Herbal Medicines: The Healing Properties of Ashwagandha

Ashwaghanda Health Benefits

For a long time, my life was shaped by the effects of severe insomnia, chronic stress and terrible social anxiety.

Having Lyme Disease made these things worse, and my emotional wellbeing really took a hit, when my old life was swept out from under me.

Back then, I would constantly stress about the impact that my illness was having on my health, my loved ones, and my life.

It was during this time that I first became interested in herbal medicine, and I not only stumbled upon the Buhner protocol (the herbal regime which eventually sent my Lyme into remission), I also discovered Ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha root is a powerful adaptogen, which has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 2000 years to calm the nerves and bring the body back into balance.

This powerful, natural substance helps the body to deal with stress by lowering the blood pressure and the heart rate, and by decreasing inflammation.

Ashwagandha also contains sedative alkaloids, which makes it helpful for treating anxiety, insomnia and restless sleep.

The first time I took Ashwagandha, I didn’t expect much to happen, but, before I knew it, a wave of calmness washed over me, my heart stopped pounding, and for the first time in ages I felt comforted, peaceful and safe.

Since then, I’ve used Ashwagandha root regularly to help me to cope with my social anxiety, and deal with stressful situations.

As well as treating stress and anxiety-related issues, Ashwagandha is also used to treat adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism.

Traditionally, it’s also taken as a tonic, to strengthen the immune system and improve energy levels (especially when recovering from illness).

Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use Ashwagandha, and it should also be avoided by anyone with hyperthyroidism, nightshade allergies, severe kidney or liver disease, and those taking barbiturates or other sedatives.

Dose: 250mg capsules may be taken 2-3 times a day, or as instructed by your herbalist.

Please note: The information in this post should not substitute or replace medical advice. If you are unwell please see a medical professional. This post contains affiliate links.

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Motion Nutrition Organic Mid-Workout Hydration Review

After I returned home from my backpacking trip last summer, I was inspired to take up running – and it wasn’t long before I was completely addicted to the thrill of pounding the pavements, and smashing my own personal bests!

Fast forward to now, and (although I’m still very much a beginner) it’s hard to believe how much I’ve progressed in such a short space of time.

In fact, it wasn’t so long ago that my battle with Lyme Disease left me wondering if I’d ever be able to walk again. Yet, here I am now gearing up to take on my first half marathon, next month!

Chrissy Faery

It’s exciting stuff, and right now my soul is sparkling with an overload of gratitude, joy..and sweat!

With longer and longer distances making their way onto my Runkeeper Go training plan though, I’ve been taking extra care to ensure that I’m staying well-nourished and hydrated.

For medium-to-high intensity exercise lasting more than an hour, water alone isn’t enough – so I’ve been busy experimenting with lots of different snacks and energy drinks (both homemade and commercially produced) to find the perfect fuel, to support me in my upcoming race!

Motion Nutrition Mid-Workout Hydration Review

One of the products that has really caught my eye, is this organic hydration blend from Motion Nutrition.

I’d never actually heard of this brand before, but when I saw that this product was 100% vegan, gluten-free, organic and free from any artificial additives, flavourings and fillers – I knew I had to give it a try!

This plant-based hydration powder offers a blend of electrolytes, minerals and carbohydrates, which come from a range of ingredients including coconut water, pomegranate powder, sea buckthorn, acai powder and cordyceps mushroom extract.

It is designed to provide sustained energy and hydration, that will lead to improved performance and endurance.

Motion Nutrition Mid-Workout Hydration Review

This hydration blend comes in a 320g resealable pouch and costs £34.99. A 20ml scoop is provided.

To make it up, you simply pop one scoop of the powder into a shaker with 500ml of cold water – then shake it for 20-30 seconds, until it dissolves and forms a peach-coloured liquid.

The flavour of this sports drink is hard to describe, but I can definitely detect an aftertaste of coconut, pomegranate and mushroom flavours coming through. It’s certainly more bland (and slightly salty) than sweet though, which is not what I was expecting!

I can’t really say that I particularly like the taste of it, but it isn’t horrible either – and what it lacks in flavour, it certainly makes up for in performance!

When I run for over an hour, I usually feel pretty fatigued. My legs become heavy and my muscles start to groan, as their glycogen stores run low.

When I sip on this organic hydration drink during my run though, I’ve found that I’m able to overcome this – and not only this, I actually have a renewed burst of energy as well!

For me, this makes a real difference to my speed and stamina, and I’m sure it’ll be especially helpful during my upcoming half marathon in Llanelli, in which I’ll be running for over 2.5 hours!

