Spring into Clean!

12511034-spring-cleaning-just-ahead-green-road-sign-with-dramatic-clouds-sun-rays-and-skyWe find ourselves answering an inner urge at this time of year, the return of sunny days enjoining us to clean the windows and to let in the fresh brisk air; the riot of new growth in the garden has us hustling for our shears and trowels in preparation for the promise of the next harvest.

Physically we often do a minor review at this time – how have we fared with our new year’s resolutions?! Did they get buried in the cold dark winter nights? Here we are, emerging, feeling perhaps, blinded and sluggish in the wake of the lengthening days; restless to be out in the garden, on our bikes, actively inhabiting our bodies.

Spring is a jubilant, sap-rising time of year and just as nature responds to the tilt of the earth and longer days, so do our bodies. The Chinese know a thing or two about how energy flows in nature and consequently in our bodies. Spring is associated with the element of wood, which corresponds to the liver and gall bladder. As ‘The General’ of the organs, the liver is a power house and multi-purpose generator, a strategic Overlord of sorts. The excitement of the season serves to activate the liver and thus it is an ideal time to focus and support it by giving it a ‘Spring Clean’.

In modern culture we tend to overindulge in many practices that tend to tax our livers heavily, resulting in symptoms ranging from a lack of energy, headaches, digestive troubles, irritability, craving of stimulants, difficulties in decision-making to sleeplessness. One of the characteristics of someone with a ‘dodgy liver’ might be to make rash and sometimes dramatic decisions (or to be paralyzed and unable to act) perhaps as a sort of backlash against the general sluggishness and feeling of toxicity.

The secret of success for most ventures lies in the preparation. There is little value to be had in ‘painting over the cracks’, so too when we seek to ‘do a cleanse’ – Fasting, Diets, Cleanses – very much in vogue these days. Many novice enthusiasts undertake their new regime of juice and greens with great gusto and good intentions – unfortunately the success rate can be disappointing without a little preparation and understanding.

There are many ways to undertake a liver cleanse ranging from cutting back on alcohol, coffee and sugar to a more rigorous regime that may include fasting and the use of herbs, acupuncture or remedies.
In my practice I am occasionally asked if I can ‘give a pill’ to effect a cleanse. The answer is, “Yes and No.”

YES – There are remedies that have a proven track record in promoting the clearing of the system and there are others that are known to specifically support a damaged or struggling liver. These remedies are prescribed under particular circumstances (based on the WHOLE PERSON) and act as a safe, gentle and effective support to the individual’s best efforts to be self-regulating.

NO – It would, in my opinion, be irresponsible to prescribe a pill with the intention of cleansing an organ without tending to the person as a whole. This is where a little understanding comes in and the marriage of common sense, nutrition and lifestyle meets homoeopathy. If we are serious about a Spring clean, we need to be thorough and take into account that it would be counter-productive to stir up a lot of dust without opening the windows! To that end, remembering that the bowel, skin, kidneys and lungs are major organs of elimination, it behoves one to make sure they are functioning and supported before initiating the clear out. This again is where remedies can play a pivotal role.

Diet is also crucial part of the whole process. I will occasionally recommend a fairly simple diet guide to patients to support them in their re-calibrating process. This eating plan offers a gentler approach to cleansing than a more rigorous juice and or fasting regime.

The Liver Diet

Do this for 10 days to 2 weeks. During this time make sure you are drinking 8-10 glasses of fresh (non-fluoridated) water per day. Get plenty of sleep and spend some time outside in the sun every day. Also, if possible, have regular saunas and consider treating yourself to some reflexology or massage sessions.
Keep warm and pursue gentle exercise to keep yourself flexible. Take naps!


salt meat dairy
sugar fats spices
wheat alcohol processed foods
coffee/tea tobacco

Drink warm water with lemon first thing every morning. Eat LOTS of fresh organic green vegetables, fruit, seeds, onions, garlic and rice.

Be advised that a change in diet can create very noticeable effects. Headaches, low energy, skin eruptions and irritability are not uncommon initial reactions. These will be passing symptoms, IF they persist beyond the end of the 10 days consult a practitioner/homoeopath.

If you do decide to have a ‘proper clear-out’ take heart, nature is on your side and will lend her abundant energy to your endeavour. You will emerge feeling lighter with a sense of renewed vitality and clarity.

Happy Spring!

Homoeopathy for the Home – Classes in Cambridge

We will be starting another Homoeopathy for the Home Class on April 9, here in Trumpington.  Five-two hour classes in which we’ll cover the basics of homoeopathy AND the practical application of 36 Common First Aid Remedies. We’ll also touch in on the history of homoeopathy and how remedies are made.

This series is designed to enable each participant to feel confident and supported in using remedies in their own lives as well as those of their families and friends. Based on real case histories, we will move between theory and practice. There will be loads of ‘extras’ in terms of tips for prescribing, ‘When to see the Homoeopath/Doctor’ and signs to watch for.

