Why does aluminium feature in vaccines?

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Got to Additional Comment at the bottom if you have already seen this blog post.

I started researching the information available on the internet about the amount of metals administered in vaccines after reading this article about the Gardasil Vaccine and how countries are taking legal action against the manufacturers of the vaccine which was supposedly developed to protect young woman from becoming victims of cervical cancer.

In one family’s personal search for a cure for their daughter’s auto-immune reaction to the series of three injections I read two stand-out facts:

  • The world (of young women) did not need a new (inadequately tested) vaccine as there was already a centuries old method of protection – condoms. Not only do condoms protect from the sexually transmitted diseases they protect from other nasty’s.
  • The active ingredient of the Gardasil vaccine was held in a solution containing a large amount of metals – namely aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate.

I started doing some more research and the following quotes have come from people who have been badly affected by the vaccine that was supposed to protect them from cervical cancer.

Personal experiences

Audrey Kitching in her June 2009 blog reported her illness after having only two of the series of three injections:

“I saw every specialist and doctor in the area. No one could figure out what was wrong with me. They kept finding large amounts of chemicals and metals in my body. Doctors thought it may be my dental fillings. I got two surgery’s to remove all the metal with oxygen tanks. I started a metal detox program and was put on an all organic no wheat, no gluten, no dairy, no sugar and no soy diet. I was taking 76 supplements a day just to function since January, now I am only taking about 20 a day.”

This is common theme in the experiences I read about.

According to Kristine Clulow from Australia, quoted on the Sanevax website (where you will discover hundreds of other affect young women):

“Approximately two months ago (mid-2014), I had a hair mineral analysis test conducted. This required taking a small portion of untreated hair out and sending it to a lab for testing. This test showed up that my body was high in Aluminum (a major ingredient in Gardasil), and that my body was not absorbing the nutrients from food. As such, I have booked in to see a dietician to resolve this issue.”


The girls who were struck down were usually healthy, active young women who suddenly became lethargic and complained of pains. Many girls reported symptoms of constant (excruciating) headache, sore throats, swollen glands, chest pains, dizziness with black outs, weakness, abdominal pain, muscle and back pain, brain fog, trouble concentrating and short term memory and gastro-intestinal problems.  They were often open to virus and infections and took many weeks to throw off the infection.

These symptoms are all possible indicators of metal poisoning.

TeaTree, Lavender,OliveOil and other essential oils and herbs help to detox a chemical=laden body.

As each family failed to get help from conventional specialists they would look at alternative therapies. One family said: “Neuro training, brain training, osteopathy, detoxing, a strict diet, supplements and more alternative treatments all helped to improve her health.”

Diet has proved important for many and the process of detoxing.

What do Vaccines contain?

The University of Oxford has this to say about the make-up of vaccines:

“The key ingredient in all vaccines is the active ingredient. This is the part that challenges the immune system so that it makes antibodies that can fight the disease. Apart from this, the main ingredient in vaccines is water. Most injected vaccines contain 0.5 millilitres of liquid, in other words a few drops. All other ingredients weigh a few milligrams (thousandths of a gram) or even less.

“Vaccine ingredients can look unfamiliar. However, it is important to remember that many of the substances used in vaccines are found naturally in the body. For example, many vaccines contain salts based on sodium and potassium, which are essential for life. People may think of formaldehyde as a man-made chemical, but in small quantities it is also found naturally in the bloodstream.”

Unfortunately these few milligrams of chemicals, salts and metals react with some people and cause immeasurable damage.

Says Audrey Kitching: “Gardasil contains 225 cmg of aluminum in each shot. There are 3 injections in each vaccine that is 675cmg of aluminum. Do you understand how toxic that is alone without all the other ingredients.”

Chemical cocktails with lethal hangover

Despite the University of Oxford’s assurances above here are the ingredients that I found in 2 (TWO) vaccines:

  • Aluminum phosphate,
  • Formaldehyde,
  • Glutaraldehyde,
  • 2-phenoxyethanol,
  • Aluminum hydroxide,
  • Aluminum phosphate,
  • Calf serum,
  • Lactalbumin hydrolysate,
  • Glutaraldhyde,
  • Neomycin sulfate,
  • Sodium chloride,
  • Polymyxin B,
  • Polysorbate 80,
  • Yeast protein

The potential side effects from these vaccines included: Vomiting, redness or swelling, fever, tiredness or poor appetite, seizures, serious allergic reaction, brain damage (very rare), drowsiness, fainting, irritability, joint pain, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea,  upper respiratory tract infection, shock, brachial neuritis.

You can read about more of them at Generation Rescue’s website.

Yellow Fever vaccine

Gardasil is not the only modern medication (vaccine to have caused violent reactions in some people. Yellow fever vaccine has also affected hundreds. Following her husband’s horrific brain injury after receiving an injection against Yellow Fever, Trine Villemann decided to do some investigations of her own.

