Gin Sukapaap Dee

About a Healthy Diet in Thailand

Posts Tagged ‘drink’

Jamu Kunyit – yellow juice

Posted by billzant on March 21, 2013


I picked up on this from Gee online because I think turmeric is the business; I regularly recommend it to people to help their liver work against the toxins. The last time I recommended it she said she wouldn’t take it in water because she didn’t like the taste – I half agreed the taste in water is not good but I still drank it. Now I don’t have to because I have seen this Jamu Kunyit. Not only is the turmeric palatable but you also get the health benefits of tamarind. Here is the recipe that Gee gave, this is way too messy for me but healthier. I amended it because I want to drink the stuff everyday. This website is about eating healthily in Thailand so the ingredients are Thai-specific.


2 makham rolls (In Thailand tamarind is freely available packed in rolls, yesterday I bought 4 for 20 Baht)
2 tsps of Curcumin (I bought a box of turmeric powder – about 100 Baht)
Bottle of honey
Bottle of lemon Juice

The drink is mixed in a blender and the makham rolls have seeds, so you need to get juice from the makham rolls first. I have this on the go all the time. Get a bowl, put the rolls in the bowl and cover with water at least half inch above the makham. Leave to soak for a day. Wring the rolls with your hands so that they break up into small pieces, then pour the mixture through a cullendar and put the juice in a blender. Put the pulp and stones into the bowl and cover with water again. This time with palms together rub the pulp and stones together trying to separate as much of the pulp from the stones – still in the water. This means that you can get more of the makham in the juice. Do this as often as you feel – even just once, and when you are ready pour it through the cullender again. Pour the juice into the same blender and then you are ready for the other ingredients. Throw away the remaining pulp and stones – some of the healthiest stuff!

These next three must have to be used specific to your taste, so you will have to learn over time. I put in 2 heaped teaspoons of turmeric but you have to be careful how much turmeric as it can dominate. Then you add the honey and lemon to taste – you could start with 2 dessertspoons of each. All are now in the blender, you can add water if you want to fill the blender. Blend.

Bottle the juice and put in the fridge. I drink mine within 2 days – I don’t know how long it will last in the fridge.

Next time I will add flax seed, a teaspoonful will not affect the taste and it will enable me to regularly take flax seed!!


I have taken to call this juice “yellow juice”, so that I have yellow juice and green juice morning and evening. In Thailand they call it yaa rabaii or something like that. I mentioned yellow juice to a friend and she turned her nose up at it – yaa means medicine and she used it for constipation. Whatever she says I think yellow juice is delicious.

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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.

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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.

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Making Drinks Count

Posted by billzant on May 25, 2012

When I first visited the natural healing clinic for GERD, the doctor told me diet. He focussed on the food, he knew I didn’t drink but he said I should stop tea and coffee as well. At my insistence he gave me some Thai drinks that I could try – ginger, hibiscus and matuum. I did this, but over the few years drinks have taken on greater importance.

First and foremost is water. He did not advise drinking water, but I have since learnt that for me (84 kg) 2litres a day of filtered water on its own is essential. Water is the main body mechanism for detox. We wake up and pass water. In addition I take a flask of 1 litre of warm water to bed with me, and begin the day with that water. You are what you drink, and we are made of water.

The next important drink is rejuvelac – nam khao klong in Thailand. Basically you put some rice in the bottom of a container, fill it with water, and let it ferment for a couple of days. Pour off the liquid, and this drink is excellent for bowel movements and more.

Next came the green drink. A friend had high cholesterol, and I tried to persuade her the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. She tried a chlorophyll drink and it helped, then she started to teach me making me have leafy green juice at her restaurant – thamachaat (natural). At home I compromised with bai tooi (pandanus), maruun, ginger and lemon juice, all in the blender. What is so good about this green juice is that I go into the garden, cut the bai tooi and the maruun from what I have grown. Sadly that is my limited success in the garden.

On a diet when you start detox, you begin to realise the importance of the liver for getting rid of toxins. Turmeric is excellent for this but then I found kvas as well. To begin with I just used beetroot:-

• 3 medium or 2 large organic beets (roots only), peeled and chopped up coarsely; do not grate beets.
• 1/4 cup whey. 1 tablespoon ocean sea salt
• filtered water

1. Use vacuum jar I bought.
2. Add filtered water to fill the container(s).
3. Stir well and cover securely.
4. Keep at room temperature for 2 days and then transfer to refrigerator.
5. Drink one 4 ounce glass, morning and night.

For your second batch refill the bottle with filtered water and let it ferment for two more days on the counter. After the second brewing discard the beets. However, reserve some of the beet kvass liquid and use this as your innoculant instead of the whey for the next time you make it.

