Coping with Candida

The Intestinal type of Candida is a form of yeast naturally present in our mouth and intestines to expedite both digestion and nutrient absorption. It can, however, be overproduced from time to time. If so there are several Garden soured treatments; Berberine – found in extracts of barberry, goldenseal and Oregon grape root – has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine to stimulate the immune system to fight and protect against yeast and fungal infections. It exhibits substantial antifungal activity but it leaves the beneficial microflora in the gut intact. It also prevents candida yeasts from producing lipase – the enzyme that enables their gastrointestinal colonisation.

Other garden-grown antifungal herbs include thyme, oregano, calendula, chamomile, fennel, basil, sage, peppermint and rosemary. All make pleasant herbal teas but can also be used in culinary applications – in flavoured vinegars, in infused oils for salad dressings and in soups, stews, casseroles and even sandwiches. A boost in raw foods and salads can help invigorate your good intestinal flora.

Another good place to start is by eliminating sugar and, for a few days to two weeks, lowering your carbohydrate intake to help your system naturally reboot. Eating raw garlic is highly toxic to candida and deeply beneficial to overall human health. This may seem daunting, but it is easy to add to dips, couscous or even rubbed on toast and it brings with it not just antifungal sulphur compounds but also phytoconstituents that promote beneficial gastrointestinal microbes. Garlic supplements or capsules are also good and may even get to your gut more intact. Natural yoghurt will help bolster those beneficial gastrointestinal microbes and lessen the spread of infection while, at the other end of the spectrum, apple cider vinegar can attack candida directly. Similarly coconut oil – rich in caprylic acid – directly attacks the cellular structure of yeast. The oleuropein in olive oil and olive leaf extract boosts our systems’ ability to fight fungal infections and actively tackles candida overgrowth.

The Vaginal type of Candida is naturally present on human skin and inside the vagina. The normal pH for the vagina is between 3.5 and 4.5, which is acidic, creating an environment where most bacteria can’t survive long. So for the most part candida is naturally checked by the vagina’s own regulating pH. But when that acid level drops – triggered by menstruation, antibiotic use or other factors – then the yeast population can rise to infection levels. Burning sensations or itches are symptomatic. Discharge and swelling can be present.

There are of course Garden treatments. So while douching (rinsing or flushing with water or other solutions) is not recommended as a regular practice for a healthy vagina, in this circumstance douches and sipped teas of rosemary, thyme, echinacea and Oregon grape root are traditional treatments to diminish yeast expansion and boost the immune system. Because a douche may spread rather than flush the infection, the stronger the antibacterial herb the better. Goldenseal, with an ethnobotanical history of being used internally as an antifungal agent, can be used as a topical skin rinse or douche application – it has an amazing ability to disrupt fungus from adhering to or entering new host cells. Other potent antifungal herbs include tea tree, burdock, bee balm, calendula, lavender, thyme and uva ursi. Do not substitute any of these herbs with
essential oil versions.

Cat’s claw, available in your local health store, has been utilised in Peruvian ethno-pharmacology for thousands of years to boost the immune system. One of its active principles is oxindole alkaloids, which enhance phagocytosis (from the Ancient Greek meaning ‘to devour’), boosting the way antibodies engulf and destroy pathogens. Other immune-boosting herbs, including astragalus, gingko, hyssop, sage and St John’s wort, can get your own healing capacity into gear.

The aim is to get back to the right pH, so drinking acidic cranberry juice helps. Consider too to avoid sugary foods and eat more probiotic foods. Eating natural yoghurt and garlic can diminish any candida expansion in the stomach and so give the body a chance to fight off the infection. I would not recommend garlic paste or clove inserts for this ailment – although in theory they would kill off bacteria and yeast, in reality there might be more sting than zing. Bathing externally with a dilution of apple cider vinegar or adding a cup to your bath introduces antibacterial and antifungal action, can also help address pH and is less likely to sting.

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Cool solutions to hot weather complaints

Hot weather is wonderful but sometimes it can be just too hot for comfort and even too hot for health. So in the current heatwave, here are a few tips to avoiding any visits to the GP or A&E.

