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Your guide to Eastern medicated oils in Hong Kong and how to use them

By Gigi Wong 26 September 2019

Ever had a consistent migraine in the office, but the last thing you want to do is take in heavy painkillers with aspirin? There’s actually an extensive array of Eastern medicated oils sold in Hong Kong that target different minor medical conditions. From headaches and scrapes to stomachaches and mosquito bites, these practical products are easily accessible in the 852. Many of them are infused with traditional Chinese medicine, making them milder than Western oral medicine. There are much fewer side-effects associated with them, too. Read on to see our picks of the best Eastern medicated oils, how to use them, and where you can purchase them in town.

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Hoe Hin White Flower Embrocation

Commonly known amongst locals as Pak Fah Yeow (Cantonese for ‘white flower oil’), Hoe Hin White Flower Embrocation is a must-have in every household in Hong Kong. With a history dating back to 1927 when it was first developed, it’s a blend of several essential oils, including eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, methyl salicylate, and menthol. White Flower Oil is apt for a wide range of applications, including dizziness and headache relief, travel and motion sickness. It also helps ease the stuffed-up feeling associated with cold or influenza. In short, it’s a good one to carry around wherever you go.

Usages: Provide relief from the stuffed-up feeling associated with catarrh, cold, or influenza; relieve dizziness and headache; temporarily relief of muscular pain; motion sickness; relieve itchy insect and mosquito bite

How to use it: Apply two to three drops of it on the affected area and massage gently. If necessary, you can repeat the process every two hours. It can also be inhaled when needed.

Where to buy it: Available in pharmacies, drug stores, Chinese herbal medicine shops, supermarkets, convenience stores, and duty-free shops, such as 7-Eleven, Mannings, Watsons, ParknShop, Wellcome

Zihua Embrocation

Zihua Embrocation serves as an alternative for people who find the pungent smell of traditional medicated oils too much to bear. Using a unique lavender essence formula based on traditional healing oils, it unfolds layers of lasting and uplifting fragrance without the smell of medicated oil that some people may find unpleasant. Not only does it ease anxiousness and relieve colds and nasal congestion, it’s also effective in improving motion sickness, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea.

Usages: Provide relief from headache and dizziness, cold, flu, and blocked nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, insect and mosquito bites, motion sickness

How to use it: Apply several drops to the affected area and massage gently when needed. If necessary, repeat the process.

Where to buy it: Available in pharmacies, drug stores, Chinese herbal medicine shops, supermarkets, convenience stores, and duty-free shops, such as 7-Eleven, Mannings, Watsons, ParknShop, Wellcome

Wong To Yick Wood Lock Medicated Oil

Here’s something for the active ones amongst us who often cramp and twitch during exercises or workouts. Developed by certified traditional Chinese physician Wong To Yick in 1968, Wood Lock Medicated Oil is primarily a bone-setting healing oil that aims at providing temporary relief of aches, muscles, and joint pain. It also helps stimulate the circulation of blood which can help relax your muscles and joints. Don’t forget to bring some for your next gym sesh!

Usages: Temporary relief of aches and pains of muscles and joints

How to use it: Rub two to three drops to the affected area and press the area for 15–20 minutes.

Where to buy it: Available in pharmacies, drug stores, Chinese herbal medicine shops, supermarkets, convenience stores, and duty-free shops, such as 7-Eleven, Mannings, Watsons, ParknShop, Wellcome

Kam Tai Pan Lion King Oil

It’s not just the name that’s formidable—Lion King Oil is the kind of medicated oil that deals with a diverse range of conditions. As one of the most authentic lion oils made in Singapore, Kam Tai Pan Lion King Oils can help remove cold and stasis, reduce swelling, relieve pain, and soothe itchiness.

Usages: Provide relief from headache, insect bite, itchiness, bruise, tendon pain, rheumatic pain, arthritic numbness, ache and pain of muscle, back, and joint

How to use it: Apply by rubbing or massaging gently on the affected parts for a few minutes for immediate relief.

Where to buy it: Available in pharmacies and drug stores

Axe Brand Universal Oil

No, this is not the same as the men’s deodorant. The Axe Brand is known for its time-honoured formula since its establishment in Singapore in 1928, and its signature Axe Brand Universal Oil is an outstanding product. Pure in colour and pleasant in odour, it may seem mild, but it’s suitable for varying purposes. Use it to alleviate giddiness, a blocked nose, cold and flu, stomachaches, insect bites, and rheumatic pain.

Usages: Relief of giddiness, headache, blocked nose and cold, stomach-ache, insect bites, rheumatic pain and muscular pain

How to use it: Apply a few drops to the affected area and massage gently. For a stuffy nose, apply two to three drops to a handkerchief or tissue paper and inhale deeply. For relief of flatulence and stomach discomfort, apply the oil to the navel region and cover with a hot towel. Repeat the hot towel application whenever necessary.

Where to buy it: Available in pharmacies, drug stores, Chinese herbal medicine shops, supermarkets, convenience stores, and duty-free shops, such as 7-Eleven, Mannings, Watsons, ParknShop, Wellcome

Tiger Balm White Ointment

Tiger Balm is one of the world’s leading analgesic remedy manufacturers. A well-adored brand in Hong Kong and abroad (and probably the only one on this list that is a familiar name outside of Asia), Tiger Balm Ointment is specially made with safe and effective herbal ingredients. It’s often used for headache remedies, aches, and muscle strains. You can also count on it to soothe a variety of ailments, like stuffy nose, flatulence, and itchiness due to insect bites.

Usages: Relief of aches and muscle strains, tension headache, colds and congestion, flatulence, and insect bites

How to use it: Apply a pea-sized dab of ointment to the affected area and massage gently.

Where to buy it: Available in pharmacies, drug stores, Chinese herbal medicine shops, supermarkets, convenience stores, and duty-free shops, such as 7-11, Mannings, Watsons, ParknShop, and Wellcome

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From Hollywood blockbusters to indie flicks, Gigi loves just everything about films. Aside from rock n’ roll, she is also partial to jazz and vintage music. You can find her indulging in all sorts of books, eating out, discovering vinyl albums, and playing Blu-ray movies on her TV.

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