“Sanofi Pasteur, the maker of the yellow fever vaccine, denies any link between the vaccine and my husband’s illness. However in May 2013 the vaccine-maker for the first time admitted that my husband is not the only one who has been sent mad by the yellow fever vaccine. Sanofi Pasteur admitted to ‘fewer than 10 reports of mental disorders related to the vaccine, including Mr Brabant’s’, but I have investigated this and found hundreds more.

“At the WHO Monitoring Centre in Uppsala they have gathered at least 400 reports of yellow fever vaccine-related adverse events involving mental disorders over the past ten years.”

People are not lab rats

These people are not lab rats that pharmaceutical companies might see as expendable casualties in a mass vaccination program – they are people whose lives have been ruined and some cases killed by the vaccine that was supposed to cure them. We should expect more of the health industry.

Additional comment:

Since writing this I have become aware that respected doctors are also concerned about the use of metals in vaccines, including the ‘flu vaccine:


Please view this video if you have similar concerns to me.

Why is this potential cancer cure being kept secret?

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

The big ‘C’ is such an emotive subject that I have avoided it in this blog. There are all sorts of claimed cures from healing your internal environment by eating raw to taking high doses of medicinal herbs packed into capsules. Some people have miraculous results; others still perish. Even using conventional medical practices of cut, poison and burn, there are still those whose cancer does not respond. Or should that say: “whose bodies do not respond”?


Today, I’m breaking my embargo. I want to share what I believe is exciting news. Take a read of this article: Cancer treatment could use immune system to fight tumours, and Dendritic cells (DC): the key to cancer immunotherapy.

Dendritic cells – key to healing cancer?

I became aware of this breakthrough via an email newsletter I have subscribed to from Cancer Defeated. They’re on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CancerDefeated so you can check them out for yourself. And here is a link to the Newsletter that explains about Dendritic cells and how they work towards a cure and about the work of Bill Henderson, author of How to Cure Almost Any Cancer at Home.

Of course Cancer Defeated does peddle some of those capsules I talked about earlier, but the information is definitely worth reading and backed up by scientific research, such as the two articles I highlighted above.

Cancer cells merely a product of our own body

For decades I believed, like many others, that cancer was something that “invaded” our bodies. At very least it was something we were putting into our bodies that encouraged cancerous cells to multiply excessively.

Now scientists are realising that cancer is our body’s reaction to an imbalance in our immunity systems. “In normal cells, cell division is balanced by cell death, but cancerous cells continue to divide and accumulate, damaging nearby tissues.” Read more: http://www.faqs.org/nutrition/Ca-De/Cancer.html#ixzz383FDvRxO.

That means when cells divide they do so to replace a dead or dying cell. And that’s a perfectly healthy thing to happen because we need to heal and grow. But something triggers cancer cells to ignore that process and keep replicating quickly without a corresponding number of them dying off.

Our abused body immunity can’t cope with cancer

Scientists are looking at potential cures that will right the body’s immunity system balance and kill off mutant (cancerous) cells; from a slightly different perspective herbalists are looking for foods that support the system to bring back immunity strength. In reality, they are both searching for the same thing.


Conventional medicine slow to accept cancer alternative treatments

Dendritic cell therapy is another method that trials show could halt the spread of cancerous cells by creating healing cells that kill off the cancerous cells, even on advanced cancers. The important point to take from this is that scientists are making progress, but acceptance of this progress by ruling medical bodies is slow to take root:

“Cancer researchers have been interested in this idea for decades – and variations of the idea are already used in some alternative clinics — but only recently did the cancer vaccine concept start making real progress in mainstream medicine. The so-called dendritic cell vaccine has since been described as a newly emerging but potent form of immune therapy for cancer treatment,” according to Cancer Defeated Editor in Chief, Lee Euler.

“The good news is the FDA recently approved the first dendritic cell therapy, called Provenge. A few alternative cancer clinics have used their own form of dendritic cell therapy for years, but FDA approval means it may now be available from mainstream oncologists. Better late than never.”

Cancer tumours and treatments explained

Here’s another useful website with lots of information on cancer and treatments: http://www.biooncology.com/. Useful for finding answers your doctor may not have thought to answer or you to ask at consultations. If you search using the word: “dendritic” you will find five articles that mention or refer to it.

Big question:

Does anyone know if dendritic cell therapy treatment is being offered in New Zealand? There could be many people out there who would like to know.

Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

What’s going onto your skin in make-up?

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author


Going natural protects your body from cosmetic nasties

In this blog I have mentioned on occasion a number of alternatives to using chemical-based make-up and cosmetics. So it’s heartening to see similar well-researched articles appearing in main-stream press.

