All she knows, Nah owes it to her grand-father. She cannot write or read in english but she makes a point of teaching post-partum treatments such as Yuu Fai to locals and foreigners.
Nha remembers her school teacher telling her that while he was in hospital she shall never ask him about herbal medicine, only once he had left his desk. « He is a smart man » she says. « The doctors don’t trust herbal medicine and ancient knowledge anymore, they look down at me because I have done herb school and not medicine school, i am not allowed to help women unless they are giving birth in a tuk tuk passing by or on the side of the street… If I do a home birth they would come and put me to jail. » Nha is sad and she adds.. "In the hospital they take the baby out by cesarian but it’s like a mango or a banana, if you pull it out of the tree when it’s not ready to be eaten, it hasn’t develop all its properties and there is sometimes a bitter liquide coming out of the fruit… we should wait for them to be ready! THE WOMB AND THE BABY ARE THE ONLY ONE THAT REALLY KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING, we shouldn’t assume that we know better than them. »
I asked her what kind of herbs she knows are good for women around birth time, she said that it depends on the woman and that she would need to smell them. The smell of the blood (that every woman loose after birth) would give her indications on how the woman is coping and she would then know what plant to give her. It’s sometimes mixtures and the quantity would also vary. She usually makes a small bowl or a powder to be mixed with water. She said also that in most villages, even until now, women are using heat to heal. Several times a week, the young mother would have a herbal steam bath to help her get back together « after we give birth, we are like dead », the woman needs to build her inner fire again. She shall lay down next to the fire and use herbal bath, always staying warm. Nah deplores the fact that young moms are getting out of their houses with a baby of only a few days to show it to their friends, she thinks it’s stupid and that this is NOT showtime. In her opinion the mom and the baby need to stay calm and warm, because if they don’t do that, later, they will struggle with health.
"for 100 years, we eat herbs necessary for curing our illnesses, we have everything around us, they mainly grow in the jungle... So why do they want us to eat paracetamol?"