Onion juice may be helpful in hairloss

Hair loss is very common and may involve bald patches, complete baldness or gradual thinning. It can get worse as we age with changes in hormones.

Onion juice may be able to help because:

    • Onions contain certain minerals, which may be good for the hair
    • Anyone allergic to onions should not use onion juice on their hair
    • If the smell is too much to stand, adding a little lemon juice or rose water helps
    • Although a popular home remedy, more research is needed to conclude if onion juice works as a hair loss treatment

Hair loss causes

Hair loss and hair thinning is a common problem, and many seek natural treatments to encourage hair growth. Onion juice is one possible treatment.

The most common cause of hair thinning or loss is a hereditary condition called androgenetic alopecia. Others reasons hair loss can develop include certain medical conditions, as a side effect of some medications, and hormonal changes.

Regardless of the cause, many people want to do what they can to regrow their hair and prevent further loss, and there are some medications that can be used to treat hair loss. One home remedy many people may not have heard of is onion juice.

Does onion juice work for hair regrowth?

The use of onion juice for hair regrowth has not been extensively researched. But one small study recently published in the Journal of Dermatology indicated that applying onion juice to the scalp might help hair regrow in some people.

The study involved participants who had alopecia areata, which is a non-scarring, patchy form of hair loss. Researchers found that hair growth started after 2 weeks of using onion juice, which was applied to the scalp twice daily.

Almost 74 percent of participants had some hair regrowth after 4 weeks, and at 6 weeks about 87 percent experienced hair regrowth. Both males and females participated in the study and the hair regrowth was higher among males. Although the study did indicate positive results, it was small with only 38 participants.

How onion juice may help hair

Onions have many potential health benefits. Onion juice may help to encourage the growth of thick, healthy hair.Nutrients in the onion juice applied to the hair may nourish the hair follicles, which might increase volume, shine, and improve hair strength. The extra nutrition may also minimize breakages and thinning.As well as conditioning, using onion juice may also promote new hair growth in some people.

The reason onion juice may help improve the health of the hair may be due to the following:

  • Dietary sulphur

Sulphur is one of the most common minerals in the body. It is needed for adequate production of enzymes and proteins. Sulfur is also found in keratin, which is one of the components of hair.

The sulphur in onion juice may provide the hair with the nourishment it needs to grow. It may also increase the growing phase of the hair.

  • Anti-microbial properties

Onions have anti-bacterial properties, which may help fight scalp infections.In some cases, a scalp infection can contribute to hair loss. A healthy scalp is more likely to have strong hair follicles.

  • Antioxidants

Onions contain antioxidants, such as flavonoids. Antioxidants are believed to protect the body from free radicals.Free radicals are thought to contribute to the aging process. For example, free radicals may destroy the hair follicles and lead to thinning and loss of the hair. Cancelling out or decreasing free radicals may reduce damage to the hair follicles.

How to apply onion juice to the hair
For those who want to try using onion juice to improve hair health or promote regrowth, the process is simple.

To make onion juice, people should follow these steps:

  1. Peel about four onions and chop them into small pieces.
  2. Extract the juice out of the onion by either squeezing it or using a juicer.
  3. Another option is placing the onion pieces into a blender and blending into a paste.
  4. Place the paste in cheesecloth and squeeze all the juice out.
  5. Apply the juice to the scalp or the hair roots.
  6. A few drops of essential oil may also help decrease the potent odor of the juice. Peppermint, lavender, and rosemary essential oils can be good options to dilute the smell.

Currently, there are no commercial products, such as shampoos, that contain onion juice.

However, commercially prepared onion juice and onion liquid extract are available for those who do not want to make their own.

Are there any side effects?

Test the onion juice on a small patch of skin before applying it to the scalp, to ensure that an allergic reaction does not occur. Even though the onions are not being eaten, contact with the skin can cause symptoms in people who are allergic. Onion juice can also be irritating to the skin among people who are not allergic, causing redness and itching.To be sure that onion juice does not cause significant irritation, doing a patch test before applying the liquid to the whole scalp may be useful.

To do this, a person can apply a small amount of onion juice to the inner elbow or back of the ear and wait a few minutes. If irritation develops, it is best not to apply the juice to the scalp.

It is also important to avoid getting onion juice in the eyes. Onion juice that drips into the eyes can lead to burning and redness.

If onion juice does get into the eyes, it is important to rinse it away with cool water Although it is not a harmful side effect, onion juice can have a very strong smell.

The odour may dissuade some people from continuing with onion juice treatment, as it must be applied every day to have the best chance of being effective.

Some people might have success using onion juice for hair regrowth or conditioning while others will not.

Also, the use of onion juice is not going to grow hair quickly. It takes a commitment to applying the onion juice twice daily over the course of several weeks to see if positive results can be achieved.

Studies are limited, so it is not clear that hair growth will continue or if the hair will return to its original state if the use of onion juice is stopped.

The bottom-line is that the use of onion juice, as a hair treatment, is probably not a miracle cure for hair loss. However, it does appear to be safe for most people if they are not allergic to onions.

Side effects also appear to be minimal. It is also fairly easy and not too costly to make an onion juice rinse for the hair.

Even if the use of onion juice does not produce a full head of hair, it probably will not damage existing hair.

So, for some people with hair loss, the use of onion juice may be a possible natural remedy that is worth a try.

Olive leaf drink proven to lower blood pressure

The results of a new research review highlighted by OVIVO, a new antioxidant, Organic Olive Leaf Infusion drink, has revealed that the olive leaf has even higher levels of healthy antioxidants than previously thought.

The new paper reveals the health benefits of the plant compound hydroxytyrosol — one of the most powerful naturally occurring antioxidants known to man. Hydroxytyrosol is found in olives and olive oil, but the highest concentrations occur in the leaf. This is also true of oleuropein, another potent plant compound which also has proven antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammation activity.

Although most olive leaf extracts are standardised to ensure a set level of oleuropein, only one — OVIVO Organic Olive Leaf Infusion with Calendula — works to deliver a dose of hydroxytyrosol.

OVIVO Organic Olive Leaf Infusion also has up to 30 beneficial plant compounds and phytochemicals found in the Mediterranean diet in one handy, concentrated dose.

The research was reviewed on behalf of OVIVO by Dr Pamela Mason, an expert nutritionist and chair of the Government’s Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances (an advisory committee which reviews foodstuffs such foods that are specially formulated for people with medical conditions), who suggests the dynamic duo of hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein may hold the key to many of the health benefits associated with olives and the Mediterranean diet.

A double-blind study found a twice-a-day 500mg dose of olive extract was as effective as an ACE inhibitor at reducing both diastolic and systolic blood pressure, but unlike the prescription-only blood pressure pill, the extract also significantly lowered levels of dangerous triglicerides.

A trial investigating the impact of olive leaf extract on blood sugar control reported a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity after just 12 weeks, while a study in patients with type 2 diabetes found the extract improved insulin levels and reduced HbA1c, a marker associated with a greater risk of diabetes-related complications.
OVIVO Organic
Nutritionist Dr Emma Derbyshire agrees: “The study highlights the advantages olive leaf extract can bring to our health and wellbeing when introduced to our diet. We’ve known about the health benefits of olive oil for a long time but this new research confirms the importance of hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein and their power as an antioxidant.

“EFSA has ruled that olive products must provide a minimum of 5mg of hydroxytyrosol a day to show antioxidant activity and qualify to carry health claims relating to cholesterol benefits, but the Authority warns that some olive oils may be too low in the antioxidant to reach this target.

“The great news is that a 70ml dose of OVIVO Organic Olive Leaf Infusion, an olive leaf extract combined with soothing calendula, provides at least twice this amount — as a readily absorbed drink, for maximum bioavailability.”

OVIVO Co-Founder, Susan White said: “We are so convinced of the health-boosting properties of OVIVO that we are on a mission to spread the word far and wide about this natural route to wellness. We are proud to be supporting on-going research into the compounds of the olive leaf in order to find new ways to extract its natural goodness.”

OVIVO Organic Olive Leaf Infusion delivers hydroxytyrosol — one of nature’s most potent antioxidants — and up to 30 beneficial plant compounds and phytochemicals found in the Mediterranean diet in one handy, concentrated dose.

The no-fuss infusion is made from 100 per cent organic ingredients including freshly picked olive leaves (from Italy), soothing calendula, grape and lemon juice and spring water. All ingredients are non-GM and pesticide free.

