Gao Lian and Ming Dynasty Nutraceuticals



Essays on Drinks and Delicacies for Medicinal Eating

Yin Zhuan Fu Shi Jian 飲饌服食箋


By Gao Lian (Ming Dynasty)


Chinese edition edited by T’ao Wentai


Translated by Sumei Yi, 2008-9


English version edited by E. N. Anderson


ROUGH DRAFT; HELP SORELY NEEDED WITH THIS.  We have taken major pains to get the plant and animal names right—many defy translation—but the details of the recipes are often unclear and needing further research.


English Editor’s Note:

Gao Lian was a 16th-century playwright, litterateur and practitioner of the arts of healing and longevity. He wrote or compiled several treatises on these matters, collected in his “eight treatises” published in 1591 (Wikipedia).  The present translation is of the material on food and drink from this collection, including a good deal of alchemy and medicine.  Since late Ming has unaccountably been relatively neglected by students and translators of Chinese food texts, this work seems worthy of presentation, even in a rough translation.

Gao’s approach is totally eclectic.  He reproduces a great mass of odd advice and recipes, many of the latter so hard to follow that one doubts strongly if Gao ever tried them or even knew anyone who had. Reproducing any old advice that might help someone live long was a Ming Dynasty practice.  In this book, thoroughly practical village advice is mixed with arcane alchemy.  Most of the recipes are for medicines or preserves, but many are for regular dishes; few, however, are in a state that would allow them to be used easily today.

The book is of interest largely to show what a refined gentleman of the 16th century would think worthy of attention, but some of the recipes are good or historically important.  Particularly interesting is the Sweets section, for it includes several Near Eastern recipes, including several for halwah—specifically so called (“hai luo”) in one case.  Evidently, Near Eastern foods continued to be of interest in China, as they had been in Yuan (Buell et al. 2010).  The nativist reaction after the fall of Yuan had largely eliminated this interest, but it persisted, as shown not only by recipe books like this but also by government reprinting of Yuan works.

In the medical sections, Gao shows a striking fascination with Solomon’s seal, lilyturf, Atractylodes spp., and a few other plants. Sumei Yi and I are not aware if this is his personal devotion or a general Ming idea, but the Yinshan Zhengyao of the Yuan Dynasty also liked Solomon’s seal, reprinting a long paean of praise to it from Ge Hong.  Gao is also interestingly careful about separating the three kinds of cardamom:  baidoukou (the white cardamom familiar in the west), caokou (Ammomum tsaoko, a large round brown cardamom), and sharen (Ammomum villosum and sometimes similar species), very large coarse musky cardamoms from south China and southeast Asia.  He carefully distinguishes their uses and often calls for two kinds in one recipe.  Most of his medicine, alas, is uncritical reprinting of a low order of alchemical and Daoist herbal literature, far from anything verifiable or usable in the non-Immortal world.  By contrast, much of his nutritional advice, and his advice on the few medical recipes that are grounded in normal life, is very good.

Significantly, Gao’s book appeared at almost the same time as Li Shizhen’s great herbal, the Bencao Gangmu (1593).  Both were part of a wide cultural renaissance in the late Ming (Mote 1999) that almost broke through to modern science.  If Ming had not crashed and burned, China might have participated in a worldwide development.  Certainly Li’s book was as advanced as any herbal in Europe in his time, and Gao’s was equal to or at least not far behind what passed for nutritional knowledge in 16th-century Europe.

The Wikipedia entry intriguingly says he described bipolar disorder; we eagerly await details on this.

In translating, we have given scientific names and common popular ones but have not been exhaustive (so far) about identifications (or consistent about citing “authorities” with names).  A cleaned-up translation with all this made consistent will take time, and the editor is lacking that commodity at this point, but needs to make the work available.  Further time and research is sorely needed.

Gao’s health writings have been the subject of an article we have not seen, cited in the Wikipedia entry “Gao Lian, dramatist” (retrieved Oct. 20, 2009):

Carpenter, Bruce E.  1990.  “Kao Lien’s Eight Treatises on the Nurturing of Life,” Tezukayama University Review 67:38-51.

See also:

Buell, Paul D.; E. N. Anderson; Charles Perry.  2010.  A Soup for the Qan.   Leiden:  Brill.

Source on many of the food traditions on which Gao drew.

Clunas, Craig.  1991.  Superfluous Things:  Material Culture and Social Status in Early Modern China.  Urbana:  University of Illinois Press.

Some discussion of Gao; an excellent account of his world.

Hu Shiu-Ying.  2005.  Food Plants of China.  Hong Kong:  Chinese University of Hong Kong Press.

By far the best modern work on Chinese food plants.

Huang, H. T.  2000.  Science and Civilisation in China.  Vol. 6:  Biology and Biological Technology.  Part V:  Fermentations and Food Science.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press.

Definitive work on fermented and prepared food in China, giving full details on almost everything of the sort mentioned by Gao.

Katz, Sandor Ellix.  2012.  The Art of Fermentation.  White River Junction, VT:  Chelsea Green Publications.

This encyclopedic work has full details on Chinese fermentations, including details that even Huang missed.

Li Shizhen.  2003.  Compendium of Materia Medica (Bencao Gangmu).  Tr. Li Zhenguo and group.  Beijing: Foreign Languages Press.

Excellent translation and edition of the greatest of Chinese herbals, one of the great works of premodern science.  Authoritative identification in modern Linnaean terms of the Chinese plants Li listed.

Mote, Frederick.  1999.  Imperial China 900-1800.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.


This translation is made from an edition published in 1985 by the China Commercial Press in Beijing.

Translator’s and English-language editor’s comments in text are in square brackets.  Comments in parentheses are parenthetical notes by Gao Lian or his sources, including characters to explain our translation (or lack of it).  Thus Chinese characters and names are in regular parentheses, being part of the original text.   Most of the footnotes—the ones in Chinese—are by the Chinese editor, Tao Wentai, and consist largely of explanations or relevant quotes from other sources.  The translator, Sumei Yi, has contributed footnotes (the ones in English) that are confined to brief comments on translation, including identification or failure to identify.

Many of Gao’s plant names defy all search through the Bencao Gangmu and dictionaries and encyclopedias in Chinese or English; we have searched a wide range of sources. This is unsurprising, as a great deal remains to be recorded about local and specialized usages even in contemporary Chinese.  We have tried to be accurate.  Mei, for instance, is simply turned into an English word (mei), since “plum” is wrong (there are real plums mentioned in some recipes, so confusion is possible) and “flowering-apricot” more accurate but rather clumsy.

The translations for the strictly medicinal recipes are so fiendish that we have included the Chinese, since we are often at somewhat of a loss.




Gao Lian’s preface


Mr. Gao said: “Drinking and eating are the basis of life for humans.” Therefore, in the body, yin and yang move and are used, and the five phases mutually produce each other.  This is not unconnected with drinking and eating. After drinking and eating, the qi of grains will fill one. When the qi of grains is full [has filled one], the qi of blood will thrive. When the qi of blood thrives, the tendons and strength will be improved. The spleen and stomach are basic to the five [major] internal organs. The qi of the [other] four internal organs come from the spleen. The four seasons [sic; presumably life in the four seasons] are based upon the qi of the stomach. Drinking and eating helps support the qi. When qi is generated, the essence is improved. When the essence is generated, the qi will be nourished. When the qi is full, the spirit will be generated. When the spirit is full, the body will be completed. This is because they need and use each other.

A man should not feel indifferent to his daily use of nourishment in his life養生. He should not let those nourishing him harm him or turn the five flavors into killers of the five internal organs. Then he obtains the way of nourishing life.

In my writings, I put teas and waters first, then congee and vegetables, then meat dishes, liquors, flours, cakes, fruits and so on. I have only collected what is proper and useful and do not seek the abnormal. As for cooking living creatures or flavoring precious food with pepper and spices, these are for chefs serving the Office of Grand Official[1] under the Son of Heaven.  Such things are not for a hermit mountain-man山人 like me. I do not collect them at all.

Other food records in the literature of immortals have benefited the world. Recipes consistently proved effective should be made using the proper rules. It is up to the cook to make the recipe in a spiritual and wise fashion. One should choose what can be eaten, and record ones that help cure illnesses and prolong life. Individuals are different based upon their hidden yin (yincang阴藏) or hidden yang (yangcang阳藏). They should take cold or hot medicines accordingly. One must have one’s qi and nature harmonized and peaceful, and have simple desires. The power of what have been taken and eaten will be then effective. If the six desires are too strong, the five sense organs[2] will malfunction, and then a person will be recorded in the register of ghosts even if he takes food based on the immortal recipes. Then what is the benefit of taking it? The knowledgeable should think for themselves.

I have edited the recipes into one group of notes: drinks and foods and how they can be taken and eaten.



Preface on Various Previous Treatises


The Perfected Man[3] said: “the spleen is able to nourish the other organs like a mother.” Men knowing how to nourish life called it Yellow Elder Lady (huangpo黄婆)[4]. Sima Chengzhen taught people that one should keep the yellow qi and cause it to enter into the Muddy Pill (niwan泥丸)[5], which enables him to achieve longevity. Chuyu Yi said that if one can eat when he is ill (angu安穀), he will live beyond his allotted span.  If he cannot eat when he is ill, he will not live up to his allotted time. Therefore, we know that if the spleen and stomach are complete and strong, the hundreds of illnesses will not be produced.

An old man in Jiangnan was seventy-three years old and as strong as the youth. When asked how he nourished himself, he answered, “I have no special formula. Just that all my life I have not been used to drinking soup or water. Ordinary people will drink several sheng a day. I drink only a few he, and merely let them touch and moisten my lips. The spleen and stomach dislike wetness. If one drinks little, his stomach will be strong and the qi will thrive and the liquid flow. If a person risks taking a long journey, he will not feel thirsty either.” These can be considered true words, and not trivial.

Eating and drinking should take time. The degree of hunger and fullness should be moderate. Water and food should change such that the collected qi flows are harmonized. Then the essence and blood will be produced. The circulation of qi and that of blood (rongwei榮衛) will keep going smoothly. The internal organs will remain balanced. The spirit will be peaceful. The upright qi will be full inside the body. The mysterious and pefected will meet the outside [world?]. The inner and outer vicious illnesses (xieli邪沴)[6] will not attack him, and the various kinds of illnesses will not be able to arise.

For proper drinking and eating: if one does not take food till he feels hungry, he will not be satisfied with chewing sufficiently. If one does not drink till he feels thirsty, he will not be satisfied with drinking slowly. One should not wait to eat till he feels very hungry and he should not overeat. One should not wait to drink till he feels very thirsty and he should not drink too frequently. One should not be concerned about how delicate the food is or how warm the drink is.

The sixth in the “Essay on Seven Taboos” (qijinwen七禁文) composed by the Perfected Man of Grand Unity (taiyi zhenren太乙真人) says: Refining the drink and food will nourish the qi of stomach. Peng Helin said that the spleen is an internal zang 臟[7]organ and the stomach is an internal fu腑 organ. The qi of spleen and stomach will compensate each other. The stomach is the sea of water and grains, mainly receiving water and grains. The spleen is in the middle, grinding and digesting them. They will turn into the blood and qi, nourishing the whole body and irrigating the five internal organs. Therefore, the man practicing the technique of nourishing his life cannot eat without refining his food. This does not mean preparing all sorts of things growing in the water and on the ground, or strange and precious dishes. It means not eating the raw or the cold, nor the gross or the hard, nor forcing oneself to eat or drink. One should eat when he feels hungry and should not overeat. One should drink when he feels thirsty and should not overdrink. Otherwise, he will encounter the situations mentioned by Confucius [actually said to be avoided by Confucius]:  the food spoils, the fish stinks, and the meat decays, so that they cannot be eaten. All these situations harm the qi of stomach. Not only will they make people sick, they harm life. If one hopes to gain longevity, he should be deeply alarmed about this. Those who want to support their elder relatives, or those who want to live happily and support themselves, should also know it.

Huang Tiingjian said:  “In Tongzhou, people steam lamb till it is mashed and then add apricot-kernel congee (xinglao杏酪) and eat it with a knife instead of chopsticks. In Nanyang, they add sophora sprouts to the Stirring-Heart Noodle (boxinmian撥心面) and wash them with warm water. The adept’s rice-covered dish (san糝) should be the plastered pork (mozhu抹豬) from Xiangyang. The rice (chui炊) should be the fragrant rice from Gongcheng. The offering (jian薦) should be steamed young goose. Let a chef from Wuxing chop a perch caught in the Songjiang River and then cook it with water taken from the King Kang Valley on Mt. Lu. Use a small amount of the highest-grade tea from Zengkeng. Then take off your [formal] clothes and lie down. Let someone read aloud the first and second Rhymed Essays on the Red Wall (qianhou chibi fu前後赤壁賦) composed by Su Shi. These are enough for one to have an enjoyable break.”  [Or “a laugh,” but Su’s essays on the tragedy of the Red Wall are anything but funny, so something gentler is intended.] Although this is only a fantasy (yuyan寓言) told by Huang Tingjian, we can imagine the refinement of those foods. Would that we might gather them together and offer them to the elders as delicious sustenance.

Su Shi says in his “Rhymed Essay on Gourmets” (laotao fu老饕賦): “The chef waves a knife—Yiya [the mythical super-chef of ancient China] is cooking and stewing! The water should be fresh and the pot clean. The fire must not be old and firewood must not be rotten. Nine times steamed and sunned, more than a hundred times boiled and floated and sunk in the hot stock to make the soup! Taste a piece of meat from the neck. Chew the two pincers [of a crab] before the frost descends (shuangjiang霜降). Cook the mashed cherry with honey. Steam the lamb with almond congee. The clam is to be half cooked with liquor. The crab is served a bit raw, with lees. Therefore, gather the tenderness and tastiness of every food and nourish me as a gourmet. A lovely girl, docile, her face is as fresh as plum and peach, plays the jade se瑟 of Consort Xiang and the cloud ao (yun’ao云璈)[8] of the draughts of the Heavenly God. Ask the immortal lady E Lühua萼綠華 to dance according to the ancient song of Yulunpao郁輪袍. Take the glasses from the southern sea and hold the wine from Liangzhou. They wish me longevity when I divide the remaining wine among the attending boys. My face gradually turns red and I am surprised when the pipa made from sandalwood is played. The song is as wonderful as a string of pearls and as long as a thread spun out of a cocoon. I feel pity for her tired hands and ask her to rest for awhile. I suspect that her lips are dry and some ointment should be applied. Pour a jar of milk, which is as white as snow. Place as many as one hundred jade ship-shaped serving trays. The guests’ eyes are as wet as the water in the fall. Salt and bones are mashed in the liquor made in the spring. The pretty girl asks for leave and then the clouds disperse [probably an arcane erotic reference]. The gentleman suddenly escapes into Zen. The wind passing through the pine trees, as the water is boiled with bubbles as tiny as crab eyes. The rabbit-hair brush is floating above the snow-white paper. The gentleman rises up with a laugh. The sea is broad and the sky is high.”  [Like Huang’s, this is a fantasy, but it is even more surrealistic and visionary.  Su Shi could be a very down-to-earth poet, but he could leap the void too, and this is as far out as he gets.]

A perch dish from Wu Prefecture: collect perch no longer than three chi during the eighth and ninth month when the frost descends. Mince it. Wash it in water and wrap it with a piece of cloth. Let the water completely evaporate. Spread it on a plate. Pick both flowers and leaves of aromatic madder (xiangrou香柔, Elsholzia ciliata) [9]. Mince them and add them into the minced fish. Stir it till it is evenly mixed. The perch caught when the frost descends has meat as white as snow and is not smelly. It is called gold and jade minced fish. It is a wonderful dish from southeast.

It is said in Youyang zazu酉陽襍俎 [The Youyang Miscellany, a well-known Tang Dynasty work by Duan Changshi]:  “A [good] pastry food (geshi餎食) is wonton made by the Xiao family. When the soup is filtered, it is not greasy and can be used to cook tea. The zongzi粽子 made by the Yu family is as white as jade. The cherry biluo [unclear; just possibly a transliteration of “pilau”] made by Han Yue can change color. He can also make cold fish pastes (leng hutu kuai冷胡突膾), thick soup of snakehead fish (liyu yi鳢鱼臆), continuously steamed deer (lianzheng lu連蒸鹿), and river deer skin noodle (zhangpi suobing麞皮索餅). General Qu Lianghan can make roasted (zhi炙) donkey and camel hump.”

He Ying was luxurious in taste. When he ate, he had to have food that filled a square one zhang on each side. Later he reduced his food intake somewhat, but still had white Hemiculter leucisculus fish (baiyu白魚)[10], dried eel (shanla鱓腊), and sugared crab (tangxie糖蟹). Zhong Yuan held that “when the eel is dried, it bends sharply; when crab is added to sugar, it moves restlessly; when a humane man uses his mind, he feels deep empathy.”  [This is one of those striking parallelisms so universal in Chinese literature.]

As for the che’ao clam (che’ao車螯)[11], blood clam (ark shell; han蚶), and oyster, they do not have eyes or eyebrows inside their shells, which shows the strangeness of the undivided (hundun渾沌). Their mouths are closed outside but not because they are bronze men who cannot speak. They neither thrive, nor turn weak, unlike grass and woods. They have no voice or sense of smell. What is the difference between them and tiles and gravel? Therefore, they are suitable for being used in kitchen as food at any time.  [This idea that motionless shellfish are more mineral than animal and thus fair game for vegetarians survives today.]

