September 2006 Ageless herbal newsletter
Tea is well known the world over as having been used since ancient times in China. Black tea is used all over the western world as a very popular drink, usually served with a choice of milk and sugar or with lemon.
The bud and young top leaves of the plant, Camellia sinensis, are used to make various types of tea, which vary according to the way the tealeaves are prepared for use.
The more popular commercial black tea is rolled, fermented and then dried. Oolong tea, another variety of tea, is also rolled and dried and fermented, but the fermentation process is much shorter. Green tea is heat-treated and rapidly dried, then rolled and is not fermented.
It seems that the process of fermentation destroys the majority of active ingredients in tealeaves and that green tea is therefore the most beneficial variety to use for health purposes, as this form of tea is not subjected to fermentation.
Japanese people are known to drink large amounts of green tea and it is suggested in certain studies that this is directly linked to the low rate of cancer in Japan.
Tea is harvested from a large bush, which is normally clipped down to 2 to 3 feet in height, to make it easier to harvest the leaves. The plant has many branches and the young leaves are very hairy. The young leaves and the buds appearing at the end of the branches are preferably harvested, as old leaves are considered to make an inferior quality tea.
Tea tasters are employed by a variety of companies that manufacture tea and various teas are very often graded as to taste, color and smell. The tea industry seems to be a rather competitive business, rather similar to the wine industry.
Various blends of black tea are made, but most Asian people prefer a simple green tea to black tea. According to most Asian tea lovers, Black tea and black tea blends on the market in the West are revolting to the palate.
Green tea is usually made to drink by boiling a cup of water per teaspoon of the dried tea and is very often used during a very ritualized formal “tea ceremony” in Asian cultures.
The way the tea is stirred, brewed and poured is highly stylized, with emphasis being placed on sound, beauty and setting, to create a harmonious, peaceful, relaxing and almost meditative atmosphere. This “tea ceremony” is often used to create a setting in which disputes can be amicably resolved.
Green tea should be prepared in a ceramic or glass container and is usually only left to steep for a very short period, to produce a weak brew. It is noted that a person should ensure that the container is not coated with a lead based paint, as the lead could leach into the tea.
Green tea is filled with polyphenols, or oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC), which are strong anti-oxidants and anti-cancer agents, ridding the body of free radicals. Green tea is also high in tannins, which are astringent and relieve diarrhea.
Green tea contains caffeine, a strange amino acid called theanine, chlorophyll, lignin, organic acids and protein.
There are green tea products on the market which have been decaffeinated and in which the polyphenols (anti-oxidants) have been concentrated.
Green tea is used as a calmative and is found to be a relaxing and restorative drink, calming the stomach after eating. It is commonly used to stop mild diarrhea and for debility in the aged or after a long sick bed. It is also reported to have a mild diuretic effect (increasing urination).
Green tea is often taken for the strong anti-oxidant effects of the polyphenols and many people believe this prevents the mutation of cells and thereby decreases the risk of cancer, as the spreading of mutated cells form cancer.
It is reported in many studies that Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (contained in green tea) are active free radical scavengers, which inhibit the spread of tumors and have definite anti-cancerous effects.
Certain studies seem to indicate that BLACK tea INCREASES the risk of cancer of the rectum, gallbladder and the endometrium (the mucous membrane lining the uterus), whereas substances in green tea are found to bind with nitrates (found in smoked, barbequed and processed meats), inhibiting the digestion of these cancer-causing elements, thereby helping to prevent cancer.
The polyphenols in green tea are also said to reduce cholesterol levels, prevent blood clotting, help eradicate free radicals and stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels after prolonged use.
Green tea is also reported to have fat burning properties and may have promise as a weight loss aid, although we believe that there is no product on the market that can help you lose weight healthily without a balanced diet and a moderate exercise plan.
Green tea is available as a concentrated extract, which is included in many commercial anti-oxidant preparations on the market throughout Europe and America.
Only limited amounts of green tea should be used when pregnant or when nursing a baby. Green tea can also interfere with MAO inhibitors and blood thinning medication.
It should not be consumed together with other medication, as it may interfere with the absorption of such medicine.
