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May 17, 2015

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How Can Drinking Matcha Help in the Cancer Fight?

matcha green tea powder

Cancer is a disease which, directly or indirectly, affects us all. It is estimated that one in two men and one in three women in Australia will be diagnosed with some form of cancer by the age of eighty five; this includes skin cancers.

Every cancer diagnosis requires intensive treatment to either aim for a cure plus prevent recurrence or spread, or to provide palliative care when the cancer has already spread and is considered to be terminal. Cancer diagnoses are devastating, but the good news is that, depending on the type of cancer and its extent, the majority of overall cases can be cured and the person can go on to live a normal life.

Conventional cancer treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and sometimes hormonal therapy or immunotherapy. These treatments can be brutal; they can even be life threatening in some cases – but they are what works. Too many people opt for “alternative” treatments for cancer; these may, in a few cases, seem to work, but in most, later down the track, the person will suffer a recurrence and at that point cannot be cured. Medical employees are dismayed to see patients coming for palliative treatment when their original disease could have been cured once and for all – but the patient declined conventional treatments in favour of an alternative approach.

There is, however, definitely a place for alternative and complementary therapies in the fight against cancer, alongside conventional treatments. These include Traditional Chinese Medicine, Naturopathy, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, and diet modifications.

Matcha green tea is an example.

Catechins are potent, cancer fighting antioxidants. These play an essential role in not only preventing cancer from developing, but also in healing the body. Matcha green tea has a massive level of the catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCg) in each cup. Scientific researchers believe that EGCg helps to kill and stop the progression of cancer cells; inhibits tumours; and improves survival rates for breast cancer (among others). EGCg is found only in green tea. According to Dr Kristi Pado Funk, of the Beverly Hills Pink Lotus Breast Centre, three cups of matcha tea per day will decrease the risk of developing breast cancer by half.

Catechins are able to break the molecular link between infection, inflammation, and the development of cancer. Tumour growth is slowed.

Other cancers which may be inhibited by EGCgs include prostate cancer, lung, skin, oral, oesophageal, liver, pancreatic, bladder, stomach, and brain cancers.

How else does matcha help?

  • Reduced free radicals in cancer patients
  • Stimulate healthy cells, improving recovery between chemotherapy and radiation therapy doses
  • Slowed melanoma growth
  • Prevention of cancers of the intestines
  • Reduced risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers
  • Calms and relaxes
  • Strengthens the effect of medications used to treat brain tumours
  • Suppresses the formation of secondary tumours

There are so many reasons to enjoy drinking matcha green tea. Cancer prevention is a huge benefit, and for those fighting cancer, matcha can only help. It will not cure the disease on its own (if only!), but it will help one’s body fight the disease more efficiently, and recover more quickly from the treatments which will hopefully affect a long term cure.

May 12, 2015

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Baking with Matcha: Matcha Latte Tart

If you have never tried a matcha green tea latte, you are in for a treat when you do. A wonderful alternative to a cafe latte, and much better for you, the matcha latte is light, creamy, with a unique flavour and aroma with which you are sure to fall in love – not to mention its magnificently appealing hue!.

The next logical step is to enjoy matcha in a dessert. What could be better?

Here we share the recipe for a Matcha Latte Tart, gratefully borrowed from An Unrefined Vegan. With a crunchy crust, creamy green filling, and rich chocolate sauce, you will fall in love and be more than tempted to go for a second helping...

What you Need:

  • 1x pre-baked whole wheat or gluten-free pie crust
  • ½ cup coconut butter or oil
  • ½ cup raw cashews; soaked overnight then rinsed, drained, and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of kudzu powder or cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons of water
  • 1 ¼ cups soy or almond milk
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons matcha green tea powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional chocolate syrup for garnishing
  • Optional whipped coconut cream for serving

What to Do:

Whisk the kudzu or cornstarch with the water to make a paste and set aside.

Using a food processor or blender, process or blend the cashews, coconut butter/oil, matcha powder, vanilla, and ¾ cup of the soy / almond milk. It should be of a smooth consistency.

Use a small saucepan to heat the remaining milk over medium heat. Whisk in the kudzu mixture when the milk is steaming, and whisk continually until the mixture becomes thick. Do not allow it to boil.

Remove from the heat and blend with previously blended matcha mixture. It should be blended / processed until it is all very smooth.

