Pregnant | Health Encyclopedia

The keywords of this medical terms: Pregnant

Abuta Tea: Healing Effects

Abuta tea is a complex type of tea, used at first only by midwives to treat different childbirth issues. Now, it is widely-appreciated due to its therapeutic value. About Abuta Tea Abuta is a high-climbing vine, originating from South Africa and being widely known for its efficiency in treating women’s ailments. The plant has woody stems and extremely long roots. Its leaves are heart-shaped and have a waxy texture. The seeds are flat, the flowers grow in panicles, whereas its fruits are bright red, turning black when they are ripened. Practitioners of nowadays medicine have been acknowledged using derivatives of some of the constituents of abuta to block neuromuscular activity during surgery. Extracts of the same plant are included in pharmaceutical products for medical applications. Abuta tea gained its reputation as the brew used by midwives, especially in South America. It is thought to help fighting hemorrhage that may threaten a miscarriage. In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, Abuta tea is believed to have anti-fertility properties. Brewing Abuta Tea Abuta tea can be intaken in the form of capsules or tincture. It can be brewed in the following way:
  • boil the dried roots of the plant ( 20 to 25 minutes)
  • allow the mix to steep (5 minutes)
  • drink it slowly
Abuta Tea benefits Abuta Teais successfully used to:
  • fight kidney stones and bladder infections
  • alleviate fever
  • counter jaundice
  • ease symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism
  • fight gonorrhea
  • treat anemia
Abuta tea is given to women to help ease childbirth. It is also efficient in alleviating the unpleasant menstrual problems. Abuta Tea side effects High doses ofAbuta teacombined with other medications, may lead to respiratory problems. It is not recommended to pregnant or breastfeeding women. Abuta tea is benefic to treat a large array of diseases, being also recommended as an excellent blood depurative.... Beneficial Teas

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Addison’s Disease

The cause of Addison’s disease (also called chronic adrenal insu?ciency and hypocortisolism) is a de?ciency of the adrenocortical hormones CORTISOL, ALDOSTERONE and androgens (see ANDROGEN) due to destruction of the adrenal cortex (see ADRENAL GLANDS). It occurs in about 1 in 25,000 of the population. In the past, destruction of the adrenal cortex was due to TUBERCULOSIS (TB), but nowadays fewer than 20 per cent of patients have TB while 70 per cent suffer from autoimmune damage. Rare causes of Addison’s disease include metastases (see METASTASIS) from CARCINOMA, usually of the bronchus; granulomata (see GRANULOMA); and HAEMOCHROMATOSIS. It can also occur as a result of surgery for cancer of the PITUITARY GLAND destroying the cells which produce ACTH (ADRENOCORTICOTROPHIC HORMONE)

– the hormone which provokes the adrenal cortex into action.

Symptoms The clinical symptoms appear slowly and depend upon the severity of the underlying disease process. The patient usually complains of appetite and weight loss, nausea, weakness and fatigue. The skin becomes pigmented due to the increased production of ACTH. Faintness, especially on standing, is due to postural HYPOTENSION secondary to aldosterone de?ciency. Women lose their axillary hair and both sexes are liable to develop mental symptoms such as DEPRESSION. Acute episodes – Addisonian crises – may occur, brought on by infection, injury or other stressful events; they are caused by a fall in aldosterone levels, leading to abnormal loss of sodium and water via the kidneys, dehydration, low blood pressure and confusion. Patients may develop increased tanning of the skin from extra pigmentation, with black or blue discoloration of the skin, lips, mouth, rectum and vagina occurring. ANOREXIA, nausea and vomiting are common and the sufferer may feel cold.

Diagnosis This depends on demonstrating impaired serum levels of cortisol and inability of these levels to rise after an injection of ACTH.

Treatment consists in replacement of the de?cient hormones. HYDROCORTISONE tablets are commonly used; some patients also require the salt-retaining hormone, ?udrocortisone. Treatment enables them to lead a completely normal life and to enjoy a normal life expectancy. Before surgery, or if the patient is pregnant and unable to take tablets, injectable hydrocortisone may be needed. Rarely, treated patients may have a crisis, perhaps because they have not been taking their medication or have been vomiting it. Emergency resuscitation is needed with ?uids, salt and sugar. Because of this, all patients should carry a card detailing their condition and necessary management. Treatment of any complicating infections such as tuberculosis is essential. Sometimes DIABETES MELLITUS coexists with Addison’s disease and must be treated.

Secondary adrenal insu?ciency may occur in panhypopituitarism (see PITUITARY GLAND), in patients treated with CORTICOSTEROIDS or after such patients have stopped treatment.... Medical Dictionary

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Agrimony Tea

Agrimony tea is widely known for its therapeutical properties and healthy contribution in healing several diseases. It is successfully used in popular medicine since the Elizabethan age, and is considered to cure a large array of medical problems. Agrimony Tea description Agrimony is a dark green plant, from the rose family, originating from the temperate regions of Europe, Canada and US. It possesses a distinctive scent, usually compared to apricots, but slightly bitter. In the Elizabethan era, herbalists largely used Agrimony due to its beneficent properties as a medicine. Agrimony tea is the infusion made from the abovementioned plant, valued for its antioxidant and astringent properties. Brewing Agrimony Tea To prepare Agrimony Tea:
  • Take 1 or 2 teaspoons of dried Agrimony leaves and flowers, for each cup of boiling water
  • Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Cool and strain
The resulting tea has a nice amber color and a slight bitter taste. Agrimony tea can be consumed three times a day, sweetened with licorice or honey. Agrimony Tea benefits Agrimony tea is widely known for its antioxidant and diuretic properties, but also for:
  • fighting inflammations
  • acting against viral infections
  • treating kidney diseases and related bladder disorders
  • aiding difficult digestions
  • improving the liver function
  • treating diarrhea both in adult and in child cases
  • helping in cases of excess vaginal discharges
  • fighting against rheumatism and arthritis
  • curing mild coughs and sore throats
Externally, Agrimony tea can be used as astringent for wounds, for washing the eyes in order to treat conjunctivitis and as gargle and mouth rinse. Agrimony Tea side effects Agrimony tea is not recommended to be drunk in case of blood pressure medication intake. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid this tea due to its influence on menstruation. There have been acknowledged instances in which Agrimony tea caused digestive problems, aggravating constipation. Agrimony tea is a healthy type of tea, recommended to people looking for a balanced diet and a mood enhancer.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Aids/hiv

Acquired Immune De?ciency Syndrome (AIDS) is the clinical manifestation of infection with Human Immunode?ciency Virus (HIV). HIV belongs to the retroviruses, which in turn belong to the lentiviruses (characterised by slow onset of disease). There are two main HIV strains: HIV-1, by far the commonest; and HIV-2, which is prevalent in Western Africa (including Ivory Coast, Gambia, Mali, Nigeria and Sierra Leone). HIV attacks the human immune system (see IMMUNITY) so that the infected person becomes susceptible to opportunistic infections, such as TUBERCULOSIS, PNEUMONIA, DIARRHOEA, MENINGITIS and tumours such as KAPOSI’S SARCOMA. AIDS is thus the disease syndrome associated with advanced HIV infection.

Both HIV-1 and HIV-2 are predominantly sexually transmitted and both are associated with secondary opportunistic infections. However, HIV-2 seems to result in slower damage to the immune system. HIV-1 is known to mutate rapidly and has given rise to other subtypes.

HIV is thought to have occurred in humans in the 1950s, but whether or not it infected humans from another primate species is uncertain. It became widespread in the 1970s but its latency in causing symptoms meant that the epidemic was not noticed until the following decade. Although it is a sexually transmitted disease, it can also be transmitted by intravenous drug use (through sharing an infected needle), blood transfusions with infected blood (hence the importance of e?ective national blood-screening programmes), organ donation, and occupationally (see health-care workers, below). Babies born of HIV-positive mothers can be infected before or during birth, or through breast feeding.

Although HIV is most likely to occur in blood, semen or vaginal ?uid, it has been found in saliva and tears (but not sweat); however, there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted from these two body ?uids. There is also no evidence that HIV can be transmitted by biting insects (such as mosquitoes). HIV does not survive well in the environment and is rapidly destroyed through drying.

Prevalence At the end of 2003 an estimated 42 million people globally were infected with HIV – up from 40 million two years earlier. About one-third of those with HIV/AIDS are aged 15–24 and most are unaware that they are carrying the virus. During 2003 it is estimated that 5 million adults and children worldwide were newly infected with HIV, and that 3 million adults and children died. In Africa in 2003,

3.4 million people were newly infected and 2.3 million died, with more than 28 million carrying the virus. HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa where over half of the infections were in women and 90 per cent of cases resulted from heterosexual sex. In some southern African countries, one in three pregnant women had HIV.

In Asia and the Paci?c there were 1.2 million new infections and 435,000 deaths. The area with the fastest-growing epidemic is Eastern Europe, especially the Russian Federation where in 2002 around a million people had HIV and there were an estimated 250,000 new infections, with intravenous drug use a key contributor to this ?gure. Seventy-?ve per cent of cases occurred in men, with male-to-male sexual transmission an important cause of infection, though heterosexual activity is a rising cause of infection.

At the end of 2002 the UK had an estimated 55,900 HIV-infected adults aged between 15 and 59. More than 3,600 individuals were newly diagnosed with the infection in 2000, the highest annual ?gure since the epidemic started

– in 1998 the ?gure was 2,817 and in 1999 just over 3,000 (Department of Health and Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre). The incidence of AIDS in the UK has declined sharply since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and HIV-related deaths have also fallen: in 2002 there were 777 reported new AIDS cases and 395 deaths, compared with 1,769 and 1,719 respectively in 1995. (Sources: UNAIDS and WHO, AIDS Epidemic Update, December 2001; Public Health Laboratory Services AIDS and STD Centre Communicable Disease Surveillance and Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health, Quarterly Surveillance Tables.)

Poverty is strongly linked to the spread of AIDS, for various reasons including lack of health education; lack of e?ective public-health awareness; women having little control over sexual behaviour and contraception; and, by comparison with the developed world, little or no access to antiretroviral drugs.

Pathogenesis The cellular target of HIV infection is a subset of white blood cells called T-lymphocytes (see LYMPHOCYTE) which carry the CD4 surface receptor. These so-called ‘helper T-cells’ are vital to the function of cell-mediated immunity. Infection of these cells leads to their destruction (HIV replicates at an enormous rate – 109) and over the course of several years the body is unable to generate suf?cient new cells to keep pace. This leads to progressive destruction of the body’s immune capabilities, evidenced clinically by the development of opportunistic infection and unusual tumours.

Monitoring of clinical progression It is possible to measure the number of viral particles present in the plasma. This gives an accurate guide to the likely progression rate, which will be slow in those individuals with fewer than 10,000 particles per ml of plasma but progressively more rapid above this ?gure. The main clinical monitoring of the immune system is through the numbers of CD4 lymphocytes in the blood. The normal count is around 850 cells per ml and, without treatment, eventual progression to AIDS is likely in those individuals whose CD4 count falls below 500 per ml. Opportunistic infections occur most frequently when the count falls below 200 per ml: most such infections are treatable, and death is only likely when the CD4 count falls below 50 cells per ml when infection is developed with organisms that are di?cult to treat because of their low intrinsic virulence.

Simple, cheap and highly accurate tests are available to detect HIV antibodies in the serum. These normally occur within three months of infection and remain the cornerstone of the diagnosis.

Clinical features Most infected individuals have a viral illness some three weeks after contact with HIV. The clinical features are often non-speci?c and remain undiagnosed but include a ?ne red rash, large lymph nodes, an in?uenza-like illness, cerebral involvement and sometimes the development of opportunistic infections. The antibody test may be negative at this stage but there are usually high levels of virus particles in the blood. The antibody test is virtually always positive within three months of infection. HIV infection is often subsequently asymptomatic for a period of ten years or more, although in most patients progressive immune destruction is occurring during this time and a variety of minor opportunistic infections such as HERPES ZOSTER or oral thrush (see CANDIDA) do occur. In addition, generalised LYMPHADENOPATHY is present in a third of patients and some suffer from severe malaise, weight loss, night sweats, mild fever, ANAEMIA or easy bruising due to THROMBOCYTOPENIA.

The presentation of opportunistic infection is highly variable but usually involves either the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, the gastrointestinal tract or the LUNGS. Patients may present with a sudden onset of a neurological de?cit or EPILEPSY due to a sudden onset of a STROKE-like syndrome, or epilepsy due to a space-occupying lesion in the brain – most commonly TOXOPLASMOSIS. In late disease, HIV infection of the central nervous system itself may produce progressive memory loss, impaired concentration and mental slowness called AIDS DEMENTIA. A wide variety of opportunistic PROTOZOA or viruses produces DYSPHAGIA, DIARRHOEA and wasting. In the respiratory system the commonest opportunistic infection associated with AIDS, pneumonia, produces severe shortness of breath and sometimes CYANOSIS, usually with a striking lack of clinical signs in the chest.

In very late HIV infection, when the CD4 count has fallen below 50 cells per ml, infection with CYTOMEGALOVIRUS may produce progressive retinal necrosis (see EYE, DISORDERS OF) which will lead to blindness if untreated, as well as a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms. At this stage, infection with atypical mycobacteria is also common, producing severe anaemia, wasting and fevers. The commonest tumour associated with HIV is Kaposi’s sarcoma which produces purplish skin lesions. This and nonHodgkin’s lymphoma (see LYMPHOMA), which is a hundred times more frequent among HIV-positive individuals than in the general population, are likely to be associated with or caused by opportunistic viral infections.

Prevention There is, as yet, no vaccine to prevent HIV infection. Vaccine development has been hampered

by the large number of new HIV strains generated through frequent mutation and recombination.

because HIV can be transmitted as free virus and in infected cells.

because HIV infects helper T-cells – the very cells involved in the immune response. There are, however, numerous research pro

grammes underway to develop vaccines that are either prophylactic or therapeutic. Vaccine-development strategies have included: recombinant-vector vaccines, in which a live bacterium or virus is genetically modi?ed to carry one or more of the HIV genes; subunit vaccines, consisting of small regions of the HIV genome designed to induce an immune response without infection; modi?ed live HIV, which has had its disease-promoting genes removed; and DNA vaccines – small loops of DNA (plasmids) containing viral genes – that make the host cells produce non-infectious viral proteins which, in turn, trigger an immune response and prime the immune system against future infection with real virus.

In the absence of an e?ective vaccine, preventing exposure remains the chief strategy in reducing the spread of HIV. Used properly, condoms are an extremely e?ective method of preventing exposure to HIV during sexual intercourse and remain the most important public-health approach to countering the further acceleration of the AIDS epidemic. The spermicide nonoxynol-9, which is often included with condoms, is known to kill HIV in vitro; however, its e?ectiveness in preventing HIV infection during intercourse is not known.

Public-health strategies must be focused on avoiding high-risk behaviour and, particularly in developing countries, empowering women to have more control over their lives, both economically and socially. In many of the poorer regions of the world, women are economically dependent on men and refusing sex, or insisting on condom use, even when they know their partners are HIV positive, is not a straightforward option. Poverty also forces many women into the sex industry where they are at greater risk of infection.

Cultural problems in gaining acceptance for universal condom-use by men in some developing countries suggests that other preventive strategies should also be considered. Microbicides used as vaginal sprays or ‘chemical condoms’ have the potential to give women more direct control over their exposure risk, and research is underway to develop suitable products.

Epidemiological studies suggest that male circumcision may o?er some protection against HIV infection, although more research is needed before this can be an established public-health strategy. Globally, about 70 per cent of infected men have acquired the virus through unprotected vaginal sex; in these men, infection is likely to have occurred through the penis with the mucosal epithelia of the inner surface of the foreskin and the frenulum considered the most likely sites for infection. It is suggested that in circumcised men, the glans may become keratinised and thus less likely to facilitate infection. Circumcision may also reduce the risk of lesions caused by other sexually transmitted disease.

Treatment AIDS/HIV treatment can be categorised as speci?c therapies for the individual opportunistic infections – which ultimately cause death – and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) designed to reduce viral load and replication. HAART is also the most e?ective way of preventing opportunistic infections, and has had a signi?cant impact in delaying the onset of AIDS in HIV-positive individuals in developed countries.

Four classes of drugs are currently in use. Nucleoside analogues, including ZIDOVUDINE and DIDANOSINE, interfere with the activity of the unique enzyme of the retrovirus reverse transcriptase which is essential for replication. Nucleotide analogues, such as tenofovir, act in the same way but require no intracellular activation. Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, such as nevirapine and EFAVIRENZ, act by a di?erent mechanism on the same enzyme. The most potent single agents against HIV are the protease inhibitors, such as lopinavir, which render a unique viral enzyme ineffective. These drugs are used in a variety of combinations in an attempt to reduce the plasma HIV viral load to below detectable limits, which is achieved in approximately 90 per cent of patients who have not previously received therapy. This usually also produces a profound rise in CD4 count. It is likely, however, that such treatments need to be lifelong – and since they are associated with toxicities, long-term adherence is di?cult. Thus the optimum time for treatment intervention remains controversial, with some clinicians believing that this should be governed by the viral load rising above 10,000 copies, and others that it should primarily be designed to prevent the development of opportunistic infections – thus, that initiation of therapy should be guided more by the CD4 count.

It should be noted that the drug regimens have been devised for infection with HIV-1; it is not known how e?ective they are at treating infection with HIV-2.

HIV and pregnancy An HIV-positive woman can transmit the virus to her fetus, with the risk of infection being particularly high during parturition; however, the risk of perinatal HIV transmission can be reduced by antiviral drug therapy. In the UK, HIV testing is available to all women as part of antenatal care. The bene?ts of antenatal HIV testing in countries where antiviral drugs are not available are questionable. An HIV-positive woman might be advised not to breast feed because of the risks of transmitting HIV via breastmilk, but there may be a greater risk associated with not breast feeding at all. Babies in many poor communities are thought to be at high risk of infectious diseases and malnutrition if they are not breast fed and may thus be at greater overall risk of death during infancy.

Counselling Con?dential counselling is an essential part of AIDS management, both in terms of supporting the psychological wellbeing of the individual and in dealing with issues such as family relations, sexual partners and implications for employment (e.g. for health-care workers). Counsellors must be particularly sensitive to culture and lifestyle issues. Counselling is essential both before an HIV test is taken and when the results are revealed.

Health-care workers Health-care workers may be at risk of occupational exposure to HIV, either through undertaking invasive procedures or through accidental exposure to infected blood from a contaminated needle (needlestick injury). Needlestick injuries are frequent in health care – as many as 600,000 to 800,000 are thought to occur annually in the United States. Transmission is much more likely where the worker has been exposed to HIV through a needlestick injury or deep cut with a contaminated instrument than through exposure of mucous membranes to contaminated blood or body ?uids. However, even where exposure occurs through a needlestick injury, the risk of seroconversion is much lower than with a similar exposure to hepatitis C or hepatitis B. A percutaneous exposure to HIV-infected blood in a health-care setting is thought to carry a risk of about one infection per 300 injuries (one in 1,000 for mucous-membrane exposure), compared with one in 30 for hepatitis C, and one in three for hepatitis B (when the source patient is e-antigen positive).

