Honouring the Ancestors

What do you really know about Hallowe’en?

Ghosts, Ghouls and Goblins… Pumpkins, Tricks and Treats…that is what many people know of this time of year. And I’m glad you do. It is a time of celebration which some people observe and others fear.


In Gaelic, Hallowe’en is called Samhain; or Summer’s end. It is pronounced saah-win or saa-ween. The veil thins between our World and that of our Ancestors.

The Ancestors are every person who has lived before us. Our Family, friends, foes, teachers and those we have never met. We stand on the shoulders of millions of millions. The dust of their bones is in our fields, woodlands and shores. They have chemically and spiritually become one with the Land. This is a fact, rather than the start of a dark tale…

Hallowe’en is a Pagan festival of light rather than darkness. In 2 weeks, Hindus celebrate Diwali – another festival of Light. Our Ancestors saw this time as one of the last days of light. As you may have noticed, the days are becoming shorter and the nights longer. Before the harnessing of electricity and the development of technology; the next few months could be harsh.

If the harvest had been poor or failed, food would be scarce and frail members of the community may fail to see the awakening of the next year. Thankfully, many people have enough and never know the gnawing of hunger or the biting chill of no shelter.


Death was no more absent then than today. The perception of what comes next is different for everybody. Our society has a fascination with the macabre; yet has a real issue with dying. We don’t want to talk about it; just in case we might have to feel her gentle touch. Eventually, when it is your time; it will happen. Just accept it. Death is the dance partner of Life. We have lost contact with each other. Preferring to send a text, tweet or private message rather than talk face to face; the zombies already walk among us.

There are people that have rich lives and want for nothing materially. Yet ironically, live a half-life, decaying from the inside out. We have forgotten how to live fully; how to be present. We have forgotten how to honour our Elders and Ancestors.

Now I’m not suggesting you go and dig up the remains of any of your Dearly Departed; just remember them. Light a candle in their memory, take a little time to remember your Family and friends. They may have physically died, however, I can assure you; everyone in this life and the next appreciate a little time. Make a space on Hallowe’en, or All Hallows Eve, as it’s also known; to be present with them.


I’ve been sensing and seeing the dearly departed or arrived souls (as I like to call them) for the majority of my life. It comes naturally to me. It’s part of the reason I work as a Medium. We have forgotten how to remain in touch with our Family. Though occasionally they will try to get your attention. Have things around your home ever been borrowed or moved to odd places?

Have you had a particular song or phrase keep appearing in the background that triggers a memory of them? Or a familiar fragrance randomly occurs in your home? these are all quite normal ways of getting in touch.

Our lives can become so full, that we have no time to be quiet. Or we keep busy to numb out the loss and grief. To fill that space where our family were. Yet our Ancestors wait patiently, observing your life, occasionally reminding you they are present – in a different form and space. However, just because a person slips off their mortal coil doesn’t mean they become all knowing sweetness and light. If they were an awkward, cantankerous git… that remains the same.

Though, some of us have been made afraid of the dark, of the unknown; courtesy of various religions and modern entertainment. We have been discouraged from having a connection with our Ancestors. The closest we get is old photographs, dusty paperwork and family trees. Shadow is seen as something bad or wrong. Yet there is no shadow without light; it’s always present together.


So this Hallowe’en, dress up and have fun, go Trick or Treating, bob for apples, carve pumpkins and raise a glass to our Ancestors. Maybe set an extra place at the table and light a candle to remember your Family. Take a little time to feel the shift in the seasons. As we move from the brighter half of the year to the season of falling leaves, mists and candle light.

Enjoy the intimacy of time together with family and friends; as we all turn within. Contemplate what you need to release, and what seeds you want to grow over the Winter months. Reconnect with who you are.

Samhain Blessings

On the eve of All Hallows,
As we walk with the Lady and Lord of Shadows.

May family and friends draw near,
On Samhain night may you gather here.

Join with us while the veil is thin,
Share your wisdom or make us grin.

We ask you pause your journey on this night,
And we fare thee well at first light.

Rest a while in our hearth and home,
Enjoy our company, take your time.

Goodly spirits we are blessed by your gift,
As the seasons shift from sun to mist.

