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Archive for August, 2009

Tea is good for the human body in so many different and wonderful ways.

If you are not a convert yet because you cannot seem to get your taste buds accustomed to tea then try a variety of types before you decide it is not for you. It would not even hurt to sample a variety of herbal teas such as ginger or chamomile to discover what each has going for it.

To get the absolute in healthy value that tea has to offer, take it black. In other words, skip the milk and definitely skip the sugar. Research studies have found that adding these substances to a cup of tea can block the effectiveness of it. Of course in most instances green and white are consumed without adding anything to them.

Let us return to the many reasons why tea time equals better health for you.

Fourth Reason
Tea contains antioxidants and vitamin E. Taken together this means that it helps with the antioxidation of cells. What does this mean for you? It means that the process of aging can be slowed down.

Fifth Reason
Tea is beneficial when it comes to cleaning out the intestines. Flavonoids called catechins in tea are very beneficial in the intestines because they destroy bacteria and help to ward off health conditions such as arteriosclerosis and gastric ulcers. Tea is also very calming to the stomach (think chamomile tea when you fly!).

Sixth Reason
Due to its high content of catechins (there is that wonderful word again!) found in green tea (but to a much lesser extent in black tea), tea can help block the accumulation of fat, especially in the abdominal region. The absorption of dietary fats is inhibited by the body in the digestive tract and the enzymes that metabolize fat that is stored in the body are activated. What this means is that any new fat you consume or any of your fat stores better look out! Tea has fat elimination on its busy agenda!

Seventh Reason
Tea is a natural source of fluoride because of the soil the tea plant grows in. This is very good news for the pearly whites you work so hard to maintain! Fluoride helps to keep the enamel of teeth strong and it works to prevent cavities. It also contains two very important minerals- calcium and magnesium- which when combined; work very well together to build strong and healthy teeth that would make anyone proud. As well, the antioxidants, in particular catechins, in tea go to work quickly to get rid of bacteria in the mouth that can lead to bad breath (also known as halitosis).

There are many more reasons than this why indulging in tea time is good for your body and your mind. For example, tea is particularly beneficial for women because it is believed to help ward off long-term memory loss as well as Alzheimer’s disease. This would be the eighth reason why you should make tea a part of your life and tea time an essential part of your schedule. To learn about the various benefits to becoming a regular tea drinker, visit these websites and then drink to your health!

http://50plus.com/Lifestyle/BrowseAllArticles/index.cfm?documentID=22061
http://www.teamuse.com/article_030501.html

Samantha

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Tea has many medicinal benefits that can improve your overall health and your well-being.

Are you a coffee drinker who has sworn never to defect to the opposite camp- that of the tea drinkers? If yes then perhaps you will reconsider after you discover the many health benefits that tea brings with it. Besides who says you can like one but not the other?!

The Goodness of Tea

Tea is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Don’t be offended coffee drinkers but a cup of tea contains less than half of the amount of caffeine found in coffee. As well, it is kinder to the digestive system and the body as a whole. Tea absorbs slowly into the body and does not have the same jolt to it as coffee does but it will keep your immune system in top notch working order and it will get your energy level up into the “I’m ready to take on the day!” frame of mind.

Tea comes from the tea plant (naturally). The technical term for the tea plant is Camellia sinensis. There are different types of tea and all are beneficial to your health. There is black tea, green tea, white tea and oolong tea. Black tea is fermented (that is what the process is called but in actuality the leaves are oxidized but fermentation does not occur). Green tea and white tea are not fermented and are said to boost the greatest benefits to health. Oolong tea which is the lesser known of the four types is semi-fermented and is a combination of the characteristics of both black and green tea. So in that way it is the better of the two tea worlds!

Why then should you indulge in what is considered to be the world’s most popular beverage? (Sorry coffee drinkers!) Why not? Read on and we will tell you.

