Tea

Samurai means “to serve.”

Tamurai means “to serve through tea.”

AT TAMURAI TEA OUR GOAL IS TO HONOR THE SPIRIT OF HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.

We begin with the selection and consumption of high quality tea. Through the consumption of tea, we make the connection to the earth and the sun. As our astronauts and NASA researchers continue to learn, only the connection to our earth, our atmospherically filtered sunlight, and that which they produce can sustain life as we know it.   Through this connection and creation, our mind, body, and soul are supplied with a cascade of life sustaining nutrients and antioxidants. Certain combinations of these nutrients are found only in the various teas created by our wonderful planet. The teas we support and supply are organic due to the fact tea is one of the few consumable products which makes its way directly from field to cup without any cleaning or washing. If a tea plant or tea field is sprayed with toxic harmful chemicals or fertilizers, they are consumed with the tea.  An additional consideration is that when consuming the highest quality of tea: the first growth, the earliest picking; the highest concentration of nutrients are consumed.  Older tea leaves are found to be out of balance, with higher concentrations of minerals that may be harmful to our health.

Nature designs tea to be consumed at a slower pace, so we encourage tea to explore the internal universe within each of us. As we unfold the discoveries within, we can then make the peaceful and harmonious connections with those we encounter in life. These connections whether individual or shared bring much satisfaction and joy. It is with this spirit of joy we thank you for sharing your journey of tea, spirit, and life. It is with great honor that we recommend and make available the products and services contained within.

 “I have three treasures, which I guard and keep.  The first is compassion.  The second is economy.  The third is humility.  From compassion comes courage.  From economy comes the means to be generous.  From humility comes responsible leadership.”  —Lao-Tse

Once we are on the journey of balance, we are then ready to seek the harmony of the “me/we” relationship that allows the healing of our world and those of its inhabitants.  We learn of how we connect and influence community.  We learn and share the vibrations that are so subtle, but yet so powerful.  These vibrations can only be felt with the heart and measured by the health and harmony of our internal and external environments.

We begin our quest with tea, share it through meditation & prayer, and grow it through our understanding and developing awareness as keys to unlock the secrets within.  Meditation & prayer unfolds Lao Tse’s compassionate courage, tea flowers the economy of generosity, and our growing humility through understanding allows us to lead others by example.


 

Spices and Herbs for Health by Camile Noe Pagan & webmd.com

 

Spices and Herbs That Can Help You Stay Healthy

No meal or snack should be naked. That’s what dietitian Monica Auslander Moreno tells her clients. “Herbs and spices make food tastier while boosting your health,” says Moreno, an adjunct professor of nutrition at the University of Miami and a dietitian for the Miami Marlins. “You should be cooking with herbs and spices regularly — and, if possible, using several at a time.”

Herbs, like basil, are the leaves of a plant, while spices, like cinnamon, are usually made from the seeds, berries, bark, or roots of a plant. Both are used to flavor food, but research shows they’re chock-full of healthy compounds and may have health benefits. “Herbs and spices fight inflammation and reduce damage to your body’s cells,” Moreno says. “That’s because each one is rich in phytochemicals, which are healthful plant chemicals.”

Adding herbs and spices to your diet has another benefit: “Because they’re so flavorful, they make it easier to cut back on less healthy ingredients like salt, sugar, and added fat,” says Adrienne Youdim, MD, an associate clinical professor of medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.

Choose the Real Thing

You may have noticed that some herbs and spices are sold as supplements (oregano oil or capsules of cinnamon extract, for example). Unless your doctor recommends otherwise, “it’s best to eat the herb or spice instead of taking it in pill form,” Youdim says.

She says there aren’t many regulations about supplements and there’s little government oversight. So a capsule may not have the amount of something that it claims to, or it may have unhealthy additives.

“Food is an army,” Moreno says. “Compounds from herbs and spices as well as the other foods you’re eating work together to provide health benefits. We don’t know if you get the same result from taking a single ingredient as a supplement.”

 

Best Herbs for Your Health

If you’re new to cooking with herbs and spices, Moreno recommends trying a pinch at a time to figure out which ingredients and flavor combinations you like.

Here are some standouts to think about adding to your next meal:

Cardamom. This sweet, pungent spice is in many pumpkin spice mixes. It’s known to soothe an upset stomach, and lab studies show it may also help fight inflammation. One more perk? “Of all spices, cardamom is especially high in minerals like magnesium and zinc,” Moreno says.