Thank you for being with me and mine,
May you be blessed at this time.


John is a modern day Cunning Man. He works as a Herbalist and Holistic therapist; as well as a Clairvoyant and Medium. For further details of his services and to book appointments just get in contact.

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Extreme Foods!

There are several foods worth discussing, some are part of our daily life added to enhance our diet or defined as socially acceptable mood-altering substances. All of the extreme foods can set up a craving for the other and potentially create an endless cycle. For example, after eating any sugar for a while, the body craves salt; and vice versa. Though this extreme balance is more like a see saw.

Refined sugar (Sucrose) is an empty food that leeches important vitamins and minerals e.g. calcium, from the body. Why do you think they add extra vitamins and minerals to the sugar-coated cereals?


It is well known as a leading cause of dental, metabolic (diabetes, thyroid imbalances) and digestive conditions. It creates heat in the stomach and over time a reduction in digestive function. If refined sugar was introduced to the market today, it would probably be taxed in a similar fashion to tobacco and alcohol; or even a controlled or banned substance.

Sugar is more addictive than cocaine, heroin or morphine. When you consume sugar, it acts the same way in your brain as substances like heroin and cocaine. Once it hits your system it triggers the production of dopamine in the brain.


Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is known as the “feel good” hormone. It gives you a sense of wellness and makes you feel good. This reaction is also the reason that people can become addicted to a substance.

Heavy meat eaters often crave sugar and sweet foods due to their emptiness; which offsets the fullness of meat. Sugar as mentioned previously can also cause salt cravings, the warming energy of sugars is counterbalanced by the cold energy of salty foods.


Whole sugars e.g. honey, maple syrup, molasses, barley malt, raw sugar cane are much better for the body, though should be consumed sparingly due to their empty nature.

Salt (Sodium, Na) is necessary along with potassium to maintain a healthy balance of the cells in our bodies and good skin condition. Naturally excess consumption of any salt will lead to the development of water retention, arterial hardening, high blood pressure and kidney disease (to name a few).

Many of our foods contain their own salt, fish, seafood and seaweeds being an obvious source. Look for the hidden salt in your processed foods – sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrogen carbonate, sodium nitrite. Personally, I don’t advocate a no salt diet.


One indicator of inadequate salt in your diet, is the development of muscular cramps. And if you have ever had a leg cramp at night; you will do your best to avoid it. If you are prone to sweating, stay hydrated and increase your intake of salt slightly – eat a packet of crisps. Though when adding small quantities of salt to the diet use whole, unrefined rock or sea salt that has a balance of other minerals.

Caffeine is a powerful substance that is naturally found in a number of plants naturally, though consumption comes with a price. Regardless of whether you drink tea (that includes green tea), coffee or colas for the taste or effect.

It depletes the body on all levels, leading to dependency, mood swings, stomach acidity, depression, changes in bone density and gynaecological issues.


In time, excess use leads to adrenal exhaustion, it may take years for this to develop; and then it occurs suddenly. Many drink coffee or tea to get them through the day and push through tiredness. Though it’s a vicious cycle… you drink coffee (or tea) to feel awake, focused and alert; and then you are unable to sleep. Include different liquids to quench your thirst, drink water or fruit juice in water; or herbal teas.


Though those that frequently drink more than 4 caffeinated drinks a day (coffee, tea, colas, Red bull) and are frequently tired, have poor immune systems, or drink coffee or tea at night and have no difficulty falling asleep – It may also be an indication a person is near to adrenal exhaustion. So if you find yourself feeling slightly sub-human before coffee (BC) in the morning, or feel the afternoon grumps coming on… It may be time to reduce your coffee (or tea) consumption.

Alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and nicotine all create Heat and irritation in the body due to their very stimulating nature.


In meat eaters this creates excessive amounts of Heat. However with a vegetarian diet, stimulants can provide the Heat that the body craves when given a very Cooling diet. This can be one of the major reasons why it is incredibly difficult for vegetarians and vegans to quit smoking or reduce coffee/tea consumption.

Without a change in their diet, vegans and vegetarians can find it more difficult than people who eat meat to reduce or eliminate extreme foods. Additionally, due to the sugar content of alcohol it creates the same issues as sugars in the body.

