The Magic of Magnesium

Vitamins and Minerals – should you take them? How do you know which ones? It can be confusing and overwhelming not to mention expensive. I am going to take a look at the supplements I most regularly prescribe. Some are no brainers like Magnesium which I talk about here, check my blog for more.

Having a balanced diet is where good health begins, it should contain all of the nutrients we need for optimal health and wellbeing. However, most of us are vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies due to diminishing food quality, toxins and stress. So, supplements are essential health-boosters that fill in nutritional gaps and whilst they won’t make up for a bad diet, they can go a long way in helping to support good health and improve wellbeing. 

It is thought that around 60% of the Western world is deficient in Magnesium. Which in part is due to eating too many refined foods from which Magnesium – and other minerals, vitamins and fibre have been removed.

Magnesium is crucial for almost everything that goes on in the body, hundreds of chemical reactions depend on it. It helps convert food into energy, muscles need this to contract and relax, it regulates the central nervous system, it keeps the heart beating steadily, your immune system strong and plays a critical role in brain function and mood.

Signs that you maybe low in this essential mineral are depression, low energy levels and fatigue, constipation, elevated blood pressure, muscle cramps, migraines, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Magnesium regulates the hormone melatonin, which signals the sleep-wake cycle in your body. It also binds to the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric (GABA), which is responsible for soothing nerve activity, quieting the nervous system and helping to prepare your body and mind for relaxation and sleep.

Chronic long term Magnesium deficiency can result in more serious medical conditions and has been linked to inflammation which can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, anxiety disorders, some cancers as well as osteoporosis. There is evidence that taking a magnesium supplement can reduce inflammation, support healthy blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity, a pre cursor to Type 2 Diabetes.

Magnesium can have a positive effect on the hormone Oestrogen. It can be used for the treatment of PMS, PCOS and Menopause, by calming the central nervous system and reducing symptoms such as mood swings, bloating, fluid retention, period pain and hot flushes. Research shows it also supports the liver in promoting the healthy excretion of Oestrogen which may reduce the risk of conditions such as fibroids, breast and uterine cancer, all associated with excess Oestrogen.

Eating foods high in Magnesium should be your first approach, so including the following into your daily diet: nuts, seeds, dark leafy greens, mushrooms, tofu, egg yolk, avocado, bananas, whole grains and whole dairy foods.

Even with an adequate diet you may still be at risk of a deficiency especially if you have digestive disorders or are taking certain medications such as blood pressure tablets, anti-biotics and diuretics. Keeping an eye on symptoms or having a blood test can indicate whether a supplement could be useful.

So, in essence supplementing with Magnesium could reduce inflammation in its tracks and good things will follow, like reduction in pain and fatigue and improvements to mood and cognitive functions. It can boost sports and exercise performance, improve energy levels and can have a dramatic effect on improving anxiety and depression, improve blood glucose levels, promote healthy sleep, lower blood pressure and balance your hormones. A total winner in my book!

Ways to take Magnesium.

Magnesium citrate – this is one of the most common formulations, taken orally, it is bound with citric acid (found in citrus fruits) and is easily absorbed.

Magnesium oxide – not easily absorbed by the digestive tract, it is the main ingredient of milk of magnesia, so is commonly used as a treatment for occasional constipation and digestive problems.

Magnesium chloride or sulphate – a good topical treatment to relieve muscle soreness and improve skin conditions. Best used in the bath (Magnesium flakes or Epsom Salts) or as a cream or lotion

Always consult a healthcare professional before taking supplements.

For more information –

Poignant Pause – Menopause & Covid-19

There are many challenges, tragedies and anxieties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, and women in particular are experiencing lock down very negatively. Recent research shows that lockdown has further affected anxiety and sleep patterns in women over the age of 40. Studies have found that women, more than men are increasingly turning to alcohol to cope with the changes to work and finances, home schooling, fears for the health of elderly parents or children away at university. This is not only raising concerns that we could suffer more from chronic diseases in years to come, but that this is also a recipe for a mental health disaster.

