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Teas With Red Dates

Packed with vitamins and minerals, amino acids and flavonols, red Chinese dates – help maintain a steady flow of blood through the body, and encourage the healthy development of bones, muscles, skin, hair, enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Ongoing studies continue to recommend red dates as a fruit with the potential to treat and even prevent allergies and several types of cancers.

Seventy to 80 times higher in Vitamin C than grapes and apples, red dates also abound with Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium. This vitamin-packed punch makes red dates great for people who are recovering from serious diseases. Making it even better for the sickly, red dates are said to stimulate the production of white blood cells, which improves immunity, and decrease the levels of cholesterol in your bloodstream, which helps protect the liver. Like acai berries and other antioxidant foods, they’re even believed to suppress cancer cells. Red dates can also guard against more common ailments. Because of their high levels of Vitamin C, dates convert excessive cholesterol into bile acid, which helps prevent gallstones.

There are also different kinds of dates – the difference is in the colour. da zao 大棗 are black in color and hong zao 紅棗 are smaller and red in color. Both are from the same kind of fruit. When the fruit are blanched slightly in boiling water, and dried under the sun, they are called hong zao 紅棗. When the fruit are blanched in boiling water and baked until the skin becomes black and shiny, they are called da zao. (Black)

Red Dates - Goodherbs.sg

An easy recipe to make tea with red dates is as follows:
(Adapted from www.fitnesslatte.com)

Ingredients:

3-4 dried dates
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup of water

Instructions:

1. Rinse the dates. Boil 1 cup of water. When the water is boiled, add the dates and water into a cup. Let it rest for 3-4 minutes.

2. Add honey and stir well.

3. Enjoy!

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Being A Morning Person

If you’re a morning person, you get more work done early in the morning, when the sun is barely creeping over the horizon to say hello. If you are a night owl, you work best after 1am probably, when the city is dead with sleep. It all comes down to genes.

A new genome-wide association study (GWAS) published by the personal genetics company 23andMe identifies an array of genetic variants associated with being a morning person.

Using 23andMe’s massive genetic database, the researchers analyzed the DNA from more than 89,000 people. The study participants also took a two-question online survey to qualify them as morning or evening people. Based on the participants’ profiles and genetic variations, the researchers drew a number of conclusions about who was most likely to be a morning person. Here were some of the most interesting findings:

A morning person is more likely to be:

  • Female—48 percent of women in the study were morning people, versus about 40 percent of males
  • Older—only 24 percent of people under 30 preferred mornings, versus 63 percent of people over 60
  • A good sleeper, don’t suffer from insomnia
  • Well rested with less than eight hours of sleep per night
  • Not overweight or underweight—people with extreme BMIs were more likely to be night owls, but that association didn’t hold once the data was adjusted (it likely exists because older people tend to have more extreme BMIs)

Regardless of whether you’re a morning or night person, having enough sleep is important.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50 to 70 million Americans adults have a sleep or wakefulness disorder. Although liver disease is frequently asymptomatic, insomnia is one of the more frequently reported complaints. Healthcare providers often see people with liver disease having difficulty sleeping between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. – a scenario that is justified by TCM theory.

There are various ways to fall asleep – from putting away your phone, to staying away from caffeinated drinks, to drinking tea that will help calm you down. Another alternative, equally quick way would be to massage your temples, an area were the Gall Bladder channel runs.

Scrub the temporal region of the head—right above and behind the ears, within the hairline—followed by rubbing or squeezing the tops of your shoulders. This can help clear some of the energy away from the mind so that you can rest.

 

Morning Person

 

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Right Brain May Help Predict Recovery Of Language In Stroke

Left and Right Brain Infographic

Left vs right brain is a debate that’s talked about frequently. Apparently, who you are is influenced by which part of the brain is more dominant in your body. Different subjects require different parts of your brain – for example, subjects like Mathematics would require more of your left brain, while subjects like creative writing would use your right brain more often.

STROKE
When you have an ischemic stroke, the oxygen-rich blood supply to part of your brain is reduced. With a hemorrhagic stroke, there isbleeding in the brain.

After about 4 minutes without blood and oxygen, brain cells become damaged and may die. The body tries to restore blood and oxygen to the cells by enlarging other blood vessels (arteries) near the area.

If blood supply isn’t restored, permanent damage usually occurs. The body parts controlled by those damaged cells cannot function.

