Sunday 31 January 2016

The goodness of green tea

     Its health powers may be hyped, but it still has strong selling points, advocates say

    • JAMES HEFLIN<br/>Oliver Rich, president of Tea Guys, fills glasses with matcha powder. 
      Oliver Rich, president of Tea Guys, fills glasses with matcha powder.

    •             JAMES HEFLIN<br/>Oliver Rich, president of Tea Guys, fills glasses with matcha powder.
    • JAMES HEFLIN<br/>A bright green glass of matcha, the powdered green tea used in the Japanese tea ceremony
    • JAMES HEFLIN<br/>A small tea plant at the Tea Guys store.
    • JAMES HEFLIN<br/>Hojicha green tea includes twigs and leaves.
    • JAMES HEFLIN<br/>Unrolled leaves of jasmine pearls, green tea leaves rolled tightly with jasmine flower petals.
    • Genmaicha Japanese green tea includes toasted rice, some of which pops like popcorn during processing.
    • JAMES HEFLIN<br/>A tin of Dragon's Well Chinese green tea at the Tea Guys store.
    • JAMES HEFLIN<br/>Tightly rolled gunpowder green forms the base of Moroccan-style mint tea.
    • JAMES HEFLIN<br/>Oliver Rich, president of Tea Guys in Whately, pours tea.
    It’s easy to find stories trumpeting the health benefits of antioxidant-rich green tea. Seems simple enough. To keep the cells healthy, go to the grocery store, head to the tea aisle, grab something marked “green tea” and drink up.
    Not so fast.
    Turns out that getting antioxidants from tea is a complicated matter. And those much-touted antioxidants? Found as well in fruits and vegetables or supplement pills, their usefulness is also more controversial than a fad-happy food industry leads us to believe.
    Ingesting too many actually could be harmful.
    “Oxygen is life-giving as well as life-taking,” said nutritionist Bruce Homstead of Easthampton. “It helps you age your cells in the same way a piece of exposed iron ages with rust. Your body is rusting (oxidizing) all the time.”
     Antioxidants — there are hundreds — are chemicals which help cells avoid that rusting. But Homstead says these substances can be double-edged. “They’re pretty powerful. ... you can take too much of the stuff, actually allowing the damage to the cell to occur. And who knows what the exact balance point is?”  
    When it comes to tea, some studies have turned up positive effects from the antioxidants it contains, chiefly one called apigallocatechin gallate, or ECGC. Other research has shown less of a benefit. The University of Maryland Medical Center’s Medical Reference Guide says that, based on at least one large study, green tea lowers total cholesterol and raises levels of HDL, or so-called “good” cholesterol. 
     Other research has shown that antioxidants in both green and black tea may help kill cancerous cells and stop them from growing, but the studies may not have factored in the cultural context of the tea drinkers — for example, the rest of their diets. Therefore, says U.M., the jury is out: “It is not possible to know for sure from these studies whether green tea actually prevents cancer in people.”Even the National Cancer Institute seems stumped, calling the evidence regarding tea and cancer “inconclusive at present.”
    So why has the idea gained such prominence?
    Thank the food industry’s marketing machine. Based on such promising, but inconclusive studies it’s been busily promoting the benefits of antioxidants for years.

    A cautious stance
    Local tea purveyors have taken a more cautious stance all along, though they say tea’s relaxing effects are healthy regardless of the more sweeping claims.
    “We’ve never really promoted drinking tea for health benefits,” said Robert Heiss, who runs Northampton-based with his wife, Mary Lou Heiss. “Our focus is on drinking tea because it’s a delicious beverage. Anything you get beyond that is a bonus.” For many years, the couple ran a shop in Northampton, which recently closed, and have traveled widely to study and write about tea.
    But if you are seeking an antioxidant rich beverage, Heiss says, the green tea in grocery store tea bags isn’t going to do much for you, health or flavorwise. “Cheap tea is cheap tea — it tends to be old,” and from parts of the world that aren’t traditional tea-growing regions.
     Tea should reach consumers soon after harvest or whatever antioxidants it might have contained will have diminished, Heiss says.
    He believes that green tea’s health benefits may be real, but says that most studies don’t consider cultural factors. In Japan, for instance, where green tea is widely consumed, other aspects of Japanese diet and habit are also different from Western lifestyles, and may have as much or more to do with good health than the beverage, he says.
    Oliver Rich, president of Tea Guys in Whately, echoes Heiss’ ambivalence. There are, he says, too many variables in the processing and preparation of tea to really know exactly what chemicals you’re consuming. “How it’s treated by people (who handle it) will impact health benefits and flavors.” he said. “Even when you add milk, it affects absorption of minerals. You’re adding something, so you’re changing the chemistry.”
    Still, there are some broad guidelines that hold true: Green tea has more ECGC and less caffeine than black tea.

    Guide to green
    Drinking green tea, if you aren’t used to it, can be an alien experience. It tastes nothing like black tea. It tends to be herbaceous, grassy and subtle. It’s hard to imagine that such starkly different flavors could come from the same plant, but all tea is made from the tea plant, camellia senensis. Herbal “tea” is another matter, and its proper name isn’t really “tea,” but “tisane.”
    It’s only differences in processing that create the bold bitterness of English Breakfast style and the buttered-grass umami of Japanese green tea.
    The broad category of green tea also includes a surprisingly large variety of tastes, though the processing is often little more than an application of heat to dry the leaves.
    If you’re bent on finding the most antioxidant-rich green, Heiss offers additional guidance. “If one is going to add green tea to the diet in the hope it will have some health benefits, there are two distinctively different types of green tea to focus on — spring greens and country greens. Just like what happens with any plant, whether it’s basil, marijuana, whatever — the stuff that emerges in the spring has more of whatever you want.”
    Spring green teas are the product of the first post-winter leaves. “The tender leaves that come out are highly regarded for flavor,” Heiss said. “There’s a limited amount of that available.”
    That first harvest, or “flush,” is followed by a second that’s much larger. The product of that harvest is country green. “Because of rain, and because it’s getting warmer, these leaves are not as tender,” Heiss said. “They have a more pronounced flavor.”
    Rich points out another tea style that’s particularly high in antioxidants: Japanese matcha, or powdered green tea. Because the leaves have been ground into powder, hot water extracts more of the tea’s compounds, from caffeine to ECGC.
    At Tea Guys’ Whately storefront, Rich offers customers the chance to taste the many varieties to find what they like.