In the event of an injury, health-care workers are advised to report the incident immediately where, depending on a risk assessment, they may be o?ered post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). They should also wash the contaminated area with soap and water (but without scrubbing) and, if appropriate, encourage bleeding at the site of injury. PEP, using a combination of antiretroviral drugs (in a similar regimen to HAART – see above), is thought to greatly reduce the chances of seroconversion; it should be commenced as soon as possible, preferably within one or two hours of the injury. Although PEP is available, safe systems of work are considered to o?er the greatest protection. Double-gloving (latex gloves remove much of the blood from the surface of the needle during a needlestick), correct use of sharps containers (for used needles and instruments), avoiding the resheathing of used needles, reduction in the number of blood samples taken from a patient, safer-needle devices (such as needles that self-blunt after use) and needleless drug administration are all thought to reduce the risk of exposure to HIV and other blood-borne viruses. Although there have been numerous cases of health-care workers developing HIV through occupational exposure, there is little evidence of health-care workers passing HIV to their patients through normal medical procedures.... Medical Dictionary

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Albizia Tea Fights Insomnia

Albizia tea is largely-spread worldwide and it provides plenty of health benefits to consumers. It is mainly recommended to patients suffering from ailments afflicting the nerve and brain. Albizia Tea description Albizia is a genus of more than 150 species of trees, occurring in large areas of the world, but mainly in the Old World tropics. It is regarded as an invasive species, growing in dry plains and sandy valleys. The parts considered to have healthy properties are the flowers and the bark. The heads of the Albizia flower are said to have sedative and tonic properties, whereas the bark has proven a stimulant and diuretic action. In ancient traditional Chinese literature, the use of the Albizia herb was related to promoting joy, assuaging sorrow and brightening the eyes. Albizia tea is made from dried blossoms of the abovementioned plant. Albizia Tea brewing To prepare Albizia tea:
  • steep the dried blossoms in a 12-gram cup of hot water (5 minutes)
  • alternatively, place a teaspoon of dried Albizia herb powder in newly-boiled water and similarly steep for about 5 minutes
  • drink the tea slowly
Albizia Tea benefits Albizia tea has proved its efficiencyin:
  • fighting insomnia
  • improving the mood, uplifting the spirit and fighting depression, melancholy and anxiety
  • fighting irritability
  • strengthening mental health
  • relieving stress
  • relieving tightness in the chest
Albizia Tea side effects Albizia tea may interfere with other drugs that one intakes. Before drinking Albizia tea, consumers should consider consulting a licensed health care provider to avoid any possible inconvenience. However, Albizia is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, because there is little scientific evidence that it does not harm the baby. Albizia tea is a healthy type of tea, extensively used to treat insomnia and improve the mood, but it is also recommended to consumers willing to strengthen their mental health.... Beneficial Teas

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Alcohol

A colourless liquid, also called ethanol or ethyl-alcohol, produced by the fermentation of carbohydrates by yeast. Medically, alcohol is used as a solvent and an antiseptic; recreationally it is a widely used drug, taken in alcoholic drinks to give a pleasant taste as well as to relax, reduce inhibitions, and increase sociability. Taken to excess, alcohol causes much mental and physical harm – not just to the individual imbibing it, but often to their family, friends, community and work colleagues.

Alcohol depresses the central nervous system and disturbs both mental and physical functioning. Even small doses of alcohol will slow a person’s re?exes and concentration; potentially dangerous effects when, for example, driving or operating machinery. Drunkenness causes slurred speech, muddled thinking, amnesia (memory loss), drowsiness, erectile IMPOTENCE, poor coordination and dulled reactions – thereby making driving or operating machinery especially dangerous. Disinhibition may lead to extreme euphoria, irritability, misery or aggression, depending on the underlying mood at the start of drinking. Severe intoxication may lead to COMA and respiratory failure.

Persistent alcohol misuse leads to physical, mental, social and occupational problems, as well as to a risk of DEPENDENCE (see also ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE). Misuse may follow several patterns: regular but controlled heavy intake, ‘binge’ drinking, and dependence (alcoholism). The ?rst pattern usually leads to mainly physical problems such as gastritis, peptic ulcer, liver disease, heart disease and impotence. The second is most common among young men and usually leads to mainly social and occupational problems – getting into ?ghts, jeopardising personal relationships, overspending on alcohol at weekends, and missing days o? work because of hangovers. The third pattern – alcohol dependence – is the most serious, and can severely disrupt health and social stability.

Many researchers consider alcohol dependence to be an illness that runs in families, with a genetic component which is probably passed on as a vulnerable personality. But it is hard to disentangle genetic, environmental and social factors in such families. In the UK there are estimated to be around a million people suffering from alcohol dependence and a similar number who have di?culty controlling their consumption (together about 1:30 of the population).

Alcohol causes tolerance and both physical and psychological dependence (see DEPENDENCE for de?nitions). Dependent drinkers classically drink early in the morning to relieve overnight withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include anxiety, restlessness, nausea and vomiting, and tremor. Sudden withdrawal from regular heavy drinking can lead to life-threatening delirium tremens (DTs), with severe tremor, hallucinations (often visual – seeing spiders and monsters, rather than the pink elephants of romantic myth), and CONVULSIONS. This must be treated urgently with sedative drugs, preferably by intravenous drip. Similar symptoms, plus severe INCOORDINATION and double-vision, can occur in WERNICKE’S ENCEPHALOPATHY, a serious neurological condition due to lack of the B vitamin thiamine (whose absorption from the stomach is markedly reduced by alcohol). If not treated urgently with injections of thiamine and other vitamins, this can lead to an irreversible form of brain damage called Korsako?’s psychosis, with severe amnesia. Finally, prolonged alcohol misuse can cause a form of dementia.

In addition to these severe neurological disorders, the wide range of life-threatening problems caused by heavy drinking includes HEPATITIS, liver CIRRHOSIS, pancreatitis (see PANCREAS, DISEASES OF), gastrointestinal haemorrhage, suicide and FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME; pregnant women should not drink alcohol as this syndrome may occur with more than a glass of wine or half-pint of beer a day. The social effects of alcohol misuse – such as marital breakdown, family violence and severe debt – can be equally devastating.

Treatment of alcohol-related problems is only moderately successful. First, many of the physical problems are treated in the short term by doctors who fail to spot, or never ask about, heavy drinking. Second, attempts at treating alcohol dependence by detoxi?cation or ‘drying out’ (substituting a tranquillising drug for alcohol and withdrawing it gradually over about a week) are not always followed-up by adequate support at home, so that drinking starts again. Home support by community alcohol teams comprising doctors, nurses, social workers and, when appropriate, probation o?cers is a recent development that may have better results. Many drinkers ?nd the voluntary organisation Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and its related groups for relatives (Al-Anon) and teenagers (Alateen) helpful because total abstinence from alcohol is encouraged by intensive psychological and social support from fellow ex-drinkers.

Useful contacts are: Alcoholics Anonymous; Al-Anon Family Groups UK and Eire (including Alateen); Alcohol Concern; Alcohol Focus Scotland; and Alcohol and Substance Misuse.

1 standard drink =1 unit

=••• pint of beer

=1 measure of spirits

=1 glass of sherry or vermouth

=1 glass of wine

Limits within which alcohol is believed not to cause long-term health risks:... Medical Dictionary

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Alfalfa Tea: A Nutritional Tea

Alfalfa tea is known for more than 2000 years and its benefits are shown by recent studies to be good in treating ailments such as kidney stones or arthritis. Alfalfa: the plant and the tea Alfalfa, literally meaning “the father of plants”, is also known as lucerne, holy-hay or trefoil. It has a high nutritional content, and is best known for possessing A, B, C, D, E and K vitamins. This plant has been originally used only as horse feed, but due to its nutritional benefits its usage has been extended to human consumption too. It proved to be a good soil fertilizer, especially a plant growth regulator. As part of the human diet, at first, it was used to promote appetite and stop bleeding, but further studies have revealed many other health benefits. Alfalfa tea is the beverage resulting from brewing the dried herbs. Brewing Alfalfa Tea To make Alfalfa tea:
  • take the dried leaves
  • soak them in boiling water
  • steep them for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the quantity and flavor preferences)
Consumers described the taste of the resulting Alfalfa tea as refreshing and pleasant to drink. For medicinal purposes, it is advisable to have 5,000 to 10,000 mg of alfalfa leaves steeped three times a day. Another efficient way of intaking Alfalfa is through herbal supplements, like tablets or capsules. Alfalfa Tea benefits Alfalfa tea is successfully used to:
  • lower cholesterol levels
  • help keep calcium in bones and out of artery linings
  • help lower blood sugar levels
  • help in treatment of upset stomach
  • alleviate kidney and bladder woes
  • stimulate the immune system
  • purify the blood
  • carry intestinal waste out of the body
  • reduce cancer risks
Alfalfa Tea side effects Studies have shown that consuming Alfalfa tea, especially in high doses,could have side effects, such as: breaking down red blood cells, aggravating or even causing symptoms similar to systemic lupus erythematosus disease (SLE). The abovementioned tea is not recommended to pregnant or nursing women, and its administration is not advisable to children suffering from diabetes or autoimmune disease. Alfalfa tea is a modern cure for a large array of diseases. It is also largely used as cattle food, due to its nutritional content.... Beneficial Teas

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Allspice Tea: A Tasty Choice

Allspice tea is well known for its healing properties and, it proved to be an important ingredient when cooking stews, soups but not only. Allspice Tea description The Allspice plant was discovered by Christopher Columbus on a Jamaican island, in 1494. The Spaniards called it “pimienta” (pepper) and started to use it widely when cooking. It is a small berry, tasting like a mixture of pepper, cloves, juniper, nutmeg and cinnamon. Nowadays, this plant is added to recipes and brewes in order to obtain a healing beverage. Due to its taste, Allspice is commonly used to flavor stews and soups. Rice dishes become tastier when this spice is added. Allspice tea is best known for its aid in digestive processes but not only. Allspice Tea brewing To prepare Allspice tea:
  • place 1 or 2 teaspoons of dried allspice fruit (or powder) in 1 cup of boiling water
  • steep them for 10 to 20 minutes
  • drink the tea (sugar or honey might be added)
Allspice Tea benefits Allspice tea is said to:
  • facilitate and promote good digestion
  • help bloating, belching and flatulence
  • help in preventing allergies
  • help lower blood sugar
  • help relieve toothache and muscle/joint pain
  • help uplift the mood and relax the body
Allspice Tea side effects Breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women must not take allspice in any form. Allspice tea may cause serious allergic reactions in hypersensitive individuals. It is contraindicated for those with chronic gastrointestinal conditions such as duodenal ulcers, reflux disease, spastic colitis, diverticulitis, disarticulates and ulcerative colitis. It should not be consumed by patients with cancer. Also, allspice tea should not be intaken by people with a high risk of cancer. Discovered by Christopher Columbus, allspice plant was firstused in cooking recipes and afterwards, the resulting beverage turned out to be a useful aid in treating several ailments. Allspice tea is a good choice to treat oneself and to strengthen the body.... Beneficial Teas

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Amniocentesis

A diagnostic procedure for detecting abnormalities of the FETUS. Usually carried out between the 16th and 18th week of pregnancy, amniocentesis is performed by piercing the amniotic sac in the pregnant UTERUS with a hollow needle and withdrawing a sample of AMNIOTIC FLUID for laboratory analysis. As well as checking for the presence of abnormal fetal cells, the procedure can show the sex of the fetus. The risk of early rupture of the fetal membranes or of miscarriage is low (around 0.5 per cent).... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Amnioscopy

The insertion of a viewing instrument (amnioscope) through the abdominal wall into the pregnant UTERUS to examine the inside of the amniotic sac (see AMNION). The growing FETUS can be viewed directly and its condition and sex assessed without disturbing the pregnancy. The amniotic sac may also be viewed late in pregnancy through the cervix or neck of the womb using an instrument called the fetoscope.... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Anaemia

The condition characterised by inadequate red blood cells and/or HAEMOGLOBIN in the BLOOD. It is considered to exist if haemoglobin levels are below 13 grams per 100 ml in males and below 12 grams per 100 ml in adult nonpregnant women. No simple classi?cation of anaemia can be wholly accurate, but the most useful method is to divide anaemias into: (a) microcytic hypochromic or iron de?ciency anaemia; (b) megaloblastic hyperchromic anaemia; (c) aplastic anaemia; (d) haemolytic anaemia; (e) inherited anaemias (see below).

In Britain, anaemia is much more common among women than men. Thus, around 10 per cent of girls have anaemia at the age of 15, whilst in adult life the incidence is over 30 per cent between the ages of 30 and 40, around 20 per cent at 50, and around 30 per cent at 70. Among men the incidence is under 5 per cent until the age of 50; it then rises to 20 per cent at the age of 70. Ninety per cent of all cases of anaemia in Britain are microcytic, 7 per cent are macrocytic, and 3 per cent are haemolytic or aplastic. Inherited anaemias include sickle-cell anaemia and THALASSAEMIA.... Dictionary of Tropical Medicine

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Dictionary of Tropical Medicine

Anamu Tea

Anamu tea is largely known for its healing properties, especially anti-cancer. It is also used in religious rituals and to repel insects, due to its garlic-like odor. Anamu Tea description Anamu is a perennial shrub, growing especially in America. Its roots and leaves give off a pungent odor reminiscent of garlic, due to which the plant is also known as “garlic weed”. Its flowers and roots have been used as a medical remedy for diverse ailments affecting the digestive and urinary tract. Early inhabitants of the American continent used anamu to treat themselves from snakebites and arrow poisoning. Anamu tea, the beverage resulting from brewing the abovementioned plant, is one of the most used medicinal herbs in South and Central America, known for its anti-cancer and sedative properties, but not only. Anamu Tea brewing To prepare Anamu tea:
  • Place about 30 grams of the dried anamu plant in one liter of boiling water
  • Let it boil for about 15 minutes
  • Take it out of the heat
  • Let the mix steep for 7 minutes
  • Drink it slowly
 ¼ cup may be intaken three times a day. Anamu powder tablet and capsules are also good to enjoy this plant’s benefits. Anamu Tea benefits Anamu tea is known to:
  • lower the risk of developing tumors and cancer
  • help fight inflammations that cause many different kinds of pain such as arthritis, rheumatism and headaches
  • help strengthen the immune system by killing viruses, bacteria, candida and fungi
  • help fight diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels
  • help reduce fever and flu
  • help sedate the nervous system
  • fight anxiety
  • help in detoxification by promoting urination, as well as perspiration
  • help promote menstruation
  • help fight congestion-related problems such as cough, colds and sinusitis
  • help ease muscle spasms
Anamu Tea side effects Anamu tea is not recommended to pregnant women. Studies revealed that the intake may cause contractions and afterwards, miscarriages. Patients suffering from blood disorders should ask their physicians before consuming Anamu tea because it has been discovered that it has a blood thinning effect on the body. Complications were noticed for people with hypoglycemia. Anamu tea is a healthy beverage, which may successfully enhance immunity, kill cancer cells or reduce pain. It is a good choice for people looking to improve their daily diet.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Andrographis Tea: A Drop Of Health

Andrographis Tea is well known for its bitter taste, as well as for its healthy benefits. It has proven to be an adjuvant in treating severe illness such as hepatitis, due to its high content of antioxidants. Andrographis Tea description Andrographis is originating from Asia, being used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. The plant is easy to grow: its propagation is by seeds, planted during spring and summer. Andrographis grows both in full sun or shade, developing vigorously in moist conditions. The herb has been proved to treat infectious diseases. This fact was discovered during the global flu epidemic of 1919, known as one of the most destructive infectious to outbreak in history, which killed millions worldwide, in many countries. Andrographis Tea is the resulting beverage from brewing the andrographis plant. It is widely known for its bitter taste as well as for its adjuvant properties against flu, depression, digestion complaints, but not only. Andrographis Tea brewing To brew Andrographis tea:
  • place 1 teaspoon of dried andrographis in a tea infuser (10 grams of fresh leaves)
  • place the infuser in a tea cup
  • cover it with 1 cup of boiling water
  • steep the tea for 10 minutes
  • drink it slowly
The resulting tea has an extreme bitter taste. Another possibility of enjoying the benefits of Andrographis tea is to intake capsules containing the plant. Andrographis Tea benefits Andrographis Tea has many proven benefits, such as:
  • Treating gastrointestinal complains
  • Treating throat infections
  • Dispelling toxins
  • Increasing biliary flow
  • Treating coughs, headaches, edema
  • Treating pain conditions, inflammation
  • Treating arthritis, rheumatism
  • Treating constipation
  • Treating pneumonia, tuberculosis, leprosy, hepatitis, herpes, diabetes, bronchitis
Andrographis Tea side effects It has been showed that Andrographis Tea should not be used by pregnant and nursing women or by children. It has been also noticed that large doses of Andrographis Tea may lead to infertility. Andrographis Tea is a healthy beverage which has the ability to strengthen the immune system, stop cancer cells from multiplying, and also render a good physical state. It can be consumed as tea or medicinal pills.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Anise Tea: For Digestion

Anise tea is largely used both for culinary and medicinal purposes. It is an important ingredient in the pharmaceutical industry, proving itself useful in enhancing the supply of mother’s milk, but not only. Anise Tea description Anise is a sweet and strong-fragranced plant, known for its star-shaped fruits, harvested just before they ripen. It belongs to the same plant family as carrots, fennel and caraway. Due to its licorice flavor, it is usually added to candies, drinks and food. Anise could be added to mouthwashes and toothpastes, mainly to those found in the natural food stores. Anise tea is the resulting beverage from brewing this plant. Anise Tea brewing To brew Anise tea:
  • Boil 1 1/2 cups of water with anise seeds
  • Boil 1 1/2 cups of water (in another pot)
  • Add the tea bags
  • Steep them both (10 minutes)
  • Strain anise water into the pot containing tea
  • Pour into serving cups
Lemon and honey may be added (depending on the consumer›s taste). Anise Tea benefits Anise tea is a popular beverage, especially in the Middle East, where it is used to sooth a stomachache or to relieve intestinal gas. It can be administrated even to children. Anise tea has proven its efficiency in dealing with:
  • the overall treatment of such respiratory ailments as colds, pneumonia, bronchitis and sinusitis
  • an upset stomach and flatulence
  • the treatment of colic
  • loosen phlegm in the throat and lungs
  • hiccups
Anise Tea side effects Anise tea is not recommended to pregnant and breast-feeding women. Rarely, Anise tea can cause allergic reactions. Consumers should watch for signs of rash, hives or swelling of the tongue, throat, lips or face. If any of these symptoms occur, stop using anise and ask your health care provider. Anise tea is a healthy choice for a balanced diet.This tea is best known as an adjuvant in the digestive processes and also, as an aid for respiratory problems.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Antenatal Care

The protocol which doctors and midwives follow to ensure that the pregnant mother and her FETUS are kept in good health, and that the pregnancy and birth have a satisfactory outcome. The pregnant mother is seen regularly at a clinic where, for example, her blood pressure is checked, the growth and development of her child-to-be are carefully assessed, and any problem or potential problems dealt with. Most antenatal care deals with normal pregnancies and is supervised by general practitioners and midwives in primary-care clinics. If any serious problems are identi?ed, the mother can be referred to specialists’ clinics in hospitals. (See PREGNANCY AND LABOUR.)... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Aristolochia Bracteolata

Lam.

Synonym: A. bracteata Retz.

Family: Aristolochiaceae.

Habitat: Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and western peninsular India.

English: Bracteated Birthwort.

Ayurvedic: Kitamaari, Dhumrapa- traa, Naakuli.

Unani: Kiraamaar.

Siddha/Tamil: Aadutheendaappaalai, Kattusuragam.

Action: Oxytocic, abortifacient, emmenagogue.

Leaves and fruit contain ceryl alcohol, aristolochic acid and beta-sitos- terol. Aristolochic acid is insecticidal, poisonous, nephrotoxic. Leaf juice— vermifuge. Seeds—strong purgative. Products containing aristolochic acid are banned in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, European countries and Japan.

The seed compounds, aristolochic acid and magnoflorine, induce contractions in the isolated uterus of pregnant rat and stimulate the isolated ileum of guinea pig. They also activate the muscarinic and serotoner- gic receptors in a variety of organs. Magnoflorine decreases arterial blood pressure in rabbits, and induces hypothermia in mice.

