Saturday, June 7, 2008

Stroking Tips For Chest and Neck Massage

Continue the chest and shoulder massage with gentle stroking movements. This will gentle stroking movement. This will disperse the oil and soothe the area at the same time.

Spread the oil by stroking the whole chest and shoulder area with firm, flowing movements. Start with your hands next to each other, just below the clavicle at the base of her neck.

Stroke down the chest toward the breast or nipple, keeping the pressure smooth but firm. Then fan out your hands and, keeping them relaxed, glide out across the chest toward the shoulders.

Making sure your hands mold to the contours of your partner's body, stroke over the shoulders. Cup your hands over the shoulders and gently press the shoulders toward the feet or down onto the floor.

Swing your fingers around to the back of the shoulders. Stroke behind them, and bring your fingers slowly up the back of the neck. Then glide your hands very lightly down the sides of the neck to the collarbone. Repeat the sequence at least four times.

Additional chest touches

After stretching and stroking you can try anyone, or a combination, of the following moves: knuckling, deep pressures, and kneading.


Make your hands into fists and ripple your fingers around to make small circular movements with your knuckles. Work gently all over your partner's chest, then move to behind the shoulders, and all around the base of the neck, where you can work more deeply.

Deep pressures

Make a series of thumb pressures on the muscles between the ribs. Start in the middle and work in lines out toward the shoulders. Pressures in this area can be painful, so be guided by your partner's reaction when deciding on depth.

Get feedback about what you are doing. Find out what feels good, what is not so pleasant, and what hurts. An involuntary flinch or a verbal expression will usually make it obvious. If you know your partner well, communication will not be a problem, but you may have to keep asking if you are massaging a stranger.


You can use this technique to great advantage on the fleshy area in front of the armpits. Pick up and squeeze the muscle with alternate hands. Work with both hands together on one side of the body, and then move to the other side and repeat the action. This simple motion can release tension not only in the chest, but also in the arms and back,

The muscle in front of the armpit is called the pectoralis, which is Latin for breast. This area is often affected by emotional stress, so massage the area with sensitivity.

Robin is a home remedies and fitness expert. In his spare time, Mr. Robin write for herbal medicines and alternative medicines.

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The Health Benefits of Mint

For centuries, mint has been enjoyed for its wonderful aroma, its great taste, and its healing power. Long known for its ability to settle a nervous stomach, mint has a great many other health benefits as well. Whether as a soothing mint tea or part of a recipe, mint has long been part of both the cuisine and the medicinal cultures of societies as diverse as the Middle East, India and Europe.

Mint is well known for its ability to sooth the digestive tract and reduce the severity and length of stomach aches. In addition, mint teas and other herbal preparations have shown great promise at easing the discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome, and even at slowing the growth of many of the most harmful bacteria and fungi. The well-documented antifungal properties of mint are thought to play a role in the treatment of asthma and many allergy conditions as well.

It is even thought that mint may have benefits as an anticancer food. Mint is known to contain a phytonutrient called perillyl alcohol, which has been shown in studies on animals to prevent the formation of colon, skin and lung cancer. Further study is needed to see if this important benefit extends to the human world.

Mint is used in a variety of ways, but the most common is through the brewing of mint tea. There are many excellent mint teas on the market, and fresh mint tea can be made by pouring hot, but not boiling, water over fresh leaves of mint. When preparing mint tea, it is important that the preparation be covered while it is steeping to prevent the valuable volatile oils from evaporating.

For those who prefer their mint in pill form, there are a number of preparations on the market that make it easy to enjoy the many health benefits of mint. Supplements containing mint are widely available at health food stores, at supermarkets and of course on the internet.

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Mint Condition with Mint Teas

What is Mint?

There are about 25 different species of mints and peppermint is actually a natural hybrid cross between Mentha aquatica (water mint) and Mentha spicata (spearmint).


Peppermint has greenish-purple lance-shaped leaves and has tastes of a cross between pepper and green chlorophyll. Where chamomile tea can be calming and soothing, peppermint tea is very refreshing and relaxing.


Spearmint has crinkled leaves and pointed leaf tips shaped like spears and is more of a grayish green color than peppermint leaves and has a little more subtle and cool taste than peppermint.

Other plants in mint family include:

• apple mint

• orange mint

• water mint

• curly mint

• Corsican mint.

Health Benefits of Mint

Mint has significant health benefits mainly focussed around the digestive system. It has an anti-spasmodic action which helps with:

• stomach cramps

• wind

• dyspepsia

• diarrhoea

• Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

• heartburn

• indigestion

• morning sickness

• nausea

It is also excellent for:

• clearing a head when suffering from a cold or headaches

• sweetens breath

• baby colic

• manage stress

• asthma

Mint has an amazing power to cure cancer. Mint contains a phytonutrient called perillyl alcohol. This phytonutrient prevents the occurrence of colon, skin and lung cancer. Mint works by attacking the tumour's blood vessels, starving cancer to death.

With Spearmint teas, recent studies have found that drinking two cups a day can help with Hirsutism - this condition in women, where hair grows in areas such as the face, stomach and chest is thought to be caused by too many androgens (male hormones such as freely circulating testosterone).


Chocolate Mint Tea

Chocolate goes well with tea, not just coffee. You can brew up this recipe is a jiffy, using instant hot chocolate powder and bags of mint tea.

Ingredients: 6 mint tea bags / 6 cups milk / 6 tablespoons hot chocolate mix

Preparation: In a saucepan, heat milk with tea bags until almost boiling. Steep for a couple of minutes and strain out tea bags. Pour our 6 mugs of milk, and then stir in a tablespoon of chocolate powder in each mug.
Get Yourself in Mint Condition with Mint Teas
By Uma Mays

Uma Mays
Level: Basic PLUS

Uma Mays is married with two young children and lives in England. She has over 15 years experience in IT Project Management working for mainly ...
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Cassava - Manioc - Yuca Cake :Bibingkang Cassava

am a HUGE fan of cassava cake. Since childhood I have always relished a acass1large slice of this delicious dessert or snack at any time of the day. The richness and consistency of the cassava, the sweetness, coconut flavor, and saltiness of the topping is burned into my memory banks in a big way. Yet, as of last week, I had never attempted to make it for myself. Worse, I had not seen anyone else make it. Growing up it just seemed easier to buy it while on road trips or else it arrived in boxes as presents during the holidays, etc. I know this delicacy was made in our home kitchen on occasion, but I must have been at school or out hunting green spiders to incarcerate in empty match boxes whenever cassava cake was being baked. Lay a plate out of kakanins in front of me and I will hit the cassava well ahead of the rice-based goodies.

The cassava-can-poison-you-threat has always made me wary of this humble tropical root crop. acass2Even the kitchen crew I have had all sorts of advise like soaking, squeezing, etc. to make sure it was absolutely poison-free… let’s just say I was a bit intimidated. I first washed and peeled the bark of several large pieces of cassava. I made sure the outer layers were totally removed and the cleaned ivory root rinsed carefully. My sister says you can just go ahead and put this in the food processor but I went a few steps further. First, I grated all the cassava on a box grater (pain in the rear), then I soaked it in cool water and then squeezed out the excess liquid. Essentially, this has the effect of removing some of the starch and any potential toxins left. Once the grated cassava was drying, I measured out approximately 6 cups of it.

This recipe is attributed to Mariquita Adriano in The Philippine Cookbook though I have altered it somewhat for my attempt. First, beat 3-4 large eggs with 2 cups of granulated sugar. acass3Add 3-3.5 cups of thick fresh coconut milk and 1 cup of canned evaporated milk. Add the 6+ cups of grated cassava (frankly, you can use a little more if you like, depends on target consistency of the cake once baked), ¼ cup butter (melted) and stir. It should have a consistency of sludge… Not too thick and not too watery. This is nebulous but key – look at the consistency and add eggs, cassava or coconut milk to achieve the one you like best. Much of the liquid will evaporate or be absorbed by the cassava. Pour this into a shallow pan lined with oiled banana leaves. Cook in a 330-350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.

I like to aim for a 1.5 inch thickness for the finished cake. For the topping, mix 1 cup of coconut cream/milk with 2 tablespoons of flour over low heat. Add one can (about 400grams) condensed milk and stir until thickened, 5-12 minutes. Remove from heat and add two egg yolks and stir well. Return to heat and cook a few minutes more. Pour this thick, sweet mixture over the cooked cassava cake and sprinkly with grated cheddar cheese and broil for a few minutes until golden brown. Cool before eating – this is wonderful! Two recipes worth disappeared within 24 hours in our house.

Bibingkang Cassava / Cassava - Manioc - Yuca Cake
by art's2007

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Bush Cherry Seed :Yu Li Ren

Bush Cherry Seed or Yu Li Ren Chinese Herbs

Latin Name: Semen Pruni

Properties: acrid, bitter, sweet, neutral

Actions: subdues upper Qi, moistens intestines, promotes urination

Medical Indications: constipation due to Qi stagnation, edema, difficulty with urination

Contraindications: not to be used during pregnancy, not to be used in cases of Yin deficiency with depleted fluids

Dosage: 3 to 9 grams

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Agnus castus: Chaste Tree

This herb has a long tradition of use as a general balancer for the female hormones. Despite its common name, Chaste Tree, Agnus castus is actually a shrub found in the Mediterranean. The fruit of the plant is used in phytotherapy and gives off a pleasant peppermint-like smell.

