Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Science Confirms Turmeric's Health Benefits-- It could also be an ideal contraceptive.

        I've heard so many good things about turmeric and decided to read more about it. It's a bit hard to find a good source nowadays because everything on the internet sounds so made-up and just too good to be true. This article about turmeric from Green Med Info is a good piece to start your reading. Green Med Info provides evidence-based natural medical information.

            Turmeric is a spice that is normally use for cooking. It gives flavor and color to a curry. It is also used to give color to cheese, butter and mustard. Curcumin, the main active ingredient of turmeric, is a strong antioxidant and has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Research also shows that it has an antibacterial, antiviral, and anticancer properties. Sounds promising right? The research and studies are all about curcumin and not turmeric. Turmeric only contains 2-6% of curcumin.

According to science, the effects of turmeric (because of curcumin) is comparable to the following medications:
  1. Lipitor/Atorvastatin(cholesterol medication)
  2. Corticosteroids (steroid medications)
  3. Prozac/Fluoxetine & Imipramine  (antidepressants)
  4. Aspirin (blood thinner)
  5. Anti-inflammatory Drugs
  6. Oxaliplatin (chemotherapy drug)
  7. Metformin (diabetes drug)
The University of Maryland Medical Center wrote the following doses as recommended for adults:

  • Cut root: 1.5 to 3 g per day 
  • Dried, powdered root: 1 to 3 g per day
  • Standardized powder (curcumin): 400 to 600 mg, 3 times per day 
  • Fluid extract (1:1) 30 to 90 drops a day 
  • Tincture (1:2): 15 to 30 drops, 4 times per day

Recently I've been mixing 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp on our fried rice and 1/4 tsp on an over easy egg. I also switched to using coconut oil to make it healthier.

Turmeric Fried Eggs
Heat your pan and when it's ready add coconut oil. Turn the heat on low flame.
Add 1/4 turmeric on the oil.
Crack an egg and cook just like how you would normally want your egg.
Salt and Pepper to taste.

The turmeric won't change the flavor of the food.

Husband's breakfast: Turmeric Fried Rice, Bacon-Wrapped Potato,
Swedish Meatballs with Homemade gravy and Turmeric Egg 
I got so excited reading the articles about the positive health benefits of turmeric until I stumbled upon a research about its reproductive health benefits.

The research Curcumin as a potential non-steroidal contraceptive with spermicidal and microbicidal properties by Naz, R.K. et al. from the European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology , Volume 176 , 142 - 148 wrote this conclusion: 

Findings suggest that curcumin can block sperm function and bacteria/yeast growth. It can potentially provide an ideal non-steroidal contraceptive having both spermicidal and microbicidal properties against vaginal infections.
        I also read the articles Can curcumin provide an ideal contraceptive? and Curcumin: a potential vaginal contraceptive. These studies make me wonder about how much curcumin should one ingest to have this effect. India is known for curry and curry is made of turmeric.Why is India so populated? 😓

👀 but even if India is still populated, I think I will stop making yellow rice and yellow eggs for now. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Tallest of all the Marines

My brother is home for Christmas and New Year, his birthday and my birthday. I'm so happy!

I'm so proud of what he had become. He is such a responsible young man. I couldn't even imagine that he's the same younger brother that I had. He was good but he was also a bratty teenager.

Thank you so much US Marine Corps!

It's a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for our family. ❤

For all military, especially Marine families, let me share this story about a young Marine named Michael who wrote a letter home to his mother while he was in the hospital after having been wounded in Korea in 1950.  A Navy Chaplain named Father Walter Muldy apparently was given the letter, checked the facts and concluded what was in the letter was true. A year later he read the letter in public for the first time, to a gathering of some 5,000 Marines at the Naval Base in San Diego.  Here is the letter:

Dear Mom,
I wouldn't dare write this letter to anyone but you because no one else would believe it. Maybe even you will find it hard but I have got to tell somebody. First off, I am in a hospital. Now don't worry, ya hear me, don't worry. I was wounded but I'm okay you understand. Okay. The doctor says that I will be up and around in a month. But that's not what I want to tell you.

Remember when I joined the Marines last year; remember when I left, how you told me to say a prayer to St. Michael every day. You really didn't have to tell me that. Ever since I can remember you always told me to pray to St. Michael the Archangel. You even named me after him. Well I always have.

When I got to Korea, I prayed even harder. Remember the prayer that you taught me? "Michael, Michael of the morning, fresh chord of Heaven adorning," you know the rest of it. Well I said it everyday. Sometimes when I was marching or sometimes resting. But always before I went to sleep. I even got some of the other fellas to say it.

Well, one day I was with an advance detail way up over the front lines. We were scouting for the Commies. I was plodding along in the bitter cold, my breath was like cigar smoke.
I thought I knew every guy in the patrol, when along side of me comes another Marine I never met before. He was bigger than any other Marine I'd ever seen. He must have been 6'4" and built in proportion. It gave me a feeling of security to have such a body near.

Anyway, there we were trudging along. The rest of the patrol spread out. Just to start conversation I said, "Cold ain't it." And then I laughed. Here I was with a good chance of getting killed any minute and I am talking about the weather.

My companion seemed to understand. I heard him laugh softly. I looked at him, "I have never seen you before, I thought I knew every man in the outfit."
"I just joined at the last minute", he replied. "The name is Michael."
"Is that so," I said surprised. "That is my name too."
"I know," he said and then went on, "Michael, Michael of the morning ..."

I was too amazed to say anything for a minute. How did he know my name, and a prayer that you had taught me? Then I smiled to myself, every guy in the outfit knew about me. Hadn't I taught the prayer to anybody who would listen. Why now and then, they even referred to me as St. Michael. Neither of us spoke for a time and then he broke the silence.
"We are going to have some trouble up ahead."

He must have been in fine physical shape or he was breathing so lightly I couldn't see his breath. Mine poured out in great clouds. There was no smile on his face now. Trouble ahead, I thought to myself, well with the Commies all around us, that is no great revelation. Snow began to fall in great thick globs. In a brief moment the whole countryside was blotted out. And I was marching in a white fog of sticky particles. My companion disappeared.

"Michael," I shouted in sudden alarm.
I felt his hand on my arm, his voice was rich and strong, "This will stop shortly."
His prophecy proved to be correct. In a few minutes the snow stopped as abruptly as it had begun. The sun was a hard shining disc. I looked back for the rest of the patrol, there was no one in sight. We lost them in that heavy fall of snow. I looked ahead as we came over a little rise.
Mom, my heart stopped. There were seven of them. Seven Commies in their padded pants and jackets and their funny hats. Only there wasn't anything funny about them now. Seven rifles were aimed at us.

"Down Michael," I screamed and hit the frozen earth.
I heard those rifles fire almost as one. I heard the bullets. There was Michael still standing. Mom, those guys couldn't have missed, not at that range. I expected to see him literally blown to bits. But there he stood, making no effort to fire himself. He was paralyzed with fear. It happens sometimes, Mom, even to the bravest. He was like a bird fascinated by a snake. At least, that was what I thought then. I jumped up to pull him down and that was when I got mine I felt a sudden flame in my chest. I often wondered what it felt like to be hit, now I know..

I remember feeling strong arms around me, arms that laid me ever so gently on a pillow of snow. I opened my eyes, for one last look. I was dying. Maybe I was even dead, I remember thinking well, this is not so bad. Maybe I was looking into the sun. Maybe I was in shock. But it seemed I saw Michael standing erect again only this time his face was shining with a terrible splendor. As I say, maybe it was the sun in my eyes, but he seemed to change as I watched him. He grew bigger, his arms stretched out wide, maybe it was the snow falling again, but there was a brightness around him like the wings of an angel. In his hands was a sword. A sword that flashed with a million lights. Well, that is the last thing I remember until the rest of the fellas came up and found me. I do not know how much time had passed. Now and then I had but a moment's rest from the pain and fever. I remember telling them of the enemy just ahead.

"Where is Michael," I asked.
I saw them look at one another. "Where's who?" asked one.
"Michael, Michael the big Marine I was walking with just before the snow squall hit us."
"Kid," said the sergeant, "You weren't walking with anyone. I had my eyes on you the whole time. You were getting too far out. I was just going to call you in when you disappeared in the snow."
He looked at me, curiously. "How did you do it kid?"
"How'd I do what?" I asked half angry despite my wound. "This marine named Michael and I were just ..."

"Son," said the sergeant kindly, " I picked out this outfit myself and there just ain't another Michael in it. You are the only Mike in it."

He paused for a minute, "Just how did you do it kid? We heard shots. There hasn't been a shot fired from your rifle. And there isn't a bit of lead in them seven bodies over the hill there."
I didn't say anything, what could I say. I could only look open-mouthed with amazement.

It was then the sergeant spoke again, "Kid," he said gently, "every one of those seven Commies was killed by a sword stroke."

That is all I can tell you Mom. As I say, it may have been the sun in my eyes, it may have been the cold or the pain. But that is what happened.

Love, Michael

Michael, Michael of the morning,
Fresh chord of Heaven adorning,
Keep me safe today,
And in time of temptation
Drive the devil away.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

I loved you at your darkest

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

- Romans 5:6-8 (NIV)

I know it is still too early to talk about the death of Christ since we're still in the advent season but this verse has been on my mind lately and as we prepare and rejoice for the coming of Christ, I believe it is also important that we reflect about the ultimate reason why He has to be born as an ordinary man.

Love... let's not focus on His death right now but instead let's reflect on the extraordinary kind of love that God has for us.

We are powerless. We are ungodly. We are sinners.

We wanted to be saved. We try our best to take control of our lives but sometimes we fail. It's very disappointing and humiliating to give our best, to offer everything that we could but still end up losing. We become helpless, vulnerable and incapable.  We are weak. We are powerless.

Our time is also confusing. Most of us are becoming self righteous. We preach love, peace, respect and forgiveness but we couldn't practice it to those who are against our opinion and beliefs. We become our own gods. We are ungodly.

Even though we try our best to become good, we often fail in how we act, how we think, what we say and what we do. We fail to do what is right through our thoughts, deeds and words. We are sinners.

And yet, with all these ugliness in our hearts, during the darkest moments of our soul, Jesus came for us. You'll know how much someone matters to you by what you are willing to give up for them. How much do we matter to God? So much He gave up His only Son to lead us, to save us, to bring us back to the right path.

Pink Church in Vietnam

His amazing, one of a kind love could sometimes leave us doubting. We find it difficult to see anything special about us that would make us feel worthy of this kind of love. God's ability to love us doesn't depend on us but it is His character. God is love. 

The more we become aware of our sins, the more we doubt God's ability to love us. Our sins are poison, it distorts the image of God. It prevent's Him from entering and working in our lives. So He came... to help us heal, to restore us and to wash away our sins.

Through cleansing our hearts and seeing God's love may we learn to strive harder to become good Christians. May the humbleness of God by giving His Son to reach us on our level, sinful man, will be enough to impress us and encourage us to turn away from sinfulness and to love our neighbor more.