Each 500ml bottle delivers seven days of natural wellness in 70ml shots, and because there is no added sugar and only a trace of fat, each dose contains a mere 13kcal.

OVIVO Organic Olive Leaf Infusion can be drunk neat, or mixed with fruit juice of smoothies. For something more sophisticated try mixing four shots of OVIVO with 100ml of elderflower cordial, 700ml of sparkling water and crushed ice. Serve with mint leaves and wedges of lime for a delicious aperitif bursting with antioxidant action.

OVIVO Organic Olive Leaf Infusion is the brainchild of British couple Dom and Susan White who have lived in Italy for 15 years and have two children who were born there. They founded the business in 2011 after hearing stories about the remarkable health benefits of olive leaf infusions and years of experimentation to perfect their infusion process.

They are now on a mission to spread the word about this natural way to wellness and fund further research into the potent plant compounds and phytonutrients which give olive leaf extracts an edge over other antioxidants.

OVIVO Organic Olive Leaf Infusion costs ÂŁ13.99 for seven doses and is available from selected Boots stores, Wholefoods, Holland & Barrett and independent health stores in the UK and Ireland.

Coffee helps protect the liver from alcohol abuse

Drinking strong coffee may be good for the liver, scientists in the US have discovered.

Coffee drinkers were found to have lower levels of abnormal liver enzymes that are a sign of damaged liver cells.


Researchers used information from the US’s National Health and Nutrition Survey to determine their findings.

The team measured the levels of enzymes in blood to determine each participant’s liver function. The enzymes include aminotransferase (ALT), aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and gamma glutamyl transaminase (GGT). Lower levels of these enzymes present in blood is a sign of good liver health.

They are usually present when liver cells are damaged or destroyed, or if the flow of the bile produced by the liver becomes blocked.

The new study included 27,793 participants, aged 20 years or older, who recorded how much coffee they drank in a day.

The scientists concluded that coffee may contain a chemical compound other than caffeine that could protect the liver, which is why decafinated coffee also has protective qualities.

The findings back up a number of previous studies which found that coffee consumption may help lower the risk of developing diabetes, stroke, liver disease, and cirrhosis liver damage.

Participants who reported drinking three or more cups of coffee per day had lower levels of ALT, AST, ALP and GGT compared to those not consuming any coffee.

Researchers also found low levels of these liver enzymes in participants drinking only decaffeinated coffee.
Dr Qian Xiao from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland said that previous research had already found that  drinking coffee may have a possible protective effect on the liver.  But it was not clear whether drinking decaffeinated coffee also conferred the same effects.

He said:  “Our findings link total and decaffeinated coffee intake to lower liver enzyme levels. These data suggest that ingredients in coffee, other than caffeine, may promote liver health.”
The findings were published in the journal Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Greek islanders live longer with coffee

Scientists have found that people living on the Greek island of Ikaria enjoy a longer, healthier life span and it may be due to the way they prepare their coffee. Instead of using methods that remove beneficial polyphenols, they boil it in a way that retains its unique compounds.1 Greek islanders who consumed this polyphenol-rich coffee were found to have healthy endothelial function that scientists suggested may play a role in their longevity.1

Among the most beneficial coffee polyphenol is chlorogenic acid, an inhibitor of an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphatase. This enzyme stimulates the excess creation of glucose in the liver, which can result in blood glucoseelevation.

Organic coffee beans are best

These beneficial antioxidants are more bioavailable in organic coffee. One product is the  Rich Rewards® Breakfast Blend Whole Bean Coffee is made using a patented, 100% natural process called HealthyRoast®.2 This process delivers a more complete nutritional profile of the coffee bean, yielding up to 87% more chlorogenic acid than conventional coffees.

Handpicked deep in the rainforests of Central America, Rich Rewards® consists exclusively of 100% USDA certified organic arabica coffee beans, gently roasted in small batches—with the polyphenols then added back in to provide optimal health benefits.


Organic Ground

Ground organic coffee is also available Rich Rewards® Breakfast Blend Ground Coffee—so you can kick-start your day a little faster—in both caffeinated and decaffeinated options. For those who prefer a flavored coffee, Rich Rewards® Breakfast Blend GroundCoffee is available in natural vanilla or mocha flavors. Like our regular Rich Rewards® whole bean and ground coffees, these flavored ground coffees are roasted using the patented HealthyRoast® process—which preserves the special, naturally occurring coffee compounds that soothe (instead of irritate) your stomach.

This unique process also guarantees a higher content of healthy polyphenols.
Life Extension® Rich Rewards® Breakfast Blend Coffee provides it all:
• Whole bean savory taste
• Ground coffee for added convenience—caffeinated or decaffeinated
• Regular ground coffee taste or two natural-flavored options
• Far higher percentage of chlorogenic acid than conventional coffees
• Certified organic
• Special, naturally occurring compounds that soothe your stomach


Drinking traditional tea helps prevent memory loss

Drinking as little as one to three cups a day helps older people’s brain function, according to a new study from Singapore.
The positive effects of tea drinking were particularly beneficial to woman, the study of 1,500 men and women revealed. And drinking more than four cups a day cut the odds of memory failing by three-quarters.
The study looked at the effects of Ceylon (Sri Lankan) tea and showed that just one to three cups of Ceylon tea a day had an effect, cutting the odds of cognitive decline by 43 per cent.
Anti-oxidant compounds in tea are thought to protect against the poisons that ravage the brain in Alzheimer’s.One plant chemical, theanine, is found only in tea and in mushrooms.
Experts in the US recently  analysed several studies on the effect of caffeinated drinks on memory and mental alertness. The thousands of men and women who took part logged how often they drank tea or coffee and did a memory test that is used in the initial stages of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease. They discovered that tea was more beneficial than coffee which has more caffeine.
In another study which tracked 4,000 Americans for almost eight years suggested tea to be of particular benefit to women.
The University of California researchers who reviewed the studies said the weaker results for coffee mean caffeine is unlikely to be responsible for the cognitive benefits.
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Olive leaf extract more powerful than oil in diabetes control, reveals new study

Auckland: A new patient trial has shown that an antioxidant extract made from olive leaves is far more powerful than the oil from the fruit in lowering insulin resistance.

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The trial carried out on 47 men at risk of developing type II diabetes and carried out by the Liggin’s Institute at The University of Auckland revealed a significant improvement in the action of  insulin and the way it is secreted in overweight men.

Incidence of Type II diabetes is highest in overweight or obese people and occurs as a result of insulin not working effectively in the body. The findings, due to be published in an international journal, could help the UK’s ageing and increasingly overweight population to help prevent onset of the disease.

The clinical trial used Comvita Olive Leaf Extract, a black liquid which is made from the resilient, bitter-tasting leaves of the olive tree. The trial revealed that a 12 week course of the natural supplement improved insulin action to healthier levels1. On average a 28% improvement in insulin secretion and a 15% improvement in insulin action was witnessed in the olive leaf group when compared to placebo1.

The research suggests that a daily tablespoon of olive leaf extract (or two capsules) holds promise for the millions of “Dia-risk” individuals in the UK as part of a preventative strategy against the onset of Type II diabetes. A condition which recent research suggests costs the NHS nearly ÂŁ10 billion4.

Around 1 in 20 people in the UK5 are Type II diabetics and it is most likely to affect those with a BMI >30, although ethnicity also plays a part – black and Asian groups are more at risk of developing the disease5. It is also estimated that around 2% of people in the UK have type II diabetes, but are undiagnosed6. Further millions of British adults and increasingly teenagers are “dia-risk”, meaning they are likely to develop the condition: such as those with an overweight or obese BMI, older people or those with a genetic predisposition.

Insulin is an essential tool in the body; it allows glucose to pass into the cells of the body to be used as energy. However in Type II diabetes (and to some extent the “dia-risk”) the pancreas cannot produce as much insulin as it needs to or this insulin can no longer be used effectively by the cells (known as insulin resistance). This means the glucose isn’t being used effectively in the body and remains in the blood leading to elevated blood sugar levels.

Diabetes Type II is a serious condition and many UK sufferers rely on prescribed drugs to treat their condition. This is not ideal as many common diabetic medications that are currently prescribed in the UK have been linked to unpleasant side effects such as sickness and diarrhoea7 – and serious health implications such as increased risk of heart failure78.

