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Green Medicine

With St. Patrick's Day coming up, we want to remind you thatdrinking a nice warm cup of green tea has long been touted for its health benefits?in fact, some doctors even consider it a form of medicine. Eating green is good for you: it's long been known that folic acid, found in dark green vegetables, is especially important for pregnant women. And other research has found out that green tea can also be used as a powerful disinfectant!

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, consider adding a new tradition?more green foods to your diet. Wellness researcher Erica Wald says, "You want to incorporate lots of different intensities of green?all the various colors of green. The more varied the colors, the more varied your vitamin and mineral intake." It turns out that folic acid, an important ingredient in dark, leafy green vegetables, is a "brain saver."

In the Independent, Jeremy Laurence reports that "people who took high dose supplements of folic acid did significantly better in tests of memory and cognitive performance than those given a placebo." And folic acid plays a crucial role in the development of the embryo, so it's important for pregnant women to take vitamins that contain it, since it can be hard to get it from diet alone.

Researchers have found that a component of green tea, combined with low doses of a COX-2 inhibitor, can slow the spread of human prostate cancer. COX-2 inhibitors are a new class of pain relievers (Aleve is an over-the-counter version of these). Researcher Hasan Mukhtar has found that one of these, celecoxib (which is prescribed for arthritis and sometimes for painful menstrual periods), when administered with a extract from green tea, can slow the growth of prostate cancer cells in lab cultures and in mice. Some COX-2 inhibitors, such as Vioxx, have been implicated in lawsuits alleging that they can cause strokes. Finally: Take a serving of extracts from green tea or Jasmine tea, mix in some wildflower dark honey and you have something more useful than a drink. It's actually a scientific mixture that can be used to reduce pathogenic bacteria in meats.

Food scientist Daniel Fung says, "Our results indicated that Jasmine tea with honey and green tea with honey had the highest antimicrobial activity." He found that the tea extract and honey treatments caused significant reductions of Listeria and E. coli bacteria, two of the most common causes of food poisoning. That means that drinking green tea (especially with honey) with meal may protect against food poisoning, if it works inside our stomachs as effectively as it works on contaminated kitchen surfaces.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

Learning history can seem like taking unpleasant medicine, but when you learn about the past from William Henry, you have fun?and you learn things you just can't find out about anywhere else! Remember: There IS such a thing as good intentions!

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