Liangcha (literally, Herbal tea) is a China’s unique herb-stewed drink, cold and cool as herbs, which can eliminate the body’s heat in summer or treat sore throat and other diseases caused by winter dryness. In the Guangdong area, people like to drink herbal teas as if it were a necessity of their daily lives. One of the most prestigious, Wonglaoji herbal tea, was first invented in Qing Dynasty in Guangzhou city by a old doctor of traditional Chinese medicine Wang Zebang (Nickname A Ji, also known as Wong Laoji). At the time the city is full of traders, dock porters and rickshaws. Those burned up in business disputes, heavily worked under the hot sun, consumed excessive alcohol in social intercourse, had a heat stroke at long-distance trafficking, ate too much barbecue or fried food, and had sore throat brain hot all would like to spend coins to buy a bowl of Wonglaoji herbal tea to reduce their “pathogenic fire”. There were also many hawkers who pulled carts in the city selling this herbal tea, which was once a big sight in Guangzhou city.
An interesting legend of the origin of Wang Lao Ji herb tea goes as follows. Wong Laoji was originally opening a pharmacy shop of Chinese medicine in 1830s, when the national hero Lin Zexu was sent by the court to Guangzhou for the purpose of banning opium. As overworked and unacclimatized, Xu caught a cold, suffering from embolism. His entourages worried about him and got a recipe from Wang’s herbal medicine shop. After taking the medicine, Lin felt the symptoms all cured. He then paid a visit to thank Wang and ask him what drug was for the treatment. When he learned it was all but common and cheap herbal medicine, Lin proposed to sell herbal tea made from the recipe, so that people could drink upon arrival. Wang took the suggestion, and began to provide Wang Lao Ji herbal tea for people at low price. It was soon famous due to the effectiveness. Later, Lin Zexu specially sent a copper gourd pot carved "Wong Lao Ji" three large gold characters to encourage Wong’s public virtue and superb skill.
After hundreds of years’ development, Guangzhou Wang Lao Ji Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. has become one of the top Chinese medicine manufacturers. Since in 1995, the Hong Kong JDB Group leased the right to use the brand of canned Wang Lao Ji and did a successful market promotion, the Wonglaoji has finally been brought from Guangdong province to the whole country – the sales kept increasing and reached 12 billion Yuan in 2008; the brand ranked fifth of the "hundred Chinese Famous Brand List". Its goal is also very symbolic: to produce "China’s Coca-Cola."
In 2008, right after 8.1 level earthquakes in Wenchuan area of Sichuan Province, China beverage giant Wang Lao Ji donated 100 million Yuan, a domestic maximum single contribution for the victims, which well interpreted the essence of this traditional brand. In 2010, after the 7.1 earthquake in Yushu region, Qinghai Province, the JDB Group contributed 110 million Yuan to disaster areas, once again interpreted the spirit of national enterprise.