Thursday, 9 November 2017

Only constant is change: 2018

Our tilapia growing with natural food
As we head to the end of the year, I am finalising my plans.  Over the last 10 years, every step that I took has been leading me to this direction.  I experimented, researched, tested and studied what was a new field to me.  My inherent belief that we an improve our health through our normal daily diet led to the development of the farm and the ensuing produce and products developed.  I cannot change what happened to me from a health standpoint previously, but I can improve it for my future with the aim of leading a quality, fruitful life filled with joy.
When I first started the farm, the concept has always been to maximise on nature's bounty to provide good food for the family.  The application of it was to have a farm free from chemical pesticides, herbicide, hormones and to have a symbiotic relationship with nature.  In our fresh produce production, we use natural, organic fertilisers and methods for pest control.  It included in the water that was used hence the implementation of our own water pipeline from a natural source.  Our fish lives of the living water with its natural minerals and small fresh water shrimps and fish that flows in.  We complement their food with greens and naturally-produced larvae.  Our chickens feed on the insect sand also on the organic waste such as used grated coconuts, and extra fruits and tubers.  Our organic wastes are converted into fertilisers and pest control and even into cleaning liquids.  The aim is to limit introduction of toxins into our environment and surrounding areas - doing our part in conserving the environment.
Our liquid concentrates
EVCO and lemongrass range
As years passed, we started doing a market stall in Sg. Penchala to sell the excess food produced.  I began to produce products from our produce such as liquid drink concentrates and dried herbals which we added to our list of offerings.   So our weekly items included the fresh fruits, vegetables and our products.  Sometimes I would bring plants and fertilisers, either on order or just-because.
The ginger and turmeric range
When I first started the farm, I started my collection of herbals, mainly because I was told of the benefits and I felt I may need them in the future.  Further study on the benefits and therapeutical values of what we grew led to the development of our line of SHL Naturals in early 2017.  As we progressed in 2017, I had a lot more requests for customised herbal mixtures ranging from colds and flu, cholesterol control, high blood pressure, gout, diabetes to cancer.  The basis is alway from what we produce at the farm as I can then be assured of the c\"clean" source and quality.  I knew where the source materials were coming from, how it is grown and processed.
Our first community bazaar
I also organised a Community Bazaar where I live and held our first one on November 5th.  It was a success so we will continue with it with the frequency changing to fortnightly in 2018.  We have also began to offer our dried herbal products at The Jasmin Foundation, a homeopathy clinic in Setiawangsa.  We began to do deliveries for orders subject to minimum spend.  Our customers can order our dried products which we send through poslaju.  With these activities in mind, we will cease to do our Sunday morning market in Sg. Penchala in December.  For the month of December, we will focus on planting, maintenance, producing our products as well as doing some planning and marketing.
We are a lean operation team and it is not just about adding people to the team but adding the right people.  As we grow, I may need to add more people to the team but it will be something to deal with in the future.  I look forward to the future with the many possibilities of discovery and opportunities to help people, a life filled with activity driven by passion.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Go Local: Power trio

We have been mind-trained to look west that in the process we have lost our traditionally wonderful vegetables.  To me, peperomia pellucida (sireh cina), cosmos dianthus (ulam raja) and wild purslane (beremi) are superfoods that can be eaten raw as a salad.    They grow easily in our weather and requires minimal care.  To maximise the benefits, it is best grown organically without the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides and not exposed to any chemical herbicides.
This combination provides the following nutrients:
  1. Vitamin A
  2. Vitamin B1, B3, B6
  3. Vitamin C
  4. Calcium
  5. Copper
  6. Iron
  7. Magnesium
  8. Manganese
  9. Potassium
  10. Omega-3 fatty acids
  11. Sodium
  12. Zinc
These combination has the following properties:
  1. anti-oxidant
  2. anti-hypertensive
  3. anti-diabetic
  4. anti-inflammatory
  5. bone-protective effect
  6. anti-microbial
  7. anti-fungal
  8. anti-cancer
  9. lowers cholesterol
  10. anti-arthritic
  11. anti-rheumatic
  12. anti-diarrheal
  13. analgesic

The beauty of this trio is it is natural food so it can easily be incorporated into your daily diet.  You don't have to worry whether you take it before a meal or after a meal or on empty stomach because it is food and not chemicals.  I am not a proponent of juicing but if you want to drink it, blend it so that you get all the nutrients and benefits.  Happy eating :)

