#MYStayHome: More demand for traditional herbs to boost immunity during Covid-19

People have been stocking up on dried herbs like Chinese wolfberries, (goji berries), dried yam, red jujube dates and dried longan, says Lee. Filepic

In the last two weeks, Chinese sinseh Michael Lee has seen a steady demand for Chinese traditional herbs at his medical hall in Jalan Klang Lama, Kuala Lumpur.

Each day, he sells between 30 and 50 satchets of pre-packed herbs, which are used to make herbal soups.

“With the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia, many consumers want to boost their immunity by consuming Chinese traditional herbs and herbal soups, ” says Lee, 50.

Lee prescribes different types of herbs for different ailments or symptoms: he has herbs to help eliminate toxins, prevent a cold and restore one’s inner balance.

The price varies according to the ingredients in the satchets. The starting price is RM15.

“People have been stocking up on dried herbs like Chinese wolfberries, (goji berries), dried yam, red jujube dates and dried longan. These items are nutritious and promotes good health, ” says Lee, who imports most of his herbs from China.

He says some shoppers are willing to fork out up to RM1,000 to buy dried ginseng, dried scallops and dried sea cucumber, which are believed to be good for health.

“People don’t mind spending extra money to safeguard their health. Thankfully, I still have enough herbal supplies to last till next month," says Lee, while adjusting his face mask.

At Lee’s shop, housewife Irene Ho, 35, was stocking up on a basketful of Chinese herbs, grains and other items to make tong sui, a sweet warm soup.

“Each day, I make herbal soups and tong sui, (a sweet warm soup), for my family. The simplest are watercress soup with red dates, and chicken herbal soup with astragulus root and goji berries. I also make barley water, which helps to cool the body, ” says the mother-of-three, who has spent close to RM500 on Chinese traditional herbs since the country has been under movement control order.

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