    The way to brew
    The brewing process is where tea aficionados really bristle at a medicinal approach to tea. That’s because flavor and antioxidant release are at odds. The health community advises that green tea should be steeped for a long time in order to release the most antioxidants.
    “I certainly don’t buy into people like Dr. Oz and Dr. Weil,” Heiss said. Steeping green tea in hot water for a long time essentially makes medicine out of it, he says. “If you do that, it’s gonna taste like dreck. You’re gonna hate it. But it’s going to have more of these compounds you theoretically need.”
    So what does he suggest?
    “For good green tea, you want to have the water at a boil, then let it sit for maybe three minutes. Then it’s at 170 or 180 degrees.” That’s when you pour it over the tea. “You want a steep time of no more than two minutes.”
    Rich offers similar guidance, and points out another option. “You can also cold-brew,” he said. That’s a simple process — just let it sit in cold water. “It will start steeping right away.” Steeping times vary according to tea and taste, and the result can be drunk cold or heated.

    Green tea comes with another perk: You don’t have to throw it out after you’ve used it once. In China and Japan, green tea is often steeped several times. “In China,” Rich said, “each (successive) cup has a name.”
    Usually, a third or even fourth infusion is possible. That all adds up, Heiss points out, to the equivalent time in the water that health-centric antioxidant-seekers recommend. But you get more tea, and the flavor is much better, says Rich. “If you pay attention to the steeping time, and do one and a half or two minutes at 165 to 180 degrees, when you take the tea out, you get a much sweeter cup.”

    Green tea usually has less caffeine than black tea. But if you’d like to avoid caffeine altogether, the repeat steepings offer another benefit, he adds. “Most of the caffeine is generally removed in the first 30 seconds of steeping.”
    So, steep once, pour off, and steep again, and you’ll have a cup with far less caffeine.
    The research on tea isn’t conclusive, and the world of tea is complex. But in the end, Heiss, Rich and Homstead offer the same advice — just sit and enjoy.

    “The way I look at tea,” Homstead said, “it’s got two properties. Not only does it have natural plant chemicals that are good for all kinds of things, but it’s also a soothing drink, a calming drink.”
    Heiss offers a similar view. “Buy some good green tea, steep it properly, then drink it. What you’re going to get out of it really is positive. Take the time during one or two points in your day — make tea, drink it out of a (nice) cup, and take a break from the frenetic part of life. That’s going to have as much benefit as whatever’s in that cup.”

    James Heflin can be reached at

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    Saturday 30 January 2016

    Red Algae - From the pristine waters of Iceland

    Monica's Red Algae Review

    David's Red Algae Review

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    Your Back Hurts Because of How You Stand, Sit, Sleep and Bend Over, Here’s How to FIX It

    The older we get the more painful our joints become and the most common form of pain involves the back. All those years of bending wrong, lifting heavy and spending countless hours on our feet really take a toll on our backs and so many of us live with linger back pain.
    Our back is comprised of our spine which consists of 24 vertebrae and 23 disks which allow us to move and be stable. Nearly 80 percent of Americans suffer from back pain and many experts agree that poor posture is to blame. We’re sitting wrong, we’re sitting wrong, we slouch and we sink into couches. All of this poor posture is contributing to our back pain, but there are things you can do to prevent it.
    Below are four main causes of back pain along with solutions you can use to ease that annoying pain and have you moving once more.

    4 tips to improve back pain

    Improve how you sitSit better
    If you’re like majority of the population you probably spend countless hours sitting, whether do to work or even being retired. Unfortunately how you sit plays a large role in the pain you feel and so it’s important to be mindful of your sitting and improve it as to prevent back pain.
    The correct way to sit is by straightening yourself up. Your feet should be flat on the floor along with your mid-back and neck should be straight as well. Many of us curl our tailbones which makes us curl. Shoulders should be rolled back and not tensed up to your ears. For added support tighten your core muscles.
    If you find yourself slouching in front of a computer screen ensure your screen is slightly below eye levels and that your elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle.
    Fix how you stand
    Believe it or not many of us stand incorrectly and if you spend countless hours in a poor standing position that can harm your back and therefore lead to pain. To stand correctly ensure your weight is being distributed evenly on both feet and have your knees slightly flexed. Weight should also be put more so on your heels along with straightening your back similar to how you would if sitting.
    Bend for success
    From time to time you may find yourself bending over – to tie your shoes, take out the garbage or even picking up your grandchild. Bending puts a lot of strain on your back and if done incorrectly can lead to pain.
    As always keep your feet flat when bending which you can achieve by bending your hips slightly forward. Don’t lock your knees but instead bend them as well to reach down and grasp the object and lift it up carefully.
    Sleep well
    Back pain can begin as early as the moment you wake up and that is due to the fact you probably didn’t sleep in a back-friendly position. In order to prevent morning back pain, focus on improving your sleeping posture.
    SleepLay on your back with a pillow beneath your knees. Prop yourself up with your elbows and place your hands on your hips. Slowly roll back down one vertebra at a time while pushing your shoulders away from your hips which lengthens the spine. Spending at least 15 minutes in this position will help reset your spine from the day’s events. This technique will help stretch the spine, but for optimal sleeping positions to prevent back pain numerous studies recommend anything close to a fetal position, preferably with a pillow between the knees will work best.

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    Friday 29 January 2016

    Is vitamin B12 really a problem in a vegetarian diet?