Chili peppers. Fresh, dried, or powdered, chilies will give your food a kick. They also may boost your metabolism and help keep blood vessels healthy. One possible reason is capsaicin, the compound that makes them spicy.

Cinnamon. “Cinnamon is great because it’s sweet but very low in calories and sugar-free,” Moreno says. “Plus, it’s easy to find and not expensive, and you can add it to almost anything, including coffee and tea.”

Lab studies show that cinnamon also may help with inflammation, fend off free radicals that can damage your cells, and fight bacteria.

And some research suggests it may lower blood sugar in people who have diabetes or are likely to get the disease, but other studies don’t back that up. “It can be a part of a healthful diet, but don’t mistake it for a diabetes cure,” Moreno says.

Cocoa. You may think of cocoa as the key ingredient in chocolate, but it’s a spice with many health perks. The cocoa bean is chock-full of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that have been shown to boost heart health. Flavonoids seem to play a role in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and helping keep your coronary (heart) arteries healthy, among other things.

Cumin. Used worldwide and known as a key ingredient in many Indian dishes, cumin is naturally rich in iron. It may play a role in weight loss, too. One study of 88 overweight women found that those who ate a little less than a teaspoon of cumin a day while on a low-calorie diet lost more body fat and weight as those on the same diet who didn’t add cumin.

Garlic. This plant has a powerful compound called allicin. Lab studies have shown that it may lower your chances of getting heart disease. And other research shows that eating garlic regularly may help with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. But to get the benefits, you have to chop or crush the clove: Allicin is formed only after the cells in the garlic have been cut or crushed.

Ginger. Yes, ginger really can help with an upset stomach. “It has a calming effect on the lining of your digestive system and can ease nausea, too,” Moreno says.

Lab studies also show that ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and may play a role in preventing diseases like cancer.

Rosemary. An ultra-fragrant herb, rosemary is rich in antioxidants that prevent cell damage, Moreno says. Even sniffing it may be good for you. One study found that people who got a whiff of rosemary performed better on memory tests and other mental tasks, compared with those who didn’t. Researchers think one of its compounds, called 1,8-cineole, may boost brain activity.

Turmeric. This yellow spice gets a lot of hype, and for good reason. It’s a good source of curcumin, an antioxidant that eases inflammation. Research suggests that curcumin may help ease pain. And other research shows that eating even small amounts of turmeric regularly may help prevent or slow down Alzheimer’s disease, possibly by helping prevent the brain plaques that lead to dementia.

 
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9 Benefits of Sage by John Staughton & organicfacts.net

9 Impressive Benefits Of Sage

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated –  Medically reviewed by Vanessa Voltolina (MS, RD)

This perennial woody herb is unbelievable when it comes to its impact on human health. Scientifically known as Salvia officinalis, sage is closely related to rosemary; they are often considered “sister herbs.” In fact, many of sage’s health benefits are derived from the rosmarinic acid, the organic compound found in rosemary that makes it powerful. Despite many similarities, sage is distinct in that it is actually an evergreen shrub with woody stems and blue-purple flowers found in the Mediterranean region.

The important health benefits of sage include its ability to improve brain function, lower inflammation, prevent chronic diseases, boost the immune system, regulate digestion, alleviate skin conditions, strengthen the bones, slow the onset of cognitive disorders, and prevent diabetes.

What is Sage?

The traditional use of sage in medicine is well-documented and goes back thousands of years. [1] It was initially used for the treatment of snakebite, protecting against evil, boosting female fertility, and other uses – many are based in cultural alternative medicine or are no longer en vogue.

However, modern research has discovered that the impact of sage on the human body can be considerable, which is why it is widely exported around the world and makes its way into recipes from the United States to the Middle East. Typically, it is added to savory dishes due to its peppery flavor and is a key ingredient in many meals and meat-based preparations.

