Hello and welcome to the site

My name is Caroline Mentzer. I’m a Nutritional Therapist and Medical Herbalist living in Oxford, UK. I’m also a health writer, lover of all things natural and holistic and a mum of two. See picture below.

For over 15 years I’ve been working in the area of family health and wellbeing offering practical recommendations, nutritional advice and gentle herbal remedies to support every aspect of parenting.

You may have seen me out and about in the Headington Community, heard me speak on local radio or in print in local newspapers and health magazines. I wrote a blog (mydaugtherwontsleep.com) that won a BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Award in 2014.

The other adult is my husband Alex Mentzer. He’s an Infectious Disease Registrar at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. He’s also a Scientific Group Leader at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics where he specialises in looking at genetic susceptibility to certain diseases.

I can also say that he’s a fantastic husband, doting father and, if you know him, I’m sure you’ll agree, simply an all-round good guy. He’s been a qualified Doctor for 12 years, working tirelessly for the NHS.

For the next few months, he’ll be on the front line, working on the John Warin Ward for Infectious Diseases, looking after patients with the new SARS2-COV virus (I’ll just call it coronavirus from now on). Not only that, but he’s designing and coordinating cutting edge research on coronavirus here in Oxford, which over the coming weeks will hopefully shed some light on how to beat this beast and prevent many people from suffering the potentially deadly effects of this virus.

Our philosophy

You may wonder, with such different training and overall philosophy, how a conventional Doctor ‘marries’ with a Holistic Therapist. Surely, they’ll be some huge clashes, right? Well in the 25 years of knowing one another, although we’ve had some very interesting debates, we’ve actually never disagreed……….on the subject of health.

In fact, for many years now, we have been developing an idea which we’ve called – Health in Synergy.

What is Health in Synergy?

Synergy is a state in which two or more things work together in a particularly fruitful way that produces an effect greater than the sum of their individual parts.

WE believe in the importance of scientific research and the appropriate use of pharmaceutical medications. We also believe in the safety and effectiveness of many holistic therapies. In fact, WE believe in a dual system of medical care where holistic and conventional approaches and professionals work together in harmony.

Therefore, Health in Synergy is about drawing on the strengths and wisdom of both conventional and holistic medicine to find the most suitable solutions to any health challenge.

In a nutshell, it’s like the latest scientific research combined with your best common sense and the wisdom of granny’s favourite traditional home remedy. It engages the community and their vast knowledge, draws on the strengths of specialist health advisers and combines the expertise of medical professionals. It creates a successful team that respects the fact that we all have something unique to offer. What’s not to like?

Why is Health in Synergy important right now?

Having spoken to my husband and his friends, my impression is that even before coronavirus arrived, public health care services were being stretched to a breaking point. Understaffing, excessive waiting lists, closure or privatisation of services leads to overburdening of GPs and hospital staff.

Now speaking from personal experience, as the wife of a conscientious doctor, the physical and emotional demands of the job can break a family. Sadly, this can only go on for so long. Yet hope is not lost.

There’s a whole community wanting to help

Holistic therapies can support public healthcare and help reduce the burden by providing natural solutions for many common, minor or chronic health complaints. This is especially important now, as GP appointments are being kept for those who really need them, as we’re told to minimise unnecessary contact and self-isolate at home.

Whether it’s an minor complaint such as a cold or tummy bug, or a more chronic health conditions such as stress, insomnia or skin conditions, there are safe and simple ways that holistic medicine can work with conventional approaches to help prevent the need for intervention.

At this unique time, we need to rely on these resources and the help of our community to minimise the burden on the NHS, so that the doctors and other key workers can do their job to save lives!

The aim of this blog

The aim of this blog will be to pool together our community resources. Our combined knowledge is extremely powerful, and it brings with it a message of HOPE!

My husband is coming home every day having worked on the Infectious Diseases ward. In this way, we are a ‘high risk’ family. I bet no one wants a playdate with us?!? Right?

In this blog…

  1. I’ll be frequently posting about holistic ways to help the family stay healthy and fight any potential illness. This will include nutritious recipes, safe and simple herbal remedies and other natural approaches to boost our immune systems and reduce the risk of infection.
  • There will be a day-to-day diary of what Alex is getting up to in the John Radcliffe hospital and how his coronavirus research is progressing (strictly maintaining patient confidentiality).
  • Most importantly, there will be posts about what’s going on here in Oxford. In fact, I want to hear from YOU, the valued members of our wonderful community. Have you got a tip for keeping the kids occupied at home? Maybe you’ve an old family remedy for a cold or cough? A cheap and easy larder cupboard recipe? Perhaps you’re forming a neighbourhood watch that goes out into community to help those in need? Or maybe you can provide something to make us smile? We’re going to need it!

Please let me know here. I’ll be posting all your ideas on the blog.

Please also comment on my blog posts – the more information the better.

Together, we can be more effective at helping people stay healthy and support those fighting illness.

We’re walking into the unknown, but we’re not alone.

When we respect everyone’s unique contribution and embrace their knowledge, wisdom and experience we can create a team that forms something far more significant than when we’re on our own. It’s true synergy!


Published by carolinementzer

Caroline Mentzer is a Nutritional Therapist, Herbalist and Writer from Oxford, UK. Married to and Infectious Disease doctor, her blog discusses the benefits of combining holistic and conventional approaches to find unique solutions to many health and parenting challenges.

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