Tobacco (nicotine) restricts the peripheral circulation (hands and feet) and this leads to excessive coldness in the extremities.


It also impairs our ability to breath naturally, robbing all of our cells in the body of oxygen and nutrients; which causes a weakening of the whole body. Depending on how much a person smokes and their energetic constitution, can determine if a person develops any respiratory issues. Conditions associated with smoking include emphysema (COPD), cancers, heart disease, Raynauld’s disease, fertility issues, impotence, premature aging.

If you feel it is time to quit smoking, then do. You will find that eating a healthier diet will help reduce cravings and allow your body to gently detox. As well as supporting yourself from the inside, make sure you get support from your family and friends around you.

The Health organisations around the World would advise we abstain or minimise our consumption of these extreme substances. Yet they have been a part of culture and society for thousands of years. Salt and sugars (carbohydrates) are a necessary part of our diet; just in moderation.

Caffeine, Alcohol and Nicotine have been a part of many cultures for thousands of years. Discovered and used for their psychoactive effect on our bodies and minds. Yet they were used for religious or ceremonial purposes. It is only when coffee and tobacco were taken from the Americas to Europe that their sacred use has been lost.

Though there are many people who have had religious experiences after their first coffee or cigarette in the morning!.. What we need to ask is why so many people keep trying to escape their lives? Only to come down or sober up after reconnecting with that perfect bliss. Deep down within us, we know their is an energy, intelligence or Spirit to connect with. We need to remember to awaken ourselves from a deep, deep sleep and know that we are the ones we have been waiting for.

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Don’t worry, be happy…

At some point in our lives we have all experienced anxiety. It could be that sinking feeling, a churning stomach, an absence or squeaking of words when we speak. The squeaking is not fun, especially when speaking in front of an audience. It manifests differently for everyone, yet a case of ifs, buts and maybes can rule our lives – if we allow it.


When we get anxious and worry, we can get dumbstruck, you know, those vacant moments you have when you get really stressed? We forget the relevant facts, names and faces when we most need to. It happens to the best of us. There are many reasons why we forget, at worst we begin to lose sight of life’s purpose and become less present. At the time, it may not always make sense, yet eventually it does. When we live each day to the best of our ability, doing what we can, giving what we can… We reach that place of peace and acceptance. The remainder of what is to be, is up to the Universe – trust. Allow there to be a little mystery and magic in your life.

When we allow worry in, it creates separation and confusion. It worms into our mind, we alienate ourselves from wholeness within and the Oneness of life. Anxiety and worry about what we might be, limits what is and can be. Guess what happens when we focus on what we don’t want? We get what we don’t want…


The Universe, which exists on many levels, always brings people, those things and situations that we focus on; into our lives. Whether we want them or not. After all, it must be important, your energy, attention and intention is spending time focussing on the issue… Just let go, release your limitations and the False Event Appearing Real.

Allow there to be a space in your life. Surrender, allow and accept where you are, what and who needs to be in your life. Be present in your life by being you. Trust and know all is as is.

Ultimately, we all shape our lives; no one else. Our lives unfold through our thoughts, emotions, intentions and actions. Naturally, genetic ancestral memories, parenting, education, the media, our traditions, customs and religion can influence who we are and how we live. I hear some of you saying, “I didn’t choose this situation, it happened to me.” Or, “I was born into it.” Maybe your choices and path in life is different to your family and friends?


Yet it is all malleable, no single person’s life is completely set in stone. We all have free will, we can choose to change how we feel, think and be. Regardless of how we arrived in the present moment, whether the past has been difficult and painful, or effortless and amazing; the next few moments are unformed and unwritten.

So, is there any point in repeatedly bringing the unwanted situations into your life? (Unless of course you are a masochist who likes punishing themselves.)

For some of us, we are told that is all we deserve. Or, we have no worth. I’ll let you into a little secret, I used to be one of these people. Yet I learned from many around me, the person pushing worthlessness generally believes that about themselves on a deeper level. It’s their projected issue and to make themselves feel better they have to pass the pain onto others. However, we can get stuck in the roles of aggressor and victim.