I tried to make ginger ale at the same time, this didn’t work well, but I now mix the ginger drink with the beet kvas when I drink. Here is the ginger drink:-

1 small piece of ginger about 1 cubic inch, micro-grated
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from one lemon)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp fresh whey
1 qt. water

I actually use quite a large piece that I grate. Mix everything thoroughly in an air-tight container, and let it sit at room temperature for 3-7 days. You may need to bleed off some CO2 depending on temperature – there arewarnings about too much gas causing jars to explode. I have found that the drink doesn’t carbonate, maybe the Thai climate. Refrigerate. This combined beet and ginger kvas feels good, and they say it is good for liver and kidneys.
Eventually in my healing I reached the importance of probiotics – chouai yooi. I first started with tablets, but I didn’t like them (and they were expensive) so I tried kombucha tea. As with all fermenting you need the starter, and, this is not good for Thailand, I ordered a scoby from the US. I had never done this fermenting before so it seemed strange, this piece of rubber. Anyway I followed the instructions and it worked. They sent a tea with it but I now use Thailand tea – oolong tea and even better Jiangulan, but sadly for “Eating healthily in Thailand” this scoby is the first thing I could not get here. I found no problem with using it:-

Where I am it takes a week. Make the tea first – 3 litres. In a pot 3 litres of water 4 spoons of tea and 4 dessert spoons of white sugar. Boil the water and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool for a day. Sieve out the tea leaves, pour the room temperature tea over the scoby, and leave for a week. My weeks alternate between oolong and jiangulan, and I assume my yoois are well chouaied.

There are two final drinks that I recommend although in truth I started these because of my GERD condition. The first is Apple Cider Vinegar, ACV. One part to 7 of water with a small amount of honey for taste, drink twice a day. The next is whole carrot juice, more accurately called carrot sludge – half a large carrot shredded mixed with 300cl of water – done in my combined food processor/blender. One drink with much washing-up but the enzymes from the carrot greatly helps the stomach rebalance itself.

Along with the great varieties of green tea available here especially mulberry and with hibisucs (rosella – grajiap) healthy drinking is well possible – with a bit of effort. What is significant is that these drinks are not just added to the diet but they are an integral part of it. Drinks count.


Here is a water calculator – it worked for me. 3.1 litres – 2 litres of water and and just over a litre of other drinks.

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Ginger for KVAS

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

This was supposed to be some kind of ginger ale drink but it did not ferment to what I thought of as ginger ale. But I found it went well with the beetroot KVAS balancing the taste a little – it is still an acquired taste but helpful health-wise.

1 small piece of ginger about 1 cubic inch, micro-grated (I use an unused coffee-grinder)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from one lemon)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp fresh whey
1 qt. water

Mix everything thoroughly in an air-tight container. Because of Thailand’s weather I let it sit outside for 3 days. They say it may carbonate, mine doesn’t but I let the air out every day or so.


This has also slipped by with the KVAS.

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Beetroot KVAS

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

I mix the KVAS with a ginger drink I make – 5:1 KVAS:ginger.

• 3 medium or 2 large organic beets (roots only), peeled and chopped up coarsely; do not grate beets (see note below)
• 1/4 cup – use whey from kefir. 1 tablespoon ocean sea salt
• filtered water

1. Use large jar.
2. Add filtered water to fill the jar.
3. Stir well and cover securely.
4. Keep at room temperature for 2 days and then transfer to refrigerator.
5. Drink one 4 ounce glass, morning and night.

For your second batch refill the bottle with filtered water and let it ferment for two more days on the counter. After the second brewing discard the beets.
However, reserve some of the beet kvass liquid and use this as your innoculant instead of the whey for the next time you make it.

Aside:- Folk medicine values beets and beet kvass for their liver cleansing properties and beet kvass is widely used in cancer therapy in Europe. Anecdotal reports indicate that beet kvass is an excellent therapy for chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, allergies and digestive problems. It is an excellent blood tonic, cleanses the liver, promotes bowel regularity, aids digestion, and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.


Sadly I have let this slip by as it is excellent. You need to keep making it because the starter comes from the previous batch.

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Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

At the same time I bought the kombucha tea scoby, I bought kefir grains – even though kefir beauty products are available in Thailand I don’t know where to get grains. Initially I thought kefir was great but I am now not convinced. To begin with I made milk kefir eating this most days with fruit thinking it was good. But then I noticed that on Sundays headaches would start – not migraines but enough. I stopped eating milk kefir, and the headaches went. One up for the macrobiotics that says don’t eat dairy. I have included the milk kefir process below but you must decide – I have no doubts that milk kefir chuais the yooi.

