Add about one to two teaspoons of each herb per cup (8 oz. cup) of hot water. If it is too “spicy” for you try reducing the amount of ginger compared to the cinnamon. Grated fresh ginger and stick cinnamon (broken up some) work best, but you can use the powdered spices also. If you don’t like “muddy” tea use an oxygen bleached offee filter to hold the spices. A twistee-tie makes a good closure or the coffee filter. I tried the
tea with crystallized ginger too. Great! This method adds just the right amount of sweetness, I think.
This brew is kind of a “picker-upper” drink in addition to the other traditional benefits of the two
herbal ingredients. Try this combination for your next cup of tea on a cool, rainy day. I think you will like it!
Author: Jerry, originally published Nov. 10, 1999 NOTE: Our standard cautionary
disclaimer applies. Adults only to make the tea and to supervise children in using it., please!.
One of Our Concerns
An innocent surfer caught
in the web?
(I originally wrote this
back in 2000. There has been a lot of progress in reducing the amount of trans
fats in foods since then but I still see it in many labels, especially in some
snack foods and baked goods. Please be aware!)
I’m a warrior against hydrogenated oils, also known as trans fats. Hydrogenated oils are plant oils, originally liquid at normal room temperature, transformed by heat, hydrogen, pressure, and a catalyst into oils now solid or partly solid at room temperature. Hydrogenated oils (hy. oils) are manmade products, no longer “natural” after being processed. Unfortunately, hy. oils are used in thousands of food products consumed daily by many millions of unsuspecting people. The main reason hy. oils are used in the food industry is because they, and many products made with them, have a relatively long shelf life. This helps to assure greater profits for the processors and the retailers. Nothing wrong with profits, in my opinion, if the foods you sell to make the profits are healthy. But that is not the case with foods made with hy. oils. The human body does not know how to properly digest or process hy. oils so many health problems can occur with continued use of these horrid products. This is not just my opinion but also the view of many scientists and certified nutritionists. “The worst type of fat appears to be trans fat,” said Dr. Walter Willett of the Harvard School. (Remember, hy. oils are trans fats.) His remark points out one of the most important findings of his famous Nurses’ Health Study. This research followed the eating habits and health profiles of over 80,000 nurses for fourteen years or more. “The real important message is people should decrease their intake of saturated fat and trans fat, period,” said Dr. Alice Lichtenstein of the U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition center at Tufts University in Boston. Peter Kwiterovich, M.D. also joins the chorus against hy. oils. He states that trans fats can raise “bad” LDL cholesterol levels while also decreasing “good” HDL levels. Dr. Kwiterovich is the director of The University Lipid Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and is an author. Mary Enig, PHD, states that a European study shows relatively high levels of trans fatty acids in adipose (fat) tissue of women with breast cancer. Dr. Enig is an author and director of the Nutritional Sciences Division, Enig Associates, Inc.
Hy. oils continued:
Besides raising the “bad” and lowering the “good” cholesterol other effects of Hy. oils reported by Dr. Mary Enig in her Trans Fatty Acid Report include increased blood insulin in response to glucose load (thus increasing risk for Diabetes), and decreased levels of testosterone in male animals. Also trans fats appear to lower birth weight in human infants and to interfere in gestation in Females. What scares me the most about hy. oils are the finding that they cause an alteration in adipose cell size and composition and the report that hy. oils also cause an increase in levels of abnormal sperm in males ingesting it. Could either of these two events indicate the beginning of a type of cancer? God forbid! There are many other reported bad events caused by these unnatural fats. Do you really want to continue putting hy. oils into your body? Please stop the use of hydrogenated oils, and urge your friends to stop using them also. Write or e-mail the food manufacturers and tell them you will not use their product as long as they make it with trans fats. You have my permission to copy this article (in its entirety) and send it to others. If you personally know a news reporter then tell them of hy. oils harm to our body and urge them to do a story about this as well. At least we can try to get this “junk” the reputation it deserves and thus greatly reduce its use. The health of our collective families deserves no less an effort! Author: Jerry 7/01/2000
Extra virgin olive oil is too expensive to use for hand lotion, right? Well, maybe you should think again. I did some cost research and found that a popular lotion (Jergens) was selling at a “deep” discount local box store for $4.99 for a 21 ounce jar. This was a sale price also. The cost per ounce is 23 and ¾ cents. Extra virgin olive oil at a members club was $15.98 (every day price) for one hundred and one ounces. That comes out to only 15.83 cents per ounce, much less than the commercial lotion! Thanks for reading my article! Jerry (Webmaster)]]>
In the nearly 35 year old movie “JAWS” (still one of the most popular films ever) nearly everyone in Amity Island thinks it’s safe to go in the water again after an innocent tiger shark is killed. Wrong! That one wasn’t the villain. Like the people of Amity Island, I was beginning to feel pretty confident. My confidence was returning about the safety of our food from stores and restaurants. After all, didn’t we wholesome food advocates win the battle against manmade hydrogenated fats in baked goods, snacks, and in nearly everything else some years ago? Or at least the major battles seem won, if not the entire war just yet. And finally many people, if not most, are beginning to recognize the real or potential harm in high fructose corn syrup used nearly recklessly (IMHO) in so many prepared food products. Even some manufacturers have started to advertise that they don’t use high fructose corn syrup. Amazing what a little pressure can do, isn’t it? I have also noticed that aluminum compounds seem to be used much less in foods (the aluminum was primarily found in some baking powers).
