Momordica, the Immune System Boosting Fruit
Billy’s much better now. There’s no longer blood in his urine. The apple cider vinegar seems to have helped dissolve the crystals blocking his urinary tract. It took at least two weeks of constantly mixing apple cider vinegar into small amounts of his cat food which we had to feed him through a syringe, but at least it worked. Numerous, expensive visits to the vet didn’t solve the problem and he hated taking antibiotics and other medicine anyway.
He’s a lot like me. I hate taking medicine. I caught the bug which was making its rounds during the recent holiday season and it got me bad. My throat was so sore and painful that sometimes it felt like I had daggers down my throat. The coughing was relentless and particularly nasty at night. My nose leaked like a tap. My poor hubby was down with the same bug too, as was my mother-in-law. She even lost her voice. She took all kinds of medicine but, one month later, she’s still feeling poorly.
This time around, I decided not to take any medicine at all, not even cough syrup. Instead, I brewed pots of Momordica Grosvenor fruit, an antioxidant and immune system booster which has been popular with the Chinese for centuries. You can find it in Chinese medicine shops and groceries, where it is usually better known as “lo han guo”. Momordica is popularly used to treat respiratory ailments like cough, cold, influenza and bronchitis.
The fruit can be purchased whole and dried in its shell, or in boxes of compressed cubes, ready to dissolve in hot water. Momordica can also be found in some health supplements, such as Neways Authentic Hawaiian Noni Juice. It’s naturally sweet, so it makes a good, healthy sweetener. It’s often combined with other natural ingredients like chrysanthemum and barley to make a healthy, soothing tea.
Momordica looks like a green lime, only it has a hard shell. When dried, the shell is dark brown in color. The fruit pulp within the shell has lots of seeds. To make a pot of momordica or ‘lo han kuo’ tea, simply crack the shell like an egg, discard the shell, roughly break up the dried pulp with seeds (just peel it apart with your fingers) and put that in a teapot. Pour in boiling water and leave to infuse for at least 15 minutes. The longer you leave it, the richer the flavor. As you drink the tea, you can top up the teapot with more hot water, until the momordica tea begins to taste weak. Discard once you reach that point.
I drank a pot of momordica or ‘lo han kuo’ tea almost daily, alternating with home-made barley water every other day. That really flushed the toxins out of my body and soothed my throat and respiratory system. My husband and I recovered much faster than my mother-in-law, and without the use of medicine too, although I admit to taking my Neways health supplements daily (Revenol for antioxidants, Maximol Solutions for multivitamins and trace minerals, and VMM to boost my immune system). Try this next time the bug gets you!