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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Can't Take This Sh*t No More!!? (A Remedy For Diarrhoea)

Recently I just received another forwarded email about some kind of magical remedy for some kind of ailment. This time, it is for diarrhoea.

This caught my attention straight away because for most of my life, I've been having a very sensitive bowel. Having diarrhoea can sometimes be a daily event for me. Not only that, after becoming a parent, it's sometimes quite scary when your little ones have severe diarrhoea, not to mention the horror of cleaning them up after that, especially if you're using cloth nappy LOL! Of course, after we know for sure that something is not right, we will let them wear disposable for the rest of the day, but still, the smell is almost unbearable.

According to the email, the very simple, and more importantly, perfectly safe remedy, is rice water. My wife and I heard of it before but we didn't really take it seriously. Anyway I will copy and paste the whole email below. I will also include an article from Rehydration Project that was mentioned in the email. Hope you find these information useful.

"> > Subject: Fw: Diarrhoea

Drinking sugar dilute in
water also makes a simple and quick remedy!

With recent case on the Geylang Serai food poisoning out
break.. would like to share the info received from a friend pls read on it may be of help...

When someone gets diarrhoea, sometimes the solution is so
easy, we wonder why anyone has to suffer.

The secret is in rice water.

This is already known in this region. Ask your maids -- Sri Lankan, Indonesian, Filipina and they would know about it.

(My mother) knew about it. When Dr Albert Winsemius came to
Singapore or a farewell and thank you dinner in his honour, he brought along his wife Aly and his granddaughter, Jolijn. Both women came down with very bad gastroenteritis. They saw the doctor who gave them medication. It was slow to work.

Mother boiled some rice in lots of water and went to their hotel with two 1.5L bottles of rice water.

I cringed in shame at the offer of this folk remedy, which seemed so primitive to me. Never heard of this cure before. To my surprise, it worked, and they were even able to go out for dinner the next day. Both were exclaiming how the rice water did the trick of making them well again. Well, lucky it worked, I thought to myself.

I was discussing this some years back with Kim Ng, the ex-matron of KK Hospital. She said, yes, that is what Professor Wong Hock Boon, the notable paediatrician teaches.. I was shocked and made some comment how could he? It was common knowledge so what had he to do with it?

Many months later, I regretted laughing at it. Dr Christina Shanta Emmanuel, who is the CEO of...uh, which group I have forgotten. Either National Health Group, or Polyclinics, or whatever.. regarded me seriously when I brought up the topic like it was good fun. She said that Prof Wong Hock Boon had presented a paper on it. At some conference. After he had done clinical trials.

Then his results were published in the Lancet, the Medical Journal all doctors read. In fact, said Shanta, he was credited for saving the lives of 2 million African babies by this method.

Ah, so! I am impressed.

It is rice water and not rice, that does the trick. I have
found it effective again and again. You take a handful of rice and boil it in a large saucepan with lots of water. Like three or four large glasses. Then you cool that and drink the water. If you are in a hurry to relieve the ailing person, take the saucepan off the fire and dunk it in a frying pan or basin of cool water with ice cubes if necessary.

This gives the patient a chance to drink the rice watersooner and cure himself or herself sooner.

When drinking the rice water, make sure there is lots of it. You have to tell the patient that enough water must go in to line your guts from throat to other end, all 10 to 12 metres of it. If you take rice, it stays in the stomach. If you take broth, some of it may go into the small intestine.

But if
you take rice water, it will carry rice grains to every inch of your small and large intestine to the end where the problem is.

How does it work? Even Prof Wong Hock Boon doesn't know. Read the attached file. Or go to

It is good to pass on the news to everyone you know because the complaint is so common and people suffer unnecessarily. You would be doing your friends a great favour to relieve them of their misery when the occasion arises."

You can visit the link above to read the article, or you can just read it here :P

"Rice water and diarrhoea

The advantage of using rice water is that rice is cooked daily in South East Asia.
WHO photograph by Dr Gramiccia

In South East Asia, rice is prepared in two ways - to produce either dry, cooked rice or, with extra water, rice porridge. This leaves a fluid (rice water) on top of the cooked rice grains.

Professor Wong Hock Boon, a paediatrician working in Singapore, has been using rice water to rehydrate babies for several years. If the babies are bottle-fed rice water is given exclusively for the first 24 hours of treatment - breastfeeding can continue as normal (1). Professor Wong and his colleagues have found that many babies who have not responded to other rehydration solutions respond well to rice water. If diarrhoea starts again with the re-introduction of milk, extra rice water is given with additional rice porridge. Older babies are sometimes given rice porridge alone.

The advantage of using rice water is that rice is cooked daily in South East Asia.

The means by which rice water helps to stop diarrhoea are still being researched. One explanation could be that starch-like sugars tend to draw less fluid out of the body and into the gut compared with a similar amount of simple sugar such as glucose. Some babies with diarrhoea can digest starch more easily than simple sugars. The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR, B) is carrying out studies on the inclusion of locally available starches (such as rice starch) as the carbohydrate in oral rehydration solution.

As Professor Wong stresses, the advantage of using rice water is that rice is cooked daily in South East Asia. The rice water is boiled and does not have to be made up and kept in large quantities as is frequently the case with sugar-salt rehydration solutions.

If you would like more information about the use of rice water for rehydration, write to: Professor Wong Hock Boon, National University of Singapore, University Department of Paediatrics, Singapore General Hospital, Outram Road, Singapore.

For information on ICDDR, B's work on locally available starches, write to: Library and Publication Unit, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, G.P.O. Box 128, Dacca-2, Bangladesh.

(1) Wong H B 1981 Rice water in treatment of infantile gastroenteritis. The Lancet vol 2: 102-103."

Please Share: For those who have tried this method, or have heard of stories and testimonies, please do not hesitate to share with us.



Cord Blood Cost said...

Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch as I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

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