During the Later Han, Guo Linzong used to stay in the house of Mao Rong (his zi is Jiwei). The next morning, Mao Rong killed a hen and made a dish with it. Guo Linzong thought it was made for him. However, it turned out to be that Mao Rong offered the whole hen to his mother and had a vegetarian meal with Guo Linzong. Thus Guo Linzong rose and bowed to him, saying: “You are really virtuous!” Mao Rong accomplished virtue by showing filial piety.

It is said in Tiaoxi yuyin苕溪漁隱 that Su Shi composed poems and rhymed essays to describe the wonderfulness of food and drinks, such as the Rhymed Essay on the Gourmet [above], and Poem on Bean Congee. The Poem on Bean Congee reads:

River mouth, a thousand qing of snow-white reeds.

From the thatch, a lonely smoke plume appears and disappears.

Mortar and pestle, set on the ground, hull jade-like rice.

A sandpot cooks the beans, as soft as butter.

I am old and have no place to go.

I sold books to ask the landlord to stay at his house.

I lie listening to the crowing rooster, till the congee is ready,

Then come to your house with head disheveled and slippers on.

[This evocation of poverty in a beautiful seven-syllable-line poem shows Su in more realist style.  A thousand qing is 15,000 acres. A samdpot is a sand-tempered earthenware cooking pot, still necessary for Chinese cooking.]

Another poem [still by Su] on a fried pastry (hanju寒具)[12] reads:

Sim hands twist up jade-like stuff several xun in length.

Fried in blue-green oil, it turns light yellow.

On a spring night, the girl tosses about unconsciously,

With her gold bracelet pressed flat.[13]

Hanju is also called “twisted head” (niantou捻头), which comes from a much-told story recorded by Liu Yuxi.

My son came up with a fresh idea that he uses wild yams to make the Jade Crumb Soup (yusan geng玉糝羹). Its color, fragrance, and taste are extremely good. It is unknown how its taste is compared to the Heavenly Cheese (tiansutuo天酥酡)[14]. In this world it is can be confirmed that there is no match for it. The poem reads,

Fragrance like dragon saliva, [color] pure white.

The taste is like that of milk but it is totally clear.

Do not hastily compare Golden Minced Fish from the Southern Sea (nanhai jin?kuai南海金?膾),

To Dongpo’s Jade Crumb Soup.

The Poem on Vegetarian Soup (caigeng菜羹) composed by Yang Wanli also reads,

Use a spoon to take mica-like rice, fragrant and fresh, colored like jade [i.e., white].

The vegetarian soup is newly cooked; in it are thin kingfisher-green slices.

There is no meat or roast like this in the human world–

Vegetarian food from heaven might be as sweet.

The Song Emperor Taizong ordered Su Yijian to explain Wenzhongzi文中子[15] to him. In this book, there was a saying about “wild herb soup and solid food (gengli hanqiu羹藜含糗)” from the Classic of Food composed by Yang Su杨素 and intended to be handed down to his son. The emperor asked, “which food is the most precious?” Su Yijian replied, “the food does not have a set flavor. What suits one’s taste is the precious one! I only know that the [strange plant name; character not in our sources , possibly a miswriting] juice is delicious. I can remember that one night it was extremely cold. I drank a lot by the stove. At midnight, I was thirsty. The moon in the courtyard was bright and there was a basin of [?] juice covered in the remaining snow. I ate several pieces without interruption. At the time I told myself that the phoenix meat made by the immortal chef in heaven would not be as good as what I had eaten. I have tried to compose a biography of Mr. Jade Bottle and record this story, but have not found opportunity and thus have no results to report.” The emperor laughed and agreed with him.

At Tang times, Liu Yan went to the court at the fifth beating of drum. It was in the middle of the coldest days at the time. On the road he saw a shop selling steamed Iranian pancakes (hubing胡饼; [Iranian nan or something similar]). The pancakes were steaming. Liu Yan asked people to buy it for him.  He wrapped it in his sleeves and [then] ate it. He told his colleagues that it was so delicious that it could not be described in words. This is also because food does not have a determined flavor hierarchy; whatever suits one’s taste is the precious kind!  [Food can taste different to different people and under different situations; each to his own.]

Ni Si [Song Dynasty] said that Huang Tingjian composed an essay of Five Seeings at Meal Time (shishi wuguan食时五观). His words were deep and profound. He could be called a person who knew shame. I[16] used to enter a Buddhist temple and saw fasting monks. Whenever they ate, they would have three bites of little flavor. The first bite was to know the right taste of rice. If a person ate too much and mixed up the five flavors, he would not know the right taste. If he ate light-flavored food, the food was delicious by itself and did not need to borrow other flavors. The second bite was to think where food and clothes came from. The third bite was to consider how strenuous the farmers were. These were the five seeings and the meanings were prepared in the process. It was very simple to use this method when eating. If one had three bites first, more than half the rice was eaten. Even if there was no soup or vegetables, he could also finish eating by himself. This was a way of being satisfied with poverty.  [Also a way of satisfying the standard Buddhist directive to think seriously about what you eat, every time you start eating.]

In the Essay on Thinking of Returning (sigui fu思归赋) Wang Fengyuan [of whom little is known] said:

My father was eighty years old and my mother’s hair had also turned white. I am still a clerk, staying far away from my parents. The black bird chirping in the morning even knows to feed his parents. How can I be less than a bird? Whom can I tell my sorrow? The qi of autumn is chilly and moving. In the day my sorrowful thoughts arose and I looked askance at the river bank. I remember that when I was a child, every kind of fruit had been just ripe and the precious ones were offered frequently. Sometimes there were long-waist purple water chestnuts (ziling changyao紫菱長腰), round and solid red foxnuts [17](hongqian yuanshi紅芡圓實), persimmons in shape of a cow’s heart, with green pedicels (niuxin ludi zhi shi牛心綠蒂之柿), chestnuts individually wrapped in yellowish skin (dubao huangfu zhi li獨包黃膚之栗), greenish taros growing in linked [levee-divided?] fields (qingyu lianqu青芋連區), blackish barnyard millet (Echinochloa crus-galli) with five calyxes (wubai wuchu烏稗[18]五出), colorful duck-claw wood with small seeds (yajiao shoucai hu weihe鴨腳受彩乎微核), quinces that grow as if carved out of cinnabar (mugua loudan er chengzhi木瓜鏤丹而成質), breast-like greenish pear (qingru zhi li青乳之梨), oranges in shape of a reddish bottle, salted bee pupae (fengyong yancuo蜂蛹醃醝), honey-covered areca nuts and crab apples [19](binzha zimi檳楂漬蜜). Meat dishes included cormorant[20] (jiaojing鵁鶄) wild goose (yeyan野雁), ducks living in a lake, chirping quails, fatty crabs from a pure river, fresh fish from cold water, covered with purple fronds[?] and mixed with wild rice stem (jiaoshou茭首). There were dogwood berries (Cornus officinalis) (yu萸[21])  and chrysanthemums floating in cups of liquor. Turnips (jing菁[22]) and leeks (jiu韭) were displayed on the table. I sat by the pines and bamboos in the mountain with streams, sweeping under the paulownias (tong桐) and willows in the field in front of my door. My boy servants would not be noisy and I had books by my sides. Sometimes I had kept quiet for a whole day, while other times I had pleasant conversations with my friends. I believed in what my parents liked and had been in the community for long. My heart earnestly desires to decline the official seal and ribbon, but I definitely do not want to imitate the self-locked heart of Tao Yuanming, who was ashamed to bow down for five pecks of grain.  [All the treats mentioned are rustic mountain-and-river foods.  Tao Yuanming famously rejected office, thus nobly following his true nature but less nobly denying the world his services; Wang wants to follow him but is too moral.]







An Essay on Teas


There are many kinds of tea in the world. There are the Flower-on-Stone Tea石花 from the top of Mountain Meng in Jiannan[23], Purple-Bamboo-Root Tea 紫筍in Guzhu (Hu Prefecture[24]), Bright-Moon Tea in Bijian (Shan Prefecture), Missing-the-Peace Tea of Huojing in Qiongzhou, Thin-Flake Tea in Qujiang, True-Fragrance in Badong, Cedar-and-Rock in Fuzhou, White-Dew in Hongzhou, Yangxian Tea in Chang Prefecture, Juyan Tea in Mao Prefecture, Yangpo Tea in Mountain Yashan, Riding-the-Fire Tea in Long’an, High-Stalk Tea in Duru, Qianyang, and Plum-Slope Tea in Naxi, Luzhou, all of which are well-known.

In rank, the Flower-on-Stone Tea is the best, the Purple-Bamboo-Root second.  The Bright-Moon Tea in Bijian and the others rank after them respectively. It is a pity that not all of them can be obtained. In recent years, the tea grown on Mountain Huqiu is said to be surprising; unfortunately we cannot get more of it. If its slender sprouts are picked before the Festival of Grain Rain and withered [lit. “roasted,” but withering is the correct technical English term here] with the correct method, the Heavenly-Lake Tea is green and fragrant. It would satisfy your thirst just to smell it. The real Jie Tea is extremely expensive, twice as expensive as the Heavenly-Lake. I regret the difficulty of obtaining it. It would be wonderful if one could pick by himself as needed. As for the Lu’an Tea in Zhejiang, its taste is delicate. However, it is not good for withering and turns bitter if withered even if its nature is really good. The real Dragon-Well Tea grown in Hangzhou cannot be matched by the Heavenly-Lake. There are only a few families whose skill in withering it is excellent. Nearby, the tea withered by monks living in the mountain is also good.

The Dragon Well is better. However, Mountain Dragon-Well grows on only about ten mou. The tea grown outside of the mountain is not as good, and is used as substitute Dragon-Well.  Teas such as the tea grown in Northern-Mountain and West-River are used to replace the Dragon-well. Even the Hangzhou natives who know the taste of the Dragon-well are few, since there are too many fakes. I think that the beautiful spring of the Dragon-well is made by heaven.  The wonderful tea is grown for the miraculous qi of the mountain and thus can match the mountain. For those that cannot obtain it, the Heavenly-Lake and [ordinary] Dragon-Well[25] are the best. Tianzhu and Lingying tea are ranked next. The Yuqian tea grown in Mountain Tianmu, Hangzhou, is similar to the tea in Shuzhou, both of which are of the second rank.

Tea has become popular in the north, but one should be careful about drinking water and tea if he is in the south, in Fujian and Guangdong. In the past, Lu Yu [the great tea conoisseur] did not recognize the [problems with] teas grown in Lingnan and said that the tea grown in Lingnan tasted very good. We now know that Lingnan has much poisonous qi.  It affects the grass and trees. If northerners eat it, they can easily get sick. Therefore, one should be careful. Anyone wanting to pick some should wait till the sun is up and the mountains are visible. When the mist is gone from the mountains, one can start to pick the tea.

Tea balls and tea bricks are produced by grinding and lose most of the true taste.

Tea is wonderful when it is dried in the sunshine, green and fragrant, much better than withered tea.


[Notes:  The belief that southeast China had poisonous mists is an old and widespread one, not entirely gone today.  The major source for the idea was malaria, which is, of course, associated with mosquito-breeding marshes, and thus with mists. The problem was not the tea, but the malaria-carrying mosquitoes that made dawn and dusk dangerous times to be picking.           Withering tea leaves involves heating them—“roasting”—in shallow pans, over fires or sometimes with charcoal.  It is the normal first step in preparing green tea.]


Picking tea


Tuanhuang “has one flag and one gun,” which means one leaf and one sprout. When it is picked in the morning, it is called “tea,” but is called “chuan” if picked in the evening. The tea picked around the date of Grain Rain is best. Both the rough and the slender can be used except that it should be picked when it is sunny, withered properly, and preserved in the correct way.


[The first sentence here appears fragmentary; what is meant is that people say that the tea should be picked “when it has one flag and one gun,” as explained. The very finest tea still is picked at this stage:  one new leaf and a bud.]


Preserving tea


Tea is compatible with ruo bamboo leaves, but should be kept away from fragrances and medicines (xiangyao香藥). It likes warm and dry and hates cold and wet. Therefore, tea-gathering household use ruo bamboo leaves to pack it, and warm it every two or three days. The temperature of the fire should be close to body temperature. When it is warm, it can get rid of the humidity. If the fire is too hot, the tea is burned and cannot be consumed.

It is said that one can put the tea in bottles [probably ceramic ones], ten jin per bottle, and then put the bottles in a jar. Every year, put the ashes of burned straw into a huge barrel. Put the tea bottles into the barrel and insert the ashes around the bottles. Put the ashes above the bottles and pack down tightly. Whenever wanting to use the tea, open the bottle and take out a little, then put the ashes on it. The tea will not be rotten. In the second year, change the ashes.

It is also said that one can hang a frame in an empty room and put the tea bottles upside down. Because steam comes from the sky and goes down, they are put upside down.  [Steam and vapor rise, of course; evidently something like “drizzle” is meant here.  The text may be corrupt.]

If two kinds of sprout teas are served, they should be cooked with clean spring water, and flowers, fragrances, and fruit should not be added.. Some like to add flowers to tea. They should use tea that is even and delicate [i.e. small, even-sized leaves]; the taste of tea will not be decreased and the mouth will be filled with the fragrance of the flowers, so the tea will not be insipid (脱俗tuosu).

For orange tea and lotus tea, open the half-blossoming lotus at dawn and add a pinch of delicate tea. When the flower is full of tea, tie it up in a hemp skin [sic; evidently a web or sack made of hemp cloth) and leave it overnight. Next morning pour out the tea. Use paper made in Jian to wrap the tea and bake it with slow fire till it is dry. Repeat the previously-mentioned method with another flower. Repeat it for several times and bake it till it is dry. Its fragrance will be unsurpassed when it is tasted.

Osmanthus (muxi), jasmine, rose, wild rose (qiangwei), orchid (lanhui兰蕙), orange flower, gardenia, muxiang木香 (costus, Vladimiria souliei or Saussurea lappa), and mei (Prunus mume) flowers, all can be used in tea. When the flower is blossoming, pick the half-opened blooms, which have the most fragrance. Measure the amount of the tea and add a proper amount of flowers to it. If the flowers are too many, it would be too fragrant and lose the taste of the tea. If the flowers are too few, it would not be fragrant and not good enough. Use three portions of tea and one portion of flowers and it would be fine. With osmanthus, one should get rid of its branches and pedicels and dust and worms and ants. Take a porcelain jar and put one layer of flower and then one layer of tea till it is full. Tie it tightly with paper and put it into a boiler. Boil it with a large amount of water. Then take it out and wrap it with paper when it is cooled down. Bake it on fire till it is dry and then preserve it. Other flowers are treated similarly.


[Most of these flowers, especially osmanthus or sweet-olive, are still commonly used in tea.  Mei or flowering-apricot—often mistranslated “plum”—has a delicate carnation scent.]


Four tips for making tea

  1. Choosing water

When a mountain spring is not sweet [i.e., when it is sulphurous or otherwise mineralized], it will devastate the taste of the tea. Therefore, people of old thought that the selection of water is of utmost importance. Mountain water is the best, river water next to it, and well water the worst. As for mountain water, springs dripping from stalactites and flowing slowly [i.e., somewhat alkaline] is the best. If the water flows fast, don’t use it, or it will make people have neck ailments. As for river water, use that which is far from human beings. For well water, take that which is abundant[i.e., with plenty of water to dilute the pollutants]. If the water is as yellow as a crab or turbid or salty and bitter, don’t use it.

The water taken from the middle of the lake in Hangzhou, the number one spring in Mount Wu, Guo Pu’s Well, The Hupao Well, the Dragon Well, and the Immortal Ge Well, are very good.


  1. Wash the tea

Whenever cooking tea, wash the tea leaves with hot water, so that the dust and cold qi [“breath” or essence, but actual bitter dust is intended too] will be eliminated.  Thus it will be wonderful when cooked.  [Green tea is believed to have cold qi because it is bitter and a “cold” color.]


  1. Then to the brew

The tea should be cooked by slow and “living” fire. Living fire means fire coming from burning charcoal and having flames. One should not let the water boil.  Thus the tea will be properly prepared. At first, the water has dispersed fish-eyes [bubbles] and a low sound can be heard. In the middle of boiling, the water gushes like a spring from the edge and [the bubbles] are like pearls. At the end, the water is surging [boiling high] and the water qi [in this case, the literal air in the water; modern teamakers are still careful not to boil the dissolved air out of the water] disappears.  This is called old water [i.e., overboiled for the purpose]. This method of three-stage boiling cannot be made without living fire. The most serious thing to prevent is smoking the tea by burning firewood—the Five-Bandit-and-Six-Demon Brew mentioned in Qingyilu清异录 (N. Song).


  1. The equipment

When the pot is small, it is easy to get the brew ready. Soaking the tea leaves and pouring the brew should match each other. [I.e., don’t steep more than you are going to drink—always good advice.]  If the pot is large and the tea is left over after drinking, the tea stays too long and thus will not remain tasty. The tea boiler and pot made of porcelain and pottery is the best; bronze or tin is worse. Porcelain pots are best for making tea, while pottery [earthenware] boilers are best for cooking the water. It was said in Qingyilu清异录 that the brew made by the wealthy and prominent people should be cooked by silver boilers, and is wonderful. It is worse when using a bronze boiler to cook the soup or a tin pot to pour the tea.  [The metal leaches out and its taste and chemical action ruin the tea.]