See also A. longa.... Indian Medicinal Plants

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Indian Medicinal Plants

Artichoke Leaf Tea

Artichoke leaf tea is one of oldest natural remedies valued by Egyptians. Nowadays, it is largely used to treat ailments like constipation, indigestion or liver disorders, but not only. Artichoke leaf tea description Artichoke is a perennial thistle plant originating from the Mediterranean areas of Southern Europe and North Africa. It has arching leaves which are deeply lobed. Artichoke usually blossoms from the end of spring up to the middle of summer. It is said to be one of the world’s oldest vegetables. People normally intake the fleshy portion of the artichoke leaves, its green base and its core. Artichoke leaf tea is the beverage resulting from brewing the leaves of the abovementioned plant. It is a caffeine-free substitute for those who want to avoid consuming coffee. Artichoke Leaf Tea brewing To prepare Artichoke leaf tea, consumers need a teapot, a strainer and a heatproof cup or mug:
  • Heat water in a teapot to about 208 degrees F (or bring the water to a boil)
  • Remove from heat for a minute or two
  • Pour water into your cup or mug
  • Immerse the tea bag (in case of loose-leaf tea, use a tea strainer)
  • Let it steep for four to five minutes (If you steep the tea longer, the flavor will be stronger, but the tea might taste bitter)
  • Remove the tea from the mug and serve it
  • Add milk and/or sugar to taste
Artichoke Leaf Tea benefits Studies have shown that Artichoke leaf tea is successfully used to:
  • lower bad cholesterol levels
  • lower the risks of cardiovascular diseases
  • promote good digestion by helping relieve constipation, heartburn, diarrhea and bloating
  • support the functions of the liver fighting against cirrhosis and other ailments of the liver
  • help lower blood sugar levels
  • help lower the risks for diabetes
  • help in the treatment of problems affecting the kidney
  • strengthen the immune system
  • eliminate toxins
  • clean the skin
Artichoke Leaf Tea side effects Artichoke leaf tea is not recommended for patients with gallstones. Pregnant and nursing women, as well as small children, should not intake it until further research is conducted. Artichoke leaf tea is a beverage with no caffeine content, used to help in treating a large array of diseases. Except its healthy properties, it can be a good alternative for an afternoon or evening tea.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Ashwagandha Tea Increases Libido

Ashwagandha tea has a long medicinal history, being used for its healing properties byAyurveda practitioners, native Americans and Africans. At present, it is used to improve memory, but not only. What is Ashwagandha? Ashwagandha is a stout shrub that belongs to the nightshade family, but it does not possess poisonous properties.  It grows in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. Literally translated, Ashwagandha means horse smell. It has been also known as “India’s ginseng” or “winter cherry.” In Ayurveda, practitioners use Ashwagandha for its medicinal properties which enhance longevity and health in general. Native Americans and Africans have been using Ashwagandha to heal inflammation, fevers and infection. The plant has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. Ashwagandha can be taken as tea, as tincture, in capsule form, or as an extract. Ashwagandha tea is the resulting beverage from brewing the abovementioned plant. Ashwagandha tea brewing To prepare Ashwagandha tea:
  • Place about 1 teaspoon of dried ashwagandha leaves in boiling water.
  • Let the mix steep for about 15 minutes and cool.
  • Strain and then drink.
Ashwagandha tea benefits Studies revealed that Ashwagandha tea is successfully used to:
  • calm the nerves and treat severe stress and nervous exhaustion
  • help in the treatment of hypertension
  • clear the mind, as well as to improve memory and cognitive abilities
  • help in fighting arthritis
  • help in restoring sexual vitality, especially in males
It also has anti-carcinogenic and anti-cancer properties. Ashwagandha tea is recommended for expectant mothers. It is said to purify the mother’s blood and strengthen her immune system. Because it acts as a uterine sedative, Ashwagandha tea is used during childbirth, bytraditional Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha tea side effects Ashwagandha tea is not recommended to pregnant women. To avoid any possible side effects, consumers should not intake the tea in high doses or for long periods of time. Ashwagandha tea is a good choice when looking for an increased libido, or an adjuvant against cancer, due to its antioxidant content. It can be also used to enhance the immune system and thus, to release stress.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Asparagus

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: High Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: Moderate Fiber: Moderate Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, folate, vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Potassium, iron

About the Nutrients in This Food Asparagus has some dietary fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It is an excel- lent source of the B vitamin folate. A serving of four cooked asparagus spears (½ inch wide at the base) has 1.2 g dietary fiber, 604 IU vitamin A (26 percent of the R DA for a woman, 20 percent of the R DA for a man), 4.5 mg vitamin C (6 percent of the R DA for a woman, 5 percent of the R DA for a man), and 89 mcg folate (22 percent of the R DA).

The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Fresh, boiled and drained. Canned asparagus may have less than half the nutrients found in freshly cooked spears.

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Low-sodium diet (canned asparagus)

Buying This Food Look for: Bright green stalks. The tips should be purplish and tightly closed; the stalks should be firm. Asparagus is in season from March through August. Avoid: Wilted stalks and asparagus whose buds have opened.

Storing This Food Store fresh asparagus in the refrigerator. To keep it as crisp as possible, wrap it in a damp paper towel and then put the whole package into a plastic bag. Keeping asparagus cool helps it hold onto its vitamins. At 32°F, asparagus will retain all its folic acid for at least two weeks and nearly 80 percent of its vitamin C for up to five days; at room temperature, it would lose up to 75 percent of its folic acid in three days and 50 percent of the vitamin C in 24 hours.

Preparing This Food The white part of the fresh green asparagus stalk is woody and tasteless, so you can bend the stalk and snap it right at the line where the green begins to turn white. If the skin is very thick, peel it, but save the parings for soup stock.

What Happens When You Cook This Food Chlorophyll, the pigment that makes green vegetables green, is sensitive to acids. When you heat asparagus, its chlorophyll will react chemically with acids in the asparagus or in the cooking water to form pheophytin, which is brown. As a result, cooked asparagus is olive-drab. You can prevent this chemical reaction by cooking the asparagus so quickly that there is no time for the chlorophyll to react with acids, or by cooking it in lots of water (which will dilute the acids), or by leaving the lid off the pot so that the volatile acids can float off into the air. Cooking also changes the texture of asparagus: water escapes from its cells and they collapse. Adding salt to the cooking liquid slows the loss of moisture.

How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Canning. The intense heat of can ning makes asparagus soft, robs it of its bright green color, and reduces the vitamin A, B, and C content by at least half. ( White asparagus, which is bleached to remove the green color, contains about 5 percent of the vitamin A in fresh asparagus.) With its liquid, can ned asparagus, green or white, contains about 90 times the sodium in fresh asparagus ( 348 mg in 3.5 oz. can ned against 4 mg in 3.5 oz. fresh boiled asparagus).

Medical Uses and/or Benefits Lower risk of some birth defects. As many as two of every 1,000 babies born in the United States each year may have cleft palate or a neural tube (spinal cord) defect due to their moth- ers’ not having gotten adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy. The R DA for folate is 400 mcg for healthy adult men and women, 600 mcg for pregnant women, and 500 mcg for women who are nursing. Taking folate supplements before becoming pregnant and through the first two months of pregnancy reduces the risk of cleft palate; taking folate through the entire pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Lower risk of heart attack. In the spring of 1998, an analysis of data from the records for more than 80,000 women enrolled in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard School of Public Health/Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, in Boston, demonstrated that a diet providing more than 400 mcg folate and 3 mg vitamin B6 daily, from either food or supplements, more than twice the current R DA for each, may reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent. Although men were not included in the analysis, the results are assumed to apply to them as well. However, data from a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2006 called this theory into question. Researchers at Tulane Univer- sity examined the results of 12 controlled studies in which 16,958 patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease were given either folic acid supplements or placebos (“look-alike” pills with no folic acid) for at least six months. The scientists, who found no reduction in the risk of further heart disease or overall death rates among those taking folic acid, concluded that further studies will be required to verify whether taking folic acid supplements reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Odorous urine. After eating asparagus, we all excrete the sulfur compound methyl mercap- tan, a smelly waste product, in our urine.

Food/Drug Interactions Anticoagulants. Asparagus is high in vitamin K, a vitamin manufactured naturally by bac- teria in our intestines, an adequate supply of which enables blood to clot normally. Eating foods that contain this vitamin may interfere with the effectiveness of anticoagulants such as heparin and warfarin (Coumadin, Dicumarol, Panwarfin) whose job is to thin blood and dissolve clots.... Medicinal Plants

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Medicinal Plants

Assisted Conception

(Further information about the subject and the terms used can be found at http:// www.hfea.gov.uk/glossary)

This technique is used when normal methods of attempted CONCEPTION or ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION with healthy SEMEN have failed. In the UK, assisted-conception procedures are governed by the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Act 1990, which set up the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA).

Human Fertilisation & Embryology Act 1990 UK legislation was prompted by the report on in vitro fertilisation produced by a government-appointed committee chaired by Baroness Warnock. This followed the birth, in 1978, of the ?rst ‘test-tube’ baby.

This Act allows regulation monitoring of all treatment centres to ensure that they carry out treatment and research responsibly. It covers any fertilisation that uses donated eggs or sperm (called gametes) – for example, donor insemination or embryos (see EMBRYO) grown outside the human body (known as licensed treatment). The Act also covers research on human embryos with especial emphasis on foolproof labelling and immaculate data collection.

Human Fertilisation & EmbryologyAuthority (HFEA) Set up by the UK government following the Warnock report, the Authority’s 221 members inspect and license centres carrying out fertilisation treatments using donated eggs and sperm. It publishes a code of practice advising centres on how to conduct their activities and maintains a register of information on donors, patients and all treatments. It also reviews routinely progress and research in fertility treatment and the attempted development of human CLONING. Cloning to produce viable embryos (reproductive cloning) is forbidden, but limited licensing of the technique is allowed in specialist centres to enable them to produce cells for medical treatment (therapeutic cloning).

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) In this technique, the female partner receives drugs to enhance OVULATION. Just before the eggs are released from the ovary (see OVARIES), several ripe eggs are collected under ULTRASOUND guidance or through a LAPAROSCOPE. The eggs are incubated with the prepared sperm. About 40 hours later, once the eggs are fertilised, two eggs (three in special circumstances) are transferred into the mother’s UTERUS via the cervix (neck of the womb). Pregnancy should then proceed normally. About one in ?ve IVF pregnancies results in the birth of a child. The success rate is lower in women over 40.

Indications In women with severely damaged FALLOPIAN TUBES, IVF o?ers the only chance of pregnancy. The method is also used in couples with unexplained infertility or with male-factor infertility (where sperms are abnormal or their count low). Women who have had an early or surgically induced MENOPAUSE can become pregnant using donor eggs. A quarter of these pregnancies are multiple – that is, produce twins or more. Twins and triplets are more likely to be premature. The main danger of ovarian stimulation for IVF is hyperstimulation which can cause ovarian cysts. (See OVARIES, DISEASES OF.)... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Avocados

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate Protein: Low Fat: High Saturated fat: High Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: Moderate Fiber: High to very high Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: Vitamins A, folate, vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Potassium

About the Nutrients in This Food The avocado is an unusual fruit because about 16 percent of its total weight is fat, primarily monounsaturated fatty acids. Like many other fruits, avo- cados are high in fiber (the Florida avocado is very high in fiber), a good source of the B vitamin folate, vitamin C, and potassium. The edible part of half of one average size avocado (100 g/3.5 ounces) provides 6.7 g dietary fiber, 15 g fat (2.1 g saturated fat, 9.7 g monoun- saturated fat, 1.8 g polyunsaturated fat), 81 mcg folate (20 percent of the R DA), 20 mg vitamin C (26 percent of the R DA for a woman, 22 percent for a man), and 485 mg potassium (the equivalent of one eight-ounce cup of fresh orange juice). The edible part of one-half a Florida avocado (a.k.a. alligator pear) has eight grams dietary fiber, 13.5 g fat (2.65 g saturated fat), 81 mcg folate (41 percent of the R DA for a man, 45 percent of the R DA for a woman), 12 mg vitamin C (20 percent of the R DA), and 741 mg potassium, 50 percent more than one cup fresh orange juice.

Diets That May Exclude or Restrict This Food Controlled-potassium diet Low-fat diet

Buying This Food Look for: Fruit that feels heavy for its size. The avocados most commonly sold in the U.S. are the Hass—a purple-black bumpy fruit that accounts for 85 percent of the avocados shipped from California—and the smooth-skinned Florida avocado (“alligator pear”). The oval, midwinter Bacon; the pear-shaped, late-fall Fuerte; the Gwen, a slightly larger Hass; Pinkerton, pear-shaped with a smaller seed; the round summer Reed; and the yellow-green, pear-shaped Zutano. Avoid: Avocados with soft dark spots on the skin that indicate damage underneath.

Storing This Food Store hard, unripened avocados in a warm place; a bowl on top of the refrigerator will do. Avocados are shipped before they ripen, when the flesh is hard enough to resist bruising in transit, but they ripen off the tree and will soften nicely at home. Store soft, ripe avocados in the refrigerator to slow the natural enzyme action that turns their flesh brown as they mature even when the fruit has not been cut.

Preparing This Food When you peel or slice an avocado, you tear its cell walls, releasing polyphenoloxidase, an enzyme that converts phenols in the avocado to brownish compounds that darken the avocado’s naturally pale green flesh. You can slow this reaction (but not stop it completely) by brushing the exposed surface of the avocado with an acid (lemon juice or vinegar). To store a cut avocado, brush it with lemon juice or vinegar, wrap it tightly in plastic, and keep it in the refrigerator—where it will eventually turn brown. Or you can store the avocado as guacamole; mixing it with lemon juice, tomatoes, onions, and mayonnaise (all of which are acidic) is an efficient way to protect the color of the fruit.

Medical Uses and/or Benefits Lower risk of some birth defects. As many as two of every 1,000 babies born in the United States each year may have cleft palate or a neural tube (spinal cord) defect due to their moth- ers’ not having gotten adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy. The current R DA for folate is 180 mcg for a healthy woman and 200 mcg for a healthy man, but the FDA now recommends 400 mcg for a woman who is or may become pregnant. Taking folate supple- ments before becoming pregnant and through the first two months of pregnancy reduces the risk of cleft palate; taking folate through the entire pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Lower risk of heart attack. In the spring of 1998, an analysis of data from the records for more than 80,000 women enrolled in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard School of Public Health/Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, in Boston, demonstrated that a diet providing more than 400 mcg folate and 3 mg vitamin B6 daily, from either food or supplements, more than twice the current R DA for each, may reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent. Although men were not included in the analysis, the results are assumed to apply to them as well. However, data from a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2006 called this theory into question. Researchers at Tulane Univer- sity examined the results of 12 controlled studies in which 16,958 patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease were given either folic acid supplements or placebos (“look-alike” pills with no folic acid) for at least six months. The scientists, who found no reduction in the risk of further heart disease or overall death rates among those taking folic acid, concluded that further studies will be required to ascertain whether taking folic acid supplements reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Lower levels of cholesterol. Avocados are rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat believed to reduce cholesterol levels. Potassium benefits. Because potassium is excreted in urine, potassium-rich foods are often recommended for people taking diuretics. In addition, a diet rich in potassium (from food) is associated with a lower risk of stroke. A 1998 Harvard School of Public Health analysis of data from the long-running Health Professionals Study shows 38 percent fewer strokes among men who ate nine servings of high potassium foods a day vs. those who ate less than four servings. Among men with high blood pressure, taking a daily 1,000 mg potas- sium supplement—about the amount of potassium in one avocado—reduced the incidence of stroke by 60 percent.

Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Latex-fruit syndrome. Latex is a milky fluid obtained from the rubber tree and used to make medical and surgical products such as condoms and protective latex gloves, as well as rubber bands, balloons, and toys; elastic used in clothing; pacifiers and baby-bottle nipples; chewing gum; and various adhesives. Some of the proteins in latex are allergenic, known to cause reactions ranging from mild to potentially life-threatening. Some of the pro- teins found naturally in latex also occur naturally in foods from plants such as avocados, bananas, chestnuts, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, and food and diet sodas sweetened with aspar- tame. Persons sensitive to these foods are likely to be sensitive to latex as well. NOT E : The National Institute of Health Sciences, in Japan, also lists the following foods as suspect: A lmonds, apples, apricots, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, buckwheat, cantaloupe, carrots, celer y, cherries, chestnuts, coconut, figs, grapefruit, lettuce, loquat, mangoes, mushrooms, mustard, nectarines, oranges, passion fruit, papaya, peaches, peanuts, peppermint, pine- apples, potatoes, soybeans, strawberries, walnuts, and watermelon.

Food/Drug Interactions MAO inhibitors. Monoamine oxidase (M AO) inhibitors are drugs used as antidepressants or antihypertensives. They inhibit the action of enzymes that break down the amino acid tyramine so it can be eliminated from the body. Tyramine is a pressor amine, a chemical that constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure. If you eat a food such as avocado that contains tyramine while you are taking an M AO inhibitor you cannot eliminate the pressor amine, and the result may be abnormally high blood pressure or a hypertensive crisis (sus- tained elevated blood pressure). False-positive test for tumors. Carcinoid tumors (which may arise from tissues in the endo- crine system, the intestines, or the lungs) secrete serotonin, a natural chemical that makes blood vessels expand or contract. Because serotonin is excreted in urine, these tumors are diagnosed by measuring the levels of serotonin by-products in the urine. Avocados contain large amounts of serotonin; eating them in the three days before a test for an endocrine tumor might produce a false-positive result, suggesting that you have the tumor when in fact you don’t. (Other foods high in serotonin are bananas, eggplant, pineapples, plums, tomatoes, and walnuts.)... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

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A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Bai Hao Oolong Tea - The Taiwanese Oolong Tea

Bai Hao Oolong Tea is a type of oolong tea, made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Although Oolong tea is known as a traditional Chinese tea, the Bai Hao Oolong tea is made in Taiwan. Find out more about the Bai Hao Oolong tea! About Bai Hao Oolong tea Bai Hao Oolong tea is a type of Oolong tea produced in Taiwan, in the Hsinchu County. In English, it means “white tip oolong tea”. It is also known by the name Dongfang meiren; in English, its name is translated as “oriental beauty tea”. It is also said that, at the beginning of the 20th century, a British tea merchant presented Queen Elizabeth II. After tasting it, she also called it “Oriental Beauty”, which became one of the tea’s well-known names. The name Bai Hao Oolong tea, translated as “white tip oolong tea”, refers to the leaves. Theyare dark purple or brown, while the tips have a white, silvery color. The Bai Hao Oolong tea has a sweet and fruity taste, while the color of the beverage is a beautiful bright reddish-orange. Production of Bai Hao Oolong tea The tea bushes that produce the leaves of Bai Hao Oolong tea are cultivated in Northern Taiwan. They are grown without using any kind of pesticide. This is to encourage the tea green leafhopper to feed on the leaves, stems, and buds in order to suck the phloem juice. The buds then turn white, as the plant becomes oxidized where it was bit. This is what gives the tea its unique, sweet flavor. In order to have the tea green leafhopper bite on the plants, it is necessary that the bushes producing Bai Hao Oolongtea leaves be cultivated in warmer areas. The tea bushes are planted in the northwestern part of the country, in lower altitude areas which have sufficient sunshine and humidity. It is harvested during mid-summer and then, it is fermented up to 70%. Only the bud and the top two leaves are used. How to prepare Bai Hao Oolong tea In order to prepare Bai Hao Oolong tea, use two grams of tea leaves for every 150 ml of water. The ideal water temperature is around 80°C-85°C, while the steeping time is of 1-2 minutes. The Bai Hao Oolongtea leaves can be used for more than one brewing, though you have to gradually increase steeping time. Benefits of Bai Hao Oolong tea Oolong teas are good for our health, and the Bai Hao Oolong tea is not an exception. Read more about some health benefits of the Bai Hao Oolong tea. First, the polyphenols in its composition help you to lose weight. They increase the function of the enzymes which are responsible with burning fat. That’s why it’s a good idea to drink cups of Bai Hao Oolong teaif you’re on a diet. Bai Hao Oolong tea also contains fluoride, which helps you maintain a good oral hygiene. It helps protect your teeth as it prevents the decaying of teeth and stops the plaque build-up. Overall, it makes your teeth stronger. The polyphenols in the Bai Hao Oolong tea also help treat skin problems such as eczema and rashes. Other skin problems can be treated with Bai Hao Oolong tea, as well. The antioxidants in its composition fight against the free radicals affecting your skin. Some of the skin benefits include reducing the dark spots and wrinkles, slowing down the aging process, and improving the color of the skin. They also help protect you against cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Drinking Bai Hao Oolong tea also helps reduce high blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It is especially good for diabetes patients, who can keep the blood glucose level under control. Lastly,Bai Hao Oolong teais also helpful when it comes to increasing energy, reducing stress and improving brain power. Side effects of Bai Hao Oolong tea While there are many health benefits when drinking Bai Hao Oolong tea, don’t forget that there are a few side effects, as well. One is related to the caffeine found in the Bai Hao Oolong tea. Although the amount is less than in most types of black tea, you still have to be careful if caffeine isn’t good for your body. Be careful not to get the following symptoms: insomnia, anxiety, headache, dizziness, irritability, and blurred vision. Also, pregnant women have to reduce the amount of tea they drink, as the caffeine may cause miscarriages and birth defects. It can also affect the child during breast feeding. It’s important not to drink too much tea either, including Bai Hao Oolong tea. IT is generally recommended that you not drink more than six cups of tea a day. General symptoms that may appear when drinking too much tea are loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, insomnia, and irregular heartbeats. Also, it was discovered that, among elderly people, excessive amount of Bai Hao Oolong tea can cause hypokalemia. The Bai Hao Oolong tea is a richly-flavored, fruity tea that also keeps you healthy. If you decide to include it in your daily diet, you surely won’t regret it.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Banaba Tea Against Diabetes

