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Sunday, 30 November 2014

BOUGAINVILLEA SPECTABILIS AND ITS USES

Bougainvillea or Paper Flower (Bunga Kertas in Malay) is a thorny, woody, high climbing vine. It is suitable as a landscape plant or a decorative plant to climb over an arch or trellis or along the wall for its bright, colourful flowers.
It grows well in warm climate with full sunlight, at least a few hours of full sun. It needs well-drained soil. Too much water will only cause the plant to produce more leaves than flowers.
The flowers are in clusters and they can be red, orange, yellow, purple, pink, white, etc. It is an evergreen plant and blooms all the year round.
This particular bougainvillea plant is grown from a cutting I took from my sister's garden. I just stuck the single cutting into moist soil in a small pot, placed in a shady place and it grew. It has been growing beautifully till this day.
From this one plant, I have propagated many baby plants to bless others as I have been blessed.
Bougainvillea is a hardy plant and once established in its growth, it can withstand dry season.
Bougainvillea is easy to maintain, only needs occasional trimmings to shape the plant and to bring about blooming.
Many have claimed bougainvillea has medicinal values to regulate menstruation, vaginal (white) discharge, treatment of hepatitis and cough. The flowers and stem are dried, boil in water and drink as tea.
This is the white colour bougainvillea and it is potted. This is a faithful bloomer, blooming all the year round.

It can be potted, pruned and kept as bonsai plant. Sad to say, this one has been sort of neglected and has grown out of shape. The leaves are almost gone from the top layer, looks like it is very under nourished, whereas the lower layer is doing well. I tried trimming the top layer but still it does not show good result.
I have decided to give it a final trim to boost its growth. When I have almost finished the trimming job, I noticed that there is a half hidden wire tighten around the main stem of the plant with the bark almost covering the wire. So this was the cause of the top layer not doing well. It is like strangling the plant slowing to death.

I took a cutter to cut off the wire and pull it off from the plant. Some of the bark came off together with the wire and I hope it will grow back and bring some life back to the top layer. I am now waiting for the new leaves and shoots to restore this plant to its former beauty of many colours.
This photo of the colourful bougainvillea was taken in a plant nursery.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment,

such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.

Instead, it should be that of your inner self,

the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,

which is of great worth in God's sight.

(1 Peter 3:3-4, New International Version-NIV)

Saturday, 29 November 2014

LUNCH AT RESTORAN MR BBC, TAIPING

We arrived just in time to order our food before the kitchen close at 3 pm. Meanwhile we sat back and enjoy the hot "puer" tea. I looked around and there were only 3 other tables besides ours.
Nice place to have a meal.
Cute ceiling fans too.
This plate of sambal sauce to go with the fried noodles. We requested for 2 extra plates.
A plate of fried mee, very tasty.
A plate of fried beehoon, tasted a bit bland but okay with the sambal.
This dish is called "pei jing", with some meaty filling.
Tasty "pei jing", with chili sauce.
None of us wanted any rice, so we ordered this dish - bread with curry prawns.
Fluffy bread and appetizing curry with fresh prawns and okra.
A plate of spinach stir-fried with garlic, ginger and carrot strips.
The bill came to MYR 61.50
Front view of Restoran Mr. BBQ, Jalan Maharajalela, Taiping.
We must end our hearty meal with iced "cendol kacang merah" for dessert at Restoran Ansari Famous Cendol.
Iced "Cendol Kacang Merah"
We must have our "cendol" with the big red kidney beans that melt in the mouth.
Then Jesus said to His disciples: "Therefore I tell you,

do not worry about your life, what you will eat;

or about your body, what you will wear.

Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap,

they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.

And how much more valuable you are than birds!

