Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tea for Health

With cold season in full bloom, it is hard to decide which remedy is the best to cure what ails you.

However, one ancient remedy that can help soothe the cold blues away is tea.
“Tea is a very soothing drink, so drinking it when we are sick helps with our comfort level, which in turn can speed recovery,” Paul Dickson, managing editor at, said.

Along with the soothing effects tea has to offer, tea has medicinal benefits as well.
“Tea is high in antioxidants which have many health benefits, including reducing the risk of cancer,” Dickson said.

Tea and Antioxidants
“A 2005 study linked the consumption of tea to a lower risk of ovarian cancer. Other benefits of drinking tea regularly include preventing blood clotting and lowering cholesterol level,” Dickson added.

Antioxidants are an important part of any diet.

“Antioxidants protect us from disease by binding harmful oxygen-containing molecules called free radicals and peroxides that otherwise could damage your DNA, cell membranes and other cell components,” Dickson added.

There are many different varieties of tea, all which are beneficial to the body.
“All tea - green tea, oolong tea, and black tea - is good for us. Green tea is high in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) which are highly effective antioxidants,” Dickson said.

“Black tea and oolong tea have less EGCg than green tea, but they have higher levels of theaflavins and thearubigens compounds which have been found to as effective antioxidants as EGCg, “ Dickson added.

Organic Tea
Organic tea offers a chemical free alternative for tea drinkers.

“Organic tea is free from chemical residues and their potential health risks. Organic tea also tastes better,” Dickson said.

However, there are some that should abstain from tea.

“Tea has caffeine which can cause insomnia or irritableness if too much is consumed. Children and pregnant women should restrict their consumption of caffeine,” Dickson said.

Some students drink tea on a regular basis.

“I drink tea a lot. My mom buys it for me at home and I know it is good for me,” Emily Miller, senior public relations major at Illinois State University, said.

Tea for Health
by Kristi Kawanna

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Friday, August 22, 2008

“Kwao Krua” inThailand is Pueraria mirifica

Pueraria mirifica is Thailand’s endemic species found mainly in the northern and western part of Thailand and has local name as “White Kwao Krua” or “Red Kwao Krua” or “Kwao Krua”. The Thai vine herbal plant is grown in association with the moderate-size trees ranking from timber wood to bamboo in the deciduous rain forest. The enlarge underground tuber accumulate “phytoestrogens” comprising isoflavone. The compounds that make Pueraria mirifica different from any other phytoestrogen- containing plants in the Family Leguminosae are Miroestrol and Deoxymiroestrol, which possess highest estrogenic activity among the known phytoestrogens due to structural similarity to estradiol.
Miroestrol was actually the first compound isolated from this plant by a group of German chemists in 1940, but the plant had been mistakenly reported then as Butea superba. It was later on classified as a new plant called Pueraria mirifica Airy Shaw et Suvatabhandu. The isolation and identification of deoxymiroestrol from the root of Pueraria mirifica has just been reported in the February 2000 issue of the Journal of Natural Products. The authors proposed that since deoxymiroestrol is easily oxidized to miroestrol, deoxymiroestrol, not the previously reported miroestrol, is more likely to be the actual chemical constituent of Pueraria mirifica. However, it is very likely that the two phytoestrogens coexist in the root of this plant. AS shown below, the chemical structures of the two compounds are very similar to that of estradiol, the main human estrogen.

In addition to miroestrol and deoxymiroestrol, Pueraria mirifica also contains other chemicals that belong to isoflavone and coumestran groups of phytoestrogens, e.g., Genistein, Daidzein, Daidzin, Genistin, and Coumestrol that are usually found in soybeans. (Table). However, the estrogenic activity of Miroestrol and Deoxymiroestrol is much more potent than that of soy isoflavones.

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Pueraria Mirifica Builds Up For Breast Produces Hormone In Menopause

Pueraria Mirifica Builds Up For Breast Produces Hormone In Menopause
A committee is appointed to study Pueraria mirifica. It is reportedly found to be efficient in building up the breast and working as a substitute hormone in Menopause women. The government sector is ready to revise the law for Pueraria mirifica to be a dietary reinforcement product. The result is expected to be known in 3 months.