Dr Ralk Schlothauer, Chief Technical Officer for Comvita said: “We are pleased to report that Olive Leaf was well tolerated by all participants with no major side effects. The study found on average a 15% improvement in insulin action, a very encouraging result.

“While we are very excited by the findings of the clinical trial, we would not advise any Type II diabetics to use olive leaf in place of medications prescribed by their doctor,” Simon Pothecary, UK spokesperson for Comvita whose Olive Leaf Complex is sold in Boots and Holland & Barrett stores across the UK, comments”However the research holds promise for the millions of people who are at risk of developing the disease, perhaps they are overweight or there is a family history of the condition.”

While much research has focused on the health benefits of olive oil, new data regarding olive leaf is emerging. Active compounds found in olive oil called ‘polyphenolics’ have been identified, but the olive leaf contains these in much higher concentrations – around 30-40 times stronger.


Olive Leaf Capsules small.jpg

Comvita’s Olive Leaf Complex is available as a liquid (ÂŁ22.99 for 500ml) and a one-a-day capsule (90 for ÂŁ25.99) from larger Boots, Holland & Barrett and all good pharmacies and health food stores. For further information call 0800 652 3468 or visit www.comvita.co.uk


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1 Dr Bock & Professor Cutfield, Olive Leaf extract improves insulin sensitivity, Liggins Institute, University of Auckland (2013)

2 Ou et al, Hormones and Metabolic research (2006)

3 Miyazaki et al, Diabetes care (2002)

4 York Health Economic Consortium study, Diabetic Medicine (2012)


5 Diabetes UK, Diabetes in the UK: Key statistics on diabetes (2010)

6 Dr Neel Basudev, Pre-diabetes PCT presentation (2008) http://www.healthcheck.nhs.uk/Library/NeelBasudevPrediabetes241110.pdf

7 NHS Clinical Knowledge Summaries http://www.cks.nhs.uk/diabetes_type_2/management/quick_answers/scenario_managing_glucose_control/view_full_scenario

8 Eurich et al, Benefits and harms of antidiabetic agents in patients with diabetes and heart failure: systematic review, British Medical Journal (2007)   http://www.bmj.com/content/335/7618/497.full


About Comvita Olive Leaf Complex

The Comvita olive tree grove is situated in Queensland, Australia. The selected trees are naturally farmed utilising deep spring water for irrigation and organic worm fertilisers. The extraction facility is located at the orchard ensuring fresh, live leaves are processed within minutes of being picked. This means Comvita Olive Leaf Complex has guaranteed polyphenolic levels – and in particular high Oleuropein levels. Other Olive Leaf products are made from dried, stored leaves – which lose much of their therapeutic properties. Comvita Olive Leaf Complex also carries the ‘Synergy 12’ label to signify the 12 key naturally occurring polyphenolic antioxidants it contains.




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Walnuts – No1 for health nuts

New York: The crinkly walnut is full of potent and abundant antioxidants – more than any other nut, according to new research.

They contain healthy amounts of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals and other trace elements necessary for a healthy diet.

Eating nuts regularly helps reduce the risk of a number of serious illnesses including heart disease, certain cancers, and type-2 diabetes.

Scientists recently analysed the antioxidant content of nine different types of nut: walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias and pecans.

Lead researcher, Dr Joe Vinson, from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, US, said that Walnuts were healthier than all the other nuts.

He said that around seven walnuts a day was the right amount to obtain maximum health benefits.

Dr Vinson’s team found that walnuts not only had more antioxidants than other nuts, but more powerful antioxidants.

Those in walnuts were between two and 15 times more potent than vitamin E, renowned for its antioxidant properties. And unlike other nuts which are generally roasted and loose nutrients as a result, walnuts are generally eaten in their raw state.


Nuts account for just eight per cent of the daily antioxidant consumption in an average person’s diet.

Dr Vinson said many people were put off nuts because they were thought to be fattening. But he pointed out that nuts generally contain healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats rather than artery-clogging saturated fat.

Eating nuts did not appear to cause weight gain and might even reduce over-eating by making people feel full.

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ELIXIR reader offer – get 10%+ off Tava organic green tea

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Tava Tea Wellness Blend is a unique tea that offers multiple health benefits. Elixir is offering every reader a 10% discount on Tava. This discount is in addition to any existing offers on the Tava site. Just enter the code ‘ELIXIR’ in your shopping cart at Tava Tea


More about TavaSencha, Oolong and Puerh are types of tea just like Darjeeling and Earl Grey. But Tava Tea is a unique blend between organically grown Sencha, Oolong and Puerh species and is not found anywhere else.

These varieties of tea contain a vast array of powerful nutrients and have been used for health and healing in China for over 5000 years. Tava Tea Wellness Blend is a triple combination of the three most powerful blends of teas in the world.

Organically grown and using only the finest, most powerful leaves, makes this blend ultra powerful, for both weight loss and healing. Oolong (also known as Wu Long) and Puerh teas have been used for over five thousand years in China for their health promoting properties. But even these varieties can vary in quality, power and effectiveness.

Tava Tea Wellness Blend uses organically grown whole Sencha, Wuyi Cliff Oolong and Puerh tea leaves of the best grade possible, packed into high quality pyramid teabags. Our Oolong for instance, is the Cliff variant, which is one of the most treasured and expensive of the Wuyi family.

This means you’ll actually experience all the benefits of this unique and powerful tea blend. Wu-Long tea has been praised as the most powerful natural weight loss aid on the market. It’s gaining credibility daily with accolades pouring in from Hollywood stars like Oprah Winfrey and Rachael Ray.

This ancient Chinese tea has been used for thousands of years to increase energy and fight obesity in China and Japan. But now we’ve combined it with two other ultra powerful and effective teas, Sencha and Puerh.

This blend of these three mighty teas is unique and not available elsewhere. Oolong (Wu Long) All tea comes from a plant called Camellia Sinensis. Over time, the plant formed chemical compounds known as polyphenols to protect itself from photosynthetic stressors. Polyphenols, which include flavonoids, are antioxidants which protect against free radicals. All tea is green when picked but the difference in green tea and Wu Long tea is the processing. Green tea is heated to stop the leaf from oxidation. When they’re dried, green tea leaves are rolled to break the cell structure.

Wu Long tea leaves on the other hand, are plucked then kept in carefully controlled conditions where they are allowed to oxidize. The leaves are not broken, so most of the cell structure remains intact. It’s these processing differences that make each tea beneficially different from each other, even though they come from the same plant. The active ingredients in Wu-Long tea that are responsible for producing the many health benefits is a compound group called polyphenol, which is reported to activate the enzyme responsible for dissolving triglyceride. It has been confirmed that the continuous intake of Wu-Long tea contributes to enhancing the function of fat metabolism and to controlling obesity.

Benefits of drinking Tava Tea

A Department of Dentistry at Japan’s Osaka University study showed that regular drinking of oolong tea, strengthens teeth and helps prevent tooth decay by inhibiting the build-up of plaque. According to a study published in Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, test subjects who consumed Wu-Long were found to have stronger immune systems and a reduced risk for infections.

Researchers from Japan’s Shiga University of Medical Science found that drinking Wu-Long each day helps to clear up skin problems within one month.

 â€˘ Oolong Tea may help reduce cholesterol build-up in the bloodstream. • Oolong Tea may help burn fat and thus, may contribute to slimming. • Oolong Tea can help prevent heart ailments. • Oolong Tea can be used for treatment of digestive disorders. • Oolong Tea can promote longevity by stimulating bodily functions and strengthening the immune system. • Oolong Tea may promote healthier and stronger bones, protecting people from such diseases as osteoporosis. • Oolong Tea can also fight against tooth decay.

Puerh A large leaf tea variety or Dayeh, Puerh is grown and picked throughout the year. (Many other teas require a dormant season.) Puerh tea is named after Puerh city in the Yunnan province which was once the main trading centre for teas made in the area. Puerh tastes like black tea, but it falls into a category of its own.

One of the most significant things about this tea is that it gets better over time. That’s because it is picked, processed and partially fired to retain moisture. Then while slightly moist, the tea is piled and left to age in special rooms or caves. The aged teas this technique creates can be found in vintages just like wine. Some of them date back more than 50 years.

Puerh tea is often called the Wonder Tonic and the “Medicinal Tea” and has been hugely popular in China for over 1700 years. Offered as a tribute to Emperors and high ranking officials of the Chinese Imperial Courts, its high value and incredible health benefits gave it the title “Tribute Tea”.