For tea utensils, the cups and plates made from Xuan kiln is the best. They are of thick material and white and shiny, while the style is ancient and delicate. There are white pots stamped with flower patterns that are similar to those from the Xuan kiln. Their style is acceptable, and they shine like jade. Second best are those from kilns of the Jiajing period. When there is a small design [character unclear, probably corrupt] in the middle of it, it is especially beautiful. If one wants to test how the tea is yellow or white, how could he make the assessment harder by using qinghua [bluish-white] porcelain? For liquor, the same theory applies; only pure white vessels are of the highest quality, and others should not be used.


[All the above is good advice, still to be highly recommended.]


Three methods to use for tea


  1. Wash the vessels

When tea pots, cups, and spoons become dirty, they will devastate the taste of the tea. They should be washed till they are clean; then it will be fine.


  1. Warm up the cups

Whenever the tea is poured out, the cups should be warmed.  Thus the tea will show a cream-like surface.  If the cup is cold, the color of the tea will not appear on the surface.


  1. Concerning fruit

Tea has real fragrance, good taste, and right color. When it is cooked or poured, it should not be served with precious fruits or fragrant grasses. Those that can complement its fragrance are pine nuts, orange, lotus seed kernels, Chinese quince, mei flower, jasmine, wild rose, osmanthus, and so on. Those complementing its taste are cow milk, dragon peach, round eye (yuanyan圓眼—longan?), loquat and so on. Those complementing its color are dried persimmon, dried date, fire [-colored] peach, red bayberry, orange and so on.  [These are all ordinary, common items, not “precious” exotica.]  Whenever taking good tea, I feel pure after moving away the fruits. When they are mixed, I cannot distinguish one from another. If one wants to have fruits and nuts with tea, he should try walnut, hazel, melon seeds, apricot kernels, Canarium seed, chestnut, chicken head (jitou雞頭, seeds of the Euryale waterlily), ginkgo seed (yinxing銀杏) and so on. These can be used with tea.


[Again, all good advice, and most of it still practiced in China.]


The uses of tea


When one drinks tea, it can satisfy his thirst, help digestion, get rid of the ailment of having phlegm or insomnia, benefit the “water way” [sic], brighten the eyes, enhance thinking (this comes from Bencao shiyi本草拾遺), get rid of irritation and greasiness. One should not spend a day without having tea. However, there are things to avoid. It will get rid of irritation and greasiness and will not damage one’s spleen and stomach when one washes one’s mouth with strong tea after having a meal. When there is meat between teeth, one should use tea to wash it. Then the meat will be diminished and fall out.  One will not even notice it or feel anxious aboout picking it out. The nature of teeth is bitter [in the Chinese fivefold correspondence theory]. Therefore, his teeth will grow stronger and denser and poison will disappear by itself. However, only Chinese tea (zhongcha中茶) should be used. (The foregoing comes from Mr. Su’s writings.)


The tea set


A tea set includes sixteen vessels, which are collected in a container and work for the “bitter upright man” [a literary term for a furnace, see below]. I name them here and want to manage them as one set, for those that have pure hearts and fine conduct and can manage by themselves.

Shangxiang: the ancient Zhao tripod, used for cooking the tea.

Guijie: baboo brushes, used for washing the pot.

Fenying: ladle, used for measuring the weight of the water.

Dihuo: bronze fire dipper, used for moving fire.

Jianghong: bronze fire sticks, used for piling up the fire.

Zhiquan: balance for measuring tea, use one liang of tea when using two jin of water.

Tuanfeng: white bamboo fan, used for fanning the fire.

Chuchen: tea washer, used for washing the tea.

Jingfei: bamboo frame, a stomach support mentioned in the Classic of Tea.

Zhuchun: pottery pot, used for pouring tea.

Yunfeng: knife, used for cutting fruits.

Gandun: wood chopping block.

Chuoxiang (tasting the fragrant): porcelain cup, used for drinking the tea.

Liaoyun (teasing the cloud): bamboo tea spoon, used for taking fruits.

Najing (showing respect): bamboo tea container, used for containing cups.

Shouwu (receiving the dirty): dishcloth, used for cleaning the cups.


Tea containers (seven in total)


Kujiejun (bitter, upright man): bamboo furnace used for cooking the tea. It is also collected by the travelers.

Jiancheng: cage made from Indocalamus leaves, used for containing the tea to store in a high place.

Yuntun: porcelain bottle, used for taking the spring water for the purpose of cooking.

Wufu: bamboo basket, used for containing charcoal, the material for boiling the tea.

Shuicao: porcelain or pottery urn, used for containg the spring water which is used for boiling.

Qiju: a square box braided from bamboo sticks, used for collecting the tea set.

Also, pinsi: a round basket braided from bamboo sticks, used for collecting every kinds of tea leaves available for cooking and tasting.



Treatise on spring water


Tian Ziyi said: the spring that comes from the mountain foot is called mengxi, wuxi is heaven-given, water xi has the full taste.  Lu Yu said: mountain water is the best. Meng refers to a spring coming from bell-like rocks and rocky ponds with a slow flow. When the spring flows fast and violently, it is not a meng. Therefore, one should avoid consuming it.  [Fast currents carry too much turbidity, and generally lack the slight mineralization of slow, clear mountain water in China.]

The obscure cannot be abandoned, since there is a divinity for everything [obscure and probably corrupt; we suspect that “obscure” was originally used in its root meaning, “turbid water,” and that a direction to avoid turbid water has gotten mixed with an originally separate sentence on the mountain god; see following]. The heavenly divinities produce the myriad things. The Book of Han mentioned three gods. The mountain god is one of them.

Spring water should be heavy [i.e., mineralized].  Good spring water is especially so. The Hermit Xu in Yuhang used to tell me that the mountain spring from Phoenix Mountain and the One-Hundred-Flower Spring in Amudun are not as good as the Five Springs; one can see the advantages of the immortals’ springs.

When the mountain is thick, the springs are thick.  [I.e., a large wide mountain produces a large spring.]  When the mountain is outstanding, the springs are outstanding[ly good]. When the mountain is pure, so is the spring. When the mountain is serene, so is the spring. All of them have their own natures. When not thick, they will be thin. When outstanding, they will not be dull. When not pure, they will be turbid. When not serene, they will be noisy. These will not be good springs.

When the mountain does not come to an end, the water will not. If it ends, there will be no source. When there is a drought, it will dry quickly.  [I.e., a long ridge or a range are more reliable water sources than an isolated hill.]



Stone and Stream


Stone is the bone of the mountain. A stream is moving water. The mountain spreads qi and thus the myriad things grow. Qi spreads and thus mai [“pulse”] grows. [The flow of qi in the mountain is a pulse, equivalent to the human pulse; this idea was universal in China until recently, and the folk view was that mountains contained actual dragons that, as living animals, had actual pulses.  Mai has a wider meaning, though, and can accommodate the circulation of qi in a person, water in the earth, and energy in an earthquake-prone mountain range, as well as a pulse from blood flow.] Therefore, the mountain water is the best. It is said in Bowuzhi博物志 that stone is the source of metal. When the essence of jia [lit. “nail” or “shell,” unclear here] and stone flows out, there is water. It is also said that the mountain spring brings out the qi of the earth.

If the spring does not come out from stone, it cannot be good. So it is said in Chuci (Poems of Chu, ca. 3rd century BCE):  “drink the water of the stone spring and stay in the shade of pine and cypress.” Huangfu Ceng wrote a poem for Lu Yu:

Distant temple—in the mountain a calm time,

Cooking in the wild with clean and clear water from the stone spring.

Mei Yaochen’s poem on the tea on Peak Blue Sky:

The stone spring is good where I cook [the tea].

It is also said that:

Small stones and the cold spring hold the early taste.

These can really be appreciated.

Sometimes, there are springs that hide in the sand and earth. If one takes [water from such a spring] and it is not exhausted, it can be used. Otherwise, it is sinking rain water.  Even if it is clean, do not use it.

If the current flows a long way, its taste will be light. If it stays in a deep pond, its taste is doubled and can be used.

If the spring does not move, it is harmful to drink it. It is said in Bowuzhi博物志 that people living in mountainous areas will have goitre if taking water that does not flow. [Water in the west China mountains is often deficient in iodine, with the result that goitre is common. The Chinese early realized that something was wrong with the water or salt there, since they recognized that iodine-rich sea salt prevented the condition while iodine-lacking Sichuan mountain salt was associated with it; but they had no idea what the actual problem was].

When the spring gushes out, it is called pen. When the spring water drops down suddenly, it is called pu. Both the water curtain in Mt. Lu and the waterfall in Tiantai, Hongzhou, are recorded as highly ranked waters, in contrast to the Classic of Tea written by Lu Yu.  [Lu ranked waters differently.]  Therefore, Zhang Jiuling wrote a poem on the waterfall in Mt. Lu, saying that:

I heard of the meng water at the foot of the Mountain,

It is said by those now living in the wild woods

That the nature of things is mysterious and unstable,

The life-giving kun [a power of the earth] is often diverse and transforming.

I put it away and leave quietly,

Who can understand the transformations?

Therefore, the knowledgeable will not have it. However, a waterfall is truly a precious screen and silk curtain when one lives in the mountains. Used for ears and eyes, who would say that it is not suitable?  [I.e., it is fine for scenery, though not for drinking.]


Pure and cold


“Pure” means clean and quiet, which is the way pure water looks. “Cold” means chill and frozen, which is the way the water looks when poured out. It is not difficult to find pure springs but it is hard to find cold springs. Pure as the water that is shallow and flows over sand, it is not of a good grade. Cold as the water coming from deep rocks and having accumulated enough yin, it is not of a good grade.

When stones are few and earth much, or when the sand is sticky and the mud congealed, it cannot be pure and cold.

The image of the meng water is said to be its fruit. A flowing well’s image is said to be cold. If the spring does not fruit, the qi will be stagnant and its radiance will not be pure. If it is cold, the nature will be dry and the taste will be bitter.

Ice means hard ice. When the qi of yin gathers in a deep canyon and cannot get out, it will be congealed and turn into hidden yin. Water lies bright and light on the ground, while ice is condensed and cold. Therefore, ice is the ultimate status of the pure and cold. The poem composed by Xie Lingyun includes the line:

Chisel the ice and cook the breakfast.

And from Shiyiji拾遺記 (“Record of Collecting What Has Been Forgotten”):

Mt. Penglai’s water is icy,

One who drinks it will live for a thousand years.

[Mt. Penglai is a mythical, divine mountain.]

When there is sulfur under the water, it emerges as a hot spring. There are many of them here and there. There are many cases in which springs come out from the same valley but half are warm and half are cold. Not all of them are of potable grade. An exception is the vermilion spring in Mt. Huang, Xin’an, which can be drunk. It is said in the Illustrated Classic of Herbals that Mt. Huang used to be called Mt. Yi and there is a vermilion spring under the east peak that can be used for cooking tea. In the spring, it is pinkish. It is the liquid cinnabar of nature. [Actually it is ferric iron that stains hot spring water red; red algae may also be involved.]  It is said in Shiyiji拾遺記 that: if one drinks the boiled water of Mt. Penglai, he will live up to one thousand years. This is the drink for immortals. When there is gold, the water must be pure. When there are pearls, the water must be lovely. When there are carp, the water must be foul [as every fisherman knows!]. When there is a dragon, the water must be deep, dark, and somewhat bad. One cannot use waters without distinguishing them.


Sweet and fragrant


Sweet means beautiful. Fragrant means of good smell. In the Book of History it is said: “Make the crops grow and get sweet grains.”  Sweet means fragrant. The grain is sweet and fragrant and thus can nourish people. The spring is sweet and fragrant. Therefore, the spring can nourish people, too. However, it is easy to find a sweet spring that is also a fragrant spring. There is no fragrant spring that is not sweet.

Those tasting good are called sweet springs. Those having fragrant smells are called fragrant springs. One can find them here and there. When there is a noxious plant growing above a spring, its leaves will be nourished and roots moistened. All of them will damage the sweet and fragrant. The ultimately noxious plants can even make the liquid poisonous. So they should be cleared away.

Sweet water is praised for its sweetness. In Shiyiji拾遺記 it is said that there is a sweet river passing by the north of Mountain Yuanqiao. Its taste is as sweet as honey. In Shizhouji十洲記 (“Record of Ten Continents”) it is said that the water from the Dark Canyon in Yuan Continent is like honey. If one drinks it, he will live as long as heaven and earth. It is also said that the water from Sheng Continent is like maltose and cheese.  [Buddhist and Chinese cosmology postulate several continents beyond the bounds of the known world.  They have truly unearthly properties, such as flavored water.  Probably the visions of shamans or spirit mediums were the sources for the information.]

When there is cinnabar in the water, not only the taste is not normal, but can elongate one’s life and cure his illnesses. It can be found only in the famous mountains and great rivers, where the immortals stayed and practiced. In his youth, Ge Xuan used to be the magistrate of Linyuan. In the county, there was a family named Liao whose members enjoyed longevity for generations. He suspected that it is because of the particularly reddish well water. So he tried to dig around the well and got dozens of hu of vermilion cinnabar covered up by ancient people.

Ge’s Well at Lake West was the place that Ge Gong made cinnabar [pills? Elixirs?]. At the Majia Garden, a stone jar was found when people dredged the well. There were several pieces of cinnabar in it. They were like wild lotus seeds and had no taste when tasted. They had been abandoned. Someone gave a fisherman a pill and he lived as long as one hundred six years. This cinnabar water is extremely difficult to gain. It cannot be contained in unclean vessels.

If one cooks tea properly but does not know how to drink it, it is like taking springs from stalactites to irrigate wormwood [i.e., using the finest grade of water to irrigate a bitter herb]. The sin cannot be more serious. When the drinker has it in one sip and does not take time to distinguish the taste, nothing can be more vulgar.


Spiritual water


“Spiritual” means pertaining to the gods. The heavenly Unity gave birth to water, which is essential and bright and not turbid. Therefore, water falling down from heaven is really spiritual water. Isn’t it called “the water of the upper lake” in ancient sources? When inspected, such water provides drinks for the immortals. Use a big jar to collect rain water during the Yellow-mildew period [the rainy period in spring when mildew grows], and also use snow water. Insert above ten pebbles under it. It will not spoil for years. Take a piece of charcoal about three-or –four-cun in length and burn it till it is red. Throw it into the water and let it quench. The water will not grow fleas [water insects]. [Both the heat and the adsorptive qualities of charcoal would purify the water.]

The spiritual is that which has yang qi dominant and spreading. The color is as strong as sweet dew, as congealed as grease, as tasteful as maltose. It is also called paste dew, or heavenly liquor.

“Snow” is the coldness accumulated in heaven and earth. In the Book of Fan Shengzhi [a Former Han agricultural manual] it is said that the snow is the essence of the five grains.  [Fan was giving practical advice for cold, dry northwest China:  snow is the best source of soil moisture, as he was well aware.]  In Shiyiji拾遺記 it is said that when the King Mu went east and arrived at the Great Xi Valley, the Queen Mother of the West came to submit sweet snow from Qianzhou. This is spiritual snow. Tao Gu took snow water to cook tea balls. In a poem on cooking the tea, Ding Wei wrote that:

I cherish it and preserve it in the bookcase,

Insisting on keeping it till snow falls.

In a poem on the Jian Tea submitting to the scholar, Li Xuji wrote that:

I try to use the snow of the Liang Garden,

To cook and stir the spring tea from Jian.

Therefore, snow is especially good for tea drinks. Men without official titles ranked it as the last grade; why? I think that it might be about the taste of dryness. If one thinks it is too cold, I do not think so.  [Snow is pure, a commodity rare in old Chinese waters.  Even today, snow and rain make the best tea, far better than our chlorine-laden and sediment-sullied tap water.]

Rain is harmony between yin and yang. Heaven and earth give the water from the clouds above.  It supports the time, gives birth, and nourishes the living. [Ideally] the wind is mild and the rain is proper. The cloud is bright and the rain is sweet. In Shiyiji拾遺記 it is said that when fragrant clouds moisturize everywhere, they become fragrant rain, which is spiritual rain and surely can be drunk. If the rain is made by dragons, or it is heavy and continuous, or dry and frozen, or foul and black, or the dripping from the eaves, it cannot be taken.  [Mostly good advice—rain often picks up dust and soot in the air, as it falls—but the dragon issue is a difficult one.  Many Chinese believed all rain was made by dragons.  We suspect that Gao considered slow or gentle rains to be natural, but violent storms to be dragon-caused.]

The place close to tides must not have good springs because saline-alkali soil is plentiful there. The most famous tides in the world are in Wulin. So there are no good springs. However, there are good springs in the mountains near West Lake.

The Yangzi is a river. The Nanling [flowing into it] has layered rocks and deep canyon and is taken into the best rank, as an exception [to the general rule that river water is contaminated]. I used to taste it and it was really not different from those found east of the mountain [east of the Nanling]. The water from the Wusong River is the lowest grade of water. Inexplicably, it has also entered the ranks [of waters that some people consider acceptable].


Well Water


When the well is pure, it is because the spring [feeding it underground] is pure. “Tong” [to go through, circulate] means materials circulating [getting through].  “Law” means limits. The law regulates the residents, forbidding them from eating and drinking without limits. The purity [of the well] comes from yin. What has gotten into the well makes it turbid. The law sets up limits [on the well].  Its mai [pulse, in the qi system] is dark and the taste is stagnant. Therefore, Lu Yu said that the well water is ranked lowest. He said that the well has been taken by too many people. When too many people take it, their qi gets in and flows actively there. So it is definitely not a good class. When using the water, put white stones into a jar. This will not only enrich its taste, but can keep the pure water from turning turbid.

