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How to Have a Successful Life after Your Brain Injury

 

 

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is not the end of your life, nor is it the end of hope for a better future. While many people do lose confidence in themselves and start despairing over their loss of quick thinking, history and science tell us that how we view our situation is most important in what happens to us after such an injury. Simply put, “If you believe you can change and grow, you will.”

You have a choice. You can blame all your problems on your injury and say things will never get better, or you can decide to learn and grow and improve your abilities to manage all of life’s challenges.

Develop a growth mindset

There was young man, not very well known, who suffered a brain injury at a young age when he was kicked by a mule. This left him with a lazy eye and a bout of depression. He tried many different occupations and really wasn’t good at any of them, but he kept trying to improve.

 

One day he found the right occupation for him, as President of the United States. His name is Abraham Lincoln. He had developed a growth mindset and would not accept defeat.

Science tells us that our brains are not “fixed” but are “flexible,” and like plastic, can be molded to whatever we want them to be.

 

Studies in neuroscience show that new habits and new experiences can create highways of thought in our brain, and the more we use our brains, the smoother those highways become. We can actually change our brains for the better.

What does this mean to those who have suffered TBI?

Adopt a positive outlook on life

You don’t have to spend the rest of your life wobbling from dizziness, squinting to see better, or lying in bed all day because you feel hopeless.

You don’t have to accept the inevitability of migraine headaches or double vision or vertigo.

By changing the way you think, by realizing you can impact your own life in a positive way, you can actually change your brain to make it happen.

You don’t have to accept the cards you have been dealt. You can shuffle the deck and get new ones. You can read up on your symptoms and treatments, continue your therapy, or extend your rehabilitation. If your doctor or health specialist feels you can’t get any better, get a new doctor who supports change and growth. Do not accept defeat.

Become motivated to learn

There are many theories of intelligence. Traditional thinking says we all have a certain “IQ” that does not change. More modern thinking says that there are many forms of IQ and that they do change. Our brains are like plastic and can be redeveloped. How you view intelligence, your own self-theory, will affect your ability to change.

Our self-theories about intelligence have a profound influence on our motivation to learn.

 

Professor Carol Dweck, PhD, a leading researcher on intelligence and motivation at Stanford University, teaches that intelligence is expandable and a person’s mindset affects how much it can expand. 

In one of Dr. Dweck’s studies, a group of students with a “fixed mindset” was compared with another group that had a “growth mindset.” In two months, the growth mindset students showed marked improvement over the other group in grades and study habits.

 

What was important, said Dr. Dweck, was their motivation. They were energized by the idea they could have an impact on their mind. Those with a fixed mindset showed no improvement at all and in fact their performance started to degrade.

If you believe you can improve, you will improve.

Recover faster

Recovery from a TBI is more devastating for those who have a fixed mindset. Dr. Dweck found that it was more important for students to be motivated than to be intelligent. Motivation helps students transition to college. It prepares them for change and helps them through it. Similarly, motivation will help you transition to a better life and help you manage the changes that are necessary.

The title of Dr. Dweck’s new book suggests the path to faster recovery for anyone wanting improvement: “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.” Your mindset will be key to your future health and your future success in life. Develop the right attitude that you can change your brain.

 

Understand that you can grow and accomplish new levels of thinking and achieving. Get motivated to learn. Do not accept limitations. Accept only the opportunity to become a more confident, more capable you.

Reiki Healing Hand Positions

& Their Healing Powers

Holistic medicine recognizes the mind, spirit and body. Any disruption in the natural flow of healthy energy within or among these interrelated parts can result in local pain or dysfunction. Reiki techniques reduce or eliminate energy blocks which interfere with the natural rhythm of health. 

 

The instruments of Reiki therapy are the hands which transfer healing energy and power from the Reiki Master to the subject. Hands positions & their healing powers are used to restore the holistic health of anyone who is open to receiving these gifts.

