‘Museng Demang’ (The Fever Season)


I was not feeling well yesterday. I had a sore throat and a fever. Even my little sister Anisah, my little brother Ahmad Ali and mum was not feeling well too. It started by Anisah who had a fever a few days ago.

Next was Ahmad Ali. He woke up the next morning with a swollen face. His eyes were badly swollen that he almost could not open his eyes. I went to him and I was struck with horror when I saw his face. He asked me why I was so shocked to see him. I then told him to look at the mirror. He was so shocked at what he saw that he nearly cried. He kept asking dad to send him to the doctor as he did not like the way he looked in the mirror.

Dad took him to Al-Islam Specialist Hospital or previously known as Kampung Baru Medical Center to see our Pediatric, Dr. Khairul Azman. Dr Khairul did some tests to make sure that it was only an allergy reaction that cause his face to be swollen. My little brother was so relieved when Dr Khairul ensured him that nothing was serious and he would get better soon.  Today, he looks perfectly like the old Ahmad Ali again, and how happy he was to look ‘normal’ again.  Anyway both Anisah and Ahmad Ali were still not feeling very well. They both felt better in the morning, jumping and playing together – and their temperature would rise up later in the day and ended up with mum staying awake for the last few nights taking care of the both of them during the nights. It seems to be very hard for young kids to stay in bed and rest.

Mum started a slight fever the day before yesterday. Next it was me, but I am feeling much better now. My Nenek said that it must be “museng demang’ (in Trengganuspeak) or the fever season . In  Terengganu we have “museng demang’ during the fruit seasons and also during the current weather when it rains at one moment before the sun shines brightly at another and all the sudden  it starts to rain again.   Any way Alhamdulillah, for my little sister, Aeshah and my dad are in good health.

Traditional Remedies


It is always easier to take modern medicine whenever we are not feeling well but we should not ignore the benefits of traditional remedies. Do traditional remedies really work? I know some that really work…

For diarrhoea and vomiting (not due to any serious illnesses), mum would give me strong tea without sugar. Milk should be avoid until I get better. It is hard to drink cups of strong tea but it really works. Mum would also give me isotonic drinks until the diarrhoea/vomiting stops.

Young coconut water is not only tasty but is also very nutritious. Coconut water provides an isotonic electrolyte balance that makes it a good isotonic sport drink. Mum gives me young coconut water to drink whenever I have high fever or food poisoning.

The worst part of having a bad cold is blocked nose. Nowadays we have nasal spray but in the old days mum said that sometimes she could hardly sleep due to blocked nose. She had to use a few pillows to put her head up while sleeping until a close, dear friend of hers advised her to tie a piece of cloth tightly around her head until she hears a ‘pop’ sound. And it works!

Young coconut water, tea, honey and cloves are some of the items used in traditional remedies

Young coconut water, tea, honey and cloves are some of the items used in traditional remedies

Mum keeps a jar of coffee powder not only for making coffee but also for emergency uses. If she  hurts her finger while preparing a meal etc, she’ll use the coffee powder to stop the bleeding and it also helps to heal the wound.

Honey is full of goodness and is an excellent source of instant energy. If I have a sore throat or a cough, mum will gives me some honey mixed with lemon or lime juice to drink. It will really makes me feel better.

My dear grandfather taught my mum of another traditional remedy for cough. Mix some cooked rice with water and rock sugar; rest the mixture for a few hours before drinking. Another traditional remedy is tamarind mixed with rock sugar. Traditionally it should be left outside to collect the dewdrops but mum just let it rest for the night in the kitchen.

Water mixed with salt can relief a mild tooth and gum ache. Crushed clove can also be used for a relief  for tooth ache.

In Malaysian cooking, we use mortar and pastel to pound chilli and how it really hurts even if only a tiny drop accidentally splashes to ones eye (while pounding the chilli). It is believed that if the chilli got into ones right eye, rub the eye using the left knee and use the right knee for the left eye. I asked mum if it really works and mum said there is no harm in trying.

I agree with mum that we should learn more about traditional remedies. In fact we should learn more about the benefits of our herbs, plants and trees.