Win a Celtic Herbal Exotic Wood & Ylang Ylang bathtime bundle

Celtic Herbal has been on a mission this Autumn to revive good, old-fashioned bath night. The natural soap and skincare specialist even launched the Great British Bath Night campaign (28 October – 6 November) to help remind people what they were missing – and, in the process, unearthed some little-known facts about bathing.

Did you know, for example?

  • Most people believe a shower saves more water than a bath, but with more powerful, longer-lasting showers this is not always the case. An average bath uses 80 litres of water, while an eight-minute power shower uses 136 litres.
  • Research conducted by Loughborough University found that lying in a 40 degree bath also effectively reduces blood sugar levels.  The study suggested an hour spent in the tub can also burn around 126 calories – that’s as many calories as 30 minutes out walking.
  • Whole-body immersion bathing in warm water (~40°C) is common in Japan and exerts sufficient hyperthermic action to induce vasodilatation and increase blood flow, supplying more oxygen and nutrients to the periphery. Cross-sectional studies report better subjective health status with an immersion bathing habit.
  • Visual analog scale scores were significantly better for fatigue, stress, pain, and smile and tended to be better for self-reported heath and skin condition after bathing intervention than after showering intervention. The SF-8 Health Survey showed significantly better general health, mental health, role emotional, and social functioning scores.
  • Profile of Mood State scores were lower for stress, tension-anxiety, anger-hostility, and depression-dejection. Immersion bathing, but not shower bathing, exerts hyperthermic action that induces increased blood flow and metabolic waste elimination, which may afford physical refreshment. Immersion bathing should improve both physical and emotional aspects of quality of life.
  • Habitual hot water bathing protects cardiovascular function in the middle-aged to elderly.
  • We spend a total of more than six months of our lives in the bath or shower.

Win a Celtic Herbal bathtime bundle

Holistic Scotland Magazine has a Celtic Herbal Exotic Wood & Ylang Ylang bathing bundle from the brand’s Wellness range to give away to one lucky winner to help their bathtime become more relaxing and therapeutic.

The prize includes:

  • 1 x Exotic Wood & Ylang Ylang Soap 100g
  • 1 x Exotic Wood & Ylang Ylang Bath Oil 100ml
  • 1 x Exotic Wood Bath Salts with Ylang Ylang 350g

To be in with a chance of winning, just fill out your details below and we’ll enter you into the prize draw. The closing date for entries is 12 noon on 31 December 2018. Good luck!


For great herbs to use in the bath, pick up a copy of the December/January issue of Holistic Scotland Magazine. Or, to find out more about Great British Bath Night and why bathing is so good for us, head to the Celtic Herbal blog.


How to cope with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Online bed and sleep specialist Time 4 Sleep shares some winter self-care tips for coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) 

First of all, what is SAD?

SAD is a depressive illness that’s often triggered by the lack of sunlight in winter. This can affect the hormone levels in the part of the brain which controls sleep, mood and appetite.

How can you overcome SAD when it hits you?

  1. Adjust your routine

Shorter days can play havoc with your daily routine which, in turn, can affect your sleep pattern and your mood. Getting up in the morning can be difficult when it’s pitch black, so to help you get motivated why not: make a ‘to-do’ list for the day or go outside for a walk? A hot drink with your favourite breakfast can also get your day off to a great start.

Try to adjust your routine accordingly to keep yourself happy and healthy throughout the autumn and winter months. If possible, allow yourself a little more time in the evenings to enjoy relaxing and unwinding before the sun goes down. Perhaps have your meal a little earlier so you have more time to enjoy the evening or treat yourself to an extra hour in bed on a Saturday morning so you’re waking up to the sunlight.

2. Get more light in your day

Whether it’s a walk in the morning or on your lunch break, every extra minute of vitamin D can make a huge difference. Light therapy is a popular treatment for those who suffer with SAD, with an effectiveness rate of 85%*, and can work with only 30 minutes use per day for two weeks. Regular exercise and a balanced diet with foods rich in serotonin-boosting nutrients, such as dark chocolate, salmon and mushrooms, will also help you to feel your best.

3. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital in allowing you to function properly throughout the day and increases your overall mood. Try sticking to the same bedtimes and keep the same sleep routine for the autumn and winter months. Eight hours a night is the recommended amount and will leave you feeling the most refreshed and productive the next day.

Making sure you’re sleeping on the right mattress is important for sleeping through the night. Time 4 Sleep director Jonathan Warren says: “Mattresses have a big part to play in the quality of your sleep. Make sure you try and test a few varieties, as everyone’s needs are different depending on their preferences and health needs. It’s definitely one of those products that’s worth investing in.”


Confused about basic vitamins, minerals, elements and ingredients? You’re not alone

‘Nutrition’ has become a bit of buzz word lately but it turns out that lots of Brits actually have no idea what it means. 

While researchers have discovered that a third of people in the UK are interested in nutrition and 28% go out of their way to avoid unhealthy foods, many struggle to identify basic vitamins, minerals and ingredients – despite claiming to be experts on the subject. 

For example, more than a quarter think mercury – a pollutant toxic to humans – is safe to eat.

When it comes to fats, 32% of people don’t know if monounsaturated fats – which can reduce cholesterol and are found in avocados – are good or bad for health.

One in 10 don’t know Omega-3 – which is believed to lower the risk of heart disease – is a fat found in fish, flax seeds and walnuts, with some even mistaking it for a watch brand.

Twenty-nine per cent confused choline, an essential nutrient found in the likes of cauliflower, with chlorine, which has been used as a chemical weapon.

Know Your Nitrates

The research of 2,000 UK adults was commissioned to launch the KNOW Your Nitrates (NO3) campaign, which has been designed to help educate people on nitrates in drinking water.

It found that 77% of people polled have no idea what nitrates are or whether they are good or bad for you – when, in fact, they have been linked to potentially serious health issues including thyroid and circulatory problems.

And it’s a similar story for vitamins – of those who take vitamin C, 35% have no idea it’s essential for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues.

Six in 10 don’t think they’re getting enough vitamins in their diet but 67% wouldn’t be able to spot the signs they are vitamin deficient or not.

“This survey shows that people don’t find it easy to identify vitamins, minerals and other ingredients,” says nutritional health expert Dr Marilyn Glenville. 

”That’s why it’s so important to read the labels on your food and drinks. It’s crucial to know what you are putting in your body as this affects your health both physically and mentally.”

The research also found that maintaining health is our biggest priority when it comes to nutrition.

This was closely followed by upping energy levels and getting all of the vitamins and minerals needed to function properly.

Interestingly, 27% of those polled they don’t read the ingredients list on food and drink purchases at all.

Nine in 10 aren’t aware nitrates in drinking water can have a negative impact on health.

While 5% wrongly believe nitrates in mineral water – pollutants and heavy oxidants which enter the water table from agricultural fertilisers and leaking septic tanks – are good for you.

Only 21% know nitrates can end up in mineral water from chemical fertilisers, and just 9% know nitrates are pollutants from the water table.

Dr Marilyn Glenville added: ”The lack of understanding about nitrates, particularly in water, shown in the survey was of concern.  

”And also, for me, as a nutritionist, to learn that in many European countries, the legislation requires that the nitrate content in water should not exceed 10mg per litre.

“But in the UK the limit is 50mg per litre for adults and there is no legislation in place for children.”

Nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer said: “While our interest in health and wellbeing is increasing, it’s clear from AQUA Carpatica’s research that more information is needed around even simple, everyday products like drinking water.

”Few people are aware that nitrates, which can leach into water from fertilisers, manure and septic tanks, have been linked to potentially serious health issues including breathing problems for newborn infants, thyroid and circulatory problems, and headaches.

”Some people may prefer to choose a water that is nitrate-free.” 

Win! Award-winning, pure mineral water that’s nitrate-free

For a chance to win a batch of award-winning AQUA Carpatica Still Natural Mineral Water, which is naturally extracted from two pure aquifiers deep in the Carpathian Mountains, pick up a copy of the December/January issue of Holistic Scotland Magazine, in which you could win everything on the page.