 

There are many hand positions which are used to treat various sources of body and spirit energy. Positioning is important to locate energy blocks, siphon negative energy and infuse positive energy.

 

Hands may be placed on the face, or on the top or back of the head. They may also be placed under the chin or jawline.  Such placements can bring energy to the mind and the senses, improving clarity of thought or enhancing vision or hearing.

Reiki gestures control energy transfer

Using the left hand to draw energy and the right hand to direct it, a Reiki Master can help a patient achieve a higher level of relaxation and well-being, and remove anxiety and depression.

Hands may also be placed on or near the neck and collarbone area while extending another hand over the heart. Emotional trauma can be released, and peace of mind restored. The figurative “broken heart” can be healed by Reiki therapy.

The ribs, rib cage and abdomen are addressed for injury or illness such as digestive discomfort. Energy blocks can be removed to restore healthy eating patterns and digestion.  Natural breathing patterns can be facilitated by directing healing energy toward the lungs.

Negative energy stored in the shoulders or back can be drawn out and discarded by use of hand positions & their healing powers.  Headaches and muscle tension can be relieved by proper energy concentration and spiritual direction. Weak muscles can be strengthened.

 

Reiki follows the traditions of early healers

Following the traditions of early Japanese healers, and in the spirit of Greek mythologists who exalted the human hands as a way to bring healing energy to needy individuals, Reiki use of hands-on healing is being recognized more and more by traditional medical institutions and care-givers.

Christian teachings often use the anecdotes of Jesus’ laying on of hands to heal the sick. Thousands of years of history support the success of using hands & their healing powers.  Reiki healing is proving that the mysteries of the universe are being revealed in wonderful ways through the human touch.

Abstract

Young children exhibit periods of exuberance and depression. Is this an illness or just “terrible 2s?” If illness, what are other symptoms which define it as such? What are the ramifications of not recognizing it and treating it as an illness? If an illness, what are its contributing factors, and how should it be treated? This paper suggests possible answers.

 

Childhood Onset Bipolar Disorder

Two most often observed and reported disturbances in childhood behavior have been named Attention Deficit Disorder and Bipolar Disorder.

 

Bipolar behavior is represented by mood swings from very high to very low. It occurs in childhood, adolescent and adult phases and is a very controversial area of study, especially the childhood phase.

 

There are some who say it doesn’t exist at all as a disease. Others say the onset of the disease is in adolescence.  And still others say it is a very serious childhood disease which needs much more research and attention because of its potential impact on the individual and society.

Does the behavior constitute a disease?

Many researchers and medical practitioners have identified symptoms associated with a disease they call Bipolar Disorder. These include anxiety, depression, inattentiveness, distractibility, defiance, mood swings, hyperactivity and manic behavior. “

 

Those ‘symptoms’ will be familiar to anyone who has lived with a toddler,” according to John Rosemond, writing in Florida’s The Ledger (2007). Rosemond quotes Jordan W. Smoller, University of Pennsylvania, who wrote a satire called “The Diagnosis and Treatment of Childhood” and who suggested, somewhat tongue in cheek, that childhood itself is a disorder. 

 

Smoller has a list of symptoms experienced in childhood, and Rosemond adds to that list: separation anxiety, tantrums, defiance, hyperactivity, “and every other thing associated with the so-called terrible 2s.”

“Controversy surrounds the diagnosis and earliest symptoms of childhood-onset bipolar illness” (2009, Mental Health Weekly Digest), suggesting much more research is needed over longer time-frames.

What does the disease look like?

According to an anonymous source at U.S. Newswire (2009), “Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are very real, life-threatening disease which can appear in childhood and adolescence”.

 

This source also states that, of 3,658 adult patients studied through federally-funded research, 68% reported bipolar disease onset in childhood or adolescence.”

 

Adult Bipolar Disorder shows cyclic behavior, swings in time between depression and mania sometimes lasting weeks or months.

