The Hidden Hazards of Gardening

In a recent poll of over 2,000 adults, 42% of Brits claim to enjoy gardening and 35% claim it helps them relax(1). Whilst we may love being out in the fresh air and one with nature, there are some hidden dangers to be mindful of whilst gardening.

According to the British Society for Surgery of the Hand(2), accidents treated regularly at this time of year include trauma injuries to the hand, where people have fallen off ladders and caught their fingers on hedge trimmers or tried to fix machinery when it is still plugged in severing their fingers. Common gardening injuries are serious infections - where, for example, people have been gardening without gloves and pricked themselves on a rose thorn which has then become infected.

Aside from the obvious advice to wear gloves and/or protective clothing whilst gardening, make sure you treat any cuts or stings immediately with an antiseptic lotion to prevent it from becoming infected.

The Manuka Doctor Manuka & Tea Tree Antiseptic Gel works on all types of minor skin irritations including cuts, insect bites and blemishes - making it a gardening essential!

The cooling formula soothes irritated skin, moisturises and protects from infection. Infused with hydrating Mānuka Honey from our own hives in NZ, antioxidant rich Propolis and anti-bacterial Tea Tree, this fast-acting antiseptic gel delivers a refreshing sensation on contact with skin and helps to ease uncomfortable feelings, reduce inflammation and calm skin.

“Lovely cooling gel. I suffer occasionally with hives and this gel cools my skin down and clears the irritation immediately.” Sandra l.

“This gel is an excellent antiseptic product. My husband used it on a shaving cut and I treated a nasty rash on my arm after gardening. Within 24 hours there were marked improvements in both cases. I would definitely recommend this product to anyone." Patricia D

Another hazard of the garden are insect bites or stings. A wasp or hornet sting can cause a sudden, sharp pain at first. A swollen red mark may then form on your skin, which can last a few hours and may be painful and itchy. This is a minor allergic reaction that is not usually anything to worry about. A bee sting feels similar to a wasp sting, but the sting will often be left in the wound. Check the NHS online for advice about how to remove this safely.(3)

The sting can cause pain, redness and swelling for a few hours. As with wasp stings, some people may have a mild allergic reaction that lasts up to a week. Apply the Manuka Doctor Manuka & Tea Tree Gel up to three times a day on the affected area to help reduce symptoms.

“Purchase this has I normally get insect bites, used this the other day and it stop the itching, so far so good” Fitzroy T

Serious allergic reactions can also occasionally occur, causing breathing difficulties, dizziness and a swollen face or mouth. Dial 999 for an ambulance immediately if you have these symptoms.

Seasonal allergies, such as hay fever affect millions of people in the UK each year with aggravating symptoms such as sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, running nose, and itchy skin. Symptoms are the result of the immune system’s reaction to harmless pollen particles. One of the best ways to help minimise the effects of hay fever is to make sure your immune system is in top working order. To help manage hay fever naturally, eating healthily and supplementing your diet with nutrients which boost the body’s natural defences can help minimise symptoms. Vitamin D is one of those essential nutrients. A deficiency in this vitamin has been linked to allergies, including allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, eczema, and anaphylaxis.(4)

Several studies suggest vitamin D supplementation may reduce inflammation and allergic reactions. In particular, a small study showed that vitamin D-deficient participants who took vitamin D supplements along with antihistamines experienced an improvement in allergy symptoms after eight weeks.(5)

Manuka Doctor makes a convenient Vitamin D Spray which simply takes a few squirts pointed towards the back of your throat three times a day. The Vitamin D is absorbed into the body with no need to swallow a tablet.

"Very easy to use and no horrible after taste. I would recommend this product to anyone." Susan C

Not only does the Manuka Doctor Immune Defence Spray contain Vitamin D, it also includes natural Bee Propolis and soothing Manuka Honey. Propolis is a resinous substance which bees collect from apical buds of plants. They use it in the beehive to defend it from parasites thanks to its antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. For more information on the benefits of Propolis read our Q&A with Propolis expert Dr Vincenzer Zaccaria.

And at the end of a hard day of gardening, what better way to relax than a soak in the bath followed by a foot massage with our cooling and refreshing Peppermint Foot & Heel Cream. This absorbent and refreshing lotion will have your feet feeling soothed and refreshed, the perfect treat at the end of a hard day’s gardening.

“My feet are like babies feet now.. my husband and I absolutely love it!” Vendulka V

Key ingredients include highly moisturising Mānuka honey, Shea butter and Avocado to nourish and smooth dry, hard skin. Cell regenerating Royal jelly rejuvenates skin by renewing damaged skin cells. Rosemary leaf oil helps improve circulation to the foot area to reduce puffiness and reduce tissue inflammation that can lead to swelling, pain and stiffness.

“Love this foot cream. Having always suffered from sore cracked feet I was dubious this cream would work but it has, THE best product I've used. My feet are softest they've ever been. The texture is lovely and thick and smells amazing.” Debie T

  4. Tian HQ, Cheng L. The role of vitamin D in allergic rhinitisAsia Pac Allergy. 2017;7(2):65-73. doi:10.5415/apallergy.2017.7.2.65
  5. Bakhshaee M, Sharifian M, Esmatinia F, Rasoulian B, Mohebbi M. Therapeutic effect of vitamin D supplementation on allergic rhinitisEur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2019;276(10):2797-2801. doi.10.1007/s00405-019-05546-x
  6. Joudi M, Farid Hosseini R, Khoshkhui M, et al. Effects of serum vitamin D and efficacy of subcutaneous immunotherapy in adult patients with allergic rhinitisAllergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2019;11(6):885-893. doi:10.4168/aair.2019.11.6.885
  7. Cardiovascular effects of 1,8-cineole, a terpenoid oxide present in many plant essential oils. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2002 Dec; 80(12):1125-31.
  8. Rosmarinus officinalis L.: an update review of its phytochemistry and biological activity. 2018 Feb 1;4(4):FSO283