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  1. Suprising Facts about TEA

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    tea pot

    All tea comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. It is  the way the plucked leaves are processed, that changes its character, chemical composition and appearance.


    White tea, the youngest leaves

    White tea is thought by many to be one of the highest prized teas you can drink. Always handpicked, a high quality white tea is given such care ensuring the natural withering process and gentle drying are the only process the leaves are exposed to. Just as in green, black and oolong tea, white tea is from the plant Camellia sinensis. New growth buds and young leaves are plucked before they are fully open and it is the silver hairs on the new buds that give the young leaves a white appearance. The removal of any real processing is believed to yield the high antioxidant health benefits associated with white tea identified in recent studies.

    Green tea

    Green tea is one of the least processed teas. As a result, it retains high levels of antioxidants (polyphenols), often referred to as ECGC or catechins, and it is their abundance that provides us with some specific green tea health benefits reported in many of the leading health journals - one of the more topical ones is of course green tea's ability to boost the metabolism and burn fat. Many regions produce green tea, however the more well known are from China and Japan.


    Pouchong is classed as between Oolong tea and Green tea. It has a more mellow taste than Oolong tea yet stronger than Green tea. Pouchong tea is considered to be a special taste by tea experts all over the world. Pouchong tea is only slightly oxidised, between 8 and 10 % and the process involves solar withering, indoor withering, panning, rolling and then drying for the finished tea.

    Oolong tea

    Oolongs as a group, are classed as 'semi-oxidised' which means the leaves have been left to wither, a process which produces a chemical change in the leaf, oxidation. The physical change visible is the leaves begin to curl and the edges begin to turn a coppery colour. To produce Oolong tea, this process is stopped before fully completed and thus the leaves are 'semi -oxidised'. The variety within oolong tea is largely due to the point in the process the oxidisation is stopped, and that is where the skill of the tea master comes into play to ensure the quality and consistency required for each tea.Oolong tea', 'wulong tea', 'wuyi tea', 'wu yi' tea - what's the difference? These are simply names for the same thing: oolong tea. The different names originate from the different areas they are produced

    Black tea

    The reason black tea is different is because the plucked leaves are 'fully oxidised'. There are many variations of methods and processes used by tea producing regions, hence the wonderful variety of colour and flavour.

  2. Stroke

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    blood clot


    Stroke has a new indicator! They say if you forward this to ten people, you stand a chance of saving one life. Will you send this along? Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue:

    During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ...she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.

    They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening.

    Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.

    It only takes a minute to read this.

    A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.


    Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and


    Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

    Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

    S *Ask the individual to SMILE.

    T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A

    SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
    (i.e. Chicken Soup)

    R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

    If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

    New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue

    NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is

    'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke.

    A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved.

    I have done my part. Will you?

    Blood Clots Cause Strokes: What Are The Symptoms Of A Stroke

    Blood Clots http://patientassistanceprogramsofame
    If You Have Symptoms Of A Stroke, Blood Clots Can Kill You If Don't Act Fast.

  3. Volunteers needed

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    Can you help?

    Have you got time on your hands and an interest in what we do?  We are on the look out for volunteers  It gets a bit hectic around here and we sometimes have to pull out all the stops and multi-task but we're friendly, like a laugh and have fun

    We are especially looking for help for our psychic night. You will get to go to some of the group things  for free if you are one of our helpers.  We want people to do things  like being on the door and handing out drinks etc or guiding people to the right place.

    Who knows if you make yourself indispensible we may offer you a job (that's if you want one of course)
    email  or phone 0161 764 1440 and ask for Andrea or Barry to find out more.

  4. Wonderful Beetroot

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    beetrootBeetroot - How to Buy

    If you have only ever had beetroot in a jar pickled or in a pouch precooked then you don't know what you are missing.  As with many things the taste of freshly prepared beetroot is far removed from the processed kind on the supermarket shelves.
     Look for beetroot that still has its luscious leaves attached - you can eat them.  In fact some might say they are the tastiest part of the plant.
    It's best to leave attached until you are ready to eat as both parts help to keep the whole fresh for longer. You will soon find that the extra you pay for the fresh beetroot will earn its keep with the versatile things you can do with it..

    The leaves

    First to cook the leaves. Depending on the size of the beetroot you should allow about one set of leaves per person for a generous helping.  Chop them off the root near to the bulb and wash well, chop like cabbage and boil or steam just like cabbage or spinach. You will find they are acreamier and sweeter version of spinach, very like the multi coloured beet leaves that you can buy sometimes.  You can serve with a little butter and season to taste.  So with the average bunch you have around four generous portions.

    The root

    One of the healthiest way to eat the root is to simply peel it and grate it into a salad.

    But you can also do several other things with it.

    You can boil it.  After peeling chop it into quarters or bite sized pieces and drop into a pan of boiling water or a steamer.  Cook until you can easily stick a knife into it (like testing poratoes).  Serve as a warm vegetable. it has a much stronger and sweeter flavour than the prepacked ones you can buy.

    Or try rinsing it off and leaving it to completely cool.  Prepare a salad of mixed leaves with greek feta or salad cheese then toss in some cold cooked beetroot and some fresh figs cut into quarters ...delicious.

    You can Roast it.  Peel and roast as you would any roast vegetables by oiling an oven tin and brushing the vegetables with olive oil, seasoning and a sprig or two of Rosemary (optional).  Place in a medium oven for about  30 - 40 mins or until redy when tested with a knife.

    Try this recipe for roasted beetroot.  It's very simple and delicious.

    Roast some fresh beetroot and sweet potato cubes seasoned and with a sprig of Rosemary and some chopped Rosemay sprinkled over.

