MEDICAL HALL • Traditional Chinese Medicine Shop • George Town • MALAYSIA

It seems like every week some scientific study touts newly-discovered benefits of little-known herbs. The truth is that people have been treating their aches and pains with “herbal medicine” for centuries.

MEDICAL HALL • Traditional Chinese Medicine Shop • George Town • MALAYSIA-4

In Penang, many in the Chinese-Malaysian community still practice these old ways, going to shops like the Siew Seng Loong Medical Hall for traditional medicines. Walk inside and you’ll meet Vivian.

“My business is Chinese medicine herbs. This is own family business and together with my sister – my younger sister – my turn to take over until now.”

MEDICAL HALL • Traditional Chinese Medicine Shop • George Town • MALAYSIA-2

When a customer comes to the Siew Seng Loong Medical Hall, the ladies will put the healing herbs together in a basket and then crush them into a power.

“We put the medicine into the basket because its easier for us to find it. We mix together the medicine. After that we make it as a powder using like this. Small, small, small. It become like this.”

Not only do Vivian and her sister sell traditional medicines. They also work according to old-school business practices.

MEDICAL HALL • Traditional Chinese Medicine Shop • George Town • MALAYSIA-3

“We need to use the true medicine. We cannot do the fake one to sell for the people. The prices – we need to – don’t overtake the prices. We can do by heart. Somebody they don’t have enough money, is very poor people, or maybe happen in the family problem – so they will ask for the medicine – its all FOC – Free of Charge. Its all free for them. This is our dad’s business way.”

So the next time you hear, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” don’t laugh it off! There might be a great deal of truth in these old ways, just waiting to be “discovered” by modern science.

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