What is that you have there on the desk, Shan Shui? I asked my China colleague today. Herbal tea? Chinese candy? No, no. It’s a very old and famous Chinese cough syrup and available world-wide. (I haven’t seen it in the USA but if I do, I’ll buy it just to get a hold of the cool packaging it comes in).
‘Nim Jiom’ means ‘in memory of my mother’. The formula for Pei Pa Koa was originally created by doctor Ip Tin-See, a physician for the Qing Dynasty. Yang Jin, a county commander, asked doctor Ip to treat his mother’s persistent cough. They were so impressed that they created a factory to mass-produce it.
Are you ready for the list of ingredients of Pei Pa Koa syrup? You have to be ready! – it is an impressive list ! The blend of herbal ingredients include the fritillary bulb, loquat leaf, ladybell root, Indian bread, pomelo peel, Chinese bellflower root, pinellia rhizome, Schisandra seed, Trichosanthes seed, coltsfoot flower, thinleaf milkwort root, bitter apricot kernel, fresh ginger, licorice root and menthol – all in a syrup-and-honey base. The base gives the cough syrup a palatable taste. Maybe I should try a little of it tomorrow?
P.S. This is the flag of the Qing dynasty. I love the dragon on it.