Archive for Feel Good Tips

Another Healthy, Cooling Red Cane, Candied Wintermelon, Water Chestnut Drink aka “Hung Jeh Sui”

A glass of delicious Hung Jeh Sui or Red Sugar Cane drink

Good evening, dear friends :D

With hot weather all year round in Malaysia, spicy cuisine, heaty foods that are fried or roasted, sometimes our body can get out of balance from its yin and yang…usually becoming more heaty with symptoms like sore gums, sore throats, dry or yellowish phlegmy coughs, sore gums, tension headaches, restless sleep. To dispel this heatiness, one of the easiest and most delicious way is to drink the sugar cane drink because most kids and even adults simply love its taste!

The sugar canes used for this cooling drink are not those fat, green-yellowish canes that can be squeezed for its sugar cane juice to drink or to make into sugar, but the thinner and drier ones. There are mainly 2 types of the cane that is boiled as a cooling drink – the bamboo cane or “jook jeh” and the red cane or “hung jeh.” The red cane is also known as medicinal cane or “yeok jeh” and I prefer to use this type of cane just because of its medicinal properties….it is good for treating migraines (I get migraines very often last time but these days, its frequency is much less).

Chinese water chestnuts are held to be a good tonic and are credited with many curative and supplementing properties. Water chestnut is cold in nature and is excellent for clearing Heat. Ground water chestnut powder mixed with water can relieve cough. Boiling water chestnuts in water makes the best drink for measles patients and is appropriate for all measles patients from the third day till the ninth day of the cycle. It helps to speed up the measles cycle. Fever is usually associated with urination difficulty or pain. Water chestnut sweet soup significantly eases the pain and promotes urination.

I love wintermelon and sometimes, I would cook a savoury Wintermelon Soup to go with a meal. In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, wintermelon is considered being able to promote urination, reduce swelling, clear heat, remove toxic substances, and mitigate high blood pressure.

In fact, from nutrition perspective, the potassium content in winter melon is proved to be capable of facilitating the body to eliminate excess sodium, which helps reduce swelling and lower blood pressure. Moreover, because of its extremely high water content and 0% fat properties, winter melon is often used in dieting and has become an ideal weight-control food for dieters specially in hot summer months in China.



Ingredients in the large pot above -

10 sticks of 1-foot long red sugar cane

1 packet candied wintermelon (Tong Tung Kwa)

10 or more fresh water chestnuts

* optional – a small bunch of Hung Teen Wu (benefits of this plant can be read in this post HERE )

* other options – 2 cups of Chinese barley, some Mao Kan, or dried bamboo leaves

Real Easy Method -

1) I used my largest pot which can contain about 10 litres of water. Bring water to a boil.

2) Meanwhile, scrub sugar cane with a metal scrubber (the type we use to scrub our pots? This remove dirt easier compared to a vegetable brush). Chop cane into 2 parts so that they will fit into the pot. Smash with the flat side of a chopping knife or hammer or the stone from the pestle and mortar.

3) Scrub water chestnuts with a vegetable brush to remove dirt and mud. Leave skin on and smash lightly also with the flat side of a chopping knife.

4) Put all ingredients into the pot, bring to a boil and then simmer for 4 hours with the lowest fire.

5) No sugar is necessary as the ingredients would have provided some sweetness but if you prefer your drink sweeter, just add in a cup of rock sugar.

6) I usually pour a large mug of this yummy drink for each of my family member and the leftover is kept in jugs in the refrigerator, It tastes even better cold. :idea:

Hope you will make this drink for your family and I am very sure they will love its taste. It is certainly cheaper than buying it from those cooling herbal stalls and it only costs me about RM10 or US$3.50 to make such a large pot of red cane drink. My family would have it twice a month because it is good in preventing heatiness. wink:

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Bone Density Checks For Osteoporosis

Good evening, dear friends :D

If you are around my age (mid 40’s) and perimenopausal, you should consider getting a bone density check or bone mass measurement done. One of the effects of menopause if we are not opting for any HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is the higher risk of osteoporosis, whereby a slight fall may result in some serious fractures in our bones. Osteoporosis is a disease when the bones have become thin and weak.

