A Gram Chenpi Equals to A Gram Gold
2018-04-04 11:22:10 GPHL GPHL
The saying goes that "there are three treasures in Guangdong including Chenpi, Lao Jiang, He Gang Cao." Among them, the best Chenpi is "Century Chenpi" produced by Chenliji, and it was appointed as the tribute.
Chenpi (dried orange peel) is warm in nature, sweet and pungent, so it's the main medicine for regulating qi-flowing for eliminating phlegm and invigorating spleen for eliminating dampness. It has been widely used in clinical treatment of abdominal distention, hiccup and vomiting, phlegm throat and chest congestion. It can be applied to combined prescription, brewed into tea and boiled individually, and also can be eaten as good food flavoring and medicinal diets.
When Chenliji people produced wax pills by hand, they created another medicine that made them proud-century Chenpi (dried orange peel) most effective on wind and phlegm-removing. Since the founder's last name is Chen, people in the factory always call it "Guo Pi" instead of "Chenpi" to respect the founder's name.
Since Chenliji started up in Ming Dynasty Wangli 28 (AD 1600), during the orange-harvest time in the ninth to tenth month of the lunar calendar every year, Chenliji Factory spent lots of money to purchase Gangdong Xinhui oranges for strict selection. The selected orange should be big and should have a thick tight peel with thin veins, without insect, maggot and mildew, with yellowish color at early ripeness. Thus four or five out of ten best oranges could be chosen from a big basket of high-quality oranges, and sometimes even only 20 or 30 oranges were chosen out just like Emperor selected beauties.
When an orange had been selected, workers removed the inside and left the peel which was cut to four leaves and removed impurities of the peel. After that these peels were stacked up and put into straw mat bags, with signs of the year when it was in store, and then were stored in peel-storehouse in sequential order. The bottom floor of peel-storehouse was covered with fir fences, under which several honey-boiling-pots were placed. Honey was boiled for processing pills day and night, and then honey steam gradually infiltrated into peels through fir fences. Over time, the appearance of a peel looked like sandalwood, with fine luster like putting grease on it, and also with a thin layer of looser but non-shedding powder attached to its inner side.
The dried orange peel could be protected by special storage way created by Chenliji from moth-eaten and mildew, with light body and fresh smells, and would not be mushy even for a long time cooking, with unique effect of regulating qi-flowing for eliminating phlegm. In the period of Qing Dynasty, Chenliji Chenpi was designated the tribute served by Guangdong, and so dignitaries considered possessing it as their honor.
Generations of Chenliji abided by the words of their founders, "the fingers are clever to harmonize the Yin and Yang through slow fire or intense fire, and the heart is wise to identify minister and assistant drugs with salvation compassion". They only used genuine medicinal materials and traditional drug processing. The century dried orange peels had never been sold as they are always declared not for sale, except being used as the raw materials in pills or as the tribute paid to the Emperor and the collection in the imperial pharmacy. There was only one exception in the Yi Mou year of Chinese Republic (AD 1915) when flood struck the Guangzhou City and the water was up to knees and breasts, destroyed walls, and so made people take old parents and kids and fled to streets. The situation was a lot worse, but the government was corrupt, inefficient and incapable of people's livelihoods, and then benevolent business leaders took up charity sale to relief victims. Then the manager of Chenliji perpetuated founders' heritage, "contributing to the society with heart", held a century Chenpi sale, with a price equal to gold, that means a gram Chenpi was equal to a gram gold, and the nobles and riches rushed to buy it. The profit was entirely given to victims, which became a far-spread story at the time.
After 1949, several peer enterprises imitated Chenpi, which had worse effect greatly distinct from Chenliji's. Chenliji Century Chenpi has become the Classical Legend in the history of dried orange peel hoards. One of the important ingredients of Chenliji's famous medicine, Chenliji Kechuan Shun, is Chenliji Chenpi. It is produced through the unique craft in the world, and is the only ingredient effective on removing the root cause of cough asthma, "Si Tan" (rooted phlegm), which the common Chenpi and medicines cannot have. Classic effective medicine Chenliji Kechuan Shun ranks first among top ten famous Chenliji medicines, and wins universal praise in South China.