Monday, February 25, 2013

Black Tea

Black tea is a type of tea that is more oxidized than oolong, green and white teas. All four types are made from leaves of the shrub (or small tree) Camellia sinensis. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor than the less oxidized teas. Two principal varieties of the species are used – the small-leaved Chinese variety plant (C. sinensis subsp. sinensis), used for most other types of teas, and the large-leaved Assamese plant (C. sinensis subsp. assamica), which was traditionally mainly used for black tea, although in recent years some green and white have been produced.

While I enjoy a freshly brewed cup of green tea, there are times when I crave the fuller flavor of black tea. And why not? Green tea may be China's national drink, but black teas are known for their distinct flavors. Black tea from China can be sweet or spicy, with a hint of chocolate or the sweet fragrance of orchids.

Until recently, I worried that, by indulging my craving, I was losing out on green tea's numerous health benefits. But recent research indicates that black tea has its own health giving properties.

Green or Black Tea - which is better?

Until recently, tea research has focused on green tea. Green tea is loaded with the compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), a powerful anti-oxidant. Since the fermentation process used to make black tea converts EGCg into other compounds, researchers assumed black tea had less health benefits than green tea. However, recent studies indicate the compounds contained in black tea - theaflavins and thearubigens - do more than contribute to its dark color and distinctive flavor. They also provide health benefits originally attributed solely to green tea.

It's important to remember that tea research is still in the early stages. Jane Higden, a research associate with the Linus Pauling Institute, states in a recent article: "although numerous observational studies have examined the relationships between tea consumption and the risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer, there is no conclusive evidence that high intakes of tea are protective in humans." Still, it looks like there is no need to worry about depriving yourself of possible health benefits if black tea is your beverage of choice.

Here are the results of research into black tea:

Black Tea Research

    A long-term study by the Netherlands National Institute of Public Health and the Environment found a correlation between regular consumption of black tea and reduced risk of stroke. Researchers looked at data from a study examining the health benefits of foods that are high in flavonoids - phytonutrients with antioxidant benefits. While some of the flavonoids were obtained from fruits and vegetables, seventy percent came from black tea. The study looked at 552 men over a 15 year period. Researchers concluded that the flavonoids in black tea helped reduce the production of LDL - the "bad" cholesterol that can lead to stroke and heart attacks. Furthermore, men who drank over four cups of black tea per day had a significantly lower risk of stroke than men who drank only two to three cups per day.
    A separate study by Dr. Joseph Vita at Boston's School of Medicine supported these results. For four months, sixty-six men drank four cups of either black tea or a placebo daily. Dr. Vita concluded that drinking black tea can help reverse an abnormal functioning of the blood vessels that can contribute to stroke or heart attack. Furthermore, improvement in the functioning of the blood vessels was visible within two hours of drinking just one cup of black tea.
    Finally, a study of over 3,000 adults in Saudi Arabia - where black tea is favored over green - found that regular consumption of the dark brew can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by fifty percent.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Garlic Medicinal Uses

Nature has gifted us lots of things to keep our self healthy. One of those gifts is Garlic. There are lots of saying & proverbs about Garlic which reflects its importance & quality such as Garlic is as good as 10 mothers & Garlic a day keep sickness at bay. Moreover, it is regarded as a miracle by naturopaths & herbalists. Various researches have proved it that Garlic is good for health and is beneficial in curing various health problems.

The garlic clove contains various nutrients as water soluble nutrients include vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and natural sugars & oil soluble nutrients includes sulphur compounds originating from an amino acid named alliin which is converted to a pungent compound called allicin which has natural antibiotic properties. Presence of sulphur in garlic is the cause of its pungent smell. However, the quality of Garlic cannot be over hidden due to this smell. In several scientific studies it has been found that:

Garlic Medicinal Uses

  •     Garlic acts as an antiseptic & helps in curing the wounds very quickly.
  •     One of the health benefits of garlic is that it helps in fighting against various infection & acts against inflammation and infection, including colds, coughs by adding a freshly cut raw clove to food three times a day or take kyolic garlic capsules but raw is always best.
  •     In certain studies in China it has been shown that it contains chemicals that prevent cancer. They suggest that eating garlic on regular basis provides some protection against cancer.
  •     Fresh or cooked garlic or 500 mg garlic capsules twice daily helps in lowers down the blood pressure & cardiovascular problems. It increases the levels of high density lipoproteins & reduces harmful cholesterol in the blood & keeps arteries and heart healthy.
  •     It thins the blood, reduces clotting and helps in controlling blood pressure and poor circulation.
  •     Garlic stimulates the immune system of body & helps in fighting against various diseases.
  •     Prevents & relieves chronic bronchitis, respiratory problems, and catarrh.
  •     It acts as a nasal decongestant & expectorant.
  •     It is also helpful for hum oral asthma, hysteria, dropsy & scurvy.
  •     Garlic works as a cleanser of the digestive system, helps in curing flatulence, kills internal parasites and is an excellent internal antiseptic.
  •     Researcher recommends daily dose of fresh garlic of about 4 gm, equivalent to one or two small cloves for each & every person who wants to keep himself healthy.

