5 Teas With Magical Properties

5 Teas With Magical Properties

What’s in a tea? Well, hundreds of benefits are hidden within this coloured water that not so many people are particularly fond of. Summer is a great time to take up this wonderful habit, by creating the most appealing ice teas and thus benefiting from their magical powers. These 5 teas with magical properties are definitely worth the try.

What few of us know is the fact that the word “tea” is correctly used for the following types only: green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea. The rest should simply be referred to as infusions. The five kinds are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India, and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. They all protect against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries. Oolong and black teas are oxidized or fermented, so they have lower concentrations of flavonoids than green tea, but nevertheless their antioxidising power is still high.

I. Green tea makes you smart and slim

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Green tea is supposedly the healthiest beverage on our planet. It contains more than just plain caffeine. Apart from the fact that it produces a response without causing the “jittery” effects associated with too much caffeine, it also has the amino acid L-theanine, which increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. It also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain.

In other words, these two components mixed together are particularly capable of improving overall brain function.

Apart from making you smart, your drinking at least three cups of green tea a day is recommended to raise the body’s metabolic rate. It is believed that the catechins found in it increase the production of heat within the body, which is related to burning calories. These compounds may inhibit certain chemicals in the brain, thus prolonging this process.

II. Black tea makes your teeth healthy

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Black tea was proved to reduce plaque formation as well as restricting bacteria growth that promotes the formation of cavities and tooth decays. The flavonoids found in black tea kill and surpass cavity bacteria as well as inhibit the growth of bacterial enzymes that form along with that sticky white thing on our teeth that attracts plaque like a magnet.

III. White tea keeps your bones healthy

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White tea’s antioxidants and anti-aging properties not only protect and help reverse damaged skin, but a regular intake of white tea can improve bone density and strength, and may provide a natural relief from the symptoms of osteoporosis.

IV. Oolong tea makes your skin look healthy and young

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According to the Tea Association of the United States, oolong tea falls somewhere between green and black teas, as its leaves are only partially oxidized.

Patients diagnosed with eczema are recommended to drink 3 cups of oolong tea per the day. The beneficial results of oolong tea are likely to be seen in less than a week in these patients. All oolong tea drinkers show remarkable improvement in their skin.

Keep in mind that despite its miraculous effects, oolong tea tends to be very high in caffeine, which is not the healthiest component of this beverage. So if a healthy skin is your aim, try not to exaggerate and drink more than 3 cups a day.

V. Pu-erh tea is the best hangover cure

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In traditional Chinese herbalism, pu-erh tea is considered to open the meridians and warm the spleen and stomach. It helps digestion and cleans your blood. It is often consumed after heavy meals or drunk as a hangover cure or preventative.

The microbial aging of pu-erh tea can result in the production of lovastatin, a natural statin that is used to lower levels of bad cholesterol such as LDL. One study found that the longer this type of tea was aged, the more statin was produced.

 

So drink up! It is recommended to have a slightly hot cup of tea every time you feel hot, and your body’s temperature will return to its regular value.

The 11 Best Edible Flowers from Your Garden

11 Best Edible Flowers from Your GardenIf gastronomic variety is your thing, maybe you should try adding a totally different type of food in your menu. I’m talking about flowers here. They’ve been the romantic touch in a special menu for thousands of years. They are healthy, good looking and they smell so very nice. Let’s take a brief look at the 11 best edible flowers from your garden.

Edible culinary flowers are useful for a variety of dishes, from main dishes to desserts, and from salads to decorative presentations. Throughout the years they have been eaten by Europeans, Asians, East Indians, Victorian English, and Middle Eastern. Early American also used flowers as food. Tangled pea vines along with primitive roses are painted on Bronze Age artifacts. Also mustard flowers were included in Roman love potions so as to take advantage of their aphrodisiac powers.