Menopause and peri-menopause can be emotionally and physically exhausting at the              best    of times without a pandemic halting ‘normal’ life. Dealing with a myriad of menopausal symptoms like; sleep disturbance, weight gain, low mood, memory loss, mood swings, loss of confidence and anxiety as we get used to home isolation is taking a real toll!

If you are going through the menopause or peri-menopause during the Covid-19 crisis, your immediate concerns may be how to manage hormonal symptoms, especially as many of our usual coping mechanisms have diminished during lock down and with a lack of routine the temptation to over-eat, drink more alcohol and not take exercise will only aggravate menopausal symptoms. You will undoubtedly also be wondering how the virus may affect you given you also feel under siege by your hormones.

Most research shows that its advanced age and those with underlying health conditions that are more likely to contract Covid-19 and suffer with more severe symptoms. For women frustratingly it appears that losing the protective effects of Oestrogen and Progesterone also increases the risk of not only type 2 diabetes and heart disease, both these co-morbidities will increase the risk for those who contract Covid-19. But also, a decline in these hormones could increase your chances of both contracting the virus or coping less effectively with it.

 What can we do to protect ourselves from this virus and ease our menopausal symptoms?  Important new research is suggesting hormone therapy in the form of Oestrogen and Progesterone (DHEA and Testosterone may also be prescribed) offers not only benefits to menopausal symptoms but protection to women against contracting Covid and are more likely to cope better if they do. BHRT can help with many other health issues, such as heart disease, insomnia, depression, obesity, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.

But in spite of Covid-19 cases dropping, less hospital admissions and fewer deaths being recorded lock down restrictions are painfully slow to abate. We are learning about new strains, continued restrictions to travel and social interactions. So, it seems we are not out of the woods yet and may not be for a considerable time. We need to look at ways to adapt to this new normal!  Can we use this forced pause to life to allow us the time to re-examine our priorities, and enable us to manage our health and menopause better than before?

 The pandemic has forced us to evaluate all that is really important. We have had to learn how to cope without social interactions, changes to our working lives and restricted time with friends and family. So now more than ever health and wellbeing have to take priority. By taking a step back now with fresh eyes to explore the benefits of lifestyle changes, evaluating how improving our diet, taking time to exercise and for relaxation to ease anxiety will not only ease the challenging menopause burden but improve overall physical and mental wellbeing.

 When this pandemic is over, whenever that maybe, there has to have been a silver lining to pausing all of our extra-curricular activities, cleared diaries and social gatherings!  Could we try to maintain time for more pauses in our ‘normal’ life? Can we learn from the time saved by working from home, zoom meetings, the importance of time to just be, for exercise, gardening, baking, meditation, sitting and reading, going for walks and taking time to reach out to friends and family? If we do not, will we look back at this time as just “when time stood still”? Or can we look back on it to a time when we took control of one the few things we could, our health.

Five things you can do right now to improve your overall health and wellbeing and help ease menopause and peri-menopause symptoms.

  1. Speak to a health care provider to explore BHRT. (Body or Bio Identical Hormone therapy).
  2. Take daily exercise (at least 30 minutes a day), find a combination you enjoy and stick with it. For e.g.: walking and weight training, running and Pilates, HIIT and yoga. A cardio and resistance combo will ensure you improve your overall health: cardio-vascular, muscle tone, increased metabolism and emotional health.
  3. Take supplements – a naturopath or nutritionist can advise which ones you need.
  4. Make changes to your diet: eat more fresh vegetables – at least half of your daily consumption should be plant-based, think about half your plate containing non-starchy vegetables, a quarter protein, a quarter carbs, have fruit or nuts and seeds for snacks and drink more water 1.5 litres a day for most people.
  5. Take time to relax every day: a long soak in the bath (add lavender and magnesium flakes to further improve relaxation and ease aching muscles), read a book, take time in nature, download an app and meditate before bed, especially if you have trouble sleeping.

What is the magic of mushrooms?

