My energy levels are rock bottom - it could be the time of the year. What natural remedies would you recommend?

Our energy levels tend to move through cycles, although we seem to have forgotten how to honour and observe our natural and seasonal rhythms in our fast-paced world. One of the best ways to reclaim energy and be in the moment is to practise conscious breathwork. This can be as simple as taking time out each day to sit and observe your breath or incorporating a more structured set of breathing exercises.

Natural remedies for supporting energy levels include bee pollen, a vitamin B-complex, and Coenzyme-Q10. Supergreens — spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, barley grass, chlorophyll, and blue-green algae — are nutrient-dense and nourish the body and mind without depleting your adrenal stores.

Magnesium can boost your healing while you rest and sleep. This mineral helps muscle and nerve repair and promotes relaxation and sleep. Subclinical levels of magnesium can be a contributing factor to physical and mental fatigue.

If you enjoy herbal tea, try a combination of liquorice root, Siberian ginseng, and Rhodiola root to combat fatigue and restore energy. Add a little raw honey to sweeten if you prefer.

My hair has got very dry since menopause. I now wash it once a week and have stopped using hair straighteners. Is there anything else I can do?

Thinning, dryness, and hair breakage are common menopausal complaints. Mostly, this results from declining levels of progesterone and oestrogen but can also be linked to stress, androgens, and histamine intolerance (see last week’s Q&A for more information on this).

You can nourish your hair through your diet by including foods rich in essential fatty acids (seeds, nuts, healthy fats, oily fish), minerals (zinc, selenium, magnesium, calcium, iron, organic sulphur), antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E), B-vitamins (particularly biotin), and making sure you are getting enough protein.

The best way to ensure you get these nutrients is to ‘eat the rainbow’ - richly coloured fruits and vegetables — and avoid processed, fried, and sugary foods.

You may need to supplement as well, in which case my top choice for dry hair is a biotin supplement along with flaxseed oil and zinc.

Keep well hydrated, and continue to use nourishing treatments for your hair.  If your hair is naturally coarse, an oil treatment is ideal; a nourishing masque is a better choice for fine and sparse hair.

Our much-loved family dog died recently. He was 17 and a constant companion for my three young children, who are all deeply upset. Is there a natural remedy for grief?

I’m sorry to hear about your dog — pets can become integral to our family and daily lives, especially when they live long lives.

This is a situation where flower essences are particularly beneficial. In the Bach flower range, Elm is recommended for anybody feeling overwhelmed by their feelings or the situation. Water Violet is recommended when you are having trouble moving through or processing your grief and integrating the experience of loss.

Star of Bethlehem is ideal for a shock or unexpected death; a long, drawn-out decline is usually remedied using Olive or Gorse flower.

When in doubt or simply experiencing a full spectrum of emotions, the Rescue Remedy combination (or you can use Emergency Essence in the Australian Bush Flower essence range) is a wise choice.

It is recommended to take at least four drops six times daily — your children can also squirt a dropperful of their chosen essence or combination into a personal water bottle to sip throughout the day.

NOTE: The information contained in this column is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor.

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