Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pandan in Sydney - Where to buy Pandan?

Where to buy Pandan?

So I was walking around Cabramatta, Sydney on the weekend and I saw a shop that had the pandan plant for sale (also called daun pandan, pandanus amaryllifolius, screwpine).  The shop is located near the multi storey car park in Cabramatta.  He’s selling it for $35.  It's very difficult to find the pandan plant in Sydney and he had two pandans for sale, I purchased one and he said that he would have more in a couple of weeks.
If I successfully propagate mine, I’ll try to make some available. For those interested, please leave a comment.
If you know of any other places where you can buy Pandan in Sydney please share and leave comment.

Here is the picture of the Pandan Plant I bought.

Check out for info about how to care for your pandan plant.

Parsley helps clean your blood

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) a potent disease fighting herb
Parsley is a nutrient powerhouse containing high levels of beta carotene, vitamin B12, folate, chlorophyll, calcium, more vitamin C than citrus fruits, and just about all other known nutrients. Parsley is a moistening, nourishing, restoring, ‘warming’ food, pungent with a slightly bitter, salty flavor. It enhances and stimulates the energy of organs, improving their ability to assimilate and utilize nutrients.
Parsley is also rich in vitamins A and C. Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory substance. It is necessary for a healthy immune system and can help prevent colds and ear infections. Vitamin A is well-known for its effects on vision, plus can mitigate risks of atherosclerosis and diabetes. Parsley is also a source of folic acid, another vitamin that helps reduce cancer risk and atherosclerosis.
·          Raw parsley cleanses the blood, keeping it clean
·          It can lessen the deposits left on the veins
·          Parsley allows the elasticity of the blood vessels to stay the way they are
Parsley also helps with:
·         Anemia: Builds up the blood because it is high in iron.  The high vitamin C content assists the absorption of iron.
·         Antioxidant: Increases the anti-oxidant capacity of the blood.
·         Bactericidal (kills bacteria)
·         Gallstones: Helps dissolve them.
·         Gout
·         Kidneys: Parsley is effective for nearly all kidney and urinary complaints except severe kidney inflammation. It improves kidney activity and can help eliminate wastes from the blood and tissues of the kidneys. It prevents salt from being reabsorbed into the body tissues; thus parsley literally forces debris out of the kidneys, liver and bladder. It helps improve edema and general water retention, fatigue and scanty or painful urination.
·         Menstrual pain
·         Iron: The iron content of parsley is exceptional with 5.5mg per100g (4oz). A half-cup of fresh parsley or one tablespoon dried has about 10 percent of your iron daily requirements.  Plus, parsley has the vitamin C your body needs to absorb that iron.
·         Vitamin B12: Parsley contains traces of B12 producing compounds. Such compounds are needed for the formation of red blood cells and normal cell growth, important for fertility, pregnancy, immunity and the prevention of degenerative illness. The action of vitamin B12, however, is inhibited by birth control pills, antibiotics, intoxicants, stress, sluggish liver, and excess bacteria or parasites in the colon or digestive tracts. Parsley helps to counteract these inhibitors.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Laksa Plant

To grow your own daun kesum is a great way to start a herb garden. Daun kesum is an essential ingredient for making laksa. Without daun kesum, there is no way your laksa can be complete. At some places in Malaysia, daun kesum is refered to as "daun laksa" or laksa leaves. The English name for it is most probably Vietnamese mint but I am not really sure because the real Vietnamese mint is maybe slightly different but still belongs to the same family. Daun kesum is a member of the mint family.
The leaves are elongated, with soft stalk, each segment of the stalk has the potential to grow into another bunch of mint leaves because roots sprout from the stalk itself.
The leaves are green and will turn yellow and then brown when they start withering. The stalks will grow and grow if you let them but usually I trim the tips to let them branch out. 
The herb needs very little maintenance except for enough water to ensure the earth it is planted in is always damp. Oh yes, also plenty of sunlight. You can place the herb pot at the window sill or if you have a balcony, place it there. It grows well in your backyard too.
Fertilizer made of compost is good for the leaves. Old wives have this tip to nourish your herbs: use the bloody water that remained after washing and gutting your fish to spray on the leaves and earth, it is supposed to be full of nutrients for plant. Do this treatment every two weeks or so.
Daun kesum grows very fast. Given good care and enough water, within a week you can already have a bunch filling up your ice-cream tub already. 
Among all the herbs in my garden, vietnamese mint is the easiest to grow. They like lots of water and i feed them seasol or charlie carp once every 3 weeks or less. They grow really well whether under direct sunlight or shade. They hardly have any pest invasion of any kind. Yeah I harvest them by cutting off stems rather than pinch off leaves..They are good is Asian food such as spicy laksa and vietnamese their 'spicy' taste.

