Folk Medicine – Asian

Folk Medicine- Growing Magic Potion

We have something called, well, translated into English it is called magic potion.  I can’t really pronounce it correctly, but it means magic potion.  Well, it’s made from a series of things: the antlers of a deer, the hooves of a water buffalo, and a snake.  If you want to be luxurious you use shark fin too.  Well, it’s supposed to make you grow, and on top of that it is supposed to make you become healthy and good at sports.  Like, it is supposed to make you like strong and big.  It is strange though because supposedly people say it works on a lot of people.  I’ve actually tried it.  In Chinese, it is actually called Mee Tow.

My Singaporean friend Zhi told me this story about this magic potion a couple weeks ago.  When he told me about his use of the potion, I was intrigued by it.  When I asked him what his experiences were, he said, “I drank it for like two months, and well you knew me when I was younger, I was really short, like really short.  Like I used to be like 5’2 when everyone was like 5’8, and well I grew. I don’t know whether it is because of that or because I just simply got the better genes in my family and I hit puberty, but I mean my parents aren’t tall.  My father is the tallest one being only like 5’8, so you have to admit I am pretty tall for an Asian person”.

I looked up the word potion and figured the very word means some type of magical agent.  This already helps me analyze the belief difference between Asian cultures and that of the “Western World”.  Zhi’s family was willing to concoct this potion in order to help him grow and prosper in tennis.  This leads me to believe their effort to shy away from Western medicines and stay with ancient techniques.  This can be compared to the movie we watched about curing different types of tumors.

Another thing to take note of are the ingredients used in this “magic” potion.  They are not everyday items that you can find at a supermarket.  Also, if you can get these ingredients, they are never used together so this creates a belief that the potion might work.  The animals used are all large and strong animals, which works perfectly with the aim of the potion.

Lastly, this builds a strong sense of identity within the family and Asian community.  This is not something you could find online or in a cookbook.  It can only be taught and passed down through generations, which makes it very unique.  Also, Zhi told me the preparation of the potion took a very long time.  People normally connect hard work and success with the amount of time you put into something.  This could affect the person mentally and cause them to believe the potion is really working.