September 29, 2014

Sibu Tales: Medicine

In the olden days, most people were happy with medicines over the counter from shops, which were not even pharmacies or Chinese drug stores.

We Foochows call them Bien Yeoh or Easy Medication.

A very common and easy to use medication is Cap Kaki Tiga or Sang Kah Biu.

In those days, many Foochows were illiterate and they would only be able to describe the logo or brand.

the Sang Ka Biu became a catch word amongst the Foochows.

I remember grandmas and aunts carrying packets of this medication with them every where.

This was used as a treatment for tooth ache, head aches, anxiety, stomach egg..and indeed it was a cure all. Some women who were overly exhausted claimed that three packets a day would relief them of backaches immediately.

The Foochows were frugal and time conscious. An easy cure like taking a packet of Sang Ka biu was much better, logically than seeing a private doctor which would incur time (for waiting), expense, time for travelling (boats were slow in those days) and a lot of opportunities lost (a day's good work was given up for a day in Sibu).

My own maternal grandmother would take it to relieve heatiness in her body. It makes me wonder if 100 plus also contains some of the ingredients of Cap Tiga Kaki...

So most families were never short of Sang Ka Biu packets in their medicine tin in their cupboard!!

(P/s in recent years the Ibans and other races got quite addicted to this medication. Some even think that this medication may have caused some life threatening diseases. The Penang Consumer Association has also wrote an article about consuming a large amount of this powder...)

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