about Fiann & blog

about me – I am an ongoing author, occasional broadcaster,  regular weekend columnist for the Irish examiner and always an advocate of gardening for health & wellbeing. I have a background in medicinal botany, nutritional science and horticultural therapy as well as holistic therapies, mindfulness facilitation and CBT counselling.

making contact – This site is not set up to be a forum or a means to receive questions and enquiries – to commission a talk or article, contact best made by email to theholisticgardener@gmail.com.

about the blog – The purpose of this blog is to explore the therapeutic benefits of gardening and nature participation and to look at the healing herbs and functional foods we can grow, harvest and use. It is more of an introduction to the topics I cover in my talks and books and a way to have a searchable database for conditions and remedies that I cover in those arenas.

my books to date comprise of the following titles

49 Responses to about Fiann & blog

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  3. Tara dunne says:

    Hi! Saw you briefly at Bloom today & saw you had your book tucked under your arm. Where are they available. You are very passionate and knowledgable and I would love to learn more! Thanks

  4. Hi was at your talk today in drimnagh castle, it was amazing, mind blowing……what a day in the sun…… my name is christine mc mahon…..i would love if you could come to our allotment to done a talk……?

  5. Belinda says:

    Hi Fiann,

    Heard you on radio this morning and was just wondering if you design gardens for people?

    Many thanks,

    • hi Belinda – just found the spam button on this. I stopped landscaping a few years back other than show gardens at Bloom and RHS shows and the occasional community or therapeutic garden. But you can check out glda. regards Fiann

  6. Moira doyle says:

    O wow!
    I was blown away by your interview with Marian F on Sat.
    I am straight jkted into living a life of chasing mortgage etc etc. But you sound like you are living my dream life.
    I’m sure it did not fall into your life. Like an invite through the letterbox. But many congrats on choosing to inspire your followers with such a noble subject!
    I already have an order for your book marked n my calender for May. I would love to be added to your blog list. Or whatever the correct title is. This is the first time I will be reading a blog. Time is precious!

  7. Eileen Nash says:

    Hi Fiann

    Heard you today in Bandon, you were terrific! You should be on national radio & TV every week informing people how to live better lives through their gardens. Inspiring!

    Eileen Nash

  8. Louise Cleary says:

    Just saw you on TV3 player – fantastic segment! Will be buying multiple coires of your book for xmas! Thank You! X

  9. Paul Cummins says:

    Hi Fiann,

    I saw you on Ireland AM this morning and I just wanted to say how intrigued I was by your presentation of food and their nutritional/health benefits. Having done modules on nutrition in college it was refreshing to hear it so eloquently. Love the honey and grape juice idea. Great stuff.


  10. Liz says:

    You were great on Brendan today. Totally natural and calm. Thanks for that. What is your new book called..
    Can I be added to your list

  11. Sophie says:

    Hi Fiann ,
    This Christmas my mom REALLY ways your new book so my family and I have been searching everywhere across the country and there is no sign of it anywhere. If you can help that we would be very pleased.
    Thanks a lot and happy Christmas

  12. Bernadette Fitzsimons says:

    Hi Flann .
    Where can I buy your book
    Bernadette Fitzsimons

    • all good bookstores will have them on shelves, others will have on system and can order it in in a few days or you can click on the links in this blog to amazon and other online retailers.

  13. Karen Lacey says:

    Hi Fiann, is there anything I can take to help my balance, I had an episode last August where I collapsed and since then my balance is very off,, I have had all sorts of tests done with the hospitals but doctor says it could take up to 2 years for it to come back right,, I am not on any medication,, would be grateful if you had some advice.
    Many thanks,
    Karen Lacey

    • hi Karen not sure where you are living – There are quite a few conditions that effect balance – its not always as simple as the vestibular system, so without a diagnosis I couldn’t comment or recommend a herbal treatment. Herbs can be specific to one thing but less helpful for another. If it is vestibular and you are not too far from Dublin I would recommend The Balance Centre on Ranelagh Road for a range of very effective treatments (01)6625977. There are other clinics in other regions but your GP should be able to refer you on to a local treatment. Best of luck with it , Fiann

  14. Gaye Rigney says:

    Hi Fann
    I saw you on Ireland AM today,

    Could you possibly have cure for sinus?
    I’ve been suffering a week or more now.
    My mum has had it for past 2months

    Thanks Gaye

    • Hi Gaye, if you type sinus into the search on this blog you will get a previous post all about it. Meantime vitamin c and quercetin supplements will help shorten sinus flare up and also adjust your histamine response for any future attacks – also type in histamines. Sometimes it is a bacterial infection and your gp might put you on an antibiotic such as amoxicillin (Amoxil) but raw crushed garlic left for 3minutes to form enzymes is as antibiotic as penicillin. so no harm in a few sambos or salads with a bit of raw garlic in the mix. regards Fiann

  15. Angela Egan says:

    Hello Fiann my husband has been suffering fronm cellulitis very painful condition. I wonder could you recommend a tonic for him please .

