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Monday, March 10, 2008

Ginkgo to reduce memory loss

Ginkgo biloba helps to improve memory, dementia symptoms. From studies, it was found that people taking these herbs are less likely developing memory problems or dementia than others.

Extracted: From the Star Newspaper dated 9 March 2008, SF16.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Sex may not be the most important thing in life. However, sex does bring couples together. Sex makes individuals feel wanted and appreciated and therefore, sex is part and partial of a long and happy relationship.

What is erectile dysfunction (ED)?

ED is when a man has problems getting or maintaining an erection long enough for sex. It happens when not enough blood flows to the penis.

ED isn't the same for all men. Some men aren't able to get an erection at all. Others can get one, but it's not hard enough for sex. And others get a hard erection but lose it before or during sex.

ED is a medical condition. So in most cases, erections will not improve without treatment. However, there are treatments to ED whether through medication or long term consumption of natural herbs.


Why erectile dysfunction (ED) happens

ED can be caused by things like stress or fatigue. But a lot of times, ED is not something that we can control. That's because it's often due to a physical problem that affects our blood flow.

Usually when a man is sexually aroused:

  1. The brain sends an impulse telling the arteries in the penis to widen.
  2. As a result, more blood flows to the penis.
  3. When this happens, the penis expands and hardens. This causes an erection.

When a man has ED, the nerves or blood vessels in the penis don't work properly. This prevents blood from flowing to the penis. And that can prevent an erection.

Common Causes of ED:

High Blood Pressure makes the heart work harder. This puts strain on the blood vessels, which then harden and narrow. This can prevent blood from setting to the penis. And that makes it more difficult to get or keep an erection. More than 65%of men with high blood pressure also have ED.

High cholesterol can clog your arteries. This can slow blood flow to the penis. As a result, it can affect the quality of your erections.Having high cholesterol raises your risk of ED by 80%.

Heart disease also is known as coronary artery disease. For a person with heart disease, blood does not flow as easily throughout the body as it should as they are clogged or narrowed. This may slow blood from getting to the penis and prevent a firm erection.

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much sugar, or glucose in the blood. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage nerves and blood vessels like those that produce erections. When this occurs, diabetes often leads to ED. Up to 85% of men with diabetes have some erection difficulty.

Prostate problems can also lead to ED. Prostate is a small gland near your bladder. It is next to the nerves that are needed for erections and certain treatments for prostate problems can lead to ED.

ED may also be psychological and/ or physical. ED can lower self-esteem and strain the relationship with partner and certain medications that treat depression can cause ED.

Stress and anxiety can affect your ability to get an erection.

Smoking and drinking too much alcohol can lead to ED. Drinking alcohol can temporarily impair the ability to get an erection. To help avoid symptoms if ED, it's best not to drink large amounts of alcohol before having sex.

If you smoke, smoking can cause cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and can damage blood vessels. This may prevent blood flow to the penis and can cause ED.

Information extracted from:

The two common medications being consumed to treat ED are Viagra from Pfizer which costs around RM38 per tab of 100mg and Cialis from Eli Lilly 4mg which costs around RM40 per tab.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dates second to Coffee when considering antioxidants concentration


Remember when coffee was the enemy? That was only about five or six years ago. Many of us looked down our noses at java addicts, clucking about the stress, high blood pressure and even heart disease that drinkers might be inflicting upon themselves.

How times have changed! Today we know that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, a disease that's poised to be a huge health threat in the fattest of Western nations. Moreover, it's the coffee drinkers who are most addicted to the brew that seem to reap the most benefit.

Nowadays we also know that coffee gives one's mood a significant boost. Java enthusiasts have a lower risk of suicide. Just one cup of coffee per day seems to do the trick. Coffee also increases mental agility in the elderly and boosts physical performance in athletes. It also seems to protect against Parkinson's disease, colon and liver cancer.

Now comes news for people who still aren't convinced: Coffee is the number one source of cell-protecting antioxidants in the U.S. diet, according to a study by researchers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. Of a study of 100 foods -- including tea, chocolate and cranberries -- coffee outranked them all.

Both decaf and regular coffee have similar antioxidant levels, according to the study. Dates were the only food to outrank coffee in antioxidant concentration, says Vinson. But because Americans are not nearly as fond of dates as they are of coffee, java came out on top due to sheer popularity. Can you imagine chewing dates every day!!!!????

The study is the first to find that coffee packs such a powerful punch in terms of antioxidants. These tiny molecules help neutralize the body's free radicals -- highly reactive molecular fragments that, left to their own devices, undermine normal body processes by attacking cell membranes and the genetic material contained inside cells.

