As a child, Ms Gangryun Byun and her two younger brothers had to each eat five gingko nuts that their mother cooked every evening.
The 26-year-old Chinese-Korean, a sales account manager in a primary research consulting firm, said that she had not known of the purported benefits of gingko and did not like its bitter taste as a child.
'We were all told it was good for the brain and it would make us smarter,' she recalled with a laugh.
A bigger hit with the Byun siblings was yujacha, a traditional Korean drink made with citron fruit and its peel. Although yujacha is commonly sold in supermarkets in jars, her Indonesian Chinese mother always made the refreshing drink fresh.
In Ms Byun's father's native Korea, yujacha is regarded as being high in vitamin C and antioxidants and effective for keeping away the common cold.
Now that she lives away from her parents who are based in Jakarta, Ms Byun tries to take her spirulina, ginseng and gingko supplements regularly.
She has an enviably clear complexion and believes spirulina helps her digestive system and improves her skin condition. She takes ginseng to boost her immune system.
While at college in the United States, her friend introduced her to echinacea. Now, when she feels slightly under the weather, she takes echinacea tea as a preventive measure.
Ms Byun said that she has considered taking more health supplements such as fish oils.
She explained: 'I don't eat a very healthy diet every day, so I feel that taking these supplements will keep me healthy.'
This article was first published in Mind Your Body, The Straits Times on Nov 6, 2008.