Despite the advancement of medical science, Chinese herbal medicine remains relevant today. This traditional medical practice is all about balancing the energy in your body, so that the yin, the yang and the qi are kept in check. The long-running medicine halls featured here are well known for their extensive collection and knowledge of medicinal herbs, while some of them even have a doctor on-site to examine patients and prescribe a remedy.
Kien Fatt still does everything the old-fashioned way: there’s a rotating roster of sinsehs administering treatments in the backroom, and up front workers fling open cabinets and loosen jars behind the counter – which stores bird’s nest, ginseng and pearl dust – as they toss a handful of one herb and a pinch of another into a packet to be sent home with patients.
Petaling Street institution Tuck Heng moved into its current comfortable air-conditioned premises a couple years ago. Stock up on goji berries and cordyceps as Tuck Heng carries a wide range of tonics, healthcare products as well as dried seafood. Plus, the friendly staff are always willing to answer your herb-related queries.
One of the most established Chinese medical halls in Klang, Yen Woh was founded by the renowned traditional Chinese medicine practitioner Dr Yong. When you purchase a packet of herbs to brew at home, watch as the staff rummage through wooden cabinets for your order and carefully measure the herbs with old-school brass scales.
If the pharmacies at Bangsar look too clinical, Ban Joo will immediately make you feel slightly better at the sight of their friendly lady boss. Calling the shop ‘well-stocked’ would be an understatement; Ban Joo is a dealer for both Chinese and Western medicines as well as sundries. Their onsite Chinese physician – Ng Eng Joo – is always attentive when you need more than a prescription for just a runny nose.
You can wander into the medical hall in a daze – the sheer amount of herbs in the shop can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to look. The knowledgeable staff operate like clockwork: You tell them your illness, and they’ll pack what you need into neat bundles. Fook An is hidden in the sleepy part of OUG, surrounded by a joss stick shop and kedai runcits. The medical hall might be old, but they never disappoint.