 

In children these cycles can occur many times in the same day. According to Dimitri F. Papolos (1999), the cycles in children are “ultra, ultra rapid,” most often associated with low arousal states in the mornings followed by higher energy in the later parts of the day (as cited in Miklowitz and Chang, 2008).

 

What else contributes to a COBD diagnosis?

In addition to possibly having ADHD at an early age, there are several other influences which may bring about COBD. 

 

Among them are brain abnormalities. Miklowitz and Chang (2007) suggest the disorder has a genetic basis. The part of the brain called amygdalia gets special attention. In bipolar children, the amygdalia is smaller than in average in normal children and larger than average in bipolar adults, suggesting developmental problems.

Treatment

Miklowitz and Chang acknowledge that therapy and drugs can be used effectively to treat COBD. But they caution: “arguably, the treatment of a child at risk for Bipolar Disorder should begin with psychotherapy, and only progress to pharmacology if the child continues to be unstable or worsens” (2008).

 

Possible drugs include divalproex and quetiapine, but as Milkowitz and Chang observe, the symptoms being treated with these drugs seem to stabilize over time by themselves, so caution should be observed in using them. Ritalin is often used to combat hyperactivity and manic behavior in school children.

 

It can be life threatening, like cancer. Development of new drug therapies should be welcomed, but with caution, and monitored over extended periods of time for side effects.

Personal intervention is still the best first response by parents who can educated on the disease, personal and family physicians, school teachers and counselors, and concerned relatives who can provide a support structure.

Conclusion

Regardless of what we call it, there is a childhood disturbance of behavior which can become serious over time and into adulthood. It may have a genetic component, may be part brain disorder and therefore chemical, may have family or environmental influences.

 

It may have a predisposition caused by ADHD. If untreated, it can lead to limited personal development, antisocial behavior or possibly suicide. More longitudinal studies need to be done to better understand diseases like COBD, ADHD, and their relationship as well as proper treatment with counseling, psychotherapy, drug therapy, or an appropriate combination.

 

Early intervention is also important as well as family awareness and involvement in the treatment.

 

 

Healthcare Organizations:

Are You Paying Dead Doctors?

 

Believe it or not, it happens. The quality of healthcare data is so bad, dead doctors have been on the books for years for some organizations. The truth is that healthcare data are difficult to define, collect, maintain, retrieve, and analyze. Bad or incomplete data puts patients at risk, drives up costs, slows down program initiatives, gets claims rejected, results in rework, inhibits health information exchange, clouds research, and invalidates performance measurements.

 

It is becoming an epidemic with no signs of letting up.

The number of healthcare sources is staggering. There are more than 8 million Healthcare practitioners (HCP) and more than one million unique facility, group and other business entities and Health Care Organizations (HCO).

 

Within each organization, there are multiple departments handling data with the potential for bad data “astronomical.” The sheer number of people handling healthcare data makes uniformity difficult and quality a real challenge. Bad data affects everyone: providers, healthcare plans, and most importantly, patients.

Patients at risk

Bad data threatens patient safety. Russell P. Branzell Is CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). Addressing an audience of 600 healthcare CIOs at the Spring Forum at HIMSS15, Branzell said that one of the biggest problems in healthcare is the patient identifier. He said, “Primarily, it is our duty as HIT professionals to solve the patient safety issue.”

Incomplete or duplicate health records present significant issues in terms of patient safety, especially when two or more patients share the same name, and confusion could lead to inadequate treatment or accidental injury. Incorrect patient data can be a matter of life and death.

According to a 2012 CHIME survey of healthcare CIOs, error rates due to patient mismatching averaged eight to twenty percent. Furthermore, 19% of 128 respondents said that their hospital had experienced an adverse event in the past year due to a patient information mismatch.

 

According to Branzell, “There is a growing consensus among payers and providers that a unique patient ID would radically reduce medical errors and save lives.”

