How to prepare matcha
General directions for preparation of matcha
In the warmed up matcha bowl, put in 70 cc of 80°C hot water.
Mix quickly with the whisk in a pattern like the shape of the letter “m” for about 15 seconds.Remove the whisk when the matcha has foamed nicely. The matcha is ready.
Amarjeet Singh (International Cyclist)
I have been using products from The Potential Foods for quite some time now and there have been really drastic changes in my health and lifestyle. Being a National Cyclist I require constant practice and my body endurance has been greatly supported by using the Korean Red Ginseng. I could see the change in my stamina and energy levels in my body almost immediately. Incorporating Manuka Honey and Black Garlic in my daily lifestyle has been a very transformative experience and they have now become a favourite part of my meals/snacks. I’m very happy to see that our Indian Market is growing in organic products that focuses on health benefits and thank Potential Foods for making such revitalising products from all over the world available to us.
Khiyar Pasha (Cyclist)
I have started using products from Potential foods, Its extremely surprising to see the results showing up within a week. I trust their authenticity and passion to serve the best. Track cycling demands high-intensity training, explosive power- I get panther power from Potential Foods. Must try for all lifestyles and athletes.
10 Easy Practices To Enhance Overall Wellness
Here’s your moment to check in with yourself. How are you really doing?
During this challenging time, we have all rediscovered what really matters, with wellness and connection coming into focus. Here are a few empowering ways to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally well and connected during this time. Take what you need:
Create Structure & Sustainable Rituals That Work For You
In a time of change, it’s important to re-establish structure. Get out of bed, make your bed. If you’re working from home, wake up early enough to give yourself time to make breakfast and enjoy tea or coffee (with your daily spoonful of Manuka Honey) before you hit the screens. Try to create boundaries between work and personal time – meaning, try not to work from bed, and put your laptop away when you’re enjoying breakfast or lunch.
We recommend making a schedule of things to look forward to, be it working out, cooking a delicious meal, connecting with friends on a video call, or mindfully taking in your favorite show.
Here are a few daily rituals from us to get you started:
Get A Daily Dose Of Nature
Ground yourself in the grass, get some sun rays for a much-needed Vitamin D infusion, or open your windows for fresh air. According to Richard Louv, who coined the term “Nature Deficit Disorder” new studies in ecopsychology all point to one truth, “Nature is not only nice to have, but it’s a have-to-have for physical health and cognitive functioning.”According to Yale Environment 360, “These studies have shown that time in nature — as long as people feel safe — is an antidote for stress: It can lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels, reduce nervous system arousal, enhance immune system function, increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and improve mood.”
If you live in urban areas where getting out in nature is tough, or in cases where parks are closed, you can bring your family on a virtual field trip with our partner, The Nature Conservancy. Designed for grades 5-8 but customizable for all ages, virtual field trips (complete with video, teacher guide, and activities) allow students to travel the world and explore natural environments without leaving home. Click here to experience it.
To take it further, here are 5 Poems to Reconnect with Nature.
Meditate & Breathe Deeply – If Only For 5 Minutes!
Do you ever find yourself holding your breath when you’re stressed? Keep your eye on it. Deep, steady breathing is essential to reducing anxiety and stress, which we could all use a bit more of right now. As Deepak Chopra says, “Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.” If you don’t feel like you have time for meditation, that’s usually when you need it most. Carve out as few as 5 minutes of your day to focus on your breath and meditate. Not sure where to get started?
Try this mindful eating exercise from Comvita:
5-Minute Manuka Honey Meditation for Stress Relief.
Make Room For (Bad) Art
You don’t need to become a master to experience the benefits of using your imagination and finding joy in no-pressure creativity.
Try 5 minutes of free-writing to explore how you’re feeling today, or use online writing prompts as a springboard. It may become the outlet you didn’t know you needed. To explore your visual creativity, draw or paint small shapes and see what they become.