    Yes, intake of vitamin B12 can often be a problem in a vegetarian diet. For example, in the National
    Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2003-2010, only 55% of vegetarians were determined to meet their daily B12 requirements, in comparison to 82% of non-vegetarians.
    The issue of vitamin B12 from plant foods versus animal foods is confusing, since no plants or animals are capable of making vitamin B12. Microorganisms—and especially bacteria and fungi—are the only organisms definitively known to produce vitamin B12. However, even though land animals and fish cannot make vitamin B12 in their cells, they are often able to save up B12 produced by bacteria and concentrate it in their cells. By storing B12 in their cells, many land animal foods and seafoods become rich in B12, even though they cannot make this vitamin on their own. All but one of our WHFoods ranked sources of B12 come from animal foods or fish. (The single exception here is crimini mushrooms, which fall into the fungus category as discussed further below.)
    There has been longstanding debate over algal production of B12, which includes debate over the potential role of sea vegetables to provide B12 (as well as debate over dietary supplements like spirulina). However, we interpret the research in this area to show that sea vegetables cannot be counted on for B12 support, not because there is no possibility of B12 production in sea vegetables, but because the form of B12 in sea vegetables is not a usable vitamin form.

    While fresh plant foods cannot be counted on to provide you with B12, the fermentation of plant foods can change this situation. The use of B12-producing bacteria and/or fungi can add vitamin B12 to plant foods. Our website profiles for 4 ounces of tempeh (0.16 micrograms of B12) and one tablespoon of miso (0.01 micrograms of B12) are examples of traditionally fermented foods that get their B12 content in this way. But as you can see, these amounts of B12 are still quite small, with tempeh providing about 6-7% of the recommended daily amount and miso providing less than 1%.

    In sharp contrast, a single serving of any food on the following animal food list will provide you with 100% of your daily B12: sardines, salmon, tuna, cod, lamb, or scallops. And you can get over 50% with a single serving of beef or shrimp; about one-third of the daily amount from one cup of yogurt; and between 10-25% from one serving of cheese, chicken, turkey, eggs, or cow's milk.

    Given the above percentages, you can see how pesco-vegetarians (who consume fish along with plant foods), lacto-ovo vegetarians (who consume dairy foods and eggs along with plant foods), and "semi-vegetarians" who consume mostly plant foods yet intersperse their diets with various animal foods have a better chance of reaching the B12 requirements than strict vegans who consume plant foods exclusively. For this reason, most healthcare providers—including most nutritionists—currently recommend that persons who exclusively consume plant foods take steps to ensure their B12 nourishment by adding foods fortified with B12 or B12-containing supplements to their daily routine. As a general rule, we support this approach.

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    Very Easy Ways To Use Apple cider Vinegar for Kidney Stones!

    Kidney stones, or medically- nephrolithiasis, are created within the kidney or urinary tract, due to a diminution in the urine volume or an increased amount of stone-forming substances in the urine.
    They are small hard deposits which consist of acid salts and minerals.
    Kidney stones induce unbearable pain, but they do not damage the body permanently. Yet, if not treated on time, this condition may lead to an obstruction of the urinary tract and complicate the condition even more. In some serious cases, they are removed by surgery from the urinary tract.
    Apple cider vinegar is an extremely beneficial ingredient which offers positive effects in numerous health conditions. Thus, it can efficiently cure kidney stones and help you avoid the harmful effects of drugs and painful surgeries. In fact, apple cider vinegar is the most effective remedy to use in the case of kidney stones and the treatment of the associated symptoms.
    Today, we will reveal the most prominent benefits and uses of apple cider vinegar, and we will explain the way it helps in the case of kidney stones.
    Namely, apple cider vinegar has advantageous effects in numerous cases, as it:
    Discards toxins: Apple cider vinegar helps in the elimination of harmful toxins from the body, and this efficiently prevents the reoccurrence of new stones in the kidneys.
    Stimulates the digestion process: Apple cider vinegar has an alkalizing effect, so its consumption helps the digestion and stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid. This leads to a prevention of acid products in the body and the creation of new kidney stones.
    Breaks down the stone- forming tissues:  The nature of apple cider vinegar is acidic, so it successfully dissolves the hard tissues which create the kidney stones. Therefore, the use of apple cider vinegar treats kidney stones and prevents their future formation.
    Dissolves kidney stones: Due to its acidic nature, apple cider vinegar breaks down the smaller stones and supports their way out through the urine.
    This is how to use this efficient natural ingredient in order to solve the problems related to kidney

    Apple cider vinegar and water
    The least complex remedy in the case of apple cider vinegar is the combination of water and apple cider vinegar.
    • 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar
    • 8 ounces water
    Add 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar in a glass of 8 ounces of water, stir it well and drink it. During the time you consume this drink, you should also drink a lot of water, in order to flush out the toxins from your body.
    In order to remove kidney stones quickly and easily, consume this drink once a day. Afterwards, drink it two times a day, in order to prevent their reoccurrence.

     Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and water
    The acidic nature of lemon juice reduces the acidity in the urine, so it inhibits the creation of kidney stones. Moreover, it has strong antiseptic properties, so it successfully prevents the further development of bacteria in the kidneys. Furthermore, it detoxifies the body and offers hydration.
    • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon of organic olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
    • 24 oz. of water
    1. In a bowl, combine the lemon juice and the olive oil. Consume this drink and afterwards, drink 12 oz. of water.
    2. After 30 minutes, add the squeezed juice of a half lemon to the rest of the water. Next, add the vinegar, stir well and consume it.
    3. In order to eliminate kidney stones, you should repeat this procedure on every half an hour.
    Apple cider vinegar, baking soda and water
    When combined with baking soda, apple cider vinegar can extremely effectively treat kidney stones. Namely, baking soda eliminates the acid, which is the leading reason for the formation of kidney stones.
    • 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda
    • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
    • 1 glass of water
    In a glass of water, mix half a tablespoon of vinegar with two tablespoons of baking soda. Stir well and drink the solution.
    In order to eliminate kidney stones, drink it twice a day.

    Apple cider vinegar and honey
    Honey has strong antifungal and antibacterial action, so its combination with apple cider vinegar successfully treats kidney stones. Moreover, it also sweetens the drink.
    • 2 tablespoon of honey
    • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
    Combine both ingredients and consume the mixture. Also, you can add it to a glass of water and drink it thus.
    In order to remove kidney stones, you should consume this natural remedy twice or three times daily.