The limitations of data

There are many problems with keeping data. Every healthcare organization has a different data structure and a different process for managing data. Sometimes provider data doesn’t conform to the health plan data structure. Accepting new patients may depend on service location or patient criteria.

 

And even if all relevant information is accurately captured, it is but a snapshot of a dynamic process where information can change at any time.

Sometimes health plans call on third-party organizations for contracts or credentialing. These organizations may provide inaccurate or incomplete data as well and are no guarantee that they are helping the data quality issue

Few providers invest in creating quality data. It takes awareness and commitment. It takes sharing of information among departments.

 

And it takes an ongoing discipline of quality maintenance. Jonathan G. Geiger, Intelligent Solutions Inc., puts it this way: “Simply put, data quality management entails the establishment and deployment of roles, responsibilities, policies and procedures concerning the acquisition, maintenance, dissemination and deposition of data.”

The limitations of process

Traditionally, healthcare data is entered by discrete departments, often manually. This in effect creates “silos” and increases chance of redundancy and errors. Each time a new program is launched, all data is reentered, repeating the chance for errors.

 

It is a never-ending loop of mistake-prone processes.

In an effort to streamline data processing, many providers are turning to EHR. While this approach does have its benefits, it also contributes to data quality problems.

 

The ECRI Institute is a non-profit organization that uses scientific methods to test medical products. Ronnie Solomon, executive vice president of ECRI, said “Once inaccurate data gets into the electronic health record, it’s hard to get out.”

 

The less detectable the data is, the higher the risk factor for patients. So EHR is a trap technology that facilitates information flow – but spreads infection just as fast.

Budgets always an issue

Many healthcare executives acknowledge that their systems have bad data. But rather than spend money one-time to fix the problem, they pad their annual budgets to pay for the extra time for duplication of effort and data correction measures.

Health plans try to keep administrative costs down so they can meet the ACAs Medical Loss Ratios (MLRs). MLRs compare medical-related expenses with administration, fees and profits, and usually have targets of 80-85% depending on size of group.

Health plans that fail to comply with this stipulation may be forced to provide rebates to consumers for excessive spending. The MLR requirement makes it difficult for executives to budget for data quality improvement.

New mandates demand improvement

 According to a Data Warehousing Institute report, poor data quality costs American businesses six hundred million dollars annually.

 

New, tougher mandates for healthcare organizations are aimed at reducing that figure. These include the Federal Exchange, Medicare Advantage (MAO) and Qualified Health Plan (QHP) Directory Data Requirements enacted in 2015.

 

The focus of these mandates is on more accurate and complete provider directories. Providers are allowed to self-attest their information, but penalties for inaccurate data may trigger penalties that include bans on new enrollment or fines of up to $25,000 per day per beneficiary.

 Federal and state regulators have added more specific requirements including a more accurate listing of participating facilities and physicians, more information on their locations, specialties, hospital affiliations, and languages spoken.

 

While health plans reach out to providers, CMS doesn’t have the authority to hold providers accountable for complete and accurate information.

t’s low cost and easy for office staff to use. Furthermore, it will account for those changing regulations to keep pace with all new mandates. And it will let those dead doctors rest in peace.

Superfoods and Supplements Build Stronger Bodies

 

Superfoods are those which offer nutritional value and always seem to provide additional health benefits. They usually have the characteristics of being low in calories and saturated fat, trans-fat and sugar; and high in fiber, vitamins and minerals.

 

They often contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids or mono unsaturated fatty acids. Many fruits, vegetables, and nuts are considered superfoods. Functional foods – those designed to provide health benefits in addition to nutrition – are also considered superfoods.

Superfoods and nutritional supplements aid the body in many ways. They help build proteins from amino acids and they break down lipids into individual fatty acids. They help nutrients break down and convert into energy.

The amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and there are 20 different types. 11 of them are synthesized by the body, leaving nine essential amino acids which must be part of a person’s diet. Animal protein sources contain all the amino acids, and plant proteins have most of them.

Superfoods include fruits, nuts/seeds, sweets, tea/ herbs, vegetables, Greek yogurt, eggs, salmon and more.

Superfoods are whole foods

As the Mayo Clinic points out, Superfoods are whole, complex foods with a variety of micronutrients that your body needs. They provide high nutrition value. Another characteristic is the presence of fiber, necessary for healthy heart and digestive functions. 

 

And they possess what are called protective substances like phytochemicals which may help prevent cancers, high blood pressure and diabetes. They  also have antioxidants which slow down the aging process and breakdown of cells and tissue.

 

This combination of benefits makes the foods we call Superfoods a most precious option for anyone wanting to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In addition to these overriding benefits, there are specific health benefits to each food type. Below are some examples.

Fruits

Pomegranate

  • Flushes out toxins

  • Fights against skin, breast and prostate cancer

  • Helps maintain healthy blood pressure

  • Reduces dental plaque

  • Guards against Alzheimer disease

Goji Berries

  • Strengthen vision

  • Removes toxins from the body

  • Helps immunity system

  • Improves blood circulation and longevity

  •  and more ...

Seeds

Walnut

  • Considered a strong brain food

  • Helps curb appetite and encourage weight loss

  • Fights anxiety and depression

Pecan

  • Lowers LDL levels

  • Fights cancer

Quinoa

  • Resists Celiac disease

  • Strengthens heart and hair

  • Resists diabetes

  • and more ...

Sweets

Honey

  • Used with water, speeds metabolism and assists weight loss

  • Provides energy boost

  • With warm milk, treats insomnia

  • Aids digestion

  • Helps with hangovers and sore throats

 

Tea/ Herbs

Green Tea

  • Detoxifies the body

  • Regulates metabolism, helps with weight loss

  • Kills cancer cells

 

Vegetables

Sweet Potato

  • Fights colon cancer, asthma, and arthritis

  • Helps resist lung cancer and emphysema

  • Prevents hemorrhoids

  • Assists with high energy activities

 

Spinach

  • Strengthens eye muscles, prevents cataracts

  • Fights cancer including prostate

  • Prevents heart and blood pressure problems

  • Strengthens bone and teeth

 

Soy

  • Helps make bones stronger

  • Reduces the chances of developing breast or prostate cancer

  • Assists in weight loss

  • Reduces risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes

       and more ...

 

Other Superfoods

  • Greek yogurt: improves digestion and is loaded with protein

  • Chia: has many minerals and essential fatty acids

  • Oatmeal: aids digestion, improves metabolism, lowers cholesterol

  • Strawberries:  high in Vitamin C, fights the aging process

  • Salmon: loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, supports a health heart, and may protect skin from sun

  • and more

 

Dietary Supplements

Superfood Supplements augment the benefits of the superfoods themselves. They come in powders and juices made from fruits, roots and seeds. They also come in pills, capsules, liquid or raw form. They are high in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

Good supplements contain organic ingredients and don’t contain pesticides. Some supplements contain pre-biotics; others, probiotics; still others, both to assist in digestion. Most are gluten-free.

Probiotics assist in maintaining the balance of the 500 internal bacteria which keep the intestines healthy and support the digestive and immunity systems.

Popular supplements include the following:

  • Amazing Grass Green Superfood (including Orange Dreamsicle and Raw Reserve)

  • Dr. Schulze’s Superfood Plus (meal replacement powder)

  • Garden of Life Perfect Food raw Organic Powder Nutritional Supplement

  • Organic Superfood

 

The benefits of using Superfood Supplements correspond to those benefits listed above for each Superfood type. They complement the nutritional values and strengthen the body’s own immunity system to fight aging, disease, and disruption to normal bodily functions. They do help us all build stronger bodies.

Who needs supplements the most?