(Luke 12:22-24, New International Version-NIV)

Friday, 28 November 2014

REVISIT TO LAKE GARDEN AND TAIPING TOWN

After our breakfast, off we went to the Lake Garden.
Taiping Lake Garden always makes me feel serene and free. The fresh sweet air together with the nice, cool weather and the breathtaking scenery makes me wish I could stay longer.
It would be wonderful to just sit or lie back on the bench with my eyes closed and hear the chirping of the birds and sound of the insects around me.
I have to thank my friend for driving me around and stopping the car for me to take snapshots of these beautiful scenery. Thank you for your patience as I tend to lose track of time soaking in the captivating views around me. I tend to get dreamy in this surrounding, a feeling of romance in the air....you know what I mean?
Wahhh, just look at these magnificent trees with their branches arching towards the lake.
The District and Land office, the front and back view.
This is the entrance to the District and Land office (left). The picture on the right is the famous Kamunting prison with an agro-prison concept producing fresh vegetables and fish.
This is the Museum. I got attracted to this white parrot, managed to get a picture with a bus-load of school children crowding around me.
And this is my very, very brave friend cum driver holding the sssnake. She requested for a photo of her holding the snake.... ooohhh nnooo.... I never like snakes!
The picture on the right is the old clock tower.

Time to move on, our tummies' rumbling were growing louder and louder!

And these signs will accompany those who believe:
In My name they will drive out demons;
they will speak in new tongues;
they will pick up snakes with their hands;
and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all;
they will pick up snakes with their hands;
and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all;
they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.
(Mark 16:17-18, New International Version-NIV)

Thursday, 27 November 2014

HEALING HERB IN THE GARDEN

On Tuesday morning, we got into our friend's car and drove to Taiping for a day's trip to visit her parents and at the same time to revisit Taiping town after a long, long time. After about an hour's drive, we arrived at my friend's hometown. We drove straight to her parent's home to invite her mom out for breakfast with us. I will call her mom, Auntie Ooi.

While waiting for Auntie Ooi to get ready, we spent time looking at the plants in her garden. A plant caught my attention and I went to take a closer look. It turned out to be a very short cili padi plant. Isn't it cute and pretty? Some more so fruitful. I must remind my friend to get some seeds from Auntie Ooi.
The plant in the next picture is a thorny plant with bright beautiful flowers and one of Euphorbia Milii's family, also called Crown of Thorns. Auntie Ooi very generously dug up two baby plants for me to take home. Thank you so much Auntie Ooi and God bless you!

These little green plants (below) were growing all over the garden especially under the shades. I was told that these are planted for medicinal values and they are know as "Rodent Yam". These plants have high medicinal values, claimed able to heal cancer and many other health problems as well. Of course, they have to be processed and mixed with other herbs to be effective. So sorry, I do not know the "wonder cure" concoction.
While I was busy looking at the herbs and asking questions about their uses, I sensed that I was being watched from behind. I turned around and I noticed this white, grayish cat looking intently at us from afar under this big satellite dish. Seemed like it was just waiting for the right moment to attack its prey (me)! Oh no..... I think it does not like me eyeing the plants in the garden. So off we went looking for our overdue breakfast .... our tummies were growling away!
We droved to Jalan Kota, parked the car and came to this corner coffee shop (right pic.)
This is the side view (left pic.) and the front view (right pic.)
We ordered four pieces of fresh spring rolls (popiah) - very tasty popiahs. What about the plate of fried koay teow? Thumbs up! It looked good, it smelled good and it tasted good! Everyone was nodding their head with approval.
Pie Tee is one of my favourite snack. I just love them especially topped with "sambal". I really missed these Pie Tees. I ordered this black coffee with ice or Kopi-O ice. It tasted just like the coffee of the good old days, the taste of original coffee. With our tummies taken care of, we took a leisure drive around Taiping town and to take some snap shots.

Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant

than pretend to be somebody and have no food.

(Proverbs 12:9, New International Version-NIV)

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

GROWING SWEET POTATOES LEAVES

One morning, I bought a big bunch of very fresh sweet potato leaves from the road side stall.  After plucking the leaves off the stem, I then peeled the skin off the green stalks because with the skin on, they could be stringy and fibrous, unless they are very tender.  As I was about to collect the stalks and place them into the plastic bag to be thrown away, a thought came to me that maybe I should plant them instead.  But then, I have not enough space to grow sweet potato leaves because the vines will spread out on the ground very fast.

