Po Chai Pills
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Po Chai Pills (traditional Chinese: 保濟丸; simplified Chinese: 保济丸; pinyin: bǎojìwán; Jyutping: bou2 zai3 jyun2) is a traditional Chinese medicine product made from several herbs formed into tiny spherical pills about 4 mm in diameter resembling buckshot. It is used as a remedy for the relief of indigestion, heartburn, vomiting, diarrhea, and bloating. It can also be used as a hangover prevention remedy.
Po Chai Pills were developed by Li Shiu Kei in Foshan, Guangdong, in 1896. Following the Chinese Civil War, the Li family fled to Hong Kong and reestablished their company, Li Chung Shing Tong. However, their mainland property was nationalized. As a result, there are now two manufacturers of Po Chai Pills:
- Li Chung Shing Tong (Holdings) Limited (李眾勝堂(集團)有限公司) in Hong Kong; and
- Guangzhou Wanglaoji Pharmaceutical Company Limited (廣州王老吉葯業股份有限公司) in Guangzhou, China.
A mutual agreement between both parties has limited Wanglaoji's trademark rights to mainland China, while Li Chung Shing Tong has the rights to use the trademark in the rest of the world. The mainland manufacturer exports them from China as Curing Pills or Bao Ji Pills.
On 8 March 2010, sales of the pills from Li Chung Shing Tong have been halted in Singapore as a precaution because traces of phenolphthalein and sibutramine had been detected in batches of the capsule form of the pills, and have been recalled. Phenolphthalein's past use for its laxative properties has been discontinued because of concerns it may be carcinogenic. On 24 March 2010, Hong Kong's Department of Health has recalled both Po Chai Pills Capsule Form and Po Chai Pills Bottle Form from local retail outlets and consumers.
On 11 May 2010, a licensed manufacturer in proprietary Chinese medicine, Li Chung Shing Tong (Holdings) Ltd. HK has been given the green light to resume production and marketing of Po Chai Pills Bottle Form. Laboratory tests identified 11 tainted samples, all in Capsule Form, while none of the Bottle Form samples was found to contain the above two western medicines. In connection, the manufacturer has withdrawn the application for registration of Po Chai Pills Capsule Form which has already ceased to be produced since late March.
Po Chai Pills in the United States imported by Prince of Peace Enterprises, Inc. are not tainted nor affected by the Hong Kong or Singapore recall.
As of July 2009, Po Chai Pills in the United States are imported by Solstice Medicine Company.
The lists of known ingredient for Po Chai pills are listed as follows: The proprietary mixtures are shown on the right pictures:
- Polyporus (Fu-Ling) Sclerotium
- Southern Tsangshu (Cang_Zhu) Rhizome
- Patchouly (Huo-Xiang) herb
- Fragrant Angelica (Angelica anomala Lallem.) (Vai-Zhi) Root
- Kudzu (Ge-Gen) root
- Magnolia (Hou-Po) root bark
- Massa Fermentata (fermented mix of wheat flour, sweet annie aerial parts, cocklebur (xantium sibiricum part. Ex Widd.) aerial parts, and Smartweed (polygonum hydropiper L.) aerial parts (Shen-Chu)
- Job's Tears (Yi-yi Ren) Seed
- Germinated Rice (Orzya sativa L) (Gu-Ya) seed
- Field Mint (Menta halpocalyx Briq) (Bo-He) herb
- Mum (Ju-Hua) flower
- Red Citrus (citrus grandis osbeck.) (Chu-Hung) Peel
- Halloysitum I minera
- Rhizoma Atrach root
- Oryzae Satiae/sprout
- Herba menthae leaves
- Selerotrum Porifungal
- Radix Puepariae root
- Herba Agastaches S leaves
- Excarpium Citri/tangerined red part
- Cortex magnoliae O. bark
- Masse Fermentata Neaven leaves