24 Haziran 2013 Pazartesi

Side Effects of Hot Stone Massage



Side Effects of Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage is great for relaxing a painful, achy body but can lead to discomfort and injury when not done properly. This Buzzle article will take a look at the possible side effects of hot stone massage.





Did you know...... that black basalt stones are used hot for relieving pains and white marble stones are used cold for reducing swelling.Hot stone massage has been practiced since ancients times by Native Americans. It employs hot, volcanic stones to relax and soothe the body. The stones used are usually black and made of basalt which retain the heat pretty well. They also have to be very smooth, so as to avoid any injury to the skin. Naturally eroded river stones are said to provide the best effect.

The massage is a variation of the Swedish Massage, wherein the therapist uses heated stones, instead of bare hands, to relax the tissues. Some stones may be placed on pressure points to augment the effect. Hot and cold stones are often combined, to get maximum effect and stimulate the skin. It is said that the heat from the stones reaches deep in the tissue, and aids in relieving the various aches and pains. The massage and high temperature may also improve circulation and it is often used to relax tense or strained muscles.
Side Effects of Hot Stone MassageAlthough the hot stone massage is generally considered safe, some individuals may experience certain adverse effects.

Scalding and BurningWhile most trained therapist are careful, there is a chance of the stone heating too much. This can lead to burns, scalding and tissue damage. Complicating the matter further is the fact that some people might be more sensitive to heat and pressure than others, especially those with Type 1 skin type as per the Fitzpatrick Scale. This type of skin is characterized by a pale to very pale color and is often accompanied with light blue or green eyes and blonde hair.

Bruised and/or Sore SkinMany people feel a bit sore for a couple of days, especially those with low pain-tolerance and sensitive skin. The use of excess pressure by the therapist can also lead to bruising.

Pain or DiscomfortSome people do feel that their pains are amplified after a hot stone massage, reducing their pain threshold. Discomfort and stiffness too, are often heard complaints.

Increased Sensitivity to HeatThis treatment is said to improve circulation which may, in some people, increase the body's sensitivity to heat and lead to hot flashes, dizziness and headaches. Hence, this massage is not recommended for menopausal women and those taking certain medication, particularly hormones.

Increased Risk of InfectionThe use of stones involves intimate contact with the skin - the oil used to avoid abrasions and the pressure used during the massage mean that the stones slough-off skin. This inadvertent exfoliation also means that the stone comes in contact with infectious agents (bacteria, virus, fungus, etc.) that might be present on the skin. Further increasing the risk is the fact that spas are not required by law to change the water after each treatment. Although, the high heat and sanitizers used in the stone bath are sufficient to kill most bacteria, the risk of an infection still persists.

DehydrationThe heat and movement of stones on the body increases the blood flow to the surface of the skin, which means more water is being lost through the skin pores and might cause dehydration, which in turn might result in headache or dizziness.

Other EffectsA few other side effects that people experience are:
Headache
Nausea
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Runny nose
Increased perspiration or sweating
Almost all kinds of massages are generally considered safe with no known serious side effects. However, an inexperienced therapist can cause serious damage resulting in burns, tissue damage and even permanent scarring. For these reasons, it is always advised to go to a certified and experienced therapist. You also need to inform the therapist if you are pregnant, taking certain medications, or are suffering from certain health conditions, like asthma or allergies.



Health Benefits of Honeybush Tea



Health Benefits of Honeybush Tea
Commonly found in the jungles of South Africa, the Cyclopia or Honeybush plant is known the world over for its nutritional benefits. In recent times, various health experts have documented its benefits and mentioned honeybush as one of the healthiest alternatives to regular tea.





Did You Know?According to an article published in the 'Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry', the honeybush plant contains no caffeine, and hence does not cause caffeine-related problems.
Classified as a herbal plant indigenous to South Africa, Honeybush is also known as Bossiestee, Bergtee, Heuningtee, Boertee, and Bushtea by the locals. The plant is found in the coastal areas of the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces. It usually grows in the wild, and at present almost 23 to 24 honeybush species can be found. From these species, only the following are harvested extensively for commercial uses - Cyclopia subternata, Cyclopia sessiliflora, Cyclopia maculata, Cyclopia intermedia, and Cyclopia genistoides.