    Apple cider vinegar, honey and baking soda
    • honey
    • 1 ounce apple cider vinegar
    • ¼ tablespoon of baking soda
    Combine all ingredients and consume the mixture.

    Apple cider vinegar, coconut oil and water
    Apart from its wide use for treating different issues with your skin and hair, coconut oil can also help you in the fight against kidney stones. Namely, the use of coconut oil successfully dissolves kidney stones.
    • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
    • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
    • 16 ounces warm water
    In a glass of warm water, add the coconut oil and the apple cider vinegar. Stir and consume the mixture until you feel an improvement.
    Apple cider vinegar poultice
    Apple cider vinegar can be also used topically in order to alleviate pain caused by kidney stones.
    • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons of water
    • a washcloth
    Combine both ingredients and heat them. Then, soak the cloth in it and apply it to the painful areas. Leave it to act until it is cool.
    In order to effectively relieve the pain, you should repeat this method twice or three times daily.

    Additional tips
    In order to successfully fight against the formation of kidney stones, and avoid unwanted consequences, you need to follow the following tips:
    • In order not to damage the tooth enamel or burn your mouth and throat, always dilute apple cider vinegar in water before use. It is recommended to mix them in ration 1:10.
    • After the consumption of apple cider vinegar, rinse your mouth well.
    • Always use raw, unpasteurized and extra virgin apple cider vinegar, as it is the most effective and absolutely pure.
    • Apple cider vinegar should not be used in the case of gout, as it may intensify the pain.
    • Yet, it is advisable to consult your doctor if you have any other disease, before you start an apple cider vinegar treatment.
    • You must drink a lot of water during your apple cider vinegar, in order to provide proper body hydration, and to prevent the reoccurrence of the kidney stones.
    • In order to avoid the reoccurrence of the kidney stones, you should not consume caffeinated drinks.
    • Moreover, you can consume apple cider vinegar is your salads or as a condiment and prevent the reoccurrence of kidney stones.
    • Your diet should be rich in fiber, and low in fat and sodium.
    • Use apple cider vinegar as an alternative treatment in the initial stages of kidney stones, or in the case they are too small and can be easily dissolved.
    • In the case of a severe pain due to kidney stones, or if these natural remedies fail to provide results, you should consult your doctor and ask for future instructions.

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    Thursday 28 January 2016

    This Super Easy 2-Ingredient Recipe Will Eliminate Your Nail Fungus Forever

    Despite being extremely unattractive, nail fungus also represents a serious health issue.
    In this case, the most common treatment includes antibiotics, but these synthetic medications cancause some harmful side- effects. Therefore, you should turn to the natural medicine.
    However, remember that if you treat this issue early, you will obtain fast results. On the other hand, if you wait before you act, the fungus can settle down and cause further complications and health problems.
    Today, we will suggest the best natural remedy in the case of nail fungus. It contains only 2 ingredients, and we believe that you already have them in your kitchen. Namely, these two are baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
    These are extremely effective in the fight against fungi, and these germs only thrive in a limited pH range. Yet, baking soda is alkaline in nature, while apple cider vinegar is acidic. Hence, their mixture is incredibly successful in fighting the ideal fungal environment, and preventing fungal development.
    Furthermore, apple cider vinegar is extremely useful in the case of numerous other diseases. Yet, for best results, always use brands that contain the “mother” substance floating at the bottom of the bottle, as it is responsible for the most of these benefits of apple cider vinegar.

    Here’s the recipe of the amazing 2-ingredient remedy:
    • Baking soda
    • Apple cider vinegar
    • Warm water
    In a small basin, pour some apple cider vinegar, and soak your feet in it for 20 minutes. Pat them dry. The, fill the basin with water and again soak your feet in it for 20 minutes. Next, add baking soda to the water, and leave your feet to soak for another 20 minutes.
    This procedure should be done few times a day.
    The treatment should be done on clean and dry feet. If you repeat it frequently, nail fungus will disappear in several weeks.
    Fungi thrive in a dark and moist environment, so try to wear pip-toe shoes as often as possible. Furthermore, it is also very important to do regular pedicure, and clean the nail tips using a brush and some tea tree oil.


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    Scientifically-Proven Tips For Becoming A Morning Person, Which Studies Say Is Beneficial To Your Health

    sleeping tips
     by Alexa Erickson

    It’s 7 a.m. My alarm clock has gone off, waking me from yet another crazy dream I’ll later try to tell anyone who will listen. The loud sound, which is supposed to mimic a harp but is undoubtedly much less pleasant or soothing than such an instrument, causes my body to jerk and twist as I fight my way out of the blanket cocoon I’ve created for myself. I reach my hand blindly over to the nightstand to find the long charging cord attached to my phone, and finally I turn the startling sound off.

    Do I jump out of bed and get my day going? Never. My alarm is merely meant to make me think about getting up. I tend to sit there and weigh the odds. Should I rest my eyes for another 30 minutes? Do I get up and go to yoga? Breakfast sounds good, too.

    I’m not not a morning person, but I’m certainly not excited about the idea of leaving something so comforting in the morning: my bed. I rarely go back to sleep after my alarm goes off. I lay there, I think, I set intentions, and eventually — some days sooner than others — I get up.

    The question of what will it take to enjoy getting out of bed immediately in the morning crosses my mind often. I like food. I like yoga. I like what the morning looks, feels and smells like. But why in the world can’t I just get up?

    If the idea of becoming a “morning person” is mind-boggling to you, then you might be the type to spend just as much time as I do weighing the odds of whether it’s absolutely necessary to get out of bed. You walk hazy-eyed to the bathroom to shower. You might blast music to improve your grumpy mood. You throw back coffee to cure your exhaustion. But science says it doesn’t have to be this way.
    Business Insider put out a video that provides easy-to-follow, scientifically-proven tips for skipping the snooze button and getting on with your day. The best part is, they’re all just simple tweaks that incorporate healthful tactics — giving you even more reason to follow through.
    Much of the advice in the video relates to Circadian rhythms, which inform our bodies of when we should be asleep (when it’s dark) and when we should be awake (when it’s light). Melatonin plays a big part in this process, as the pineal gland, which produces this hormone, correlates with lightness and darkness to decipher whether it ought to be releasing melatonin or not.

