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Skincare Magic

Manuka Honey Gel MagicManuka Honey Gel continues to gain popularity as our best selling formulation and the product that sets Living Nature apart from the competition.

The broad range of applications include acne treatment, bites, scratches and abrasions, and it’s highly effective at combating cold sores. With the scientifically proven benefits of its key ingredients, Active Manuka Honey and Manuka Oil, Manuka Honey Gel well and truly lives up to being “nature’s first aid for your skin”.

A recent testimonial (below) from Christine, a customer in Motueka, NZ, supports how incredibly effective this product is at aiding skin healing.

We also have some eye catching new collateral for Manuka Honey Gel – including the web banner below which features another compelling testimonial.


Christine’s StoryIn early March 2014 Christine noticed a hard, raised lump on her right cheek which ultimately required a significant biopsy in June for melanoma. As a result in July that year a plastic surgeon removed her cheek and made a graft with skin taken from her lower left neck.

As part of her follow up treatment, Christine had an intense month of radiotherapy in October 2014 and was advised to use a Calendula healing cream. Soon after, she decided to begin using Living Nature Manuka Honey Gel.

Christine says, “Every day I massage the Manuka Honey Gel onto my graft to help keep it moist and help the nerves reconnect. I use it three times a day. I like the way it dries and leaves the skin looking good. In March 2015 I had my first MRI since the operation and all was good. A month later in April, my Surgeon was very pleased with the way I had healed – he commented that my graft looked like a three year old graft and not an eight month old graft that had had a month of radiotherapy.

“I think this is due to the Manuka Honey Gel.”

Are kiwi babies getting enough Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that is required for many functions within the body including healthy bones, immunity, and cardiovascular function. It is essential throughout all stages of life, from foetal development to old age. More importantly, for infants, vitamin D is needed to prevent a bone-deforming condition called Rickets.

Rickets leads to softening and weakening of bones in children. It is associated with pain, increased risk of fractures, dental defects, skeletal deformities such as bowed legs, growth restriction, developmental delays, and seizures.

A recent study linking Rickets to a deficiency of vitamin D has been released by researchers at Otago University’s New Zealand Paediatric Surveillance Unit. Paediatricians nationwide were asked to report any vitamin D deficient rickets over a three year period.

Results from the 58 children that were studied identified several key risk factors and revealed that Rickets is still an issue in New Zealand. This is despite a 2013 study done by the University of Auckland that showed 1 in 5 New Zealand infants had a vitamin D level at birth that was low enough to put them at risk of Rickets.

Vitamin D is known as the ‘sunshine’ vitamin, as our bodies can convert sunlight into vitamin D through a process that starts in our skin. Unfortunately, many people do not get enough sunlight exposure due to many factors or they have problems with the conversion process in the body, which is where supplementation with a quality vitamin D product can be very beneficial.

Children most at risk of having low vitamin D levels are breast-fed infants of Maori or Pacific Island women, of women with dark skin, or of women whom are often covered or veiled when outdoors.

The mother’s vitamin D level during pregnancy determines the vitamin D status of her newborn baby and remains an important determinant of vitamin D status while the infant remains exclusively breast-fed. Adequate levels of vitamin D will only be passed to an infant via breast milk if the mother has a high level of vitamin D herself. If her levels are low, then very little, if any vitamin D will be passed, which is why it is recommended that breast-fed or partially breast-fed infants are given vitamin D supplementation. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends babies have 400 IU of supplemental vitamin D daily.

– from Naturalmeds NZ


What are colds?

A cold is a contagious viral disease which infects the upper respiratory tract. There are more than two hundred viruses that can cause the common cold which is why people can catch colds again and again. Most people will catch a cold two to four times a year – and they are much more common during the winter months.

Common cold symptoms

The cold virus tends to attach itself to the soft, warm surfaces of the nose, throat and sinuses and hence, this is where the symptoms of the cold normally occur. The first symptom is often an irritation or soreness in the throat. However a large range of cold symptoms may be experienced.

