Posts Tagged ‘Tea’

Natural Memory Boosters

February 1, 2010 Written by JP

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a mind like Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Leonardo Da Vinci or Socrates? It’s an intriguing daydream to “guesstimate” what we could accomplish if only we had greater cognitive faculties. But at the end of the day, we’re all at the mercy of our genetic blueprint, environment and upbringing. That is unless you’re willing to dig deep in order to try to stretch your mental boundaries. There are, in fact, certain steps that can be taken by ordinary men and women to optimize brain function. I’m not claiming that it’ll turn an average Joe into a 21st century genius, but it just might give you enough of an edge to get further in life than you ever suspected. Read more »

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Posted in Food and Drink, Memory, Nutritional Supplements | 33 Comments & Updates

Pu-erh Tea

January 26, 2010 Written by JP

It’s a dark and rainy day here in southern California. The weather is just perfect for bundling up in warm clothes and steeping some Camellia sinensis leaves in my new glass tea pot. When most people think of tea black or green tea usually comes to mind. But have you heard of or tried pu-erh tea? This is an ancient brew that differs slightly from black and green tea but is sometimes erroneously classified as being the same. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Heart Health | 7 Comments & Updates

Theaflavins and Heart Health

January 25, 2010 Written by JP

As a big fan of movies, quotations from films are often in the forefront of my mind. One line of dialogue that’s made an indelible impression on me is from the 2005 box-office bomb, The Weather Man. In the film, the esteemed actor Michael Caine offers some prescient words of wisdom to his adult son, played by Nicolas Cage. “Do you know that the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing? Nothing that has meaning is easy. ‘Easy’ doesn’t enter into grown-up life”. That advice was given with regard to a failing marriage, but it I think it applies to almost every aspect of life and, quite specifically, to natural medicine. Read more »

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 10 Comments & Updates

Milk and Tea Controversy

December 29, 2009 Written by JP

When we go out with a group of friends, something kind of amusing often happens. During the course of the afternoon or evening, someone will pull me aside and bring up a health issue that they’ve read about or seen covered on the local news. “So what’s this I hear about coffee ‘curing’ diabetes?” “Is it okay to cook with extra virgin olive oil or should I just use it in salads?” “What’s the big deal about gluten?”. I love fielding these questions because it tests my knowledge and gives me a better idea of what kind of information is being spread over various media outlets. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Heart Health | 22 Comments & Updates

Herbal Tips and Updates

December 23, 2009 Written by JP

The work life of a writer tends to be quite solitary. I research on my own. I come up with topics in a committee of one. I even read the final drafts of my columns out loud to myself before I post them. That’s why I sometimes like to imagine that I work in a large advertising firm. Just like all the other worker bees, I’d have to march into the main conference room each morning and pitch my ideas to the “head honchos”. In that scenario, the one thing I can be sure of is this: If my material isn’t compelling enough, it won’t go into production. Read more »

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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Diabetes, Nutrition | 12 Comments & Updates

Herbal Tea Sleep Study

November 16, 2009 Written by JP

A common criticism of conventional medicine is that it’s too clinical. Some patients feel like they’re simply cogs in a massive medical machine that needs repair. This is one of the unintended consequences of relying too heavily on the cold, hard facts provided by science alone. On the other hand, alternative medicine can sometimes go too far in the other direction, allowing emotions to run the show. Several years ago I attended a conference in which the famed cancer patient advocate Dr. Bernie Siegel gave a presentation. He emphasized the importance of considering every available treatment option and understanding the reality of one’s condition. But he balanced that advice by adding this, “Statistics do not apply to individuals and there is no false hope”. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | 17 Comments & Updates

Soda Alternatives

September 24, 2009 Written by JP

Improving personal health and the health of our communities, countries and the world at large can take place one small step at a time. I was thinking about this the other day and I wondered whether there was a simple change that I could implement and suggest in order to do my part. Pretty much everywhere I go, I see people of all kinds drinking soda. The drinks range from high-calorie to no-calorie, loaded with caffeine or caffeine-free and artificially or naturally flavored. Some of the fizzy pop is as clear as water while other varieties are chemically enhanced to produce any color of the rainbow and beyond. But the one thing that these beverages have in common is that they always contains some questionable ingredients and virtually never provide any nutritional content. In my opinion, a health promoting alternative to such popular drinks is long overdue.
Read more »

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Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 17 Comments & Updates

Chocolate, Hot Tea, Lutein and Soy Updates

September 17, 2009 Written by JP

How you prepare food and the manner in which you consume it can make all difference. A healthy vegetable can easily be rendered into a health hazard by dipping it in batter and deep frying it in hydrogenated oils. On the other hand, marinating meat with aromatic herbs and spices and cooking it at the right temperature can prevent certain food-borne illnesses. These are a few of the more obvious examples. But looking a little deeper into the scientific literature reveals lesser known tips about how to get the most out of your dietary choices. Read more »

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Posted in Nutrition | 4 Comments & Updates