Man's hands on prison bars

Sometimes it is easier to keep pleasing others, making them happy to hopefully minimise any bullying. It becomes a perpetual cycle of giving to please and placate. We see this pattern of behaviour in abusive relationships. Yet when we keep others sweet, that empty feeling and the anxiety of what might happen if we don’t remains. Commonly, we forget to self-care and nurture ourselves. Should we judge the bullies? Or change how we respond to them?

It can become a lifetime of stagnation, getting stuck in servitude to the tyrannical demands of others. Many people have been taught to make sure everyone else is cared for and attended to first. It’s a fine line between humility and hubris. And then there is fearful conditioning as a means of survival. Buying people gifts, cooking family and friends their favourite meal, keeping the home or office immaculate in case the boss, partner or parents shout, hit or reject us.

Is it any wonder we can become obsessed with making others happy? Guilt is a powerful, motivating force in many people’s lives. It is handed down from parents, teachers and religions. However, it is an illusion, entirely manufactured as a means of controlling how you behave. “If you don’t do as you are told, that makes you a bad person…” We’ve all had this said to us or been made to feel this way. It is complete and utter nonsense!


Conquerors, religions and governments have used the motivation of punishment and compliance for millennia. Though it is time to cast off the chains of illusion. We are far smarter than to buy into sin anymore. You know when you have missed the mark or caused harm to another.

Take responsibility, apologise, make amends and move on. We all know what is right behaviour – it instinctively feels right. The reality is, if others want to be controlling, manipulative and abusive that is their choice and nothing to do with you. How you respond to them and what you give permission to; is your choice. The only person you can ever make happy is yourself.

The truth is, you are priceless, unique and wise; one in billions upon billions. Each and everyone one of you as important as each other. It is your birthright to be you – to shine.


Embrace the abundance, joy and grace in your life, no matter how much is there; be grateful for who you are and what is in your life. Picture your needs, wants and joys already being a part of your life. Though be mindful of what you wish for. Trust and know you are meant to live a great and enjoyable life. When our needs are met, we can truly focus on growing and being human. As a sentient species, we have yet to discover our true purpose.

Though don’t just take my word for it. Stop for a few minutes.

  • Step away from the stress, worry and anxiety… release the illusion of limitation, take a few deep breaths and relax. Close your eyes if you want to.
  • Step into yourself. All you have to do is breathe and know it is perfectly okay to be you.
  • See, hear and feel the possibilities and allow there to be a space in your life for the new.
  • Be present within yourself, just be you for a few moments.
  • Relax, trust and know all is as needs to be in your life right Now!

Working with Energy medicine and EFT is an effective method for managing your stress, resolving your issues and enhancing the life you already have. The great news is I can share this versatile tool either over the phone or face to face. For further information, www.herbal-spirit.webs.com, and to book your EFT session, contact John on 07751-485204.

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A balanced, holistic diet

This is a diet that uses foods energetically according to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It incorporates more foods with a Neutral to Cool and Neutral to Warm energy, a little less food with Warm or Cool energies; and sparing use of Hot and Cold energy foods.

When eating according to the energy of foods, a balanced diet includes grains, pulses, mostly cooked vegetables, white meat, and small amounts of fruit and red meat. Most people in the developed countries eat in an imbalanced way, eating large amounts of red and white meats, few vegetables and fruits; and little or no grains or pulses. Or what I call the “White and brown diet”.


The majority of people eat a diet that consists of potatoes, white rice and pasta with some meat cremated to within an inch of its life.

I’m not knocking carbs either. Diets need simple and complex carbohydrates; just smart choices in moderation. Mix it up a bit, try wholegrain or wild rice…bake a sweet potato…cook fresh pasta. Expand your food choices and your body will thank you for it.



And now onto the green things some will hide or push around the plate – vegetables! Many people see vegetables as a punishment. Normally, we’ll boil them to mush and they taste nasty – think back to childhood meals. Boiled white cabbage, bullet peas, soggy carrots…Though if Mum and Dad are not fans of our leafy delicacies; neither will their children be.

