Saturday, April 16, 2011

A spoonful of sugar

One aspect of Chinese culture I'd always steered well clear of is the medicine, and even their theory of looking at nutrition. It never appealed but with standard health services pretty bureaucratic and unhelpful (I'd love to have my GP here), I decided to take the chance and go to a community Chinese doctor.
 
His doctor's office was a waiting room and pharmacy of the herbal sort. Inside random patients would sit and wait their turn to sit with the doctor, who'd often converse with them while conducting examinations. His examinations were simple: take their pulse on both wrists and talk about your symptoms. Then he writes in glorious longhand your prescription and doses and sends it across the table to his apprentice. She then puts liberal amounts of sticks and leaves on some cardboard, and funnels them into standard red plastic bags for you to brew in your medicine pot in the comfort of your own home.
 
In a special pot you put each dose of the medicine into a pot and add four bowls of water, then boil it down till there is just one bowl of liquid left, usually some shade between brown and black. I've had two different prescriptions, the second outdoing the first for sheer disgust factor. It is the kind of thing you hope you can down before your retch reflex knows what it hit it and passed it by. I'm far from loving it, and far from seeing an effect but time will tell. For your information, the diagnosis was that my blood is toxic, which apparently isn't as bad as it sounds...

2 comments:

Myles&Sufong said...

haha :D hilarious.
Not laughing at you being sick but the medicine. I have been there many times.
But at least you didn't need to have the ol' comb being raked hard down the back of your neck!

toxic blood, hmmm I hope it is not as bad as it sounds, or you may return to NZ with superhuman powers.

By the way I have some "good news" :)

Crypticity said...

I've had the scrapping last year. The person who did it was an absolute professional, meaning that she rubbed really hard. She rubbed my whole back... Good news comes in many forms, I've already guessed one bouncing form, e-mail me if you've got time ;-)