A health freak mom's thoughts on health and all things healthy

Month: October 2009

Jackfruits

Jackfruits

Apart from the king of fruits, jackfruit is my other all-time favorite fruit. My 3 girls love jackfruits, cempedak and durians too – they love fruits that are pungent and aromatic. Baby who doesn’t really fancy fruits, loves durians and jackfruits VERY much! Hubs will […]

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Getting Mushy Over Mushrooms

Getting Mushy Over Mushrooms

I have always loved mushrooms, especially fresh ones – shiitake, enoki, oyster, portabella, ear wood, cloud wood and just about any type of edible mushrooms. Of course not all mushrooms are edible. Most mushrooms you find growing in the jungle or in your garden are […]

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Goji Berries

Goji Berries

One of Baby’s favorite food is keiji / wolfberries / Goji berries. I normally toss a handful of goji berries into her porridge and soup. I use goji berries to steam chicken too and the chicken dish tastes really good. She can eat about 6-8 berries from her soup in one sitting. I guess she likes the sweetness from the berries. Some people eat dried goji berries on its own, without cooking them, like how they would eat dried cranberries or raisins. I’ve tried eating them straight from fridge and they taste very much like dried cranberries.

The goji berry contains 19 different kinds of amino acids and 21 trace minerals. In addition, the wolfberry has more beta carotene than a carrot, nearly as much vitamin C as an orange and almost as much protein as bee pollen.

Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. One of zeaxanthin’s key roles is to protect the retina of the eye by absorbing blue light and acting as an antioxidant. In fact, increased intake of foods containing zeathanthin may decrease the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people over the age of 65.

Goji berries have been used for 6,000 years by herbalists in China, Tibet and India. Here are the health benefits of goji berries:

Strong Bones and Teeth
The high amounts of calcium in the goji berry make it useful for building strong teeth and bones. It also helps to protect and preserve tissues, keeping them safe from damage and disease.

Enhance Vitamin Intake
The riboflavin in the goji berry works to help the body receive all the other vitamins and minerals taken in. It is required to helps breakdown these vitamins and process them into usable enzymes the body can then administer through the bloodstream.

Immune Booster
Goji berry is a powerful antioxidant that can work to boost the immune system by seeking out harmful free radicals and toxins. By purging these from the system, it helps to prevent sickness and disease as it bolsters the body’s natural defenses.

Eye Health
Goji berry can help promote proper eye function. By aiding in tissue repair and lowering stress levels, it can help to preserve the eyes and keep them in working order.

Anti-Inflammatory
Goji berry is an anti-inflammatory which works to curb certain inflammations in the body. Swelling and the pains of arthritis can be helped by the calming effects it contains. Additionally, respiratory problems, such as the common cold, are lessened.

Anti-Aging
As an antioxidant, goji berry works to combat oxidation of the cells, which can cause premature aging of the skin. It slows the process, lessening fine lines and wrinkles, resulting in younger looking skin.

Anti-Fatigue
Goji berry can work to combat the signs of fatigue through its ability to help energy production in the body. It helps to hasten the metabolism, resulting in balanced energy levels throughout the day.

For longevity

Possible drug interactions
Goji berries may interact with anticoagulant drugs (commonly called “blood-thinners”), such as warfarin (Coumadin®). There was one case report published in the journal Annals of Pharmacotherapy of a 61-year old woman who had an increased risk of bleeding, indicated by an elevated international normalized ratio (INR). She had been drinking 3-4 cups daily of goji berry tea. Her blood work returned to normal after discontinuing the goji berry tea.

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Double-boiled Lean Pork Soup With Red Dates & Goji Berries

Double-boiled Lean Pork Soup With Red Dates & Goji Berries

The only food that Baby loves and will never reject besides mummy’s milkie is soup. Thus, there is soup for Baby every single day. On some days when I don’t feel like boiling a big pot of soup for everyone, I’ll double boil chicken or […]

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Chrysanthemum Tea

Chrysanthemum Tea

I boiled a pot of chrysanthemum tea for everyone today since everyone has been having chesty cough. Plus, we have been gorging on durians for the past 2 days, Baby inclusive! My 3 girls love durians and it’s in their blood coz their daddy, mummy […]

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Natural Remedies For Coughs And Colds

Natural Remedies For Coughs And Colds

I mentioned in my earlier posts that everyone in the family has been down with chesty cough (with lots of phlegm) and mild runny nose, including myself. Only the hubs went to the doctor’s to get himself meds. For Sherilyn, I used Baby’s old Aero Chamber to administer the Ventolin on her several weeks ago to get rid of her phlegm. She’s getting better now. Thank God Alycia’s immune system has gotten stronger lately and I only gave her several Esberitox tabs (Echinacea) to treat her mild runny nose.  Baby is the only one spared from being bitten by the virulent cough and cold bugs, thanks to mummy’s powerhouse milkie enriched with all the supplements that she’s been taking.  Maybe I should also give credit to the E.Excel supplements that I’ve been diligently feeding her with.