    Before You Go To Sleep

    1. Curl Up With A Book
    “The 30 minutes prior to bedtime should be spent relaxing.”
    Because our body needs time to switch into sleep mode, it’s important to shift from stimulating activities to relaxing ones. Reading will help you to avoid bright lights, which will mess with your Circadian rhythms.
    2. Stay Away From Food And Drink
    “Drinking alcohol or eating right before bed can mess with your sleep, causing heartburn and sleep disruption.”
    Alcohol may, at first, help you to hit the hay, but it also causes you to wake up more often in the night. Likewise, certain foods contain caffeine, which can keep you up. Spicy foods are also to be avoided before bed, as they can cause acid reflux which can repeatedly wake you up due to the discomfort.
    3. How To Set Your Alarm Clock
    “Place it across the room and don’t hit the snooze button.”
    It’s best not to hit the snooze button since it’s been found to actually make you more tired, since your body reacts to the relief of cozying back up as a sign that more melatonin should be produced.
    4. Don’t Go On Your Phone
    “The light emitted from your phone mimics the brightness of the sun, telling your brain to stay awake and not produce melatonin.”
    Again, bringing this back to the idea of messing with the Circadian rhythms, phones, laptops, TVs, and any other electronic devices emitting light simply do the opposite of what we hope. We yearn for relaxation, yet our body is being tricked by the artificial sunlight to keep up and at ’em.

    When You Wake Up

    1. Drink Some Water
    “This will replenish the water your body lost while you were asleep from exhaling and sweating.”
    Drinking water in the morning also increases the production rate of new muscle and blood cells.
    2. Get Moving With Exercise
    “A few minutes of basic yoga can be enough to wake you up.”
    It’s also been found that exercising in the morning can aid in the increase of energy due to the elevated body temperature and adrenalin levels that are just two of the beneficial outcomes of being active.
    3. Expose Yourself To Sunlight
    “Once you wake up, exposing your brain to sunlight shuts down melatonin production, helping you wake up.”
    Those black-out blinds are lovely for keeping the streetlights out at night, but when that alarm goes off, it’s best to pull them back and let the sunshine in.

    A Little Extra Incentive

    It’s not just about wanting to wake up, it’s about why it’s good for you, too. Studies have found that waking up early is good for your overall wellbeing, including your happiness, kindness, productivity, and more.

    For further reading on this topic visit:

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    10 Foods That Fight Allergies

    Taking antihistamines is the most common way to ward off seasonal allergies; however, there are certain foods that can help you alleviate the symptoms of a runny nose, sneezing, congestion and watery eyes. Some foods have anti-allergic properties mainly due to their anti-inflammatory, decongestant and bronchodilator effects. 
    Generally, a well balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and nuts proves to be beneficial for fighting most conditions including allergies.
    Here are a few foods that have anti-allergy properties:

    1. Foods rich in Quercetin: a bioflavonoid which has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-histamine properties. It works by stabilizing the cell membranes of mast cells and basophils, thereby preventing the release of histamine. Good sources of quercetin include onions, apples, berries, cabbage, cauliflower, and green and black teas. Research has proved that consuming diets rich in quercetin lowers the risk of certain cancers, blood pressure and hence the risk of heart disease and improves lung functioning.

    2. Walnuts and Flaxseeds: These are good sources of plant based omega 3 fatty acids. A high intake of omega 3 fatty acids is associated with decreased risk of allergies especially the ones due to bad dietary habits. If you are not allergic to fish- salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, sardines and anchovies are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids too. Be careful while eating fish as they may have high levels of mercury. Ground flaxseeds, flaxseed oil and anchovies also have a high selenium content which is a mineral with anti-allergy properties

    3. Magnesium-rich foods like cashews, almonds and kelp have excellent allergy relief effects as magnesium is an antihistamine and bronchodilator. It relaxes the muscles of the bronchial tubes and of the whole body. A study conducted on animals exposed to allergens found higher levels of histamine in those with magnesium deficiency than those with adequate magnesium levels in their bloodstream.

    4. Turmeric: This native Indian spice used mainly in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine has many medicinal properties. This bright yellow colored spice contains curcumin, a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory substance. Fresh or dried turmeric can be used to flavor foods like meat, fish, curries, rice, pastas, salad dressings, stews and vegetables or you can take supplements depending upon your lifestyle.

    5. Fresh fruits and vegetables: Green vegetables and citrus fruits like lemons and oranges contain hesperitin/hesperidin. Both are potent phytonutrients, (hesperidin is bound to a sugar molecule) having antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol lowering, anti-carcinogenic and anti-histamine effects. A research study that studied the diet of children over a year concluded that children who ate raw vegetables and citrus fruits were less likely to suffer from wheezing, shortness of breath and hay fever than children who ate white bread, margarine and processed foods.

    6. Garlic: Garlic is known to have many curative properties since ancient times and this super food has been used to cure a wide range of ailments. Garlic, apart from improving heart health by lowering cholesterol, reducing blood pressure and preventing and treating cancer, can also help reduce allergic reactions. The ability of garlic to hinder the effect of certain enzymes that produce inflammatory compounds namely thromboxane and prostaglandins can help prevent allergy. Apart from this, garlic also contains a fair amount of vitamin C and selenium, both of which have anti-allergy effects.

    7. Spices like horseradish, fennel, anise and hot mustard have a sinus clearing effect and act as natural decongestants, by stimulating the mucosal cilia to break up congestion, hence relieving allergies. You can add them to spicy foods and look up recipes that include them when you start feeling stuffy.

    8. Vitamin C rich fruits like oranges, apples, watermelon, strawberries etc. can help relieve symptoms like hives and itchiness as it prevents histamine release, helps breakdown histamine faster once released, reduces swelling as it has anti-oxidant effect that counteracts the effects of free radicals. Supplements or Vitamin C tablets can be taken to alleviate allergy symptoms.

