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Photo collage, credit : Blue Noun

“It is International Women’s Day, and we’re sharing a health tip every woman should know.”

 

Hello English language learners and friends of Blue Noun Language Hub in Crieff, Scotland.

As you likely know, we teach English as a second language to internationals from all kinds of creative professions – artists, designers, musicians.

As a result, we have one foot in all kinds of interesting, alternative cultures (we really are an alternative language school!).

Over the last couple of years, we have been introduced to Herbalism by good friend Claire Mullan aka the Herbal Hippy as she has run a Herb Hut workshop regularly at Blue Noun for language learners and locals alike.

She’s one of the amazing people you can meet on an English language holiday with us.

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Mostly, we give out language tips for English learners – but here, we are sharing health tips.

As usual, this blog is written for English language learners – both as an English lesson and to introduce you to the people you will meet on our English language holidays. We want to give you a taste of the places we visit, the activities we offer – and the food and drink we celebrate!

Our blog is how you can get to know us at our English language hub (a conversation and encounters-based English language school)

Read on for a free English practice exercise at the end.

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International Woman’s Day | Tips for English Learners

For International Woman’s Day, Blue Noun has teamed up with Claire Mullan to let you know how easy it is to fight thrush without pharmaceuticals.
 

The wonder remedy is Calendula – or Pot Marigold.’

 

Its many uses I discovered under Claire’s tutelage, but to be legally clear, as a professional Herbalist, Claire would dispense a tailored herbal treatment only following a one-to-one consultation.

 

There are legal issues with marketing curative health claims, but as her customer, I am shouting about this one – it is so simple and effective – and can save women such discomfort. Let’s get it out there!
 
NB: it is uncommon, but some people are allergic to calendula. Do a skin test while you are well, then keep calendula in stock for when thrush strikes.
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Calendula | Health Tips for English Learners | International Womans Day 2020

Dried Calendula, photo credit: Blue Noun

Step 1: Drink lots of Calendula tea

 
It is not expensive. You can buy it loose from herbalist shops, such as Neal’s Yard Remedies or online herbalists such as Baldwins. (Or grow your own and dry out the flowerhead – but note, there are several types of Marigold including French & African Marigolds. These other types won’t help – and could harm you).
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Step 2: Douche with Calendula tea.

Get a nice big bowl and wash your vaginal region with (cool!) calendula tea
Not only does it have anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties to fight the infection, but it is also cooling, and soothes inflamed skin immediately.

Probably not the tips for English learners that you were expecting, but you will thank me one day! 
Calendula | Health Tips for English Learners | International Womans Day 2020

Calendula tea douche, photo credit: Blue Noun

It’s estimated that 75% of all women will get at least one vaginal yeast infection in their lifetime.

 

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Step 3: Wear a Compress

Can’t spend all day sitting in a birdbath? Put some calendula onto a re-usable fabric pad or a (unscented) sanitary towel to make a compress which you can wear from the comfort of your sofa or bed. It is a great way to get the Herb to where it’s needed, but be sure not to wear it for too long, as fungal infections need to “breath.”
Calendula | Health Tips for English Learners | International Womans Day 2020

Calendula tea douche, photo credit: Blue Noun

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More About Thrush

 
Thrush is an unpleasant viral infection that both men and woman can get, although woman suffer much more frequently as their genitals share some of the qualities of a good Petrie dish.

It’s estimated that 75% of all women will get at least one vaginal yeast infection in their lifetime.

Thrush is caused by a yeast known as Candida, which is just one of many types of fungi living on the human body.

At normal levels, this is not problematic, however, when there’s an imbalance and increase in Candida, it causes an infection called Candidiasis.
 
Symptoms of vaginal candidiasis include redness, swelling, itching, painful intercourse and sometimes a thick, white discharge from the vagina. Although it’s much less common, Candida can also cause a urinary tract infection (UTI) which can become serious if untreated.
 
If you haven’t already had the pleasure, it can feel a bit like this:
Calendula | Health Tips for English Learners | International Womans Day 2020

Drawing by Young Blue, image credit: Blue Noun

“Treat the whole body, not just the symptoms.”