A bunch of fresh sage leaves on a mat

Nutrition Facts

Spices, sage, ground
Serving Size : 
Nutrient Value
Water [g] 7.96
Energy [kcal] 315
Protein [g] 10.63
Total lipid (fat) [g] 12.75
Carbohydrate, by difference [g] 60.73
Fiber, total dietary [g] 40.3
Sugars, total [g] 1.71
Calcium, Ca [mg] 1652
Iron, Fe [mg] 28.12
Magnesium, Mg [mg] 428
Phosphorus, P [mg] 91
Potassium, K [mg] 1070
Sodium, Na [mg] 11
Zinc, Zn [mg] 4.7
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg] 32.4
Thiamin [mg] 0.75
Riboflavin [mg] 0.34
Niacin [mg] 5.72
Vitamin B-6 [mg] 2.69
Folate, DFE [µg] 274
Vitamin B-12 [µg] 0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg] 295
Vitamin A, IU [IU] 5900
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg] 7.48
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg] 0
Vitamin D [IU] 0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg] 1714.5
Fatty acids, total saturated [g] 7.03
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g] 1.87
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g] 1.76
Cholesterol [mg] 0
Caffeine [mg] 0
Sources include : USDA [2]

Health Benefits of Sage

The combination of culinary uses with its undeniable medicinal impact makes sage valuable for your health. With that in mind, let’s take an in-depth look at the health benefits of sage.

Boosts Cognition

The research included in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics [3] has shown that even small amounts of sage extracts, whether inhaled or consumed, can help relieve symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease and increase recall abilities and memory retention in people. The brain activity also demonstrates increased concentration and focus on a chosen topic. For young people in school or for those in challenging, intellectually demanding careers, adding a bit of it to your diet may be a subtle, but effective, brain booster. More extensive research is needed to assess the impact of sage on memory and brain function.

Treats Inflammation

A study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology [4], claims that sage has the ability to treat many topical diseases that arise out of inflammation. [5]

Chewing on sage leaves is not always the most pleasant remedy, as the flavor can be quite intense, but this is the most effective way to get the organic compounds acting in your system. In many cultures, it is thought that creating a tincture or steeping the leaves – a sage brew – helps relieve inflammation of respiratory or gastrointestinal tracts, you can eliminate that inflammation with this sage brew.

The anti-inflammatory effects on issues such as arthritis and gout, and general inflammation of the cardiovascular system. The flavonoids and phenolic compounds found in it are responsible for these beneficial effects. More recently, studies have indicated that sage may have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects in the realm of dentistry. [6]

Antioxidant Properties

Chronic conditions and degenerative diseases can be some of the most debilitating and dangerous health concerns that you face in your life. Many of these are caused by free radicals, the dangerous by-products of cellular metabolism that attack healthy cells, causing apoptosis or mutation.

According to a study in the Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the antioxidant compounds found in sage – such as rosmarinic acid, luteolin, and apigenin, can work to neutralize free radicals and prevent them from creating oxidative stress in the heart, organ systems, skin, joints, muscles, and even the brain. [7]

Strengthens Immunity

There are some antimicrobial properties that have been identified in sage. While the herb is usually consumed in small quantities, you can create a topical application of sage (salve or tincture) and use it to reduce or prevent bacterial and viral infections that attack the body through the skin. We often think of illness entering through our nose or mouth, but the skin can also be compromised and be used as a gateway for foreign agents. A topical cream or antibacterial routine that includes sage could be an extra line of defense against that sort of illness vector.

Improves Bone Health

One of the most overlooked benefits of sage is its superior level of vitamin K, an essential vitamin for the body that isn’t commonly found in foods. Vitamin K is a crucial element in developing bone density and ensuring the integrity of our bones as we age. [8] If you suffer from early signs of osteoporosis or have lived a rather nutrient-poor, sedentary lifestyle, your bone health is likely low. Adding sage leaves to your diet can increase your vitamin K levels significantly, as a single serving has 27 percent of your daily recommended intake.

Skin Care

A topical salve or a tincture of the plant can be created using sage leaves, which has been shown to be effective against certain skin conditions, including eczemapsoriasis, and acne. These unsightly blemishes can be quickly soothed and their appearance can be reduced gradually if you regularly apply sage extracts and salves to the inflamed or affected areas.

Health benefits of sage - infographic

Manages Diabetes

According to a research study published in the British Journal of Nutrition [9], sage is an effective herb that assists in the control of diabetes. It contains certain extracts and chemicals that mimic the drugs typically prescribed for managing diabetes, such as metformin. It appears to regulate and inhibit the release of stored glucose in the liver, preventing major fluctuations of blood sugar, which can help to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes or at least manage the condition if it has already manifested.

Aids in Digestion

Rosmarinic acid, found in sage, is thought to act as an anti-inflammatory agent for the stomach, preventing gastric spasms and reducing the occurrence of diarrhea and gastritis. Adding it to your meals may get your entire digestive process back on track and reduce inflammation throughout the gut.

