Summer News

May 31, 2012

After a dreary winter and spring, it’s wonderful how a touch of sun brings a smile to our customers’ faces. Even in a shopping centre with no natural light, retailers can tell within a few minutes when the sun has appeared just by looking at their customers’ cheery faces.

Welcome vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin! Sunlight truly does have a physical effect on us, encouraging the production of vitamin D with myriad benefits for health, so roll up your sleeves and consider leaving SPF out of moisturisers to gain full benefit.

Not many years ago IAHS shops sold sun protection products only in the summer, but now it’s all year round as people head to the sun any time in the year. However, most of our sun creams still sell in the summer, and we specialise in brands with minimal synthetic ingredients which are snapped up for children and by people with sensitive skin.

Though the coughs and colds season is over, our customers still have health concerns, and Echinacea is in demand year-round. It is often used by customers taking a flight since recycled air is such an efficient way of spreading passengers’ bugs and viruses into every lung in the plane. Grapefruit seed extract is another useful remedy for travellers. Whether used internally for tummy upsets, applied to infected bites or added to purify suspect water, the tiny bottles carry a mini medicine chest.

Talking of other strains of bugs, let’s hope that this summer weather is good for bees. We tend to think of bees in terms of honey, especially precious local Irish honeys which IAHS members are delighted to stock. But we forget that bees’ commercial value is overwhelmingly as pollinators. A farm and orchard near this writer which took hives from a local beekeeper last year saw significant increases in their respective crops which astonished the owners. Look at the ANH website for information on bee health: anh-europe.org/news/the-vanishing-of-the-bees.

Finally, you may have noticed some gaps on our shelves. Sadly we have lost some very safe and effective herbal remedies due to the huge cost of registration, but legal action could yet change the situation.

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