This series will be based in Cambridge and will be small enough to accommodate and respond to the interests of the particular group. SO if you have ever wondered about Homoeopathy and how it might play a part in your self-care plan, THIS is your opportunity to find out!

Contact Marlow at:  07528-188901

Saturday Morning Homoeopathy with Marlow

Linton Village College


Saturday Morning Homoeopathy with Marlow
with Marlow Purves BA LCH MARH

Remedies for Power Surges and Other Eventualities of Menopause
Homoeopathic and nutritional advice for changing times…the best is yet to come!
18 May 2013

Homoeopathy for the Nursery
Common remedies for childhood ailments and practical tips for parents
25 May 2013

Vaccination – How to make an Informed Decision
DPT – HPV – MMR – BCG How much is too much?
1 June 2013

Colds and Flu
Managing Acute illnesses with homoeopathy
8 June 2013

10am to 1:30pm – each workshop costs £25

Marlow has been practicing and teaching homoeopathy for self-care for over 20 years and provides an accessible, fun environment for learning and discussion. Hand-outs are included.

Register no: 01223 891233 or e-mail adult.education@lvc.org.
Visit our website at http://www.lvc.acl.co.uk select Adult Education from the menu.

The Gardener’s Apothecary

Apothecary Plant images

The Gardener’s Apothecary

We’ve been waiting for such a long time and finally encouragement is coming from the garden. A few degrees warmer temperatures and a little bit of sunshine seems to be all we need to woo us into our over-wintered bits of paradise.

Joyous reunions, plans for sowing, the promise of colours, scents and home grown delights have us reaching for spade, fork and trowel. We often seem to fall prey to a sort of collective amnesia at this time of year, so eager are we to be in the dirt, our bodies have forgotten the toll exacted by the labour of planting, mowing and mulching.

Fresh air, fragrant earth, mellow sunshine BLISS — All of earth’s energies are pointing up and so many shoots are making their way skyward. With such a riot of life making itself visible it’s difficult to pace ourselves in our endeavours to match it. Warning a gardener NOT to overdo it is a little like saying, ‘Drink slowly’ to one who has just crossed a desert!

Commonly the results of our first forays into the garden leave us feeling a little worse for wear – strained and over-used muscles, bruises, wear and tear, a chill from having over stayed our time can interfere with the best laid plans of the most seasoned among us.

Homoeopathic remedies come into their own in these circumstances and are a gentle, safe and effective cure allowing us to return tomorrow and the next day to our little bits of Eden.

These common remedies are made from plants that may well appear in our gardens, proving the maxim that ‘everything we require for healing is provided for’. They are commonly found in health food stores and Chemist’s shops. All remedies with the exception of Calendula are in pill form and to be taken internally. They are safe for pregnant women, children and the elderly.

ACONITE – Monkshood

For the effects of exposure to cold winds. Sudden violent onset of fever, earache or headache. This is an acute and extreme state that may also be accompanied by fearfulness and palpitations.

ARNICA – Mountain Daisy

An old friend for the gardener. Useful in the event of over-strain and injury, bruising or damage to soft tissue. Arnica is indicated in one who has worked beyond their capacity (who me?!) and insists all the while that they are fine, even when it is very apparent that exhaustion has set in. There is a bruised sensation and achy-ness in the whole body.

CALENDULA – Marigold

(Used in the form of a cream for topical application)

Calendula is a first class remedy or salve for cuts, abrasions or open wounds. It is, in fact, such a good remedy that it is imperative that the wound or cut be very thoroughly cleaned before applying as the cream. The remedy promotes granulation of the tissue and enables speedy and effective healing for the skin.

RHUS TOX – Poison Oak

Useful for the ‘morning after’ when soreness and stiffness surfaces.
Muscles, ligaments, strains and sprains are the hallmark affinities and symptoms associated with Rhus Tox. Soreness, stiffness in backs, knees and arms; restlessness and aching from too much digging and unusual repetitive movement. People needing Rhus Tox will naturally gravitate toward a hot bath and a gentle rub… these symptoms are typically relieved by slow continued motion and feel MUCH worse on initial movement.

RUTA GRAV – Garden Rue

The sphere of action for this remedy is in the event of damage and strain to ligaments and tendons. Ailments from small repeated twisting motions…carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive strain injury activated in wrists, ankles fingers and small joints.


Puncture wounds, soil, rusty tools can all add up to a lethal cocktail that equals tetanus. Ledum is a preeminent preventative to tetanus and is especially indicated when deep puncture wounds are cold, bluish in colour, threatening infection and the pains are relieved by cold applications. Also indicated for the treatment of animal bites.