The main symptoms of a cold in adults and older children are:

  • a blocked nose
  • cough
  • headache
  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • feeling lethargic
  • earache
  • muscle pain
  • sinus pain

Younger children and infants may experience other cold symptoms such as:

  • problems feeding
  • fever
  • swollen glands
  • being restless or uncomfortable

In most cases, symptoms of a common cold appear within one or two days of being infected by the virus and last for about a week.
 How do you catch a cold?

Colds are at their most contagious during the first two to four days after the symptoms appear in someone affected, and he or she can stay contagious for up to three weeks.

Colds are spread by virus particles in the air which are disseminated by sneezing or coughing. However you may also catch a cold through close personal contact with someone or even through indirect contact with an infected person.

For example if a person with the common cold touches their nose or mouth, thousands of virus particles are transferred onto their skin. When they then touch an object such as a door handle or chair, they leave virus particles behind. The next person to touch the object will pick up the virus and become infected.

In the majority of cases, colds do not cause any major health problems. Although symptoms such as coughs or sore throats may be irritating and uncomfortable, with the common cold, symptoms do not tend to persist for more than one week. However, on rare occasions a cold can lead to complications.

In older children and adults colds may cause:

  • inflammation of the sinuses
  • a chest infection or pneumonia
  • worsening of asthma

In younger children, middle ear infections are the most common complication of a cold and in the case of infants, a chest infection, pneumonia or croup may develop.
Common cold remedies

There are many different remedies for colds on the market – however there is no cure for the common cold.

  • Antibiotics, which treat infections caused by bacteria, do not have any effect on cold viruses.
  • If the cold is causing symptoms such as muscle pain, headaches or a sore throat, you can take pain killers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol to lesson any discomfort.
  • Nasal sprays can help to clear a blocked nose
  • Natural herbal cough remedies and tinctures may reduce any coughing fits.
  • There are also a number of vitamin supplements which are popular in treating colds.
  • Lastly, one of the most popular herbs to use is  Echinacea. which helps the body fight the symptoms of the colds by strengthening the immune system.


Colds & flu explained

What is flu?

Although the common cold and flu share similar symptoms, they are quite different infections. Flu is caused by a specific group of viruses known as the influenza virus. However, there are a number of different strains, such as swine flu and avian flu (also known as bird flu), with more forming as the virus mutates.

This is why people continue to come down with the flu each year and that there is the need to renew the flu vaccination each winter. Symptoms of flu are usually more severe than with colds. Additional symptoms may also be experienced – fever, nausea, chills and sweats, headache, aching muscles and loss of appetite.

The flu virus can be spread from one person to the next from day one and before symptoms appear. Hence, it is possible to spread the flu before one notices symptoms.
Who catches colds and flu?

Anyone who is at risk from colds and flu and these infections can come at any time of the year. Usually peak season for these infections is during the autumn or winter months. There is often a small peak during early spring and one particular type of cold virus thrives in the summer.

Those with weaker immune function (due to illness, stress, lifestyle habits) are more likely to catch a cold or flu than the average healthy adult.

What is the immune system?

The immune system exists to protect our body against infection. It is made up of special blood cells, proteins, organs and other tissues – all designed to defend and support our body against invading organisms. Put another way, it is the army protecting the body against infection by viruses, bacteria and fungi, keeping us healthy and free from infections.



What if you have a weakened immune system?

Weak immune function makes it more difficult for the body to withstand infection, so an early sign of a weak immune system is a tendency for the body to pick up infections such as colds and flu.

This happens because a poorly functioning immune system can’t spot the nasty invaders efficiently. In addition, the immune system may also take longer to overcome bugs.


What to look out for

Colds are not usually considered to be serious illnesses and most people either ignore the problem or use home remedies to treat the condition. Only a small percentage of people UK visit their doctor for help with the common cold. If you are fit and have a healthy immune system, it is fine to manage the symptoms of colds or flu yourself. Many people use herbal remedies such as Echinacea to support their immune system.

However, there are some people who need to take extra care. Those suffering from asthma, bronchitis, or those with a weak immune system often need extra support and attention. The very young or the elderly may also find that their immune systems are not strong enough to fight off infections, so care must also be taken with this group of people. As with any illness, see your doctor if you are worried or in doubt.