So where shall I plant them?  I found a wide, round pot in my garden, once used as a fountain base but now left unused.  My partner agreed to drill some holes at the bottom of the pot for water drainage.  The pot's depth is about 25 cm (10 inches).  So sweet of my partner.
Sweet potato vines grow well in warm climate, with plenty of sunlight,  in warm drained soil and with plenty of space.  I do not have much space so I will make do with this pot.  I do not know whether I will get any sweet potatoes but I contented to just be able to harvest the leaves and shoots.
Cool climate and plenty of water will produce plenty of leaves and less potatoes. I grow my sweet potatoes from cuttings.  Bury the cuttings lying down, with only the young shoots exposed.  Every nodes on the stem will produce roots.
Sweet potatoes are not yams.  There are many variety of sweet potatoes.  There are red, yellow, orange, white and purple, etc.  Tubers or fruits of sweet potatoes, leaves and shoots are consumed by many.  They contain very high vitamin contents and are very nutritious.
This picture was taken after the leaves and shoots were harvested. The shoots and leaves will grow back very fast. I have to harvest early because the vines are growing out of the pot and on to the tiled floor below.
These shoots and leaves are very tender.  The plus point is I do not have to skin the stalks.  I love sweet potato leaves cooked in any way.  My favourite is to stir-fry these leaves with belacan and chili.  These leaves can also be cooked in soup, spicy curry or coconut milk, kunyit curry.  You can also simply stir-fry them with a little oil, garlic and a pinch of salt to taste.  And the easiest is to blanch them in boiling water, drained and place on plate.  Then drizzle some garlic or onion oil and oyster sauce or soy sauce over them.


The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose,

and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.

For we are God's fellow workers;

you are God's field, God's building.

(1 Corinthians 3:8-9, NIV)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

HERBS AND THEIR MEDICINAL VALUES AND USES (PART III)

Visit to the Herbal Garden in Perak - Part III

More pictures of the herbal plants and their medicinal values and uses from my visit to the Perak Herbal Garden:


Use these herbs with caution as they may have side effects.

Ati-Ati Merah (Scientific name: Solenostemon Scutellarioides)
(Top left pic.)
  • To refresh eyes: Soak flowers in water and use water to wash eyes.
  • To treat swelling: Crush the leaves and paste on the affected area.
  • For birth control, cough, heartburn, reduce high blood pressure and promote digestion: Boil leaves in water and drink the water.
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Plant (Scientific name: Brunfelsia) 
(Top right pic.)
  • For youthful complexion: Eat the flowers.
  • To treat skin disease: Boil the leaves and bathe with water or crush the leaves and paste on skin.
Mahkota Dewa (Scientific name: Phateria Papuana) (Bottom left pic.)
  • To treat cancer related problems, heart, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, high cholesterol, skin problems: Cut the fruit finely, dried and drink as tea.
Mas Cotek (Scientific name: Ficus Deltoidea) (Bottom right pic.)
  • For body immune system and genital health, to restore health after childbirth.
  • To regulate blood circulation, restore internal organs after childbirth, boost energy and revitalize the body.
  • To treat fluid in lungs and vagina (white) discharge.
Kemboja Flower (Scientific name: Plumeria sp.) (Top left pic.)
  • The sap or latex is used for itches, swelling and fever.
Kemboja Plant And Seeds (Top right pic.)

Wuruk (Scientific name: Rhapis Excelsa) (Bottom left pic.)
  • Stimulate blood circulation, treat rheumatism: Boil roots in water and drink.
  • To stop bleeding: Burn the palm frond or dried stem and the ash is applied onto the affected area.
Pandan Wangi (Scientific name: Pandanus Odoratissimus) 
(Bottom right pic.)
  • To treat dandruff: Pound the leaves, mix with water and massage onto head for 15 minutes.  Then rinse off.
Mealtime:

Simple lunch at Chendrong village:

Top left pic - After all the walking, our tummies were crying out for food and my friends suggested going to Chendrong village for the local's popular noodles.  The noodle looks like "pan mee".  The bowl of noodle may not be much to look at but we quite like it.  Simple, yet tasty.  

Top right pic - A reporter wrote an article about this noodle in one of the local Chinese newspaper and now the crowd has increased. On the day of our visit, we saw many school children taking their lunch there.

Bottom left and right pics - This is the noodle stall, an extension of a half wood, half brick village house.  Even the long tables and benches are made of wood.

So we have come to a close of our trip to the Herbal Garden.