If you’re with your family, make it interactive. Try this challenge: each person has a piece of paper and a pen, with one person keeping time. You have 15 seconds to start a drawing. Pass the drawing to your left, and add to the first drawing for 15 more seconds. Keep that going until it gets back to the original illustrator, or for as many rounds as you like. Then share the collaboration with the group! Or have each person in your group make a drawing or painting and share it in a living room gallery show later that day, with each artist in your family presenting their piece and taking questions from the group.
Move Your Body, Lift Your Mood
Get out those separation jitters and move through the lows by shaking your body up. It’s no secret, endorphins spark a natural high, helping to elevate your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. As Healthline states, “endorphins are involved in our natural reward circuits… They minimize discomfort and pain and maximize pleasure.”
Try stretching as your first order of business in the morning. Burst into 60 seconds of jumping jacks to get your heart rate up. Blast your favorite playlist and dance. Organize a virtual workout with friends. Whatever it is, do what feels good for you. A workout is always easy after you’ve done it.
Put On Your Chef Hat & Get Creative In The Kitchen
Invent new recipes, try ones that have always felt a little intimidating, or build a meal around a single ingredient – like the rare and powerful wonder food, Manuka Honey. This single ingredient from nature has been beloved for centuries and recommended by functional medicine doctors, nutritionists, and other wellness experts. As Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Mia Syn says, Manuka Honey is “a great sweetener alternative to refined sugars, with an extra nutritional boost.”
Here are a few functional Manuka Honey recipes to try:
Make DIY Frozen Pushpops in 2 flavors: Watermelon Basil and Honeydew Cucumber Mint
Apple Cider Vinegar with Manuka Honey Recipes for Salad Dressing & Marinade
Give Your Body Some Love
The best skincare you’ve ever experienced doesn’t come from a store, it comes from your kitchen. Fresh, raw ingredients offer a next-level glow, and Manuka Honey’s moisturizing properties help leave skin radiant.
Try these for starters:
Reach Out & Reconnect
Like bees, humans are social creatures. Tap into your natural state of connection by calling someone you’ve lost touch with or been meaning to reach out to. Clear yourself of old grudges by reaching out to a sensitive relationship. If the pressure of the phone is too much, try writing an old fashioned letter. This is your sign to say hello. As psychologist Daniel Goleman says, “When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection – or compassionate action.”
If someone you know has been working extra hard to support others lately, reach out and let them know how much their work matters. These little actions of kindness make a big difference right now. With every order you make at Comvita.com right now, we’re also including a gift for you to share with someone in your community. While supplies last, you’ll receive a ‘Thank You’ packet filled with single servings of UMF™ Manuka Honey – pass this packet on (at a safe social distance) to a neighbor, caregiver, mail carrier, mom or essential worker to show your support, help them stay strong, and well.
Keep It Light Before Bed
just as what we eat affects how we feel, so does the media we consume. Too much bad news right before bed can cause heightened levels of anxiety & restless sleep. Do your best to keep things light in the few hours before bed. Put on soothing music, take a hot shower, limit screens, devote yourself to a nighttime skincare routine. Even putting yourself in ‘legs up the wall’ helps send blood flow to your heart and brain, rebalancing your body before bed, slowing your heart rate, and promoting your body’s natural detoxification systems.
Finally, Give Yourself Permission
You’re perfectly entitled to do none of this. Your value is not based on your productivity. Rest is an essential part of your wellness routine, so allow yourself that, too.
Take care of your family…
7 Proven Health Benefits of Ginseng
Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.
This slow-growing, short plant with fleshy roots can be classified three ways, depending on how long it is grown: fresh, white or red.
Fresh ginseng is harvested before 4 years, while white ginseng is harvested between 4–6 years and red ginseng is harvested after 6 or more years.
There are many types of this herb, but the most popular are American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng).
