White radish for ailing Alice

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Radishes are cheap and can be found at any market. There are two major varities, white and red, white being much more common in Vietnam. C c i tr ng (white radish or daikon) is also gentler on the taste buds and stomach than the red variety.

One hundred grams of radish contains 93.5g of water, 0.6g protein, 0.1g fat, and 5.3g sugar in the form of glucose and fructose, Dr. Do Minh Hien says, according to the findings of recent research.

In addition, radishes contain essential minerals and vitamins including 32mg calcium, 21mg phosphorus, 0.6mg iron, 0.41mg manganese, 7mg bromine, 0.02 mg Vitamin B1, 0.03 mg Vitamin B2, 0.3 mg niacin, 25mg Vitamin C and various amino acids.

Radishes do their bit to drive away many ailments. This week's panel of experts - Dr Hien and the herbalists Hoai Vu, Minh Chanh, Dinh Cong Bay and Kieu Ba Long - recommend trying these white radish remedies and beverages that are beneficial to your health.

Dr Hien has several remedies to offer:

- If your voice is hoarse and you can barely speak in a whisper, peel and crush one white radish and one small ginger root, wrap them in a clean cloth, and squeeze out the juice to drink.

- For pulmonary tuberculosis, when the patient is coughing up blood, put 300g of peeled and sliced white radish and 400ml water in a pot and boil the water away to 100ml. Strain the liquid and discard the pulpy residue, stir 150g of honey and 10g of crushed alum into the liquid, and boil again. This beverage should be taken three times daily before eating.

- For adults with bronchitis, put 250g of peeled and sliced white radish, two spoonfuls of honey and a little rock sugar in a bowl of water, place the bowl in a large pot with some water at the bottom, and boil until the water in the bowl has reduced by half. You should eat the radish and drink the beverage every morning and evening for one week.

- A child's cough can be treated by peeling and dicing a white radish, putting the pieces into a jar of water with lots of added sugar, and leaving them to soak for five days. The correct dose for a juvenile cougher is one teaspoon of the remedy, which should be put in a glass and hot water poured over the spoon. The mixture should be sipped slowly.

- Diabetics can benefit from a porridge made by cooking 250g of peeled and sliced white radish and 100g rice in a pot of water until the right consistency is achieved. Eat the porridge hot twice a day until symptoms are relieved.

- To counter gallstones, peel and cut 400g of radish into six-centimeter pieces and steep them in 100g of honey for 15 minutes. Then carefully desiccate the radish over low heat and be sure not to burn it. Eat the radish accompanied by a glass of water with a little salt added.

- White radish is also good for treating indigestion caused by rich food. Start by peeling, cutting and crushing a radish in a bowl, then mix in 20g of white sugar and 10ml of vinegar and let stand for 30 minutes. The concoction should be taken three times daily until the indigestion goes away.

- To get rid of indigestion from drinking alcohol, Hoai Vu recommends radish juice, which can be made by peeling and dicing 500g of white radish and putting it in a blender.

- To treat a cough or even a nervous breakdown, herbalist Minh Chanh has a recipe for a drink made from one kilogram of white radish and one kilogram of Asian pears, 250g of fresh ginger, 250g of milk and 250g of honey. First off, peel the radishes, pears and ginger and discard the pear seeds. Dice the pears, radishes and ginger separately, put each in turn into a clean cloth and squeeze out the juice into separate containers. Then pour the radish and pear juice into a pot, boil over a high flame for 10 minutes, then lower the flame and let the liquid reduce to a solid. Add the ginger water, milk and honey, stir steadily, bring the lot to a boil, turn off the heat and let stand until cool. Now, pour the beverage into a jar and seal tightly. Drink one spoon of the beverage dissolved in hot water twice a day.

- For fatty liver disease, herbalist Dinh Cong Bay advises that you should peel and dice 100g of white radish and juice the pieces in a blender. Then you should cut five kumquats in half, throw their seeds away, and mash them. Add the radish juice and kumquats in a glass along with 20g of honey, mix well, pour in 300ml of hot water in the glass, and stir. This beverage should be taken twice a day before eating.

It should be mentioned that radishes contain furocoumarins, which can be toxic in strong concentration and can make a person more susceptible to sunburn, and cause skin rashes and stomach pain. That's why you should peel and boil radishes before eating, says herbalist Kieu Ba Long.

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