How Agnus castus works:
Agnus castus acts on the pituitary gland to increase the secretion of luteinising hormone, which leads to an increase in the production of progesterone during the second half of the menstrual cycle. It has also been reported to inhibit prolactin.

Both these actions are thought to be important in PMS, particularly as many who suffer with the problem have a greater sensitivity to prolactin. Agnus castus has also been found to be beneficial in the treatment of acne in both men and women.

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Grow Your Own Ginseng! Save the Forest

The most asked questions we get are - how much is ginseng selling for? when they do get ready to harvest the roots? who do they take it to to sell? where can they find a dealer?

Well, I'm sure the price for good quality, dry ginseng will be different within 7 or 8 years when you get to the point when you are ready to sell your roots, but over the last 3 or 4 years, it has been going anywhere from around $250 to $500 per pound. The "explosion" of prices of ginseng came in 2007 when wild ginseng hit close to $1,000/lb dried and woods-grown and wild-simulated ginseng roots fetched $350 to $750/lb dried, depending on the age and quality of ginseng roots. I expect this price trend will stay and will be strengthened more due to the great demands in the Chinese market.

Who do you sell it to? That is the hard question! First, I would try to keep it in your own state that you live in. It is a protected plant but it's ok to grow your own, but when you start taking it out of your home state, you will have to purchase a license. If you can't get a fair price for your harvest and you have a lot of rootlets, getting them licensed will be your best choice to get a higher price. It's not hard to find a dealer to sell's hard to find one that will give you a fair price for good quality roots. For those of you have no idea who your state ginseng dealers are, I will be posting a dealers list for each state soon.

When you sell it to a dealer, he takes it to another dealer and that dealer takes it to someone else. It passes hands maybe 5 times before it gets to be exported to China. Everyone tries to find someone higher up the ladder so they can bypass the middle man, but this is almost impossible because they are interested more than the small grower can supply. They are interested in TONS! If you sell it for say-- $400 /lb by the time it gets to be exported, they will probably be paying 4 or 5 times that for it. That doesn't sound real but it is true and you think you are making good money at $400 a pound.
Beginning of this year, a lot of growers all around the Appalachian Mt. area are planning to form co-operations. They will have a grading system so you know what you have and you will have a good idea what your ginseng is worth without someone picking through it and telling you it is low grade. You will probably have to pay a small percentage fee for your roots to be sold, but it will bypass a lot of hands and you will get a very good price - not to harm the dealers - just to get a fair price. Well, I'll write more on this later but so far I have heard nothing but good news for the smaller growers and wildcrafters. More later.

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Friday, June 6, 2008

Self Massage - Do it Yourself

Now that you have been introduced to all the basic strokes, I am sure you can hardly wait to put the moves together into a complete sequence. Don't worry if you don't have a willing partner close at hand, because doing a massage on yourself is the perfect alternative! By practicing on yourself, you can discover how your hands might feel on others.

Legs and feet

Our legs and feet have to support all our weight so it's not surprising that they often ache and feel tired. A good massage can relieve this tension and leave them feeling light and energetic. Knowing how to massage your legs is useful whether you lead an active or a sedentary life, and regular massage of your thighs can even improve their appearance.

Few things are more exhausting and aging than sore feet. By massaging your feet daily, you can relieve tiredness and really relax; in fact, some practitioners, notably reflexologists, believe that foot massage can stimulate your whole body.

Soothing aching legs

With massage, you can relieve aching legs after standing for too long and help tired muscles recover after exercise. As in other parts of the body, light strokes stimulate the lymphatic system and deeper strokes help circulation. Always use firmer strokes as you work up the legs toward the body, and use oil to keep the movements fluid.

Start the massage by stroking your left leg up toward your body, applying a firm pressure as you go. You can either stroke one hand after the other, or place one hand on either side of the leg and stroke both hands together.
Next, knead your left leg. Using alternate hands, squeeze and release the flesh at the top of your thigh, working rhythmically and methodically. Work all over the top of your thigh, down to your knee, and continue along the back of your thigh. Then knead your calf muscles in the same leg.
Soothe your leg with criss-cross strokes. Place one hand on each side of your thigh at the knee, and pull your hands upward, squeezing your leg. Release your grip, cross your hands over, and glide them down the other side of your thigh. Then pull up your hands to repeat the action. Continue, working all the way up your thigh.
To soothe and relax your knee, apply circular pressures with your fingertips all around your left kneecap. Next, stroke softly behind your knee, stroking up toward your body
When you have completed the massage on your left leg, repeat the whole sequence on your right leg.

Easy relief for feet

Your feet are among the easiest parts of your body to self-massage, and it's something you can do wherever you happen to be. If you are sitting, simply rest one foot on the opposite thigh. If you prefer to lie down, keep one leg bent up and rest your other foot on your raised thigh. Give one foot a complete massage first, then transfer to the other one.

A great way to start a foot massage is to soak your feet in a bowl of warm, scented water.

Fill a large bowl with warm water and add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil (lavender and peppermint are my favorites). Put your feet in and luxuriate for as long as you like before starting the foot massage below.

Rest the sale of your right foot on your left knee and sandwich your foot between your hands, with your fingers facing forward. Rub your hands backward and forward along your foot to warm the whole area.
Support the heel of your right foot with your left hand and clasp the toes with your right hand. Energetically squeeze, extend, and flex your toes to increase their flexibility.
Still supporting your right foot with your left hand, massage your toes with your right hand by squeezing, twisting, and rolling each one in turn with your fingers.
Place one thumb on top of the other, using your fingers to support your foot, and make deep, circular thumb pressures over the sale of your foot. Stroke the area. Repeat the whole sequence on your left foot.

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Cnidium Seed : She Chuang Zi

Cnidium Seed or She Chuang Zi Chinese Herbs

Latin Name: Fructus Cnidii

Properties: acrid, bitter, warm

Actions: dries dampness, kills parasites, stops itching, warms kidneys, strengthens Yang, dispels wind, disperses cold

Medical Indications: scabies, ringworm, itchy skin, eczema, parasites, impotence, infertility, cold womb, yeast infections, trichomoniasis

Contraindications: not to be used in cases with Yin deficiency with heat signs, not to be used in cases with damp heat in lower Jiao

Dosage: 3 to 9 grams

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Iced Chamomile Tea Recipe

How to make Iced Chamomile Tea ?

Iced Chamomile Tea Recipe
8 c Water
4 Chamomile tea bags
8 Green cardamom pods
Zest of 1 orange; removed in
-strips with a vegetable
Zest of 1 lime; removed in
-strips with a vegetable
1/4 c Sliced peeled fresh
3/4 c Sugar

In a 4-quart saucepan bring all ingredients to a boil and simmer, covered,
15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cool mixture. Steep mixture, covered
and chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 24.

Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a pitcher. This tea keeps, covered
and chilled, 1 week.

Serve in ice-filled tall glasses.

Makes about 2 quarts.

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The Pregnancy and Constipation

The Constipation occurs when there is abdominal pain or discomfort, difficult and infrequent bowel movements, and the passage of hard stools. Unfortunately, constipation affects approximately half of all women at some point during their pregnancy.

What causes constipation during pregnancy?
In general, worry, anxiety, minimal physical exercise, and a low-fiber diet may cause constipation. Constipation in pregnant women is thought to occur due to hormones that relax the intestinal muscle and by the pressure of the expanding uterus on the intestines. Relaxation of the intestinal muscle causes food and waste to move slower through your system.

Sometimes iron tablets may contribute to constipation. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water if you are taking iron supplements. You may need to switch to a different type of iron tablet, but it is important to talk to your health care provider first.

How can I prevent or treat constipation during pregnancy?
Prevention and treatment of constipation involve much of the same thing. Here are a few things that you can do to help prevent constipation from occurring or treat it if you are already experiencing it:

Eat a high fiber diet: Ideally, you will consume 25 to 30 grams per day of dietary fiber from fruits, vegetables, breakfast cereals, whole grain breads, prunes and bran.
Drink a lot of fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids is important, particularly with your increase of fiber. Drink 10 to 12 cups of fluids each day. It is the combination of a high fiber diet and lots of liquid that best help you eliminate your waste. Sweat, hot/humid climates, and exercise may increase your need for additional fluids.
Exercise routinely: If you are inactive, you have a greater chance of constipation. Walking, swimming and other moderate exercises help the intestines work by stimulating your bowels. Schedule exercise three times a week for 20-30 minutes each.
Over-the-counter remedies: There are over-the-counter products such as Metamucil (Catergory B) which may help soften your bowel movements and reduce constipation. Always speak to your health care provider before using over-the-counter medications.
Reduce or eliminate iron supplements: Iron supplements may contribute to constipation. Good nutrition can often meet your iron needs during pregnancy. Taking smaller doses of iron throught the day rather than taking it all at once can reduce constipation. Talk to your health care provider about checking your iron levels and recommendations to manage iron intake during pregnancy.
What remedies should not be used for constipation during pregnancy?
Laxative pills are NOT recommended for the treatment of constipation during pregnancy because they might stimulate uterine contractions and cause dehydration.

Mineral oils should NOT be used during pregnancy because there is an increased reduction in nutrient absorption.


Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy Harms, Roger W., M.D., et al, Part 3.

William’s Obstetrics Twenty-Second Ed. Cunningham, F. Gary, et al, Ch. 8.

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Tips To Cure Pregnancy Constipation

To remove pregnancy constipation symptom, take special care and follow tips provided for you in this article. Among all the remedies for constipation problems, exercise has been seen to be a constipation reliever. Avoid heavy exercises, instead expectant mothers could be advised to go for a walk. A light or moderate practice of walking can be effective in the reduction of pregnancy constipation and will lessen the bloating for pregnant women.

