18 March 2013

Papaya Leaf Juice as Cure for Dengue Fever

I just saw a friend's "share" on Facebook today on an article about papaya leaf juice saving a patient who was critically ill with dengue fever.

I should have written about this episode earlier but now is as good a time as any.

My own daughter came down with dengue fever in the first year that we moved to Ipoh. Our house was built on virgin land, and all around us was still plenty of empty land filled with large shady trees, tall grass and shrubs. Peaceful and green yes, but also abuzz with wildlife, including mosquitoes.

It was of course harrowing when the diagnosis was made that my daughter had dengue fever. We admitted her into hospital straightaway and she was started on the drip.

At the same time, my maid (bless her) told me that back home in Indonesia, they would drink papaya leaf juice to cure dengue fever. I was game for anything. I have never had any aversion to traditional or folk medicine in the first place.

So at home, my maid plucked several papaya leaves, washed them with tap water and pounded them to squeeze out its bright green juice. Several leaves just yield one or two teaspoonfuls of juice.

We fed them to my girl. We mixed some honey into the juice because it is extremely bitter!

I can't remember what my girl's platelet count was that first night. But it was of course low. Some time after taking the juice it was  time to do another blood test. Her platelet count starting climbing up! She was discharged after 2 days.

We don't know the exact dosage of the juice to consume but my maid said just to drink as much as you can!

After my little girl recovered, I was also asking around on how to strengthen her ("poh" in Cantonese) general health after this episode. I was given advice by our insurance agent who herself recovered from dengue fever.

I was told to buy 2 frogs from the market and 3-4 small bitter gourds.

Double boiled frog and bitter gourd soup
  • Clean the frog meat and cut it into medium-sized pieces. 
  • Wash, remove the seeds and thinly slice the small bitter gourds. 
  • Arrange the bitter gourd and frog meat in layers into a double boiler. 
  • Add a small bowl of water and double boil it for about 1.5-2 hours. 
  • Add some salt if you like (you may also add a few pieces of goji berry/ wolf berry and Chinese red dates)
  • Drink the soup once a week for several weeks after recovery.

Dengue is rampant in this part of the world and there is yet no absolute prevention against it. But God has given us natural ingredients to counter it. I hope this traditional knowledge will help.

There are many other testimonials about the efficacy of papaya leaf juice: dengue-fever-remedyTop7 natural remedies for denguewhy-pawpaw-leaves-juice-cures-dengue-fever.

>>>  I am updating my post today as I came across another folk remedy for dengue which sounds simple and interesting, and backed by testimonials.

One Filipino remedy is to use a common weed that we can find in Malaysia. It goes by many names - tawa tawa, snake weed, gatas-gatas, patikan - and it looks like this. I am sure you will recognise it instantly. You will probably have battled to pull it out of your lawn or crevices in your cement sidewalk or driveway.

The recipe for the tawa tawa tea can be found at tawa-tawa-dengue-treatment. I have copied it here:
• Take 5 to 6 whole Tawa Tawa plants. Cut off the roots
• Wash and clean
• Fill a pot with clean water
• Boil the Tawa Tawa for one minute in a slow rolling boil
• Cool
• Let the dengue fever victim drink only the Tawa Tawa water for 24 hours
• Sip 1 to 1.5 glasses of Tawa Tawa water every hour


The Institute for Medical Research in KL recently carried out research into the papaya leaf juice folk remedy, publishing their findings in March 2013, in an Egyptian-based medical journal called, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Hindawi Publishing Corporation.

“It can be concluded that the administration of 'carica papaya' leaf juice in dengue fever is safe and does induce the rapid increase in platelet count. It may play a valuable role in the management of dengue fever in the near future,” the Malaysian team wrote in their concluding remarks of the paper.

The news link for this report: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/papaya-tree-leaves-a-way-to-cure-dengue-062124867.html

(images from wikimedia.org and http://mui25.blogspot.com/2011/07/remedy-for-dengue-fever.html)

01 March 2013

General Elections #13

This must be the most eagerly anticipated and longest awaited general election in Malaysia!

Today is March 1st and the leadership has yet to announce anything official. Sure, everyone is saying it has GOT to be this month.

With all the feel good news, good GDP growth for the country, not to mention all the $$ handouts to the rakyat over the last year or so, one would think the ruling government should be confident enough to call for elections.

I think, finally, with cyber-power allowing instant and free communication and dissemination of news/ views/ happenings, we are in a new era of knowledge and enlightenment. Leaders are now constantly kept on their toes. The slightest mistake or fauxpas or stupidity or insensitivity on their part will be immediately made known and shared hundreds of times before any damage control can hope to kick in.

That has got to be scary for political leaders.

As the rakyat, we have the right to expect the highest standards from our leaders.

For all the politicking and fight to win the elections, whether it be Barisan Nasional (BN) or Pakatan Rakyat (PR), what all Malaysians want is a capable, credible, clean and consistent government that works more than it talks to lead the nation into the future as a developed nation in the midst of economic and social challenges.

If any government of the day just got fat and lazy and didn't do a good job, it doesn't get elected again. A new government is voted in to serve the nation and to prove its worth. If that government doesn't deliver either, then it gets the boot too.


This is democracy.  

There's no need for anyone to get emotional or to whip out the racial card.

Malaysia's strength and unique allure is in its diverse racial and religious makeup.  

Grow your own herbs and spices

We feel like having asam laksa today, that spicy-sour and tangy fish-based soup noodle that's so Penang and so Malaysian! We all love it.

It's challenging to make mainly because of the amount of fresh ingredients required to produce that unique and powerful taste of asam laksa. And if you don't live in the SEA region, it would be difficult to source some of those leaves that are used.
I am slowly nurturing my herb garden so that I may have my own supply of fresh herbs whenever I need it. It's more convenient than having to run to the store or market for 1 stalk of lemongrass, for example!

The daun kesum (polygonum leaves) in the container on top and to the left of the chopping board  is an essential ingredient, otherwise you will not get that trademark asam fragrance. Then there is a large chunk of lengkuas (galangal), against which are resting 2 stalks of lemongrass.The pink buds are the buds of the torch ginger flower (bunga kantan). There's a whole bunch of mint leaves in the colander together with fresh red chilies and dried tamarind slices next to the pineapple.

Of the fresh ingredients, the daun kesum, lemongrass and galangal are homegrown!

It isn't that difficult to grow them, and you will draw immense satisfaction from the spice of your labour.

Growing daun kesum

  • After buying a fresh bunch from the market and using the leaves, keep the stalks.
  • Stand the stalks in a glass of water about 1 inch in depth.
  • Keep them in a place where there is indirect sunlight.
  • You may change the water daily to prevent any mosquitoes from breeding.
  • After a few days, you should see roots forming. There may also be new green leaves. Let the roots grow to a substantial length (just some guess work will do).
  • Transplant your daun kesum into a pot or straight into the ground in a sunny spot in your garden. Remember to water it.

Gingers and lemongrass

  • These are easy to propagate plants. 
  • Just get a medium sized rhizome to begin planting your collection of ginger plants.
  • To ensure your success, choose a rhizome that has already sprouted some roots or shoots.