Disclaimer: The following material is based on the personal research, experiences and beliefs of the staff of the Institute of Russian Healing Arts, and is not approved by any medical or dietary authority. Use this information only at your own risk. Please, consult your physician before using this information, especially if you are under medical supervision.
In our practice, we are often asked about the effects of coffee on health. Coffee is an essential part of many people's lives, not only as a stimulant, but also a "socializing tool." Some of our clients report drinking up to 12 cups (!!!) of coffee per day. Because of its aroma, coffee is used in many food products such an ice cream, chocolate, yogurt, candies and more.
How safe is it?
Coffee has been Reported to be an analgesic, an aphrodisiac, anorexic, antidotal, cardio tonic, CNS-stimulant, counterirritant, diuretic, hypnotic, lactagogue, nervine, and stimulant. Coffee is a folk remedy for asthma, atropine poisoning, fever, flu, headache, jaundice, malaria, migraine, narcosis, nephrosis, opium poisoning, sores, and vertigo. What's more, research has shown that there are four times the amount of anti-oxidants in coffee than in green tea, that coffee is an excellent anti-depressant and an effective performance and memory enhancer. There are many studies which prove the unti-canceroce effect of coffee.
Sounds pretty good. But let's remember that coffee is a powerful plant. And, as any other powerful plant, coffee has to be used carefully and with caution. As we mentioned in the article on Healthy Diet Guidelines, coffee increases blood acidity. Overused, it could over-stimulate the nervous system, which could trigger many other problems and even create an addiction. Purdue University pharmacologist Dr. Tyler (1982) cites "some evidence linking coffee and cancer of the pancreas." "...Caffeine...in large amounts produces many undesirable side effects--from nervousness and insomnia to rapid and irregular heartbeats, elevated blood sugar and cholesterol levels, excess stomach acid, and heartburn. It is definitely a teratogen in rats." Michael Jacobson cites numerous studies on pregnant animals and humans in which the equivalent of 3-4 daily cups of coffee caused birth defects such as cleft palate and missing bones (Washington Star, December 20, 1978).
We do not recommend coffee if you have serious health conditions such as cancer, acute inflammation, hyperacidity, irregular heart beat, or high blood pressure. In such cases, we recommend that you consult with your physician.
When partaking of coffee, we need to consider the following factors:
- Type of beans you use
- Method of cooking
- Quantity you consume
Since non-organic beans create much more acid, we recommend only organically grown coffee beans, possibly freshly roasted. We are sure you will notice the difference right away - coffee made from organic, freshly roasted beans does not have acid aftertaste.
The method of cooking is also very important. The amounts of acid and caffeine are largely dependant on the brewing method. Below is a table of caffeine contents of different coffee beverages, according to the FDA.
|Coffee Product||Caffeine Range
|Coffee (8-oz cup)|
|Decaffeinated, brewed||2-4 mg||3|
|Decaffeinated, instant||1-4 mg||3|
|Espresso, 1-oz. cup||30-50 mg||40|
|Cappuccino and Latte, 1-oz shot||30-50 mg||40|
|Moccachino, 1-oz shot||35-55 mg||45|
As you can see, espresso is on the safer side than a beverage made with a coffeemaker machine. The only problem with espresso (if you do not own an espresso machine), is that it is almost impossible to find a cafe, which uses organic coffee beans.
However, there is another great method of brewing coffee. In different coffee books and in different countries it is called "Arabic," or "Middle Eastern," or "Turkish" style with a little of our own touch added. You would need to buy an IBRIK for making this style coffee. You can find this amazing coffeepot in most Middle Eastern, Greek, or Armenian grocery stores. Also, you would need to buy cardamom pods, whole nutmegs and cinnamon sticks. These spices will make your coffee taste better, improving the energy balance of the drink and also counteracting the toxins. It is always best to freshly ground the beans to a fine powder.
Before you start, try to put yourself in the mood for a ritual. This attitude is an important component in brewing your coffee. In fact, this process can be an excellent meditation!
- For an 8 oz Ibrik put in 2 to 4 teaspoons of ground coffee, depending on how strong you like it.
- Break one cardamom pod and also put it in the Ibrik.
- Scrape in small amounts of nutmeg and cinnamon with a knife.
- Put in a quarter or a third of a teaspoon of sugar (for the right cooking chemistry, but you can skip the sugar if you want).
- Mix everything together and add boiling water.
- Cook on low heat for a short period of time, until the coffee raises. Remove from heat, stir and let stand for a minute.
Coffee does not need to be strained, but if you want to strain it, try to find a stainless steel strainer. Please do not use paper coffee filters, as these will alter the chemistry of your coffee.
To enjoy not only good coffee, but also good health, we recommend no more than one cup (not one mug!) of coffee per day.