The second solution will be adequate consumption of fluids including water as constipation hardly takes place in the presence of sufficient hydration in the body. Some calcium and vitamin supplements, especially composed for pregnant women can be taken to obtain relief from pregnancy constipation. Some women also seek relief through stool softeners. Though these stool softeners are useful to bring relief within a short time, it is not recommended that you make a habit of use of it. You may also use homemade or natural remedies that include lower risks of side effects. You can take homemade remedies during the interval of consuming foods and drinks. Beat constipation with the help of a sensible diet and exercise program.

Pregnancy constipation is an early pregnancy symptom. However, most pregnant women experience constipation during later stages of pregnancy as well. Pregnancy Period offers more information on how to cope with pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, vaginal bleeding and other pregnancy related issues including home pregnancy tests, early pregnancy care, pregnancy supplies such as pregnancy pillows and maternity clothes.

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How To Grow Ginseng

Infomation about planting, harvesting, and growing your own herbal garden or Ginseng patch.

If it is your first time, don't start out spending a lot of money on a large amount of seeds or roots. Start small and plant more and more each year. The most important thing is to START and to plant seeds or roots EVERY year. Each year you will have more and more ginseng roots and seeds, and you will become even more interested in it. Also, if you plant every year, when you do begin to harvest, you will have a harvest every year.

GINSENG is a fleshy rooted herb, native to well drained, cool, shaded hardwood forests. Ginseng does not grow in full sunlight, so the natural place to plant it is in hardwood forests, where the trees provide the needed shade. Ginseng is a perennial plant, but unlike other perennials, it lies dormant some years and does not grow new tops every year. The root does not die, but lies dormant until the following year. Ginseng is one of the most sought after herbs on the market. The future for growing ginseng looks promising for many years as more and more is being used now in the United States in addition to the Orient. All Health Food stores, drug stores, and even small gas stations now sell it in capsules, powdered, etc. The demand keeps growing every year.

Highly prized by Asian cultures as an aphrodisiac and a cure for everything from impotence to lack of concentration, it relieves fatigue, mental and nervous exhaustion. The Chinese have always placed a high value on ginseng and millions have used it for centuries. Western people have remained skeptical of its use because the Chinese people prepare and use this herb in superstitious ways. Carrying a dried root in their pocket for good luck is one of these superstitions. It is said that the use of ginseng will add a decade of years to a human life. The most desired root for this purpose is one in the shape of the human body. These roots have been known to bring their weight in gold. The Chinese put the highest value on ginseng. It's used only by the wealthiest and will bring several hundred dollars per pound.

One year old plants will have 3 leaflets, similar to a strawberry plant.

The second year usually produces 5 leaflets, and the following years, it begins to branch out with 2, 3, or 4 prongs with 3 to 5 leaflets in each prong.

Ginseng grows in the wild about 1 foot tall and they bloom in the summer. When it ripens in the fall or late summer with bright red berries, each berry usually contains 2-3 seeds. The seeds may be kept in damp sand for 1 year and used for replanting or they can be sold. In its wild, natural state, it grows in cool, shady, hardwood forest that takes about 6 to 8 years to grow to the point where its roots are large enough to harvest. If it is cultivated using fertilizers and persticides, you can start harvesting the roots in about 4-5 years, but wild ginseng gets a much better price.

Growers cannot expect to reap the rich rewards of the harvest overnight. Ginseng is a slow growing plant that takes years to grow, but in a few years you will have a great start for a huge profit. It is impossible to get a full picture of growing ginseng in any book. Everyone is different and have different plans. We hope that we can give you some ideas without making too many mistakes. Feel free to ask any questions at any time. The most important thing is to START and to plant seeds or roots EVERY year. Each year you will have more and more ginseng roots and seeds and you will become even more interested in it. Also, if you plant every year, when you do begin to harvest, you will have a harvest every year. It's OK to start small to get some experience growing ginseng. That's the best way and it will not cost you a lot of money. In 4 or 5 years you will start to have your own seeds to plant. Your small hobby or venture will be getting bigger and bigger every year.

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Ginkgo biloba Plant Description

Ginkgo biloba is the oldest living tree species. A single tree can live as long as 1,000 years and grow to a height of 120 feet. It has short branches with fan-shaped leaves and inedible fruits that produce a strong odor. The fruit contains an inner seed, and there has been a report of a human poisoning from ingesting the seed.

Although Chinese herbal medicine has used both the ginkgo leaf and seed for centuries, modern research has focused on the standardized Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE), which is prepared from the dried green leaves. This standardized extract is highly concentrated and seems to be clinically more effective in treating health problems (particularly circulatory ailments) than the non-standardized leaf alone.

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Ginkgo biloba: Maidenhair tree

"In 1492, Colombus discovered America." We all know that's true, but we are also aware that this statement would have sounded pretty odd to anyone who happened to be already living in America at the time. The story of the discovery of the ginkgo tends to get told in the same, somewhat confusing, way, so I'll attempt to redress the balance by telling it from the Japanese point of view.

"It's a sunny day in Nagasaki, and it's 1690. Do we know what ichou is? We certainly do! It's a common enough tree, with at least one growing within the grounds of most (Buddhist) temples and (Shinto) shrines hereabouts. It's a big tree, and it can live a long time, perhaps for thousands of years, they say. Do we know why it's called ichou, or where it came from? Not quite so easy, but surely must have come from China. (Most things do.) Probably with Buddhism, or something. We usually write the name with the Chinese characters for silver (gin as in ginkou, bank), and apricot (kyou or an, as in anzu jamu or apricot jam, if that's been invented yet). Hmm, that's a bit confusing, but we do call the nuts gin-nan.

"Anyway, apparently this Dutch geezer, Engelbert Something, has just turned up in the port. Must be Dutch, because they're the only hairy barbarians allowed in. Er, Something began with 'K', perhaps "Kenpu...", or was it "Ken Peru"? Well, one of the lads happened to be there when he (the Dutchman, that is) bumped into this ichou tree, and promptly got extremely excited about it. Was saying something that everyone knew it wasn't there. Seems odd, since we certainly knew."

Engelbert Kaempfer (rendered as kenperu in Japanese) was the first of the Three Great Plant-Watchers, and lived in Nagasaki from 1690 to 1692. He was German, and it may have been that no disguise was necessary, since he appeared in Nagasaki before the rigid "Dutch-only" rule came into force. Seeds of the ginkgo that he collected were sent back to the Netherlands, and this was one of the first oriental trees widely grown in the west as an ornamental shade tree. At some stage, it became known as a "living fossil", because it's the only member of the ancient botanical division ginkgophyta which still survives. Some accounts suggest that in Kaempfer's time fossil members of the ginkgo family were already known, though whether Kaempfer himself would have been familiar with this isn't clear.

And despite the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (SOED) describing it as a "Japanese tree", it seems that the ginkgo did originate from China. Since it has been cultivated for centuries, there is some dispute whether any original wild trees might still exist somewhere in the mountains of Eastern China. (There may also, incidentally, be some confusion between the discovery by Kaempfer that the ginkgo is not extinct, and the various reports of ginkgoes being found in the wild, none of which seem to have been confirmed.)

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Ginsing tea

Ginsing tea is a tasty brew. Spending a few extra dollars on a commercial tea that may be a better quality is well worth it, especially given the healthful properties that may come from it. I like the Korean ginsing tea that comes in a powder form and immediately dissolved in your water. I often add this to other teas. Making an infusion of your own is a particularly helpful way to ensure that you are reaping the benefits of the true root.

Soup is also a common way to prepare ginsing in China. Add 1/4 teaspoon of dried root to a bowl of broth or soup daily. Ginsing is not usually used for long term periods in herbal medicine. Once a healthy well-being is established, the body has reached a more stable balance and can hopefully maintain that on its own.

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Red Ginsing Candy

What better way to enjoy the benefits of ginsing than to take it in a very tasty red ginsing candy? Perhaps the "red" ginsing stays in the name when talking about the candy because the ginsing must be processed to use in the candy. "White" ginsing refers to a raw root of the herb. Regardless, American ginsing, Korean ginsing and ginsing without nomenclature is available online and in Asian grocery stores.

You can even purchase ginsing chewing gum. Keep in mind, again, that these products may have more sugar than anything and may not offer the actual benefits of taking an infusion of the herb or mincing raw bits of the root into your food. Ginger, however - now there is an herb that can be used for candy and really make a difference - both in your taste buds and in an upset stomach after a large meal. Ginger chews, in fact, have won international candy competitions for many years.

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Panax Ginsing

Panax ginsing is one species of the ginsing plant. Panax ginsing is refered to as Asian ginsing. This species is grown in Korea, China and Russia. In Chinese medicine, the idea of an adaptogen, which is what ginsing is purported to be, is not possible. Chinese medicine believes that there are individual differences that make using an all purpose herb impossible.

Even if panax ginsing is only nominally adaptogenic, however, it is still a useful herb. Increasing overall energy and mental function seem to be the noncontroversial benefits of ginsing. There is also scientific evidence that ginsing can regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Panax Ginsing
By: Maureen

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American Ginsing

American Ginsing is a very popular herb to market, but there are reasons for it. It has many important properties that make ginsing useful for living a healthy life.American Ginsing is purported to work as an adaptogen, an immune stimulant, an aid in sugar regulation, and as an aid for brain function.