The leaves, stem, and flowers of the honeybush plant act as important ingredients in the tea-making process. The plant is easily recognized with its trifoliolate leaves, and sweetly scented bright yellow flowers. The shape of the leaves differ according to species, but are mostly needle-like thin. The tea is usually harvested during the flowering season - from September to October for the mountain and valley species, and from May to June for the coastal species.

Take a bag of honeybush tea and place it in a cup of hot water for 1 to 2 minutes. The longer you put the bag in the water, the more flavors it will release. Honey, milk, and sugar can be added to enhance the taste, but many prefer honeybush tea without any extra ingredients.
Honeybush Tea Health Benefits
Honeybush tea is completely pure and natural, and contains no additives, flavor agents, preservatives, or coloring agents.

Honeybush is extremely beneficial for women's health. It helps in regulating the menstrual cycle, and lowers the risk of osteoporosis and cancers of the breast and uterus.

The tea has been highly recommended for those suffering from cold and allergies. Honeybush's antibacterial properties keep a range of unhealthy bacteria at bay, and prepares the body to fight off future infections. It also helps in calming down the effects caused by severe cold and cough. Several health experts recommend honeybush to those suffering from asthma and chest congestion, as the nutrients of honeybush cause the phlegm to be expelled from the body.

The US National Institutes of Health states that honeybush tea is a rich source of antioxidants, and helps in eliminating free radicals - that destabilize DNA, and lead to various health conditions such as cancer and heart issues - from the body.

A cup of honeybush tea is known to provide the body with calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, potassium, and vitamin C.

Health experts also believe that drinking honeybush tea helps in effective weight loss, and treats various indigestion problems such as bloating and constipation.

Honeybush tea is also an anti-spasmodic, and is extremely helpful for people suffering from stomach cramps. Its anti-spasmodic properties can prove extremely helpful for stomach ulcers and heartburn.

In an experiment, South African scientists applied honeybush extracts to the skins of animals, and then introduced a tumor-inducing agent. They published their research in the June 2005 issue of 'Cancer Letters', where it was reported that applying honeybush extracts achieved a tumor prevention rate of almost 90%.

Due to its pleasant sweet taste, honeybush tea is a popular choice for people who need to keep their sugar in control.

Due to the recent surge in its popularity, many brands of honeybush tea can be found in local health food stores or can be ordered online. Make sure that you buy honeybush tea from a reputed source to reap all the benefits of this herbal tea.

Note: Pregnant women and those on medication are advised to consult a physician before introducing honeybush tea in their diet.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.



Pros and Cons of Using a Menstrual Cup



Pros and Cons of Using a Menstrual Cup
Menstrual cups, which are an alternative to sanitary pads and tampons, have been in the market since long, but are gaining popularity of late. Before you buy one, this Buzzle article takes you through the pros and cons of this sanitary product.





Did You Know?
A patent for the first version of a bell-shaped menstrual cup was filed way back in the year 1932.
Given that menstrual cups existed since the time that tampons did, they are not so widely used by women. However, these days, this product is being given serious consideration over tampons as an effective menstrual management method. To begin with, these cups, that act as a barrier, are worn inside the vagina to collect menstrual flow. They are of two types: (i) The first type appears like a diaphragm and is soft, flexible, and disposable; (ii) The other type is bell-shaped, made up of silicone or latex, and is reusable.

Even though women may take a while to get used to its insertion and removal, it is still considered a better option to tampons and sanitary pads, keeping in mind the hygiene, safety, and benefits that the product offers. There are different varieties of cups available in the market. Make sure you read the instructions properly as each product may differ. With good care, these cups can be used for as long as 5-10 years!

