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My Story

OAK GALL NUT – NATURAL REMEDIES

MY FIRST-TIME ENCOUNTER WITH THE MAGICAL OAK GALL NUT
I would like to begin my story with the extraordinary oak gall nut that changed my life but let me introduce myself first!

“All that man needs for health and healing has been provided by God in nature, the challenge of science is to find it.” Philippus Theophrastrus Bombast that of Aureolus ~ Paracelsus (1493-1541)

Heaven Secrets

My name is Alia Michele Elkine. I was born and raised in Paris. In the late eighties, life was fine but there were already signs of the hard times to come.I was slogging some 12 to 14 hours a day at work and for what I asked myself. Where was I going? I wanted to study the universe and human nature but most importantly I needed change.
In 1998, this desire to break away from my mundane routine pushed me into action and I left Paris and headed for Malaysia, a country I had visited in the 80’s and had fallen in love with.

I have always been interested in plants and their benefits. I discovered very young the magnificence of Mother Nature – how small pieces of bark, some leaves or roots had the power to heal. It has now become more and more obvious that there is a huge revival of not only natural remedies but of the use of natural supplements to maintain good health and vitality.

My initiation into healing started with commonplace spices like pepper, cinnamon and rosemary, all of which you can find in your home. I was later introduced to turmeric, cloves, anise seed, and tamarind and today, the spices from my kitchen are part and parcel of my first-aid kit.

Heaven Secrets

Malaysia has proven to be an ideal place for my research work. More than sixty percent of the country is covered by jungles that contain plants and insects that are still unclassified and unknown to men. Another interesting fact is that the local population is quite knowledgeable about the usage of traditional herbs and natural herbal products. It is common to find a box of Paracetamol beside a bottle of “Minyak Gamat,” or sea cucumber oil.

The passing down of ancient family recipes from one generation to another is still prevalent and strong not only in Malaysia but the region as well. To be taught one had to belong to the family but I was lucky enough to be “adopted” by two healers. They taught me the therapeutic properties of fruits, seeds, barks, leaves, flowers and roots. I learnt formulas that were passed on for generations. Through the years I have gathered information on healing with plants and spices dating as far back as 2500 BC.

I observed that Malay women uphold their femininity with much pride, like a knight his armor. It’s not only a matter of attire but also having the right walking gait which must be graceful, soft and balanced. A little shy smile should adorn the face but most importantly they emphasis a slender waist for an eternally youthful appearance.

A Malay healing ritual for afterbirth care reveals how women place great attention to maintain their willowy silhouette. To do so, Malay women adhere to the following traditional procedures.

Heaven Secrets

After delivery, a Malay woman will rest and be attended to for 40 days by a midwife or an older woman of the family. This 40-day convalescence period is locally known as “Dalam Pantang” or to be in “Confinement”.

The first few days the young mother will not be allowed to touch the floor and her feet are swathed in stockings. Six yards of sarong are wrapped around her abdomen; some will apply soft pressure with hot stone wrapped in towels accompanied by gentle massages to reposition the womb. She is encouraged to eat a delicious ‘haruan” fish soup and to drink a mixture made of oak gall, garlic and ginger to warm and heal her tender body. Procedures vary according to regions and family tradition but basically the idea is to keep the recovering mother warm, speed up the healing process and to restore energy and the silhouette.

My first introduction to oak gall was in the year 2000 just after giving birth to my youngest daughter. I suffered a painful disorder commonly experienced by women after delivery.

I spoke about it to a friend of mine who was knocking on my door half an hour later with a nut in her hand known as ‘manjakani’ in Malay. My friend kept telling me how this nut would relieve me and that it was used widely in Asia. So on her advice, I scraped the nut on a porous surface, collected the dark liquid produced and applied it directly onto the painful area.

The whole night I felt strong throbbing sensations but to my surprise the pain was gone and the wound was totally healed by morning. Talk about an over-night cure! Given the fact that normally I would have had to wait at least 6 months to see the result of any other herbal product I was taking, I let you guess what went through my head then!

Intrigued by its fabulous properties, I embarked on the exciting research of using it as a natural health and beauty supplement.