I have read of one woman in her 40’s who had fractured her arm in two places from the mere act of her arm banging lightly into a wall. Her bones were that porous then due to a severe case of osteoporosis that she never knew she had. However, 5 years later, her bone density improved tremendously due to her picking up Qigong (healing exercises involving the improved circulation of Qi or Chi throughout the body).

Anyway, lately, I have been worrying about the condition of my bones as I only had condensed milk, instead of milk formula, when I was a baby because I didn’t quite take to milk formula. Also, I can’t drink milk (I don’t like the taste of it :roll: ) and I seldom consume cheese (which I actually like if they are not the strong types).

For the past 3 years, the osteoarthritis of my knees have been getting progressively worse and the glucosamine supplements that I am taking does not seem to work anymore. I have been recommended to take Alterni’s (a natural food and herbal supplement company) BoneX Gold, a calcium extract and collagen drink formulated in Germany. I have been taking this for 10 days now and while I am testing this calcium supplement, I have intentionally stopped taking my glucosamine supplements to see how effective BoneX is

Thus far, I am seeing very good results with BoneX whereby half my knee joint pains are gone. Prior to taking BoneX Gold , if I forget to take glucosamine for a few days, I would immediately feel a worsening of pain in my knee joints when I go up and down the stairs.

Last week, I was offered a free bone density test at Alterni and I’m glad the results show that my bone mass is normal ===> my reading was -6. But sadly, a friend who took the same test with me and whom I thought is in excellent health found out that she is having “osteopenia”, a stage where her bones are below normal and she is nearing the osteoporosis stage ===> her reading was -1.5.

Here is how the T-Score of the bone density test works -

1) T-Score of above -1 would mean your bone density is considered normal

2) T-Score of between -1 and -2.5 is a sign of osteopenia, a condition in which bone density is below normal and may lead to ostroporosis

3) T-Score of below -2.5 means that your bone density shows you have osteoporosis.

A person is likely to need a bone density done if the person is

- at risk of osteoporosis

- is near menopause

- has broken a bone after a modest trauma

- has a family history of osteoporosis

- uses steroids or antiseizure medication

- has had a period of restricted mobility of more than 6 months

Below is a picture of a bone density test being done at the ankle using a peripheral device and although this method is not as accurate and indepth as the CT-Scan or Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA), it is less expensive and it provides us with a preliminary reading of our bone density. Should it show that we are in the osteopenia stage, then it is highly recommended that we go for a CT-Scan or DEXA next.

Now, I am trying to get my husband and other similarly-aged friends, especially women, to go for this bone density test to know exactly their present bone condition, rather that finding it out the sad way after a fall or accident, to that preventive measures can be taken to prevent osteoporosis from happening. :wink:

I wish you good health always! Like the famous saying these days – “Health is Wealth”

choesf :D

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Using local plants for health and detoxification – Natural herbal remedies

Happy Weekend, dear friends :D

Wow, so many things happened in the last couple of weeks, mainly circulating the health issue. My husband has a relapse in his pinched nerve problem (I think it’s called herniated cervical discs) and basically, his cervical discs C5 to C7 were compressing on his spinal gel, thus pressing on his nerves there and giving him unbearable pains. I’m glad to say that this problem is almost over with some prescription medicine from his orthopaedic surgeon. After an MRI was taken of my husband’s cervical spine, the doctor said if the pain comes back from the pinched nerves, the next and only option was to go for surgery to correct the problem.

Hearing this, I was very worried because I never like the idea of surgeries unless they are absolutely necessary and in my husband’s case, as the surgery involves his spinal area, there is a risk of paralysis happening. Therefore, we decided to consult some Chinese physicians to counter this pinched nerve problem and I was on a quest on learning more herbal plants that can be used to prevent this pain from happening to my husband. The Chinese physician told my husband that his blood is full of toxins and that he needs to lose 20 pounds off his weight and all his health problems would go away.

In my quest for a healthier life, I am also learning what sort of plants can be used for detoxifying and these plants are a cheap and easy alternative, in addition to my husband embarking on a fitness/exercise regime.

