JOHN DAY – Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site in John Day holds the largest intact collection of Chinese medicine and formulas in the world. Museum Curator Don Meritt mentioned that only about 10% of Doctor Ing Hay’s formulas have been translated from his shorthand-style of writing.
In 2018, a professor of Chinese Medicine out of the University of Virginia came to the site to check out a few of the old medical formulas. Fast-forward to 2020 in the time of COVID-19, the professor recalled seeing a formula from 1906 that treated flu symptoms. Meritt said it turns out that the formula was used to cure Spanish Flu symptoms in road workers in 1918, and they could be looking at it to treat COVID symptoms:
“Well, he published an article—the professor—I forgot his name; a Chinese medical article, saying that the 1906-1918 formula that Doc Hay put together could be used to treat the COVID-19 virus today.”
We’ll keep you updated on further developments as they’re learned. The Kam Wah Chung State Heritage site, located off Canton Street in John Day, is open for virtual tours 7 days a week.