Friday, October 19, 2012

Turning white hair to black

An anonymous reader asked for the "Traditional Chinese Medicinal recipe for turning white hair to black" on my blog entry "My new slow cooker".

But first, the declaration and disclaimer.

DECLARATION AND DISCLAIMER: The following are personal opinions from me and my cousin's wife. Neither of us is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner, nor are we in any way trained in TCM. Thus any content from us shall be construed as a sharing of personal opinions, not health nor medical advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided by us. Under no circumstances will we or anyone related to this content be responsible for any loss or damage resulting from any reliance on the information or other content posted or linked herewith.

Just to share my cousin's wife's story. She had ovarian cancer and underwent the relevant (western) medical treatment and surgery. She suspected that some of her hair turned white related to the cancer and/or its treatment. Thus she went to get some TCM treatment at the Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution at its Toa Payoh HQ. What she shared is based on what worked for her.

Here's the recipe that my cousin's wife shared (with some editing for clarity).
1. Wash 10pcs of red dates [红枣]; 6 pcs black dates [南枣]; 2pcs honey dates [蜜枣]. 
2. Put the dates into your cooking pot. [*Note: Personally I prefer to de-seed the dates and chop them into fine pieces, but it is up to your personal preferences.] 
3a. Add 375ml of water (estimate with 1 1/2 usual drinking mugs) if using slow cooker where the water level remains about the same. [Note: This varies depending on your slow cooker. Mine pumps out lots of steam so I actually add about 1 litre of water.] 
3b. Add 750ml of water (estimate with 3 usual drinking mugs) if using cooking on the stove.  
4. Cook until only 250 ml of water is left, i.e. about 1 usual drinking mug of fluids. [For me, I usually slow cook it for 1 to 2 hours and I get about 500ml at the end.]
5. Drink the fluid and eat up all the dates as well.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 over 3 months, 2 times each week. 
  1. This recipe works only for those with about 5% white hair or 5% hair loss. For those with more than 20% hair loss or sudden increase in % white hair or a circle of white hair concentrated at the crown of one's head, please visit your doctor -- it may be a symptom of something serious.
  2. My cousin's wife strongly recommends consulting a Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner before embarking on the above recipe or if you suspect any health issues or would like a health review. In addition, she suggests visiting an acupuncturist if you don't mind it. The Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution at its Toa Payoh HQ (located at Toa Payoh Central, near the Toa Payoh library) has acupuncturist sessions available, Monday to Friday 1pm-5pm. It used to cost only around SGD15 per session.

Photos at the start of the experiment. Grey hair not dyed yet. My grey hair is not evenly distributed. The left side seems to have more than the right side.





[Update 10-Jan-2014] I fell ill in Oct-2012 and stopped the experiment. Thereafter, I did not continue, so I cannot vouch if this formula works or otherwise.


  1. I've got 50% white hair since I was in primary school :(

    1. No hope for you then :(

      There's a saying: "A child with poor health goes back to his/her parents' health when the fetus was conceived (i.e. the quality of genes passed on to the fetus) and the antenatal care. Thereafter, the quality of food/nutrition and lifestyle can only mitigate such in-born weaknesses."

      I don't know if the above holds any truth. E.g. When my milk teeth sprouted, all of them were stained black, especially the molars. They were NOT painful nor rotting. I was the only sibling with that problem. According to my elder sister, my mother had terrible skin problem while pregnant with me and took lots of various medications as a result.

  2. Hi, I have been following your blog about life in Vancouver - thanks so much for all your updates.
    I just got my PR approved and have to land by end-Jan, 2013. My wife and I plan to fly into Vancouver in early January, after Christmas/New Year, when it is off-peak period.
    Can you pls share with me what I need to do when I land and go through Custom? I understand that they will provide me with a PR Card then? How long does it take to process that - do I get it on the spot or some weeks later? I think I need to have my PR card to register for various Govt services and open bank account? Any info you can share with me would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi KC,

      Congradulations on getting your PR application approved.

      *** IMPORTANT NOTE: It would help speed up processing of things (e.g. PR card, SIN card, etc) if you have a designated Canadian address to which they can post letters (i.e. snail mail) to you.

      Typically, it takes months before you receive your PR card. In the meantime, you can use your COPR to register for various Govt services. Typical sequence of events:

      1. On landing, immigration officers will help complete your PR application. Items needed: Passport with visa sticker, COPR. It will be best to provide a Canadian address for them to send the PR card on-the-spot, so that the immigration officer can write it on your COPR. Items received on-the-spot: The immigration officer will sign and return you a page of your COPR, keep this properly for you will need it for various government services in lieu of your PR card.

      2. Apply for SIN (Social Insurance Number) at any Service Canada office ASAP. Items needed: Passport with visa sticker, COPR, a Canadian address for them to send the SIN card. Items received on-the-spot: A letter indicating your SIN and your Canadian address. If you don't already have it, ask for a copy of the MSP (Medical Services Plan) application form.

      3. Complete the MSP form and post it at any Canadian Post office. You will need to provide a Canadian address for them to send the BC Care card (assuming that you plan to reside in Vancouver).

      4. Open bank account. You can open a bank account once you get the letter indicating your SIN and your Canadian address.

      You may like to check out the following posts for more information related to your questions.

      Landed in Canada

      PR Card. I received mine 4 months after landing in Canada. Norm is 2 to 3 months.

      Starting Canadian Work Experience Soon. Important note for Singaporeans coming from super-efficient Singapore to get used to Canadian turnaround time.

      Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. Link to the website to get information about managing personal finances in Canada.

      Hope the above helps. Thanks for visiting and your interest.

      Cheers, WD.

  3. Thank you very much for posting the recipe after my comment.

    1. Hi Anonymous at Monday, October 22, 2012 8:02:00 AM,

      You're welcome! If you do try it, please return and give feedback on whether it worked for you. Thanks!

      Cheers, WD.

  4. Hi WD,

    Thanks so much for answering my queries.

    One last question - can I leave and enter Canada if I still have not receive my PR Card, which is being processed?

    Really appreciate your advices and kindness in answering my queries. Is there a way for us to hook up via e-mail so that I can arrange to meet up with you for coffee/meal when we are in Vancouver in Jan?

    1. Hi KC,

      You are welcome.

      With the Singapore passport, you can leave and enter Canada if you still have not received your PR card. The only catch is the PR card will only be sent to the Canadian address that you specified.

      Since I am not a migration counsellor/advisor and I don't have relevant skills/knowledge, I do not know what will happen when you try to re-enter without the PR card. It is best that you ask around if someone has done it. Try asking on the Sammyboy forum on Migration thread, or Facebook "Singaporeans in Canada".

      I have met Singaporeans who arranged with their relatives living in the Canada to send* them the PR card by registered mail to their Singapore address. Thus the next time they re-entered, it was with their Singapore passport and Canadian PR card, and thus starting their PR residency period. [*Note: Technically speaking, the PR card is a form of ID, so they are not supposed to snail mail it around the world, but some people still took the risk.]

      With regards to contact information, I would prefer to remain anonymous. 随缘吧! Good luck to your journey. Migration is a big step, be prepared to face the ups-and-downs.

      Cheers, WD.

  5. Hi WD,

    Thanks for the prompt reply. Really grateful for all your good advices.

    Perhaps, one day when serendipity strikes, both my wife and I will bump into you in the streets of Vancouver and we will have the opportunity to thank you in person for all your help.