Daily Archives: July 11, 2012

Green Tea: The Powerfood That Rules the World

Green Tea: The Powerfood That Rules the World

Author
 

“We haven’t had any tea for a week The bottom is out of the universe “

Rudyard Kipling Natural Theology

Why is Green Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, second only to water itself?

Why is green tea is the most popular health drink on the planet?

How has green tea has influenced the lifestyles, politics and temperament of world superpowers, including United States, China, Japan and Britain.

1.  Green tea is the king of teas:

There are many different kinds of tea including: green tea, black tea, white tea, and oolong. They all start out as green leaves from the Camielia sinensis plant.

The only difference is which part of the plant is used, where and how it grows and how it is processed. Oolong teas have perhaps the most extensive tastes, green tea and enhansed green tea has the most benefits for the least cost.

2.  Green tea helps you lose weight.

The International Journal of Obesity cites green tea as having polyphenols which produce extra heat in the body and burn calories.

Weight loss experts and dietians agree that this promotion of thermogenesis will help dieters lose pounds.

3.  Green tea has possible benefits for cancer.

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published study in 1994 indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent.

4.  Green tea has possible benefits for heart disease.

Research shows that research indicating that drinking green tea lowers total cholesterol levels, as well as improving the ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol.

One of the beneficial compounds in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant which inhibits the growth of cancer cells, and kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue.

EGCG is twice as powerful an anti-oxidant as resveratrol, a polyphenol found in grapes and wine and which is speculated to protect the French from their high fat diet.

5. Green Tea Cleanses the Body and the Soul

Green Tea originated as a large tree growing in the Himalayan jungles.

It was cultured into the short bushes grown throughout the world now, by Chinese monks who had discovered its many benefits.

The Taoists claimed green tea as an important ingredient of the elixir of immortality.

The Buddhists used it extensively to prevent drowsiness during their long hours of meditation.

The first bowl moistens my lips and throat; The second bowl banishes all loneliness; The third bowl clears my mind of words and books. The fourth cup, I begin to perspire, Life’s troubles evaporate through my pores. The firth cup cleanses my entire being. Six cups – ah, but I can drink no more: I can only feel the gentle breeze blowing through my sleeves, Wafting me away to the Isle of Immortality!

Lu ton, Eight-century Chinese Poet, from In Gratitude for a Gift of Fresh Tea

6.  Green Tea is MONEY:

In the twelfth century when China began exporting tea , TEA BRICKS became the often preferred form of currency. It was light, valuable and in desperate need you could even eat the bricks. Tea contains, along with its many other nutrients, small amounts of protein.

7.  Green Tea Transformed Japan’s Culture

Green Tea was said to be introduced into Japan in 1191 by the monk Eisaid when he returned to Japan with Buddhism. The cult of tea began after Eisai helped cure the famous shogun of Japan Minamoto.

The whole culture of the country evolved around the Japanese Tea Ceremony which uses very finely ground green tea leaves in an elaborate ceremony lasting many hours.

The Tea Ceremony was a worship of the art of life,  an appreciation of refinement and purity, a process to go beyond the dreary waste of existence.

8.  Green Tea Transformed British Culture

In Britain, tea rapidly replaced much of the beer, ale and alcohol consumption with a beverage that was actually good for you. The British were transformed from an aggressive, meat and bear drinking mass to a more gentle, civilized people.

For the middle class of Britain, the tea parties and tea gardens allowed women and children to get out and socialize for the first time in their history. Many movements such as missionaries, charities and the girl guides started as tea groups.

For the lower class of Britain, tea breaks made life bearable –  the tea gave them energy and a lift of spirits which other beverages could not. They spent HALF their food budget on tea (and sugar to put in it) for good reason.

9.  Green Tea is Patriotic.

For Americans,  tea is a reminder of the Boston Tea Party,  a key event in the the American Revolution. Americans resisted  the taxation by the British of tea and other goods without representation. This resistance was symbolized by throwing a shipload of black tea into the Boston harbour.

10.  Green Tea is Loved By Everyone:

What happened to my green tea?”

Joe Torre  famous former Professional baseball player and current Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations.

From hard working workers needing energy to homemakers wanting health to professionals wanting mental clarity – green tea can be enjoyed by everyone.

