Here is another example of non-Asian researchers/experts telling the world anything herbal and Asian or anything Asian is damaging to your health somehow. The victim this time is a popular Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese dish called “Bak Kut Teh” which basically translates to “pork bone tea”.
The dish is made of pork bones and other things like meat and ribs etc in a herbal style soup. There are different variations of this soup, with the Malaysian version being more darker brown in colour and more herbal like, whilst in Singapore it is more of a clear broth.
Recently, the University of Adelaide and University of Melbourne scientists did a study and said what people ate before they died should be questioned when liver damage was discovered during an autopsy. Apparently, the herbs used to make this soup which can be found in packet form in Asian supermarkets may contribute to causing liver damage. This is a build on similar results about the toxic effects of herbal medicine on the liver and interactions with Western medication.
Having looked through parts of this study, the results about Bak Kut Teh causing liver damage is actually inconclusive so my question is why was this on the news and why was this dish picked out. What annoys me is that this is another example of non-Asian researchers and scientists trying to in a way trash our food and Eastern/Chinese medicine.
Here is what Professor Roger Byard, from the University of Adelaide’s School of Biomedicine said about the study, he made the dish using the packet herbs (via ABC News):
“At certain levels the liver cells started to die,”
“In fact, mine was the most toxic, which was kind of disturbing.”
“The problem with herbal preparations — and we’ve investigated herbal medicines for years — is that we don’t know the exact ingredients and because they’re metabolised by the liver it can have some very nasty side effects.”
The article goes onto talk about how the herbal part of the dish includes “vague ingredients” etc. Doesn’t appear to be a very “conclusive” study or anything, and let’s not forget western medicine can also be detrimental to organ damage. I mean, Asians have been using herbal medicine way before Western medicine existed.. soooo….
Anyways, let us know what you think!