This week I explore the role of the gut microbiota and immune responses to vaccination. I discuss an interesting 2021 report published by Nature Reviews in which the authors explore the important role that vaccinations have played in saving lives around the world and the broad range of factors that alter vaccine immunogenicity and/or efficacy.

This week I explore the effects of the pandemic on our mental health and we explore the role of fear, hope and resilience. I also introduce you to a medieval English mystic, Julian of Norwich, who lived her entire life during the bubonic plague and whose words of wisdom over 600 years ago provide us with so much hope and resilience.

"Gratitude is the manifestation of love, devotion and commitment towards those who mean the most to you."  - S. Rhoads

Today is World Gratitude Day. Today, and I hope every day, we can find reasons to express our gratitude. What are you grateful for in your day? And can we be grateful for the beautiful essential oils that we use?

Do plant-based diets or pescatarian diets reduce the severity of symptoms of COVID-19?
Please read my blog in which we explore the results of an interesting 2020 study examining the role of diet in reducing the severity of the symptoms of COVID-19.

Somehow, I always knew I was destined to be involved in a life involving scent. Aromatherapy has allowed me to fulfill my passion for scent, my desire to help others through natural means, and at the same time, allowed me to express my artistic and creative urges to create blends that seduce the hearts and minds of people. In my masterclass The Art of Blending, I invite you to open the door to a magical and sensory world of essential oil blending.

I have just received my second AstraZeneca jab, and to be honest, I am now feeling very relieved. Some people may have had a bad experience with the medical system in the past, or may have experienced some side effects from other vaccines. To arm myself with all the information I needed to feel comfortable about the vaccination I went straight to the most authoritative person in immunology, awarded a Nobel Prize in Medicine: Professor Peter Doherty.

My sincere heartfelt thoughts go out to everyone who is currently in lockdown. Susan Arentz, in the editorial of the Winter 2021 edition of The Australian Journal of Herbal and Naturopathic Medicine explains that as health educators, we must take ownership of our role and draw on transparent and reliable sources; accurately interpreting information and provide informed healthcare to our patients’ individual health. 

I have often suggested that the reason people are drawn to aromatherapy is a desire to reconnect with nature. In my latest book, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Volume III - Psyche & Subtle, I explore the relationship between scent and spirituality. I suggest that biophilia, awe, sacred space, ritual, myth and neurobiology are all pathways that contribute to the spiritual dimension of scent.

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