Free radicals accumulate in tissue as a result of normal metabolic activity, exposure to toxins and age. The damage they do is collectively known as oxidative stress, and it is thought to cause cancer and other age-related diseases.

Researchers say the study isn't license to cut down on the other healthy foods that also contain antioxidants in abundance, including dark berries, colourful vegetables and chocolate. Each provides a different antioxidant, of which there are hundreds, even thousands.

So for now, we can all sing coffee's praises. But researchers caution that the latest java news doesn't mean that the more coffee, the better. Vinson still advocates moderation. "One to two cups a day appear to be beneficial," he says. If you don't like coffee, consider drinking black tea, which is the second most consumed antioxidant source in the U.S. diet, Vinson says. Bananas, dry beans and corn placed third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Word is getting out, it seems. Even with a Starbucks seemingly on every other corner, coffee is still increasing in popularity in the U.S. More than half of all Americans drink it every day.

Extracted from e

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Java A Day takes your Blues Away

Coffee is undoubtedly a beloved beverage, for most people especially adults. My family members have been coffee drinkers since young and of course I started to consume coffee during my primary school days and lately, I made a conclusion that the more you drink, the better you felt.

Coffee helps to:

Reduce Disease Risk

Downing one to three cups of caffeinated coffee daily can reduce diabetes risk by single digits. But having six cups or more each day slashed men's risk by 54% and women's by 30% over java avoiders.

Though the scientists give the customary "more research is needed" before they recommend you do overtime at Starbuck's to specifically prevent diabetes. And perhaps more importantly, the latest of hundreds of studies suggesting that coffee may be something of a health food -- especially in higher amounts.

In recent decades, some 19,000 studies have been done examining coffee's impact on health. And for the most part, their results are as pleasing as a gulp of freshly brewed Breakfast Blend for the 108 million Americans who routinely enjoy this traditionally morning -- and increasingly daylong -- ritual. In practical terms, regular coffee drinkers include the majority of U.S. adults and a growing number of children.

There's also some evidence that coffee may help manage asthma and even control attacks when medication is unavailable, stop a headache, boost mood, and even prevent cavities.

Some of coffee's reported benefits are a direct result of its higher caffeine content.

"The evidence is very strong that regular coffee consumption reduces risk of Parkinson's disease and for that, it's directly related to caffeine," DePaulis tells WebMD. "In fact, Parkinson's drugs are now being developed that contain a derivative of caffeine based on this evidence."

Boost to Athleticism

It's also caffeine -- and not coffee, per se -- that makes java a powerful aid in enhancing athletic endurance and performance. So powerful, in fact, that until recently, caffeine in coffee or other forms was deemed a "controlled" substance by the Olympic Games Committee, meaning that it could be consumed only in small, designated amounts by competing athletes.

Caffeine stimulates the brain and nervous system to do things differently, including signaling you to ignore fatigue or recruit extra units of muscle for intense athletic performance. Caffeine may even have a direct effect on muscles themselves, causing them to produce a stronger contraction. But what's amazing about it is that unlike some performance-enhancing manipulation some athletes do that are specific for strength or sprinting or endurance, studies show that caffeine positively enhances all of these things.

Coffee, as you probably know, makes you more alert, which can boost concentration. But claims that it improves a child's academic performance can be exaggerated. Coffee-drinking kids may do better on school tests because they're more awake, but most task-to-task lab studies suggest that coffee doesn't really improve mental performance.

But it helps kids' minds in another way. A study from Brazil finding that children who drink coffee with milk each day are less likely to have depression than other children. In fact, no studies show that coffee in reasonable amounts is in any way harmful to children.

On the flip side, it's clear that coffee isn't for everyone. Its legendary jolt in excess doses -- that is, more than whatever your individual body can tolerate -- can increase nervousness, hand trembling, and cause rapid heartbeat. Coffee may also raise cholesterol levels in some people and may contribute to artery clogging. But most recent large studies show no significant adverse effects on most healthy people, although pregnant women, heart patients, and those at risk for osteoporosis may still be advised to limit or avoid coffee. However, coffee with too much sugar added will be bad in the long run. But it is the table sugar added which is harmful but not the coffee itself.

In other words, consume enough caffeine -- whether it's from coffee or another source -- and you will likely run faster, last longer and be stronger. But the harder you exercise, the more benefit you may get from coffee.

But you can get other benefits from coffee that have nothing to do with caffeine. Coffee is loaded with antioxidants, including a group of compounds called quinines increases their insulin sensitivity. This increased sensitivity improves the body's response to insulin.

