All about Oxygen

Covering HeadIt is perhaps relevant to begin this week’s article by mentioning that the American President, Donald Trump has just withdrawn from the Paris treaty on climate change, the signatories being those in countries who are fighting for less pollution and cleaner air, being a major consideration.


3.5 billion years ago there was no oxygen in the air, yet the first life began to evolve on our planet. Our species later became much smarter due to a rush of blood to the head, this liquid tissue containing oxygen. Should this be halted, one would pass out in seconds.


The air that we breathe in changes from day to day ` even hour to hour, especially in highly urbanized and industrial areas. According to research, the deadliest pollutants are mobile sources like trains, planes and automobiles with factories not far behind.


Ozone is worth a mention being a type of oxygen, a deep layer of which encircles the earth and shields the planet from harmful ultra violet rays.


Much discussion has been around of late regarding holes in the planet’s ozone layer.


Readers have no doubt heard of ions in the air which are relative to the stability of oxygen, being of a positive or negative nature.


These are all around us and even impact on our health and the way we feel.


Positive ions, strangely are detrimental and can affect the lungs and respiratory tract. When these are excessive we may lack energy, feel tense, irritable and out of sorts. They are dominant when using hair dryers,  illumination from fluorescent lights, radiation from televisions and other electrical gadgets.


On the other hand, negative ions have a more wholesome affect. These have the ability to attract dust, moulds and certain allergens thereby acting as purifiers. For the best inhalation, one may ask where are these dominant?  Well near to the ocean, waterfalls and mountainous areas where negative ions exist.  One can also experience negative ions on the palate after a thunderstorm !


A home device called an Ionizer uses electricity to clear toxins by releasing negatively charged particles that attach to airborne impurities.


However, there are apparently negative effects of which to be aware.


Ever wondered in which part of South Africa one would hope to find the purest air?


Well, take a deep breath because the most polluted air which comes as quite a shock is found in Hartebeespoort, probably due to proximity to large cities like Pretoria and Johannesburg! Think about this when next planning a “healthy” day out of doors !!


One cannot choose the air one breathes, but a regular visit to a wellness centre or spa can induce relaxation, better breathing and elimination of toxins within the body.


Or why don’t you choose a selection of your favourite Matsimela products through one of our stores or online and experience your own home spa !


Father's Day

Fathers DayThere are various theories as to the origins of Father’s Day, but the most poignant refers to the year 1910 in the USA when a woman was greatly concerned regarding the loss of about 360 men due to an explosion in a coal mine. She argued that the children who had lost their dads should honour them with a day of remembrance. We understand that this could have been the birth of Father’s day.


In terms of different eras, there are “old” dads and “new” dads ' so let us get an overall picture of dads during the 1950’s.
In these times Moms were very much stay-at-home parents, wholly responsible for keeping the home fires burning, as it were.


A common sight would have been dad heading for his job all professionally decked out in suit and hat!
When at home, he was a proud home-maker and spent much time with his offspring over weekends which enriched his life.


Fast forward to the 1970’s with enormous change both culturally and politically! This was the birth of the “hippy culture” the “flower children”, dominated by peace, love and anti-war symbolism.


Dads now wore colourful clothing, had hair down to the shoulders and insulated themselves from the realities of the world, with a perception that poor in materialism but rich in spirit was advantageous to a better world. The children’s upbringing was however of a rather permissive style!


But that is all in the past for we are now well and truly in the 21st century, some say a turning point in fatherhood. Seldom nowadays do we encounter the image of the distant dad, whose value to his children lay in the size of his pay package.


Despite the pressures of today’s living, many dads have managed to balance technology with pleasure having greater involvement with their children’s activities, neither do gifts of a technological nature need to dominate.


Dads still love toiletries like aftershave & manly fragranced soaps. Matsimela has an amazing Father’s day offering available.


Some overlooked aspects of remaining healthy

Some Overlooked Aspects of Remaining HealthyHuman beings in first world countries have become almost over -zealous about cleanliness and determination to rid our home of so called “enemies”.


Many a shelf is lined with an array of aerosols having convincing labels and guaranteed results to eradicate bugs, germs, viruses and fungi - not to mention air fresheners that cloud the atmosphere with masses of particles that we inhale daily. 


Medically speaking, many of us certainly overdo the ingestion of antibiotics and masses of pills of all shapes and colours convinced that these will ensure better health.


Few can deny that we are the “darlings” of the alternate medicine industry putting millions of Rands annually into corporate bank accounts.


In our homes we wipe, vacuum, wash and polish, buy hypo-allergenic products and ensure that hand sanitizers are never lacking, not to mention the fear of a myriad of diseases lurking like strangers about to attack, because we have a multitude of symptoms listed on the internet, a doctor’s nightmare !


In reality, much of the above is probably not bad practice and better than neglect arising, but there are other important health issues such as having our bodies scanned,  X-rayed and examined for more serious problems often undetected until too late, such as mentioned below :


Pap smear

It is generally advised that this procedure be undertaken once women are sexually active and / or over the age of 21 years. Early detection of prematurely active cancer cells in the cervix at the mouth of the womb, can lead to treatment to ensure a more healthy environment.


Cellular changes too can be observed for the human papilloma virus which causes warts .



This entails an X-ray of breast tissue to establish any foreign activity such as a growth manifesting as a lump in the breast or underarm area.


This procedure is essential if there is a history of cancer in a family and is not uncomfortable as is generally thought.


Statistics reveal that a greater number of women die from breast cancer than any other type.



Should one discover that faeces are black in colour, this may indicate that blood is present or that abnormal cells are evident in the bowel and be indicative of  colon cancer. Polyps on the other hand may be found by the surgeon usually just benign growths.  A short hospital stay is required.


Finally, in terms of topical body care, that old adage comes to mind that  “beauty is only skin deep”, however there is no reason not to constantly take of this important outer organ that envelopes our bodies.


Myths regarding Body Hydration

Myths Regarding Body HydrationLectures, conversations and advice regarding the intake of water stimulate much speculation, so this week’s article will attempt to “bust” some myths.


It now seems to be the norm to carry a bottle of water as if a permanent extension of one’s arm! But is this liquid that one drinks more hype than fact?
In the first place, without expanding on the intricate physiology of the bodies water needs, water is essential to maintain body temperature and the volume of one’s blood.


Although “water fanatics” in all good faith attempt to flood the body with water, this is absorbed relatively slowly and is mostly extra–cellular [whereas intra-cellular represents 40% of the bodies water] and it is not generally known that water moves in and out of all cells via chemical reactions.


Readers are no doubt familiar with the term electrolytes, the intake of which are essential especially after a bout of diahorraea and / or vomiting.

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In Celebration of Mother’s day

In Celebration of Mothers DayIt goes without saying that when one enters the realm of motherhood, there is a belief that one is going to be the perfect mom but sadly this can only exist in the world of fantasy.


When that very special time arrives, there are many outside occurrences that can have powerful influences such as a traumatic delivery, “wise advice” from a grand-mother and the power of the ever presence media.  And at times one person’s idea of the perfect mom will clash with others ideals.


Life changes a great deal during the fascinating journey through parenting and no doubt some guidelines come in useful but patience will over-rule during episodes of poop, pees and smelly potties !


Basically the job description is common sense to new moms, but motherhood has undergone great upheavals in the last century. In earlier times their instincts were never questioned, but rather ruled sacrosanct !

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