One can get coffee from an evergreen bush found in the tropical regions of the world. The height till which the coffee shrubs can grow to is 15 feet. Coffee is made from Coffea- shrubs that flower and give the seeds of coffee beans. The two species that help in the coffee-making process are Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora (i.e. the Robusta variety) [1].

COFFEE FACTS:

1. For more than 11 centuries coffee has made its presence felt all over the world.

2. The International Olympic Committee includes caffeine in the 'banned' substances list (up to 12ugms of caffeine per ml of urine is permitted for athletes at the time of testing).

3. Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark are the biggest per capita coffee consuming countries in the world.

4. Previously, coffee used to be called Arabian Wine in Europe [2].

5. In the US, the only state that grows coffee on a commercial scale is Hawaii (Kona coffee) [3].

6. The most expensive coffee in the world is made from the excreta of Sumatran wild cats [4]!

7. In 2001, Brazil circulated a coffee scented postage stamp [5].

8. Researchers in 2002 established that spreading ground coffee all over the garden prevents snails from coming inside [6].

9. All over the world, the 7th largest coffee producing country is India [7].

10. First food item that was freeze-dried: coffee [8].

THERAPEUTIC USES OF COFFEE:

1. Prevention of the following diseases:

Cancer- The cancer preventive properties of coffee are balanced out in the body. It brings down the occurrences of colorectal, liver and breast cancer due to the antioxidant substances that limit oxidative cell damage. But these same antioxidants can also act as catalysts in causing pancreatic cancer.

Parkinson's disease: One doesn't see the occurrence of Parkinson's disease in men for a long period of time. The positive effects of Parkinson's disease prevention is seen more prominently in men than women.

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2: Polyphenols (antioxidants) found in coffee decreases the incidence of diabetes mellitus type 2 in adults.

Coffee also does not allow the formation of gall bladder stones in the body.

2. Occurrence of Alzheimer's disease can be prolonged: Coffee prevents the occurrence of short-term memory loss as well as dementia in persons whose age is more than 65 years [9].

3. Coffee used as an enema: Coffee in the form of an enema came into existence in 1917. It is mainly used to stimulate the liver and not to aid the intestinal functions. Dr. Gerson and his team of researchers noted that all the pain-killers could be done away with, once the patients were put on coffee enemas. Two constituents present in coffee, kahweol and cafestol palmitate, act as catalysts for the enzyme system, glutathione S-tranferase- this enzyme removes the carcinogens from the blood stream [10].


4. Greek coffee and an improved cardiovascular system: Greek coffee has a twist- it is boiled compared to the usual method of brewing coffee. Greek coffee is full of constituents that protect the heart: chlorogenic acid, polyphenols and lipid-soluble substances. It particularly benefits women, protecting them from endothelial cell dysfunction- a disease that affects the blood vessels of the heart [11].

5. Coffee in beauty treatments: As coffee has anti-inflammatory properties, it can also be used in the form of body scrubs. The constituent present in coffee, caffeine, is anti-aging agent. It can bring down the number of wrinkles that are usually seen, as a person ages and also in suppressing the pigmentation of the skin [12].


FUTURE USES:

1. Coffee as fuel: Oil present in coffee grounds is usually derived from triglycerides. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati are trying to convert these oils into biodiesel which is much cheaper and cleaner than the fuel we usually use [13].

2. Coffee to bring down the levels of prostate cancer recurrence: Constituents in coffee such as caffeine, cafestol, kahweol and chlorogenic acid can start apoptosis, suppress the growth of cancer as well as DNA methylation. Randomized clinical trials are yet to begin regarding the anti-carcinogenic properties of coffee in cases of prostate cancer [14].

3. Coffee and prevention of HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) infection: Studies were carried out at Padua University (Italy) to observe the effects of coffee on patients suffering from liver injuries caused due to the HCV virus. All the patients were given Arabica coffee which was 100% pure. The study had some drawbacks:

a. The time period over which the trial was conducted was too small.

b. There was no independent confirmation of patient's adherence to the study protocol
Similar studies will have to be conducted on a much larger scale and the time period of the study will have to be extended. Coffee cannot be a replacement for medical assistance that is required by patients of HCV-related liver injuries [15].

REFERENCES:

1. http://www.longbottomcoffee.com/index.php/coffee-101/the-coffee-bean/pit-of-a-coffee-cherry.html

2. http://www.missmaud.com.au/Coffee/LittleKnownCoffeeFacts.aspx

3. http://likes.com/misc/12-awesome-facts-about-coffee?page=2

4. http://coffeeloversunited.com/17-fun-facts-about-coffee-some-weird-interesting-untold-coffee-facts/

5. http://www.nescafe.com/coffee_facts_en_com.axcms

6. http://www.express.co.uk/fun/top10facts/432503/Top-10-facts-about-coffee

7. http://www.coorgcreek.com/coffeefacts.htm

8. http://visual.ly/coffee-facts-2

9. http://www.culinaryarts360.com/index.php/medicinal-uses-of-coffee-185/

10. Premier Research Labs. The Coffee Enema: Its unique history and amazing detox properties. 2006.
Website: http://www.wellnesspathways.com/handouts/coffee_enema.pdf

11. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/heart-protecting-super-powers-greek-coffee

12. http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/12590/1/The-Beauty-Secrets-of-Coffee.html

13. http://www.theatlanticcities.com/technology/2013/09/cars-future-could-run-viscous-coffee-oil/6848/

14. http://www.fhcrc.org/en/news/releases/2013/08/coffee-keep-prostate-cancer-away.html

15. http://www.thebodypro.com/content/72738/hepatitis-c-unexpected-results-from-a-clinical-tri.html



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