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p.119-120 Coffee: "is has now been confirmed that caffeine is a chemical cousin of modern asthma medicines (xanthines). It has also been proved to boost brainpower, increase stamina during exercise, increase sperm count and even lower the risks of colon cancer and diabetes. On the downside... Hear palpitations, raised blood pressure and heightened anxiety are ... problems caffeine can aggravate."
p.120 Tea: "Green tea is especially rich in antioxidants, whose role in the body is to mop up the free radicals that can harm the heart and may trigger cancer. Antioxidants may also lower levels of harmful cholesterol."
p.122 Garlic: "...it is one of the most effective plants in preventing everything from infections to cancer - and for treating problems with circulation, digestion and respiration... The Egyptians... [gave] workmen constructing the Great Pyramid ... a daily ration by the pharaoh Khufu to endow them with strength and prevent them falling ill."
p.158 "Cats at sea - some superstitions linking cats and storms... Cats can start storms through magic stored in their tails ... If a cat licks its fur against the grain a hailstorm is coming; if it sneezes, rain is on the way; and if it is frisky, the wing will soon get up." P.188 "expect rain (maybe) if ... A cat washes over its ears."
p.160 "Peacock feathers shouldn't be brought into the house. They are said to bear the colours of the seven deadly sins. When God created the bird, so the story goes, the sins were jealous of its beauty. As punishment, God removed the yellow eye of envy, the green eye of jealousy, the red eye of murder - and all the rest - and put them into the peacock's tail. The sins themselves followed, in their vain attempt to regain the eyes they had lost."
p.166 "The yew [tree], long revered to protect against evil, and life after death, is a tree widely associated with burial grounds, and many English yews are thought to be older than the churches they grow by."
p.172 "An old country custom to ensure that a child had good eyesight was to collect rainwater during a thunderstorm, steep parsley in it and then use the liquid to bathe the eyes of a newborn."
p.176 "...the miraculous Glastonbury thorn, believed to have sprung from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea who, on his mission to Britain, planted it in the ground on Christmas Eve."
p.195 "Astronomically, the most significant part of the constellation [of Cancer - the Crab] is a cluster of stars named the Beehive. The Chaldeans called this the Gate of Men and believed it to be the entrance taken by souls leaving heaven to take up residence in human bodies."
p.198 "Placed directly opposite Cancer in the zodiac, Capricorn was the other Gate of the Gods, and the one through which souls passed on their journey from earth to heaven." [link]
p.223 "Guarding the Egyptian underworld was Ammut, part hippopotamus and part lion, with the jaws of a crocodile. Specifically stationed next to the scales of judgment [Libra?] in the hall of Osiris (the king and judge of the dead) she ate the hearts of those who were burdened with sin. Her role was similar to that of the Greek Cerberus, the three-headed dog who guarded the gates of Hades."
p.215 "The Chupacabra, an alleged predator of South America whose name is Spanish for 'goat sucker', is said to drink the blood of various farm animals, leaving their corpses in the fields with incision wounds on their necks. Some people claim to have seen the creature in remote areas, and it is often described as having 'spines' down its back." The 'sucking of blood' and incisions on the necks reminds me of cattle mutilations I read about in topic of alien abductions and UFO sightings. [link]
p.224 About Quetzalcoatl.
p.226-7 "Although fierce, the unicorn was believed to love purity - and so could be tamed by a virgin. Symbolically its greatest enemy was the lion ... [to capture a unicorn] a beautiful, naked virgin had to be tied to a tree in order to attract the beast."
p.231 "To the Japanese, dragons are by no means totally benign. Some are believed to demand the annual sacrifice of a virgin."