Diagram of a Menstrual Cup

The Pros of a Menstrual Cup
If we calculate on an average, a woman spends more than $3000 on disposable menstrual products. Given this comparison, one menstrual cup can be used for a period of ten years at a price of $25-50, making it quite an inexpensive product.
Tampons and pads contain some amount of harsh chemicals, bleach, and fibers that can lead to allergies or skin irritation. On the other hand, menstrual cups are made up of medical grade silicone, which makes them safe and hypoallergenic. Thus, there are reduced chances of toxic shock syndrome and irritation.
Tampons absorb all the moisture including the essential fluids in the vagina, which are otherwise needed to protect the area from the invasion of bacteria and maintain the correct pH levels. On the other hand, since menstrual cups are inserted inside the vagina, all they do is collect the menstrual fluid without disturbing the vaginal environment.
Compared to other reusable sanitary products, menstrual cups are easier to clean and sterilize after they are used.
Since the cups are reusable, they are eco-friendly as compared to the pads and tampons that are not biodegradable.
Menstrual cups can be safely worn for a period of up to 12 hours (on light/moderate flow days). This is almost twice the time a tampon is worn, and a woman knows that she is safe in cases when she may not have easy access to the lavatory.
These cups do not allow the menstrual fluid to come in contact with the vaginal walls and other surrounding areas, thus emitting less odor as compared to pads or tampons. Also, since these cups collect rather than absorb, there is no leakage of blood experienced (if emptied often), and there is no wetness felt in that area.
If you are into rigorous sports or some heavy physical activity, then menstrual cups can be a savior, as they can be worn during swimming, or any other rigorous activity.
If for medical reasons, a woman needs to note the amount of menstrual blood that is being discharged, a cup can tell the amount precisely. Also, some cups have markings on them, which makes it all the more accurate.
The Cons of a Menstrual Cup
If you are shifting to a menstrual cup, you will have to shell out some more dollars initially, as an individual cup will cost you between $25-$50. However, the cup being reusable can save a lot of money in the later stage.
Many women find it quite uncomfortable to use the menstrual cup in the initial stages, mostly when it comes to insertion or removal. With some practice, this difficulty can be solved. You can also try out different folding methods, which will make it easy for you.
You will take at least four to five cycles to get properly adjusted with a menstrual cup inside you.
A suction is created by the cup so as to remain firm inside, but this can create some discomfort for a few. The proper size and type of menstrual cup should be used in order to avoid this problem.
Using a cup can get a bit messy at times, as the collected blood has to be drained. There can be some spilling of blood while removing the cup, and if you get squeamish at the sight of blood, then using one won't be a very good option.
It is also advisable for women with uterine prolapse not to use a menstrual cup. This is because in such females, the pelvic organs slip out from their normal position, into or through the vagina. It is recommended to consult a gynecologist before going in for this option.
Just like tampons, even cups can disrupt or rupture the hymen. In case your culture has certain values regarding the evidence of your virginity, then it can deter women from using menstrual cups.
Before you decide to buy a menstrual cup, be sure that you are well-educated about the product. You may also consult a gynecologist if you have an IUD inserted, just delivered a baby, have a tilted uterus, or suffer from any other medical condition that may intervene while you wear this cup.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and should not be substituted for the advice of a medical professional.



How to Deal with Mom Fatigue



How to Deal with Mom Fatigue
Choosing the right foods that keep you energized throughout the day is a pre-requisite to combat fatigue effectively. The following Buzzle article discusses the changes that you need to make in your daily routine to cut back fatigue.





Did You Know?Dealing with mummy fatigue is all about prioritizing work that leaves you with ample time for yourself. It is also about making healthy lifestyle changes that replenish your energy levels and keeps you fresh and lively throughout the day.
Becoming a mother and taking care of a baby is a wonderful feeling. The first steps or the first words they utter are some of the most cherished moments of their growing up years. As a mother, you get so engrossed in nurturing the baby, that you tend to neglect your health.