The health benefits and medical use of Puerh tea have been documented in various ancient scripts and famous books throughout Chinese history. Puerh tea is often consumed by Chinese after a greasy or fatty meal. The fat digests faster and you experience far less bloating normally associated with a heavy meal.

Many studies have been published showing the health benefits of this amazing tea. A blind study was conducted in France several years ago with 500 hyperlipidemia patients (an advanced cholesterol condition, usually controlled with medication). Half of the controlled group consumed 3-4 cups of Puerh daily, the rest of the patients were given something else. After 30-days the results showed drinking Puerh on a regular basis could significantly lower cholesterol. • Puerh tea is known to help lower blood cholesterol levels. • Puerh tea may help boost the flow of blood and help enhance circulation. • Puerh tea may help inhibit the formation and growth of cancer cells. • Puerh tea aids in the proper digestion of food. • Puerh tea may help invigorate the spleen. • Puerh tea is known to help break down and thus reduce fat in the system. • Puerh tea may help remove toxins. • Puerh tea may help heal aches and pains. • Puerh tea is known to help lower blood cholesterol levels. • Puerh tea may help boost the flow of blood and help enhance circulation. • Puerh tea may help inhibit the formation and growth of cancer cells. • Puerh tea aids in the proper digestion of food. • Puerh tea may help invigorate the spleen. • Puerh tea is known to help break down and thus reduce fat in the system. • Puerh tea may help remove toxins. • Puerh tea may help heal aches and pains.

Sencha Sencha literally means “roasted (ç…Ž) tea (茶)”. However, the process by which sencha is created differs from Chinese green teas, which are initially pan-fired and could be more accurately called “roasted” teas. Japanese green tea is first steamed for between 15-45 seconds to prevent oxidization of the leaves. This also imparts a difference in the flavour between Chinese and Japanese green tea, with Japanese green tea having a more vegetable, almost grassy flavour (some taste seaweed-like flavours).

Then, the leaves are rolled, shaped, and dried creating the customary thin cylindrical shape of the tea. Finally, after drying, the leaves are fired to aid in their preservation and to add flavour. Infusions from sencha and other green teas that are steamed (like most common Japanese green teas) are also greener in colour and slightly more bitter than Chinese-style green teas. Very popular in Japan, Sencha is drunk hot in the winter and usually chilled in the summer.

Sencha has high levels of Catechin, a type of polyphenol and a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants destroy free radicals, which can damage the body at the cellular level and make it far more susceptible to cancer, heart disease, and other degenerative diseases.

 Although there are various kinds of polyphenols, catechins are the strongest. The most powerful catechin, Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), is abundant in green tea. Catechin has also been found to be anti-bacterial and to lower the risk of heart disease. Catechin fights the free radicals that help arterial build up. Catechin also stops the platelets from forming clots which can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, thereby reducing stress. • Green Tea lowers the risk of cancer • Green Tea lowers the risk of stroke and heart diseases • Green Tea lowers blood pressure • Green Tea prevents tooth decay • Green Tea inhibits viruses • Fighting viruses, including influenza • Lowering levels of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol • Battling cancer: Tea compounds have been shown to help prevent or alleviate cancers of the lymph nodes, bladder, breast, cervix, colon, esophagus, lung, bones, pancreas, prostate, skin and stomach. • Aiding endurance • Promoting weight loss in animal and human studies Clinical Studies

Tea may help to reduce the risk of stroke

Recent findings show that drinking 3 or more cups of tea a day may help to reduce the risk of stroke and death from stroke by 21%. Arab, L., Liu, W. and Elashoff, D. (2009). Green and black tea consumption and risk of stroke. A meta-analysis. Stroke, DOI:10.1161/STROKEAHA.108.538470.


Long term tea drinking is associated with a reduced prevalence of diabetes in an elderly population. Analysis revealed that drinking 1 – 2 cups of tea per day was associated with the greatest benefit on blood glucose levels; drinking more provided no further benefit. An increase of one cup per day was associated with a 70% lower likelihood of having diabetes (95% CI 41%-86%), after adjusting for confounding variables. Panagiotakos, D.B., Lionis, C., Zeimbekis, A., Gelastopoulou, K., Papairakleous,N., Das, U. N. and Polychronopoulos, E. (2009). Long-Term Tea Intake is Associated with Reduced Prevalence of (Type 2) Diabetes Mellitus among Elderly People from Mediterranean Islands: MEDIS Epidemiological Study. Yonsei Med. J. 50(1): 31- Green tea and cholesterol In a Taiwanese randomised controlled trial, 78 obese women who took 400mg of green tea extract three times a day for 12 weeks experienced significant reduction in LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and a simultaneous increase in levels of HDL-cholesterol, and the hormones adiponectin (promotes insulin sensitivity) and ghrelin (modulates hunger). (Effect of green tea extract on obese women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Clin Nutr. 2008 Jun;27(3):363-70). Green tea expands blood vessels Researchers from Greece tested subjects after they consumed green tea, 125mg of caffeine and 450ml of hot water on three separate occasions. They measured the diameter of the brachial artery in each participant 30, 90 and 120 minutes after they consumed each beverage. Arterial dilation increased significantly with tea by 3.69%, peaking at 30 min, whereas it did not change significantly with caffeine or water. (The acute effect of green tea consumption on endothelial function in healthy individuals. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2008 Jun;15(3):300-5). Tea is good for the brain A cohort study of 2501 people from Singapore has found that regular tea consumption is associated with lower risks of cognitive impairment and decline. The effects were most evident for black (fermented) and oolong (semi-fermented) teas. In contrast, no association between coffee intake and cognitive status was found. (Tea consumption and cognitive impairment and decline in older Chinese adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jul;88(1):224-31). Green tea prevents fatty liver A US team fed groups of genetically obese and lean mice a diet containing zero, 1%, or 2% green tea extract for six weeks. At the end of the study, the obese mice fed green tea extract weighed 23-25% less than obese mice fed the non-supplemented diet and the lean mice fed green tea extract weighed 11-20% less those on the non-supplemented diet. Measurements of circulating levels of the enzymes alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase, which act as markers of liver damage, showed that green tea extract -supplementation was associated with 30-41% and 22-33% lower activities, respectively. No significant differences were observed in food intake between lean and obese animals in any group, suggesting that green tea extract works by decreasing intestinal fat absorption or altering liver fat metabolism. (Green tea extract protects leptin-deficient, spontaneously obese mice from hepatic steatosis and injury. J Nutr. 2008 Feb;138(2):323-31).

Drinking green tea before exercise could help burn fat.

In a study, 12 healthy young men took either green tea extract, equivalent to 3.5 cups of tea, or placebo, before taking part in cycling trials. Average fat oxidation rates were 17% higher in the green tea group and the contribution of fat oxidation to total energy expenditure was also significantly higher. In a second experiment, 11 healthy men took an oral-glucose-tolerance test before and after supplementation with capsules containing either green tea extract or placebo. Ingestion of green tea extract was found to increase insulin sensitivity by 13%, meaning that it could potentially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. (Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):778-84).

Tea reduces stress

A recent human study has found that people who drank tea four times a day, for six weeks, had lower blood cortisol levels and were able to recover more quickly after a stressful event compared with those who drank a placebo beverage. (The effects of tea on psychophysiological stress responsivity and post-stress recovery: a randomised double-blind trial. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2007 Jan;190(1):81-9).

In another study volunteers were given theanine (an amino acid found in high proportion in tea leaves), a placebo or nothing, either at the start of a stressful mental arithmetic task, or midway through it. The results showed that theanine intake resulted in a significant reduction in the stress response (measured via heart rate (HR) and salivary immunoglobulin A (s-IgA)). Analyses of heart rate variability indicated that the reductions in HR and s-IgA were likely to be due to attenuation of sympathetic nervous activation.

The authors concluded that oral theanine could mediate anti-stress effects via inhibition of cortical neuronal excitation in the brain. (L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biol Psychol. 2007 Jan;74(1):39-45). Green tea and cognitive decline According to a study of more than 1000 Japanese adults in their 70s, drinking green tea regularly seems to be connected to a reduced risk of cognitive decline.

People drinking two or more cups of green tea a day, were half as likely to show signs of cognitive impairment as those who drank three cups or less a week. Even though the study wasn’t able to show a clear connection between drinking green tea and maintaining mental acuity, it may help explain why there is less dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease, in Japan compared to Europe and North America. (Kuriyama S et al. Green tea consumption and cognitive function: a cross-sectional study from the Tsurugaya Project 1. Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Feb 2006; 83: 355-361).


Any healthy person can use Tava Tea – Wellness Blend, however we advice pregnant women, breastfeeding women, people with know medical conditions and those taking prescription medication to consult your local healthcare professional before using this product.

For example: This tea melange is based on the principle of antioxidants and the eradication of free radicals. Free radicals are believed to be causing many healthcare related problems, but are also used in some medical treatments (chemotherapy for example) that use these same free radicals. Drinking this tea during those treatments is therefore not advised!

Brewing Instructions

Like any organic substance tea is sensitive to temperature. Many beneficial substances will break down when exposed to high temperatures. Also the wrong temperature will spoil the taste of the tea. Incorrect temperature is one of the most common causes of the bitterness of tea.

1. Pour 600-700ml (3-4 cups) of fresh boiled water into a teapot. 2. Wait until the water is cooled to about 80-85 degrees Celsius. Add the tea. 3. Let the tea steep for 3-4 minutes for the first infusion. The colour of the tea should be warm golden brownish. You’re now ready to drink your tea. 4. Don’t throw away the teabag, you’ve only used it once, and you have not released all the flavours and healthy antioxidants yet! Make sure that the teabag is not kept in water, as the leafs will continue to release its flavours, which we don’t want until the second steeping. 5. For the second infusion, boil 500-600ml (2-3 cups) of water and pour this into a teapot. 6. Again, wait for the water to be cooled to about 75-80 degrees Celsius. 7. Let the tea steep for 6-7 minutes for the second infusion. The colour will be about the same as the first infusion, maybe a little bit lighter. This second steeping releases different tea oils and anti-oxidants, leading to a different taste of the tea. You’re not ready for your second tea session. Please drink no more than 6-8 cups per day to achieve the optimal effect.

Drinking more than 8 cups a day can cause some side effects as undesired bowel movement. Wellness Blend Ingredients – Organic Wu yi Cliff Oolong (30%) – Organic Steamed Green Sencha (40%) – Orcanic Green Pu-erh (30%)

Anyone for a cup of tea?

_MG_6396[1] [320x200].JPGThe menopause can be a very difficult time, but help may be at hand in the shape of a good cuppa.

Tava Tea Wellness Blend uses organically grown whole Sencha, Wuyi Cliff Oolong and Puerh tea leaves of the best grade possible.

These tea leaves contain a vast array of powerful nutrients and have been used for health and healing in China for over 5000 years.

The tea has also become popular amongst women keen to reduce the physical effects of the menopause in addition to promoting general well-being and soothe aches and pains.

The tea’s ingredients increase the drinker’s metabolism and reduce food cravings, which become a problem during heightened hormonal activity associated with the menopause.

Case study 1 – Trudy Leigh, 50, from Loughton, Essex

Trudy gave Tava Tea a try after gaining weight during the early stages of the menopause
She said: ‘I’d always been a slim woman at just over eight stone, but after starting the menopause I gained weight almost overnight. It was a new and uncomfortable experience and no matter what I did, including almost starving myself, I couldn’t shift the extra pounds.’

Trudy has been sipping four cups a day and lost half a stone in three weeks.

Case study 2 – Nicola Chapman, 51, from Bristol

Nicola was having a bad time with hot flushes, she ‘felt uncomfortable, short of energy and embarrassed at turning red and having to fan myself in public. Since drinking the tea I’ve seen my hot flushes decrease to once or twice a day, it’s made a world of difference.’

Dr Tim Thurlings, who developed the tea’s unique blend, said he’s delighted to be able to help women during what can be a particularly difficult time.

He said: ‘The blends of tea we use are proven to have positive effects when it comes to losing weight and promoting feelings of well being  – something which can be particularly important for women going through a time of substantial physical and emotional change.’

‘Not only does the tea speed up the metabolism and help with hot flushes, it also helps reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of developing some forms of lung cancer.’

This means anyone can benefit from a cup of this particularly saintly brew…. So, who’s going to put the kettle on??



Olympic athlete Kelly Sotherton on her healthy coffee addiction!


Athletes have to stay at peak fitnesses and this includes eating wisely and taking the best nutrients, which is why Olympic athlete Kelly Sotherton loves polyphenol-packed NESCAFÉ Green Blend.

Most of us have heard of antioxidants (over nine in 10 if you want to get technical) but far fewer are aware how good they are for us. In fact, around one third of Brits have no idea whether theyÂ’re good for them or not.

Antioxidants can help protect our bodiesÂ’ cells from day to day damage and you might be surprised to hear that coffee is a major source of dietary antioxidants. This is certainly news to the 1 in 5 people who, according to new research, mistakenly believe coffee is bad for them and fantastic news for the half of UK households who collectively drink the beverage at a rate of almost 14,000 cups a minute!

With its beneficial health and taste properties thereÂ’s no question it belongs in the top three most popular drinks in the world, along with water and tea. However, whilst all coffee is naturally high in antioxidants, for the first time in the UK we now have the chance to drink coffee containing naturally occurring Polyphenol antioxidants.

The new NESCAFÉ Green Blend is made of both roasted and unroasted coffee beans, with the latter containing high levels of naturally present Polyphenols, which are also found in green tea and cocoa.

Here to explain more about the health benefits of drinking coffee and give you some top tips on how to choose the right coffee to suit you are, NESCAFÉ Master Taster Dave Roberts and Nutritionist Liz Read. They’re joined by medal winning Olympic athlete and self confessed coffee-lover Kelly Sotherton.

Click here to watch the video:

Kelly Sotherton

For more information visit the coffee cupboard at www.nescafe.co.uk


Nescafé launches first anti-ageing coffee


London: A new type of coffee which contains high levels of naturally occuring polyphenol antioxidants has been launched in the UK by Nescafé.

The new coffee, Nescafé Green Blend, has a combination of traditionally roast beans for the traditional flavour and unroasted beans which contain exceptionally high levels of a plant antioxidant called polyphenols.

This antioxidant helps the body fight off degeneration caused by free radicals – damaging molecules which are a by-product of living.

Coffee, once a health paraih, is now credited with all kinds of health benefits including helping to prevent liver and Alzheimer’s disease.

The goodness of NESCAFÉ Green Blend lies within the unroasted green coffee beans. They are naturally rich in polyphenol antioxidants which can help protect the body’s cells from day to day damage. Polyphenol antioxidants are also found in green tea and cocoa.

The makers said that the new blend does not increase the caffiene content.

Gary Williamson, Professor of Functional Food, School of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds and a world leading expert in polyphenol science says: “Coffee is included among my top 20 lifespan essential foods list – foods and drinks rich in polyphenol antioxidants. Polyphenols are a complex class of naturally occurring components of fruits, vegetables, and beverages made from plants. Many polyphenols are well absorbed by the body and help maintain the body’s defences against ageing processes such as free radical damage.”

All NESCAFÉ coffee is made from 100% pure and natural coffee beans and all coffee is rich in antioxidants.

Liz Read, Nestlé Nutritionist, explains: “Green coffee beans naturally contain high levels of polyphenol antioxidants. During the roasting process, some of the antioxidants are converted into antioxidants known as melanoidins. “A mixture of both types of antioxidants are present in all coffee and the amount present is dependent on the degree of roasting. NESCAFÉ Green Blend has a high content of the naturally occurring polyphenol antioxidant due to the fact that it contains unroasted green coffee beans”.

Latest research commissioned by NESCAFÉ Green Blend shows that consumers are increasingly aware of antioxidants and interested in the benefits that they can bring to their general health.

64% of those questioned have heard about antioxidants and know that they are good for their general health*
Over 50% of people asked know that antioxidants can make a different to their overall health*

Launched into the UK this month, NESCAFÉ Green Blend has joined the rest of the NESCAFÉ coffee family on supermarket shelves nationwide.




Get answers from world-leading experts on anti-aging topics here – whether is about preventative healthcare, the latest rejuvenation treatments or the best spas and doctors…

New tomato pill to cut heart disease


London: UK scientists have created a natural supplement made from tomatoes, which they claim when taken daily, prevents heart disease and strokes.

The tomato pill, branded Ateronon, contains lycopene – an antioxidant that blocks “bad” (LDL) cholesterol that chokes the cardiovascular system.

The new lycopene pill is made by a biotechnology spin-out company within Cambridge University, and will eventually go on sale to consumers.

Although research is on-going early trials involving on150 people with heart disease indicate that Ateronon can reduce the oxidation of harmful fats in the blood to almost zero within eight weeks, a meeting of the British Cardiovascular Society will be told at Ateronon’s launch next week.

Neuroscientist Peter Kirkpatrick, who will lead a further research project at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge on behalf of Cambridge Theranostics Ltd, said the supplement could be much more effective than statin drugs that are currently used by doctors to treat high cholesterol.

Lycopene is already well-known as a powerful antioxidant which is found in the skin of tomatoes which gives them their red colour. But lycopene ingested in its natural form is poorly absorbed.

Ateronon contains a refined, more readily absorbed version of lycopene that was originally developed by Nestle.

Plums – the cheap & cheerful superfood!


Houston: Plums have had their status as a ‘super-food’ by scientists confirmed yet again, by scientists.

They found the purple fruit matched or exceeded blueberries in antioxidants and phytonutrients, which help prevent disease.

Researcher Dr David Byrne, of AgriLife Research, said tests revealed one plum contains about the same amount of antioxidants as a handful of blueberries.

Antioxidants are molecules that sweep through a body looking for free radicals to knock out.

Free radicals are atoms or molecules that lurk where diseases like cancer and heart disease are found.

Scientist Dr Luis Cisneros, who helped with the Texas-based research, said: ‘Blueberries have some stiff competition.

‘People tend to eat just a few blueberries at a time – a few on their cereal or maybe as an ingredient mixed with other fruit in a fruit salad.
‘But people will eat a whole plum at once and get the full benefit.’

The US team examined the full content of plums then tested the effect of the compounds they found on breast cancer cells and cholesterol in the lab.
The scientist carried further research which threw up information which they hope can be used for breeding efforts to produce better fruit.

Dr Byrne noted that one benefit the team found was that the phytonutrients in plums inhibited breast cancer growth without adversely affecting normal cell growth.
He said this type of research needs further study.

Dr Cisneros added blueberries, peaches and nectarines have similar benefits to plums.

Antioxidants fail to slow ageing

London: Anti-oxidants don’t slow down the effects of ageing, according to a new study published this week in the journal Genes and Development.

The research, carried out by scientists at the Institute of Healthy Ageing at University College London (UCL), questions the theory that excess superoxide free radicals increase the effect and speed of the ageing process. Free radicals are unbalanced oxygen molecules produced naturally in the body and are believed to damage tissue.

For their study, the team modified key genes involved in removing excess superoxide free radicals in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans. They found that the gene changes didn’t affect the worms’ lifespan.

Caenorhabditis elegans is often used in genetic research into ageing because it has a similar genetic structure to more complex organisms, and is easy to control and change.

Bupa’s Assistant Medical Director, Dr Virginia Warren, told the health information team: “The results of this study challenge what has been regarded as obvious for half a century – that superoxides are a key factor in ageing and so mopping them up should be beneficial.”

In 1956, Denham Harman – widely known as the father of the free radical theory – suggested that damage done by too many free radicals in the body was responsible for ageing. Since then a number of papers have been published in support of this theory, so it has remained unchallenged for over 50 years. However, this new study has questioned the theory.

A recent Cochrane review, published in April 2008, looked at the results from 67 studies into anti-oxidant supplements and increased mortality. This independent review found no evidence to suggest that anti-oxidant supplements such as vitamin A, C and E, selenium and beta-carotene can decrease mortality. The review goes on to show that supplements of vitamin C, E and beta-carotene may actually reduce lifespan.

These recent results from UCL, combined with the Cochrane review, add weight to the argument that anti-oxidants in food and beauty products may not be the quick fix many people are looking for. Dr Warren commented: “Of course, we all still need to eat a healthy diet to reduce our chances of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.”

Nestlé launches anti-ageing drink


New York: NestlĂ©, the world’s largest food and beverage company has launched an anti-ageing beauty drink.

Glowelle, which comes in two flavours, Raspberry jasmine and pomegranate lychee, has gone on sale at branches of department stores, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.

The drink which costs $7 (ÂŁ3.50) contains a blend of nutrients which claim to “nourish and hydrate the skin from within and help fight free radicals, known contributors to the signs of aging.”

This drink is just the latest in a bevy of supplements, known as “foodceuticals” that have hit the market.

Leftover spaghetti bolognese cuts cancer risk


New York: Scientists have discovered that multiple rounds of heating left-over spaghetti bolognese with extra oil has extra health benefits.

The technique alters the structure of the main antioxidant in tomotoes – lycopene so that it is more easily absorbed into the body.Previous studies have already shown that making raw tomatoes into purees or sauces increased the benefits.

Study leader Dr Steven Schwartz, from Ohio State University in Columbus, told fellow scientists at the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia.’What we have found is we can take the red tomato molecular form of lycopene and by processing it and heating it in combination with added oil, we can change the shape of the molecule so it is configured in this bent form.’

Heat is vital to the process, but so is the addition of some fat, which helps carry the lycopene through the gut walls.

The scientists processed red tomatoes into two kinds of sauce. One was rich in cislycopene – the ‘bent’ variety – while the other mostly contained all-trans-lycopene, the linear form.

A small study was then conducted on 12 volunteers who were given both types of sauce to eat. After each meal, blood samples-were taken and analysed over nine and a half hours. Lycopene blood levels were 55 per cent higher after consumption of the new sauce, the scientists found.

Schweppes – the latest cocktails with anti-ageing ingredients


Treat yourself to a cocktail – try the latest from Schweppes which are packed full of anti-ageing ingredients and antioxidants.

Schweppes Cocktails with Russhian and Schweppes Tonic water with a hint of Pomegranate

Fruity Fun

5ml Milk Thistle tincture, 15ml elderflower cordial, 50ml fresh (white) grapefruit juice, 75ml pomegranate tonic, Vanilla sugared rim

Edge a rocks glass with Vanilla sugar, add the milk thistle and the elderflower cordial and stir with a couple of ice cubes. Add the remaining ingredients. Garnish with a thin grapefruit zest.

The active ingredient in Milk Thistle, silymarin, protects the liver from toxin or disease-related damage by stimulating the regenerative ability of the liver to replenish and strengthen liver cells. It can even improve digestion by stimulating the gall bladder. As a powerful antioxidant, silymarin may also prevent highly reactive oxygen molecules called free radicals from damaging cells throughout the body, especially in the liver where it may reduce damage to liver cells caused by overuse of certain prescription drugs.


50ml Vodka, 20ml limejuice, 10ml sugar syrup, 5ml ginseng tincture, thumbnail of ginger, dash of crme de casis, 150ml Russchian

Shake all but the Russchian in a shaker filled with ice, strain into a highball glass and top with Russchian. Garnish with a slice of ginger.

Sweet as Honey

50ml Myer’s Rum, 20ml honey, 20ml limejuice,1 00ml Schweppes Pomegranate Tonic, 4 cloves, Pinch of cinnamon,Grapefruit zest

Muddle the rum, lime and honey together until the honey has dissolved into the rum. Add the spices and the grapefruit zest, shake over ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a zest of orange speared with cloves.

Fruit Flower

50ml Bombay Sapphire gin, 20ml fresh grapefruit juice, 15ml elderflower cordial, 6 mint leaves, pomegranate tonic

Muddle the mint with the elderflower cordial in a highball glass, fill with crushed ice and add remaining ingredients. Garnish with a mint sprig and serve with two straws. Long refreshing, elegant and very British cooler.

Sophisticated Cocktail
20ml parfait amour, 20ml Zubrowka vodka, 1 sugar cube doused in Angostura bitters, top with chilled Russchian

Build all ingredients into a frosted champagne flute. Garnish with a thin grapefruit zest. Beautiful, violet-coloured drink presented in a sophisticated tall champagne flute.

Digestif Cocktail

45ml Monkey shoulder, 30ml Butterscotch schnapps,2 dashes orange bitters, 15ml lemon juice,5 ml sugar syrup, 5ml egg white, Top with Russchian

Shake all ingredients over ice a shaker and strain into a highball glass with ice. Top with Russchian.