I love my veggies, as someone who eats pre-dominantly vegetarian foods my diet would be sparse without them. I also eat eggs, some dairy products and occasional sustainably sourced fish. I’ve lived on a vegan diet for many years and then switched to a piscatarian diet. It is not a diet for everyone; yet it suits my constitution. Other diets suit other people and their constitutions; we do become what we eat.


Another way of looking at the Warm-Cool energy of food is in terms of acid-alkaline. In general, foods that are Cool or Cold e.g. vegetables, tend to make the body more alkaline. Foods that are Hot or Warm e.g. meats, tend to make the body acidic.

The taste of foods is indicative of its energy. Foods that are bitter, e.g. endive, spinach, tend to be cooling and eliminate toxins. Sour foods are refreshing and cool e.g. lemon, sauerkraut, and small amounts aid digestion. Spicy foods are stimulating and heating. Salty foods, like barley, duck and seafood, are cool and softening because they hold fluid in the body.

Full sweet foods, e.g. complex carbohydrates, are NeutralWarm in energy. They help nourish bones, muscles and blood; and should always be a part of a diet. All that we need to adjust is the quantity we consume. Our bodies need complex carbohydrates; which is why we find them in many staple foods e.g. rice, other grains, potatoes, yams, vegetables and fruits.

The second important concept of foods is their Empty-Full quality. Empty and Full refer to the effect foods have upon the body and not their nutritional content. Similar to the Warm-Cool energy, Empty-Full is on a continuum, food is not absolutely Empty or Full, yet is slightly Empty or strongly Full. It is important to grasp this concept. It gives a broader and deeper understanding of how foods affect the body.

The energetic concepts of Yin-Yang, Warm-Cool and Empty-Full are taken directly from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, which has been applied empirically for over 2500 years. Historically, the first published Herbal literature is recorded between 350-270 BCE.


Relative to each other, fruit and juices are empty, vegetables are Neutral to Empty, meat and dairy are Full; and grains and legumes are Neutral. Using this basis, protein-rich foods are Full and more water-containing foods are Empty. Prolonged eating of mostly empty foods creates elimination in the body. This can affect the energy of the body (Qi pronounced chee) and the working capacity of vital organs; ultimately it results in deficiency and weakness. People who eat predominantly empty foods often feel tired, unfocussed and depleted.

Fruit and their juices are Empty foods, although they range from Warm to Cold in energy. They generally lower body temperature and metabolism by creating elimination. Small amounts of fruit eliminate toxins and moisten dryness. Yet, if eaten too frequently or predominantly, they can create poor digestion, gas, bloating, loose stools, possible lower back pain, lowered immunity and feelings of being unfocussed or ungrounded.


Conversely, prolonged eating of mostly Full foods creates excess in the body and leads to weight gain. This can lead to congestion of vital organs and stuck Qi. It ultimately results in the development of excess conditions such as heat, dampness or both. People who predominantly eat Full foods such as red meat and dairy, often feel congested, constipated, emotionally stuck , irritated, hypertensive and develop toxicity in their vital organs (e.g. cancer). However, when grains, vegetables and some fruit is included the diet becomes more balanced.

Combining the concepts of Empty-Full with Warm-Cool energies encourages us to consider food in a different way. Some foods may be Warm in energy, yet also empty; cayenne pepper is Hot though it doesn’t strengthen the constitution. Instead it is stimulating and dispersing, inducing perspiration; though in excess can cause elimination (consider the day after a spicy meal…) On the other hand, foods can be Cool in energy, yet also Full e.g. barley. It expands the intestines, preventing or stopping diarrhoea; strengthening the digestive function.

Overall, it is always a question of balance, along with the energy of food; it is important to look at the Empty-Full effects. It is best to eat a diet comprised predominantly of foods with Neutral-Warm and Neutral-Cool energy and Neutral, Neutral-Empty; and some Full foods. Eating large amounts of extreme foods (sugars, alcohol, tobacco, salt, vinegar, caffeinated drinks), those that are Hot, Cold, Full or Empty creates nutritional and energetic imbalance; which leads to dis-ease.

balance diet

The issue of whether to eat meat and fish, or not; is a personal one. There are many ethical and medical pros and cons; which only the individual can decide for themselves. However, it is well documented that excessive and prolonged consumption of red meat without a balanced diet can lead to toxicity within the body. Leading to hypertension, heart attacks, cancers, arthritis, strokes, constipation, aggressiveness, irritability and rheumatism.

