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February 24, 2014

Black Tea Good For Teeth?

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:10 am

 

Black Tea

Many people are reluctant when it comes to drinking black tea, because like red wine, it is rich in tannic acid which can stain teeth over time.

On the other hand, researchers from the U.K. claim that drinking black tea may help keep teeth healthy, preventing tooth decay and gum disease. A review of existing studies focused on tea’s ability to combat two types of bacteria:

1. Streptococcus mutans and

2. Lactobacillus

The review showed that three to four cups of black tea daily reduced the levels of these bacteria in the mouth. Compounds found in tea and known as flavonoids and catechins appear to reduce inflammation. They actually prevent the growth of bacteria that start a chain reaction with carbohydrates to produce acid, which then dissolves tooth enamel. Similar effects were observed for green tea, which was also found to have the potential to aid weight loss by boosting energy expenditure as well as burning fat.

 

source: World Tea News

 

February 21, 2014

Tea in Sochi!

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:10 am

 samovar tea

 

Not only is Sochi hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics – it is also an important domestic supplier of tea! It was here, where in 1901, a Russian farmer developed a winter-resistant tea hybrid that fared well in the are.

In fact, Russians’ thirst for tea has made them the largest importer of tea in the world.  Drinking 3 pounds of tea per capita, they rank 4th behind England among the world’s tea drinkers!

Although green tea is traditionally consumed  in the regions bordering China and Afghanistan, most Russians prefer a cup of black tea……and that rather dark and strong! In order to achieve the right strength, the tea is prepared  Samovar-style. 

A Samovar is a large urn designed to keep water hot and tea boiling  in a kettle at the top of an internal chimney. Modern Samovars are electrically heated but old style  Samovars have a fire bin where coal, charcoal and small sticks were burnt for heat. The concentrated tea in the tea pot is then diluted about 10:1.

Russians tend to have a sweet tooth and like to add lumps of raw sugar of jam to their cup of tea!

 

 

February 17, 2014

Tea as Sun Protection….?

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:08 am

Souvia in Mexico

Scientists from the U.K. have discovered that green tea compounds called catechins may help protect the skin against sunburn and the long-term effects of UV damage.

The study was performed on  14 healthy human subjects with fair skin and involved taking green tea catechin supplements for 12 weeks. The dose was roughly equivalent to two cups of green tea. The effects of the supplements were tested before and after supplementation by exposing buttock skin to UV rays and quantifying the level of sunburn.

The results demonstrate that catechins may contribute to skin protection against sunburn inflammation and potentially longer-term damage caused by UV rays, and may therefore be a complement for sunscreen.

 

Source: WTE News

February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines’ Day

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:10 am

There are many herbs that classify as “aphrodisiacs”, each acting in different ways and producing different effects. Some of them you may know well and use on occasion, not aware of their romance enhancing qualities:

Basil – is said to stimulate the sex drive and boost fertility. It is also said to produce a general sense of well being for body and mind. It is most effective when fresh. In ancient cultures, and still in the voodoo of Haiti, basil is associated with passion.

Lavender – The seeds lend their aroma to perfumes and soaps, but in the past they were also used in cooking as an aphrodisiac. Place them in a sachet beneath your lover’s pillow.

Maca – Maca works on enhancing the libido. It increases energy, strength and stamina, making it a powerful substance for improving performance. Maca is also an adaptogenic herb, helping the body cope with stress and fatigue.

Cinnamon – is derived from the cinnamon bark and is used in stick or powder form. It is used in the preparation of desserts, and flavored drinks. In contains essential oils that have aphrodisiac properties.

Coriander – Its dried seed has an euphoric effect, especially for women. It’s used to soak in wine, but you may want to be careful not to overdo it and get the opposite effect. The book of “The Arabian Nights” tells a tale of a merchant who had been childless for 40 years and was then cured by a special concoction which included coriander.

So, this Valentine’s – why not sprinkle a little cinnamon on that chocolate dessert or enjoy an extra helping of basil on that caprese salad!!!

Hope you enjoy a day full of chocolate candies, roses and of course romance……

 

 

February 7, 2014

How Is Tea De-caffeinated?

Filed under: Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:07 am

caffeine

 

This is one of the questions we hear frequently and therefore I want to take a moment and shed some light into the different processes  of de-caffeination together with pros and cons.