What my Feng Shui Master (who is also a a healer and good with using local plants for health) taught me was this plant called in Cantonese – “Por See Yip” or “Lam Fei Yip” – in English translation “Persian Leaves” or “South African Leaves”. Well, because it is so excellent in treating many ailments, I have given it a nickname myself – “Magic Plant.” :lol:

It really grows easily and its health benefits are :-

1) reducing cholesterol

2) reducing urea acid

3) reducing wind or flatulence

4) balancing blood pressure

5) countering insomnia as it promotes good sleep at night

6) reducing high blood sugar levels

7) reduce fat and helps us to lose weight

8 ) remove other toxins from our body

Below are a close-up picture of these leaves and a picture of how the plants look like :-

Added on 01 August , 2012 – Thanks to John Ong (Comment # 131 below), we now know the actual name of this plant (in both the pictures above). Scientific name: Gymnanthemum amygdalinum [Family: Asteraceae]
Synonym: Vernonia amygdalina
Common name: Bitter Leaf, Vernonia Tree, Pokok South Afrika aka Pokok Bismillah
Chinese name: 扁桃斑鸠菊, Lam Fei Yip, Por si Yip

Actually, a number of our joint pains can be attributed to urea acid crystallization at the bone joints, and the plant below is especially good for removing urea acid and for detoxification -

Added 16 Nov, 2010 – this plant is known as Sam Kar Pei (in Cantonese)

Acanthopanax Trifoliatus L. Merr.

Uses :-


    1. 感冒发烧骨痛Colds, fever, bone pain
    2. 风湿关节痛,腰腿痛Rheumatic arthralgia, lumbago
    3. 胃痛,肠炎Gastric pain, enteritis
    4. 黄疸,胆囊炎,胆石症Jaundice, cholecystitis, gall stone
    5. 白带,尿路结石Leucorrhea, urinary tract stone.
      外用治铁打损伤、湿疹。每用1至2辆,水煎服;外用适量鲜根、叶捣烂敷或煎水洗患处。External use in traumatic injury, eczema, boils and pyodermas. Use 30-60gm. Prepare as decoction. Macerate fresh roots and leaves for topical application, or boil in water for washing.


Recipe for Magic Plant Detoxifiying Drink for health -

Ingredients (for 1 person for 1 week):

14 to 18 large (they are about 5 to 6 inches long) leaves of Magic Plant (larger, mature leaves have less tannin)

9 leaves of Tri Leaf Plant (optional as this plant is harder to find)

2 litres water


Just bring the ingredients to a boil and simmer for at least 2 hours. Can be kept refrigerated to last a few days to a week.

Dosage – take a cup or 250 ml of this Magic Drink once in the morning, preferably on an empty stomach for better absorption. :idea:

Warning – this drink is extremely bitter :shock: but the health benefits of this drink is well worth its terrible taste! :lol: Also, if you are on any other medication, please allow at least 2 hours apart between taking this detoxifying drink and the medication.

The Magic Plant is not a normal plant in any home’s garden and you have to look out for it. It grows up on a single, sturdy stalk without any branches or stems extending from the stalk, just leaves.

I found some growing outside the compound of a temple and with the kind permission of a lady there, I was able to cut some stalks of the Magic plants to grow at home. Just remove the leaves, dry them in the sun and they can keep for a long time. The bare stalks can then be planted preferably in the ground and they will grow easily from there. If you are staying in an apartment with no garden to grow them, they also do well in large pots.

I have to go take my dinner now and I will be right back later to write about the Chinese “Ghost Festival” and doing prayers for our ancestors in my next post.

I wish you good health and good energy! :D

With peace and joy,

choesf :D

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Don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning? 8 simple ways to motivate you.

Good evening, dear friends :D

Ever woke up in the morning and the first thought that comes to your mind is, “I just don’t want to get out of bed….groan…..  :cry: ?”

Or this, “Arrrgh, I have to face the same old things today…..groan….,” and you hide yourselves further under the covers and refuse to budge? Despite the fact that you may be late for work or late in getting your kids to school? :roll:

At this point, it is very hard to try and motivate ourselves because we are already stuck in the rut. So, what I am going to point out here are some simple ways that you can apply while you ARE NOT IN THE RUT YET because they are meant to be preventive measures. For me, it is imperative that I do this because everyday, day in and day out, it has been more or less the same type of tasks that I face for the last 8 years that I have been a full time homemaker. Sometimes, the monotony of it all can really get to me…

Now, on the term “homemaker” – I am going to loosely define that as someone (mostly ladies; well, men, too, are included if they are involved in this and I applaud them indeed! :D ) who manages and cares for the household, turning it into a cosy home and sanctuary where her family can take refuge in. This will include full-time stay-at-home moms like me, working wives, single moms, work-from-home moms and new wives, okay?