Today a news report confirms an early-stage study suggesting that the psychedelic compound, Psilocybin, found in Magic Mushrooms, can be as effective at reducing symptoms of depression as other, more conventional pharmacological treatments. There are numerous favourable other studies on micro dosing of this particular mushroom. However, I am not suggesting you try this at home! This should be done with medical supervision. There are, however, numerous health benefits to be found in other edible mushrooms.

Coincidently, I recently had the pleasure of reviewing a fantastic new book ‘Medicinal Mushrooms: How Medicinal & Psychedelic Mushrooms Can Protect Body & Mind’. Written by Anthony Knight-Peters.

“This inspirational and well researched book explains in simple terms how medicinal mushrooms could help manage many of today’s diseases. A fantastic and really important health read”

Pamela Kingston. Naturopath & Phlebotomist

If you’d like to learn more about the medicinal power of mushrooms for supporting good mental health and prevention of many of today’s chronic illnesses and disease, I highly recommend getting a copy! Purchase it here: medicinal-mushroom-book.

Plus, get a 25% discount when you use the code PKINGS2020 on products on their website:

Earthing: Natures anti-inflammatory

What is Earthing?
Earthing (also know as grounding) is a practice that reconnects our body to the Earth to restore and maintain the body’s electrical state, which in turn promotes optimum health. It simply means living in contact with the Earths natural surface charge – in other words being grounded! There is a strong link between chronic inflammation and virtually all chronic diseases of ageing and the ageing process itself. The Earth provides amazing healing power and can reduce the effects of chronic pain, fatigue, jet lag, PMS, indigestion and autoimmune disorders. Other benefits include a reduction in stress, increased energy levels, improved sleep, anti ageing properties, accelerated healing from injuries and surgery, improved blood flow to better supply the cells and tissues of the body with oxygen and nutrition. Put simply its the ultimate natural anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory medicine.

How does Earthing work?
All things electrical must have a portion of their circuits connected to the earth – think about wiring a plug! If electrical cables aren’t grounded, static will interrupt the quality and stability of the signal; something with a loose connection may not work at all, or at best will work intermittently!

We are no different, the Earth’s electrical energy maintains the order of our bodily frequencies too. We are a collection of dynamic electrical circuits in which trillions of cells transmit and receive energy to produce programmed biochemical reactions. All our movements, behaviours anmd actions are energised by electricity. Our heart, brain, nervous system, muscles and immune system are all electrical sub systems operating in a bio-electrical body.

Our immune systems use white blood cells (neutrophils), to oxidise harmful reactive oxygen molecules, (free radicals) destroy pathogens and remove damaged cells. Free radicals have an electron imbalance that makes them electrically charged, making them unstable and liable to damage healthy cells. The damaged cells need to be removed and so the immune system continues to send out neutrophils, which is how chronic inflammation and pain sets in. It is this process that promotes many health disorders. When a person is grounded, electrons naturally flow between the body and the Earth which reduces free radicals and eliminates any static electrical charge which prevents inflammation and the related health disorders.

What can I do?
The simplest method of grounding is to walk, stand and sit barefoot on the ground outside (on grass and sand for best results, concrete and hardwood floors insulate us from the earths electric potential so doesn’t have the same affect) for half an hour minimum daily.

If you don’t have time or access to the outdoors there are an amazing range of grounding mats, sheets, pillow cases, bands, footwear and patches that would enable you to spend a large proportion of the day as you work, exercise or sleep fully grounded.

Liposomal Vitamin C? & Why You Need It!

What is Liposomal Vitamin C? How can it slow down Ageing and support our Immune Health?

The role of Vitamin C, besides being a cofactor in various biochemical reactions, is a powerful antioxidant, a process that minimizes the damage caused by oxidation; which increases inflammation and the risk of developing chronic degenerative diseases.

Vitamin C protects us against toxins that cause oxidation; from cigarettes, recreational and prescription drugs, alcohol, air pollution, and inflammation attributed to poor diets: low in nutrients, and high in trans fats, sugar and refined carbohydrates. Your immune system is also negatively impacted by toxins produced by viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.