Dr. Suraphong Suepwongli, the Deputy Minister of Public Health, has said that a meeting of the working group considering Pueraria mirifica, which consister of a group of researchers from Chulalongkorn University, the National Cancer Institute, the Institute of Dermatology, the Department of Medical Sciences, Mae Fa Luang University, etc., was held to determine whether or not it would be possible to promote Pueraria mirifica production as a topping industry for commercialized distribution, as a conclusion of which a national-level committee was set up to be in charge of pushing Pueraria mirifica, with Mrs. Khrueawan Somana, the Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Public Health, acting as the chairman of the working group for revising the law, since it lags far behind the laws of other countries. The meeting also arrived at a conclusion that Pueraria mirifica is clinically efficient in working as a substitute in menopause women and there is a trend that it will be used to build up the breast and to cure Alzheimer’s disease by generating a regrowth of cells.

As regards toxicity, there is a conclusion from the National Cancer Institute that Pueraria mirifica is non-carcinogenic and this conforms to a research finding of King Mongkut’s Hospital that Pueraria mirifica can also prevent cancer, so there came a conclusion that a national-level committee be set up to be in charge of pushing Pueraria mirifica, which will consider from research at a clinical and the revision of the medicinal herb law, because there is not yet any favoring law, and this law lags for behind the laws of other countries.

So far, we've uncovered some interesting facts about Pueraria mirifica. You may decide that the following information is even more interesting.

The patent question was extensively discussed, Dr. Suraphong said, because there is already a case of patent registration by a Thai. In fact, that is a patent registration seeking to concoct Pueraria mirifica as an ancient intellectual background. The focus at this moment is a process of turning the effective substance in Pueraria mirifica into a standard product and taking the process to register a patent, which a representative of the Department of Intellectual Property will be invited to joint in considering, and where possible, the patent will also be registered aboard.

Dr. Suraphong quoted Prof. Dr. Urusa Thepphisai, a researcher from Ramathibodi Hospital, as saying that Pueraria mirifica is registered as a traditional drug under the Drug Act, while in the United States of America Europe and Japan it is dietary reinforcement product. The Department of Medical Sciences, the Food and Drug Administration and the Institute of Thai Traditional Medicine have been ordered to collect group of ideas to revise the law within 3 months for the Cabinet to consider subsequently.

Pueraplus is a premuim grade Thai traditional herbal formula derived mainly from White Kwao Krua (Pueraria Mirifica) which contains Phytoestrogens (Natural Plant Estrogen). After many years of research from Thailand, the studies indicated that this herb shows estrogenic and rejuvenate effects to the female body especially at the breast, hip, facial skin, body skin, hair and vaginal epithelium. Thus elevate the appearance of the female secondary sexual characteristics and also the skin beauty.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Taiwan Tea Culture - Tea is Life

Taiwan is thoroughly immersed in tea. It is grown in every region and sold on every street corner. It is served during business negotiations, wedding banquets, and funeral services.

Tea is part of the social fabric of Taiwan. "Come in and drink tea," is a standard greeting to guests.

Tea tables are a standard feature of Taiwanese homes and businesses. Serving tea is a way to make guests and clients feel welcome.

Most Taiwanese drink tea every day. It is said that tea gives energy and vigor, and provides a feeling of comfort. A tea farmer from the Alishan district tells of a pet monkey that ran away, but returned three days later because it missed the tea its owner used to brew.

Tea is Culture

Although there is evidence of native wild tea, the beginnings of cultivated tea in Taiwan can be traced back more than 200 years, when tea bushes from mainland China's Fujian Province were brought to Taiwan.

Tea culture was also imported from China. The traditional gong-fu method of brewing tea is still used by most Taiwanese. It is ideally suited to oolong tea, the most famous type of Taiwan tea.

Tea is Community

In the past, tea was an important export commodity. Black tea was the first type of tea to be produced commercially, followed by green tea, and later Paochung tea and oolong tea. All types of tea were popular exports.

