Give us some more of the (heather) honey...
A colleague is raving about Heather Hills Farm pure, raw honey. This family-run producer started in 1945 with a single hive and now has 1,300 across the Scottish Highlands. Whereas bigger producers might cram many more hives into a similar space, which risks reducing quality, Heather Hills bees can roam up to a five-mile radius around each hive. Also, unlike mass-produced honey, the traditional methods used by Heather Hills mean that beneficial enzymes and proteins remain intact. ‘My grandmother had a teaspoon of raw Scottish heather honey every day and lived to 102,’ says my colleague. And according to equine surgeon Patrick Pollock this delicious stuff is also widely used by vets for dressing injuries and wounds that can take a long time to heal, particularly on horses’ legs. A recent study at Glasgow University School of Veterinary Medicine, led by Patrick, showed that Heather Hills Farm honey was as effective a topical antibacterial as the better-known (and more costly) manuka honey from New Zealand.
THREE OF THE BEST PRE- AND POSTNATAL ESSENTIALS
Pregnancy Yoga with Tara Lee DVD, £15.14, www.amazon.co.uk (also available as an App)
Suitable for all stages of pregnancy and levels of yoga, this became our tester Lily’s 'best friend. To begin with, I did the 75-minute session: my back stopped aching and I was able to walk more comfortably. During my last weeks of pregnancy I’ve been doing the “20-minute move”, which stops my night cramps.’ The DVD includes a hypno-birthing section by Katharyn Graves, which Lily loves: ‘Whenever I’m worried about labour, the 20-minute relaxation reminds me I am healthy and in control.’
This portable baby bed is made from breathable materials and the filling has anti-dustmite, anti fungal and antibacterial properties. The cotton cover (also sold separately) is machine washable. Leo, now six months, is very happy in his – so his parents are, too. ‘He can sleep safely with us and the Sleepyhead is easy to take away with us.’
The Wonder Weeks iPhone and iPad App/£1.49, www.itunes.apple.com.
Our testers are finding this award-winning parenting app the biggest support they have in understanding what is going on with their baby as he changes week by week: ‘Just having a clue why he is not sleeping or being cranky reduces our stress and worry.’
CT (computerised tomography) scans produce multiple X-ray images, so doctors can see exactly what is going on in our brains and bodies. However, they also generate large amounts of potentially cancer-causing radiation (sometimes equivalent to about 200 chest X-rays, according to Consumer Reports (www.consumerreports.org). The UK government’s Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (Comare) urges doctors to consider whether it is necessary to use CT scans rather than MRI or ultrasound, which do not cause radiation. If it is essential, Comare recommends the lowest dose possible and only scanning the specific area of the body needed. The take-home message for patients is to question if a CT scan is necessary or whether there is an alternative diagnostic tool.
A recent fire in a neighbour’s home emphasised the importance of a smoke alarm. It is also vital to have a carbon monoxide (CO ) alert, as this invisible, odourless gas can be deadly or, at low levels, cause chronic ill health. Nest Protect is a smoke and CO alarm that gives you an early voice warning if it senses smoke or CO . If not silenced, it then emits an emergency tone. It also sends messages to your phone, and the Nest app allows you to add useful phone numbers. £89/www.store.nest.com.