According to the Mayo Clinic, women who may become pregnant should add folic acid to their normal diet. Women who are pregnant should take a prenatal vitamin. Adults age 50 and older should take Vitamin B-12 in cereals or supplements.

 

The Mayo Clinic also suggests that you should take supplements if you don’t eat well or consume less than 1,600 calories a day.  You should also take supplements if you are a vegetarian or vegan and limit the variety of what you eat.

 

Also, you should take supplements if you have now or have had a disease which interferes with the normal absorption of nutrients, like diarrhea, food intolerance, or problems with the liver, gallbladder, intestines, or pancreas.

 

A personal physician is the best person to analyze your nutritional needs. Taking supplements can enhance your health and help prevent disease.  But it is always good to consult a doctor if you feel a change in your diet may be necessary or advisable.

Connection between Autism, ADHD and Gifted Children

The mind is a strange and wonderful thing. It is a complex, living and changing phenomenon that we all share. Some minds are more extraordinary than others. They exhibit traits that tend toward one or the other end of the mind spectrum, being either gifted or challenged. Sometimes it is both.

This is the dilemma and paradox of gifted children who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit (ADD, ADHD) or Autism. These children are often called “twice blessed.”  They are gifted but also have learning disabilities. Understanding, treating and supporting this child is difficult and challenging to parents and teachers as the child progresses through schools and matures into adulthood.

The paradox in school

Gifted children with special needs can have a difficult time in school environments. Because they are gifted, there are high expectations for their performance. But because they are also challenged, they appear to be distracted, uninterested, lazy, procrastinating, or unmotivated. Their disability disguises their giftedness.

It is hard to see the disability especially if the child does not act out or cause disruption in the class. And parents don’t usually think their children have any disabilities since they appear to be so bright.

It is a real challenge for parents to select the right schools that can accommodate and support children who have the combination of giftedness and ADD.

Different types of ADD

There are three basic types of ADD. The first is inattentive, showing lack of interest or focus. The second is impulsive or hyperactive. The third is a combination of both inattentive and hyperactive.

There are tests to determine whether a child has the Combined Type ADHD (ADD). There are nine criteria for each single type, and a child must exhibit at least six of the nine traits in each area as well as show impairment in functioning to have the combined diagnosis.

In addition, the symptoms must show up in different settings or environments, exist for at least six months, and have started before the age of seven. The impairment in functioning must be seen as significant.

Treatment can be complex

Research suggests that both the giftedness and the disability should be given attention during treatment. The talent should be developed while treating the disability. This creates some possible problems for educators and care-givers.

Typical interventions for ADD/ADHD children suggest a shortening of work time and simplification of tasks. It is also recommended to reduce stimulation.

Gifted children with ADD/ADHD, on the other hand, tend to like complexity and like to work in a highly energized and stimulated environment. They are more intense.

These competing parameters make it difficult to create the right learning environment for the gifted child with ADD/ADHD.

What parents can do for a gifted child with ADD

What are some of the things parents can do who think their child is both gifted and has ADD? The first thing is to have their child tested by a professional who deals with both giftedness and ADD.

They should learn more about ADD and discuss the disease with their child. There are many issues that can be affecting school life including incomplete homework or postponement of projects, etc. that may be explainable in terms of ADD.

Parents should stress the positive aspects of “twice blessed” including energy levels, ability to focus, creativity, and thinking “outside the box.”

Giftedness and Autism

Autism Syndrome Disorder (ASD) is characterized by dysfunctionality in verbal or nonverbal communication, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors. It is also often associated with intellectual disability and problems with motor coordination.

Giftedness and autism share similar behavioral characteristics. Children in either category can exhibit an obsession with facts or details, or with some area of special interest. They can become experts in some field. And they can have trouble with relationships and interacting with peers.

Research has shown that seventy-five percent of people with autism score 70 or lower on intelligence tests. This classifies them as intellectually disabled.

