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Healing the sick

Healing the sick

In this scene, Kwong Sue Duk, a noted herbalist, is treating sick people in country Australia.

The healing properties of traditional Chinese medicine have become well-known in Australia. Here, Kwong Sue Duk, a noted herbalist, is treating sick people in country Australia.

The travelling herbalists

The healing properties of traditional Chinese medicine became known through the work of travelling herbalists such as Kwong Sue Duk (1853–1929). Kwong Sue Duk worked on the Californian goldfields before returning to China in 1874 to study traditional medicine. He migrated to Darwin (then known as Palmerston) in 1875. He established a general store trading under the name of Sun Mow Loong where he offered treatment for many diseases and ailments.

Kwong Sue Duk later travelled throughout the goldfields, towns and countryside in Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory. He provided relief for many sufferers of arthritis, fevers and muscle strain and was well-known for his kindness and generosity.

Kwong Sue Duk married four times and had 26 children. After settling in Melbourne he became known as the 'Russell Street healing herbalist', and he was renowned throughout Australia for his healing abilities.