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4 Dangerous Drugs Doctors Gave Your Grandparents

4 Dangerous Drugs Doctors Gave Your Grandparents

Written by Randy Fritz, co-creator with Diana Herrington at Real Food for Life

Many of the drugs that we know are illegal and dangerous, like heroin, were  once easily bought at the corner drugstore and recommended by doctors. When you  see the old advertisements for these substances, sometimes you cringe, and  sometimes you can’t help but laugh!

This is why I am cautious with any “new” health advance that has not yet  stood the test of time. I will explain more on this later.

Many of the medicines of the 19th and early 20th century contained  psychoactive drugs – alcohol, opium, and cocaine. Doctors didn’t know how these  drugs worked but they gave some small relief since you were actually slightly  high or drunk. Meanwhile nature took it’s course and if it could, the body  naturally healed as it would have anyway without the medicine.

1.  Heroin

 

The German company Bayer, which now produces one of the most popular pain  medications on earth, aspirin, also developed heroin and sold it at your local  drugstore.

In fact, when a chemist first developed ASA (aspirin) and presented it to  Bayer, management was not interested right away.  They were more excited  with another drug they had rediscovered – diacetylmorphine. They trademarked  this drug “heroin” because early testers said it made them feel heroisch (a  German word for heroic).

Heroin was marketed as a non-addictive morphine substitute  and cough suppressant. Medicines containing “smack” were sold  in stores just as aspirin is today. The American Medical Association gave heroin  its stamp of approval in 1907.

According to a Bayer watchdog group, Bayer promoted heroin for use in  children suffering from coughs, colds and “irritation”  as late as 1912.

Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup contained 65 mg of morphine, another opiate  analgesic, per fluid ounce and was used “for children teething.”

This seems amazing to us now because we know so much more, but people somehow  survived! The body is amazing.

Natural Alternatives:

For coughs:  Honey and finely ground black pepper is a time tested  ayurvedic remedy for cough and sore throat used for  centuries.

For colds: Many powerfoods are rich in antioxidants  necessary to prevent colds and infections before they happen. They also support  the immune system once you have a cold. There are many examples:

  • Broccoli: is a rich source of the premier antioxidant  nutrient—vitamin C,  plus the flavonoids that allow vitamin C to recycle  effectively, plus carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene,  other powerful antioxidants.
  • All alkaline foods: create balance in the body.  An  acidid body is an inflamed, unsettled body with unbalanced immunity.  Alkaline-forming foods include lemons, spinach, zucchini, watermelon, millet, almonds, and raspberries and even weeds like dandelions. Each one of these foods offers a host of  powerful health benefits which you can enjoy with no long list of side  effects.

2. Cocaine

In the US, cocaine was sold over the counter until 1914 and was commonly  found in products like toothache drops, dandruff remedies, and medicinal  tonics.

Coca leaves, which can be transformed into the more concentrated cocaine,  have been used for centuries in native cultures in South America for day to day  remedies and religious ceremonies.

In America and Europe, the coca leaves were combined with wine “to invigorate  the mind and decrease depression and sleepiness.” It was suggested that you  should take a full glass with or after every meal. Children should only take  half a glass.

Coca-Cola was invented in the late 1800s as a “coca wine,”  but the alcohol and cocaine were later replaced with syrup and coca leaves,  respectively.

It was considered “a valuable brain tonic, and a cure for all nervous  affections — sick head-ache, neuralgia, hysteria, melancholy.”

Natural alternatives for energy and mental  clarity:

Green tea: the second most popular beverage  on earth enlivens the body, mind,  and spirit without overstimulating it. It  also helps with weight loss, cancer and heart disease,

All fruits are smart carbs and thus contain natural sugars for  energy, but are full of the micronutrients which actually make you smarter and  balanced instead of just high on white sugar and chemicals.

3.  Opium

Opium poppy seed (from which heroin is processed) has been cultivated for  food, anesthesia, and ritual purposes since at least the new stone age.

In the 18th century, opium was found to be a good remedy for nervous  disorders: to quiet the mind, help the insane, and to treat insomnia.  In  the American Civil War, the Union Army used 2.8 million ounces of opium  tincture and powder and about 500,000 opium pills. It was called “God’s Own  Medicine.”

Until 1970, Paregoric, whose main ingredient was powdered opium, could be  purchased at a pharmacy without a medical prescription.

4.  Cigarettes

Cigarettes with unknown contents claimed to provide temporary relief for  everything from asthma to colds, canker sores, and bad  breath. They were “not recommended for children under 6.” As the effects of  nicotine became more apparent, cigarette companies had to be more subtle in  their marketing.