Let’s begin with an obvious one:

No. 1: Lavender

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Lavender flowers add a sweet floral note to your food, and are commonly used to flavor honey, cakes or teas. The blooms can also be eaten with cheese, or can be crystallized to create sugar decorations. They can also be added to meat or salads.

No. 2: Violets

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They can be included in salads, vinegar, jelly, butter or flavored spreads or simply used as plate garnish or in salads. They can easily be candied or added to your daily tea. Both flower and leaf are edible.

No. 3: Rose petals

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Roses are a famous food enhancement. We’ve all heard of the magical rose water, but maybe not everybody has had roses in syrups, decorations on icing, ice cream, dessert garnishes, jellies, jams, flavored butters or ice cubes. Feel free to toss all colors in salads, steep them in vinegar, or dry for tea.

No. 4: Hibiscus

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Hibiscus is widely used around the world. Its most famous usage involves all sorts of teas. These flowers may flavor and color a beverage, be eaten raw, steamed, or pickled.

No. 5: Dandelions

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We’ve all got them in our gardens somewhere, don’t we? Well it appears these flowers are extremely delicious when added in salads. They taste like honey, so fruit salads are an option, too. All parts of this common yard-flower are zesty and edible.

No. 6: Marigolds

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You should give them a try in salads, and bear in mind the fact that they are a great substitute for the precious saffron. However pay attention to the type you eat, because not all of them are edible.

No. 7: Daylilies

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Make sure to use them during daytime, as they close their petals during the night. They are traditionally used in Central Mexico’s cuisine. Their flavor is somewhere between sweet lettuce and green beans, with a peppery freshness reminiscent of the best radish.

No. 8: Daisies

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Apart from including them in your salad, their buds may be pickled like capers, and here you have a cheaper substitute for the delicious Mediterranean seasoning.

No. 9: Sunflowers

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The buds, petals and seeds are all edible. Add the petals to a green salad for a color contrast and a mild nutty taste. The green buds can be blanched, then tossed in garlic butter; they are similar in flavor to a Jerusalem artichoke. The kernels inside the seeds can be eaten raw or toasted as a snack.

No. 10: Tulips

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Tulip petals have a sweet, pea-like flavor and a tender crisp texture. Try stuffing whole flowers with a shrimp or chicken salad. Carefully remove pollen and stigmas from the base of the flower before stuffing. Or just feel free to add them to your salads or sandwiches.

Let’s finish with an even more obvious one:

No. 11: Jasmine

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The flowers are intensely perfumed and are traditionally used for scenting tea, but can also be added to shellfish dishes or fruit salads. Be careful though, because only jasmine officinale is edible. They other type is highly poisonous.

Well you definitely have some challenging weekend homework. Give them a try. They really taste incredible. You can also look some recipes up on the Internet, where you are likely to find something according to your own desire and appetite.

The 6 Oldest Things on Our Planet

This article was inspired by The Oldest Living Things in the World, by Rachel Sussman that I’ve recently come across. She reportedly spent the last decade looking for things more than 2000 years old, and photographed them.  It is a highly inspirational book that combines personal stories, scientific data provided by a scientist who co-wrote the book with her. However this post isn’t about her book, but it’s more about an attempt to present the 6 oldest things on our planet.

Trivia: Avocados

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The funny thing is that avocados are the only trees that didn’t become extinct with the dinosaurs a long time ago. They reportedly evolved during the era of the great mammals, when mammoths and giant sloths would eat the fruit whole and disperse the seed through their poop. So, when all these animals went extinct, wild avocados should have vanished with them. How the avocado still exists in the wild after surviving its evolutionary failures remains a puzzle.

The Aldabra Giant Tortoise

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Say Hello! to Adwaita (“one and only” in Sanskrit). Well you could’ve have still done that back in 2006, because that’s the year of her death. It lived between 1750 and March 23 2006, and was a 550-pound male Aldabra giant tortoise living in the Alipore Zoological Gardens of Kolkata, India. It is supposedly the oldest known tortoise on record. The tortoise was initially owned by General Robert Clive, an important member of the East India Company, who got addicted to opium and killed himself in 1774. Barely a youngster at that time, Adwaita hovered around for a bit before eventually being transferred to the Indian zoo in 1875.