Monday, 9 October 2017

Busybody about my body: Dealing with Flu Naturally

I do not know of anyone who has never gotten a flu and it is a common disease that I think people look at it less seriously.  However, not taken care of, it can lead to other complications such as pneumonia, sepsis, inflammation of the heart (myocarditis) as well as aggravating some other conditions like asthma.  So whilst it is common, I do not take it lightly.  The symptoms include :

  1. sore throat
  2. runny or stuffed nose
  3. fever
  4. muscle aches and pains
  5. headache
  6. fatigue.
It is cause by a virus and nowadays there are so many variants.  Often, when you visit a doctor, you can expect to get three types of medication: one for fever, one for sore throat and congestion and of course antibiotics.  Most literature strenuously point out that it is important to complete the entire course of the antibiotics for it to be effective.

Last week I caught the flu.  I knew I was going to get it because my son came down with it in a bad way and there is no way I can avoid contact with him.  He was literally stuck to my side and with his high fever, I was monitoring him very closely.  Being only 4 years old, he has a higher risk of complications.  When his fever rose to close to 40 degrees Celsius, we headed to the hospital.  I wasn't taking any risks.  We managed to bring his fever down about 2 hours later but he was still feverish.  As for me, the minute I saw he caught the flu, I began my regime of 1 tablespoon of EVCO every 4 hours and 1 tablespoon of honey twice a day.  At the same time, I also gave my son EVCO every 2 hours along with his fever medication every 4 hours until his fever was all gone, which was a day later.  He also was on antibiotics for 3 days which caused diarrhoea so now he is also taking probiotics daily to re-balance his digestive system.  My son is still on daily 1 teaspoon of EVCO and 1 teaspoon honey, twice a day until he fully recovers.  He is not taking any other medication.  Then it was my turn.

I was flat on the bed for about 16 hours and during this period, I continued with hourly tablespoon of EVCO and every fours 1 tablespoon of honey. Then it was the morning on the next day and my fever was gone but I felt the muscle aches.  It was time to start taking my Bentong ginger and turmeric concentrate - 2 tablespoon diluted with warm water with 1 teaspoon of honey every 4 hours.  By evening, I was left with a slight cough and slight congestion.  So, I continue with my three times a day of 1 tablespoon of EVCO and 1 teaspoon of honey.  I have also added drinking Roselle juice twice a day to boost my immune system and to prevent any more fever.

There is pharmacological and studies backing the treatment that I chose for myself.

  1. Flu is cause by virus (and there are many strains) and can be complicated with bacteria.  To address this, the EVCO has strong anti-viral and anti-bacteria properties.  Honey too has strong anti-bacteria and anti-viral properties.  This composition gives me a wider range of defence.  It also helps in strengthening my immune system.  This also became a source of food for me.
  2. Muscle aches and pains makes movement painful so the Bentong ginger and turmeric helps to ease these aches and pains as well as reduce any internal inflammations.  It has strong anti-inflammatory properties as well as digestive system protection properties.  At the same time, since my appetite was non-existent, I barely ate so this combination help reduce any stomach problems.
  3. Roselle has good immune boosting capabilities so is a good option to take during the recovery period.
I prefer going the natural route as I do not like drugs and antibiotics because of all the side effects including destroying the good bacteria necessary for a healthy digestive system (one of the reasons why people also tend to get diarrhoea when they get flu).  With no appetite, I didn't have to try and stuff something in me before I took the EVCO, honey, Benton ginger & turmeric or Roselle as they are all food.  They were also my food.  It is also hard to overdose on these because as we age, all types of body parts need maintenance and repair as well as some rebuild.  Throughout this whole flu experience, my brain remain active, alert and lucid even when I had my eyes closed.  Being down for only a day was good as the next day, my son was ready to play.

As always, we have choices.  What is important is that we are aware of what we are doing, monitor our condition and be sure that what we are taking is pure, natural items which are organic and processed in a way to ensure maximum properties and nutrients are preserved.  Be knowledgeable in taking care of your health.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

From fresh to prepared: SHL Naturals

Since 2007, I have been building my farm, Suria Helang Lui, and practicing organic natural farming. We do not use any chemical herbicides, pesticides or fertilisers and our water source is natural water source just outside a forest reserve where it is clean.  I started the farm focussing on organically grown produce and over the years, have developed our own natural product line which is now called "Suria Helang Lui Naturals".  We use mainly our farm-produced ingredients to create our products.   We do not use any colouring, artificial flavours or preservatives.

