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Are you in a truly

fulfilling relationship? Do you have a great sex life?

If the answer to either of those questions comes up negative, you might take a lesson from the seahorse. Apparently these unusual creatures of the ocean have the secret to a long and happy relationship.

What is the secret?

Dr. Amanda Vincent of Oxford University's department of zoology in Canada studied the unique mating and reproductive process of the seahorse and uncovered many of their mating rituals. For starters, they have only one mate for life. Yes it’s true. No partner is aban-doned for a younger seahorse or for one with a bigger habitat, and no secret rendezvous in the sea grass near the coral reef next door. It is believed that this lifetime relationship enables the seahorse “couple” to become an efficient and effective baby-making team, produc-ing around 1,000 young per year, a family large enough to break up even the happiest of couples.

Yet, these two dedicated lovers re-main steadfast in their commitment to each other. When mating, the female seahorse deposits her eggs (100-600) in the male brood pouch and the male fertilizes them internally. The male carries the eggs in his pouch for three to six weeks. He then releases the fully formed, miniature (only one centimeter long) seahorses into the water. Sounds like a plan – daddy seahorse is just as important as mommy in bringing their baby seahorses into the world. No wonder they remain so close.

What a team!

To further reinforce their bond, the happy couple greets each other every morning and sometimes in the evening, an interesting yet sometimes overlooked mating ritual. They spend the rest of the day separated, the male takes care of the eggs and the female goes out to hunt for food. Ah yes, absence does make the heart grow fonder

Even before Dr. Vincent’s discovery, the mystical seahorse has long been viewed with awe, a kind of submarine saint. The seahorse looks like a Gothic hallucination, with the profile of a horse, the snout of an anteater, and the spiral-ing tail of a dragon curling inward towards its belly and head. The scientific name for the seahorse is hippocampus, Greek for "bent horse."

Seahorses range in length from about a 1/4 inch to 14 inches and come in a variety of colors and species. They swim vertically, as if by magic, beating their fins up to 70 times a second. These one of a kind species of the deep blue are found in temperate and tropical coastal waters all over the world.

Seahorses live a happy and fulfilling life, but they also provide many services for us on land.

Ground up and mixed with herbs, seahorse has been used by the Chinese for centuries to treat many illnesses such as: arteriosclerosis, kidney disease, respiratory infections, and circulatory disorders.

The Chinese have also used seahorse as an aphrodisiac.

The Chinese have claimed it as a possible cure for infertility and sexual impotence, but we could expect nothing less from our fertile friends from the sea. Mix some seahorse

with a few herbs and

throw away that bottle of Viagra. And yes, seahorses can also be eaten. Whole seahorses are made into soup. The taste is similar to dried scallops. The Cantonese have a Seahorse Soup recipe that calls for 4 seahorses, pork stock, ginger and carrots. It is considered an added benefit to the meal if the male seahorse happens to be pregnant. Of course one must be careful when trying to eat the seahorse. They are served anatomically intact. All this demand for the power of the seahorse has caused an international sensation, with trade, mostly dried seahorse used for medicinal purposes, valued at $40 million a year.

The best quality seahorses used in traditional Chinese medicine are the smooth, pale, large seahorses—now selling in Hong Kong for up to $550 per pound.

So it seems that the seahorse is valued all over the world to cure what ails us, to provide a gourmet meal, and yes to improve our sex lives and teach us a little lesson on how to keep that love alive .

Sea Horse Cocktail Ingredients: 60ml Vodka, 30ml Apple Juice 30ml Cranberry Juice 1 teaspoon Pernod 1 teaspoon fresh Lime Juice

To make this cocktail pour all ingredients over ice and serve. Garnish with mint leaves.

East meets West • Medicine

A different approach towards healing and medicine - Serious, Humorous, Interesting - Centuries old remedy

without the side effects or warnings of Western (U.S.) ED drugs - think about it before laughing

S ea H orses

An estimated about one in ten American men experience recurring ED at some point in their lives, by a number of causes, both psychological and physiological, and is not always treatable with drugs. The U.S. pharmaceutical industry top 3 companies posting sales of $3.1 Billion in 2006.

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Page 50 - JanFeb2014

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