Word of Caution: Although there is not a measurable amount of oxalates or purines, nor is sage considered a typically allergenic herb, it is still in the mint family, so those who suffer from allergic reactions to members of that broad plant family should consult a doctor before adding it to their dietary regimen.

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 References
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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Kombucha vs. Apple Cider Vinegar By Rachel Fiske & vitaminworld.com

Kombucha vs. Apple Cider Vinegar: Probiotics Benefits

 

Fermented foods have been used medicinally around the world for centuries, and their myriad of health benefits have been long understood. Making fermented foods part of your regular diet will support both immune and digestive health, among other benefits. In fact, there are entire books written about the incredible properties of fermented foods and beverages.

According to Sandor Katz, author of the best-selling book Wild Fermentation, “fermentation makes foods more nutritious…microscopic organisms-our ancestors and allies-transform food and extend its usefulness. Fermentation is found throughout human cultures. Hundreds of medical and scientific studies confirm what folklore has always known: Fermented foods help people stay healthy.”

While there are various whole food and drink forms of fermented foods that are delicious and nutritious (sauerkraut, fermented pickles, miso and more), two of our favorite options come in beverage form, are easy to include on a daily basis, and offer major health promoting benefits. These two options are kombucha tea and apple cider vinegar.

Kombucha

Kombucha tea is a traditional, fermented beverage that has been consumed for thousands of years, and is thought to originate in China or Japan. It has made a comeback in recent years, as we learn more about its many health benefits, not to mention its delicious taste. Nowadays, you can buy it at your local health food store or you can make it at home.

Probiotic Benefits of Kombucha

Good gut bacteria (aka, probiotics) are important for optimal health and are particularly essential for proper digestive function.

Good gut bacteria (aka, probiotics) are important for optimal health and are particularly essential for proper digestive function. Kombucha tea is made by combining specific strains of good bacteria, sugar, and yeast with a tea (typically green or black), and allowing it to ferment. This fermentation process produces a probiotic-rich drink.

Good levels of healthy good bacteria can help to cool systemic inflammation and even promote weight loss.

Kombucha Contains all the benefits of green tea

Kombucha tea is often high in antioxidants, especially if a green tea is used. Studies have shown that green tea contains highly beneficial compounds such a polyphenols, which help to fight free radical damage in the body. Green tea has also been shownto improve blood cholesterol levels, balance blood sugar, and reduce belly fat.

Antioxidant-rich

Free radicals are potentially dangerous, reactive molecules that can damage cells and are a contributor to cancer cell proliferation. Antioxidants are key in fighting these molecules and are found in certain foods (primarily bright colored plant foods, such as berries). One study shows that antioxidants from foods are more beneficial than antioxidants in supplement form. While more research is needed, preliminary studies suggest that kombucha tea might even reduce liver toxicity.

Improve blood cholesterol levels

Especially if green tea is used (but also if it is not), kombucha has been proven to protect LDL cholesterol particles (“bad” cholesterol) from oxidation, which can put you at serious risk of heart disease.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

apple cider vinegarACV is also nothing new, as it’s been used for centuries in cooking, cleaning and for medicinal purposes. Similarly to kombucha, ACV has received attention in recent years for its wealth of healthy gut bacteria, and some of its benefits include weight loss, blood sugar regulation, and digestive support.

ACV for Digestive Function

If you suffer from acid reflux or GERD, ACV might just be the answer to your prayers. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of raw ACV into warm or room temperature water and drink 20 minutes before a meal to promote sufficient stomach acid and proper digestion.

Weight Loss Support

Studies have shown that ACV can support weight loss, mainly by helping achieve and maintain healthy blood sugar levels, therefore increasing satiety and controlling cravings. One study showed that including ACV with carb-heavy meals can decrease our total calorie consumption by up to 250 calories!

So, Which is Better? Kombucha or ACV?

Really, both of these probiotic rich drinks are great choices. You can include both (kombucha one day and ACV the next), or you might decide you prefer the taste of one over the other. Remember that flavored kombucha is much higher in sugar, so stick with 8 oz. serving sizes and always read nutrition labels. If you simply can’t stand the taste of either (they do tend to taste acidic), consider including a high-quality probiotic supplement, instead.

The most important factor is that you are getting plenty of healthy gut bacteria to support your overall health.

Be sure to consult a doctor before starting a new diet regimen. 

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