Try and adopt some of the ways mentioned below :-

1) when you go to bed at night, you should be in a positive frame of mind, with a good thought. If you fall asleep with the last thought being negative like, “Oh boy, tomorrow is Monday, it’s going to be the blues for me…,”, you are going to wake up the next day definitely feeling depressed and you are going to be stuck in bed for sure!

2) similarly, when you wake up, try to have a positive first thought, like, “Today is going to be a wonderful and beautiful day!” Do this even if you are going to be facing an onslaught of heavy workload that day, and I can bet you with this start up in the morning, you are in a better condition to face your new day. :D

3) you can do positive affirmations like, “I am happy, I am healthy, I am prosperous,” in the morning and throughout the day because they will help to “prompt” your mood for the day.

4) remember that it doesn’t pay for you to be in a bad mood once you wake up. Have you noticed how come things can go even more wrong just when you are in a bad mood? Especially when you are angry? So, say no to bad moods and crankiness!

5) try to plaster a smile on your face! Now, I said “plaster” because when you are in a lousy mood, there is no way you can even bring yourself to feel like smiling. So, what you have to do is to force your mouth to smile, even if you have to bring up your two forefingers to the edges of your lips and lift them up into a semblance of a smile! :lol: Hahaha! Isn’t this fun? It may feel ridiculous to you doing that, but trust me, it works after a few minutes, cos somehow, your mood is not as down as before and that smile of yours may just turn genuine! Or you will be uplifted by your own laughter, laughing at your silly antics! By the way, keep smiling as much as you can during the day. :D

6) promise yourself a reward for the end of the day if you have tried your best to have a good day. I have different little rewards just for myself every day…..going to the mamak stall for a nice cup of lime tea (teh O ice limau), or just putting up my tired legs and watch a good movie, or just having some quiet time to myself “vegetating” my brain, i.e. just not doing any thinking.


7 ) it helps a lot to laugh during the day. I alway believe that, “Laughter is the BEST medicine” because when we laugh, our brain produces endorphins, a feel-good hormone. Watch a sit-com, or read some jokes, or better still tell some jokes to someone and make them laugh instead! :lol:


8 ) our body has auras which can accumulate negative energies during the day and over a period, the auras can become dull and heavy, thus making us feel lethargic, dull and sluggish. I like to call this condition “being in the Twilight Zone” because that is precisely how I would feel. The remedy is easy and all you need to do is a salt bath to clean your auras.

There are other ways that I can think of to help energise our life but I will stop here at 8, because I am hungry and I need to go have my dinner now – my brain is screaming for food and refuse to think anymore! :lol: :roll:

Good night and may you have a wonderful day tomorrow! :D

With peace and joy,

choesf :D

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Optimism – Look At The BRIGHT SIDE

Good morning, dear friends, :D

I was reading the The Star newspapers some time back and came across a very interesting article on some tips to help us develop the habit of staying positive. Contrary to what we think, optimism is not an inborn trait. Optimism, being a state of mind, can be worked on and improved. Optimism is not only essential when striving to realise our goals and ambitions, but it also improves our performance. It is powerful and contagious because when one is optimistic, we have a positive and confident feel to us and this energy can be felt by people around us, be it at home or at work. :D

The picture above was printed in The Saturday Post, Pakistan and was painted by an artist named Hassan. He drew this artwork to show the value of optimism in life.

He said, “People have lots of bad things going on in life, which are shown by the rough patched building. It is a rough building which you can say is totally dead, as you can feel by looking at the texture on the walls. The best part of life is that there is always a ray of hope, and that is shown by the candle. So my concept is that you have to think positively and extract positive elements of life to live beyond the bad things going on in your surroundings. In a nutshell, optimism in life is the key to success for sure!” How true!

Sir Winston Churchill said in 1954, “I am an optimist! It does not seem to be much use being anything else.” According to research, optimistic people smile 38 percent more than the pessimists, so try to see the bright side of life’s little mishaps. Of course, there are grave occasions where seeing the funny side is clearly inappropriate.