There are various historical facts which prove that Garlic has been used from centuries for its medicinal uses. From around 3000 B.C. Chinese scholars are praising garlic. Moreover, workers who were engaged in constructing the Great Pyramids of Giza lived mainly on garlic & onion. During World War I, Garlic was used to control infections in wounds. It was also used for controlling a raging epidemic of flu in 1963 in Russia. So now start taking garlic as a diet in your food & enjoy your life without lots of disease. Most important thing is that it doesn't have any side effect. So you can take it without any doubt. I know now you can't avoid such a nice gift of nature which can help you out in various ways. Oh! I am very sorry I forgot to tell you one of the most important things that, it is also helpful in getting rid of VAMPIRES.

Garlic is an important medicinal herb that is readily available everywhere, unlike some of the other herbs mentioned on these pages.  It is one of the safest herbs, and as such can be taken often.  It does, however,  have its drawbacks, as we all know.  Bear this in mind when using remedies (especially internal ones), and cut back when family and friends start avoiding you. 

Garlic does indeed have scientifically-proven medicinal properties.  It contains a substance called Allicin, which has anti-bacterial properties that are equivalent to a weak penicillin.  It appears that cooked garlic weakens the anti-bacterial effects considerably, however, so don't count on cooked garlic with meals for much in the way of a curative. 

Garlic appears to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.  The list is long when it comes to its uses as a remedy.  This list includes wounds, ulcers, skin infections, flu, athlete's foot, some viruses, strep, worms, respiratory ailments, high blood pressure, blood thinning, cancer of the stomach, colic, colds, kidney problems, bladder problems, and ear aches, to name a few.  It is believed to cure worms in both people and animals - try giving the dog a clove of garlic daily (but he's not gonna like it).

For most internal problems, eating garlic raw is probably the most potent way to take it.  However, due to the obvious lingering odors associated with this, a tincture can be made by soaking 1/4 pound of peeled and separated garlic cloves in 1/2 quart of brandy.  Seal tightly and shake every day.  Strain and bottle after two weeks of this, and take in drops - 25-30 a day, if desired. 

For cough, flu, and respiratory ailments, make a cough syrup out of garlic.  Slice 1 pound of fresh garlic and pour one quart of boiling water over it.  Let sit for 12 hours, then add sugar until you reach the consistency of a syrup.  Add honey for better taste, if desired.

For sore throat, make a garlic tea by steeping several cloves of garlic in half a cup of water overnight. Hold your nose and drink it.

Externally, garlic is a known anti-bacterial and anti-infection agent.  An interesting use for ear aches is to slice a garlic clove, heat briefly in a small amount of virgin olive oil, and let cool.  Then use a drop of two in the affected ear (strain the mixture beforehand, of course).

Make an Ointment out of garlic (use cloves instead of leaves, stems, or flowers as described in Ointments) for wounds, cuts, athlete's foot, or any other external skin irritation, fungus, or infection.  Also, try a few drops of Oil on a toothache for pain relief. 

Garlic is classified as both a food and medicinal herb. It can and should be eaten as food, but it can also be taken in supplement form to augment a healthy diet when more serious health problems arise. Here's how this alternative medicine works:

Healing Properties

Garlic has many healing properties, but the most research has been done on its potential to help reduce heart disease. Garlic has been intensively studied, and numerous large studies have shown that taking supplements that mimic fresh garlic can significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels without hurting beneficial HDL cholesterol levels. Garlic appears to act by blocking the liver from making too much LDL cholesterol.

There is also some evidence that garlic supplements can mildly lower blood pressure by dilating or expanding blood vessels. And garlic helps prevent blood clots -- and therefore reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke -- by decreasing the stickiness of platelets, which are tiny disk-shaped bodies in the blood that are necessary for blood clotting. When platelets are too sticky, they form clumps that can adhere to artery walls and contribute to clogged arteries.

Garlic has also been shown to reduce pain and other symptoms in people with rheumatoid arthritis. And it reduces the size of some cancerous tumors and helps prevent some cancers, particularly those in the intestines. However, the research on this is not nearly as far advanced as that for garlic and heart disease, so do not use garlic supplements without consulting with a natural health care professional.

