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Tried & Tested - January/February 2015

How Irish Association of Health Stores staff rate what they sell...

Organico, Bantry, Co Cork

This issue owner/managers Rachel and Hannah Dare, assistant manager Fleur Hindley, assistant manager Elizabeth Ewing and nutritional therapist Christine Meadows review a digestive aid, organic spirulina, a garlic supplement and natural skin toner:

1. IRISH ENERGY BOOSTER

Rachel says: “My top product this year has to be Revive Active. It kept us and all our building team going through a very difficult time while we renovated our café – we couldn’t have survived without it! It’s a fantastic energy boost, as well as being excellent for the heart and circulation. And it’s made in Ireland.”

2. DIGESTIVE AID

Hannah says: “I am using Nature’s Plus GI Natural for my digestion and to treat a range of symptoms from bloating to gas to more severe IBS symptoms. It contains L-Glutamine to heal the digestive tract, enzymes for improving digestion and pre- and probiotics as well as some trace minerals. Our customers have found it so good I thought it must be worth trying.”

3. ORGANIC SPIRULINA

Christine says: “My favourite product of all time is Spirulina. It’s a natural multivitamin, full of iron and chlorophyll. It’s a very good boost for people who don’t eat well and great for sports recovery. We have recently started stocking Sara’s Choice Spirulina which is organic and great value. If you find the powder hard to take try mixing it with pineapple juice, or just take tablets. The positive effects outweigh the taste.”

4. NATURAL SKIN TONER

Fleur says: “The Trilogy CoQ10 Booster Serum is my favourite skincare product at the moment. I put it on after a shower after exercise, when the blood vessels are all open, and it soaks in beautifully. Alcohol-based toners can dry out the skin, whereas a serum feeds and moisturises.”

5. GARLIC SUPPLEMENT

Liz says: “One of my most used products is Kyolic Garlic by Quest. It is an aged garlic supplement that is great to take when you feel you may have lowered immunity (eg a sore throat coming on). It’s also a brilliant blood cleanser and is fantastic for cardiac support. I find it especially good for menopausal women.”

Nourish, Donnybrook, Dublin 4

This issue shop assistants Annie Harte and Caroline Coffey and manager Sundara O’Higgins review matcha and reishi tea, healthy chocolate, lemon myrtle oil and magnesium:

1. HEALTHY CHOCOLATE

Annie says: “‘I love Vanoffe chocolate bars. They’re a delicious healthy option instead of the average dairy/sugary chocolates. They’re made with low GI coconut palm sugar, raw cacao which is rich in B vitamins and antioxidants and raw lucuma powder which tastes naturally sweet. They are high in fibre and a source of phosphorus and can help to stabilise blood sugar and curb cravings.”

2. MATCHA TEA

Caroline says: “Clearspring Matcha tea is high in antioxidants and contains L-Theanine which helps to calm and focus the mind. I definitely feel it gives me more focus and energy and it was particularly helpful in keeping me calm as my college thesis deadline approached.”

3. REISHI TEA

Sundara says: “I enjoy Four Sigma Instant Reishi tea. With purported benefits ranging from reduced stress, improved immunity and better sleep quality it’s definitely a tea worth trying. It contains 1000mg of strong red reishi extract which has a lovely earthy flavour and this is combined with a delicious warming blend of star anise, licorice and mint blended with an extra hint of sweetness from the stevia. Simply add water.”

4. MAGNESIUM

Caroline says: “Magnesium comes in both supplement and topical forms – the powder is brilliant for easing tired aching muscles and I always have a brilliant sleep when I take it. I often get tension in my shoulders and find a magnesium spray gives me great relief.”

5. LEMON MYRTLE OIL

Sundara says: “Studies have shown that lemon myrtle oil has 30% more antibacterial activity than tea tree. With a strong and uplifting lemon scent this versatile oil can be burned in an oil burner to invigorate and revitalise, added to water in a spray bottle for a room spray. We burn Bio Nature 100% Lemon Myrtle Oil all the time in the shop and customers come in to ask what the lovely scent is.”

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