Gaozi said:  A beautiful well known to the world is the Zhongling well. However, I have tasted the well on Mt. Jiao four times and it is no worse than that of the Zhongling well. The taste of the water from Mt. Hui is light and pure, and can be safely put into the highest grade. As for the water in our Hangzhou, it is the Running-Tiger well that is best among all the wells. The old Dragon well and that of the Pearl Temple are sweet, too. The taste of the Immortal Ge’s well in Mt. Bei is dense. As for the water inside the city, the number one well in Mt. Wu is the best. When I tasted it, it was not as pure as Mr. Shi’s well or Granny Guo’s well, which are good for tea. As for the water close to the two bridges in the south lake, one should take it in the early morning. It is very good for cooking tea and does not require anything else.




[The recipes in this section are for medicinal preserves, not soups in the usual sense.]


Green and crisp mei soup


Take three jin twelve liang of green and crisp [underripe] mei [flowering apricot, often miscalled “plum”] fruits, four liang of the raw liquorice powder, one jin of baked salt, one jin four liang of raw ginger, three liang of green Sichuan pepper, half liang of dry pepper. Get rid of the seeds of the mei and cut them in half. Probably every family has a recipe for green mei soup and their ingredients are largely identical, though with minor differences. When starting to make it, the fragrant smells are similar too. When it is salt-preserved for several months, it must become fully ripe like yellow mei soup. [I.e., it will taste like ripe mei, which are yellow.] There is an explanation for how to do this. First, the green mei should be collected before the festival of Xiaoman (Grain Fills). Pestle them till mashed. Discard the seeds, but do not use your hands; use a dry wooden spoon instead. When stirring, use a wooden spoon also. After mashing them, spread them out on the sifter. Let the liquid strain off. Second, use raw liquorice. Third, use baked salt–only when it is cooled down. Fourth, use raw ginger and mash it without being saturated in water. Fifth, use green Sichuan pepper right after it was picked and dried. Fry and stir all the previous ingredients and use a wooden spoon to move them into a new bottle. Only materials slightly more than the quantity for ten cups can be preserved in one bottle. Leave some salt in the power. Cover it with double-layered oilpaper and tie the bottle neck tightly. Only when this has been done, one is able to have crisp mei. If the mei and ginger stick to your hands [i.e. if the mashed paste is too difficult to work with], you can cut them into bits instead.

[This would not produce a “soup,” but a preserved paste very much like—and in fact ancestral to—the “liquorice plums” or “liquorice crack seed” so abundant in Asian and Hawaiian markets today.]


Yellow mei soup


Take round and large yellow [i.e., ripe] mei and steam them till fully cooked. Discard the seeds. Take one jin of clean meat, three qian of baked salt, one and a half qian dry ginger powder, two liang of dried purple mint [perilla], liquorice and sandalwood, adjusting to individuals’ taste. Stir them till the flavor is even and put them in porcelain. Dry them in the sun and then preserve them. When eating them, one should add some salt. In the summer, it is even better if water is added.

[Again, this is a preserve, not a soup; it is the salted and dried version of a still-common dish of meat, today always pork, with flowering-apricot sauce.]


Phoenix-Pond soup


Take one jin of pitted black [fermented] mei, four liang of liquorice, one liang of baked salt, and cook them till they become creamlike. One method is to divide them equally into three. Pestle them into powder and stir till they are even. Press them into the bottle tightly. In the twelfth month or in the middle of the hottest days, blend them together. After half a year, bake them till they become powder and take it after cooked with hot water. Otherwise, this also can be taken after it is cooked with water into creamlike stuff.

[Another version of preserved liquorice mei, not a soup.]


Mandarin orange soup


Take one jin of mandarin oranges and take off the skins, discarding the white membranes inside. Cut the skins into bits and mash them with the pulp. Use one liang of baked salt, one liang of liquorice, and one liang of raw ginger. Mash them till the juice comes out and stir them till it is even. For oranges, the method is the same. Dry it in the sun and seal tightly. When it is cooked in hot water, it tastes very good.


Apricot-kernel soup


Take any amount of apricot kernels and boil them till the skins peel off. Soak in water overnight, just as in making mung bean jelly. Drain the water. Or add a little of ginger juice as well as butter and honey. Another method is to use three liang of apricot kernels, two liang of raw ginger, one liang of baked salt, one liang of liquorice powder, and mash them together.

[Again, a preserve, not a soup.]


Fennel spice soup


Take six qian of fennel and the skins of Chinese pepper, two qian of dried salt, half sheng of fully cooked sesame, one jin of roasted flour. Mash them into powder.  Make up as soup with boiled water.

[This would be a thin, highly spiced paste or thick soup.  Salt tends to absorb moisture unless tightly sealed, hence the need to dry it.]


Mei-and-Perilla soup


Take one and a half jin of black mei fruit, four liang of baked salt, two liang of liquorice, ten liang of purple mint [perilla] leaves, half liang of sandalwood, twelve liang of fried flour. Blend them evenly.  Blend in boiled water.


Heavenly-fragrance soup


When the white osmanthus blossoms, use a wood stick to strike off the flowers when they still have dew on them in the early morning. Hold them in a piece of cloth and take off the pedicels and calyx. Put them in a clean container. Use a new basin and mash them into mud-like paste. Squeeze water out and collect it. Add one liang of liquorice and ten salted plums to every jin of this material. Mash and make into cakes. Put the cakes into a jar and seal tightly. Use after making up as soup in boiled water.  [This seems to explain why the recipes are called “soups”:  one can beat up the preserved items in water for a hot drink.  However, the modern equivalents are, in our experience, usually eaten as they are prepared, though sometimes made into drinks.  Osmanthus flowers at night, and has an exquisite sweet scent to attract moths; it is routinely used today as of old for flavoring teas and other drinks.]


Secret-fragrance soup


When the mei blossoms, one should pick half-open flowers with petals in the early morning. Put them into porcelain bottles. Sprinkle every liang with one liang of baked salt. Don’t use hands to take them, or they will be spoiled. [They are extremely fragile.] Use layers of thick paper to seal. Put in the shade. In the next spring and summer, open, and add a little honey first in the cup. Then put two or three flowers in it. Pour boiled water in it. The flower will blossom by itself just as lovely as if fresh. When it is added to the tea, it is extremely fragrant. It is said that pistils also can be dried in the shade and juice added as in the above method.

[Opening mei flowers have a delicate carnation fragrance that is wonderful in tea.]


Need-to-ask soup [i.e., soup you should ask for]


Su Shi composed a song, saying:

Three qian of raw ginger (dried for use) and one sheng of jujubes (dried and pitted for use),

Two liang of white salt (fried to be yellowish) and one liang of liquorice (burned to get rid of the skin),

Nail spice, wood spice, each half qian,

Mash with the right amount of orange skins (get rid of the white membranes),

When cooked well,

When made up well,

It will redden and whiten your face even when you’re old.

[We have translated.“nail spice” (clove) and “wood spice” (Vladimirea or Saussurea) literally above, to keep the parallel construction.  The parentheses are in Gao’s text, and presumably his rather unpoetic addition to the poem.]


Apricot kernel cheese soup


Take three and a half liang of apricot kernels and saturate them in two sheng of repeatedly-boiled water. Cover them with a lid. When the water is cooled down, replace it with more repeatedly-boiled water. Repeat this five times. Then pinch off the skins and grind the kernels carefully in a small pottery basin. Then take one jin of good honey and cook them in a boiler till they boil three times. When boiled for the third time, collect them. When they are half cooled, add some more mashed kernels. Grind again.  Add [still more] mashed kernels and grind till even. Eat after mixing thoroughly in boiled water.

[This produces a form of nut butter, probably a Near Eastern contribution to Chinese cooking; it was widely used in Mongol times; see Buell et al. 2010.  Apricot kernel butter is still part of the Chinese nutraceutical shelf.]


Phoenix marrow soup (nourishing the lung and curing coughing)


Use one liang of pine nuts and walnuts respectively (soaked in hot water and then peeled), and half liang of honey. Grind the above mentioned materials till they are mashed and then add honey to it. Stir till evenly blended. When using it, mix up in boiled water.

[Another nut butter.  Pine nuts are associated with longevity, because pines live long and also because the nuts are genuinely highly nutritious.  Walnuts are, at least in modern China, considered brain food, because the kernel halves look like small brains.]


Finest cream soup (satisfying thirst and generating saliva)


Use one jin of black mei (mashed. Cook them with two large bowls of water till the soup can be contained in one bowl. Let it settle down. Don’t use iron vessels [Gao’s note]).  Add two liang of susha[石宿]砂[26] (ground fine), one qian of white sandalwood power, one fen of musk, and three jin of honey.

Put the mei water, susha, and honey all three together. Cook it in a sandstone vessel with slow fire till it turns reddish. When it is cooled down, add white sandalwood and musk. When using, take one or two spoons of it and mix in boiled water.


Watery-Miraculous-Mushroom soup (opening the qi of heart and benefiting the essence and marrow)


Use one jin of dried lotus seeds (wither them with skins on till they are extremely dry. Mash them into fine powder) and one liang of fine liquorice (slightly withered). Grind the above mentioned materials into powder. Add a pinch of salt to it every two qian. Saturate it in boiled water and use. Mash the blackish skins of lotus seeds till they are as hard as iron. If they cannot be mashed any more, get rid of them then. People usually get rid of the blackish skins when using lotus seeds. They do not understand. When one remains sitting at night, too hungry and tired to take any food, have one cup of this soup and it will greatly compensate for weakness and enhance the qi.  Formerly the immortal Wuguangzi took this and then achieved the Way.


Jasmine soup


Spread honey in the middle of a bowl. Spread it evenly and do not let it flow. Pick twenty or thirty jasmine flowers early every morning. Cover the honey bowl on the flowers and use their fragrance to smoke it. At noon get rid of the flowers. Pour hot water into the bowl.  It is very fragrant.


Fragrant orange soup (widens the Middle Jiao, improves the movement of qi, and cures the discomforts of drunkenness)


Use two jin of large oranges (got rid of the seeds, cut into slices, and use with skins), one half liang of sandalwood power, one liang of raw ginger (cut into slices and withered), one liang of liquorice powder, and three qian of salt. Grind the oranges and ginger in a clean sandstone basin till they are mashed. Then add white sandalwood powder and liquorice powder. Mix them and make cakes out of them. Bake the cakes till they are dry. Grand them into powder. Whenever using, take one qian of it and make it up in boiled water.


Chinese olive [Canarium album] soup


Use one liang of baiyaojian (百藥煎)[27], one qian of white angelica 白芷, five qian of sandalwood, and five qian of honey liquorice甘草炙[28]. Grind the above materials into fine powder. Mix in boiled water and then take it.


[Presumably the ingredients are used to preserve the “olive,” or are used with a preserved one; the “olive” is the preserved fruit of a south Chinese and southeast Asian tree that also has an edible kernel in the seed.  The preserved fruit resembles a cured olive, but the tree itself has no resemblance or close relationship to that plant.]


Cardamom soup


This soup cures every kind of cold qi, fullness in heart and stomach, stagnancy in chest midriff, hiccup and vomiting, diarrhea and weakness and slipperiness[29], indigestion of water and grains, tiredness and powerlessness, lose of appetite (this comes from Jufang局方[30]).

Use one jin of cardamom seeds (baked in flour), four liang of roasted liquorice [here and in the following, “roasted” means parched or toasted in a pan], one jin of roasted white flour, five qian of clove branches and sticks (just use the branches), two liang of dried salt. Grind them into powder. Whenever using it, take two qian of it and mix in boiled water. It is wonderful when used before meals.


Sobering-up soup (use after centering wine [zhong jiiu, Gao’s euphemism for getting drunk!])


Use one and half qian of white tuckahoe [a fungus], five qian of cardamom seeds, three qian of wood spice (muxiang), one and half qian of dried orange skins, one fen of greenish lotus skins 蓮花青皮, one qian of zexie澤瀉[31], one qian of shenqu神曲 (withered till it turns yellowish), three qian of susha, half liang of kudzu flowers葛花, one and half qian of cocklebur猪苓 (get rid of the black skins), one qian of dried ginger, and two qian of large-headed atractylodes (Atractylodes macrocephala) 白术.

Grind them into fine powder and stir them till they are even. Whenever using, take two qian of it and saturate it in hot water. After taking it, the patient will sweat a little bit and then the drunken illness is gone. One should not take too much of it.


Quince soup (getting rid of wetness, satisfying thirst, and improving the movement of qi)


Use four liang of clean, peeled, dried quince, five qian of white sandalwood, three qian of gharu-wood, five qian of roasted [pan-toasted, parched] fennel, five qian of cardamom, five qian of susha, one and half liang of fine liquorice, and half liang of dried raw ginger.

Grind them into extremely fine powder. Take half qian of it everyday. Add salt and boiled water when using it.

[Quince juice, someteimes with spices, is still used for the above purposes, and a more delightful and refreshing nutraceutical would be hard to find.]


No-dust soup


Use two liang of crystal sugar水晶糖霜 and two fen of mei-like borneol梅花片脑.

Pestle the sugar into powder and sift it. Add borneol and grind it till it is even. Whenever using, take one qian and mix up in boiled water. One should not use too much. If one uses too much, it makes people feel full.


Green-cloud soup (one should not take this soup when eating fish)


Use four liang of catnip ear荆芥穗, two liang of large-headed atractylodes, and two liang of liquorice.

Grind them into powder. When using it, add salt and saturate in hot water.


Arborvitae leaf柏叶 soup


Pick tender leaves of arborvitae [Thuja orientalis—though pai can also mean similar evergreens with flat needle sprays]. Tie them with thread and hang it in a large jar. Seal the jar with paper. Use it after several months. If it is not dry yet, seal it till it is dry. Grind it into power. The color is like that of tender grass. If the jar is not used, it can also be put in a closed room. But it won’t be as green as that made in a jar. It turns yellowish when it meets the wind. This soup can be used to replace tea, especially if people talk at night and are frightened [presumably because of drinking too much tea]. If one drinks too much tea, it will harm his health, consume the qi of essence, and harm the spleen and stomach. Arborvitae leaf soup is very beneficial. It is even better if it is picked freshly, cleaned, and mixed in boiled water.


Three-goodness soup


Use one sheng of glutinous rehmannia地黄 juice and Chinese wolfthorn枸杞 berry juice respectively, and half sheng of honey. Cook them in silver till it is like thin maltose. When using it, take a large spoon of it and saturate it in hot water or liquor. It enriches the qi and nourishes the blood. It is good for a person when taken over a long time.

[Rehmannia is medicinal; Chinese wolfthorn berries are rich in vitamins and minerals, including iron, hence the benefit to the blood—traditional Chinese did not know that iron and vitamins were responsible, but, as we can attest, they did know from observation that wolfthorn berries significantly benefited the blood, making thin and pale blood stronger and redder.]


Dried Lichee荔枝soup


Use two jin of white sugar, five liang of large black mei pulp (steam it with boiled water and get rid of the sour liquid), a small amount of cinnamon powder, a small amount of raw ginger thread, and a small amount of liquorice.

Pestle the sugar and black mei pulp till they are mashed. When using, mix it in boiled water.


Pure charm清韻 soup


Use three liang of susha, one liang of stone calamus powder石菖蒲末, and five qian of liquorice powder. Add a small amount of salt. Mix in clear boiled water and take.


Orange soup


Use fifty oranges, one liang of dry wild yam powder 干山藥末, one liang of liquorice powder, and four liang of white mei pulp.

Mash them and bake until dry. Make it into cakes. Mix it in clear hot water and use.


Osmanthus soup


Use four liang of osmanthus (baked and made into powder), a small amount of dry ginger, and a small amount of liquorice. Make them into powder and stir it till it is even. Add proper amount of salt and contain it in porcelain jar. Do not let the qi get out of the jar. Use it frequently after mixing in white hot water.


Dongting soup


Use four liang of aged orange skins (peeled) and four liang of raw ginger.

Mix the orange skins and ginger for one night. Toast them and add six qian of liquorice powder, thirty white plum pulps, as well as five qian of baked salt. Stir them till they are even.  Mix in boiled water and use.


Quince soup (second recipe)


Use ten liang of quince, two liang of raw ginger powder, two liang of baked salt, two liang of liquorice powder, and ten liang of purple mint powder.

Merge them and stir till they are even. Mix in boiled water and use. If one’s hands and feet are sour [sour perspiration?], he will feel better after drinking it.

Another recipe: add two liang of susha powder and three liang of yam powder. This enhances digestion, dissolves the qi化氣, and strengthens the spleen.


Ginseng and dwarf lilyturf soup


Use one qian of ginseng, six fen of dwarf lilyturf门冬 [Ophiopogon], and three fen of five-flavor [spice powder]五味.

Put them in a small jar and cook. As the soup is ready, drink it.


Green mung bean soup


Sift and clean green [but dried] mung beans and put them in a pot and add water. Boil it once over a high fire. Take the soup and wait till it is cooled down. The color is green. It cures heatstroke/insolation. If it boiled several times, the color will become turbid and one cannot bear to eat it.  [This is still an extremely common folk remedy, not only in China but in Korea and elsewhere.]



