The Causeway launches gardening therapy for mental health


London: The Causeway Retreat, an addiction treatment and mental health clinic based on Osea, a private island just 40 miles from London off the coast of Essex, is integrating three methods of mental health and addiction therapy for the first time in the UK. The Retreat will bring together CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Therapeutic Community style treatment and support it with traditional medication to create a more holistic approach to recovery for their clients.

People staying at The Causeway Retreat will be encouraged to get involved in the rearing of animals, fishing and planting and harvesting organic vegetables, as well as creating meals from the produce. The horticultural element of the clients’ treatment is part of the overall holistic approach to therapy at the retreat.

Marlon Bonas, the organic farmer recently employed to lead the organic movement will also be working with two new CBT specialists as part of the new holistic approach. Together with the support of the other therapists and Dr Mike McPhillips, Medical Director at the retreat, they are creating a more nurturing environment for clients to recover and develop at their own pace. This approach compliments other treatments on offer at the retreat and will be in addition to the standard clinical approach to mental health and addiction problems.

The Causeway Retreat aims to become a fully organic island rearing pigs and pheasants and producing organic meat and vegetables by September 2010, when their target is to become fully approved by the Soil Association. Once approved, the on-island chefs will use the produce to create a new menu and will again encourage clients to get involved in preparing the food they have been a part of growing. It’s hoped that the nutritional benefits along with therapeutic points of horticulture will enhance clients recovery from the mental health problems they may have.

Brendan Quinn, CEO at The Causeway Retreat say’s “We believe the island’s tranquil surroundings have always helped our clients reach a more relaxed and rapid recovery but the new plans to go organic and become more self sufficient should really enhance this. We all know how good we feel from fresh produce and being at one with nature but we’re really excited to see how it impacts on the development of our clients. This teamed with the other treatments creates the perfect environment for a full recovery.”


Purple tomato may fight cancer


London: British Scientists have developed purple tomatoes which they hope may be able to keep cancer at bay.

The fruit are rich in an antioxidant pigment called anthocyanin which is thought to have anti-cancer properties, according to a study published in Nature Biotechnology.

A team from the John Innes Centre, Norwich, created the tomatoes by incorporating genes from the snapdragon flower, which is high in anthocyanin.

It was discovered that mice who ate the tomatoes lived longer. This discovery offers the potential to promote health through diet by reducing the impact of chronic disease

Anthocyanins, found in particularly high levels in dark coloured berries such as blackberry, cranberry and chokeberry, have been shown to help significantly slow the growth of colon cancer cells.

They are also thought to offer protection against cardiovascular disease and age-related degenerative diseases.

There is also evidence that the pigments have anti-inflammatory properties, help boost eyesight, and may help stave off obesity and diabetes.

Tomatoes already contain high levels of beneficial antioxidant compounds, such as lycopene and flavonoids.

Researcher discovers anti-wrinkle plant


Jerusalem: A plant-based antioxidant that fights wrinkles in your skin has been isolated by a researcher at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Antioxidants help to fight free radicals, which can break down many body tissues when present in excessive amounts. In the skin, free radicals from aging or exposure to ultraviolet light cause a breakdown of collagen and elastin fibres, leading to a loss of skin elasticity and wrinkles.

The antioxidant developed at The Hebrew University delays skin aging by inhibiting the breakdown of collagen fibres in the skin.

“The newly isolated antioxidant differs from other anti-aging antioxidants on the market in that it is able to withstand high temperatures and does not oxidize easily. This means it will remain effective longer than other antioxidants that oxidize quickly,” documents Dr. Joseph Mercola.

The plant source of the antioxidant has not been revealed because the research is still being patented for commercial profit interests

Phyto Medicines Fact Sheet


Medicinal plants and their preparations belong to the oldest known health-care products that have been used by human beings all over the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 80% of the population of most developing countries use plant-based medicines. Between 25 and 50% of all modern drugs are derived from plants.

According to IMS research in 1995, the European Market for herbal medicinal products was estimated to be worth US $ 5,600 million. The leading countries are Germany (44 %) and France (28 %), followed by Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium and others.

According to the Allensbach study natural medicines helped people to alleviate various disorders such as cold, flu, digestive troubles, headache, insomnia, stomach trouble, nervousness, circulatory disorders, bronchitis, skin disease and exhaustion.

People are turning to natural and alternative treatments more and more as they become more health-intelligent and aware about what they put into their bodies. The medical profession in the UK is also becoming more accepting of these kinds of treatment as clinical evidence and patient experience is recognised. Alternative therapies are now available on the NHS in many parts of the country.

Protecting your immune system against the cold & flu season

Autumn is nearly upon as and with it comes the dreaded flu and cold season. An estimated three in 20 people will have flu by the New Year. Most at risk are the elderly and those with weak or depressed immune systems.