Adaptogen is one of those words that comes from the professional lingo of herbal medicine. To be an adaptogen, an herb must meet the following criteria, that is actually hypothetical, but can be supported by research and historical evidence: it must help the body adapt to whatever is ailing it, whether physical or mental. It should have no side effecs and help make the body return to a state of normalcy.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Self Massage For Abdomen and Lower Back

It's natural to rub your abdomen when you have a stomach ache, and any form of abdominal massage, however basic, is extremely comforting. Although you can massage your abdomen while sitting up, it is much more relaxing if you lie down. Lie somewhere comfortable, with a small pillow under your knees so that both your back and abdomen are relaxed. Always use a clockwise motion when massaging the abdomen since this follows the workings of the intestine; this can help relax the abdomen, which, in turn, can aid digestion.

Stroke one hand after the other around your abdomen in a clockwise direction, lifting one hand over the other in a continuous flow. Increase the size of the circle to cover the whole area, then gradually make it smaller again.

Apply static and circular pressures all around the abdomen, following the outline that you traced with your strokes in step 1. Use one hand on top of the other, or the palm of just one hand, depending on how much pressure you want to apply .

Bend your knees over to your left and knead the right side of your abdomen with the fingers and thumbs of alternate hands. Rhythmically pick up and release the flesh wherever you can, then bend your knees to the right and knead the left side.

You don't have to be in the perfect surroundings to do a self-massage - you can massage your feet while watching tv, or your hands while talking to a friend.

Lower back

You can massage your lower back by sitting cross-legged, as shown here, or by lying down on your side with your top knee bent in front of you. The movements outlined below are designed to release muscular tension and aid relaxation.

Relieving muscular tension

Start by vigorously rubbing the palms of both your hands up and down the small of your back, and from side to side, to warm the area and release any muscular tension.
For a stronger, deeper movement, make your hands into fists and press the thumb side of your hand into your sacrum, the lower part of your spine. Then stroke your fists firmly up and down the area.
Make deliberate, circular pressures with your fingertips or thumbs all around your sacrum.
Now, pummel the area with floppy, relaxed fists, taking care to avoid your kidneys. Finish with some gentle stroking.

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Rose Petal Jam Recipe

How to make Rose Petal Jam ?

Total time 1 hour
Cooking time 40 minutes
Processing 20 minutes

12 cups rose petals
4 cups sugar

Most roses are edible. Roses are not the only flowers that can be used to add a delicious and exotic taste to all types of dishes. The flavor of roses, however, is distinct and immediately recognizable, and it looks as wonderful as it tastes.

Fragrant red and pink old-fashioned double roses (rugosas, floribundas, Old English, damask, and so on) make the tastiest jam. Pick roses in the late morning, after the dew has dried, and before the sun has reached its height. Grasp the entire flower by the tips of the petals and pull it completely off its base. Using scissors, trim off the white section at the base of the petals. (Doing this immediately upon picking the rose allows you to trim a whole flower's worth of petals all at once.) Place the petals in a deep bowl. As soon as you have finished gathering petals, pick over them carefully to remove any insects. Cover them with cold water and drain them; repeat this process several times, until you have removed all dirt, pollen and other debris from the petals. Chop the petals coarsely and place them in a wide, deep pot.

Pour sugar and lemon juice over the chopped rose petals and stir well. Stirring frequently, bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Clip a jelly thermometer to the side of the pan; make sure that the bulb does not quite touch the bottom of the pan, but is well immersed in the mixture. Continue to cook and stir until the jam reaches 221�F, or until a spoonful dropped onto a cold plate jells and holds its shape.

Ladle the jam into 4 oz., 8 oz. or 12 oz. canning jars sterilized in boiling water, cap with sterilized canning lids and rings, and refrigerate. If you wish to store the jam without refrigeration, process the jars in a boiling water bath. Put filled, covered jars in a large kettle with a rack on the bottom, covered by at least 1" of boiling water; once the water returns to a boil, continue to boil for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from water and, without tightening the lids, allow them to cool and to form a vacuum seal, signaled by a popping sound as hot air escapes and the lids snap down.
If you're picking the roses yourself, the best time is in the late morning, after the dew has dried and before the strong afternoon sun. Hold the entire rose by the tips of the petals with the tips of your fingers, pull it off the base, and trim the white sections with scissors - this will save you time.
Do not use petals that have been sprayed with an insecticide which is not intended for use on food.
If put in a pretty jar, this makes a great gift.

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Why you should take a colon cleansing teas?

Colon cleansing teas,usually contains a mixture of herbs and plants chosen for their calming and laxative properties, serves as an all-natural laxative intended for occasional use that is designed to help detoxify the body, support digestive health, and promote overall wellness.

The use of colon cleansing teas or commonly called laxative tea helps release the mucoid colon plaque and allows the digestive engine to run smoothly. Selecting a healthy colon cleanse tea is suitable for those of us who are petrified at the idea of Colon Cleansing processes such as colonic boards or irrigation, the perfect solution is to introduce Colon Cleansing foods and teas to the diet.

Colon cleanse teas can be exhausting on the body, as it simulates purging and should be used for no longer than two weeks . The number of cups to consume per day differs by the blends and brands available, as well as the health condition of your colon. It is also important to note that the length of time to drink the tea varies, though typically a regime of colon cleansing tea should not exceed more than two weeks because of its powerful affect on the body.

When using colon cleansing teas ,it is recommended to continue taking a fiber with your meals in the form of wheat germ, oat bran, or rice bran cereals for breakfast. And a healthy Colon Cleansing tea should help to increase bowel movements, provide detoxifying qualities and give a boost to the health of the whole body. A Colon Cleanse tea can be a simply yet healthy choice that will fit in perfectly to almost any diet plan.

Green tea can be part of a Colon Cleansing diet as it can aid the body to detoxify and regulate bowel movements.

Many proponents of colon cleansing teas suggest that even healthy individuals who have regular, daily bowel movements may experience a form of constipation that includes a build-up of matter that fills pockets of the colon and intestines.

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All about Korean Ginseng

Korean Ginseng tree

Korean Ginseng root

All about Korean Ginseng, you likely already know the
anti-coagulant, energy boost, virility, and anti-inflammatory benefits
of this herb. You also likely know that there are several versions of
"Korean" ginseng available. So how can you be sure you are
purchasing authentic Korean Panax ginseng?

Korean Ginseng
Scientific Name: Panax Ginseng
Other Names: Asian Ginseng, Chinese Ginseng, Ginseng, Panax, Guigai, Japanese Ginseng, Ninjin, Oriental Ginseng, Panax schinseng, Red Ginseng, Seng

Panax ginseng is different from American ginseng and Eleuthero (formerly called Siberian ginseng). They are not interchangeable.

Ginsengs are best known as "adaptogens", which are substances that may help individuals cope with physical and emotional stress. As a part of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, Panax ginseng has been used to treat almost every possible ailment from anxiety to cancer. Currently, it is used extensively in Oriental countries as an everyday tonic to maintain overall health as well as to treat several illnesses, including heart conditions.

Korean Ginseng Facts
Korean Ginseng, or Panax Ginseng, is a brown, gnarled root about the size of a little finger, that resembles the shape of the human body. It is sometimes referred to as a "manroot" or "root of man." Korean Ginseng grows primarily in China and is also known as Chinese Ginseng. It has been used there for over 5.000 years and is considered the strongest form of ginseng. Korean Ginseng is used in China as a preventative tonic to stimulate the entire body to overcome stress, fatigue and weakness. It helps the body to adapt to stress and to regenerate and rebuild the sexual centers.

How Korean Ginseng Works
Korean Ginseng contains thirteen different ginsenosides. Panaxans help to lower blood sugar, polysaccharides work to enhance the immune system and its antioxidant properties are immune-stimulating to protect the body from illness, disease and stress. Korean Ginseng helps to stimulate production of immune cells called "killer T-cells" that destroy viruses and bacteria. It balances the release of stress hormones by supporting the organs that produce them (the hypothalamus and the pituitary and adrenal glands). Korean Ginseng helps produce endorphins to make people feel good. Its sexual benefits work to improve erectile function and to increase testosterone and sperm count.

Possible Benefits

Physical restorative and preventative tonic for health and illness prevention
Healthy for heart and good circulation
Normalizes blood pressure
Reduces cholesterol
Lowers blood sugar
Helps to prevent arteriosclerosis
Improves vision and hearing activity
Improves working ability and energizes physically and mentally
Checks irritability, stress and is good for depression
Sexual stimulant, enhances sexual desire and improves impotency and low sperm count
Improves athletic performance and increases endurance and stamina
Helps with the discomforts of menopause
May inhibit tumor growth, good cancer preventative effects

Usage Korean Ginseng Guidelines
People who are pregnant or taking MAO inhibitor drugs should not use this herb. Korean Ginseng is very stimulating so it should be taken early in the day. High dosages could make some jittery. Check with your doctor before taking if you have high blood pressure. In rare cases, postmenopausal women may experience vaginal bleeding due to its mildly estrogenic effect. If this happens, let your doctor know you are taking Korean Ginseng so this won't be mistaken for a sign of uterine cancer.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Face and Head Massage

Good face massage can soothe away anxiety, headaches, and exhaustion, and replace them with a feeling of serenity and well-being. It can leave people looking and feeling years younger. By stimulating circulation, a face massage gives a healthy, vibrant glow to the complexion, and by relaxing taut muscles, it rids the face of weariness. Head massage is the perfect complement to face massage, and the result is relaxation in every part of the body. A thin layer of muscle covers the skull, which tightens when we are tense, leading to headaches and stress. A head massage can relax this muscle and generally ease tension and anxiety throughout the body.