During World War II, soldiers were issued free cigarettes, courtesy of the  tobacco companies, resulting in millions of nicotine-addicted G.I.s returning home after the  war.

Natural approaches to asthma:

Asthma is primarily an inflammatory condition so any whole foods that  decreases inflammation helps.

Studies have shown that intakes of apples, tomatoes, carrots, green leafy vegetables and generally lots of fresh  fruit and vegetables reduces the prevalence of asthma.

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and asthma. Omega-3s are found in  flax seeds, walnuts, beans and winter squash. Each of these foods have amazing additional  benefits – again without side effects.

But We Know Better Now, Don’t We?

We certainly have come a long way since the era of patent medicines. Our  understanding of how chemistry interacts with our bodies is increasing daily.  But is it far enough?  Future generations may well laugh at our present day  advertisements for Viagra and sleep medication and we already cringe at the  destructive effects of chemotherapy and radiation.

I don’t want to pick on any doctors specifically or in general. They just  tend to represent (sometimes unknowingly) the established medical and  pharmaceutical industries.

Sometimes the same thing happens in the natural health field; new discoveries  which at the beginning sound like the cure for everything turn out to be not  appropriate for everyone and in some cases are even harmful.

As I said before though, I am very cautious of any new discovery that has not  been verified by time. By “time” I don’t mean months or years of testing but  rather decades or centuries of use!

At Real Food For Life, we understand that peak health has been enjoyed by  millions over the centuries using only simple whole foods traditional in their  culture. We call these power  foods and they are probably in your kitchen right now.

It is up to us to take responsibility for our own health and educate  ourselves. We can’t expect a government organization to do it all for us.

This is what many of the people are doing within Care2: learning and sharing  and participating. We congratulate you on your efforts.

I’m sure you know of other deadly medications and procedures that have been  offered to the public.

 

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7 Reasons to Cut Back on Coffee

7 Reasons to Cut Back on Coffee

Written by Randy Fritz, co-creator with Diana Herrington at Real Food for Life

Coffee is for Bugs not Your Body!

Caffeine is a natural insecticide that plants have been using to  protect themselves from insects for thousands of years!

That caffeine in your steaming cup of coffee has been put to much better use  in driving away or killing insects in your backyard, rather than  getting you going in the morning.

7 Reasons to Cut Down on Your Coffee or Caffeine Consumption 

1. Caffeine was developed as a poison.

Over millions of years, plants have developed various powerful compounds to  stop insects from stripping away every bit of greenery from the planet. Many  plants are obviously poisonous or extremely inedible to protect themselves.  Other examples of slightly toxic substances include oxalic acid in  leafy greens and capsaicin in chili peppers. When you consider the fact that we  consume 12,000 tons of caffeine a year, the amounts in these other foods are  miniscule in comparison. A good rule of thumb for health is to avoid or reduce  poisons.

2. Caffeine exhausts the adrenals.

Whereas a dose of caffeine in a small insect may stun or even kill it, in  humans it just gives us a little “buzz.” This stimulation is what many people  depend on to get themselves going with their morning coffee, but it is short  lived.

Since it really is just stimulation, an excitement of the nervous and  glandular system, it’s not producing any long term energy; and as soon as that  little high wears off, you are reaching for another shot.  Do this enough  times and your nervous and glandular system, particularly the adrenal gland, is  exhausted.  You have to keep increasing the “dose” to have energy and  eventually nothing works and you crash.

3.  Caffeine is addictive.

The fact that you can get caffeine withdrawal symptoms if you stop is an  obvious symptom of addiction. Most people don’t want to be addicted to  anything!

You probably think you don’t drink enough to be addicted, but research shows  you probably already are. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine showed  that low to moderate caffeine intake (as little as one small cup of coffee per  day) can quickly produce withdrawal symptoms.

4.  Caffeine often comes with sugar and other health hazards. 

Raw coffee beans by themselves don’t taste good, so sweeteners are  usually  added. This is usually white sugar or some artificial chemical  that tastes  sweet.

Some people consider white sugar to also be a chemical poison.

At the very least, sugar is definitely a dumb carb and not a smart carb.  Other than the  simple sugars, it has no micronutrients like vitamins or  minerals to help your  body. Also it has a high glycemic index so it  goes quickly into the system,  creating insulin spikes and insulin  resistance, which eventually leads to  weight gain.