What’s on Your Face? Cosmetics Uncovered, by Sophie Barclay for the New Zealand Herald, continues the bad news about the ingredients of the products that are supposed to stop us aging and keep us attractive.  Barclay has researched the topic thoroughly and lists the worst offenders and the safest product lines, long with the ingredients that do us grievous bodily harm. Check out the article for yourself.

I have no recipes for make-up – I’ve given up pretending I need to be attractive to the opposite sex. However, there are some things I like to do to my body.

Avoiding tinea or Athletes Foot

I used to buy a cream from the chemist on a regular basis to clear up Athletes Foot. Somehow any bit of physical activity encouraged the fungus between my toes. Well, I have to tell you I have not needed any for over six months because I follow this process.

Into 1 tbs of olive oil I mix 10 drops tea tree oil/manuka oil (the active ingredient), 10 drops Ylang Ylang oil (for fragrance) and 10 drops Bergamot oil (because its supposed to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels – but also smells nice). I rub my feet and between my toes with this oil every morning and often at night. Feet smell great even after being in socks all day, and the oil keeps the skin of your feet soft.


Lavender oil could add extra antiseptic strength to the recipe

I suspect you could substitute other oils, like lavender, for the fragrances, but I’m a fan of tea tree oil as it is supposed to be an antiseptic. Olive oil is an oil kind to the body, so use it freely. Quality olive oil won’t dominate the other essential oils even though they’re added in such small quantities.

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

The science that banishes ‘sweat’

or what’s wrong with ‘sweat’?

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

I look at the array of deodorants in my local supermarket and I’m intrigued by the lengths the industrial scientists have gone to banish smell of sweat, and any hint of its existence. And I’m reminded of the old adage: horses sweat, men perspire and ladies ‘glow’.


A gentle glow is all that’s allowed for the fairer sex.

Of course such a saying could only apply to a limited few, because during the time of the birth of that saying working class people did most of the sweating while the idle rich did very little to bring up any sort of glow, except perhaps on a hunt. The lower class and the areas they lived in did reek of body odour, but as everyone reeked pretty much the same as their neighbour, the need to cover a natural body smell was non-existent.

The business of ‘sweat’

Nowadays banishing sweat is big business, despite air conditioning and our sedentary lifestyles.  The chances of our shaved and pampered underarms ever working up a real sweat is just about zilch unless we’re at the gym, or a bundle of nerves prior to giving a speech or presentation. So why the preoccupation with a natural scent?

Deodorants were first brought out as a way of minimising the smell associated with sweat. Some people do smell when their underarms perspire. It’s to do with the bacteria that grows in warm, wet places, and some people grow bacteria quicker than others. Men particularly.

Disguising the appearance of sweat

Then the industry moved on to antiperspirants aimed at stopping us sweating altogether (or at least appearing not to sweat. Now the scientists really got in on the job, combining concoctions of chemicals that disguise the smell of even the sweatiest of men (include national sportspeople in that group). Perspiration running down your face was okay as long as your underarms remained dry. LOL.


Oh no – the ‘no-no’ patch

Now we have gone one further – the scientists have invented a deodorant/antiperspirant that stops your sweat yellowing your white or black tee shirts.

Avoiding sweat discoloration

I was intrigued to find that Nivea had put out a deodorant/antiperspirant/clothing protector all in one. How could this work, I wondered so I proceded to investigate this, as best I could without being a super-scientist.

First I discovered that they had cleverly disguised where the ingredients were listed. You have to lift a tab indicated by a minute instruction that just about needs a microscope to detect it. I peeled back the label and there they were. What you put on your skin is:

  • Aluminium chlorohydrate isoceteth-20
  • Paraffinum Liquidium
  • Butylene Glycol
  • Glyceryl Isostearate
  • Laureth-7 Citrate,
  • Parfum
  • Palmitamidopropyltrimorium Chloride
  • Propylene Glysol
  • PEG-150 Distearate
  • Lialool
  • Limonene
  • Geraniol

Exploring the ingredients that banish sweat

If you’re like me and all that sounds like gobbledygook, here’s what each of those ingredients do (in lay-woman’s speak). Unless otherwise stated information comes from Wikipedia, which I trust to validate it’s articles.

Aluminium chlorohydrate (isoceteth-20) is one of the most common active ingredients in commercial antiperspirants. The Food and Drug Administration considers the use of aluminium chlorohydrate in antiperspirants to be safe and it is permitted in concentrations up to 25%.

There have, however, been studies that have linked long-term use of antiperspirants to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The trouble is by the time the disease is apparent there is no way of reversing the effects or repudiating the cause.

