Singapore

He grows herbs to help cancer patients

In the spirit of Christmas giving, TNP features ordinary heroes who have made a difference to strangers' lives. They are among 26 people whose heartwarming deeds were highlighted in a campaign collaboration - Good Man Good Deeds Good Rice - between Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao and Tong Seng Produce's rice brand SongHe

He does not have any formal background in traditional Chinese medicine or gardening but Mr Ng Kim Chuan started Community Herb Garden in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) out of a personal interest.

He lost his brother to lymphoma, a cancer that affects the immune system, in 2001.

Since then, Mr Ng, 65, has been reading about the benefits of Chinese herbs. He has also heard success stories from friends who consumed the herbs.

And in 2009, he started with a small plot of land - that is now about the size of two football fields - into a garden that is home to more than 300 species of Chinese herbs with medicinal properties, which he gives away for free.

The Sabah snake grass is the most popular herb in the garden as it is believed to help cancer patients.

Mr Ng travels around Asia to buy different types of herbs for his garden. He is the main gardener, helped by three contract workers and a few student volunteers.

For his effort, sponsor Tong Seng Produce donated 500kg of SongHe rice and 60 litres of canola oil to Prison Fellowship Singapore.

Mr Ng told Lianhe Wanbao that the garden is sustained by an endowment fund and relies entirely on the goodwill of donors to maintain operations.

"I hope it will become a place for public education about the benefits of Chinese herbology.

"It doesn't matter how tough things get, all I want to do is to introduce these herbs to more people, so they can benefit from it," he said.

charityNanyang Technological University