The concept of our SHL Naturals is using locally grown produce to create food products that can be easily incorporated into your daily diet or meals which is packed with nutrients and preventive, healing or curative properties.  The idea is to make eating healthy enjoyable and easy to become a normal part of our lives.  All of the products in this line is packed in glass containers.

The Suria Helang Lui Naturals include:
1.  Bentong Ginger and Turmeric with Black Pepper concentrate
     This is a concentrate and can be consumed directly or used to create drinks or incorporated into cooking.  Since it contains no preservatives, it needs to be store refrigerated and can last stored at least 3 months.  This combination provides for many benefits including anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti inflammation , anti-cancer as well as helping with our digestive system and immune system.  It can be turned into either a hot or cold drink by diluting with water accordingly.  In making drinks, you can also sweeten it with a sweetener of your choice though I suggest you use natural sugars and not refined white sugar.  It can also be added to regular tea.  In cooking, it can be used to flavour dishes and as a marinate.  It is the choice for people who want to have the drink easily available - just add hot or cold water and it is ready to consume.  Some people just drink 1-2 tablespoon straight.  Each bottle contains 375ml.  Price per bottle is RM 18.

2.  Roselle Probiotics Concentrate
     This probiotic is created via fermenting roselle calyces with natural sugar over a period of at least 4 months.  Probiotics helps with improving our digestive and immune system.   It is a concentrate and is very sour so I suggest consuming it by diluting it with water,  You can just consume 1-2 tablespoon straight.  It can be stored at room temperature hence does need to be refrigerated.  It can be stored for over 12 months.  The dark red color is the natural color from the Roselle calyces.
 Amongst its therapeutic benefits are high in vitamin C and high in antioxidants.  This is a good supplementary drink for cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy as it assists in the rebuilding of the immune system and improving gastrointestinal system.  As it is made from roselle, it bring with it the other benefits such as reducing high blood pressure, assisting in cell repair and growth as well as for respiratory problems like flu and cold.   Each bottle contains 230ml.   Price per bottle is RM 30.

3.  Roselle Concentrate
     This concentrate contains no added sugar and has the natural sour flavour of Roselle.  It is made from a combination of Roselle calyces and leaves.  It is stored refrigerated and lasts at least 3 months.  This concentrate can be used to create drinks and in cuisines.  In cooking it can be used in any dish that you would like to add a sour taste element and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.  It can also be used to make iced desserts.  It is high in vitamin C and antioxidants.  It is a good drink for people undergoing chemotherapy as it helps the body to remove toxins as well as in building up the immune system thus countering the side effects of the treatment.  For children, it makes a great source of vitamin C in a drink form.  It bring with it the other benefits such as reducing high blood pressure, assisting in cell repair and growth as well as for respiratory problems like flu and cold.    Each bottle contains 375ml.  Price per bottle is RM 20.

4.  Pure Calamansi Juice
     This is made from cold-pressed calamansi fruit resulting in a juice.  No other ingredients are added to it.  It needs to be stored refrigerated and lasts for at least 3 months.  It can be used to make drinks or cooking.
It is high in vitamin C, antioxidants , vitamin A and various other minerals such as calcium and potassium.  Amongst its benefits are it boosts the immune system, helps in growth and repair, soothes the acidity in the stomach, lowers cholesterol and detoxifies the body.
    Since this is our juice, it is very sour.  When making drinks, it is diluted with warm or cold water and can be sweetened to taste.  It can also be added to regular tea to make a refreshing tea that we call "Teh-O-Limau".  Each bottle contains approximately 375ml.  Price per bottle is RM 20.

5.  Calamansi Juice with Lemongrass Concentrate
     This made from a combination of are calamansi juice and lemongrass concentrate.  It can be used to create drinks and in cooking.  Being preservative-free, it needs to be stored refrigerated and last at least 3 months.  This combination contains anti-oxidants, anti-cancer, anti-bacteria with high vitamin C, A, B-complex as well as minerals like calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorous.  It contains no added sugar so it can be sweetened with natural sweeteners like honey, molasses or brown sugar, to create hot or cold drinks.  It also brings in all the benefits of calamansi with the added benefit from lemongrass such as reducing insomnia, lowering cholesterol, improving the health of gastrointestinal system and fighting the pathogens in this system, tonic for the nervous system, and reduces aches and pains.  Hence this concentrate can be beneficial for people with health issues such as gastrointestinal problems, migraine,  and respiratory issues.  Each bottle contains 375ml.  Price per bottle is RM 18.