“Personal care products are potential contributors to the body burden in aluminium and newer evidence has shown that more aluminium is deposited in the outer regions than the inner regions of the breast. But whether differences in the distribution of aluminium are related to higher incidence of tumours in the outer upper region of the breast remains unknown.” – Exley C., Charles L.M., Barr L., Martin C., Polwart A., Darbre P.D. (September 2007). “Aluminium in human breast tissue”. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry 101 (9): 1344–6

Paraffinum Liquidum – Parafin wax. Common applications for paraffin wax include lubrication, electrical insulation, and candles. It’s sometimes confused with another petroleum product sometimes called paraffin oil. In Labs paraffin wax is used to impregnate tissue, which shows its potential use in deodorants – it gets in to skin!

Butylene Glycol (or Butanediol) Manufacturers of skin care products use butylene glycol because it can take moisture from the air and retain it. In areas like underarms this is useful when you are trying to ‘absorb sweat’.

“In sensitive individuals, butylene glycol may be irritating to the skin, eyes, and or nasal passages, but it is the least potentially irritating of all the glycols. In addition, since this ingredient is in so many of the products we apply on our skin every day, the concern is that over time, our exposure may be adding up to something that could be potentially harmful to the health of the skin and body. So far, however, scientific studies have shown no harmful effects from the ingredient at current levels and exposures. In fact, this glycol has not been linked to any organ-specific toxicity and is not considered to be carcinogenic, unlike ethylene glycol.” From Ann Marie Gianni’s website.

Glyceryl Isostearate – This chemical is classifed as an emollient. So having taken out moisture with the previous ingredient, this ingredient is added to soften and smooth the skin and prevent it potentially drying out and becoming itchy.

Laureth-7 Citrate is found in eczema and damaged skin treatments. So what is it doing in a deodorant/antiperspirant? Are the manufacturers covering their bases in case another ingredient causes damage?

Palmitamidopropyltrimorium Chloride – Not found in any website I tried, including the US National Institute of standards and technology. Maybe this is the secret ingredient Nivea mentions in its marketing video? Try clicking this link and then selecting How it Works

Propylene Glycol – Basically it lowers the freezing point of any water it’s mixed with. “In general, glycols are non-corrosive, have very low volatility and very low toxicity (however, ethylene glycol is very toxic to humans and many animals).” Wikipedia.

PEG-150 Distearate is a simple thickener often added to shampoos. Wikipedia

The smell ingredients:

Parfum – perfume is unstated

Lialool – is a naturally occurring terpene (a component of plant resin) chemical found in many flowers and spice plants with many commercial applications, the majority of which based on its pleasant scent (floral, with a touch of spiciness). Wikipedia

Limonene is a colourless liquid that has a strong smell of oranges. It is also a terpene. Research into terpenes has found that many of them possess qualities that make them ideal active ingredients as part of natural agricultural pesticides. Wikipedia

Geraniol – is the primary part of rose oil, palmarosa oil, and citronella oil (Java type). It also occurs in small quantities in geranium, lemon, and many other essential oils.

So there you have it 12 ingredients working hard to to keep your armpits sweat free, fragrant and avoiding yellowing of your clothes.

Natural deodorants work with sweat

There are many essential oils, that, combined with a carrier oil, can make your underarms fragrant, but they won’t last for more than a few hours. Our expectation that we can shower in the morning, add a layer of chemicals and party to the small hours odour-free has led to a giant pharmaceutical business. Of course that expectation has been nurtured by that industry because there are mega-bucks to be made.

Much less costly is using a wash cloth to rinse off sweat at breaks during our day and applying talcum, baking soda or even cornflour combined with a few drops of our favourite essential oil. But that recipe doesn’t come with images of glamorous models dancing, arms up exposing hair-free armpits. And it doesn’t make any money for anyone except what you save personally by doing it.

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Life on earth could depend on the honey bee

Will Armageddon be world hunger?

by Heather Sylvawood – Amazon Author

A couple of years ago I noticed that in Spring there were very few bees buzzing around our fruit tree blossoms. The crop was minimal but I put it down to the fact that the trees were young. It happened again this year, with still tiny crops of fruit. In New Zealand the cause may be because of a Varroa Mite that kills off bees in hives.


A busy bee that could mean my garden produces food next year

Reacting as I do to bee stings, I normally prune the flower heads off this plant so that I can sit on the deck without fear of a sting. This year I didn’t. In fact, I have rejoiced in the number of honey bees and bumble bees feasting on the nectar. I hope the food they have gathered this autumn will produce a good harvest of worker bees in the spring.

An environmental holocaust?

Alarming news comes from abroad via Ricken Patel of Avaaz that: “Already, there are nowhere near enough honeybees in Europe to pollinate the crops, and in California — the biggest food producer in the US — beekeepers are losing 40% of their bees each year. We’re in the middle of an environmental holocaust that threatens all of us, because without pollination by bees, most plants and ⅓ of our food supply are gone. “

Even scientists are raising the alarm over the trend and say it’s pesticides that are causing the decline in the bee population. This reduction in natural pollination could lead to a world-wide disaster that will hit us quickly. Within years, we could all be facing mass starvation as regularly suffered by African nations.

Pesticides kill all insects including bees

In striving to produce perfect, unblemished fruit and vegetables major producers are expected to apply pesticides. And we shoppers are part of the problem. We pick over the produce and reject any with blemishes. Good food is thrown away because it has the tiniest of marks. Gone are the days when housewives would pick over windfalls and cut out the problems. Now we expect to start with perfect specimens.


Could we increasingly see empty sparse gardens?

The problem with pesticides is that they don’t discriminate – if you have six legs, wings and a thorax, you’re the enemy. bang, bang you’re dead. There goes our natural sweetener and the potential productive garden we hope for next year.

But it will also mean mass plantings of plants like peas, beans, pumpkins, lemons and oranges, apples and pears, stone fruit and grapes (oh, there goes our wine crop) will not be pollinated. Add to that the fact that plants like onions, carrots, silverbeet and spinach that produce seed-setting flowers after these plants are left “to go to seed” won’t do so. We’ll have a smaller seed crop to grow the following year. It’s a grim picture.

Reliable research is urgently need to protect bees

The pharmaceutical companies go to great lengths to claim that pesticides are not killing off bees. They spend megabucks in skewed science to “prove” it, but the few scientists and lay people who have been shouting “No. Please listen,” don’t have access to that kind of money. To help, AVAAZ has launched an appeal to concerned members of the public to donate a small amount to fund definitive, totally independent research to show what is killing off our bee population.

Visit the AVAAZ website here to join the movement to find out how to save the bees.

Do your bit locally to protect honey bees

Here are some ways you can help honey bees survive:

  • Stop spraying your flowering plants with pesticides – rejoice when the bees visit
  • Plant flowering and fruiting plants in abundance around your property
  • Talk to your neighbours about making your area a pesticide-free zone
  • If you find a honey bee swarm, call up a local beekeeper, don’t try to exterminate them
  • Avoid de-heading flowering plants until they’ve given local bees a good feed
  • Talk to your council or local body about their spraying policy and lobby to have them remove pesticides from their spraying program
  • Encourage your council or local body to plant reserves and grass verges with flowering shrubs and plants – Yarrow, a common white roadside flower is loved by bees

And just for fun take a look at what could bee our future:

by Heather Sylvawood – Amazon Author

‘Old’ seems a long way from now

A message to the ‘youngs’

If you‘re an under-25 year-old reading this blog, then ‘old’ will seem a long way from now. Time, however, has a way of taking you by surprise and age creeps up, robbing you of “what I want to do’s” and the “if only I had started then” regrets. There are some things I wish I’d known and heeded early in life.

When our 14 year old daughter was earning extra cash working in a rest home she once told us that she never wanted to be ‘old’; instead she planned to kill herself before she got there. It could have been laughable except at that stage in her youthfulness she thought ‘old’ was anything over 30. And even though she feared getting ‘old’ she continued to behave in ways that harmed her body. Now as a happily married mother of two, she’s much more protective of her body and values things like good nutrition and even ‘old’ people like us!

Start good habits now

There are several ways you can avoid looking old and they have nothing to do with the expensive options being offered in a jar to panicking Baby Boomers (that’s basically anyone who’s retired). Most of the methods of holding onto your youthful looks start now – aged under-20. Here a few things I wish I’d learned early and followed.

The underlying premise to ‘youth’ is that staying young is to do with:

  1. What you put into your body
  2. What you put onto your body
  3. Your state of mind

What you put into your body

Your diet

What you eat affects your body, bones and skin, all of which affects the length of time you continue to look youthful. A ‘good diet’ is not about an eating regime that restricts your food intake in order to make you lose weight. Fad diets to make you fit into a Prom dress can deplete your body of good nutrition. Fad or bad diets can put stress on internal organs and lead to diseases of aging, like diabetes. If you follow a ‘good diet’ you will limit your intake of bad fats and high sugar foods (including most orange juices) and increase your intake of raw food and grains.

If you think you’ve got years ahead of you in which to change your habits – think again. The longer you stay in a bad habit of eating the harder it is to break and the more damage it stores up for when you’re ‘old’.

Here are some websites that give you real advice about eating regimes:

Health Talks with Dr Diana Galbraith

Active Beat – Daily Health News



Not sure what it’s like where you live, but there’s a lot of pressure around here on young people to drink themselves silly when they’re out on the town. The belief is that you’re not having a good time unless you get drunk. Trouble with that theory is you’re unlikely to remember anything about the time you had out unless you’re the sober driver. And the sober driver’s memory will be of helping their drunken mates into the car to take them home.

