Green Tea

green

March is known as the “green month” Take a break from “green beer” and try green tea.

Green tea is a product  that can be prepared as a beverage, which can have some health effects. Or an “extract” can be made from the leaves to use as medicine.

It is also used for weight loss and to treat stomach disorders, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, bone loss (osteoporosis), and solid tumor cancers.

Antioxidants and other substances in green tea might help protect the heart and blood vessels.

Green tea originated in China, but its production has spread to many countries in the Asia.

tea-plant

Green tea is the most popular form of tea in China. Chinese green teas are made from over 600 different cultivars of the Camellia sinensis plant, giving plenty of variety and regional teas. Chinese green teas are traditionally pan-fired, unlike the Japanese steaming process. Other processes in China include oven-dried and sun-dried. Due to the different production process, Chinese teas are said to have a more “earthy” taste than Japanese teas.

Green tea is processed and grown in a variety of ways, depending on the type of green tea desired. As a result of these methods, maximum amounts of polyphenols and volatile organic compounds are retained, affecting aroma and taste. The growing conditions can be broken down into two basic types − those grown in the sun and those grown under the shade. The green tea plants are grown in rows that are pruned to produce shoots in a regular manner, and in general are harvested three times per year. The first flush takes place in late April to early May. The second harvest usually takes place from June through July, and the third picking takes place in late July to early August. Sometimes, there will also be a fourth harvest. It is the first flush in the spring that brings the best-quality leaves, with higher prices to match.

Bottom Line: Green tea is loaded with bioactive compounds that can have various beneficial effects on health.

Tea Time @ Sundown Tea
Tea Time @ Sundown Tea

Thanks to Wikipedia and SunDown Tea

Tattoo removal

 

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Tattoo removal has been performed with various tools during the history of tattooing. While tattoos were once considered permanent, it is now possible to remove them with treatments, fully or partially. Before the development of laser tattoo removal methods, common techniques included dermabrasion, TCA (Trichloroacetic acid, an acid that removes the top layers of skin, reaching as deep as the layer in which the tattoo ink resides), salabrasion (scrubbing the skin with salt), cryosurgery and excision which is sometimes still used along with skin grafts for larger tattoos. Some early forms of tattoo removal included the injection or application of wine, lime, garlic or pigeon excrement. Tattoo removal by laser was performed with continuous-wave lasers initially, and later with Q-switched lasers, which became commercially available in the early 1990s. Today, “laser tattoo removal” usually refers to the non-invasive removal of tattoo pigments using Q-switched lasers. Typically, black and other darker-colored inks can be removed completely. Two alternative removal methods are in development. Dalhousie University PhD student Alec Falkenham has developed a cream which promises to remove tattoos safely and painlessly. US Stemcell Inc and ClearIt LLC are collaborating on a product called ERASER.

A poll conducted in January 2012 by Harris Interactive reported that 1 in 7 (14%) of the 21% of American adults who have a tattoo regret getting one. The poll didn’t report the reasons for these regrets, but a poll that was done 4 years prior reported that the most common reasons were “too young when I got the tattoo” (20%), “it’s permanent” and “I’m marked for life” (19%), and “I just don’t like it” (18%). An earlier poll showed that 19% of Britons with tattoos suffered regret, as did 11% of Italians with tattoos.  Surveys of tattoo removal patients were done in 1996 and 2006 and provided more insight. Of those polled, the patients who regretted their tattoos typically obtained their tattoos in their late teens or early twenties, and were evenly distributed by gender. Among those seeking removals, more than half reported that they “suffered embarrassment”. A new job, problems with clothes, and a significant life event were also commonly cited as motivations.

Tattoo removal is most commonly performed using lasers that break down the ink particles in the tattoo. The broken-down ink is then absorbed by the body, mimicking the natural fading that time or sun exposure would create. All tattoo pigments have specific light absorption spectra. A tattoo laser must be capable of emitting adequate energy within the given absorption spectrum of the pigment to provide an effective treatment. Certain tattoo pigments, such as yellows, greens and fluorescent inks are more challenging to treat than darker blacks and blues, because they have absorption spectra that fall outside or on the edge of the emission spectra available in the tattoo removal laser. Recent pastel coloured inks contain high concentrations of titanium dioxide which is highly reflective. Consequently, such inks are difficult to remove since they reflect a significant amount of the incident light energy out of the skin.