As Taiwan's economy grew, however, rising labor costs reduced the competitiveness of its tea exports. But even as exports fell, the domestic market for tea grew. The last 30 years or so has seen an increasing demand for local tea, so that currently tea exports account for just 20% of the total output.

Taiwan's high labor costs contributes to the rarity and expense of its high mountain tea. Despite this high cost, tea connoisseurs throughout the world appreciate Taiwan oolong as some of the finest tea in the world.

Global tea productions amounts to more than 2.5 million tons. Most of this (90%) is fully oxidized black tea, 8% is un-oxidized green tea, and 2% is semi-oxidized oolong tea. Oxidation refers to the natural chemical process that occurs when vegetable matter is exposed to air, causing it to darken.

The total global production of oolong tea is about 50,000 tons per year. The main growing areas are Taiwan and the mainland Chinese provinces of Fujian and Guangdong, although in recent years oolong tea has also been produced in Vietnam and Thailand. Taiwan has an annual output of over 20,000 tons, most of which is consumed locally.

The high quality of Taiwan tea is due to several factors. Perhaps the most important of these is Taiwan's unique climate. Taiwan is a sub-tropical country straddling the Tropic of Cancer, and its mountainous terrain provides ideal growing conditions for tea. The high mountain have cool, moist air which causes the tea to grow slowly, and this, combined with the fertile soil, produces tea leaves which are among the best in the world.

Taiwan also has a strong tradition of tea processing which originated in China's Fujian province but which has been adapted to local conditions. Tea production involves precise planting, careful selection, gentle rolling, and slow baking. Producing oolong tea is a lengthy process which must be closely monitored at each step.

Tea from Taiwan is pleased to offer a selection of fine oolong teas from the various tea-producing regions of Taiwan.

Copyright © 2008 by Ross MacIver

This article may be redistributed freely on the Internet or in ezines as long as the resource box and hyperlinks remain intact.

Ross MacIver is the webmaster of Tea From Taiwan, a Taiwan-based merchant of high-quality oolong tea. Taiwan produces the best oolong tea in the world. All the tea carried by Tea From Taiwan is hand picked and hand processed. The tea is shipped worldwide by Taiwan air post.
Taiwan Tea Culture - Tea is Life
Written by Ross MacIver
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Japanese Green Tea - A Look at Sencha And Gyokuro

Green tea, which is the second type that goes through the least processing, is most common in both China and Japan. Each country along with each Province or region produces some very interesting varieties, each with their very own characteristics! There is never only one type of green tea. There are in fact hundreds! In this article, we will have a look at the two very popular Japanese green teas.

About Japanese Green Tea
Japanese green tea differs when compared to its Chinese cousins. The way it is grown, cultivated, processed, and even the way it tastes remains distinctively separate. Green tea in Japan is just as popular as coffee is in America, and the Japanese people are very fond of this beverage. Although many tons are produced each year, nearly two percent of that is ever exported. As you can imagine, the Japanese are big tea drinkers! Did you know that Japan is one of the largest smoking nations, yet has the least amount of lung cancer cases? Could it be that the free radical combating power of green tea is responsible?

The liquor produced by most Japanese greens are usually a bright yellowish green, with higher quality varieties yielding an even more brillant green. The taste is generally more on the vegetal side, and is not as mild as with most Chinese varieties. It is more sensitive to boiling water and can easily burn and go bitter, so careful preparation is needed when steeping. Most Japanese teas only take about two minutes to release all of their flavor.

Now let us have a look at the two most popular varieties...

Sencha, meaning "infused tea" or "roasted tea", is the most common variety processed in Japan. Even though it has one name, there are hundreds of sub varieties, some which can cost hundreds of dollars for just one pound! This tea can make one feel relaxed and calm when consumed due to its high levels of Theanine, a natural amino acid. The taste as mentioned above will be on the vegetal side, but once the palate adapts will offer a sort of sweetness. This tea is far from tasting bad, if it did, would most of Japan's population drink it?