6.  Calamansi Juice with Blue Pea Flower Concentrate
     This made from a combination of are calamansi juice and Blue Pea flower resulting in a purple coloured concentrate.  It can be used to create drinks and in cooking.  Being preservative-free, it needs to be stored refrigerated and last at least 3 months.  This combination contains the properties of calamansi juice as well anti-oxidants, anti-depressant,from the blue pea flower.  This concentrate brings all the benefits of calamansi as well as the benefits from the blue pea flower such as improving vitality, reduces premature skin aging and reducing aches and pains.  This is a drink that is good as an evening drink as it helps to soothe you to sleep and promotes the body repair work as we sleep.Each bottle contains 375ml.  Price per bottle is RM 18.

7.  Dehydrated Ground Bentong Ginger
     Using this variety of ginger allows us to concrete a rich ground spice.  The ginger is dehydrated and then ground to create this product.  It can be stored at room temperature and last at least 6 months.   To prepare a drink, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of powder and add just-boiled water or very hot water.  Allow it to steep for a couple of minutes and it is ready to consume.  You can add ice if you would like to have it cold or allow it to cool down a bit to drink it warm.  You can add natural sweeteners if you would like it to have a sweet taste.  You can also add it to regular hot tea to turn have a ginger-flavoured tea.
As this is made of pure ground Bentong ginger, it is strong and you normally use half of what you use with normal ginger.  So when you use it in cooking, be aware or you may end up with a strong ginger taste in your dish.  This item is available via mail with additional shipping charges.  Each jar contains approximately 50 g.  Price per jar is RM 25.

8.  Dehydrated Ground Bentong Ginger and Turmeric with Black Pepper
     Both the ginger and turmeric is dehydrated before being ground with black pepper to create this spice mixture.  It can be stored at room temperature and lasts at least 6 month.  It can be used to create drinks, either hot or cold, as well as in creating dishes for your meals.
It provides for the same benefits as the Bentong Ginger and Turmeric concentrate with the difference being you will have to prepare it differently.  To prepare a drink, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of powder and add just-boiled water or very hot water.  Allow it to steep for a couple of minutes and it is ready to consume.  You can add ice if you would like to have it cold or allow it to cool down a bit to drink it warm.  You can add natural sweeteners if you would like it to have a sweet taste.  This item is available via mail with additional shipping charges.  Each jar contains approximately 40 g.  Price per jar is RM 25.

9.  Dehydrated Ground Turmeric with Black Pepper
     The turmeric is dehydrated before being ground with black pepper.  We do not add any fillers and this is pure turmeric with black pepper.  The black pepper is added to improve the bioavailability of cur cumin for the body.  It can be stored at room temperature and lasts at least 6 months.
    It can be used to create healthy drinks like turmeric milk.  To prepare turmeric milk, you can use this mixture and follow the many recipes available but since this is pure, you only need to use between 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon.  In cooking dishes, you only need to use a small amount depending on the size of the dish.  As it already contains black pepper, be sure to taste it first should you wish to add more black pepper.  This item is available via mail with additional shipping charges.  Each jar contains approximately 40 g. Price per jar is RM 20.

10.  Dehydrated Ground Lemongrass
       The lemongrass is dehydrated and ground to create this herbal product.  It contains only lemongrass and can be used to create drinks or in cooking.  It can be stored at room temperature and lasts at least 6 months. To prepare a drink, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of powder and add just-boiled water or very hot water.  Allow it to steep for a couple of minutes and it is ready to consume.  You can add ice if you would like to have it cold or allow it to cool down a bit to drink it warm.  You can add natural sweeteners if you would like it to have a sweet taste.
As this is pure lemongrass, when using in cooking 1 flat teaspoon is approximately 1 lemongrass which is rich in flavour.  This item is available via mail with additional shipping charges.  Each jar contains approximately 20 g.   Price per jar is RM 15.