If your immune system is working well


  • You don’t fall prey to every bug around
  • You throw off infections quite easily
  • You aren’t constantly itching or sneezing
  • You generally feel well

If you have a fully functional immune system, then when you are exposed to a bug, you should kick it out quickly and symptoms such as a raised temperature will not last for long.
Weak immune function makes it harder to withstand infection by viruses, bacteria or fungi.The immune system will take longer to detect and conquer the bug, so symptoms such as raised temperature, swollen glands, sore throat, etc., will be present more frequently.
Why might you have weak immune function?

  • Eating a bad diet
  • Eating lots of fatty foods
  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Being stressed and unhappy
  • Not getting enough sleep


10 Tips to stay healthy and avoid colds & flu

  1.  Wash your hands

Common cold and flu viruses spread by direct contact. Avoid people with colds or the flu like the plague – viruses spread from their hands to door handles, the telephone or the keyboard and can live for hours on these surfaces. The next person touching the same object will pick up these bugs, so wash your hands often or use alcohol-based hand sanitisers to prevent these viruses passing into your body.

  1.  Use tissues and throw them away 

These are great for preventing the spread of colds and flu, but remember that they can harbour viruses and contaminate any surface they come in contact with.

  1.  Drink plenty fluid 

Avoid becoming dehydrated – a typical healthy adult needs around 1.5 litres of water each day. Drinking water flushes out your system and helps keep your immune system strong.

  1.  Control stress 

It is well known that stress can weaken your immune system and may make you more likely to catch a cold than your calmer counterparts.

  1.  Eat well 

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables can help you avoid many health problems. Foods rich in vitamins A and C such as citrus fruit, dark blue and red berries, mangoes, apricots, carrots and beetroot support the immune system.

  1.  Avoid alcohol 

We know this seems boring, but drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is bad for immune cells, which become disorientated and confused…just like us!

  1.  Get plenty fresh air 

Avoid getting stuck in a room full of people with stale air. Find fresh air and breathe deeply. This helps the lymphatic system move protective immune cells around the body.

  1.  Get more sleep 

Achieving restful sleep each night (8 hours) helps the body repair itself and build the immune system. If you need help sleeping, see our tips on how you can sleep better.

  1.  Avoid smoking 

This is an irritant to the delicate tissues of your respiratory tract and increases your susceptibility to viruses that cause colds and flu.

  1.  Keep warm 

When you are feeling a bit vulnerable to infection, stay out of the cold night air and avoid the direct stream of air-conditioned air.

A cough is a reflex action that is caused by the stimulation of an irritated airway. When a person coughs, the larynx closes briefly. The chest and abdominal muscles then contract and air is forced out of the lungs when the larynx is reopened. The air released by a cough cleans out the airway of any irritants.

Coughing is a key part of the body’s defence mechanism as it purges the respiratory passages of dirt, dust or fluid which could cause problems to the lungs.
Types of Coughs

Coughs may be described as:

  • A dry cough
  • A chesty cough

A dry cough develops because of infection or inflammation of the throat and upper airway. As no fluid is produced, it is said to be non-productive or dry. The most common cause of a dry cough is the common cold or flu – the brain recognises the inflammation in the throat as a foreign object and tries to remove it through coughing.

A chesty cough brings up mucus produced from the airways, also known as phlegm. This fluid is produced because of infection or inflammation lower in the airways or because of the presence of bacteria. Chesty coughs can produce phlegm which is clear or white – or if green, indicates the presence of bacteria.


 Cough Remedies                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

There are many different remedies on offer to help clear up a cough.

  • One of the simplest cures is a homemade remedy containing honey and lemon. Honey coats the throat and relieves the irritation which causes coughing.
  • Herbal remedies used to relieve coughs include Ivy, Thyme and Pine Shoots.
  • There are people who prefer to use chemical medicines to suppress coughs – these are readily available from pharmacies and retail outlets.
  • If a cough is persistent, your Health professional  should be consulted as prescribed medication may be needed.

In all cases, remember that a cough is not a disease, it is a symptom. Therefore to clear up a cough permanently, the underlying cause of coughing (most often a viral or bacterial infection) must be treated.
Preventing a Cough

As there are so many causes for coughing, prevention of coughs lie with looking at the underlying problem.

