Valentine’s Day has come… and gone. So now that Valentine’s is old news, let’s talk about something new. Let’s talk about…a consumable product known to man since the Stone Age.

Early man discovered this product by chewing the seeds, barks and leaves of certain plants. An early Ethiopian gardener also apparently discovered this substance by observing his goats whose habits were altered somewhat after eating berries and rubbing against shrubs from certain plants. In fact, 17th century Europeans called it “Arabian Wine”. Now that’s really saying something ain’t it?

So what are we talking about? We are talking about a substance that was talked about by the Persian physician al-Razi in the 9th century. We are talking about a substance that was used in religious rituals… a substance so lethal that when first introduced to the Europeans, its authorities tried to ban it unsuccessfully. In fact, the English even went as far as to claim that it could be used to cure venereal diseases, indigestion and the common cold!! We are talking about the substance now known to us as CAFFEINE. But of course, most people would readily tell you that CAFFEINE is no big deal. Or is it?

Now, it is important to strictly clarify that CAFFEINE is NOT exclusive to coffee. Caffeine does not equal to coffee. In fact, CAFFEINE can be found in over 60 types of beans, leaves and fruits. CAFFEINE in plants act as natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects that attempt to feed of the plants. And here we are, supposedly supreme, thinking, the greatest of creation using it to feed our addiction…..

It is interesting to note that Roland R. Griffiths and Geoffrey K. Mumford from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology classify CAFFEINE as “arguably the most robust form of drug self-administration known to man”. In the Concise Handbook of Psychoactive Herbs, CAFFEINE is classified as a stimulant. At the 2007 annual meeting of American College of Emergency Physicians, it was noted that the average age of CAFFEINE abusers was 21 years old.

I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s quite a big deal. But hey, I love my tea, coffee and chocolate!…..

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