Pour mixture into the cooled, pre-baked pie crust. Chill in the refrigerator for at least six hours. The tart should be set.

Serve with whipped cream and optional chocolate syrup.

ENJOY!

May 10, 2015

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Prevent and Treat Flu and Colds with Matcha

Winter is coming and the season for colds and flu is upon us. We all know the drill: achy sore throat; sniffly, stuffy nose; fatigue and muscle aches; blocked, sore ears; and the dreaded cough. Not to mention the awful fever and chills that you get if it really is the flu and not just a common cold.

The secret to avoiding these (aside from possibly getting an annual flu vaccination, which only protects you from the worst of the seasonal flu epidemic) is a healthy and strong immune system.

Matcha green tea is the most powerful food source of antioxidants known to humans, and is the healthiest beverage in the world. It contains polyphenols, which boost our natural immunity and also help the body to fight infections and even autoimmune diseases.

It also contains the powerful antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG); University of Oregon researchers have found that EGCG assists in the production of T-cells, which are the human body’s natural defence against harmful pathogens. It also reduces inflammation. This is important, as chronic inflammation results in rapid disease onset.

How can matcha green tea help you through the “sickness season”?

  • It is an antidote to fatigue when you are feeling flat or unwell
  • It does not stimulate stress hormones as coffee does
  • It keeps the immune system strong and active
  • It boosts metabolism
  • It actually relieves stress, allowing you to be less likely to get sick
  • It soothes a sore throat and freshens the mouth
  • It kills bacteria and inhibits viral agents such as Streptococcus mutans and the influenza virus
  • It cleanses and detoxes the body, thanks to chlorophyll, which helps the body to eliminate chemicals and pathogens.
  • It contains many essential vitamins and minerals

As well as keeping you healthy and free from colds and flu, matcha helps you more effectively fight these if you do become victim to them. You will recover more quickly.

Boost your body’s ability to fight infection and disease by consuming matcha green tea on a regular basis. You will look and feel better, stronger, and see out the winter season in better health and wellbeing.

May 06, 2015

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Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony

In Japanese, the traditional tea ceremony is called Sado, Chanoyu, or Ocha. It is the formal, ceremonial preparation and consumption of matcha green tea.

The history of the formal Japanese Tea Ceremony dates to the eighth century, yet at this time the ceremony bore limited resemblance to what we see today. It was only after a Chinese Buddhist priest wrote an instructional manual on the preparation of matcha tea that the ceremony evolved. In the eighth century, matcha tea was consumed only by noblemen and priests as a medicinal beverage. The Japanese were forced, after relations with China cooled at the end of the Tang Dynasty, to cultivate and devise their own tea traditions.

The tea ceremony in Japan was created because matcha tea was such a prized and precious commodity; as such, it was greatly respected. Matcha leaves were first ground (as opposed to simple being steamed) by Japanese priest Myoan Eisai in the twelfth century.

Today, the Japanese Tea Ceremony is a well choreographed, formal ritual of preparing and serving matcha tea alongside traditional sweets (which are used to balance the bitter taste of the tea). The participants’ attention is fully devoted to predefined actions and movements; aesthetics are paramount. Guests are of utmost importance, and even the placement of utensils reflects the relative importance of each guest. The host and each guest must comply with complicated etiquette requirements. It is a process which takes a long time to learn.

There are various types of tea ceremony, depending on the time of day, the season, and the occasion. These include the winter dawn tea ceremony (Akatsuki-no-chaji); the summer dusk tea ceremony (Yuuzari-no-chaji); and the winter evening tea ceremony (Yobanashi).

Simplicity is the key component of the Japanese tea ceremony. The ritual preparation and the drinking of the tea are done with silence, serenity, and spirituality.

Preparation differs most in that summer tea preparation is done with an iron kettle on a brazier, whereas in winter the iron kettle is placed in a sunken hearth in the Tatami flooring of the ceremony room.

The Winter Ceremony: (very basic description)

Every step and aspect of the ceremony has a profound deeper meaning. These aesthetics date back centuries.

Prior to the ceremony: send guest invitations; clean grounds of teahouse; select utensils and clean tea room; prepare meal.