Banaba Tea is a healthy beverage, well known for its ability to fight against diabetes and also kidney ailments. Banaba Tea description Banaba is a medicinal plant used as a natural remedy to treat diabetes. It has dark green leaves that are oblong. During autumn, leaves, acknowledged to be abundant in vitamins and minerals and rich in dietary fibers, turn to an orange-red color. Traditional uses include an infusion from the leaves as a treatment for hyperglycemia. The blood sugar lowering effect of Banaba leaf extract is similar to that of insulin. Banaba tea is normally found in the Philippines and Japan, being an extract from the herb’s plant. Banaba brewing To brew Banaba tea:
  • Bring 400 milliliters (1 and 1/2 cups or 12 ounces) water to a strong boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and drop in a tea bag.
  • Keep at or below a simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Evaporation will leave about 250 milliliters (1 cup or 8 ounces) of tea.
  • Pour fresh brewed tea into a cup and drink while it is still warm.
  • Save the tea bag. You should reuse each tea bag up to four times to achieve effective results.
It is advisable to take the tea before meals: 1 or 2 cups daily. In case of tincture intaking, 2-3 ml is the recommended daily dose (2 - 3 full droppers daily). Banaba Tea benefits Studies have proved that Banaba tea is successfully used to:
  • fight against diabetes by helping control blood sugar levels
  • control blood cholesterol levels
  • lower blood pressure
  • help urinary system related ailments
  • help in the treatment of diarrhea
  • help in the treatment of constipation
  • help reducing the absorption of carbohydrates, aiding the weight loss efforts
  • help in the treatment of gout
  • help in lowering uric acid levels
Banaba Tea side effects Banana tea is not recommended to children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. Patients suffering from diabetes should be cautious when using Banaba tea in combination with other hypoglycemic drugs. Banaba tea could be a healthy alternative to traditional drugs treating diabetes or kidney diseases, but not only.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Barberry Tea For Body Health

Barberry tea is well known inAsia, Europe, Africa and America due to its medicinal properties. Nowadays, it is consumed worldwide as tincture, fluid extract or capsules. Barberry tea description Barberry is a shrub growing in gray-colored and tight thorny hedges, producing yellow flowers during spring and red berries in autumn. Its roots, bark and berries have been used for more than 2,500 years for a variety of health-promoting purposes. In ancient Egypt, barberry was mixed with fennel to fight plague. Nowadays, Barberry is available in the form of capsules, fluid extract and tincture. Barberry Tea is made of the dried roots and berries of barberry. Barberry tea brewing To prepare Barberry tea: steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried barberry root or 1 to 2 teaspoons of whole (or crushed berries) in about 2/3 of a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Barberry Tea can be consumed three times, daily. Barberry tea benefits Barberry tea has proven its efficiency in treating:
  • inflammation due to bacterial ear, nose and throat infection
  • bacterial and viral forms of diarrhea
  • psoriasis
  • the function of the gallbladder
  • urinary tract infection
  • heartburn
  • candida
  • epilepsy
Barberry Tea may help stabilize blood pressure and normalize heart rhythm. Also, it has been claimed that Barberry Tea may help strengthen the immune system. Barberry tea side effects Studies conducted so far showed that Barberry tea should not be used beyond seven consecutive days, in order to avoid complications on excessive use of barberry. There have been cases when Barberry tea interacted with anti-coagulants, blood pressure medication and antibiotics, causing side effects. Pregnant, nursing women, and nursing infants also should avoid drinking this tea. Barberry tea is a medicinal beverage, effective in treating respiratory and urinary tract infections, as well as hypertension, diarrhea and gallbladder disease.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Barley Tea May Fight Cancer

Barley tea is widely consumed due to its medicinal properties. It fights effectively against several types of cancer, due to its high content of antioxidants. Barley Tea description Barley is a self-pollinating annual plant, member of the grass family. It grows to a height of 1 to 4 feet, being able to withstand various growing conditions. It is found in grasslands, woodlands, disturbed habitats, roadsides and orchards. The grass of barley is acknowledged to be a source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids and it also has a high content of antioxidants. In traditional Chinese medicine, Barley grass has been prescribed to fight diseases of the spleen or poor digestion. It has also been effectively used to treat depression or emotional imbalance. Barley tea is the resulting beverage from brewing the abovementioned plant. This is a very common and appreciated drink in many parts of Asia including Japan, China, Malaysia and Singapore. Barley tea is popular in Japanese and Korean cuisine: the barley grass is often roasted and then stewed in hot water. It is also intaken as a caffeine-free coffee substitute in American cuisine. It is traditionally used for detoxification, to improve digestion and for urinary tract infections. Barley Tea brewing Barley tea is available in loose grains, tea bags or already prepared tea drinks. It is usually made by briefly simmering roasted barley grains. The resulting beverage has a toasty taste, with slight bitter undertones. Barley tea is best consumed hot, though some report that room temperature and even cold barley water is still effective. Barley Tea benefits Studies conducted so far showed that Barley tea is effective in treating:
  • certain forms of cancer
  • digestion
  • prostate
  • sleep disorder
Barley tea is believed to help relieving early symptoms of colds, acting as a daily nutritional supplement and successfully cleansing the body of toxins. This tea may help improve blood sugar levels and also reduce bad cholesterol levels. Barley Tea side effects Barley tea is not recommended for nursing and pregnant women because it may stop lactation. Barley tea is a healthy alternative to caffeine drinks and people choose it daily to replace the first mentioned beverage.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Basil Tea Has Anti-inflammatory Properties

Basil tea is an Ayurvedic natural remedy used to treat a wide variety of diseases such as asthma, diabetes and high cholesterol. Hindus worship the plant for its religious significance as well. Basil Tea description Basil, a plant from the mint family, is original from India and Asia. It is an aromatic herb with a strong fragrance being largely used in spaghetti sauces, stews and tomato recipes. Basil is a source of vitamins and other nutrients.  Studies showed that this herb has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory health properties, fighting against intestinal problems, headaches and ulcers, as well. In aromatherapy, basil is used to alleviate mental fatigue. Basil tea is the resulting beverage from brewing the abovementioned plant. Basil Tea brewing To prepare Basil tea:
  • bring the water and the basil leaves to boil (in a small tea pan)
  • lower the heat and allow it to brew for 3-4 minutes
  • add the tea leaves or tea bags and sugar according to taste
  • bring to boil
  • turn off the heat
  • strain it into cups and add milk according to taste
Basil Tea benefits Studies claimed that Basil Tea is successesfully used to:
  • treat intestinal colics, gastric ulcers and bloating/swelling of the abdomen
  • treat anorexia
  • fight urinary tract infections
  • help against diarrhea
  • help fight insomnia
  • help treat lesions and inflammations in the mouth
  • enhance the body’s ability to resist stress
  • help to relieve pain
Basil Tea side effects Basil tea side effects are generally associated to large intakes. There have been thus noticed:shallow breathing, blood in the urine or sputum, mouth and throat burns, nausea, racing heartbeat, seizures, dizziness and coma. Pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as women trying to become pregnant should not use Basil tea. Basil tea has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, proving itself to be an important adjuvant in treating arthritis, fevers and other ailments. It is also constantly used to add savor to several dishes.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Bean Sprouts

See also Beans.

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: High Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: Moderate Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins, folate, vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Iron, potassium

About the Nutrients in This Food Because beans use stored starches and sugars to produce green shoots called sprouts, sprouted beans have less carbohydrate than the beans from which they grow. But bean sprouts are a good source of dietary fiber, including insoluble cellulose and lignin in leaf parts and soluble pectins and gums in the bean. The sprouts are also high in the B vitamin folate and vitamin C. One-half cup raw mung bean sprouts has 1.2 mg dietary fiber, 31.5 mcg folate (8 percent of the R DA), and 7 mg vitamin C (9 percent of the R DA for a woman, 7 percent of the R DA for a man). Raw beans contain anti-nutrient chemicals that inhibit the enzymes we use to digest proteins and starches; hemagglutinins (substances that make red blood cells clump together); and “factors” that may inactivate vita- min A. These chemicals are usually destroyed when the beans are heated. with the bean must be cooked before serving. Sprouted beans served

The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Cooked (see Adverse effects associated with this food ).

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Low-fiber, low-residue diet

Buying This Food Look for: Fresh, crisp sprouts. The tips should be moist and tender. (The shorter the sprout, the more tender it will be.) It is sometimes difficult to judge bean sprouts packed in plastic bags, but you can see through to tell if the tip of the sprout looks fresh. Sprouts sold from water-filled bowls should be refrigerated, protected from dirt and debris, and served with a spoon or tongs, not scooped up by hands. Avoid: Mushy sprouts (they may be decayed) and soft ones (they have lost moisture and vitamin C).

Storing This Food Refrigerate sprouts in a plastic bag to keep them moist and crisp. If you bought them in a plastic bag, take them out and repack them in bags large enough that they do not crush each other. To get the most vitamin C, use the sprouts within a few days.

Preparing This Food R inse the sprouts thoroughly under cold running water to get rid of dirt and sand. Discard any soft or browned sprouts, then cut off the roots and cook the sprouts. Do not tear or cut the sprouts until you are ready to use them. When you slice into the sprouts, you tear cells, releasing enzymes that begin to destroy vitamin C.

What Happens When You Cook This Food Cooking destroys some of the heat-sensitive vitamin C in sprouts. To save it, steam the sprouts quickly, stir-fry them, or add them uncooked just before you serve the dish.

How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Canning. Vitamin C is heat-sensitive, and heating the sprouts during the canning process reduces their vitamin C content.

Medical Uses and/or Benefits Lower risk of some birth defects. As many as t wo of ever y 1,000 babies born in the United States each year may have cleft palate or a neural tube (spinal cord) defect due to their mothers’ not having gotten adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy. The R DA for folate is 400 mcg for healthy adult men and women, 600 mcg for pregnant women, and 500 mcg for women who are nursing. Taking folate supplements before becoming pregnant and continuing through the first t wo months of pregnancy reduces the risk of cleft palate; taking folate through the entire pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Lower risk of heart attack. In the spring of 1998, an analysis of data from the records for more than 80,000 women enrolled in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard School of Public Health/Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, in Boston, demonstrated that a diet provid- ing more than 400 mcg folate and 3 mg vitamin B6 daily, from either food or supplements, more than twice the current R DA for each, may reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent. Although men were not included in the analysis, the results are assumed to apply to them as well. However, data from a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2006 called this theory into question. Researchers at Tulane University examined the results of 12 controlled studies in which 16,958 patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease were given either folic acid supplements or placebos (“look-alike” pills with no folic acid) for at least six months. The scientists, who found no reduction in the risk of further heart disease or overall death rates among those taking folic acid, concluded that further studies will be required to verif y whether taking folic acid supplements reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Food poisoning: Reacting to an outbreak of Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 food poisoning associated with eating raw alfalfa sprouts, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warn- ing in 1998 and again in summer 1999, cautioning those at high risk of food-borne illness not to eat any raw sprouts. The high-risk group includes children, older adults, and people with a weakened immune system (for example, those who are HIV-positive or undergoing cancer chemotherapy). Tests conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1999 sug- gest that irradiating raw sprouts and bathing them in an antiseptic solution at the processing plant may eliminate disease organisms and prolong the vegetable’s shelf life; this remains to be proven.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

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A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Beans

(Black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, navy beans, white beans) See also Bean sprouts, Lentils, Lima beans, Peas, Soybeans.

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate Protein: High Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: Very high Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin B6, folate Major mineral contribution: Iron, magnesium, zinc

About the Nutrients in This Food Beans are seeds, high in complex carbohydrates including starch and dietary fiber. They have indigestible sugars (stachyose and raffinose), plus insoluble cellulose and lignin in the seed covering and soluble gums and pectins in the bean. The proteins in beans are limited in the essential amino acids methionine and cystine.* All beans are a good source of the B vitamin folate, and iron. One-half cup canned kidney beans has 7.5 g dietary fiber, 65 mcg folate (15 percent of the R DA), and 1.6 mg iron (11 percent of the R DA for a woman, 20 percent of the R DA for a man). Raw beans contain antinutrient chemicals that inactivate enzymes required to digest proteins and carbohydrates. They also contain factors that inactivate vitamin A and also hemagglutinins, substances that make red blood cells clump together. Cooking beans disarms the enzyme inhibi- tors and the anti-vitamin A factors, but not the hemagglutinins. However, the amount of hemagglutinins in the beans is so small that it has no mea- surable effect in your body. * Soybeans are t he only beans t hat contain proteins considered “complete” because t hey contain sufficient amounts of all t he essent ial amino acids. The Folate Content of ½ Cup Cooked Dried Beans

  Bean   Folate (mcg)
Black beans 129
Chickpeas 191
Kidney beans canned 65
Navy beans 128
Pinto beans 147
  Source: USDA Nut rient Database: w w w.nal.usda.gov/fnic/cgibin /nut _search.pl, Nutritive Value of Foods, Home and Gardens Bullet in No. 72 (USDA, 1989).

The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Cooked, to destroy antinutrients. With grains. The proteins in grains are deficient in the essential amino acids lysine and isoleucine but contain sufficient tryptophan, methionine, and cystine; the proteins in beans are exactly the opposite. Together, these foods provide “complete” proteins. With an iron-rich food (meat) or with a vitamin C-rich food (tomatoes). Both enhance your body’s ability to use the iron in the beans. The meat makes your stomach more acid (acid favors iron absorption); the vitamin C may convert the ferric iron in beans into ferrous iron, which is more easily absorbed by the body.

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Low-calcium diet Low-fiber diet Low-purine (antigout) diet

Buying This Food Look for: Smooth-skinned, uniformly sized, evenly colored beans that are free of stones and debris. The good news about beans sold in plastic bags is that the transparent material gives you a chance to see the beans inside; the bad news is that pyridoxine and pyridoxal, the natural forms of vitamin B6, are very sensitive to light. Avoid: Beans sold in bulk. Some B vitamins, such as vitamin B6 (pyridoxine and pyridoxal), are very sensitive to light. In addition, open bins allow insects into the beans, indicated by tiny holes showing where the bug has burrowed into or through the bean. If you choose to buy in bulk, be sure to check for smooth skinned, uniformly sized, evenly colored beans free of holes, stones, and other debris.

Storing This Food Store beans in air- and moistureproof containers in a cool, dark cabinet where they are pro- tected from heat, light, and insects.

Preparing This Food Wash dried beans and pick them over carefully, discarding damaged or withered beans and any that float. (Only withered beans are light enough to float in water.) Cover the beans with water, bring them to a boil, and then set them aside to soak. When you are ready to use the beans, discard the water in which beans have been soaked. Some of the indigestible sugars in the beans that cause intestinal gas when you eat the beans will leach out into the water, making the beans less “gassy.”

What Happens When You Cook This Food When beans are cooked in liquid, their cells absorb water, swell, and eventually rupture, releasing the pectins and gums and nutrients inside. In addition, cooking destroys antinutri- ents in beans, making them more nutritious and safe to eat.

How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Canning. The heat of canning destroys some of the B vitamins in the beans. Vitamin B is water-soluble. You can recover all the lost B vitamins simply by using the liquid in the can, but the liquid also contains the indigestible sugars that cause intestinal gas when you eat beans. Preprocessing. Preprocessed dried beans have already been soaked. They take less time to cook but are lower in B vitamins.

Medical Uses and/or Benefits Lower risk of some birth defects. As many as two of every 1,000 babies born in the United States each year may have cleft palate or a neural tube (spinal cord) defect due to their moth- ers’ not having gotten adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy. The current R DA for folate is 180 mcg for a woman and 200 mcg for a man, but the FDA now recommends 400 mcg for a woman who is or may become pregnant. Taking a folate supplement before becoming pregnant and continuing through the first two months of pregnancy reduces the risk of cleft palate; taking folate through the entire pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Lower risk of heart attack. In the spring of 1998, an analysis of data from the records for more than 80,000 women enrolled in the long-run ning Nurses Health Study at Har vard School of Public Health/ Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston demonstrated that a diet providing more than 400 mcg folate and 3 mg vitamin B6 a day from either food or supple- ments, more than t wice the current R DA for each, may reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent. A lthough men were not included in the analysis, the results are assumed to apply to them as well. NOT E : Beans are high in B6 as well as folate. Fruit, green leaf y vegetables, whole grains, meat, fish, poultr y, and shellfish are good sources of vitamin B6. To reduce the levels of serum cholesterol. The gums and pectins in dried beans and peas appear to lower blood levels of cholesterol. Currently there are two theories to explain how this may happen. The first theory is that the pectins in the beans form a gel in your stomach that sops up fats and keeps them from being absorbed by your body. The second is that bacteria in the gut feed on the bean fiber, producing short-chain fatty acids that inhibit the production of cholesterol in your liver. As a source of carbohydrates for people with diabetes. Beans are digested very slowly, produc- ing only a gradual rise in blood-sugar levels. As a result, the body needs less insulin to control blood sugar after eating beans than after eating some other high-carbohydrate foods (such as bread or potato). In studies at the University of Kentucky, a bean, whole-grain, vegetable, and fruit-rich diet developed at the University of Toronto enabled patients with type 1 dia- betes (who do not produce any insulin themselves) to cut their daily insulin intake by 38 percent. Patients with type 2 diabetes (who can produce some insulin) were able to reduce their insulin injections by 98 percent. This diet is in line with the nutritional guidelines of the American Diabetes Association, but people with diabetes should always consult with their doctors and/or dietitians before altering their diet. As a diet aid. Although beans are high in calories, they are also high in bulk (fiber); even a small serving can make you feel full. And, because they are insulin-sparing, they delay the rise in insulin levels that makes us feel hungry again soon after eating. Research at the University of Toronto suggests the insulin-sparing effect may last for several hours after you eat the beans, perhaps until after the next meal.

Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Intestinal gas. All legumes (beans and peas) contain raffinose and stachyose, complex sug- ars that human beings cannot digest. The sugars sit in the gut and are fermented by intestinal bacteria which then produce gas that distends the intestines and makes us uncomfortable. You can lessen this effect by covering the beans with water, bringing them to a boil for three to five minutes, and then setting them aside to soak for four to six hours so that the indigestible sugars leach out in the soaking water, which can be discarded. Alternatively, you may soak the beans for four hours in nine cups of water for every cup of beans, discard the soaking water, and add new water as your recipe directs. Then cook the beans; drain them before serving. Production of uric acid. Purines are the natural metabolic by-products of protein metabo- lism in the body. They eventually break down into uric acid, sharp cr ystals that may concentrate in joints, a condition known as gout. If uric acid cr ystals collect in the urine, the result may be kidney stones. Eating dried beans, which are rich in proteins, may raise the concentration of purines in your body. Although controlling the amount of purines in the diet does not significantly affect the course of gout (which is treated with allopurinol, a drug that prevents the formation of uric acid cr ystals), limiting these foods is still part of many gout regimens.