Stroke away your worries

A face massage can literally stroke away tension. For the best effect your hands must be relaxed, and the movements should feel flowing and confident. Remember that the face is particularly sensitive, so be sure to use enough lubrication that you avoid dragging the skin. Also check that your hands are completely free of rough skin and that your nails are short so that they don't scratch your partner's face.

You need experience to give a good face massage, so you need to practice. Try out the movements on your knee and on your own face.


This rhythmic stroke covers the entire face and spreads the oil. Use a fine face oil, or an enriched face cream, and kneel behind your partner's head.

Start with your hands at the base of the neck, then sweep them up to the chin, using the whole surface of your hands. Pause for a moment.

Stroke out under the jaw to the ears, molding your hands to the contours of the face. Pause for a moment with your palms resting over the ears, then glide your hands back down under the chin.

Stroke with your fingertips from the chin, around the mouth, to the nostrils. Continue stroking up the sides of the nose, pausing just below the eyes, then glide out under the cheekbones and up to the temples, and return to the chin.

Stroke up the front of the face again, but this time continue up to the bridge of the nose. Pause, then stroke out across the forehead to the temples. Pause and press, then glide down to the chin. Repeat steps 1-4 at least four times.

Never give a full face massage to someone who is wearing contact lenses. Ask your partner to remove their lenses before you start, or take care to avoid the eye area.

Cupping the face

Cup your hands over your partner's face, with the palms on the forehead and your fingers over the mouth. Hold them there for a moment. Then, press down very gently. Following this, release the pressure and draw your hands out to the sides. Pause here for a moment, then repeat the whole sequence.

When cupping the face, I imagine that my hands are magnets and that I am drawing all the tension out of my client's face.

Robin is a home remedies and fitness expert. In his spare time, Mr. Robin write for herbal medicines and alternative medicines.

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Herbal Thai Massage

Originally derived from ancient Thai traditions, Herbal Thai massage is slowly becoming a popular western modality. Thai yoga massage itself dates back over 2,500 years with roots from both Indian and Chinese healing practices.

The combination of a Thai herbal compress and traditional Thai massage techniques create a treatment designed to soothe almost any aliment one might experience.

History of Thai Yoga Massage

Jivaka Kumar Bahaccha, Buddhist monk and founder of traditional Thai medicine and Thai massage techniques, established Thai massage to alleviate pain by improving the flow of 'prana' or life energy within the body.

Prana circulates through the body along pathways called 'sen lines'. Theoretically, when someone is experiencing pain or disease there is an upset in the flow of prana which flows along these sen lines.

When these blockages are stimulated with the pressure, stretching and kneading techniques, along with modified yoga postures used in Thai massage, it releases the blockage allowing prana to move freely again. As the released prana effortlessly flows again, each system of the body is saturated with vital nutrients improving the body's normal functions. As the body starts to return to a balanced state the pain decreases, energy is restored and the client is filled with a renewed sense of vitality and well-being.

The Yoga Connection

Thai massage was created based on yoga philosophies and traditions as it helps balance not only the body but the mind and spirit as well. Typically a Thai therapist meditates before each treatment to clear their mind of distracting thoughts and focus on bringing healing energy into the massage.

As stated earlier, modified yoga postures themselves are integrated into each massage session creating a multitude of avenues to apply massage techniques. Thai therapist maintains a calming quality to the massage by applying graceful rhythmic movements and focused attention while connecting the postures, similar to practicing yoga.

The Herbal Compress

Herbal Thai massage incorporates the use of a heated compress containing a collection of medicinal aromatic herbs traditionally grown in Thailand. This compress is simply a pouch filled with ground Thai herbs wrapped tightly in a natural porous cloth, usually unbleached cotton or muslin.

It is most often steamed to stimulate the herbs then pressed or rolled on the body during, before or after a Thai yoga massage. When used in conjunction with a Thai massage, the heated ball allows the muscles and joints of the body greater movement and flexibility.

The herbs themselves are absorbed through the skin and used in the body to facilitate further release of energy blockages thereby improving energy imbalances within the body. Some of the herbs have drawing properties that allow removal of inflammation and swelling typical with injuries.

Benefits of Herbal Thai Massage

Traditional Thai massage is most commonly used to treat inflammation due to muscle and joint pain, injuries or imbalances but it is not limited to muscular system. Thai massage can help with all the systems in the body allowing whole body healing.
The herbal compress promotes further healing as the typical selection of Thai herbs offer many healing properties to the mind body and soul. Together the Thai yoga massage and the herbal compress promote healing in the following ways:

• Improves muscle injuries, imbalances and pain

• Improves blood and lymph circulation

• Improves physical and mental energy by releasing energy blockages

• Improves joint flexibility and range of motion

• Reduces acute and chronic inflammation

• Improves appetite and digestive processes and dysfunctions

• Prevents illness

• Slows aging process and degeneration of soft tissues and joints

• Boosts immune system

• Lowers blood pressure

• Encourages relaxation

• Prevents and alleviates stress and anxiety

• Calms the mind, improves concentration and positive thinking

• Speeds healing

• Improves movement and function of fascia (body's connective tissue)

• Decreases cold and flu symptoms

• Improves organ function and movement

• Calms respiratory dysfunction and pain

• Eases menstrual cramps and associated pain

• Calms and prevents migraines and headaches

• Helps with insomnia and other sleep disorders

This unique Thai tradition is welcome in North America by both therapists and clients alike. Its deep rooted history, balancing techniques and aromatic benefits offer a therapeutic treatment second to none.

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Bundjalung Tribe

Bundjalung Tribe of New South Wales Australia
for hundreds of years for its medicinal properties.
Penfold and found to be around 12 times more powerful than carbolic acid and yet
caused no harm to the skin. It was used extensively by the Australian Defence
Force during World War Two but due to the discovery of synthetic drugs did not
become popular again until the 1960's.

Over the years it has proved itself as a natural antiviral, antibacterial,
anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory oil. One great development was that it was found
to deep penetrate the skin cleaning it and encouraging the formation of scar
Some of the medical uses include healing blisters, reducing swelling from
insect bites and stings, cleaning and healing abrasions and cuts, cures athletes
foot and is very helpful in the healing of acne. It will cure a sore throat,
cold sores, coughs and dental abscesses. It will solve most day to day first aid
and medical problems.
It also lends to daily beauty care as putting drops in shampoo, body lotion,
hand cream and in the bath will keep hair and skin clean and healthy. A couple
of drops on toothpaste will prevent gum infections and bad breathe. It helps
take the sting out of sunburn and softens corns and calluses.
Bundjalung Tribe's anti-bacterial properties also extend use in the household
chores, making the house clean and healthy. Putting drops in the humidifier will
clean, disinfect and refresh the air and putting drops in the dishwasher and
washing machine will kill all the germs.
Tea Trees only grow in Australia. There are many brands that are from inferior
trees and not from the genuine Tea Tree whose Botanical name is Malaeuca. The
name Tea Tree was given by Joseph Banks the botanist who traveled with Captain
Cook and collected the leaves to make herbal teas.
Your first purchase should be made from a Health Shop until you know how to
define whether it is the genuine oil or an inferior oil as the results will
obviously not be the same with an inferior product.
There are many excellent websites on the internet and many excellent books
which will give you all uses of this wonderful oil. You will be amazed at the
excellent results you obtain and will find it is truly a medicine kit in a

Bundjalung Tribe is Tea Tree Oil

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Green Tea Shown to Reduce Risk of Ovarian and Colorectal Cancers

NaturalNews) Green tea has rapidly entered the American market as a claimed cure and preventative for almost everything that ails mankind. It seems too good to be true, but now we are finding out that it is true. Recent studies reveal green tea's benefits as an antioxidant, promoter of glucose tolerance, protector of the liver and detoxification system, and benefactor of the cardiovascular system. Two recent studies show that green tea is also a powerful agent in the prevention and cure of cancers.

Studies and Results

The March, 2008 issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, contains a study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. In a population based study in Washington state, 781 women with epithelial ovarian cancer diagnosed between 2002 and 2005, and 1,263 controls completed self-administered questionnaires detailing consumption of caffeinated and non-caffeinated coffee, teas, and colas. They also completed in-person interviews regarding reproductive and hormonal exposures.

Researchers assessed risk associated with coffee, tea, and cola drinking and with total caffeine consumption using logistic regression to calculate odds ratios and confidence intervals. Results indicate that neither caffeinated nor decaffeinated coffees were associated with ovarian cancer risk. They also observed no association of total caffeine with risk using a combined index that summed intake from coffee, tea and carbonated soft drinks.

Among teas, neither herbal/decaffeinated nor black teas were associated with risk. However, women who reported drinking green teas had a 54% reduction in risk of ovarian cancer. Associations of green tea with risk were similar when invasive and borderline cases were considered separately and when Asian women were excluded from analysis.

In the second study from Cancer Biology and Therapy, researchers from the Fourth Military Medical University in Xi’an China, reported progress in identifying the underlying mechanism by which green tea possesses therapeutic cancer effects through induction of apoptosis (programmed cell death) in colorectal cancer. Two different lines of colorectal cancer cells were treated with different concentrations of green tea, which led to repression of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis in both cell lines.

The researchers concluded that the p-53 up-regulated modulator gene plays a critical role in green tea induced apoptosis pathways in colorectal cancer cells. Their demonstration of this effect may be useful in the therapeutic target selection for p53 deficient colorectal cancer.

