Planet China

A bum deal

One of the most popular Chinese food products in the US is the Lao Gan Ma (meaning ‘old godmother’) brand of chilli sauce – a spicy paste that sells for high prices on Amazon. But one netizen has found an outstanding competitor for the title of ‘most favoured Chinese product’ on the American site: Mayinglong’s haemorrhoid cream.

The ointment has an unbelievable following on its Amazon page, with over 1,000 reviews, 70% of which give it a five-star rating. A lot of the feedback is more than a simple thumbs-up; most customers offer a few paragraphs, with almost literary enthusiasm (“Get the sensation of a cool, crisp winter breeze whipping through ya bum!” reads one).

Surprisingly this doesn’t seem to be the work of professional brushers from China (see Talking Point). The first five-star review dates back to 2006, giving Mayinglong’s balm some historical credence. And it appears that the product only recently began including information in English, which means many of its earlier patrons were taking quite a leap of faith.

In fact suspicions of Chinese medicine abound in the reviews, with many customers particularly wary about using a foreign product on such an intimate area. But as one Amazon’s most popular reviews of Mayinglong Musk Hemmorrhoids Ointment Cream says “Buy this product. It is inexpensive and will let you focus on things other than your sore rectum.”

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