DISCLAIMER: In this post, I am writing a tiny bit about the Chinese medicines my parents often gave me when I'm sick. This is NOT medical advice of any kind. If you're not feeling well, please contact your doctor, and if you're just curious about Chinese/Eastern medicine in general, there are other sources out there for better researched notes on these medications.
Whew. Not that I got that out of my system...
I made a "Get Well" card! The business-y side of me would say, why waste time on this card when there are other celebratory cards I still haven't gotten to yet, but feelings about the great amount of pain, sickness, and deaths the world has gone through these past 2-going-on-3 years... I think it's appropriate to have this card even though I wouldn't want you to have to buy it because I really hope you and yours are healthy!
When I think of all the many ways my family would nurture me when I wasn't well, I think of all the herbs, soups, and medicines they gave me as a child. Did they help me? Could be placebo, but it often did at least make me feel better temporarily. Would I give these to Emmett? Probably not. I still mainly follow a Western perspective (I work in healthcare afterall) with evidenced-based info. But, I absolutely respect Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and would definitely share these thoughts with my son as well because there is nothing "weird" about it. (I still keep a bottle of Chinese cough medicine handy)
I recall so many trips to the Chinese doctor for colds, tummy aches, random pains and such. After determining what was wrong with me with really just a touch of my wrist, he (yes, most often, he) rummages through all his drawers filled with herbs and dried parts that he carefully weighs out and puts into little packets for me to bring home. Who didn't loathe that bitter smell of the soup/tea that came out of this pot? I always had to pinch my nose to drink, then chase it down with haw flakes.
This common household item found in many Chinese homes seems to work for a variety of ailments. You really can’t miss that distinctive minty smell. At home, we’ve used it on all kinds of cuts, bug bites, general pain relief or even just to clear congestion. You can think of it as a more pronounced form of vaporub, with higher percentages of their active ingredients, camphor, menthol and other essential oils. Google search to read up on how much this ointment and brand has grown over so many years - I was fascinated to learn the history!
White Flower Oil
This little bottle here serves a similar purpose as tiger balm in relieving headaches, aches and bruises, and nasal congestion. In my opinion, the smell is even more pungent (and usually when I really know someone is sick at home) with this concoction of essential oils - wintergreen, camphor, lavender, menthol, eucalyptus. I used to think this smells "so Chinese," but I wonder now that I'm looking at the ingredients list if anyone else out there finds this smell comforting.
Po Chai Yuen
Ah, the little tube filled with tiny, round, ruddy reddish balls that you pop in your mouth in one go. Each little bead is composed of various traditional herbs that is primarily used for digestive issues. It's amazing to know that this has been around since the late 1800s!
Pei Pa Koa
Well, this cough syrup - and actually, a lot of Chinese cough syrups, is actually a "favorite" medicine of mine. While I totally dislike all the other bitter herbs and things, this syrup tastes great with a nice minty, honey-ish flavor. Apparently, it's used in food and even alcoholic drinks these days - whaat. I'm learning a bit more about fritillaria, which is a flowering plant that is the active ingredient in this and other cough remedies. I used to watch a lot of commercials of Chinese singers/celebrities that say they took this before starting their show - I wonder if that is actually true!
So, have you taken any of these medications growing up? What other remedies have you tried?
*All illustrations above are created by Sherry @sherryspalette. Please do not reuse without my permission.