Updated: Mar 15
The amazing healing power of Malaysian herbs is often overlooked. Many of us would by-pass the Ulam section at a buffet and miss out on the natural healing powers of these unassuming local herbs. Ulam has Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors that help relax your veins and arteries to lower your blood pressure. ACE inhibitors prevent an enzyme in your body from producing angiotensin II, a substance that narrows your blood vessels.
Below is a list of some of the items that are used to make nasi ulam (ulam rice). Every one of these herbs has antioxidative and antihypertensive activities and should be taken with every local meal to mitigate the impact that our high carb diet has on our body and health.
Combining TCM and Ayuverdic knowledge to the dish
When creating an ulam dish, try to include some Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) knowledge into the dish. If you are making a cold ulam dish, try to use ingredients that are cold and if you are making a hot ulam dish, include ingredients that are heaty to help the body produce heat.
Ayuverdic dishes also use some herbs that are similar to ulam and the same knowledge that is found in TCM can also be found in Ayuverdic texts. Consider the ulam dish as medicinal and use it to treat various ailments such as cold, cough, constipation and so forth. Mix and match the ingredients well and you will end up with an aromatic as well as medicinal dish.
Ulam's antioxidative and antihypertensive study
A 2018 study found that tropical plants such a P.Minus are a potential source of natural antioxidant and antihypertensive agents. Consumed daily, these herbs can prevent diseases and illnesses that are triggered by oxidation and hypertension. Please find attached the research article.
Growing ulam in your garden
The ingredients such as the herbs, seeds, plants and vegetables that are used to make ulam are not hard to plant. Having a garden full of these herbs means that you control the quality of the herbs and thus increase its healing potential. These herbs, plants and vegetables also do not need a huge garden to grow. So do give it a go and try planting food for your table that can help improve the health of the whole family. Happy gardening!
Article by Dr Lennie Soo