Absolute facts about drinking:

  • If you get drunk and drive you’re highly likely to have an accident and maim yourself and others – suffering pain makes you look older.
  • If you get drunk and take sexual risks, you’re highly likely to catch a sexually transmitted disease or, if you’re a girl, get pregnant. Children will put creases your face, mark my words.
  • If you drink excessively your brain cells die and your liver function is compromised.
  • If you drink excessively, your skin is affected and you’re likely to look older later in life. Think of any alcoholics you know. Do they look youthful?

Don’t take my word for it; take a look at the website of: The Foundation for a Drug-free World

But then you know all that don’t you? The sensible ones among you already avoid excessive drinking. You’re the ones who won’t be affected by the loss of a youthful face.

What you put on your body


Glamour is where girls approaching adulthood what to aim. That means wearing high heels that lengthen the look of your legs and make you appear taller in proportion to your body weight.


But take a look at this video created last year to show how wearing high heeled shoes long term can deform our feet:




No matter what the great icons of the make-up industry tell you, long term your skin does not benefit from make-up. Anything smeared on your face that blocks your pores from breathing, sweating and healing, cannot be good for you. You may start looking older than you actually are. That might seem like the aim of the game when you’re under 25; but when you’re over-35 the reverse is what you want. Okay, you could be like our ex-14 year-old whose cure for age was suicide, but I can assure you that when you reach 30 or 35 life is so full it’s worth living.

All makeup and moisturizers actually do some damage to your skin and with prolonged use wrinkles and other signs of ageing may be visible. Try the healthy glow of clean skin or at the most, use natural vegetable oils to protect your skin from the harsh elements of weather. To protect yourself from sun damage: You can make your own sunscreens without harsh chemicals. And cover-up with light cotton clothes, sunhat and sunglasses.

Take a look at this webpage to find out more about the effects of wearing make-up: List Crux

Your state of mind

Your state of mind is affected by many things; some of which you will not be able to control. Nowadays there are many courses, books and websites that support people to look at the positive in life. That might be hard to achieve, especially if you’re still affected by the hormones of puberty. However, making a habit of looking on the positive does change your state of mind, and is at the bottom of many therapies aimed at promoting mental health. A face that relaxes into a smile is far prettier and youthful than one that relaxes into a scowl. Our faces betray what’s going on inside. Positive thoughts, an enjoyment of life, and eagerness to learn radiate health.

If you’re feeling depressed about what’s happening in your life, take action now. Schools and other organisations exist to support people going through difficult times. Contacting them does NOT mean you’ve failed; quite the opposite. Getting help shows you have a level of maturity that will serve you well in adulthood.


The habits of life you start now can be carried into a healthy lifestyle for any age. You just have to distrust the promises of youthfulness attached to any product. Do your own research, but make sure what you’re reading about is written by someone without a financial benefit in convincing you to buy.

And in case you’re still afraid of growing old, let me assure you sweet young people, ‘old’ is always at least 20 years older than whatever you are currently. So maybe 30 could be ‘old’?

– ‘Grandma Sylvawood’ – Amazon Author

How to relieve bites, stings and itches naturally

Nowadays we have become used to reaching for pharmacy solutions to relieve the symptoms of insect bites and stings and other itchy, allergic reactions to poisonous plants. The plant world, however, has its own relief often growing nearby. The following information is based on experience in New Zealand, but some plants are endemic across the world.

Where I grew up was a coastal region of New Zealand, and the plants in our garden were mainly natives or vegetables. In my father’s eyes flowers were frivolous. That did not mean we were without flowers, because our natives had their own season for blooming, often small or insignificant flowers. The flowers, however, were not the prized part of the bushes or trees.

Ngaio and Titoki – natural insect bite relief

ngaio  Titoki

Native coastal lover, Ngaio (left), and bush based Titoki are both useful insect repellent

One tree I especially remember was a seedling my Dad planted when I was a toddler. That was a ngaio tree. Our parents warned us away from the berries or putting the leaves, which are poisonous, into our mouths. The young leaves or shoots, however, have the beneficial effect of being an effective sandfly and mosquito repellent. If you’re camping by the sea, and have forgotten the repellent, then try crushing and rubbing the leaves over exposed skin.

In the bush, identify a Titoki tree and gather some leaves. Crush the leaves and pack down hard into a jar. Pour over some ordinary cooking oil (use olive oil if you have it) and allow to stand for an hour or two. Rub over your skin to deter the biters. If you are bitten, both Ngaio and Titoki help sooth the itches.

Dock reliefs itches and stings


If you haven’t managed to avoid a bite or sting then search the garden for a dock.

Dock, in various forms, grows in many parts of the world. Most gardeners, however, are constantly trying to eradicate it as the plant propagates easily by seed (up to 40 seeds per season) and root. If you try to dig it out you must get every part of the root as each piece is capable of growing into a new plant.