One of the oldest uses of garlic, however, is as an antibiotic. Garlic kills a range of microbes, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites, and can be effective against such conditions as athlete's foot, thrush (a fungal infection of the mouth), viral diarrhea, and the ulcer-causing bacteria Helicobacter pylori. Only fresh garlic or supplements that mimic it have these effects.
Preparation and Dosage

For best results, fresh garlic or preparations that mimic it need to be used. Dried or cooked garlic, as well as garlic oil, lose a significant amount of potency during processing (though they aren't worthless and are still beneficial to eat as food). Preparations used for medicinal purposes should state that they have allicin potential of at least 6,000 mcg on the label. Alternately, eat one chopped clove of fresh garlic per day. (The fresh garlic that has been peeled and sometimes minced and sold in jars in the grocery store is not potent enough.)

Good quality garlic supplements list the "allicin potential" they contain and not a certain amount of allicin. This means that when the supplement gets to the stomach, it releases 6,000 mcg of allicin, the pungent chemical that accounts for garlic's sharp flavor. The supplements do not contain actual allicin, because this compound is extremely unstable and quickly breaks down. Instead, good garlic supplements contain alliin, the stable precursor to allicin. It is released only upon digestion, so your body can make the best use of it.

Store garlic in a cool, dark, dry place with good air circulation. Check on it occasionally, and remove any cloves that have gone bad, being careful not to nick the remaining cloves.

Different Types of Tea

All the tea that we drink comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, or the tea plant. Although one would come across different varieties of tea in the world the three main varieties are the India tea, the China tea and the hybrid tea. It is from these that the different types of tea like the green tea, the black tea, the white tea, the herbal tea and oolong tea are prepared.

Tea Bag
Modern pyramidal nylon tea bag

Green Tea: When tea leaves are picked, they generally whither and dry and when this occurs, oxidization takes place. When green tea is manufactured, it is not allowed to oxidize. The leaves are dried very quickly either in a pan or an oven to dehydrate them and then they are stored. This process retains the polyphenols catechins and the flavanoids which make drinking green tea a healthy and beneficial option. However green tea possesses a grassy taste and it loses its flavor within a year.

To brew a cup of green tea, water which is not more than 80 degrees Celsius should be poured over the tea leaves. Let the leaves steep in the water for about two to three minutes. Some of the benefits of green tea are its antioxidant properties which aids in preventing cancer, raising metabolism rate and cutting fat and even reducing the probability of heart diseases. Due to its short brewing time, green tea is stimulating.

Black Tea: This tea is stronger than any other type of tea. The caffeine content is higher in black tea as compared to the less oxidized varieties. It retains its flavor for many years. Black tea is the tea that enjoys the maximum sales in the world.

To brew a cup of black tea we need a teaspoonful of tea leaves for a cup of tea. The tea leaves are steeped in boiling water for at least three to four minutes before it is strained and served. Plain black tea without sugar contains antioxidants and is beneficial in reducing cardiovascular diseases.

Cup of White Tea

A cup of healthy (but expensive) white tea
White Tea: This is the rarest variety of tea. The leaves are picked and harvested before they are fully open and the buds still have a covering of white hairs on them. White tea undergoes the least processing and is also not fermented. It has a light and sweet flavor and contains less caffeine and more antioxidants than any other type of tea.

The ideal temperature of water for brewing white tea is 76 to 85 degrees Celsius. The leaves should be steeped in water for at least seven to eight minutes.

Herbal Tea: Tisane or ptisan is an herbal infusion. Tisane is made with any part of the plant either dried or fresh flowers, roots, seeds or leaves over which boiling water is poured. Flavored teas are prepared by adding this to regular tea like the jasmine tea of China. There are different types of herbal tea which can be consumed for medicinal purposes.

Oolong Tea: Being of Chinese origin, this tea is a cross between the popular black and healthy green varieties and the two styles commonly associated with this tea are green and amber. The uniqueness of this tea is attributed to the different manner in which its leaves are prepared and owing to this reason apart from being bereft of the leafy flavor of the green tea its taste is distinct from other types of tea as well.

The traditional Oolong tea is brewed in a special type of pot known as Gaiwan and the final sip may vary according to the length of brewing time.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chetan Bhagat - Revolution 2020

Once upon a time, in small-town India, there lived two intelligent boys.
One wanted to use his intelligence to make money.
One wanted to use his intelligence to create a revolution.
The problem was, they both loved the same girl.

Welcome to Revolution 2020. A story about childhood friends Gopal, Raghav and Aarti who struggle to find success and love in Varanasi. However, it isn’t easy to achieve this in an unfair society that rewards the corrupt. As Gopal gives in to the system, and Raghav fights it, who will win?

 Gopal hails from a poor family and fails to get an admission to the best engineering colleges in the country. Heartbroken, he moves to Kota for a year to prepare for the exams. Raghav comes from a well-to-do family and achieves a good rank in JEE. Delighted, he joins IIT-BHU, one of the premier institutes of India, and embarks on his ambition to become a journalist. Aarti hails from a powerful bureaucratic family, and her aim is to become an airhostess. Aarti falls in love with Raghav while Gopal is at Kota.