11.  Dehydrated Ground Bentong Ginger and Lemongrass
       Both the ginger and lemongrass are dehydrated before it is ground to create this herbal mixture.  It can be used in creating drinks or in cooking.  It can be stored at room temperature.  Being dehydrated, it makes it easy to bring it along when you travel.  It makes a refreshing tea and can be sweetened to taste.  To prepare a drink, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of powder and add just-boiled water or very hot water.  Allow it to steep for a couple of minutes and it is ready to consume.  You can add ice if you would like to have it cold or allow it to cool down a bit to drink it warm.  You can add natural sweeteners if you would like it to have a sweet taste. This item is available via mail with additional shipping charges.Each jar contains approximately 20 g. Price per jar is RM 20.

12.  Dehydrated Roselle Leaves Tea
       Made from mature Roselle leaves which are dehydrated and coarsely ground, it can be brewed as tea to make a refreshing drink either hot or cold.  It has a fruity, sour taste.  It can be stored at room temperature and lasts for at least 6 months.
To prepare a drink, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of tea leaves and add just-boiled water or very hot water.  Allow it to steep for a couple of minutes and it is ready to consume.  You can add ice if you would like to have it cold or allow it to cool down a bit to drink it warm.  You can add natural sweeteners if you would like it to have a sweet taste.  This item is available via mail with additional shipping charges.  Each jar contains approximately 30 g. Price per jar is RM 20.

13.  Dehydrated Soursop Leaves Tea
       Made from mature Soursop leaves which are dehydrated and coarsely ground, it can be brewed as tea to make a refreshing drink either hot or cold.  It has a subtle soursop fruit flavour.  It can be stored at room temperature and lasts for at least 6 months.  This item is available via mail with additional shipping charges.
       It can be brewed just like tea.  I suggest using 1 flat teaspoon per cup and using just-boiled water and allow the tea to steep until it is warm to drink.  Alternatively, you can use a claypot to create a concentrate and store it in the refrigerator to make it readily available for when you want to drink it.  This tea is often consumed for anti-cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure as a health maintenance tea.  People with DVT should avoid this but people with anaemia should add it to their drinks list as it encourages red blood cell production.  Each jar contains approximately 20 g. Price per jar is RM 35.

14.  Dehydrated Cat's whiskers Tea
       Made from mature Cat's whiskers (Misai Kuching) leaves which are dehydrated and coarsely ground, it can be brewed as tea to make a refreshing drink either hot or cold.  It can be stored at room temperature and lasts for at least 6 months.   To prepare a drink, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of tea leaves and add just-boiled water or very hot water.  Allow it to steep for a couple of minutes and it is ready to consume.  You can add ice if you would like to have it cold or allow it to cool down a bit to drink it warm.  Most people drink this tea as you would Chinese tea.  This item is available via mail with additional shipping charges.
       Traditionally, this is a tea that is consumed by people to help control their blood sugar level such as those who are pre-diabetic and diabetic.  It is also consumed for high blood pressure and for blood cleansing.  Each jar contains approximately 20 g of tea leaves.   Price per jar is RM 20.

15.  Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
       Produced from cold-pressed coconut milk which is processed using permaculture method to create pure coconut oil.  It can be stored at room temperature and lasts fro at least 15 months.  If it is stored at temperatures below 23 Celsius, the oil will solidify.  With medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), it is a great alternative oil for health conscious consumers.
      With its anti-viral properties, it is also used in alternative medicine for colds and flu.  Personally, at the first sign of flu, I will take 1 tablespoon of it.  I like this as an antibiotics alternative because it doesn't damage the "good" bacteria in my gut system.  It is known as an alternative treatment for Alzheimer's disease and also as a health maintenance for the brain cells.
       As it is non-carbohydrate based, it doesn't breakdown into sugar but ketones hence making it a good alternative oil for people with cancer and diabetics. Each bottle contains approximately 250ml.  Price per bottle is RM 30.

16.  Dehydrated Roselle Calyces
       This is made from only Roselle calyces which are dehydrated and ground.  It can be prepared into a drink, either hot or cold and sweetened.  I suggest using pure, sugar-free honey.  It can be stored at room temperature and is designed to be travel-friendly.  To prepare a drink, just use 1/2 teaspoon and add to hot water and allow it to steep for a few minutes.  If you would like to turn it into a cold drink, you can add ice-cubes.  You can also prepare a larger portion and store it in the fridge and have it readily available when you would like a drink.
       It has strong immune booster properties as well as good for people with high blood pressure and hypertension.  It is also  great alternative drink when you have fever and throughout the recovery period.  In alternative therapy, this drink is consumed at least twice a day to control high blood pressure.
        Each jar is 75g and is available via mail-order with additional postage and handling costs.  As this is a popular item, and it is prepared in batches, please check for availability.  Price per jar is RM 40.