Laser-tattoo-removal-DWidely considered the gold standard treatment modality to remove a tattoo, laser tattoo removal requires repeat visits. The newer Q-switched lasers are said by the National Institutes of Health to result in scarring only rarely and are usually used only after a topical anesthetic has been applied.

Multiple factors contribute to the success of laser tattoo removal, one of which is a patient’s own immune system. The Kirby-Desai scale parameters qualify the factors that can dictate tattoo removal success. Moreover, treatment on certain patients with immune system problems is contraindicated.

Laser tattoo removal is uncomfortable – many patients say it is worse than getting the tattoo on. The pain is often described to be similar to that of hot oil on the skin, or a “snap” from an elastic band. Depending on the patient’s pain threshold, and while some patients may forgo anesthesia altogether, most patients will require some form of local anesthesia. Pre-treatment might include the application of an anesthetic cream under occlusion for 45 to 90 minutes prior to the laser treatment session. A better method is complete anesthesia which can be administered locally by injections of 1% to 2% lidocaine with epinephrine.

Immediately after laser treatment, a slightly elevated, white discoloration with or without the presence of punctuate bleeding is often observed. This white color change is thought to be the result of rapid, heat-formed steam or gas, causing dermal and epidermal vacuolization. Pinpoint bleeding represents vascular injury from photoacoustic waves created by the laser’s interaction with tattoo pigment.

Although laser treatment is well known and often used to remove tattoos, unwanted side effects of laser tattoo removal include the possibility of discoloration of the skin such as hypopigmentation (white spots, more common in darker skin) and hyperpigmentation (dark spots) as well as textural changes.

Wikipedia

8 Facts About Bullying Everyone Should Know

BullyingDiscover some important facts about bullying

When it comes to bullying, most people feel like they understand the issue. But sometimes they have an incomplete picture of the problem. Here are eight facts that everyone should know about bullying.

Fact #1: Bullies come in all shapes and sizes.

It’s a mistake to assume that all bullies are loners or have low self-esteem. In fact, there are at least six common types of bullies. While some bullies do suffer from self-esteem issues, there are others who bully because they feel entitled.

Other kids bully because they too have been victims of bullying and others bully to climb the social ladder. Some kids even bully due to peer pressure.

Bullying involves having power over someone. As a result, many kids who bully have a craving for power. In other words, the bully is looking to improve his status.

Meanwhile, other kids participate in bullying because they view it as an effective method for controlling and manipulating the social hierarchy at school.

Fact #2: Anyone can become a victim of bullying.

While there are certain attributes that often lead bullies to target someone, it’s a mistake to assume there is one type of target. In fact, even the most popular kids at school can be victims of bullying. It’s important to remember that kids are bullied because the bully made a choice to target them.

As a result, it’s wrong to assume that some kids are bullied because they have a victim personality. When this idea is embraced, it removes the blame from the bully and places it on the victim. The responsibility for bullying always falls on the bullies.

They are the only ones with a choice in the matter. Likewise, labeling kids who are bullied lets the bully off the hook and implies the victim deserves to be bullied.

Fact #3: Bullying can happen at any age.

While bullying often starts in late elementary school and peaks in middle school, it’s important to point out that bullying can start as young as preschool.

While the majority of school bullying takes place in middle school, some bullying carries over into adulthood. In fact, workplace bullying is a growing problem.

It really doesn’t matter what age a person is, bullies focus on anyone who doesn’t fit the accepted norm and focus on that. They also will bully others they feel threatened by or those that have something they want. People also have been bullied because they look, act, talk or dress differently.

Fact #4: There are six types of bullying.

When most people picture bullying, they imagine a group of boys punching and kicking another boy. But physical bullying is only type of bullying. There are in fact six different types of bullying including physical bullying, verbal bullying, relational aggression, cyberbullying, prejudicial bullying and sexual bullying.

Fact #5: Boys and girls bully differently.

When it comes to bullying, boys and girls tend to bully differently. For instance female bullies tend to be “mean girls” who use relational aggression and cyberbullying to control and manipulate situations. Girls also resort to more name-calling and tend to bully only other girls.