Additional Implications

The results of these studies suggest that green tea may also be a factor for inducing apoptosis in breast cells and endometrial cells, thereby acting as both a preventative and a factor in the cure for these cancers.

A further implication for the first study may be drawn from its conclusion that the administration of caffeine containing coffee, tea, and colas yielded no association with risk for ovarian cancers.

About Green Tea

According to Phyllis and James Balch in their book Prescription for Nutritional Healing, green tea contains polyphenols, including phytochemicals with antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and other health enhancing properties. Epigalloacatechin gallate (EGCG) is a particular type of polyphenol in green tea that has shown in tests to be able to penetrate the body’s cells and shield DNA from the potent free radical, hydrogen peroxide.

In addition to protecting against cancers, green tea lowers cholesterol levels, and reduces the clotting tendency of blood. It shows promise as a weight-loss aid that can promote the burning of fat and the regulation of insulin levels and blood sugar.

Green tea is simply the unprocessed leaves of the tea plant, unlike black tea which is fermented. During processing, much of the polyphenols of black tea are lost.

In addition to brewing and drinking green tea, there are green tea supplements available. Some of these contain the whole plant, while others contain extracts. Whole plant supplements are usually preferable because they are backed by the integrity of the whole plant. Many green tea supplements are standardized to provide a quantifiable amount of EGCG, viewed as its most beneficial component.

Green Tea Shown to Reduce Risk of Ovarian and Colorectal Cancers
by Barbara
About the author
Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.

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Gennoshouko (Japanese Geranium)

Japanese Natural herbs

Scientific name: Geranium thunbergii Sieb. Et Zucc

Family: Geraniaceae

Parts used: Aerial portions

Principal Use: Poor digestion, diarrhea, constipation

Actions: Astringent, stomachic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial

History and Traditional Uses of Gennoshouko

Gennoshouko is a perennial herb native to Japan. It can be found growing wild throughout the countryside. The plant has a creeping nature and is covered with fine soft hairs. It bears small white or pale pink flowers in midsummer.

Gennoshouko is an herb unique to Japan. It has been highly esteemed in folk medicine for centuries. The name in Japanese means "immediately effective" which hints of how people find the plant immediately effective at curing a number of digestive illnesses!

When life in Japan was primarily agricultural, people living in the countryside collected the plant in the hottest period of summer. Not surprisingly, contemporary research reveals the plant is richest in medicinal compounds at this time. After being collected in the blooming period (late summer) it is dried in a shady place.

Though tradition tells of Gennoshouko's use throughout history, it appears in the written record only three hundred years ago. The father of Japanese herbal medicine, Kaibara Ekiken mentioned it in his famous herbal. This famous healer’s approval of this herb put it in good stead and insured its use then and now.

Above all Gennoshouko is a wonder drug for diarrhea, and as its translation implies, it works instantly. Interestingly, it is not used just for diarrhea. It is used for a host of digestive illness including constipation, stomachache, dysentery, stomach and duodenal ulcer, and catarrh of colon. Before antibiotics existed, this was the singular treatment for digestive infections. In traditional Japanese medicine, it is used as a powder and or infused to make a drink.

The Science of Gennoshouko

Chemical constituents:

Tannin: geraninn, galic acid, pyrogallol, ellagic acid, protocatatchuic acid.

Flavonoids: quercetin, kaempferol 7-rhamnoside, kaempferin.

Succinic acid.

The leaves and stems of this plant contain a tannin called geraniin. Like all tannins, geraniin is anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and haemostatic. The presence of this tannin may explain why it is so effective in digestive complaints. It kills bacteria, soothes inflamed mucus membranes, stops bleeding, and resolves diarrhea.

Practitioners’ Opinion

Gennoshouko is the Japanese treatment of choice when digestive problems develop, being seen as an ideal digestive tonic. It can be used in emergency situations to cure an acute case of diarrhea. It can also be used as a daily tonic for those with weak digestion. It can also be used to treat chronic constipation. It is seen as being safe for long term usage.


For diarrhea:

Herb 20g per day

Tincture 1:1 20ml per day

Tincture 1:5 100ml per day

For constipation:

Herb 10g per day

Tincture 1:1 10ml per day

Tincture 1:1 50ml per day


1) Kazuo Izawa, Color Encyclopedia of Medicinal Herbs, Shufunotomosha, p354, 1998

2) Tsuneo Nanba, Introduction to Chinese-Japanese medicine, Toho-shuppan, 1996

3) Yuka Nakanishi, Machiko Orita, Takuo Okuda, and Hiroko Abe. Natural Medicine 52(5), 396-403, 1998

4) Mitsuo Mizuno, Toshihiro Tanaka, Japanese Medicinal Herbs, p240-242, 1995

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To Truth About Okinawan Tea

Have you ever seen ads on the internet claiming they possess the 'real' Okinawan tea? I'm sure you have, and after reading this article you will have a very good reason to stay away from them.

It seems as if people on the internet will try to make money in any fashion possible. Some people just don't have the morals to care if they lie to people and rip them off. This is the case with anybody charging extraordinary amounts of money for Okinawan tea and try to claim that it's very rare.

won't name specific websites, but some of them claim Okinawan tea will reduce your weight line by a certain amount and that it is a "special" blend.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. All major teas such as white, green, oolong, and black tea come from one plant - the camellia senensis. The camellia senensis produces a tea leaf and depending on the amount of fermentation it receives, it is then labeled as one of those 4.

Because of how the fermentation interacts with the leaves they end up with slightly different properties, but none of them produce the amount of weight loss that these websites are saying they do.

Yes, all tea will help tremendously with things such as weight loss in small amounts, cardiovascular health, brain health, reducing illness, and many others. However, be wary of websites who claim these benefits will come in miraculous proportions.

The benefits come over a period of time after you've been drinking tea consistently. They do not come overnight, just as most people don't become rich overnight. It's foolish to think you can do something for a tiny period of time and produce extraordinary results. Patience is a virtue.

By the way, the people of Okinawa are among the longest living people on the planet and also drink the most tea per capita.

Coincidence? I don't think so.
Truth About Okinawan Tea
by Jeremy Reeves

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Drinking Oo Long Tea To Lose Weight

Wu Long tea or commonly called Oolong cha or Oolong tea is a literal translation from the Chinese language meaning 'Dark Dragon Tea' is a traditional Chinese tea somewhere in between green and black in oxidation. There are numerous legends describing the origin of Wu-Long tea.

One story had it that a tea plantation boss was scared away from drying tea leaves by the appearance of a large menacing black snake resembling a small dragon. When he finally plucked up enough courage and returned to his tea plantation a few days later, the leaves had been oxidized by the sun and produced a delightful beverage when brewed. Others say that the tea is called 'wu long' because the leaves look like little black dragons when hot water is poured onto them.

The Oolong is tea commonly served in Chinese restaurants all over the world for its excellent accompaniment to dim sum and almost all Chinese food. Like most Chinese and Japanese tea, wu long tea is unsweetened and goes very well with authentic Chinese and Japanese cuisines.

In recent years, the weight loss medical world have been jolted by some claims that Japanese scientists have found that the wu long tea have excellent weight loss ingredients. Since then, sales of the Wu-Long tea skyrocketed in the Chinese and Japanese community so much so that other nationalities are also picking up the trend of drinking wu long tea regularly to maintain their weight or as part of a weight loss program.

The following are some claims that consumption of Wu-Long tea can bring fast slimming benefits :-

Oo Long tea can burn 2.5 times more calories than ordinary green tea - In a study published in the Journal of Medical Investigation, scientists from Japan's University of Tokushima School of Medicine found that regular consumption of Oo Long tea can experience over twice the calorie burning results of those who consume the same amount of other weight loss tea.

Oo Long tea can reduce the fattening effects of carbohydrates - Eating too much carbs can encourage weight gain by increasing insulin levels in the bloodstream. A study from scientists at the Suntory Research Center in Osaka, Japan, demonstrated that drinking wu long tea 15 minutes before eating carbohydrates helps blunt the rise in insulin you normally get after eating food rich in carbs.

Oo Long tea anti ageing - Free radicals are damaging substances in your body produced by ultra-violet rays, chemical food additives, stress, pollution and many other factors. Free radicals is linked to many signs of ageing, including wrinkles, dark spots and certain diseases, even cancers. In one 2004 study by Dr. Kenichi Yanagimoto and colleagues from the University of California, Davis, people who drank tea Wu-Long daily experienced a 50 percent reduction in free radicals within 15 days. So Oolong tea is an excellent brew for anti aging.

Oo Long Tea strengthens immunity system - In another 2004 study published in the scientific medical journal, Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, patients who consumed Wu-Long tea were found to have a stronger immune system and a significantly lower risk for common upper respiratory tract infection.

If all these claims are true, then we can all switch to drinking wu long tea regularly to maintain a healthy weight level.

Source: Free Articles

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Tea Origins : Flavors and Health Benefits..

Tea: Origins, Flavors and Health Benefits
By: Jack Reider

How many times do we just want to drink tea after a heavy meal, but are then bombarded with all the various tea flavours that we get lost. This article answers that need.

What you should always remember is that there are only four types of tea.
1) Black tea
2) Green tea
3) White tea
4) Oolong tea

All these are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis, also known as the tea plant. Other herbal infusions such as chamomile tea, ginger tea or red tea made of rooibos leaves are disqualified as types of tea since the tea plant is not involved in their making. The difference between the four tea variations lies in the process of making them. In addition, each type of tea has another flavor and various health benefits.