First Reason
Tea is composed of a type of flavonoid called catechins. Catechins are antioxidants that can also be found in dark chocolate and red wine. Catechins are what strengthens the immune system and allows it to work at the top of its game. This is helped along by biotin (also known as vitamin H) which is a part of tea and is also instrumental in maintaining a healthy immune system.

Other benefits of flavonoids found in tea include:

•    prevention of damage to cells
•    prevention of heart disease
•    prevention of skin disease (and DNA damage caused by overexposure to UV rays)
•    reduces the risk of cancer

Second Reason
Vitamin D helps to build strong and resilient bones. Tea contains a fair share of this vitamin. Amino acids are also plentiful in tea and they work to build up protein levels in the body. This leads to stronger bones and muscles. It also contributes to healthier hair, a clear complexion, and fewer skin problems. As well, the amino acids are worthy opponents of many types of bacteria and viruses.

Third Reason
There is an antioxidant in green tea called EGCg which reduces the death of cells following a stroke or heart attack and it also speeds up the rate at which cells in the heart recover.  The abundance of flavonoids in green tea is also believed to decrease the build up of cholesterol in the arteries, thereby reducing the potential that coronary artery disease will occur. Tea also has tremendous anti-inflammatory properties and it improves the manner in which blood vessels do their job.

Do you need more reasons than given here to indulge in tea time? If yes then continue on to part two in my next blog post (and put the kettle on while you are at it!)

Samantha

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Adding olive leaf extract to your world is yet anther way to heal your health, not to mention your life, from the inside.

What is Olive Leaf Extract?

Olive leaf extract is a substance that can best be described as a natural antibiotic. Consuming a dose of olive leaf extract on a daily basis can benefit you in many ways. Olive leaf extract has anti-bacterial properties, as well as anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. A dosage of olive leaf extract will destroy bad bacteria, while at the same time, leaving the good bacteria intact.

The top ingredient in olive leaf extract that makes it so healthy is a bitter phytochemical compound by the name of oleuropein. Oleuropein is turned into olive leaf extract when it is taken from the Manzanillo and Mission olive trees.

A daily dosage of olive leaf extract can be helpful for adult males and females, as well as teenagers. It can also safely be given to youngsters who are 12 years of age and younger in a reduced dosage. Discuss this with your doctor before you go ahead and give it to your child.

The Many Benefits of Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf extract can do so many things to improve your health. It can fight off nasty viruses and bacteria that can lead to infections and diseases; it can boost your energy levels and it can give your skin an all over healthy glow! It is also very good for the heart. In fact the two could become best friends! Whether it is part of a supplement that contains vitamins and minerals or whether it stands alone, olive leaf extract can lower your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol level and can prevent hypertension.

Olive leaf extract is also capable of keeping many respiratory problems away from your body, including the common cold, the flu, sore throats, bronchitis and pneumonia. It is also helpful for the digestive process and can prevent or reduce intestinal muscle spasms.

In particular, olive leaf extract can lend the body a helping hand in four areas. These include:

Functioning of the Immune System– Helps to prevent the onset of diseases and helps the immune system to not become overwrought and exhausted.
Pathogen Control– Fights the undesired attack of bacteria, fungi, viruses, retroviruses and parasites (as previously mentioned).
Energy Assistance– Provides a boost to energy levels in a very natural manner. There are no manmade chemicals involved!
Promotion of a Strong and Healthy Heart– Supports and encourages the cardiovascular system in doing what it is meant to do, which is to send blood to every area of the body in an efficient manner.

Research studies have even found a link between consuming olive leaf extract on a regular basis and warding off diseases such as herpes and shingles. Another promising potential side to olive leaf extract is that research studies point to a link between olive leaf extract and a lessening in strength of the HIV virus.

While olive oil that you use in recipes is good for you, olive leaf extract is even better! Look for olive leaf extract at health food stores or vitamin stores or look for it in your local drug store or grocery store in the health section. Taking better care of yourself is closer than you think!

