Monday, January 7, 2013

Folk Wisdom for Kids: Make your own “mineral water” with malunggay seeds (Second of a Series)

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday 

1. Make your own “mineral water” with malunggay seeds.
Why spend for mineral water when you can make one right in your home? With all the empty plastic bottles around, you can prepare safe drinking water just by adding crushed seed of malunggay (Moringa oleifera).  

This is what you can do.  Fill up a liter size bottle (family size softdrink) with water coming from the tap, or if you are in the province, a deep well or spring. Add two malunggay seeds crushed by hand. Allow the setup to settle for two to three hours or until the sediments have settled down. Slowly transfer the filtrate to another bottle for immediate or future use.  

Scientists found out that malunggay seeds directly kill bacteria and coagulate suspended particles, slowing down Brownian Movement (constant movement of particulates in liquid medium, colliding with one another and against the walls of the container). Malunggay also impart a refreshing taste to the drinking water. Try it.

2. Warm water soothes itchy and sore throat, arrest coughing.
Don’t take medicated drops or syrup for your itchy or sore throat. All you need is warm water which you sip now and then to relieve your throat and stop your coughing.  Have a thermos at hand.  Just add to tap water the same amount of hot water to come up with an approximate temperature of 50 to 60 degrees Celsius. Drink warm water liberally to replace water loss and restore metabolite balance while helping the body eliminate waste and toxin.   

3. When dust gets in your eyes, blow your nose.
It is true, try it.  Blowing the nose makes you feel relieved.  Tears draw out the dust until it is flushed. If this does not work, gently cover the affected eye with clean handkerchief or cloth, and upon opening it slightly, and let somebody blow on it close and gently. You could feel the warm air dislodging the imbedded dust. Repeat as needed. Seek medical attention if still this remedy does not work. Rubbing would only result to infection.

4. When you hurt your hand, raise it above the level of your heart to minimize bleeding.
Following the law of gravity that “water seeks its own level,” raise your wounded hand to reduce flow of blood.  Keep calm and focus on how to get first aid. You may lower your arm as blood clots and seals your wound.

5. Sterilize handkerchief with hot iron in the absence of cotton gauze and bandage.
In an emergency case, or for simple treatment, this is what you can do.  Get a clean handkerchief and iron it repeatedly at high temperature for a duration of five minutes to seven minutes. To save on energy, you may prepare two or three handkerchiefs for the purpose.

6. Press the base of the jaw joint to relieve toothache.
There’s a saying that when your tooth aches, there’s nothing you can do about it except to take painkiller. Mabuti pa ang sakit ng tiyan.  At least for stomach ache you can manage to find a comfortable position, or press the painful part to secure relief.

But here is a simple remedy Dr. Vanda Hernandez, school dentist of St. Paul University QC, demonstrated which I found to be effective. There is a mass of nerve cells called Gasserian ganglion that connects the nerves of the gums and teeth, and their surroundings. Now this is how the simple remedy works.  Open your mouth wide, feel where the joint of the jaw is located. Now close your mouth and press this nerve center with the finger until you obtain relief. Do this along the side of the affected tooth. Repeat until pain subsides.  Once you have practiced the technique, you can do it discreetly even with people around when the need arises.       
7. Guava stem - first toothbrush, and substitute, too.
Here’s a folkloric practice. Chew one end of a small fresh stem of guava, and use it as toothbrush and toothpick. Guava contains a natural antibiotic that prevents infection, and it is also an anti deodorant, which explains the popularity of this old practice – and also for the fact that this small tropical tree grows everywhere. Chewing guava leaves to relieve gum inflammation is also a common old folk remedy. I witnessed a dentist in a remote village in Bolinao, Pangasinan, used guava leaves in his practice. Before extracting an impacted  tooth, the patient was asked to chew three young leaves of guava into a pulp, shaped it into a ball, and after the tooth has been  extracted, plugged it in its place, and closed his jaw. “That will stop the blood,” he explained in Ilocano as he called for the next patient. 

8. What to do when an ant or earwig has entered into the ear.
When an insect, say an ant, has entered your ear, immediately plug the other ear.  Tilt your head until it is on a perpendicular level with the affected ear upward. Keep still.  The insect, sensing the pressure built up by plugging the other ear, crawls out to the open.  Do not pour oil or use cotton bud.  If the technique fails, seek medical help immediately.

9. To prevent glass from breaking, a spoon is placed before pouring the hot liquid.
Sudden heat may cause glass to break.  To cushion this effect, the spoon absorbs heat faster, in fact it attains higher temperature than glass or porcelain (china) does.
This principle is also applied when cooking meat. Meat becomes tender in a shorter time by putting spoon or fork in the cooking pot.  Metal absorbs more heat that elevates the temperature of boiling water, which normally remains at 100 degrees centigrade (Celsius). 

10. Without tasting it, one can tell if lemonade needs more sugar.
Seeds of calamansi (Citrus microcarpa) rises to the top as buoyancy (specific gravity) is increased.  Thus the more we put sugar, the more the seeds float. If they settle at the bottom, the lemonade needs more sugar. Buoyancy is also explained by the fact that it is easier to swim in seawater than in the swimming pool.

Scientifically the addition of sugar increases the specific gravity of the lemonade. By specific gravity of a liquid we mean the ratio of its density to that of water which is normally 1. This is determined by the use of hydrometer, the same instrument used in determining the concentration of alcohol, acids, oils and other liquids.

The idea of buoyancy that led to our present knowledge of specific gravity came from the first true experimentalist, Archimedes during the golden age of Greek civilization. A story about his discovery was a hilarious one. All of a sudden he emerged from the bathtub and went through the streets shouting, “Eureka! Eureka!”

To remove bubblegum  stuck on fabric, freeze it first and peel off.
Don’t force to remove a freshly stuck gum on cloth, otherwise it will spread and stick more. Carefully place stained cloth in the freezer for a few minutes to solidify.  You will be surprised that the gum will peel off easily and clean. Warm water and a little detergent will take care of the rest of the job.

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