Although one of Sencha's meanings is referred to as a "roasted tea", today it has become practice to steam the leaves before allowing them to be air-dried and finally pan fired. Once completed, small dark green leaves with a powerful fresh scent is revealed. Before the processing, most leaves are harvested in the month of April, since it is this flush that offers the highest quality. While it is being grown, Sencha is subjected to a lot of sunlight; unlike the next tea we will discover...

This variety of green is considered Japan's finest, and is closely related to Sencha. Also, if you thought Sencha can be expensive your wallet may become a bit more shy at some of the prices Gyokuro is sold for. It is not unheard of for folks to spend over a thousand dollars for a pound of the rarest tea!

Now unlike Sencha, Gyokuro (or jade dew), spends a portion of its life in the shade under special tarps that are designed to keep the leaves out of direct sunlight. This results in leaves that turn out even darker than Sencha, and produce a cup that is slighter sweeter and with more of a fuller body. Like all Japanese tea, Gyokuro requires a careful steeping temperature or else the flavor can be compromised. In fact, it is recommended that it steeps at a cooler level than Sencha. This may seem like a small nuance, but it is crucial for that perfect cup!

This tea has many sub varieties as well, and like Sencha, will be set at different prices according to the way it was processed, and even which tea farm it came from. But even an average-priced cup would please the taste buds! This green tea is fancied by many the world over.

Japan does process other varieties of tea, but it is Sencha and Gyokuro that are the two most popular. Others are, "Matcha", "Genmi Cha", and "Houjicha" (sometimes spelled "hojicha"), and while they may not cost as much as some of our top two contenders, will each produce a cup that is truly flavorsome and unique!

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Lagundi benefits, Uses of Lagundi (Vitex negundo)

Lagundi benefits : Lagundi (Vitex negundo) Uses

Lagundi (Vitex negundo)
Common names: Dangla (Ilokano); five-leaved chaste tree, horseshoe vitex.

Indications and preparations: Leaves and flowering tops decoction, syrup, tablets and capsules for coughs, colds, fever and asthma.

Family: Verbenaceae

Description: A shedding shrub or small tree up to 8 m tall, bark surface slightly rough, peeling off in papery flakes, pale reddish-brown. Leaflets 3-5, narrowly elliptical Fruit spherical to broadly egg-shaped, 3-6 mm long, purple or black when mature.

Ecological distribution: Found in humid places or along watercourses, in waste places and mixed open forest. Eastern Africa and Madagascar to Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, throughout the Malesian region, east to the Palau Islands, the Caroline Islands and the Mariana Islands. Widely cultivated in Europe, Asia, North America and the West Indies.

Parts used: Leaves and flowering tops.

Traditional uses Lagundi:

roots and leaves – for pain, bitter tonic, expectorant and diuretic;
sap from crushed leaves – for coughs and sore throat;
leaf decoction – for wounds, ulcers, aromatic baths, and internally to promote the flow of milk, to induce menstruation, against gastric colic, and against flatulence.
seeds – boiled and eaten to prevent the spread of toxins from poisonous bites of animals;
flowers – for diarrhea, cholera and liver disorders

Special precautions: Make sure to have the five-leaved varieties, as there are other varieties of lagundi.

Lagundi Syrup: A sweetened preparation from the leaves of Vitex negundo L.

Materials: cooking pot, ladle, cup strainer, medicine bottles, labels, lagundi leaves, sugar/honey, water.

Proportion: 1 cup chopped lagundi leaves to 1 cup water

Procedure Lagundi :

1. In an uncovered pot, prepare a decoction of the lagundi leaves.
2. Cool and strain.
3. Measure the amount of decoction that you produced. One-third of this volume will be the amount of sugar/honey that you are going to use.
4. Add your sweetener, stirring gently. You may put the mixture back on the stove, with low heat, until all he sweetener is dissolved/blended with the mixture. This is your syrup.
5. Transfer the syrup into the sterilized medicine bottles. Seal and label properly.
6. Store your bottled lagundi syrup in a clean, cool, dry place away from light.