American and Asian ginseng vary in their concentration of active compounds and effects on the body. It is believed that American ginseng works as a relaxing agent, whereas the Asian variety has an invigorating effect
Ginseng contains two significant compounds: ginsenosides and gintonin. These compounds complement one another to provide health benefits (3).
Here are 7 evidence-based health benefits of ginseng.
1. Potent Antioxidant That May Reduce Inflammation
Ginseng has beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Some test-tube studies have shown that ginseng extracts and ginsenoside compounds could inhibit inflammation and increase antioxidant capacity in cells.
For example, one test-tube study found that Korean red ginseng extract reduced inflammation and improved antioxidant activity is skin cells from people with eczema.
The results are promising in humans, as well.
One study investigated the effects of having 18 young male athletes take 2 grams of Korean red ginseng extract three times per day for seven days.
The men then had levels of certain inflammatory markers tested after performing an exercise test. These levels were significantly lower than in the placebo group, lasting for up to 72 hours after testing.
However, it should be noted that the placebo group got a different medicinal herb, so these results should be taken with a grain of salt and more studies are needed.
Lastly, a larger study followed 71 postmenopausal women who took 3 grams of red ginseng or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. Antioxidant activity and oxidative stress markers were then measured.
Researchers concluded that red ginseng may help reduce oxidative stress by increasing antioxidant enzyme activities (9).
Ginseng has been shown to help reduce inflammatory markers and help protect against oxidative stress
2. May Benefit Brain Function
Ginseng could help improve brain functions like memory, behavior and mood.
Some test-tube and animal studies show that components in ginseng, like ginsenosides and compound K, could protect the brain against damage caused by free radicals.
One study followed 30 healthy people who consumed 200 mg of Panax ginseng daily for four weeks. At the end of the study, they showed improvement in mental health, social functioning and mood.
However, these benefits stopped being significant after 8 weeks, suggesting that ginseng effects might decrease with extended use.
Another study examined how single doses of either 200 or 400 mg of Panax ginseng affected mental performance, mental fatigue and blood sugar levels in 30 healthy adults before and after a 10-minute mental test.
The 200-mg dose, as opposed to the 400-mg dose, was more effective at improving mental performance and fatigue during the test.
It is possible that ginseng assisted the uptake of blood sugar by cells, which could have enhanced performance and reduced mental fatigue. Yet it is not clear why the lower dose was more effective than the higher one.
A third study found that taking 400 mg of Panax ginseng daily for eight days improved calmness and math skills.
What’s more, other studies found positive effects on brain function and behavior in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Ginseng has been shown to benefit mental functions, feelings of calmness and mood in both healthy people and those with Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Could Improve Erectile Dysfunction
Research has shown that ginseng may be a useful alternative for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.
It seems that compounds in it may protect against oxidative stress in blood vessels and tissues in the penis and help restore normal function.
Additionally, studies have shown that ginseng may promote the production of nitric oxide, a compound that improves muscle relaxation in the penis and increases blood circulation.
One study found that men treated with Korean red ginseng had a 60% improvement in ED symptoms, compared to 30% improvement produced by a medication used to treat ED.
Moreover, another study showed that 86 men with ED had significant improvements in erectile function and overall satisfaction after taking 1,000 mg of aged ginseng extract for 8 weeks.
However, more studies are needed to draw definite conclusions about the effects of ginseng on ED.
Ginseng may improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction by decreasing oxidative stress in tissues and enhancing blood flow in penile muscles.
4. May Boost the Immune System
Ginseng may strengthen the immune system.
Some studies exploring its effects on the immune system have focused on cancer patients undergoing surgery or chemotherapy treatment.
One study followed 39 people who were recovering from surgery for stomach cancer, treating them with 5,400 mg of ginseng daily for two years.
Interestingly, these people had significant improvements in immune functions and a lower recurrence of symptoms.
Another study examined the effect of red ginseng extract on immune system markers in people with advanced stomach cancer undergoing post-surgery chemotherapy.