Here are some of the recommended tips to be an optimist :-

* say something positive and good everyday. It can be anything like praising your children, pets, or the lady that is selling noodles at the coffee shop.

* be courteous. Always say “please” and “thank you” for integrity is a highly valued trait that we should have as our base character to go in line with optimism. So is being trustworthy, kind, respectful and grateful.

* be realistic and frank about our mistakes. Apologise to people we may have treated poorly.

* when things go wrong, take it on the chin and move on. Identify and implement the key learning points from the failure, but do not dwell on the situation.

Sir Winston Chruchill summed up the qualities of the optimistic leader eloquently when he said, “An optimist is someone who sees opportunity in every disaster. A pessimist is someone who sees disaster at every opportunity.”

Chin up, look forward, smile and be optimistic! Happy Friday! :D

Much light, peace and joy to all,

choesf, happyhomemaker88 :D

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Happiness & 25 Ways To Find It


Good Day to all here, Very Happy

Sometimes, we feel depressed or angry with things in life and wonder how are we ever going to get out of our doldrums. Then we look for something to grasp onto to give us that little bit of strength to move forward a bit at a time in life. I came across this wonderful article a while back and posted it here last year and I am reposting it again now to give us a little cheer in case we need it some time later.

This was excerpted from Reader’s Digest, September 2002 :-

25 ways to be happy

“Life is full of ups and downs. In order to experience happiness you must experience other emotions, including sadness and anger, to some degree nearly every day. The ideal you should work towards is to be accepting of what you have and who you are, to enjoy life whenever possible and to feel happy most of the time.

I say most of the time because nobody is going to be happy every moment. Life is just not like that. Happiness needs to be earned, worked at and appreciated.

For those of you with no real reason to be unhappy – those whose life is basically trouble-free – here are some thoughts to help you remember that life is good.

Change your thinking.
Live everyday as if it is your last. People who have survived a terminal illness or accident, witnessed a tragedy or lost a loved one are said to have a different perspective on life. Many will say that they no longer leave anything until later. They travel, learn a new skill, contact a friend now. They know – and we should all remember – that there might not be a later.

Keep a journal.
Write an ongoing list of the good things that happen to you every day. What was that lovely thing your daughter said to you the other day? You will not remember unless you write it down. Problems can be solved and bad things cleared from your thoughts by writing them down, too. Try it – it works!

Get some perspective on things.
Think about how you would like to be remembered and what you might tell your grandchildren about your life. Is it really that important that the linen is changed weekly and the floors are kept spotlessly clean? That work meeting last year that meant you missed your child’s school concert – does it matter now?

Don’t let the small stuff bug you.
Wasting your energy by getting upset about life’s many minor irritations is not worth it. Smile and wave to the driver who won’t let you merge into his lane. He’s rude and aggressive, and it’s his problem. You’ve missed the train? Fretting is pointless – the train is gone. Enjoy the coffee while you wait for the next one.

Do any unpleasant or difficult chores that need doing.
Do them now. Procrastination drains your energy and burdens your mind. If you are thinking and worrying about something that needs to be done, you might as well be doing it.

Change your routine
. Life can begin to stem like a bit of a chore if we do the same thing day after day, week after week. We need to create interest in our lives, and to do new things. If you normally sleep in on a Sunday, the “sleep in” is no longer a treat. Why not get up early and have breakfast in the park? You’ll beat the crowds and be heading home as they arrive. The day will seem much longer. (Or, for those who never sleep in, arrange it somehow – what a luxury it is!)

Don’t try to keep up with others.
So, your neighbors have a larger home, the latest stereo system, a new car – who cares? Look again. He works on the weekends, and they never seem to see friends. Who’s better off, really?

Have a big clean out and divest yourself of useless “stuff.”
Clothes unworn for a year, the dinner service that you’ve always hated, kitchen utensils that are always in the way but never used, unused linen (you still have cot linen on the shelf and the “baby” is six!), toys, books, furniture – give it all to a charity and you will have helped the poor. The bonus is that your shelves and cupboards are clutter-free now. Housework is easier, your vision is clearer and the feng shui of your home is improved.

Learn to say no.
You don’t have to do it. Your life is already too busy and you are running from one thing to another. Give yourself some space to think and time to do something for yourself.