BOILED WATERS (twelve kinds)


Paddy-leaf boiled water (daoye shushui稻葉熟水)


Pick seedlings of growing rice plants and dry them in the sun. For use, pour boiled water in a pot. Burn the leaves and throw them into the pot while still alight. Cover tightly. After a short while, pour the water out.  It is extremely fragrant.


Tangerine-leaf boiled water


Pick and dry in the sun. Make as above.


Osmanthus-leaf boiled water


Pick and dry in the sun. Make as above.


Purple-mint-leaf boiled water


Pick purple mint [perilla] leaves and toast them over fire with a piece of paper inserted between the leaves and fire. Do not stir them. When the fragrance can be smelled, collect them.  For use, wash quickly in boiled water. Then pour away the water. Add the saturated purple mint into a pot and then pour boiled water in it. After using this water, the breast can broaden out and the stagnant can be guided through (kuanxiong daozhi寬胸導滯).


Gharu-wood boiled water


Use one or two pieces of gharu-wood of the best grade. Burn in a stove and let it smoke. Cover the stove with the mouth of a pot and do not let the smoke escape. When the smoke does not come out any more, add boiled water into the pot immediately. Cover it tightly and then pour it out and drink it.


Clove boiled water


Use one or two cloves. Mash and put in a pot. Pour boiled water into the pot. The fragrance is thick; it is a little heating (shaore少熱).


Large cardamom (sharen砂仁) boiled water


Use three to five sharen and one or two qian of liquorice. Mash them and add them into a pot. Add boiled water. This is fragrant and can be eaten.  It can eliminate blockage (xiao yongge消壅隔) and remove what has congealed and been detained in the stomach region.


Flower-fragrance boiled water


Pick jasmines and roses with half-opened buds. Use one bowl of boiled water and let it cool down. Saturate the buds in the water and cover it with a bowl tightly. Remove the flowers next morning. Fill a pot with boiled water and then add one or two small cups of flower-saturated water. Then the whole pot is fragrant and the water can be taken.


Sandal-wood boiled water


Use the same method as for gharu-wood boiled water.


Cardamom boiled water


Use one qian of cardamom, three qian of liquorice, and five fen of sweet flags growing on rocks (shichangpu石菖蒲). Slice them and add them into a clean pottery vessel. Pour boiled water on them, then drink. If the taste is too strong, add boiled water and then it can be used.


Cassia liquid (guijiang桂漿)


Use one liang of royal cassia (guan gui官桂, Chinese cinnamon) powder and two bowls of white honey (baimi白蜜). Boil two dou of water till only one dou remains. Pour it into a porcelain jar and wait till it is cooled down. Add cinnamon and honey and stir it for more than two hundred times. First cover it with a layer of oil paper. Then add several layers of cotton paper. Seal the jar tightly. After five to seven days, the water can be used. Otherwise, wedge a piece of wood into the jar and seal it tightly. Put it in a well. After three to five days, it is cool and tasty. Drink one or two cups frequently. Heat will be dispelled (qushu祛暑) and anxiety resolved. The hot will be removed and the cool will be generated (qure shengliang去熱生涼). Hundreds of illnesses will be prevented.


Medicinal citron (xiangyuan香櫞) soup


Use any amount of of large fragrant (medicinal) citrons and set twenty of them apart. Cut them in half. Use a bamboo knife to scrape out the pulp. Remove the part resembling a bag(nangdai囊袋). And the membrane resembling a tendon (jin筋). Collect it. Peel it till there is no white pith. Mince totally. Take it with a bamboo strainer and put it into boiled water. Scald it briefly once or twice. Squeeze it and let it dry. Collect it into the bag-shaped part. Add four liang of baked salt, one liang of liquorice powder, three qian of sandal-wood powder, one qian of gharu-wood powder (it will also be suitable if gharu wood is not used), and two qian of white cardamom powder. Mix evenly and seal tightly in a bottle. This can be preserved for a long time. Use chopsticks to get out one or two spoons of it and pour fully boiled water (baiguntang白滾湯) into it. It cures swelling and inflation in the diaphragm area (xiongge zhangman pengqi胸膈脹滿膨氣), sobers one up from drunkenness, improves digestion (xingjiu huashi醒酒化食), removes phlegm and dissolves congealed matter (daotan kaiyu導痰開郁). Its wonderfulness cannot be described in words. It cannot be taken in too large quantities, or it will hurt one’s original qi (yuanqi元氣).



CONGEES AND PORRIDGES (zhoumi粥糜), thirty-eight kinds


Gordon euryale (foxnut or chicken-head, the edible fruits of a water plant; qianshi芡实) congee


Use three he合 of peeled Gordon euryale. If they are new crop, grind them into paste. If they are old, make them into powder. Mix it with three he of japonica rice. Cook it as it turns into congee and eat it. It will enhance the essence and qi, strengthen the intelligence, and sharpen ears and eyes.


[Still commonly used in soups and congee; highly nutritious and digestible, it does provide benefits, though possibly not great intellectual supplementation.]


Lotus seed congee


Use one liang of lotus seed pulp. Peel and cook it till it is mashed. Pestle it carefully. Add three he of sticky rice. Cook them till it turns into congee. Eat it and the curative effects are the same as above.


Bamboo leaf congee


Use fifty pieces of bamboo leaves, two liang of gypsum (shigao石膏), and three bowls of water. Cook them till it can be contained in two bowls. Let it settle down and remove the sediment. Add three he of rice and cook them into congee. Add one or two spoons of white sugar and eat it. It cures the wind and heat above the midriff (or diaphragm; geshang fengre膈上风热) and red eyes (toumuchi头目赤).


Turnip seed (manjing蔓菁, possibly including a kind of beet) congee


Use two he of turnip seeds and mash them. Add two large bowls of water and stir. Take the clean juice and add three he of rice. Cook it into congee. It cures difficulty in urination (xiaobian buli小便不利).


Cow milk congee

Use one zhong钟 of raw real cow milk [as opposed to soybean milk, etc.]. First make a congee with japonica rice and cook it till it is half cooked. Remove a little of the soup. Add cow milk. When it is fully cooked, contain it in a bowl and add one spoon of butter (su酥) and eat it.  [An interesting recipe, appearing thoroughly Indian; it probably came from India with Buddhism.]


Sugar cane congee


Extract three bowls of sugar cane juice and add four he of rice. Cook it into congee. Eat it with empty stomach. It cures cough, heat accompanied with weakness (xure虛熱), dry and hot mouth (kouzao口燥), thick phlegm (tinong涕濃), dry tongue (shegan舌幹).


Wild yam (shanyao山藥) congee


Use four liang of lamb and mash it. Add one he of yam powder, a small amount of salt, and three he of japonica rice. Cook them into congee. Eating it will cure illness caused by long-term weakness (xulao虛勞) and hot bones (gezheng骨蒸).[32]


Wolfthorn (gouqi枸杞) congee


Use one he of wolfthorn [presumably berries] from Ganzhou甘州 and add three he of rice. Cook it into congee and eat it.


Perilla (zisu紫苏) congee


Use Perilla frutescens crispa powder and add water to get the juice. When one is cooking [rice] congee and it is about to be fully cooked, add proper amount of juice and mix them evenly. Eating it will cure old men’s foot qi (laoren jiaoqi老人脚气). (It is wonderful using domestic perilla. [Gao’s note.])


Glutinous rehmannia (dihuang地黄) congee


Use more than ten jin of glutinous rehmannia newly grown by the tenth month. Mash them till the juice comes out. Add four liang of white honey to every jin of the juice. Slowly cook it till it turns into paste. Collect and seal it. When cooking three he of congee, add three or two qian of glutinous rehmannia paste and a small amount of ghee. Eating it will moisturize yin and moisten the lung (ziyin runfei滋阴润肺).


Sesame congee


Use peeled sesame and steam them till full cooked. Toast till the fragrance can be smelled. Use three he of rice and wash. Add two he of sesame and grind up into juice. Fully cook it into congee. When eating, add butter to it. [“Grinding into juice” evidently means grinding up the sesame and rice in water, or grinding and then putting into water.]


Mountain chestnut (shanli山栗) congee


Fully cook chestnuts and powder them. Add rice and cook into congee. Then one can eat it.


Chamomile seedling (jumiao菊苗) congee


Use new born sprouts of chamomile (ganju甘菊) with clustered leaves. Pick and clean them. Mince finely. Add salt and cook with rice into congee. Eating it will clarify the eyesight and pacify the heart (qingmu ningxin清目宁心).


Wolfthorn leaf congee


Use new tender leaves of wolfthorn. Cook it as the above method. It is also wonderful.


[Chinese wolfthorn leaves and berries are extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, and have many of the benefits claimed for them in Chinese medicine.]


Job’s tears (yiyi薏苡) congee


Wash job’s tears and add the same amount of white rice. Cook them into congee. When eating, add one or two spoonfuls of white sugar.


Sandy-husk rice (shakemi沙殼米) [rice with rough, sandy-feeling husks] congee


Collect sandy-husk rice and wash it roughly with water. Add it to boiled water. When it is boiled again, take it out immediately. Therefore it will not turn into paste. It cures diarrhea (xiali下痢) and is extremely effective.


(wulou芜蒌) congee


Fully cook red beans (chidou赤豆) in a pottery jar. When the rice congee is slightly boiled, add the cooked red beans to it and cook. Eat it.


Mei flower congee


Collect fallen mei petals and clean them. Use snow water to cook congee. When the congee is fully cooked, add petals to it. When it is boiled again, take it up immediately and eat it.


Tumi 荼蘼 congee


Pick petals of tumi [a small tree with white flowers, according to note in text; unidentified] and boil briefly with hot liquorice soup. When the congee is fully cooked, add them to it and reboil.

Or pick tender leaves of muxiang木香, and boil them briefly with hot liquorice soup. Add oil, salt, ginger, and vinegar to make a dish. It has two kinds of pure fragrances and is truly a food that should be offered to the immortals.


River-god (heqi河祇) congee


Fully cook Chinese herring (haixiang海鲞). Remove the bones and cut it finely. When the congee is fully cooked, add the fish to it and cook together. Stir till evenly mixed, and eat.


Wild yam (shanyao山药) congee


Use yam from Huai and make it into powder. Add rice to it with the ratio four to six. Cook them into congee. Eating it will compensate the lower cinnabar field (xiayuan下元)[33].


Goat or sheep kidney (yangshen羊肾) congee


Use half jin of wolfthorn leaves, three he of rice, two goat/sheep kidneys, five minced green onion heads (it is also suitable if dried). Cook them with rice into congee. Add some salt. Eating it will effectively cure pains in waist and feet.


Elk horn (mijiao麋角) congee


Use elk horns that have been cooked to produce glue. Grind them into fine powder. Add one qian of powder to every cup of congee. Add a small amount of salt. It cures the weakness in the lower cinnabar field (xiayuan xuruo下元虚弱).


Deer kidney congee


Use two deer kidneys. Remove the fat and membranes. Mince them finely and add a small amount of salt. Cook till very soft. Add three he of rice and cook into congee. It cures the weakness of qi and deafness (qixu erlong气虚耳聋). Another recipe: add one liang of desert cistanche (congrong苁蓉), which has been washed by liquor and peeled. Cook it with kidneys and rice. It is also good.


Pig kidney congee


Use two fen of ginseng, a small amount of green onion white (congbai葱白), and one fen of (fangfeng防風)[34]. Mash all of them into powder. Cook them with three he of japonica rice (jingmi粳米) till they are half cooked. Remove the membranes from a pair of pig kidneys. Cut them into thin slices and salt them. Let stand for a while. Add them into the congee pot. Do not stir after the kidneys have been thrown into the pot. Cook it with slow fire for a long time. Eating it will cure deafness.


Lamb congee


Use four liang of cooked [?] lamb (lanyangrou烂羊肉). Mince it finely. Add one qian of ginseng powder, one qian of tuckahoe powder, two jujubes, and finely minced membranous milk vetch (huangqi黃耆)[35]. Add three he of japonica rice and three or two fen of good salt. Cook them into congee. Eating it will cure weakness (leiruo羸弱) and enhance the yang (zhuangyang壮阳).


Dolichos bean (biandou扁豆) congee


Use half jin of white dolichos beans and two qian of ginseng. Mince them into thin slices. Cook them with water till the juice comes out. Add rice to it and make it into congee. Eating it will improve one’s essence and strength (yi jingli益精力). Also, it cures children’s cholera (xiao’r huoluan小儿霍乱).


Tuckahoe (fuling茯苓) congee


Make tuckahoe into powder. Use one liang of it and two he of sweet rice. Fully cook the rice into congee. Then add the tuckahoe and cook them together. Eat it after taking it up. It treats insomnia (“the symptom that one wants to sleep but cannot,” yushui budeshui欲睡不得睡).


Perilla and cannabis congee


Use five qian of real Perilla frutescens crispa seeds (zhen zisuzi真紫苏子) and cannabis seeds (damazi大麻子) respectively. Wash them with water. Bake them till the fragrance comes out. Add water and grind them into mud-like stuff. Take the juice. Use the juice taken from the two kinds of seeds to cook congee. It cures every kind of weakness that has congealed in an old man’s body for a long time (laoren zhuxu jiejiu老人諸虛結久), wind that cannot been terminated (fengmi bujie風秘不解), the stagnancy gathered in the diaphragm area (yongju gezhong壅聚膈中), inflation in the stomach and sickness in heart (fuzhang exin腹脹噁心).


Bamboo trickle (zhuli竹瀝)[36] congee


Cook congee as normal. Add a half bottle of bamboo trickle. Eating it will cure the fire accompanying the phlegm (tanhuo痰火).


Dwarf lilyturf (mendong門冬) [37]congee


Wash raw dwarf lilyturf till it is clean. Extract one cup of juice out of it. Take two he of white rice, one he of Job’s tears (yiyiren薏苡仁), two he of extracted raw glutinous rehmannia (dihuang地黄) juice, and half cup of raw ginger juice. First, fully cook Job’s tears and white rice. Then add the other three sorts of juices. Cook them into thin congee. It cures nausea and vomiting (fanwei ouni翻胃呕逆).


Daikon (luobo萝卜) congee


Use daikon that is not spicy. Add salt and boil it till it is fully cooked. Mince it into bean-shape bits. Add it to congee that is almost cooked and it can be eaten when it is boiled.


Lily bulb (baihe百合) congee


Use one sheng of lily bulbs. Mince them and add one liang of honey. When the congee is almost ready to eat, add three he of lily bulbs and cook them together. Eating it is wonderful.


Heshouwu (何首乌) congee


(The red heshouwu is the female and the white is male. The bigger, the better.)

When picking the bigger, iron tools cannot be used. Use a bamboo knife to peel and slice it. Collect the slices. Use five qian of it and cook it in a pottery jar till it is mashed. Add three he of white rice and make them into congee.


Cornel (shanzhuyu山茱萸) congee (it can also be made into powder)


Peel and mash it. Grind it into mud-like stuff. Whenever using one cup of it, add two spoons of honey. Bake them together and let them congeal. When eating, mix it with congee and stir evenly.


Breast milk (renru人乳) congee


Use breast milk from a fat person (feiren肥人). When the congee is half cooked, remove the soup and add breast milk to it. Replace the soup with breast milk and cook it till it is fully cooked. Contain it in a bowl. Add one or two qian of butter (suyou酥油). Stir immediately. It is sweet and tasty. It greatly supplements the original qi (dabu yuanqi大补元气). It is also suitable if butter is not added.


Wolfthorn berry (gouqizi枸杞子) congee


Use raw wolfthorn berries and grind them into mud-like stuff. If they are dry, grind them into powder. Add half cup of the powder to every basin of congee. Add one or two spoons of white honey and stir it till it is even. Eating it is greatly beneficial (dayi大益).


Meat and rice (roumi肉米) congee


Use white rice and cook it into soft rice. Use chicken soup (jizhi鸡汁), meat soup, or shrimp soup. Mix them and let it become limpid. Mince fully cooked meat into bean-like bits. Add wild rice stem [i.e. sliced swollen stems of “wild rice,” Zizania; jiaosun茭笋], hispid arthraxon (xiangjin香荩)[38], or (songrang松穰). Mince them finely. Add them and the rice to the soup. When it is boiled, take it immediately and serve it. Use pickles to add flavors to it (guowei过味). It is very good.


Green bean congee


Wash green beans till they are clean. Put them into a boiler. Add a lot of water and cook them till it is mashed. Then add rice. Use high fire (jinhuo紧火) to cook them into congee. When it is cooled down, it is good for eating. In the summer months, one should stop when having enough of it. It should not be eaten too much.


Counted-member (koushu口數) congee[39] [i.e. congee for everyone in the household]


At the night of the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, use red beans to cook congee with the same method of cooking green bean congee. Share it with the whole family. For those that have been out and returned, one should have them eat too. It is called koushu congee. It can repulse epidemics and vicious demons (ligui疠鬼). This comes from Tianjia wuxing田家五行.




STARCHES AND POWDERS (fenmianlei粉面类), eighteen kinds


Lotus root starch (oufen藕粉)


Take any amount of thick lotus roots. Clean and cut them off. Soak [in water] for three days. Change the water every day. When the water is clean and clear, take the lotus roots out. Mash them into mud-like stuff (dao ru nijiang捣如泥浆). Use a piece of cloth to get the juice. Then mash the dregs. Then extract the juice, sift the remaining, and remove any contaminants. Add clean water, slightly mix and stir them. Then let it settle and remove the water. What has settled is good starch.


