Other than the visit to the KPC factory, I had a couple of other interesting medical adventures while visiting Taiwan. One is that I went to see the doctor for a chronic cough I experience. We were visiting a city called Chiayi and found a small herb shop while we were wandering around. There was a young (looking) doctor there to Ba Mai, meaning to feel pulses, meaning to see patients. So, I decided to see what he could offer me.
We did the intake (with my nearly fluent daughter helping us communicate as her Chinese is SO much better than mine). I decided to get the herbs in a powder form since I was traveling and couldn’t cook them up for a while.
I remember reading a blog post by Michael Max several years ago in which he described doctors in Taiwan prescribing powder formulas as single herbs. The doctor I saw did the same thing. He gave me 3 different formulas along with some other herbs and each formula was dosed as a single herb. The formulas he gave me were Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San, Zi Su San and Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang.
Another interesting thing was how the herbs were packaged. They mixed the formula and then put it into a machine that divided into the dosage I was to take 3 times a day. This photograph shows the packaging. Notice the cute images, including Micky and Mini! How convenient! I almost wished I could get a machine like this so we could give herbal powders this way in our clinic, but it is a waste of packaging. We like to use our empty herb containers to give herbal powders to patients.
One day we stopped at a farmer’s market and saw a man cutting up some sort of weird fruit. We stopped and asked about it. He had samples there of the innards, cut up into tiny cubes. We tried it and it was so yummy. It was a kind of cough syrup/throat lozenge all in one. I bought a package of the cubes and also one of the large fruits to cut up myself at home for patients. He puts a bunch of herbs inside the grapefruit like fruit and it ferments for a long time until it gets homogenous like in the picture. He said that, before cutting, the fruit will last 20 years, getting better and better over time. After cutting it lasts for 2 years.
Here are the ingredients:白柚 Bai You (a type of large grapefruit) 金棗 Jin Zao (kumquat) 金桔 Jin Ju (golden tangerine) 佛手 Fo Shou 柴蘇 Chai Su (I think this is a perilla) 甘草 Gan Cao 檸檬 Ning Meng (lemon) Sugar Salt