If you can find a store that stocks this plant and you would like to get your hands on it, drop me a message below.  I’m in Sydney.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Daily Exercise in less than 11 minutes

Exercise Programs - 5BX and XBX

The Five Basic Exercises (5BX) fitness plan was developed for the R.C.A.F (The Royal Canada Air Force) as a progressive fitness training plan based on scientific principles to develop and maintain the physical fitness of their military personnel. The program has been widely adopted by the public.
5BX fitness training is designed to show you how to develop and hold a high level of physical fitness, regardless of where you may be located and can be carried out in limited space, without equipment and unsupervised. The simple exercises are structured to not require a warm-up and to train the body in a balanced manner. You start at a very low level and build up within your own capabilities. Resist the temptation to jump straight in at a higher level.
One day's exercise should be completed in a total of eleven minutes, is not dependent on elaborate facilities or equipment, and can be done in any place. It is important that the exercises at any level be completed in 11 minutes. However, it is likely that in the early stages, an individual will complete certain exercises in less than the allotted time while others may require longer. In these circumstances the times allotted for individual exercises may be varied within the total 11 minute period.
The 5BX Plan is composed of six charts arranged in increasing order of difficulty. Each chart is composed of five exercises which are always performed in the same order. The first 4 basic exercises are calisthenics and the last an aerobic exercise. As you progress within the system the number of each type of exercise that must be performed increases and the difficulty of each exercise increases.
The five exercises include:
  1. Stretching
  2. Sit-up
  3. Back extension
  4. Press-up
  5. Running in place or Walking

Please Note: Many exercise physiologists consider the sit-up in the higher levels to be capable of causing spinal injury, and therefore unsuitable for an unsupervised program. As always, please consult your physician before attempting any exercise program.

For Women
A corresponding program was developed for women under the name Ten Basic Exercises (XBX).
The XBX program consists of four charts of 10 exercises, arranged in progressive order of difficulty. As with the 5BX charts, as your fitness improves, you perform more repetitions and then move on to a more difficult chart. The 10 exercises are completed in about 12 minutes.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Muslim Anthem

God Bless The Muslim Cause

God bless the Muslim cause:
Bless all who keep Thy laws
And do the right.
Uphold the Muslim band,
In this and every land;
Give them full strength to stand
Firm in the fight.

Strengthen and help the weak,
And teach us all to speak,
Thy truth abound.
May love and liberty,
Truth and sweet purity,
With plenteous charity,
In us be found.

Hear Thou the orphan’s cry,
Assuage the widow’s sigh,
The foolish chide.
Let vice no more abound,
But happiness be found
In every home and round
The world so wide.

(W.H. Abdullah Quilliam,
1st Muharram 1319 (21st April, 1901.))

British Muslim Song

A selection of Poems from the British Muslim Tradition

Basmala and Bib

When you eat chocolates, or strawberries and cream
When you eat sweeties, both pink ones and green
Say these four words that will keep your heart clean
Bismi Llahi Rahmani Rahim.

by Abdal Hakim Murad

Eid Dinner

O what a fine deed
You will do when you feed
A child that’s in need
On the first day of Eid

by Abdal Hakim Murad

Fingers that Pray

Here’s the mosque,
And here’s the 
Open the doors,
And here’s the 
Here’s the muezzin,
Climbing upstairs,
And here’s the imam,
Saying his prayers

by Abdal Hakim Murad

Maghrib Round

Oh, how lovely is the evening, is the evening,

The adhan is sweetly singing, sweetly singing,
Allah, Allah

by Abdal Hakim Murad

The Masjid Mouse

Oh have you seen the Masjid Mouse
That dwells in Merry Lane?
The cheeky, cheery Masjid Mouse
The runabout-while-laughing mouse
Who dances in the rain?

The Masjid Mouse he has a house
Inside a minaret,
Because his roof is high and dry
Above the rainclouds of the sky,
His home is never wet.

