Sunday, May 10, 2015
Mysterious Indochinese Miasma (瘴气之谜)
It is believed that miasma is a type of secretive poisonous vapour exists in Southern part of Chinese and Indochinese thick forests with beautiful sceneries, wide and deep hinterlands. When people enter into the forest, they would feel that the atmosphere is very pleasing with winter warmth and summer cool. Folks would unconsciously become enchanted and become carried away; and then losing control of themselves.
According to a local Vietnamese legend, during Vietnamese war against the French in the 50’s, there was once a 1,000 men French troop lost in a piece of picturesque Vietnamese mountain range and no one returned ever since. It was strange that there was no war at that area at that time… No one knows what had happened to the 1,000 strong men. No one knows whether they are dead or alive… Local Vietnamese said it was the work of miasma. The miasma has devoured the whole troop and transformed them into local landscape and misty fog…
The Chinese believe that miasma is actually poisonous gaseous substance formed by decaying snakes, centipedes, toads and etc. poisonous insect carcases. Once unwary folks entered into the jungle and this poisonous gases entered into their bodies; they would feel cold, hot, sweating and these people would die not long after that. In today’s terms, this is just like malaria.
I supposed it would take a long passage to prove or disprove the miasma phenomenon scientifically as it is suffice for a layman like me to know the symptoms and related remedies.
There are many formulas available to local Indochinese folks but the easiest formula is to consume some ipomoea root powder when one is attached by miasma. First, a person need to collect some ipomoea roots, dry them and then grind them to powder form.
When a person is attacked by miasma, he/she only needs to mix half an ounce of ipomoea root powder with a bowl of white rice and eats them all. The miasma syndrome shall subside the next morning.
The above formula was given to me by a Vietnamese who always travel into deep Indochinese jungle. I posted here in the hope that if you too would like venture into these uncharted Indochinese regions, please do prepare yourself adequately.