The Miraculous Pomelo Leaves

January 5, 2015

This is my first blog post for the 2015, so lets find something auspicious we can do for the Chinese New Year of the Goat.

Yiu Lok-Yee, a famous Hong Kong actress taking a Pamelo bath to get rid of her back luck.

Yiu Lok-Yee, a famous Hong Kong actress taking a Pamelo bath to get rid of her back luck.


I have fond memories of going “ghost busting” with my Master Ren Zhi-Lin in Hong Kong more than 30 years ago. Every time we set out to chase away a ghost, he would put a Pomelo leaf 碌柚葉 in my left pocket for protection. I never asked him how or why a Pomelo leave can protect me from evil spirits, I just accepted it as a miracle.

The Chinese new-year of the Sheep is coming soon (18 February 2015) and at the last day of the year, there is a popular custom in the southern part of China, to take a Pomelo leaves bath to wash away all the bad lucks of the previous year and to get rid of bad spirits, to welcome another new year.

The standard procedure is to boil a bundle of Pomelo leaves and pours the content into a newly purchased basin, then stands over the bath and pours both the water and the leaves all over the body. Afterward soak in the bath for 15 minutes and when the time is up, do not rinse off the Pomelo water, just get dressed dripped-dry.

The Pomelo water can also be used to cleanse the house before the new-year and also get rid of evil possession by bathing if ever a person is haunted by a ghost, but the used Pomelo leaves have to be wrapped in red paper before disposal by burning to be considered auspicious, otherwise it would mean the “dirtiness” would still hang around the house and the person.

According to some, there is a “scientific” justification for the use of the Pomelo leaves, because they contain “flavonoid”, a polyphenolic compound that can improve blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels. From a TCM point of view, illness is caused by the “six evils” of wind, cold, damp, heat, summer heat and dryness. Improved circulation will give a feeling of freshness and help to mitigate the harmfulness of the “six evils”. In that sense, Pomelo leaves can help to chase away the internal evil spirits externally, not only psychologically but herbal-wise as well.

For this year, from midnight to 1:00 am of the last day of the year (17 February 2105), Xuan Kong Da Gua Date Selection showed a most auspicious structure of 1,6 Hetu pairing of Early Heaven Water for the Gua Yun numbers of the Four Pillars of time (see attached calculation). According to the popular belief, if you can take a Pomelo leaves bath in that hour in the early morning of the last day of the year, then you will have the best chance of a happy and prosperous new-year of the Sheep to come.

So do take the Pomelo plunge and Kung Hei Fatt Choy!

9 Responses to “The Miraculous Pomelo Leaves”

  1. Wendy Says:

    What a great tradition – not heard of it before. Where can one get these leaves? I live Sydney.
    Many thanks

  2. howardchoy Says:

    Hi Wendy,
    You should be able to get some in Chinatown Haymarket or Cabramatta. Better still grow one yourself for the new year.
    Howard

  3. Inessa.cunningham@gmail.com Says:

    Hello Howard ,this is Inessa ,your student. Very interesting story !!! I can not find a calculation ……. Also I thought the new year would be February 19th ,which means last day should be February 18 ,am I wrong ?

  4. RD Chin Says:

    Dear Howard,
    Thank you so much for sharing this tradition; there are so many different rituals for “protecting” ourselves from “ghosts” or spirits. The late Grandmaster Lin Yun suggested that we are to place orange peels in our pocket for protection during our feng shui consultations.
    In addition to the Golden Cicada “cure” of eating an egg covered with cinnabar (shell is covered with the red cinnabar and then it is peeled before eating the hardboiled egg during an auspicious time such as the eve of Chinese New Year), and the “Tracing the Nine Stars with Orange Peel Blessings” to “feed the hungry ghosts”, these traditions offer us insights for creating a new positive outlook for our spaces.
    Hmmmm, I will have to find some Pomelo leaves and take a bath for the upcoming Year of the Sheep;-)
    I always remember fondly of my first feng shui trip with you to China back in 1996! With sincere thanks for your teachings, Warm blessings and Happy New Year! RD

  5. Diana Barbieri Says:

    Hi Howard- Sounds like a grand idea! Where to find Pomelo leaves in USA? Do you follow time zone you live in for bath time? Happy Sheep year to you and your family! D

  6. Greg Winder Says:

    Hi Howard,
    Nice photo, good article. We will be in Taiwan this Chinese new year, Kaohsiung. Do you want to meet ?..You can stay with us there. I have finally found a good group of people there to practice push hands with. Also my classes of Tai Chi, as I learnt from you and Lohan Kung, here in Tokyo, are going well. Miss you and always remain in your dept for your most generous of teachings.
    Good New Year and much everything..!


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