Welcome to summer!

May 23, 2016

This winter and spring saw more coughs and chesty problems than many of us in the IAHS can ever remember in the past, but brighter days are reflected in people’s faces and moods as well as immune systems. Early flashes of sunshine remind us to stock up on safe, low chemical sun protection and Deet-free insect repellent in the hope of balmy days to come.

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As I write, the main pollen season caused by grasses is imminent. In recent years we have seen hayfever symptoms become increasingly common for children, and they can present a serious problem for exam students. Children can use vitamin C and an excellent homeopathic remedy which tastes like mini sugar sweets, and for older people there is a choice of vitamin C and tinctures, tablets and sprays containing luffa, quercetin and nettle as natural antihistamines. Consultations with registered homeopaths can reveal effective remedies for all ages and IAHS members will advise on helpful foods.

Basic self-help measures can be very effective, such as washing a child’s hands and face and changing their clothes after playing outside, avoiding being outside early morning and evening if possible, keeping windows closed – including car windows, and wearing wrap-around sunglasses. Older people can splash their eyes from a basin of cold water to wash out pollen, and get somebody else to cut the grass! All ages can use a barrier cream in the nose which traps around 30% of the aggravating pollen grains before they can do damage, and some people find that coming off dairy can help to reduce runny noses.

Politics are entering even non-political minds these days as the UK decides on EU membership. Certainly our industry hopes the UK will remain a member and continue to resist over-restrictive EU regulations which threaten many of the products on our shelves.

Another political issue is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Many of us are concerned that this deal would enable multinationals to override current Irish and EU environmental and consumer protection rights in secret corporate courts. One to watch.

Fingers crossed that you are reading this in a deckchair and wearing a sunhat!

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