Posts tagged: herbal tea

How To Make Natural Ginger Ale

How To Make Natural Ginger Ale
How To Make Natural Ginger Ale. Image – WellnessMama.com (with permission)

We just found an awesome tutorial for how to make your own natural ginger ale! The link follows after our introduction to the topic.

If you’re sick of the modern generation of unhealthy junk sodas then this could be a perfect beverage for you! We all want beverages that have great taste, but wouldn’t it be great if we could get that without short-changing ourselves when it comes to our health and nutrition? Ingredients like High Fructose Corn Syrup or aspartame are deal-breakers for me. If those things are in there, I won’t touch it. End of story. 😉

What’s great about this recipe we have found is not only that it contains real ginger (see this page for our full tutorial on the health benefits of ginger) – well known for its numerous health benefits – but it is naturally fermented, which makes it naturally fizzy! The drink contains natural probiotics and enzymes that are widely regarded to have a beneficial effect on the digestive system.

Fermented drinks and foods have been utilized since ancient times on account of their health benefits. This formula uses a short-brew method so that it does not become alcoholic.

One note – you have to be careful to follow the instructions properly. As with making other fermented drinks such as Jun (an old Tibetan Fermented Tea drink), you can create too much pressure, enough to burst the bottles if you do it wrong!

Another note that caught my eye from the comments on the original page – although the recipe calls for some sugar, note that the fermentation process will transform much of this. One person advised not to substitute with honey (it is a commonly held position that due to being antimicrobial it interferes with the fermentation) or stevia.

Ok here’s the link to the full tutorial: http://wellnessmama.com/8945/natural-ginger-ale/

Study Finds Daily Consumption Of Tea May Protect The Elderly From Cognitive Decline

Study Finds Daily Consumption Of Tea May Protect The Elderly From Cognitive Decline
Study Finds Daily Consumption Of Tea May Protect The Elderly From Cognitive Decline. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Image – Pixabay (PD)

Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. In 2016, Americans consumed more than 3.8 billion gallons [1] of tea, with black tea being a favorite. This is good news – due to the numerous possible health benefits of tea consumption, which have been well researched.

Recent data from a Singaporean human trial has reaffirmed the role of tea drinking in reducing the risk of cognitive decline in older persons.

Led by Feng Lei, an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, the study focused on 957 Chinese seniors aged 55 years or older. Lei and his team discovered that the neuroprotective role of daily consumption of tea is not a bailiwick of one tea variety and is not limited to one race. They published the research outcomes [2] in The Journal of Nutrition, Health, & Aging.

The research team noted that drinking “real tea” – tea that is brewed from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, such as green, black (Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Assam, etc) or oolong, reduces a person’s risk of developing neurocognitive disorders later in life. The authors gathered information on the participants’ tea drinking habits, lifestyles, medical conditions, and physical and social activities. They attributed the neuroprotective effect of brewed tea to a combination of bioactive compounds which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that protect the brain from vascular damage and neurodegeneration.

The neuroprotective cognitive effects of tea have been widely explored by scientists: A study that first appeared in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [3] confirmed the association between regular tea consumption and lower risks of cognitive impairment and decline. A Japanese study [4] determined the link between consumption of green tea and reduced risk of dementia or mild cognitive impairment. A Chinese study [5] also presented evidence on the relationship between tea consumption and reduced cognitive impairment.

Cognitive disorders refer to mental health issues that affect learning, memory, perception, and problem-solving. The most common types of cognitive disorder include amnesia, dementia, and delirium. Data from the World Health Organization [6] estimate that around 47.5 million people are living with dementia which is a major neurocognitive disorder. This medical condition registers 7.7 million new cases every year. The main risk factors linked to dementia include advancing age and family history of dementia. By 2050, the number of people with dementia is expected to reach 135.5 million.

As of this writing, there are no medications [7] approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat the onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which likely leads to Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. However, there are coping strategies that may help delay or prevent the progression of MCI to dementia.

As posited by Lei’s team, drinking tea is a simple and inexpensive measure which may protect yourself from cognitive decline. Regular exercise [8] is another way to combat MCI since it benefits your blood vessels – including those that nourish your brain. Having a diet rich in flavonols and omega-3 fatty acids [9][10] could also reduce the risk of dementia.

References:

[1] Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc. Tea Fact Sheet – 2016-2017 http://www.teausa.com/14655/tea-fact-sheet

[2] Feng L et al. 2016. Tea consumption reduces the incidence of neurocognitive disorders: Findings from the Singapore longitudinal aging study https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12603-016-0687-0

[3] Ng TP et al. 2008. Tea consumption and cognitive impairment and decline in older Chinese adults https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18614745

[4] Noguchi-Shinohara M et al. 2014. PLoS One. Consumption of Green Tea, but Not Black Tea or Coffee, Is Associated with Reduced Risk of Cognitive Decline http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0096013

[5] Shen W et al. 2015. PLoS One. Tea Consumption and Cognitive Impairment: A Cross-Sectional Study among Chinese Elderly https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4567322/

[6] World Health Organization. Dementia Fact Sheet http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs362/en/

[7] Alzheimer’s Association. Mild Cognitive Impairment http://www.alz.org/dementia/mild-cognitive-impairment-mci.asp

[8] Geda YE et al. 2010. Archives of Neurology. Physical Exercise and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Population-Based Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2919839/

[9] P.J. Smith and J.A. Blumenthal. 2016. The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4758517/

[10] Colin R. Martin and Victor Preedy. Diet and Nutrition in Dementia and Cognitive Decline http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/book/9780124078246

Tea Ailment Cheat Sheet

Tea Ailment Cheat Sheet
Graphic: © herbs-info.com. Image source – Pixabay (PD).

1. Green Tea: Green tea is at the top of the list of healthy drinks thanks to its antioxidant properties. Recently, its active constituent – catechin – has been shown to slightly boost metabolism, with many testimonials and study outcomes stating that those taking green tea lose more weight than those who did not.

2. Chamomile Tea: Considered as a mild tranquilizer and sleep inducer, chamomile tea has long been used as a way to treat inflammation and manage anxiety, and to treat insomnia. Its calming effect is attributed to apigenin – a potent anitoxidant. [1]

3. ElderFlower Tea: This beverage has quite a history in German medicine. It boasts of both antioxidant properties, a high vitamin C content, and antiviral effects. This makes the tea great for fighting the common cold, the flu virus, and accompanying symptoms.

4. Lemon Balm: Lemon balm leaves are dried to make lemon balm tea, but it is also sold as an extract and used in aromatherapy. The herb is used in stress relief and alleviating sleeplessness. It may also act as a mild sedative. [2]

5. Ginger Tea: Studies have shown that ginger – and by extension, ginger tea – is a natural way to alleviate nausea and vomiting. [3] It is as effective as anti-nausea meds, with very few of the side effects they tag along.

6. Peppermint Tea: Peppermint has long been used in traditional medicine in helping soothe digestive issues, including bloating. It relaxes the gut and reduces intestinal spasms, along with bloating. [4]

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

References:

[1] Srivastava, J. K. et al. 2010. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/.

[2] Yoo, D. Y., Choi, J. H. et al. 2011. Effects of Melissa officinalis L. (lemon balm) extract on neurogenesis associated with serum corticosterone and GABA in the mouse dentate gyrus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21076869.

[3] Lete, I., & Alluέ, J. 2016. The Effectiveness of Ginger in the Prevention of Nausea and Vomiting during Pregnancy and Chemotherapy https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4818021/.

[4] McKay, D. L., & Blumberg, J. B. 2006. A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16767798.