Not long ago, anthropologists discovered a remote tribe in New Guinea, the Sipsep, who greeted them with noomba, a bitter but tasty drink they claimed the gods had given their ancestors to keep them strong and healthy. The anthropologists tried noomba-and immediately felt more alert, energetic, and productive. They could run faster and hike farther without fatigue. One who had asthema clamied she breathed easier after drinking the herbal brew. Noomba caused only two problems: insomnia if the anthropologists drank it before bed, and a head ache for a day after they stopped drinking it on a trip to the coast.
Despite these annoyances, the anthropologists grew to love noomba and took a great deal home with them. It was an immediate hit with their university colleagues. At a cocktail party some medical researchers asked if they could study the herb. The anthropologists readily agreed.
It didn't take long for the researchers to report disturbing findings:
- Noomba was classically addictive. Over time, users developed a tolerance; that is, they required more and more noomba to obtain the same increase in alterness and productivity. The headache the anthropologists had reported was actually just one symptom of physical withdrawal from the addiction. Other withdrawal symtoms included constipation, sleepiness, and a craving for other stimulants.
- Noomba's stimulating effect caused not only insomnia but also anxeity, irritability, anemia, diarrhea, heartburn, stomach upset, muscle tension, and, in a few cases, outburts of uncontrolled rage.
- Even more disturbing, a five-cup-a day noomba habit (which many of the anthropologists had) raised cholesterol and blood pressure, and doubled their risk of heart attack.
-Some studies suggested noomba impaired fertility. And in experiments involving pregnant animals, the herb caused birth defects.
-Finally, some animal studies linked noomba to several cancers.
What do you think? Is noomba safe? Would you drink it? How would you feel if your children became noomba addicts? Are increased alertness, stamina, and productivity worth physical dependence, insomnia, heartburn, diarrhea, infertility, cancer, heart disease, and birth defects?
The truth is, noomba was not discovered recently in New Guinea. It arrived in Europe about 500 years ago from Arabia. Noomba is actually coffee, and all the effects mentioned above apply to American's favorite herbal beverage.
Is coffee safe? That depends. Most Americans enjoy the stimulation of a cup or two each morning. But most "java junkies" know that large amounts of it's powerful stimulant, caffeine (also found in tea, colas, chocolate, and mate), can cause problems.
~ taken from "The Healing Herbs" by Michael Castleman
*Just for the record...(and so no one can call me a hypocrite) I have been known to enjoy the occasional frappuccino from starbucks. My point in writing this was to warn about the dangers of a regular habit of coffee drinking....so there.