So, “all good, so far”, I thought. I felt this way for a while until I read a sentence similar to this: Eighty-nine percent of the soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified by adding (inserting) a gene from bacteria to make them (the soybeans) resistant to ROUNDUP and other similar herbicides! I added the exclamation point. I think you can see why I added it. This is scary stuff in my opinion. I don’t know about you but I don’t want genes from bacteria in foods I eat. Talk about “Franken foods.” I can see the movie title now “The Monster Soybean That Ate Chicago.” Sorry for the lame attempt at humor. This is not a laughing matter. Over sixty percent of the field corn raised in the U.S. is now also genetically modified to resist herbicides and also (recently) pesticides by adding other genes or proteins to modify the corn plants reaction to the chemicals. Understand that the natural corn and soybean plants would have been killed or greatly weakened by being sprayed with herbicide/pesticide. Now the grower of these modified crops can “spray away” freely, only killing the weeds or bugs. The advantage to the grower is less crop loss from weed crowding and/or insect damage, thus allowing potentially higher crop yields. I say potentially because there are serious questions raised recently whether the crop yields are really significantly higher that they were before genetic modification.
Unfortunately, our food watchdog agency (the FDA) does not specifically test and approve the safety of each GMO food but instead reviews the food safety data obtained and then submitted to FDA by the developers of engineered foods, such as Monsanto. The FDA scientists review the data from the developers of the GMO food and if they deem the test method and data appropriate then the agency acknowledges that the developer of the product has asserted that it is safe. At this point there has been no long term testing of new GMO products by an independent and qualified research group with no ownership ties to the developer! The FDA for years has been concerned mainly with pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food products and additives, not whole foods. A genetically-modified ear of corn, if sold at a produce stand or grocery store is not regulated by the FDA. This is because under current regulations (or lack of such), the corn is considered a whole food. A box of cornflakes, however, is regulated because it is a food product. The stance of the FDA is that GM foods are substantially equivalent to natural, unmodified foods, and therefore are not subject to FDA regulation (or labeling).
Many scientists think that GMO foods are safe. They point out that genetically engineered foods have been existent, and in common use, for over 12 years and no proven ill health effects have been observed in consumers. A somewhat smaller group of scientists feel that there have been ill effects demonstrated in lab animals (especially over several generations). These concerned scientists also point out that there are incidents in several foreign countries of humans falling ill after being exposed to pollen from engineered plants or after eating GMO foods or meat from animals that were fed GMO. Several experiments have shown that the ooffspring of rats fed GM soy show a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce. Those in favor of engineered plants (and animals) say that these reported ill effects are not scientific proof of any harm. Do we really know? I would think the safe way would be to more completely test any existing or proposed GMO product for long term harmful effects. One potential danger of GMO plants is that they may spread their genetic strangeness to other plants in the area when in pollination phase. Remember, you can’t “recall” genes from the environment after they have spread into the genetic structure of other (non-GMO) plants or animals!
A problem with GMO plants, not related to our health, is an economic issue. The modified seed costs more in most cases than the natural seed. More serious is the fact that the GMO seed is patented. The farmer (grower) is not allowed to save some of the crop seed for planting next year. In some cases the seed produced by the GMO plant (second generation) will not even grow as it is “engineered” to be sterile. This is a serious issue as farmers in poor countries (and poor farmers in our country) have depended on saving some seed from each year’s crop to plant the following year. This is no longer legal to do or it is even impossible to do with GMO crops!
Think you can avoid modified corn and soybeans? Just start reading labels on prepared foods and I believe you will change your mind. You will be greatly challenged to find even two food products in the grocery store that don’t have either corn or soybean, or one of their products like corn oil, soybean oil, soybean meal, corn syrup, or corn starch in them. Oh, by the way, most cottonseed and canola oil also now come from genetically modified plants! It looks to me like we are all unwilling subjects in a gigantic scientific experiment. Today rice, peppers, squash, sugar beets, and even a fish (salmon) are proposed GMO products under development, not yet “approved.” I read recently that The Grocery Manufacturers of America estimate that 75% of all processed foods in the U.S. contain a GM ingredient. I believe this statement was made prior to 2006 so the percentage of GMO is likely higher today. To avoid GMO foods it looks like we have to ask that all prepared foods with GMO ingredients be labeled. In the meantime I am going to avoid prepared foods as much as possible. Homemade usually tastes better anyway. :o)
Note: I feel sorry for the family farmers in America. In most all cases they did not ask for these GMO plants but were practically forced into using them by being told by the GMO seed producers and by our US Department of Agriculture of the wonders of these products and how they must use them or fall behind in crop yield. So please don’t blame the farmer for a major role in this sorry situation.