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Coconut Milk Powder

Coconut Milk Powder brings convenience to the consumer. It makes getting clean, rich coconut milk fast and easy by simply adding hot water. It is ideal for puddings, desserts, rice cakes, exotic dishes such as curries, and beverages like the popular PiƱa Colada, coconut juice with nata de coco or tapioca, and other preparations needing varied concentrations of coconut milk.

Wilderness Family Naturals' Coconut Milk Powder is Kosher certified.
Our Coconut Milk Powder is 65% Coconut Oil (rich in the medium chain fatty acids for which coconut oil is famous). There is a small amount of maltodextrin used as a carrier with a trace of sodium casinate used to keep the oil from separating out of solution.

This powder makes the most delicious coconut pudding and coconut ice cream.

To make a thick rich pudding take 1/2 cup of the coconut milk powder and 1/2 cup of warm/hot water. blend well. Then add an additional 1/2 cup of powder until it is blended. Keep doing this until you have added between 3 and 4 cups of the coconut milk powder. Place this in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. It will be a delicious pudding you will love. If you freeze this, it will not crystallize but rather turn into a soft serve ice cream.
Since this is the coconut milk without the moisture, you can control when you make a curry, pudding, or sauce just how rich and thick it will be. Many people who use coconut milk a lot in the kitchen prefer the coconut milk powder for this reason.

coconut ice cream.
To make a thick rich pudding take 1/2 cup of the coconut milk powder and 1/2 cup of warm/hot water. blend well. Then add an additional 1/2 cup of powder until it is blended. Keep doing this until you have added between 3 and 4 cups of the coconut milk powder. Place this in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. It will be a delicious pudding you will love. If you freeze this, it will not crystallize but rather turn into a soft serve ice cream.

Since this is the coconut milk without the moisture, you can control when you make a curry, pudding, or sauce just how rich and thick it will be. Many people who use coconut milk a lot in the kitchen prefer the coconut milk powder for this reason.

Dip for Fresh Vegetables
8 servings
10 minutes to prepare
1 tsp Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Sweet Chili Sauce
1/2 cup Peanut Butter, Crunchy
1/4 cup Coconut Milk Powder
2 medium Carrots, cut into chunky sticks
4 sticks Celery, cut diagonally into thick slices
1 Lebanese Cucumber, cut into thick sticks
1/2 cup Water, boiling

Place peanut butter, water, coconut milk powder, soy sauce and chili sauce in tall jug. Mix with hand held blender till smooth. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Place dip into 2 cup serving bowl on large platter. Surround with cold crisp vegetables.
Nutritional Information (per serving)

Carbohydrate 8.2
Dietary Fiber 2.7g
Energy (cal) 150cals
Energy (kj) 625kj
Fat 11g
Protein 4.5g

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Premenstrual syndrome and What are the Herbal Remedies for PMS?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) involves symptoms that occur in relation to the menstrual cycle and which interfere with the woman's life. The symptoms usually begin 5 to 11 days before the start of menstruation. Symptoms usually stop when menstruation begins, or shortly thereafter.
As many as 75 percent of women, during their reproductive years, experience some of the common symptoms associated with PMS. In general, women most likely to experience PMS symptoms are between the ages of 20 and 40 -- and particularly women from this age group who have one child and have a history of depression in their family.

