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Ask the Experts

Experts

Independent health store advice on combating hormonal issues and PMS

Inside the female body there is a constant complex interplay of sex hormones that kickstart at puberty and continue to fluctuate throughout our lives. For some women maintaining this delicate balance can be difficult, causing premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and other hormonal issues. Typically occurring about two weeks before a woman’s period and disappearing once it has begun, PMS is a problem many of us experience at some stage in our lives. There are many different symptoms associated with PMS which can include mood swings, fluid retention, food cravings and skin problems...
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Experts

Independent health store advice on skin issues

Many of us take our skin totally for granted as long as it seems to look alright. But what happens, when there’s a change? Some changes are inevitably linked to getting older, but others may include itchy patches, scaly, flaky parts, redness, acne and so on...
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Experts

Independent health store advice on having a healthy pregnancy

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Sinéad Dundon, nutritional therapist at Adare Health Foods in Adare, Co Limerick...
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Independent health store advice on natural help for joints and bone health

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Lorin Taylor of Licorice Healthfoods in Portumna, Co Galway...

Customers often come into our shop and ask for help with aches and pains. The remedies range from the old-fashioned cider vinegar, honey, molasses combinations, right through to the latest high-end supplements such as UC11, curcumin and ginger. All are valid and have their place, and many people get great relief from using a combination of them.

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Independent health store advice on allergies, hay fever and sinus issues

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Emma Taylor, nutritional therapist at Down to Earth, South Great George’s St, Dublin 2...

Seasonal allergies affect many people in Ireland with an estimated 1 in 10 suffering from hay fever. Allergies are the result of histamine, a compound found in the body (and certain foods) that is released when the person is exposed to an allergen. There are many natural ways to tackle the symptoms of hay fever and allergies without having to resort to medication.

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Independent health store advice on fighting colds and flu

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Geraldine Hollywood, nutritional therapist and manager of Here’s Health in Mahon Point Shopping Centre, Cork...

Coughs, colds and sniffles only catch you if your immune system is down, and if you do pick up a winter ailment, natural treatments are often the best. But knowing what works for relief of symptoms and how to support your immune system so you stay well is important.

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Independent health store advice on nutrition for dealing with stress

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Davina Dowling NT, MNTOI, resident nutritional therapist at Evolv in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford

Stress is largely unavoidable nowadays due to the many complexities of life including work, family and relationships. Some stress can be motivating or possibly beneficial, but chronic stress is a large contributor to many health problems.

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Independent health store advice on nutrition for conception and pregnancy

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Kathy Whyte, who has a Masters in Nutritional Medicine with a special interest in early life nutrition. Kathy recently presented on early life nutrition at the West Waterford Festival of Food.

Early life nutrition refers to nutritional exposures prior to conception and during pregnancy, infancy and early childhood. These exposures have an important influence on quality of life and health into adulthood. Recommendations for nutrient intakes and the need for supplementation before and during pregnancy continue to be a source of confusion for parents. In recent years there has been growing interest in the nutritional requirements during these critical periods of development.

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Independent health store advice on healthy snack foods

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Bernadette Cass, manager of The Fruit ‘N Nut Place in Portlaoise

Busy modern life has meant the loss of spare time for many people. So food is often chosen because it is as easy as possible to get ready. Ideally it should also be good for you, with as little interference as possible. Our mantra is Wholefoods... more nutrients – healthier and happier you!

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Independent health store advice on raw foods

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health store can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue Katherine Colfer, manager at Full of Beans, Waterford talks about raw foods

The Paleo diet, popularised by Dr Loren Cordain, has been in vogue for the past few years and it seems to be here to stay. The increase in the amount of raw foods sold in Full of Beans can definitely be attributed to the popularity of the Paleo diet. People are trying out new recipes, and are looking for raw foods needed for recipes, and what better place to source these ingredients than a health food shop?

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Independent health store advice on eco cleaning

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health store can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue Olive Finn, manager at The Olive Branch in Clonakilty, Co Cork talks about natural cleaning in the home

Here at The Olive Branch we are undergoing major upheaval with a new extension being added on to our shop. We thought the clever way to do this without too much disruption would be to build the new part of the extension before knocking into the shop, while continuing to stay open and trading.

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Independent health store advice on natural toiletries

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Helena Murphy, manager of Loop de Loop in Castletownbere, Co. Cork about natural toiletries, personal care products and feminine hygiene

Hand soap, shower gel, toothpaste, deodorants, shampoos and moisturisers are just some bathroom products we use on a daily basis. These can be filled with chemicals, many of which are not good for us. So how can you avoid or minimise your exposure to these chemicals?

Always read labels and consider the ingredients in the products. Switch to more natural products, especially ones that have some organic ingredients. Your local health food store will stock a wide range of products that will be more natural, organic and contain less chemicals.

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Independent health store advice on Christmas gifts

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Catherine Devine, manager and Donna Troy and Phyllis Molloy, sales assistants of Horan’s Healthstore in Fermoy, Co Cork

Don’t let Christmas lose its sparkle this year by getting overwhelmed with last-minute preparations or shopping. Staff in health stores around Ireland are here to help you relax, sit back and enjoy the big day.

