Homemade remedies

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T ế t (Lunar New Year festival) s the time for all families to gather, enjoy food and have a good time.

It is thought you should not take medicine during the Tết holiday as it can bring misfortune in the year ahead. Still, that doesn't apply to common ailments such as indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting and headache, which should be treated immediately.

Pharmacist Le Kim Phung suggests some simple remedies to relieve bodily distress during Tết, which falls on February 3 this year.

1. Ginger

Ginger is thought to possess hot properties and is often mixed with garlic to aid in digestion. It is used in Oriental medicine to stop a cough, ease vomiting caused by chemotherapy, lower blood pressure, treat colds and stomach problems. Ginger should be kept in every house at Tết.

Unpeeled ginger root should be grilled until the skin is burnt. Then it can be mashed and put in a pot of water to boil and make a tea for sipping during the day.

To treat indigestion caused by overeating, dip thin slices of ginger in salt and chew.

For a hangover, finely grate three pieces of ginger, place in a clean cloth and squeeze out the liquid. Add 50ml of vinegar and a pinch of sugar before drinking.

2. Coriander pips

Coriander with its peppery and warm properties can reduce fever, relieve headache and cure indigestion. Lightly toss half a coffee spoon of coriander pips in a pan over a low heat until the become yellow and aromatic. Add them to a glass of hot water. Let stand for 15 minutes before drinking.

You can also grind 100g of coriander pips and place in one liter of sticky-rice alcohol. After 15 days, swallow one or two coffee spoons of the coriander pip alcohol daily to treat vomiting and nausea.

3. Dried tangerine skin

Bitter and warm at the same time, dried tangerine skin is effective in clearing up sputum and treating cough, indigestion, nausea and diarrhea. Eat 3g every day. To treat indigestion, put 10g in a glass of hot water and let stand for 10 minutes before drinking.

4. Pepper

Like many spices, pepper is well known for stimulating the appetite. It can also be used to treat diarrhea and indigestion by placing 4g in a glass of hot water and drinking after 10 minutes.

5. Galangal root

Galangal root, which is aromatic and peppery, is used for treating stomachache, indigestion and vomiting. Combine 10g sliced galangal root, one black jujube and 100ml water. Decoct for 15 minutes before swallowing.

6. Areca-nut skin

Stir 12g dried areca-nut skin, which is aromatic and acrid, into 100ml of water, and decoct for 15 minutes. Drink to relieve diarrhea or indigestion.

7. Citronella

Citronella aids in digestion and overcoming the effect of alcohol on the body. Wash five bulbs of sliced citronella and place in a pan with 150ml of water. Boil for 15 minutes, pour the liquid into a glass and give it to hangover victims to drink while it's still piping hot.

8. Hyacinth beans

Hyacinth beans have sweet and warm properties and are used to treat stomach ache, vomiting and overindulgence in alcohol. To make a suitable remedy, add 20g ground hyacinth bean, decoct with 100ml water for 15 minutes, and drink.

9. Celery

The juice of 50g of fresh celery serves also wonderful detoxifier. Best squeezed by putting in a cloth.

10. Coffee or tea

Black coffee or 100ml of tea without sugar or ice can be gulped down in mouthfuls after a heavy bout of drinking.

11. Fruit juice

A glass of apple juice can help ease a hangover during the Tết holidays

A glass of juice of orange, lemon, pear or apple juice can also help ease a hangover.

12. Hot water

Nausea, particularly the wish to throw up after imbibing alcohol, can be ameliorated by drinking a glass of hot water with a pinch of salt. The alcohol will be released.

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