Remember to love your partner for who he or she is.
Have they really changed so much? Or (think about it!) might he/she actually be the same person that you fell in love with? The relationship might need some work – everything needs some repair work or maintenance after a few years of running – but the parts should still be in working order.

Don’t let familiarity breed contempt.
Your partner and family deserve at least the same consideration you give your friends. And you deserve the same from them.

Tell your partner, family and friends that you love them.
Tell them what you love about them. Tell them when they do things well. A little praise never hurts and before you know it you might be told that you’ve done things well too. You never know . . .

Are you always a shoulder to lean on for troubled friends?
It may be hard, but if their problems are beginning to affect you, then you need to try not to be quite so available all the time. They need to address their problems and get on with their lives.

Phone, e-mail, even write to some old friends.
You’ve lost touch, but it needn’t be for ever. And how long is it since you spoke to Great Auntie Jean? She’d love to hear from you.

Enhance your mood with greenery
. Cut some fresh flowers from your garden – or get up early, head to the markets and fill your home with loads of cheap flowers, fruit and vegetables. Everyone had pot plants in the 1970s -bring them back -These fill the house with life and vitality.

Go to the beach
. The long views, the wind, the waves, bare feet in the sand, sun on the back -there is nothing so good for the soul. (My friend Kendra is renewed and invigorated in the same way by a walk on a hill. To each his own.)

Create something.
Paint, sculpt, sew, bake, garden – anything!

Breathe fresh air.
Go outside or open the windows. Breathe deeply to the bottom of your lungs and feel the stale air leave you.

Go for a walk.
This gentle exercise will renew and invigorate you physically and mentally on your first outing. Take it up regularly and you’ll feel better every day.

Rent a funny video and have a good laugh.
Old television comedies always do it for me. When we laugh, feel good endorphins are released. That’s why they say laughter is the best medicine.

Move your furniture and ornament around, change rooms, paint walls.
It’s true, a change is as good as a holiday.

Give yourself something to look forward to
. Book a holiday, a night out, a massage.

Invite friends over for dinner
. Get everyone to dress up, and decorate the room and the table. Greet everyone with cocktails or Champagne, and have music playing. Spend time thinking about and planning the menu, enjoy the shopping and cooking. People can’t help but respond positively when you’ve gone to a lot of effort for them. The night will be good fun. And don’t get stressed over cleaning the house beforehand – no one will even notice.

Smiling is contagious – try it and see.

Make someone else’s day happier
. It may sound a bit corny, but why not? Start by suppressing the urge to blast your horn at the slow driver ahead. Or you could make a positive move by volunteering your time for a charity.”

May you be well, happy and peaceful always! :D

Many blessings, Love and Light to all,

choesf :D

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Some Simple Cooling Foods & Drinks

Good evening, dear friends :D

Wow, the weather has been really hot and terribly humid for a week now and the heat is making most people sweat buckets even when they are not doing anything active. Just the other day, I was telling my kids that I can even feel a film of perpiration on my eye bags!! :roll: :lol: Two weeks ago, whenever we met up with friends or some acquaintances at the market, our greeting usually went like this – “Wow, the prices of foodstuff keep going up and up!” :shock: ……..but these days, we merely greet each other with a tired, “Wah, it is really hot these days  lah ….” :cry: :lol:

This type of weather can easily cause our body to build up heatiness and depending on the level of heatiness, we would experience symptoms ranging from tension headaches, sore gums, even toothaches, dry lips (despite drinking litres of water daily), restless sleep, irritability, low grade fever, etc. They are even different classifications of heatiness in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) ….. like “moist heatiness” (eating curries often lead to this), “dry heatiness” (can lead to dry coughs, sore throats) , “bone heatiness” (causes us to get sprains and backaches easily), and “heatiness that reach the heart” (this is the one that causes us to have vivid dreams or nightmares when we sleep, our sleep is often restless, and we wake up the next day even more tired).