    • Angela, a good shake of tea tree oil in the bath with a tablespoon of Epsom salts is good to de-inflame the skin and fight the infection. Internally garlic is a natural antibiotic and boosts immune system. Also good system boosters with antimicrobial action for cellulitis specifically are Echinacea, turmeric, thyme, rosemary. Tinctures and extra strung capsules in local health store. Check my beauty treatments from the garden out of your local library there is lots in that about skin health and skin conditions. regards Fiann.

  16. Noreen RYAN says:

    You answered my question about my sons psoriasis on Ireland AM this morning. I cant wait for him to try those simple remedies. I feels like a blessing to ease the awfulness of this condition. Thank you very much.

    • Hi Noreen, thanks for checking in, its hard to get a good answer in in the short air time so I always get straight to what works best, there is a link here https://theholisticgardener.com/2017/10/03/soothing-psoriasis-the-natural-way/ or type ‘skin’ into the search box on this blog to get a fuller explanation. Also you local library might stock my book ‘beauty treatments from the garden’ which has a lot of extra info on skin treatments and a section specific to psoriasis with a list of foods to quell the condition as well as topical treatments. regards Fiann

  17. Joan Murphy says:

    Hi Fiann, my daughter suffers from severe monthly migraines which are getting worse (she is 48).
    Unfortunately she is allergic to most medication. Wondered if you have any advice for her.

    • my book ‘natural cures for common ailments’ has a whole chapter on headaches and a good section each on migraines, tension and hormonal headaches etc – its in all Irish libraries and most bookstores if you want to browse it and take a few mental notes on the recommendations in it. I would have recommended meadowsweet herb but it has the same make-up as aspirin so might be on the allergic radar, instead a great antispasmodic is Peppermint Tea which relaxes the blood vessels in the brain and can make the migraine a smoother experience, the pain part is when the blood comes back in after constricted vessels so this will make both constriction and dilation less intense. Some migraines are hormonal and so some primrose oil supplements will decrease the frequency of attack and tone the circulation. Some are vision related, so an eye test might be worth a go – my dad had them terrible until he got tinted glasses. hope this helps. regards Fiann

  18. Kara says:

    Hi Fiann
    I am watching you on Ireland AM and I was wondering if you could help. My niece was born prematurely in January, she is suffering with reflux and I am wondering if you have any natural remedies? My sister in law is breast feeding as well as bottle feeding. Can you make any suggestions? It’s greatly appreciated

    • apologies I haven’t been checking in on this site – most of my query traffic is via IRE-am or Facebook or email. hope it has resolved but my advice would have been fennel tea to breastfeeder as it enters the milk and has antispasmodic and carminative properties that transfer to feeding baby.

  19. Ellen Foley says:

    What would you recommend for chronic sinusitis. I’ve been on several antibiotics and no relief. Thank you.

  20. Bernie Colgan says:

    Hi Fiann…could u recomend some alternative medicine for underactive thyroid…have lots of symptoms…fatigue, achein / restless legs, weightgain, low libido, brain fog…would be very gratefull for any advice

    • there are diets for it and your local bookstore or GP will have one but I have heard a lot of really good things about HIT – high intensity training – as a way to kickstart thyroid function – works for brain fog, libido and weight gain too. if HIT is too intense then calisthenics is also beneficial to improving circulation and hormonal and enzyme functioning. I know it sounds weird but its another dimension that can improve wellbeing.

  21. Angela Egan says:

    Middle aged man has a beard keeps breaking out with big spots . But lately he has been getting them all around his mouth and they are very sore can you recommend anything for this . Will he have to get rid of the beard

    • sounds a bit of a sebum issue – get a good beard conditioner to strip out excess oils and possible a look at diet. tee tree applied to spots may save the beard. I often grow a beard in winter and shave in summer to let my skin breathe, years I don’t I can get dry skin and skin issues.

  22. Debbie Brennan says:

    Hi Fiann i was told I have fibromyalgia about 5 years again.im am getting worse affecting my stomach bowels and kidneys .I’m am just at my wits end and can’t see a way forward for me medications are not worrying. Do you do pivate appointments.i am desperate for help.your sincerely Debbie.