An exact cause of PMS has not been identified. However, it may be related to social, cultural, biological, and psychological factors. PMS can occur with apparently normal ovarian function (regular ovulatory cycles).
PMS remains an enigma because of the wide-ranging symptoms and the difficulty in making a firm diagnosis. Several theories have been advanced to explain the cause of PMS. None of these theories has been proven. Among the reigning theories are those relating to alterations in the levels of sex hormones, brain chemicals, and opioid peptides:
Sex hormones: PMS has been thought (since the 1930's) to be due to decreased production of sex hormones by the ovaries after ovulation has taken place (in midcycle, or days 7-10 into the menstrual cycle). To date, this theory is still unproven.
Neurotransmitters: Alterations in sex hormone levels at around the time of ovulation have also been thought to cause PMS. The changes in sex hormone levels affect certain brain chemicals which, in turn, bring about the mood changes of PMS. Serotonin and tryptophan, which function as neurotransmitters in the brain, have been shown to create PMS-like symptoms experimentally. These two chemicals have profound effects on mood and emotion.
Opioid peptides: These are substances possessing some properties of opiate narcotics but not derived from opium. They are also brain chemicals known to affect mood. The concentration of these compounds in the brain tissue can fluctuate in response to the hormones produced by the ovaries. Because of genetic differences, some women can be more susceptible to these chemical changes in the brain and suffer more severe symptoms.
It is believed that lifestyle may play a significant role in PMS. This is because PMS symptoms appear to be most troubling in women who smoke, lead stressful lives, rarely exercise, sleep too little or whose diet is high in caffeine, alcohol, salt, red meat or sugary foods such as chocolate or candy. However, it's not clear whether these factors increase your risk of PMS or if PMS accounts for these differences in lifestyle. For example, studies looking at the influence of stress do not find a relationship between stress and the severity of PMS. It is more likely that PMS causes stress rather than that stress causes PMS.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Premenstrual tension syndrome

SYMPTOMS PMS often includes both physical and emotional symptoms. Common symptoms are:
Breast swelling and tenderness
Fatigue and trouble sleeping
Upset stomach, bloating, constipation or diarrhea
Appetite changes or food cravings
Joint or muscle pain
Tension, irritability, mood swings, or crying spells
Anxiety or depression
Trouble concentrating or remembering

Herbs of choice Herbs are often used in combinations when combating an illness. Some of the most frequently used herbs are listed below. These nine herbs were picked up from different herbal combinations and are not meant to form a recipe. Our reference code for the different combinations of herbs used for this condition is GPS. This listing is not meant to diagnose, only to inform. This is of course not a complete list and is not meant to be used in the place of a doctor's advice. Click the image of each herb for a brief introduction in terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
What are the Herbal Remedies for PMS?
Traditionally, Vitex (Chaste tree, Monk?s pepper) has been used for controlling Menstrual Disorders. The part used is the vitex stem. Vitex stem acts upon the pituitary gland?specifically on the production of a hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH), which indirectly increases progesterone production and helps regulate the menstrual cycle. Vitex is taken orally in form of capsules or liquid, depending on the available product.
Tea made up of Yarrow plant is also traditionally considered very beneficial. It has anti-inflamatory properties and helps in menstrual disorders. Tea can be prepared by boiling yarrow leaves in water for 10-15 minutes. It can be taken 2-3 times in a day to get relief.
Dashamoola is an ayurvedic composition of ten roots for treatment menstrual disorders.It has an anti-inflammatory effect and is considered vey effective in bronchitis, cough, headache, weakness, drowsiness and digestive problems. It is available in different forms - tablets or liquid(wine made from these herbs).
Cinnamom is traditionally recommended to get relief from menstrual cramps. A teaspoon of cinnamon can be taken with a glass of warm milk.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Redbush Tea - You Wont Believe It!

Commonly called South African red tea or simply red tea or bush tea, the product has been popular in South Africa for generations.

Now rooibos tea is consumed in many countries around the world.

It is naturally calming, it contains no calories which is good if you are watching your weight, can be enjoyed without sugar as it has no bitterness, contains no colorants, additives or preservatives.

Redbush tea is full of iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, so it can help to restore the body's natural balance after a stress day at work.

Rooibos tea is an excellent source of antioxidants and it's packed with health-boosting polyphenols.

If you can't sleep

Just make this tea, add some milk and sugar and you'll drift into deep restful sleep until morning.

If you have a cold or flu

Again serve it with or maybe without milk, add lemon and honey and there you'll have a perfect soothing refresher.

If you have a busy, warm day

Try Redbush tea as a refreshing iced drink served with honey or if you like add some fruit juice and serve with ice cubes.