The story starts when Gopal rises as the director of a new engineering college opened in Varanasi, with the power of MLA Shukla, a corrupt politician. He uses the legally strangled land of his uncle to manipulate and build the college. Raghav, on the other hand, completes his engineering and joins the largest selling newspaper Dainik as an intern. He starts shedding light on all the wrongdoings of Shukla and exposes him in public.

Things take a different turn when Aarti starts developing a soft corner for Gopal.

Who will win her love towards the end?

Will Raghav's crusade against the corrupt system fail?

Revolution 2020 is a gripping story of love, the corrupt educational system and clashing ambitions.

Revolution 2020 got mixed reviews from critics and readers. The book turned out to be yet another bestseller from the Chetan Bhagat stable.

About The Author
Chetan Bhagat is an Indian speaker, columnist and author. He quit his international investment banking career in the year 2009 to devote his entire time to writing.

Chetan Bhagat is a graduate from IIT in New Delhi and a post graduate from IIM Ahmedabad; both institutes of high repute and distinction. He married his sweetheart Anusha Suryanarayan, whom he met at IIM-A, in the year 1999. Their love story was the inspiration for the book 2 States.

From the bestselling author of Five Point Someone, one night @ the call center, The Three Mistakes of My Life and 2 States, comes another gripping tale from the heartland of India.  Are you ready for the revolution?

If so, try buying it online

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Temple Run 2

Temple Run 2 launched first for iOS and Android users had to sit back and watch while the game topped the 20 million download mark. Of course, a little bit of a teasing wait seems to only left Android users anxious to download the game and begin playing. In fact, once Temple Run 2 landed in Google Play the combined downloads shot up and achieved a record breaking 50 million downloads in just 13 days.

Temple Run 2 launched first for iOS and Android users had to sit back and watch while the game topped the 20 million download mark. Of course, a little bit of a teasing wait seems to only left Android users anxious to download the game and begin playing. In fact, once Temple Run 2 landed in Google Play the combined downloads shot up and achieved a record breaking 50 million downloads in just 13 days.

That being said, that is not to say the app launched perfectly on Android. The app actually launched without support for the back button and an update was quickly rolled-out. And well, it looks like the team at Imangi Studios is now showing support for older devices and devices with lower resolution displays. These goodies come by way of another Temple Run 2 app update. This update brings the app up to version and it remains available for free and by way of the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore.

Detailing what this update includes; Temple Run 2 users can now expect “improved performance on older devices.” A bit general of a statement, however we suspect you will know if this applies to you. Basically, if you had tried to play the game and had issues, you may want to give it another look. Another fix here includes lower resolution devices, specifically this update fixed layout issues on devices with a 320 x 240 resolution.

Otherwise, this update also fixed the track pop-in issue, a bug that caused the same objective to be shown more than once and “various” other bugs and “minor” improvements. All said and done, a decent update of fixes. Finally, for those who have yet to play Temple Run 2, now seems like as good a time as any to give it a go.

Temple Run addicts have propelled its sequel into new territory.

In 13 days, Temple Run 2 has been downloaded more than 50 million times by iOS, Android, and Kindle users, developer Imangi Studios said yesterday, making it the fastest-growing mobile game ever.

In reaching this milestone, the action game topped the previous record holder, Angry Birds Space, which rocketed to 50 million downloads in 35 days.

Temple Run 2 places you in a jungle where you have to outrun a giant ape, leap over chasms, and swing on ropes to get past hazards. Along the way, you pick up gold coins to score points. But one wrong step, and your character meets an untimely demise.

Temple Run 2 debuted in Apple's App store on January 17 and quickly became the top free app with more than 6 million downloads in less than 24 hours. The game then swung into Google Play and Amazon Marketplace, picking up even more adventurers.

"Temple Run has evolved into something so much bigger than us," Imangi co-founder Keith Shepherd said in a statement. "The game has performed beyond our wildest dreams, and we are thrilled that gamers and fans have embraced Temple Run 2 in such a short period of time."
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Friday, February 01, 2013

Recipe - Chennai mixture

Time Taken : 15-30 mins

Servings : 3-4

  • Deep fry the peanuts, roasted gram,rice flakes(thick or thin) curry leaves, cashew nuts, cornflakes separately in oil and drain the excess oil in a kitchen towel. While frying them add little salt to the oil.
  • Mix all the ingredients together and add crushed pepper to this.
  • Crush the ompodi , ribbon pakoda and murukku into small pieces .
  • Mix well nicely. Put this in a airtight box and shake this nicely.
  • Flavorful mixture is ready to consume.
  • Store this in an airtight box and enjoy with tea/coffee.