Which Vitamin Supplements Can Best Support Healthy Ageing?

Getting older is an inevitable part of life, but many of us are understandably keen to do what we can to support healthy ageing. This is not just about the way we look, but also includes maintaining a strong immune system, supple joints and a good digestive system. Here’s a look at how vitamin C and MSM powder (Methyl-sulphonyl-methane) can aid this process.


Boosting collagen production

The building blocks of a fresh and youthful complexion are the proteins that form collagen, which is a substance that supports our skin, bones, muscles and connective tissues. As we get older the body naturally produces less collagen, which is why we become prone to facial lines, sagging jawlines, and muscle stiffness. 


Vitamin C plays a key role in collagen production, so by increasing your intake you can maintain optimum levels of collagen to help keep your skin looking smooth and firm. When combined with MSM, vitamin C will work in synthesis to produce a consistent amount of collagen and help to prevent wrinkles and coarsening of the skin’s texture. 


As well as enhancing the appearance of the skin, the two products work together to maintain cartilage and minimise the risk of inflammation in the joints. This can help to keep you more flexible and pain-free as you age, reducing the risk of falls and injuries and making it easier to exercise and keep fit. 


Strengthening the immune system 

Infections and viruses present more of a threat as we get older, because the body may be less able to fight them off, or to bounce back quickly after an illness. Colds or bouts of flu that we shook off in a couple of days when we were younger can linger, or even develop into more serious respiratory conditions such as bronchitis or pneumonia. 


Vitamin C promotes the production of white blood cells, which are vital for fighting off pathogens. When combined with MSM, vitamin C also has an antioxidant effect that can protect the body against harmful free radicals, reducing the damage to cells that could expedite the ageing process and increase the chances of serious disease.


MSM also has a natural detoxifying effect and can boost liver function. This can improve general health and wellbeing and lead to brighter and clearer skin.


Tips for getting the most from your supplements

Always use good quality supplements derived from natural sources such as organic rosehip. Follow the recommendations for dosage and be consistent with taking them. You should take them as part of a healthy balanced diet, rather than as a substitute for nutritious food such as fresh fruit and vegetables, lean proteins, and unsaturated fats.


Pay attention to your hydration levels to support soft and supple skin, and limit your intake of alcohol to within the recommended guidelines of 14 units per week. If you smoke, consider quitting as this will significantly age your skin. 



Top Tips To Get Your Horse Competition Ready This Summer

The summer equestrian season is stepping up a gear, even if the weather doesn’t seem to have got the memo. It’s an exciting time with plenty of adventure ahead, but it also takes preparation and good health management to ensure that your horse is on top form for competitions this summer. Here are some top tips. 


Step up training gradually

Put together a training schedule to gradually step up the amount of work your horse is doing, rather than push them too far too soon and risk injuries. Incorporate a variety of exercises to improve their suppleness, strength and stamina. Mix up hacking, flatwork and jumping to keep them interested and enjoying their work. 


Hydration and cooling

The summer weather has been rather underwhelming so far. In fact, cooler temperatures can suit horses (and riders) very well, especially if you are planning to take part in demanding competitions such as show jumping, cross country or dressage. 


If the temperatures do hot up, you may want to consider giving your horse electrolytes to replace the minerals they lose through sweat.  After intense exercise, sponge or hose your horse down to help them cool off and feel comfortable. Ensure they always have access to fresh water. 


Consider giving feed supplements

There are a plethora of supplements available to support various aspects of your horses’ health and wellbeing. Each horse is unique and will have their specific quirks and needs. This may depend on their age, breed, previous medical history, and the amount and type of work that they do.  


A popular natural supplement to support bone and tissue health in horses, particularly competition horses or older horses, is Zeolite Clinoptilolite. This is a high quality palatable powder that contains silicon, which is a mineral that plays a key role in bone formation and the production of cartilage. 


This can help to support greater levels of flexibility, suppleness, and joint mobility, ensuring that your horse can always perform to the best of his ability. It can also help older horses avoid lameness and injury and help them to continue enjoying an active life. Zeolite also supports good digestion and can improve skin and coat health. 


