Covid-19 & Testing—Tools for Tackling the Pandemic

Residents of Florence and towns throughout Tuscany can now be prescribed free testing for COVID-19  by their family doctors (medico di base). With the Coronavirus emergency, much confusion exists around testing.  Who is eligible for testing, where does one go for a test, and even more complicated, what are the different types of tests? What are the types of tests for COVID-19? The pharyngeal swab consists of a swab of the throat to [...]

Personalized Perfumes at San Simone

The fragrance of an essential oil is about more than just its scent.  It is chemistry, and Dr. Fernanda Russo, creator of an independent perfume line, has the nose for the business. At her renowned San Simone Pharmacy, originally opened at the beginning of the 1700s, Russo uses over 500 types of plants for herbal teas, fragrances and other preparations in her own line of all-natural products as not only medicines and health-promoting agents, but also self-enhancing fragrances. [...]

Health & Herbs, January 2017

A deep breath while on the premises of Via Ghibellina 199 invites soft fragrances of citrus and jasmine floating from the San Simone herbalist shop. Dozens of yards before reaching its storefront, one can smell its ever-present, ever-fresh potpourri. San Simone’s owner, Dr. Fernanda Russo, maintains the 300 year-old tradition of the space by selling natural oils, herbs, teas, and incenses to heal, defend, and enhance one’s health and lifestyle. Most products are [...]

Health & Herbs, September

Summer is winding down, and now it’s back to school and work. Can you maintain that gorgeous summer tan while sitting behind a desk? Local pharmacist Dr. Fernanda Russo says you can. She advocates taking a Beta-Carotene compress once a day and exfoliating several times a week to make your glow last. After months in the sun, it is sometimes hard to re-enter the world of studies and work, so tiredness and sluggishness [...]

Health & Herbs, July

The river is sparkling, the air is warm, and you’d be outside…if you weren’t so exhausted from the constant sun exposure! According to Dr. Fernando Russo, asthenia (an umbrella term for laziness, dizziness, fatigue) can be treated with a simple herbal tea. Served a half hour before meals, artemisia teas will leave you feeling re-energized. Add 1 tbsp. per cup of hot water and leave five minutes to infuse. For itchy mosquito bites [...]

Health & Herbs, May

During May, feeling bloated and sluggish happens in conjunction with the onset of warm weather. Blood vessels become markedly sticky and hinder circulatory flow in the spring and summer. Lymph nodes unfortunately fill with metabolic scum that slows natural bodily processes. These ailments are easily curable, however, with just one stop at your local Erboristeria. To cleanse blood and lymph nodes from excessive fats and proteins, Dr. Fernanda Russo of Erboristeria San Simone [...]

Health & Herbs, April

In April, spring cleaning does not only refer to your house or office. Health tips for this month focus on refining your inner self. Reduce fatigue:  a simple Bach Flower remedy will do the trick. Bach Flower solutions, developed by Edward Bach in the 1930s, are 50:50 water to brandy mixed with a small amount of flower material. According to Dr. Russo, drinking Bach’s Olive helps manage our vital energies, rendering us less [...]

Health & Herbs, March

Spring! The sun! Last summer’s bikini? The arrival of spring may make you hyperaware of those pesky traces of cellulite you overlooked during the winter. By following some simple tips, anyone can be on their way to confidence this season. Focusing on natural anti-cellulite remedies, our local erboristeria (organic pharmacy) owner, Dr. Fernando Russo from Erboristeria Antica San Simone, shares some insight. According to Dr. Russo, it is important to understand that cellulite develops over [...]

Health & Herbs, November

Employ preventative measures against the common cold this month.  Dr. Fernanda Russo recommends taking 30 drops of Echinacea and Cat’s Claw three times a day until symptoms improve. Adjust dosages accordingly for children (one drop per 4 lbs of body weight). Dr. Russo also suggests drinking soothing herbal tea made of Sambuca and Tilia as a homeopathic remedy for fevers.  Add a teaspoon of each herb to a cup of heated water and [...]

Health and Herbs, October

In October, a month that transitions into fall, our bodies go through some seen and some unseen adjustments. One of the more recognizable changes reveals itself through the practice of a monotonous, everyday task – hair brushing. Similar to how a snake sheds its old skin, hair loss is common at seasonal crossroads it. No need to worry, this year, when looking at the brush because Dr. Fernanda Russo has some simple suggestions [...]