 

Health Tips for English Learners

Anyone can get thrush as a one-off, however, there are also some contributing factors to the infection, which may lead to reoccurring infections, including:
 
  • Taking antibiotics
  • Eating a diet high in sugar and refined carbs
  • High alcohol intake
  • A weakened immune system
  • Taking oral contraceptives
  • Diabetes
  • High stress levels
 
On this page, I tell you how I got rid of both the discomfort and symptoms of a one-off thrush infection, but do remember the herbalist mantra and ‘treat the whole body, not just the symptoms.‘ Find out the underlying cause – especially of a repeating infection. Even if you have contributing factors you can’t change, such as diabetes, certain foods have been shown to encourage “good” bacteria to grow and inhibit the growth of Candida. Find out more here).
 
Remember, get medical help if you need it: it is important to investigate underlying causes and be sure it is a candida infection.
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More About Calendula

All together, calendula is a miraculous plant – attractive to look at and with so many other beneficial properties. As well as being anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal (these are the properties we’re using to fight thrush) it is also anti-bacterial, anti-viral and a boost to the immune system.

It is an excellent wound healer which can soften and reduce scarring, help calm gastroenteritis and IBS and is a useful mouthwash. All this information is out there to find in any good herbal medicine book…
Health Tips for English Learners | International Womans Day Herbalism books

Herbalism Books photo credit: Blue Noun

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Health Tips for English Learners  | International Womans Day  Herbalism books

Herbalism Books photo credit: Blue Noun

More About Herbalism

If you consult a herbalist, they will give often give you a blend of tea to drink, but only after a full health consultation to discover what underlying problems may be causing your particular combination of symptoms.
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“As well as passing on the knowledge of herbal remedies to help people find and maintain good health, I am passionate about empowering people to understand their own body.”

Claire Mullan, 2020

More About Claire Mullan

Herbalist Claire Mullan also runs a weekly drop in Herb Hut Study Group in which the group accesses her textbooks and she guides them through learning the properties of each medicinal plant: participants learn how to help themselves. As she says, she just wants to share the knowledge and keep it alive.
 
Claire is also one of many guest speakers on Blue Noun English Language Courses. She gives our students an introduction to the healing properties of medicinal plants and talks about running a small business within the field of Health and Wellbeing.
 
Wishing all women everywhere strength, health and emancipation on this International Women’s Day.
 
Please share this post with anyone who may benefit!
 
Live language learning!
Calendula | Health Tips for English Learners | International Womans Day 2020

Claire preparing for Herb Hut at Blue Noun photo credit: Blue Noun

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swift in flight Logie Kirk by Blue Noun English language school
swift in flight Logie Kirk by Blue Noun English language school

At Blue Noun we love chatting about all things art and celebrate having excellent, talented people all around us to do it with. We facilitate real cultural and creative exchanges happening, whether it’s in our language learning space – the Blue Noun Hub – or out and about visiting studios and workshops.

We also love showing off the beauty of Perthshire and the food and craft produce that is making it world-famous. Our whisky tastings are legendary!

Our business is also intended to be of benefit to the artist/maker economy of Perthshire. We bring our international creative guests into studios for a genuine exchange of cultures and art-making. Yes it’s an English lesson, but it is so much more!  (Plus we pay all our artists and guest speakers for their time)

Come and join us for an English language learning holiday and grab a taste of Perthshire! 

Get in touch with Claire Mullan here.

Buy Calendula online at Neal’s Yard Remedies here or online herbalists such as Baldwins here. 

Tips for English learners in Scotland further reading red text

We hope you’ve enjoyed us sharing our English language school immersion activities with you.

We cover a broad range of topics in our blogs – some a lighthearted look at Scotland, others an in-depth look at art and culture. Want to read more about herbalism? 

English Tips | Essential Oils for Learning a Foreign Language

 

Your English Language Challenge

Our Herb Hut group is very international and of the nations represented, the British tend to be the most suspicious about herbal medicine – once common treatments have all but dropped out of knowledge.

What are attitudes to herbalism like in your home nation? And how have they changed in your lifetime?

This question is a good opportunity to use the tense Present Perfect as it is describing how the past has affected something – or open, unfinished time.

Need a refresher? Revise the Present Perfect here.

Want to use the  ‘used to’ structure? Revise it here.

Answer the question in the comments. Write as much as you like, and if you would like us to check &  correct your English, write CP  (correct please) at the end.

 

 

 

“How have attitudes to Herbal Medicine changed in your lifetime?