1) Black Tea
The strong flavored burnt Sienna colored hot beverage is the most popular type of tea in the West. Either served with a squeeze of lemon or added milk and a cube of sugar, the cup of black tea is part of daily tea ceremonies that take place worldwide. Black tea is made of heavily oxidized Camellia sinensis leaves. When served plain, it contains no calories, carbohydrates, or fats. A cup of black tea contains more caffeine than any other types of tea but less than in any cup of coffee.

2) Green Tea
The lightly oxidized tea has been popular in China, Japan and Korea for centuries. Recently, rumors on its health benefits increased its popularity in the West as well. It has been proven that drinking green tea can lower cholesterol, prevent cancer, increase metabolic rates and be helpful in variety of other conditions and illnesses. The green tea is lightly oxidized, dried, but not fermented. It is usually served plain, without sugar or milk. Since some of the green tea variants taste a bit bitter, it should be brewed in lower temperature than the boiling point.

3) White Tea
White tea is rarer and more expensive than the other types of teas mentioned above. Originated in the Fujian province of china, the white tea is made of young Camellia sinensis leaves, which go through a long process of steaming or frying, inactivate fermenting and drying. Since the leaves are harvested while the buds are still covered by white hair, it is called white tea. White tea has the most delicate, sweet taste than the other types of tea. Moreover, it contains the smallest amount of caffeine and the largest amount of antioxidant that help prevent cancer.

4) Oolong Tea
The traditional Chinese tea is the common companion of Chinese foods such as dim sum and chop suey in American Chinese restaurants. The oolong tea, black dragon in Chinese, got its name after its long, dark distinguished leaves that look like wild black dragons when brewed. The unique taste of the oolong tea is achieved by a long process that includes sun drying of the Camellia sinensis leaves, light oxidization, cooling and drying processes. The result is a lighter flavor than the popular black tea and stronger than the delicate green tea.

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Jack Reider replaced his coffee drinking habit with a healthier green tea addiction because of the health benefits. Now, he is tackling his online casino problem, and he hopes to get over that soon too.

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Ginger Molasses Cakes Cookies recipe

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup molasses
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
pinch pepper
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 cups cake flour

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda into the water, then add remaining ingredients in the order given. Add additional flour if necessary to give the dough the right consistency for rolling.

Divide the dough in half and roll each portion out to a 1/4-inch thickness and cut out with a small glass. Or, you can roll them into small round balls and press with the sugared flat bottom of a glass. Place the cakes on a baking sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes, until firm and lightly browned on bottoms.

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Tea Cake Cookies Recipe

How to make Tea Cake Cookies ?
I suggest 2 recipe.

Tea Cake Cookies Recipe 1

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup shortening (Crisco)
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Cream the butter, shortening and sugar until very fluffy and thoroughly creamed. Add vanilla and salt. Add one egg and beat well. Add the other egg and beat well. Stir in flour. Mix well. Drop by teaspoonsful on greased cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie and bake at 375 until edges of cookies are delicately brown (usually about 8-10 min) Remove from cookie sheet immediately.
Makes about 6 dozen

Tea Cake Cookies Recipe 2

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2/3 cups walnuts, finely chopped
2 cups (12 oz. pkg). chocolate chips (divided 1-1/2 and 1/2 cups)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter and powdered sugar together until creamy. Add the
flour and nuts. Stir in 1-1/2 cups of chips. Roll dough into 1" balls and
place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until a light golden brown. Cook for 2 minutes
then remove off baking sheet.

Melt the remaining chip. I put them in a zip loc bag and either put the bag in
boiling water or in the microwave for 30 seconds. Once melted, knead the
bag and then cut a small hole in the edge. Then drizzle the chocolate over
the tops of the cookies. Chill until chocolate is set.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Receiving Massage Has So Many Benefits

Everyone that has experienced a full body massage knows that it fills you with a sense of peace and tranquility which stays with you long after the massage is over.

There is also much more to massage than just it's wonderful ability to release tension and stress. The health benefits of massage are plentiful and by getting regular massages your health can improve tremendously.

The need for touch is one of the basic needs for all life, just as important as eating and drinking. Some studies in Russia have revealed that babies who aren't touched enough are not nearly as healthy as other babies.

By using the power of touch in the form of a massage, wonders can be created, both for your body and your mind. A great benefit from receiving massage is that it increases the circulation and makes the blood flow with more ease throughout the body.

When the blood flow increases it helps the cells to work more efficiently and it can be beneficial to those suffering from high or low blood pressure.

Massage also aids the lymphatic system, which is a large part of your body's immune system. The lymphatic system moves mucous throughout your body and doesn't have a pump.

A massage can help your muscles relax and become loose, let go of tension and can also improve your posture. For those experiencing conditions such as muscle pain, back pain, headaches, stomach pain and cramps, massage therapy can provide a lot of relief.

For those experiencing insomnia, massage can be of great benefit. By relieving accumulated tension and stress, it is much easier to get the rest we need at night so that we are able to get the most out of our awake time.

Because of the stress and tension that is so common in home and work environments of today, a lot of people have gained an imbalance in their bodies.

By using the hands and fingers to manipulate the meridians and pressure points in the body it is possible to reawaken our natural state of health and wellbeing.

Since massage is such an ancient healing method, there has been thousands of years to develop and practice the different techniques that exists today.

We are in a very lucky age right now where we can experience many different types of massage styles and learn powerful techniques from all over the world.

By combining the wisdom that comes out of old traditions with the intuitive touch and the flow in the moment, I feel that there are no limits to what you can achieve through massage.

Jason Storm is the owner of Vibrant Creations, an online education company. Visit his website on Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage

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Ginger Tea Recipe,How To Make ?

There are many reasons to love the pungent aroma and great taste of ginger. But there is also increasing evidence that ginger provides strong health benefits along with great taste. Ginger has a long tradition of use in traditional medicine, and cultures around the globe have used ginger as a healing compound in addition to a cooking ingredient.Ginger is a popular addition to energy drinks with good reason.

Ginger Tea Recipe

To make 4 cups of ginger tea, start with a 1 inch piece of ginger. Peel the ginger and grate it coarsely or slice thinly.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the ginger. Reduce the heat and simmer the tea for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the strength you like.

Pour off the tea, or strain if necessary. Enjoy hot or cold. Many enjoy the tea as is, but you can also sweeten it with a little honey, and lemon is optional.

Ginger tea is commonly used as a cold remedy. It is said to boost the immune system, soothe sore throats, and treat bouts of flu. It is also believed to improve digestion and help relieve nausea.

Still not convinced to try ginger tea? Consider these known health benefits of ginger tea:

Improves circulation and blood flow
Relieves cold and flu symptoms
Eases stomach cramps, improves digestion and relieves nausea
Reduces menstrual cramping
Helps regulate blood sugar
Boosts the immune system
Ginger tea is a healthy and spicy drink that will give you energy, boost your immune system and refresh your soul. Try a cup today.

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Health Benefits of Ginger

What Is Responsible for the Health Benefits of Ginger?
The health benefits of ginger come from chemicals called volatile oils, specifically gingerols and shogaols, that also give ginger its spicy, pungent taste. Those oils stimulate your body to produce more digestive juices and help neutralize the stomach acids that cause cramping, nausea and diarrhea. Ginger is also a natural decongestant and antihistamine, which makes it a natural treatment for head colds.

What Is Responsible for the Health Benefits of Ginger?
The health benefits of ginger come from chemicals called volatile oils, specifically gingerols and shogaols, that also give ginger its spicy, pungent taste. Those oils stimulate your body to produce more digestive juices and help neutralize the stomach acids that cause cramping, nausea and diarrhea. Ginger is also a natural decongestant and antihistamine, which makes it a natural treatment for head colds.

In Eastern societies, ginger has always been known for its healing powers. Pythagorus was one of its greatest supporters in Ancient Greece. King Henry VIII of England used it to protect against the plague. Though we don't know for sure if ginger can actually protect you from the plague, we do know that it is beneficial in many other ways.

The American Phytotherapy Research Laboratory in Salt Lake City has conducted a classic study on motion sickness, which may cause you to leave the dramamine on the shelf during your next vacation.

By spinning motion sickness-prone students in two groups-one group was given Dramamine, the other group ginger -- it was discovered that the group given the ginger was able to withstand the full 6 minute "spin" with less nausea and dizziness, while the other group stopped the ride within 4-1/2 minutes.

Japanese researchers believe the gingerols found in ginger, may be responsible for blocking the body's reflex to vomit. Taking 1/4 teaspoon 20 minutes before a car or boat trip should give you about 4 hours of relief. Another popular remedy is 3 or 4 slices of sliced ginger in a cup of boiling water to make ginger tea. Sip as needed to relieve nausea caused by motion sickness.

Denmark researchers have discovered that ginger can block the effects of prostaglandins. These are substances that cause inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain, which leads to migraines. Though the results are still experimental, 1/3 teaspoon of fresh of powdered ginger taken when you feel a migraine coming on can help stop pain before it starts. Using the same theory, ginger has been found to produce "marked" relief in arthritis pain. The ginger tea described above or 1/2 teaspoon of ginger is recommended by Danish researchers for arthritis relief.

A researcher at Cornell University Medical College discovered that ginger has an effect on blood clots that is similar to that of aspirin. By the same token, it appears that high cholesterol levels are lowered using the same active ingredient, thromboxane.

When buying ginger, fresh is best! Be sure to avoid ginger with dry, wrinkled, skin, mold or soft spots. African and Indian ginger are the most potent. Grating or using a garlic press will give you the maximum benefit.

