What is Kombucha and Why Should I Drink it?

Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last few years, you have heard about Kombucha and some of the health cliams that are being made by all sorts of celebrities and dieticians. But what is Kombucha and why is it good for our health?

First, a little background and history. Kombucha is a fermented tea whose origins date back thousands of years and has its roots in Easter Medicine from japan and China. It contains some of the same health benefits as tea such , but it is also naturally rich in probiotics, which is a key to a health digestive system Kombucha also contains antioxidants, can kill harmful bacteria and may help fight several diseases.

Here are the top 5 health benefits of kombucha, based on scientific evidence.

1) The production of Probiotics when Making Kombucha

Kombucha is made by adding certain strains of bacteria, yeast and sugar to black or green tea, then allowing it to ferment for a week or more. It is during this process the bacteria and yeast form a mushroom-like film on the surface of the liquid. This is how kombucha gets its other name, "mushroom tea." This material is a living symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY), and can be used to ferment new kombucha.The fermentation process produces acetic acid, which can be found in vinegar and other acidic compounds. Small trace levels of alcohol and gases that make it carbonated. A byproduct of this process is probiotic bacteria. Probiotics provide your gut with healthy bacteria. These bacteria can improve many aspects of health, including digestion, inflammation and even weight loss.

2) Kombucha Contains Antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that fight molecules that can be potentially damaging to cells in the human body. Many scientists believe that antioxidants from foods and beverages are better in the body's fight against aging for your health than antioxidant supplements. Kombucha, especially when made with green tea, appears to have antioxidant effects in your liver. Rat studies consistently find that drinking kombucha regularly reduces liver toxicity caused by toxic chemicals, in some cases by at least 70%. While no human studies exist on this topic, it does seem like a promising area of research for people with liver disease.

3) Kombucha can Kill Bacteria

Acetic acid is also produced during the fermentation of kombucha. Like the polyphenols in tea, the antimicrobial effects of acetic acid can prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria and yeasts. able to kill many potentially harmful microorganisms Kombucha made from black or green tea appears to have strong antibacterial properties, particularly against infection-causing bacteria and These antimicrobial effects suppress the growth of undesirable bacteria and yeasts, but they do not affect the beneficial, probiotic bacteria and yeasts involved in kombucha fermentation. The health relevance of these antimicrobial properties is unclear.

4) Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

Heart disease is the world's leading cause of death, and some studies in rats show that kombucha can greatly reduce “bad” LDL and improve “good” HDL cholesterol, in as few as 30 days. Even more importantly, tea (especially green tea) protects LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is thought to contribute to heart disease. Green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of developing heart disease, a benefit that may also apply to kombucha.

5. Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes affects over 300 million people worldwide. A study in diabetic rats found that kombucha slowed down the digestion of carbs, reduced blood sugar levels and also improved liver and kidney function. Green tea Kombucha is likely to be even more beneficial. In fact, a review study of almost 300,000 individuals found that green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic. More studies are needed to investigate the benefits of kombucha for the control of blood sugar.

6) Lower Cancer Risk

Cancer is one of the world's leading causes of death. In certain test-tube studies, kombucha helped prevent the growth and spread of malignant cancer cells due to its high concentration of antioxidants and tea polyphenols, which can block gene mutation. For this reason, it is not surprising that tea drinkers are much less likely to develop various types of cancer. However, whether kombucha has any anti-cancer effects in people has not been confirmed, and more research is needed.

 

Does CBD Oil Have Real Benefits?

By most of you have heard or read about the benefits of CBD Oil. You drip a couple of drops from a dropper under your tongue every morning and you should begin to feel less soreness and inflammation. While many are still unconvinced about the accuracy of the some of the claims about the benefits of CBD Oil, the thought about the potential is quite compelling. After all, cannabis hasn't disappointed thus far. Imagine if CBD Oil could help treat and even cure some life's most debilitating and common ailments like cancer, inflammation, arthritis, pain, anxiety, allergies and seizures? Obviously more research needs to be done, but now that states like California, Colorado and Oregon have decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana and cannabis, that should be coming soon.

Research has already begun on using CBD Oil to treat serious neurological diseases and neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and Stroke, which could lead to significant improvement of quality of life for million of people around the world. The idea is that receptors in the brain could benefit from the molecular make-up of CBD, and help slow or even reverse the effects of these terrible diseases. And research on the effect of CBD on cancer, the mother of all diseases, is being conducted by the National Cancer Institute, so this is no joke.

