Aw Chu Kin

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Who is Aw Chu Kin?

Aw Chu Kin was a Burmese Chinese herbalist. He is best known as the original inventor of Tiger Balm.

Aw's father was a Chinese herbology practitioner in Xiamen and an Hakka Chinese with ancestry in Yongding County . Being of a poor background, Aw first immigrated to Singapore where he stayed at the kongsi of his clan. He then moved to Penang and started to work as a practitioner of Traditional Chinese medicine, known as a sinseh in Penang Hokkien. Afterwards, he moved to Rangoon where, with the help of his uncle, founded his apothecary named Eng Aun Tong in 1870.

Aw Chu-Kin got married in Rangoon. He had three sons, the eldest of whom, Boon-Leng died young. He was survived by his two sons, Boon-Haw and Boon-Par. In 1892, Aw sent Boon-Haw to his grandfather's village to be instructed in traditional Chinese methods while Boon-Par stayed in Rangoon to receive British education. He left his business to younger son Boon-Par who then called his elder brother to run Eng Aun Tong together.

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Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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