    9. Green Tea: Normally used to aid in weight loss, catechins (the chemical compound found in green tea) is also known to inhibit the enzyme responsible for converting histidine to histamine. Use loose green tea leaves instead of tea bags and let it stand for five minutes. To enhance the absorption and availability of catechins in the body, complement it with a substance rich vitamin C like lemon, fruit juice etc.

    10. Purplish-red colored foods like beets, cherries, berries, red and dark purple grapes are rich in anthocyanin, a natural anti-inflammatory agent, thus reducing allergies. Increased intakes of anthocyanins from fruit and vegetables also reduce blood vessel hardening and improve overall heart health.

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    Wednesday 27 January 2016

    Best Sports Nutrition Winner - Moringa Tablets

    Not all Moringa is the same, the better the quality, the faster and greater  the results.
    Ankh Rah would like to thank all who supported and voted for their products.

     For more information visit:,

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    Moringa plant that cures the Venezuelan politicians

    After Fidel Castro called the plant Moringa 'miracle tree "and attributed the marked improvement in his health, some Venezuelan politicians, ranging from Nicolas Maduro to the opposition and leader Henry Ramos Assembly, have filled their pharmacies with infusions of the plant. The latter even offered in heated discussions about the economic emergency of Venezuela Moringa tea bags to Chavez opponents they managed to calm down.
    His rise began when Castro, 88, said massively cultivate the plant on the island and praised as an "inexhaustible source of meat, eggs and milk," a metaphor alluding to his "dozens of medicinal properties."


    Moringa oleifera, also found under the name "drumstick" is an umbrella-shaped tree that can measure up to 8 meters high, is native to northern India but also can be found in Ethiopia, Sudan and has widely cultivated in tropical countries, according to studies by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), which draws the Moringa as one of the species with economic value around the Himalayas, due to healing properties attributed to him.
    It's long, distinctive fruit, along with its circular leaves and flowers are sweet smell, according to the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry ICRAF, a plant with a variety of healing and soothing properties, commonly known in Venezuela as "magic plant". Today is grown in large areas in Africa, tropical Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Moringa also be called "drum stick", "horseradish" (for the taste of its roots), and even in parts of Africa is known as "mom's best friend." Among its benefits increased defenses, controlling cholesterol levels, the contribution of energy and their properties to the proper functioning of the liver and others are recognized.

    In colombia

    Despite being present in countries like Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Argentina, the use and cultivation of Moringa in Colombia is emerging, some companies already market their seeds and leaves, but few people know their benefits.

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    Drumstick Magic!

    Every part of a drumstick (also called moringa) tree oozes nutrition. Originating from India, it’s actually called The Miracle Tree. In Africa it’s also known as The Never Die Tree, as it strives in even poor soil conditions.

    Find out eight reasons why drumsticks are great for you! Moringa actually contains more than 90 nutrients and 46 different anti-oxidants! It also has anti-aging properties. It’s great for your skin and hair. Nature’s beauty secret revealed!

    The pods (the vegetable) are used in curries and soups. The leaves can be blended into a delicious smoothie. The moringa powder can be sprinkled in literally anything!

    1. High in calcium, iron and vitamins – so it is great for strong bones
    2. Purifies blood
    3. Lowers blood sugar
    4. Eases respiratory problems
    5. Good for pregnant women
    6. Protects against infections
    7. Aids digestion
    8. Enhances sexual health

    Drumstick Curry

    We generally add drumsticks in curries and sambar, teamed with carrots, potatoes and more. Give the humble yet highly beneficial drumstick its due, by making this easy and delicious drumstick curry with brinjals!

    Ingredients (Serves 5-6)
    Small brinjals          4-6
    (no worries if not available)      2
    Big gooseberry sized ball of tamarind 1
     Onion             1
    Tomatoes             2
    Flakes of garlic         8-10
    Heaped tbsp sambar powder (order from Burst of Taste, if necessary)     1
    Pepper powder (optional)     1/4 tsp
    Date paste              1/4 tsp
    Turmeric powder          1/4 tsp
    Salt to taste

    To temper
    Fenugreek seeds      1/4 tsp
    Mustard seeds          1 tsp
    Urad dal         1 tsp
    Tur dal         1 tsp
    Whole jeera         2 tsp
    Sprig curry leaves     1
    To grind
    Grated coconut         1/2 cup
    Onion             1

    Chop one onion into big pieces.
    Chop the other onion and tomatoes finely.
    Peel the garlic.
    Extract tamarind juice.
    Roast the ingredients mentioned for tempering, in the order mentioned (not separately).
    Add garlic and finely chopped onions.
    Sauté till onions are translucent.
    Add tomatoes and sauté till tomatoes are soft.
    Add the tamarind extract, enough water, salt, turmeric and sambar powder.
    Add drumstick cut into 2 pieces
    Let this mixture boil for 4 minutes.
    Then add the brinjals and bring to boil.
    Grind the coconut and roughly chopped onion into a smooth paste with a little water and add to the boiling curry.
    Let it boil till brinjals are cooked and the gravy thickens.
    Add date paste and pepper powder (if using).
    Stir and remove from flame.
    Transfer to a serving bowl.

    Dr Nandita Shah

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    Tuesday 26 January 2016

    PepsiCo Finally Comes Clean And Admits The Truth About Their Bottled Water


    Bottled water is one of the greatest marketing scams of the modern age. Take PepsiCo’s Aquafina brand, for example. Just by including a picture of mountains on the label, we are led to believe that this water originates from a natural drinking source. It’s essentially the same tactic that is used by several companies who bottle and sell water to the masses, as well as by food manufacturers who wish us to believe their products are ‘natural.’
    Pepsico recently admitted that Aquafina is really just tap water, so ask yourself, why do we pay 2,000x the price of tap for it?
    Nestle’s Pure Life and Coca-Cola’s Dasani, the world’s largest corporate water brands, are also guilty of this kind of willful misdirection. Three years ago, Coca-Cola admitted that Dasani is just filtered tap water.
    In 2007, Corporate Accountability International, based in Boston, pressured the U.S. manufacturer of Aquafina bottled water to make it clear that the drink is made with treated tap water. They said that PepsiCo was guilty of misleading marketing practices used to “turn water from a natural resource into a pricey consumer item.”
    Although this was several years ago, activists are still pressuring the company to label all of their bottles with something that, truly, should be public knowledge.

