Friday, September 5, 2008

Chinese Medicine Pharmacy

Take a look at this gorgeous Chinese medicine pharmacy. I don't know where this picture came from, but it's a nice example of a beautiful herbal pharmacy. A friend of mine went to China earlier this year and saw many pharmacies just like this.

If you're unfamiliar with Chinese herbal pharmacies, it's worth a trip to your local Chinatown to see one in action. You probably won't see one as nice as the one in this picture, but the idea is the same. You walk in with your prescription from your herbalist and hand it to someone behind the counter. They'll price it for you and, once you give the okay, will start assembling the formula.

A typical Chinese herbal prescription contains anywhere from 4-18 different ingredients. Each one has to be weighed and measured out - this all takes place on the counter in front of you, so you can see what's going on. If you want to get all Chinese about it, you can criticize the herbal pharmacists as they go about their job, telling them to give you the high-grade herbs or asking if they're sure they weighed everything correctly. Of course, this has to be done in Chinese, preferably in the dialect that the herbalists are familiar with.

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