Monthly Archives: October 2017


“Where there is tea, there is hope”.

I grew up in an Irish Chinese family, where a cup of tea was present in any situation. My mother almost always put on the kettle as soon as someone came in the door. Waking up, warming up on a cold day, winding down after a long day, resolving a fight, sitting with a friend and sharing a laugh… a cup of tea is the best medicine for the body, mind and soul.

My father lives on Earl Grey tea, and my kind mother must have made him at least a million cups by now. Visiting my mother’s family in Malaysia, is when I first started to understand that tea was also very beneficial for health. Most Chinese food is quite greasy, so a cup of green tea was often served before eating.

green tea

Green tea is produced from the same plant as black tea. The difference is that green tea is not left to ferment after harvesting and before drying, which means it still contains most of the active ingredients. One of my fondest memories from my teenage years in India is from when my best friend, Esther, and I would sit on a ledge overlooking hills full of tea bushes. Beautiful green tea bushes as far as the eye could see. It was breathtaking. We would occasionally roll on top of the green bushes as well for a laugh!

Green tea contains large amounts of catechins, which is a group of polyphenol flavonoids (antioxidants) that have many health benefits. You may have heard of the catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG, which helps to reduce cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, has anti-cancer properties and aids in weight loss.


Matcha powder is also a green tea, but it contains the whole leaf and is much more concentrated. 1 serving of matcha gives you the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of green tea. Matcha has 137 times more antioxidants than your normal green tea. Isn’t that brilliant!


Chamomile flower tea is a common household item. Perhaps your mother made you a cup of chamomile tea with some honey in it when you were little, to help with that tummy ache. It contains a flavonoid called chrysin, which is good for anxiety and helps you to sleep. It has an ocean of benefits due to the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antispasmodic, anti-ulcer and astringent healing properties.

I read that it has been found to contain 28 terpenoids and 36 flavonoid compounds including the bioactive components – coumarins,  flavonoids, terpenoids and mucilage. All these many properties mean that this delicate little flower has a wonderful healing touch. Makes you want to drink a cup doesn’t it!


I enjoy drinking ginger tea, not only for the deliciously spicy taste but also for the many benefits it has to offer. It aids in digestion and relieves bloating. It can curb hunger pangs hence aiding in weight loss. It helps to relieves muscle pain after that gym workout, and the anti-inflammatory properties means that it can reduce inflammation in muscles and joints. Furthermore, ginger increases your immune system, relieves congestion and relieves nausea – so it’s great if you are sick. Try drinking a cup the next time you have a headache.


Nettle tea is another good tea. It has been found that nettle has antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-ulcer, astringent properties. Nettle has a very high mineral content, as well as containing lots of chlorophyll. It can relieve pain too. It’s a great help if you’re suffering from allergies or asthma. Nettle may reduce hypertension, and helps with diabetes and arthritis. It is commonly known as a diuretic, so it’s good for your kidneys too.

Herbal teas can be enjoyed hot or cold, and taste absolutely divine when combined with other herbs, or fruits and spices. At the moment, my favourites are from Pukka and YogiTea. They both have naturally caffeine free herbal teas. YogiTea has inspirational messages on the tag, which I enjoy every time!

Remember, don’t drink tea with your meals if you can help it. The tannins and caffeine mess with your body’s ability to absorb iron.

When enjoying your next cup of tea, take time to count your blessings and let it bring that radiant smile to your lips!

Hannah – Anni’s Vital Shop, Carrefour, Mijas Costa


A Wrench in the Machine – Kidney stones by Anni Dahms

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By Anni Dahms
Owner of the retail chain
Nurse- & Health
specialist,  Biopath and Nutritional Adviser.

Español * English * Dansk * Suomi



Late at night an email appears in my inbox. It’s from my good friend Bente, from Denmark.
She writes that lately she has had numerous urinary tract infections. Her doctor discovered that she has calcium oxalate in her urine. But, treated with antibiotics, the positive effects of traditional medicine haven’t lasted, much to her regret. She is tired and concerned, and asks if I have anything that might help her recover more effectively.

Bente is a woman in her early fifties, and a single mom with two teenage children. She is slender, fit, friendly, and a strong businesswoman with remarkable confidence. She takes excellent care of herself with a healthy diet and quality supplements. Her work demands a great deal of her; it comes with many responsibilities and even more important decisions, which have to be made every single day. Kidney stones often appear in summer, which plays well into this story, as Bente has been spending a lot more time in Costa Rica, for business as well as vacation.

Kidney stones often develop when your urine is too concentrated, so hydrating properly is vital.

There are different types of kidney stones: Calcium oxalate, Struvite, Cystinuria, and Uric acid stones. The first, calcium oxalate, is the most common and accounts for roughly 80% of all cases. This is the type of kidney stones, this article will revolve around.

It can be difficult to determine the root cause of a kidney stone. One of them could be an overactive thyroid. For Bente, with her restless and stressed everyday life, this might be the case, so I asked that she had it checked.

Luckily her thyroid samples came back normal.

Kidney stones most often occur with men and many of them who also suffer from gout, so Bente’s case is actually quite unusual. There might be some inheritable factors that play a role.

Often there are no symptoms for kidney stones. Many people have them, without ever noticing it. But then suddenly you feel it. The stones or gravel rip loose from the renal pelvis and go down into the ureter, causing pain and/or stopping the flow of urine – or even give blood in the urine.