Boys on the other hand tend to be more physically aggressive. This is not to say that they don’t call names and cyberbully others, but when it comes down to it, boys tend to punch and hit much more than female bullies. Additionally, male bullies will bully both girls and boys. They also are impulsive, menacing and enjoy the status they get from a fight.

Fact #6: Those victimized by bullying often don’t report it.

Despite the number of negative emotions and consequences of bullying, many targets of bullying do not tell anyone what is happening to them. The reasons for remaining silent vary from person to person. But for some tweens and teens, they are embarrassed, confused or feel they can handle it on their own. A number of young people also question whether or not telling will do any good. Unfortunately, some adults and school systems have established a pattern of not addressing bullying and young people feel that telling is won’t do any good.

Fact #7: Usually there are witnesses to bullying.

Frequently, when bullying occurs, other kids are present. Yet, the common reaction for these bystanders is to simply stand by and do nothing. For this reason, bullying prevention efforts should include ideas on how to empower bystanders to take action. Included in those programs are ideas on what bystanders can do if they witness bullying. Many times, kids remain silent because they are unsure what they should do or they feel it is none of their business. But the goal in bullying prevention is to capitalize on the audience a bully has and turn it toward helping the victim rather than silently supporting bullies.

Fact #8: Bullying has significant consequences.

Being targeted by a bully can have significant consequences for the victim. In fact, many victims feel alone, isolated and humiliated. And if bullying is left unaddressed a number of other issues can crop up including depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and even suicide. For this reason, it is important that parents and teachers realize that bullying is not a rite of passage and it won’t make victims stronger. Instead it has lasting consequences and should be dealt with swiftly and effectively.

:: Bullying Expert 

About.com

5 Creative Ways to Use Your Slow Cooker

Crock-pot-slow-cooker-6_6lYour slow cooker is good for more than just soups and stews! I’m Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien, and I’m here with five slow-cooker hacks that will change the way you look at your Crock Pot…

Spaghetti squash is the ultimate low-calorie pasta swap (you can have three cups of the stuff for just about 125 calories), but the process of turning the gourd into spaghetti-like noodles can be intimidating. Not to worry — a slow cooker makes it MUCH easier! All you have to do is put a whole spaghetti squash in your slow cooker with half a cup of water, and cook it on high for 2 1/2 hours. By the time the squash comes out, it’ll be tender enough to slice in half lengthwise and easily scoop out the seeds.

The only thing better than tacos are guilt-free tacos that practically make themselves…

Shredded pork: By combining decadent pork shoulder with lean pork tenderloin, you get a delicious dish that’s surprisingly low in calories. When you shred the meat after it’s cooked, the flavors all blend together. Click here for the full recipe!

Ground beef: Extra-lean ground beef is low in fat, and adding chopped veggies amps up the portion size.

This filling is great on crispy corn taco shells, or you can wrap it in lettuce leaves for a low-carb fiesta!

Slow cookers aren’t just for main dishes. One of my all-time favorite ways to use a slow cooker is to make desserts. This recipe for deconstructed apple pie has just 137 calories per serving – pretty reasonable for a bowl of ooey-gooey fruit deliciousness topped with whipped cream. If you’re more of a peach person, check out this recipe for scalloped peaches. The best part is that the peaches only take an hour and a half in the slow cooker before they’re cooked to perfection.

Turn on the slow cooker when you get home from work, and dessert will be ready after dinner!

I can’t talk about slow cookers without mentioning this life-changing Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese. The recipe mixes macaroni with cauliflower florets and butternut squash to maximize your serving size — you get a cup and a half for 255 calories… How many other mac and cheese recipes can say that? In the mood for something heartier? Check out this recipe for slow-cooker cheeseburger macaroni and cheese.

One of my favorite ways to slash carbs from sandwiches is to ditch the bread and wrap the filling with a cooked cabbage leaf. The problem: It’s nearly impossibly to remove an entire leaf from a raw cabbage and keep it intact. The solution: Your slow cooker! Place half a head of green cabbage in a slow cooker with 2 cups of water, then cook on high for 2 ½ hours. When the time is up, you’ll be able to easily remove the leaves and wrap ‘em around your favorite sandwich fillings.