17.  Dehydrated Blue Pea Flower (Bunga Telang)
       Made from dehydrated petals only of the blue pea flower, it has multiple ways of consumption.  It is traditionally used for blue food colouring and it provides the added benefits as a calming agent.  As a natural food colouring, it can be used to create the traditional blue rice (Nasi Kerabu) as well as in making cakes, jellies and puddings apart from making a blue-colorer drink.  In making a drink, if calamansi (limau kasturi) is added to the blue pea tea, the resulting drink will be a purple color.  So, by adding calamansi to your blue jelly mixture, you will get purple jelly.
        It can be serves as a hot or cold drink, sweetened or unsweetened.  To make tea, just add 1-2 flowers into just-boiled water and watch the liquid turn blue.
        This is available via mail-order with additional postage and handling costs.  Each jar costs RM 15.

Updated: Oct. 10, 2017

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Natural Preventive and curative: My Basics

The main purpose of the farm is to produce chemical-free and hormone-free edibles and through the years, I have selected some staples for a reason.  I still continue to plant and nurture many different plants as I am ever the optimist in believing that I will have time to study them further for their benefits so until them, I will care for them.  The staples that I have narrowed down to is based on what I feel is the basics for my health from a preventive and curative view.  So what are my basics: ginger, turmeric, coconut, and roselle.  Why you may ask?  Simple, I need to keep my immune system and my central nervous system (including the brain) healthy.   I am not a doctor so I do not do diagnosis or pharmacological advise.   I practice natural food therapy in my daily life so I share what I experience and know.

The largest organ in my body for the immune system is the gut which includes the stomach, intestine and bowel.   It performs the key function of removing toxins and wastes from our body as well as allowing absortion of nutrients by our body.  If our gut cannot function properly, the food is not digested properly, our body doesn't get the proper nutrients, and our body doesn't eliminate the toxins and wastes properly.  If the gut is not healthy, it can also cause toxins and harmful bacteria to enter our blood system which can result in other organs being damaged and allergies.  For me, the easiest way to care for them is to incorporate ginger, turmeric, tapioca and roselle into my normal food intake, either as solids or liquids.


To care for my central nervous system, especially my brain, I look to coconuts which I either consume as a drink or using extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO).  Studies have proven that the ketones in coconut oil can help rebuild or repair our brain cells.  An illness that many of us are aware of that affects the brain is Alzheimer's.  It has been shown that consumption of EVCO can improve and even cure this condition and best of all, no negative side effects - this is something that almost all the drugs cannot claim.  I choose EVCO because it is the purest form of coconut oil and when produced from organic coconuts does not contain contaminants.  It is produced using cold-pressed method from fresh coconuts.  It doesn't undergo any chemical process or drying that can contaminate the coconut.

Of course, ginger, turmeric, coconut, tapioca and roselle also have other benefits so by incorporating them in my diet, I get to enjoy them too.  These 5 provides antibacterial, antiviral, improve the immune system, helps to lower cholesterol, improves blood circulation, helps to improve high blood pressure condition, improve digestion, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer - to name a few.  One of my key focus is to share what can be planted by everyone or if not, what can be obtained locally with the cost also being a factor.  Ginger, turmeric and roselle can be planted in containers for those who do not have much planting space.  If you have a small space, you can plant tapioca and dwarf coconuts but if you can't, they are easily purchased.  None of these need to be imported as they can be obtained locally so this can make it affordable to many.  Try incorporating them into your normal daily diet and I hope you can reap the benefits of a better health.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Bentong Ginger: What we do

Amongst my favourite rhizome is the Bentong Ginger.  Its benefits are well documented and it is a popular herbal spice.  At the farm, we grow it and we have to keep rotating the area where we plant it because it "eats" a lot so I need to let the soil rejuvenate before planting in the same location again.
Although it stores well, I always like to process it as soon as it is harvested.  Apart from using it fresh, we do process it to a concentrate drink and to a dry, powdered form.