Get yourself fit as well

Competitions demand a good level of all-round fitness from the rider as well as the horse, so consider your own fitness routine. Adjust your diet accordingly to ensure you are getting good sources of energy and are the optimal weight for your horse. 


Aim to do a mixture of exercise that includes cardiovascular training and work to improve your leg and core strength, and overall suppleness, balance and stamina. 


Take part in mock competitions

If you have the opportunity, mock competitions are an excellent way to prepare mentally and physically for the real thing. They can also help you to get on top of logistics such as loading, journey times, packing, and any extra tack or equipment you may need. 



Why Are Natural Clay Masks Now A Leading Cosmetic Product?

When it comes to skin care, there is such a dazzling array of products to choose from that it can be hard to know where to start. It seems that there is a product for every skin type, purpose, and fragrance preferences, and you could probably spend all day browsing slickly marketed cosmetic brand names.  


However, many commercial products have a daunting and opaque list of ingredients, and it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what the active ingredients are and where they have been sourced. This can be off putting for people with sensitive or problem skin, and also for the increasing numbers of consumers who want eco-friendly products. 


In recent years, there has been a growing recognition that natural products such as cosmetic clays offer the same or better quality of care, without any of the drawbacks that synthetic products can have for our health and the environment. Indeed, natural clay has stood the test of time, and its use for cosmetic purposes can be traced back to ancient times.


The origins of clay masks

The use of clay as a cosmetic tool can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians. It is thought that the legendary beauty Queen Cleopatra used clay from the Dead Sea to make masks and maintain her complexion, because of the nourishing combination of minerals, algae, and sodium the sea clay contained. 


In ancient Greek and Roman societies, the natural healing powers of clay were used to rejuvenate the skin, and also treat rashes, wounds, burns and stings. In Asia, clay was used not only for skincare, but also to cleanse and condition hair and to detoxify the digestive system.  


On the American continent, bentonite and kaolin clay were used by native people to make poultices to treat wounds and bites, and draw out infections. This is because certain types of clay have naturally occuring ultra-absorbent properties, which draw out toxins and promote faster and more effective healing. 


The modern resurgence of cosmetic clays

The instinctive understanding of the healing and therapeutic powers of clay demonstrated by ancient civilizations is now underpinned by modern science. For example, research has shown that clay is naturally absorbent and effective at drawing out excess oil and impurities from the skin. 


This is why clay masks are often used to treat acne and blemishes. Clay also contains natural minerals that help to soothe inflamed skin, leaving it looking more even toned and softer and brighter.


Cosmetic clay products avoid or make very minimal use of artificial additives, which is better for people with sensitive skin who may find that conventional products cause reactions and irritations, leaving them with dry or red skin that looks in worse shape than before.


Natural clay products are biodegradable and free from harmful chemicals, so they can be an eco-friendly choice that will not damage the environment if it makes its way into natural waterways. 



Is There An Alternative To Chemical-Based Flea Treatments?

Fleas and ticks are external parasites that can hide in the fur of cats and dogs and attach to the skin to feed on blood. They are often picked up during the warmer months when pets spend time outdoors, particularly in densely vegetated areas. Fleas are not a sign that your house or pet are unclean; in fact they positively like clean environments.


It’s important to control fleas and ticks because they can spread quickly between animals and humans, and carry diseases and other parasites. They can also cause discomfort and irritation of the skin, allergic reactions, blood loss, and tapeworm. 


Signs that your dog or cat might have fleas

If your pet is frequently scratching, has areas of thinning hair or bald patches, or areas of red irritated skin, then it may be infested with fleas. You can also check for tiny dark specks in their fur. If they have dark coloured fur, groom them with a fine-toothed comb over a piece of white paper to loosen the fleas or any eggs and droppings.


How to treat your pet for fleas

You should take immediate action as soon as you spot any sign of fleas, because a female can lay up to 50 eggs per day. Fleas can jump long distances and may soon infest other pets and areas of your home. 