You are always on your toes to ensure that your baby's needs are fulfilled at the earliest. However, your baby's daily care in addition to managing household chores is bound make you feel tired during the day. The new responsibility of meeting your baby's needs daily can take a toll on your health. You start experiencing frequent fatigue and become sluggish in carrying out your day-to-day routine. It is no surprise that new moms tend to struggle with fatigue and low energy levels.

Ways to Deal with Mummy Fatigue
1. Eat the Right FoodOften, wrong food choices are responsible for causing flagging energy levels that make you feel extremely tired. Start your day with foods that boost energy and prevent you from becoming sluggish. Your breakfast should essentially consist of foods rich in proteins and complex carbohydrates such as eggs, almonds, oatmeal, nut butter spread over slices of whole grain bread, whole grain porridge, and yogurt. These foods are 'fatigue fighters' as they provide sustained energy that will keep you active all day long.
2. Increase Iron IntakePersistent fatigue has also been attributed to iron deficiency anemia. This can happen when there has been heavy bleeding at the time of delivery. You need to add more iron to your diet to combat fatigue associated with this condition. Eat iron rich foods such as dark leafy green vegetables, dried fruits (prunes, raisins) and red meat. Also, talk to your doctor if it is necessary to have iron supplements.
3. Sleep Whenever PossibleMeeting the daily needs of your baby makes it impossible to have long hours of uninterrupted sleep. So, you need to sleep whenever time permits, especially when the baby snoozes off. A power nap of just 15-20 minutes in the afternoon can make you alert and keep you energized for the rest of the day.
4. Avoid CaffeineDrinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee is not a good option to combat fatigue. They may help to increase alertness but its side effects often manifest in the form of difficulty in sleeping. Insufficient sleep is bound to make you feel tired and lethargic. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that is known to 'snatch' away sleep. So, in order to get better quality sleep and have more energy, you need to stay away from caffeine.
5. Prioritize your WorkYou need to put yourself on top of your to-do list. Yes, baby care is important but that does not mean you ignore your health. Baby duties such as diapering and keeping the baby engaged while you take nap or prepare meals can always be divided with your partner. If your partner genuinely cares about you, he would be more than happy to take charge of nighttime baby duties.
6. Laughter HelpsOne of the best ways to relieve fatigue after a long tiring day is to get a couple of laughs. Enjoying few laughter inducing moments can certainly help to beat parenting stress. So, watch a comedy show or browse the Web for some funny jokes that give generous dollops of laughter.
7. Ask For AssistanceIn order to ease the burden of household chores, you can always request your relatives and even neighbors to temporarily share some of your responsibilities. This can also help to relieve the stress as well allow you to devote more time for yourself. If financially viable, you could engage the services of a professional nurse, expert in baby care. In fact, hiring a babysitter can give you ample spare time to take rest as well as for leisure activities such as listening to music, reading books, and watching movies.
8. MeditateA few minutes of meditation in the morning, or whenever you get time, eases the mind and is considered to be the best stress-reduction break. Just focus on your breathing pattern while meditating to calm the mind and combat 'new mom' stress. In fact just 10 minutes of mindful meditation can tune you to face the challenges of day-to-day life.
9. ExerciseExercise can also be an effective tool to combat fatigue. Light exercises such as a walk in the park is a stress buster and helps to relieve physical and mental fatigue. Studies have also shown that people doing moderate exercise daily feel less fatigued and experience an increase in energy levels. So, if you want to feel energized and improve efficiency, incorporate a moderate intensity exercise routine (aerobics, brisk walking) into your daily schedule.
Medical Conditions Associated with Mummy Fatigue
Hypothyroidism
Women experiencing persistent fatigue after delivery may be suffering from thyroid dysfunction. Also referred to as postpartum fatigue, this condition usually occurs 4-8 months after delivery. Postpartum depression has been associated with hypothyroidism, a condition that is marked by poor thyroid function, that leads to insufficient production of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism is treated orally with levothyroxine that contains synthetic thyroid hormones.
Hemochromatosis
Unexplained tiredness in busy moms may also indicate hemochromatosis, a condition in which iron levels are well above the normal range. Also referred to as iron overload, this is a genetic condition in which your ability to absorb iron increases dramatically, which causes joint aches and lethargy, apart from fatigue. Untreated hemochromatosis can eventually lead to heart failure, cirrhosis, and even diabetes mellitus.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.