In TCM however, there are four agents of stroke – Wind, Fire, Phlegm and Stasis. The internal organs most likely to be weakened by these factors are the kidney and spleen, causing deficiencies of Chi, Blood, and Yin. Deficiencies of Chi, Blood, or Yin permit the body to be overwhelmed by the pathological factors of Wind, Phlegm, Fire, and Stasis, resulting in such stroke-related patterns as Liver Yang Rising, Stasis of Chi or Blood, Phlegm combining with Fire, Liver Wind, or Wind in the Meridians.

Wind In TCM

Wind Direction

Name of Wind

Internally Affects

Externally Affects

Its Qi Causes

South

great feathery wind

heart

channels

heat

Southwest

scheming wind

spleen

muscles

weakness

West

hard wind

lungs

skin

dryness

Northwest

breaking wind

small intestine

arm major yang channel

blockage in channel

North

great hard wind

kidneys

bones, shoulder, back muscles

coldness

Northeast

unfortunate wind

large intestine

sides of ribs, armpits, lower bones, limb joints

[not stated in text]

East

children’s wind

liver

thick muscles

dampness

Southeast

feathery wind

stomach

muscles, flesh

body weight

Regardless of the cause, a fascinating discovery has been made, that the structure of the right brain can predict the recovery of language in stroke.

Results showed that patients with aphasia (the impaired ability to understand speech) and better results in speech-fluency tests were more likely to have higher structural integrity than the control group in three areas of the brain.

The three areas were the right middle temporal gyrus, the right inferior frontal and the right precentral gyrus. The gyri (Or gyrus) are the “bumps” that can be seen on the surface of the brain. The folding created by the sulci and gyri increases the amount of cerebral cortex that can fit in the skull.

The correlation scores between the amount of injury to the left hemisphere and speech-fluency scores improved when the right hemisphere information was added to the analysis.

Thus, this study reveals that a well-wired right brain actively supports speech recovery.

To end off, learn about the nutritional values of foods normally consumed in order to pinpoint which vitamins or minerals might be missing. To be healthy and active, the brain also needs exercises that help stimulate the right hemisphere of the brain and activate deeper thought processes. Exercises like yoga and knitting can help stimulate the right brain as well.

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Having Purpose Can Improve Heart Health

Here’s opening up this post with loaded questions that, as you will find out later, can impact heart health:
What do you aim to achieve in life? What drives you in life? What are you living for?

A recent study conducted by Mount Sinai St Luke’s – Roosevelt Hospital revealed that a “sense of meaning or feeling that life is worth living” can improve your heart health significantly.

So this “sense of meaning or feeling that life is worth living” can mean differently for many people. It could mean completing 20 marathons in a year, baking with your family every week, or just hanging out with your pet dog in the living room.

Whatever task someone chooses to pursue, merely having the drive is beneficial.

Say yes to heart health

This is not the first study to link a sense of purpose with both physical and psychological benefits:

  • A 2009 study of 1,238 elderly people found that those with a sense of purpose lived longer.
  • A 2010 study of 900 older adults found that those with a greater sense of purpose were much less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Survey data often links a sense of purpose in life with increased happiness.

If you didn’t set any New Year’s resolutions for this year, don’t fret. Today is as good a day as any to make plans to change your life around.

Finding purpose doesn’t necessarily mean one has to start with something big like climbing Mount Everest. Purpose can be found in the smallest of things – what contribution would you like to make to your workplace? What difference would you want to leave upon your friends? What difference can you make in your neighbourhood?

TCM has a few views on the heart and heart health:

1. The heart is the ruler of the five organ networks. It commands the movements of the four extremities, it circulates the qi and the blood, it roams the realms of the material and the immaterial, and it is in tune with the gateways of every action. Therefore, coveting to govern the flow of energy on earth without possessing a heart would be like aspiring to tune gongs and drums without ears, or like trying to read a piece of fancy literature without eyes.

2. The heart is the emperor of the human body. Its subordinate officers are in charge of the nine orifices and their related functions. As long as the heart remains on its rightful path, the nine orifices will follow along and function properly. If the heart’s desires become abundant, however, the eyes will lose their sense of color, and the ears will lose their sense of sound. Thus it is said: ‘Keep your heart empty-this is the art of the heart through which the orifices can be mastered.’

Deviation above will necessarily cause malfunction below. Do not race your heart like a horse, or you will exhaust its energy. Do not fly your heart like a bird, or you will injure its wings. Never frantically move things around just for the sake of seeing what will happen. If you move things around you dislocate them from their proper place. If you will be calm and patient, everything will come to you by itself.