If you drink Rooibos tea daily you may:

- Reduce anxiety and aid restful sleep
- Help relieve tired legs and may help muscle cramps
- Help fight free radicals
- Help to soothe stomach cramps
- Help manage allergy especially hay fever
- Boost the immune system
- Sooth skin irritation ( you can apply directly to the affected area)
- Maintain healthy teeth and bones
- Help improve memory
- Regulate bowel movements
- Reduce your blood pressure

This lovely tea also acts as a digestive aid and anti-spasmodic, thereby relieving stomach cramps and colic in babies.

What is good is that there are no side effects so it can be drunk freely. As it contains no caffeine, it is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and young children.

How to make you perfect cup of Redbush tea

In a teapot or mug with boiling water add some Redbush bags or just one for a mug.

Leave to infuse for 2-3 minutes, but you can leave it for more, because if is steeped for 5 minutes antioxidant activity increases significantly! Then pour yourself a cup, sit back and enjoy!
You can also prepare in a microwave oven.

For a single mug or cup, place a Redbush tea bag in a cup of cold water and microwave at maximum power for 2 minutes.

Don't forget. Redbush is delicious with cold or hot milk, with lemon or simply on its own. It can be sweetened with sugar or honey but believe me it is naturally so sweet.
I can't praise it enough."

Let's just say- Redbush can be reheated without becoming bitter or losing any flavour.

Enjoy it!

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Chinese Tea Sets and Accessories

I've always enjoyed tea sets in general, and Chinese tea sets are no exception! These fine products are completely authentic and even "picture" authentic Chinese scenes or pictures on them such as red dragon, peonies, the great wall, lotus, etc. These pieces really are incredible to look at, as well as use. Some of these tea pots even include an ancient process called "Inner Painting." This process is a painting on the inside of the tea pot or other item. I've seen this done on YouTube once and it's a really amazing process!

Some other tea accessories that might interest you:

- Teapots: Porcelain, Purple sand
- Tea pets: Hop toad, Four expressions
- Tea caddy: Pewter, Colored glazed, Porcelain
- Tea bowls and cups: Porcelain, Purple sand, Golden Dragon
- Kung Fu tea accessories: Ceremony sets, Wooden display table

These really are a sight for sore eyes and worth checking out. Prices range from a few dollars to low hundreds for specialty items like the tea caddies and tea pots. Of course this should be expected when buying anything that's of high quality and made from high quality materials. If your looking for items like the ones listed above or you have something else in mind, check out some of the sites below. Here's the list:

TeapotMart - Teapots, accessories, mats and more
AncientMoods - Chinese tea sets and mats
EnjoyingTea - Tea sets, teapots, tea cups, accessories, gift ideas
MangoGifts - Sake sets, tea sets, dishes, cups
GreatChinaProducts - Sake sets, tea sets, cups and mugs, bowls

These products are good for tea parties as well as every day use, which maybe can't always be said about American or English type tea sets. Sometimes American made or English made sets corrode after time or chip after a few uses, or are only good for "show." With the above Chinese items, they can actually be used without you having to worry if they will with stand time! Oh and by the way while you're on most of these sites they also have a "tea section" where you can order different Chinese teas as well as your teapot or accessory so check these out as well. One of my favorite teas besides Early Grey, and Green tea is something called "Oolong." So check that out as well if it's available on the site!

Good luck in finding the perfect oriental tea set or accessory for yourself! Theres tons of products to choose from so you shouldn't have any problem finding the perfect item!

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Bulgarian Recipes

Bulgaria is a Balkan country, located in southeastern Europe. The country has a unique cuisine, which combines influences from Bulgaria's native Slavic culture, as well as influences from the cuisines of neighboring Greece and Turkey. Additionally, some people say that can detect other influences too in Bulgarian cuisine - such as Hungarian influences, and Mediterranean influences such as Italian.

Some popular Bulgarian reciopes include:

Shopska salad - This is a traditional Bulgarian salad made using diced vegetables. Typically it contains cucumbers, onions, peppers (either roasted or raws), and tomatoes. It is usually topped with diced or grated sirene (a white Bulgarian cheese somewhat similar to feta).

Shkembe chorba - This is a traditional Bulgarian tripe soup. Some people consider a national treasure, whereas to others it is uncouth or even vulgar. The soup is made using the stomach lining of a cow, milk, vinegar, garlic and chili peppers.