Whilst a flu jab is an advisable preventative measure there is a lot more we can do to protect and boost our body’s immune systems. For example, by eating superfoods and taking supplements known as antioxidants, that help protect our body from infections. These supernutrients not only have the potential to help you be healthier and look younger for longer but will give you the best possible chance of fighting off viral infections such as colds and flu this winter.

In Japan, for example, doctors are combating heart disease by prescribing CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a fat-soluble vitamin-like substance produced by our own bodies. This substance is an essential component of the mitochondria, the energy producing unit of our cells, where it helps produce the body’s fuel. The role of CoQ10 is similar to that of the sparkplug in a car engine.

Low levels of CoQ10 have been linked to several diseases, in particular congestive heart failure. Ageing humans have been found to have 57% less on average compared to young adults. But there is increasing evidence that it can help prevent and even reverse several diseases of ageing – heart failure, gum disease, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and chronic fatigue. In healthy individuals its effectiveness can be experienced in the gym where it can assist in cardio-vascular endurance.

Antioxidants help the body defend itself against attack from free radicals, the unstable molecular structures, caused by pollution, stress, smoking and drinking to excess, that damage cells and which scientists believe are the trigger for cell mutations that cause cancer and other ageing diseases.

Nutritionist Sally Beare, author of The Live-Longer Diet ( says: “In order to stave off degenerative diseases and enjoy optimum health, we have to get the full range of nutrients. These include at lest seven to twenty minerals, thirteen vitamins, eleven essential amino acids and two essential fatty acids (essential meaning that they are essential for health and cannot be made by the body). At the absolute minimum, we should eat at least five portions of fresh fruits and vegetables every day, and preferably ten. Yet most Western diets include far less than this, and the UK Food Standards Agency found that only 36 per cent of people in the UK are even aware of the recommendation.”

Ideally, antioxidants should be consumed as part of a well-balanced diet, but since many processed foods are deficient, dietary supplements should be considered. Anyone who is pregnant or taking pharmaceutical drugs for a serious illness should consult their doctor before taking supplements as some can interact with medication.

Included in the list of supernutrients are foods that release energy slowly into the blood stream, those with a low Glycemic Index, that keep energy levels constant and prevent tiredness and the onset of diabetes. Oats are one of the best sources and it also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. Other superfoods to include in your diet are eggs, one of the best sources of protein; green tea to protect against heart disease and cancer; nuts such as brazils that contain selenium which protects against cancer and improves thyroid function and walnuts for a healthy heart and olive oil and soya to reduce cholesterol.

Eating oily fish regularly helps protect the brain and has the added bonus of giving us beautiful skin. Mackerel, herrings, tuna, salmon, sardines and anchovies all contain omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) as do flax seeds (linseed) and flaxseed oil.

New York dermatologist, Dr Nicholas Perricone ( describes DMAE, a substance found in abundance in wild Alaskan salmon, as “the magic bullet” for skin. In his book, The Perricone Promise, he explains how you can look 10 years younger in 28 days by eating supernutrients, including salmon and DMAE and have a healthier brain and slimmer body at the same time. DMAE is also a building-block of the brain neuro-transmitter acetylcholine which declines with age and causes a deterioration in muscle-tone as well as brain function leading to Alzheimer’s.

He says: “Looking good and having a positive body image is not vanity; it’s your road to a long, healthy and happy life.”

The most important dietary antioxidants are found in the more colourful varieties of fruits and vegetables such as:

Red/Orange: Tomatoes, strawberries, oranges, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, red and orange peppers, and salmon are rich in vitamins A, C and E.

Green: Cabbage, spinach, avocado, kiwi fruit and peas are rich in vitamin A.

Yelow: Lemons, melons, mangoes, yellow peppers and grapefruit are all rich sources of Vitamins A and C.

Purple: Blueberries, blackcurrants, red cabbage and beetroot are excellent sources of vitamins A, C and E.

White: Garlic, onions, cauliflower and walnuts are rich in vitamins A, C and E.


Highly-concentrated oils from spices and plants are combined with a carrier oil usually almond, and used to massage or inhaled to give relief from all kinds of ailments from coughs and colds to stress and breathing problems, as well as chronic fatigue, back pain and menstral complaints.

The essential oils, usually in a combination, are massaged into the body with light strokes or inhaled in steam, depending on the condition to be treated. The oils are absorbed by the body and enter the bloodstream – which is why pregnant woman and anyone with diabetes, epilepsy and heart problems should consult their doctor prior to any treatment. Each oil may have several therapeutic uses. For instance lavender and thyme can be combined to reduce inflammation:lemon oil is an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. See guide to oils.


The International Society of professional Aromatherapists
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Leicestershire LE1U 1SN. UK
Tel: ++ 44(0)1455 637987

Also Aromatherapy Council
PO Box 355
Croydon, Surrey CR9 2PQ. UK.
Te: ++44 (0)20 8251 7912