Ginger can definitely give you many benefits but more is not always better. An ounce a day should give you all the benefits you will need.

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The Tinda Fry (Sauteed Round Gourd)

Tinda Fry or Sauteed Round Gourd
4 tindas (round gourd), peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 tbsp cooking oil
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
a pinch of amchur (dried mango powder, available at the local Indian grocery store)
salt, to taste

Heat oil in a pan and fry the tinda wedges till they start to brown.

Add salt and spices and fry for another minute or two. Serve warm with rotis and dal.

Recipe by Hooked on Heat
The blog created by Meenakshi Agarwal is filled with, as the blogger says, lots of spice and everything nice. The pleasant design of the blog is matched by a huge variety of unique content – something you can rarely say about websites or blogs today – facts which make Hooked on Heat a valuable resource for anyone interested in Indian food. Here you will find information on hundreds of Indian dishes, starting from Dips, Sauces and Chutneys, going through Soups and Salads and passing through Delectable Desserts and other food categories that will make your mouth water.

Resource :

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Ashitaba (Japanese Angelica)

Scientific name: Angelica Keiskei Koidzumi

Family: Umbelliferae

Part used: Leaf and stem

Principal Use: Poor digestion, infections, skin disease

Principal Action: Stomachic, aromatic bitter, antiseptic, antimicrobial, vulnerary

History and Traditional Uses of Ashitaba

Ashitaba is native to the Izu islands in the temperate Pacific Sea. In appearance, it is quite similar to its more commonly known relative, garden angelica (Angelica archangelica). It grows wild in the sandy beaches of these southerly Japanese Islands.

Ashitaba’s name, in Japanese (in English: Tomorrow's Leaf or Earth Growth), refers to an interesting botanical fact. If its leaves are picked in the morning, new leaves will be in place by the next morning. The plant is incredibly vigorous and its name reflects this! Indeed it thrives in roadsides and backyards without any care on the part of the gardener. The Izu islanders have used this wild plant as both food and medicine since the earliest times.

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Japanese Natural herbs for food

Traditionally, Japanese cuisine uses a range of herbs that are valued as a garnish, for their flavours and also for their nutrients.


A herb of the dropwort family, native to Japan, valued partly for its fragrance and partly for its use as a garnish. Its culinary uses include being boiled and wrapped around sushi such as squid and flounder, when it lends its flavour to the sushi; being boiled and marinated in soya sauce to make a dressing; and in nabe (a Japanese stew). It is also used in miso soup, dobin-mushi, o-suimono and chawan-mushi (an egg-custard dish containing ingredients such as ginkgo nuts, shiitake mushrooms, chicken, prawn and chestnuts which are selected according to season and local tradition) when it is used both as a decoration and to add flavour to the dishes.


In the same family as mitsuba, this is a dropwort plant which is used in a very similar way to mitsuba. It can also be eaten with sashimi, boiled in soya sauce and eaten as sunomono (food pickled in vinegar).

Shiso (Japanese Basil)
Ohba/ Aojiso

The green, Japanese basil leaf which can be served as tempura, in salads and with sashimi. It is also ground and used to flavour sauces, added to ponzu (a soya sauce, dashi (fish stock) and daidai juice sauce), used in nabe (Japanese stews) and Japanese-style spaghetti dishes. The leaves can be soaked in soya sauce for a year and wrapped around rice to make a tasty onigiri (Japanese rice ball), or chopped up, boiled in soya sauce and sugar and left to ferment to make tsukudani, which is eaten as a side-dish to accompany rice. Sea bream, flounder and prawns can be wrapped in ohba leaves and grilled to produce fragrant fish dishes.

The fruit of the shiso plant which remains after the plant has flowered and is likened to a rose hip. It can be battered and cooked as tempura, or mashed up and mixed together with soya sauce and wasabi to serve with sashimi. This style of sauce is called, “ohba shouyu”.

A variety of shiso which turns pink when added to vinegar. It is akajiso which gives the pink colour and adds some flavour to umeboshi (pickled plums). It is also used as a paste or mixed with salt, which is called, “yukari”. As yukari it can be mixed into rice to make onigiri where it lends its very distinctive flavour to the rice.

Tade (Water pepper)

Water peppers are eaten raw with fish because they have alkaline properties and can balance the acidity of the fish in the same way as other raw vegetables do.

A green and bitter cress called “water pepper” which can be eaten raw. Tade is used only with “ayu” (Sweetfish) as it enhances its flavour.

A fragrant and spicy, purple variety used as a garnish and palette refresher for sashimi.

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Asian ginseng

Asian ginseng is a member of the Araliaceae family, which also includes the closely related American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and less similar Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), also known as eleuthero. Asian ginseng commonly grows on mountain slopes and is usually harvested in the fall. The root is used, preferably from plants older than six years of age.

This fact sheet provides basic information about the herbA plant or part of a plant used for its flavor, scent, or potential therapeutic properties. Includes flowers, leaves, bark, fruit, seeds, stems, and roots. Asian ginseng : common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Asian ginseng is native to China and Korea and has been used in various systems of medicine for many centuries. Asian ginseng is one of several types of true ginseng (another is American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius). An herb called Siberian ginseng or eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is not a true ginseng.

Common Names : Asian ginseng, ginseng, Chinese ginseng, Korean ginseng, Asiatic ginseng
Latin Name : Panax ginseng

Ginseng latin Name is Panax ginseng. Siberian ginseng, on the contrary, although part of the same plant family called Araliaceae. Asian ginseng is one of several types of genuine ginseng (another is American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius ). An herb called Siberian ginseng or eleuthero is not a actual ginseng.

Asian ginseng are numerous and comprise the use of the herb to support overall health and boost the immune system. Traditional and courant uses of ginseng is improving the health of people recovering from illness and increasing a sense of well-being and stamina, and improving both mental and physical performance. Treating cavernous dysfunction, hepatitis C, and symptoms related to menopause and owering blood glucose and controlling blood pressure.

Asian ginseng could be useful in treating alcohol intoxication. The herb may attain this by speeding up the metabolism (break down) of alcohol and, thus, allowing it to clear more quickly from the body. The root of Asian ginseng contains active chemical integrants called ginsenosides that are thought to be responsible for the herb's medicinal properties.

The root is dried and used to make tablets or capsules, extracts, and teas, as well as creams or other concocnations for external use. Few studies have exposed that Asian ginseng may lower blood glucose. Other studies indicate possible propitious effects on immune function and interacts with other herbs and drugs and is exploring its potential to treat chronic lung infection, impaired glucose tolerance, and Alzheimer's disease.

Ginseng may lessen one's risk of getting several types of cancer, especially lung, liver, stomach, pancreatic and ovarian. In this specific study, this avail was not observed for breast, cervical, or bladder cancers. Ginseng is broadly believed to be capable of enhancing performance. In animal studies, Panax species of ginseng have increased sperm production, activity, and efficiency.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Tea Tree Oil May Be Used to Treat Scabies

Tea tree oil (TTO; Melaleuca alternifolia) may be used to treat scabies, according to a report published in the May issue of the Archives of Dermatology. Based on an in vitro study and one resistant case that was treated successfully, this may be a readily available and safe topical alternative.

"The essential oil of the tea tree is an Australian Aboriginal traditional medicine for bruises, insect bites, and skin infections," write Shelley F. Walton, PhD, from the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin, Australia, and colleagues. "Studies have demonstrated its antimicrobial activity against gram-positive (eg, Staphylococcus aureus), gram-negative (eg, Escherichia coli), yeast (eg, Candida albicans), and viral (eg, herpes simplex viruses) organisms, but there is little information on its antiectoparasitic activity."

This study determined the in vitro activity of 5% TTO and some of its individual active components against Sarcoptes scabiei var hominis mites collected from a 20-year-old Aboriginal woman admitted to the Royal Darwin Hospital with crusted scabies.

The 5% TTO and its active component terpinen-4-ol were highly effective in reducing mite survival times, and there were statistically significant differences in mite survival curves for 5% TTO, 2.1% terpinen-4-ol, 5% permethrin, and ivermectin (100 µg/g of Emulsifying Ointment British Pharmacopoeia 88 [BP88]). The patient was successfully treated with topical 25% benzyl benzoate containing 5% Tea Tree oil in combination with oral ivermectin, both in multiple doses.

With 5% Tea Tree oil, all scabies mites were dead within three hours, whereas terpinen-4-ol alone required 11.5 hours for 100% mortality. The effect of terpinen-4-ol alone on reducing viability of the scabies mites was similar to that when combined with alpha-terpineol and 1,8-cineole. These components used alone were relatively inactive against the scabies mite, suggesting that terpinen-4-ol is the active component. After one hour of exposure, only 10% of mites tested against 5% permethrin and ivermectin, and none of the mites tested against the Emulsifying Ointment BP88 were dead.

"Documentation of resistance against antiectoparasitic compounds is increasing. Reported S scabiei treatment failures with lindane, crotamiton, and benzyl benzoate, as well as likely emerging resistance to 5% permethrin and oral ivermectin, are of concern and advocate for the identification and development of novel acaricidal drugs," the authors write. "The results suggest that TTO has a potential role as a new topical acaricide and confirm terpinen-4-ol as the primary active component."

The Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation of South Australia, Adelaide, and the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Tropical Health, in Darwin, Northern Territory, supported this study. The authors report no relevant financial interest in this article.

Arch Dermatol. 2004;140:563-566

Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD

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