The simple cooling remedy for the “heatiness that reach the heart” is the Tai Bok Choy Soup. Because my family were finding that the heat got to us and we didn’t really sleep well, I had made this soup for dinner tonight. And guess what? My husband is already very sound asleep in bed at 9pm, when his usual bedtime is hardly before midnight! :lol:

I am going to list below some simple cooling remedies that we can follow to prevent a buildup of heatiness in our body -

1) Cucumbers – I always serve slices of raw cucumber whenever I have deep fried or baked foods because cucumbers are cooling in properties, and the process of baking and frying in oil are considered heaty. Cucumbers are also known to counter carcinogens in meats, especially in barbequed meats…..ever wondered why Satay is served with chunks of cucumbers? I remember when I was a kid, we didn’t have much money to buy all those type of herbs to make cooling drinks and my mom would just ask me to dip some cucumber slices in some sea salt and take that as a cooling remedy.

2) A cold beer with salt – Have a mug of really cold beer with a good pinch of salt in it. Beer is generally regarded as cooling (whisky is heaty, but good for improving blood circulation. My healer lady friend has recommened a little whisky each night before bedtime is good for health!), and if you add some salt into it, it is even better!

3) Coca Cola with a good pinch of salt - This is especially good if you have a scratchy and dry throat with the occasionally dry cough……down a really cold can of salted Coca Cola and feel the relief in your body! Sometimes when we are too heaty, we even get grumpy and we just feel under the weather. This is surely one remedy that you will enjoy (well….other than the beer above! :roll: )

4) Mangosteens - I mentioned mangosteens because I had just finished eating some really juicy, and sweet mangosteens! :lol: Mangosteens are also known as the “Queen of Fruits”, just as the Durian is known as the “King of Fruits”. Just as durians are considered very, very heaty…..mangosteens are considered very cooling.

5) Watermelons – Another juicy, sweet fruit that I love – best eaten on a really hot day! Not only does it taste great but it packs a lot of antioxidants as well. Watermelons also quench the inflammation that leads to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, colon cancer and arthritis. Also a good source of Vitamins A and C.

6) Bittergourd – Generally in TCM, bitterness is a sign of cooling properties and the rule of thumb is, the more bitter the taste, the more cooling it is! I love eating bittergourd and whenever I cook them, I don’t rub salt into them to remove the bitter taste, so that I can retain most of its cooling nature. Earlier, I have posted a really simple Japanese recipe for bittergourd, called “Okinawa Bittergourd Stirfry.” You can substitute with other meats like bacon, ham or even chicken slices.

7) Ginseng Root Drink – Known as “Pow Sum” or “Yeong Sum”, the ginseng root is generally boiled in water for a few minutes to allow the flavours to come out, then add in some salt and let the drink cool completely before consuming. It is of utmost importance to drink this cool or else the heat in your body will all rush up, thus causing the heaty symptoms (e.g. sore gums, headaches) to be even worse and you start wondering how come the ginseng drink didn’t work for you. Some old ladies even recommended putting the pot of ginseng root drink on the floor to cool down, and it is believed that the “earth energy” works together with the ginseng root to calm down our heatiness. Note – Korean ginseng is considered as very heaty!

8 ) Mung Beans or Green Beans – This is usually boiled with some sugar, pandan leaves (for good aroma), and water for about an hour and is served as a sweet soup or sweet dessert known as “Tong Sui.” Not only is this very cooling but it is also a very good detoxifying food. My healer lady recommends that we have this once a week and she told me acne-prone second daughter to take this regularly to help with her acne problem.

9) Dried Chrysanthemum Flowers – This is made into a flower tea where you can add sugar or honey for flavour, or just drink it plain. This drink is very good for dispelling heat and wind symptoms, refreshes the liver and clears the eyes (sometimes, we get “gunky” eyes due to heatiness as well.)

10) Chinese Cabbage or Napa or Savoy Cabbage – This vegetable is very cooling, and especially when it is pickled or fermented, the cooling properties are enhanced (best not to consume too much then). I like to make either rice vermicelli soup with this or just a simple Chinese stirfry as a vegetable accompaniment to a meal.

Okay, I will stop here with this list for now and if I can remember more, I will post a Part 2 later. As in anything, moderation is the key and do not go overboard in consuming lots of the above at a go…otherwise, you may end up with a too “cooling” body and end up with coughs and colds. In TCM, balancing of the Yin and Yang in our body is very important but it is a very fragile balance which will take an expert Chinese physician to diagnose.

Good night from KL! :D

P.S. I apologise for the lack of pictures in this post as the “Image Loading” feature in WordPress seems to have gone crazy on me again. :roll:

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