Mint Tea Warning

July 14, 2009 Written by JP

It seems as if so much of the information out there about natural medicine either glorifies or vilifies this long held tradition. The truth about holistic health care is difficult to come by because it’s often influenced by the prejudices of those interpreting the data. This same observation applies to me. I have a tendency to accentuate the positive aspects of natural healing techniques. I do this because there is science that supports my view, but also because most media outlets and the modern medical establishment tend to dismiss the validity of many alternative and traditional health practices. Having said that, I do try to present a balanced account of things. In doing so, I will occasionally bring to light certain precautions that I believe are warranted, even when using 100% natural remedies. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Women's Health | 232 Comments & Updates

Green Tea News

April 24, 2009 Written by JP

It’s not always easy to adopt new healthy habits. Sometimes we read about the benefits of a natural food or remedy and start implementing it. But, over time, it’s easy to become lax. Eventually the new healthy practice fades away. Part of the reason may be that we need reminders about why it’s important to be vigilant in our pursuit of wellness through the use of natural approaches.

Green tea is one example that fits into this category. It’s like a really good friend that lives thousands of miles away. The benefits of tea are always there for the taking, but are often neglected. Fortunately the scientific community continues to scatter reminders throughout medical journals that can help rekindle interest in this extraordinary tonic. It’s no accident that green tea is one of the most popular and historically significant beverages in human history.
Read more »

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Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | 13 Comments & Updates

Hot Tea Cancer Risk

March 27, 2009 Written by JP

You’ve probably heard or read news about how tea may help protect against cancer, diabetes, heart disease and a whole host of health related woes. It’s very possible that you’ve taken that information to heart and adopted a diet that regularly includes tea. That’s an excellent decision, but there is one caveat to this healthful practice: make sure not to drink your tea while it’s very hot. Read more »

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Posted in Food and Drink | 7 Comments & Updates

Hot Drinks for Colds

December 10, 2008 Written by JP

Sometimes the best remedies are the simplest remedies. Today’s topic is certainly an illustration of just that.

There’s a special center at Cardiff University that focuses on all things related to the common cold. Earlier today, The Common Cold Centre released a statement touting the benefits of drinking hot drinks. Hot drinks? Yes, hot drinks! Read more »

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Posted in Food and Drink | 4 Comments & Updates

The Many Benefits of Tea

December 5, 2008 Written by JP

The days are getting cooler and the nights are getting downright cold. So, this is the perfect time to adopt the healthy habit of drinking a soothing, warming cup of tea every day. And modern science is giving us more reasons than ever to brew up this hot cup of healing.

Of all the teas known to man, green tea is arguably the favorite among herbalists and scientists alike. The reason for this is because of its long history of medicinal use and its recent history as a scientifically proven superstar.

Green Tea

I want to draw your attention to some recent findings that just might encourage you to try some tea, even if you think you don’t like tea!

The Good News About Green Tea

  • A study published in November of 2008 showed that green tea lowered blood pressure and LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), decreased inflammation and also reduced oxidation in the body (which may slow the aging process). The amazing thing is that it accomplished all this in as short as three weeks.
  • Another recent study in the journal Obesity, found that a green tea beverage helped to promote weight loss in type 2 diabetics. This tea drink also helped improve insulin secretion and assisted in the maintainance of a low hemoglobin A(1c) level. These are both extremely desirable results.

It’s important to note that type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in the world. Drinking green tea regularly may help to stem that trend. And, it’s especially likely to do so if we can replace sugary drinks with this health promoting tea.

  • Another important revelation about green tea can be found in the journal, Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. In November, they published a study that found that high green tea consumption could lower the risk of colorectal adenomas by more than half. Colorectal adenomas are pre-cancerous growths that are generally removed for fear that they will develop into colon cancer.

For many people, one of the obstacles to drinking tea is that taste. But, there’s a natural and healthy way to get around that roadblock. All you have to do is brew the green tea with another type of tea that you enjoy. A few of my personal favorites include ginger tea and peppermint tea. The reasons why I use these particular teas are two-fold:

  1. I like the taste and they effectively mask the natural flavor of the green tea.
  2. They possess medicinal properties of their own. I’ll share some of that information below.

One other brief note: It’s wise to brew your green tea gently and for a short period of time (usually less than five minutes). If you “overbrew” your green tea, it will likely become bitter. Also, if you’d like to add a little no-calorie sweetness to your tea, simply sprinkle a very small amount of stevia to the mix.

The Good News About Ginger and Peppermint Tea

  • Ginger tea is proven heart tonic. A study in September of ’08 found that it effectively reduced LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Peppermint tea is a traditional remedy for the digestive system. In recent years, it’s even been shown to help those suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

To summarize: If you drink tea, good for you. Keep on enjoying it. If you don’t drink tea, please consider giving it a shot. Try the tips I’ve offered. They may just make drinking tea an enjoyable, as well as a healthful experience.

Here are the links to the studies I referenced:

Green Tea vs. Heart Disease

Green Tea vs. Colorectal Cancer

Green Tea vs. Diabetes

Ginger and Cholesterol

Peppermint Tea for Health

Be well!


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Posted in Food and Drink | 4 Comments & Updates