Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Cod Liver Oil.

Fashionable supplements come and go but the good old cold liver oil stays and it is the only one for me. I have been on it since I can remember and I can tell you that over the years, they have added things in it to make it taste less and less like the good cod liver oil I once knew. Now it tastes like vanilla, with a bit of orange. It's not the same but I have no complaint whatsoever. I guess things change over time, and they've gotta make it more palatable to the younger generation although I doubt if the younger generation would want to gulp a spoonful of the emulsion down first thing in the morning, or before bedtime.
I remember the minyak ikan hospital Dungun. It's about the worst medicine you could have if you had been down with fever or something like that. It had the cooking oil look, rich golden yellow. In a bottle it looked pretty harmless, but wait till Grandma poured it into a spoon and asked you to take it in like a good boy. It would slide down your throat, sticking to the walls for days that you didn't want to have anything to do with fish or whatsoever for the rest of your life. Maybe you liked it when you were my age, about 10 or thereabout. But I hated it until Aunt said there's another form of minyak ikan that looked like smooth cream and it had orang putih name to it, Scott's. I said you go get it right now or I'm running away from this house and not coming back. Grandma said, why don't you go down to Leong Thye's shop to find out. And so I cycled down to the shop to ask Mr Leong Thye himself whether he got this wonderful alternative to minyak ikan hospital Dungun and he said, you mean Scott's Emulsion? I liked the name already, it sounded so Orang Putih, so Australian, no so Irish.
And that's how I was introduced to Scott's Emulsion, the only cod liver oil I have been taking until now. Cousin introduced something called Waterbury's Compound but Aunt found out later that it had alcohol. And so it was Scott's Emulsion all way until the early 90s when all kinds of supplements flooded the market with garlic pills, ginkgo biloba and all kinds of extracts like tongkat pak abu or something, or kacip maksom or something like that. All this is supposed to be good for you. But I wasn't convinced. Nothing beats the creamy white stuff in a bottle with a picture of a guy carrying a fish as big as the man himself.


Blogger podgykat said...

I definitely can identify with cod liver oil! Yeah, it used to be Scotts emulsion when we were kids-thank god it graduated to capsules somewhere down the line. The only kind I can stomach nowadays. LOL

2:31 PM  
Blogger A Babe Of Very Little Brain said...

my folks made my swallow 2 tablets of vykmin (is that how it's spelt?), red and black, every morning during breakfast.

i still have trauma when i look at vykmins these days.

3:21 PM  
Blogger tokasid said...

Salam to Bergen.

You are right about the minyak ikan hospital. Its odour and taste could kill me in the early 70's. Bapak would somehow manage to bring a few bottles if the goes to Taiping with his bicycle.Mak will make(actually force) us take it(with nose pinching and all). During that time there were 5 of us kids( 3 still kept in the ovaries).I remember I vomitted the first time and after that Mak will exclude me from taking it.

That episode made me still having the quesy feeling whenever I see a bottle of 'minyak ikan'.

3:23 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Podgykat: I still prefer straight from the bottle. It doesn't have the fish taste anymore. As a matter of fact, add a bit of syrup, it'd taste just like ice-cream. LOL.

ABOVLB: I think that's how it's spelt. I still remember the jingle, and I think I can still recall the commercial. Trauma looking at them? You must have hated them when you were kid. LOL. They are good for you. You mom knew that.

Tokasid: LOL, you got it right there. The taste would stick to the spoon for days. If you used it to stir coffee, or teh-o, you'd get the slight taste of fish in your drink. LOL. And once you swalloed it, you don't to burp, man. Burp, and you're gonna bring up the taste from deep down in the hatch up to your throat and through your nose. LOL. I've done a bit of reading on cod liver oil, and it's proven that it's good for you.

BTW, I don't work for SmithKlineBeecham, and they don't pay me to advertise Scott's Emulsion here. And this entry has nothing to do with its rival Seven Seas capsules. Like everything else, the world is divided into two: Macintosh and Pc, Mercedes and BMW, Black and White, emulsion and capsules.

To everyone who dropped by this way, thank you for coming and it's good to have you here, mate!

You have a nice day now, y'hear?

10:44 PM  
Blogger Fauziah Ismail said...

Yes, I remember the mornings during yesteryears when breakfast was Scott's Emulsion and later graduated to Seven Sea Cod Liver Oil.
Oh, it needn't be forced down my throat. I loved it then and still loving it now.
Only now, I alternate between the two.

11:13 PM  
Blogger NJ said...

Err… no thank you. I never like Scotts Emulsion, not before not now, even if they add flavors like strawberry…hehe

BTW sir, what happen to that chicken-slaughtering story?

8:56 AM  
Blogger Clark Gable of Pulau Duyong said...

Dear Bergen,
I did ask my mother to buy me the medicine with picture of a man and a big fish.My boyhood in Kijal (which is by the seaside) exposed me to many type of fishes but never the size of Mr Scott's fish.My mother said nothing doing...way too expensive,a family of ten couldnt be feeding that to keep everyone healthy.

Her main pharmaceutical galore is Minyak Afiat,that was her miracle drug of sort.

