Li Ching-Yuen - lived for 256 years and ate the herb Ho-Shou-Wu

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Li Ching-Yuen - lived for 256 years and ate the herb Ho-Shou-Wu

True story (well as true as can be made out) about Li Ching-Yuen who is said to have been one of the oldest persons who ever lived, reportedly dying at 256 years of age.

His long life was reputably because of using the herb fo-ti-tieng or Gotu Kola or (Polygonum Multiflorum) Ho-Shou-Wu (or) He-Shou-Wu. Apparently the herb has a lot of different names.

This is what the herb looks like

This is a fascinating article on ancient Chinese stories about the drug. It also looks at how the tradition was lost under the commercialization and exploitation of the drug in the west.

Li Ching-Yuen was supposedly born in 1677 in Chyi Jiang Hsie, Szechuan province. He spent most of his life in the mountain ranges gathering herbs and knowledge of longevity methods.

In 1748, when he was 71 years old, he moved to Kai Hsien to join the Chinese army as a teacher of the martial arts and as a tactical advisor.

In 1927, Li Ching Yuen was invited by General Yang Sen to visit him in Wann Hsien, Szechuan. The general was fascinated by his youthfulness, strength and prowess in spite of his advanced age. His famous portrait was photographed there.

Returning home, he died a year later. Some say of natural causes, while others claim that he told friends that "I have done all I have to do in this world. I will now go home," and then allowed his spirit to depart.

After Li's death, General Yang Sen investigated the truth about his claimed background and age. He wrote a report that was later published. In 1933, people interviewed from his home province remembered seeing him when they were children, and that he hadn't aged much during their lifetime. Others reported that he had been friends with their grandfathers.

Much more on this fascinating 7 foot person on the link
By netchicken: posted on 29-4-2008

Articles about Li Ching-Yuen are starting to emerge on the net.

According to the 1933 obituaries in both Time Magazine and the New York Times, Li Ching-Yun was reported to have buried 23 wives and fostered 180 descendants by the time he died at the age of 256.

Was he really that old? Could he have forgotten his own birthday or exaggerated his claim? Environmental Graffiti investigates.

By netchicken: posted on 4-5-2008

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