HYPERICUM – St John’s Wort

Like Ledum, Hypericum is a highly effective preventative and treatment for wounds or injuries suspected of leading to tetanus. The puncture wound or cut requiring Hypericum will be very red and angry looking and possibly hot to touch. It is a first class remedy for pain associated with nerve damage – misfire with a hammer and a stake for the new fence? Slamming ones fingers in the shed door? Trip and fall on your tailbone? Arnica and Hypericum will ensure that you’ll be up tomorrow morning musing on where to plant the spinach and the salad greens.

As you make your way into the garden, prevent injuries by stretching first, ask for help with lifting the new paving stones and make sure that you have plenty of water to drink! If you do over-do it and these remedies do not resolve your symptoms, contact a qualified homeopath or consult your doctor.

Happy Planting!

DIY Homoeopathy No 3 – Pregnancy and Birthing

This Saturday, Jan 29 will see the third in the series, DIY Homoeopathy.  This week we’ll be looking at remedies for Pregnancy and Birthing.   Pregnancy is the most dynamic time of a woman’s life.  The energy required to ‘build’ a body for a new being is monumental.    Despite this, we can often feel tired, out of sorts, over whelmed or facing physical challenges that we have never known before.  It is bar none, my favourite time to work with women.

During this time homoeopathy really shines.  It is a non-toxic, gentle, effective form of medicine that relies upon 200 years of empirical evidence to provide remedies that can safely deal with the symptoms and ailments  often associated with pregnancy.  Strange food cravings,  nausea, sleep difficulties, swelling (in unexpected places!) and heart burn can be alleviated with the correct remedy.  Difficulties in delivery can also be addressed;  slow progress of labour, exhaustion, anxiety or painful contractions.

For more information call:  604-886-8257 or e-mail me at  info@marlowpurves.net  Join us for an informative afternoon learning how to manage your experience of this precious time!

Where:  Yoga by the Sea, Roberts Creek, BC

When: Saturday, January 29    12:30 – 3pm

Cost: $30 (including hand outs)

Hallowe’en Visitors

It’s Hallowe’en soon. My favourite ‘holiday’. Holiday being an abbreviated form of the words Holy day. Here in North America, children are getting pretty excited, the opportunity to get dressed up show off their ghoulish or glorious selves and to collect some of those much coveted sweets. Children aren’t the only ones who welcome this time of deepening shadows, shorter days and cool, if not frosty, nights.

It marks a time of drawing in our energies, reviewing the harvest and digesting the fruits of our efforts over the past year. It’s also a good time to compost the ideas and plans that did not take root, letting go of them to make room for new creations.

The origin of this celebration is All Hallow’s Eve. The 31st of October marks the beginning of the New year in the Celtic Calendar. The Celtic calendar actually consists of 13 months. The thirteenth month being a very short one…only three days long, occurring from Oct 31 – Nov 2. In the Christian calendar, All Souls Day and All Saints day follow on from Hallowe’en on the 1st and 2nd of November. This thirteenth month is also known to be a special time, a time when the veil between the worlds is very thin and the separation between the living and dead is almost non-existent. It is also known as the time that is no time; an opportunity to drop out of real-time and sample what it is to live beyond the limits of this world. For many it is a frightening venture because there is an element of chaos to it.

Many cultures around the world take time out to honour their ancestors and those loved ones who have ‘passed over’. This is a particularly potent time of year to create a ceremony of remembrance and to revisit a sense of contact with those who have passed on. In many traditions we are reminded that the spirits of those who have departed often like to draw near to us who are still embodied.

Now is a time when I stop and take a moment to remember, reflect upon and integrate my up-to-date self with my ancestors. A sure way to invite your loved ones closer is to make a gesture of welcome, I will be putting out some Licorice Allsorts for my Dad… oh and a pumpkin.   Happy New Year All!

Workshop – Creating Sacred Space

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A day-long workshop to introduce you to the basics of creating sacred space for ceremony and ritual.  There are many different uses for sacred space: space clearing, meditation, Blessings, Partings of the way, Healing, empowerment and charging of projects/dreams, and divination. All of these require safe and contained boundaries. The day will consist of an introduction to the creation of sacred space and the four directions.  We will plan and make a ceremony dedicated to clearing energetic ties and clearing our auras.  The day will include active participation and guided meditation.


Cost: $75

Roberts Creek, BC

E-mail:  info@marlowpurves.net

Phone:  604-886-8257

Coming soon to the Sunshine Coast!

Homoeopathy for What Ails You:

A series of talks on different topics including:

Flu and Colds

Homoeopathy for Travelers

Pregnancy and birthing

Menopause and Midlife

Menstruation blues

Colds and Flu

Remedies for Parent and Child

Allergies and Hayfever

Accidents and Injuries

Each talk will be 2 ½ hours in length and offer practical advice and tips on how to handle these common complaints. There will be time for questions and remedy kits will be available for sale.

Cost: $25 per session

E-mail:  info@marlowpurves.net