Those who want to eat meat and fish need an abundance of Empty foods. It is essential to balance the Full quality of meats and eliminate potential toxins; these naturally occur as meats and fish putrefy. If anyone has a slow metabolism or digestive system, putrefication will be occurring in the large intestine. Meat and fish should be preferably organic and cooked and eaten with aromatic herbs and carminative spices such as raw ginger root, pepper or mustard. All aid in the digestion of meat in the body.


Generally, vegetarians need to eat a more varied diet, without meat most other foods are relatively cooling. A balanced vegetarian diet should consist mainly of grains, beans and pulses, cooked vegetables, some dairy and a little seasonal fruit. Then a dietary balance can be maintained. Ideally this does allow many Empty foods to be included in the diet e.g. fruits, salads, juices and other raw uncooked foods. Including warming and building herbs e.g. Codonopsis root and Astragalus root can help provide warmth and better immunity to infections.

For nutritional profiling and Herbal medicine consultations contact John at Herbal Spirit on 07751 485204 or email herbalspirit@hotmail.com

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Let medicine be your food

I can guarantee that everyone has used some form of Herbal medicine. Unless you haven’t brewed a cup of tea, enjoyed a beer or glass of wine; or simply cooked a meal at home. I want you to consider herbal medicine as more than just a treatment. It’s everything to do with food, what we eat, how we prepare our meals and enjoy them.

Herbal medicine is the use of plants for medicinal purposes to attain and maintain balanced health. However, this doesn’t just apply to the medicinal plants, broadly speaking it includes all plants; including the fruits and vegetables we eat daily. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates stated, “Let medicine be your food, and your food medicine.”


As a holistic system, herbal medicine treats the whole person rather than just disease states and symptoms. Illness is considered to be a manifestation of disharmony and imbalance within the person and their life. Hippocrates’ philosophy still holds true today. A balanced diet is one of the free therapies we can all give to ourselves. The others include enough restful sleep; time to relax (and be still); and also time to play.

Through considering this simple philosophy of balance we can re-introduce wellness into our modern way of living. We can all apply a little common sense to our lives so we are a more stressless and balanced. Making the effort to change our lives is the greatest challenge any person faces when they work with me.



Though making those changes to diet and lifestyle can address at least 80% of many health issues. In this part of the world, we tend to only pay attention to our health when we become ill. We forget how our lives became imbalanced and then we want our dis-ease or illness fixed quickly!

Every type of food has an inherent Cool or Warm energy. The Cooling or Warming energy of food affects the body by creating more Coldness or Heat in it. While Western cultures tend to consider foods as nutritional groups, Eastern cultures (TCM & Ayurveda) acknowledge the energy of food regardless of the group it is in.

Learning the energy of foods is important to regain and maintain balanced health. If a person has a lot of Heat in the body and continues to eat warming and heating foods, then naturally the body only creates more Heat and its associated issues – acidic digestion, tissue dryness, irritability, hyperactivity, excess sweating. The same is true for a Cold person, if she or he eats a lot of cooling foods, then the Coldness leads to low energy, impaired immunity, poor digestion, oedema, apathy, emotional withdrawal.

Even if a person is working with herbal medicines, if they consume a diet that energetically opposes what the body needs and what the herbs are intended to do; then herbal (or pharmaceutical) treatment will either be less effective or have no effect at all. Often the right herbal treatment can be sabotaged by inappropriate diet. This can lead to a patient’s health worsening, remaining the same or just progressing slowly. Every food eaten affects the body in some way, you really are what you eat.

What constitution am I?
There is no great mystery to determining your energetic constitutional type, it is unique to you and it can change with age and lifestyle. You know how certain climates, seasons and times of day make you feel physically and emotionally. Women are predominantly considered Yin or cool energetically. Men are generally the opposite; Yang or warm energetically. Though I’ve worked with plenty of Yin men and Yang-natured women.