Jitou Starch (jitoufen鸡头粉)


Use fresh jitou and dry them in the sun. Remove the husks and mash them into powder.


Chestnut starch (lizifen栗子粉)


Use mountain chestnuts. Slice them and dry them in the sun. Grind them into fine powder.


Water caltrop starch (lingjiaofen菱角粉)


Peel the water caltrops and make them into powder as in making the lotus root starch.


Ginger starch


Mash the raw ginger and extract the juice. Let the starch settle. It can be added to soup (hegeng和羹).


Arrowroot starch (gefen葛粉)


Peel the arrowroots. Obtain starch by using the above method. It stimulates the appetite and terminates anxiety and thirst (kaiwei zhi fanke开胃止烦渴).


Tuckahoe starch (fulingfen茯苓粉)


Slice tuckahoe. Soak, and remove the red juice. Change the water and soak for one day. Get the starch by using the above method. When it is stirred with uncooked congee (weizhuzhou未煮粥), its benefits are best (buyi zuijia补益最佳).


Pine and cypress starch (songbofen松柏粉)


Take leaves when they still have dew on them. If picked overnight, it will not produce starch. Use the tender leaves and mash them. Let the starch settle down. It is like the tender leaves, green and lovely.


Yam starch (shanyaofen山药粉)


Use fresh yams. Follow the above method. The dry can be grinded into starch.


Brake [presumably bracken fern root] starch (juefen蕨粉)


Use it to make cakes, which are wonderful. There are such made-cakes (zhichenghuo治成货).


Lotus seed starch


The dry lotus seeds can be ground into powder.


Taro starch (yufen芋粉)


Use white taro (baiyu白芋). Make them into powder by using the above method. The purple ones should not be used.


Caltrop starch (jilifen蒺藜粉)


Mash it in a wood mortar till its sticks and skins are off. Take the starch out of it as the above method. It can lighten the body and remove the wind (qingshen qufeng轻身去风).




DRIED MEAT AND FISH (puzhalei脯鲊类), fifty kinds


One thousand li dry meat (qianlipu千里脯)


Beef, lamb, or pork can be used. Use one jin of thin meat, two cups of strong liquor (nongjiu秾酒), one qian of thin vinegar (dancu淡醋), four qian of white salt, three qian of dong 冬, one qian of fennel and Chinese pepper powder. Stir them overnight. Cook them with slow and high fire (wenwuhuo文武火)  till the juice is dry. Dry it in the sun. It is extremely wonderful. It can be preserved for one month.  [Presumably good for a journey of a thousand li, about 300 miles.]


Meaty dried flesh (rouzha肉鲊) it is also called willow-leaf dried meat (liuyezha柳叶鲊)


Use one jin of thin meat (remove the tendons) and one liang of salt. Add a small amount of rice starch (mifen米粉)—it will turn sour if too much rice starch is added. Use three jin of pig skins (roupi肉皮). Boil them briefly with water. Slice them into thin pieces. Mince them with the thin meat. Stir them. Use a piece of bamboo shoot (ruo箬) skin to wrap a meat cake of the weight of four liang. Bake it above the ashes in the winter (dongtian huihuo冬天灰火) for three days. Use a cover and keep a small hole on it. In the summer, it can be eaten after one week.

[Zha often means dried fish specifically—see below—but, obviously, not here.]


Pestled dry meat (chuipu槌脯)


Use one jin of thin meat from a pen-raised pig that has been just slaughtered, while still warm. Chop it into four or five pieces. Add half liang of baked salt. Press them into the meat till the tendon and pulse cannot take them any more. Half dry them in the sun. Measure and use good liquor and water, Chinese pepper, dill (shiluo莳萝), orange skins (jupi橘皮). Cook them with slow fire till it is dry. Then mash it into bits.


[This spiced, pemmican-like dried shredded meat is still a common snack food.]


Fire meat (huorou火肉)


Use the four thin legs from a pig that has just been slaughtered and was raised in a pen. Add salt when they are still warm. Add one liang of salt to every jin of meat. Rub the salt from the skin into the meat. Let it turn soft. Press down with bamboo fencing [woven slats] and stones. Put it in a jar. After about twenty days, add ashes burned from paddy stalks (daochaihui稻柴灰) to each layer of meat. Repeat this for three or five times. Burn paddy stalks to smoke the meat for one day and one night. Hang the meat in the place for smoking. In early summer, soak it in water for one day and one night, clean it, and hang it up as before.


[Modern Chinese huotui “fire leg” is ham, but here we have a more complex recipe.]


Twelfth-month meat (larou腊肉) [La is a general term for preserved meats]


Use ten jin of fat, tender pork from a castrated pig (fenzhu?猪). Cut it into twenty pieces. Use eight liang of salt and two jin of liquor. Mix them evenly and rub them with high pressure into the meat till it turns soft. Use a big stone to force out the liquid. Air it till dry. Spread the remaining liquor and dregs on the meat. Use a piece of bamboo strip to piece the meat and hang it in a well-ventilated place.

Another method: use ten jin of meat. Cook twenty liang salt with water till the water is clean. Take the liquid and add it to the meat. Take it out after twenty days and hang it up in a well-ventilated place. Another method: summer-month salty meat. Rub baked salt into the meat. Let it evenly salted for one night. Then hang it up. If any trace of liquid is visible, use a big stone to extrude the liquid. Then hang it in the wind.


Roasted fish (zhiyu炙鱼)


Use long-tailed anchovy (jiyu鲚鱼)[40] just caught from the river. Clean it. Roast it on burned charcoal till it is fully dried, and gather it up.

Another method: remove the head and tail of the long-tailed anchovy. Cut it into pieces. Fry it with oil till it is fully cooked. Use the skin of bamboo shoots to separate the fish, and arrange them in a pottery jar. Use mud to seal the jar.


Fish in salted water (shuiyanyu水腌鱼)


In the twelfth month, cut a carp (liyu鲤鱼) into large pieces. Wipe off the water. Use four liang of baked salt for every jin of fish. Rub the salt on the fish and let it stay for one night. Then wash it and air it till it is dry. Then use two liang of salt and one jin of dregs. Mix them evenly and put them in a jar. Use paper and mud to seal the jar.


Raw crab (xiesheng蟹生)


Mince fresh crab into bits. Cook the sesame oil till it is cooked. Let it cool down. Use (caoguo草果), fennel, large cardamoms (sharen砂仁), Chinese pepper powder, water ginger (shuijiang水姜), pepper powder. Then add green onion, salt, and vinegar. There are ten kinds of flavors. Add them into the crab and stir it evenly. It can be eaten immediately.


Dry fish (yuzha鱼鲊)


Carp (liyu鲤鱼), herring (qingyu青鱼), weever (luyu鲈鱼), or sturgeon (xunyu鲟鱼) all can be used to make dry fish. Remove the scales and intestines. Use old bamboo brush to brush away the fat and blood till it is very clean. Hang it in the wind for one or two days. Cut it into small squares. Add one jin of raw salt for every ten jin of fish. In summer months, use one jin four liang of salt. Stir it evenly and let it be salted in a container. In the winter, it should be salted for twenty days. In the spring and autumn, it should be salted for less time. Wrap it with a piece of cloth and press it with a rock. Let the liquid go out till it is fully dry, not slippery (hua滑) or pliable (ren韧). Use two liang of Sichuan pepper skins, half liang of dill (shiluo莳萝), fennel, large cardamoms, and red beans (hongdou红豆) respectively, a small amount of liquorice. Make them into rough powder. Wash seven or eight he of white japonica rice and cook it. Use one and half jin of raw sesame oil, one jin of purely white green onion slices, one and half he of red distiller’s yeast (hongqu红曲). Mash them and stir evenly. Press them into a porcelain or wood jar tightly. Cover it with lotus leaves. Insert bamboo strips to fix it. And then press small stones on it. Wait till it is gradually ready. It is suitable to be made in the spring or autumn. In the winter, one can prepare salted fish as a base. When it is used, add other materials to it immediately. This is the method used in the capital. Long-tailed anchovy (jiyu鲚鱼) can be made in the same way. But it should be dry; then it will be good.


Meat that is like dry fish (rouzha肉鲊)[compare above recipe, from a different part of Gao’s oeuvre]


Cook fresh pig or goat lean legs. Slice them and pestle the slices with the back of a knife blade for twice or three times. Cut them into squares. Boil them and then take them out immediately. Wrap them in a piece of cloth and twist it till dry. For every jin of meat, add one cup of good vinegar, four qian of salt, a small amount of Chinese pepper oil, caoguo草果, and sharen砂仁. It is also tasty when it is served [at a meal].


Large stewed meat (dalurou大卤肉)


Choose a pig that has been raised in the pen and is about forty jin in weight. Use only the fore legs. Remove the fat, bones and the (tuodu拖肚). Pick a piece of pure meat (jingrou净肉) and cut it into pieces about four or five jin in weight. Then cut two times in a cross shape and then make them into squares (qie shizi wei sifang kuai切十字为四方块). Boil them with pure water till they are about seventy or eighty percent cooked. Take them out and let them cool down. Slice them and let each slice have both fat and lean meat and one finger in thickness. Remove the grease on the surface and add a small amount of water. Use the original soup (yuanzhi原汁) [that was used to boil the meat]. Put the soup in a pot. First add spices (luliao卤料), then add the meat, and then add soy sauce, and then add the original soup. Boil them. Then add fine spice powder (mozi xi luliao末子细卤料) to the meat, and then add red dreg powder (hongqumo红曲末).  [A red fungal ferment.] Let it soak in the meat juice and get thinner. Pour the juice onto the meat. Use slow and high fire to boil them till the meat is red all over. Then add previously cooked sauce (suzhi宿汁). Add some salt, remove (jiangban酱板), and then add shrimp sauce (xiazhi虾汁). Remove the grease floating on the surface. Measure how clean (qing清) the sauce is and cook it till it is proper. Use when it is warm. The meat and sauce should not be warmed in a pot again.

Fermented-soybean-sauced goose (chizhi e豉汁鹅) is made as the above method. But the red dregs should not be used. Instead, add some fermented soybeans to the sauce.

The method of extracting a thin sauce (qingzhi清汁): how to remove the grease previously. Mash raw shrimps and soy sauce and add them to the soup. Boil the soup and let it boiled in the pot. At the same time, skim what is floating on the surface. (If there is no shrimp sauce, mash pig liver and add water. Replace the shrimp sauce with the liver sauce.) After three or four times, it is all right, when there is no floating grease, if the shrimp sauce is added.

The method of preserving previously cooked sauce (suzhi宿汁): boil the previously cooked sauce everyday. Let it settle down for awhile and it is usable when clean. If it is not used, contain it in a tin container or pottery jar and seal it. Then hang it in a well.

The method of using the red dregs (yong hongqu fa用红曲法): use about a cup of liquor for every yeast ball (qu曲). Let it soak in the liquor overnight and turn soft. Grind it into mud like stuff. Use the meat soup to dilute it.

The method of making rough spices (cu luliao粗卤料): use equal amount of royal cinnamon, white angelica (baizhi白芷)[41], and fine ginger (liangjiang良姜). Do not cut them and use up all of them.

The method of making fine spices (xi luliao细卤料): use as much as liquorice, and equal amount of royal cinnamon, white angelica, fine ginger, osmanthus flowers, sandal wood, ageratum (huoxiang藿香), asarum (xixin细辛), nard (gansong甘松), Chinese pepper, susha[石宿]砂, red beans, and apricot seeds. Make them into fine powder for usage.

The meat soup should be very clean. It is wonderful when there is no floating grease. But the meat should not be dry or shriveled.



Salted vinegar fish in jelled stock (daidong yancu yu帶凍鹽醋魚)


Cut fresh carp into small pieces. Salt them. Cook in soy sauce. Add the fish scales and catnip (Schizonepeta tenuifolia, jingjie荊芥)[42] to the sauce and boil them. Remove the dregs. When the soup is thick, flavor it according to one’s taste. Keep the soup in a tin container. Put it in a well or in [cold] water [to jell it]. Pour thick gingered vinegar on it.


Cucumber sauce (guaji瓜齏)


Use equal amount of cucumber [or gourd] pickles (jianggua醬瓜), raw ginger, green onion (congmian蔥面), unsalted dried bamboo shoots (dansungan淡筍乾) or wild rice stem (jiaobai茭白), baby shrimps (xiami蝦米), and chicken breasts. Cut them into long slices. Fry them with sesame oil and then it can be served.


Dried moorhen (a duck-like wild bird; shuiji ganzi水雞幹子)


Clean a large moorhen. Boil it in the water and take it out immediately when it is boiled. Press it with a stone. Let it dry totally and then store it.

[Not generally considered very edible.]


Abacus-strip cake (suantiao bazi算條巴子)


Use fat and lean pork and cut them into pieces three cun in length, in shape of abacus strip. Use proper amount of granulated sugar (shatang砂糖), Chinese pepper powder, and susha宿砂 powder. Blend them evenly. Dry them in the sun and steam them till fully cooked.


Minced pork and clam (saozi hali臊子蛤蜊[43])


Use half fat and half lean pork. Cut into small squares like dices. Add some liquor and half-cook these. Add soybean sauce and then Chinese pepper, large cardamoms, green onion white, salt, and vinegar. Blend them evenly. Then mix green bean powder and water evenly. Add them into the pot and contain it when it is boiled. Use this as the sauce (ni膩). Boil the clams in the water and remove the shells. Place them one by one in a boiler (tangguzi湯鼓子). Place the sauce above the clams and serve them. The same method can be applied to fresh leek (xinjiu新韭), onion (hucong胡葱), bok choy hearts (caixin菜心), pig kidney (zhuyaozi猪腰子), bamboo shoots, and wild rice stem.


Oven roasted chicken (lubeiji炉焙鸡)


Use one hen. Boil it till it is eighty percent cooked. Cut it into small squares. Add a small amount of oil in a pot and fully heat it. Place the chicken in the pot and fry it briefly. Use a metal plate (xuanzi鏇子) or a bowl to cover it. Cook it till it is extremely hot. Add equal amount of liquor and vinegar, a small amount of salt. Cook. When it is dry, [add water and] cook it. Repeat this for several times till the chicken is very soft and full cooked. It can be used.  [The “oven” thus appears to be a large pot. The idea here is to cook the chicken pieces down to preserve them.]


Steamed hilsa herring (or Reeves shad; shiyu鲥鱼)[44]


Remove the intestines of the hilsa herring but not the scales. Use a piece of cloth to wipe off the blood. Place it in a boiler. Mash Chinese pepper, large cardamoms, and soy sauce. Add liquor (shuijiu水酒) and green onion and blend them till the flavor is even. Steam the fish with the sauce. Remove the scales and serve it.


Soft-bone fish (suguyu酥骨鱼)


Clean a large crucian carp (jiyu鲫鱼). Add a small amount of soy sauce, a large pinch of perilla leaves (zisuye紫苏叶), and a little liquorice. Cook for half a day [evidently braising over very low heat; this would soften the otherwise extremely annoying small bones of this fish]. When it is fully cooked, it can be served.


Sichuan pig head (chuanzhutou川猪头)


Boil the pig head with water till it is fully cooked. Cut it into strips. Blend granulated sugar, Chinese pepper, large cardamom, and soy sauce with it evenly. Boil it in the original soup [boiling stock]. When it is as soft as if mashed, remove the bones and tie it with threads. Press a large stone on it tightly and make it into cream-dreg like stuff (gaozao膏糟). Then it can be eaten.

[Much like European head cheese.]


Stuffed stomach (niangduzi釀肚子)


Clean a pig stomach. Stuff dried lotus seeds (shilianrou石蓮肉)[45] into it. Wash the bitter skin (kupi苦皮) [of the lotus seeds] till it is very clean. Wash white sweet rice as much as the lotus seeds. Stuff them into the stomach. Tie the stomach with threads. Full cook it and press it tightly. When it is cooled down, slice it. Place the cooked stomach above a piece of paper on the floor. Spray fine vinegar on the stomach and cover it with an earthen bowl. After a while, it can be eaten. Both the stomach and the pulp are thick and edible.


The method of making salted meat (yanrou腌肉) in summer months


Use baked warm salt to scrub the meat till the meat turns soft. Place it in a jar and press stones on it evenly. Press it overnight and then hang it up. If there is any trace of liquid, use a big stone to press it till it is dry. Hang it in a windy place and it will not spoil.


The method of making salted pig tongue and ox tongue


Use eight qian of salt for every jin of tongues. One recipe: use five qian [of salt][46], a bowl of fine liquor, a small amount of Sichuan pepper, dill (shiluo莳萝), fennel (huixiang茴香), and sesame oil, and minced green onion white. Blend them and let them be for five days. Stir them for three or four times. Pierce the tongues, then use a piece of thread to hang them up in a windy place. Let them dry in the shade and wrap them in paper. Boil them and they can be used.


Recipe for air-dry fish (fengyufa风鱼法)


Cut open the stomach of herring (qingyu青鱼) or carp (liyu鲤鱼) and remove the intestines. Use four or five qian of salt for every jin of fish. Salt it for seven days and then take it up. Clean it and wipe off the liquid. Cut below the gills. Scrub the gills and inside and outside of the abdomen with Sichuan pepper, fennel, and baked salt. Wrap it with paper. Then use a piece of hemp skin (mapi麻皮) to wrap all the fish into one bundle. Hang it in a windy place. It would be wonderful if there are more spices stuffed in the fish abdomen.