Food/Drug Interactions Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are drugs used to treat depression. They inactivate naturally occurring enzymes in your body that metabolize tyramine, a substance found in many fermented or aged foods. Tyramine constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure. If you eat a food containing tyramine while you are taking an M AO inhibitor, you cannot effectively eliminate the tyramine from your body. The result may be a hypertensive crisis. Some nutrition guides list dried beans as a food to avoid while using M AO inhibitors.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

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A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Beef

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate Protein: High Fat: Moderate Saturated fat: High Cholesterol: Moderate Carbohydrates: None Fiber: None Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins Major mineral contribution: Iron, phosphorus, zinc

About the Nutrients in This Food Like fish, pork, poultry, milk, and eggs, beef has high-quality proteins, with sufficient amounts of all the essential amino acids. Beef fat is slightly more highly saturated than pork fat, but less saturated than lamb fat. All have about the same amount of cholesterol per serving. Beef is an excellent source of B vitamins, including niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, which is found only in animal foods. Lean beef pro- vides heme iron, the organic iron that is about five times more useful to the body than nonheme iron, the inorganic form of iron found in plant foods. Beef is also an excellent source of zinc. One four-ounce serving of lean broiled sirloin steak has nine grams fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 101 mg cholesterol, 34 g protein, and 3.81 mg iron (21 percent of the R DA for a woman, 46 percent of the R DA for a man). One four-ounce serving of lean roast beef has 16 g fat (6.6 g saturated fat), 92 mg cholesterol, and 2.96 mg iron (16 percent of the R DA for a woman, 37 percent of the R DA for a man).

The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food With a food rich in vitamin C. Ascorbic acid increases the absorption of iron from meat. * These values apply to lean cooked beef.

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Controlled-fat, low-cholesterol diet Low-protein diet (for some forms of kidney disease)

Buying This Food Look for: Fresh, red beef. The fat should be white, not yellow. Choose lean cuts of beef with as little internal marbling (streaks of fat) as possible. The leanest cuts are flank steak and round steak; rib steaks, brisket, and chuck have the most fat. USDA grading, which is determined by the maturity of the animal and marbling in meat, is also a guide to fat content. U.S. prime has more marbling than U.S. choice, which has more marbling than U.S. good. All are equally nutritious; the difference is how tender they are, which depends on how much fat is present. Choose the cut of meat that is right for your recipe. Generally, the cuts from the cen- ter of the animal’s back—the rib, the T-Bone, the porterhouse steaks—are the most tender. They can be cooked by dry heat—broiling, roasting, pan-frying. Cuts from around the legs, the underbelly, and the neck—the shank, the brisket, the round—contain muscles used for movement. They must be tenderized by stewing or boiling, the long, moist cooking methods that break down the connective tissue that makes meat tough.

Storing This Food Refrigerate raw beef immediately, carefully wrapped to prevent its drippings from contami- nating other foods. Refrigeration prolongs the freshness of beef by slowing the natural multi- plication of bacteria on the meat surface. Unchecked, these bacteria will convert proteins and other substances on the surface of the meat to a slimy film and change meat’s sulfur-contain- ing amino acids methionine and cystine into smelly chemicals called mercaptans. When the mercaptans combine with myoglobin, they produce the greenish pigment that gives spoiled meat its characteristic unpleasant appearance. Fresh ground beef, with many surfaces where bacteria can live, should be used within 24 to 48 hours. Other cuts of beef may stay fresh in the refrigerator for three to five days.

Preparing This Food Trim the beef carefully. By judiciously cutting away all visible fat you can significantly reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol in each serving. When you are done, clean all utensils thoroughly with soap and hot water. Wash your cutting board, wood or plastic, with hot water, soap, and a bleach-and-water solution. For ultimate safety in preventing the transfer of microorganisms from the raw meat to other foods, keep one cutting board exclusively for raw meats, fish, and poultry, and a second one for everything else. Finally, don’t forget to wash your hands.

What Happens When You Cook This Food Cooking changes the appearance and flavor of beef, alters nutritional value, makes it safer, and extends its shelf life. Browning meat after you cook it does not “seal in the juices,” but it does change the fla- vor by caramelizing sugars on the surface. Because beef’s only sugars are the small amounts of glycogen in the muscles, we add sugars in marinades or basting liquids that may also con- tain acids (vinegar, lemon juice, wine) to break down muscle fibers and tenderize the meat. (Browning has one minor nutritional drawback. It breaks amino acids on the surface of the meat into smaller compounds that are no longer useful proteins.) When beef is cooked, it loses water and shrinks. Its pigments, which combine with oxygen, are denatured (broken into fragments) by the heat and turn brown, the natural color of well-done meat. At the same time, the fats in the beef are oxidized. Oxidized fats, whether formed in cooking or when the cooked meat is stored in the refrigerator, give cooked meat a character- istic warmed-over flavor. Cooking and storing meat under a blanket of antioxidants—catsup or a gravy made of tomatoes, peppers, and other vitamin C-rich vegetables—reduces the oxidation of fats and the intensity of warmed-over flavor. Meat reheated in a microwave oven also has less warmed-over flavor. An obvious nutritional benefit of cooking is the fact that heat lowers the fat content of beef by liquif ying the fat so it can run off the meat. One concrete example of how well this works comes from a comparison of the fat content in regular and extra-lean ground beef. According to research at the University of Missouri in 1985, both kinds of beef lose mass when cooked, but the lean beef loses water and the regular beef loses fat and cholesterol. Thus, while regular raw ground beef has about three times as much fat (by weight) as raw ground extra-lean beef, their fat varies by only 5 percent after broiling. To reduce the amount of fat in ground beef, heat the beef in a pan until it browns. Then put the beef in a colander, and pour one cup of warm water over the beef. Repeat with a second cup of warm water to rinse away fat melted by heating the beef. Use the ground beef in sauce and other dishes that do not require it to hold together. Finally, cooking makes beef safer by killing Salmonella and other organisms in the meat. As a result, cooking also serves as a natural preservative. According to the USDA, large pieces of fresh beef can be refrigerated for two or three days, then cooked and held safely for another day or two because the heat of cooking has reduced the number of bacteria on the surface of the meat and temporarily interrupted the natural cycle of deterioration.

How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Aging. Hanging fresh meat exposed to the air, in a refrigerated room, reduces the moisture content and shrinks the meat slightly. As the meat ages enzymes break down muscle pro- teins, “tenderizing” the beef. Canning. Canned beef does not develop a warmed-over flavor because the high tempera- tures in canning food and the long cooking process alter proteins in the meat so that they act as antioxidants. Once the can is open, however, the meat should be protected from oxygen that will change the flavor of the beef. Curing. Salt-curing preserves meat through osmosis, the physical reaction in which liquids flow across a membrane, such as the wall of a cell, from a less dense to a more dense solution. The salt or sugar used in curing dissolves in the liquid on the surface of the meat to make a solution that is more dense than the liquid inside the cells of the meat. Water flows out of the meat and out of the cells of any microorganisms living on the meat, killing the microor- ganisms and protecting the meat from bacterial damage. Salt-cured meat is much higher in sodium than fresh meat. Freezing. When you freeze beef, the water inside its cells freezes into sharp ice crystals that can puncture cell membranes. When the beef thaws, moisture (and some of the B vitamins) will leak out through these torn cell walls. The loss of moisture is irreversible, but some of the vitamins can be saved by using the drippings when the meat is cooked. Freezing may also cause freezer burn—dry spots left when moisture evaporates from the surface of the meat. Waxed freezer paper is designed specifically to hold the moisture in meat; plastic wrap and aluminum foil are less effective. NOTE : Commercially prepared beef, which is frozen very quickly at very low temperatures, is less likely to show changes in texture. Irradiation. Irradiation makes meat safer by exposing it to gamma rays, the kind of high- energy ionizing radiation that kills living cells, including bacteria. Irradiation does not change the way meat looks, feels or tastes, or make the food radioactive, but it does alter the structure of some naturally occurring chemicals in beef, breaking molecules apart to form new com- pounds called radiolytic products (R P). About 90 percent of R Ps are also found in nonirradiated foods. The rest, called unique radiolytic products (UR P), are found only in irradiated foods. There is currently no evidence to suggest that UR Ps are harmful; irradiation is an approved technique in more than 37 countries around the world, including the United States. Smoking. Hanging cured or salted meat over an open fire slowly dries the meat, kills micro- organisms on its surface, and gives the meat a rich, “smoky” flavor that varies with the wood used in the fire. Meats smoked over an open fire are exposed to carcinogenic chemicals in the smoke, including a-benzopyrene. Meats treated with “artificial smoke flavoring” are not, since the flavoring is commercially treated to remove tar and a-benzopyrene.

Medical Uses and/or Benefits Treating and/or preventing iron deficiency. Without meat in the diet, it is virtually impossible for an adult woman to meet her iron requirement without supplements. One cooked 3.5- ounce hamburger provides about 2.9 mg iron, 16 percent of the R DA for an adult woman of childbearing age. Possible anti-diabetes activity. CLA may also prevent type 2 diabetes, also called adult-onset diabetes, a non-insulin-dependent form of the disease. At Purdue University, rats bred to develop diabetes spontaneously between eight and 10 weeks of age stayed healthy when given CLA supplements.

Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Increased risk of heart disease. Like other foods from animals, beef contains cholesterol and saturated fats that increase the amount of cholesterol circulating in your blood, raising your risk of heart disease. To reduce the risk of heart disease, the National Cholesterol Education Project recommends following the Step I and Step II diets. The Step I diet provides no more than 30 percent of total daily calories from fat, no more than 10 percent of total daily calories from saturated fat, and no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. It is designed for healthy people whose cholesterol is in the range of 200 –239 mg/dL. The Step II diet provides 25– 35 percent of total calories from fat, less than 7 percent of total calories from saturated fat, up to 10 percent of total calories from polyunsaturated fat, up to 20 percent of total calories from monounsaturated fat, and less than 300 mg cho- lesterol per day. This stricter regimen is designed for people who have one or more of the following conditions: •  Existing cardiovascular disease •  High levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs, or “bad” cholesterol) or low levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs, or “good” cholesterol) •  Obesity •  Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes, or diabetes mellitus) •  Metabolic syndrome, a.k.a. insulin resistance syndrome, a cluster of risk fac- tors that includes type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent diabetes) Increased risk of some cancers. According the American Institute for Cancer Research, a diet high in red meat (beef, lamb, pork) increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer by 15 percent for every 1.5 ounces over 18 ounces consumed per week. In 2007, the National Can- cer Institute released data from a survey of 500,000 people, ages 50 to 71, who participated in an eight-year A AR P diet and health study identif ying a higher risk of developing cancer of the esophagus, liver, lung, and pancreas among people eating large amounts of red meats and processed meats. Food-borne illness. Improperly cooked meat contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 has been linked to a number of fatalities in several parts of the United States. In addition, meats con- taminated with other bacteria, viruses, or parasites pose special problems for people with a weakened immune system: the very young, the very old, cancer chemotherapy patients, and people with HIV. Cooking meat to an internal temperature of 140°F should destroy Salmo- nella and Campylobacter jejuni; 165°F, the E. coli organism; and 212°F, Listeria monocytogenes. Antibiotic sensitivity. Cattle in the United States are routinely given antibiotics to protect them from infection. By law, the antibiotic treatment must stop three days to several weeks before the animal is slaughtered. Theoretically, the beef should then be free of antibiotic residues, but some people who are sensitive to penicillin or tetracycline may have an allergic reaction to the meat, although this is rare. Antibiotic-resistant Salmonella and toxoplasmosis. Cattle treated with antibiotics may pro- duce meat contaminated with antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella, and all raw beef may harbor ordinary Salmonella as well as T. gondii, the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is particularly hazardous for pregnant women. It can be passed on to the fetus and may trigger a series of birth defects including blindness and mental retardation. Both Salmonella and the T. gondii can be eliminated by cooking meat thoroughly and washing all utensils, cutting boards, and counters as well as your hands with hot soapy water before touching any other food. Decline in kidney function. Proteins are nitrogen compounds. When metabolized, they yield ammonia, which is excreted through the kidneys. In laborator y animals, a sustained high-protein diet increases the flow of blood through the kidneys, accelerating the natural age-related decline in kidney function. Some experts suggest that this may also occur in human beings.

Food/Drug Interactions Tetracycline antibiotics (demeclocycline [Declomycin], doxycycline [ Vibtamycin], methacycline [Rondomycin], minocycline [Minocin], oxytetracycline [Terramycin], tetracycline [Achromycin V, Panmycin, Sumycin]). Because meat contains iron, which binds tetracyclines into com- pounds the body cannot absorb, it is best to avoid meat for two hours before and after taking one of these antibiotics. Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Meat “tenderized” with papaya or a papain powder can interact with the class of antidepressant drugs known as monoamine oxidase inhibi- tors. Papain meat tenderizers work by breaking up the long chains of protein molecules. One by-product of this process is tyramine, a substance that constructs blood vessels and raises blood pressure. M AO inhibitors inactivate naturally occurring enzymes in your body that metabolize tyramine. If you eat a food such as papain-tenderized meat, which is high in tyramine, while you are taking a M AO inhibitor, you cannot effectively eliminate the tyramine from your body. The result may be a hypertensive crisis. Theophylline. Charcoal-broiled beef appears to reduce the effectiveness of theophylline because the aromatic chemicals produced by burning fat speed up the metabolism of the- ophylline in the liver.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

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A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Beer

(Ale)

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: Moderate Fat: None Saturated fat: None Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: None Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins Major mineral contribution: Phosphorus

About the Nutrients in This Food Beer and ale are fermented beverages created by yeasts that convert the sugars in malted barley and grain to ethyl alcohol (a.k.a. “alcohol,” “drink- ing alcohol”).* The USDA /Health and Human Services Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines one drink as 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.25 ounces of distilled spirits. One 12-ounce glass of beer has 140 calo- ries, 86 of them (61 percent) from alcohol. But the beverage—sometimes nicknamed “liquid bread”—is more than empty calories. Like wine, beer retains small amounts of some nutrients present in the food from which it was made. * Because yeasts cannot digest t he starches in grains, t he grains to be used in mak ing beer and ale are allowed to germinate ( “malt” ). When it is t ime to make t he beer or ale, t he malted grain is soaked in water, forming a mash in which t he starches are split into simple sugars t hat can be digested (fermented) by t he yeasts. If undisturbed, t he fermentat ion will cont inue unt il all t he sugars have been digested, but it can be halted at any t ime simply by raising or lowering t he temperature of t he liquid. Beer sold in bott les or cans is pasteurized to k ill t he yeasts and stop t he fermentat ion. Draft beer is not pasteurized and must be refrigerated unt il tapped so t hat it will not cont inue to ferment in t he container. The longer t he shipping t ime, t he more likely it is t hat draft beer will be exposed to temperature variat ions t hat may affect its qualit y—which is why draft beer almost always tastes best when consumed near t he place where it was brewed. The Nutrients in Beer (12-ounce glass)

  Nutrients   Beer   %R DA
Calcium 17 mg 1.7
Magnesium 28.51 mg 7–9*
Phosphorus 41.1 mg 6
Potassium 85.7 mg (na)
Zinc 0.06 mg 0.5– 0.8*
Thiamin 0.02 mg 1.6 –1.8*
R iboflavin 0.09 mg 7– 8*
Niacin 1.55 mg 10
Vitamin B6 0.17 mg 13
Folate 20.57 mcg 5
  * t he first figure is t he %R DA for a man; t he second, for a woman Source: USDA Nut rient Database: w w w.nal.usda.gov/fnic/cgi-bin /nut _search.pl.

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Bland diet Gluten-free diet Low-purine (antigout) diet

Buying This Food Look for: A popular brand that sells steadily and will be fresh when you buy it. Avoid: Dusty or warm bottles and cans.

Storing This Food Store beer in a cool place. Beer tastes best when consumed within two months of the day it is made. Since you cannot be certain how long it took to ship the beer to the store or how long it has been sitting on the grocery shelves, buy only as much beer as you plan to use within a week or two. Protect bottled beer and open bottles or cans of beer from direct sunlight, which can change sulfur compounds in beer into isopentyl mercaptan, the smelly chemical that gives stale beer its characteristic unpleasant odor.

When You Are Ready to Serve This Food Serve beer only in absolutely clean glasses or mugs. Even the slightest bit of grease on the side of the glass will kill the foam immediately. Wash beer glasses with detergent, not soap, and let them drain dry rather than drying them with a towel that might carry grease from your hands to the glass. If you like a long-lasting head on your beer, serve the brew in tall, tapering glasses to let the foam spread out and stabilize. For full flavor, serve beer and ales cool but not ice-cold. Very low temperatures immo- bilize the molecules that give beer and ale their flavor and aroma.

What Happens When You Cook This Food When beer is heated (in a stew or as a basting liquid), the alcohol evaporates but the flavor- ing agents remain intact. Alcohol, an acid, reacts with metal ions from an aluminum or iron pot to form dark compounds that discolor the pot or the dish you are cooking in. To prevent this, prepare dishes made with beer in glass or enameled pots.

Medical Uses and/or Benefits Reduced risk of heart attack. Data from the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study 1, a 12-year survey of more than 1 million Americans in 25 states, shows that men who take one drink a day have a 21 percent lower risk of heart attack and a 22 percent lower risk of stroke than men who do not drink at all. Women who have up to one drink a day also reduce their risk of heart attack. Numerous later studies have confirmed these findings. Lower risk of stroke. In January 1999, the results of a 677-person study published by researchers at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University showed that moder- ate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of stroke due to a blood clot in the brain among older people (average age: 70). How the alcohol prevents stroke is still unknown, but it is clear that moderate use of alcohol is a key. Heavy drinkers (those who consume more than seven drinks a day) have a higher risk of stroke. People who once drank heavily, but cut their consumption to moderate levels, can also reduce their risk of stroke. Numerous later studies have confirmed these findings. Lower cholesterol levels. Beverage alcohol decreases the body’s production and storage of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), the protein and fat particles that carr y cholesterol into your arteries. As a result, people who drink moderately tend to have lower cholesterol levels and higher levels of high density lipoproteins (HDLs), the fat and protein particles that carr y cholesterol out of the body. The USDA /Health and Human Services Dietar y Guidelines for Americans defines moderation as two drinks a day for a man, one drink a day for a woman. Stimulating the appetite. Alcoholic beverages stimulate the production of saliva and the gastric acids that cause the stomach contractions we call hunger pangs. Moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages, which may help stimulate appetite, are often prescribed for geriatric patients, convalescents, and people who do not have ulcers or other chronic gastric problems that might be exacerbated by the alcohol. Dilation of blood vessels. Alcohol dilates the capillaries (the tiny blood vessels just under the skin), and moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages produce a pleasant flush that temporar- ily warms the drinker. But drinking is not an effective way to warm up in cold weather since the warm blood that flows up to the capillaries will cool down on the surface of your skin and make you even colder when it circulates back into the center of your body. Then an alco- hol flush will make you perspire, so that you lose more heat. Excessive amounts of beverage alcohol may depress the mechanism that regulates body temperature.

Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Increased risk of breast cancer. In 2008, scientists at the National Cancer Institute released data from a seven-year survey of more than 100,000 postmenopausal women showing that even moderate drinking (one to two drinks a day) may increase by 32 percent a woman’s risk of developing estrogen-receptor positive (ER+) and progesterone-receptor positive (PR+) breast cancer, tumors whose growth is stimulated by hormones. No such link was found between consuming alcohol and the risk of developing ER-/PR- tumors (not fueled by hor- mones). The finding applies to all types of alcohol: beer, wine, and spirits. Increased risk of oral cancer (cancer of the mouth and throat). Numerous studies confirm the American Cancer Society’s warning that men and women who consume more than two drinks a day are at higher risk of oral cancer than are nondrinkers or people who drink less. Note: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans describes one drink as 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. Increased risk of cancer of the colon and rectum. In the mid-1990s, studies at the University of Oklahoma suggested that men who drink more than five beers a day are at increased risk of rectal cancer. Later studies suggested that men and women who are heavy beer or spirits drinkers (but not those who are heavy wine drinkers) have a higher risk of colorectal cancers. Further studies are required to confirm these findings. Fetal alcohol syndrome. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a specific pattern of birth defects—low birth weight, heart defects, facial malformations, and mental retardation—first recognized in a study of babies born to alcoholic women who consumed more than six drinks a day while pregnant. Subsequent research has found a consistent pattern of milder defects in babies born to women who consume three to four drinks a day or five drinks on any one occasion while pregnant. To date, there is no evidence of a consistent pattern of birth defects in babies born to women who consume less than one drink a day while pregnant, but two studies at Columbia University have suggested that as few as two drinks a week while preg- nant may raise a woman’s risk of miscarriage. (“One drink” means 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.25 ounces of distilled spirits.) Alcoholism. Alcoholism is an addiction disease, the inability to control one’s alcohol consumption. It is a potentially life-threatening condition, with a higher risk of death by accident, suicide, malnutrition, or acute alcohol poisoning, a toxic reaction that kills by para- lyzing body organs, including the heart. Malnutrition. While moderate alcohol consumption stimulates appetite, alcohol abuse depresses it. In addition, an alcoholic may drink instead of eating. When an alcoholic does eat, excess alcohol in his/her body prevents absorption of nutrients and reduces the ability to synthesize new tissue. Hangover. Alcohol is absorbed from the stomach and small intestine and carried by the bloodstream to the liver, where it is oxidized to acetaldehyde by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), the enzyme our bodies use to metabolize the alcohol we produce when we digest carbohydrates. The acetaldehyde is converted to acetyl coenzyme A and either eliminated from the body or used in the synthesis of cholesterol, fatty acids, and body tissues. Although individuals vary widely in their capacity to metabolize alcohol, on average, normal healthy adults can metabolize the alcohol in one quart of beer in approximately five to six hours. If they drink more than that, they will have more alcohol than the body’s natural supply of ADH can handle. The unmetabolized alcohol will pile up in the bloodstream, interfering with the liver’s metabolic functions. Since alcohol decreases the reabsorption of water from the kidneys and may inhibit the secretion of an antidiuretic hormone, they will begin to urinate copiously, losing magnesium, calcium, and zinc but retaining more irritating uric acid. The level of lactic acid in the body will increase, making them feel tired and out of sorts; their acid-base balance will be out of kilter; the blood vessels in their heads will swell and throb; and their stomachs, with linings irritated by the alcohol, will ache. The ultimate result is a “hangover” whose symptoms will disappear only when enough time has passed to allow their bodies to marshal the ADH needed to metabolize the extra alcohol in their blood. Changes in body temperature. Alcohol dilates capillaries, tiny blood vessels just under the skin, producing a “flush” that temporarily warms the drinker. But drinking is not an effective way to stay warm in cold weather. Warm blood flowing up from the body core to the surface capillaries is quickly chilled, making you even colder when it circulates back into your organs. In addition, an alcohol flush triggers perspiration, further cooling your skin. Finally, very large amounts of alcohol may actually depress the mechanism that regulates body temperature. Impotence. Excessive drinking decreases libido (sexual desire) and interferes with the ability to achieve or sustain an erection. “Beer belly.” Data from a 1995, 12,000 person study at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill show that people who consume at least six beers a week have more rounded abdomens than people who do not drink beer. The question left to be answered is which came first: the tummy or the drinking.

Food/Drug Interactions Acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.). The FDA recommends that people who regularly have three or more drinks a day consult a doctor before using acetaminophen. The alcohol/acetamino- phen combination may cause liver failure. Disulfiram (Antabuse). Taken with alcohol, disulfiram causes flushing, nausea, low blood pressure, faintness, respiratory problems, and confusion. The severity of the reaction gener- ally depends on how much alcohol you drink, how much disulfiram is in your body, and how long ago you took it. Disulfiram is used to help recovering alcoholics avoid alcohol. (If taken with alcohol, metronidazole [Flagyl], procarbazine [Matulane], quinacrine [Atabrine], chlorpropamide (Diabinase), and some species of mushrooms may produce a mild disulfi- ramlike reaction.) Anticoagulants. Alcohol slows the body’s metabolism of anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin), intensif ying the effect of the drugs and increasing the risk of side effects such as spontaneous nosebleeds. Antidepressants. Alcohol may increase the sedative effects of antidepressants. Drinking alcohol while you are taking a monoamine oxidase (M AO) inhibitor is especially hazard- ous. M AO inhibitors inactivate naturally occurring enzymes in your body that metabolize tyramine, a substance found in many fermented or aged foods. Tyramine constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure. If you eat a food containing tyramine while you are taking an M AO inhibitor, you cannot effectively eliminate the tyramine from your body. The result may be a hypertensive crisis. Ordinarily, fermentation of beer and ale does not produce tyramine, but some patients have reported tyramine reactions after drinking some imported beers. Beer and ale are usually prohibited to those using M AO inhibitors. Aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, naproxen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Like alcohol, these analgesics irritate the lining of the stomach and may cause gastric bleeding. Combining the two intensifies the effect. Insulin and oral hypoglycemics. Alcohol lowers blood sugar and interferes with the metabo- lism of oral antidiabetics; the combination may cause severe hypoglycemia. Sedatives and other central nervous system depressants (tranquilizers, sleeping pills, antidepres- sants, sinus and cold remedies, analgesics, and medication for motion sickness). Alcohol inten- sifies sedation and, depending on the dose, may cause drowsiness, respiratory depression, coma, or death.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

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A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Beets

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: Moderate Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: Moderate Sodium: Moderate Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Potassium

About the Nutrients in This Food Beets are roots, high-carbohydrate foods that provide sugars, starch, and small amounts of dietary fiber, insoluble cellulose in the skin, and soluble pectins in the flesh. Beets are also a good source of the B vitamin folate. One-half cup cooked fresh beets has one gram of dietar y fiber and 68 mcg folate (17 percent of the R DA).

The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Cooked, to dissolve the stiff cell walls and make the nutrients inside available.

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Anti-kidney-stone diet Low-sodium diet

Buying This Food Look for: Smooth round globes with fresh, crisp green leaves on top. Avoid: Beets with soft spots or blemishes that suggest decay underneath.

Storing This Food Protect the nutrients in beets by storing the vegetables in a cool place, such as the vegetable crisper in your refrigerator. When stored, the beet root converts its starch into sugars; the longer it is stored, the sweeter it becomes. Remove the green tops from beets before storing and store the beet greens like other leaf y vegetables, in plastic bags in the refrigerator to keep them from drying out and losing vitamins (also see gr eens). Use both beets and beet greens within a week.

Preparing This Food Scrub the globes with a vegetable brush under cold running water. You can cook them whole or slice them. Peel before (or after) cooking.

What Happens When You Cook This Food Betacyamin and betaxanthin, the red betalain pigments in beets, are water-soluble. (That’s why borscht is a scarlet soup.) Betacyanins and betaxanthins turn more intensely red when you add acids; think of scarlet sweet-and-sour beets in lemon juice or vinegar with sugar. They turn slightly blue in a basic (alkaline) solution such as baking soda and water. Like carrots, beets have such stiff cell walls that it is hard for the human digestive tract to extract the nutrients inside. Cooking will not soften the cellulose in the beet’s cell walls, but it will dissolve enough hemicellulose so that digestive juices are able to penetrate. Cook- ing also activates flavor molecules in beets, making them taste better.

How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Canning. Beets lose neither their color nor their texture in canning.

Medical Uses and/or Benefits Lower risk of some birth defects. As many as two of every 1,000 babies born in the United States each year may have cleft palate or a neural tube (spinal cord) defect due to their moth- ers’ not having gotten adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy. The R DA for folate is 400 mcg for healthy adult men and women, 600 mcg for pregnant women, and 500 mcg for women who are nursing. Taking folate supplements before becoming pregnant and continu- ing through the first two months of pregnancy reduces the risk of cleft palate; taking folate through the entire pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Possible lower risk of heart attack. In the spring of 1998, an analysis of data from the records of more than 80,000 women enrolled in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard School of Public Health/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, demonstrated that a diet providing more than 400 mcg folate and 3 mg vitamin B6 daily, either from food or supple- ments, might reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent. Although men were not included in the study, the results were assumed to apply to them as well. However, data from a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2006 called this theory into question. Researchers at Tulane Univer- sity examined the results of 12 controlled studies in which 16,958 patients with preexisting cardiovascular diseases were given either folic acid supplements or placebos (“look-alike” pills with no folic acid) for at least six months. The scientists, who found no reduction in the risk of further heart disease or overall death rates among those taking folic acid, concluded that further studies will be required to verif y whether taking folic acid supplements reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Pigmented urine and feces. The ability to metabolize betacyanins and be taxanthins is a genetic trait. People with two recessive genes for this trait cannot break down these red pig- ments, which will be excreted, bright red, in urine. Eating beets can also turn feces red, but it will not cause a false-positive result in a test for occult blood in the stool. Nitrosamine formation. Beets, celery, eggplant, lettuce, radishes, spinach, and collard and turnip greens contain nitrates that convert naturally into nitrites in your stomach—where some of the nitrites combine with amines to form nitrosamines, some of which are known carcinogens. This natural chemical reaction presents no known problems for a healthy adult. However, when these vegetables are cooked and left standing for a while at room tempera- ture, microorganisms that convert nitrates to nitrites begin to multiply, and the amount of nitrites in the food rises. The resulting higher-nitrite foods may be dangerous for infants (see spinach).... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

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A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Benefits Of Lapsang Souchong Tea

Lapsang Souchong tea is a type of black tea originating from China. Out of all the types of black tea, this one is special thanks to its history, rich taste and health benefits. Find out more about the Lapsang Souchong tea in this article. About the Lapsang Souchong tea Lapsang Souchong tea is a type of black tea originating from China, from the Wuyi region of the Fujian province. It is the first type of black tea in history, having been discovered around the beginning of the 19th century. Later, people started to move the tea bushes even outside of China, for example to India or Sri Lanka. The flavor of this tea is smoky, rich and fruity. It goes well with salty and spicy dishes, as well as with cheese. Lapsang Souchong tea - a smoked tea It is said that the lapsang souchong tea was discovered by accident. During the Dao Guang era of the Qing Dynasty, an army unit passed through Xingcu village and decided to set camp at a tea factory filled with unprocessed tea leaves. The workers could only return at the company after the soldiers left. Discovering that they didn’t have enough time to let the leaves dry, the workers decided to speed up the process. What they did was to place the tea leaves into bamboo baskets and dry them over fires made from local pines. This is how the lapsang souchong tea was discovered. Because of this, it is also called “smoked tea”. Seeing as they are smoke-dried over fires made from pine wood, the lapsang souchong tea has a strong, smoky flavor. How to make lapsang souchong tea To make lapsang souchong tea, you need one teaspoon of leaves for a 6 ounce cup. Leave it to steep for 3-4 minutes before you remove the leaves. You can later use the leaves to resteep, but the flavor might differ after each steeping. The lapsang souchong tea is usually drunk without milk or sugar. People either love its taste, or completely hate it, so there’s no need to change it. Benefits of lapsang souchong tea The lapsang souchong tea, just like all other types of black teas, has many health benefits that should encourage you to drink more of it. First of all, drinking lapsang souchong tea can reduce your chances of getting cancer. It also helps reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, as it lowers the cholesterol in your blood and helps the blood flow better in your veins. The lapsang souchong tea helps strengthen your immunity, protecting you from viruses that lead to colds, the flu or other diseases. It also helps you fight against various types of inflammations. During diets, it is recommended to drink black tea; this includes the lapsang souchong tea, as well. It helps burn fats faster and, therefore, helps you lose weight. Side effects of lapsang souchong tea The side effects of the lapsang souchong tea are those found at other types of black tea, as well. They are related to the caffeine found in the tea’s composition, and drinking too much tea. If you know caffeine isn’t good for you, be careful when drinking lapsang souchong tea. It may cause you to experience the following symptoms: insomnia, anxiety, headache, dizziness, irritability, blurred vision and skin rashes. You also have to be careful if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. In the case of pregnancy, the caffeine in the lapsang souchong tea (and caffeine in general) can cause miscarriages and birth defects. If you’re breastfeeding, lapsang souchong tea can affect the baby, who might get insomnia, heart palpitations and tremors. Also, if you’re suffering from ulcer, don’t drink too much lapsang souchong tea. The caffeine in its composition may increase the production of stomach acid and, therefore, aggravate the ulcer symptoms. It is recommended that you not drink more than six cups of tea per day. Otherwise, it might end up becoming harmful rather than helpful. The side effects that you might get are headaches, dizziness, insomnia, irregular heartbeats, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. If you encounter any of these symptoms, reduce the amount of tea you drink. This applies to all types of tea, including the lapsang souchong tea. If you want a special kind of black tea, try the lapsang souchong tea. The smoky, fruity flavor will definitely charm you. And don’t forget, it’s also good for your health!... Beneficial Teas

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Benefits Of Meadowsweet Tea

Meadowsweet tea is one of the many herbal teas with plenty of health benefits. It is made from the meadowsweet herb, which can be found in Europe and Western Asia. The plant, as well as the tea, helps you stay healthy. Find out more information about meadowsweet tea! About Meadowsweet Tea Meadowsweet tea’s main ingredient is meadowsweet, a perennial herb that grows in moist meadows. It is found in Europe and Western Asia; it has also been introduced and naturalized in North America. The stems are 1-2m tall, with dark-green leaves and delicate, white flowers called cymes, which grow in clusters. The flowers bloom from June to early September, and have a strong, sweet smell. The plant has a rich history. The flowers of the plant were found in a Bronze Age cairn in Carmarthenshire, along with the cremated remains of three people. They were also found inside a Beaker from Ashgrove, Fife, and a vessel from North Mains, Strathallan. In Chaucer’s “The Knight’s tale”, it is called Meadwort, representing one of the ingredients for a drink called “save”. Also, during the 16th century, it was Queen Elizabeth I’s favorite herb for strewing the floors in her chambers. The plant can be used as a strewing herb, thanks to its strong, pleasant aroma, as well as to flavor wine, beer, and other vinegars. The flowers are used with jams, to give them a subtle almond flavor. How to prepare Meadowsweet Tea It isn’t difficult to make a cup of meadowsweet tea. Just add one teaspoon of dried meadowsweet herbs (usually the leaves of the plant) to a cup of boiling water and let it steep for about 10 minutes. Once the steeping time is done, strain to remove the herbs. You can add lemon and/or honey, based on your taste. Health Benefits of Meadowsweet Tea The meadowsweet tea comes with many health benefits, thanks to its main ingredient, the meadowsweet herb. The herb is known to include, among other substances, salicylic acid, essential oils, and tannins. The plant also contains the chemicals necessary to make aspirin, and from its roots you can obtain a natural black dye. The health benefits of the meadowsweet tea are just as important. First of all, it helps you with digestion. It protects the mucous membranes of the digestive tract by reducing excess acidity and easing nausea. It also helps with diarrhea. Meadowsweet teais often recommended when dealing with colds and the flu. It helps reduce the fever, as well as with headaches; it also treats coughs. Meadowsweet tea is used to treat heartburn, gastritis, peptic ulceration, and hyperacidity. It also helps relieve rheumatism-induced pain in muscles and joints. Side-effects of Meadowsweet Tea If you know that aspirin is not good for your health, be careful when drinking meadowsweet tea. As meadowsweet is one of the ingredients of aspirin, it might affect you to some extent. For example, in the case of about one out of five persons suffering from asthma, aspirin induced asthma symptoms. Those suffering from asthma need to keep in mind the fact that meadowsweet teamay induce asthma symptoms, as well. Meadowsweet tea might not be good for you if you’ve got internal bleeding problems. The herb might cancel the effects of prescribed blood thinners, therefore causing more harm than helping you. Also, don’t drink meadowsweet tea if you’re pregnant, as it might cause miscarriages. If you drink too much meadowsweet tea, you might get the following symptoms: blood in the stool, vomiting, or ringing in the ears; it might even lead to kidney problems. Plus, it is not recommended to drink more than six cups of tea a day, no matter the tea. If you drink too much, you’ll get headaches, dizziness, insomnia, irregular heartbeats, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. Meadowsweet tea is definitely good for your body! Having all these health benefits, you won’t regret including it in your daily diet. If you’re sure you won’t get any side effects, then you’re free to enjoy a cup of aromatic tea!... Beneficial Teas

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Benefits Of Mistletoe Tea

For a healthy beverage, try the mistletoe tea! You should already know the plant thanks to its association with the Christmas traditions. However, there’s more to mistletoe than just being a decorative plant. Find out about the health benefits ofmistletoe tea! About the Mistletoe Tea The main ingredient of the mistletoe tea is the hemi-parasitic plant, the mistletoe. It is an evergreen plant that usually grows on the branches of various trees, such as elms, pines or oak. The mistletoe can be found in Europe, Australia, North America, and some parts of North Asia. The woody stem has oval, evergreen leaves, and waxy, white berries. The berries are poisonous; the leaves are the ones used to produce themistletoe tea. Mistletoe is often used as a Christmas decoration. It is hung somewhere in the house, and remains so during next Christmas, when it gets replaced. It is said that it protects the house from lightning or fire. Also, legends say that a man and a woman who meet under a hanging of mistletoe are obliged to kiss. The origin of this custom may be Scandinavian, and the first documented case of a couple kissing under the mistletoe dates from 16th century England. There are two types of mistletoe that matter: the European mistletoe and the American mistletoe. Regarding their appearance, they look pretty similar. The difference is that the American mistletoe has shorter leaves, and longer clusters of 10 or more berries. Other differences between the two are related to health benefits. How to prepare Mistletoe Tea Properly preparing a cup of mistletoe tea takes some time. First, you add a teaspoon of the dried mistletoe herb to a cup of cold water. Let the cup stay overnight at room temperature. On the next day, heat the mix before drinking. To enjoy its rich flavor, don’t skip any of these steps! Benefits of Mistletoe Tea The mistletoe tea has many health benefits thanks to its main ingredient, the mistletoe. The herb includes various active constituents, such as amines, caffeic and myristic acids, mucilage, terpenoids, and tannins. Mistletoe is also an essential ingredient of the European anti-cancer extract called Iscador, which helps stimulate the immune system and kill cancer cells. Therefore, it’s said that mistletoe teahelps you fight against cancer. Another health benefit of the mistletoe tea is that it reduces symptoms associated with high blood pressure, such as irritability, dizziness, headaches, and loss of energy. This, however, applies to the mistletoe tea made leaves of European mistletoe. The leaves of the American mistletoe is said to raise blood pressure. Another health-related difference between the European and the American mistletoe is related to uterine and intestinal contractions. The European mistletoe acts as an antispasmodic and calming agent, while the American mistletoe increases uterine and intestinal contractions. Be careful with the type of mistletoe tealeavesyou use. Mistletoe tea can also help with relieving panic attacks, nervousness, and headaches. It is a useful treatment against hysteria, epilepsy, and tinnitus. It is also recommended in the treatment of type 1 and 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and to support HIV patients. Drinking mistletoe teahelps with diarrhea, as well. It is useful when it comes to menopause and pre-menstrual syndrome. It is also useful when dealing with respiratory ailments such as coughs and asthma. Side effects of Mistletoe Tea First of it, it is recommended not to have children drink mistletoe tea. Also, if you are pregnant or breast feeding, it is best that you stop drinking mistletoe tea. If you have hepatitis, you need to stay away from mistletoe tea. Consumption of mistletoe tea will only cause more damage to the liver. Also, despite being useful when treating diabetes, mistletoe tea mayinterfere with the action of anti-diabetic medications. It is best that you check with your doctor, to make sure it doesn’t cancel the effects of the medication. Cancer patients should also consult with their doctors first, before adding mistletoe tea to their daily diet. Other side effects that you might experience because of mistletoe tea are flu-like symptoms, including fever, nausea, abdominal pain, and various allergy-type symptoms. Lastly, don’t drink more than 6 cups of mistletoe tea a day. If you do, it might cause you more harm than good. You might get some of the following symptoms: headaches, dizziness, insomnia, irregular heartbeats, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. If you get any of these symptoms, reduce the amount of mistletoe tea you drink. Also, this can apply to all types of tea, not only mistletoe tea.   Don’t just think of Christmas when you hear someone talking about mistletoe. Remember the many health benefits of mistletoe tea. Check for side effects and if it’s all safe, feel free to include mistletoe teain your daily diet. It will definitely help you stay healthy!... Beneficial Teas