    While it is cooking take some quinoa (white is best as a contrast to the topping).  Add some good quality vegetable stock and simmer for 15 mins approx.  Put enough water in to cover and watch carefully topping up when needed.  The idea is that the water and stock will abosrb into the quinoa and you should not need to drain it. You are wanting the quinoa to be cooked so that it is soft but not overcooked so that it becomes like porridge.  It should be almost like mashed potato, soft and fluffy.

    To serve

    Place a bed of the quinoa on the plate and arrange the cubes of beetroot and sweet potato on top.  Drizzle with a small amount of honey and cider vinegar if desired.  When roasted the beetroot has a very rich strong flavour and is quickly satisfying so go easy on the portions.


  5. What to expect from the natural approach

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    Back in the day when you were ill there were lots of remedies available to help you get better.  Not only that but there were regular seasonal precautions that were just simply part of life,  Tonic to prepare for winter, preparations to cool you down for the summer months (I think there was summer then).  People relied on themselves and went to the doctor as a last resort.

    These days it seems to have turned on its head.  Pharmaceutical companies are reasearching all the time to develop new drugs to combat each and every complaint imaginable.  They have done some fantastic work in certain areas but on the money trail they have tried to make our health perfectly comfotable and undisturbed.

    Well in the interested of a visit to the dark side to appreciate the light the the odd mild illness now and then has got to be good for us, for our immunity and our psyche.

    Yet we turn, straight away, to the pharmaceutical solution which is super fast acting in many cases, so we can get straight back on with our lives without interuption.  Yet those very things that we take most often have nasty side effects, that gradually introduce new discomforts, for which there is an eqully fast and effective pharmaceutical waiting on the sidelines. And so it goes on until your body can no longer cope with all the wellness that the drugs are promoting for you.

    The alternative is to take a natural approach.  Many drug are developed from examples in nature  being  chemically replicated  in a much more intense form anyway.

    The trouble is,  the natural way is a milder and more long drawn out way but many would argue that while you are drawing out your recovery there is also a good chace that you could be prolonging your life.

    There are certainly some cases where pharmaceutical drugs are neccessary and pain in once such instance where if it is of a certain intensity the stress to your body and well being is more damaging to you than taking pain killers, but there is nothing wrong with attempting to take the minimum that you need and introducing natural ways to supplement and possibly  cut back on your drugs.

    When taking natural sustances for any condition it is not good to take too much of one sustance and so it is essential to take several sources diligently so that you have a constant supply of the enhancing natural remedy in your body.  Eventually (and it could take several months) you will find that you are developing  a resistance to the condition to you trying to combat and it may be feasible to cut back on any drug.  This should always be done with the cooperation of your doctor or consultant.  Unfortunately some are not willing to cooperate but many are very pleased that you are interested in self-help.

    It is now recognised that for most conditions your mind plays a big part too.  If you allow the condition to dominate your life you will feel it more intensly and therefore need more medication.  However, if you are determined to ignore it as far as possible and carry on with your life as best you can the intensity will be less.  An example of this is with children who get a bump and cry.  Distracting them or even choosing a designer plaster to apply distracts them from the hurt.  Cuddling and sympathising prolongs the crying.

    While a bit of both is nice it is true that if you are thinking about the pain or discomfort you feel it more.  Hypnosis for pain works on this principle.

    You can take natural fresh herbs as an infustion for instance or you can take in the form of supplements that, if they are of practitioner qualitiy have carefully measured doses.

    You really should take great care though and ask advice or seek a consultation with a nutritional therapist or herbalist if your condition is complicated.

    Some herbs have contra indications for some conditions and therefore should be avoided.

     if you have any particular condition that you would like to share and get some advice on then put the details below and we will do our best to give yuou some guidelines about what could be helpful but we cannot give specific advice on line and any advice would not replace a consultation with your medical professional.




  6. Good to Get Nettled!

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    If you take walks in parkland and country lanes you may be noticing nettles starting to Spring up!
    So what? You might say I can take them and even prefer to leave them because brushing too close can leave me with a nasty rash that may or may not be relieved by rubbing the juice of an adjacent dandelion or dock leaf into the offending area.

    Okay then nettles can be unpleasant if not handled properly but if handled with care they can bring us a raft of possible health benefits.

    Many people don’t realize that nettle if nothing else can brew an excellent herbal tea that compares well with green tea and other herbal brews and at this time of year when there is an abundance of fresh nettle about it tastes much better than the dried tea bag version.

    So what other health benefits has nettle to offer.?

    Like a number of other green herbs nettle acts as a diuretic but it has also been associated with expectorant qualities and pain relief as well as a tonic.

    It has been known to help with anaemia and arthritis and rheumatism, hey fever and other allergic disorders.

    Nettle has been used in hair care products as it is said to stimulate the follicles and regulate excessive scalp oil.

    If none of these impresses  you then drinking nettle tea, eating nettle soup or nettle spinach can supplement your mineral intake if you are short as the nettle contains up to ten minerals including: calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sulphur and zinc.
    If that’s not enough it also contains fatty acids and a number of B vitamins.

    Remember, while nettle is not guaranteed to solve health problems it may help with some ailments and as we have said at the very leats makes an excellent tea!

    Some nettle tips. When gathering nettle use gloves and plastic bag to protect you from stinging .
    Wash thoroughly in running water to clear off any dirt and bugs.

    If making tea pouring boiling water over some leaves will neutralize the stinging effect as will cooking if you are making soup or spinach.

    Barry Todd (Nutritional Therapist)