Our concentrate is a blend of the ginger, turmeric and black pepper.  As it is a concentrate, it can be diluted to prepare a drink, either hot or cold.  It is also used in cooking as well as a marinate.
As no preservatives or additives are used, it needs to be stored refrigerated.  This is one of our popular products and we produce it in batches as needed.  Our customers use it for many reasons:

  1. to maintain their digestive system and as a preventive measure against leaky gut
  2. to control cholesterol
  3. to reduce gas and bloating
  4. to reduce joint aches and pains including for arthritis
  5. as a post-natal supplement.
Personally I use it as a preventive measure so it is something that I consume everyday, in different forms.  Making it as part of my daily normal essential diet has been key to enabling me to continue consuming it for the benefits without feeling bored, something which can easily occur if you are popping pills.  I treat it as a natural therapy and it assists my body in healing itself.

The second processed product is our new product: producing ginger powder.  The ginger is sliced and dehydrated using a dehydrator which allows me to ensure maximum retention of nutrients as well as prevention of contaminants such as dust, dirt or other types of contaminants.  This dehydration process reduces the ginger to approximately 10% of its fresh original weight.  What it means is if 1 kg of fresh ginger is dehydrated, the dehydrated ginger will weigh around 90-100g.
The dehydrated ginger is then ground to a powdered form.  The end product is really concentrated so you do not need to use much of it.  No additives or preservatives are added to it so it is pure ground ginger.  It can then be stored in an air-tight container in the cupboard or if you prefer, in the refrigerator.  This ground ginger can be used in many ways: used in cooking and marinating as well as in creating drinks like ginger tea or added to other teas to flavour it.  The dehydrated ginger will also be used to create our ground spice mixes such as with lemongrass and turmeric.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Eat for Life: Naturally maintaining my gut

We often are more reactive than proactive and we tend to want miracle cures.  I decided to change my diet from being reactive to proactive and one of the major changes is the diligent inclusion of turmeric and ginger, roselle probiotics and virgin coconut oil in my diet.  This combination provides a wealth of health benefits but in a proactive measure, one of the main ones that I want is the care and maintenance for my gut.  I have done a lot of research on this and will continue to follow developments from both the medical world as well as the alternative holistic therapies.
Our gut is the biggest immune organ in our body with the main function of processing our food and removing toxins.  It is basically our digestive tract.  Over the last few years, more and more information has been disseminated regarding a condition called leaky gut.  A leaky gut causes allergens and toxins as well as bacteria and viruses to enter out bloodstream leading to many illnesses including infections to other organs like the brain, heart, kidney and others, allergies and autoimmune.  The symptoms are many and is often misdiagnosed resulting in our medical treatment addressing the symptoms but not the condition.   Some of the symptoms are:

  1.  allergies
  2. infections to various organs and within the body
  3. body aches and pains
  4. bloating
  5. cramps

The symptoms and manifestation of the problem is common enough that the treatment is often for the symptom and not addressing the underlying issue.

Some of the causes are:

  1. age
  2. gluten
  3. antibiotics
  4. food additives
  5. carcinogens


How to avoid a leaky gut?  Easy but can be difficult to do for some: take care of your gut and prevent the lining from breaking down or having holes.  Basically, one needs to take care of what one consumes.  A healthy gut has good digestive tract walls and good bacteria.  As we age, our body will breakdown and need repairing so similar to having a car, one needs to do maintenance.  Some repairs here and there, replacing what is worn down, etc.

In my proactive mode, I have added 3 items which not only is good for my gut health but also contains other health benefits:

  1. Bentong ginger and turmeric with black pepper
  2. Roselle probiotics
  3. Extra virgin coconut oil


These 3 items promotes the repair work, addressing the symptoms with its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti inflammation properties and then continues to promote the health of my gut with the probiotics and "cleaning" activities.  They are simple to add to my daily diet and doesn't require major changes to my routine and readily available.  I am a firm believer that if we cannot make something a normal thing to do, it will be hard to remain diligent and sustain it as a normal course in our life.  Whilst some of this are available in pill forms, a few factors make it less desirable:

  • I do not know what is added during the process to convert it from natural state to pill or capsule
  • The cost is higher than the natural state
  • While it may be convenient, over a period of time, I will become bored and lazy to pop the pills and ultimately, just stop doing it
  • There is no fun in pill popping - there is no enjoyment in consuming it and it becomes a to-do task as opposed to something I do normally


My focus has always been on organic and local so that it is easily available and affordable.  After all, if it is expensive that it is out of reach to the masses.  As with everything you consume, do find out about the source of what you consume and that it is natural, organically grown without hormones as well as additives-free and this includes preservatives, sugar, colouring.