To discuss this underlying problem  go  to your trusted local Health Store or Natural Health Professional

Monica van de Weerd


Pure essential oils offer the perfect protection for respiratory and immune systems


Of all the many health benefits to be found in pure essential oils, perhaps the most widely appreciated are the powerful aromatic properties that have a direct impact on the respiratory and immune systems.

Think of Eucalyptus, for example, and immediately we remember that vigorous cleansing scent with the power to inspire deep full breath. It is no accident that it has become one of the most popular ingredients for the most common of ailments: cough, cold, flu etc.

But it is not just Eucalyptus. There is in fact a whole range of compatible essential oils that can be used to support winter wellness and respiratory care.

The reason that these certain essential oils are so well suited to treat respiratory ills is that they have naturally occurring molecular compounds with very relevant healing properties…

…anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-spasmodic, decongestant, analgesic etc…

… and these properties are carried easily and naturally deep into the respiratory system either directly through inhalation of vapors, and also into the bloodstream by absorption through the skin (by blending essential oils with a suitable body oil).

Pure essential oil blends fortify the body and cleanse the air you breathe

The unique advantage that we gain by using pure essential oils is that they are 100% natural substances and are compatible with natural body functions.

We can easily and safely incorporate them into our lives to support strong natural defenses and healthy breathing when we are most likely to need the extra care.

When we diffuse pure essential oils into our living spaces, for example, the natural compounds help to inhibit airborne germs and we create an environment that enhances our natural desire to breathe deeply.

As we breathe more deeply this essential oil enhanced air, we increase the oxygen in our bodies to fortify body functions, and simultaneously we integrate natural compounds that add power to the body’s natural defenses.

A range of pure essential oils will give specific, focused support for healthy breathing

At Absolute Essential we have a range of ‘respiratory’ oils to work with and it is possible to use them in a variety of ways to improve natural heath and resistance to illness.

Immune Plus (or milder Child Immune Plus) can enhance respiration and stimulate the immune system – good to start right now, to really power the benefits of those precious fresh outdoor days. A weekly bath or a gentle night time diffusion is so easy to do.

When the germs really are buzzing around, you can diffuse it in your living and working spaces to protect against the germ-spreading of sneezes and coughing.

When you first feel the signs of coming down with something you can also use Immune Plus to help knock it on the head.

Of course, the same fortifying, cleansing properties will serve you well throughout illness too to help support fast recovery – they can be transported directly and naturally to the heart of the issue. We breathe the vapors direct to congestion and irritation; straight into the nasal passages; deep into the lungs.

For adults you can get a powerful blast of cleansing for sinus problems – a steam inhalation with Eucalyptus is good but a blend like Sinus Clear has a full arsenal of the most suitable pure essential oils that can help with the range of painful issues involved, such as inflammation, irritation, infection and congestion.

For a chesty cough, again you could simply use Eucalyptus but a blend that includes relaxing and tonic essential oils, like those that you will find in our Breathe Easy synergy, will also help to bring relaxation and calm for a more complete, restorative effect.

If you have a young family to take care of, you will probably be expecting more than your fair share of winter ills. What I and many other mothers have found is that you can very often get away with simply using child-friendly all-natural synergies like Baby Care: Nose & Chest and Twinkle Star to get through it all more comfortably and quickly (not to mention avoiding many of the not-so-great pharmaceuticals specifically aimed at children).

Once they become acquainted with these blends, you will find that your children themselves ask for them and respond well to the general nurture and aromatic calming that they bring.


Our essential oil blends are versatile and easy to use… inhalation on cloth or by steam; diffusion (with the added bonus that the air is cleansed of airborne germs); therapeutic bath (15 mins max); or add 1 drop to 1 ml of carrier oil (eg. Sweet Almond oil) for a chest/back rub.


Medicinal-grade essential oils must be 100% pure. At Absolute Essential we use certified organic or wild grown (sustainable) plants to produce our oils and all extraction processes are strictly controlled to produce the best quality oil with a maximum purity and therapeutic value. See more atAbsolute Essential