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Benefits Of Privet Tea

Privet tea has been known for its health benefits, especially related to liver and kidney problems. As an herbal tea, it is a good everyday drink which also helps you stay healthy. Find out more about it in this article! About Privet Tea Privet tea is made from privet, an herbal plant which grows all around the world. The privet is a semi-evergreen shrub which includes species of plants used as hedges in gardens. Some species can grow up to 20 meters tall. The plant has glossy, oppositely-arranged, dark green leaves; they can grow as long as 10-12cm. The flowers are small, white, fragrant and blooming in pinnacles. The fruits are purple-black drupes born in clusters; the fruits of some species can be poisonous to humans. How to prepare Privet Tea The fruit of the plant is used to make privet tea. To enjoy this tea, you need to add some dried privet fruit to a cup of freshly-boiled water. Let it steep for 5-7 minutes before you remove the dried fruit. Sweeten it with honey, if you want to. If not, your tea’s ready! You can also use granulated or powdered forms of the fruit in order to make privet tea. Privet Tea Benefits Privet tea has plenty of health benefits thanks to the active constituents which are transferred from the fruit of the herbal plant. Some of them include ligustrum, oleanolic acid, betulinic acid, ursolic acid, saponins and tannins. Drinking privet tea will help strengthen your immune system. Thanks to this, it is often recommended in the treatment for HIV, AIDS, and cancer. It is also often used in treating liver and kidney problems, as well as hepatitis, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, and respiratory tract infections. Privet tea is also helpful when it comes to treating backaches, insomnia, palpitations, rheumatic pains, and tinnitus. You can use it if you’re feeling dizzy, tired or you’ve got blurred vision caused by stress. It also reduces the chances of getting grey hair, and helps you deal with premature menopause or general menopausal problems. Privet Tea Side Effects If you’re pregnant or breast feeding, you should stop drinking privet tea. Also, children with ages under 12 shouldn’t drink it either. Privet tea can worsen asthma symptoms to those already suffering from this disease. You should also avoid drinking it if you’ve got diarrhea. You should be careful with the amount of privet tea you drink: don’t drink more than 5-6 cups of tea a day. This counts for other types of tea, as well. If you drink too much, you might get some of these symptoms: headaches, dizziness, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Privet tea has very few side effects, while it has plenty of important health benefits. It can be consumed every day with no worries.... Beneficial Teas

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Benefits Of Pygeum Bark Tea

Try an herbal tea from Africa - pygeum bark tea. Despite its bitter, slightly unpleasant taste, this tea is becoming quite popular. It has plenty of health benefits which will surely help you stay healthy. Find out more about pygeum bark tea and give it a try! About Pygeum Bark Tea Pygeum bark tea is made from the bark of the pygeum tree, an evergreen tree which belongs to the rose family. It grows in central and southern Africa, although it has become endangered due to the large demands for the tree’s bark. A mature tree can be as tall as 25m. The bark is black-brown and scaly, with alternate, simple and long dark green leaves. The flowers bloom from October to May; they are androgynous and greenish-white. The fruit is red-brown, rather wide but not big (about 1cm) and has two lobs, with a seed in each one. The fruit can be used as food both for humans and animals. The wood can be used to make tools, or build homes. How to prepare Pygeum Bark Tea There are two ways in which you can make pygeum bark tea. One involves chopped bark; add it to a cup of freshly-boiled water and let it steep for 10-15 minutes. For the other, you can use the powdered form of the pygeum; you add it to a cup of boiled water, letting it steep for 3-5 minutes. Pygeum bark tea is known to be pretty bitter. If the taste is too much for you, sweeten it with milk, honey or fruit juice. Pygeum Bark Tea Benefits A few important active constituents that are transferred from the pygeum bark to the tea are: beta-sitosterol, ursolic acid, oleanic acid and ferulic acid. Pygeum bark tea can be drunk by men, as it has important health benefits for them. It is often added in the treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia. It is also recommended in the case of male infertility, as it increases the quantity and quality of the sperm. It can even be used as an aphrodisiac, as it enhances the sexual performance. Pygeum bark tea is used to treat urinary tract infections (cystitis, prostatitis); it also increases the urinary function. You can drink pygeum bark tea if you’ve got symptoms of bronchitis, influenza, or various other respiratory infections. This tea will also help you if you’ve got a fever. An interesting benefit is related to hair: drinking pygeum bark tea is quite useful in the treatment for hair loss. The infusion can be applied on wet hair, after it’s been washed with shampoo. Try it if you’ve got these problems. Pygeum Bark Tea Side Effects If you’re pregnant or breast feeding, it is best not to drink pygeum bark tea; it can affect the baby in both cases. Also, it’s safer not to give it to children, either. It might neutralize the effects of various types of medication. Make sure you talk to your doctor first if you’re taking any kind of medication; he will tell you if it’s safe or not to drink pygeum bark tea. Also, drinking too much pygeum bark tea might not be good for you. It might lead to stomach discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, dizziness, headaches, or visual disturbances. Don’t let its bitter taste scare you - pygeum bark tea is good for your health. It is especially recommended for men, but it can be useful for women, as well.... Beneficial Teas

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Benefits Of Red Tea

Red Tea has gained popularity around the world due to its anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Often made under the name of „red tea” are Rooibos tea and Honeybush tea, because of their fiery shades similar to the color red. The constituents of Red Tea are basically antioxidants such as aspalathin and nothofagin. But red tea is also rich in vitamins and minerals: calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, vitamin C and zinc. It does not contain caffeine and it can be safely taken by people with kidney problems. How To Make Red Tea Brewing Rooibos Tea To brew Rooibos Tea, you will have to heat the water until it just begins to boil. Take it off the heat and pour it over a teaspoon of rooibos leaves or tea bag. Cover it and let the tea steep for about 4-6 minutes. You can either enoy rooibos tea as it is, or you can add honey, sugar or milk. Brewing Honeybush Tea To make Honeybush Tea, start by infusing 2 tablespoons of dried honeybush herbs in a liter of boiled water for about 20 minutes. After that, strain the Honeybush Tea and enjoy! To really maximize its health benefits, try not to add any sweetener or milk. Red Tea Benefits
  • Due to its antioxidant content, Red Tea may lower the risk of developing tumors and cancer.
  • Helps treat allergies like eczema, fever or asthma.
  • Keeps your skin healthy.
  • Strengthens your immune system.
  • Provides relaxation, calming the nervous system.
  • Helps control blood pressure.
Red Tea Side Effects
  • Red tea is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. The herb can harm both infant or fetus.
  • Young children should not drink red tea since the herb may have adverse reactions for young patients.
  • People who suffer from diabetes should not consume red tea. The herb can drastically lower blood sugar levels.
 Red Tea is an amazing tea with a lot of health benefits. Make sure you read the side effects listed above and experience only its benefits!... Beneficial Teas

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Biota Tea Health Benefits

Biota tea is a Chinese beverage, used nowadays to heal hemorrhages and other types of ailments, such as headaches, but not only. Biota tea description Biota is a slow-growing shrub or tree from the cypress family, originating from China. It is considered as one of the 50 fundamental herbs in the annals of Chinese herbalism. Biota has a central stem, scale-like leaves and little inconspicuous flowers. The biota leaves are small, and triangular-shaped, with a grayish-green color and a fragrant odor. The seeds are the eatable parts of this plant. Both the leaves and the seeds are used for medicinal purposes. Biota trees and shrubs have ornamental uses as they make beautiful natural fences and hedges. Also, they are good as wind breakers and as a good ground cover for a variety of wildlife. Parts from these plants make useful additions as culinary ingredients and medicinal herbs. These vegetative substances became part of the cosmetic industry, being added to lotions, shampoos and conditioners. Biota tea is the beverage resulting from brewing the abovementioned plant. Biota tea brewing To prepare Biota tea, add the dried leaves in the boiling water and stir the mixture. Strain it and drink it slowly. Biota tea benefits Biota tea has been successfully used to:
  • fight headaches
  • fight asthma, cough and bronchitis
  • fight fever
  • fight bacteria and viruses
  • heal wounds, treat burns, as well as improve the growth of hair, when applied topically
  • help in the treatment of excessive menstruation
  • fight hemorrhages
  • ease arthritic pain
  • help in the treatment of premature baldness
  • soothe and calm the nerves
  • fight constipation among the elderly
Biota tea side effects Pregnant or nursing women should not intake Biota tea. Biota tea is a healthy beverage able to fight against bacteria, viruses or even prevent baldness, if applied topically. It also proved its efficiency in dealing with arthritic pains.... Beneficial Teas

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Birch Tea: Not Only A Tasty Beverage

Birch tea is a medicinal beverage made from the leaves or the bark of the plant. It is enjoyed worldwide for its health benefits and also for its tasty flavor. Birch tea description Birch is a soft-wood tree, found in the woodlands of cold climate countries, especially in North America and Europe. It is a fast-growing tree that can reach 65 feet in height. The birch tree is known for its silvery-white bark that tends to peel off in layers. The ‘oil of birch’ has potent properties in the anti-cancer treatment. Birch is a natural pain reliever with salicylate, the compound found in aspirin. Birch leaf is a medicinal remedy for various forms of upset stomach. Birch tea is the resulting beverage from brewing the abovementioned plant. Birch tea brewing To make Birch tea from the leaves:
  • Place 2 to 3 teaspoonfuls in a cup and pour on boiling water.
  • Cover the mix and allow it to steep for 10 minutes.
  • Drink the tea about three times a day.
Birch tea can also be made using the bark of the tree:
  • Place a teaspoon of dried birch bark in a cup of boiling water.
  • Allow it to steep for 15 minutes.
  • Drink the tea twice or thrice a day.
Birch tea can be sweetened with honey. The resulting beverage has a very aromatic flavor. The parts used for tea are the leaves, twigs, and the bark. Birch tea benefits Birch tea has been successfully used to:
  • alleviate joint pain related to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • combat gout
  • fight urinary disorders
  • increase urination
  • treat melanoma
  • help fighting skin breakouts and other dermatological problems (applied topically as a wash or added to bath water)
  • soothe sore muscles
Also, Birch tea may help remove excess fluids from the body. Birch tea side effects Birch tea is not recommended to pregnant and nursing women. Also, it not advised to people allergic to aspirin. Birch tea is best known for itsanti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. It is also largely used to remove excess fluids from the body.... Beneficial Teas

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Bistort Tea For Stomach Ailments

Bistort tea is widely known as an adjuvant in the areas of treating stomach, respiratory and bleeding problems. It can be intaken two or three times a day to fully enjoy its healthy benefits. Bistort Tea description Bistort is a perennially-growing plant from the Northern Hemisphere. It is normally grown as an ornamental plant because of its small white and pink blooms. It contains vitamins A and C, mucilage and antioxidants, acknowledged for their anti-cancer action. However, Bistort is also cultivated for medicinal purposes, being well-known as one of the most astringent herb. Bistort tea is the beverage resulting from brewing the abovementioned plant. Bistort Tea brewing Bistort tea can be made as a decoction:
  • Place one teaspoonful of the dried bistort rhizome in a 250 ml cup of water and boil the mix.
  • Let it steep for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Strain the liquid.
Bistort tea can be consumed twice or thrice a day. It can also be used as a gargle or mouthwash to treat infections inside the mouth. Bistort Tea benefits Bistort tea has been successfully used to:
  • treat diarrhea, dysentery and irritable bowel syndrome
  • aid in the treatment of diverticulitis
  • help treating oral and tongue inflammations
  • help fighting pharyngitis and sore throat
  • help in the treatment of jaundice
  • aid fighting measles and smallpox
  • fight hemorrhoids
  • ease menstrual bleeding
  • help in the healing of wounds, skin ruptures and burstings (when applied topically)
Bistort tea may also help expel worms. Bistort Tea side effects A long-term administration of Bistort tea is not recommended. Pregnant and nursing women are advised not to intake this tea. Bistort tea is a medicinal remedy against several digestive problems and, it also proved to be effective in treating menstrual bleeding, but not only.... Beneficial Teas

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Bitter Mellon Tea Against Diabetes

Bitter Melon tea is a bitter beverage, very useful in treating a large array of diseases such as diabetes, but not only. Bitter Melon Tea description Bitter Melon is an herbaceous tendril-bearing vine that grows in parts of East Africa, Asia, the Caribbean islands, and parts of South America. It has dainty yellow flowers, bearing an oblong-shaped fruit that has a pockmarked and warty exterior which turns yellow when ripe. Its flesh is crunchy and watery in texture whereas its skin is tender and edible. The taste of the fruit is very bitter. Bitter Melon tea is the resulting beverage from brewing the abovementioned plant, best known for its efficiency against diabetes. The plant is also added to several types of food, as a culinary ingredient. Bitter Melon Tea brewing To prepare Bitter Melon tea:
  • Place a handful of leaves in a pot of boiling water
  • Boil the mix until the water turns green
  • Let the mix steep for about 5 minutes
The taste is quite bitter. Also, the Bitter Melon fruit can also be made into a tea. The majority of cultures prefer to use the leaves for making tea while the fruit is consumed as an addition to dishes. Bitter Melon Tea benefits Bitter Melon tea has proved its efficiency in treating:
  • abdominal gas and colic
  • liver problems
  • ulcers in different parts of the body
  • digestion (It may also help ease symptoms of dyspepsia and constipation)
Bitter Melon tea is said to help in regulating blood sugar levels, being widely used as a herbal remedy by diabetes patients. Bitter Melon tea can be used in the treatment of HIV. Bitter Melon Tea side effects Bitter Melon tea should never be taken in conjuncture with any form of diabetes medication. Pregnant and nursing women should also avoid this tea. Bitter Melon Tea is a natural remedy against type 1 and type 2 of diabetes. It is also consumed for its healing properties when dealing with abdominal gas and colic.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Black Haw Tea For The Use Of Women

Black haw tea is made by brewing the bark of the plant. It is largely used for its healing properties in medical issues like menstrual cramps. Black Haw Tea description Black haw is a small deciduous shrub, originating from North America. It grows in moist woods, thickets, and along stream banks. It has red brown bark, flat-topped white flowers, and grooved branches. Black haw possesses edible red berries typically ripen in August. Its berries can be eaten or made into jams or preserves. During the pre-Civil War days in America, the black haw was believed to boost fertility. It is also said that Black haw tea has been drunk by slave women (at the behest of slave owners) to increase their ability to bear more children. Most of the health properties of this plant are derived from its bark. Black haw tea is the resulting beverage from brewing the abovementioned plant. Black Haw Tea brewing To make Black haw tea:
  • Boil two teaspoonfuls of dried Black haw bark in a cup of water (Bring water to a gentle boil).
  • Allowed it to simmer for ten minutes and then cool it and strain it.
The Black haw tea can be taken twice a day during the treatment period. Black Haw Tea benefits Black haw tea has been successfully used to:
  • help in alleviating symptoms of menopause and menstrual cramps in women
  • help prevent a miscarriage in women
  • alleviate labor pains
  • help in easing uterine disorders in women
  • help in the treatment of migraine headaches
  • help lower blood pressure
Black Haw Tea side effects Black haw tea is not recommended to pregnant and nursing women until further studies are conducted. Black haw tea is a medicinal beverage used for years to induce fertility and to alleviate labor pains, but not only.... Beneficial Teas

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Blood Groups

People are divided into four main groups in respect of a certain reaction of the blood. This depends upon the capacity of the serum of one person’s blood to cause the red cells of another’s to stick together (agglutinate). The reaction depends on antigens (see ANTIGEN), known as agglutinogens, in the erythrocytes and on ANTIBODIES, known as agglutinins, in the serum. There are two of each, the agglutinogens being known as A and B. A person’s erythrocytes may have (1) no agglutinogens, (2) agglutinogen A, (3) agglutinogen B, (4) agglutinogens A and B: these are the four groups. Since the identi?cation of the ABO and Rhesus factors (see below), around 400 other antigens have been discovered, but they cause few problems over transfusions.

In blood transfusion, the person giving and the person receiving the blood must belong to the same blood group, or a dangerous reaction will take place from the agglutination that occurs when blood of a di?erent group is present. One exception is that group O Rhesus-negative blood can be used in an emergency for anybody.

Agglutinogens Agglutinins Frequency
in the in the in Great
Group erythrocytes plasma Britain
AB A and B None 2 per cent
A A Anti-B 46 per cent
B B Anti-A 8 per cent
O Neither Anti-A and 44 per cent
A nor B Anti-B

Rhesus factor In addition to the A and B agglutinogens (or antigens), there is another one known as the Rhesus (or Rh) factor – so named because there is a similar antigen in the red blood corpuscles of the Rhesus monkey. About 84 per cent of the population have this Rh factor in their blood and are therefore known as ‘Rh-positive’. The remaining 16 per cent who do not possess the factor are known as ‘Rh-negative’.

The practical importance of the Rh factor is that, unlike the A and B agglutinogens, there are no naturally occurring Rh antibodies. However, such antibodies may develop in a Rh-negative person if the Rh antigen is introduced into his or her circulation. This can occur (a) if a Rh-negative person is given a transfusion of Rh-positive blood, and (b) if a Rh-negative mother married to a Rh-positive husband becomes pregnant and the fetus is Rh-positive. If the latter happens, the mother develops Rh antibodies which can pass into the fetal circulation, where they react with the baby’s Rh antigen and cause HAEMOLYTIC DISEASE of the fetus and newborn. This means that, untreated, the child may be stillborn or become jaundiced shortly after birth.

As about one in six expectant mothers is Rh-negative, a blood-group examination is now considered an essential part of the antenatal examination of a pregnant woman. All such Rh-negative expectant mothers are now given a ‘Rhesus card’ showing that they belong to the rhesus-negative blood group. This card should always be carried with them. Rh-positive blood should never be transfused to a Rh-negative girl or woman.... Medical Dictionary

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Medical Dictionary

Blue Flag Tea For A Healthy Liver

Blue Flag tea has a long history in treating liver ailments: Native American tribes used to consume it for its hepatic properties. Blue Flag Tea description Blue flag is a perennial herb also known as the liver lily and the fleur-de-lis, native to North America. It has smooth spear-shaped leaves topped with a light bluish-purple flower. Blue flag plants grow in bunches and bloom during late June and early July. Blue Flag tea is the resulting beverage from brewing the abovementioned plant. Blue Flag Tea brewing To prepare Blue Flag tea, place 1 teaspoon of the dried roots in a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 10 minutes. The tea can be consumed three times a day. Blue Flag Tea benefits Blue Flag has been successfully used to:
  • stimulate the liver and thus, it is helpful in the treatment of jaundice and hepatitis
  • fight impurities of the blood
  • fight against skin problems like acne and psoriasis
  • detoxify the body by increasing the production of bile, as well as frequency of urination
  • help treat indigestion
  • treat rheumatism
  • help in weight loss
Blue Flag tea can be an effective laxative, diuretic and as an emetic. It is also effective in reducing inflammation of the skin, decreasing the symptoms of skin infections. It is also good in treating burns, bruises and wounds. Blue Flag Tea side effects Until further studies are conducted, pregnant and nursing women should avoid intaking this type of tea. Blue Flag tea has proven its efficiency in dealing with severe liver-related diseases. Also, applied topically, it can treat skin problems, but not only.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Boldo Tea Is Benefic For The Liver

Boldo tea has a long medicinal history, according to recent archeological discoveries. It is a healthy choice for the liver, urinary tract and infections. Boldo Tea description Boldo is a tree found in the central region of Chile and near the Mediterranean. It is an evergreen shrub whose leaves are colored brown when dried and whose fruits are small green spheres. Apparently, boldo use dates back at least 10,000 years. Nowadays, people use this plant to aid digestion, cleanse the liver and increase bile production for gallbladder’s health. Boldo tea is the resulting beverage from brewing the abovementioned plant. Boldo Tea brewing To prepare Boldo tea:
  • Pour boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried boldo leaves.
  • Let the mix infuse for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Drink it slowly.
Boldo tea can be drunk three times a day for short periods of time. Boldo Tea benefits Studies have shown that Boldo tea is efficient in:
  • treating urinary tract and bladder infections
  • helping in liver cleansing
  • helping alleviate heartburn
  • relieving discomfort in the gallbladder
  • helping treat mild stomach cramps
  • treating worm infections
  • helping in the treatment of cystitis
  • treating gonorrhea
Boldo Tea side effects Patients with severe liver or kidney disease or obstruction of the bile ducts are advised to avoid the use of Boldo tea. Pregnant and nursing women should not consume Boldo tea. Boldo tea is a medicinal beverage which proved its efficiency in dealing with liver cleansing and urinary tract infections. It is recommended to patients suffering from stomach cramps, but not only.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Boneset Tea: A Cure-all