Like many weeds, dock leaves do have some merits: when rubbed on stinging nettle rash or insect bites they can relieve the itchy symptoms. Again crush the leaves so that the juices run. You can also create a ‘poultice’ from chopped leaves and bind it onto the bite area with a bandage.

Other common natural insect repellents

Other common plants to repel and relieve insect bites include:

  • Pennyroyal mint (also said to work against fleas)
  • Feverfew
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Marigolds

The trick with all natural remedies to try them out as a repellent on a small area and stop if your skin reacts.

Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Going natural with plant oils

Natural healing remedies often get bad press from the pharmaceutical industry. But one age-old plant oil has found acceptance, even among mainstream pharmacies – that’s Arnica used externally for reducing swelling and bruising.


In New Zealand, I found that Naturo Pharm’s Arnica Cream happily sits on the shelves of pharmacies, alongside Voltaren Gel. The clinical pharmacology of Voltaren Gel is said to work  by inhibiting “the enzyme, cyclooxygenase (COX), an early component of the arachidonic acid cascade, resulting in the reduced formation of prostaglandins, thromboxanes and prostacylin. It is not completely understood how reduced synthesis of these compounds results in therapeutic efficacy.” That’s a bit of an act of faith!

Nothing natural in chemicals is there?

The chemical composition of Voltaren is explained in Wikipedia as: “The name “diclofenac” derives from its chemical name: 2-(2,6-dichloranilino) phenylacetic acid. Diclofenac was originally developed by Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis) in 1973.”

Naturo Pharm says their “range of natural homoeopathic remedies will help boost your body’s natural responses to a wide spectrum of life’s ailments and injuries.” Arnica Cream in particular is a “homoeopathic remedy Arnica Montana … manufactured from the herb commonly known as Leopards Bane. … Arnica assists the body’s natural response to shock, injury, fatigue and bruising and aids normal muscle recovery after strenuous exercise or exertion.” That’s also an act of faith!

Can chemicals and natural plant oils come together?

Having used both, I know that both work. So why is the remedy based on plant oils considered more ‘quackery” than chemical medicine? And is the attitude toward older remedies changing?

The reality is that natural plant oils are chemicals too. They have not had the scrupulous double-blind testing that chemical medicines have in recent decades. Instead, they have stood the test of time as centuries of wise men and women have passed on their knowledge of which plants work for which ailments.

The question is: Which is a better safeguard? Centuries of use or a double-blind test?

The question is also: Is western government’s insistence on double-blind testing a con pulled by chemical pharmaceutical companies to get rid of centuries-old natural remedies?

My favourite plant oils

I have a few plant oils I like to use and I find effective in treatment of minor ailments. I am currently using A.M.O’s Skin Treat Healing Cream that contains Arapawa Island’s manuka oil. New Zealand Manuka oil is a close cousin or Australian Tea Tree and probably of tea tree oils across the globe. To quote the advertising for the cream, the “blend contains manuka honey, red manuka and white manuka essential oils, essential oils of peppermint, lavender, orange, apricot, almond, and wheat germ in a rich and moisturising cream base.”


Manuka and Lavender flowers used for their plants oils in natural medicines

The cream is treating a skin irritation and is working. It’s said to be able to treat tinea, but I have already discovered how effective tea tree plant oil is on tinea (Athlete’s Foot). I use it daily in olive oil at a rate of 10 drops to a tablespoon of olive oil to cure and keep my feet clear or tinea. I add to the plant oil mix bergamot and rosewood purely for their pleasant smells, but you could add other oils, like lavender because of its “antiviral, bacterial and anti-inflammatory powers”.

Going natural with plant oils might be an act of faith, however, given the track record of double-blind tested medicines that have caused people harm in recent decades, my money’s on the natural remedies supported by centuries of people testing. I’ll still be aware of potential side-effects because everyone is different. But then, that’s taking responsibility for my own health and well-being.

Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Could Round-up be killing more than weeds?

Evidence could be mounting that Monsanto’s wonder weed killer could be having a detrimental effect on human beings.

Research published in the International Journal of Toxicology3 in January (2014) reveals that “glyphosate-based formulations like Roundup pose a threat to human health through cytotoxicity and oxidative effects. Such formulations were also found to be lethal to human liver cells.”

The article goes on to state: “You may think you are safe if you only eat organic produce but nothing could be further from the truth as most of the glyphosate contaminated crops are fed to animals. This means you also need to get organic meat and eggs. Also, beware you CANNOT wash glyphosate off your produce as it is actively integrated into every cell in the plant and impossible to wash off.” (See more of the article here)

Dr Stephanie Seneff has been conducting research at MIT for over three decades. Her research has uncovered significant correlations between the increased use of Glyphosate – the active ingredient in the herbicide, Round-up.

