Bleah, I was out sick earlier this week after a rather intense and stressful weekend. I don’t know about everyone else, but for me the first sign of getting sick is always a really bad sore throat. Like, dry, scratchy, painful when swallowing and just full blown all out uncomfortable. I’d know right away I would be coming down with something when it’s paired with breaking out in cold sweat. My body would get totally out of sync.
Even though I try to avoid it as much as possible, there are times I can’t dial down the stress level and I end up pushing myself over the edge. So I guess when the brain refuses to co-operate and slow down mentally, the body steps in and starts to send me a clear message. And that message is loud and clear: SLOW DOWN, STOP STRESSING AND REST.
I’m telling you man, the throat’s always the first one to act up for me. Luckily there’s this bottle of Three Legs Pe Pa Kao sitting around in my kitchen. As much as I can help it, I’d take traditional Chinese remedies any day over prescribed meds from doctor. But when the fever or flu hits strong, I take this in tandem with my entire arsenal of meds including Nyquil, Tylenol, Theraflu, Airborne, blabla and blabla.
Pe Pa Kao is a traditional Chinese natural herbal remedy used for the relief of sore throat, coughs, hoarseness, and loss of voice. The formula was originally created by a physician waaaaayyyy back during the Qing Dynasty. It contains many different herbs but the main ingredient is loquat leaves (aka Pe Pa, or Pi Pa). These leaves, combined with other ingredients, acts as a demulcent and an expectorant, as well as to soothe the digestive and respiratory systems.
Interestingly, I found out that eaten in quantity, loquats have a gentle but noticeable sedative effect, lasting up to 24 hours. But I think this fact refers to the fruit (not sure about the leaves). Nonetheless I do find myself sometimes getting sleepy after taking Pe Pa Kao (or maybe it’s all in my head).
The famous Pe Pa Kao brand is the one with the black and red packaging. This one from Three Legs brand is somewhat newer and it comes in a small plastic bottle, that makes it quite ideal because loquat syrup is generally quite thick and it spills all over the place quite easily (as often is the case for me handling a bigger bulkier glass bottle). The smaller plastic packaging from Three Legs gives me a much better grip.
If you’re curious what this tastes like: It’s just like a syrup, which means it is sweet. It also bears similarity to most cough syrups in that it gives off a minty tingly sensation to the throat, which I find somewhat soothing.
I had an interesting conversation before with friends about the correct way to take Pe Pa Kao. Some people told me you gotta pour it onto a spoon and consume it like that, then drink a glass of water. Others told me you gotta dissolve it into a small glass of hot water and drink it as a beverage. Either way seems fine for me personally and I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way.
I don’t think anyone ever looks closely at these traditional Chinese medicine packaging. Luckily I have never been asked to design one before either. But I thought it’s interesting the way these packaging incorporates traditional motifs and patterns. Have you seen the post I wrote before about skateboard designs derived from these traditional Chinese medicine packaging?