3. If the quality of heart blood is unblemished, the myriad of fine vessels in the face will be well supplied, and the person will present with a rosy and lustrous complexion. Chinese medicine, therefore, has traditionally regarded the face as a mirror of the condition of the heart. Again, the Neijing points out: “If the qi of the shaoyin hand (heart) network becomes obstructed, the blood vessels will cease to function. If the vessels cease to function, the blood will not move. If the blood does not move, the skin and body hair will lack nourishment. Thus the face will turn grey like lacquer and the blood will perish.”

The essential “looking” aspect of the four-fold system of Chinese diagnosis refers primarily to the observation of the face. Since the conditions of both blood and shen reflect here, the face can tell much about the general state of a person’s physical and emotional state. The Neijing’s “superior doctor”-also called shen (different character)-thus knows about the condition of a patient by looking at the face alone.

Perhaps taking care of your heart health doesn’t have so much to do with taking in fancy medicine or supplements. It could be as simple as making goals, sticking to it and believing why.

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Teatoxes – What About It?

Teatox sounds a lot like detox, something the world has been doing for a long while and something that which its benefits and disadvantages have also been discussed for equally long.

If you do a quick Google search, you will see a hundred posts on detoxing, its benefits and how to get started.

Here’s one for example, to help you tell the difference between a juice and a blended smoothie, all to aid in your ~detoxing~ journey.

Teatoxes Juice And Smoothies

It’s hard to properly sing the benefits of detoxing. Our organs – the liver and kidney do their job of “detoxing” the body well enough. One of the reasons you go to the toilet is to get rid of toxins, did you know? (Yes, you did!)

There’s a reason we fall for the marketing of detoxification – we seem hardwired to believe we need it, perhaps related to our susceptibility to ideas of sympathetic magic. Purification rituals date back to the earliest reaches of recorded history. The idea that we’re somehow poisoning ourselves and we need to atone for our sins seems to be a part of human nature, which may explain why it’s still a part of most of the world’s religions.

And now,

If you can’t stomach the green juices in most cleanses, there’s a new way to detox: teatox. These plans take tea—one of the world’s most popular beverages—and spruce it up with a variety of ingredients, promising results such as weight loss, detoxification, and increased energy, just as other detoxes claim.

And while there’s some evidence that drinking flavonoid-rich tea protects your heart, skin, brain, and bones; helps you manage stress and maintain weight; and fends off cancer and type 2 diabetes, there’s no published research to show teatoxes are safe or effective for weight loss or anything else. But since they are considered dietary supplements rather than foods, the companies behind them don’t need to prove any of the claims listed on the labels.

A teatox is simple.  Dieters simply drink several cups of herbal tea during the day, in addition to eating food. The idea is that drinking warm tea will help keep you full between meals and keep snacking at bay.

But does it work?

“Detoxing with tea may well produce initial, albeit temporary weight loss,” said Tanya Zuckerbrot, a registered dietitian and founder of the F-Factor Diet, her clinical practice in New York City that provides nutritional counseling. “Similar to any liquid diet, a tea detox or teatox works by restricting calories so that you consume fewer calories than you burn in a day.”

Zuckerbrot also advised that weight reduction is most likely due to loss of water, not fat; hence the lost weight may be regained once the tea detox ends. Supplementing a healthy diet that’s high in fiber and lean proteins with teas (such as green tea, black tea) can support our natural detoxifying processes, but it’s no magic bullet.

There are many teatoxes out there. We have Skinnymint, Naked Me Tea, and many others.

But many of these teatoxes contain laxatives that will be harmful to your body if taken for more than 2 weeks.

The natural remedies in place of teatoxes are aplenty –

Food that are friendly to your intestines:

  • Spinach
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Almond
  • Prune
  • Pear
  • Peach
  • Honey
  • Walnut
  • Pine Nut
  • Soy Products
  • Beet
  • Okra
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrot

    And some Chinese herbs that are friendly to your digestive tract……………

    • Marshmallow Root
    • Licorice Root
    • Psyllium Seed
    • Fenugreek Seed
    • Flax Seed
    • Comfrey Root
    • Hops
    • Iceland Moss
    • Oats
    • Irish Moss
    • Quince Seed
    • Slippery Elm

So teatoxes aren’t really needed….. right?

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Herbs From Best To Worst

So we’ve told you recently 5 herbs you should be growing, and if you really are interested in growing your own herbs, or just simply knowing which herbs are the worst and the best, read on!