I saw him once upon a horse
That drew a handsome gig.
He wore a crown of golden gorse
And ate a pie with apple sauce
While cutting quite a jig.

One day the Masjid Mouse set sail
As master of a brig.
Backwards he’d sail in shine and gale
A silver spoon was his taffrail
His sail a surgeon’s wig.

The King and Queen were sorely vexed
To hear of all his capers.
His Majesty inquired, What next?
And found his soldiers quite perplexed.
The queen she had the vapours.

The Masjid Mouse he loves to sing
And play upon a drum.
With London mice, and mice of Tring
With mice of Paris and Peking
He’ll laugh and sing and hum.

But when the Masjid Mouse comes home,
One thing he’ll not delay,
For howsoever far he’ll roam
He has a place beneath the dome,
Where he will stand to pray

by Abdal Hakim Murad

Prayer Time

It’s time to pray, I tell Mama,
While she is brushing Teddy,
She seems so busy, but in fact,
She’s said her prayers already

by Abdal Hakim Murad

Ramadan is Coming

Ramadan is coming
I hope I don’t get fat,
He hasn’t really fasted
The one who gets like that.

by Abdal Hakim Murad

Cod Liver Oil

One shouldn’t complain — but why did God
put such a foul taste in the livers of cod?

You may reply (as my gym master would):
“If it doesn’t HURT, boy, it’s not doing you good!”

Well, I’ve sailed the Seven Seas and drunk albatross soup;
it was scrumptious compared to that cod liver gloop.

I shrank from each spoonful when I was small,
and time’s passing hasn’t improved it at all.

If the rest of the cod had a taste to match,
most fishermen would throw away all their catch,

while the bravest – or poorest – would haul their nets up,
and drown the cod’s taste, and their sorrows, in ketchup.

From Isle of Sheppey to Mississippi,
you wouldn’t find cod in a single “chippie”.

Yet the experts declare, and their word is official:
“If you want to be healthy, you have to take fish-oil.”

No good coddling myself. Let’s just swallow the stuff… –
Hey, I suddenly like it. I can’t get enough!

They’ve put orange flavour into it. Just see
what a difference that makes to a fuss-pot like me.

This life can be bitter, yet look at it right –
you’ll find ease follows hardship as day follows night.

So all praise to Allah, the Generous Giver,
Who holds great rewards for every good liver.

by Muhammad Isa Waley

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How to treat Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis that affects the big toe, other peripheral joints, tendons and kidneys. The first sign of an attack of gout is acute needle-like pain caused from uric acid crystals poking into the surrounding tissues which turns the joint bright red. Generalized fever may result. Gout happens from either overproduction or under-processing of uric acid, which allows it to build up in the blood, tissues, and urine. Uric acid is a waste by-product of protein breakdown. In most cases the digestive tract is not producing enough uricase, a digestive enzyme responsible for the breakdown (oxidation) of uric acid.

Statistics, Symptoms and Triggers:
Ninety percent of gout cases occur in overweight men over the age of 35. Gout, often called "rich man's disease", usually runs in the family. It may also be associated with improper digestion, toxic bowels, kidney stones, atherosclerosis, overeating of rich and fatty foods, drinking too much alcohol, crash diets, stress, certain medications (blood pressure, chemotherapy and antibiotics), yeast infections, surgery or injury to the joints.

Gout is diagnosed in the medical profession by symptom and/or by inserting a needle into the joint to extract a small amount of joint fluid, which is then examined microscopically for the uric acid crystals.
Avoid These Foods:
During an active bout of gout, dissolve and process uric acid crystals by avoiding the following high purine-containing foods*:
·         Alcohol (except rum/vodka)
·         Kidney
·         Anchovies
·         Liver
·         Apples
·         Lobster
·         Apple Cider
·         Meat Stock
·         Aspirin (causes crystals)
·         Organ Meats (All types)
·         Beef
·         Peanuts
·         Beer
·         Pies
·         Brains
·         Pop (Fruit-flavored)
·         Brewer's Yeast
·         Raisins
·         Chocolate
·         Rhubarb
·         Crab
·         Sardines
·         Cranberry Juice
·         Squab
·         Dark Grapes
·         Tomatoes(fresh/can/juice)
·         Fresh Fruit (Except those listed in Eat More Of table)
·         Turkey
·         Glycine supplements**
·         Veal
·         Hot Dogs
·         Whole Wheat Cereals
·         Jams/Jellies
·         Whole Wheat Bread
*Purine is one of four basic building blocks that combine in various ways and amounts to make up amino acids which are the building blocks of protein.
**Glycine supplements convert to Uric Acid.