    • Sorry Debbie I don’t do private anymore. IBS is a big part of fibro, not often discussed why – but I suspect it is the stress of pain and life complications rather than what they call a comorbidity. Your GP should have a protocol for IBS – if not check my natural cures out of your local library – it covers gastric and stress. I would also think of support groups – family and friends are great and also the worst – http://www.fibroireland.com/. Support and stress management are most important to fibro as its tough enough to deal with the physical symptoms and I have seen first hand how psychological support can diminish flare ups.

  23. Mary Cremin says:

    Hi would you have anything to recommend for lemfodima. My friend had cancer cannot wear the sleeve and her arm / hand is swelling up a lot . Thanks

    • the idea of a herb or diet change for Lymphedema is not the way to go. While here may be something in electrolytes and how they act upon lymph flow, its not fully researched. Meantime the standard treatments include pneumatic compression and compression bandaging as well as light exercises to encourage lymph fluid drainage – a physio referral will get her on right track. There is such a thing as lymphatic massage which is well worth looking into – local massage therapist or Gp might have a contact.

  24. Mary K says:

    Hi Fiann,
    Thank you for all the information you provide. I am looking for your help as I am hoping you might be able to direct me as to where I can purchase the Stevia plant, not the seeds.
    Love your piece on sugar and I’m trying to eliminate as much as possible of it.
    Thank you in advance.
    Mary K

    • Hi Mary, it seems to be seeds only. From time to time a batch may come into a garden centre with a trolley of herbs, but rare. Your local garden centre may be able to order for you. regards Fiann

  25. Brenda says:

    Saw the HG today in Carlow . Was so impressed. Myself my friend and my little son were amazed by all of the knowledge. So wonderful. All I ever do is kill plants. I’m not a gardener but always want to be. I’m going to try to grow a garden again.

  26. Carmel says:

    Hi Fiann, just got a loan of your book ‘by time is everything revealed’, will need to buy one for myself. Very good. I do my best to cope with depression and my sister is in hospital the last seven weeks with same. What brings me down is very bad Tinnitus.
    Would appreciate anything you could recommend.

    • tinnitus can be linked to high sugar and food additives, so a bit of detox might yield some results. Some people who tried diets for PCOS with emphasis on foods and supplements high in omegas have found a diminishment in other symptoms such as tinnitus, dry skin, hormonal headaches and depression. There is also a lot of research around noise apps and also biofeedback to sooth/filter ringing – worth investigating further. The best herbal is gingko but its not available to buy in Ireland.

  27. tara mccann says:

    hello. love your slot on tv3. am in need of help. have meniere’s; an abnormal amount of endolymph fluid in the inner ear. with your knowledge can you think of something that will address this. (want to get to a cure rather than treating the symptoms). many thanks in advance, tara

    • hi tara

      ditch the salt and proceed foods as they trigger Meniere’s. They say there is no cure but back when gingko was available it showed great reductions in flare ups by improving circulation to the ear, deinflaming vestibules and knocking off the tinnitus response. grape seed extract is possibly the next best thing.

      Your doctor may prescribe Vestibular blocking agents which are often antidepressant meds and possibly also diuretics to balance blood pressure – but more fluids will help you pee more and do that job – ginger tea is great for balance and nausea. Many of the sinus cures in my natural cures book will help too – local library.

      Yoga/pilates and tai chi are great at balancing the ear and there is a movement therapy for vestibular rehabilitation but i’m not up to date with it so wont comment more that worth investigating. Best of luck with it.

  28. Dave Houlihan says:

    I have Lyme disease for the past 4 years. Dr thinks it’s probably in my system a lot longer than symptoms start.
    At the moment I’m taking artesimin, Stevia, teasel root and artic root and turmeric. I am also taking immune boosting supplements.
    No improvement unfortunately.
    I have done 11 months of antibiotics before this recent herb treatment.
    Any advice is much appreciated.
    Most of my symptoms are neurological.
    Thanking you in advance.
    Dave Houlihan

    • I am sure you are checked in with http://www.ticktalkireland.org/ who are up on most of the latest protocols and support.

      My take on Lyme is that no point just blasting with antibiotic if the bacteria is bunkered into your cells and not in your blood stream – we need to uncork it into the stream where your immune system and antibiotics can then deal with it. I list which herbs do that at https://theholisticgardener.com/tag/lyme-disease/ – teasel a good choice.

      In terms of neurological I find the best and strongest supports to be Milky Oat (Avena sativa) and Passionflower extract (Passiflora incarnata) to calm nerv firing and take the edge off unwelcome sensations – sometimes with valerian or California poppy to balance sleep. But this is a lot so I would sit down with a local herbalists to work out dosage and options based upon your current meds and past medical history.

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