(Because like everything else, herbs can and will be ranked.)

WORST TO BEST:

1. Patchouli
Patchouli Herbs

Patchouli is a species of herb from the mint family known scientifically as Pogostemon cablin, a native of tropical Asia. The name derives from two old Tamil words, “patchai”, which means green, and “ellai”, which means leaf.

It grows to a height of 2-3 feet with leaves that grow upward and produce a strong fragrance that is more woody than herbal. The oil produced from the leaves is unusual as it actually gets better with age – freshly distilled oil is greener and sharper than an aged oil that will develop to smell richer and deeper.

It has been valued since ancient times; the Egyptian pharoah Tutankamun was buried with 40 litres of patchouli oil in around 1323BC and early European traders valued it as highly as gold.

Pros: Smells really good and aroma has many beneficial properties.
Cons: Anyone knows how to cook this?

2. Borage
Pros: The flowers, leaves, and oil from the borage plant can be used as medicine.

Borage Herbs

Borage is eaten in salads and soups and used in skincare products as well.

Cons: Doesn’t it look too pretty to eat?

3. Bay Leaves
Bay Leaves Herbs

Pros: They require no preparation. You just drop one your dish and leave it to do its magic. Want to keep your bay leaves flavorful even longer? Store them in the freezer and they’ll last for years. This is great to know if you’re looking to save some money and buy in bulk.

Cons: Eat a whole one, and you’ll die. Maybe.

4. Lemongrass
Lemongrass Herbs
Lemon grass originated in India and Nepal and it is an integral part of many Thai, Vietnamese and Malaysian meals. This plant is also called citronella, tanglad or Cymbopogon ciatrus (in Latin), while in the Caribbean they call it the fever grass.

Pros:

This herb has sedative effect to the central nervous system, calming the person who takes it.

Lemon grass is used to detoxify the liver and positively affect the function of the digestive tract, pancreas, bladder and kidneys.

Oil extracted from this plant is found to be potential remedy for people suffering from keratomycosis (cornea inflammation that may cause burning and other vision problems).

Some people believe that lemon grass may prevent colon cancer and be extremely helpful remedy for anyone suffering from rheumatism or arthritis. Scientific research has proven that 100g of boiled lemon grass contains about 24mcg of beta carotene, making this herb potentially useful for the treatment of cancers.

Cons: No real side effects have been discovered about this herb, actually.

5. Chamomile
Chamomile Herbs
Chamomile is basically a herb that originates from a blooming plant from the daisy gang. Both the new and dried blossoms of chamomile have been utilized to make teas for quite a long time to cure various wellbeing issues. The dynamic fixing in chamomile key oil is known as bisabolol, which has various hostile to aggravation, calming, and against microbial properties.

Chamomile can be used to treat insomnia and migraines, among others.

Cons: Can’t really be used in any savoury dishes.

Jokes aside, all herbs have their own benefits and side effects. Remember to consume your herbs in moderation and be open to exploring new herbs too! And bookmark our blog for interesting, relevant posts every week.

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5 Herbs Everyone Should Be Growing

The wonders of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can be exhaustive. In our blog posts over the month, we’ve discussed many things, from whether swimming in cold water is advisable to how to eat parsley correctly.

Traditional Chinese medicine and natural remedies can be very effective but most of us spend our time nowadays cooped up in offices or classrooms and not in big, open gardens where we can do a lot of harvesting. So how do we maximise that little garden that we have that comes in the form of a backyard or a balcony garden, and what herbs can we grow?

Lemon Balm: Also called Melissa, this relative of mint looks very similar to its cousin, but with a distinct citrus smell when crushed. It’s a gentle sedative, meaning that you can have it daily if you need a little help getting to sleep. In my experience it grows like wildfire, and you’ll need to trim the stems regularly if it looks like it’s bolting (growing long stems with fewer leaves) – that should keep it thick and bushy. Steep a handful in a pot of boiled water for five to ten minutes, then enjoy a cup or two with a slice of lemon before bed. The herb loses its potency when dried, but the fresh herb can be tinctured to preserve its medicinal properties.

Chamomile: The term Chamomile actually refers to a range of different daisy-like plants, which are a member of the Asteraceae family. There are many different species of chamomile, the two most commonly being German chamomile (Marticaria recutita) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). They have been used since ancient times for their calming and anti-inflammatory properties, and each offer their own additional health benefits. Fill a jar with the flowers and cover with sweet almond oil. After a few weeks, strain it off and you have an anti-inflammatory oil that is wonderful on sunburn and rashes, and is gentle enough for kids and babies. If you want a stronger herb, or if eczema is your concern, grow marigold instead. Want a hot tip? Plant your marigold next to your tomatoes to ward off pests.

