November 18, 2008

Sage

Sage (Salvia officinalis, Salvia grande or Garden Sage) is a perennial herb which is widely used both in cooking (in particular, to flavor various dishes with meat, omelets, soups, cheese, etc.) and in herbal medicine as an effective antiseptic and natural antibiotic. The herb received its name Salvia Officinalis from Latin Salvere – to heal, and such known ancient physicians as Hippocrates and Pedanius Dioscorides studied therapeutic properties of sage. In the Roman Empire, sage was considered to be a “sacred herb”, because it could create and save human life. A sage tea was believed to help women to conceive, as well as to be a perfect tonic for body and mind and a refreshing beverage associated with wisdom, clear thinking, being in good humor and good health. Read the rest of this entry »


Oolong tea found its place on European and American markets quite recently, however, it was known for centuries by famous tea masters in China and Japan as a great source of health and a very delicious and refreshing beverage with strong specific aroma. In modern times, oolong tea is earning its fame in our countries for its low caffeine content and its excellent properties to stimulate fat burning processes in our body. Moreover, oolong tea is claimed to combine the best qualities of both black and green teas. Is this true?

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea first was produced in China in the epoch of the Ming Dynasty – about 400 years ago. The specifics of oolong tea production is processing tea leaves right after picking. First, newly picked tea leaves are placed to rest under the sun, then they are being bruised and shaken on the air in order to fasten oxidation, and then they are left to dry. About 2 hours later, the leaves are being roasted, a little fermented and possibly scented with various fragrances. As a result we receive a therapeutic tea with beautiful flavor.

You can find a great variety of modern oolong teas, starting from lightly-fermented leaves and ending with dark semi-fermented leaves, starting from dark Floral Ti Kuan Yin and ending with delicate Tung Ding Jade Oolong. A great deal of oolong teas available in today’s market are enriched with various aromas and flavors, including jasmine, orchid, vanilla, almond, grapefruit, peach, orange and other fruits.

A Cup of Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is claimed to have a lot of therapeutic properties for your health, however, not all popular myths about the benefits of this tea are scientifically proven. There is a great interest of scientists and medical researchers to this popular herbal remedy, and below you can see a summary of the most recent scientific findings connected with the effects of oolong tea on people’s health.

  • The researches leaded by Dr. K. Yanagimoto from the University of California demonstrated that oolong tea is an excellent antioxidant, that is why it can assist in fighting with such diseases as arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, skin cancer and many other problems connected with aging. Oolong tea can increase antioxidant level in your body in a natural way.
  • There was a great deal of studies on the effects of oolong tea on fat burning and weight loss. Experts from the University of Tokushima School of Medicine (Japan) proved that regular oolong tea consumption can stimulate fat burning process, and specialists from the Suntory Research Center in Japan found that drinking oolong tea can help lowering the fattening effects of the carbohydrates we receive with food.
  • A research of the specialists from the Department of Nutrition, University of Tokushima and the Suntory Research Center resulted in finding scientific evidences that oolong tea can increase metabolic rate in men and energy metabolism in women.
  • The researches which took place in Aichi Medical University proved that drinking oolong tea can help in lowering our LDL (bad) cholesterol level, and polyphenols, containing in oolong tea, have positive effects on our arteries and must be considered a good support for the function of our cardiovascular system.
  • Oolong TeaAlso, Japanese scientists reported that drinking 3-4 cups of oolong tea a day can assist in fighting with eczema.
  • Another group of Japanese scientists from Shiga University of Medical Science discovered that regular drinking oolong tea can help to get rid of skin problems and improve skin color in short periods of time.
  • Experts from the Department of Dentistry at Osaka University claim that oolong tea is very effective for strengthening our teeth enamel and preventing tooth decay.
  • Finally, a study publicized in 2004 in the scientific periodical Antioxidants & Redox Signaling found that regular consumption of oolong tea can result in stronger immune system and improved abilities of our body to resist various inflammatory diseases, including cold and flu.