First off,  all decaffeination processes use a solvent to dissolve the caffeine and then remove the solvent from the tea. Each method, however, leaves some small amount of caffeine behind

The two most commonly used methods are:

1. Chemical (Methylene chloride or Ethyl acetate )

2. Super Critical Carbon Dioxide (CO2 method)

  1. Many commonly available teas are decaffeinated with chemical methods. These methods involve extracting the caffeine directly or indirectly with methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. In both cases, the tea leaves are moistened to allow the caffeine to be removed and then the non-caffeinated water is added back to the leaves. Methylene chloride is reported to be the most effective but in very high doses studies have shown it to be a carcinogen.
  • Ethyl acetate is another compound used to extract caffeine from tea. Ethyl acetate occurs naturally in tea leaves, coffee, bananas, and other types of produce. For the purposes of the decaffeination process the Ethyl acetate is synthetically produced. While ethyl acetate effectively removes caffeine from tea leaves, it can also extract other chemical components as well. Studies on green tea decaffeinated with ethyl acetate have shown the potential for up to 30% of epigallocathechin gallate (EGCG-considered to be the primary beneficial component in green tea) and other beneficial antioxidant compounds to be extracted along with the caffeine.

Methylene chloride is very effective at removing caffeine. At very high does it is a carcinogen (no carcinogenic effect at low doses).   Tea

leaves are moistened to remove the caffeine.  According to studies, Ethyl Acetate removes up to 30% of the antioxidants in   

            green tea

  1. CO2 Method
  • Uses highly pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2) the gas that adds bubbles to mineral water to dissolve caffeine from tea leaves. At high pressures CO2 makes an effective solvent. In its pressurized state, CO2 is pumped into a sealed chamber containing tea, where it is allowed to circulate to remove the caffeine. From there, it is pumped into a washer vessel where water or activated charcoal is used to separate the caffeine from the CO2. The purified CO2 is recirculated into the pressurized chamber. This process is repeated until the appropriate amount of caffeine has been removed.

The CO2 method does not leave any chemical residue behind and has a minimal effect on the favor and beneficial compounds in tea.

This method leaves approximately 95% of the original EGCG content of green tea intact!

Downside: The CO2 method is generally more expensive than any of the other methods. One of the reasons why your tea bags are

decaffeinated using the first methods.

Our Souvia Label decaffeinated teas use the CO2 method. We want to make sure that the quality of the tea you purchase is always preserved.

For those of you who have to or want to stay away from caffeine completely, we offer a large selection of herbals, herbal and fruit blends– all of which are naturally caffeine free!

 

February 3, 2014

HERBAL OF THE WEEK: HAWTHORN

Filed under: herbals and fruit blends,Tea in Arizona — Kwingert @ 10:10 am

Hawthorn-Flowers

Latin Name: Crataegus oxycanthoides

Parts used: Leaves, Flowers, Berries

Contra-indications: According the European Commission E, there are no known contraindications. It is however recommended that children and pregnant women don’t take Hawthorn.

Drug interactions: Hawthorn may increase the effects of the heart drug “digoxin”. Consult with a healthcare professional before combining hawthorn with any heart medication.

Hawthorn, also called Mayflower, is a small to medium-sized tree with umbrella-shaped clusters of white or pink flowers and dark shiny green leaves. In Europe, Hawthorne has been know for centuries as a heart tonic and is nowadays widely used as a treatment for heart disease.

Hawthorn preparations are the among the  most popularly prescribed botanical medicines in central Europe, particularly in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, but has also gained in poplularity here in the U.S.

Hawthorn is used to treat heart irregularity and palpitations, atherosclerosis, angina as well as hypertension and nervousness. It is also used to support and strengthen the heart. Among herbalists, it is recommended as a tonic to steady the heartbeat, increase blood flow to the heart muscle and to strengthen the blood vessels.

Dosage: For an infusion take 2 tsp of leaves/fruit per cup of boiling water and steep for 10-15 minutes, depending on the desired strength. Drink up to 2 cups daily. Alternatively, it can be taken in tincture form; take 30-40 drops in a small glass of water or juice twice daily.

As with all herbal supplements, always check with a professional health care provider before taking Hawthorn medicinally.