After three months, those taking red ginseng extract had better immune system markers than those in the control or placebo group.
Furthermore, a study suggested that people who take ginseng could have up to a 35% higher chance of living disease-free for five years after curative surgery and up to a 38% higher survival rate compared to those not taking it.
It seems that ginseng extract could enhance the effect of vaccinations against diseases like influenza, as well.
Even though these studies show improvements in immune system markers in people with cancer, more research is needed to demonstrate the efficacy of ginseng in boosting resistance to infections in healthy people.
Ginseng may strengthen the immune system in people with cancer and even enhance the effects of certain vaccinations.
5. May Have Potential Benefits Against Cancer
Ginsenosides in this herb have been shown to help reduce inflammation and provide antioxidant protection.
The cell cycle is the process by which cells normally grow and divide. Ginsenosides could benefit this cycle by preventing abnormal cell production and growth.
A review of several studies concluded that people who take ginseng may have a a 16% lower risk of developing cancer.
Moreover, an observational study suggested that people taking ginseng could be less likely to develop certain types of cancer, such as lip, mouth, esophagus, stomach, colon, liver and lung cancer, than those who do not take it.
Ginseng may also help improve the health of patients undergoing chemotherapy, reduce side effects and enhance the effect of some treatment drugs.
While studies on the role of ginseng in cancer prevention show some benefits, they remain inconclusive.
Ginsenosides in ginseng seem to regulate inflammation, provide antioxidant protection and maintain the health of cells, which could help decrease the risk of certain kinds of cancer. Nevertheless, more research is needed.
6. May Fight Tiredness and Increase Energy Levels
Ginseng has been shown to help fight fatigue and promote energy.
Various animal studies have linked some components in ginseng, like polysaccharides and oligopeptides, with lower oxidative stress and higher energy production in cells, which could help fight fatigue.
One four-week study explored the effects of giving 1 or 2 grams of Panax ginseng or a placebo to 90 people with chronic fatigue.
Those given Panax ginseng experienced less physical and mental fatigue, as well as reductions in oxidative stress, than those taking the placebo.
Another study gave 364 cancer survivors experiencing fatigue 2,000 mg of American ginseng or a placebo. After eight weeks, those in the ginseng group had significantly lower fatigue levels than those in the placebo group.
Furthermore, a review of over 155 studies suggested that ginseng supplements may not only help reduce fatigue but also enhance physical activity.
Ginseng may help fight fatigue and enhance physical activity by lowering oxidative damage and increasing energy production in cells.
7. Could Lower Blood Sugar
Ginseng seems to be beneficial in the control of blood glucose in people both with and without diabetes.
American and Asian ginseng have been shown to improve pancreatic cell function, boost insulin production and enhance the uptake of blood sugar in tissues.
Moreover, studies show that ginseng extracts help by providing antioxidant protection that reduce free radicals in the cells of those with diabetes.
One study assessed the effects of 6 grams of Korean red ginseng, along with the usual anti-diabetic medication or diet, in 19 people with type 2 diabetes.
Interestingly, they were able to maintain good blood sugar control throughout the 12-week study. They also had an 11% decrease in blood sugar levels, a 38% decrease in fasting insulin and a 33% increase in insulin sensitivity.
Another study showed that American ginseng helped improve blood sugar levels in 10 healthy people after they performed a sugary drink test.
It seems that fermented red ginseng could be even more effective at blood sugar control. Fermented ginseng is produced with the help of live bacteria that transform the ginsenosides into a more easily absorbed and potent form.
In fact, a study demonstrated that taking 2.7 grams of fermented red ginseng daily was effective at lowering blood sugar and increasing insulin levels after a test meal, compared to a placebo.
Ginseng, particularly fermented red ginseng, may help increase insulin production, enhance blood sugar uptake in cells and provide antioxidant protection.
Easy to Add to Your Diet
Ginseng root can be consumed in many ways. It can be eaten raw or you can lightly steam it to soften it.
