Sacred Texts  Taoism  Index  Previous  Next 

Kung-Fu, or Tauist Medical Gymnastics, by John Dudgeon, [1895], at

p. 154

No. 2.—The Venerable Prince Li playing the Lute.—To cure chronic disease and yellow swelling.

Sit silently with both hands on the knees, rub forcibly, let the heart consider and wait till the air has circulated to all parts of the body, and make it go round in 49 mouthfuls. The air will thus revolve, the blood harmonize, and diseases vanish.

The Jujube Iron Pills.

Prescription.—Take of green alum (#) sulphate of iron? burnt, orange peel, ts‘ang-shu, of each 2 ounces; sha-jên (#), cardamoms, 3 mace; dried ginger, 2 mace; chih-ch‘iöh, or chih-k‘o (#), Aegle sepiaria (large fruit); ping-lang (#), Areca catechu (betel-nut); jên-shên (#), ginseng, root of Aralia quinquefolia (Pansax Ginseng), of each 3 mace; powder, boil the jujubes, beat them into a pulp, mix the powder and make into pills of which 49 form a dose morning and evening, to be taken with rice gruel. Fish, fowl, cold and raw articles, and fatty substances are contra-indicated.

After each Prescription, there is a stanza of poetry. The older work consulted omits the poetry. The stanza accompanying this recipe reads:—

At first when there was chaos, there was the female principle, then there ascended the male principle, and heaven was divided; the former principle increased, the latter diminished, and then both harmonized; heaven and earth then appeared, and the Great Reason, and this was the Creation. *

The Figure given in the books is that of the Founder of Tauism. He is popularly termed Lao-tse, the Old Child; from the white appearance of his head and the aged appearance of his face at birth. The epithet really means the Old Master. His surname Li was derived from the name for a plum tree, under which he was said to have been born. He was a contemporary of Confucius. The illustration is, as described, an attitude of meditation assumed by the Tauist and Buddhist priests.


154:* In the accompanying exercises with prescriptions, the Chinese characters with the botanical identification of the substances will be inserted only on their first occurrence. Where the substance is well known, is common and popular name only will be used.

Next: No. 3.—Hsü Shên-wêng's Method of preserving the Air and opening the Passes