Samantha

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Ginger root is an herb that has been an important element of herbal medicine for over 2,000 years, especially when it comes to tummy troubles.

Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) was used in herbal medicine in places such as Asia, China, Arabia and India long before it reached western civilization. Westerners now embrace ginger root as an important component of natural healing. In particular it has been found to be especially beneficial in terms of relieving morning sickness in pregnant women as well as motion sickness for travelers.

Good News for Frequent Travelers

Research studies looking into how ginger works have discovered that it is effective for individuals who travel often, whether it be by plane, train, boat or car. If you are prone to motion sickness then you should take 1,500 milligrams of ginger approximately a half an hour before your take off time.

While ginger root in its pure form is the most desirable, capsules and tablets can also be taken. If you have none of these at your disposal then you can drink ginger tea. Even a 12-ounce glass of ginger ale (the soda pop) can help calm a nervous and upset stomach that is seeking relief.

If you are used to taking Dramamine for the undesirable symptoms of motion sickness then you might be pleased to know that ginger can work every bit as well as Dramamine, if not better. This is good news for frequent travelers!

In order for ginger to be as effective as possible it must be taken before your trip gets underway. The reason for this is that the body needs time to digest it. If you have already embarked on your journey, then ginger is not likely to be as effective at calming your stomach.

Don’t forget that trips involving going and coming! It would be a good idea to pack a bottle of ginger tablets or capsules with you for the return trip home.

Where to Buy Ginger Root

Ginger root can be purchased in grocery stores and health food stores alike. Look for pure ginger root in the produce department of grocery stores. Look for ginger capsules, tablets or powder in the vitamin or alternative health food aisle(s). Powdered ginger can be used to make ginger tea as can dried ginger. Powdered ginger also provides an excellent and tasty addition to many recipes, including casseroles, soups and chowders.

Ginger Root and Morning Sickness

Pregnant ladies who are suffering with morning sickness can drink either ginger tea, ginger ale or consume pure ginger root. They can also eat ginger snap cookies or ginger bread to obtain the relief they need. Powdered ginger is the best option for a pregnant woman. Consume ginger approximately four times on a daily basis and use 1/8 of a teaspoon of powdered ginger. Dried ginger root is not safe for women to ingest while pregnant so steer clear of this type of ginger. To prepare ginger tea, simply add a teaspoon of powdered ginger to a cup of boiling water.

If your stomach is upset following a meal then reach for one or two ginger snap cookies. Ginger can also be made into ginger bread. Both can be beneficial in terms of helping the digestive process go more smoothly. As well, both can be very tasty! It is important to note that ginger has a pleasant tasting flavor to it and is not sharp nor does it have a sting to it.

Next time your stomach is a little out of sorts, reach for ginger to bring you much needed relief!

Samantha

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Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine and natural healthcare that began in Germany in 1796.

The very first known practitioner was a German physician by the name of Samuel Hahnemann. Homeopathy is sometimes referred to as homeopathic medicine and is an alternative discipline that has been practiced across the United States since the beginning of the nineteenth century. People who practice homeopathy are called homeopaths.

The word “homeopathy” comes from the Greek root, homeo, which means similar while pathos means disease or suffering.

Key Points about Homeopathy

There are a few key points that are integral to the understanding of homeopathy. In the practice of homeopathy there is a core belief that everyone has energy inside themselves. This energy is known as the vital force. It is also sometimes referred to as being a self-healing response. It is strongly believed by homeopaths that when this vital energy in the body becomes disrupted in any way, health problems become the unfortunate consequence. The goal behind homeopathy is for the body to begin healing itself from within with its own healing mechanisms.

Homeopathic treatment takes an approach that is known as “like cures like.” What this means is that a patient is administered very small doses of substances that are able to produce symptoms that mimic sickness in otherwise healthy people when they are given the substance in much larger doses.

Are you thinking- huh?