Kidney stone attacks are often experienced as strong back pain, right above the belt. The pain can be quite unbearable, extending down toward the lower back and groin area. In some cases they are even accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

If you have blood in your urine, even if it’s only once, you should consult a doctor. In many cases blood in the urine, will be the first symptom to detect this problem, and often it happens only once. Rocks and gravel can easily pass without any of these symptoms, as was the case with Bente. However, for her the stones caused repeated urinary tract infections, due to the high concentration of calcium oxalate in her urine.

The diet

Luckily, there are many counter actions to be taken for reducing the amount of calcium oxalate in your urine.

As for Bente, she is a glutton for chocolate. It refreshes her when she is tired, but still has many things to do. Also she always has her pockets full of nuts and almonds, since she doesn’t always have time to eat proper meals. She is a picky eater, and does not always trust the quality of the food available in the places where her work brings her.

If you are prone to developing kidney stones, then, regretfully, chocolate, nuts, and almonds in larger quantities, are to be avoided.

Bente is never thirsty and she explains that she often finds it difficult to go to the bathroom, and is often bothered by it in the middle of client consultations. She also despises water.

I have insisted that she drinks at least two liters of high quality water, on a daily basis. She can prepare a water bottle with two liters of water and then add lemon, both for the flavor and its many great qualities.

In addition, I’ve asked Bente to avoid rhubarb, beets, strawberry, and bran. I’ve also asked her to only consume small quantities of coffee, tea, and coco (chocolate milk). Bente loves her coffee, so we have settled on only two cups a day. Meat eaters with kidney stones must be extra careful of red steaks and too much alcohol. When you drink alcohol make sure to have a glass of water after each drink. Also, sugary treats and foods containing white flour, such as pasta, cookies, white rice, and soda are on the list of forbidden products.

Luckily this is not a problem for Bente, whose diet is mostly vegetarian, and very concerned about her health.

At times when she feels particularly tired, Bente indulges herself with a cola. There are studies that have shown that the consumption of cola can lead to kidney stones. Researchers have discovered that two liters of cola, daily, can change the composition of the urine in a negative way. But Bente’s consumption of cola is very limited, so I personally doubt that this is a problem.

In addition to the aforementioned prohibitions, I strongly recommended that she eat many green vegetables. And, in addition to water, I also recommended cranberry juice, parsley, tea from dande- lion, and tea from nettles three times a day.

Bente still can’t stand neither water nor herbal tea, but is determined to learn to like it.

Lovely smoothies with a variety of vegetables (carrots, kale, cucumber, and celery) can be extremely beneficial. Celery does contain a bit of oxalic acid, but is at the same time great for cleaning the kidneys, with its high concentration of potassium.

It is also important to remember there are a lot of great fruits available. The sugar found in fruit is very good for you.

Dietary supplements

Lastly, Bente and I have reached an agreement to change her supplements to better suit her current situation.

• For the returning infections, I recommended a known product, which contains a combination of two plants: andrographis paniculata, one of which is a Russian root that helps against infections and fights tiredness. There have been many placebo trials with this supplement that document its functionality.

• In my opinion, since Bente has received so many antibiotic treatments, she needs a very good probiotics to regulate her intestinal flora. It is speculated that roughly 80% of the immune system originates from the intestinal system. Many researchers are working on proving the correlation between a strong heart and intestinal system and its influence on the brain. Therefore I have advised her to take probiotics for at least a period of eight months.

• Bente is almost always suffering from stress, which is why I have advised her to take an easily absorbable vitamin-B supplement. Vitamin-B6, roughly 50 mg, should be added to the regular vitamin-B. If you lack B6, it is often easier for calcium oxalate to gather in the kidneys.

• An easy to absorb magnesium. Roughly 600 mg daily.

• Calcium with vitamin-D3. If you have an insufficient amount of calcium (and magnesium) in your system, it can lead to kidney stones.

• Resium. This is originally a Spanish herbal product, which affects both kidneys and gallbladder, and therefore gallstone. Resium, together with a change of lifestyle, can relieve and prevent kidney stones.

The above mentioned, was my recommendation to Bente. I was very happy to hear, a couple of weeks later, that she has followed the diet and my instructions, and is feeling much better now.


• In other cases, I could have added a couple of products: the mineral silica, which also helps break down kidney stones.

• Vitamin-A is also very important. There is an increased chance of kidney stones if you lack vitamin-A. It also strengthens the mucous.

• You must not forget vitamin-C. That vitamin-C can cause kidney stones is a myth. If you lack vitamin-C, the body cannot produce the amino acid cysteine but will instead form cystine. That can be a direct cause of kidney stones.

• If you’ve already had kidney stones, it often returns, unfortunately. A preventive diet or lifestyle change could be to drink a table spoon of apple cider/cider vinegar with cold water, once a day.

• Therapies that might help remove the toxins could be reflexology, acupuncture, and lymphatic drainage.

• Though salt is important, remember to use it wisely. And if you are bedridden, be sure to consume sufficient water.

• The old Dr. A. Vogel writes in one of his books from 1980, that our kidneys undergo a lot of stress due to our modern lifestyle and diet. He especially attacks white sugar, which puts an enormous strain on our kidneys.

• He describes, that all kidney pains often disappear when all forms of sugar are completely avoided.

• If you know that you are prone to having kidney stones, be sure to tell your therapist, and ask them to proceed gently.

• There are quite a few homeopathic treatments that can relieve kidney stones. If you have the courage to try homeopathy, then it’s important that you find a well-educated and experienced homeopath that you can trust.