Boneset tea has the reputation of a very effective “cure-all”. It is highly recommended to people looking to enhance their immunity in a natural way. Boneset Tea description Boneset is a daisy, commonly found in the eastern part of North America, on roadsides and in wet ground. It has a long, hairy stem with white flower toppings. The flowers normally bloom during July to September. The plant gained its name from its traditional use of treating dengue or breakbone fever, a viral infection causing muscle pain so intense that patients feel their bones are on the verge of breaking. The plant has therapeutic properties which can be intaken through teas, tinctures and capsules. Boneset tea is the resulting beverage from brewing the abovementioned plant. Boneset Tea brewing To make Boneset tea:
  • place two to three teaspoons of dried boneset herbs (leaves, flowers or the stem) into a cup of boiling water
  • allow the mixture to steep for about 10 to 15 minutes
Boneset Tea has a very bitter taste. Honey or lemon can be added to the tea. Boneset Tea benefits Boneset tea has been successfully used to:
  • treat colds, coughs and ailments in the upper respiratory tract
  • help in the treatment of influenza, malaria and fever
  • help relieve migraine headache
  • relieve pain from arthritis and rheumatism
  • help in the treatment of jaundice
  • fight intestinal worms
Boneset Tea side effects Boneset tea is not recommended for long-term use because high doses of this plant may cause damage to the liver or to the kidney. It is recommended not to be taken for a longer period than two weeks. Overdose may be deadly. Pregnant women and children under 6 years should not consume Boneset tea. Boneset tea is a medicinal remedy that can treat ailments of the upper respiratory tract, influenza, migraines but not only.  ... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Brahmi Tea Or Food For The Brain

Brahmi Tea isbest known in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for its role against motor and nerve disorders. It possesses a pungent and bitter flavor, being a tonic, a mild sedative and a diuretic. Brahmi Tea description Brahmi is a perennial creeping herb, commonly found in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam and in the southern parts of the United States. It grows on wetlands and muddy shores. Brahmi is medicinally and culinary used. It is known as “food for the brain”, brahmi being used since the 6th century in Ayurvedic medicine as a cognitive enhancer. In India, the herb is still used by students and schoolchildren to help their brain functions. Brahmi tea is the resulting beverage from brewing the abovementioned plant. Brahmi Tea brewing Brahmi tea can be made by immersing ½ teaspoon of dried brahmi herbs into one cup of boiling water. Let it soak and steep it for about 5 minutes. Drink it slowly. Brahmi Tea benefits Brahmi tea has proven its efficiency in:
  • improving the memory and enhancing mental functions, agility and alertness (It is helpful in retention of new information)
  • calming the mind and promoting relaxation
  • improving motor learning ability
  • promoting greater concentration and focus
  • treating asthma
  • treating epilepsy
  • treating indigestion
Brahmi Tea side effects High doses of Brahmi tea may causeheadaches, nausea, dizziness and extreme drowsiness. Pregnant and nursing women should not intake this beverage. Brahmi tea is a medicinal beverage successfully used to enhance the memory processes and to promote relaxation. It is also efficient in dealing with indigestion, but not only.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas

Broccoli

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: High Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: Moderate Fiber: Very high Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, folate, vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Calcium

About the Nutrients in This Food Broccoli is very high-fiber food, an excellent source of vitamin A, the B vitamin folate, and vitamin C. It also has some vitamin E and vitamin K, the blood-clotting vitamin manufactured primarily by bacteria living in our intestinal tract. One cooked, fresh broccoli spear has five grams of dietary fiber, 2,500 IU vitamin A (108 percent of the R DA for a woman, 85 percent of the R DA for a man), 90 mcg folate (23 percent of the R DA), and 130 mg vitamin C (178 percent of the R DA for a woman, 149 percent of the R DA for a man).

The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Raw. Studies at the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland, show that raw broccoli has up to 40 percent more vitamin C than broccoli that has been cooked or frozen.

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Antiflatulence diet Low-fiber diet

Buying This Food Look for: Broccoli with tightly closed buds. The stalk, leaves, and florets should be fresh, firm, and brightly colored. Broccoli is usually green; some varieties are tinged with purple. Avoid: Broccoli with woody stalk or florets that are open or turning yellow. When the green chlorophyll pigments fade enough to let the yellow carotenoids underneath show through, the buds are about to bloom and the broccoli is past its prime.

Storing This Food Pack broccoli in a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator or in the vegetable crisper to protect its vitamin C. At 32°F, fresh broccoli can hold onto its vitamin C for as long as two weeks. Keep broccoli out of the light; like heat, light destroys vitamin C.

Preparing This Food First, rinse the broccoli under cool running water to wash off any dirt and debris clinging to the florets. Then put the broccoli, florets down, into a pan of salt water (1 tsp. salt to 1 qt. water) and soak for 15 to 30 minutes to drive out insects hiding in the florets. Then cut off the leaves and trim away woody section of stalks. For fast cooking, divide the broccoli up into small florets and cut the stalk into thin slices.

What Happens When You Cook This Food The broccoli stem contains a lot of cellulose and will stay firm for a long time even through the most vigorous cooking, but the cell walls of the florets are not so strongly fortified and will soften, eventually turning to mush if you cook the broccoli long enough. Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli contains mustard oils (isothiocyanates), natural chemicals that break down into a variety of smelly sulfur compounds (including hydrogen sulfide and ammonia) when the broccoli is heated. The reaction is more intense in aluminum pots. The longer you cook broccoli, the more smelly compounds there will be, although broccoli will never be as odorous as cabbage or cauliflower. Keeping a lid on the pot will stop the smelly molecules from floating off into the air but will also accelerate the chemical reaction that turns green broccoli olive-drab. Chlorophyll, the pigment that makes green vegetables green, is sensitive to acids. When you heat broccoli, the chlorophyll in its florets and stalk reacts chemically with acids in the broccoli or in the cooking water to form pheophytin, which is brown. The pheophytin turns cooked broccoli olive-drab or (since broccoli contains some yellow carotenes) bronze. To keep broccoli green, you must reduce the interaction between the chlorophyll and the acids. One way to do this is to cook the broccoli in a large quantity of water, so the acids will be diluted, but this increases the loss of vitamin C.* Another alternative is to leave the lid off the pot so that the hydrogen atoms can float off into the air, but this allows the smelly sulfur compounds to escape, too. The best way is probably to steam the broccoli quickly with very little water, so it holds onto its vitamin C and cooks before there is time for reac- tion between chlorophyll and hydrogen atoms to occur.

How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Freezing. Frozen broccoli usually contains less vitamin C than fresh broccoli. The vitamin is lost when the broccoli is blanched to inactivate catalase and peroxidase, enzymes that would otherwise continue to ripen the broccoli in the freezer. On the other hand, according to researchers at Cornell University, blanching broccoli in a microwave oven—two cups of broccoli in three tablespoons of water for three minutes at 600 –700 watts—nearly doubles the amount of vitamin C retained. In experiments at Cornell, frozen broccoli blanched in a microwave kept 90 percent of its vitamin C, compared to 56 percent for broccoli blanched in a pot of boiling water on top of a stove.

Medical Uses and/or Benefits Protection against some cancers. Naturally occurring chemicals (indoles, isothiocyanates, glucosinolates, dithiolethiones, and phenols) in Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauli- flower, and other cruciferous vegetables appear to reduce the risk of some forms of cancer, perhaps by preventing the formation of carcinogens in your body or by blocking cancer- causing substances from reaching or reacting with sensitive body tissues or by inhibiting the transformation of healthy cells to malignant ones. All cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, a member of a family of chemicals known as isothiocyanates. In experiments with laboratory rats, sulforaphane appears to increase the body’s production of phase-2 enzymes, naturally occurring substances that inacti- vate and help eliminate carcinogens. At the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, 69 percent of the rats injected with a chemical known to cause mammary cancer developed tumors vs. only 26 percent of the rats given the carcinogenic chemical plus sulforaphane. To get a protective amount of sulforaphane from broccoli you would have to eat about two pounds a week. But in 1997, Johns Hopkins researchers discovered that broccoli seeds and three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain a compound converted to sulforaphane when the seed and sprout cells are crushed. Five grams of three-day-old sprouts contain as much sulphoraphane as 150 grams of mature broccoli. * Broccoli will lose large amounts of vitamin C if you cook it in water t hat is cold when you start. As it boils, water releases ox ygen t hat would ot her wise dest roy vitamin C, so you can cut t he vitamin loss dramat ically simply by lett ing t he water boil for 60 seconds before adding t he broccoli. Vision protection. In 2004, the Johns Hopkins researchers updated their findings on sulfora- phane to suggest that it may also protect cells in the eyes from damage due to ultraviolet light, thus reducing the risk of macular degeneration, the most common cause of age-related vision loss. Lower risk of some birth defects. Up to two or every 1,000 babies born in the United States each year may have cleft palate or a neural tube (spinal cord) defect due to their mothers’ not having gotten adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy. The current R DA for folate is 180 mcg for a woman, 200 mcg for a man, but the FDA now recommends 400 mcg for a woman who is or may become pregnant. Taking a folate supplement before becoming pregnant and continuing through the first two months of pregnancy reduces the risk of cleft palate; taking folate through the entire pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Broccoli is a good source of folate. One raw broccoli spear has 107 mcg folate, more than 50 percent of the R DA for an adult. Possible lower risk of heart attack. In the spring of 1998, an analysis of data from the records for more than 80,000 women enrolled in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard School of Public Health/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, demonstrated that a diet providing more than 400 mcg folate and 3 mg vitamin B6 daily, either from food or supple- ments, might reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent. Although men were not included in the study, the results were assumed to apply to them as well. However, data from a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2006 called this theory into question. Researchers at Tulane Univer- sity examined the results of 12 controlled studies in which 16,958 patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease were given either folic acid supplements or placebos (“look-alike” pills with no folic acid) for at least six months. The scientists, who found no reduction in the risk of further heart disease or overall death rates among those taking folic acid, concluded that further studies will be required to ascertain whether taking folic acid supplements reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Possible inhibition of the herpes virus. Indoles, another group of chemicals in broccoli, may inhibit the growth of some herpes viruses. In 2003, at the 43rd annual Interscience Confer- ence on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, in Chicago, researchers from Stockholm’s Huddinge University Hospital, the University of Virginia, and Northeastern Ohio University reported that indole-3-carbinol (I3C) in broccoli stops cells, including those of the herpes sim- plex virus, from reproducing. In tests on monkey and human cells, I3C was nearly 100 percent effective in blocking reproduction of the HSV-1 (oral and genital herpes) and HSV-2 (genital herpes), including one strain known to be resistant to the antiviral drug acyclovir (Zovirax).

Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Enlarged thyroid gland. Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, contain goitrin, thio- cyanate, and isothiocyanate, chemical compounds that inhibit the formation of thyroid hormones and cause the thyroid to enlarge in an attempt to produce more. These chemicals, known collectively as goitrogens, are not hazardous for healthy people who eat moderate amounts of cruciferous vegetables, but they may pose problems for people who have thyroid problems or are taking thyroid medication. False-positive test for occult blood in the stool. The guaiac slide test for hidden blood in feces relies on alphaguaiaconic acid, a chemical that turns blue in the presence of blood. Broccoli contains peroxidase, a natural chemical that also turns alphaguaiaconic acid blue and may produce a positive test in people who do not actually have blood in the stool.

Food/Drug Interactions Anticoagulants Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, the blood-clotting vitamin produced natu- rally by bacteria in the intestines. Consuming large quantities of this food may reduce the effectiveness of anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin). One cup of drained, boiled broccoli contains 220 mcg vitamin K, nearly four times the R DA for a healthy adult.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

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A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Brussels Sprouts

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: High Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: High Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, folate, vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Potassium, iron

About the Nutrients in This Food Brussels sprouts are high in dietary fiber, especially insoluble cellulose and lignan in the leaf ribs. They are also a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. One-half cup cooked fresh brussels sprouts has three grams of dietary fiber, 1,110 IU vitamin A (48 percent of the R DA for a woman, 37 percent of the R DA for a man), 47 mcg folate (16 percent of the R DA), and 48 mg vitamin C (64 percent of the R DA for a woman, 53 percent of the R DA for a man). Brussels sprouts also contain an antinutrient, a natural chemical that splits the thiamin (vitamin B1) molecule so that it is no longer nutritionally useful. This thiamin inhibitor is inactivated by cooking.

The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Fresh, lightly steamed to preserve the vitamin C and inactivate the antinutrient.

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Antiflatulence diet Low-fiber diet

Buying This Food Look for: Firm, compact heads with bright, dark-green leaves, sold loose so that you can choose the sprouts one at a time. Brussels sprouts are available all year round. Avoid: Puff y, soft sprouts with yellow or wilted leaves. The yellow carotenes in the leaves show through only when the leaves age and their green chlorophyll pigments fade. Wilting leaves and puff y, soft heads are also signs of aging. Avoid sprouts with tiny holes in the leaves through which insects have burrowed.

Storing This Food Store the brussels sprouts in the refrigerator. While they are most nutritious if used soon after harvesting, sprouts will keep their vitamins (including their heat-sensitive vitamin C) for several weeks in the refrigerator. Store the sprouts in a plastic bag or covered bowl to protect them from moisture loss.

Preparing This Food First, drop the sprouts into salted ice water to flush out any small bugs hiding inside. Next, trim them. Remove yellow leaves and leaves with dark spots or tiny holes, but keep as many of the darker, vitamin A–rich outer leaves as possible. Then, cut an X into the stem end of the sprouts to allow heat and water in so that the sprouts cook faster.

What Happens When You Cook This Food Brussels sprouts contain mustard oils (isothiocyanates), natural chemicals that break down into a variety of smelly sulfur compounds (including hydrogen sulfide and ammonia) when the sprouts are heated, a reaction that is intensified in aluminum pots. The longer you cook the sprouts, the more smelly compounds there will be. Adding a slice of bread to the cook- ing water may lessen the odor; keeping a lid on the pot will stop the smelly molecules from floating off into the air. But keeping the pot covered will also increase the chemical reaction that turns cooked brussels sprouts drab. Chlorophyll, the pigment that makes green vegetables green, is sensi- tive to acids. When you heat brussels sprouts, the chlorophyll in their green leaves reacts chemically with acids in the sprouts or in the cooking water to form pheophytin, which is brown. The pheophytin turns cooked brussels sprouts olive or, since they also contain yel- low carotenes, bronze. To keep cooked brussels sprouts green, you have to reduce the interaction between chlorophyll and acids. One way to do this is to cook the sprouts in a lot of water, so the acids will be diluted, but this increases the loss of vitamin C.* Another alternative is to leave the lid off the pot so that the hydrogen atoms can float off into the air, but this allows the smelly sulfur compounds to escape, too. The best solution is to steam the sprouts quickly in very little water, so they retain their vitamin C and cook before there is time for reaction between chlorophyll and hydrogen atoms to occur.

How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Freezing. Frozen brussels sprouts contain virtually the same amounts of vitamins as fresh boiled sprouts.

Medical Uses and/or Benefits Protection against cancer. Naturally occurring chemicals (indoles, isothiocyanates, gluco- sinolates, dithiolethiones, and phenols) in brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables appear to reduce the risk of some cancers, perhaps by pre- venting the formation of carcinogens in your body or by blocking cancer-causing substances from reaching or reacting with sensitive body tissues or by inhibiting the transformation of healthy cells to malignant ones. All cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, a member of a family of chemicals known as isothiocyanates. In experiments with laboratory rats, sulforaphane appears to increase the body’s production of phase-2 enzymes, naturally occurring substances that inac- tivate and help eliminate carcinogens. At Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, 69 percent of the rats injected with a chemical known to cause mammary cancer developed tumors vs. only 26 percent of the rats given the carcinogenic chemical plus sulforaphane. In 1997, the Johns Hopkins researchers discovered that broccoli seeds and three- day-old broccoli sprouts contain a compound converted to sulforaphane when the seed and sprout cells are crushed. Five grams of three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain as much sulforaphane as 150 grams of mature broccoli. The sulforaphane levels in other cruciferous vegetables have not yet been calculated. Lower risk of some birth defects. Up to two or every 1,000 babies born in the United States each year may have cleft palate or a neural tube (spinal cord) defect due to their mothers’ not having gotten adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy. NOTE : The current R DA for folate is 180 mcg for a woman and 200 mcg for a man, but the FDA now recommends * Brussels sprouts will lose as much as 25 percent of their vitamin C if you cook them in water that is cold when you start. As it boils, water releases oxygen that would otherwise destroy vitamin C. You can cut the vitamin loss dramatically simply by letting the water boil for 60 seconds before adding the sprouts. 400 mcg for a woman who is or may become pregnant. Taking a folate supplement before becoming pregnant and continuing through the first two months of pregnancy reduces the risk of cleft palate; taking folate through the entire pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Possible lower risk of heart attack. In the spring of 1998, an analysis of data from the records for more than 80,000 women enrolled in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard School of Public Health/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, demonstrated that a diet providing more than 400 mcg folate and 3 mg vitamin B6 daily, either from food or supple- ments, might reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent. Although men were not included in the study, the results were assumed to apply to them as well. However, data from a meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2006 called this theory into question. Researchers at Tulane Univer- sity examined the results of 12 controlled studies in which 16,958 patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease were given either folic acid supplements or placebos (“look-alike” pills with no folic acid) for at least six months. The scientists, who found no reduction in the risk of further heart disease or overall death rates among those taking folic acid, concluded that further studies will be required to verif y whether taking folic acid supplements reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Vision protection. In 2004, the Johns Hopkins researchers updated their findings on sulfora- phane to suggest that it may also protect cells in the eyes from damage due to ultraviolet light, thus reducing the risk of macular degeneration, the most common cause of age-related vision loss.

Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter). Cruciferous vegetables, including brussels sprouts, contain goitrin, thiocyanate, and isothiocyanate. These chemicals, known collectively as goitrogens, inhibit the formation of thyroid hormones and cause the thyroid to enlarge in an attempt to produce more. Goitrogens are not hazardous for healthy people who eat moderate amounts of cruciferous vegetables, but they may pose problems for people who have a thyroid condi- tion or are taking thyroid medication. Intestinal gas. Bacteria that live naturally in the gut degrade the indigestible carbohydrates (food fiber) in brussels sprouts and produce gas that some people find distressing.

Food/Drug Interactions Anticoagulants Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin K, the blood-clotting vitamin produced naturally by bacteria in the intestines. Consuming large quantities of this food may reduce the effectiveness of anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin). One cup of drained, boiled brussels sprouts contains 219 mcg vitamin K, nearly three times the R DA for a healthy adult.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

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A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Buchu Tea Is Good For Digestion

Buchu Tea has a long healing history among the tribes of southern Africa , being effective for urinary tract infections. It also has diuretic, antispasmodic, tonic, antibacterial and stimulant properties. Buchu Tea description Buchu is a small, green, woody plant originating from South Africa. It possesses smooth, thick leaves that have a pungent aroma and fragrance. Buchu is grown for medicinal purposes, owing healing properties especially for the kidney, urinary tract and bladder. Buchu is also mixed with other herbs to alleviate coughs, colds and hangovers. Buchu tea is the resulting beverage from brewing the abovementioned plant. Buchu Tea brewing To prepare Buchu tea:
  • Immerse 2 teaspoons of dried buchu leaves into 18 ounces of boiling water.
  • Let the mixture soak for about 10 minutes.
  • Drink it slowly.
The resulting tea is tasty and may be consumed up to three times a day. Buchu Tea benefits Buchu tea has been successfully used to:
  • treat certain prostate disorders
  • regulate blood sugar
  • lower blood pressure
  • help digestion
  • eliminate flatulence and bloating
  • reduce inflammation, tightness and swelling of the joints
Buchu Tea side effects Studies proved that Buchu tea should not be consumed by pregnant women, because it may cause uterine contraction. Buchu tea is a healthy beverage well known for its medicinal action against flatulence and bloating. Due to its tasty flavor, it is also used as a treat.... Beneficial Teas

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Beneficial Teas