  • Opening the Door – slid open by host in two stages using both hands alternately.
  • Presenting Sweets – host lifts bowl with both hands, glides smoothly and fluidly, and presents bowl to guest of honour. Sake is often served with these sweets.
  • Bring Utensils – and place at predetermined positions on the Tatami relative to the iron kettle and sunken hearth.
  • Ritual Cleaning of Utensils – tea bowl, scoop, and whisk.
  • Prepare the Tea –this is usually a thick tea; it is offered from the same bowl to each guest to sip from in order of importance.

After the formal tea drinking is done, a more casual atmosphere is fostered and more sweets, a smoking set, and a thinner tea are brought. The thinner tea is consumed individually rather than communally from the same bowl. The utensils are inspected by guests with reverence.

Traditional Japanese tea ceremony can last four hours.

May 03, 2015

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A Short Tale of the Origin of Matcha Tea

The plant which gives us green tea is the Camellia Sinensis, and it is native to the Yunnan province in Southern China. Green tea has been consumed in China since at least 2700BC; many years prior to this, the leaves were used medicinally, and were even pickled and eaten.

According to legend, Chinese Emperor Shen Nung was resting outside in 2737BC when the breeze blew leaves of the tea plant into the water. They left an amazing aroma and flavour in the water, which was delicious and refreshing to drink.

Matcha green tea, despite coming from this plant, however, originates in Japan.

The name “matcha” comes from “ma”, meaning powder, and “cha”, which means “tea”. It literally translates as “powder tea”.

Green tea was brought to Japan from China by Zen monks between 794-1185AD. This was in leaf brick form.

The first seeds for the green tea plant were brought to Japan from Sung Dynasty China in 1191AD by Eisai, a Zen monk who founded Rinzai Zen Buddhism. He planted them in the grounds of the temple in Kyoto. Eisai was also the first man to grind the leaves into a powdered form and consume them this way. Eisai promoted matcha as a wondrous elixir that prolonged and enhanced life. The enjoyment of matcha and its benefits was initially restricted to Zen monks and those of high culture and nobility in the Japanese Imperial courts – as these were the only people who could afford this precious drink. Over time, samurai warriors and the common people were able to enjoy and benefit from its attributes.

Drinking matcha was, like green tea, initially largely a medicinal practice. The style of preparation was called “tencha”; it involved placing the green tea powder into a bowl, pouring hot water over it, and whisking them together.

It was during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that the ritual preparation of matcha tea and the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony were born. It was a formal nod to one’s personal spiritual journey, and a simple way of living which was so prized. The Tea Ceremony was developed as a quiet and sobering transformative practice, and mindful humility, refinement, simplicity, and restraint were at its core. The principles set out centuries ago still apply to the Japanese Tea Ceremony: harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity.

Japanese Tea Ceremony 1904

Matcha green tea is still revered to this day – for its amazing benefits to body, mind, and spirit...

April 30, 2015

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Ten Things to Know about Matcha Green Tea

 

Why make matcha part of your day?

  1. It offers an energy buzz without caffeine jitters. Coffee contains an average of 160mg caffeine per cup. A cup of matcha green tea contains just under half this level of caffeine; by drinking matcha, you will enjoy the benefits of caffeine but without the accompanying jitters (or bad breath) that coffee delivers.
  1. It’s a treasure trove of antioxidants. There is no more antioxidant-rich food per gram known to man than matcha green tea powder. This is why it is so prized for its health benefits to consumers, which include a reduced risk of diabetes, degenerative disease, and cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol levels, and a myriad of other beneficial health implications.
  1. It’s ten times more potent than regular green tea. In fact, in terms of antioxidant content and nutritional value, a cup of matcha green tea is equivalent to ten cups of regular leaf green tea.
  1. It can help with weight loss. Matcha can help boost metabolism, thanks to the polyphenols EGCG. It also gives an energy boost (thanks to the aforementioned caffeine content). It’s recommended that the best weight loss benefits come if you drink it cold – the body boost its metabolic rate as it works harder to warm up.
  1. It is calming. The amino acid L-theanine in matcha increases mental alertness while maintaining calm. This works by reducing blood pressure, heart rate, and the production of stress hormones.
  1. It boosts concentration. There is a very good reason Zen monks have sworn by matcha for centuries! L-theanine promotes brain alpha waves – these assist with focus, calm, alertness, and lower stress levels. There is no spike and slump as experienced when drinking coffee; the focus benefits are maintained for up to six hours.
  1. It helps fight cancer. We would never suggest matcha as a first line treatment for cancer. But used alongside conventional medical treatments, matcha can help. Matcha contains catechins which are very potent and help to prevent DNA damage, can help kill cancer cells, and may even help to halt the growth of cancer cells. It may help to prevent cancer from developing in the first place.
  1. It boosts your immunity and slows ageing. When you consume matcha, you consume the entire tea leaf. This translates to consumption of high levels of antioxidants, dietary fibre, Vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and K, and minerals.
  1. There is no better detox. Chlorophyll, which gives the vibrant green to matcha powder, helps remove harmful toxins from the body, including heavy metals, and also restores balance of pH and cleanses the blood.
  2. It tastes great and has many uses. Not only fabulous to drink as a hot or cold beverage, matcha green tea powder makes a great addition to savoury dishes, cakes, desserts, and even spice rubs for meat. It can be used to make body scrubs and you can even add it to a hot bath for a relaxing yet stimulating soak.