Charlie the Macaw

Blue Charlie was born in 1899 and is still alive. His current owner said he was a favorite pet of Winston Churchill’s, who supposedly acquired Charlie in 1937 after the bird had already managed to outlive two previous owners. He is said to know some dirty phrases about Hitler and the Nazis.

Ocean Quohog

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This entry serves as the absolute star of our list. The Arctica islandica, commonly named the ocean quahog, stirred quite a fuss when scientists discovered it. Her celebrity name was Ming, named after the Chinese dynasty during which she was born. When she died in 2006, experts believed she was the oldest living animal ever recorded, 507 years.

The sad thing about Ming is the fact that scientists accidentally killed it while dragging it up off the coast of Iceland. Afterwards Ming was also frozen along with many others, for transport back to the lab for climate change research.

“Hanako” the Koi Fish

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Koi fish are ornamental varieties of domesticated common carp (Cyprinus carpio) that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens. But this one beat all odds. Hanako, meaning “flower maid”, was officially the world’s oldest koi carp and died on July 7, 1977 at the age of 226 years.

Bowhead Whales

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They are baleen whales of the right whale family Balaenidae that can grow up to 66 feet in length. They live entirely in fertile Arctic and sub-Arctic waters, unlike other whales that migrate to feed or reproduce to low latitude waters and are listed by the National Marine Fisheries Service as “endangered” under the auspices of the United States’ Endangered Species Act.

One of the whales scientists analyzed was apparently 211 years old, this turning it into the oldest known mammal that still exists to this day.

What Sussman talked about in her book are mostly all plants, lichen or coral, but everything she has photographed for the project is at least 2,000 years old. Well our creatures from the list are not only a bit younger, but they had and some of them still have distinct personalities. Well, maybe not the avocados.

4 Religions Scarier Than Chucky

5 Religions Scarier Than Chucky

When it comes to religon, people can be strange indeed. According to Wikipedia, the major religious beliefs around the world are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Nevertheless people have felt free to invent their own in a desperate attempt to create something according to their own ways of thinking, acting and believing.  Some of these are scarier than Chucky. So here they are: 4 religions scarier than Chucky the doll.

The Church of Euthanasia

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Their own words are beyond anything I could write down as an accurate description. Here they are: “The Human population is increasing by one million every four days. This is a net increase of 95 million per year, the current population of Mexico. Even major wars or epidemics hardly dent this rate of growth, and modern wars also have tremendous environmental consequences. It is for these practical reasons, as well as moral ones, that we support only voluntary forms of population reduction.

The Church has only one commandment, and it is “Thou Shalt Not Procreate.” In addition, we have four “pillars” or principles, which are Suicide, Abortion, Cannibalism and Sodomy.

Note that cannibalism is only required for those who insist on eating flesh, and is strictly limited to consumption of the already dead. Also note that sodomy is defined as any sexual act not intended for procreation.” Amen.

P.S. Their pretentious language, something between Shakespeare and modern American English is just breathtaking!

Jediism

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“This one is pretty clear,” you’d be tempted to say at a first glance. “They’re probably just a bunch of Star Wars fans playing around.” Not quite…

Ok, so they really believe in The Force, as an energy that holds the Universe together and flows through every material thing. This is far from being an original idea. Come on now, every Eastern religion has this belief as guidance. They’re more of a blend between Taoism and Buddhism that also incorporates elements of medieval chivalry. While there’s no formal central doctrine, all this is loosely referred to as the “Jedi Code”. However this code encourages the following principles: “There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is the Force” Ok, now. They are less creepy than Chucky, but you can’t deny the fact that they belong to the same world: children’s world.

