By: A Singaporean
When someone gets Diarrhoea, sometimes the solution is so easy, we wonder why anyone has to suffer.
Of all the ingredients here, the most potent is Rice, but not in the usual form we eat it in, and neither would rice porridge work too well.
The secret is in rice water.
This is already known in this region.. Ask your maids --
Sri Lankan, Indonesian, Filipina and they would know about it. My Malaysian relatives know about it.
My mother knew about it. When Dr Albert Winsemius came to Singapore for a farewell and thank you dinner in his honour, he brought along his wife Aly and his granddaughter, Jolijn. Both women came down with very bad gastroenteritis. They saw the doctor who gave them medication. It was slow to work.
Mother boiled some rice in lots of water and went to their hotel with two 1.5L bottles of rice water.
I cringed in shame at the offer of this folk remedy, which seemed so primitive to me. Never heard of this cure before.
To my surprise, it worked, and they were even able to go out for dinner the next day. Both were exclaiming how the rice water did the trick of making them well again. Well, lucky it worked, I thought to myself.
I was discussing this some years back with Kim Ng, the ex-matron of KK Hospital . She said, yes, that is what Professor Wong Hock Boon, the notable pediatrician teaches.
I was shocked and made some comment how could he?
It was common knowledge so what had he to do with it?
Many months later, I regretted laughing at it.
Dr Christina Shanta Emmanuel, who is the CEO of...uh, which group I have forgotten, either National Health Group, or Polyclinics, or whatever.. regarded me seriously when I brought up the topic like it was good fun. She said that Prof Wong Hock Boon had presented a paper on it at some conference after he had done clinical trials.
Then his results were published in the Lancet, the Medical Journal all doctors read. In fact, said Shanta, he was credited for saving the lives of 2 million African babies by this method.
I am impressed.
It is rice water and not rice, that does the trick. I have found it effective again and again.
THE EXACT RECIPE
You take a handful of rice and boil it in a large saucepan with lots of water. Like three or four large glasses..
Then you cool that and drink the water.. If you are in a hurry to relieve the ailing person, take the saucepan off the fire and dunk it in a frying pan or basin of cool water with ice cubes if necessary. This gives the patient a chance to drink the rice water sooner and cure himself or herself sooner.
When drinking the rice water, make sure there is lots of it.
You have to tell the patient that enough water must go in to line your guts from throat to other end, all 10 to 12 metres of it.
If you take rice, it stays in the stomach.
If you take broth, some of it may go into the small intestine. But if you take rice water, it will carry rice grains to every inch of your small and large intestine to the end where the problem is.
How does it work?
Even Prof Wong Hock Boon doesn't know.
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