Hi! I'm Yuen Seo and I'm the 23rd Generation of the Seo's family lineage. My
interest in TCM started when I was a little kid. I would observe
daily string of patients coming for consultation. Being curious
and intrigue by the daily presence of old and young patients, I
would observed with curiosity and keen interest on
the patients who awaits treatments.
It is also a common sight in the olden days for
patients to bring token gifts such as chickens, ducks, fruits
etc as an appreciation for curing their illness and again my
little mind would unfold the drama where my dad would be the
super hero after completing his mission and as usual, the story ends with everyone living happily ever after.
It was later in my life that I came to understand that Chinese
Physicians and the great militarist
legend, Sun Tze applies similar doctrine in their quest
for successful mission as both of them are Military
Strategistwhere one deploy his human army to its maximum
attacking gain while the other deploy herbs into the body en
route on a mission to cure.
Back in the olden days, everything was done manually. I still
remember helping my parents to grind medicines using the grinder
shaped like a boat as shown below. A wooden rod is locked
in-between the solid iron disc which has its edge sharpen. I had
to rest my feet firmly secured on the wooden rod and to roll the
iron disc using both feet. To add weight so as to crush the
medicines, I had to stand on both feet on the wooden rod
balancing myself on top of it. It was real hard work and this
'exercise' gave us the extra thick layer of skin on our sole and
strengthen our leg muscle.
When our order of herbs arrives, we had to use
the giant cutter to cut the herbs such as
車前草 into shorter pieces. To ensure
a clean cut, the giant cutter shown below has to be sharpen
every now and then to make clean cut as well as
to reduce pressure on our arms.
To cut high-end herbs such as
to use the smaller version which is a quarter size of the above
Giant cutter as shown below. Prior to the introduction of this
small cutter, we had to use 'Butcher' chopping knife (as shown
below next to the small cutter) which is
slow and dangerous as we have to slice the ginseng to smaller
pieces as thin as a piece of paper!
With the introduction of machines, cutting
herbal roots is just a breeze as it is fast, thickness and thinness
can be adjusted and cutting a kilogram of ginseng roots takes
less than 3 minutes compared to an hour's manual cutting.
Another difficult and dangerous task is the
slicing of root such as 'mountain roots'
as shown below and 'Baizi'.
Before the roots can be sliced, it is soaked overnight in water
and the following day, it is steam hot until soft. While still
steaming hot, it is then place on top of the slicing tool and
using our palm, we apply pressure on top of the roots and push
it towards the sharp blade which will slice the roots as
accordingly to the thickness or thinness that is required. Not
only do we have to endure the heat, we have to take the risk of
not getting the skin under our palm shaved off!
Besides cutting herbs, another arduous job is
grinding the pearls into powder. Using the pearl
grinder which is made of harden refine ceramic as shown below
(on the right),
we had to pound the pearls which is as hard as a granite into
smaller pieces. Once it is broken into smaller pieces, this is
where the arduous work of grinding comes in. To grind, we have
to hold the grinder rod and apply pressure grinding the pearl in
a circular motion for about 5 hours non-stop! The grinder
on the bottom left is made up of solid copper which is used to
break down nuts, fruits etc.
Anyway, our lives were made easier with the
introduction of the electronic grinder as shown
This electronic grinder can break down dried herbs to powder within minutes.
Jobs that normally takes us a day to do only takes a couple of minutes.
At the end of the day, our accounting system relies on the faithful abacus as
The abacus can do many mathematical function such as addition, subtraction,
multiplication and division. The figures can be as large as 1,000,000,000 and
units can be as small as 0.01. An expert can solve the dauntless task
and its been proven that an abacus expert has won a competition
challenged by a person using a computer to solve a given mathematical calculation.
Well, besides tools and herbs, I do believe
the Chinese also practice many forms of cultures, religions, beliefs
and to find out how they link them all together like a puzzle,
this understanding eventually leads me to design this website for
readers who are curious to understand not only Traditional Chinese Medicines but
also Chinese Cultures, Beliefs, Religions, Superstitions, Feng
Shui, Partner's Compatibility, Animal Zodiac Sign and so
on to present readers an "All In One Website". All articles
presented to readers are true events and photos are genuine.
From time to time, I will continue to load facts, photos,
pictures and stories so that readers and the generations that
follows shall continue to benefit from the articles as presented
in http://www.chinesesinseh.com are intellectual
properties of Yuen Seo
copying is strictly prohibited unless otherwise stated.
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