Vitamin C can reduce tiredness, increase iron absorption, promote cartilage, blood vessels, bones and nervous system health. It also synthesises the most prevalent protein in the human body: collagen. (Collagen acts as the scaffolding that holds up the skin, preventing wrinkles & sagging, and also supports the proteins responsible for hair & nail growth).

Most mammals can produce Vitamin C, however as humans we no longer can, as we’re missing the enzyme L-gulonolactone oxidase (GLO) needed to do this for ourselves. We have the gene in our DNA that’s responsible to make the GLO enzyme and (by extension vitamin C), but it’s become mutated. Because of this, our liver cells can’t recognise this gene and are therefore unable to complete the final step of making vitamin C from glucose.

So, we need to consume this from our food (and or supplements) every day. Research shows the current guidelines of 45-90g daily massively underestimate our requirements for optimal health and immune support. There are numerous reports to suggest we actually need between 1000-3000g daily. (A small orange is around 50g; Vitamin C is in most fruit and veg, not limited to just citrus).

However, much of the vitamin C you take orally, either from food or supplements, isn’t absorbed by the gut, this takes a lot of energy, which isn’t always available when needed. In addition to this, as a water-soluble vitamin, there is only so much time before Vitamin C moves on to your digestive tract, once this happens it’s lost its chance to be absorbed. It is quickly distributed throughout the circulation and then eventually filtered an excreted by the kidneys.

Liposomal Vitamin C makes it easier for your cells to absorb Vitamin C. A liposome is a very tiny sphere with a membrane that is made of the same fat found in our cell membranes. This allows them to penetrate the membrane easily so that they can deliver its contents (nutrients) directly into the cells of your body.

Whenever our immune system goes into overdrive to deal with infection, it very quickly burns through all the Vitamin C we have circulating the body. Liposomal Vitamin C allows your immune system to continue to run at maximum capacity.

DM me if you’d like to find out about a great-tasting Liposomal Vitamin C, providing 1000mg of Liposomal Vitamin C per 15ml sachet to support Immune Health, Vitality & Anti-Ageing! Details also on my website.

Stress & Balancing Your Hormones

Stress can bring about a host of medical conditions such as: high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, depression, skin issues, arthritis, anxiety and a compromised immune system. So it’s no wonder that we view stress in a totally negative way.

However stress is a normal bodily function, designed to keep us safe when we feel threatened, (perceived or real). Our ancient communication system can’t tell the difference, so responds to all stressful situations in the same way; by sending a message from the brain to tell the adrenal glands to start producing the stress hormones; cortisol and adrenaline. This response puts glucose into the muscles so that you can fight or flee, it also raises your blood pressure to ensure enough fresh oxygen gets to your brain to help you focus and problem solve.

Cortisol is also the key hormone to protect our overall health and wellbeing, by regulating metabolism, helping to reduce inflammation and assist with memory formulation. Put simply its fundamental role is to control our energy levels to get us through the day; more in the morning, less during the day and then very little at bedtime as part of the circadian rhythm, (your bio chemical and physiological sleep – wake cycle). At night when cortisol should be at its lowest, your cells perform their greatest repair and healing. If its too high at night, caused by excessive stress, your body cannot do the repair work needed for a healthy body and mind.

Characteristically stress is needed for us to grow and to function, as well as to build resistance to it, we build muscles through lifting heavy weights and become better at handling work deadlines with practice. But over time too many stressors can lead to dysfunctions. It contributes to speeding up cellular ageing, disrupting metabolism and putting us more at risk of developing diseases, mental health issues, hormonal imbalances and is directly linked to excess belly fat. Symptoms appear before diseases are diagnosed and could serve as a warning all is not well. These could include emotional stress, digestive issues, pain, inflammation, dark urine and toxicity, fatigue, sleep disruption, low muscle mass, frequent injuries, water retention, wrinkles and skin conditions, sexual dysfunction, addictions, cravings, weight gain, and allergies.