Cold or Cool person


  • Prefers warm, dry and bright environments
  • Feel better for eating cooked, full foods, may choose stimulating spicy and comforting sweet foods
  • They function better later in the day, may find stimulants are part of their diet
  • Emotionally sensitive and introverted, tend to keep their thoughts/feelings to self
  • An aversion to cold environments, crave warmth and wear warm, thick clothing
  • May have a pale complexion, cool limbs and cold extremities (even in Summer)
  • Prone to poor digestion, lowered immunity, lack of thirst, fatigue, slow metabolism, oedema, pale urine and loose stools; take a long time to recover from illnesses.

Warm or Hot person

fiery man

  • Prefers cool, moist and low light environments
  • Feel better for eating lighter, raw and empty foods, may choose cooling foods -fruit and veggies
  • They function well in the mornings, find stimulants unnecessary; becoming tired in the evening
  • Extrovert, opinionated and talkative
  • An aversion to warm/hot environments, need cool and flowing air and wear thin, light clothing
  • May have a ruddy complexion, warm extremities (even in Winter)
  • Prone to fever, thirst, dry rashes, hyperactivity, restlessness, irritability, fast metabolism, dark yellow urine and constipation; quickly recover from acute illnesses.

You will notice that you may have changed constitution as you have aged or that you are a combination of constitutional type.


A balanced diet is instrumental in attaining and maintaining great health. Everyone requires different foods to stay healthy. This can vary from season to season and year to year. There is no diet that is ideal and healthy for everyone. Each person should learn what their current bodily needs are and eat the foods for their constitution. In family environments, this can be an issue when cooking for many. Be flexible with meal choices, there are no strict rules and food should be enjoyable.

For nutritional profiling and Herbal medicine consultations contact John at Herbal Spirit on 07751 485204 or email herbalspirit@hotmail.com

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Water, water everywhere…

Herbal Spirit

ImageHow many of us drink enough water? I don’t mean tea, coffee, fizzy drinks or alcohol. Water, H2O…agua, eau, wasser. Water is the most important substance throughout the living world. Let that sentence sink in for a few minutes.

It’s more precious than oil, gold or diamonds. We cannot live without water for more than about 100 hours, (and air for more than a few minutes); whereas other nutrients may be neglected for weeks or months. Adequate water is an absolute requirement for our health and all active life; especially in this lovely hot Summer. The last thing any of us want is a banging head, wanting to constantly be sick and shivering hot and cold. Speaking from personal experience, sunstroke is really unpleasant; and so easy to prevent.

Commonly water in our diet is treated rather trivially, no other nutrient is more essential or needed in…

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More than a feeling

How many of you have lost their temper? I don’t mean a 2 year olds, foot stomping “I want attention” bluster. I mean nearly, really lost it. Red homicidal rage lost it… How many have felt this way, yet thankfully not acted on it?


It could have been someone cutting you up on the way home from a stressful day at work. Yet another rude person bumping into you on the street and giving you that look; expecting you to apologise. Or you have just sat down, after cleaning the home and 5 minutes later your partner or children walk across the floor with filthy shoes -again! The proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back is different for everyone; yet the response can be the same. People can be like volcanoes, we either implode or explode!

Anger arises out of fear. When our plans and expectations are blocked and unfulfilled; the result is anger. When we allow anger and rage to burn out of control, it destroys what and who is around us. It separates us from ourselves, others and the true depth of life. Anger can block the flow of life and love. Release your expectation, just what are you trying to prove and why?

Common sense and compassion can get disconnected, we say or do hurtful things to others; or ourselves. Anyone can lash out, like a spoilt child, whether your weapons are words, actions, fists, a knife or gun. However, the spiritually awakened person knows that it is just one course of action; and chooses a different one.

If you are a person who wants a peaceful life; which the majority of us do. You will make a passing comment or ignore their behaviour. And this can be a way of dealing with the actions of others. Though it doesn’t resolve how you are feeling. So where do you think the stress, frustration, anger and rage goes?


Anger, and all our emotions have their own energy, effect and impact upon health and the world around us. Emotions are not wrong, as with all things in life they mirror our internal dialogue and response to the external environment. Though if we ignore our own inner e-mails that is when issues and imbalance can develop. We all have a choice, either accept how we feel and own our emotions; or be owned by them.