Preparations for baking the traditional Christmas cake and pudding will soon be under way. Health stores stock delicious organic spices, fruits, nuts and gluten-free flours ideal for baking treats for members of the family with special ingredient needs.

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Ask away - independent health store advice on seaweed

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to seaweed expert and Tir na n’Og, Sligo customer Prannie Rhatigan about sea vegetables. Prannie is a medical doctor with a lifetime experience of harvesting, cooking seaweed and author of the award-winning book Irish Seaweed Kitchen and new pocket Guide to Edible Seaweeds.

All seaweeds can be considered powerhouses of nutrients, containing minerals, vitamins and trace elements, whilst also having a range of phyto-defensive properties and containing some unique compounds which are not found in land plants. Seaweeds also contain polysaccharides, some of which act as soluble fibre, which means they are not absorbed by the digestive system and contain no calories.

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Ask away: independent health store advice on healthy joints and bones

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Mary Wedel, owner of An Tobairin in Bandon, Co Cork

Having healthy bones and joints is crucial for an active and healthy life, but often customers ask us for help with aches and pains that are limiting their movement and lifestyle. Bone is living tissue that is in flux throughout our lifespan, and is constantly being broken down and built up. Calcium, magnesium, vitamins D, C, K and boron are vital for strong bones.

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Ask Away: independent health store advice on healthy snacks

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Antonia Murray, owner of Alive and Well in Carlow town


Walking into a health food store is always an exciting visit, full of interesting foodie ideas ready to stimulate the health-conscious shopper. The array of healthy options is vast with new and exciting products appearing on the shelves. Your local health food store not only provides tried and tested items that people love but also new groundbreakers.

There are many types of healthy snacks to choose from depending on your needs. Healthy snacks for energy before a workout or just to help get through the afternoon lull, snacks for children and snacks for helping to keep the pounds off. There are savoury snacks, ‘sweet’ snacks and snacks geared to provide energy.

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Ask Away: independent health store advice on menopause and PMS

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Martha Brennan, homeopath and owner of Harvest Fare in Blessington, Co Wicklow


Most women now are aware that there are natural choices to help with symptoms of PMS and menopause and independent health stores can offer advice and support. When a woman comes in looking for help with these issues we chat with them to get an idea of their lifestyle, medical status and symptom history and make recommendations from there.

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A photo of a baby

Ask Away: independent health store advice on natural babycare

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Sian Eustace, a homeopath who owns Healing Harvest in Kinvara, Co Galway.


The discerning customer does not have to look far to realise that the choice in organic and natural child and babycare products is ever growing. Covering fields as diverse as clothing to first weaning foods, supplements and skincare, there are more and more ranges available month on month in health stores around the country.

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Ask Away: independent health store advice on Christmas gifts and treats

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Sundara O’Higgins, a qualified yoga instructor and reflexologist with a keen interest in nutrition and herbal remedies. She is the manager of Nourish in Donnybrook, Dublin 4.


As Christmas beckons, think of your local health store for festive gifts and treats – you would be amazed by the impressive range of products on offer.

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A photo of a woman sitting among some leaves

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Tina Daly who has an ITEC Swedish massage qualification and graduated in Dietary Counselling, health and lifestyle with the Institute of Health Sciences last year. She works part-time in The Healthy Way in Leixlip, Co Kildare.


Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and also the thinnest. Less than one-tenth of an inch separates your body from potential toxins. If you eat food which contains chemicals, enzymes in your saliva and stomach help break down and flush them from your body. However, chemicals coming in contact with your skin are absorbed straight into the bloodstream, going directly to your delicate organs where they have the potential to accumulate due to the lack of necessary enzymes to break them down.

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A photo of a girl on a beach

Ask Away: independent health store advice on holiday essentials

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Aimee Kitten who has a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, a diploma in massage therapy and works in Health Matters in Dublin’s Grafton St.

Working in a health store can be very seasonal and during the summer months we are asked for lots of different summer remedies.

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A photo of a woman with a healthy snack

Ask Away: independent health store advice on healthy snacks

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to nutritional therapist Ann Gannon Dip NT, mNTOI, who offers nutritional therapy at Healthy Beings in Strokestown.

Most people at some point in the day reach for a snack and snacking isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Eating little and often - three meals a day plus a couple of snacks in between – is good for keeping blood sugar levels stable and preventing energy slumps.

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Previous Rude Wonders Articles:

A photo of eco friendly cleaning products

Independent health store advice on eco cleaning

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health store can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue Caroline Sheehan, manager at Horan’s in Mitchelstown talks about natural cleaning in the home.

Housework – doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, tidying up, cooking, keeping the kitchen clean – is not a subject that generally excites us very much, other than getting it done as quickly as possible so that we can enjoy our increasingly busy lives.
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Independent health store advice on the menopause
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Independent health store advice on organic food and drink
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Probiotics for all ages
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