That may explain why those drinking decaf coffee but not tea beverages also showed a reduced diabetes risk, though it was half as much as those drinking caffeinated coffee.

Coffee has large amounts of antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid and tocopherols, and minerals such as magnesium. All these components have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.

Meanwhile, Italian researchers credit another compound called trigonelline, which gives coffee its aroma and bitter taste, for having both antibacterial and anti-adhesive properties to help prevent dental cavities from forming.

Extracted from:


Sunday, January 20, 2008

"At Starbucks, We're Passionate about Coffee"

Starbucks Coffee is one of my favourite venues to spend hours there without counting or looking at the time. I usually will choose Starbucks wherever I go, as a place kill some time while waiting for friends or family members, or to surf the internet or a place to hang up while enjoying my favourite cup of cuppa. I am very impressed with their philosophy and just finished reading up a book, The Starbucks Experience where I learnt on their partners’ working and management principles. I do hope that my business will contribute to the society one day as how Starbucks does.

Their Expresso Beverages which I love and enjoy

Espresso Shot
Expresso is the soul of coffee, which I totally agree, is rich in flavour with lingering aroma and caramel like sweetness. Espresso is made to order, drawn to perfection like ME…. And served at once. I just can’t sip it slowly. Added with brown sugar and I usually asked for double shot if I need the alertness as much as possible or single shot on normal days.

Caffe Mocha my second love
Intensely flavoured chocolate mocha syrup are mixed with steamed milk and finished with a cloud of whipped cream for an indulgent, sinless, forget everything kinda feelings, I love these words………
Remember to drink it bottoms up!!!!!

Caffe Americano
Caffe Americano is the European approach to American style coffee: full bodied espresso combined with steaming hot water. Good for a diluted kind of expresso shot taste, especially when you need a bigger cup of cuppa to be sipped slowly.

The classic drink of European coffee bars is a complex sensory delight. Expresso blended with a swirl of gently steamed milk capped with a cloud of foam. Less milk than a latte, it offers rich expresso flavour and luxurious taste.

Caffe Latte
Rich and full bodied expresso soothed by a generous pour of steamed milk and topped with a whisper of foamed milk. Very comforting due to its more steamed milk mixture, is one of many favourites. Very suitable for coffee drinkers who prefer a milder or less intense version of coffee taste.

Expresso Macchiato
Macchiato means” marked”. Expresso marked with a small amount of foamed milk. A Starbucks original. Foamed milk marked with espresso and vanilla, then topped with a distinctive caramel pattern. Indulgent, buttery and intense.

Pictures and information courtersy of Starbucks Coffee Malaysia

Friday, January 18, 2008

Pumpkin Seeds for healthy Prostate

Subtly sweet and nutty with a malleable, chewy texture, the roasted seeds from inside your Halloween pumpkin are one of the most nutritious and flavourful seeds around. While pumpkin seeds are available year round, they are the freshest in the fall when pumpkins are in season. Even Parrots love this seed!!!!

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are flat, dark green seeds. Some are encased in a yellow-white husk, although some varieties of pumpkins produce seeds without shells. Like cantaloupe, cucumber, and squash, pumpkins and pumpkin seeds belong to the gourd or Cucurbitaceae family.

Health Benefits

Pumpkin Seeds May Promote Prostate Health

Benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH, is a condition that commonly affects men 50 years and older in the United States. BPH involves enlargement of the prostate gland. One of the factors that contributes to BPH is overstimulation of the prostate cells by testosterone and its conversion product, DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Components in pumpkin seed oil appear able to interrupt this triggering of prostate cell multiplication by testosterone and DHT, although the exact mechanism for this effect is still a matter of discussion. The prostate-helpful components found in the oil extracts are definitely found in the seeds; the only question is whether the amount of seeds eaten for a normal snack would contain enough of these prostate-supportive components. The carotenoids found in pumpkin seeds, and the omega-3 fats found in pumpkin seeds are also being studied for their potential prostate benefits. Men with higher amounts of carotenoids in their diet have less risk for BPH; this is the connection that has led to an interest in pumpkin seed carotenoids.

Zinc is one further nutrient found in pumpkin seeds that might impact prostate function. The fact that pumpkin seeds serve as a good source of zinc may contribute to the role of pumpkin seeds in support of the prostate. However, studies about the relationship between zinc and BPH show mixed results, and more research is needed to determine the circumstances under which zinc might be helpful versus harmful.

