Quench durian thirst with splash of H2O, says doc

TUESDAY, JULY 09, 2024

After feasting on durians, it is quite normal to feel a sense of extreme fullness and “heatiness”.

That is when some durian sellers whip out salt shakers because their customers tend to ask to drink salt water from durian husk, which is an old remedy for extreme durian binges.

As Penangites and tourists gobble up the custard-like pulps from this thorny fruit, they turn to various age-old traditional remedies to “cool” down their bodies. Drinking salt water is a venerable remedy to “even things out”.

Ang Hock Leng, 60, who has been selling durian since 1979, said many customers would ask for salt after stuffing themselves full of durian.


“I always have a bottle of salt on hand because many feel that it helps relieve a sore throat after indulging in durian. I give customers a free flow of bottled water, but many always want salt. The older generation will even eat bits of durian husk.

“Many of them said it has cooling properties and will help neutralise the ‘heaty’ fruit,” he said at his stall here.

Ang observed that gender-wise, there was no difference; men and women equally love durian.

But some groups only want one particular variant, say Musang King, while others want a mix of the different variants.

Ismail Hasim Zakaria, 35, who runs a stall in Balik Pulau, admits to getting more men wanting to binge on durians.

“Groups come as families, but those who ‘tapau’ (take away) are usually men,” he said.

However modern medical science states that this is not a good idea.

General practitioner Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh said durians are a great source of nutrients like fibre, vitamins and minerals, on top of having antioxidants.

“It is a low-calorie food, but too much of it may cause a sore throat, a mouth ulcer, and constipation. You need to drink plenty of water, and if one consumes large amounts, it can aggravate the sugar levels in diabetics,” he said. Dr Parmjit does not recommend drinking salt water after a durian extravaganza.

“It’s better to drink lots of plain water,” he said.

N. Trisha

The Star

Asia News Network