In my last post I mentioned Wesley’s tummy troubles. We have been given a couple of Chinese Remedies to help. Thought I’d share them here. Abe goes to a Chinese Bible study on Friday mornings. The people in the Bible study knew we had just had Wesley and one particular Friday morning the ladies in the study asked asked Abe how the baby was doing. Abe mentioned he was a bit fussy and having some gas and stomach trouble. The ladies quickly said they had something to help. One lady went straight away to the pharmacy next door and returned with a small pink tin with Chinese writing on it. She explained that the bottle of oil inside should be massaged on the baby’s tummy. She stroked her hands in the air showing Abe how to do it, “down” she said. I was a bit reluctant to try it but after an evening of constant crying I gave in. The oil had a strong menthol smell, reminding me of Icey Hot. We put a couple of drops on, massaged it in and it did seem to work a bit. It just felt nice to do something. Later on that week we heard from an American friend at church that he was given some Chinese oil for a sore back shortly after arriving to Hong Kong. He agreed that his oil had a menthol smell as well. He also told us that it contained fox urine. I’m still hoping ours was a bit different. 🙂
A week or so later at church our Chinese pastor told us that he heard Wesley was having some stomach trouble. He explained that they use something with ginger that can help if ingested by the mother. I thought he mentioned it being a tea but I must have been mistaken. Pastor and his wife came over for dinner soon after our discussion and they brought the ‘ginger remedy’. It was a large glass jar with a dark liquid inside along with chunks of other ‘goodies’. They explained that it has vinegar, pork (PIG FEET!!!) and ginger in it. His wife said that she eats it with rice. It is common for Chinese women to eat this during their confinement period after delivery.
After they left I took a better look inside the jar. I was expecting a foul smell but really it didn’t smell to bad…maybe it was the vinegar overpowering the pork feet. Yes pork feet! I also saw a boiled egg inside as well as large bits of ginger. I left it on the counter unsure if I should put it in the fridge. I wanted to try it but I had to muster up the courage.
After a few days (okay almost a week) I still hadn’t had the courage to try it. Abe mentioned that it should probably be put into the refrigerator. It then stayed in the fridge for another week. I finally took it out and set it on the counter it was now congealed. A day later I took off the lid and now the smell was foul. So…. into the waste bin it went. I got out of trying it! 🙂
An American friend of mine and I did a bit of research for the recipe online and found this traditional soup. See the link here. http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/pigs-feet-with-ginger-in-black-vinegar/ (Naomi, Lisa Marie…this recipe just might come in handy! hehe) In talking with another new Chinese friend here she confirmed that the soup is very traditional and used after delivery. She also told me that Chinese women refrain from washing their hair for the first month after delivery. The belief behind both this and the mentioned soup is that women after delivery need to add warmth to their bodies. It is amazing the different traditions and ‘remedies’ that each country has. What do you think some of our American traditions are surrounding pregnancy and delivery?