10 Bizarre China Remedies You May Never Know Until Now

I remember I received this mini booklet on vacation when we were visiting a medicinal outlet in China (It is part of the usual tour package and not forgetting, tea shops, jewellery stores, art galleries. The guide will draw a commission if the tourists in his/her group buy anything from these shops)


Inside of Booklet

I have always been fascinated by some of the bizarre remedies that treat common situations e.g. fish bone stuck in throat. However I have not even tried the normal remedies so far. It seems like a lot of hassle and I think it is safer to have scientific researches done to validate the effectiveness of these remedies. Well, some “ingredients” are pretty hard to get if you stay in the cities…

I will not be responsible for any adverse results or any animal in distress should you decide to try any of them!

Here they are, in no order of eccentricity:

Bitten by Cats, Dogs

Cats & Dogs
What do you do if you get bitten by cats or dogs?

Boy Covers Face

Quickly use the urine of a boy who is around 5 years old to wash the wound. It helps to detoxify and reduce inflammation. After that, please visit the hospital to get an injection.

For Burns and Scalds

Use a reasonable amount of live earthworms, and add white sugar to reduce them into water (Sharon’s translation comments: it may mean just liquid). Spread it over the wound 3 times daily. Continuous use will have a cooling effect and stop the pain. It will also promote tissue regeneration and does not leave scars. Extremely effective.

Little Children Bedwetting

Use 1 pig bladder, wash it and add 20 pcs of white pepper. Cook to a mush and finish it on 2 settings. Have 1 daily and continuous have it for 5 times. Extremely effective. Avoid duck meat, winter melon and pear.

Insect in the Ear

Drip 2 drops of cat’s urine into the ear and the insect will come out of the ear automatically. (How to retrieve cat’s urine: Remove the skin of the garlic and rub it on the cat’s nose. The cat will pass urine immediately)

Sharon: I think the insect may be traumatised.

Ringing in the Ears, Deafness


Get 2 drops of tortoise’s urine once daily into the ear. Use it continuously for 7-10 days. (How to retrieve tortoise’s urine: Use a mirror and shine it on a tortoise’s head. The tortoise will pass urine immediately. It is best to collect the urine using lotus leaf).

Sharon: I never knew urine has so much uses…


Ingredients: Snake skin 1g, 3 pcs of cicada shell, white chrysanthemum 5g. Cook them to make up 1 bowl and drink 3 times daily. Continuous use for 20 days will remove the nebula (foglike opacity of the cornea) and your eyes will be cleared. You can also use it as eye drops in the morning. Its results will be even better. Avoid drinking alcohol, consuming mutton and dog meat.

Cicada Shell

Sharon: My mom took the cicada shells before (yes, this is the photo of her medicine). In TCM, the patient needs to add water and boil the concoction to get a bowl of medicine. When I told her this looks like insects, she told me they were “flowers” (I think she thought they might be somehow like cordyceps. Fungi consuming insects’ bodies until they were no more and became part of the fungi) But…which part of them look like flowers?!

Stop Nose Bleeding

Flying Human Hair
Should we use human hair…

Guinea Pig
…or a guinea pig’s?

Every time burn 2g of hair and wash it down with plain water twice daily. (If you can, use some of the hair ashes and blow it into the nostrils). Treat continuously for 5 days and your nosebleed will not occur again.

Fish Bone Stuck in Throat

As much as possible, try to drink aged vinegar first. If it doesn’t work, you can try to drink ½ a spoon of duck’s saliva and the fish bone will dissolve. (How to retrieve duck’s saliva: Use 1 slice of deskinned ginger and place it in the duck’s mouth. After that, hang the duck upside down and it will naturally salivate.)

Men Infertility

Nom nom nom…sparrow, anyone?

Use 1 sparrow daily, remove its feathers and organs and place 6-7g cuscuta (菟丝) into its stomach. Steam it and add condiments. Serve and eat it for ½ a month, to treat long-term infertility in men.

Infectious Conjunctivitis

Use 2 drops of breast milk or fresh milk into the eye and close eyes for 10 mins. Do it twice daily, continuously for 2 days. Extremely effective. Avoid spicy foods.

Who knows? Maybe the above has some truth in it.

Our ex-China part-time domestic helper recounted that she was stung by a hornet when she was young and her father immediately used chicken’s saliva to treat the swelling. As for whether she visited a hospital after that, we do not know.

Which bizarre remedy do you like best and why? What other strange ones do you know?