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Coffee - Research

Recent pharmacological studies have been performed on Coffea arabica; however, there are no current clinical studies on its external or internal use. 
Coffee was thought to be a folk remedy for asthma, flu, fever, headache, jaundice, migraine, malaria, kidney disease, opium poisoning, sores and dizziness.4  The Arabians consumed the pulp from a fermented drink while the Indonesians and Malaysians use the dried leaves to prepare an infusion.4  
Historically, coffee was used externally for scalds and burns1  or as a deodorant when combined with iodine.4  Internally, coffee was used for nausea and vomiting,1  as a brain stimulant and diuretic, and to help ward off comas caused by snake bites.2  Monks would use coffee to stay awake during extended hours of prayer.5  The unripe coffee seeds are traditionally used in Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicine for headaches.1  
Coffee is a source of caffeine found in various drinks and is used as a flavoring in candies, ice cream, liqueurs, and pastries.1  Coffee contains chlorogenic and caffeic acids that give it its antioxidant properties.6  
1  Bown D. The Herb Society of America New Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses. London: Dorling Kindersley Limited; 2001.
2  Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. Vol I. New York: Dover Publications;1971.
3  Rinzler, CA. The New Complete Book of Herbs, Spices, & Condiments. New York: Checkmark Books; 2001.
4  Duke JA. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Vol 1. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1985.
5  Coffee. Coffeeresearch.org. 2001. Available at: http://www.coffeeresearch.org/coffee/history.htm. Accessed February 21, 2005.

Health Issues

Maca (Lepidum meyenii, Brassicaceae), a root vegetable grown in the Andean region of Peru, is widely used for its nutritional and therapeutic properties. Maca is said to improve male and female reproductive activity in diverse ways, from increasing arousal and reducing symptoms of menopause to boosting sperm quality,


The Food & Pandemics Report, produced by plant-based advocacy group ProVeg International, identifies the eating and farming of animals as “the single most risky human behaviour in relation to pandemics”, and calls for urgent changes to the global food system in order to prevent future outbreaks. The report has drawn support from inside the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).


An international team of researchers from Brazil, the United States and Sweden has found that polyphenols found in berries of the açaí palm (Euterpe oleracea)