If you are one of those people who is willing to try it out, then you need to know the best ways to ingest the oil. Some drop it under their tongue from a dropper, and some (like me) put into their coffee. But depending on where you live, it might be hard to find. Because CBD Oil is not an intoxicant, it might be available at your local natural pharmacy. Or, if you live in California, Colorado or Oregon, you can buy it at your local dispensary. Either way, CBD Oil, like many other natural remedies, seems to be here to stay. Some of the reported side-effects of CBD Oil are dizziness and nausea.

For more information about the use and benefits of CBD, visit the FDA website.

 

 

 

Strange Health Facts -- Explained

Why are yawns contagious?
Human beings mirror the behaviors of people they care about, and yawning falls into this category, speculate researchers. In a recent University of Pisa study, researchers observed more than 100 men and women yawning in front of strangers, acquaintances, friends and family. The infectious influence of yawning was twice as likely among friends, and three times as likely for family members as it was for strangers and acquaintances.

Why do teeth shift as we age?
Teeth are held in an arch form between the tongue, and lips and cheeks. “Your tongue pushes outward on your teeth, causing spacing, while your lips and cheeks push inward, causing crowding,” says Dr. Andrew Trosien, a private-practice orthodontist in Tracy, Calif. Over time, these pressures can change, shifting the equilibrium, and your teeth can start to feel excessive pressure from either the tongue or lips.

Generally speaking, a little bit of crowding or spacing is not a concern. Sometimes though, tooth movement can be a sign of gum disease or other problems. In addition, if the teeth shift into a bad alignment, they can wear down, chip or cause other functional issues. Make sure to ask your dentist if you’re concerned, and most orthodontists will offer a free consultation.

Can achy joints really give the weather forecast?
“Yes. This is something I hear from my patients on a regular basis,” says Dr. David Borenstein, who’s treated arthritis patients for more than 35 years in Washington, D.C. When bad weather is coming, the barometric pressure drops in the atmosphere, and it causes a fluid shift in all human bodies. It’s slight, and most of us don’t notice a change, says Borenstein, but in patients with joint injuries, damage or arthritis, the fluid can’t move through these joints as effortlessly, resulting in feelings of stiffness and pain.

Why do women have colder feet and hands than men? 
“Women conserve more heat around their core organs than men do, which means less heat makes it to a woman’s extremities,” says Borenstein. Since women are biologically geared to carry babies, it’s vital that their bodies keep their vital organs warm. So blood flow in women is designed to support the central part of the body, compared to the arms and legs.

At-home Spa Secrets

With all that seasonal spreading of cheer and giving of joy, who has the time -- or the bucks -- for a much-needed spa visit? Instead of crafting a missive to Santa, we’ve got three letters for you: DIY. “At-home beauty treatments are fun, frugal, and relaxing,” says Janice Cox, author of Natural Beauty at Home. “You probably have some great ingredients in your kitchen ready to go. All it takes is a little planning,” she says. Now get glowing.

Step No. 1: Set the Spa Stage

  • Reserve your home’s bathroom for a couple of off-peak hours when you can laze uninterrupted.
  • Plan your home spa treatments, select your ingredients and shop for anything you don’t already have. (See below for our favorite recipes.)
  • Invite a beauty buddy or two. “DIY spa treatments create real quality time between you and a friend or family member,” says Cox.

Step No. 2: Balms Away

  • Before your spa buddy arrives, light scented candles and make sure your spa area is warm.
  • Get into the spa mood with herbal tea and relaxing music. Don fluffy robes and slippers or comfy clothes like yoga wear.
  • Go slow with your treatments and enjoy the moment.

Step No. 3: Spa-la-la-la

  • These home spa treatments are easy, effective and all-natural. “Just be sure to do a patch-test first by dabbing on the inside of your elbow,” says Greta Breedlove, author of The Herbal Home Spa.

Janice Cox’s Divine DIY Facial

  1. Remove all makeup and wash your face.
  2. Exfoliate by gently rubbing your face with a paste of ground oatmeal mixed with milk.
  3. Apply a moisturizing, healing mask of good-quality honey -- local is best. Keep on for no more than 10 minutes, before rinsing thoroughly.
  4. With a towel over your head, steam your face over a bowl filled with hot, but not scalding, botanical tea. Chamomile is calming, green tea is healing, rose hips and hibiscus are balancing.
  5. Close pores with a rinse of cool water.
  6. Massage sweet almond oil or your favorite creamy facial moisturizer across your face and neck.

Janice Cox’s Sweet Silkening Body Scrub

  1. Mix 1/4 cup of olive or vegetable oil with 1 cup of granulated sugar. Optional add-ins: aromatherapy or essential oil; vitamin A, C or E oil; dried, pulverized rose petals.
  2. Cover your floor or sit on the edge of your tub.
  3. With your hands, a loofah or a washcloth, massage mixture onto skin. Use circular motions and light pressure to stimulate circulation.
  4. Rinse off in shower.
  5. Apply a generous amount of rich body lotion all over, starting at your toes.

Greta Breedlove’s Peppermint Treat
Holiday candy canes inspired this nourishing hand and foot treatment. “It’s more effective without nail polish on, so it makes a great prelude to a home mani/pedi,” says Breedlove. This recipe is for ten fingers and toes:

  1. Make a paste of 2 tablespoons each of ground almonds, ground oatmeal and honey. Add two egg yolks and 6 drops of peppermint oil. Blend with a whisk.
  2. Slather mixture onto hands and feet.
  3. Cover with clean old socks.
  4. Wear at least 20 minutes before rinsing.

Get Healthy at Home, Virtually

Want to see your doctor, therapist or dentist in the comfort and privacy of your own home? Thanks to telemedicine it’s possible. From video chat sessions to personal phone consultations, doctors, therapists and even dentists are giving new meaning to the words house calls.

The best part about it: costs are often covered by health insurance. If the patient doesn’t have insurance, fees are minimal; whereas some companies charge a monthly fee of less than $40; others charge a consult fee, which is usually under $50.

Have a consult with your doc

At AmeriDoc, a leading telemedicine company, a patient signs up to become a member, and then calls to speak with a representative from the company. The representative asks numerous questions about the patients’ health and symptoms. An assigned doctor will then call the patient within a three-hour window. “We can schedule video chats for our members with doctors or set up phone consultations,” says Stephanie Manley, executive vice president of Operations for AmeriDoc. “Usually our patients prefer phone consultations. The doctor spends as much time as possible with the patient on the phone, and calls that patient’s pharmacy if prescriptions are needed.”

Perk up your mental health

Dr. Rebecca Gladding of Strategic Planning and Psychiatrist at Health Link Now, a major telemedicine service, sees patients online and over the phone. “Our patients come from all over the country,” she says. “They are people who are looking for medication management, therapy or both. They have a wide range of diagnoses or reasons they are seeking out help. In addition to treating anxiety, depression, bipolar or other mental health needs, we focus on improving wellness, helping people manage and cope with chronic medical conditions, and complete consultations for patients wanting to undergo weight loss surgery or receive a transplant.”

Join a weight loss clinic

Some people lose weight better when they are part of a group. At BMIQ, weight loss management is geared toward people who have a high body mass index (BMI), which is associated with medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.

BMIQ offers 8- and 16-week programs with registered dieticians. “The cost of our programs is less than $20 a week,” says Laura Cipullo, who is one of BMIQ’s registered dieticians and who has her own private practice in New York City.

Each online meeting is 45 minutes; patients get to ask questions, and between meetings patients can email questions to their registered dietician.

“The online live class teaches patients what and how to eat healthy while providing the support you need to make those changes,” says Cipullo.

Get a teeth checkup at home

Even the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Council of Dental Practice will discuss creating standards and guidelines for teledentistry when it meets later this month. According to the ADA, The University of Nebraska began a teledentistry project in 2003, while the Division of Dentistry at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles and the University of Minnesota offers teledentistry to their patients.

The Pacific Center for Special Care at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in California offers a virtual dental practice for school-age children in low-income areas. Most of these students have a higher rate of not going to dentists than students from more affluent neighborhoods. For that reason, it makes sense to bring the dental care to them.  

Dental technicians go into those communities, take X-rays and photos of the students’ teeth, and share that information and photos with dentists. After a dentist looks at those uploaded records, they can determine who needs to come into their offices for treatment.

Making health convenient

For people who skip out on doctor or dentist visits, because they can’t spare the time, telemedicine options can help make health a priority. “The major advantages are that people can receive care at home or in their office, wherever it is convenient for them,” says Gladding. “They just need access to high-speed Internet, a webcam and a computer or mobile device.”

While a lot can be done over the phone or via computer, it isn’t a cure-all. Doctors and dentists will ask patients to come into their offices for blood work or if their findings show something critical that needs to be treated in person.