Smokers most at risk of eyesight loss from ageing


New York: Smoking is one of the strongest risk factors for developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). But smokers may not benefit from antioxidant vitamin supplements, say experts.

Emily Chew, MD, Deputy Director, Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Research, National Eye Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, United States, said patients who smoke and take beta carotene supplements have an increased risk of developing lung cancer.

In a presentation to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), Dr Chew outlined which patients should and should not take supplements. In a recent study more than 4,700 patients who received supplements of vitamin C and E, beta carotene, zinc and copper and were followed for 6.3 years.

The results of the study showed that while there was a protective benefit for patients with large bilateral macular drusen and those with advanced AMD in one eye, there was no protective benefit for patients with mild and moderate AMD. The supplements did not prevent progression to severe AMD in these patients.

Dr Chew pointed out, however, that the risk of developing AMD in these patients is “exceedingly low,” and therefore, it is unlikely that they would progress to severe AMD.

According to Dr Chew, patients who still smoke, or quit smoking within the past year should avoid the supplements because of the increased risk of cancer. Nor should the offspring of patients with AMD take the supplements, unless they too have AMD in one eye, or large bilateral drusen.

But for most individuals, the benefits of the supplements seem to outweigh any risks. Recently, a meta-analysis of 68 trials reported no significant impact associated with a wide variety of antioxidant supplements. More study is needed, Dr Chew said
Dr Chew concluded that the public health impact of this supplementation regimen could prevent 300,000 people over the next 5 years from either developing advanced macular degeneration or experiencing significant loss of vision as a result of progressive disease.

Real food shock – at London festival


London: WeÂ’ve hand-picked the very best produce and ingredients that we could find to bring you the biggest Farmers Market in the country and you, being as passionate about produce as we are, should come and meet some of the best producers, taste their delectable produce, learn from them and challenge your tastebuds.

Over 500 producers will gather at Earls Court 24-7 April 2008 to celebrate food that is good, clean and fair. With all the talk about the integrity, quality, provenance & sustainability of food in the UK and around the world, we thought it would be a great idea to show you the choices that are out there.

The big difference with the Real Food Festival is that the producers that are hand picked to attend are also heavily subsidised to exhibit. This means that you will get the opportunity to meet some of the best and smallest producers in the world and eat some of the most fabulous food that will leave your mouth watering and your toes tingling!

As well as the amazing producers, you will also be able to learn how to bake bread with food guru Barny Haughton of BristolÂ’s renowned Bordeaux Quay, taste wines with the maker, challenge yourself in a food debate, tantalise your tastebuds in a taste workshops, meet some pigs, follow a produce trail or just chill on a hay bale and listen to a farmers story. Real Food is passionate not preachy, the integrity of the festival will challenge the way most of us think about food on a day to day basis and will inspire a wide audience to change their eating habits in favour of a more sustainable way of eating and enjoying produce.

The FestivalÂ’s Taste workshops will teach you all sorts of things from the differences between cows and goats milk to wheat and malt beers. The workshops provide the ultimate test for your taste buds, created by eco-gastronomes Clodagh McKenna and Sebastiano Sardo of Foodiscovery.

The Real Food Festival is not just a London event. We have just returned from a gastronomic road trip around the country where we have been meeting local producers, from Jersey to Orkney. You will be able to meet the people who reared the pigs, planted the carrots, milked the cows and crushed the grapes: you can taste their produce, learn about it and take it home.

Eco Icons such as Zac Goldsmith, fully support our festival, ‘The way we eat, what we eat, where our food comes from, these are central issues. The Real Food Festival will change the way we think about food and give producers and consumers an opportunity to meet and share their passion for authentic quality produce’.

We promise to celebrate the diversity of modern artisan food, from producer to plate. Visitors will be able to meet and speak to 500 hand-picked producers from Britain and the world.

Visit our website The Real Food Festival to get updates of our journey. Tickets which can be bought online cost ÂŁ15.

Rooibos antioxidant tea – a healthy way to cut calories

London: The British are renowned worldwide for their love of tea, which has established a place in the country’s culture and heritage. However consumers are increasingly looking for a wider range of tastes and flavours, particularly healthy options to enhance hectic 24-hour lifestyles.

Consumers nowadays want more from the perfect cuppa. They want it to be reviving and thirst quenching but also stuffed full of healthy benefits. South Africans claim their national drink, Rooibos Tea, ticks all the right boxes. Naturally caffeine-free and low in harmful tannins, redbush tea, as it is also known, is incredibly hydrating and itÂ’s high level of antioxidants, nine trace minerals and low levels of oxalic acid make it a fantastic choice of drink to complement a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Consultant Nutritionist Jane Griffin comments: “Rooibos tea offers another way to keep you well hydrated with the added bonus that it can be also help increase your intake of a range of antioxidants and trace minerals. It is naturally caffeine free too so if variety is the spice of life then Rooibos tea certainly deserves a place in the UK tea drinker’s repertoire.”

The leaf can only be grown in the remote Cederberg mountain region of the country, known for its wild craggy peaks, clean air and pure mountain streams. South Africans have been enjoying the drink for centuries and us Brits will be happy to know many of the traditional ways in which the leaf is harvested and dried have remained the same for hundreds of years. The tea is considered so soothing it is even given to babies with feeding problems and is known locally in South Africa as the South African lullaby due to itÂ’s beneficial properties when fighting colic.

Countless tea companies, including Dragonfly Teas, Eleven OÂ’Clock, Redbush, Tick Tock, Tetley and Twinings stock Rooibos tea in the British market which means we can enjoy all the health benefits of this amazing South Africa cuppa in our own front room.

For more information: www.rooibosltd.co.za

The Top 100 Foods for a Younger You! – ELIXIR reader discount


There are many women out there who want to keep their youth and vitality but shy away from the doctor’s needle and scalpel.

Naturopath Sarah Merson has written a fantastic handbag-sized book that is about to be published. It is called THE TOP 100 FOODS FOR A YOUNGER YOU and costs ÂŁ4.99 and is available at online at www.dbp.co.uk

This book will help you discover that the right foods can slow down many of the ageing processes and keep you looking good and feeling great whatever your age.
Foods can be powerful weapons in the battle against many of the visible effects of ageing, such as wrinkles, and also those you can’t see, such as damage to the heart and eyes, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Choosing the right foods will help to protect against such conditions as well as strengthening your immune system, increasing your resistance to colds and other infections, and also boosting your energy levels and improving physical and mental performance.

Ageing is inevitable but ageing well is an art. If you want to stay fitter, live longer, feel better and look younger in later life, now is the time to invest in your future good health. With recipes for each, Sarah Merson reveals 100 tried- and-tested foods which will keep you looking and feeling fabulous.

Sarah Merson is a freelance writer who specializes in alternative health and nutrition and is the author of The Top 100 Traditional Remedies (DBP 2006). She also works for the Natural College of Naturopathic Medicine in the U

ELIXIR reader offers

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Protecting your immune system against the cold & flu season

Autumn is nearly upon as and with it comes the dreaded flu and cold season. An estimated three in 20 people will have flu by the New Year. Most at risk are the elderly and those with weak or depressed immune systems.

Whilst a flu jab is an advisable preventative measure there is a lot more we can do to protect and boost our bodyÂ’s immune systems. For example, by eating superfoods and taking supplements known as antioxidants, that help protect our body from infections. These supernutrients not only have the potential to help you be healthier and look younger for longer but will give you the best possible chance of fighting off viral infections such as colds and flu this winter.

In Japan, for example, doctors are combating heart disease by prescribing CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a fat-soluble vitamin-like substance produced by our own bodies. This substance is an essential component of the mitochondria, the energy producing unit of our cells, where it helps produce the bodyÂ’s fuel. The role of CoQ10 is similar to that of the sparkplug in a car engine.

Low levels of CoQ10 have been linked to several diseases, in particular congestive heart failure. Ageing humans have been found to have 57% less on average compared to young adults. But there is increasing evidence that it can help prevent and even reverse several diseases of ageing – heart failure, gum disease, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and chronic fatigue. In healthy individuals its effectiveness can be experienced in the gym where it can assist in cardio-vascular endurance.

Antioxidants help the body defend itself against attack from free radicals, the unstable molecular structures, caused by pollution, stress, smoking and drinking to excess, that damage cells and which scientists believe are the trigger for cell mutations that cause cancer and other ageing diseases.