Get on the matcha green tea bandwagon today – we guarantee you will never want to get off!

April 27, 2015

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Matcha vs Green Tea – What’s the Difference?

matcha-powder-vs-green-tea

Green tea is among the healthiest beverages known to man, offering substantial benefits to both physical and mental health, and it tastes wonderfully refreshing!

You might ask, what is the difference between green leaf tea and matcha green tea powder? And why is matcha green tea so much more concentrated in its benefits than regular green tea?

Most green teas are simply the aromatic essence remaining when the Camellia sinensis leaf is dried and steeped in boiling water. The leaves have been steamed, roasted, or pan-fired, and they are not consumed as a whole. Green tea is full of antioxidants, has a delicate aroma and flavour, and is subtly fragrant.

Unlike other green tea varieties, matcha green tea is the ground leaf of the Camellia sinensis – and as such, the entire tea leaf is consumed. These plants are cultivated in a special way as well; only grown in a certain region in Japan where the climate is prefect, the plant is grown in the shade for a number of weeks prior to harvesting. This shade-growth method slows the growing process, allowing an increased amino acid content to occur in the leaves, resulting in a tea which is sweeter. Only the finest, darkest buds are used, as these contain the highest levels of plant nutrients.

Matcha tea is of a thicker, creamier consistency than green leaf teas, and has a unique flavour.

Note that not all powdered green tea is matcha! Be wary when purchasing powdered green tea that you are actually getting matcha, and not an inferior product. Authentic matcha is a prized and treasured Japanese tea, and it is expensive in comparison to other tea products. But you truly do get what you pay for – and premium matcha is worth every penny. The beauty of matcha green tea powder is that only a very small amount is needed to make a wonderful cup of matcha tea – so when you buy matcha green tea powder, it will translate to many more beverages than the equivalent amount of leaf tea or coffee.

Think of matcha as the premium big sister of green tea. It looks and tastes more robust, and its content of what we consider to be “beneficial body warriors” (antioxidants, catechins, etc) is much more potent than in other tea varieties. Green tea is great – but we believe matcha is better!

March 18, 2015

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Reclaim Your Wellness with Matcha

Green tea has a myriad of proven health benefits, and it is for very good reason that it has been prized as a premium health elixir in Japan and China for more than one thousand years.

While green leaf tea is certainly great for you, green tea made from Japanese matcha green tea powder is head and shoulders above leaf tea in terms of potency and health benefits. Put metaphorically, green leaf tea compares with an eau de toilette perfume, while matcha gives you the full impact of a parfum concentrate (don’t worry; all the girls reading this get the reference!)

Instead of drinking just the aroma of green tea leaves, fragrantly steeped in boiling water, with matcha you are consuming the entire leaf, which has been pulverised into the vibrant, verdant powder that is so recognisable. This powder is bursting with antioxidants which carry with them a vast array of health benefits, and which in turn allow regular consumers of this remarkable beverage to enjoy optimised wellness and wellbeing.