Protection for Men's Bones

In addition to maintaining prostate health, another reason for older men to make zinc-rich foods, such as pumpkin seeds, a regular part of their healthy way of eating is bone mineral density. Although osteoporosis is often thought to be a disease for which postmenopausal women are at highest risk, it is also a potential problem for older men. Almost 30% of hip fractures occur in men, and 1 in 8 men over age 50 will have an osteoporotic fracture. A clear correlation between low dietary intake of zinc, low blood levels of the trace mineral, and osteoporosis at the hip and spine.

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits in Arthritis

The healing properties of pumpkin seeds have also been recently investigated with respect to arthritis. In animal studies, the addition of pumpkin seeds to the diet has compared favorably with use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin in reducing inflammatory symptoms. Importantly, though, pumpkin seeds did not have one extremely unwanted effect of indomethacin: unlike the drug, pumpkin seeds do not increase the level of damaged fats (lipid peroxides) in the linings of the joints, a side-effect that actually contributes to the progression of arthritis.

A Rich Source of Healthful Minerals, Protein and Monounsaturated Fat

In addition to their above-listed unique health benefits, pumpkin seeds also provide a wide range of traditional nutrients. Our food ranking system qualified them as a very good source of the minerals magnesium, manganese and phosphorous, and a good source of iron, copper, protein, and as previously mentioned, zinc.

Pumpkin Seed Phytosterols Lower Cholesterol

Phytosterols are compounds found in plants that have a chemical structure very similar to cholesterol, and when present in the diet in sufficient amounts, are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers.

Phytosterols beneficial effects are so dramatic that they have been extracted from soybean, corn, and pine tree oil and added to processed foods, such as "butter"-replacement spreads, which are then touted as cholesterol-lowering "foods." But why settle for an imitation "butter" when Mother Nature's nuts and seeds are a naturally rich source of phytosterols-and cardio-protective fiber, minerals and healthy fats as well?

Of the nuts and seeds typically consumed as snack foods, pistachios and sunflower seeds were richest in phytosterols), closely followed by pumpkin seeds. Sesame seeds had the highest total phytosterol content of all nuts and seeds, while English walnuts and Brazil nuts had the lowest.

Extracted from:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Reishi or Ling Zhi

Reishi, also known as Ling Zhi, is a herbal mushroom (fungus) known to have miraculous health benefits. It has been used in Japan and China for over thousands of years for its medicine value.

Reishi is also in one of the most famous medical text on Oriental herbal medicine, and red Reishi is ranked as the number one herb, ahead of ginseng, because of its following qualities:

1. It is non-toxic and can be taken daily without producing any side effects.

2. When it is taken regularly, it can restore the body to its natural state, enabling all organs to function normally.

3. Immune modulator - regulates and fine tunes the immune system.

Red Reishi is primarily composed of complex carbohydrates called water-soluble polysaccharides, triterpeniods, proteins and amino acids. Researchers have identified that water-soluble polysaccharides are the most active element found in Red Reishi that have anti-tumour, immune modulating and blood pressure lowering effects.

Another major active ingredient found in Red Reishi are triterpenes , called ganoderic acids. Preliminary studies indicated that ganoderic acids help alleviate common allergies by inhibiting histamine release, improve oxygen utilization and improve liver functions. Triterpenes are bitter in taste and the level of the triterpene content contained in a product can be determined by the bitterness.

Regular consumption of red Reishi can enhance our body's immune system and improve blood circulation, thus improving better health conditions. Generally, Reishi is recommended as an adaptogen, immune modulator, and a general tonic. Red Reishi is also used to help treat anxiety, high blood pressure, hepatitis, bronchitis, insomnia, and asthma.

Reishi is classified as a superior herb. Superior herbs are said to be non-toxic and can be consumed in large quantities and for a long period without any side effects.

After 2,000 years, there are still no side effects reported in available literature and clinical studies. However, sensitive individuals may experience some detoxification symptoms such as mild digestive upset, dizziness, sore bones, and skin rashes during the initial period of intake. This is the excretion of accumulated toxic matters from modern day foods and vigorous activities of the body metabolism. These are all normal signs of recovery and an indication that the medicinal effect of Red Reishi is functioning well.

Futhermore, in American Herbal Pharmacopoeia®'s published monograph on Reishi mushrooms, Reishi is classified as "Class 1: Herbs that can be safely consumed when used appropriately (McGuffin and others 1997). No side effects were reported in the available clinical literature. Clinicians have reported occasional mild digestive upset and skin rashes in sensitive individuals. These side effects are usually of short duration.

Taking a source of Vitamin C with Reishi can help reduce any side effects which may occur upon the initial intake of the herb.

Extracted from: