Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kopi Luwak, Most Expensive Coffee

Kopi luwak (or also known as civet coffee) is coffee that is prepared using beans of coffee cherries that have been eaten by a cat-sized mammal called Asian Palm Civet (paradoxurus hermaphroditus) or some people known as Toddy Cat or Motit, then passed through its digestive tract. The luwak (a species of civet cat endemic to Java) will only eat the choicest, most perfectly matured beans and these nocturnal omnivore animals eat the berries for their fleshy pulp. Unable to digest the coffee beans, the Luwak (civet) graciously deposits them on the jungle floor where the locals are eagerly collecting them and clean any residue from the casings. The enzymes in the animals' stomachs seep into the beans, making it more amino acids, shorter peptides and much less bitterness. The beans are then defecated when passing through the luwak’s intestines. After collecting these half-digested beans, thorough sun drying, washing, light roasting and brewing, this process produces the world’s rarest coffee beverage and widely noted as the most expensive coffee in the world.

"Kopi" is the Indonesian word which means coffee, and "Luwak" is the local name of this indigenous animal. In some parts of the world, kopi luwak can cost as much as $30 for a single brewed cup and the biggest consumers are North America and Japan. The Oprah Winfrey Show featured this coffee as well. Indonesia is not the sole producer of civet-processed coffee, Vietnam is also said to produce this kind of coffee through the same way. Kopi luwak comes from the islands of Sumatra, Sulawesi (formerly Celebes) and Java. Many people may be turned off once they know the origin of the beverage, or figure the beans must be tainted, but scientists who study this things said that there’s no real danger of contamination. The luwak only digest a bit of the outer hull, the beans itself then sit in the animal’s stomach and ferment, only to be excreted out few hours later, the acids in the animal’s stomach will destroy the harmful bacteria of the beans. The kopi luwak has a rich, heavy flavour with hints of chocolate or caramel. Other terms used to describe it are earthy, exotic and musty. The body is almost syrupy and it's very smooth.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Healing Stones for Health

Stones are created for so many reasons, healing is just one of those. For thousands of years people have been using stones for healing. They are mother nature's natural healers. Many of them are known as gemstones and some of them may happen to be your birthstones. If you are not sure which of these stone is your birthstones, you can find out here: List of Birthstones. Today, alternative healers all over the world use these stones. Here, below are some of the popular gemstones used for its healing properties.

Agate: Agate helps to obtain better physical or emotional balance. It is believed to alleviate discomfort and prevent miscarriages during pregnancy. It is a cooling stone used for liver, stomach, colon, kidneys and spleen. Used for centering, taking heart and maintaining blood sugar levels. That’s why this stone is useful for helping headaches, dizziness and impaired balance. It also restores nerve feeling and healing after injury/burns.

Amethyst: Amethyst is believed to protect one from poison, have a sobering effect on overindulgence of drugs, alcohol and other addictions. Helps insomnia and eases atress, rub the stone across your forehead to offer relief from a headache. Amethyst is used for breathing problems and problems in the blood. Amethyst boosts hormone production, tunes the endocrine system and metabolism. It reduces injuries swellings, bruising and treats hearing disorders. It heals diseases of the lungs and respiratory tract, cellular disorders, skin conditions and diseases of the digestive tract.

Aquamarine: like amethyst, aquamarine also makes a good stone used for protection during pregnancy. it helps to guard both baby and mother from harm and discourages miscarriage. It regulates hormones and growth. Helpful to cure swollen glands, sore throats and thyroid problems. Boosts our immune system and alleviates overreactions, such as allergies or hayfever. Counteracts long-or short-sightedness.

Bloodstones: Purifies blood and detoxes kidneys, spleen and liver. Regulates our blood flow and benefits all our blood rich organs in lower body.

Diamonds: Crushed diamond has been used as a cure for various ailments. Diamonds are used to help people against epilepsy, insanity, paralysis, hernia, weakness of mind, premature old age, among others. It also provides longevity and makes the body strong. A tiny piece of rough diamond placed in a glass of water overnight to be drunk on the next morning, has been know as a great fortifying remedy for combating stress; especially during periods of convalescence and exhaustion.

Emerald: The healing power of emerald have been associated with the skeletal system, the skin and flesh, the adrenal glands, the cardiovascular system, the liver, kidneys and intestinal system. The stone also considered to have a cleansing effect and prevents diseases and infection. Disorders that emeralds have been used for include ulcers, colic, burns, headaches, influenza, tension, epilepsy, heart disorders, high blood pressure, neuralgia, skin disorders, cancer, dysentery, fevers, syphilis, nausea, indigestion, asthma, vomiting and anemia. The stone was once prized as an antidote in cases of poisoning. In China today, the emerald’s powder of poorer quality is used in folk medicines.

Garnet: Garnet is said to have excellent restorative properties and are recommended in the healing of blood poisoning and toxicity as well as circulatory dysfunction. This red stone is also widely revered as helpful in muscle pain and arthritis due to its warming energy.

Jade: Jade is known to have the ability of aiding the kidneys, eyes and bladder. Jade is also useful in the healing of a wide range of illnesses, diseases and conditions which include jaundice, shingles, flu, migraine, herpes, colds and even burns. It is also good for the wellness of the stomach and to aid digestion.

Malachite: Malachite is believed can help people to resolve chronic injury, stagnation or congestion, physical pain or tightness. If human body has no awareness that some part of their body are not working well together, it cannot call on its forces to fix the problem, malachite lets every cell of your body know what is happening in every other cell. By doing this, your body will call all its resources to combat the disease before it’s too late. However, people who use therapeutic malachite can experience different effects.

Moonstone: This feminine stone has the energy vibration of ‘Yin’ and can help women with period pains. . Moonstone is a suitable stone to carry with you when pregnant. This stone is also believed be able to help with childbearing and fertility. For men it will help to awaken their intuition, receptivity and bring emotional balance.

Onyx: Onyx helps in healing wounds, and during times of childbirth. This December birthstone can be used in treating ear and eye problems, and in cellular regeneration. It also strengthens the structural systems of the teeth and bones, skin, hair and nails. This stone is very good in grounding, and in elimination or control of excess energy.

Opals: Opal has reputed healing properties and the ability to boost up mental capacities such as creative imagination and is also associated with the assimilation of protein, Insulin regulation, Pineal Gland function, Parkinson's disease, the testicles and memory.

Peridot: Peridot is associated with relaxation and stress reduction. Peridot has been powdered to used as to cure asthma. When someone with a fever placed peridot under his tongue, it is said to lessen their thirst. Legend has it that in order to increase the potency of medicines, drink it with a Peridot goblet.

Pearls: Pearls ensure longevity and good health. The stone redresses gastric disorders, cough, asthma, tuberculosis, chest and eye trouble, lung disorders and also breathing problem.

Ruby: Because of its color, ruby has been associated with healing diseases of the blood and the heart. Ruby detoxifies the body, lymph and blood, and treats infectious disease, fever and restricted blood flow. It stimulates the spleen, kidneys, adrenals and reproductive organs.

Sapphires: They are said to have powers in cooling fevers, sharpening eyesight and protecting against mental illness. Powder the stone and then mix it with vinegar was one of the ancient recipe for eyesight. The same recipe was used to treat nosebleeds. The stones were also used to treat rheumatism and fevers. When treating external ulcers and boils, sapphires were ground and mixed with milk and then paste it on the afflicted area. They are also said to cure ulcers.

Topaz: Topaz aids in treating high blood pressure, arthritis and relieves depression. During the Middle Ages topaz was used to cure ailing eyesight. From the 4th-6th centuries, this stone was considered to be an antidote for rabies.

Tourmaline: This stone is helpful for people with lung disorders and asthma, pain, arthritis, swelling and immobility, problems with the nervous system, low back pain, neuralgias, constipation and migraine headaches. It is said to help neutralize feelings of resentment, fears, neurosis and obsession. Tourmaline can calm anxiety and stress.

Turquoise: Wearing turquoise will help detoxify the body from poison, alcohol, radiation, and pollution. Wear a circle of turquoise beads around one area of your body so as the blood flows back and fortth through the area, the turquoise can purify it. It also helps to treat headache, asthma, throat, lung and hearing problem and ear infections. Just hang it from a chain or cord over the area causing the problem. Allow the energies of the stone to get as close as possible to the area and begin healing process.

Zircon: Zircon is used to cure insomnia and in the healing of the nervous system. It is great for bringing strength to the bones and muscles and helps to relieve dizziness

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Coconut Water Health Benefits

The term coconut (Alternate spelling : cocoanut) refers to the fruit of the coconut palm. Its trunk has no branches but carries a crown leaves that are normally 10 to 20 feet long which looks like a feather with many segments and it is 70 to 100 feet above the ground. The leaves are a yellow greenish color. The coconut fruits hang at the bases of the leaves. The coconut grows in rainforests and other tropical of climates. It may takes about a year or so for the tree to mature, and one tree can produce 50 nuts. The tree grows near seas because in these areas the roots can find moisture. In US, it is found only in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the sothern tip of Florida and the Virgin Islands.

Almost all parts of the tree can be used. Coconut has many food uses, including meat, milk, oil and sugar as well as functioning as its own dish and cup. A seed fibre called coir found from the husk is used to make mats, cordage, brushes, rope and fishnets. The husk itself can be burned for fuel. The ribs of the leaves are used for arrows, spears and torches. The trunk is used for building small bridges, make rafters, canoes, benches, tables, posts, fences and paper pulp. The leaves are used to make baskets, hats, fans as well as to thatch roofs. The sap, a sweetish fluid known as toddy, is fermented into an alcoholic drink or into vinegar. the 'wrapper' of the palm can be used for toilet paper. Coconut tree is very strong, it can resist strong typhoons and does not need a lot of maintenance.

coconut water and the meat Coconut water has many health benefits and uses that most of you probably did not know about. Coconut water (the liquid that is taken from unripe coconuts) is the purest liquid second onlly to water itself. It is chock full of magnesium, electrolytes, potassium, calcium; everything that is good for you. Coconut water is a natural isotonic beverage and is famous for its cooling properties. For centuries locals in tropical regions have been drinking it to gain vitality and boost their immune systems. Coconut water contains vitamins which help stop fatigue, cytokinins, chloride and lauric acid. It is good for pregnant woman to help ease digestion problems during pregnancy. The lauric acid contained in the coconut water is equal to human breast milk. People drinking coconut water regularly also help them to improve immunity, alter HDL, metabolism and detoxify the body. The monolaurin found in coconut water which acts as an antiviral monoglyceride capable of killing an assortment of bacteria and viruses in your body. It is said that if you add a teaspoon of olive oil into coconut water and drink it for 3 days, it will help you to clear warms of your stomach and kill intestinal worms which makes for better digestion.

Coconut water is also a great alternative to sugary energy drinks, many athletes are encouraged to drink coconut water to replace all the fluid and minerals that they lose. It has less calories and sodium than most of juices and soft drinks in the supermarkets. If compared to other nuts like almonds and peanuts, coconut meat contains less fat and high amount of saturated fat. About 90% of the fat from the coconut meat is saturated, a proportion exceeding that foods like butter, lard and tallow. However, there has been many debates about whether or not the saturated fat found in coconuts is healthier than the saturated fat found from other foods. Coconut meat also contains more protein and less sugar than popular fruits like apples, bananas and oranges, and it is relatively high in minerals such as zinc, phosphorous and iron. When exposed to air, the coconut water will lose most of its nutritional and organoleptic characterictics, and begin to ferment.

Young coconuts are healthier than the older ones, most of the coconuts sold in the stores are the older coconuts. It is very hard to find young coconuts, those who found coconuts on the ground in Hawaiii, they often are older coconuts with a hard meat and very little water. The skins of young coconuts are green if compared to the old coconuts which are brown, matured and husky. The majoritty of the coconut cooking products are produced from the old coconuts.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

White Tea and Oolong Tea Review

Tea has been used as medicine for centuries. All tea can provide wonderful flavor and give folks a lifetime of sipping enjoyment. Past studies have shown that oolong and white tea have many healing properties. Studies have found that those who drink tea regularly will have greater bone density and strength than non-drinkers. Here, a little bit review about Oolong tea and white tea.

Oolong tea undergoes a partial oxidationn while white tea is not exposed to oxygen at all. White tea is obtained from tea leaves that are picked before they fully open, when the buds are still covered in fine, white hairs. That’s why it is called "white" tea. White tea has a much subtler and gentler taste, silky and smooth and almost sweet. Oolong is most commonly grown in two main countries, Taiwan and China. Other names for oolong are rock tea and brown tea.

White tea has the highest amounts of antioxidants (nutrients that protect the body from damage by free radicals) and is richest in B vitamins, folic acid, flavonoids and calcium, making it the most beneficial for different types of cancer and heart conditions. Compared to green tea, white tea has a concentration of antioxidantts that is three times higher (according to studies). For extra comparison, one cup of white tea has approximately twelve times as much antioxidants as fresh orange juice. White tea may also have beneficial effects for sufferers of osteoporosis and arthritis.

White tea is much more scarce than other types of tea because it is hand plucked from special bushes, during only a few ddays of early spring, and treated in such a delicate manner. This also makes white teas are more expensive.

Oolong tea contains a mid-level amount of vitamins and antioxidants but is beneficial in lowering cholesterol and triglycerides. Oolong tea (also known as Wu long tea) contains only half as much EGCG as green tea, but it has higher amount of polymerized polyphenols, which may contribute to its fat burning properties. Oolong tea is best enjoyed when it is carefully prepared using whole loose leaves. This method provides us with superior aroma and flavor. Tea bags will not offer much benefits or flavor since they contain old pieces of dried up "tea dust" (also known as fannings).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Difference between Green tea and Black tea

Green tea, black tea, white tea and Oolong tea are the four main types of teas. They are also the most common tea known. Perhaps you have been drinking black tea (“normal’ tea) and know very well how it taste like but have you ever thought of trying some other tea such as green tea? It tastes really good, easy to make and is just packed with healthy stuff. They both still come from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) and even derived from the same leaves as many people do not know. The taste of green tea also different from your regular tea as it tastes lighter, more grassy and fresh while black tea has a strong and bitter flavor.

Tea leaves are mostly picked by hand Because they are too delicate to be harvested by machines. Green tea is dried, but not fermented while black tea is dried, oxidized and go through a fermenting process. Black tea is made from the buds and infant leaves. Varieties of black tea include Earl Gray and Pekoe.

According to studies , these two teas are also seem to serve different health purposes. The main benefit of drinking Green tea is that it is loaded with a powerful and useful anti-oxidant known as EGCg. During the process of making black tea, this chemical compound turns out to be converted into another coumpounds which leads experts think that this tea didn’t reap as many health benefits as the green tea. Green tea has higher concentrations of polyphenol antioxidants than black tea. However, thearubigens and theaflavins compounds found in Black tea are also very useful and good for us. Green tea also used to control body temperature, treat excess stomach gas, cleansing the digestive tract, regulating blood sugar and maintaining proper mental health.

With the types of teas and their aromas, tastes, colours and types differing from each regions in which the plants are grown. Even teas of the same colour may smell and taste differently, depending on which country they hail from. Green tea is especially popular in China, India, Thailand and Japan.

Difference between Mocha and Latte

One of the most confusing thing found by many people is to differentiate between mocha and latte, these two types of coffee are hard to distinguish from each other because of their seemingly identical nature, especially for those who are not fond of coffee that much.

small cup of latteThe major difference between these two espresso-based drink is the addition of a key ingredient for cafe mocha. A latte is actually an espresso and steamed milk (topped with a small cap of milk foam), if you add chocolate it would become a mocha! That’s why some people called mocha as a chocolate coffee or coffee and chocolate. The chocolate in this sense can also vary. Some mocha used chocolate syrups while others use powdered cocoa and the chocolate used can either be a pure white chocolate or a pure dark chocolate. They just differ due to the kind of chocolate used. Sometimes mocha beverages are topped with whipped cream. Keep in mind also that this information is highly subjective, proportions vary and individual barristas modify their offerings in order to suit their local customers.

Mocha is one of the oldest known coffee varieties in the world and is one of the first types of coffee marketed and enjoyed by Europeans. Using the basic recipe of chocolate and espresso coffee, many different types of mocha beverages have appeared in recent years. The term 'moccaccino' or 'mochacino' is also used in some places in the US. Mocha drinks today are often served as both cold an hot beverages that are available and prepackaged in most supermarkets.

Find out also what is Kopi Luwak (Civet Coffee).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Difference between Cappuccino and Latte

Cup of Cappuccino CoffeeBoth Cappuccino and Latte are coffee. Latte and cappuccino are the most frequently available variation of coffee in many café around the world. Many people do not know and confuse what is the difference between cappuccino with caffe latte, another form of Italian coffee. Here, below is the clue that might useful for those who need to know the difference between these two espresso-based drink.

The thing that is similar between those two is that they use espresso coffee drink as their base and both of the beverages use milk and froth as their ingredient. The process is made by mixing milk, steamed milk foam (froth) and espresso. The main difference between cappuccino and latte is that they use different amount of milk and froth. Latte has large quantity of milk and fewer froth whereas cappuccino have fewer amount of milk and more quantity of froth than latte. Preparation of both can also be differ over the geography.

In certain places latte is served in a glass instead of a cup. The foam on top of your cappuccino is supposed to act as an insulator, so that it will keep your coffee hot longer. Cappuccino is an aromatic coffee mostly consumed by Italian people in the morning. You can use skimmed or soy milk in cappuccino as an alternative for low fat. You also can add flavored syrups like vanilla, orange or Bailey’s flavor to get a different taste. Skilled coffee makers create small designs on tthe froth at the top of the cup.