The big one is Dehydration – with busy days and the wrong beverage choice our bodies can loses more fluid than we take in. Water makes up over two-thirds of a normal healthily functioning human body, it is intrinsic on a cellular level to all organs and their functions but when the natural water balance of the body is reduced it also disrupts the delicate balance of electrolyte salts (especially sodium and potassium) and blood sugars (glucose), which further disrupts functions including the capacity to think clear or remember to reach for the water over a fizzy drink to quench thirst. Isotonic drinks promise to rehydrate rapidly- they are engineered to quickly replace the fluids which are lost by exertion and perspiration. They beat water by having a supply of carbohydrates/sugars to replenish energy. The trick is in the salt – as sodium is the electrolyte most readily lost in perspiration and also the salt makes the fluid more Isosmotic meaning that it brings the drink closer to the same concentration of solutes as the blood and so more readily absorbed into the bloodstream- perfect to offset the physiological reactions to dehydration. But they don’t have to be store bought. I prefer mine to be homemade.

Juicy versions – in a jug mix and stir the following
• 500ml fruit juice (whatever you have handy)
• 500ml still water
• A pinch of salt
• A pinch of sugar
• Ice – optional

Squish Squash version- in a jug mix and stir the following
• 200ml concentrate fruit squash (often high in glucose)
• 800ml still water
• A squeeze of some fresh lime, lemon or orange
• A pinch of salt
• Ice optional

The discomfort of heat and additional perspiration is an irritation in itself but it can manifest into a Heat rash or what we call prickly heat – a red or pinkish rash occurring on areas of skin beneath clothing. It generally develops on hot days when the sweat ducts become blocked and so swell and react in rash form. The rash is discomforting and often itchy or prickly. Quickly remedied by removing clothing and allowing the skin to air-dry. Not always appropriate at work but two home remedies can fit into a locker.

Prickly heat dusting powder – in a lidded container, mix equal parts baking soda & cornstarch or talcum powder, apply as a talc to absorb the skin moisture that is causing the heat rash and also to balance the body’s natural pH which goes a long way to assuage further reactions.

Heat rash can go as quick as it came or take several days to resolve. For more obstinate heat rashes a twice daily spritz of diluted vinegar acts as skin friendly NSAID. Vinegar (acidic) and baking soda (alkaline) cancel each other out so don’t try and combine all treatments in one go.

Prickly heat vinegar spritz- Simply dilute 50/50 some vinegar and water and decant into a bottle sprayer. Spritz the area twice daily. Some people experience a slight sting upon contact but it soon dissipates and takes the itch with it. If you like you can add some foliage of rosemary or lavender – both are anti-inflammatory and impart some cooling properties and it smells a lot less like you’ve been eating chips under your desk. The vinegar smell doesn’t really linger long. You can add essential oil drops to make it extra fragrant.

In these temperatures some people can develop Heat Cramps – muscular pains, occasionally spasms, triggered by heavy exertion and the steady loss of water and salt through excessive perspiration or just the stress of the body trying to combat elevated temperatures and a work schedule. Heat cramps can take place in the abdominal muscles but most often occur in the legs or arms. They can arise as a minor tremor or just happen as a full on event. It is an indication that the day is too hot to be working in and that you have been neglecting your own hydration – coconut water has all five essential electrolytes and is replenishing to muscle function too.

Beat the cramp smoothie
Ingredients
• 500ml unsweetened fruit juice of your choice (or whatever is in the fridge)
• 250ml coconut water
• Two pieces of whole fruit (fiber is good) – apple, orange, banana Or 1 cup of garden fruits/ berries.
• 1 t-spoon Salt
• Some crushed ice cubes (optional but saves time cooling in fridge)

Method: Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz. Decant into a chilled glass. Sit back, relax and sip away.

Moving up the serious scale, Heat Exhaustion is a form of shock. It manifests as heavy sweating or clammy skin with body/core temperature near normal but the feeling of not quite right. Pupils may dilate, headache and nausea may arise leading to dizziness and potentially vomiting. It is sit by the fan and open the windows time. Sip cool drinks to drop core temp. If Heat exhaustion occurs because the core temperature rises above the normal 37°C (98.6°F) towards 38-39°C (100-102°F) or higher , when the person is confused or feeling out if it then without treatment or abatement upon first aid (fan, damp cloths, drinks), heat exhaustion could easily develop into heatstroke.

Heatstroke is a much more serious condition were the body can no longer sweat or cool itself and so keeps on overheating. With heatstroke core temperature can elevate above 40°C (104°F) at which point the cells inside the body start to break down and internal organs can commence to shut down. The symptoms of heatstroke can include a mixture of the following-, rapid heartbeat, rapid and shallow breathing, feeling dizzy, mental confusion, headache, nausea, cessation of sweating, pinned pupils, fainting or loss of consciousness. This is GP or A& time.

If you happen to be out a lot this summer or are taking your hols in high temps and strong sun then the old reliable – Sunburn – may be the prime problem on your radar. In severe cases sunburn may be considered as second-degree burn. Sunburn in general can cause electrolyte imbalances – including dehydration – and trigger neurological stress that can result in fever, chills, fainting and even circulatory shock. So apart from sunblock and after sun, drink water and isotonic drinks. Fan areas of hot skin. A cool to lukewarm shower or bath can ease side-effects but do not cool too rapidly. Leave blisters intact – If they burst on their own then apply an antibacterial wash or ointment. The main treatment emphasis is to provide relief to the discomfort of the burn – generally with analgesics or ‘after sun’ skin moisturisers.

Raiding the fridge might just do the trick – The dairy fats in milk and yogurts are remedial to UV radiation damage and cooling too – topically applied. Or you could try a squeeze of lemon juice or a dash of apple cider vinegar to cool, de-inflame, disinfect and promote faster recovery. Retire to the shad for these treatments. Other items in the kitchen also help. Eating tomatoes, strawberries and water melon is a great way to get lycopene into your system, lycopene stops those fruits from blistering in the hot sun and in humans it increases melanin in our skin – that’s an spf pigment that helps us tan not burn. Continue to use your fact 50 or more but think at lunch and dinner what might get you bronze over lobster. If you do get caught out the following treatments are useful.

Quick fix after sun soother – Baking soda helps to balance your skins pH and speed recovery/healing. Black tea has the tannins to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Natural yogurt is a cooling agent but also like baking soda works to sort the pH of skin and trigger faster healing with natural enzymes that speed sunburn recovery. Method: in a cup, moisten two table spoons of a black or green tea (or 2 open teabags) with two-three tablespoons of boiling water. Let rest for 1 minute add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and then stir in a dollop of natural yoghurt stir well and apply to hot skin- store in fridge for up to three days and apply often to cool and remedy.

Quick fix after-sun peel-heal gel – The sap of a leaf or Aloe vera mixed with a tablespoon or two of vinegar can slow or prevent peeling and speed a recovery with the bonus of cooling sensation – but to boost the properties you can grate in a few slices of cucumber or some raw potato flesh (both hydrating and anti-inflammatory) and blitz in a blender with 20 drops of Lavender essential oil – cooling but can also peel preventing.

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The side effects of summer – freckles or sunspots

Real freckles, those that form in childhood on the face, arms and other sun-exposed areas but fade in depth of colour and diminish in quantity in adulthood, are known as ephelides, an accumulation of pigmentation within the part of our skin cells known as keratinocytes. Ephelides occur and are more prominent in summer but diminish considerably or even disappear altogether in winter or during the rest of the year as skin cells turn over and new keratinocytes are formed. I’m Irish so I am a fan of freckles and the saying “a girl without freckles is like a night sky without starts”… but I know not everyone feels the same including many freckle owners.

In later life the freckle may be replaced by lentigines or sunspots. Perhaps the technical difference is of little concern – you just want the tip on making them fade quicker – but for now, sun protection or sun avoidance will reduce the quantity of ephelides, and eating carrots and tomatoes can help control melanin production and boost your natural SPF (sun protection factor) if you fear the freckle that much.

Top tip – Cover up. A wide-brimmed hat that casts shade on the face prevents the sun from ‘cooking up’ the freckles.

A little bit of food as medicine goes a long way – Tomatoes and other foods rich in vitamin C can help inhibit the activity of tyrosinase in the skin and so reduce the formation of melanin and its accumulation. Carrots and other foods rich in provitamin-A will protect skin and may also have a role in naturally
lightening freckles and sunspots. Topically – Lemon juice is the best pigment-reducing ‘friendly acid’ to hand, although it works better for some than others. If you must treat your freckles, make sure to replenish the skin with some cellular-rejuvenating treatments.

Lentigines are flat brown spots that appear on the face and hands, generally in middle age (hence age spots) but sometimes earlier. They are a result of sun damage. They are often mistaken for freckles. Like freckles they are due to a localised proliferation of melanocytes, but unlike freckles they don’t disappear in the winter. There are many common names for sunspots, age spots or liver spots, but the correct term is solar lentigines (the singular is lentigo, but rarely are they experienced in the singular). Sun protection is the answer to avoiding these and to minimising them once they have occurred.

There are skin-lightening creams and treatments based on hydroquinone, which work by both decreasing the production of the melanin pigment and increasing the breakdown of melanosomes (the pigment’s minute granules), effectively by disrupting the activity of tyrosinase, the enzyme needed to make melanin. But adding a little more vitamin C to your diet can do the same job. Or you can apply it topically in facials containing extra vitamins or those homemade with citrus fruits.

How about an Elder mask (forgive the pun)

A skin mask with elderberries, orange rind and olive oil can work wonders. Put ½ cup of vitamin C-rich elderberries, the rind of 1 orange and 1 tablespoon of oil into a blender. Blitz and then apply. You can stir in a little honey or almond flour to create a thicker consistency if you prefer. Take 20mins out and rinse off.

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Surviving summer – avoiding and treating sunburn

Sunburn is a solar burn or, more specifically, the consequence of overexposure to UV radiation from the sun. It manifests as erythema (reddening) and oedema (swelling related to a build-up of fluid) and can be painful or hot to the touch. It can blister, peel and/or develop secondary infections including microscopic cellular changes that pose a cancer risk (particularly melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma).

In severe cases sunburn may be considered a second-degree burn. Sunburn in general can cause electrolyte imbalances, including dehydration, and can trigger neurological stress that can result in fever, chills, fainting and even circulatory shock. If you experience sunburn it is important to prevent further damage – get inside or into the shade. Rehydrate and fan areas of hot skin. A cool to lukewarm shower or bath can ease side effects but do not cool too rapidly. Leave blisters intact; if they burst on their own, apply an antibacterial wash or ointment. The main treatment emphasis is to provide relief to the discomfort of the burn, generally with analgesics or aftersun moisturisers.

Of course prevention is better than cure so on sunny days try avoid prolonged sun exposure between 10am to 2pm – Note that the shade of a tree in full leaf can provide sun protection to the tune of 10 to 20 SPF but you will need more than that to shield your skin – wear suitable protective clothing including long sleeve, sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats and regularly and repeatedly apply a sun block with a factor of at least 30+ SPF.

Garden spa; Succulents can provide cooling sap. Notably, aloe vera cools the burn, lessens the reddening and encourages skin regeneration. Many herbal teas can reduce inflammation, and those listed in this book will help with their calming influence as well as their other properties. Many can be chilled and spritzed onto hot skin for post-sun relief. Crambe and acanthus foliage can be blended with natural yoghurt or steamed and cooled to use in a poultice for their anti-itch, astringent and emollient properties.

Kitchen spa; The dairy fats in milk and yoghurts are remedial to UV-radiation damage and they are cooling, too, when applied topically. Try a squeeze of lemon juice or a dash of apple cider vinegar to cool, reduce inflammation, disinfect and promote faster recovery.

Preempting potential damage is always a good way to go. Eating about twenty almonds delivers approximately 14mg of the vitamin E, which can slow the burn rate and protect your skin cells from UV light and free-radical damage. Best of all the lycopene in tomatoes and watermelon help the body raise its own natural spf.

Aftersun remedies

Make a Quick-fix aftersun soother
Baking soda helps to balance your skin’s pH and speed recovery and healing. Black tea has tannins that reduce inflammation and promote healing. Natural yoghurt is a cooling agent and, like baking soda, works to balance the pH of skin and encourage faster healing with its natural enzymes.
Method – In a cup, moisten 2 tablespoons of black or green tea (or the contents of 2 teabags) with 2–3 tablespoons of boiling water. Allow to stand for 1 minute and then add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Stir in a dollop of natural yoghurt, mix well and then apply to your skin. Store in fridge for up to three days and apply often to cool and encourage healing.

Try a Quick-fix aftersun peel-heal gel
The sap from a leaf of aloe vera mixed with 1–2 tablespoons of vinegar can slow or prevent peeling and speed recovery, with the bonus of a cooling sensation. But to boost its effectiveness you can grate some cucumber or some raw potato flesh and then blitz everything in a blender with 20 drops of lavender essential oil.

Make your own Gardeners aftersun lotion
In a saucepan, boil 5 finger-sized segments of washed comfrey root in ½ cup water for 20 minutes. Then turn off the heat. Add 1 tablespoon of zinc ointment, 3 tablespoons of skin-softening liquid lecithin (or 1 tablespoon honey), 2 tablespoons of cocoa (or shea butter) and 3 tablespoons of almond oil (or olive oil).
Blend everything to a pulp. Add 10 drops each of lavender, tea tree and orange (or bergamot) essential oil.

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Coping with Cold Sores

A cold sore manifests as a small blister or cluster of blisters occurring on the lips (and sometimes also the face). It is caused by a viral infection – herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Tingling, itching or burning sensations generally herald the blistering to come. As a virus it is highly contagious and has its own lifecycle.

Some people get a cold sore once and it never returns but, with most, once contracted the virus remains for many years, if not for a lifetime. Thankfully it is predominantly dormant with possibly one or two flare-ups each year, but it is also easily triggered into activity by sunburn or other damage to the lip surface and also by stress or fatigue. So looking after yourself is the best way to keep it repressed.

Outbreaks generally clear up without any intervention or treatment within seven to ten days. There are plenty of over-the-counter lip balms and topical creams to suppress the viral activity and soothe the soreness and there are many home cures, too, to make it more manageable.

When it comes to garden soured treatments – Topical tincture or tisane rinses of selfheal, goldenseal, St John’s wort or hyssop are antiviral. Lavender or thyme in a balm or blitzed into paste is also beneficial. The juice of houseleeks is soothing and hydrating, which is key to relief. To address the flare-up try antiviral iced teas harvested from your own garden – they not only boost your internal immune system but also work on contact with the lips and mouth. I would opt for chamomile, as it contains bisabolol, an antimicrobial wound healer, and its anti-inflammatory nature is beneficial too. You can also try lemon balm, bergamot, mint, echinacea or thyme. Liquorice root contains glycyrrhizic acid that can inhibit and fight viral spread.

In terms of Kitchen support – Over-the-counter antiviral creams work at the tingle stage but are generally ineffective thereafter, while honey works at every stage to suppress the surfacing virus, soothe any pain or itch, seal bleeding, soften scabs and promote replacement skin cells at wound sites. A dusting of cinnamon is a great antiseptic and dries up ruptured blisters and bleeds.

One of the best things you can do is avoid acidic or salty foods, as they not only sting but also can suppress your immune system just as it attempts to fight the virus flare-up. The mistake is to reduce eating and drinking for fear of bursting a blister or cracking a scab – you need to drink plenty of fluids to keep the lip hydrated and functioning normally in unaffected areas.

Make your own Cold Sore Blitz Paste
All ingredients are antiviral, anti-inflammatory and pain relieving.

Ingredients
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil
• 1 tablespoon lavender foliage
• 1 tablespoon chopped chamomile tops (flowers or foliage)
• 1 teaspoon honey

Method
Simply blitz together all the ingredients. Use as a dab treatment throughout the day, each day until virus subsides. Stores best in the fridge for a few weeks.

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Interior landscaping in the workplace, benefits to business

Since NASA validated the scientific evidence that houseplants have the ability to be biofiltration systems, back in the closing decades of the twentieth century, the twentyfirst century has seen a boom in plant rental and interior landscaping. Bolstered too by the building booms and the expectation of high end interior design, there is hardly a waiting room, foyer or reception without the presence of lush greenery or at least a potted plant.

No matter how token, plants are the ambassadors of friendliness; they enable an
ambience that is not controlled, robotic, confined – instead by having nature inside, the impression is created of a calm, open, homelike experience. Plants state a caring environment especially if well maintained and healthy and that speaks volumes of your business’s attention to detail. It is a well known fact that interior landscaped offices lease faster but they can also play a role in creating a corporate image and even act as a marketing tool: ‘Green’ and ‘natural’.

The plant friendly workplace makes it easier to recruit new employees and new customers. It sets a relaxed atmosphere to conduct business and enhance mood while improving general performance. It is not just the aesthetic or psychological impressions that plants make but how plants scientifically put a person at ease that add value to interior plantscaping. The human eye can perceive more shades of green than of any other colour.

Green triggers a response in the sympathetic nervous system to relieve tension in the blood vessels and thus lower the blood pressure, green lowers heart rate and provides an instant feeling of rest and recovery. There has been conducted numerous research on the restorative value of plants notably by Stephen Kaplan and Janet Talbot, that validate the nature reflex in boosting energy, enhancing performance and balancing mood.

That restorative dynamic augments clarity and motivation. A break from the
computer, work desk or machine, spent in the company of green foliage plants has a boosting effect on personal well-being and enthusiasm. Plants provide impetus. Plants not only voice a healthy atmosphere but also deliver one: plants produce oxygen and so improve air quality in the workplace which reduces tiredness and boosts concentration. Interior plants also actively remove impurities from the air we breathe. These impurities include dust particles, allergenic particles and pollutants including some of the more dangerous Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that form in the workplace – for example ceiling tiles release benzene, xylene and formaldehyde, while carpets and flooring can release acetones and alcohols into the air over the first few years after installation.

But even if the building has been fully ‘off gassed’, there are the daily releases via common workplace products: papertowels release formaldehyde, letterheads and printed material release acetone, computers provide toluene and xylene, photocopiers release volatile alcohols and trichloroethylene while printers provide trichloroethylene, toluene, xylene and amnonia. All separate to what ever chemicals are held or utilized on premises – from cleaning products to industrial materials.

House plants absorb VOCs into their leaves and to an extent through portions of
exposed growing medium. The VOCs that enter via foliage are translocated to the
rhizosphere (the root zone) where micro-organisms living in the growing media and on the roots convert the pollutants into nutrition for the soil and plant. Research has shown that planted rooms will contain up to 60 percent fewer airborne moulds and bacteria than rooms that contain no plants. Plants also absorb warmth and sound, improve humidity levels and interior convection – which all impacts on decreasing tension and stress and boosting concentration and motivation.

Indoor air quality can be problematic in energy-efficient buildings with little outdoor ventilation. Central heating strips the air of moisture. Electrical devices add static to the room, but plants offer solutions and their bio filtration services are all supplied without the carbon footprint and electricity bill of mechanical systems. Safer, Healthier, more Green. Plants have a very constructive effect on electric charges. It’s cheaper to grow a natural humidifying plant or de-ionizing plant than it is to buy a
machine, and to heat an office where plants and not open windows are regulating
humidity and vapours.

Yet the contribution I’m really referring to is not reduced bills but the decrease in static charges in the air that mess with communications systems, some machinery and with the physical human body. Because the electronic charge of a plant is opposite to that of humans, houseplants also help to counteract the effects of static electricity; ions in the air which are released from synthetic material and electrical machinery including computers, televisions, lights, fridges, air conditioners, humidifiers and dehumidifiers. Static electricity is an enemy in the workplace as it physiologically
reduces productivity and motivation.

All the ambience creation and the biofiltration actually helps prevent health related problems like headaches, fatigue, eye irritations, dry throat, stress and thus have a proven track record in reducing absenteeism and improving performance. A well maintained plantscape in the work place also increases employee morale and pride in the workplace.

Dr. Billy C. Wolverton from the John C. Stennis Space Centre recommends for
optimum employee health benefit, placing a plant on one’s desk, or within six to eight cubic feet of where most of the person’s daily activity occurs. For a high aesthetic look with easy maintenance and all the bio-filtration benefits I recommend the following ten interior plants if you chose to incorporate some green to the office, factory floor or canteen.

Top 10 houseplants for office
Kentia Palm
Spathiphyllum spp (peacelily)
Chlorophytum spp (spiderplant)
Philodendron spp
Dracaena spp
Ficus spp
Scindapsus/Epipremnun
Hedra helix (ivy)
Syngonium spp
Sansevieria spp (snakeplant)

The above list is readily available from local garden centres and even some DIY stores.

There are many professional interior plant maintenance companies and plants can
be purchased or rented from them also to suit your needs. With the benefits it makes good business sense to invest in interior plantscapes.

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the skinny on a bit of weight loss mowing

There is some physicality required in the up keeping of a lawn – and we gardeners are now back into regular grass cutting mode. Oh what a chore but have you heard of ‘chore-fitness’ – doing extra housework to burn calories.

Has mowing potential. Yep! To begin with, hand mowing with a cylinder mower or an electric push, can burn as much as 182 calories per half hour of activity. Amazingly a further 20-30 minutes of lawn attention in the form of raking clippings or leaves will burn a further 162 calories and if it is a day that you decide or require to finish with a watering session then add another 61 calories.

Just compare that to a spin class, aerobic dance session or workout class where during high intensity aerobic exercises on average 95 calories are burnt every ten minutes for 57kg (8 stone) individual, 115 calories every ten minutes for a 68kg (10 stone) individual, while 134 calories are burnt off every ten minutes for a 80kg (12 stone) individual and 153 calories burnt every ten minutes for a 91kg (14 stone) individual.

Now if you’re up for it you can do pliés, leg lunges, star jumps etc between the turns but don’t go out and get a sweatband and stringer vests or sports bras especially for your next cut. Even tolerant neighbours have a limit.

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