Sauerkraut Health Benefits



Sauerkraut Health Benefits
As sauerkraut is derived from fermentation of cabbage, it is a good source of friendly bacteria, which makes it good for digestion. With vitamin C, folate, iron, and manganese present in sauerkraut, one can definitely say that sauerkraut has the goodness of nutrition.





Did You Know?A few tablespoons of sauerkraut everyday is all you need to reap its health benefits.
Sauerkraut is a vegetable dish that is obtained by fermenting cabbage. The fermentation process is carried out by various strains of lactic acid bacteria, that impart it a sour flavor. The two main ingredients of this dish are grated cabbage and salt. A generous amount of salt is mixed with shredded cabbage, which is then stored in an air-tight jar. The salty environment leads to the growth of friendly bacteria that ferment the grated cabbage. As salt is a preservative, sauerkraut remains fresh and does not spoil with age or from harmful pathogens.

Sauerkraut retains all the benefits of cruciferous vegetables. However, what sets sauerkraut apart from other vegetables is that it contains naturally occurring probiotics.

Benefits of Sauerkraut
Aids Digestion
As sauerkraut is obtained through the fermentation process, it contains a great deal of friendly bacteria that help in digestion. In fact, these beneficial bacteria that reside in the colon are absolutely necessary for digestion. They help the body to absorb nutrients from digested food. These naturally occurring compounds can also help to relieve an upset stomach that often occurs due to indigestion. Moreover, adequate presence of 'good' bacteria in the intestine prevents proliferation of harmful bacteria that cause infection. So, adding sauerkraut to your diet will not only help to improve your digestion, but also improve your immunity against infection.

The amount of 'beneficial' bacteria present in sauerkraut is also higher than those found in yogurt. Also, you may not have to take probiotic supplements or drinks if sauerkraut is an integral part of your diet. Many people have a hard time digesting raw cabbage but sauerkraut is easier to digest.
High in Nutrition
Being a cruciferous vegetable, sauerkraut provides the same goodness of nutrition. This fermented cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C, known to strengthen the immune system. It is also high in antioxidants that protect the body against free radicals, which are toxic molecules that can trigger extensive cellular damage. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, folate, dietary fiber, and manganese. Fresh cabbage contains vitamin B5 in miniscule amounts, but sauerkraut is found to be an excellent source of this nutrient.
Maintains Healthy Acidity Levels in the Intestine
Overgrowth of harmful microbes has often been attributed to low acidity in the stomach and intestine. Well, this is unlikely to occur if sauerkraut is included in the diet. This is because fermented cabbage is a good source of lactic acid, that supports healthy intestinal acidity, thereby making it difficult for pathogens to survive. Hence, people suffering from candidiasis (yeast infection) are often recommended to eat sauerkraut regularly.
Controls Blood Sugar
Eating sauerkraut is also found to be helpful in maintaining normal blood sugar levels. Thus, this fermented product may contribute in preventing drastic fluctuations in blood sugar, as well as control and reduce the risk of chronic ailments like diabetes and hypoglycemia.
Promotes Good Quality Sleep
Sauerkraut contains acetylcholine that helps to develop healthy sleep patterns. Apart from regulating the wake-sleep cycle, acetylcholine can also aid in improving memory and reducing blood pressure.
Good for the Heart
As cabbage is an important constituent of sauerkraut, it naturally contains flavonoids that exhibit cholesterol-lowering properties. Thus, sauerkraut in the diet will promote healthy cholesterol levels, helping to keep the heart function normal.
May Combat Cancer
A study reported in the 2002 edition of Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry showed that when fermented, cabbage releases isothiocyanates such as sulforaphane. Finnish researchers observed that isothiocyanates were able to shun the growth of cancerous tumors in laboratory animals. Test tube studies also displayed cancer-fighting capabilities of these compounds. Sauerkraut also contains indoles that have shown to impair cancer growth in animals. Although it is not yet clear whether these compounds will produce the same effect on humans, animal studies show promising results and further research may confirm its anti-cancer properties. However, the National Cancer Institute does advocate intake of foods containing isothiocyanates to prevent cancer.

