Tea 'to join health menu'

Tea could soon join fruit and vegetables on the list of must-have health foods.

Recent studies have suggested the traditional cuppa protects against a range of conditions including cancer, heart disease and Parkinson's.

But scientists in the United States now believe that the health benefits are so great that everyone should be urged to drink tea.

Experts believe antioxidants in tea help to repair cells in the body which have been damaged by sunlight, chemicals, stress and many foods.

Damaged cells can lead to cancer and heart disease as well as a host of other serious conditions.

Source BBC News

Plant's healing powers tested

Millions of people could benefit from pioneering research at three south west Wales hospitals which are investigating the medicinal properties of a desert plant.

Neath, Morriston and Singleton hospitals are the first to trial aloe vera as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which affects around 20% of the UK population.

Source BBC News

Herbal remedies 'could harm health'

Herbalists have warned people are putting their health at risk by using remedies inappropriately.

The UK market for herbal remedies such as St John's Wort and ginseng is worth around £126m a year, but experts say some of that is money badly spent.

Trudy Norris, president of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists warned against mixing remedies, combining them with conventional medicines or taking poor quality supplements.

She told BBC News Online herbs were safe and could be used successfully.
But she added:" What we are concerned about is that lots of people self-prescribe in an inappropriate way.

"So someone may want to use a herb instead of a drug, for example someone may buy a herbal combination and equate it with HRT, and they don't equate.

"And they may go into a shop to buy, say, St John's Wort, where there's a whole shelf-full of various quality and standards."

Source BBC News