Brahmi: For those of us for whom sleep is not the concern, but never seem to have energy during the day, here’s the herb you need. Devote a whole pot to this one, because it’s a creeper. Brahmi is one of the herbs used in Ayurveda to enhance focus and concentration, and it lifts mood with frequent use. I pick the leaves and add it to my green tea each morning.

Peppermint: Like most of the mint family, peppermint grows easily and should be kept in its own pot to stop it from suffocating everything else. The oils are most potent when grown in full sun, so if you have a sunny space, this is the herb to put there. It likes lots of water and good drainage. Pick the leaves and make a strong tea whenever you have tummy troubles.

Horseradish: Horseradish has been used internally as a condiment, GI stimulant, diuretic, and a vermifuge, and externally for sciatica and facial neuralgia. However, there are no clinical trials to support any therapeutic use for horseradish. Animal data suggest potential antibacterial and hypotensive effects.

Unlike other herbs, horseradish takes a while to cultivate, because it’s the root that’s of use. It’s fantastic to blast congested sinuses due to allergies or a cold. Like peppermint it likes full sun. Plant a root cutting in spring or autumn, cover in mulch, and water once a week. Apart from that you can pretty much forget about it; horseradish is very hardy and will keep on doing its thing until you’re ready to harvest it. I find the best way to use it is food as medicine. Pop it in to a soup or dressing and watch the magic happen!

Horseradish and Herbs

herbs

This post couldn’t have happened without this, this and this.

 

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What Race Are You Running?

Do themes of how we live life reflect how the world is like – running in a competition, stressful, quick-paced rush to the finish line, whatever the finish line may be?

Is the finish line clinching that *dream* job after graduation? Is it finally being able to start a family? Is it being able to buy a house or a car debt-free?

Two common examples that embody these questions are: Horse Race and Rat Race.

The “Rat Race” Experience

Expending exhausting efforts running around, but ultimately achieving nothing meaningful is the “rat race.” This phrase is used with regard to work, particularly when excessive and competitive. Put simply, if one’s perception is that he or she works frustratingly much, one is in “the rat race.”

This terminology implies that people experience work as a seemingly endless pursuit with little reward or purpose, both boring and meaningless. The increased image of work as a “rat race” in modern times has led many to seek better alternatives and a more harmonious work-life balance. Long hours, unpaid overtime, stress, time commuting, and less time for family and friends have led to a disgruntled workforce. Yet, nowadays, economic constraints force people to continue to work and endure these pressures, so we keep running.

Rat Race Running

The “Horse Race” Event

Experiencing life as a horse race implies several things: competition, ambition, gambling, and chance. Competing to win occurs from the school yard, the classroom, the workplace, through the political arena.

The added lure of randomness looms in the background to whet one’s appetite for potential success—a prize, the enticement of gambling and chance. There’s always something to win, something to aim for.

Using nonhuman, animal analogies to describe human experiences dehumanizes people. It reflects a de-”person”-alization of one’s life and is a perilous step before experiencing the self as an animated “device” —robotic in nature and mechanical in function.

But weren’t humans made to feel and connect? That we aren’t animals meant to labour till death?

Some can answer, “Oh well, what to do?”

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Money isn’t everything though it can buy a lot of things. At the end of the day, what will make a happier memory? Working till 1am in the office every night, or building up relationships, picking up new interests and living an enriched life all in all?

Running A Race Is Tiring

Feeling worn out? We have some soups to fight the fatigue/tiredness.TCM aims to treat the source of fatigue, not merely the symptoms of it. Anyone can consume an extra cup of coffee or (worse yet) gulp down energy drinks each day. Not only will that approach notsolve your fatigue issues, over the long run, it will make them worse. Approaches like acupuncture,mindfulness, dietary changes, and qigong practices, on the other hand, may put your fatigue to rest for good.

