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Much is said about the caffeine content of drinks,but on average what is the caffeine content of various drinks?
Coffee (Coffea arabica) 1-2%
Tea (Camellia sinensis) 1-4%
Cocao (Theobroma cacao) under 1%
Mate (Ilex paraguensis) 1-2%
Cola about 2.5%
Guarana (Paullinia cupana) 2.5-5.0%

Cocao (Theobroma cocao)

Cocoa contains tannins, caffeine and methylxanthines. These latter have diuretic effects and can influence the bronchi and the vascular system. They may also improve cardiac muscle performance and act as muscle relaxant.

Green tea (Camellia sinensis)

Gren tea has been linked to preventing coronary heart disease, strokes and now osteoarithritis. green tea is thought to lower cholesterol levels, combate mental fatigue, strengthen immunity and neutralize some bacterial poisons. One of the components of tea, namely, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), together with the caffeine in tea are thought to stimulate thermogenesis, which can aid weight loss.

Hops (Humulus lupulus)

Hops are best known as a flavoring and preserving ingredient in the brewing of beers. However, in addition, by tradition the ancient Hebrews relied on Hops to ward off plague. Actually hops do contain some effective antibacterial constituents that are valuable against Yersinia pestis, the plague bacillus. Another well known use both in the Old World and in the New too (the Mohegans, Meskwaki and the Dakotas), Hops were used as sedatives and for insomnia. The young shuts of this plant were eaten in salads, Hop teas were drunk and Hops were made into pillows for sleeping on, all to cure insomnia, act to calm restlessness and act as sedatives.

There is experimental evidence that Hops are true sedatives, not just muscle relaxants and that they also have anti-hyperglycemic and antibacterial activity. Both Com. E and ESCOP have given their approval for the use of Hops for relieving anxiety, restlessness and for calming and sleep promotion.

Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)

In Polynesia and Melanesia, the dried roots of this plant are used in a ceremonial drink reputed to a have sedative, aphrodisiac, tonic, stimulant, diuretic and diaphoretic properties. In Europe, "Kawain" is marketed to the elderly as a mild sedative and pain reliever and to women for menstrual cramps. Kava kava has been described as narcotic and hypnotic, however, it is neither hallucinogenic nor stupefying and it is nonadditive!

This herbal rhizome was evaluated and given approval by Com. E. However, although approved for use as an anti-anxiety agent, the following were noted:

  1. Extended intake could lead to temporary yellow discoloration of skin, nails and hair.
  2. Cases of skin allrgies have been noted.
  3. Enlargement of the pupils and disturbances of the oculomotor equilibrium have been described.
  4. Potentiation of effectiveness is possible for substances acting on the central nervous system, such as alcohol, barbiturates, psychopharmacological agents, narcotics, antispasmodics and anticonvulsives.
  5. This herbal may adversely affect motor reflexes and judgment for driving and/or operating heavy equipment
  6. Should not be used during pregnancy, lactation or endogenous depression.

Mate (Ilex paraguensis)

Mate or yerba mate contains caffeine, which is thought to promote the "burning" of fat. It is used in some weight control programs in France. The German E Commission has approved it for banishing mental and physical fatigue. Home Page

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email Dr. Inge Harding-Barlow