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Secret herbs and confinement

In old time, confinement was the only period that new mommies could utilize to recover their health, many ladies have to return to farm field and work with men immediately after their confinement.

In Chinese old tradition, confinement last 49 days after delivery. So, to efficiently, quickly and fully recover within this critical period has turned to be an art. Ladies have learnt from the ancient therapies and all family secret recipes.

For me, confinement had been a unique education experience with beautiful story or memories.

 - Grandma’s grass: older the better~

When I was expecting my first kid, my grandma, who was 82 years old then, got up in a moonless night in September of Chinese calendar. With touch light, she entered the farm field and cut a big bunch of special grass. Returned home, she kept those grass behind her thick wooden door, for 49 days -- Those grass should not expose to sunlight before they are completely dry up within the 49 days. After the grasses dry up, they were kept for months before being used – and the longer preserve duration, the better in function!

Just before my delivery, my aunt, who was 58 then, passed my grandma some older grass -- she used for her daughter-in-law several years back, and the leftovers were kept in kitchen for years, so she finally cleaned her kitchen when eventually got a chance for a close relative. 

So, my mother carried those old & older dry grasses from China to Singapore!

I could not image what the custom officers could think when my other told them that those grasses were confinement herbs for her daughter – Is her daughter a cow? I am sure some officers might be wondering that way.

Amazingly, those aunt’s grasses wonderfully worked. I had traditional “shen hua tang” for 7 days after delivery, all discharge seemed pretty clean after 2 weeks. While in the last 3 days of confinement month, my mother cooked that old grass and fed me the water – very bland taste, but super powerful! After the grass water, discharge started again, that was some black sticky toxic looking thing.

I was panic, but my mother calmly told me: this old grass will help you detoxify body and clean all the dirty discharge, womb problems and face blemish will never disturb you later! – No wonder all my relatives have beautiful skin, they do not use any cosmetics!

Aunt’s older grass was used in my 1st kid delivery, and grandma’s grass was used in my 2nd delivery after 3 years! Older the better~

 Uncle’s Ginseng: best chewing gum could function as Viagra~ 

My uncle is a complicated man. He teaches colleague students as a teacher, in the same time, he buys a hill and plants Ginseng as a farmer.

Before my mother came to Singapore to serve her confinement daughter, my uncle passed her 1 kg ginseng; mommy dumped them with grandma’s grasses.

Ginseng is normally not recommended to take in pregnant or confinement stage, because it’s “too heating” or “too strong in tonic” – it may impact the blood and “Qi” heavily, which could lead to miscarriage or fetal discharge.

But, uncle taught mommy a secret processing method to turn the ginsengs’ strong tonic power into mild slow release.

Mommy used some wild honey (that honey was made from a certain cooling flower by picky-eater bees) to process ginseng. She worked in kitchen for several days, came out with a box of reddish color sliced ginseng candy. They are sweet and chewy with a trace of bitter fragrance – they were my perfect desserts after daily boring soups. The direct effect is: I saved money on blusher – my cheeks have beautiful pink after I had those candies.

Later I read from herbal books, it is stated that the ginsengs thus processed could function as natural “viagra”, without any side effects! OMG!! I have been daily eating Viagra as desserts!

Mommy’s 2nd degree: take confinement courses for daughter~

Though with all good herbs and best nutrition, my 1st confinement was not very well done: my back and heels got lots of pain after confinement. Later we realized that was due to insufficient sleep and the heavy baby (4.4kg) I daily carried in confinement!

My mommy was upset because her daughter got some back pain from the 1st confinement, which could last forever if can not heal in the next confinement. So, when I was expecting my 2nd delivery, my mother attended a complete training course in a renowned confinement center in China – she is professor, but she went for confinement training course for her daughter at her 50s!

In the same time, a good friend sent me a complete confinement package with detailed menus from Taiwan; in several weeks, another friend passed a big pack of Japanese herbs with instructions for confinement care. Professor mommy and engineer daughter spent weeks in the herbs’ ocean and finally strategized the optimized combination of all the BOB herbs.

My 2nd confinement was very well done. The only memory was: herbal soups followed herbal tea, herbal paste or ginseng as deserts; after an hour, herbal capsules will be taken (can not have so much soups); before sleep, the herbal wine is a must. All showers done with herbal water, massage with herbal oil, body cream was also herbal to remove extra wind!! – Herbal nightmare for my husband, as I must have smelled herbal and looked like a walking herb!

But I was very well recovered! I shed off back pain, heel pain, and even the old headache! The most amazing part was that my forever cough due to asthma never happened any more after this confinement!

I was convinced with living experience that a good confinement could cure many diseases and problems, which could be classified as mission impossible by some western doctors.

Hubby's herb: more costly than gold~

After being father, my husband started to watch out for some children's item. One day he came back with a little bottle of beautiful herbs, which he purchased in middle east: that was Saffron, it is believed to be the best herb for children to cure flu or cold. that was more costly than gold in gram based.

Time has passed, technology has advanced, living standard has improved, but humane physical body remains the same. Grandma, uncle’s secret recipes remain, love from mommy and daddy will also last forever with our physical bodies’ existence.