March 7, 2011: Kiss Me, I’m Healthy!


Kissing is good for you. No, really. Here’s the proof: a Japanese study published in 2009 showed that healthy couples allowed to kiss and hug had higher circulating proteins, a finding associated with health and well-being[i]; and here’s a study demonstrating that when it comes to allergic skin reactions, kissing sometimes does make it better[ii].

I don’t know whether or not being Irish is good for you—though I suspect there are statistics on file at the CDC or the World Health Organization—but I can think of a few qualities we associate with the Irish that are known to improve wellbeing. Here they are: a sense of humor[iii] increases immune function; expressing yourself through music[iv] and stories[v] can retain and improve brain health; eating potatoes (along with other vegetables)[vi] and cabbage[vii] decreases your risk for cancer; and drinking black tea[viii] helps improve vessel function in coronary artery disease. Need I mention the cardiac and social benefits of dancing all night at a Ceili (Irish dance)?  I’ll leave it to you to evaluate claims of “Guinness for Strength” and the usefulness of a wee drop of whiskey to soothe sore throats and broken hearts.

In celebration of kissing, being (or pretending to be) Irish, and all things healthy, Stellaria is proud to present a new design, now available on t-shirts, aprons and other useful goods. This little beauty was conceived by me, created by Jeff O’Connor and uses a clover symbol by Nevit Dilmen.

We have set ourselves a new challenge for this year: a new design every month. Look for something entirely different in April, but in the meantime, indulge yourself in our “Kiss me” store. It’s good for you!

[i] Matsunaga M, Sato S, Isowa T, Tsuboi H, Konagaya T, Kaneko H, Ohira H. Profiling of serum proteins influenced by warm partner contact in healthy couples. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2009;30(2):227-36. PMID:19675516 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

[ii] Kimata H. Kissing selectively decreases allergen-specific IgE production in atopic patients. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Volume 60, Issue 5, May 2006, Pages 545-547, ISSN 0022-3999, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2005.09.007.

[iii] Bennett MP, Lengacher C. “Humor and Laughter May Influence Health IV. Humor and Immune Function,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 159-164, 2009. doi:10.1093/ecam/nem149

[iv] Wan CY, Schlaug G. Music making as a tool for promoting brain plasticity across the life span. Neuroscientist. 2010 Oct;16(5):566-77. doi: 10.1177/1073858410377805.

[v] Davidson B, Worrall L, Hickson L. Social communication in older age: lessons from people with aphasia. Top Stroke Rehabil. 2006 Winter;13(1):1-13.PMID:16581625[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]. DOI: 10.1310/0GGQ-CJDX-N2BR-W7W4

[vi] Hatzis CM, Bertsias GK, Linardakis M, Scott JM, Kafatos AG. Dietary and other lifestyle correlates of serum folate concentrations in a healthy adult population in Crete, Greece: a cross-sectional study. Nutr J. 2006 Feb 10;5:5. PMID: 16472386 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-5-5

[vii] Voorrips L, Goldbohm RA, van Poppel G, Sturmans F, Hermus RJJ, and  van den Brandt PA. Vegetable and Fruit Consumption and Risks of Colon and Rectal Cancer in a Prospective Cohort Study The Netherlands Cohort Study on Diet and Cancer. Am. J. Epidemiol. (2000) 152(11): 1081-1092 doi:10.1093/aje/152.11.1081

[viii] Duffy SJ,  Keaney JF Jr, Holbrook M, Gokce N, Swerdloff PL, Frei B, and Vita JA.Short- and Long-Term Black Tea Consumption Reverses Endothelial Dysfunction in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease. Circulation 104: 151-156