Apply an appropriate flea treatment to kill the fleas and eggs. These are not interchangeable between pets, because they contain strong chemicals that may be harmful to some animals but not others. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and if necessary ask for advice from your vet. 


Are there any alternatives to harsh chemical treatments? 

Some pet owners dislike the idea of applying chemical-based flea treatments, and prefer to use a more natural alternative. A product called diatomaceous earth (DE) has been found to be safe and effective for managing fleas and ticks in pets. It’s important to note that you should always use a food grade product as non-food grade DE can be harmful to health.


Food-grade DE can be sprinkled onto your pet’s fur to kill fleas, and also ingested to control worms. DE can also be used to treat areas of your home that might be infested, such as bedding and carpets. It is often used to complement other forms of treatment rather than completely replace them, because it may not provide complete eradication of fleas or worms.


Checking for ticks

Ticks are larger than fleas, and tend to attach themselves to dogs who run through long grass or wooded areas. They prefer warm moist areas of the body such as the groin, armpits, behind the ears and between the toes. Dogs who go outdoors frequently should be checked for ticks every few days.


How to remove ticks

Use a pair of small tweezers and grab the tick at the base, nearest to where it has burrowed into the skin. Lift upwards firmly to remove the head of the tick from the skin, and place it in a sealed container for safe disposal. Dab the area of punctured skin with an antiseptic wipe. 


Uses of Sodium Bicarbonate in Alternative Medicine & Hygiene

You may be familiar with sodium bicarbonate (often referred to as baking soda) as an ingredient in recipes such as cakes, because it interacts with other ingredients as a raising agent. However, it also has other uses as an alternative healthcare product. Here’s a look at the properties of this humble but versatile compound.


What is sodium bicarbonate?

Sodium bicarbonate is a white crystalline powder that has a range of uses thanks to its alkaline properties that can neutralise acids. This means that it can help to regulate pH levels, bringing health and hygiene benefits as well as being a useful baking ingredient. It’s a naturally occurring form of mineral salt that is obtained from nahcolite deposits. 


When seeking out sodium bicarbonate as a healthcare product, beware of synthetically manufactured compounds that are typically made in India or China, because they may have chemical additives that reduce its effectiveness or are even toxic. The purest and most effective sodium bicarbonate is mined from naturally occurring natron reserves. 


These were traditionally obtained from dried up lake beds in ancient Egypt, and in the modern day they are found in north and central Africa, and some regions of Europe and North America.  


Sodium bicarbonate to aid digestion

Sodium bicarbonate is commonly used to aid digestion, because the alkaline qualities help to counteract the stomach acid reflux that causes heartburn. A teaspoon of food-grade sodium bicarbonate dissolved in water can do the trick to relieve heartburn or dyspepsia. 


Oral health

Sodium bicarbonate helps to neutralise the acids that occur in the mouth and are responsible for causing bad breath, so it is often used as a mouthwash solution. It also contains gentle whitening properties that can remove stains and leave the teeth looking brighter.  


The antibacterial properties may also help to ease the symptoms of mild gum disease (gingivitis). It’s a popular and affordable alternative to standard tooth care products.


Domestic hygiene

Sodium bicarbonate has natural antibacterial properties, and the alkaline content helps to neutralise bad odours. It can be added to laundry to soften the water and ensure that garments, bedding and towels smell fresh and pleasant after washing, and it can help to remove stains on crockery. 


It can also be safely sprinkled onto carpets and upholstery to absorb lingering pet or cigarette odours. Furthermore, it can be mixed with water to clean kitchen counters and ovens, because it is abrasive but still gentle enough to avoid causing damage.  It can also be used to remove mildew and freshen up dishcloths and sponges. 


As a skincare product

Small amounts of sodium bicarbonate may be effective at treating skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Some people also find it useful when mixed as a paste to soothe bee stings, insect bites, and fungal infections. However, take care not to use too much or it will be overly drying, and it should not be applied to open wounds. 



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The Clay Cure Co.

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Wills Road

TQ9 5XN Totnes 

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