The concept is a little difficult to comprehend so think of it like this- the homeopath seeks to encourage the defense mechanisms of the body to kick into high gear in order to prevent disorders and/or illnesses. When diseases or illnesses do invade the body, the defense mechanisms of the body will then work to treat the problem. The body is encouraged to heal itself. This is something that homeopathy has in common with other types of alternative medicine practices such as acupuncture and reflexology.

Some healthcare practitioners who are involved in conventional medicine practices also see the benefits of complementary and alternative medicine and choose to incorporate facets of each into their practices. Homeopathy is popular in some areas of the world but less so in others. It is not as widespread in the United States or Canada as it is in Europe.

Inconclusive Research Findings

There have been a number of different explanations as to how exactly homeopathy works to heal however it is important to note that there has been no scientific evidence to prove why it makes a difference. There have been research studies into the benefits of homeopathy and the results have been contradictory. Some studies have drawn the conclusion that there is not enough evidence to point to the effectiveness of homeopathy in clinical settings, however other studies have indeed found positive health results for the use of homeopathy despite the fact that there is no strong scientific evidence to back it up. In other words, use it at your own risk.

Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine that is best used in conjunction with Western medicine. It is not advisable to treat any type of health condition with homeopathy on its own, especially when it comes to serious diseases. Remember that it is a form of alternative medicine. Do not forget what alternative means. It gives you another option and another choice for treatment.

Homeopathy is yet another type of alternative treatment that has at its core, a desire to heal and make the body work as nature intended.

Becca

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If you are used to hearing the term “natural healing” and are not entirely sure what it means then let us enlighten you now.

Natural healing is a type of alternative medicine that just as the name implies, is a form of healing the natural way. Just turn the words around and you have it! Well not completely but it is a good start!

Natural Healing is…

Natural healing is often described using other words such as naturopathy, natural medicine or naturopathic medicine. It is defined as “an eclectic alternative medical system that focuses on natural remedies and the body’s vital ability to heal and maintain itself.”

Yes the body can heal itself if it is given the right materials and help to do so!

The philosophy behind natural healing and natural medicine is a holistic approach that supports the view that drugs and surgery should be used very little if at all when it comes to the process of healing.

Natural healing is made up of many disciplines of alternative medicine including diet and exercise, acupuncture, acupressure, relaxation methods (such as yoga and Tai Chi), hypnosis, chiropractic, herbalism, homeopathy, massage therapy, naturopathy, natural hygiene, reflexology, ayurveda medicine, aromatherapy, Kneipp therapy, nutripathy, sauna and a selection of others.

The word natural when it comes to natural healing makes reference to both the physical as well as the mental areas of the life experience. Natural healing is in no way connected to religion nor does it run counter to any religious beliefs. Instead it is concerned with promoting good health and wellness. Natural healing is an approach to healing that looks at a person as a whole. It takes into account the mind and body of an individual as well as their social and environmental surroundings

Natural healing is about self-healing and it is founded on the belief that a person has the ability to heal themselves from within. Natural healing works with an individual’s inner vital energy. Please note that natural healing is not meant to be a substitute for conventional Western medicine but instead is meant to complement it.

The History of Natural Healing

Natural healing came into being in the western world in the late 20th century. It was in Europe where the beliefs and concepts first took root. Natural and alternative therapies always were and continue to be, very popular in many areas of Europe and in fact many of these therapies are encouraged by medical practitioners and are covered, or partially covered, by health insurance plans.

Up until the 1750’s most health care came by way of self-care and natural health practitioners. While the Revolutionary War was going on between the years of 1775 and 1783, medical concerns were taken care of by lay practitioners and all health conditions from delivering babies to diseases to injuries were attended to by folk medicine practices.

Change was in the works when in 1830 a group of reformers and activists started the Popular Health Movement. One of the individuals involved in this movement was Frances Wright who believed that the medical situation at that time was in dire need of modifications and improvements.

