Mar 12, 2008


As a child, I watched my mum going into a Chinese Medical Hall and asked the Chinese Physician to 'collect' or 'pick' medicine for ailments or supplementary cures. My mom loves to consult them and believes in a natural healing process of Traditional Chinese Medicine, compared with consultation to see the local GP. It was a practise that was encouraged by my grandmother and our family line for so long since the Western medicine had not advanced to what we have today.

We often see rows of small little drawers behind the counter at a Chinese Medical Shop. This is the place where the chinese medicine physician will get the medicine from.

The method of buying herbs or chinese medicine is known as 'picking'. Why was it called 'picking' medicine, have you ever wondered? Well I found a story behind this Legend and I am not sure if this is the ultimate story after all, but it does make sense how this method or calling is derived from.

The legacy started by Sun Simiao, who was known of King of Medicine during the Tang Dynasty. Sun Simiao often peddled his medicinal skill outside. He wears an apron with many pockets sewn in to store each medicine. One day, he arrived at a small village. He had just picked some medicine and stored in his little apron pockets. Along the way, he saw a lady who had just been bitten by a dog. The lady was groaning in pain. He stopped by the lady and helped to apply the medicine which he tooked from the little pockets without delay. Very soon the bleeding had stopped and the lady was feeling much better.

His application of these medicine needed only small doses. It was not long when his method become a common practice and being called 'picking medicine' Many shopkeepers of medicinal shops started to follow Sun Simiao by storing their medicines in small drawers or compartments which are also further divided in 3 or 4 smaller compartments. When a customer comes to purchase the herbs or medicine, they started to use the term 'picking medicine'.

So if you go to a chinese medical shop, you will normally hear some customers who will asked the shop people or physician to 'pick' medicine for them for an ailment or cure.

1 cheers:

slavemom said...

Hv nvr heard of that. So this is how the term is derived from.