According to all herbal traditions, transforming our emotional state is key to attaining and maintaining harmony in our lives. Contrary to popular belief, perfection is unnecessary. As with many things in life, inner balance is a dynamic that shifts as we move through life. Our lives are linked to the tides and seasons, coloured by our moods; and intertwined with the metaphysical phases of existence.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), anger corresponds to the season of Spring, the colour green, the energetic phase of Wood, the planet Jupiter and sour flavoured foods. The remaining energetic phases of Fire, Earth, Metal and Water correspond to panic, anxiety, grief and fear respectively. Through right living, Taoist philosophy encourages us to transform anger to peace and compassion.


I want us to focus on anger, as there are times where we need to do more than get even when we feel angry. When we get stuck in life, we get stuck within; and vice versa. The energy of life gets all tangled up, the more frustrated we get – the more tied up we feel about situations in life. Some people explode, some implode; while others just smoulder. When we smoulder, we slowly consume ourselves from the inside out. For some people, this can manifest in self-destructive habits, ulcers and cancers. Or they retreat into their cave for as long as they need to; some never emerging from depression.

There comes a time, when we forget why we are angry and defensive. For some, it becomes a preference; a way of staying safe. The natural instinct of all animals, even the human one, is to leave the aggressive ones alone; if we can. Yet the human species is one that is actively aggressive towards itself and other animals. The majority avoid aggression and violence towards others. Though there are many examples of man’s inhumanity to man; even today.


Anyone, I mean absolutely anyone, has the potential to be violent and aggressive. Naturally, if someone has broken into your home – you will defend yourself and family. You could reason with the burglar and ask them to leave – stranger things have happened. You could overpower them, knock them out and restrain them… Or you could take their life from them and get a new shed or patio.

However, the person we are commonly most brutal to isn’t a child, partner or parent; it’s ourselves. How can we expect to live in a peaceful world; when we lack compassion for self? Anger is a useful tool, yet it is commonly mishandled. It is time for the tyrannical bully within to be told a few simple home truths:

  1. A perfect, ordered world is unnatural.
  2. There is no growth when all is complete.
  3. Keeping everything the same leads to stagnation and pain – nothing flows or grows.

Every tyrant gets deposed, whether they are 2 years old in a highchair or 62 years old and sat in their chair on high. Polluting our lives with negative chatter in our heads, being verbally violent to others, switching on and opening the untruths of media…They all perpetuate anger and apathy in our lives. Give yourself the gift of stillness, silence and calm; even just for a few moments.


The only way to a more peaceful life is to live deliberately and calmly. When you bully, berate and belittle others; you are projecting your frustrations onto the world. This can be the easier path of least resistance for some; as change can signify failure. Until we individually recognise what is right in our lives (and the world); the pattern remains ingrained. Change can be as challenging and difficult as you expect it to be. Or it can be liberating.

Imagine all of the energy you use to maintain the status quo and remain annoyed at yourself, others and the world. It’s like keeping the seas at bay, eventually you will be overwhelmed and exhausted. Feel your frustration and anger really building up inside of you for a few minutes. Now use your imagination, change the circumstances of your life… go back to the earliest time in your life when you remember feeling angry. It doesn’t matter who or what it was to do with. Ask yourself, “Why am I angry?” And, “What am I afraid to change?”

Next, place your hand in the middle of your chest and replay the moment in your life and change it. How do you feel? It may feel odd, yet different …calmer, more relaxed. Your head may argue and you might have to repeat the exercise a few times. Though each time you choose to be calm and relaxed; the easier it becomes. Now imagine your life calm, relaxed and without limits. What do you want to do in your life? Decide how you want your life to be, right now. Do you feel more enthusiastic and focussed?


When you are peaceful and calm within, your world and the lives of others can be the same. None can fight for peace. We can only create peace within. When we allow peace to grow within, we also have compassion and understanding of ourselves. Then as a people, we can begin to reach maturity. The wise person knows when to say ‘No’. And when to bless with a ‘Yes’.

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