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Only after the last tree has been cut down;
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The Secret Of Longevity

by Forest Ang

......she was barefooted the day I met her....

I interviewed her on 31 Mac 2006. Her eyes were small. Her face was with wrinkles - a sign of old age. She didn't wear spectacles. She didn't wear shoes. She was 91 years old.

Yes, she was barefooted the day I met her. She related how some Mat Sallehs joked on her when she boarded a plane on a tour to China two years ago. She just can't wear shoes. She fell each time she wore one. She had seen the atrocities of the Japanese Occupation and narrated the story vividly. Surprisingly, she still thinks logically without any doubt too. Her hair was silver. I did some mental calculation and found that her mentioned age correspond between the age during the Japanese Occupation and her present one. No doubt she can remember everything she mentioned unlike others at 91 years old.

She boasted that she had been healthy all her life. Never had she consulted doctor for medication. Her food and her barefooted way of life could be the reasons for her healthy life. I would like to emphasize that her healthy lifestyle of food and of being barefooted - both played a significant role to her longevity.

Foot Reflexology
Every organ in our body is connected to our feet. For example if you have headache, your big toe will felt painful when pressed. Foot reflexologist would massage the big toe to reduce the pain. When shoes were not invented, human were barefooted. They don't have many modern diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases. So, by being barefooted, this old lady has live until today. There were some orang asli tribes in Malaysia who were barefooted. They live primitively but were without modern diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases (just to name a few).

You wouldn't want to believe me. Not me too, if I haven't seen her with my own eyes. I interviewed her to check the authenticity. She mentioned that her mother would beat her if she did not wear shoes. She wore the shoes in front of her mother and would be barefooted when out of sight from her mother. She told me that her grandmother talked to her mother one day that "she could be fated to be barefooted" ... and after that, her mother stop scolding her. When asked, haven't you got problem with cut or nail? Yes, she was quick to add that at one of the incident, the nail punched through her foot. "And what did you do?" I added. She said that her uncle placed a basin of kerosene and asked her to immerse her foot in the kerosene. The pain subsided and there wasn't any swelling. This is what I called fighting poison (rusty nail) with poison (kerosene)!.

Our body is what we eat. I recall during my younger day, an old man told me that when we are young we are like young bamboo where we can bend and flex. And when we are not so young, the bamboo will be stiff and difficult to bend. If we take good food during our younger age, we will built a stronger foundation than if we started taking good food only later in our live. So in order to understand how she lives till 91, I dug into her food lifestyle during her younger day.

I was surprised that she lives with simple and primary food - minus the ginseng or birdnest! She took ulam (salad). There were some ulams which I have not heard before. The bottom line - eat more green, more of primary (not processed food), more forest and jungle produces. The following ulams were mentioned :-

Cekur (kaemferia galangal), kadok (piper sarmentosum), kunyit (curcuma domestica), terung pipit (solanun torvum Swartz), gajus (anacardium occidentale L.), pegaga (Hydrocotyle asiatica L.), sekentut (Paederia foetida L.), putat (Barringtonia asiatica)

She even mentioned about the menu. Here are two menus that she told me.

Use : Cekur, Kadok and Sekentut
Method: Cut into very fine pieces.
Mix the uncooked ulams with fried salted fish or fried shrimp
Eat with rice or porridge.

Use : Any of the above ulams or other you are familiar
Method : Some can be eaten raw some need to boil/or pour boiling water over them
Eat with sambal belacan (shrimp chilli paste)

I would like to quote what she kept emphasizing, "nowadays people like to eat seafood, these are the causes of diabetes, heart problem and other modern diseases".

And before I conclude this article, let me tell you another strange cure! She told me that whenever she got purging, she would consume bottled drink - SARSI! She added that SARSI drink contains chemical and that could be the reason why it cure her of that problem. Dare to believe?

I kept wondering what will happen if our forests and jungles continue to be logged. No more ulams. Much more diseases. No more longevity. Die much younger. Change your livestyle, change your need for wood (less demand for wood, less logging isn't it?). Eat more naturally grown greens.... and then you will live without any of the modern diseases.


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All photographs by Forest Ang unless mentioned.
No images or text may be used without written permission by author.

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