Drinking matcha green tea can be thought of as drinking a microscopic army of wellness warriors. Here’s how it works:

  • Beneficial catechins fight the effects of aging, fight diseases and viral infections, and protect the body from harmful free radicals. The levels of these catechins in matcha green tea are scientifically proven to protect cells and DNA from these damaging free radicals, and to be one hundred times more effective than Vitamin C and twenty five more times effective than Vitamin E at achieving this.
  • Matcha green tea has more than two hundred times the levels of catechins than regular green leaf tea. It is, by weight, the most potent and powerful naturally-occurring antioxidant known to man.
  • Matcha has been reported by regular consumers to bring relief of inflammatory pain, improve the youthfulness of skin and hair, and to even be an effective cure for hangover.
  • Get a calm alertness with matcha – it offers a gentle energy boost without the caffeine jitters resultant from drinking coffee. Exercise endurance is improved in drinkers of matcha.
  • Drinking matcha can offer protection against developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. It lowers blood cholesterol levels, lowers blood pressure, and offers protection to the liver. It increases bone mineral density, prevents tooth decay, protects the skin from damaging UV radiation, and even has an anti-clotting effect on the blood. Consumers report better memory, and are less likely to develop neurodegenerative disorders.

So do yourself a favour: adopt a matcha habit today – and reclaim your wellness.

March 16, 2015

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Matcha Health – From the Outside In

We all know that Matcha green tea powder is bursting with antioxidants and that consuming some every day is a huge step towards overall optimal health and wellness. What many people might not be aware of is that Matcha is also great for your body – from the outside in.

The skin absorbs, to a certain extent, everything that we put on it. Consider all those moisturisers, sunscreens, soaps, lotions and potions we use without too much thought. Do you really know what is in them? All those chemicals can be absorbed into your body – for better or worse.

Why not give your body a break, and boost its wellbeing with a Matcha green tea bath?

The high antioxidant levels of Matcha are wonderful for rejuvenation of the skin and for their protective qualities. Science proves that the polyphenols content in green tea is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, helps heal sun damage, and is anti-carcinogenic.

Bathing in a hot Matcha bath opens pores, and by using Epsom salts as well, circulation is boosted and your skin will feel silky smooth and soft.

Fill a bath with comfortably hot water, and add one cup of Epsom salts, two or three tablespoons of matcha powder, and four drops of 100% pure peppermint essential oil. Swirl it all and jump in! Sip a cup of Matcha for the full experience.

There will be a pale green residue from the Matcha in the bath – don’t panic! This will clean off easily with a wet cloth after you have emptied the bath

The best time to have a matcha bath is early in the evening, a few hours before bedtime. It can be quite stimulating or even energising, but you won’t get any caffeine jolt – so sleep won’t elude you a few hours later.

There is nothing quite like immersing yourself into the vibrant, verdant waters of a matcha green tea bath. Yes, Matcha green tea powder is expensive. We’re not suggesting you bathe in it every night. But once in awhile, this might just be the very best thing you can do for your body and mind. Give it a try!

March 05, 2015

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Soupy Goodness with Matcha

Autumn is upon us and in a few short weeks the weather should be cooling down. Crisp mornings and cool evenings bring a whole new atmosphere; even the air smells different, and we start to crave the comfort of warming foods as opposed to the cooling salads we subsist on all summer.

It’s going to be awhile before we’re cold enough to crave stodgy winter fare, but in the meantime there are some wonderful, healthy and hearty meals which are warming but still light that can be enjoyed. Add a pop of matcha green tea powder, and your wellness is almost guaranteed!

Here is a great recipe we found online for a delicious, super antioxidant rich soup – not too heavy, not too light, but just right for autumn lunches and dinners...

Creamy Matcha and Greens Soup

Ingredients:                  

  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 heaped teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh matcha green tea powder
  • Pinch each of ground black pepper and cayenne pepper
  • 5 cups of tight packed fresh kale (could substitute English spinach)
  • 4 cups of low salt vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of loose-packed coriander
  • 400ml light coconut milk

Method:

Sauté the onion and potato in a dash of water or vegetable stock, in a large pot. Cook it for just under ten minutes, adding stock to prevent sticking and stirring intermittently. Then stir in the ginger, garlic, black pepper and cayenne, and sauté for another couple of minutes until the flavours are infused.

Stir in the kale, cook until wilted, and add the stock. Bring it all to the boil, then simmer covered for thirty minutes. Stir in the matcha green tea powder and the coriander.

Let the mixture cool slightly, and then blend in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, stir in the coconut milk, and heat so that it is warmed though evenly.

Serve with tofu, crusty bread, or lavosh crackers.

This tasty recipe isn’t just delicious and full of everything you need for optimal wellbeing; it offers a metabolic boost for burning calories – what could be better?

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