In some certain situations, when we need to do everything possible in order to mobilize our energy and get ready for some serious mental work, everyone has own trick to get focused and start producing bright ideas. Some of us use energy drinks, some prefer a cup of very strong tea or coffee, some start eating a lot of chocolate.  Such “exercises for the brain” are usually harmful to our overall health and can lead to chronic insomnia, nervousness, fast heart rhythm and problems with blood pressure. Recently, our healthcare specialists created a list of natural products recommended for those who need to keep their brain in maximum tonus. Incorporate these foods into your daily diet and you will always be in a good shape for brainstorming and win glory for your remarkable creativity!

  • WalnutWalnuts. You know that walnut halves even visually remind brain convolutions. Walnuts contain lecithin, one of the most important components, which produces the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and fastens signal-transmission between brain cells. This way, lecithin can improve our brain power and memory, as well as slow down harmful processes in our brain connected with aging, and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Eating 2-3 walnuts a day will be enough to stimulate our brain, but you must remember that this natural product has a lot of calories and must not be consumed in great amounts.
  • Pumpkin SeedsPumpkin Seeds. This product is a unique deposit of zinc, an important element, which is stored in our brain and needed for proper work of almost all our body systems. Zinc helps to improve our thinking skills and enhance our short-term memory, and a lack of zinc in our body usually brings to lower cognition and poor concentration abilities, especially in stressed conditions. Basically, even 100 gr of pumpkin seeds is enough to provide our body with necessary amounts of this element.
  • BlueberriesBlueberry. These berries are considered the richest source of powerful antioxidants antocianines, which can protect our brain from age-related diseases. If you enrich your diet with this delicious natural product, you will certainly improve your short-term memory, coordination and navigation skills. Chemical compounds found in blueberries assist in supporting neurotransmission, improving elasticity of your blood vessels and normalizing your blood circulation.
  • SpinachSpinach. This very useful green-leaved food is a prefect brain tonic, which can protect our brain from the effects of oxidative stresses, effectively “recharge” our memory and prevent all age-related problems with our memory and brain function. Spinach also contains such substance as lutein, a natural bioactive element, which protects our brain cells from premature aging and death. The specialists recommend everyone to eat Spinach (especially Spinach Omelet) minimum three times a week in order to keep our brain and cognitive functions in a good shape.
  • BlackcurrantsBlackcurrant. First of all, this natural product is a great source of Vitamin C, which is responsible for antioxidant protection and helps our brain work good. Besides, many studies (in particular, the researches of the Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand) showed that black currants can successfully prevent Alzheimer’s disease, caused by protein deposits in the brain. Black currants contain antioxidants, antocianines and polyphenols. These substances support our body by lowering the amounts of free radicals, help to prevent age-related problems in our brain and avoid Alzheimer’s disease.
  • FishFish (salmon, trout, sardine, etc.). Fish is another important natural product, which can substantially decrease the risks of having Alzheimer’s disease. Fish is the source of omega-3 fatty acid, an important chemical component of our brain cells that contributes greatly to reducing brain inflammation, regulates cholesterol balance in our blood, assists in improving blood flow to the brain and stimulating normal work of our arteries, etc. Experts argue that eating just 100 g of fish every day can substantially improve our mental reactions and cognition.
  • Cacao BeansCacao products. Therapeutic properties of unprocessed cacao beans for human brain are known since the times of the Aztec Empire! However, a great deal of people are convinced that sweet products containing cacao (like chocolate) are useful for our brainwork. No way, this must not be an excuse for millions of chocolate lovers! Only the products with minimally processed cacao have positive effects on our brain. Cacao beans contain flavonoids, which seriously decrease the risks of having cardiovascular disease, improve blood flow to the brain and protect against oxidation. Experts suggest aged people to drink a cup of cacao every day in order to avoid arterial sclerosis.
  • TomatoesTomatoes. This natural product contains lycopene, a special phytochemical substance and a powerful antioxidant that assists in boosting the abilities of our body to fight with free radicals and reducing the risk of developing clogged arteries. Tomatoes are also high in melatonin, which helps to avoid various negative processes in our brain connected with cell aging and keep our mind sharp and clear. Finally, such elements as flavonoids help keeping our blood vessels in a good condition and prevent developing heart problems and heart disease. Remember that in order to get maximum positive effects, it is better to eat cooked tomatoes.
  • BroccoliBroccoli. Broccoli is one of the most valuable green vegetables, which has to be considered a true superfood for its high content of nutrients, useful natural elements and various vitamins. This product was found to have a lot of Vitamins B and K which are necessary for effective brainwork. According to the studies of the British specialists from King’s CollegeLondon, broccoli boosts our memory, attention and abilities to concentrate, as well as helps us to keep off neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Olive OilOlive Oil. This natural product contains monosaturated oleic acid necessary for proper and flexible function of our brain. Fatty acids containing in brain cell membranes provide such structural flexibility for brain activity, and also protect our brain from possible age-related malfunctions and diseases. It was noticed that Italian senior people, who have a lot of olive oil and olive products in their daily diet, are less likely to display cognitive decline than the people, who consume less olive oil and less products containing monosaturated fatty acids. Besides, the ingredients of natural olive oil help to lower blood pressure, decrease bad cholesterol level in our blood, as well as keep our hair, nails and skin in a very good condition.
  • SageSage. Herbal teas with sage are recommended to those who need to improve their memory. Recent researches carried out in the MedicinalPlant Research Center at Newcastle and Northumbria confirmed that sage oils have properties to inhibit the activity of certain amino acids responsible for memory loss. Sage is also known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is an effective herbal treatment which can improve the function of our nervous system, quicken our senses and enhance short-term memory.