Green tea is often included in anti-aging skincare products for topical use, due to the antioxidant properties contained in the herb.
Green tea has three major benefits when used in skin care:
Face creams containing green tea are more astringent, giving a tightening effect. This astringent effect is due to the high concentration of polyphenols and tannins in the tea.
The polyphenols also protect the skin against pollution and cause the surface veins on the face to contract, which reduces inflammation caused by windburn, sunburn, or other external factors. Polyphenols also promote cell regeneration and help to heal wounds, or chaps and scrapes on the skin.
Green tea improves the gloss, shine and tensile strength of hair.
Green tea included in the following products
Although this essential oil may not sell as much as lavender oil, partly due to the cost, it is one of the best all-purpose oils to have around. It not only fights depression, grief, anger and fear, but looks after your heart and digestive system, while being the most wonderful remedy for female problems and one of the best oils to use on the skin.
Damask rose oil has a deep, rosy, fresh aroma, the color ranges from clear to a pale yellow or greenish tint.
'Rosa' comes from the Greek 'roden' meaning 'red', as the ancient rose was thought to have been crimson.
Anicenna, the 10th century Persian physician, used the rose to make his first essential oil and a rose distillery existed in 1612 in Shiraz, Persia.
Rose petals were scattered at weddings to ensure a happy marriage and are still a symbol of love and purity. Roses and rose oil are also used to aid meditation and prayer.
It takes about 60,000 roses (about 180 lb) to make one ounce ( 29.57 ml) of rose otto - or to put it in a different way it takes 40,000 kilograms of roses to make 1 liter of rose otto.
Rose otto oil is extracted from the fresh flowers, picked before 8 am in the morning, by steam distillation and the yield is 0.02 -0.05 %. The heat used in the distillation process is carefully controlled, as the aroma can be damaged if the heat is too high.
Damask rose oil is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing, but should not be used during pregnancy.
Damask rose oil soothes and harmonizes the mind and helps with depression, anger, grief, fear, nervous tension and stress and at the same time addresses sexuality, self-nurturing, self esteem and dealing with emotional problems.
It is most helpful for poor circulation and heart problems, which would include heart palpitations, arrhythmia, as well as high blood pressure. It is also used to boost the liver and gall bladder.
For the respiratory system, Damask rose oil assists in cases of asthma, coughs and hay fever, in the digestive system, for liver congestion and nausea.
Rose otto oil has a clearing, cleansing, regulating and purifying effect on the female sex organs and can be used for regulating and balancing hormones, irregular menstruation, functional infertility, leucorrhoea (a vaginal discharge), menorrhagia (heavy or prolonged menstruation), uterine bleeding and other uterine disorders, while having a general toning effect on the uterus.
On the skin it is most effective for moisturizing and hydrating the skin, while having a general stimulant and antiseptic action, which is good for all skin types, but especially so for dry, mature and irritated skin. It is used to repair broken capillaries, inflammation, as well as skin redness. It is useful in eczema and herpes. Rose water can be used for conjunctivitis (an eye inflammation).
Damask rose oil gives a feeling of well-being and happiness, it helps a nervous mind, can be helpful for the respiratory tract, for digestive problems, for menstrual problems and in skin care.
Burners and vaporizers
In vapor therapy, rose oil can be helpful with allergies, asthma, baby blues, headaches, migraine, nervous tension and as a relaxant. It is particularly effective to fight depression, anger and grief, while dealing with emotional problems, sadness and loss.
Blended massage oil or in the bath
As a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, rose oil can help with allergies, baby blues, asthma, hay fever, headaches, depression, migraine, nervous tension, depression, grief, stress and sadness. It is used to boost poor circulation, calm the heart, stimulate the liver and gall bladder and for general skin toning.
Lotions and creams
When rose oil is included in a cream or lotion, it stimulates the skin, while moisturizing and hydrating. It boosts all skin types and is particularly beneficial to dry, mature and sensitive skin. It helps to reduce skin redness, fight inflammations, healing broken capillaries on the skin and acts as a general skin tonic with its astringent properties.
For more information on Rose oil, or to buy our rose oil blend, please visit www.essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/rose.htm