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Visiting a Traditional Chinese Medical Pharmacy

Traditional Chinese medicine waiting to be packaged.

Recently, while touring the Dong Cheng District of Beijing, Jerry and I walked past a building that was really fragrant. The scent stopped me in my tracks and I looked around trying to determine what smelled so good. I couldn’t tell what the source was at first, so I decided to at least take a picture of the door knocker of the building so I could share the picture with my family in the USA. While taking the picture, I asked Jerry why it smelled so good. He told me that it was a Traditional Medical Doctor’s office and pharmacy.

Jerry asked me if I wanted to step inside for a peek. Since it smelled so good outside, I just had to Go inside. We walked inside and it didn’t look like any doctor’s office that I had been to before. The inside of the building was bathed in warm golden light and smelled like a combination of teas, spices and wood. I watched as several people weighed out traditional medicines onto papers. I took a picture of one of the groups of medicines as they were waiting for the papers to be folded into bags.

The door knocker for the building.

The pharmacists didn’t actually weigh the individual ingredients, so much as accurately put pinches or handfuls on the papers. Now I understand why some people can recreate food recipes accurately without measuring cups or scales. They have done the recipe so many times, that they remember how much to add. Watching the hands fly over the papers depositing ingredients was amazing. I’ll try to go back to take a video.

I recognized Hibiscus in the ingredients, but I didn’t recognize anything else. Do you recognize anything on the papers?

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