It can also be stewed in water to make a tea. To do this, just add hot water to freshly sliced ginseng and let it steep for several minutes.
Ginseng can be added to various recipes like soups and stir-frys, too. And the extract can be found in powder, tablet, capsule and oil forms.
How much you should take depends on the condition you want to improve. Overall, daily doses of 1–2 grams of raw ginseng root or 200–400 mg of extract are suggested. It’s best to start with lower doses and increase over time.
Look for a standard ginseng extract that contains 2–3% total ginsenosides, and consume it before meals to increase absorption and get the full benefits.
Ginseng can be eaten raw, made into tea or added to various dishes. It can also be consumed as a powder, capsule or oil.
Safety and Potential Side Effects
According to research, ginseng appears to be safe and should not produce any serious adverse effects.
However, people taking diabetes medications should monitor their blood sugar levels closely when using ginseng to ensure these levels do not go too low.
Additionally, ginseng may reduce the effectiveness of anticoagulant drugs.
For these reasons, talk to your doctor before supplementing with it.
Note that due to the lack of safety studies, ginseng is not recommended for children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Lastly, there is evidence suggesting that the extended use of ginseng could decrease its effectiveness in the body.
To maximize its benefits, you should take ginseng in 2–3-week cycles with a one or two week break in between.
While ginseng appears to be safe, people taking certain medications should pay attention to possible drug interactions.
The Bottom Line
Ginseng is an herbal supplement that has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine.
It is commonly touted for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It could also help regulate blood sugar levels and have benefits for some cancers.
What’s more, ginseng may strengthen the immune system, enhance brain function, fight fatigue and improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Ginseng can be consumed raw or lightly steamed. It can also easily be added to your diet via its extract, capsule or powder form.
Whether you want to improve a certain condition or simply give your health a boost, ginseng is definitely worth a try.
What is Black Garlic?
Black garlic, a type of fermented or aged garlic, has numerous health benefits that range from its strong antioxidant nature to its potential role in cancer treatment.
With its unique sweet flavor and jelly-like consistency, it is widely known in Asia for its antioxidant properties.
Black garlic (Allium sativum L.) is a fermented product of garlic made by treating fresh garlic for an average of 10 days at high temperatures (40 to 60 °C) and high humidity. It undergoes a Maillard reaction, which causes different compounds to form during the reaction. The reaction also darkens white garlic into a black colour.
Processes vary widely across suppliers, with aging treatment ranging from 4 to 40 days. One study found that 21 days of treatment at 70 degrees and 90% relative humidity was best for black garlic’s antioxidant abilities.
While you can add black garlic to your diet,
When garlic undergoes treatment to turn into black garlic, allicin, the component that gives fresh garlic its notorious odor, is converted into a variety of other compounds.
Black garlic has various antioxidants
- Amadori/Heyns compounds: These are formed during the Maillard reaction. Amadori/Heyns compounds are strong antioxidants, and compared to fresh garlic, black garlic has up to 40 to 100 times more of these compounds
- 5-hydroxymethylfurfural: This is an antioxidant that also has some anti-inflammatory effects. Compared to white garlic, black garlic has a higher amount of this beneficial component, as 5-HMF is created under very high heat.
- Organosulfur compounds: Diallyl sulfide, diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide, and diallyl tetrasulfide.
- Pyruvate: This is a key antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule of black garlic. It reduces nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2, both of which prolong and intensify inflammation.
- N-fructosyl glutamate
- N-fructosyl arginine
- Other alkaloids, polyphenols, and flavonoids
Black garlic also contains nitrogen oxide, which has strong antiviral and antitumor effects.
It also contains 2-linoleoyl-glycerol, an anti-inflammatory molecule. It lowers levels of prostaglandin E2 and cytokines, which are key promoters and signals of the inflammatory response. They prolong and increase cell death, swelling, and the uncomfortable symptoms of an allergy, infection, or other sicknesses
Health Benefits of Black Garlic
Black garlic is a safe foodstuff which can be used in the same way as fresh garlic, but it has not been approved by the FDA for medical use and generally lacks solid clinical research. Talk to your doctor before using black garlic as a supplement.
