irritating mucous in it. Dusky, dark red hot head. Extreme weakness in legs and aching of muscles. Just want to lie down.

There are many other remedies that fit flu like symptoms - homeopathy is indivdualised so if these remedies don't match your flu symptoms, contact  your homeopath and ask them to prescribe something that fits. The pharmacy will be able to send remedies by post, so you don't even have to leave the house.

Make sure you keep your fluid levels up if you have flu - it's easy to become dehydrated because you're producing lots of mucous and only sipping because it's painful to sit up or gulp water. Warm drinks can often be good here and herb tea with a little honey can be very nourishing. Manuka honey is especially good because of its proven antiviral action.

Finally, make a diluted mixture of teatree oil and spray about the house to protect others and freshen the air. 30 drops to a litre of water in a garden mister. You can also add 10 drops of lavender, lemon, orange or geranium to this mixture (choose one).

Monday, 27 April 2009

The Healing Power of Tears

A while ago I was watching Bruce Parry's TV programme, 'Tribe', in which he goes to live as one of the tribe in various locations. Towards the end of the last programme, in which he lives with the Penan tribe in a rapidly shrinking piece of rain forest in Borneo, I found myself weeping uncontrollably at the terrible plight they suffered. The land on which they live in harmonious symbiosis is being eroded by government sanctioned logging companies. These gentle, wonderful people may be forced to enter the 21st century against their will, just for a bit of commercial revenue.

Although truly moving and shocking, it wasn't the worst atrocity I became aware of this week - there are numerous tragic stories and many other catalysts that could produce a flood of tears if I let them. But I try not to because I have accepted the idea that it is somehow shameful to weep openly at will, whenever something moves me. In place of expression, I gulp down the tears and feel that familiar tightness in my throat. Even watching a sad film with my darling husband whom I have known for over a third of my life, I censor my feelings and don't weep as freely as I might were I alone.

I know I'm not the only one who does this.

Although weeping can be seen as a sign of weakness or sentimentality, it is widely acknowledged that those who express and own their feelings are healthier, happier and even live longer. It has been suggested that weeping, sobbing and even better - wailing, all have a therapeutic value equal to that of meditation and yoga. Quelling the negative health aspects of stress, anger and anxiety - even raising immune function. I know that when I have the odd night to myself and allow the tears that well up to come out unhindered, I often feel relaxed and cleansed, sleep better and wake feeling refreshed.

Not that I cry constantly, nor am I depressed. Tears can be a simple expression of anxiety or even anger, a release that does not require explanation. Once tears have been allowed to come, there is often a stream of associated triggers that come to mind. Someone who died, feeling lonely, a memory of something that really hurt. It can feel disingenuous to cry about these things on the back of the original catalyst, but that is the beauty of letting it all out -  tears don't need justifying and they are not a sign of failure or weakness, but a way of coping with the pressure that life exerts on your heart.

Maybe next time you find yourself welling up at the Andrex Puppy, you might try to let those tears out and not feel like a daft softy. Thinking instead about how much better you will feel when the dam has subsided and you can see clearly again. You could save yourself a packet on therapy in later years and even stave off a cold or two - but remember to stock up on the man sized tissues.

x x x

Monday, 20 April 2009

Bach Flower Remedies for PMS

Although I don't use flower remedies exclusively, they are a useful support to homeopathic treatment and I do use a few. They are great for home use though because they are very safe to use and easy to diagnose. The symptoms for diagnosis are mainly emotional, but like any holistic remedy they will have an action on your whole being - not just your feelings. The following are based on common symptoms of PMS. If you can't find one from this list that sounds like what you are experiencing, look for a book on Bach (Batch) Flower remedies.

Cherry Plum
For uncontrolled outbursts of anger or a feeling that you might be about to lose it. At the end of your tether emotionally. You may feel possessed or think that you are losing your mind.

Crab Apple
For feelings of self dislike. You may have spotty skin or feel bloated or overweight. Your confidence is low, because you think there is something unclean or unacceptable about you. (You can also use this as a face rinse for acne - two drops in warm water and splash after cleansing).

For strong capable people who are overwhelmed by responsibility. Everything just seems too much all of a sudden and you think you can't cope anymore.

Like the name of the flower, this remedy is all about impatience and irritability. Other people get in your way, don't tidy up, the kids won't listen aarg!

This is for mood swings where depression and tearfulness predominate. They just seem to come from nowhere, for no apparent reason.


Where you have been pushing yourself too hard and are simply exhausted, this can help. It is complete exhaustion where you feel you might not be able to get out of bed in the morning. If you are in this state, it is important to try and rest even if it's just for a little while. Also important is avoiding any refined foods, sugars and alcohol.

When you have chosen the remedy or a combination of up to three remedies that suits you best make up a dropper bottle (available from chemists) with boiled cooled water and a teaspoon of vodka to preserve it. Into this put four drops of each chosen remedy and shake to mix. Drop four drops of the remedy onto your tongue 3-6 times daily through the month and see how you go.

If your symptoms are very severe or persist for longer than three months then seek professional help. Back up your remedy by eating a well balanced diet rich in vegetables and low in refined foods, sugar, saturated fat and alcohol.