Nutritionist Sally Beare, author of The Live-Longer Diet (www.piatkus.co.uk) says: “In order to stave off degenerative diseases and enjoy optimum health, we have to get the full range of nutrients. These include at lest seven to twenty minerals, thirteen vitamins, eleven essential amino acids and two essential fatty acids (essential meaning that they are essential for health and cannot be made by the body). At the absolute minimum, we should eat at least five portions of fresh fruits and vegetables every day, and preferably ten. Yet most Western diets include far less than this, and the UK Food Standards Agency found that only 36 per cent of people in the UK are even aware of the recommendation.”

Ideally, antioxidants should be consumed as part of a well-balanced diet, but since many processed foods are deficient, dietary supplements should be considered. Anyone who is pregnant or taking pharmaceutical drugs for a serious illness should consult their doctor before taking supplements as some can interact with medication.

Included in the list of supernutrients are foods that release energy slowly into the blood stream, those with a low Glycemic Index, that keep energy levels constant and prevent tiredness and the onset of diabetes. Oats are one of the best sources and it also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. Other superfoods to include in your diet are eggs, one of the best sources of protein; green tea to protect against heart disease and cancer; nuts such as brazils that contain selenium which protects against cancer and improves thyroid function and walnuts for a healthy heart and olive oil and soya to reduce cholesterol.

Eating oily fish regularly helps protect the brain and has the added bonus of giving us beautiful skin. Mackerel, herrings, tuna, salmon, sardines and anchovies all contain omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) as do flax seeds (linseed) and flaxseed oil.

New York dermatologist, Dr Nicholas Perricone (www.www.nvperriconemd.co.uk) describes DMAE, a substance found in abundance in wild Alaskan salmon, as “the magic bullet” for skin. In his book, The Perricone Promise, he explains how you can look 10 years younger in 28 days by eating supernutrients, including salmon and DMAE and have a healthier brain and slimmer body at the same time. DMAE is also a building-block of the brain neuro-transmitter acetylcholine which declines with age and causes a deterioration in muscle-tone as well as brain function leading to AlzheimerÂ’s.

He says: “Looking good and having a positive body image is not vanity; it’s your road to a long, healthy and happy life.”

The most important dietary antioxidants are found in the more colourful varieties of fruits and vegetables such as:

Red/Orange: Tomatoes, strawberries, oranges, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, red and orange peppers, and salmon are rich in vitamins A, C and E.

Green: Cabbage, spinach, avocado, kiwi fruit and peas are rich in vitamin A.

Yelow: Lemons, melons, mangoes, yellow peppers and grapefruit are all rich sources of Vitamins A and C.

Purple: Blueberries, blackcurrants, red cabbage and beetroot are excellent sources of vitamins A, C and E.

White: Garlic, onions, cauliflower and walnuts are rich in vitamins A, C and E.

Diet for your age and gender, say food scientists


London: A healthy diet is eating the right food for your age and gender.That is the advice from one of the UK’s leading food scientists, Dr Sian Astley, who belives that in the future food will be formulated for different ages and sexes.

She said the same diet is not for everyone that the sensible approach is best. Young women, for example, who those hoping to become pregnant should eat foods with folic acid such as green leafy vegtables, asparagas, citrus fruit, wholemeal breads and cereals. This form of vitamin B helps prevent defects such as brain and spinal impairments.
At the samt time they should also have an adequate intake of iron, as many women of child-bearing age do not eat enough red meat.

But as people age the body’s food requirements change. Busy people and mothers need to keep energy levels up therefore its wise to eat complex carbohydrates to provide a slow steady release of energy.

And in old age we need to prevent some of the common diseases such as osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s by eating calcium rich goods, vitamin B and plenty of oily fish.

Dr Astley, of the Institute of Food Research in Norwich speaking at the British Association Festival of Science, said: ‘The way we process vitamin B, for example, changes dramatically as we reach old age. Our body can still process it but really struggles to extract it from the food we eat. There might be an argument for a fortified food or there may be a reason for taking a supplement.’

Men becoming increasingly at risk of prostate cancer as they age so they should boost their intake of anti-oxidants that boost the immune system such as tomatoes.These foods may also help women who may be at risk from herediary cancers.

This new study is the latest to support the growing body of evidence that eating healthily is the biggest contributor to longevity.

Comments Dr Astley: “As we get older, our bodies are less effective at avoiding disease; our immune systems are less able to detect and mount a defence. This results in an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cataract and arthritis.

‘Poor diet can accelerate this process whilst 80 per cent of casecontrolled studies support the hypothesis that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of age-related illness.’ She cautioned-however, that there is no guarantee that even the healthiest of diets will be able to ward off illness.

For instance, cereal manufacturers may provide versions fortified with particular age-groups or sexes in mind. ‘We are not expecting 500 types of Weetabix for every type of person, but perhaps five that are formulated differently for different types of diet or age,’ said Dr Astley.

Fruit and veg protect against Alzheimer’s

Nashville: Fruit and vegetable juices have the potential to protect against the devastating brain disease Alzheimer’s, according to US scientists.

They examined the effects of drinking fruit and vegetable juices more than three times a week amongst 2,000 people for 10 years and discovered that it reduced the risk of the disease by 76 per cent compared to those whose intake was less.

Doctors believe that the findings confirm that diet can play a huge role in whether you get the disease. It is thought that protective substances in fruit and vegetables known as polyophenols, protect the brain from accumulations of bad proteins.

The study carried out at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, and participants consumed juice with high concentrations of pulp and peel which contain the most polyphenols.

Cranberry has more antioxidants than red wine

London: Research just published in The British Journal of Nutrition reveals that drinking a glass of light cranberry juice every day boosts good cholesterol and shields the heart with its unique antioxidant power.

Scientists have found the refreshing fruit juice delivers a dual benefit to boost heart health and has similar benefits to red wine. A clinical study by researchers at Laval University in Quebec City, Canada, shows daily consumption of light cranberry juice increases the amount of “good” cholesterol in the body by 8% as well as providing strong antioxidant protection against bad cholesterol, a major cause of heart disease.

The findings add more benefits to long standing research already associated with cranberry juice including its ability to ward off urinary tract infections and potentially cut the risk of gum disease and stomach ulcers.

This latest study indicates that cranberry juice improves circulation by increasing the level of high density lipoproteins (HDL), or good cholesterol, which carries fatty particles in the blood stream away from the heart.

Critical to the study was the product used in the research: Ocean Spray Cranberry Classic Light, a low sugar, high concentration (25%) cranberry juice drink.

Dr Charles Couillard, lead researcher of the study and a member of the Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods at Laval University said: “We found that by consuming a daily glass of light cranberry juice, the good cholesterol found in blood increased.”

He added: “An increase in HDL cholesterol is a sign that the arteries are clearing up the accumulated cholesterol,which is positive for heart health.The best way to prevent chronic disease is to adopt an active lifestyle, as well as better nutritional habits. Now drinking a glass of cranberry juice on a daily basis is certainly a good nutritional habit to adopt, but to maximise the benefits of drinking cranberry juice, you will need to get more active and also eat less fat.”

Another recent laboratory study at the William Harvey ResearchInstitute at St BartholomewÂ’s Hospital in London found that a serving of cranberry juice each day could be as good for the heart as red wine.

Scientists tested cranberry juice drink, light cranberry juice drink (both at 25% concentrations), a California merlot and an Argentine cabernet sauvignon and found an average serving of cranberry juice drink was equivalent to a glass of red wine in their relative potential to prevent atherosclerosis – a condition that leads to thickening of the arteries and can result in a heart attack or stroke.

Reference: Favourable impact of low-calorie cranberry juice consumption on plasmaHDL-chloesterol concentration in men, British Journal of Nutrition (2006), 96, 357-364 Notes to Editors: Laval University conducted a 12 week study, looked at 30 men aged 18-70 who were slightly overweight, had an elevated LDL (bad cholesterol) level, were not taking medication and were given Ocean Spray Light Cranberry Cocktail (UK equivalent is Cranberry Classic Light) Heart disease is BritainÂ’s biggest killer with 125,000 deaths a year. According to the British Heart Foundation nearly half of all deaths from coronary heart disease in the UK are due to raised cholesterol, which is estimated to affect seven in ten adults. There are some 270,000 heart attacks in the UK each year while around 2.1 million people have experienced angina, the chest pain that is the main symptom of coronary heart disease.