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Health store help

Independent health store advice on allergies, hay fever and sinus relief

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Paul Holmes, manager of The Health Store in Dundrum Town Centre

Allergies refer to a number of conditions caused by the body’s immune system as a reaction to harmless substances in the environment. Symptoms may vary, and while they may be quite mild for some, unfortunately for others they can be a lot more debilitating. These symptoms can range from a runny nose, sore throat and sneezing, to vomiting, rashes and in rarer cases, diarrhoea. Early preventative treatment is the most effective way of dealing with allergies. For hay fever, it is advised to start taking your antihistamine remedies in early spring (around March).

There is a lot of help available in health stores which may prevent, ease or at least make your symptoms more manageable. We have a wealth of experience in our 11 stores and all of our staff are fully trained to give the best advice available. If you don’t have the time to shop instore or online with us, then why not check out the products below which may provide some relief:

Quercetin: a natural antihistamine bioflavonoid that helps to control allergic reactions. It is found naturally in berries, garlic, onions, capers, apples and dark green vegetables. Herbal teas like nettle tea also possess antihistamine action due to their quercetin content. Methylated catechins, the active ingredients in Japanese green tea, have been shown in studies to help alleviate some of the symptoms of hay fever.

Garlic: garlic contains the natural compound allicin, proven to have antibacterial and anti-viral properties. It has been used as a natural medicine since Roman times as it can help to break down mucous and catarrh. If the thought of eating garlic is not appealing, there are a lot of odourless garlic supplements now available on the market, making it easier for non-garlic lovers and vampires alike!

Oregano oil: contains anti-viral and antibacterial properties that may help clear excess mucous and fight infections.

Vitamin C: a natural anti-histamine and antioxidant. Citrus fruits, berries, peppers, tomatoes and dark green vegetables are natural food sources of vitamin C. Health stores stock a wide range of vitamin Cs in powder, liquid, tablet and capsule forms.

Nasal sprays and eye drops: may help to clear out pollen particles from nasal cavities and the eyes. Some eye drops contain eyebright which has been traditionally used for symptoms such as redness and irritation.

Local honey: may help in desensitising your system to pollen. Always check with your health practitioner if you are very sensitive or highly allergic to pollen before using.

Diffusers: essential oils have been found to help alleviate symptom and give your room a lovely aroma.

Homeopathy: supplements contain traditional ingredients for relief from hay fever and allergic rhinitis. It does not cause any drowsiness, unlike some other products on the market.

One interesting study in Canada found that trees and shrubs planted by local authorities can have an impact when it comes to hay fever. It discovered that a lot of urban forestry was made up of deciduous male trees that produce only pollen and no fruit or seeds (as opposed to certain female varieties which produce a lot of fruit and flowers), making it easier for the authorities in question to keep pathways clean.

What’s What and Who’s Who in The Health Store, Dundrum

“The Health Store, Dundrum first opened in March 2005 and we are delighted to say that it has proved to be a big hit with our customers,” says manager Paul Holmes. “Over the years we have built up a strong cohort of very loyal customers. Customer service and staff knowledge are the cornerstones of our business. We pride ourselves on our product knowledge and the time we give to customers. We think that listening is important. We are lucky to have both a full time expert trainer on hand in the form of our ‘living encyclopaedia’ Derek and very hands-on operations manager Linder who work across all 11 stores.

“I think Covid has highlighted how important it is to look after our mental and physical health and our training programmes reflect the importance we put on giving customers the very best advice to meet their own individual needs.

“Since 2014 we have been part of GNC Holdings, not only providing us with a wealth of retail and trading expertise, but the exclusive rights to sell a huge range of GNC vitamins, minerals, herbs, sports nutrition, dietary and energy products.

“We also endeavour to support Irish suppliers where possible by stocking a number of Irish-made beauty products as well as superfood blends and protein bars. We have two fridges and a freezer for chilled and frozen foods. We sell oils, prepacks, superfoods and two Irish honeys. We carry a wide range of vegan and vegetarian products, from fridge plant-based meals to vegan supplements, cosmetics and snacks.

“We have some great offers in store on customers’ favourite brands. Offers change every month. Our new website also offers customers the opportunity to browse at their leisure a wide range of new and trending products. We regularly offer our customers triple points on any supplements they buy which they can redeem as money off on future purchases.

“While our product range and training has been instrumental to our success it is without doubt the team in-store who are the real reasons why customers return day in, day out.”

VISIT: The Health Store, Dundrum Town Centre and
SPEAK TO: Paul Holmes, trainer Derek McCann, operations manager Linder Mohan, deputy managers Marjan Majidi and Grainne O’Donovan, senior sales assistants Tracie James, Michelle Southern and Faezeh Langan, and sales assistants Esther Dunne, Phillipa Molony, Aisling O’Brien, Rory Merriman, Gillian Palmer and James O’Rourke.
CONTACT: (01) 205 1420
OPENING HOURS: Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 10am-7pm.

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