Michael van Straten is an Osteopath (retired), Naturopath, Acupuncturist and Nutritional Consultant

Your newsletter from Michael van Straten

Michael van StratenMichael van Straten is an osteopath (retired), naturopath, acupuncturist and nutritional consultant. He's also one of the UK's most respected medical authors, broadcasters and journalists and has written more than 40 books, which have sold over a million copies worldwide.

2018 has seen many changes for us here in France, throughout Europe and in the UK. Brexit, questions about migration, rising costs of living, more taxation, social benefits for the disadvantaged and handicapped and a global increase in protests.

In spite of all these problems, there has never been more interest in Natural Health; organic produce in every supermarket, herbal medicines defying big pharma and available to all, Complementary Practitioners in even the smallest towns and villages.

But is this all Good News? Sadly, I worry that there is a growing trend towards more and more extremes. Often well intentioned, but ill-informed people preaching quackery on a vast scale. They advise potentially dangerous diets and are often anti-vaccination, anti-drugs, anti-surgery, anti-milk, anti-gluten and anti-anything orthodox.

Along with treatments of little or no substance, proof of safety or efficacy, they appeal to the chronically sick and often depressed, as well as those who can’t wait to follow the latest celeb, so desperate for publicity that they endorse the most outlandish therapies and health products.

Before you plunge into Shamanism, ear candles, hot stones, mysticism, Ouija boards, impossible allergy tests or any form of "miracle" cure offered by the latest Guru, take a step back and ask yourself; "Is this a rational thing to do?"

OK? So that’s my end of year rant, now for the good stuff. You can read about flu and how to protect your family, then some Q's and A’s from our readers. Do you know how much protein you need each day which proteins are the healthiest?

I have asked my colleague Mike Wakeman, a leading expert Pharmacist, for his thoughts on alternatives to antibiotics then there are some great nut and seed recipes plus a story about treating nut allergies. I am sure that none of you will have a hangover during the festive season, but in case you have a friend in need, there is all you need to know about recovery.

Did you know that junk food is bad for brains and that getting on your bike will prolong your life, even if it just a few minutes a day? All the info is in the following newsletter.

The Christmas tree is up in our tiny town and the lights have twinkled since the First of December. The Christmas markets are coming and we are looking forward to the Carol Concert organised by the resident Brit who runs the town band and choir.

We wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful holiday and a wonderful 2019.


This Months News


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Seasonal alternatives


An Apocalypse of Lethal Super-Bugs Is Just Around the Corner
Says Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for the UK
Eating meat from animals reared under organic or high-welfare standards could help tackle the rise in antibiotic-resistant superbugs, England’s chief medical officer has claimed. Dame Sally Davies warned that we face an 'apocalypse' if antibiotics failed to work anymore. Worldwide, 700,000 people a year now die of drug-resistant infections, but this could hit millions if antibiotics stop working.

» Read more here

There are natural alternatives to antibiotics, read more here:

Peanut Allergy – At Last Hope For Treatment
Children are around a third less likely to suffer from allergies if their mothers eat nuts during pregnancy, according to new research from Denmark. Eating peanuts or tree nuts more than once a week resulted in fewer children with allergies.

» Read more here

Want to live longer - get a bike

 Junk Food Is Bad For Brain And Body
A paper in The British Journal of Psychiatry suggests that as well as being a cause of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and many other illnesses, a diet of junk and processed food could lead to depression in middle age.

» Read more here

Want To Feel Better And Live Longer? Get A Bike!
There have been many studies that show the benefits of all types of exercise, but new research from Denmark is stunning good news.

» Read more here

Protect Yourself Against Flu

Here is an extra special pre-Christmas News Flash to keep you all up to date. As you know, this really is the time for coughs, colds and flu. But, this year we face the added problem of a shortage of the flu vaccine so it is more important than ever to make sure your immune defences are working at their optimum level.

The vaccine is your best protection, especially if you are over 65 or have a chronic health problem that affects your heart, lungs or immune system. Ignore the stories that say it gives you the flu – they are not true. The friend who tells you she got the flu two days after she had the jab, was already infected a week before.

But of course there are things you can do to help yourself. Good nutrition and a sensible life style are your front line protection. You cannot live on junk food, work 18 hours a day, function in a permanent state of stress, fatigue and anxiety, and then expect your body to fight off the winter bugs. It won’t happen!

» Read more here


Kaloba Syrup- MHRA registered herbal medicine from Schwabe Pharma


Kaloba, an extract of pelargonium, helps to relieve the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections like sore throats, coughs, blocked or runny noses.

Two herbal supplements from the World renowned company Schwabe Pharma will certainly ease the symptoms and speed your recovery.

The ancient remedy of Echinacea brought scientifically up to date as EchinaCold and the extract of the African pelargonium as a syrup or tablets, Kaloba good for the chesty symptoms.

EchinaCold contains pure Echinacea, well known for its power to boost the immune system and helps prevent and relieve the symptoms of flu and colds for adults.

All the above available from www.schwabepharma.co.uk

There Are Alternatives To Antibiotics

Latest NICE and PHE guidelines on treating coughs recommend Pelargonium for first-line treatment to help reduce the over prescribing of antibiotics and the ever-increasing risks of resistant bugs.