Choosing Sauerkraut
Making sauerkraut at home is very easy, but if you are looking for commercially prepared sauerkraut, you need to choose the right one. Sauerkraut that is available in glass jars can be either pasteurized or unpasteurized. The heating process that forms an integral part of pasteurization robs sauerkraut of its enzymes and other essential nutrients. So, one should always choose the unpasteurized version as it is full of digestive enzymes that support pancreatic function and improve digestion.
Caution
Despite being a good source of essential nutrients, sauerkraut is moderately high in salt. So, people with high blood pressure (HBP) should exercise caution when it comes to having sauerkraut. Just a cup of sauerkraut provides a whopping 939 mg of sodium, which accounts for 63% of daily salt consumption for HBP patients. Also, too much intake of sauerkraut can cause excessive growth of 'good' bacteria, which may lead to bloating, abdominal cramps, and gas. People with pancreatitis and gastric ulcers are also advised to restrict intake of sauerkraut.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical professional.



Side Effects of Hot Stone Massage



Side Effects of Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage is great for relaxing a painful, achy body but can lead to discomfort and injury when not done properly. This Buzzle article will take a look at the possible side effects of hot stone massage.





Did you know...... that black basalt stones are used hot for relieving pains and white marble stones are used cold for reducing swelling.Hot stone massage has been practiced since ancients times by Native Americans. It employs hot, volcanic stones to relax and soothe the body. The stones used are usually black and made of basalt which retain the heat pretty well. They also have to be very smooth, so as to avoid any injury to the skin. Naturally eroded river stones are said to provide the best effect.

The massage is a variation of the Swedish Massage, wherein the therapist uses heated stones, instead of bare hands, to relax the tissues. Some stones may be placed on pressure points to augment the effect. Hot and cold stones are often combined, to get maximum effect and stimulate the skin. It is said that the heat from the stones reaches deep in the tissue, and aids in relieving the various aches and pains. The massage and high temperature may also improve circulation and it is often used to relax tense or strained muscles.
Side Effects of Hot Stone MassageAlthough the hot stone massage is generally considered safe, some individuals may experience certain adverse effects.

Scalding and BurningWhile most trained therapist are careful, there is a chance of the stone heating too much. This can lead to burns, scalding and tissue damage. Complicating the matter further is the fact that some people might be more sensitive to heat and pressure than others, especially those with Type 1 skin type as per the Fitzpatrick Scale. This type of skin is characterized by a pale to very pale color and is often accompanied with light blue or green eyes and blonde hair.

Bruised and/or Sore SkinMany people feel a bit sore for a couple of days, especially those with low pain-tolerance and sensitive skin. The use of excess pressure by the therapist can also lead to bruising.

Pain or DiscomfortSome people do feel that their pains are amplified after a hot stone massage, reducing their pain threshold. Discomfort and stiffness too, are often heard complaints.

Increased Sensitivity to HeatThis treatment is said to improve circulation which may, in some people, increase the body's sensitivity to heat and lead to hot flashes, dizziness and headaches. Hence, this massage is not recommended for menopausal women and those taking certain medication, particularly hormones.

Increased Risk of InfectionThe use of stones involves intimate contact with the skin - the oil used to avoid abrasions and the pressure used during the massage mean that the stones slough-off skin. This inadvertent exfoliation also means that the stone comes in contact with infectious agents (bacteria, virus, fungus, etc.) that might be present on the skin. Further increasing the risk is the fact that spas are not required by law to change the water after each treatment. Although, the high heat and sanitizers used in the stone bath are sufficient to kill most bacteria, the risk of an infection still persists.

DehydrationThe heat and movement of stones on the body increases the blood flow to the surface of the skin, which means more water is being lost through the skin pores and might cause dehydration, which in turn might result in headache or dizziness.