But interestingly, research also shows a remarkable similarity between autism and genius or giftedness. Both autistic and gifted children were found to have exceptional working memories, far beyond those of average intelligence.

Child prodigies often show autistic traits like strong attention to, or obsession with, detail. Some research has shown that gifted children score even higher on this trait than those with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.

What parents can do for a gifted child with autism

The suggestions for parents of gifted children with autism are similar to those mentioned earlier for parents of ADD children. Start by discussing the combination of giftedness and disability with your child.

The twice-exceptional child has a strong interest in some field, and parents should show an interest in this field, allowing the child to explore and develop knowledge in it. Parents can expand the child’s knowledge by encouraging a branching out into different bur related areas.

The child probably has trouble with the general population of students and peers, and parents should try to help with socialization skills. Introducing the child to other gifted children will increase comfort levels as well.

Gifted and autistic children are not interested in imaginary play. They think more literally. They may not be interested in team sports but would like instead to do individual activities like swimming or biking.

Working with school teachers and officials, parents can participate in the kind of individual development planned needed for their child.

Final thoughts

The first thing to do is to fully understand that your child has both a gift and a disability, and that you need to learn as much as you can about both. Sharing what you learn with your child should be next, as well as sharing with family and with school personnel.

Consulting with professionals is important, too. Assessments for giftedness and for disabilities like ADD/ADHD and autism should be carried out by specialists in those fields.

There are medications available to help with symptoms like hyperactivity and inattention. And there are behavioral treatments. Medical professionals should be involved to direct any individual programs for your child.

Parents can help structure the home environment to better support the twice blessed child. You can provide organizational tools, break up homework time into smaller segments, reward positive performance, and assist your child in setting personal goals.

Your child is exceptional. He or she needs an exceptional parent.

The Mystery and Medical Magic
of Pu-erh Tea

Ginseng tea is known to lower anxiety, help you relax and rejuvenate your spirit, shedding fatigue and building your health through its medicinal, herbal characteristics. Used as a herbal medicine for thousands of years, it is well documented throughout history, detailed in many Chinese medical books as serving emperors in all its dynasties.

One example of this refreshing tea is Ginseng Pu-erh Tea, a product of the Simao District, Yunnan, China. It is a red and brown tea with a characteristically unique aroma. The flavor and strength of this tea comes from the process of adding Gensing juice to carefully selected Yunnan tea leaves followed by a very thorough process involving many steps from kneading to oxidation.

Fountain of youth?

Pu-erh tea has been called the “wonder tonic” It has been considered a valuable gift to the Emperor. Some users claim the tea has anti-aging properties. They say it can actually prolong life. Perhaps that is why it is also called the “Tribute Tea,” since it was given in tribute to the emperors.

Medicinal mystery?

Pu-erh tea comes from very old tea trees believed to possess a strong life force which translates to the tea’s ability to augment a person’s blood flow and circulation. This ability to fight toxins has led to many medical claims.

Throughout China’s long history, Pu-erh tea has been used to fight cancer, heart disease, digestive problems and weight gain. It has even been used to correct the condition left by alcoholic indiscretions (i.e. hangover).

Living proof in the village

The villagers in the Yunnan Province of China gather and make the Pu-erh tea and use it every day. They live long and health lives. Perhaps this is living proof of the claims of Chinese residents that Pu-erh is a medicinal marvel, helping fight so many forms of illness and strengthening heart, circulation and immunity systems.

Popularity signals caution

Called the “King of Teas,” Pu-erh tea is becoming more popular than ever. With this popularity comes the entry into the market of fraudulent teas or poorly stored and maintained Pu-erh tea. Users must be cautious of decay and disintegration in the tea leaves, and accept and consume only healthy tea.

But the gamble to get Pu-erh tea may be worth the effort. It has a history going back 1700 years, a history that documents amazing claims for an amazing herb.

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