I would definitely recommend this product for its blend of natural ingredients, and the effect it has on performance, and I’m excited to see where it will take me in the future, as I continue to run and improve!


Please note: All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. 

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Herbal Medicines: The Healing Properties of Echinacea

The Healing Properties of Echinacea

Throughout history, man has used plants for healing – and even today, around 40% of medications used in Western medicine are derived from plant extracts.

Unfortunately, due to industrialisation, medical advances, and a growing reliance on modern healthcare, much of our ancient wisdom about nature’s array of medicines, has been lost.

Of course, modern medicine definitely has its place, but I still believe that herbal treatments have an important role to play – and in many cases, they may work just as well (if not better) than their patented pharmaceutical counterparts.

Today, I’m kicking off a new series on my blog about the healing properties of plants – so let’s begin by taking a look at one of my favourite herbal medicines, Echinacea.

The Healing Properties of Echinacea

Echinacea is a beautiful plant, with flamboyant pink blooms – however, it’s the root of the plant, not the flowers, which is normally used medicinally.

The root contains a mixture of oils, sugars and resins which have powerful antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.

Because of this, Echinacea has long been used for treating the symptoms of the common cold, as well as influenza and upper respiratory tract infections.

Echinacea is especially good at supporting the immune system, and it has been shown to increase the rate at which the body responds to pathogens.

Because Echinacea strengthens the immune system, it can also be helpful for those who are immunocompromised. (If you’re immunocompromised, have an autoimmune disorder or a progressive illness, you should always check with your doctor first, before taking Echinacea.)

Echinacea is ideally taken before (or soon after) the first symptoms of a cold, flu or bronchitis appear – although it can be taken throughout the duration of the illness.

It may be drunk as a tea, used as a tincture or throat spray, or taken via chewable tablets, regular tablets, lozenges or capsules.

Personally, I love drinking Echinacea tea during flu season, and I always make sure to use the tincture, whenever I’m at risk of catching a cough or a cold.

As someone whose immune system is less than perfect, I find this really makes a difference in warding off the dreaded lurgy!

Please note: The information in this post should not substitute or replace medical advice. If you are unwell please see a medical professional. This post contains affiliate links.

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My Favourite Ways to Practise Self-Love and Self-Care!

Self-Love and Self-Care Rituals

Love. It’s the powerful force that binds us together – and life wouldn’t be the same without it. 💕

I think one of the greatest forms of love is self-love, but too often it becomes neglected, as we seek external validation and chase the people (and possessions) that we believe will make us feel whole.

When perfect lives and #RelationshipGoals are fed to us in the media every day, it can be easy to forget that your lifelong BFF and biggest supporter, is already there, within you! (Even if she needs coaxing out!)

For me, learning to love, respect and cherish myself has been a wild journey – which began when I was very ill. It was from that darkness (and aloneness) that I adopted an attitude of gratitude, discovered the healing power of nature and plant foods, and realised how enriching self-care can be.

Today, I’d like to share some of my favourite ways to practise self-love, which have transformed my health, life, and mindset – and have made me who I am today!

Because of these rituals, my inner dialogue is no longer harsh and cruel, I see the world more brightly, and I love and support myself and others more intensely, as I truly believe that a rising tide lifts all boats!

What are your favourite ways of practising self-love and self-care? I’d love to hear your thoughts! x

“Love starts from within and flows out like an unstoppable wave of peace and joy, that can light up the entire world!”

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The Out-of-This-World Travel Destinations, That I Adore!

Travel. It’s something I crave with all my soul.

I lust after the breathtaking scenery, the life-changing experiences, the thrill of meeting new people, and that renewed sense of appreciation and gratitude, for this amazing planet we live on. 

Whenever I travel (even within the UK) I’m always blown away by how spectacular and diverse the Earth is – and today, I’d like to share some the most enchanting and surreal places that I’ve been to, which have really spoken to my heart!

 

The Incredibly Surreal Travel Destinations, Which Have Completely Captured My Heart!

Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote

Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote.

Standing in the middle of the magnificent Timanfaya National Park, you could easily think you were on Mars. In fact, I don’t think I’ve been anywhere else, that felt so alien and surreal!

The red and black lava fields stretch for over 50 square kilometres and were created in the 1700’s by over 100 volcanic eruptions. Today, only one active volcano remains, however, there hasn’t been any eruptions since 1824.

ThingVellir National Park, Iceland

Thingvellir National Park, Iceland.

Where to begin with Iceland?! With its volcanic landscapes, waterfalls, geysers, auroras and hot springs, this enchanting country is just so unique and mesmerising!

