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Interesting Green Tea

Green tea. Everybody says we with prostate cancer should drink green tea. Hard to find in France, hard to miss here in Indonesia.

A few years ago in Southeast Asia there was a TV commercial for a car -- The Car That Never Fails -- Toyota, I think. A young couple in love stand by their car, she in a very wide-brimmed straw hat and billowing dress, he in slacks and a bright shirt. They wave at tea pickers in a field on a slope, women in chic versions of a very wide-brimmed hat of a type common here, serving as both umbrella and parasol, brims about a yard across. The tea pickers wave back, and we see their faces -- young, beautiful. They're there, these pretty women, among the tea plants, in gaily colored light blouses, happy.

The commercial ran for a couple of years on Singapore television, but was taken off the air after a week or two here in Indonesia. Why? Indonesians know about tea and how it's picked. Nobody smiles.

On the road from Jakarta to Bandung, dangerous road with huge busses overtaking huge busses and cars swerving off onto the extra-wide shoulders, there are mountain passes winding among volcanoes and ridges. It is said that most Indonesians live and die within sight of a volcano. There are 147 active volcanoes in this country.

The first mountain pass beyond Jakarta is really just a mild depression between two mountains at a place called Puncak (pronounced Poon-chock), means 'summit' in Indonesian. Right there, at the summit, there's a huge Chinese restaurant, with big windows looking down the slope into the valleys beyond. That's where my green tea comes from, those slopes. I can sit there looking through those windows at the tea pickers in their wide hats working their way through the rows of tea plants, romantic, exotic scene.

On the way up the mountain, or on the way back down, you see them up close, the tea pickers, drinking tepid Coke at little wooden stands at the edge of the tea field, just off the road. And you see the tea plants.

The women are sitting, exhausted. No young beautiful faces, no gaily colored light blouses, no smiles. These women are wearing heavy canvas pants tucked into tough knee-length construction boots, heavy canvas vests over thick sweatshirts, and beside them are heavy work gloves. Their hands are gnarled and swollen, criss-crossed with slashes and scars. They work in pain.

The tea plants are tough obdurate bushes, about waist-high, planted in rows so close together there's no open space, and the women have to force their way through them, picking tea leaves (which may for all I know be tender) and putting them over their shoulders into big long baskets harnessed to their backs. Without the canvas clothing and the boots and the gloves, the women would have to be hospitalized with multiple slashes and scrapes after one pass through one row of bushes. No light lovely blouses, no long slender Asian hands waving designer tea-picker hats, no laughter -- just grim hard work in heavy clothing in the heat day after day.

Now, don't boycott green tea, you American PCa families. Appreciate it, use it in health, for those women of Puncak are part of your support chain.

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Green Tea

Green tea in Asia is almost as popular as coffee is in the West. Japanese, Chinese and Taiwanese green teas are filled with polyphenols which phytochemicals that are almost as 100 times as powerful as the antioxidant found in Vitamin C. Tea's polyphenols is primarily known as catechins that prevents the uncontrollable growth of new blood vessels. This, many believe,help to stop cancer by preventing newly-emerging tumors from growing by robbing them of their sustenance for growth. Catechins can also stop DNA deformations caused by carcinogens or cancer-causing substance from coming up in the first place.

Chinese scientists believe that green tea daily dosages help to bring about lower probablities of cancer in the oesophagus, stomach and liver. Japanese scientists show that drinking up to ten cups or more in one day on a daily basis may also cut down the risks of heart and coronary diseases. Some have even suggested that merely gargling the green in the mouth may stop bacteria from gathering in the teeth cavities. Experiments with lab animals yielded the result of lower incidences of skin cancer when green tea was applied to their epidermal layer. The results are still inconclusive for black tea but some suspect that they can be the same in terms of results.


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