Recipe for raw meat (roushengfa肉生法)


Cut lean pork into narrow, thin slices. Wash them with soybean sauce. Fry them quickly in a red-heated pot. When the blood disappears and the meat turns white, it is prepared. Take it out and cut it into threads. Then add pickles, radish pickled in lees (zaoluobo糟萝卜), garlic, Amomum villosum cardamom (sharen砂仁), Amomum tsaoko cardamom (caoguo草果)), Chinese pepper, orange slices, and sesame oil. Mix them and fry. When eating it, one should add vinegar to the meat threads and blend them evenly. It is very tasty.


Recipe for making fish paste (yujiang鱼酱)


Use one jin of fish. Mince it and wash it till it is clean. Use three liang of baked salt, one qian of Chinese pepper, one qian of fennel, one qian of dried ginger, two qian of (shenqu神曲), five qian of red dregs (hongqu 红曲). Add liquor to them and blend them evenly. Blend them with fish and contain it in a porcelain jar and seal it tightly. After ten days, it can be used. When eating, one should add some minced green onion.


Recipe for making mashed and/or lees-cured pig head and feet (zaozhutou tizhua糟豬頭、蹄爪)


Boil pig head and feet till they can be easily mashed. Wrap them in a piece of cloth and spread them. Add a big stone on it and press the stone, flattening them for one night. It is very good when brewing lees are used (zaoyong糟用).


Recipe for making liquor fish (jiufayu酒發魚)


Cut a large crucian carp (jiyu鯽魚) open. Remove the scales, eyes, and intestines. Do not let unboiled water touch it. Use a piece of cloth to wipe off the water. For one jin of fish, use one liang of shenqu神曲, one liang of red dreg (hongqu红曲) powder, two liang of baked salt, one liang of pepper, fennel, Sichuan pepper, and dried ginger. Blend them and insert them into the abdomen of the fish. Add one more layer of spices and place it in a jar. Wrap it and seal it with mud. If it is made in the twelfth month, it should be opened after the fifteenth day of the first month. Turn the fish over and add fine liquor to it and let it saturate in the liquor. Seal it with mud till the fourth month. By then it is ready and can be eaten. It can be preserved for one or two years.


Recipe for making liquor-soaked shrimps (jiuyanxia酒腌虾)


Use large shrimps and do not wash them with water. Clip the antennae and tails. Use five qian of salt for every jin of shrimps. Salt them for half day. Let them dry and put them in a bottle. When placing one layer of shrimps, add thirty Chinese peppercorns. It would be wonderful if more peppercorns are added. Or it would be wonderful if one blends peppercorns with shrimps and place them in a bottle. After placing them in the bottle, one should use three liang of salt for every jin of shrimps and dilute the salt with fine liquor and pour the salted liquor into the bottle. Seal it with mud. It will be tasty after five to seven days in the spring or autumn. It takes ten days in the winter.


Huguang recipe for making dried fish (huguang yuzha湖广鱼鲊)


Use ten jin of large carp (liyu鲤鱼). Cut them into small squares like cloves (dingxiang丁香). Remove the bones and other wastes. Stir and toast old yellow rice till dry. Grind into powder. Use a half sheng of it.  Add one and a half sheng of baked red dregs (chaohongqu炒红曲). Make into powder for use. Measure ten jin of the fish pieces and use two bowls of fine liquor, one jin of salt (use one jin and four liang of salt in summer months). Blend them with the fish and put them in a porcelain container. Let it be salted for half of a month in the winter, ten days in the spring or summer. Then take it up and wash it till it is clean. Wrap it in a piece of cloth and extract water out of it till it is very dry. Use two liang of Sichuan pepper, one liang of Amomum villosum cardamoms (sharen砂仁), five qian of fennel, five qian of red beans, a small amount of liquorice that is made into powder, one jin and eight liang of sesame oil, and one jin of white stalks of green onions. First, add one sheng of rice-koji powder (miqumo米曲末) to them and blend them evenly. Contain them in a jar and press a stone on it. It can be eaten after fifteen days in the winter and seven or eight days in the summer months. When eating it, it would be wonderful if spices and rice vinegar (jiaoliao micu椒料米醋) are added.


Deep-fried meat in water (shuizharou水煠肉); also called “split-and-burned” (boshao擘燒)


Cut raw pork into large strips of two fingers in width. Carve patterns like brick stairs [i.e., cut little notches] on both sides of the strips. Then use sesame oil, sweet sauce (tianjiang甜酱), Chinese pepper, fennels, and blend them evenly. Rub them on the carved meat till they are evenly spread. After a while, add a bowl of oil obtained by cooking the pig fat, a bowl of sesame oil, a large bowl of water, a small bowl of liquor to a pot. Add the spiced meat till it is saturated in the juice. Then add one liang of garlic (suanlang蒜榔) and stew it with a cover on the pot. When the meat turns soft, take it up and eat it. The meat seems to have no grease at all because the grease turns into gas.


Water steamed meat (qingzhengrou清蒸肉)


Boil a piece of fine pork once. Take clean squares. Wash it by water and scrape it till it is clean. Carve the skin with a knife. Wrap anise seeds, fennel seeds (daxiaohuixiang大小茴香),  Chinese pepper, Amomum tsaoko cardamoms (caoguo草果), and royal cinnamon in a piece of sparsely-woven cloth. Put it in a boiler and press the meat on it. First, boil chicken or goose meat to get the pure broth and flavor it properly. Pour the broth onto the meat. Then cover it with scallion (dacong大葱), pickles (yancai腌菜), and garlic (suanlang蒜榔) in the boiler. Steam it with the boiler covered. When eating it, remove the scallion, garlic, wrapped spices, and so on.


Fried goat stomach (chaoyangdu炒羊肚)


Wash a goat stomach till it is clean. Cut it into narrow strips. Boil a large pot of water. At the same time, cook oil in a pot. First, put the stomach in the boiler and boil it quickly by holding it in a bamboo strainer (zhaoli笊篱). Then use a piece of coarse cloth (cubu粗布) to extract the water in the stomach. Put it immediately into the wok with oil in it and fry it with high fire. When it is about to be fully cooked, blend green onion, sliced garlic, Chinese pepper, fennels, soybean sauce, liquor, and vinegar evenly and add them to stomach. Take it up immediately after it is cooked. It is delicious and crisp. If one is slow in doing this, the stomach will be slick like a strip of skin.  It is then disgusting.


Fried kidney (chaoyaozi炒腰子)


Cut a pig kidney open and remove the white membrane and tendons. Carve patterns on the outside of the kidney. Place it in boiled water and boil it briefly. Take it up and let the water go. Fry it quickly in a wok. Add spices (xiaoliao小料) such as minced green onion, coriander (yuansui芫荽), sliced garlic, Chinese pepper, ginger, soybean sauce, liquor, and vinegar. Take it up immediately when it is cooked.


Razor clam and dried fish (chengzha蛏鲊)


Use one jin of razor clams and one liang of salt. Let the clams be salted for one day and one night. Then wash the clams and let them dry. Wrap them in a piece of cloth and press a stone on it. Add five qian of cooked oil, five qian of ginger and orange slices, one qian of salt, five fen of sliced green onion, a large cup of liquor, and one he of rice (fanshen飯糝) that is made into powder. Blend them evenly. Put in a bottle and seal it with mud. It can be served after ten days. Dried fish can be made in the same way.


Wind-dried fish (youfengyu又风鱼)


Use four qian of salt for every jin of fish. Add Chinese pepper, Amomum villosum (sharen砂仁), minced green onion, sesame oil, sliced ginger, and finely sliced orange. Let them be salted for ten days and then hang the fish up in the smoke.


Sugar-roasted meat (tangzhirou糖炙肉) and roasted meat strips (hongrouba烘肉巴)


Remove the skin and bones in a piece of pork and cut it into large slices of two cun in thickness. Use a small amount of granulated sugar to remove the smell [of the pork]. Blend soybean sauce, aniseeds, fennel seeds (daxiaohuixiang大小茴香), and Chinese pepper with the meat. Dry it for one day and collect it. Cook sesame oil and add the meat to it. Cover the wok and do not burn firewood. It is ready when it turns soft.

Cut lean and tender pork into slices or strips. Salt them for awahile and blend them with Chinese pepper. Dry them for one day. When eating, roast them on iron grill above burning charcoals.


Three recipes for soybean sauce crab (jiangxie醬蟹), dreg crab (zaoxie糟蟹), and drunk crab (zuixie醉蟹)


Add sesame oil in soybean sauce, which can make the crab be preserved longer without turning granulate (jiuliu busha久留不砂). Use one bowl of dregs, vinegar, liquor, and soybean sauce, respectively. When the crabs are many, add a plate of salt. Another recipe: use seven bowls of liquor, three bowls of vinegar, and two bowls of salt. Drunk crabs are delicious too. Place a piece of charcoal at the bottom of the jar and the crab fat (xiegao蟹膏) will not granulate. Add one qian of angelica root (baizhi白芷) to the crabs in liquor dregs and then the crab fat will keep firm. But the crabs will probably be tainted with a smell of medicine, which is not good.


How to dry shrimps in the sun without letting their redness fade away


Stir and bake shrimps with salt till they are fully cooked. Put them in a bamboo basket. Wash away the salt with well water. Dry them in the sun and their redness will not fade away.


Recipe for boiling a fish (zhuyufa煮鱼法)


For river fish (heyu河鱼), place in water and boil till bones turn soft. For fish of big rivers and seas (jianghaiyu江海鱼), first flavor the stock for boiling and then place the fish in it, so the fish bones will be hard.


How to boil crabs and let them remain green in color; how to remove the meat from clam (geli蛤蜊)


Use three to five persimmon pedicels (shidi柿蒂) to boil with crabs and the crabs will remain green in color. Boil loquat kernels (pipaheneiren枇杷核内仁) with clams and the clam meat will fall from the shell.


Recipe for making meat paste (roujiang肉酱)


Use four jin of lean pork and remove the tendons and bones. Use one jin and eight liang of soybean sauce, four liang of finely ground salt, one bowl of finely minced green onion white, five or six qian of Sichuan pepper, fennel, and preserved orange peels (chenpi陈皮) respectively. Blend these spices with liquor and add the meat into it till it is like a thick congee. Place it in a jar and seal it tightly. Dry it in a scorching sun. After more than ten days, open it and see whether it is dry or not. If it is dry, add liquor. If it is light, add salt. Seal it with mud again and dry it in the sun.


Dried yellowbird (huangque黄雀) [Yellow buntings or siskins]


Clean every bird. Wipe it with liquor and do not let it be touched by water. Use yellow wheat yeast (maihuang麥黃)[47], red rice starter (honhqu红曲), salt, Chinese pepper, and sliced green onion. Taste it till the flavor is right. Place the birds in a flat jar. Spread one layer of spices on every layer of birds. Stuff the jar and fasten it with bamboo leaves and stalks. When the brine (lu卤) comes out, pour it away and add liquor to it. Seal it tightly and it can be used for a long time.


List of cooking tips (zhishi youfa tiaoli治食有法条例)


Use flour to wash pig liver and use granulated sugar to wash pig intestines and there will not be any smell.

When boiling bamboo shoots, add mint to them and add less salt or ashes. Then the bamboo shoots will not taste sour.

Place a half piece of the fruit of Chinese honeylocust (zaojiao皂角) on the jar containing dregs and soybean sauces (zaojiang糟醬), and it can be preserved longer. [Possibly the saponins in the pod have some preservative effect.]

Add one or two drops of raw oil to the water and use it to wash the fish. The there will not be any sticky liquid (xian涎).

When boiling fish, add ground incense (moxiang末香)[48] to it and it will not be smelly.

When boiling goose, add several slices of cherry and then it will turn soft easily.

When boiling old dried meat (chenlarou陈腊肉) that is about to be fully cooked, throw several pieces of burning charcoal into the boiler and then the meat will not have a sour, greasy smell.

When boiling any kind of meat, cover the boiler and cook them with one or two pieces of paper mulberry fruit (Broussonetia papyrifera, chushizi楮实子). Then the meat will easily turn soft and become delicious.

In summer months, boil meat with vinegar alone and it can be preserved for ten days.

Flours (mian面) should not be eaten along with unboiled water (shengshui生水). Use boiled water and let it cool down and eat it.

When cooking meat, do not use mulberry branches as firewood. [Most of the tips in this section are practical, but this one seems magical.]

Do not place crabs in soybean sauce or crabs in dregs in the light of a lamp. Otherwise, the meat will turn coarse (or sandy, sha沙).  [Possibly another magic trick, but more likely the idea is that one cannot see by lamplight well enough to get the sand out.]

If the liquor turns sour, bake one sheng of red beans (xiaodou小豆) till they are burned. Put them in a bag and place the bag in the liquor jar. Then the liquor will be good.

Dry the light ashes (danhui淡灰) extracted from a dye house in the sun. Use to cover raw cucumbers or eggplants completely, and they will be edible till the winter.

Wrap oranges with pine needles (songmao松毛) and the oranges will not dry up for three to four months. It is also possible to use green beans to cover oranges.

On the fifth day of the fifth month, boil wheat flour into congee. Add a small amount of salt and let it cool down. Pour it into a jar. Collect recently picked unripe red peaches and place them in the jar. Seal the jar. The peaches will be fresh in the winter months.

For yellow apricots in honey (mijian huangmei蜜煎黄梅), one should change the honey frequently. Place asarum (xixin细辛) on top of them and worms will not grow in them.

Use the water taken in the twelfth month (lashui臘水), a handful of mints, and a small amount of potassium alum (mingfan明矾). Place them into a jar. Soak loquats枇杷, apples, or waxberries (yangmei杨梅) in it and their color will not change. They taste cool and are edible.

[Most of these tips are quite practical, and similar to old-time preserving methods in Europe and frontier America.]








These are what I have made by myself and thus I know how they taste. These recipes are collected in my notes, not recorded randomly (fei manlu ye非漫录也). If they are different from what is circulated, it is because of difference of opinion (xiting zhidu悉听制度).


Salted gourds and vegetables (peiyan guashu配盐瓜蔬)


Use fifty jin of old gourds and tender eggplants. Use two and a half liang of pure salt. First use a half liang of salt to salt the gourds and eggplants for one night in order to let the water go. Then use five jin of orange peels, two jin of fresh perilla (zisu紫苏) with roots, three jin of raw ginger, two jin of peeled apricot kernels, four liang of osmanthus flowers (guihua桂花), two liang of liquorice, and one dou of soybean. Boil them. Blend them with five jin of liquor and place them in a jar. Stuff the jar and press five layers of bamboo leaves on them. Use bamboo strips to fasten them. Use bamboo leaves with mud to seal the jar. Dry it in the sun. Take them out after two months. Add half jin of Chinese pepper (dajiao大椒), half jin of fennel and Amomum villosum (sharen砂仁) respectively. Spread them and dry them in the sun light. When they glow [probably:  turn a glowing color], they turn soft and delicious. For soybeans, one should use large ones and fully cook them till they can be easily mashed. Use bran (fupi麸皮) to cover the cooked soybeans till they glow. Then remove the bran and use the pure soybeans.


Sugar steamed eggplants (tangzhengqie糖蒸茄)


Use tender and large cow-breast eggplants (niunaiqie牛奶茄). Do not remove the pedicels. Cut them into six-side shape (liuleng六棱). Use one liang of salt for every fifty jin of eggplants. Blend them evenly. Then boil them briefly in boiled water and let their color change. Strain them. Use mint and fennel powder, two jin of granulated sugar, and half cup of vinegar. Soak them in it for three nights. Dry them in the sunlight and then use above spices to salt them again (lu卤). When the spices have been used up and the eggplants are dry, flatten the eggplants and collect them.


Garlic mei (suanmei蒜梅)


Use two jin of green and hard mei (qingying meizi青硬梅子, i.e. very unripe) and one jin of peeled garlic. Add three liang of stirred-and-baked salt to proper amount of water and boil it. When it is cooled down, soak the mei and garlic in it. After five to ten days, the brine (lushui卤水) is about to change color. Pour it out and boil it again. When it is cooled down, saturate the mei and garlic in it again. Contain them in a bottle. Eat them till the seventh month. The mei will not taste sour and the garlic will not have a rank smell (hunqi荤气).


[Suanmei are still a common delicacy, but are now made from more ripe mei.]


Stuffed gourds (nianggua酿瓜)


Choose hard, old, and large green gourds (qinggua青瓜) and cut them into halves. Remove the pulp and salt them briefly to get rid of excess liquid. Slice raw ginger, orange peels, mints, and perilla (zisu紫苏). Stir and bake fennel and Amomum villosum cardamoms (sharen砂仁). Add granulated sugar to them and blend evenly. Stuff these into the gourds. Use threads to tie them into whole pieces. Then place them into a jar. After five or six days, take them out and dry the stuffed gourds in the sunlight. Collect the withered gourds. Mince them and dry them in the sunlight.[49]


Garlic cucumbers (or gourds; suangua蒜瓜) [the recipe seems to be for cucumbers]


Use one jin of small cucumbers picked in the autumn. Boil them briefly in calx and white alum water (shihui baifan tang石灰白矾汤). Strain them and use half liang of salt to salt them for one night. Use another half liang of salt, three liang of peeled, mashed garlic. Blend them with the cucumbers evenly. Place them in the water that is obtained from the previously salted cucumbers. Slowly cook liquor and vinegar. Saturate them in it and place them in a cool place. The same method can be applied to wax gourd (donggua冬瓜) and eggplants.