5.  Caffeine toxicity has been linked to, well, almost  everything.

The above four points are pretty well known. Caffeine toxicity, on the other  hand, doesn’t seem to be as commonly discussed. If you do a  medical search for  “caffeine toxicity” on Google Scholar, you get 44,000 entries.

Caffeine has been associated with studies in a lot of conditions  including:

  • irregular heartbeat
  • insomnia
  • psychosis
  • anorexia
  • sleeplessness
  • headaches
  • nervousness
  • irritability
  • depression
  • bedwetting
  • birth defects in rodents

6.  Caffeine is used as an insecticide.

Back to my original point. Over 20 years ago James Nathanson,  assistant  professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, reported in Science magazine of this  important function of caffeine. The study determined that  caffeine  combined with other insecticides increases their killing power. In one  test, a small dose of caffeine increased known pesticides potency by 10  times. Caffeine appears to produce the destructive effect by  suppressing certain enzymes in the insects’ nervous systems. In man, caffeine is  now classified by many scientists as a neurotoxin. That means it is definitely  not “good” for your nerves.

Do you think that maybe you have other pesticides in your system that  caffeine could react with?

7.  Coffee cups destroy the environment.

The world drinks 400 billion coffees a year. We toss away 100 million cups a  year which, if we are careful with our trash, ends up in landfills.

The paper in landfills, like all organic matter, decomposes without oxygen,  and thus produces methane which has 23 times the heat trapping power of CO2.

The plastic coating of the paper and the polystyrene coffee cup lid, after  its minutes-long use, will continue to exist for hundreds of years. Plastic  coffee cup lids contain the toxic substances styrene and benzene, which have  been documented as suspected carcinogens and neurotoxins. That’s also bad!

You Could Choose Worse!

If you are going to choose a drug, caffeine is certainly better than alcohol,  nicotine, cocaine or narcotics.  Narcotics used to be readily available in  the drugstore but new understanding has caused their restriction, so most people  have moved into caffeine and alcohol.

Coffee does some have specific uses: They would tend to be medicinal.  Caffeine, for example, is added to many cold and pain medications to increase  their speed and potency.  This decreases overall medicine use.

Coffee also has some great social benefits. The coffee shops around the world  seem to fulfill a universal urge to come together to talk and eat and drink. In  the crazy world we live in, coffee shops are often a tiny oasis of comfort and  calm. That being said, perhaps we could be drinking alternate beverages with  less caffeine.

You Could Choose Better: 5 Caffeine Alternatives

1. Green Tea

Green tea has one-half to one-sixth the caffeine of regular brewed coffee. It  has about half the caffeine as a Coke or Pepsi. Some specialty green teas have  even less caffeine than this.

What green tea has more of is all kinds of health benefits,  including prevention in cancer and  heart disease. Maybe this is why green  tea is the second most popular beverage in the world (after water) and the  most popular health beverage. Green tea is considered a critical element in  the development of the British middle class, women’s liberation, girl guides,  charity organizations, and the American Revolution.

2. Herbal Beverages

Other than in bars, it is now socially acceptable to drink herbal drinks in  public!  They are often called “herbal teas” although technically they are  not.

3.  Ice Cold Orange Juice or Lemon Water

Both will give you smart carbs with natural energy and will also reduce your  risk of heart disease. Most other fruit juices have additional health benefits.  Lemon water is also highly alkalizing. It will take a bit more time or energy to  have fresh juice but you won’t be spending time making coffee.

4.  Dandelion Coffee

The nice thing about this is that it can be absolutely free. Dandelion root  has a host of health benefits.

5.  Power Foods:  Pick One, Any One

There are whole foods that will give you the energy and clarity that you are  trying to get with coffee. They are probably in your kitchen right now. Below is  a list of great choices for breakfast or a snack. Take your pick from the list  and enjoy the energy and health benefits!

  • Apples: One of these per day will keep the doctor  away!
  • Bananas
  • Raspberries Contains the anti-carcinogenic  substance, ellagic acid.
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts: The crinkly  powerfood with the highest antioxidant activity of any nut.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: The alkalizing seed.
  • Quinoa: This nutty-flavored powerfood is pronounced  keen–wa.
  • Oatmeal  Much more health benefits than just fiber.

