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