Gin Sukapaap Dee

About a Healthy Diet in Thailand

Archive for February, 2013

Ma Ra Kii Nok

Posted by billzant on February 2, 2013

I have seen these “dreaded” things around, and my cook-friend at the “local banner” restaurant sometimes forces me to eat them. But they are not a choice veg to me as they are so bitter-tasting. I have changed my mind.

The other day a Bangkok friend, Gee at Orgathai, put up a picture and asked what they were; my contributions was some sort of ma ra. It was established that it was ma ra kii nok. My Thai teacher then found this article and translated it as her assignment – I teach her English:-

Momordica Chanrantia L is a kind of vegetable which has been used for thousands years in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Some other names in English are Balsam apple and Balsam pear. It’s called “Ma Ra Kii Nok” in Thai.

Medicine uses Momordica Chanrantia L for treatment of diabetes, liver disease and rheumatism. Traditional Thai medicine uses its leaves to cure fever, and its roots are also used to get rid of bad blood and to treat liver disease.

Research studies about this plant has been performed since 1962. Lotika and Rao discovered the Charantine reduced the blood sugar in certain experimented animals. There was a report that the bitter substance in “Ma Ra Kii Nok” has a quality that reduces the level of blood sugar. The bitter substance is anti-diabetic. It has a function that works against diabetes; for instance, activating insulin coming from the pancreas, decrease sugar coming from the liver, helping the metabolism and increasing glucose tolerance by inhibiting the growth of glucose in the small intestines.

“Ma Ra Kii Nok” juice can fight against diabetes in rabbits and white rats. It was also found that it can slow down kidney-disorder and cataracts.

There was a case study on 8 patients who had diabetes and were treated without being given insulin. Taking “Ma Ra Kii Nok” as food and drinking its juice, the case study showed that those patients could tolerate glucose better. The level of sugar in their blood decreased when they were full. The frequency of their urination reduced. As a result, the doctors suggested that people with diabetes take “Ma Ra Kii Nok” as food and drink to keep normal blood pressure and to slow down bad results caused from their diabetes.

Green “Ma Ra Kii Nok” is healthy food. It consists of Vitamin A (2,924 IU), Niacine (190 mg/g) and antioxidant.

How to make “Ma Ra Kii Nok” juice.

1. Ma Ra Kii Nok 100 g.
2. Cut each piece into 2 half
3. Scrape out the pitch and seeds
4. Put the pieces in a blender and liguefy them
5. Pour the juice from the blender through a sieve to get the juice

This recipe can make 40 ml of juice.

Thanks Aod for this, please put up the URL in “Comments”.

Well I couldn’t take 40 ml of pure ma ra kii nok, but I have added it to my green juice. I use pak bung because you can leave roots standing in water so it lasts longer, and 5 ma ra kii nok – ginger, lemon and honey. First taste was ghastly – too bitter, but now I am used to it and look forward to the drink. Good stuff – back on song.

Posted in Drink, Food, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Illness and Water

Posted by billzant on February 2, 2013

This is about water and my health. Since the beginning of December I have had some kind of illness but in the end it has turned out positive.

But let me look at water and my health in general first. Early last year I just realised the importance of water to my health. When I was first an adult I was an alcoholic, and the booze governed what I drank. Out on the booze at night the next day would be governed by controlling the alcohol thirst and taking vitamin C or orange juice. And too much coffee. Once I got rid of the alcohol I replaced it with too much food, and never really drank enough water. Even when I started on the diet mb, at least as I knew it, did not stress the importance of water; it was only when I read up on raw that I read enough about water. But it has been hard to drink the water “naturally” – it has always seemed forced. I read somewhere that it is good to drink a litre of water first thing. Overnight the body cleans out the system so in the morning you need a piss. But if you drink additional water that water will then continue the cleaning process attempting to ensure there are no toxins left in the body. By the time I have added nam khao klong, green juice morning and evening, green tea at work and an evening drink I am reaching the required 3 litres of liquid a day. Before I didn’t even drink water with meals preferring maybe a tea or coffee at the end but now I do because the body does not just expect food at meals. My thirst had become imbalanced because of the booze and I had never redressed the balance, I would rarely feel thirsty but often feel hungry.

As well this water has addressed two health issues in particular. Since starting my diet migraines have slowly decreased – despite not drinking water properly. However now I am hoping they are a thing of the past. I have looked into many reasons for migraine in the past, coffee, cheese, chocolate etc, I have had wonderful acupuncture and herbal-healing treatment that rid them for a year; but I never saw water as a cure. During the recent illness I felt a migraine coming on and drank water – it didn’t come. The second problem was mucus. I have coughed up mucus for as long as I can remember. I felt the propensity for the problem came from a cigarette-filled childhood home, maybe that’s true but it is far from an explanation. The real truth is that the mucus was too solid and was getting blocked this needing a cough to move it out of the system. With the extra water there is still naturally mucus but it is not blocking the system.

