Settle Town Logo
  • News
  • Festive Remedies

Festive Remedies


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Natural Remedies for the Festive Season

I did a talk recently about some natural remedies to help you get through the Christmas period and thought I’d post the information on here. The clever carousel is linked to Amazon and is there so you can buy those items of just see images of what I’m talking about. All of these products can be bought in your local health food shop and most will be available in any chemists.

I generally offer advice to my patients on healthy living, but I know it’s also important to have fun and let your hair down occasionally – so here is some holistic help for some of the ailments that come up over the festive season. For long standing health problems, it’s important to see a practitioner, but there are many homeopathic and other natural remedies which might help with minor symptoms, worry and over-indulgence over the festive period.
A particular favourite with my patients is the homeopathic remedy Nux vomica, which many people use to help with the symptoms of a hangover. We all know it’s not healthy to drink too much alcohol, but from time to time, we do it anyway. Nux vomica works in most cases, no need to take time off work!
Nux vomica is not just for hangovers but it also be used for the general symptoms of over-indulgence. Symptoms include heartburn, indigestion, and nausea, a headache, sensitivity to noise and light, and irritability. Particularly suits people who tend to burn the candle at both ends, who keep going with coffee and feel the cold.
This is also very helpful for colds or hayfever with a very runny nose and lots of sneezing, especially when accompanied by a lot of grumpiness!

Remember that homeopathic remedies are always prescribed according to a specific set of symptoms, and in most cases, different people will need different remedies for the same ailment, because their symptoms and how they experience them, will differ. But, in the case of Nux vomica, it perfectly fits the symptoms of a hangover in most people.

Arnica is the most well known of all homeopathic remedies and is the first one you should consider for most accidents, bruising, shock, injuries or aches and pain from physical exertion.

Given early it will reduce swelling and bruising. There may be a fear of being touched because of the pain, and the person may want to be left alone.  They may claim to be alright when they clearly are not. Useful for the classic response of someone in shock.

Arnica is also very helpful for the effects of physical strain like too much dancing, sport or gardening or even the scrum of the January sales! A dose or two will help relieve stiffness and help the body to recover.

The rest are not homeopathic remedies but are all natural remedies I often recommend, especially over Christmas which can be a stressful and exhausting time.

Rescue Remedy This is available in a variety of forms and comes in distinctive bright yellow packaging – liquid, lozenges, chewing gum, spray and a cream and can be used for any sort of shock, stress or panic. Other brands such as Ainsworths and Healing Herbs also make remedies to the same recipe and specification as the Bach ones.

Rescue Remedy can help you cope with the varied demands in your life whether they are everyday stressful moments or the bigger life-changing events. Sometimes it’s the little things, like sitting in traffic when you know you’re already late, feeding loads of visitors, dealing with difficult relatives, continual interruptions when you’re trying to meet a deadline, or perhaps the kids throwing a tantrum when you’re trying to get around a busy supermarket.

There is also a Rescue Night Time, this also contains White Chestnut which is particularly good for helping switch off mental chatter and allow a restful sleep.

Echinacea There is a growing amount of evidence that Echinacea can help boost the immune system, but be warned. There are many varieties of Echinacea and not all of them have medicinal properties. Many of the cheap Echinacea pills and tinctures are of questionable medical value.
Echinaforce products by Vogel are excellent quality and contain Echinacea Purpurea which is the one that has most research to back up its effectiveness. Echinacea Pallida is also proven to be effective. The roots of some varieties like Augustifolia actually contain more of the active ingredient but it is not always clear which variety or which parts of the plant have been used. The Vogel website has lots of research information about many of their products, including Echinacea, if you want to find out more.
Avena Sativa (Wild Oats) is available in herbal or homeopathic doses. We usually eat the grains of oats but both of these remedies are prepared using the leaves.
The main use is to help calm the mind and it is great for insomnia or anxiety where you cannot switch off your brain. With such a change of routine over Christmas and an influx of visitors and demands on you, this can be a really simple way of helping you get a good sleep and make you more able to face the following day.
If you have the tincture take 5-10 drops in a small glass of water before bed, if using the homeopathic version, take one 6c or 30c pill before bed.
Lavender is a great essential oil to have around the house at any time of year but particularly at Christmas. It is the only oil that is OK to use neat on your skin and is particularly good for burns and insect bites.

