民間百子櫃Chinese Medicine Cabinets – “Hundred Sons Cabinet”

民間百子櫃

四五十年代,香港經濟尚未起飛,普羅大眾收入微薄,有病要看西醫,診金藥費昂貴,難以負擔。因此,一般市民大眾都以最經濟的方法去治理小病,例如很多家庭都在騎樓等地方裁種藥用植物,過年後將年桔摘下置瓶罐中用鹽醃好,製成鹹桔,沖水飲用,醫治喉痛聲沙,而鹹桔水更是夏天防中暑的最佳飲料。當然,沒病是福,與其治病,不如防病,老一輩注重保健養身,不是要吃山珍海味名貴補品,而是透過日常簡單價廉的飲食,達致保養的目的。這些食療驗方,豐富多采,當中所蘊藏的民間醫藥智慧,實在令人讚嘆 !

Chinese Medicine Cabinets – “Hundred Sons Cabinet”
Back in the 40’s and 50’s before the economy of Hong Kong took off, most people were living off very modest income. In general, families did not have a lot of money to spare and could not afford the high cost of doctor’s consultation fees and medicine. It was quite common for the general population, in particular, the older generation, to resort to home remedies for mild ailments.
Families would grow popular medicinal herbs on their balconies. Different types of herbs would be boiled into strong teas and soups for common sicknesses such as coughing, colds and flu. Salted kumquats placed in hot water were popular for the relief of sore throats as well as being a thirst quenching drink in the summer. The kumquats would be picked from plants used as a festive display in homes after the Chinese New Year; making it a cost-effective home remedy.
Having good health has always been considered as great fortune. As the old saying goes “Prevention is better than cure”. However, health supplements were not available at the time and whatever exotic natural ingredients and animal parts known for their medicinal properties such as Lingzhi, ginseng and deer antlers were prohibitively expensive. Given that money was tight, the older generation often turned to taking herbal concoctions to boast their immune system.
It is amazing that these simple, inexpensive and yet well-proven folk remedies and concoctions which date back hundreds of years still serve as very effective healthcare methods and cures.

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