Here in France where I live, patients are used to consulting their local pharmacist as the first step in health advice and it is a shame that the same thing does not happen as often in the UK. Here, I asked pharmacist Mike Wakeman for his help.

Patients with bad coughs should be urged by the NHS to treat it with the over-the-counter herbal medicine, Pelargonium sold as Kaloba Pelargonium Cough & Cold Relief - or even a jar of honey - instead of expecting antibiotics according to new published guidelines by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE).

» Read more here

Protein – Myths, Legends And Truth

Proteins - good for healthProtein is essential for life, but not all food sources of protein are created equal, and you probably do not need as much as you think.

What is protein?

Protein is found throughout the body—in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part or tissue.

Protein is made from building blocks called amino acids, and because we don’t store them, our bodies must make them. For this we must get the nine essential amino acids from our food.

» Read more here

Superfoods - You Don’t Have To Be Nuts . . .

. . . to try these recipes. Only joking! Nuts are a rich source of protein, minerals and the healthiest type of monounsaturated fats which help the body get rid of cholesterol and they also taste wonderful so I don’t know why we only get out the nutcrackers at this time of the year.

We happily stuff ourselves on salted, roasted and chocolate or yoghurt coated nuts for the other eleven months when fresh nuts are one of the great Superfoods that we should be eating all year round and that we shouldn’t desecrate by over-processing. Nuts are very different to the cereals as they’re not closely related to each other. Though most grow on trees the peanuts are legumes and the same family as beans and peas.

» Read more here

Nuts - good for healthA handful of nuts every day are a real Superfood contribution to healthy eating. So try some of my favourite recipes.

» Spatchcocked Mustard Poussin With Chestnuts

» Cashew And Bean Salad

» Indian Rice And Carrot Pudding With Pistachios

Your Questions Answered

So many of you write to me about your problems that I really can’t send personal replies to you all, but here are a couple of recent questions:

From Kim In Westcliffe

Q: I dread this time of year because I suffer from Raynaud's Disease and the minute I step out of the house my fingers go white with the cold and get very painful. At worst they turn a deep purple colour and once I get to work and start to warm up again the pain is excruciating. If that weren’t enough I also develop chilblains on my toes, the backs of my hands and in really cold weather on my ear lobes. I’ve been given a variety of drugs which hardly help at all. Is there anything alternative I could try this winter?

From Sarah In West London

Q: I’m 40 at the end of the month and I dread this birthday more than most. I plan to cover every mirror in the house so I don’t have to see the ageing wrinkles and think about what’s happening to my body. Can anything turn back the clock?

» Read my answers here

Hangover – The Wrath Of Grapes

Dorothy Parker, one of the great tipplers of the 20th century, had it right: "A hangover is the wrath of grapes." But what’s the best way to overcome a hangover? Pharmacist, Mike Wakeman looks at the causes and effects plus top tips to combat hangovers

The ancient Assyrians consumed a mixture of ground birds' beaks and myrrh. The Greek physician Galen advocated the use of cabbage leaves, which were to be wrapped tightly around the sufferer’s head. The poet Horace recommended fried shrimps and African snails. But none of the ancient treatments can compete with the 17th-century cure devised by Jonathan Goddard. Goddard’s drops were allegedly made from "five pounds of human cranium, taken from persons who had been hanged or had died a violent death, five pounds of dried vipers, two pounds of hartshorn and two pounds of ivory."

However, bizarre these remedies might appear, even today we’re still seeking for that elusive cure for a hangover, and whilst there is no single panacea there are a few approaches that might help reduce its’ intensity and speed recovery.

One herbal hangover remedy hero that has stood the test of time and loved by many, is Thisilyn Milk Thistle. With a long history of being taken to protect the liver from damage, Thisilyn Milk Thistle can be taken as tablets both, before, or after a night out. Thisilyn Milk Thistle and Thisilyn Maximum strength are traditional herbal medicines used to relieve the symptoms associated with occasional over indulgence of food and drink such as indigestion and upset stomach, exclusively based upon long standing use.

» Read more here

Thisilyn® Artichoke can help you enjoy your festivities to the full - alleviating pain and discomfort, caused by over-indulgence of rich food and drink - so you can look forward to the New Year exercise regime!

What's more, research shows that artichoke leaf extract can improve liver enzyme profile as well as reduce cholesterol levels.

So there are benefits to taking Thisilyn® Artichoke all year round for its protective effects - and not just over the Christmas period.

Thisilyn Artichoke helps to maintain normal digestion and contributes to intestinal comfort. Each tablet 320 mg of dried artichoke leaf extract which is equivalent to 1280-1920 mg of artichoke leaf.


Thislyn Artichoke.jpg - MHRA registered herbal medicine from Schwabe Pharma



Winter Scene

Thanks for reading my Newsletter and you can look forward to more health stories in the New Year. 

Eat well - live longer



Michael van Straten - Osteopath (retired), Naturopath and Acupuncturist D.O., M.R.N., M.B.Ac.A.

Copyright 2018 Michael van Straten ~ all rights reserved

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