Through a natural 20 to 40-year filtration process in a location with no agriculture or industrial activity in the surrounding areas, AQUA Carpatica’s source is protected from chemicals, fertilisers, CFCs and other contaminants.

The great outdoors

Is this the most remote hotel in the world?

Thinking of escaping the ‘rat race’?  Then you can’t get much further than this… a remote hotel in Greenland which is 500 miles from anywhere.

The settlement of Ittoqqortoormiit [CORR] in East Greenland has a buzzing population of 450 people – and the odd polar bear.

It takes three flights and a helicopter ride to travel the 1,486 miles from London and frequently posts temperatures below 20 degrees Celsius, making it one of the coldest places on earth.

However, the tiny town offers front-row seats to the cosmic display of Aurora Borealis – also known as the Northern Lights.

It’s also the gateway to the National Park of North-East Greenland, which is the biggest national park in the world. is offering to stump up 99% of the hotel stay for any traveller hardy enough to make the journey in March 2019.

Newly-appointed president Adam Jay, who is an adventurer himself, said: “Greenland as a destination is really hotting up – even though it’s minus 20 most of the time – as today’s travellers are seeking those rewarding, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

“This stunning peninsula is an epic bucket-list destination where you can go sledding with wolves, kayaking in the Arctic and maybe see the Northern Lights from your room.

“It’s truly spectacular and the best bit is – we’re picking up most of the room tab.”

The town neighbours the entry to one of the world’s largest and deepest multi-branched fjord system, Scoresby Sound.

From here, visitors can hop on a local tall-ship and sail past icebergs and glaciers, spotting some seals and whales along the way.

According to data gleaned from searches through, 2018 has seen an 18% increase in searches for off-the-grid travel.

And searches specific to Greenland have increased by over 50% compared to last year.

Claim 99% off a stay in March 2019

The coupon code for the Ittoqqortoormiit Guesthouse is exclusive to and is available to book now until 31 December 2018 (subject to very limited availability), for stays in March 2019 only.

Just apply coupon code ‘REMOTE’ at check out.

The great outdoors

Revealed: The hottest fitness trends for 2019

As we enter another festive season of decadence and over-indulgence, some are already planning on how they can shift the extra pounds in the New Year, Nextatlas, a technology company that utilises artificial intelligence (AI) to spot trends before they become mainstream, has revealed the top five emerging trends in health and fitness.

‘Wellness’ and ‘recovery’ both play a key role in 2019, with a profound focus on low impact exercise and healthy minds. In order of strength, the key findings reveal the following fitness trends for the year ahead:

  1. Active Recovery Workout – new and traditional practices that focus on body awareness, recovery, and healthy mind-sets are emerging across the UK and USA.
  2. Low Impact Exercises – there has been a slow move away from high-intensity workouts this year, which will grow into 2019 towards more considered and mindful exercise, such as LISS (low-impact steady state) and HILIT (high-intensity low-impact training).
  3. Barre Workouts – following on from this, Barre classes focus on improving core strength and enhancing flexibility by performing isometric exercises and small movements.
  4. Wellness Festivals – over the past three years, wellness festivals, such as Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival, have become big business and this will grow even more in 2019.​
  5. Smart Clothing – from biometric measurement for an enhanced workout, to self-regulating materials that adapt to temperature, consumers will increasingly turn to wearable technology to enhance their workouts.

Mario Coletti, UK Managing Director of Nextatlas, explains: “The continued focus of well-being and mindfulness will evolve next year, showing people’s strong desire to take a holistic approach to fitness, whilst protecting both the body and mind. In particular, low-impact exercise and a focus on recovery will play a critical role in workouts in 2019, particularly through modern classes, such as Barre.

“Unsurprisingly, the uptake of technology in sport and fitness will also increase next year. This aligns with the broader movement we are seeing in ‘science-backed’ health and beauty. People want to understand how their bodies function and how to get the most out of their workouts; the adoption of smart clothing in the fitness sector will enable this on a much broader scale.”

Nextatlas constantly monitors the online world to spot emerging trends and is used by a number of high-profile brands. The platform uses clever algorithms and advanced AI to track social, consumer and online data, enabling it to quickly spot the next cultural movements and trend shifts before they actually happen.