This is an original article written and researched by me (G. Phillip Smith). For more information you may look at some of my source material including Wikipedia (GMO foods), United States FDA (center for food safety and applied nutrition), responsible technology (dot org), organic- center (dot org), Dr. Mercola blog (GMO).
Please take a look at my health related website: www.GettingHealthy-Naturally.com Thank you!]]>
One page on The Cleveland Clinic web site says that getting enough fluid is essential for top (athletic) performance. Losing just 2% to 3% of your weight from water loss can decrease your performance by 10% to 15%. Further down the same page the author says that dehydration is the loss of water from body tissues. It disturbs the balance of essential substances in your body – particularly sodium, potassium and chloride. Dehydration not only decreases your performance, but also can seriously impair yourhealth. Signs of dehydration include dark urine, a small amount of urine, rapid heart rate, headaches, flushed or dry skin, coated tongue, irritability and confusion. The Mayo Clinic cautions that beverages with caffeine or alcohol can increase fluid output, making it more difficult to get enough water intake . So just as I thought, all liquids are not the same!
So now that we (likely) all agree about the great need for water some questions still remain. Water: how important is it to my health and do I drink enough? I can’t be deficient, can I? After all, when I’m thirsty, I drink, right? So how could I not have enough of something so common and easily obtained?
Of course, I know I’m not in any danger of dying of thirst or suffering a collapse. I suspect, however, that I (and perhaps most of you) have been seriously slowed down by unrecognized thirst in the past. Let me illustrate by my experience: For many years I have known that many doctors and other healthcare professionals advise drinking eight 8 ounce glasses of water each day (the so called 8×8 rule). Until a few months ago I shrugged this off as “excess”. Who can drink eight big glasses of water on top of the coffee, teas, milk, and/or pop most of us drink daily? But this advice nagged at me. I began to look for signs of subtle, unrecognized thirst. I remember that my mouth was often extremely dry, especially when waking up at night after (apparently) breathing through my mouth when deep asleep. Another observation of mine was that I often had quite dark urine. Many days I felt tired or sluggish, even though I had eight or more hours of sleep. My eyes also felt dry many times. Constipation was another frequent problem. Of course I realize my age has something to do with this (I’m 70). But, always the optimist, I thought I could improve these symptoms.
I “forced” myself to start drinking more water. I bought a water filter pitcher (a Clear 2 O, but other brands are good as well). Using this pitcher freed me from drinking the city tap water (and saved on bottled water). In addition to the chlorine and (possible) toxins contained in it the city water was usually too cold or, sometimes too warm to enjoy drinking a whole glassful at once. I found the water tasted better also so I actually started to look forward to my “extra water” instead of looking at it as a chore (like taking medicine). One thing I did was to make sure I drank a full glass of water before having my first cup of coffee in the morning. I also drank water (an 8 ounce glass) before going to bed at night. And I tried to be diligent in getting an extra four or five glasses during the day and early evening. The change in my symptoms likely caused by thirst was gradual, but impressive and welcome! The greatest blessing was the improvement in my somewhat severe constipation problem. Those of you unfortunates who have had this curse know how miserable it can make your life. (Note that I also eat as many salads and fresh veggies and fruits as I reasonably can, and I exercise. But I was doing this well before I started the extra water regimen so I don’t think those things alone caused my improvement). On more and more days I felt energetic. The feeling of being tired or sluggish was much less frequent. My urine was nearly clear or very light yellow. My eyes are less dry now and my mouth is seldom anywhere near as dry as before. The most obvious improvement in a symptom: I don’t feel as thirsty as often as before (yeah, I know, rocket science).
While I think my experience is fairly typical of someone my age and activity level I caution you to not blindly follow my action plan regarding water intake. Everyone is different. Your results may not be the same. Get an exam or physical from a medical doctor before starting a major change in your diet or fluid intake. And be aware that thirst symptoms can be caused by other conditions, some serious (such as diabetes). Use due diligence in your health plan.
How Sad (something more)
While we obsess about the correct water intake, there are still over an estimated 1,067,789,000 people that do not have easy access to clean drinking water according to WHO/UNICEF statistics. You and I can help make things better. One organization that is doing great good, IMHO, is CharityWater.org. Go to their website, watch the amazing video, and donate if you can. (Clean) water is that important.
Having said that (the required warning above), I do think that most of us, as reasonably intelligent, cautious adults, have the abilty to choose healthy foods and liquids (including familiar herbs and teas that have been used as food) to maintain our health as we age. Part of this natural wisdom dictates that we also avoid toxins, either natural or manmade. This is my focus: to provide as much knowledge about achieving good health naturally as possible. I will need your help. On this site (blog) I seek true stories of healthy adults (especially stories from well persons over 50 who take no pharmaceutical drugs). Tell our readers what you do to stay healthy. We look forward to your stories (please document your health with medical test values whenever possible). Thank you !
Jerry (webmaster, GettingHealthy-Naturally. com)]]>