The Benefits of Tea

tea-438480_640Tea is a classic beverage that millions around the world enjoy on a daily basis. Whether enjoyed hot or cold, tea is a popular favorite among many, no matter what the weather. There are many variations of tea, almost as many types of tea as there are ways to drink it. What you may not know is that teas carry a ton of health benefits. From green to white to red to black, each tea carries its own special benefits. Here are the benefits of tea, specifically green and red tea. See what drinking these teas can do for your health.

1. Green Tea

Green Tea History

Green tea comes from the plant Camellia sinensis. The tastes and aromas of green tea vary according to where they are grown and produced. Asia commonly incorporates green tea into a variety of recipes, including ice cream and cakes. Green tea was first brewed in China in the reign of Emperor Shennong, in 2737 B.C. Since then, green tea has been used as both medicine and beverage in the majority of regions located in Asia. Its medicinal qualities include quenching thirst, preventing fatigue, improving brain and urinary function, and helping the five vital organs, according to The Kiss Yojoki, book of tea, written by Eisai, a Zen priest in 1191. Green tea is grown either in the sun or in the shade and processed using either modern or artisanal methods. Green tea should be steeped in hot water for three to five minutes in order to derive the maximum benefits.

The Benefits of Tea (Green Tea)

  • Green tea has a high amount of flavonoids, plant compounds that are antioxidants.
  • Green tea has a great source of catechins, which is more powerful than Vitamin C and E in stopping oxidative damage to cells and have other properties that fight disease
  • There has been an association between drinking green tea and a decreased risk for various cancers that include lung, skin, breast, colon, bladder and esophegeal
  • Drinking green tea can give you a reduced risk for heart disease due to the blocked oxidation of LDL cholesterol, the increase of HDL cholesterol, and improved artery functions
  • A Chinese study reported a 46-65% reduction in risk for hypertension among consumers of oolong or green tea, versus non-consumers of tea
  • Contains EGCGs such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which fights cancer
  • Contains a multitude of dietary minerals, sterols, carbohydrates, amino acids, enzymes, and phytochemcials

2. Red Tea

Red Tea History

Rooibos tea is enjoyed around the world for its great taste. With a unique color, the tea was first started by Dutch settlers on the Cape of Africa as an alternative to black tea. It was acquired from the Aspalathus linearis bush plant in South Africa. Black tea was too expensive for settlers who would have needed to purchase the tea off supply ships from Europe. European travelers who visited South Africa in the 17th and 18th centuries noted the good plants there with curative properties. Rooibos tea was made by cutting the leaves from the plants, rolling them into hessian bags, brought down the slopes with donkeys and chopped and left out in the sun to dry. Benjamin Ginsberg perfected the curing of rooibos tea by fermenting the tea in barrels covered in wet hessian sacking in 1904. The cultivation of the rooibos tea plant was started by Dr. Le Fras Nortier in the 1930s, persuaded by Ginsberg.

The Benefits of Tea (Red Tea)

  • Alleviates colic as well as allergies, dermatological problems such as eczema, and asthma
  • Good for healthy skin due to high alpha-hydroxy acids
  • Quercetin and luteolin, two flavonoids in rooibos, have cancer fighting qualities
  • Can help with recurring headaches as well as insomnia, bone weakness, hypertension
  • Prevents premature aging due to high antioxidant content
  • Can ease severe stomach cramps
  • Boosts the body’s immune system
  • Can reduce types of cancer and other serious conditions
  • Polysaccharise from the Aspalathus linerris may have anti-HIV activity potential
  • Helps with nervous tension as well as digestive problems
  • Contains polyphenols that are antiviral and anti-inflammatory as well as antimutagenic qualities
  • Good for cardio health due to quercetin a powerful antioxidant in rooibos
  • Has antispasmodic properties due to the activation of potassium ions in the body without interfering with calcium activity
  • Can soothe colic and stomach pain
  • Rooibos tea is rich in manganese, fluoride, and calcium for healthy teeth and maintaining good bone structure
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Top Five Healing Herbs

Healing HerbsHealing herbs are a great addition to anyone’s garden or pantry. These vibrant herbs are not only edible meal enhancers but also have a wide range of medicinal properties that make them valuable assets when it comes to home healing. They can be an effective alternative to modern medicine. Using herbs to heal probably goes back to the origins of humanity. Although pictorial and written records of using herbs go back to 6,000 years, archaeological records show that practicing herbal medicine developed a long time before written accounts documented it, with the oldest records reaching back to Asia.

