Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The miracle of green Tea

I am a firm believer of the Ancient Chinese Proverb: "Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one." From the ancient times (4,000 years ago), the Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea that treat everything from headaches to depression. Modern scientific research have demonstrated that the drink has been effective against many kind of diseases, including cancer and cardiac conditions.
Vast amount of literatures exist on the health benefits of green tea. Listed below are few I rememebered (but sorry I can't find original links).
1) in 1994, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published an article indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly 60%.
2) University of Purdue researchers recently concluded that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
3) there is also research indicating that drinking green tea lowers total cholesterol levels, as well as improving the ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol.
What makes green tea so special? The secret of green tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant: besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. It has also been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots. The latter takes on added importance when you consider that thrombosis (the formation of abnormal blood clots) is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke.
In addition, the great news also hold for dieters. In November, 1999, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a study at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Researchers found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo. Green tea can even help prevent tooth decay. Just as its bacteria-destroying abilities can help prevent food poisoning, it can also kill the bacteria that causes dental plaque. Meanwhile, skin preparations containing green tea - from deodorants to creams - are starting to appear on the market.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Coffee as medicine

I found an excellent summary about the coffee being far more healthful than being harmful. Allow me to write down some excerts from this article. On the side effects of coffee drinking, the author notes:
"It's clear that coffee isn't for everyone. Its legendary jolt in excess doses -- that is, more than whatever your individual body can tolerate -- can increase nervousness, hand trembling, and cause rapid heartbeat. Coffee may also raise cholesterol levels in some people and may contribute to artery clogging".
"pregnant women, heart patients, and those at risk for osteoporosis may still be advised to limit or avoid coffee".
Like many people, I don't drink coffee in the evening - it can cost me a good night sleep. On the health benefits of coffee drinking, the author writes:
"Could lower your risk of diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and colon cancer".
"People who smoke and are heavy drinkers have less heart disease and liver damage when they regularly consume large amounts of coffee compared to those who don't".
"There's also some evidence that coffee may help manage asthma and even control attacks when medication is unavailable, stop a headache, boost mood, and even prevent cavities".
On the effect coffee on children -
"In fact, no studies show that coffee in reasonable amounts is in any way harmful to children."
Overall, the author writes that coffee -
"show no significant adverse affects on most healthy people". "For most people, very little bad comes from drinking it, but a lot of good".
Coffee is one of the great blessings of humanity. I raise my coffee cup to all you readers and wish you a long, health life.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Why Green Tea Helps to Lose Weight

Recent studies show that green tea can help greatly in the process of losing weight. It does it by increasing the body's metabolism. If consumed regularly, it can help you burn as much as eighty calories extra. In a year, that’s about 8 pounds; you lose that much just by drinking, even without diet and exercise.To further enlighten you as to how green tea works, read on below:
Green tea slows down the absorption of fats and regulates glucose. The same substance, cathechin polyphenol, restrains the transition of glucose into fats. By doing that, experts believe that green tea is an effective glucose regulator. It effectively prevents insulin spikes and slows the rise of blood sugar after every meal. Insulin, as specialists agreed upon, promotes the storage of fats as it deals with the body’s blood sugar.
Green tea has the ability to reduce appetite. Because green teas have regulating effects on the blood sugar, people who drink it are observed to eat food as much as 60 percent lesser than usual. This particular hypothesis was proven when green tea was injected into laboratory rats for experimentation. Researchers believe that it has the same effects on humans.
Green tea is a good alternative to coffee. If you drink tea instead of coffee in the morning or throughout the day, your body gets fewer calories in the long run. The sugar and the cream included in your daily cappuccinos add inches and bulges to the waistline. But with green tea, instead of accumulating fats, you are actually reducing its build up.
Green tea affects the bodily systems positively. A parallel research about green tea brings forward its overall effects in the body. The systems benefiting from it include cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, nervous, urogenital, immune, lymphatic, and musculoskelatal systems. With this, green tea shows to have a very broad effect on the body. Only a few types of food can boast of this characteristic.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sage help with Alzheimer's disease

No herb garden would be complete without sage. As a herb, sage do well outdoors in milder climates, and considered by many as one of the culinary basics. Sage has received many scientific scrutiny over the years: it improved both mood and cognitive functioning in a 2005 study, reported researchers in Neuropsychopharmacology.
Patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease who were given sage extract scored significantly better on cognitive tests than a comparison group given a placebo, according to a study published in 2003 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Calendula treats local skin problems

Calendula (or pot marigold) is an annual with beautiful, edible yellow or orange flowers. Although dried flowers can be used to make herb teas, more often people toss Calendula flowers into salads.
The real forte of Calendula is for treating local skin problems. It may be used safely wherever there is an inflammation on the skin, whether due to infection or physical damage. It soothes chapped lips, scratched hands and any other irritated skin. It will also be of benefit in slow-healing wounds and skin ulcers. It is ideal for first aid treatmentof minor burns and scalds. The German Commission E (considered the world authority on herbal remedies) has approved calendula for healing cuts and burns.
Calendula has been long used throughout Europe for wound healing and ulcer treatments. Part of its healing power appears to be based on the presence of terpenes. A triterpene glycosidecalled calendulozide B exerts a marked anti-ulcerous and sedative action.
People can make Calendula into herbal cream easily. Calendula cream was more effective than steroid cream in reducing "skin toxicity", a dry, itchy, painful skin inflammation in breast cancer patients, reported the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2004.