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Understanding Avian Influenza

KimChi Cures Bird Flu?


South Korean Scientists Say Kimchi Could Cure Bird Flu

SEOUL (AFP) - An extract of South Korea's famed spicy
fermented cabbage dish known as kimchi could cure bird
flu and other chicken diseases, scientists said.

Researchers at Seoul National University said chickens
infected with the deadly bird flu virus began
recovering a week after they were fed with fermented
bacilli extracted from kimchi.

The experiment has yet to be scientifically proven but
professor Kang Sa-Ouk said kimchi did appear to have a
curative effect.

Kimchi, made by fermenting cabbage with radishes, red
peppers, garlic and ginger, is a symbol of national
cuisine.

"Our research showed the chickens fed with a cultured
fluid of fermented bacilli extracted from kimchi were
recovering rapidly from bird flu and other diseases,"
Kang said.

"Only four of the 26 chickens used for our experiment
died within four days," he said.

Park said his team needs more research to see whether
the extract is an effective remedy against bird flu.
"We will speed up a chemical study into its
constituents," he said.

Since late 2003 millions of birds and 69 humans in
Asia have been infected with bird flu. A total of 33
people have died in Vietnam, 12 in Thailand and one in
Cambodia.

Kimchi consumption rose sharply two years ago when
some Asian countries were hit by SARS. It was reputed
to prevent the respiratory disease although there was
no scientific proof.

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KIM CHI RECIPE

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon pickling salt
6 cups water
2 lbs. Chinese (Napa) cabbage, cut into 2-inch squares
6 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths, then slivered
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Korean ground dried hot pepper (or other
mildly hot ground red pepper)
1 teaspoon sugar

1. Dissolve the 3 tablespoons salt in the water. Put
the cabbage into a large bowl, a crock, or a
non-reactive pot, and pour the brine over it. Weight
the cabbage down with a plate. Let the cabbage stand
for 12 hours.

2. Drain the cabbage, reserving the brine. Mix the
cabbage with the remaining ingredients, including the
1 teaspoon salt. Pack the mixture into a 2-quart jar.
Pour enough of the reserved brine over the cabbage to
cover it. Push a freezer bag into the mouth of the
jar, and pour the remaining brine into the bag. Seal
the bag. Let the kimchi ferment in a cool place, at a
temperature no higher than 68° F, for 3 to 6 days,
until the kimchi is as sour as you like.

3. Remove the brine bag, and cap the jar tightly.
Store the kimchi in the refrigerator, where it will
keep for months.

Makes about 1 1/2 Quarts

Understanding Avian Influenza