Here are five herbs you can use to treat and heal various symptoms:

 

Rosemary

This piney herb grows on a shrub related to mint in the Labiatae family. Rosemary is a potent healing herb with unique health benefits that can help decrease your risk for cancer. Cooking meats at high temperatures can create heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, which are carcinogens that can cause several types of cancer. However, levels of HCA drop in the body when rosemary extract is combined with meat prior to cooking. That’s because Rosemary contains two powerful antioxidants, carnosol and rosemarinic acid, that destroys the HCAS. Rosemary might also have the potential to stop tumors. Rosemary may keep carcinogens in the body from binding with the body’s DNA, which is the first step in forming tumors according to animal studies. Rats who were fed rosemary extract at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign decreased DNA damage and tumors. In addition to being a great ingredient in savory dishes, rosemary contains substances that can stimulate the immune system, improve digestion, and stimulate the immune system. It also contains compounds that are anti-inflammatory and has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain and head, improving your concentration, making rosemary one of the best healing herbs to have in your garden and cupboard.

 

Thyme

Thyme’s flowers, oil, and leaves can be used as medicine and its ability to heal a large variety of ailments makes it a valuable addition to anyone’s garden. Thyme can be used not only as a flavor booster but for colds, the flu, coughs, food poisoning, bronchitis, asthma, fevers, nightmares, sore throats, migraines, whooping cough, upset stomachs, arthritis, diarrhea, intestinal gas, skin disorders, parasitic worm infections, increasing and disinfecting urine, colic, bed wetting for children, an appetite stimulant, and parasitic worm infections. It can also be used in direct to skin application for such ailments such as sore mouth, bad breath, swollen tonsils, and hoarseness. Thyme oil is commonly used to kill germs in mouthwash and liniments. Thymol is a chemical used in thyme with chlorhexidine to prevent tooth decay as part of varnish. Research has also suggested that taking thyme orally with other herbs can reduce coughing in bronchitis as well as upper respiratory tract infections and common colds. There is also evidence that applying lavender oil with combination with essential oils from thyme and other herbs can improve hair growth. Thyme has chemicals that can fight bacterial and fungal afflictions. Either way, this herb is a healing powerhouse that can be used to treat a wide range of afflictions.

 

Ginger

In addition to being delicious, ginger is a potent healer. It has powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that may ease arthritis. Ginger also may help lower blood pressure by regulating blood flow. It can also prevent stomach upset, whether due to motion sickness, pregnancy, or chemotherapy by blocking the effects of serotonin when you’re nauseated and fighting free radical production. Ginger can also decrease the risk of cancer and help fight cancer through its anti-inflammatory powers. Ginger has zinc, magnesium and chromium, which may help it improve blood flow as well as preventing fever, chills, and sweating. Ginger can also increase the absorption of nutrients in the body, prevent cold and flu, reduce pain, strengthen the immune system, fight respirator infections, and have a big effect on morning sickness. Eat ginger raw, incorporate it into recipes and smoothies, or simply brew into a tea to reap the benefits of this powerful herb.

 

Peppermint

Peppermint is used for more than just flavoring in foods and beverages. It can be used for a variety of ailments such as heartburn, migraines, nausea, sore throats, menstrual cramps, flatulence, fever, colic, colds, flu, colitis, fever, and sinus and respiratory infections. This plant’s leaves and oil are used medicinally to treat almost everything under the sun. It can help with digestive symptoms such as vomiting, IBS, diarrhea, gas, spasms during endoscopy, and bacterial growth in the small intestine. Peppermint oil is inhaled sometimes to treat coughs and colds and as a painkiller. It can be applied to the skin to treat headaches, oral inflammation, joints, nerve pain, toothaches, itches, bacterial/viral infections, sinus congestion, muscle pain, and repelling mosquitoes. It may even help breastfeeding women to have less cracked skin and pain. Used in tea, in food, or as an oil, this refreshing herb is an essential addition to anyone’s herbal healing kit.

 

Nettles

Nettles are a tonic healing herb, meaning they are nourishing. Although nettles can be irritating to skin, many people often rub nettles onto arthritic joints due to the warmth that lasts after the stinging temporarily relieving pain. Nettles can also be used to purify the blood. Nettles have a high iron and potassium content and the juice can be used as a hair growth stimulator when applied to the scalp. The powdered leaves even can be placed on wounds to stop bleeding. They can also be added to your diet for a nutritional boost. Nettles are well used in soups and stews as well as herbal teas. Nettle tea can stimulate the lymph system to boost immunity, support the adrenals, strengthen the fetus in pregnant women, promote lactation, relieve menopausal symptoms, reduce bloating, break down kidney stones, reduce hypertension, help asthma, minimize skin problems, reduce nausea, help with colds and osteoarthritis, relieve diarrhea, help constipation and gastrointestinal disease, reduce gingivitis, destroy intestinal parasites, relieve MS, ALS, sciatica, and support endocrine health.

