Years ago when I had a terrible case of mouth ulcers, my mother got me a traditional Chinese medicine called Xi Gua Shuang (direct translation: watermelon frost). It comes in a powdery form, smells like any powdery traditional Chinese medicine and most importantly, made my mouth ulcers better. Since then I’d always thought of the watermelon frost as a miracle cure for those annoying mouth ulcers.
I got a massive one yesterday so I went to the nearest Chinese medicine shop and got me a couple of…
Almost miraculous, I tell you. At the very least, it stopped the pain that comes with the sores then accelerate the healing process. As I applied more of the wonder powder to my ulcer, I suddenly thought of the following questions:
1. What the heck is watermelon frost??
2. What is this medicine exactly, and how does the science of the remedy work?
The information at the back of the package says, “Traditionally used for relief of sore throat, toothaches, minor burns and cuts”. Of the 7 listed ingredients, the only ones I understood were ‘watermelon frost’ and ‘menthol’.
In the 17th century during the Qing Dynasty, a famous doctor named Gu Shicheng recorded ‘Sanjin Watermelon Extract’ in his “Complete Works for Treatment of Sores”. Apparently here’s how you obtain watermelon frost: remove a watermelon of its content then pack it with salt. Put it in a bowl, seal well and after a few days, a ‘frost’ appears on the skin. That’s the active ingredient in the compound medicine.
Sounds like a lot of hard work so I’m glad that it’s easily obtainable at most traditional Chinese medicine stores. Inexpensive too; I bought the above for RM1.40 (USD 0.50). There is a spray version which I didn’t get, for reasons I don’t know why. Duh.
According to this website, compound watermelon frost is listed as ‘Medicine for the Diseases of Five Sense Organs’. Hmmm…
Anyway it’s recommended as traditional herbal remedy for mouth ulcers (sores), open wounds, sore throats, gum infections, toothaches… you get the idea.
I just thought I’d share ‘cos you wouldn’t know this if you didn’t grow up in a Chinese family/environment. Well, now you do! Go stock up now! :D