Friday, January 16, 2015

Snakehead Fish for Wound-Healing

Chinese believe that eating fresh water snakehead fish {aka haruan fish} helps in post-surgical wound healing and reduces pain & inflammation. Scientifically, it's also said that this fish contains all the essential amino acids for wound healing, particularly glycine, and polyunsaturated fatty acids to promote collagen growth.

My boss reminded me of this when he saw how long my hand injury was taking to recover completely.

When I had my back operation as a teen and soon after I gave birth, my mum had also given me snakehead fish to eat. Back then, my mum actually bought fresh fish from the wet markets to descale, slice and cook for me. I'm not that kind of hardworking cook, so was wondering if there was an easier way for me to eat it {or perhaps get my mum to cook it for me again haha}.

Hubby told me that the fish used in the common local hawker fare, Fish Sliced Soup, was made with snakehead fish. I asked mum about this and she said yes for some stalls, but not all hawkers use that fish.

She then advised me to go get the Fish Essence herbal drinks from Chinese medicine halls, pharmacies or NTUC supermarkets. Wow! I didn't know they came in such convenient bottles now!

The boy  helped me to get 2 boxes from Chong Hoe, a local Chinese medicine shop that we frequent whenever I want to get Chinese herbs or bird's nest for cooking. Unlike ZTP, Hock Hua and Eu Yan Seng, it's not a franchise and is only located at 61 Serangoon Garden Way. The price on the box says S$22, but he got 2 boxes for S$20.30 each. Maybe if you buy more there's discount.

Each bottle is individually packed in a smaller box and I really like the shape of the glass bottle actually haha. I washed and kept them for future upcycling projects :P

The Fish Essence tastes a lot like Chicken Essence, which I love to drink, but if you aren't used to drinking Chinese herbal soup, it might be a bit weird for you. Other than the snakehead fish {scientific name is Channa Striatus} concentrated extract, there's codyceps and ginseng - both very highly-regarded Chinese herbs used to improve general health and well-being - in the drink.

We were out at Toa Payoh last weekend and went to get more Fish Essence drinks, this time from Hock Hua. At S$15/box, it was much cheaper! There's also 10% off if you purchase 3 boxes or more.
Each box also contains 6 bottles, but each bottle contains only 75ml, compared to the ones we purchased at Chong Hoe which was 85ml.

The bottles are the typical small "essence bottles" too. Not as cute as the ones at Chong Hoe, and the cap is also slightly harder to twist and open. Taste-wise, it is not as strong as the Chong Hoe Fish Essence, so might be better for those that don't like herbal drinks taste.

I don't think Brands bottled sells Fish Essence, but you might want to check out Eu Yan Seng as well since they have so many shops around. I saw that they sell a box {6 x 70ml bottles} for S$28.50. Do note that the fish extract used for Eu Yan Seng Fish Essence is from deep ocean fish, and not from snakehead fish but it's still recommended for healing after an injury or surgery.

The wound on my hand is still red, but has closed up completely and not as "ugly" as I was scared it might be. Probably because I took great care not to move it too much while it was healing, and I believe it's also because I took the snakehead fish essence drinks twice a day for the past week or so :) The boy doesn't really like herbal drinks, but I've persuaded him to take at least a bottle a day for his own surgical wounds too.

If you have other tips or super food to recommend for faster wound-healing, let me know!

* Disclosure: This is not a paid or sponsored post. The content is not presented by a qualified healthcare professional and is for informational purpose only. Your experience and results may differ from mine. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please seek medical advice first before trying.



Masshole Mommy said...

I had never heard of this before, but I find it very interesting! I would definitley try it.

Lucy @ Bake Play Smile said...

This is brand new to me! How cool. I'm going to keep an eye out for this.

Lydia C. Lee said...

Vitamin E cream - I don't know if it really does anything, but to me it seems to work wonders....

An Apel a Day said...

It's new to me to. We actually aren't very good in the US with all natural healing practices. I often look at other cultures for that. Everything here revolves around medicines. Many doctors don't even promote probiotics. They help I think.

Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me said...

I'm a big believer in traditional medicine, although haven't heard of this before. Wonder if it's available in Australia? x

Stacy said...

Heard of this, but wonder if it really works. Thing is, with such things you can't do a control test to see if healing is faster WITH and WITHOUT.

MammaRajSays said...

Wow! You learn something every day! What an interesting post. Thank you

EssentiallyJess said...

I don't think I could drink it. I struggle with normal tea, let alone herbal ones or ones infused with animals! I do hope it works well for you. I've never heard of this before.

Ai Sakura said...

Masshole Mommy, Lucy: Yeah I guess it's only pretty common in Asian countries :P

Lydia: Oh yes I've heard about that too! Thanks!

Alissa: I think probiotics help too. My hubby has been taking them regularly.

Emily: I think you might be able to find them from the big Chinese shops. If not, eating the snakehead fish cooked the usual ways is good enough too.

Stacy: Same with a lot of Chinese beliefs like birds' nest, snake wine etc :P

MamaRaj: No prob :)

Six Little Hearts said...

How lucky are you to have such a wonderful and helpful Mum!
I have never heard of this but it sounds so interesting.
Thanks so much for sharing at my blog link up on Six Little Hearts.

Grace said...

I think Chinese herb medicines are amazing! I've never tried Snakehead Fish but you know, if it came to a slow healing wound like the one you had, why not?
Love also how Asian mums are a wealth of information for these sorts of things…hahaha!

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