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Relieving Neck Pain

I’ll say it: Neck pain is certainly a real pain in the neck.. there’s a reason this phrase is commonly used to describe something annoying and frustrating. Our necks are fragile and very important.

Its no surprise the neck is quite vulnerable to pain and discomfort, so much can go wrong! The neck is responsible for supporting the head, which can weigh between 10 and 20 pounds. The bones of the neck are a small stack of seven bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae are held in place by 32 complex muscles. The delicate spinal cord passes through the center of the vertebrae and is protected by the vertebrae. In the mid of vertebrae are pieces of cartilage called discs that act as absorbers of shock.

When our muscles become tense, from physical stress or emotional stress, the blood supply to the muscles decreases which can cause pain. The pain can then cause the muscles to tense further. What’s worse is that this pain can manifest in many different ways. Some common types of pain symptoms are muscle spasms, muscle aches, headaches, even pain in the arms, legs and back.

Causes of Neck Pain

There are many causes of pain in the neck. Positions that are poor during daily activities; especially computer work will often result in fatigue causing chronic stiffness and pain. This pain is further excruciating especially when you move; it may come with headaches, stiffness, spasms of the muscles among other discomforts.

pain in the neckWhiplash is the name given to a painful or stressful neck movement. This may come about after a vehicle accident. This is where the person’s car suffers a hit from the rear. This will cause an usual disposition of the neck and head upon impact. This kind of injury has the full potential to strain muscles in your neck and cause the ligaments to tear or stretch unusually. People might find that whiplash pain does not always start immediately; it might be a few days before this happens. Pain and stiffness in the neck may come with spasms, feeling of dizziness, pain in nerves, headaches and even shoulder pain. If you’ve suffered whiplash as a result of an accident you’ll know just what an awful affliction it can be. It really is worth checking out this page on whiplash compensation to learn the basics and see whether you can get some kind of justice for your suffering.

Another type of common neck pain is a herniated. This occurs when the outside layer of the cervical discs tears and the soft gelatinous center sticks outwards. Herniated discs will definitely put pressure on root nerves as they leave the spinal cord; causing pain in the back and neck as well as numbness and general weakness in the arms.

Several other conditions are known to cause severe neck pain such as cervical spondylosis as well as cervical spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. If your severe neck pain lasts more than 2 days you should see a doctor immediately for help diagnosing the cause because it could be serious.

Neck Pain Relief Options

If you have this kind of pain and are looking for relief, you have several options that have proven successful in relieving neck pain.

Chiropractors are doctors who specialize in the bones and joints in the back and neck. Their methods are quite similar to a massage, with more emphasis on movement of the joints and cartilage in the neck and spine.

Osteopathy is a school of medicine very similar to chiropractors and there is much overlap. An osteopath (doctor of osteopathy) will generally focus more on areas of the body other than the neck and spine such as respiratory system, arms and legs. There can be a lot of physical symptoms that manifest away from the neck and spine though the root of the pain is the neck and spine. Osteopathy aims to fix those problems.

Physiotherapy is the slow and controlled stretching and moving of damaged muscles and ligaments. Physiotherapy is a component of Chiropractic and osteopathic techniques. The stretching and movement should be done slowly and in a controlled and methodical manner so as not to aggravate the injury.

Prescription drugs are often used to lighten the pain associated with a neck injury. These can be oral, or topical (cream) or injected. A doctor should always be consulted when dealing with prescription drugs as there is a risk of serious side effects and over dosage.

Alternative treatments for neck pain include acupuncture, and various herbal remedies.

The most basic things you can do to relieve pain in your neck are:

  • Rest and give your muscles a chance to recover.
  • Use ice and heat alternatively in conjunction with gentle massage to relax then neck muscles.
  • Relax! Mental and emotional stress can increase tension in the neck!
  • Use good posture to avoid unnecessary stress on your neck and spine.
  • Sleep on a rather firm mattress instead of a soft one
  • Take frequent breaks and slowly stretch and rotate your neck.
  • Try some of the alternative methods of weelbing and health mentioned on my site, like aromatherapy, Ayurveda and even drinking some red or green tea
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Five Popular Holistic Treatments For Common Ailments

Holistic medicine is the process of using various methods to treat the whole self, rather than just focusing on the illness itself. Through the use of holistic treatments, you can improve your life, and find balance in your physical, mental and spiritual states.

