The last blood test I had showed that I have high cholesterol levels and alarming levels of SGOT and SGPT, whatever those are, so I had little choice but to come back to our family doctor.
Now the thing is, we’re not Chinese, but ever since my dad died in 1996, we’ve been going to practitioners of Chinese traditional medicine, more specifically, our herbalist and our acupuncturist. Since then , every time we get sick, we troop to Binondo for our medicinal herbs which we boil to make tea. Now, we’re not talking English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Oolong, or or some fancy dinner tea, but hardcore,muddy, boiled-ashtray tasting tea. Each person is prescribed a different set of herbs, depending on what ails you. The herbs range from leaves, twigs, barks, stems, branches, roots, berries, dried fruits, and even non-herbs like insects and shellfish and other hell-knows-what. And the taste after it’s boiled ranges from mildly pungent to outright vomit-inducing. But after 13 years of drinking the different brews and concoctions, we’ve pretty much gotten used to it. I used to retch every time I drank it, needing candy or sweet juice as chaser to stamp out the foul taste of the medicinal potion. Even the whole kitchen reeks of what I can only describe in the vernacular as, “pinakuluang takong ng laos na bold star”.
So after being remiss in visiting our herbalist, I was back. He gave me a “tsk, tsk” for being M.I.A. for so long, only to return damaged without his elixirs, but it’s all good. Maybe to punish me he gave me extra nasty herbs, but I’m willing to take it like a man. He said my liver was weak and my cholesterol was really bad. So here’s a picture of my herbs for this week:
It’s got some vine-looking things, some twigs, some tree bark, some wood shavings, some cork-looking thingy, some roots, and most disturbing of all, something that can only be described as dried and flattened cow dung. I’m sure it’s not (I hope it’s not!), but it looks like it. Oh well, bottoms up! Salud!