The slippery way to treat stomach ache…

  • How the bark of a tree can help a stricken woman
  • Want a Porsche? Then join the NHS

I feel like a cyborg today…

Half man, half robot.

Or to be more precise, half lazy writer…half incompetent nurse, because as I speak (sorry, type), Lara is upstairs in bed nursing a sore tummy.

And let me tell you, if it’s bad enough to send Lara to bed, it’s BAD.

If I’m suffering, I tend to tell everyone about it instantly (and splinters CAN be painful – I don’t care what anyone says). But Lara could be hit on the head with a meteorite half way through being mauled by a tiger and still tell everyone to stop fussing when they rushed over to help her.

So for the best part of the day, I’ve been looking after Lara, and giving her this brilliant natural tonic…

The slippery way to treat stomach ache…

Ulmus fulva, or Slippery Elm, is really powerful when it comes to tackling digestive pain and irritation. When the powdered bark of the elm is added to water it produces mucilage – a powerful glycoprotein that acts as a balm for the irritated area, soothing the inflammation. Tannins found in slippery elm also help reduce swelling and heal damaged tissue.

Mmmmm…. tree bark. There’s nothing quite like a little treat when you’re feeling under the weather is there?

Lucky Lara.

Naturally, before we take any unusual herb or remedy in the Collins household we always run things past our GP, and you should do the same.

Here are a few more natural substances that can help fight stomach aches…

Two of my favourite things… as Mary Poppins (or was it wassername from The Sound of Music) said ‘I simply remember my favourite thiiiiings and then I don’t feeeeeeel soooooooo bad’.

Well, I remember them, then remember to take them. I’m talking about lemon and honey, and personally this sorts out my stomach ache every time. Simply let 3 slices of lemon steep in hot water for 3 minutes, add some honey, and drink. Even my caveman sensibilities can cope with mixing this up. It’s a marvel I tell you – so give it a try.

If you want to discover dozens more ways to use these two natural wonders, take a look at these two books:

HGV miracle

The Lemon Book

Seriously, every household that has more than one human being in should have a copy of each of these, because they can help you sort out of sorts of little problems.

  • Another drink to try… mix 1 teaspoon each of mint juice, ginger juice, lime juice, add a pinch of back salt, and knock it back. Mint has been used for centuries as an aid to digestion (I usually have a cup after mint tea after every meal), ginger keeps nausea at bay like nobody’s business, and lime is from the same family as lemon – so that’s three blows against stomach ache in one gulp!
  • Fresh sage… a teaspoon of sage herbal juice every day can fight gastritis and enteritis, thanks to its astringent properties.
  • An idea Mr Bassett may not have thought about… using liquorice roots to make a tea can help settle upset stomachs, but this remedy comes with a warning…

An overindulgence in liquorice has been known to raise some people’s blood pressure due to the presence of glycyrrhetinic acid. So go easy. Or better still, hunt down DGL, or deglycyrrhizinated liquorice. Apparently this has the same powerful properties but without the damaging acid. But as ever, check things through with your doctor before embarking on any new course of natural remedy.

And finally…

A ginger remedy you DON’T drink… if the idea of drinking any tea that isn’t Tetley’s doesn’t appeal to you, then try this…

Chop up a piece of ginger, grate it, then squeeze the juice from it and rub it into your belly. That is if it’s YOUR belly that’s aching. I’ve not heard of this one before, but I’m going to try it.

And talking of rubbing ginger juice on your belly…

Errr… actually I haven’t got anything I can link this to. It’s just a sentence that I’m never going to get the chance to use again. I couldn’t resist.

Here’s something that caught my eye this week (and it had nothing to do with ginger OR bellies)…

Want a Porsche? Then join the NHS

Earlier this week I read that a nurse working for the NHS broke through the £100,000 salary barrier.

‘Great!’ I hear you cry. ‘She deserves it. They should all be earning big money.’

And I couldn’t agree more. But is this REALLY the way the NHS should be going…?

Take a friend of mine and Lara’s, confusingly named Laura.

Laura is a nurse who’s works in one our local hospitals here in Bristol. Lara’s known her for years, and she’s a lovely, lovely person who’s brilliant at her job.

A while back, she told us she was earning pretty good money after years of struggling as a student nurse. I can’t remember the exact figure, but it was around £3,000 a month take home.

Which the accountant in me works out is £1million a year before tax. All right, the accountant in me should be fired. He’s hopeless at maths! But it must be somewhere around the £50K mark.

And she more than deserves it. But it’s not the amount she’s earning that bothers me, the amount she has to work to get it that’s my concern…

Laura works 6 days a week, often doing double shifts and working 14 hours a day, sometimes with a break, sometimes with no break.

Now, even I’ve managed to work out that’s 84 hours a week – more than DOUBLE the number of hours that a standard office job demands.

So, she’s earning £50K, but effectively she’s doing two jobs to get it.

Surely that’s wrong. I mean I get tired after an HOUR’S work, so after 84 hours I’d be amputating somebody at the neck when I should be giving them an aspirin.

Isn’t it about time we looked after our doctors and nurses properly – especially the ones who work crazy hours on wards?

Just something that struck me. But still, good luck to the nurse who’s making £100,000. I don’t know what she’ll spend it on but I doubt it’ll be a bed.

So wouldn’t have time to use it.

Yours, as always