independent

Monday 18 December 2017

Many trends and changes in natural health over the years

By Clair Whitty - Naturally Healthy

I have worked in retail for almost 40 years. More than 20 of them have been in natural health and it has been interesting to watch the trends and the changes in this industry. When I started I didn't have Mr Google to look up the health problem. I relied on books and I would spend hours researching to find answers to health questions for customers.

Over the years the health problems have been the same: lack of energy, constipation, aches and pains, and sleep problems, were perhaps the most common questions, and still are.

However, now, I see much more anxiety, stress, exam stress, and hormonal problems like PMT and the Menopause. It's distressing to see that children from as young as five or six are suffering anxiety. I have spoken with several parents about this. That's very sad. I wonder why people suffer more today with these issues and why they are more prominent. Is it the diet, lack of socialising in the real world, or environmental stresses and pollutants? But, it could be a combination of these factors.

The average age of the customer was middle aged, or maybe they just looked that age because I was in my early twenties. The customer today is often younger, they are 15- 16 and upwards.

If you were a Vegan you were a hippy, but now it's a healthy lifestyle. Customers recycled their bags when it wasn't trendy to recycle. And Henna was the hair colour of choice.

When I started, I hadn't a clue what TVP was, it was an extremely popular textured vegetable protein to replace meat in dishes. I don't see as much of that now-today it's more popular to use Tofu or Quinoa.

Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with local honey and molasses for arthritic pain is still a popular choice.

I sold Seven Seas Cod Liver oil almost every day, and it still holds a share of the market, despite the competition, in fish oil supplements.

Some of you will remember Zam-Buk, the antiseptic ointment; it's still available and is great for cuts, and bruises of all sorts.

I see a huge trend towards natural beauty, environmentally friendly household products, and all things protein and fitness are extremely popular. I look forward to writing about future changes too.

Wexford People

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