What is the longest a person has ever lived for? In this article, you will meet Li Ching Yuen, who is a man who lived an astonishing 256 years. And if you think that this is a myth or a fictional tale, you are wrong.
According to one article in New York Times, from 1930, Wu Chung-chieh, who was a professor of the Chengdu University, has discovered some Imperial Chinese government records from 1827, congratulating Li Ching-Yuen on his 150th birthday, and further documents later congratulating him on his 200th birthday in 1877.
In the 1928, one correspondent at the New York Times wrote that many of the old men in Li’s neighborhood claimed that their grandfathers knew him when they were only little boys and that in that time he was a grown man.
Li Ching Yuen reportedly started his herbalist career when he was 10 years old, gathering herbs in the mountain ranges and learning about their potency for longevity. For almost 40 years, he survived on a diet based on herbs like lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shou wu and gotu kola and rice wine. In 1749, when he was 71, he joined the Chinese armies as a teacher of martial arts. He was said to be a much loved figure in the community around him, being married 23 times and fathering over 200 children.
According to the tales told in his province, which were generally accepted, he had the ability to read and write as a child, and by his 10th birthday he had traveled in Kansu, Shansi, Tibet, Annam, Siam and Manchuria gathering herbs. During the first hundred years, he continued with this occupation. After that he switched to selling herbs gathered by other people. He sold lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shou wu and gotu kola along with another Chinese herbs, and he also lived off a diet of these herbs and rice wine.
– But, he was not the only one!
According to one of Li’s disciples, he had once encountered an even older man, who was 500 years old, who taught him Qigong exercises and dietary recommendations, which would help him in extending his lifespan, to some superhuman proportions. Apart from Qigong and a herb-rich diet, what are the other things that we can learn from this Master of Longevity?
And how about this: on death bed, Li said famously: “I have done all that I have to do in this world”.