    Important Facts About Bottled Water

          1. Bottled Water is More Expensive Than Tap Water
    According to Business Insider, the bottled water industry “grossed a total of $11.8 billion on 9.7 billion gallons (of water) in 2012, making bottled water about $1.22/gallon nationwide and 300x the cost of a gallon of tap water. If we take into account the fact that almost 2/3 of all bottled water sales are single 16.90z (500mL) bottles, though, this cost is much, much higher: about $7.50 per gallon, according to the American Water Works Association. That’s almost 2,000x the cost of a gallon of tap water and twice the cost of a gallon of regular gasoline.”
    The article goes on to mention several other shocking statistics, like the fact that bottled water consumption and sales have increased approximately 350% respectively since the tracking of the dollar amounts in 1991. In that year alone, Americans spent $2.5 billion on 2.4 billion gallons (about $1.07/gallon).
    The plastic bottles of water we buy every week in the United States alone could circle the globe five times. That’s not a comfortable thought, and it should have us questioning our activities on the planet, and whether or not the convenience is worth the cost in ecological damage.
    2. Potentially Harmful Chemicals In Bottled Water 

    Truth is, it takes a lot of oil to make plastic bottles. The amount of oil it takes to make plastic water bottles in the United States alone could fuel approximately one million cars and light trucks for a year. (source)

    Not long ago, German researchers discovered endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), that could adversely affect development and reproduction, to be contained in 18 popular name brand bottled water products. Of the 24,520 suspect chemicals found to be present in bottled water, the one that showed consistent results and illustrated anti-androgenic and anti-estrogenic activity was di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate (DEHF). Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the hormone system; they can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, cardiovascular disorders, metabolic disorders, and, as mentioned earlier, other developmental disorders.

    “An increasing number of in vitro studies reports the presence of EDCs in bottled water [12][13][14][15][17]. With previous studies focusing on estrogenicity, the present work provides evidence for an additional contamination with steroid receptor antagonists. Using an optimized extraction procedure, we detected antiestrogens and antiandrogens in the majority of analyzed bottled water products. Moreover, the antagonist activity was very potent. An equivalent of 3.75 mL bottled water inhibited estrogen and androgen receptor by up to 60 and 90%, respectively. . . . From a broader perspective, bottled water from six different countries has been found to contain estrogenic [12][13][14][15][17], antiestrogenic, and antiandrogenic (this study), as well as androgenic, progestagenic, and glucocorticoid-like chemicals [16]. This demonstrates that a popular beverage is contaminated with diverse-acting EDCs.” (source)

    Researchers used spectrometric simulation to narrow down their findings to DEHF as the only possible EDC giving rise to harmful activity. DEHF is also known as an anti-estrogenic compound, which means that another unidentified EDC must be present in the samples that showed anti-androgenic activity

    3. Bottled Water Could Potentially Be of Lower Quality Than Tap Water
    Not long ago the city of Cleveland conducted a test on the Fiji Water brand and discovered that their water actually contained traces of arsenic, while the city’s own water supply did not.
    How is this possible?

    “Bottled water manufacturers are not required to disclose as much information as municipal water utilities because of gaps in federal oversight authority, according to reports released yesterday by government auditors. Bottom line: The Food and Drug Administration oversees bottled water, and U.S. EPA is in charge of tap water. FDA lacks the regulatory authority of EPA, John Stephenson of the Government Accountability Office told a House panel.”  – Sarah Goodman of the New York Times
    The list is a long one, and it’s pretty ridiculous when you think about the fact that there are almost one billion people on this planet who do not have access to clean drinking water. More frustrating still is the reality that it doesn’t need to be this way. Children are dying by the minute from waterborne diseases and we have spent billions of dollars trying to vaccinate these populations, yet the same level of effort is not being made to provide clean drinking water to various communities around the world.
    Our greed seems to be the source of this problem… what do you think?

    The Story of Bottled Water (2010)

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    12 Stunning Reason Why Hydrogen Peroxide Should be a Crucial Part of Your Home Pharmacy

     Hydrogen peroxide is the safest antibacterial agent you can use, and it contains water and of oxygen.
    Yet, it is extremely beneficial and can be used in the house, for cleaning, hygiene and in many cases of health issues. Due to all that, it is a regular part in first aid kits, and common in all clinics and home pharmacies.

    This natural disinfectant oxidizes microorganisms and kills them. Its effects are strong and favorable, and it can be used in various different situations. Here are 12 of the most important uses of hydrogen peroxide in the house:

    Fights against infections
    Hydrogen peroxide is extremely powerful in combating infections, ad prevents fungi, viruses, toxins and bacteria. The white blood cells, otherwise called leukocytes, contain neutrophils, which naturally produce hydrogen peroxide in the body.
    Boosts the immune system
    The hydrogen peroxide produced by white blood cells is extremely useful in the prevention of toxins, bacteria and viruses.
    Effective in the case of cold
    Hydrogen peroxide is very effective in the case of a cold as well. All you need to do is to put a couple of drops of it in the ear and the symptoms of the cold will disappear!
    Removes ear wax
    You can also use hydrogen peroxide in order to get rid of the cerumen in your ears. All you need to do is to put a few drops of it in the ear canal, and afterwards, a few more drops of olive oil. Leave for a few minutes and remove the liquid from the ear, and it will eliminate the ear wax as well.
    Sinus infections
    Sinus infections can be extremely difficult, and may cause unbearable pain. Therefore, you can make a natural remedy for clogged sinuses, which contains hydrogen peroxide. Simply mix a spoon of it in a cup of non-chlorinated water and make your own homemade nasal spray. You can change the amount of hydrogen peroxide you use in the preparation due to the seriousness of the issue.
    Water purification
    It can also successfully cleanse water, and make it clean and safe for consumption. You should add half a liter of hydrogen peroxide to 4 liters of water.
    The following natural toothpaste will protect your dental health, as it will disinfect the oral cavity and whiten your teeth; and all you need to do is to combine hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.
    It can also be effective in the case of a toothache, as its powerful, antibacterial qualities will get rid of the bacteria that has led to the pain. Mix it with a little coconut oil and rinse the mouth with the combination.
    Antiseptic mouthwash
    Due to its strong beneficial effect, it is excellent as a mouthwash, and it will whiten your teeth and eliminate bad breath, as it will kill germs inside the mouth.
    Hand disinfection
    As it is excellent in disinfecting wounds, it can also provide great results in washing your hands. Simply spray them with hydrogen peroxide.
    Eye protection
    Clean your contact lenses with hydrogen peroxide, and it will remove dust deposits on the lens which have been created with time.
    Heal the wounds of your pet
    Just like in humans, you can use hydrogen peroxide for cleaning the wounds of your pets. Simply apply it gently on the wound and it will cure it in less than a week.
    Keeps vegetables fresh
    Hydrogen peroxide can also help you keep your vegetables fresh. So, put your vegetables in a sink with cold water and just add ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide in it. Leave the vegetables thus 15 minutes, and then wash them and leave them to dry.


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    Calisthenics Workout!

     Bartendaz™ is the physical fitness division of Giant Thinking Inc, a non-profit organization that unites a unique physical fitness program, martial arts, youth empowerment and hip-hop.

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    Monday 25 January 2016

    A Magic Sleep Remedy: One Cup Of This Mixture And You Will Fell Asleep In Less Than A Minute!

    Good sleep is essential for the function of the entire body, and it affects all our activities during the day. Therefore, you must find a way to solve sleeping issues and manage to sleep for 8 hours every night.
    Today, we will present a fantastic natural mixture that will help you combat insomnia. Only a cup of this miraculous mixture before bed will help you fall asleep fast in almost no time. This remedy contains milk and honey. These two ingredients have been used for centuries due to their remarkable benefits, and are especially effective in the case of insomnia and sleeplessness. What’s more, their combination can do miracles!
    Honey controls the elevated amounts of secreted, and it also stimulated the release of tryptophan in the brain.
    It is further on turned into is serotonin, which provides a soothing and relaxing feeling. Then again, serotonin is changed into melatonin, which is a remarkable sleeping aid.
    So, in this way, these two natural ingredients significantly decrease sleeplessness.

    This is how to prepare this amazing mixture:


    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • 6 oz milk
    • 1 drop vanilla extract
    Note:  If you are lactose intolerant, you should substitute the milk with a product which is lactose- free, such as almond or soy milk.
    Method of preparation:
    Heat the milk in a small saucepan, but do not let it boil.  Remove it on time and pour it in a glass, adding the honey and vanilla to it. Stir the mixture.
    Drink a cup of this mixture before going to bed.

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    9 Often Overlooked Signs Your Body is Full of Toxins (Plus How to Naturally Detox)


    Modern life has brought too hazards with itself, so we are constantly surrounded by harmful substances and toxins, the air we breathe is very contaminated,  we use products containing pesticides, hormones and others poisons.
    Moreover, tobacco and medications we use complicate the situation even more. Therefore, our health is at great threat, do we need to cleanse the body in order to restore its proper functions and well- being.

    First of all, you need to learn to recognize the signs your body is sending that it is full of toxins:
    These are the symptoms that we should not ignore:

    1.Increased abdominal fat
    Excess abdominal fat can indicate that your body is full of toxins, as they impede its ability to regulate glucose levels and metabolize cholesterol.

    2.Skin issues
    Excess amounts of toxins in the body can lead to skin issues, like skin inflammation, rosacea and itchy skin. This is due to the efforts of the body to eliminate the toxins in a natural way.

    Poisons present in the body irritate the central nervous system and cause headaches.

    Too many toxins in the body force the liver to overwork. Therefore, the liver creates extra heat, and as a result, the whole body is overheating.

    5.Low energy levels
    Toxic overload in the body causes constant feelings of exhaustion.

    6.Congested sinuses
    Your sinuses can easily become congested as a result of the contaminated air you breathe.

    When toxins accumulate in the tissues, they obstruct the circulation and cause insomnia.

    8.Problems with the gallbladder
    Deposits of toxins in the liver can make the bile heavy and can lead to a clogged gallbladder.

    9.White or yellow coated tongue
    If your tongue has a white or yellow tongue, it is a sign that there are too many toxins in your blood.

    Moreover, we will reveal three of the most effective detox remedies:

    1.Epsom Salt Bath
    Epsom salt baths are extremely effective in detoxifying the body, as it raises the levels of magnesium, which is especially needed for detoxifying cells. Moreover, it also eliminates the metals and can alleviate the pain in the body.
    What you need to do is to add one to two cups of Epsom salt in a bathtub filled with warm water and soak in it for around 15 minutes. Repeat this detox method three times a week. Yet, you need note that this treatment is not recommended in the case of heart problems and high blood pressure.

    2. Green Tea
    Green tea is abundant in antioxidants, so it is extremely effective in eliminating free radicals. Moreover, it has epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is a powerful antioxidant that prevent toxic damage of the liver.
    All you need to do is to consume two to three cups of green tea every day, and you can also take green tea extracts (100 to 750 mg per day).

    3. Lemons
    Lemon juice is one of the most potent alkalizers and detoxifiers. Furthermore, it triggers the liver’s bile production and stimulates mineral intake as well as absorption.
    Lemons are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C which boosts the immune system. These fruits, and particularly the peels, are rich in an antioxidant called d-limonene, which successfully activates enzymes in the liver that help the elimination of toxic compounds.
    Therefore, regularly consume a cup of warm water mixed with the juice squeezed from one lemon as soon as you wake up.
    Also, you can drink a cup of warm water mixed with one-half cup of lemon juice, one tablespoon of honey, and one teaspoon of cayenne pepper every day for a period of few weeks.


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