Cham Bom-Bia the Chinese Doctor

Cham Bom-Biá
Cham Bom-Biá

Cham Bom-Bia and his General information

Cham Bom-Bia was a botanic Chinese who reached great popularity at the end of XIX Century. Although there were other outstanding Chinese persons that cured sick people using healing plants, Cham Bom-Bia has transcendent in the public’s mind since he war the most known and a phrase stayed “No one can save him, not even the Chinese doctor”. He came to Havana in 1852, with a contract to work in the agriculture in Coliseo, Matanzas. However, he continued his studies and he graduated as a Medicine Doctor and immediately he started to work as a rural doctor in the same place where he worked in agriculture. He was very tall and profound eyes. He had long moustaches like the Barbarians and a long bear and he did wide gestures underlying his figurative and exaggerated speech. He dressed as the Occidental people con a baggy denim coat, since at that time there were not a doctor without hat and tuxedo. Cham Bom-Bia belonged to the Jacas in China, and like many other Chinese he added to his name the patronymic Juan (John). By his file, made it with the objective of acquiring the Spanish citizenship in 1860, we know that he had a constant residence in Cuba since 1854, when he was granted the domicile letter in Havana.

Other interesting Data on Cham Bom-Bia

Hunted by illegal medicine practice denounces , Cham Bom-Bia goes to Matanzas and there he put a practice in the Mercaderes Street on the corner of San Diego Street. In this city he worked with a great popularity. A new denounce in 1872 forced him to go to Cardenas. By that time Cardenas was an important city and this granted him greater acceptance. There he established his home and a dispensary to prepare his own medicines, although he used medicines elaborated in a Pharmacy of Third Avenue. In this city Cham Bom-Bia healed abandoned sick persons that other doctors did not attend. To them this Chinese doctor returned their health, the sight and the use of their members. Endless versions were told about his death. Some said he had been poisoned the family of a patient with misfortune, others said he killed himself. He came to be the most well known of all the Chinese botanic doctors. His true name was Chang Pon Piang, but according to the historians Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring y Portell Vila, the Cuban way of speaking transformed the name into Cham Bom-Bia that means “Yellow Sun”. He can be considered not like a vulgar healer but as notable science man with great oriental culture. He mixed his deep knowledge of the Cuban and Chinese flora with medical advances. However in Cuba and tradition was formed about the use of medical plants, and Juan Tomas Roig Mesa was its top exponent. Cham Bom-Bia acted without any selfishness. He charge the rich people nut to the poor he said: “ If you have money pay me, if not, don’t “

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