Posts Tagged ‘measles’


Yesterday, Yoke Cheh (picture above) dropped by to visit us. It was such a pleasant surprise. She had moved away from the neighborhood for some years and we were so happy to see her again.

Who was this amazing lady? Remember how I used to battle with hyperthyroidism 13 years ago that made life everyday hell on earth for me? I went from one doctor to another, taking western medications like nobody’s business and wondering when this nightmare will end. Then Yoke Cheh told me about the baby abalone and old duck soup followed by Guinness Stout that finally cured me completely and brought back hopes and laughter into my life again. I am very grateful to this lady.

And while I battled with this terrifying sickness for months, she was the one who help me to take care of my new-born baby girl while my mom took care of Nicholas. Alexandra was in very good hands as Yoke Cheh was a very experience baby-sitter. In her 40 years as a baby-sitter, she had taken care of more than 30 babies and my daughter was the last baby she took care. She waited for me to get well again before handing back the baby to me so that she can retire in peace.

This warm and friendly lady is a walking dictionary of medical knowledge, not the western cures but the traditional Chinese ones. She had taught me some tricks and quick fixes for babies and young children.

Here are some tips on two very common childhood ailments to share with parents, courtesy of an experienced lady who had devoted a big part of her life taking care of babies and young children while their parents are at work.

Heard of chickenpox? Yes, they are still around, despite inoculations. If your child came down with chickenpox, give him plenty of fresh coconut water which is supposed to be cooling and will force out the chickenpox from the body completely. Do not scratch the blisters as this will leave scars on the skin. Buy chickenpox powder from Chinese medical halls and apply them on the body to keep the itch away.

Another common childhood ailment is German measles or rubella. If your child came down with high fever, check for pink rashes on his body, especially on his palms and soles. If these two areas do not have the pink rashes, then this condition is called “false German measles or rubella.” Just give him plenty of herbal drinks and the condition will improve after a few days.

But for “real German measles or rubella”, the pink rashes will usually appeared initially at the forehead, cheek, neck, or chest and then down to the palms and soles. Fever usually lasted for 3 or 4 days. In Chinese traditional medicine, this condition is caused by extreme heat in the vital organs. In other words, it is the imbalance of yin and yang.

Boil celery leaves (yin sai) with water chestnuts (ma tai) and sugarcane for a few hours using medium heat. Let it cool down and consume it throughout the day. This will bring the body’s temperature down and flushed out the excess heat. Expect to urinate a lot the whole day and this is a good sign that heat is being expel from the body via urine.

Do not allow the child to scratch his body. Buy celery seeds (yin sai mai) from Chinese medical halls, boil them with water for half an hour and add to a pail of warm water to bathe the child. Do not add any cold water to this concoction.

Dry the child and apply medicated powder to his body. Buy “pang yee soi” which is a type of dried fish gill from the Chinese medical halls and soak it in hot water until it softens. Cook it with porridge and feed it to the child after discarding the fish gill. This porridge is good to nourish the body after a bout of rubella.

Both my children have gone through chickenpox and rubella but with Yoke Cheh at my side giving advises, it was a breeze for mother and children.

“Can I share out your tips with my readers?” I asked her.

“Yes, why not? Go ahead because not many old-hands like me will be around  later to teach you guys when you cross the bridge!” she laughed.

So now, with her blessing, I am sharing her tips in my blog so that other parents can also benefit from her 40 years experience of taking care of babies and young children which is very challenging.

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