The Magic Cough Medicine

2018-05-31 17:08:45 GPHL GPHL

Since Guangzhou is hot, rainy, moist, and often changeable from cold to warm, local residents are easy to have chronic cough which normally lasts too long to be cured.

In the period of Qing Dynasty Guangxu, the wealthiest merchant  family Xu's daughter caught a chill and couldn't stop coughing at night. Even treated by several doctors, she didn't get better. Then the family's elderly gentleman imminently ordered the butler to find some effective medicine.

Streets were covered with propaganda posters of "Chuanbei Pipa Lu" in the early 20th century.

So the butler hurried to the street for a pharmacy. When he looked up, he saw several big words "Panjia Chuanbei Pipa Lu", and he was happy because the pharmacy might resolve his lord's problem. When he came into the shop and asked the staff for some medicine, the staff asked him who would use medicine. However, the butler was puzzled at first, because he only knew a lady of the family had a cough but he did not know exactly who was the patient and so he could not report the patient's age, height and posture. At that moment, Pan Baishi, the keeper of Pan's, just was passing by and saw the situation. Then he told to the staff, "You made the gentleman confused. I will go with him to visit the patient." The butler answered immediately, "How kind you are! I am so grateful!"

Then they went to the Xu's courtyard and noticed the elderly gentleman. As soon as the gentleman heard doctor's coming, he rushed to the hall for the meeting. The butler came in and reported to his lord, "The doctor's last name is Pan."  When Pan Baishi saw that the dignified and healthy gentleman had white hair and more than one-foot beard, he couldn't help admiring the gentleman, "my dear senior, could you please tell me how old are you (gao shou)?"  Since Gentleman Xu was too old and had a deaf ear, he only heard "gao shou", and then he considered it as doctor's first name and remembered it.

Madam Pan visited Miss Xu.

Pan Baishi wanted to feel the lady's pulse, but the lady was not willing to see any foreign man, because she normally didn't leave home and felt shy due to her gaunt appearance. Pan Baishi had to return back to his shop and asked his wife to feel her pulse. He specially brought her "Chuanbei Pipa Gao" and told her to send it to the Xu's.

"Chuanbei Pipa Gao" was particularly developed by Pan Baishi. He observed that Pipa Lu in market was mainly made of single medicine with no remarkable effect. Thus he cooked loquat leaf together with fritillaria cirrhosa, moistening  lung and antitussive, and expectorant platycodon grandiflorus. He put perfumes and syrup to it, and also added benzoic acid as preservatives to long-term storage according to methods of western medicine production.

Pan Baishi's wife was clever and then she didn't ask the lady's illness at first, but mainly recommend the advantage of the medicine. She told the young lady that the electuary was made of loquat fritillaria cirrhosa and honey, and also could strengthen spleen and stomach and keep appetite. Miss Xu was so delicate that she would not like to use harsh medicine which maight damage temper or weaken body, and then she agreed to use it when she understood that the medicine was mild.

After several days, Miss Xu was better. The gentleman was so happy and said he would give a banquet and greatly reward the Pan's.

In the next morning, Xu's courtyard was thronged with visitors. It was significantly grand that all of the bigwigs in Panyu attended the banquet. Miss Xu was gorgeously dressed and greeted ladies in high spirits. When it was approaching noon, since Gentleman Xu found the main guest Mr. Pan hadn't arrived yet, he was anxious. He asked the butler to figure out what happened.

Mr. Pan didn't know the banquet was given for him, and so he intentionally wanted to be late. Since the butler went to invite him, he quickly changed clothes and came to the banquet.

As soon as he entered, Mr. Xu held his hands and introduced him to guests, "This is Mr. Pangaoshou who cured my daughter." Caring for Mr. Xu's dignity, Pan Baishi would not like to point out the elderly gentleman's mistake at that moment, and he had to let it go.

From then on, villagers in Panyu followed Xu to call Pan's shop as "Pangaoshou Pharmacy", and this medicine was gave the name "Pangaoshou Chuanbei Pipa Lu".

The wealthiest merchant family Xu's daughter recovered from chronic cough which normally lasts too long to be cured. The Pan's Chuanbei medicine shop obtained the high reputation from then on.