My husband suddenly had a blinding headache, and went straight to the emergency room. His blood tests showed elevated levels of LDL and uric acid, along with a few other minor abnormal indicators. He was given four-day prophylactic medicine for the cholesterol, and advised on which food to avoid to prevent his uric acid levels from escalating to new heights.
I won't take any blame for this - men, you can't force them to eat fish and vegetables all the time. And fish? He'd only eat some when it is fried. And of course he didn't eat at home most of the time, so I really had no control over his diet.
He was scheduled for repeat tests after a week. Two days before that he talked to somebody with the same problem who had a major breakthrough. He talked to a lot of people, actually, but not to me. Actually I was the one who wasn't talking to him. I was spittingly mad to have been proven right that I wanted him to come begging on his knees.
But this one person, this guy, he said he drank bignay tea in two days and all his tests came out all right. It was available in Greenhills, he said. The husband recounted to me the conversation, while I pretended to barely listen. I never go to Greenhills, let alone scout some folk remedy. Then he searched the internet and showed me a photo, which I grudgingly looked at, with dagger eyes.
And I remembered we had just the exact same thing in the house, given by a benefactor and almost forgotten, along with other teas that I thought I had no use for, but now glad that I didn't have a predilection for throwing things away.
It looked like sawdust. The foil pack supposedly contained bark, twigs and leaves of the bignay tree, which I never knew existed until a few years ago when the kids and I went to the Manila Zoo and encountered a manang selling its fruits, but which people at the office told me was bird-feed.
The pack said the tea melts cholesterol and lowers blood sugar, creatinine, triglyceride, SGPT and SGOT. Cures UTI in 48 hours. And a host of all the illnesses and diseases the world has known since the advent of time, including hangover and erectile dysfunction. In short, a superpower that is actually the eternal fountain of life.
But time was running out, and the repeat blood test was a milestone one not only for my husband, but for our entire family, as well. So I brewed some - a tablespoon for every four glasses of water, boiled then simmered for 10-15 minutes.
It brewed to a nice amber color, but it was tasteless. The prescription is a liter of tea a day, which can be drunk hot or cold. The husband had it as water for two days.
And when the big day came, he passed all his tests with flying colors. His uric acid even came out negative, as in [-3], he gloatingly told me.
So now I've been recounting this to all the people at the office, who are all advanced in age. I've given packs of the tea as Christmas gifts, even to my househelp, who requested it for her mother. And to friends with whom I get frustrated when we eat out because they tell me they can't eat this and that because of uric acid.
I can't vouch for all the other illnesses this tea purportedly cures, but uric acid I can guarantee, for I have an almost first-hand experience. I can't say how long-term the effect is, though, but truth to tell I've bought packs for the family, too. The kids and I have been having it once a day, infused with our evening juice. I'm hoping it counters our liking for offals and longganiza.
Subsequent to that trip to the Manila Zoo we had encountered bignay trees in Bohol, flourishing by Bolod Beach in Panglao Island.
In September they were crowned with ivory cottony blooms that perfumed the sea breeze with sweetness I wanted to bottle up. We had nice siestas on hammocks strung beneath the tree canopies. Maybe the flowers were potently curative, too.
And in Banawe little boys were clambering up the trees for the birdfeed. They put the little multi-colored berries in a plastic bottle with a little salt, proceeding to tilt it up on their mouths when enough juice has leached out. Cafe By the Ruins in Baguio City sells jam made from the fruits, and I have seen bignay wine, also made from the berries, being sold by the public market.
Bignay Tea available in the weekend stalls of selected SM Malls in Metro Manila.