For the past 30 years, Dr Seneff has been passionate about teasing out potential causes of autism, after seeing what it was like for a close friend whose son was diagnosed. She points out the clear correlations between increased glyphosate use over recent years (the result of genetically engineered crops causing weed resistance, necessitating ever-larger amounts to be used) and skyrocketing autism rates.

This is the comparative graph of the rise in autism and the use of the herbicide that Dr Seneff’s research has revealed:


She points out that the rate of autism has risen so quickly, there can be no doubt that it has an environmental cause. “Our genes simply cannot mutate fast enough to account for the rapid rise we’re now seeing. The latest statistics released by the CDC on March 20 show that 1 in 50 children in the US now fall within the autism spectrum2,3, with a 5:1 boy to girl ratio. Just last year the CDC reported a rate of 1 in 88, which represented a 23% increase since 2010, and 78% since 2007.”

If you listen to te video interview you will hear that exposure to Glyphosate  either directly or in our food can cause:

  1. Gut dysbiosis (imbalances in gut bacteria, inflammation, leaky gut, food allergies such as gluten intolerance)
  2. Disrupted sulfur metabolism / sulfur and sulfate deficiency

Her research and related articles on the website Mercola.com make fascinating but horrifying reading.

An eco-friendly option to try

From Wendyl’s Green Goddess newsletter comes this welcome recipe. The ingredient should be readily available anywhere in the world, but I have added the contact for New Zealand readers to buy from Wendyl’s website:

Wendyl’s Wild Weedkiller
1kg tub of soda ash
Warm water to make up to 3 litres

Pour the soda ash into a bucket or your weed sprayer then top up with warm water until you have three litres. Shake to dissolve and then spray. Make sure the foliage is quite wet and please do this on a sunny day. You don’t want rain to wash it off. Leave to dry and you will notice a browning off of the plant within hours.
Click here to buy 1kg tubs of soda ash on our website or pop into our shop at 515 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn.

How to dry herbs for teas

I have been experimenting with a number of teas and herbal tea blends looking for useful (medicinal) and flavoursome teas. Of course, you can make lovely teas from fresh herbs and they look great in the cup.


The trouble with fresh herbs is that they are not available all year. The next best option is to dry them for using later.

Retaining the flavour

Because herbs get their scents and flavours from their essential oils you need to take care to dry them in a way that keeps that flavour and oil intact. Essential oils are extremely volatile and will evaporate easily when exposed to light and heat. This is important to remember when picking them and drying them.

You key aim when drying herbs is to do it:

  • Quickly to avoid mould
  • Away from light
  • Without applying too much heat

If you are collecting herbs for drying from your own garden, harvest them in the morning when their oil content is at its highest. However, wait until any dew has evaporated. Overnight, the plants replenish the essential oils they gave up during afternoon heat.

Some herbs do not dry well and are best preserved by other methods. Herbs that do not dry well include parsley, coriander, rosemary, chives and basil. These herbs keep their flavours when made into herbal oils and vinegars which can be used in cooking rather than in teas.

Drying Leafy Herbs

During the winter our wood burner is going almost constantly. I have hastened the drying process by using a roasting tray on the top of the stove, but this is probably not the best option.


Above: New Zealand Kawakawa leaves drying out on the stove

A better way is to hang the herbs, leaves down, with stems held together with a rubber band. Hang the herbs where they can dry away from direct light or heat. After a week they should be crispy-dry and the leaves should crumble easily off the stems.

Strip the leaves from the stems. Crumble them in your hands before storing the dried herbs in tightly covered glass jars, again away from direct light or heat. You can use a mortar and pestle but be careful not to crush the herbs into powder. Just as some cheaper teas are unpleasantly dusty, herbal teas will also become ‘dusty’ if over-worked.


A mortar and pestle can be used to crumble herb leaves for teas. The leaves above are the dried tea made from the kawakawa leaves.

Using a slow oven

If you cannot wait for your herbs to dry naturally, or they are taking longer than a week to dry, put them in your oven on the lowest temperature for no longer than 5 minutes.  Let the herbs cool at room temperature for 5 minutes before transferring to jars.

Drying Herbs in a Dehydrator

Drying herbs in a dehydrator has the advantage of being relatively quick. I have, however, found the dehydrator I bought took ages (and several hours of electricity) before the herbs were dried enough to be crumbled. Drying close to the fire was far more effective. However, here are some tips:

  • Strip larger leaves from the stems (e.g. lemon balm, mint and sage)
  • Leave small-leafed herbs on the stem (e.g. thyme)
  • Make sure herbs are spread thinly over the tray so they dry evenly
  • Dry at 95F/35C until crispy-dry. This will take 2-8 hours depending on the thickness of the leaves and the humidity in the air
  • Check every 2 hours to see if the herbs are dry yet

Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author