 

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Holistic medicine has recently paved a way into today’s health fields. Many people are now combining both eastern and western medicines in every day practices. Those that are interested in doing this, may consider a Concordia online masters degrees.


October 26, 2008

BeerBeer is one of the most popular and fashionable drinks which contains a great amount of natural elements. Millions of people like beer, thousands of those drink it almost every day, and hundreds of those are sure that they are doing right! They are convinced that beer has a lot of minerals and vitamins, which are, undoubtedly, very useful for our body and can promote healthy life. Is it possible to call beer “a natural remedy”? I say, no! No way! Never! See the myths and facts about beer – and be the judge. Read the rest of this entry »


October 24, 2008

There is a special branch of today’s phytotherapy called diet herbal medicine, which can offer many potent solutions to those who struggle to shed some extra lbs. Diet herbal medicine uses various kinds of herbs, plants and their extracts in order to create effective mixtures, herbal teas and preparations, which can activate certain processes in your body and assist in combating weight problems. However, specialists emphasize on the fact that herbal remedies for weight loss should be used and expected to bring positive effects only in combination with other techniques of weight loss, such as physical exercises, eating a rich and healthy diet, avoiding junk food, and so on.

Weight ControlIn other words, if you only drink your slimming herbal teas or use special herbal formulas for weight loss, it would be difficult to achieve the desired results. However, herbal remedies and mixtures can be very useful for losing weight in many ways. Some herbs can help to keep you appetite under control, some help with intensifying your metabolism and can be your allies in burning fat, some can lower your bad cholesterol level and some can assist in getting rid of food wastes. Read the rest of this entry »


Valerian extract is one of the most popular and safest herbal sleep aids, which has been used worldwide for many centuries. Valerian is the most valued for its sedative, relaxing and hypnotic effects, that is why it is considered an effective natural treatment for depression, stresses, insomnia, nervousness, anxiety disorders and other neurological problems. Traditionally, phytotherapistst used herbal preparations and mixtures of Valerian root with other sedative herbs (like Melissa offcicnalis, Anise seed, St. John’s wort or Chamomilla recucita) as herbal teas to promote sleep. Such teas used to be of a great aid in improving sleep patterns, decreasing the number of night wakings, reducing motor activity at night, and so on. Read the rest of this entry »


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