Evolving from the Popular Health Movement were many new alternative health disciplines that would fall under the heading of natural healing. These included water therapy known as hydrotherapy, eclectic medicine (which was founded by Dr. Wooster Beech), herbalism (which came from the Thomsonianism of Samuel Thompson) and natural hygiene from the Orthopathy of Sylvester Graham and Isaac Jennings, MD.

Today natural healing encompasses so much more than it did in the beginning. For example Hypnosis is not only used for helping with relaxation but is also used in helping with weight loss and smoking cessation. Natural healing has grown by leaps and bounds and is more popular today than ever before. More and more people are coming to see the health benefits that come from embracing a new and alternative way of approaching healing from within.

Becca

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The magic question is what do bladder problems and cranberries have in common?

If you are stumped as to the answer then either you do not suffer from the discomfort of recurrent bladder infections or you already consume enough cranberries or cranberry juice on a regular basis to not to need to worry about it!

Cranberries are fruits that are excellent in the fight against bladder problems and a variety of urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most widespread of all bacterial related infections and next to respiratory infections, they are the number one reason that people visit their doctors’ offices. Antibiotics are usually the answer to bladder problems but when it comes to prevention, it is time to think cranberry juice. Cranberries are not just a food for the Christmas or Thanksgiving table!

Types of Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections can be broken down into three basis categories- urethritis, cystitis and pyelonephritis. The consumption of cranberries and/or cranberry juice cannot help urethritis because it is a viral infection and cranberries help to fight bacteria in the bladder.

On the other hand, both cystitis and pyelonephritis are bacterial infections that can benefit from the consumption of cranberry juice. Cystitis is the most common of all urinary tract infections and is particularly common in women. Cystitis brings with it discomfort in the abdominal area and sometimes in the lower back near the kidneys, as well as a frequent need to urinate.

Pyelonephritis is the most serious of all urinary tract infections. This type of infection begins in the bladder and if left untreated can make its way to the kidneys and cause damage once there. The symptoms of pyelonephritis include nausea, severe pain in the lower back, chills and fever.

Research Findings

Research into cranberries and how they can be eaten to help prevent bladder infections has been going on since the 1840’s.German researchers discovered a chemical in cranberries called hippuric acid that prevents bacteria from finding its way into the bladder and from there, attaching to the walls of the bladder and growing. There are high levels of benzoic acid to be found in cranberry juice and it is believed that that is what bacteria do not like to come into contact with.

Further studies in modern day such as the one conducted by researchers at Weber State University in Utah in 1994 have found that cranberry juice has the unique ability to inhibit the E. coli bacteria from affixing itself to the walls of the bladder as well as to individual cells. Cranberry juice sets up an unfriendly environment for the bacteria to live in. It is hypothesized by researchers that it is polymeric proanthocyanidins and fructose that give cranberry juice its antibacterial properties.

Consumption of Cranberry Juice

Cranberry (which is technically known as vaccinum macrocarpon) is best consumed by way of cranberry juice but for those who do not enjoy the taste, cranberry capsules are another option. Cranberry juice is often an acquired taste. If you find it too strong for your liking then add a few teaspoons of water to it.

An ounce of prevention is important to help keep future urinary tract infections at bay. It is wise to consume a few glasses of cranberry juice on a weekly basis or for those with recurrent infections, drink one to three glasses on a daily basis. If you are concerned about the sugar content in cranberry juice then sugar free cranberry juice can be purchased at an alternative health food store or supermarket. The majority of brands of cranberry juice contain at least 10 to 20 percent of real cranberries and this is adequate for the body’s fight against UTI’s.

An Important Note …

Please be aware that while cranberries can set up an unwelcome environment for bacteria to grow in and can help to protect the bladder from a bladder infection, they cannot get rid of or cure an infection once it has developed. If you suspect that you have a bladder infection then you need to see your doctor right away for a proper diagnosis. He will prescribe you antibiotics to get rid of the infection. Bladder infections that are left untreated can make their way up into the kidneys and cause a more serious infection. Don’t let that happen to you.

Becca

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