Li Ching-Yuen was born around 1677, in a Chinese household. He was known to have studied herbal medicine and was a trained martial artist. He is claimed to have lived for over two centuries and died at a very ripe age of 256. He is said to have died in 1933 in China.
Before we dive into what made him alive for this long, let us know a bit about his life in general, upon researching we came across some interesting facts about this demi mortal man. Li Ching-Yuen is known to have followed a lifestyle system known as Qigong which is a mixture of healthy practices in regards to walking, breathing, meditating, and maintaining the right body posture.
He is also speculated to spend most of his life in the mountains. As long as he was alive he earned his living out of selling medicinal herbs such as lingzhi (a type of fungi), goji berry (a traditional Asian berry also known as wolfberry), ginseng (a wild medicinal root, close to extinction nowadays), he shou wu (a kind of flowering plant that belongs to the buckwheat family), and Gotu kola (once a medicinal plant, used now in Asian cuisines).
He would consume all these herbs himself along with other age reversing herbs and some traditional Chinese rice wine to wash it down the throat. Sichuan, where Li Ching-Yuen was born, says that as a kid he was well educated and had good knowledge of almost everything. After his 10th birthday, he decided on exploring various other nearby towns to expand his knowledge, and for this purpose he traveled to Tibet, Vietnam, Northwest China, Siam (current day Thailand), and Northeast China.
In his expedition he got to know about a lot of new herbs, he kept on researching and collecting as many herbs as he could and carried out the profession for the next ~300 centuries he survived.
At the age of 72, he moved to Kai Xian (a southwestern town of China) to join the Chinese army as a martial art teacher for the army recruits, he was also made the commander in chief. He was known to have been hired in the Chinese army to advise tactical martial art moves to the recruits.
In 1927 Li Ching-Yuen met Yang Sen who was the then general of the national army. He was also a native of Sichuan where Li Ching was born, upon meeting him he gave a documented statement to the world that Li Ching was a 7 feet tall man, with a rugged outlook.
He reports that even after 2 centuries of birth his vision was perfectly alright and there was no slowing down in his walk. After the death of this demi mortal man, Yang Sen went even further and wrote a report documenting Li Ching as he knew him, he called the report ‘A factual account of the 250-year-old good luck man’.
Even general Wu Peifu, also known as Jade Marshall wanted to know the secret of this 250-year-old man’s longevity, in a similar attempt even though he invited Mr. Yuen to his house. There is no strong recorded evidence on the reason for his death but at that ripe age, it is speculated to be a natural one.
Li Ching-Yuen is known to have married 24 times in these 2 and half centuries, leaving over 200 descendants of his own (now that itself is a mini troop). His 60-year-old 24th wife was still alive when he died.
Notable Timelines in the life of Li Ching Yuen
- 1677 is when he was born in Qijiang, China.
- 1690, at the age of 13 he discovered life in the mountains, where he lived with his family doing herbology.
- 1728, at the age of 51 he joined the army as a martial art teacher, specializing in teaching tactical and topographic moves to the disciplines.
- 1755, at the age of 78 he stepped down from his role as a martial art teacher in the national army and went back to his mountains to practice herbology.
- 1777, is when he celebrated his 100th birthday to which the Imperial Government of China’s then-general Yu Zhongqi sent a monumental document congratulating him for his 100 years.
- 1877, is when he celebrated his 200th birthday to which the Imperial Government of China’s then general Chu Shih Ming sent a monumental document congratulating him on his 200 years of life, the same as in the previous decade.
- 1908, at the age of 239 his disciples wrote a book on him called the ‘Secrets of Li Ching Yuen’s Immortality.
- 1920, at the age of 243 he was interviewed by General Yanghe who also hailed from the same village as Li Ching. This interview was published in the paper the very same year at Nanda University.
- 1926, at the age of 249 he was invited to Beijing by two noted personnel of that time Wu Peifu to know his immortality secrets and Yin Shi Zi to teach meditation at the University of Beijing.
- 1927, Yang Sen wanted to invite Li Ching to his house for the second time when he was informed by Ching’s wife and his disciples that he died of a natural cause, although there is no sure source on if this happened.
- 1933, is when notably Li Ching Yuen lost his life at the age of 256. This news was also confirmed in the North China Daily News, Shanghai News, New York Times, and Time Magazine.
This demi mortal man’s longevity secret shared by himself was the ‘tortoise-pigeon-dog’ rule. According to this rule, an individual is to sit like a tortoise, walk like a pigeon and sleep like a dog. Some people believe that he found the potion of a mortal in one of his extensive herbology experiments, some combination of drugs that kept him alive for such a long period.
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