In the early 1880s, Poon Goor Soe
Pharmaceutical Factory of Guangzhou introduced their
first-ever product, the Snake Gall Bei Oral Liquid. In just a
few years, more than 200 pharmaceutical factories all over
China copied the formulation and produced the same product, a
blooming scene of manufacturing indeed. By employing advance
technology to improve quality control, Poon Goor Soe
Pharmaceutical factory commanded a leading edge over the other
competitors. In Beijing , whenever people talked about Tong
Ren Tang Drug Store, they will envisage Guo Gong Wine;
whenever people mentioned about Poon Goor Soe, they inevitably
think of cough mixture. Poon Goor Soe was practically
associated with cough mixture. In Guangdong province, Hong
Kong and Macau , Poon Goor Soe was already a household name.
Poon Goor Soe has over 100 years of history.
Sometime around 1890, Poon Bei-Shi and his brother Poon
Ying-Shi both of Kaiping county, Guangdong province,
established Chang Chun Dong Drug Store at Gao Di Street,
Guangzhou city, where they employed over ten workers and ran a
small-scale drug manufactory at the back room of the store.
Apart from selling their pills to various parts of Guangdong
province, they also exported their products to Peru , Thailand
and South East Asia . In 1920's, when the business was
booming, the Poon brothers passed away one after another.
Chang Chun Dong was later ran by Poon Bei-Shi's son Poon
Yi-Liu and Poon Ying-Shi's son Poon Chu-Chi. Soon both of them
left to venture into other business. The store was then taken
over by Poon Bei-Shi's fourth son Poon Yu-Sheng. The Guangzhou
Uprising broke out a short while after Poon Yu-Sheng took over
the helm and Chang Chun Dong was destroyed in the war.
Subsequently, Poon Yu-Sheng moved to the Upper Dou Lan Street
, Shi San Hang, Guanxi district and resumed his business
After the Xin Hai Revolution of 1911, the
Chinese gradually accepted western medicine which exerted a
tremendous impact on the monopoly of traditional Chinese
medicine. The business of Chang Chun Dong fell drastically.
Poon Yu-Sheng reckoned that if he continued to rely on a
single product line, business would suffer. Therefore he
decided to manufacture new medicines and revitalize his family
The weather of Southern China was hot and
rainy and changes abruptly between warm and cold. People are
easily susceptible to cold and cough. During that time, cough
remedies were usually of one-ingredient simple preparation and
were not so effective against cough. Poon Yu-Sheng prepared
his medicine by decocting Fritillaria verticillata (Chuan Bei
Mu), Platycodon grandiflorus (Ji Geng) and Loquat (Pei Pa)
leaves which have an antitussive and soothing effect when
taken and are good expectorants also. In order to eliminate
the patient's revulsion of taking bitter medicine, he added
flavour and syrup to his mixture.
In order to increase product publicity, Poon
Yu-Sheng used the image of his father Poon Bei-Shi as a trade
mark. He designed an attractive package so that the product
was easily recognizable. (Which is still being used today) He
put up posters everywhere along the streets and wrote articles
to the newspaper recommending his product to catch the
attention of potential customers. The name of Poon Goor Soe
soon became well known and in just a few years, it became a
household name. The sales and the distribution of the cough
mixture grew to cover not only the Guangdong province but also
to Hong Kong , Macau , Taiwan and South East Asia.