So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do,

do it all for the glory of God.

(1 Corinthians 10:31, NIV)

* All the above information are obtained from Taman Herba Negeri Perak.

For more information:
Taman Herba Negeri Perak
Batu 1, Jalan Batu Gajah,
Simpang Sindu, Mukim Sg. Raia,
31300 Kampung Kepayang,
Perak Darul Ridzuan.

Operating Hours:
Mon - Fri:  8.30 am - 4.30 pm

Sat - Sun:  Visitation (by appointment)

HERBS AND THEIR MEDICINAL VALUES AND USES (PART II)

This is Part II of the "Visit to the Herbal Garden in Perak"

Below I will share with you more plants and their medicinal values and uses that I have obtained from the visit:

Use these herbs with caution as they may have side effects.


Bunga Raya Kuncup (Scientific name: Malvaviscus Arboreus Cav.)
(Top left pic.)
  • To treat diarrhea, chest pain: Boil flower in water and drink.
  • To treat swelling, bruises, wounds, rashes: Pound root and paste on affected area.
  • To treat swollen bladder and high fever: Boil the leaves and drink water.
Setawar (Scientific name: Kalanchoe) (Top right pic.)
  • To treat scalding from hot liquid, reduce swelling of boils and breast: - Pound leaves and paste on affected area.
Kaduk (Scientific name: Piper Sarmentosum) (Bottom left pic.)
  • Difficulty in urinating: Boil leaves and drink the water.
  • To treat malaria fever, lumbago, joint aches: Boil whole plant and drink the water.
Zebrina (Scientific name: Zebrina Pendul) (Bottom right pic.)
  • To treat swelling, stomach aches, burns: Pound leaves and paste on affected area.
  • To treat coughing blood, diabetes, uterine bleeding, influenza, dysentery, whitish discharge, stomach cramps: Boil leaves and stem and drink the water.
Jarak Buncit (Jatropha Podagrica) (Top left pic.)
  • Do be warned that this whole plant is poisonous, especially its seeds.
Keremak Merah (Scientific name: Alternanthera Sessilis) (Top right pic.)
  • To bring down cholesterol level and promote blood flow: Boil plant in water and drink.
Nenas Kerang (Rheo Discolor) (Bottom left pic.)
  • To cleanse and regulate blood circulation, to prevent lungs from any acute diseases: Boil fresh or dried flowers or leaves in hot water and drink.
Kesum (Polyganum Minus Huds) (Bottom right pic.)
  • To treat dandruff: Crush the leaves and paste on skin.
  • To help digestion, post-natal stomach pain: Boil leaves for stomach wrap.
Dedalu Cina (Scientific name: Laurentia Longiflora) (Top left pic.)
  • To treat diabetes: Boil the leaves in water and drink.
Yellow Flower Plant (Top right pic.)
[Sorry, there is no information for this plant.]

Gelenggang Besar (Scientific name: Cassia Alata) (Bottom left pic.)
  • To treat itchy skin, rashes, scabies, ringworm, prickly heat and warts: Crush the leaves and apply onto the affected area.
  • To eliminate ear ache: Pound the leaves and drip the juice into the ear.
  • To treat stomach ache, heartburn, constipation, stomach worm problem and diminished appetite: Boil leaves in water and drink.
  • To treat poisonous insect bites: Pound the leaves and apply onto affected area.
Buah Asam Renda (Scientific name: Carissa Carandas) (Bottom right pic.)
  • To prevent scurvy and good for anemia: Eat the ripe fruit.
  • Use as fly repellent: Pound the root as paste.
  • To treat skin problem, act as anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti fungal agent: Use the juice of fruit to clean wound and affected skin.
Then God said,

"I give you every seed-bearing plant

on the face of the whole earth

 and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.

They will be yours for food".

(Genesis 1:29, NIV)


* All the above information are obtained from Taman Herba Negeri Perak.

For more information:
Taman Herba Negeri Perak
Batu 1, Jalan Batu Gajah,
Simpang Sindu, Mukim Sg. Raia,
31300 Kampung Kepayang,
Perak Darul Ridzuan.

Operating Hours:
Mon - Fri:  8.30 am - 4.30 pm
Sat - Sun:  Visitation (by appointment)

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