Thingvellir National Park is an extremely rugged yet beautiful area, which lies on the boundary between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates – which are slowly drifting apart!

Thingvellir National Park can be found on part of the popular tourist route, known as The Golden Circle.

Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia.

Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia.

Slovenia is home to some of the most stunning natural scenery I’ve ever seen, and I never knew that nature could be so beautiful – until I witnessed the emerald green waters at Vintar Gorge.

The gorge is 1.6km long and is located not far from Lake Bled. Walking along it is like stepping into a fairytale – you can hardly believe it’s real!

Lake Mono, California

Mono Lake, California.

Last but not least, we have Mono Lake; a vast, salt lake situated in a largely unpopulated area near Yosemite National Park.

The lake contains approximately 280 tonnes of dissolved salts, and is known for its unique limestone formations called Tufas.

The lake has a quiet, eerie, ethereal beauty that’s like nowhere else I’ve ever been!

What is the most surreal place that you’ve ever been, or would like to visit? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Moving on From the Year That Transformed My Life!

Happy New Year 2018

Woohoo! It’s the start of a shiny, new year – and I’m finally back after an unexpectedly long hiatus!

2017 was such a big year for me. I busted through my fears, did things that I didn’t think were possible, and found myself again, after being ill for many years with Lyme Disease.

It was a beautiful, exhilarating and transformational season of my life, however, it ended in overwhelm and burnout.

Because of this, I’ve been taking some time out to rest, recuperate and refine my goals for the future.

Lately, I’ve been reflecting back on the past year, and reevaluating my priorities for the upcoming months ahead. I’ve also been trying to free myself of anything that’s no longer serving me, to make room for new opportunities.

Today, I’d like to share some of my highlights from 2017, as well as a few of my goals for this year!

Saying Goodbye to 2017…

 

My top moments of the year:

Mount Vogel, Slovenia
Feeling blessed at the summit of Mount Vogel in Slovenia.

I did my first solo backpacking trip!
After years of being ill, isolated and living with social anxiety, my health improved and I decided to face my fears, and go on a big adventure! I travelled across Europe (through 8 different countries), met some wonderful people, and had the experience of a lifetime!

Chrissy Faery
Celebrating after completing the Women’s Running 10K!

I started running!
I never thought that I’d become a runner; in fact, just a few years ago I could barely even walk. Thankfully though, my health has turned around, and my immense gratitude to be able to run again, motivates me to hit the pavements every day!

30th Birthday
My 30th birthday at the Eden Project, Cornwall – with the parental unit!

I turned 30.
Many people dread turning 30, but for me, it represents a beautiful new chapter in my life! I feel blessed to have made it this far, and I couldn’t be more excited for what the next decade will bring!

Vienna
Rocking the pink fluffy earmuffs at Belvedere Palace, Vienna.

I visited the Christmas markets with my Mum.
My Mum is my BFF, so it was the biggest joy to travel with her to Austria and Slovakia, and go to the Christmas markets!

Vienna and Bratislava were absolutely magical, and experiencing all the beautiful Christmas lights and cheerful, festive vibes, made this trip so perfect!

Bratislava Christmas Markets Bratislava Christmas Markets Vienna Christmas Markets

My Goals for 2018

Now, I’m a bit of a beast when it comes to goal-setting. There are so many things that I want to do, places I want to go, and achievements I’d like to make.

I have foodie goals, DIY goals, business goals, and ‘kissing my cat a million times’ goals…but to save listing them all, here are just a few of the things, that I’m going to be focussing on this year!

Running! 

I’ve already begun my first fitness challenge, to run 1000k this year – and so far I’m 72km in!

I’ve also signed up for two half marathons, one of which is a trail run. I’ve never even done a trail run before – but flying through the forest (and getting all muddy) sounds like so much fun!

I’d love to do a full marathon too..but we’ll see how I get on! 😉

To do more for the animals and the environment. 

For me, being vegan is no longer enough – It’s time to get out there and do more!

I’d love to help out at various animal sanctuaries, do environmental clean-ups, go completely plastic-free, join animal rights marches, and support more vegan charities.

To streamline my business goals.

Last year, I had so many different projects on the go, that I became super drained and de-motivated, because I was spreading myself too thin.

This year, I’ve realised that I need to retire the things that I’m no longer passionate about, so that I can focus on living my life’s purpose.

For me, that means putting my heart and soul into helping others (and being the best nutrition coach I can be) and feeding my creative flair, by continuing to make and sell jewellery.

What are all your plans, goals and dreams for 2018? I’d love to hear what’s lighting you up this year! 💜

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