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You Have Been Eating Parsley Wrongly

Today, we will focus on quercetin.
Flavonoids, including quercetin, are important anti-inflammatories because they act as antioxidants, which mean they literally fight the natural process of “oxidation” that takes place over time as we age. Quercetin can help stop damaging particles in the body known as free radicals, which negatively impact how cells work — including damaging cell membranes, changing the way DNA works, increasing cell mutations and causing healthy cells to die. Consumption of foods rich in quercetin has been linked to a reduction in cholesterol and blood pressure levels, but for the latter it only worked for people who are already hypertensive. Non-hypertensive patients who took quercetin supplements did not show any changes to their blood pressure levels. Apples, citrus fruits, onions, red wine, dark berries, and parsley are among the food sources of the flavonoid. Its supplement form is sometimes combined with bromelain, a pineapple enzyme that is also an anti-inflammatory.

Thank God quercetin is so readily available in so many food.

The one food whose importance has been under-stressed: Parsley.

We don’t think much of parsley because we think it’s just a spice that can be used for garnishing.

You Have Been Eating Parsley Wrongly
Parsley is more than the sprinkle of green for your soups, mains and porridges.

In fact, why not try……………………

  1. Parsnip Soup With Leeks And Parsley

    Parsnip Soup With Parsley

    In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek and celery, and stir to coat in the oil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, or until the leek and celery have softened. Do not brown.

    Add the parsnips and cover with the stock. Turn heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until parsnips are soft. Add the parsley and cook a further 3 minutes.

    Puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Add the yoghurt to one of the batches and blend till incorporated. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender right in the pan.)

    Transfer the pureed soup back to the pan and reheat over medium heat. Slowly add the milk whilst stirring, using only as much as you need to achieve your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Serve topped with additional chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy

  2. Creamy, Buttery Herbed Bucatini
    10-Minute Creamy, Buttery Herbed Bucatini with Parsley

    Get the 10-Minute Creamy, Buttery Herbed Bucatini recipe from Half Baked Harvest

    We love adding parsley into the mix when preparing salads, such as this red quinoa dish or raw brussels sprout salad, and whipping up this cancer-fighting miracle broth with fresh bunches of the herb. It’s a favorite in all kinds of alkalizing juice combinations you can create in your own kitchen – but if you’re juicer-less or simply on the go,  grab a bottle of Pressed Juicery Greens 1, 1.5, 2 or 3. All four varieties will provide you with your daily dose of this superfood. Drink up!

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Buying Herbal Supplements – Things To Note

You know all the benefits a herbal supplement can bring you, and if you simply look left, right or center, you will see a myriad of health supplements, and you might not really know what to make of it.

Other recent research presented at the conference CleanUp 2015 found that herbal and Ayurvedic medicines contain heavy metals, including arsenic, cadmium, and mercury. That’s a problem, since long-term exposure to these to these toxins has been shown to cause problems like organ damage and even cancer. Here in Singapore, health supplements are not subjected to pre-market approval by the Health Sciences Authority, and can be imported and sold without a license.

Before you pull out your wallet and buy that bottle claiming to “lower your cholesterol” and “increase your Vitamin D”, take note of these things!

  1. Vitamin and Mineral overdosing
    Large doses of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K can create issues, and even normal doses may interfere with certain prescription medications. Adverse effects can also occur with too much calcium or iron. As we all know, too much of a good thing is bad.

    Here is a good example of how one can overdose on calcium without knowing it:

    An older woman concerned about osteoporosis might eat Whole Grain Total cereal for breakfast (approximately 1,000 milligrams of calcium per serving), with a half-cup of skim milk (150 milligrams of calcium), and take a calcium supplement (500 milligrams) in addition to a One-A-Day Menopause Formula multivitamin (300 milligrams). The upper limit of calcium for this woman is 2,000 milligrams, so she’d only be 50 milligrams short of the daily maximum with more meals yet to be consumed that day.

    Important Things To Take Note When Buying Herbal Supplements

  2. Claims That Might Not Be True
    Be extra cautious around herbal supplements that claim to boost energy levels or help you lose weight. These tend to contain ingredients, like caffeine or bitter orange, that have been shown to create heart palpitations and other issues.
  3. Dubious Ingredients That Should Be Skipped
    In addition to number 2, these four have been linked to serious side effects, and aren’t worth the risk. If you see these ingredients in your herbal supplements, pay extra caution.1. Kava. It has been reported to cause liver damage.
    2. Bitter orange. It contains the chemical syndephrine, which has been linked to heart attacks and strokes in healthy people when taken alone or combined with caffeine.
    3. Contaminated L-tryptophan. It’s associated with neurotoxic reactions.
    4. Chromium. When overused, it’s been linked to anemia—even kidney failure.

It’s not that herbal supplements are all that bad, but with everything else, they should be taken in moderation and with caution and only professional research and recommendation from a healthcare professional.