Now to my illness. I was having a massage early December, and left with a sore throat and the start of the flu. I say this because I am claiming that the flu came from an internal source – not external. This was a mild flu but I let it run its course for about a week – vitamins and food only. Then I went to a Thai herbal doctor. I had visited him once before in September because I had cold on my chest and the herbs seemed to get rid of it although one or two detox reactions were powerful. This time I took the medicine for a few days then stopped as I started vomiting every time I ate. I didn’t understand why herbal treatment should do that. Sometimes natural cures can cause violent reactions if too much of the natural cure was taken, maybe an answer?

My recovery from the flu and herbs was slow, and people around me said I looked awful. I worked hard at dealing with the problem. Iron tablets gave me black shit but didn’t really help. I took a lot of electrolytes, they pepped me up but I soon slowed down again. It reminded me a lot of Hepatitis Z. When in Africa I came down with a liver problem. Each morning I would wake up fine, I would go to work and by the end of teaching at 1.00pm I would get the flu. I went home and slept for the rest of the day. I called it Hepatitis Z because they were hepatitis symptoms. and it was Africa so fun to exaggerate. At that time I trusted the medical system a little, and went to a doctor. He tested my blood and told me that my liver numbers were high, consistent with a heavy drinker. Whilst I had previously been an alcoholic, I hadn’t touched the drink for at least 5 years. He gave me pills that helped, but hep Z lasted nearly 3 months. I’d heard rumours there was an acupuncturist working at the local hospital. I had had acupuncture before beneficially, and overcame my illness-induced apathy and went to see her. One treament and Hep Z went – amazing. With this current illness I felt my liver was a bit like the Hep Z, so was drinking lots of curcumin water (turmeric water). And lots of green juice. But I was still tired and my liver and kidneys still felt off.

Now to the water. In my new house I have two sources of water – pumped from a lake and mains. When I first moved in my body was suspicious about the water. I walked around the area near my home and there was so much pesticide being used on the fruit that I presumed it was getting into the water table – quite frightening. I have not lived rural before and just seeing how much pesticide they use makes me more confirmed in my decision to eat organic as much as possible. I became proud of myself. The farms here use blue pipes to water the crops, and the plumbing into the house is also these blue pipes. I found out where the mains pipes were and I built an extension pipe into my kitchen – into my filter machine. It worked and I felt good that I had done it. My filter machine sales person checked it, and I thought all was well.

My illness was dragging on. I was improving slightly but I still felt tired and weak. Sat 19th Jan I was awake most of the night and my body was telling me water. I resolved to stop drinking the filtered water, and bought bottled water as soon as the shops opened. Within a day I felt improvement, and now two weeks later I feel fine. So what was happening with the water? I had been warned about the mains. It was not the same mains as I was used to in the county town. The mains in my village is taken from a local lake, but it is not chemically-treated as much as in the towns – this was confirmed by the lady at the blood test clinic. So the “village mains” working through the filter machine was still leaving something in the water that was damaging my health.

This water solution resolved an important issue. Why had I had such a bad reaction to the Thai herbs? The week before the 19th I went back to the herbal doctor, he was helpful. My Thai teacher translated for me, and I ended up going for a blood test. By the time I got to the blood test – Tuesday 22nd, I had resolved the problem as being the filtered mains water. I even took the water to the lab test clinic but there was no cheap testing. My body had tested the water and found it wanting, but for other people they want proof. My blood was clear. I was actually surprised. I thought my liver and kidneys would have shown signs of wear and tear because of the toxins from the water, but they didn’t. I am convinced the vomiting was the herbs getting rid of the toxins from my liver and kidneys, and the doctor seemed to agree when I took the blood results back to him. We discussed the results a while, and he thought again about my cold chest and gave me some tablets for wind element. Because of my diet my bowels were generally regular, irregular bowels were a wind problem to him, but he persevered with his diagnosis, and I got wind pills. I was surprised again because I didn’t know Thai herbal doctors were into the five elements. I am guessing that it came from Ayurveda where what he is describing as wind is the air element. This has done two things for me. It has found a new underlying condition, Dottie???, and it is pushing me into studying the Ayurveda stuff – not so much the doshas but the elements. A good way forward.

Since I have been taking the wind pills I have noticed improvement and stuff going on in my head as well as minor reactions with passing wind and bowel movements. It made me think. I told the herbal guy about my GERD, and that flashed blocked wind to him. I should have mentioned the lifetime of migraines that had gradually been disappearing. In addition the mucus being blocked is a pointer. All indicate air to me but I don’t know for sure – no study yet. But the plus about all this is that I don’t have to study. Since I started mb 6 and 1/2 years ago I have been going it alone in a sense, but of course not alone significantly because of the help of online people and Paul Pitchford. Now I don’t have to work through it myself I can be lazy and go to the doctor. I am better off than before the illness – if only I could speak Thai to him.

Posted in Drink | Tagged: | 1 Comment »