Possibly Effective For
1) Heart Health
Insufficient Evidence For
The following purported benefits are only supported by limited, low-quality clinical studies. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of black garlic for any of the below-listed uses. Remember to speak with a doctor before using black garlic, and never use it in place of something your doctor recommends or prescribes.
Black garlic decreased blood clotting effects caused by platelet aggregation in both human and animal studies.
In a human cell study, 5-HMF, an antioxidant found in black garlic, stopped the activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) .
This molecule controls the release of cytokines that prolong and stimulate TNF-α activated cells.
TNF-α activated cells promote the inflammatory response and increase blood flow, swelling, and defensive cells to the area.
Black garlic also lowered the quantity of proteins that join cells and create blood clots. It also lowered the number of cells that cause inflammation and cell damage.
In a cell study using macrophages (immune cells), black garlic decreased the production of nitric oxide, TNF-α, and prostaglandin E2, which are all key promoters of inflammation. It accomplished this by decreasing various protein and enzyme levels, specifically of NO synthase, TNF-α, and cyclooxygenase-2 protein.
In a mouse study, rodents were given 120 mg/kg of black garlic experienced decreased levels of cytokines TNF-α and in the blood
Allergies are related to immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies and mast cells that all contribute to promoting long-term inflammation. Specifically, a type I allergy response is activated by the IgE receptor that is on the outside surface of immune cells.
A cell study testing a 2 mg/mL treatment of black garlic resulted in a decrease of the inflammatory enzymes (β-hexosaminidase and TNF-α). This prevented an allergic response.
In another cell study, 50 μg/mL of black garlic inhibited key allergy-promoting molecules (prostaglandin E2, leukotriene B4, and cyclooxygenase-2), and prevented signaling (phosphorylation of Syk, phospholipase A2, and 5-lipoxygenase) that can lead to cell attack by immune system cells called macrophages.
Mice treated with black garlic also had a decreased allergic response visible on their skin
4) Liver Damage
Rats with induced oxidative liver damage were treated with black garlic. Black garlic treatment significantly lowered markers of liver injury (AST, ALT, ALP, and LDH levels).
Black garlic also increased the normal activity and metabolism of the liver as the garlic increased levels of a molecule called CYP2E1. The black garlic also decreased fatty liver deposits and rebalanced liver cell diameters to optimal size.
In a rat study, black garlic significantly decreased bodyweight, stomach fat, and fat cell (adipocyte) size. The rats experienced the benefits of overall decreased fat. Black garlic also lowered triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and increased HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
These potential effects have not been investigated in humans.
6) Brain Cells & MSG
You’ve probably heard of the seasoning MSG (monosodium glutamate). In rat brain cells, MSG damaged the Purkinje cells in the brain (cerebellum and hippocampus), but its effect on humans is unclear.
The cerebellum and the hippocampus are vital parts of the brain, as they control muscle coordination and make memory retention possible. In rats, black garlic extract helped decrease Purkinje cell damage caused by MSG
Scientists are investigating whether any of the active compounds of black garlic have an effect on cancer cells. This is very early research on cells only, and no particular conclusion can be drawn from it about the effect of black garlic on cancer in a living animal or human. Many compounds have “anti-cancer” effects in cells which do not pan out in a living system.
In some cancer cells, direct exposure to black garlic decreases JNK and p38MAPK signaling molecules, which are heavily involved in the onset of cancer. Some of these cancer cells are the A549 lung cancer cell, HepG2 liver cancer cell, and MCF-7 breast cancer cell.
Black garlic and its active compounds are currently being investigated in:
- Stomach cancer
- Colon cancer
- Endometrial cancer