Achiote, otherwise known by its Aztec name of achiotl, comes from the Annatto tree (Bixa orellana), and is known for the brilliant saffron color its seeds exhibit after the pods split open to reveal their tiny inhabitants. The intense vermilion hue comes from the high concentration of bixin that the annatto seed contains.
In China, the most commonly enjoyed tea is definitely green tea. Greens are easy to process, easy to store, and easy to brew – and they have the added benefits of tasting good and improving your health. Also, green tea is a good base for blends with flowers like jasmine, chrysanthemum and osmanthus.
Research is still inconclusive in humans, but resveratrol does show very promising results as an effective antioxidant in that it inhibits free radicals in a test tube setting. However, when consumed, resveratrol levels are lower in humans, so effectiveness as an antioxidant is about the same as vitamin C.
White tea is a very special tea because it is very labor intensive in the beginning, when each fuzzy white baby leaf is plucked by hand from the plant. The highest quality white tea is comprised of uniform white leaves only. The descending grades are basically larger or older white leaves and/or white leaves mixed with darker green leaves and stems.
Once upon a time, though, ho shou wu was a crucial part of the ancient Chinese apothecary. Its delicate flowers and rapidly vining stalks were a common sight, and it was second only to ginseng in its variety of uses. Ho shou wu was, and still is, used to treat the common ill effects of old age, including appetite loss, sexual dysfunction, and, most interestingly, hair loss.
Açaí berries are the fruit of an Amazonian palm of the same name. The palms are picturesque, with slender trunks growing up to 30 meters in height, and in its native area, the Açaí palm’s fruit provides up to an astounding 40% of total nutritional intake to the surrounding populations.
Dandelion is one of those plants we tend to think of as a weed. But few people regard dandelion for its forgotten use as a medicinal herb. For centuries, perhaps even millennia, this “weed” was highly prized in ancient China as well as in Tibetan medicine and the Ayurvedic healing tradition for its use as a natural liver detoxifier and diuretic and to treat gallstones, eczema, and even cancers.
Kale, the nutritious, dark-green member of the Brassica family, is one of the best values in the vegetable world in terms of nutrition-calorie ratio. Kale is truly a superfood that deserves more attention than it gets. The best way to consume it is to eat it raw (in salads etc) or lightly steamed (this keeps the nutrients available).
It’s easy to believe what Noni juice has to offer. We want to believe that drinking this exotic drink can do so many things for us: undo years of damage to skin, help digestion and metabolism, relieve chronic headache, boost energy, ease anxiety, and make us more comfortable in our own skins. But, what do we really know about this fruit?
We’re always hearing about red wine’s antioxidant properties and the possible aid it can give in preventing heart disease. Most experts agree that a glass (for women) or two (for men) of wine per day has many health benefits. For starters, red wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol, which has been shown to increase the lifespans of common worms.