Minyak Afiat marketing team would come to my kg.and performed 'kugiran' show.The intermission would involve an animated lecture on How to use this miracle oil 'Minyak Afiat'.

A teaspoon would get rid of worms,a drop on baby's belly would dispense the wind,it healed the wounds and kudis,cotton ball soaked with Minyak Afiat would sooth the toothache and of course the special advise ( advise to elders which we kids were forbidden to know)massaging the organ with it would make it vibrate with multiple tones!!

Of course these were the days before Tongkat Abu and vykmin.

Even with modern medicine you wont be able to find a miracle drug like Minyak Afiat,the medicine which could cure all .

Am sure the Kugiran Afiat came by to Dungun after Kijal ,wonder why it was not included in your Auntie's medicine cabinet.They were so convincing didnt they?

9:24 AM  
Blogger A Babe Of Very Little Brain said...

good for me? i didn't grow any taller or become clever.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as for the food supplement, i take it when i remember. but i don't bother when i forget. it's not a must-have thing for me.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Intan said...

weirdly enuf, i love minyak ikan... and happily for me, my children loved them too!

5:43 PM  
Blogger maklang said...

I take it when I am forced to, or else...forget it laa...

9:33 PM  
Blogger NURAINA A SAMAD said...

NO NO NO.....a minyak ikan by any other name (even orang putih) is still minyak ikan....
wont be fooled. no way.
ayoh! imagine MINYAK IKAN! horrors.

but vykmin? OK. Cute, whaat? the shape, the feel, colour. some more, got no taste.

Bergen, i have never been good with anything that smacks of "ubat", including vitamins. worse minyak ikan.
but unlucky me, i am ashmatic. develop it after 18 years-old.
no choice... had to learn to makan ubat.
imagine, i couldnt even take panadol in pill form. not even cough mixture no matter how syrupy it is.
would take panadol with milo. here's how: take in milo, but dont swallow yet, then pop in the panadol and swallow the milo together with panadol.

Ok...enough of this!

10:19 AM  
Blogger Nazrah said...

encik bergen sir, you have been tagged! hop over to my blog for details, if you don't mind.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Pak Idrus said...

Bergen, the good old days. My late dad forced me to take that cod liver oil almost daily.

Two things I think saved my generation, one is that cod liver oil and the other the pure minyak kelapa bali.

It did good, now I know.

BTW. I think you would surely go to heaven. Have a nice day.

9:10 AM  
Blogger tokasid said...

Dear Sir Bergen.
You have gone missing for exactly 1 month today.

Do make a comeback.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Ibu said...

errrr.... that cod liver oil you spooned; expired or not? gone so quiet?

hmmm.... cod liver oil still not good, if you never eat rice! (background music: KFC jingles...LOL!)

3:32 AM  
Blogger Sarah Jasmine said...

Dear Mr.Bergen,

Stumbled upon ur home yesterday...and I almost finished reading all your back post.

Ur style of writing is indeed VERY CAPTIVATING. Its like a very good book that cant be put down, just gotta finish it. Got sore eyes...hehehe

To sum it up, I really do hope ur book becomes a reality...!!!

All The Best... :)

Sarah Jasmine

4:24 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Fauziah Ismail: You've got it right there. The taste can be pretty addictive. LOL.

NJ: I've been too busy taking Scott's Emulsion I totally forgot about the chicken.

CGOPD: Minyak Afiat is a big thing then, and it's bigger now as a business entity. You've gotta hand it to the Makcik who started it. She's got her picture as the trademark and I reckon you'd want to see this face when you've bitten by bees and the only thing you've got is Minyak Afiat.

About slathering your organ with it,now that's a new one on me.

ABOVLB: (speechless)

Dr Nurul: You know better. But it is true that Scott's Emulsion is good for you? (This is not a paid advertisement. Just an honest question.)

Intan: Hey, here's to you and your children, ma'am!

Maklang: Hmm, I wonder who dares force you to take it in?

Nuraina A Samad: I figure you're gonna need the service of that nanny in black dress with black umbrella who puts sugar in the medicine to let it go down on you. LOL.

Nazrah: Good to see you again, ma'am. I'm being tagged and ready for slaughter. LOL.

Pak Idrus: Read about you in the Star. Lookin' good, sir. And you're right again about what saved the generation, minyak ikan, that is. I think the national oil company too gives this for free to men and women who work on the rig.

The white men gave minyak ikan to the folks who worked the Bukit Besi mine.

Tokasid: I'm back in, sir. Good as new.

Ibu: Alamak, lupa nak check the expiry date.

Sarah Jasmin: Thank you for dropping by, ma'am.

To everyone who dropped by this way, you be sure to have a nice day now, y'hear?

9:15 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Do they still make it? I would love some of that stuff. I've been trying to track it down in its original form. Yummy stuff

8:36 PM  
Blogger Saffron said...


I greatly enjoyed looking through your blog "bergentest.blogspot.com" and found an informative one for health related topics.I have also some health related web sites having more information.So,I think it would be beneficial for both of us if we will join in a community and become link partners to each other which will help your blog/site in getting more Google values.If you are interested then please contact me at-


8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I inclination not approve on it. I assume warm-hearted post. Expressly the title attracted me to read the whole story.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you on your information.

1:12 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home