Taking care of myself has been a philosophy that Mum drummed into me since I was a young girl.
Taking care of myself meant eating healthy and in my case, I'm the only daughter who dares to drink the darkest of brews just so I can look my prettiest best. Ah yes. I also believed in no pain, no gain.
So if I had to drink some herbal soup with strange ingredients (and they usually smelled very strong), I told myself, it's for my own good. I'm nourishing my body. I'm keeping alive centuries of knowledge and practise.
Until today, I find the best places to remind me of my childhood is to walk into a Chinese herbal shop and inhale the fragrance of herbs! To me, that is the best smell in the world.
Anyway, for Chinese women, replenishing our blood and reviving our bodies is a must after each menstruation. I've learnt this since young whereby Mum would brew for us Dang Gui or Ba Zheng Tang a few days after we were done with our periods.
Usually boiled with chicken thighs (minus chicken skin as the skin tends to make the soup oily), slurping these soups warm at night just before going to bed was a treat. I loved eating the tender chicken meat, dipped in soya sauce while I slurped spoonfuls of the dark brew (if it was Ba Zheng Tang). We had to drink the soup while it was still warm.
Now that I'm an adult, I still take care of myself. It's very telling that when I was studying in university back in the mid-90s that Dad bought for me a mini slow cooker! I was to remember to brew for myself nourishing soups because more than ever I was not living at home then and didn't get the benefit of drinking homecooked soup!
(By the way, I still have the mini slow cooker - after countless house moves and such. It's still something I cherish!)
Although I now have my own kitchen, sometimes I just want a bit of convenience even when I am supposed to be eating healthy.
My key secret is Eu Yan Sang's Bak Foong Pills. Yup, instead of brewing soup, I can now pop pills each month. It's priced at RM88 for a box of 6 bottles (14 gm each).
I am supposed to take 1 bottle of these pills with warm water once a week but I usually take 1 bottle each time my menstruation ends. Maybe I should follow Eu Yan Sang's instructions. The only thing I worry is that taking too much of these pills will be heaty as it does contain blood-building herbs.
I used to buy Bak Foong Pills of the non-branded variety but these days, I think I should be careful what I eat. That's why I trust Eu Yan Sang a lot more than a no-name bottle of pills. Knowing what I know of things and stuff made in China, I best put my trust in a brand that's known for generations. My rationale is, in case there's any issue, I can always go back to the brand and get some answers.