If you feel a cold coming on rub a couple of drops of lavender oil into your jaw line. Doing this can get the lavender into your system quickly through lymph nodes and will often prevent colds developing. Lavender is a great one to help mind and body switch off and a few drops in a bath or a drop on your pillowcase can help you to unwind and get a good sleep. Lavender can be used for many, many things – for some more suggestions see this page from Yorkshire Lavender

If you would like to know more about essential oils I highly recommend the book Aromatherapy for Women by Maggie Tisserand

This has many simple and practical tips on how to use essential oils for a range of family ailments, hair and skin treatments and even in cleaning products around the house. It is quite an old book and you will be able to find it cheaply second hand.


Olbas Oil is a wonderful multi-purpose oil. Most people think of it to use as an inhalation for stuffy noses and colds but it is much more versatile that that. It is also good for sinus pain and can be added to some cream or oil to massage aches and pains.

Olbas contains a large amount of eucalyptus and mint which are both great for helping disturbed digestion. If your tummy is feeling a bit bloated, crampy or bunged up then add a couple of drops to a blob of handcream and rub on your tummy. This will ease the discomfort very quickly.

Always wash your hands after handling Olbas Oil as it will sting if you rub your eyes!

Black Strap Molasses is one of the few sweet things that is actually good for you. Unlike refined white sugar, blackstrap molasses contain significant amounts of a variety of minerals that promote your health. High in calcium, iron, manganese, copper, potassium and magnesium.
This is particularly useful after a bout of vomiting or diarrhoea as it gets good sugars and minerals into your system quickly. Can also be helpful for women who feel a bit limp during heavy periods as it will help replace the minerals lost with menstruation.
Very useful in cooking too and gives a rich flavour to flapjacks or even baked beans!
Vitamin C and D Both of these are important for your immune system and much more. A lot of the food we eat containing vitamin C (eg. citrus fruit) has travelled a long way and lost much of its nutritional value before it reaches us. Eating organic local seasonal fruit and veg will help but there is a growing amount of evidence suggesting everyone should take some Vitamin C daily.
As with Echinacea, the quality of vitamin C products varies enormously. High dose cheap pills from supermarkets are not always in a form your body can metabolise. I would recommend food based Vitamin C products and especially cherry based ones. Acerola cherries contain all sorts of other bioflavinoids such as quercetin which is proving to be important for general health and the immune system.
Vitamin D is now considered one of the most vital vitamins for health and protection and one of the most depleted, particularly in pregnant women, the elderly and those that rarely get outdoors. In the frozen North, how much daylight do you see in winter? Probably not a lot. Vitamin D3 is the most bioavailable form of this nutrient and emerging evidence is that we need around 50ug/day for health and this is the newly established RDA in Canada.

I get my vitamins and supplements from Cytoplan who make excellent quality food state supplements which are much easier for your body to metabolise. Many very cheap vitamins and supplements are really a waste of money as the ingredients are not in a form your body can use.

For more information see this article about food state and whole food supplements on the Cytoplan website. They have a vast amount of technical information, articles, research information and free booklets on a range of health conditions. They also offer a free Health Questionnaire which will give you an appraisal health, together with advice on lifestyle, diet and supplements.

Jo Rhodes is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Jo Rhodes Homeopathy
Gateway to Health
Castle Hill
North Yorkshire
BD24 9EU

Email Jo Directly
Call 0800 298 07 01

More News Articles

  1. Bowland’s wildflower meadows

    Bowland’s wildflower meadows

    Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust – News Release Date of issue: 21 June 2022 Putting the buzz back into Bowland’s wildflower meadows   Nearly 40 hectares of hay meadows were regenerated in the Forest of Bowland last year thanks to Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust through the Meadow Makers project led by Plantlife.   This nation-wide project […]

    Read More
  2. All barns great and small!

    All barns great and small!

    Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority – Joint News Release Date of issue: 21 June 2022   All barns great and small! Dales’ ‘laithes’ receive a makeover   Two field barns which helped make the Dales landscape world famous have been restored with the support of the family of the late All Creatures […]

    Read More