To cure myself from my chesty and mild runny nose, I popped Echinacea tabs and garlic tabs 2-3 times a day as soon as I felt the slightest symptoms appearing, to ‘nip the bug in the bud’!
I also gargled my throat with salt water throughout the day and night (after I had woken up to change Baby’s diaper).  Other immune system enhancers that I’ve been taking as usual include Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, Vitamin ACE and salmon fish oil (to enhance my failing memory after having 3 kids!). Have also been eating green veggie like a rabbit, drinking freshly squeezed lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, eating chopped raw garlic and munching more on fruits and tomatoes for the extra antioxidants and vitamins.

On top of that, I’ve been boiling luo han guo, barley water and chrysanthemum tea everyday for the entire family. These drinks are known by the Chinese to be good for the lungs, expel phlegm and treat cough, remove ‘heatiness’ from the body and boost the immune system. Barley water is boiled primarily for Baby as it is very good in cleansing the bladder and kidneys. My 2 older girls and the hubs drink it too. And I am surprised that Baby has no problem drinking luo han guo and chrysanthemum tea though they have a slightly bitter taste.

Today is around the 6th day and I am recovering well. Really glad that I’ve once again self-treated myself from cough, cold and phlegm without having to pop antibiotics or other meds.

Garlic consumption is very effective for strengthening the immune system and will even help prevent many colds. Garlic should be used as soon as the initial symptoms of a cold are felt. When symptoms first appear, take a garlic supplement, eat raw garlic or make your own garlic tea. I’ve read that garlic tea can soothe a sore throat and cough as well as boost the body’s disease-fighting strength.

On top of the above remedies, you must have enough sleep, drink enough plain water, exercise, keep stress at bay (I know, easier said than done) and eat healthily in order to have a strong immune system.  Once your immune system is strong, your body heals easily and faster from illnesses.

Disclaimer: What I’m sharing with you here is based on my own experience experimenting on natural remedies. They work for me most of the time but may not work for you. So, you may want to use this list as a starting place to do more research on your own on any particular supplement/plant/herb/etc. before taking it. If you have any special medical conditions, or are taking any medications, it’s best that you check with a doctor first.

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Dinner For My Kids

Dinner For My Kids

For the past one week, Baby has very little appetite for her food. She hates porridge and food that she normally eats. I was lost for ideas on what to cook for her. I tried something different – French toast but she spat them out […]

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Crazy Over Chives

Crazy Over Chives

Ever since I ate this chives dish at Fong Lye Taiwanese restaurant recently, I got hooked on chives. The chives was all chopped up and stir-fried with minced pork, red cut chillies and tau cheong (fermented bean paste). It was really tasty. After that lunch […]

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Luo Han Guo Drink For Everyone

Luo Han Guo Drink For Everyone

Everyone in the family is down with cough and phelgm.  First Sherilyn got it (which was about a month ago and she still has it), then Alycia, next the hubs, then the maid, yesterday I got bitten and Baby is showing signs too.  Baby has been throwing up her milk for the past few days each time I’m about to finish spoon-feeding her.   It’s an extra struggle to spoon-feed her formula milk these few days.   Just now she threw up her Pediasure again when I had just finished spoon-feeding her the last drop.  Sigh…. all my time and effort of painfully spoon-feeding her went down the drain.  My 3 girls always show signs of rejecting milk each time they are under the weather, especially with an irritable throat and phlegm.

Today I boiled a big pot of luo han guo for everyone. After Baby had puked her milk, I gave her a sip of luo han guo drink to try.  To my surprise, she gave me a forefinger’s up sign (thumb’s up – which means she likes it!) and signaled for more.  I quickly  gave her 2.5 ounces which she happily drank.

I find that boiled luo han guo drink is quite effective in expelling phlegm, if drank on a very regular basis.  However, if I have a chronic cough with yellowish-greenish phlegm, then it would take a longer time to see results.  Double-boiling fresh olives with lean pork still works the best for me whenever I have a chronic cough.  It’s a traditional natural remedy in China.  I don’t normally pay a visit to the GP, even when I am down with fever, chronic cough and phlegm, coz I don’t believe in antibiotics.  I prefer to let my body heal naturally.

Here’s my luo han guo drink:


I normally crack up 2 tennis ball-sized luo han guo and dump everything into a pot filled with water and boil it for an hour. I don’t add honey dates or rock sugar coz the luo han guo is naturally sweet. The drink tastes really refreshing when chilled.

Here’s a little information on luo han guo:
The dried fruit can be bought in Chinese Medicine Halls, mini marts and supermarkets.  They are not very costly, costs about RM1-RM2 each, depending on the size of the dried fruit. The outer surface of the dried fruit is round and smooth, dusty yellow-brown or dusty green-brown. It is covered with fine, soft hair. The fruit is covered by a hard but thin shell. Inside is a partly dry, flexible substance containing the juice, as well as a large number of seeds. The skin, juicy part, and seeds all have a good sweet flavor. Its nature is cool and it has no poison. The fruit helps relieve sunstroke, moistens the lungs, eliminates phlegm, stops cough, and promotes bowel movements.

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Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

I have been drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a tablespoon of psyllium husk every morning for more than a year now. Not everyone can gulp down this awful tasting concoction first thing in the morning. It can be quite nauseating at […]

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