Hangzhou, Soaked in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine has a time-honored history. As early as ancient times, through the process of struggling with nature, traditional Chinese medicine was created. When searching for food, it was discovered that plants could relieve symptoms, which is the origins of traditional Chinese medicine; hot rocks or sand and earth wrapped up with furs or tree barks eased pain when warming oneself by a fire, which is how moxibustion came into being. It is also during the process of producing tools, that the ancient Chinese discovered the stabbing of some parts of the body can ease the pain of some other parts of the body, and that is how acupuncture come into being.

Hangzhou, as a Chinese ancient capital, boasts a profound traditional Chinese medicine culture. There are many famous old-style traditional Chinese medicine pharmacies in Hangzhou with the majority located in the downtown area, like Hu Qing Yu Tang, Fang Hui Chun Tang, Zhang Tong Tai, and all featuring quaint decorations and a medicinal fragrance. There is even a block dedicated to traditional Chinese medicine culture, which is called Wuliu Lane. The street incorporates traditional Chinese medicine, healthy tourism, and traditional Chinese medicine veteran doctors into the old-fashioned streets and lanes. To experience Hangzhou’s traditional Chinese medicine, the following should not to be missed.

Hu Qing Yu Tang Pharmacy 胡庆余堂

Dubbed as “The King of Medicine in Jiangnan Region”, Hu Qing Yu Tang Pharmacy was founded in 1874, by the renowned official-businessman of the late Qing Dynasty, Hu Xueyan. The time-tested pharmacy has, for 140 years, adhered to the original business doctrine of “No cheating, no fake products and no second prices”, and has become a vital venue to protect, inherit, develop and spread the essence of the five-thousand-year-old traditional Chinese medicine.

Address: 95 Dajing Lane, Shangcheng District (上城区大井巷95号) 

Ye Zhong De Pharmacy 叶种德堂

Ye Zhong De Pharmacy is an old-branded traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy and the earliest and largest pharmacy in Hangzhou to self-produce pills, pulvis, emplastrum and unguentum pellets. Originally founded in 1808, the pharmacy is heralded as one of the “Top Six Pharmacies” along with Hu Qing Yu Tang, Wang Cheng Zhi Tang, Zhang Tong Tai, Tai Shan Tang and Fang Hui Chun Tang pharmacies.

Address: 49 Zhongshan Middle Road (中山中路49号)

Fang Hui Chun Tang 方回春堂

Spanning a history of 300 years, Fang Hui Chun Tang is one of the eldest traditional Chinese medicine pharmacies in China. The owner, Fang Qingyi, was a descendent of a medical family and specialized in producing pills and cream formulas of Chinese medicines. The annually held “Fang Hui Chun Tang Cream Formula Festival” and “Fang Hui Chun Tang Ginseng and Antler Festival” have enjoyed large fame in the city.

Address: 117 Hefang Street, Shangcheng Distirct (上城区河坊街117号)

Wan Cheng Zhi Tang 万承志堂

The starter of Wan Cheng Zhi Tang was a tycoon by the name of Wan Sixuan. He started the pharmacy to complete his father’s wishes to help and benefit the common people. The original pharmacy was within the vicinity of Qingtai Street and covered an area of 3000 sq m and even had its own deer farm.

Wan Cheng Zhi Tang has long been known for its high-quality medicine materials, which can be seen in the old documents, with realgar, deer-horn glue winning the gold medal of the 1st West Lake Exposition. The pharmacy’s skills in making pills, pulvis, emplastrum and unguentum pellets tops the rest, and its medicine book, “Ancient Secret Prescription of Wan Cheng Zhi Tang”, is the most concise book on traditional Chinese medicine, in the Jiangnan Region, since the Southern Song Dynasty.

Address; 103 Gaoyin Street, Shangcheng District (上城区高银街103号)

Zhang Tong Tai 张同泰

Zhang Tong Tai is an old-brand pharmacy dating back to 1805, 70 years older than Hu Qing Yu Tang. It gained its fame for its authentic traditional Chinese medicine materials and was in 2000 listed onto Hangzhou’s municipal cultural relic protection list. Zhang Tong Tai produces all kinds of traditional Chinese medicines including medicinal liquor and is noted as one of the “Top Three Pharmacies in Hangzhou”, along with Hu Qing Yu Tang and Fang Hui Chun Tang

Address: 99 Zhongshan North Road (中山北路99号)