Green tea 'may protect the heart'

Green tea could help protect against the damage caused by heart attacks and strokes, researchers suggest.

A chemical found in the tea, which has been drunk for over 4,000 years, has been shown to reduce the amount of cell death which follows such trauma.

Cell death leads to tissue death and even organ failure.

Experts from the UK's Institute of Child Health carried out the study, published in the journal of the Federation of Experimental Biology.

Green tea was frequently used in the past as fluid supply for patients suffering from infectious diseases, but recently researchers have begun to scientifically determine the health benefits of green tea.

Source BBC News

Wine 'can protect women's hearts'

Drinking wine, but not beer or spirits, keeps women's hearts beating healthily, Swedish research suggests.

Scientists studied the effect of alcohol consumption on 102 women under the age of 75 who had survived a heart attack or surgery for blocked arteries.

They found those who drank a small amount of wine every day for a year had the healthiest heart beat rhythm.

Drinking beer or spirits did not seem to have the same effect, the Karolinska Institute team told the journal Heart.

Source BBC News

Feverfew or Bachelor's Button, kills human leukemia stem cells like no other single therapy

A daisy-like plant known as Feverfew or Bachelor's Button, a traditional remedy for reducing fevers and a treatment for nervousness, hysteria and low spirits, is the source of an agent that kills human leukemia stem cells like no other single therapy, scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center's James P. Wilmot Cancer Center have discovered.

Their investigation is reported in the online edition of the journal, >Blood.

Ginseng 'could improve memory'

The herbal remedy ginseng can help improve memory in stroke patients suffering from dementia, researchers have found.

Stroke patients can experience a form of memory loss called moderate vascular dementia, which is caused by damage to the blood vessels leading to the brain.

Chinese researchers found taking a ginseng compound meant people who had experienced a stroke scored more highly on memory tests than those who did not take the herb.

But UK experts said the findings had to be treated with caution.

Forty patients, with an average age of 67, who had mild or moderate vascular dementia took part in the study.

Twenty-five were given a tablet of ginseng extracted from Chinese ginseng roots, leaves and an herb known as panax notoginseng three times daily.

The rest were given a Duxil, (almitrine + raubasine), a drug which increases oxygen use in brain tissue. It has previously been shown to improve the memory of elderly patients with dementia.
All 40 were given memory tests which focused on how well they could recall stories, words and other verbal and visual memory tests before and after the 12-week study.

Those given the ginseng significantly improved their average memory function after 12 weeks.
It was found ginseng increased the activities of the brain chemicals acetylcholine and choline acetyltransferase in elderly mice.

Source BBC News

Herb 'as good as depression drug'

A German study has added weight to the argument that a herbal remedy is an effective treatment for depression.

Researchers compared the effectiveness of St John's wort to anti-depressant drug paroxetine in treating moderate and severe depression.

The team found half of those with the condition improved when given the herb, compared with a third using the drug, the BBC News