Around the world, doctors and experts have used holistic style medicine to address an endless list of issues. For those who want a more complete diagnosis that looks at not only the problem you face, but what might have caused the issue, it is a good and complete option. Especially if you wish to incorporate natural healing where it is applicable.

These five holistic treatments for common ailments have become some of the most popular around the globe. Best of all, each is easy to work into your own life. Talk to your doctor about possibly incorporating a holistic approach to your medical routine.

Melatonin

Used For: Insomnia, Sleep Disturbances, Possible Cure For Tinnitus

Melatonin is a naturally occurring chemical in the pineal gland of the brain. The body uses it to regulate sleep, and to manage our sleep cycles. Improper melatonin function or amounts within the body can lead to chronic insomnia, or other sleep disturbances that keep us from reaching and maintaining REM.

You can purchase melatonin tablets and take them within 2 – 4 hours of the time you go to bed. This helps to create the same affect, without the addictive quality of other sleeping pills. Those who take melatonin often find themselves able to establish a regular sleeping pattern, which provides a cure for chronic insomnia.

In addition to this, a study done in 2006 by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine found that the use of 3mg of melatonin helped to improve both sleep and tinnitus in a group of 61 patients. The affects continued after discontinuing the melatonin treatment.

Meditation

Used For: Calming Anxiety, Promoting Proper Breathing, Finding Balance

meditationMeditation, either guided or non-guided, are an effective way to regulate breathing, release tension and stress, help balance your life, and get through the day with less anxiety. People who use meditation, even if only through deep breathing, have found that it can have a significant impact on depression, improve their mood, and it may even help to boost immunity and bodily functions.

To start reaping the benefits of meditation, it is recommended that everyone start working in between 10 – 30 minutes a day. This can be through a guided course on meditation, or done through focusing on the breathing and eliminating all thoughts during a period of time.

For those who wish to work meditation in to other activities, they can use meditation in movement. This is when you focus on breathing during exercise, or routine activities like cleaning that require no conscious thought.

Acupuncture

Used For: Various Medical Problems, Including Chronic Pain and Digestive Disturbances

The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture (the insertion of needles at pressure points in the body) as a complimentary treatment for dozens of different health conditions and symptoms. This includes pain in the back, neck, knee and face; headaches or migraines; digestive disorders; motor control loss due to stroke; adverse reactions to chemotherapy or radiation; depression and mood disorders; anxiety; arthritis. Many other diseases and symptoms are also on the list.

Because of its wide array of uses and the proven effectiveness that has been seen in proponents, it remains one of the most popular alternative options available. Many doctors recommend the use of acupuncture as part of their patient’s treatment plan.

Diet Changes

Used For: Treating Medical Conditions, Promoting Weight Loss, Improving Overall Health/Life

There is no denying the importance of diet when looking at overall health and life quality. But when it comes to dietary needs, one size does not fit all. For some of us, even extreme disorders – such as autoimmune diseases or diabetes – can be managed or even entirely reversed by cutting out certain foods.

Grains, gluten and dairy are three major culprits when it comes to conditions, including obesity. If you are interested in trying dietary changes to improve your health, cutting out those items for a month and then reintroducing them one at a time can show you if you have an allergy or resistance to them. Eggs is another common culprit you may wish to add to the list.

For general dietary changes, you should try and eat as many whole foods as possible, including plenty of vegetables, fruit and bean or nut based proteins. Holistic treatments say you should consume animal products sparingly, as they are often high in both unhealthy fats and hormones. It’s also worth remembering that herbs can be used for wellness, as well as for providing flavor to your meals.

Exercise

Used For: Strengthening The Body, Improving Immunity, Promoting Blood and Oxygen Circulation, Improving Overall Health/Life

Like diet, exercise is an important part of managing health in the body. But it doesn’t mean you have to head to the gym every day. Whether your chosen exercise is to run, hike, ride your bike, walk, swim, or anything else, just moving regularly is a big part of staying fit and fighting illness. The more you move, the better your immunity, blood and oxygen circulation, stamina, and even sleep will be.

To get the most out of your time, try combining exercise with other parts of your life. For example, adopt meditation and yoga, taking part in both at the same time. Another form of exercise that focuses on breathing, mindfulness and clearing away excess thoughts is Tai Chi

Making Holistic Treatments A Part Of Your Life

Being healthy is all about finding a balance between the three key elements that make up your whole self: mind, body and spirit. That will mean different things to different people. But it all starts with making small changes that improve your life, through mindful living.

Whether it is your sleep, your diet, managing pain, or treating your medical conditions, holistic practices have a place in your routine.

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