 

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Astronomy Picture of the Day – A Morning Line of Stars and Planets

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2012 July 11

 A Morning Line of Stars and Planets

 Image Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Las Campanas ObservatoryCarnegie Institution for Science)

Explanation: Early morning dog walkers got a visual treat last week  as bright stars and planets appeared to line up. Pictured above, easily visible from left to right, were the  Pleiades open star cluster,  Jupiter,  Venus, and the  “Follower” star  Aldebaran, all seen before a starry background. The image was taken from the  Atacama desert in western  South America.  The glow of the rising Sun can be seen over the eastern horizon. Jupiter and Venus will  continue to dazzle pre-dawn strollers all over planet Earth  for the rest of the month,  although even now the  morning planets are seen projected away from the line connecting their distant stellar  sky mates.

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WOTC’s Cartoon for July 11 – Doctors, Hmm….

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Lighten Up – Pagan Lightbulb Jokes

Pagan Lightbulb Jokes

How many Gardnerians does it take to change a lightbulb? 13 consistng entirely of man-woman working couples

How many Rad fems does it take? 7: one to do it, 2 to organize the creche and 4 to debate the meaning of the word unscrew

How man Crowleyites does it take? They can’t. Uncle Aleister didn’t leave any instructions.

How many Chaos magicians does it take? They don’t need to–they are used to working in the dark.

How many Zen Buddhists does it take to change a light bulb? Two. One to change it, one not to change it.

How many Zen Masters does it take to change a light bulb? None. The universe changes the light bulb and the Zen Master gets the hell out of the way!

How many Gardnerians does it take to change a light bulb? 1. I can’t say. It’s oathbound. 2. I can’t tell you–you’re not a third-circle initiate!

How many Alexandrians does it take to change a light bulb? 1. Same number as Gardnerians. 2. What do the Gardnerians do?

How many Dianic women does it take to screw in a light bulb? That’s W-I-M-M-I-N, and that’s not funny!

How many Solitaries does it take to change a light bulb? Who cares!

How many Dianics does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but that bulb has really got to want to change.

How many witches does it take to change a light bulb? 1. None… they call the electrician who’s also pagan and keeps the money in their community. 2. None — if a candle was good enough for Gramma it’s good enough for me!

How may light bulbs does it take to change a Gardnerian? None, they can do it all by themselves, thank you very much!!

How many Asatruar does it take to change a light bulb? None. The light from the burning monastery is sufficient, thank you.

How many Druids does it take to screw in a light bulb? They don’t screw in light bulbs, they screw in stone circles.

How many Druids does it take to change a light bulb? Thirteen; one to hold the bulb, and twelve to drink enough to make the room spin.

How many ceremonial magicians does it take to change a light bulb? One; he stands still with the bulb, and the universe revolves around him.

How many Witches does it take to change a light bulb? Depends on what you want to change it into.

How many Thelemites does it take to change a light bulb? None. Crowley never wrote a book about it.

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Daily Feng Shui Tip for July 11 – ‘World Population Day’

Today is ‘World Population Day’ and here’s a few Feng Shui fertility tips if you and yours are trying to add to the population. This philosophy says that an image, picture or painting of a pomegranate in your bedroom will increase your odds at getting pregnant. Feng Shui considers this fruit and its many seeds to be a strong symbol of fertility. This cure says putting five pomegranates on your bed every morning will help increase world population in a speedy manner. One fruit should be placed at each of the four corners and one should be positioned in the center of the mattress. Remove and keep the pomegranates close by when retiring at night. Do this for nine, 27 or 49 consecutive days to enhance fertility. A symbol of a dragon, (especially during this current Chinese New Year) positioned on the man’s side of the bed is also believed to increase the odds of becoming parents, as will placing a painting or image of children in the bedroom. Or you could just use an ancient image that is believed to activate ancestor energies and bring a new addition to your family. Download the ‘100 Children’ image and then look no further as Feng Shui helps get you pregnant.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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Today’s I Ching Hexagram for July 11 is 32: Endurance

32: Endurance

Hexagram 32

General Meaning:  Endurance is fostered when inner constancy is coupled with external flexibility. Long-distance runners must adapt readily to changing conditions, while maintaining an inner determination and strength of purpose. Two trees growing near each other adapt to enhance each other’s survival. A strong image of durability is a stable marriage of intimate partners striking a dynamic balance between involvement in the outside world and nourishment in the home.

True endurance is not based on rigidity, for endurance implies movement, not immobilization. Only by adapting to change can we stay in the race; but only by deepening our sense of purpose can we develop the fortitude to win it.

Continuity is achieved through movement, not by keeping still. That which has ceased to grow is close to death. Stay active, but allow yourself time to stay in touch with your innermost thoughts and feelings.

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