I then began to make coconut milk kefir. Thailand is great for this – at least where I am is, because I can go to the market and get fresh coconut milk – they have a wierd-looking machine where they make it on the spot. The machine makes hua ga ti and hung ga ti – for this you only want hua ga ti. I put the kefir grains in a jar and put the hua ga ti on top – about one pint. After about a day the kefir forms on top, and I remove it putting it in the fridge. I leave the jar another couple of days and some more coconut kefir is formed – mostly liquid. I sieve this mixture so as I can separate the grains. I put the grains back in the jar and pour some of the liquid back on the grains. This helps the grains for the next batch. I put the rest of the liquid in the fridge, and it separates giving some coconut kefir. I go through this coconut kefir process weekly. This does not make as much coconut milk kefir as the milk kefir but it balances the taste of fruit nicely.

When the coconut milk separates to make the kefir the liquid that remains is whey, I use this in making kvas and the ginger ale drink later. Keep the whey in the fridge.

Update 10/3/12

The longer I have gone on with the coconut milk kefir the less satisfied I am. It makes little although what it makes is OK. I will try to keep the grains going but that’s all.

Milk Kefir

This is easier to make than the coconut kefir. Basically I used two pints of milk, pour the kefir grains in a two pint jar, filled it with milk and waited. After a couple of days the milk separated and on the top was milk kefir. I scooped this off and strained the rest reclaiming the grains. Then grains in the jar with two pints of milk giving the milk kefir again. Perhaps this made too much and that is why I got the headaches – I don’t know. Anyway I stopped and they have gone. But that doesn’t mean the same will happen to you. Try for yourself, but dairy is not human food!

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Kombucha Tea

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

Now this is very straight-forward except for one thing – the scoby. You make kombucha tea from ordinary tea but to ferment the tea you need a scoby. Now a scoby just looks like a piece of rubber that sits in the bottom of the tea, and leaving it there ferments the tea making it kombucha tea. For Thailand getting the scoby is a problem, and I sent to the US for it. I found an address off the internet and had it shipped over, but they didn’t answer emails so I can’t recommend them (e-mail me if you want their address) .

You can use any tea you like, preferably natural tea. I use oolong tea and jiangulan tea. Fermenting the tea changes the taste so you try what works for you. Your scoby changes any tea so that is no problem. Your scoby also grows with fermentation so you can store it or pass it on!!

I make 4 pints of kombucha tea at a time, 1 teaspoon of tea for each pint, and – wait for it – 1 dessertspoonful of white sugar. Aaagghh! I know but the sugar is needed for the fermentation, and the fermentation process gets rid of the sugar, so I don’t think it’s a problem. Hasn’t been for me so far. Once you have made the tea, you must leave it for 24 hours until it is room temperature. I don’t remove the tea leaves while it is cooling, but I read that some do. Once you are ready to make the kombucha tea, strain out the leaves.

I have a plastic container with a tap for each drink. You put the scoby in the bottom of the container, pour in the tea, and leave it for a week. By this time fermentation has taken place and you have kombucha tea.

As I said above the scoby grows so I now have 2 kombucha tea containers. From the first batch an extra scoby had grown so I used that to make the second batch. Now the scoby just gets bigger, and I cut it for storage or throw it.

I drink one tea one week, and the other the next – making new tea every Thursday (how boring!).


I have really taken off with this fermentation. I drink 2/3 glasses every day, and I make green Aden tea (2 caskets) and hibiscus.

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Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

The first fermentation I used was Rejuvelac picked up from Paul Pitchford’s “Healing through Whole Foods”. I have two rejuvelac on the go at a time, and have used old cafetieres – coffee not now being on the menu. The advantage of the cafetieres is that the plunger stops any floating rice getting in the drink.

In the bottom of the cafetiere I put rice – the equivalent of one meal portion; I use Organic Brown Gaba Rice I get from Gee at Orgathai. I also add a tablespoonful of rice-germ (jamuu khao in Thai). I fill with water and allow it to ferment for two days. To serve just depress the plunger and pour into a glass. I run two so that there is always a glass available every morning.

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Broad healing

Posted by billzant on January 2, 2012

I just read this article by Verne Verona on macrobiotics. The problem with macrobiotics is that it just focusses on food, or at least most of the people who claim they follow macrobiotics do. In theory the macrobiotic approach is much wider including meditation and chi, but far too often this is not advocated. In the end healing, at whatever level, becomes an analysis of minutiae with regards to food preparation, and ignore the breadth necessary for whole healing. As a non-processed diet helps the body, many are convinced they are doing enough with the diet, and miss the essentials of developing good human energy and a stable mind.

The article begins with an amusing irony concerning the state of medicine at the moment – not too amusing for Verne at the time.

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