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Independent health store advice on sensitive issues

This issue we speak to Janette Lambe at Bee Healthy in Monaghan.

Here at Bee Healthy we accept and embrace the squeamish sides of our bodies! If you suffer from dandruff, bad breath, incontinence or any other so-called 'embarrassing' ailment, we are here to listen and help. Moreover, we want you to know you are not alone.

Dandruff is a common condition that affects people of all ages. Many become embarrassed by the scaly white flakes that appear like snow on the scalp, but there is nothing to be ashamed of. Dandruff has no connection to poor hygiene and is in fact sometimes related to excessive shampooing. If you're sick of dealing with this itchy irritation, there are a few things that will help.

Firstly, ensure you are using a mild non-allergenic shampoo, and only wash hair two or three times per week. Apple cider vinegar makes an excellent hair rinse and may help to soothe inflammation and exfoliate the scalp. Being deficient in B vitamins may be responsible for your snowy scalp, so you could supplement with a good B-complex and include more B vitamin rich foods in your diet like wholegrains and nutritional yeast. As sugar and caffeine can deplete the body of B vitamins, it's best to stay clear of these two culprits if at all possible. Lastly, you might want to consider a good oil supplement to support overall skin health.

Bad breath, known medically as halitosis, is a condition that affects all of us at some stage in life, even if it's just in the mornings. Usually, the causes of this condition are not serious, so no need to panic. The first question to ask yourself is 'how is my dental hygiene?' Cavities and plaque build-up are the most common and obvious causes of bad breath; in which case you may simply need a good floss and a trip to the dentist. However, did you know poor digestion and toxin elimination can also result in those around you pinching their noses?

Toxic build-up can result from constipation and over-consumption of refined foods such as white bread and sugar. Green superfoods such as chlorella and spirulina do an excellent job at detoxifying the body and counteracting the source of smelly breath, so focus on getting more of these and cut down on processed foods. Fermented foods are also a good ally in tackling bad breath as they encourage a healthy gut which prevents the formation of putrefactive bacteria. For a more immediate solution you can try sipping some mint tea throughout the day and seasoning your food with fresh parsley.

Last stop on the descent from head to toe is the genitourinary system. Ailments that affect this part of the body are common in both women and men. Regularly we get asked about adult incontinence and how to deal with it. This condition has a number of causes, ranging from impaired nerve function to weak bladder control muscles. Whatever the symptoms there are a number of things you can try. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to incontinence. This is due to the strengthening effect magnesium has on the sphincter muscle, so you might want to consider taking a supplement and including more mineral-rich foods in your diet like nuts, figs and dark leafy greens. B vitamins play a crucial role in the functioning of the nervous system, so be sure you are getting enough of these through food and supplementation; this will help the brain and bladder communicate more effectively. Lastly, as we love herbs here in Bee Healthy, we suggest you try drinking some herbal teas that will help to add systemic tone to the genitourinary system. Horsetail, raspberry leaf, linden and hawthorn all make an excellent tonic brew.

As with all health complaints, it's always better to speak with a professional directly to discuss your unique set of circumstances. Nonetheless, we hope you enjoyed the general guidelines we have provided you with here.

What's What and Who's Who at Bee Healthy in Monaghan?

"Bee Healthy opened on 1st December 2020," says Ingrid Sudway who owns the shop. "It is brand new and a real Covid project. Margaret Palmer and I had been planning something like this for years. She, Janette and myself worked together in a local pharmacy, and felt ready for a change. My husband Kevin and a friend designed and made all the shelving for the shop from locally-sourced timber.

"Health stores were deemed essential, so we stayed open throughout the second lockdown. We found that we have a good following of local customers who were happy to come with us. Our customers are a very mixed bag – young mothers and children, older people, men of all ages. It's across the board really. Big issues for customers these days are menopause and anxiety.

"Our main focus in Bee Healthy is on distributing herbs and homeopathy and making these accessible to ordinary people. Some remedies are very useful for common issues and we dispense these from the shop. We also have a big range of supplements.

"Our food ranges include dried nuts and seeds, gluten-free foods, vegan foods and herbal teas. Margaret makes her own herbal teas from plants harvested from her own garden. Over the summer we sold herbs we grew ourselves.

"We have an eco cleaning range with everything you might need for your home, and Irish skincare ranges too. In fact, we like to support Irish-made products as much as possible.

"We stock arts and crafts including local artists who make pottery, baskets and felt pictures. We look after our customers very well. We offer discounts and pass on free stock. We plan to have tastings and demonstrations once Covid restrictions allow it."

VISIT: 88 Glaslough St, Roosky, Monaghan
SPEAK TO: Ingrid Sudway, owner manager and homeopath; Janette Lambe, nutrition and lifestyle coach, and final year herbal medicine student; and Margaret Palmer, aromatherapist, naturopath, master herbalist MSc. and lecturer in CNM.
CONTACT: (047) 83634
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Friday 9.15am-5pm, Saturday 10am-5pm

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