Day 5 in Vietnam: Herbal Medicine Clinic

My first meal ended up being sour stalk soup with bean sprouts, some bell peppers, and green onions alongside a plate of more sour roots and vegan soy chicken legs with fried onions. Eh, this wasn’t my favorite meal. I did like the soy chicken, but it was really dense and almost fatty-tasting. The broth of the soup tasted fine, but the sour stalks and roots? I think I just found my LEAST favorite foods.

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Breakfast number two was a major improvement from the previous platters! I kept it extremely basic and cut a few slightly unripe apple bananas to mix in with some corn flakes! We were out of soy milk, so I ended up finishing this dry. Still absolutely tasty!

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After a few minutes of getting ready for the day, we all hopped into our vehicle and hit the road for a long trip ahead of us. By long, I mean two hours of bumpiness and slow traffic. I made sure to put the time to good use by napping to the Be Sheroic podcast by Cassey Ho and Lisa Bilyeu and Highest Self podcast by Sahara Rose! As of now, these two are my favorite, favorite podcasts, and I’m inspired to start my own as well!

Our lunch stop ended up being this place that served no vegan options. At first, I was pretty disappointed, but my down mood was instantly repealed after my uncle bought us a ginormous bag of multi-colored sweet potato chips! Lightly coated with sugar and vegetable oil, they tasted just like candy. I think I ate more than half the entire bag throughout the day and a good third of it while everyone feasted on their lunches!

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Just look at those glorious pieces!

Throughout the car ride, I seized my snack stash to satiate my hunger, which consisted of a packet of Nuttz2Go 7 Nut and Seed butter, organic dried figs from Fruit Bliss, and some corn on the cob that the family bought on the way to the beach house!

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Flavor is…well, nutty! The consistency is very creamy and pleasant, but there isn’t any sweetness to it. Kind of bland on its own, but I still devoured it heartily!

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Now, I normally don’t like corn. But, I was very hungry. Therefore, I ate all this corn. Truth be told, it was actually pretty good; it wasn’t good enough for me to reach for another cob.

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Time for a fruity fix–as if I haven’t eaten enough fruit on this trip already! Anyways, I decided to munch on these organic Turkish dried mini figs from Fruit Bliss! They were not too sweet and very chewy. All in all, I loved them! Best part? They only contain figs and a little water, which is what should be included in all dried fruits–none of that added sugar or syrup life.

Finally, finally, and FINALLY, we arrived at the first station of the herbal medicine clinic! Essentially, this was the herbal medicine doctor’s main office and headquarters where his patients come to visit for appointments. There were many shelves, cabinets, and organization areas of accumulating raw materials, whether herbs, spices, barks, leaves, flowers, and roots.

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Even a kitchen for whipping up vegetarian food! I was very tempted to sneak a nibble!

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Right after the herbal medicine doctor and my sister completed their first interview with the help of my family translating for them, we hopped in our designated vehicle to the main gardens where the plants are grown! Goes to show that nature is absolutely stunning!

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Growing in all of these pots are little herbs, which I believe are parsley. It’s a guilty habit of mine to mistaken cilantro and parsley as the same plant, let alone cilantro and coriander! In certain countries, coriander and cilantro are synonymous, and other nations name cilantro the leaves and coriander the seeds of the plant. Anyhow, parsley is grown as a remedy for urinary tract infections, kidney stones, diabetes, asthma, coughing, and indigestion. If you’re suffering from any of these conditions, then load up on parsley! For me, that’s not hard at all!

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Crawling on the trees were lots of red leaf cutter ants. My distaste for ants is quite pronounced, but I was mystified upon watching them work.

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For my sister’s project, a farmer partook in a video demonstration where she plucked a mysterious plant and emphasizes its health benefits and properties. I wish I got a chance to ask for the translation so I could look this up!

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The beauty never stops…

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One of the farmers allowed us to sample black mulberries! These are used to treat runny noses and indigestion. They tasted like a really firm blackberry and had the same flavor as a raspberry! Absolutely delicious!

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An hour later, we hit the road to stop by the clinic’s shop where products are actually sold! As a free token of appreciation, my family received some special seasonings that consisted of a mix of salts, spices, and seeds! Specifically, the doctor told us that these were originally made for vegetarian dishes! Cheers!

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Lastly, we concluded our trip at the cooking station where certain materials are boiled or roasted on a stovetop for production! These are some barrels that store raw material that are seeped in water, like teas and spices!

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Fresh cinnamon bark! There was even an interesting machine that trims off the bark into smaller pieces for selling! As many of you probably know, cinnamon is frequently used for stabilizing blood sugar, its antioxidants, for anti-inflammation, preventing Alzheimer’s, and even cancer! Guys, I wish you could smell this branch. Because it smelled like fall and cinnamon rolls. Ugh. SO delicious.

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Behold, the actual stove! Today, they brewed the cinnamon bark in hot water over a fireplace.

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Windy rain came CRASHING from outside, so we had to wait an extra five to ten minutes for the rain to clear, all before it started to drizzle again. While the weather needed to clear up, we were spoiled with…you guessed it.

FOOD.

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This fried tofu had to be one of my favorite dishes out of the entire table, and you bet I ate it all! What’s amazing is that all of the food cooked for us was vegan, because all of the farmers and the medicine doctor himself are vegetarian!

Rain cleared up, and everyone ran from the station to our vehicle, making sure we didn’t step in any muddy puddles. Several hours later, we returned home, and instantly prepared for dinner. What ended up being my last meal of the day were all the leftovers from the clinic, including stir-fried eggplant, plain fried tofu, jackfruit-style tofu, and butter lettuce.

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Though I was already getting pretty full from the leftovers, my housekeepers surprised me with more of my favorite tofu and vegetable stir-fry! Several bowls went down with the eggplant, carrots, bamboo shoots, green beans, daikon radish, and fried tofu mixed in brown soy sauce!

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I went to bed with a full stomach, and I slept very, very well!

 


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