As we all can appreciate life doesn’t usually fit into perfect categories. More often than not, life is messy and disorganized. The same is true of our hormones. Women already face a largely unacknowledged scourge of hormonal imbalances without unremitting stress getting into the mix to exacerbate the issues. When we take on too many stressors both within and beyond our control, it can become overwhelming. Excess Cortisol is produced with continued stress and this reduces our levels of Progesterone, (our feel good hormone and sleep enhancer) leading to; fluid retention, low mood and sleep disturbances. Reduced levels of Progesterone then puts us at risk of Oestrogen dominance (more commonly associated with peri-menopause and menopause) which is linked to this frustrating list of symptoms; irregular or heavy periods, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breasts, Thyroid dysfunction, weight gain, low libido, fatigue, depression, infertility and irritability.

How we deal with the symptoms of stress and stressful situations vary from person to person; we all make choices several times a day that will impact either negatively or positively on our health or how we feel. Yet do we always consider the consequences of our decisions? Are our choices making the most of our health or setting us up for more serious side affects and health issues down the line? The healthier we are the more resistant we can be to the cumulative effects of stress and hormonal balance, leading to feeling and looking good and being disease free. Of course we all have our weaknesses; our habits and attitudes that we believe help us to deal with uncertain times and frustrations in life. It can be difficult to let go of that daily chocolate bar or glasses of wine in the evening, not taking exercise or looking after our emotional health. Often we believe that by letting them go could somehow make life less fun or fulfilling.

When we have a desire to make a change we need to define them in a positive way; what you want to achieve rather than what you don’t want to do. Wishing for change is not a commitment and doesn’t achieve goals. It only reinforces the distance between where we are now and where we want to be. Becoming acquainted with our strengths and using their potential to drive away less helpful habits can be useful. For example if you want to have a healthier diet, focusing on the healthy foods you do like and considering portion sizes is better than looking at what you should eliminate from your diet. Moving away from our usual habits and not replacing them with something else is not particularly sustainable either. Consider what you will put in its place, rather than trying to exercise willpower day after day. Linking our values to our new habits is a helpful way to frame a new behaviour and give us purpose to change. Few of us write down our goals or objectives, yet evidence suggests that by doing so you are 40% more likely to achieve it.

Handling stress is key to good health but this isn’t the only consideration, the solutions to improve our health are nuanced; you maybe dealing with an individual (Cortisol) hormone imbalance caused by stress alone or having to deal with several hormonal issues through other health or age related concerns. The most effective approach is one that diagnoses the imbalances and then establishing why your hormones have gone awry. A process should follow that adjusts the behaviours that got you out of balance initially, along with realistic diet, exercise, supplements and BHRT if necessary, rather than succumbing to extreme diets, exercise regimes and medications.

Hormone-Balancing Beverages

These are my favorite hormone-balancing beverages

  1. Lemon water – Lemons are high in vitamin C, which has been shown to benefit the skin and boost immunity. Lemons have also been shown to help the liver detoxify the body and improve insulin resistance by regulating hormones like glucose and leptin.Instructions: start the day with a big glass of warm water and a few squeezes of lemon first thing in the morning.


  1. Golden Milk is an amazing hormone-balancing concoction, and it’s warming, soothing, and delicious. It has anti-inflammatory properties and improves circulation and oestrogen In Ayurveda, turmeric is considered an important tool in combating everything from amenorrhea and endometriosis to fibroids and cysts, and the other ingredients, including coconut milk, are wonderful sources of healthy fats.Instructions:  first cook a golden paste (turmeric needs to be heated to get the benefits) by blending 5 tablespoons vcoconut oil, 1/2 cup organic turmeric powder, 1 cup water, and 1.5 teaspoons black pepper in a pot and simmer for about 10 minutes. Once this cools, you can keep it in the refrigerator in a jar for about two weeks and just take a dollop every time you make the milk.

    To make the milk, warm 2 cups of coconut milk and 1 teaspoon of the golden paste in a pot, and whisk until fully mixed. Then add cinnamon, honey, and maple syrup to taste.