Other EffectsA few other side effects that people experience are:
Headache
Nausea
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Runny nose
Increased perspiration or sweating
Almost all kinds of massages are generally considered safe with no known serious side effects. However, an inexperienced therapist can cause serious damage resulting in burns, tissue damage and even permanent scarring. For these reasons, it is always advised to go to a certified and experienced therapist. You also need to inform the therapist if you are pregnant, taking certain medications, or are suffering from certain health conditions, like asthma or allergies.



Health Benefits of Honeybush Tea



Health Benefits of Honeybush Tea
Commonly found in the jungles of South Africa, the Cyclopia or Honeybush plant is known the world over for its nutritional benefits. In recent times, various health experts have documented its benefits and mentioned honeybush as one of the healthiest alternatives to regular tea.





Did You Know?According to an article published in the 'Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry', the honeybush plant contains no caffeine, and hence does not cause caffeine-related problems.
Classified as a herbal plant indigenous to South Africa, Honeybush is also known as Bossiestee, Bergtee, Heuningtee, Boertee, and Bushtea by the locals. The plant is found in the coastal areas of the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces. It usually grows in the wild, and at present almost 23 to 24 honeybush species can be found. From these species, only the following are harvested extensively for commercial uses - Cyclopia subternata, Cyclopia sessiliflora, Cyclopia maculata, Cyclopia intermedia, and Cyclopia genistoides.

The leaves, stem, and flowers of the honeybush plant act as important ingredients in the tea-making process. The plant is easily recognized with its trifoliolate leaves, and sweetly scented bright yellow flowers. The shape of the leaves differ according to species, but are mostly needle-like thin. The tea is usually harvested during the flowering season - from September to October for the mountain and valley species, and from May to June for the coastal species.

Take a bag of honeybush tea and place it in a cup of hot water for 1 to 2 minutes. The longer you put the bag in the water, the more flavors it will release. Honey, milk, and sugar can be added to enhance the taste, but many prefer honeybush tea without any extra ingredients.
Honeybush Tea Health Benefits
Honeybush tea is completely pure and natural, and contains no additives, flavor agents, preservatives, or coloring agents.

Honeybush is extremely beneficial for women's health. It helps in regulating the menstrual cycle, and lowers the risk of osteoporosis and cancers of the breast and uterus.

The tea has been highly recommended for those suffering from cold and allergies. Honeybush's antibacterial properties keep a range of unhealthy bacteria at bay, and prepares the body to fight off future infections. It also helps in calming down the effects caused by severe cold and cough. Several health experts recommend honeybush to those suffering from asthma and chest congestion, as the nutrients of honeybush cause the phlegm to be expelled from the body.

The US National Institutes of Health states that honeybush tea is a rich source of antioxidants, and helps in eliminating free radicals - that destabilize DNA, and lead to various health conditions such as cancer and heart issues - from the body.

A cup of honeybush tea is known to provide the body with calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, potassium, and vitamin C.

Health experts also believe that drinking honeybush tea helps in effective weight loss, and treats various indigestion problems such as bloating and constipation.

Honeybush tea is also an anti-spasmodic, and is extremely helpful for people suffering from stomach cramps. Its anti-spasmodic properties can prove extremely helpful for stomach ulcers and heartburn.

In an experiment, South African scientists applied honeybush extracts to the skins of animals, and then introduced a tumor-inducing agent. They published their research in the June 2005 issue of 'Cancer Letters', where it was reported that applying honeybush extracts achieved a tumor prevention rate of almost 90%.

Due to its pleasant sweet taste, honeybush tea is a popular choice for people who need to keep their sugar in control.

Due to the recent surge in its popularity, many brands of honeybush tea can be found in local health food stores or can be ordered online. Make sure that you buy honeybush tea from a reputed source to reap all the benefits of this herbal tea.

Note: Pregnant women and those on medication are advised to consult a physician before introducing honeybush tea in their diet.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.