Monthly Archives: November 2012

stir fried burdock root (GOBO) with chicken slices

One of our favorite soups is burdock root. The MIL would boil the root with radish and sometimes throw in some mushrooms and dried octopus for a more flavorful taste.  The Chinese folks believe that the burdock root aka Gobo in Japanese or ngau pong in Cantonese is full of medicinal properties and health benefits.

The other day, the MIL tried julienned stir-fried burdock root with chicken slices for the first time and it was a great hit with everyone!

To rid the slightly muddy odor from the burdock root, she soaked the julienned roots for an hour before cooking them. According to Wiki, if you do not soak the root, it will have a rather harsh and fibrous texture. Ours turned out OK and our 3 fussy eaters had no complaints. This is definitely a healthy dish, full of nutrients and fibre to combat constipation.

Notice our menu for that night consisted of 2 roots —  lotus root and burdock root?  And a ladies fingers.  Pretty healthy eh?

Food For Thought:

For several hundred years now, the burdock plant and burdock root have been used for purifying and flushing toxins from the blood stream. In its capacity as a diuretic, the burdock herb and root increase the output of urine, thereby flushing out excess water.

Fresh burdock roots contain polyacetylenes, which are phytochemicals (plant chemicals) that kill some types of bacteria and fungi; burdock has been used to treat both bacterial and fungal infections, including ringworm, urinary tract infections, and acne. Its antibacterial effects may also promote wound healing and help treat ulcers.

In addition, the consumption of burdock root benefits the treatment of gastrointestinal conditions, stimulates the digestive organs and also treats various stomach ailments.

Burdock is used as a tonic for its immune-strengthening capabilities. It has been used for centuries as a diuretic and to clear the blood of toxins by stimulating perspiration. When applied topically, it is used to relieve certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis, acne and eczema. Burdock is also being used to lower blood sugar, to treat digestive troubles, minor skin infections, colds, sore throat, flu, HIV and rheumatoid arthritis and to stimulate bile production. Historically, burdock has also been used to treat cancer. There have not been many studies performed on burdock, so evidence of its effectiveness is mostly anecdotal.

burdock root1

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Okra (Ladies Fingers) Health Benefits

My girls never really liked okra or ladies fingers until recently.  And that’s with lots of training from both grandma and mummy to alter their taste buds.  I think most kids won’t fancy ladies fingers due to the slimy feel and slightly torny  texture on the surface of the beans but if these pods are cooked tastefully, kids will gradually learn to love them, like my kids!

We do not stir fry the okra or cook them in curries. We only blanch them briefly so that the okra are still a tad crunchy, yet soft.  I get my supply of natural baby okras (planted without the use of pesticides) from a lady who sells them at the park every week.  My girls love to have a drizzle of citrus salad sauce from Japan to go with the pods. Sometimes, we eat them with sambal belacan and sometimes with garlic oil and a drizzle of soy sauce. But the girls love their okra eaten with the sweet, sour and slightly salty Japanese citrus sauce.

The superior fiber found in Ladies Finger (okra) helps to stabilize blood sugar by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.

Ladies Finger helps lubricate the large intestines due to its bulk laxative qualities. The Ladies Finger fiber absorbs water and ensures bulk in stools.

This helps prevent and improve constipation. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, Ladies Finger’s mucilage soothes, and Ladies Finger facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic.

Ladies Finger binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids). These, if not evacuated, will cause numerous health problems. Ladies Finger also assures easy passage out of waste from the body.

Ladies Finger is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming, has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most unlike the OTC drugs.

Ladies Finger is good for summer heat treatment. Ladies Finger is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.

Ladies Finger fiber is excellent for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics). This contributes to the health of the intestinal tract. These are similar to the ones proliferate by the yoghurt in the small intestine and helps biosynthesis of Vitamin B complex.

Ladies Finger is used for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber. It helps to neutralize acids, being very alkaline, and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract.

In India, Ladies Finger has been used successfully in experimental blood plasma replacements. To retain most of Ladies Finger’s nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it should be cooked as little as possible, e.g. with low heat or lightly steamed. Some eat it raw!!

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Fresh Wounds On My Palms

These injured palms with red, raw flesh exposed have been the cause of my misery for the past 3 days. The pain and discomfort are making me feel very, very tetchy and moody. Whenever the girls misbehaved, fought, quarelled and disobeyed me, I would holler  at them and then I would feel like sobbing (caused mainly by the throbbing pain on both palms and aches all over my hands and legs) and running away from home to have a long recuperation.

My wound dressing items. The Betadine would sting the would but not as bad as the sting from the alcohol swab. Alcohol when in contact with an open wound would make you feel as if you were burnt by fire!  Since yesterday, I  have changed to tea tree oil from Melaleuca for my wound. Though the tea tree oil would still sting the wound a little, it is not as bad as Betadine. I am leaving the wounds unbandaged starting today.  It hurts but I am trying to dry up the wound, lest it gets infected when covered in a damp condition all the time.  I cannot afford to have an infection on both my hands.  There’s just too much for me to do with my hands.  Business may still be halted but the household cannot.

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Me

Picture of Tonsil Stone

It is hereditary. I have tonsils and tonsil stones and my #2 has them too. Both my hubs and I have sensitive throats, a heaty body and are very prone to throat infections.   This is the tonsil stone that Sherilyn coughed out. No wonder they looked like teeth growing from inside her throat (read my earlier post on this)!

I never knew what exactly they were called (albeit I know that I would get them, lots of them inside my throat whenever I am heaty) until recently when I decided to write about it in this health blog when I google searched for more information.

These tonsil stones are like stink bombs and I can feel them lodge at the back of my throat each time I feel ‘heaty’. Along with tonsil stones, my throat will start to feel sore and my breath will smell foul too. Once the tonsil stones are coughed out with force, the bad breath will fade too. Sometimes, I can cough up to 3-4 tiny tonsil stones in a day. Really yucky looking and smelling stuff these stones are!

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