5 Mar 2021 - 31 Mar 2021

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This March, LET’S LEARN ABOUT…Keeping Healthy and Calm!

It is important to take care of ourselves – both our body and mind. Sometimes we may feel stressful or find it hard to control our feelings and focus on our tasks. There are many ways to help us cope and calm down, such as taking short breaks, breathing exercises, or even standing up and walking around. Having plenty of fruits, nuts, and vegetables may also improve our health and mood. Support from friends and family can make us feel better too. 




Let’s take a look at some objects in ACM that can lend a hand in improving one’s well-being.


Ginger teapot


Ginger-form teapot

Lu Wenxia 陆文霞 (born 1966), Lu Jianxing 卢剑星 (born 1958)

China, Jiangsu province, Yixing, late 20th century




No, this is not real ginger, it is actually a teapot, created by a husband-and-wife team! It is made of zisha 紫砂 (purple clay), a fine-grained clay found in Yixing, China, that can be shaped easily into different forms. Yixing potters used this clay to create everyday wares in surprising shapes, such as this teapot. Can you spot the lid?


Have you tried tasting ginger? It's a little spicy. Some say it helps in digesting food and to treat motion sickness. It has also been used to fight the common cold and flu, as well as reduce inflammation (redness, swelling and pain) in the body. Try making a cup of ginger tea using our tea recipe below, it might make you feel better.





Folio from De Materia Medica (On Medical Substances)

India, perhaps Golconda, dated Muharram AH 1004 (September 1595)

Ink, pigments on paper 



This page from over 500 years ago shows medicinal plants believed to be able to cure illnesses. The words written on it are in Persian language (Persia is known today as Iran), translated from a Greek document that describes the benefits of these plants and the steps to prepare them to be used as medicine.


Do you know any plants that can be used as medicine? Nature can provide us with many good things, and plants as food or medicine are one example. Spending time in nature can make some of us feel more relaxed too. 




 Bezoar stone holder  Bezoar stone


Bezoar stone and holder

India, 17th century

Silver, bezoar stone




Bezoars are stones found in the stomachs of certain animals, for example, cattle and horses. This bezoar has a decorative case. It could be worn as a charm, ground into powder to consume, or even dropped into drinks to check for poison in them. In this case, the owner chose to carry it around in this elaborate silver holder. Bezoars were thought to be able to heal illnesses such as measles.

Do you have a special item you hold on to or wear that makes you feel safe and well? Perhaps it's a soft toy, or a trinket from your family or friends. 



View of Penang

View of Penang with Mount Erskine and George Town

Robert Smith (1787–1873)

Penang, around 1814–19

Oil on canvas


This painting of a hill overlooking the sea shows Georgetown, part of Penang in Malaysia. Have you been to Penang? On the right, flags fly at the top of Mount Erskine. The painter, Robert Smith, was a British military officer and, of course, a talented artist! How do you feel when you look at paintings of landscapes like this one?

Do you have a place outdoors that you like to visit to feel refreshed? Sometimes, going for a short walk in nature can help to clear the mind. Many people also collect paintings of scenery to admire in their homes, or snap photographs of a beautiful environment to remind themselves of the peace and calm they experienced when they took the picture.




Try your hand at this simple recipe! Ginger is used in many local dishes and even drinks such as teh halia (halia means ginger in Malay). Some people love ginger tea. Make your own by following the instructions below with the help of an adult. Have it as a mid-day pick-me-up or a before bedtime drink.

Makes 2 cups of tea

What you need
- 3 to 4 slices of fresh ginger
- 2 slices of lemon
- Honey
- Water


  1. Ask an adult to clean and chop your fresh ginger into the slices needed and peel the skin off.
  2. Peel the rind off the sliced lemon.
  3. In a small saucepan, add the ginger slices and sliced lemon with 2 cups of water.
  4. Bring the water to boil over medium heat.
  5. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer for five minutes.
  6. Strain the tea into mugs, and then add a tablespoon of honey in each cup. Enjoy!



Colouring can be a relaxing activity and can soothe your mind after a long day, helping to achieve good mental health.

Download our colouring sheet by clicking on the image below, inspired by the View of Penang painting. 

Tag us @ACM_SG #LearningatACM for a chance to get your creation featured.


ACM colouring sheet_View of Penang 




Find out more about taking care of mind and body, through our public programme Crossing Cultures at ACM: Renew Body and Mind.

Or head to NHB’s one-stop heritage portal Roots.sg to read more about the objects featured:


Ginger-form teapot

Folio from De Materia Medica (On Medical Substances)

View of Penang with Mount Erskine and George Town


Would you like more of these resources?  Come back to learn new things every month.

Missed a monthly post? Not to worry, we keep past topics here for you.

What else would you like to learn about? Tell us here.

There’s more!

Check out other videos and download e-resources inspired by the objects in ACM’s collection.