The Church of Ed Wood

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Following the film industry, it seems it succeeded in creating a bunch of spiritual stuff for every living soul out there. So here’s Woodism, or a religion dedicated to the worst film directors of all time. So this guy is regarded as one of the saviour, though not THE saviour. They are basically upholding the morals and ideals of Edward D. Wood and preaching Ed’s message of total understanding and acceptance, regardless of what modern society may say.

Wood was also a transvestite in 1950s America. So this is where their acceptance is coming from. Creepy…

Raëlism

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Raëlism is a UFO religion. It was founded by Claud Vorilhon, now known as Raëland it is, as far as the number of followers is concerned, the largest such religion in the world after Scientology. So in case you didn’t know that, the Elohim is a group of extraterrestrials who posed as angels and deities in their relationships with early humans and created life on our planet.  Raël is the last human contacted by the Elohim to prepare us for their imminent return.

According to Raël, he was dictated a message explaining our origins and future in December 1973, during personal meetings with a 25,000-year-old extraterrestrial named Yahweh, who came in a UFO. The message dictated to Raël during this encounter states that the Elohim contacted about forty people to act as their prophets on Earth, such as those who founded the world’s major religions like Moses, Buddha, Jesus or Muhammad. When all wars are over, the Elohim will visit Earth once again.

5 Reasons Why We Don’t Like Keira Knightley

5 Reasons why we don’t Like Keira Knightley

This is more like a response to the previous 5 Reasons Why We Love Zooey Deschanel movie post, which was just too adorable. Well it’s time for some amusing negativity now, revolving around one of Hollywood’s most debated actresses. Here are 5 reasons why we don’t like Keira Knightley and could never like her unless she decides upon a totally new approach. What kind of approach? Beats me.

1.   She is not convincing

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Well it goes without saying that her acting skills need a little more practice. However she seems to get all the great parts and therefore earn millions and she even gets nominated for Oscars for being completely wooden! How come? And you can see she’s trying, but doing it all wrong, all the time. There are hundreds of young talented actresses out there. What are they afraid of when picking Keira Knightley for the 80th time? Don’t they know she will be the same? She always is, despite the character.

2.   She seems infatuated

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I’m sorry t admit this, but she just has the most annoying accent. She should do something about it, and be able to hide it once in a while. This would definitely bring a pale of fresh air to her next role. I mean for Pirates of the Caribbean it worked perfectly, but come on now; she clings to it even when she has to play a down-and-out street girl like the one in Bend it Like Beckham. It’s like a constant Look at me, I’m so delicate message delivered all the time, 24/7.

3.   She has a chin problem

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This is actually a highly discussed subject. This thing she does with the lower part of her face: she loves to jut out her chin whenever she has to express frustration or strength, or hard decisions in the face of a whatever overwhelming experience her character is going through. Well, all these “things” are called emotions, and an actor is supposed to actually recreate them inside of him. The jaw will eventually come out on its own, supposing it will feel compelled to do it

4.   She is pouting all the time

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This pout thing is a secret weapon belonging to a lot of young girls looking for approval. They do seem more interesting, more involved and giving while doing this silly thing with their lips. The pouting however is more used than the chin thing. Well she’d use it on just any occasion she has something to express. The chin is for the hard scenes, while the pout is for the lighter ones.

5.   She is not a real actress

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Well is high time she took up some acting courses, don’t you agree? Despite her parents being actors, Keira just seems to have skipped all acting courses she ever came across. She needs to learn how to be real, and convincing and how to really act out a situation. Everybody knows she’s not a professional actress, but with all her success she ought to improve her skills, at least for the sake of the public.

Nevertheless hopefully success didn’t go to her head completely. We’re certain that she is a perfectly decent young lady, and she is aware of all the comments people are making about her. Her being down to Earth was proved in this statement: “I completely agreed on every level,” said Knightley. “I didn’t go to drama school, so I didn’t get the training. It was difficult to get over that: ‘What am I doing? I’m pretending that I can do this and everybody’s telling me I can’t.’”  Please take up some acting lessons, Keira!