Use These Foods in Moderation:
·         Asparagus
·         Mushrooms
·         Broccoli
·         Onions
·         Brussels Sprouts
·         Peas
·         Dried Beans
·         Radishes
·         Lentils
·         Spinach
·         Lima Beans

Eat More of These Foods:
·         Apricots
·         Ham (Lean)
·         Bacon, fried crisp
·         Iced Tea
·         Bananas
·         Jell-O (No Strawberry)
·         Beef (2x/week only)
·         Kava Coffee
·         Bread (White or Rye)
·         Lemonade
·         Chicken
·         Lettuce
·         Buttermilk
·         Nuts (No Peanuts)
·         Cantaloupe
·         Oranges
·         Carrots
·         Peaches
·         Celery/Celery Juice
·         Pears
·         Cereals, Not Wh. Wheat
·         Pineapple (Canned only)
·         Cheese
·         Plums, any color
·         Cherries (juice or eating)
·         Pop (except fruit flavors)
·         Chicken Soup
·         Pork
·         Comfrey Tea
·         Postum (Barley Drink)
·         Corn
·         Potatoes (white or sweet)
·         Cottage Cheese
·         Rice
·         Custard
·         Rum
·         Eggs
·         Sanalac (Beverage)
·         Fish
·         Strawberries
·         Grapefruit
·         Vodka
·         Green Beans
·         Watermelon
·         Green Grapes
In general:
·         Most cases of gout can be treated with diet alone.
·         Do not add extra salt to food at this time.
·         Drink lots of distilled water.
·         Eat 75% raw whole foods for one month to balance uric acid formation.
·         Eat high potassium foods to put acid crystals back into solution so they can be eliminated.
·         Reduce sugars, rich gravies, caffeine, fried foods and saturated fats.
·         Start a weight loss program (not a crash diet).
·         Apply plantain, ginger, fresh comfrey or a poultice of cayenne and wintergreen oil to the inflamed area to help alleviate pain.

Potassium Broth
(essential for alkalizing the body)

·         2 large potatoes, chopped or sliced to approx. 1/2 inch pieces
·         1 cup carrots, shredded or sliced
·         1 cup celery, chopped or shredded, leaves and all
·         1 cup any other available vegetables (beet tops, kale, turnip tops, parsley, onion, zucchini, etc.)
·         Add some fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary, thyme, garlic, etc.
·         And a touch of cayenne or a couple beef bullion cubes for flavor.
·         1 1/2 quarts water

Cover and cook slowly for about 1/2 hour. Strain, cool until just warm and serve. If not used immediately, keep in refrigerator and warm up before serving. Compost the vegetables or give them to your pets. Great for alkalizing your body and is super mineral rich.
Drink 8 oz. broth as a hot drink two times daily. Makes about 3 servings.

Foods that are extremely beneficial for gout prevention:
  • Purified water (dissolves toxins).  
  • Celery (renews joints, bones, arteries, all connective tissue; clears digestive.  
  • fermentation, which causes dampness and acidic blood, (according to Chinese
  • Tomato: After digestion, it alkalizes the blood and is good for treating acid
    blood condition of gout.  
  • Seaweed.  
  • Cherries, strawberries, blueberries and other red-blue berries.  
  • Lots of vegetables, especially kale, cabbage, parsley, and other green, leafy vegetables. 
  • Bananas.
Foods to Avoid:
  • Rich foods.  
  • Greasy, oily foods.  
  • Red meat and meat extracts such as bouillon and gravies.  
  • Organ meats such as liver, kidney.  
  • Coffee, sugar and white-flour products.  
  • Refined sugar and other concentrated sweeteners.  
  • Alcohol, coffee, tea, cola drinks.  
  • Sweetbreads.  
  • Refined carbohydrates.  
  • Yeast products.  
  • Spices.  
  • Shell fish, poultry, preserved fish such as sardines, herring and anchovies.  
  • Dried beans and peas.  
  • Foods that contain additives such as MSG (found even in Worcestershire sauce).

Lesley Hazleton: On reading the Koran

An amazing short talk on the Quran by a non muslim.