Tarator - This is a cold soup that is served chilled or even with ice. It contains cucumbers, nuts, and yoghurt, as well as vegetable oil or water. It is flavored using garlic and dill.

Soujouk - A spicy beef sausage. It contains quite a high fat content, and hence can be cooked in its own juices without the addition of oil.

Sarma - A rolled leaf containing meat, rice and onions.

Selska turshiya, Tsarska turshiya - Combinations of pickled vegetables.

Gyuvetch - A beef and vegetable casserole.

Garash - A walnut cake with cream and bitter chocolate frosting, and then covered with chocolate icing.

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Eating The Right Foods

The biggest problem with most people gaining weight is due to the quantity of food they consume.

That sounds obvious but you need to understand that there is often a good reason why some people feel the need to consume larger quantities of food than others and in doing so become overweight.

It all relates to the types of foods that we eat and their nutritional value. If you eat foods that are low in nutritional value they will leave you wanting more because they haven’t delivered the nutrients required to supply you with the energy you need and they haven’t satisfied your appetite.

They have left you feeling hungry and it is human nature to eat more food until that hunger goes away.

If you were to eat the right foods your nutritional needs would be met and you wouldn’t feel hungry. If you didn’t feel hungry you wouldn’t continue to eat and that in turn would ensure that you didn’t gain excess weight.

You can understand now why fast foods are responsible for the high incidence of weight problems due to the simple fact that they aren’t delivering the essential nutrients that the body needs.

By making some simple changes to the foods that we eat and replacing those foods that are low in nutrition with more appropriate foods for healthy living it becomes a lot easier to maintain a good bodyweight without having the burden of hunger to contend with.

The problem with most diets is the fact that they are just too hard to maintain for any amount of time and this shouldn’t be the situation as hunger is not supposed to be a part of a balanced lifestyle.

Good food in good quantities will help you to maintain a healthy bodyweight and you will feel satisfied after your meals.

Thank natural to make herbals for good life!

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Caffeine Content in Green Tea

Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world next to water. It has a history that spans centuries, and it is still widely consumed in many countries in Asia. Generations of people have enjoyed green tea because of its health benefits. Today, it has gradually gained popularity in many western countries as people look for a healthy alternative to coffee, without all the caffeine.

Low Caffeine
Green tea contains about 30mg of caffeine per 8oz. (240ml) cup. Compare this to a cup of regular brewed coffee, which contains around 100mg. In a report published by the John Hopkins University of Medicine, it was revealed that of the 80-90% of the North American population that consumes caffeine, on average 280mg is consumed per day. This caffeine comes from consuming coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate products. The university also reported that an over-consumption of caffeine (over 200mg), could result in nervousness, anxiety and an upset stomach. If we follow the recommendations to consume up to and not over 200mg of caffeine, that equates to 2 cups of coffee, or about 1 cup of coffee and a couple of cans of soft drink. With this guide in mind, we can safely consume 5-6 cups of green tea a day.

The report also suggests that despite the low caffeine content in green tea, people with anxiety disorders, insomnia and pregnant women should reduce their intake or stop consuming green tea altogether.

Green Tea for Health
These days you can often find decaffeinated green tea in your supermarket or specialty stores. Unfortunately during the process of removing the caffeine from green tea, the flavour is also altered. This is why in Japan, where so many people drink green tea, that decaffeinated green tea is almost impossible to find in any supermarkets or stores.

It is also thought that by removing the caffeine content in green tea, much of the health benefits are also lost from the polyphenolic content.

There are some simple ways to reduce the caffeine content in green tea. The first way would be by brewing the leaves or tea bag for just 1 minute (compared with the normal 2 minutes). The other way would be to just discard the first cup of brewed tea, and drink the second and third brewing only.

Moderation is the key to consuming anything in life, and the same can be said for green tea. The great thing with green tea is it contains so many healthful properties and still contains the right balance of caffeine, so we can refresh and energize without experiencing the irritability and anxiety which can often happen with coffee.

Thank natural to make herbals for good life!

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