The Haze in Singapore is no longer an anomaly (and that is a scary fact). With the haze visiting us at least twice a year on a regular basis, Singaporeans are quite used to the haze.
This year was different though. For the first time since the haze became a regular affair, the PSI level reached such an extremely unhealthy level (over 300) that the Ministry of Education (MOE) advised that all students from primary and secondary schools be kept home for a day if possible.
The Haze penetrated our homes through the cracks of our closed windows and doors. Our throats taste of ashes and our eyes burn and become teary from the ash particles in the air. We have to wear protective N95 masks (normal surgeon masks are not effective in warding off the haze particles).
When the air was particularly bad, we kept our air purifier turned on 24/7. Having one at home really helped, especially if you have babies, young kids and aged parents.
If you are intend to buy an air purifier, I saw these at Best Denki and snapped some pictures to give you an idea of what is in the market and their price range. You may be able to get better deals online but the down side is that you have to wait for the delivery.
TCM Remedies to Ease Haze Discomfort
Messages with remedies to ease the discomfort brought on by the haze and air pollution have been doing the rounds on Whatsapp. One in particular with advice from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) physician on what to drink to help our body system fight the toxins was particularly helpful. Here it is:
1) in the morning, brew some chrysanthemum with a small slice of ginger and rock sugar for 15 minutes. Function : clear the heatiness and the irritation to the lungs. How to cook: Recipe by Food For Tots
2) in the afternoon, boil barley water (use Chinese barley, those with black lines) with 2 slices of ginger, rock sugar for 40 minutes or more. Function: nourish the spleen, clear the heatiness, it’s diuretic and is able to discharge harmful substances through the urine. Remember to put 1/2 slices of ginger, as chrysanthemums and barley have cooling properties, so ginger is added to protect the spleen and stomach’s ‘yang’ (heat). How to cook: Recipe by Mummy I Can Cook
3) Another remedy is to boil green beans with slices of ginger and brown sugar. How to cook: Recipe by Noobcook
The kids were open to drinking the barley water. So far, we have been fortunate to ward off any symptoms from the haze (eg. cough and headaches) that I hear some of our friends and their children experience. I hope this post will help you get through this rough period especially with exams looming in the near future.