Boiled-for-three-times gourds (sanzhugua三煮瓜)


Cut hard, old green gourds into halves. Use half liang of salt, one liang of soybean sauce, a small amount of perilla (zisu紫苏) and liquorice for every jin of gourds. During the hottest days (fushi伏时), boil them with the brine water at night and dry them in the day. After three times of boiling and then drying in the sunlight for two days, steam them in a pot. Preserve them after they are withered in the sunlight.


Dried garlic sprouts (suanmiaogan蒜苗干)


Cut one jin of garlic sprouts into pieces of one cun in length. Use one liang of salt to salt them and remove the smelly water. Strain them briefly. Add some soybean sauce and sugar. Steam them and dry them in the sunlight and collect them.


Preserved mustard plants (cangjie藏芥)


Use thick mustard plants (jiecai芥菜) that do not touch water. Dry them in the sunlight till they are sixty to seventy percent dry. Remove the leaves. Use four liang of salt for every jin of mustard. Salt them for one night and take them out. Wrap plants in small handfuls and place them in a small bottle. Pour out all the water and boil it with the mustard. Take the clean liquid and let it cool down. Put it in a bottle and seal the bottle tightly. Eat in summer months.


Green bean sprouts (lüdouya绿豆芽)


Soak green beans in cold water for two nights. When they are swelling, change the water and wash them twice. Bake them till they are dry. Sweep the floor and make it clean. Spread water on the floor and place a piece of paper on the wet floor. Then place the beans on the paper. Cover them with a basin. Spread water on them twice every day. When the sprouts grow, wash them and remove the peels. Boil them briefly in water. Add ginger and vinegar to them. It is especially good when ground meat is added.


Spicy mustard (jiela芥辣)


Finely grind two-years-old mustard seeds (jiezi芥子). Add water to them and pack tightly in a bowl. Seal tightly with a piece of firm paper (renzhi韧纸). Saturate it in boiled water twice till the water turns yellowish. Place the bowl upside down on the cold floor. After a while, there will be gas. Add light vinegar (dancu淡醋) to it. Unwrap it and use a piece of cloth to remove the dregs. Another recipe is to add two or three fen of asarum (xixin细辛) to it and then it will be more spicy.


Buddha’s-hand citron (foshou佛手), citron (xiangyuan香橼), or pear (lizi梨子) preserved in soybean sauce


Place pears without peels in a jar of soybean sauce and they will not spoil for a long time. Place citron peels after removing the pulp in soybean sauce. Place the whole Buddha’s-hand citron in soybean sauce. Fresh orange peels, edible lichens (shihua石花), and wheat gluten (mianjin面筋) can also be soaked in soybean sauce and their taste will be better.


Recipe for making brewed eggplants (zaoqiezi糟茄子)


With five jin of eggplants, six jin of dregs, and seventeen liang of salt, plus river water, [the brewed eggplants] are as sweet as honey.[50]

Use five jin of eggplants, six jin of dregs, seventeen liang of salt, and two small bowls of river water that is used to blend with the dregs. This eggplant is tasted sweet by itself. This is a method of preserving eggplants and not for heavy eating.

Another recipe: soak middle-sized eggplants that are picked late in season (wanqiezi晚茄子) in water for one night. Use four liang of salt and one jin of dregs for every jin of eggplants. It also tastes good.


Recipe for making brewed ginger (zaojiang糟姜)


Use one jin of ginger, one jin of dregs, and five liang of salt. Pick a day before Earth Day (sheri社日)[51] to saturate them in the dregs. Do not let water get into it. Do not damage the ginger peels. Use a piece of cloth to wipe off the mud on the ginger. After half-drying them in the sunlight, blend dregs and salts with them and contain them in a jar.


Sugar-and-vinegar gourds (tangcugua糖醋瓜)


Use white long-crooked gourds (baishenggua白生瓜) that are just picked in the sixth month. For every fifty jin of gourds, cut them in halves and remove their (lian练). Cut them into squares about one cun in length and three fen three li in thickness. Then use water and a bamboo strainer to wash them till they are clean. Use five liang of salt for every ten jin of gourds. Salt them in a jar for about two hours. Then stir them and salt them for another hour. Strain them and spread them on a piece of reed mat. Dry them in scorching sunlight and let them half dry. First, slice orange peels and gingers, sift Chinese pepper peels and baked salt till they are pure. Boil fine vinegar in a pot and use twenty two liang five qian of vinegar for every ten jin of gourds. Add ten liang of fine granulated sugar to the salt and vinegar. Pour them into a container. When they cool down, add gourds, ginger, Chinese pepper and so on to the vinegar and blend them evenly. After one night, stir them. After another night, stir and collect them. As long as the containers are clean and have not water in it and they are kept in the shade, they will be fine.


Vegetarian bamboo-shoot that is like dried fish (susunzha素笋鲊)


Use six or seven fine haofu (好麸) [unclear; fron the context, presumably a kind of bamboo shoot] and pull them into strips like little fingers. Measure five jin of them and add them into boiled water. Boil them till boiled for four times and place them in a bamboo strainer. Dry them when they are still warm. First, bake half a he of dill (shiluo莳萝) and fennel in total. Grind them till they cannot be ground further. Pick slightly less than a half he of Chinese pepper peels. Use more than a half he of red yeast rice (chiqumi赤曲米) and soak them in boiled water till they turn soft. Cut a half bowl of green onion heads. Use about one he of apricot kernels and remove the tips and mash them. Use liquor to flavor the soup. Cook two liang of oil. Put out the fire when the oil is fully cooked. Pour the apricot kernels into the oil, and then the yeast rice and spices. Use an iron turner to stir them three or four times. Taste it and decide whether it is salty or light. Then pick it up with a bamboo strainer and keep it in a container. Add the warm red yeast rice to it and press it. Cover it with lotus leaves and fasten it with bamboo strips. Press a stone on it. It can be eaten after three or four hours.


Another recipe for bamboo-shoot like dried fish (sunzha笋鲊)


Use tender bamboo shoots in the spring and remove the old heads. Cut them into strips about four fen in thickness and one cun in length. Steam them in a bamboo steamer till they are fully cooked. Wrap them with cloth and extract water out of them till they are extremely dry. Place them in a container. When using them, add them to oil. The recipe is the same as the preceding.


Recipe for making lees-cured turnip (zaoluobo糟萝卜)


Use one jin of turnip and three liang of salt. No water should get onto the turnips. Wipe them clean. Keep the roots and fibrils. Dry them in the sunlight. Blend lees and salt. Then add the turnips. Stir them and place them in a jar. This recipe cannot be used for heavy eating.


per, one liang of nter, ten days in the spring or summer.

Recipe for making garlic sprouts (suanmiao蒜苗)


Use a small amount of salt to salt garlic sprouts for one night. Strain them and then boil them briefly in water and then strain them again. Blend them with soup having liquorice in it. Steam them and then keep them in a jar, after drying them in the sunlight.


Three harmony vegetables (sanhecai三和菜)[52]


Use one portion of thin vinegar (dancu淡醋), one portion of liquor, one portion of water, and proper amount of salt and liquorice. Blend them to get the right flavor. Boil them. Then add a small amount of vegetables (cai菜, almost certainly meaning Chinese cabbage greens here), sliced ginger and orange peels, one or two small pieces of Dahurian angelica (baizhi白芷) to the vegetables. steam them with water (chongtang重湯) and do not let it boiled. When they are fully cooked, eat them.


Quick-fried bits (baoji暴齏)


Boil briefly the tender stalks of young pakchoi (songcai菘菜) until half cooked. Strain till dry. Mince them into small bits. Add a small amount of oil and fry quickly. Then put them in a container and add a small amount of vinegar. After a while, eat them.


Carrot dish (huluobocai胡蘿蔔菜)


Slice red, slim carrots and mustard greens (jiecai芥菜). Saturate them in vinegar for a while. They are crisp when eaten. Add a small amount of salt, aniseed and fennel (daxiao huixiang大小茴香), ginger, and sliced dried orange peel. Blend them with vinegar and let them be for a while. Then they can be eaten.


Carrots (huluobozha胡蘿蔔鮓), commonly called red carrots, with fish flavorings


Slice [carrots] and boil them briefly in boiled water. Strain them and add a small amount of minced green onion, aniseed and fennel (daxiao huixiang大小茴香), ginger, dried orange peels, Chinese pepper powder, and mashed red yeast (hongqu紅麴). Stir them with salt evenly. Let them stand for two hours and eat them.


Another recipe


Cut white turnips and wild rice shoots (jiaobai茭白). Boil bamboo shoots till they are fully cooked. Apply this recipe[53] to all the three materials. It can be offered when they are salted.


Sun-dried light bamboo shoots (shaidansungan曬淡筍乾)


Use any amount of the tips of fresh bamboo shoots. Peel them and cut into slices or strips. Boil briefly in boiled water. Dry in sunlight and collect them. When using them, saturate them in water that have been used to wash rice (miganshui米泔水) till they are soft. Their color is as white as silver. If they are boiled in [heavily] salted water, they will be salted bamboo shoots.


Garlic dish/pickles (suancai蒜菜)[54]


Cut tender, white winter vegetables (dongcai冬菜) into strips about one cun in length. Use four liang of stir-baked salt [rock salt crystals stirred in a pan over a fire till heated to high temperature], one bowl of vinegar, and two bowls of water, for every ten jin of vegetables. Marinate the vegetables in a jar.


Recipe for cooking gourds [gua, general term for gourds, melons, cucumbers; China’s firm, nonsweet cooking melons possibly meant here, or perhaps this is just a general recipe for gourds.]


Cut hard, raw gourds open and remove the pulps. Wipe them till they are dry and do not let water get onto them. Carve them into triangular pieces. For every ten jin of gourds, use a half jin of salt and place them in a large tub for one night. In the next morning, place them in a bag made from hemp cloth and press stones on it till the slices are dry. Use five qian of dill seed (shiluo蒔蘿), fennel, Chinese pepper, dried orange peel, perilla (zisu紫蘇), and raw ginger respectively. Slice all of them and blend them evenly with the gourds. Use ten liang of fine granulatedd sugar and two bowls of vinegar. Grind the sugar as fine as possible. Place [evidently all the above] in a porcelain container. Dry them in the sunlight and stir them frequently. When the juice is dried up, collect them in a bottle.


Recipe for making light eggplants (danqiegan淡茄幹)


Wash large eggplants. Boil them in a pot and then do not let water[55] get into them. Cut them in halves and then press stones on them to let them dry. When it is sunny, put tiles in the sun till they are warmed up and then place eggplants on the tiles. When they are dry, collect them. Preserve them till the first or second month and blend them with other food. Their taste is as good as fresh eggplants.


Recipe for making the ten-flavor salted fermented soybeans (shixiangxianchi十香鹹豉)


Use equal amount of raw gourds (shenggua生瓜) and eggplants. For every ten jin of them, use twelve liang of salt. First, use four liang of the salt to salt the gourds and eggplants for one night. Then strain them. Use half jin of sliced raw ginger, half jin of fresh perilla (zisu紫蘇) that has stalks and has been cut up, half liang of liquorice powder, two liang of ground Chinese pepper with sticks and seeds removed, one liang of fennel, one liang of dill seeds (shiluo蒔蘿), two liang of large cardamoms (sharen砂仁), and a half liang of agastache leaves (huoye藿葉) (it is also acceptable if there are no agastache leaves).  Five days earlier [or:  in the first five days ?] boil large soybeans and mash. Use one sheng of cooked bran (chaofupi炒麩皮) and blend with the soybeans, and make them into yellow bits (huangzi黃子). [Presumably means roll the slices of gourds and eggplants in the soybean mash, but this recipe seems corrupt, and in fact may be two recipes run into each other.]  After heating, sift them and remove the bran. Use only fermented soybeans. Use a bottle of liquor and more than half a bowl of vinegar dregs (cuzao醋糟). Blend them with the fermented soybeans. Clean a jar and stuff the mixture into it. Use four or five layers of bamboo leaves to cover it and fasten it with bamboo strips. Then use paper and bamboo leaves to wrap the mouth of the bottle. Seal it with mud and dry it in the sunlight. After forty days, take them out and slightly dry them in the shade. Then collect them in a jar. For drying them in the sunlight, one can turn around the jar after twenty days and this will let the sun reach every part.


Another recipe for making spicy mustard (jiela芥辣)


Use one he of mustard seeds and finely grind them in a grinder. Use a small cup of vinegar and blend them with water. Use a piece of fine silk cloth to extract water out of it. Place it in a cool place such as a water cylinder. When using it, add soybean sauce and vinegar and stir till evenly mixed. This is as spicy as it can get, and the taste is very good.


Recipe for making sesame paste (zhimajiang芝麻醬)


Mash one dou of fully cooked sesame. Boil it with water taken on the sixth day of the sixth month. When it cools down, blend evenly in a jar till the water is as deep as one finger. Seal the jar and dry it in the sunlight. After five to seven days, open the jar and remove the blackish peels. Add three bowls of fine liquor dregs (haojiuniangzao好就釀糟), three bowls of fine soybean sauce, two bowls of fine liquor, one sheng of red yeast powder (hongqumo紅麴末), one sheng of stir-baked green beans, one sheng of stir-baked rice, and one liang of fennel seed powder (xiaohuixiangmo小茴香末). Blend all of them and use after fourteen days.


Recipe for making piled gourds and eggplants in soybean sauce (pan jianggua qie fa盤醬瓜茄法)


Use one jin of yellow bits (huangzi黃子 [from the recipe above?]), one jin of gourds, and four liang of salt. Rub the gourds with the salt. Use the water that is obtained by salting the gourds to blend the yellow soybean sauce (jianghuang醬黃). Pile them up twice every day. After forty-nine days, place them in a jar.


Dry sealed-in-a-jar vegetables (ganbiwengcai幹閉甕菜)


Use ten jin of vegetables and forty liang of stir-baked salt. Salt the vegetables in a jar. Whenever placing in a piece of vegetable, place equal amount of salt. When they are salted for three days, take up the vegetables and rub them in a basin. Place them in another jar. Collect the brine for future use. After another three days, take up the vegetables and rub again. Place them in another jar and keep the brine for future use. After repeating this for nine times, place them in a jar, applying one layer of Chinese pepper and fennel (xiaohuixiang小茴香) to every layer of vegetables while placing the vegetables [and spices] in the jar. Repeat this step and pack in tightly. Pour three bowls of the previously prepared brine into each jar. Seal the jar with clay. It can be eaten after the New Year.


Pouring, stirring and blending vegetables (sabanhecai撒拌和菜)


Add sesame oil to Chinese pepper. Use after bringing to boil one or two times. When using it, measure out one bowl of the oil and add a small amount of soybean sauce, vinegar, and white sugar to it. Blend properly and save. For any food that is to be stir-fried with oil, pour some of this oil to it and stir. It is delicious. If stirring with bok choy (baicai白菜), bean sprouts (douya豆芽), water dropwort (Oenanthe javanica) (or achillea; shuiqin水芹; normally the dropwort), one should boil the vegetables briefly [i.e. blanch them] in boiling water and soak them in pure water. When using them, strain them and stir(-fry) them with the oil. The vegetables will remain green and will not turn blackish. They are crisp and delicious.


Recipe for making fermented soybean in water (shuidouchifa水豆豉法)


Use ten jin of yellow bits (huangzi黃子)[56], forty liang of fine salt, and ten bowls of sweet liquor made in Jinhua. One day in advance, add the salt to twenty bowls of boiled water to make brine. Let it cool and settle down, for future use. Place the yellow bits into a jar and add liquor to it. Then add the salted water. Set in sunlight for forty-nine days. Then add three liang of aniseeds and fennel (daxiao huixiang大小茴香) respectively, five qian of large cardamom (caoguo草果), five qian of royal cinnamon, three qian of muxiang (木香), one liang of preserved orange peels, one liang of Chinese pepper, half jin of withered sliced ginger, and one jin of apricot kernels. Place all the spices into a jar. Dry it in the sunlight while beating it. After three days, store it in a jar. It tastes good after one year. It is even better if it is used as a dipping for meat.


Upside-down hairy vegetables (daodaocai倒纛菜)


Use one hundred jin of vegetables. Blend burned-hair ashes (maohui毛灰) like flour with salt brine (yanlu鹽鹵) for sealing [the jar]. Arrange the vegetables and then seal the jar. There is no need to put grass in the jar.  [The idea seems to be to produce a bacteriostatic seal.  The “grass” can then be assumed to be some sort of preservative herb.]


Pure-boiled spicy mustard (lajiecai qingshao辣芥菜清燒)


Use mustard stalks that water is not got onto. Dry them in the shade till they turn soft. Boil them briefly with boiled water and take them up immediately. Use a bamboo strainer to scoop them up and place them in a sifter. Let them cool down. Add some puffy salt (songyan松鹽) to them and stir. Contain them in a bottle. Then add dried, cold vegetables. Pour the brine on them and wrap them tightly. Place the bottle on the cold floor.


Steamed wilted vegetables (zhenggancai蒸乾菜)


Use large, fine vegetables. Pick, wash, clean, and dry them. Boil them briefly in boiled water till they are fifty to sixty percent cooked. Dry them in the sunlight. Boil them with salt, soybean sauce, dills (shiluo蒔蘿), Chinese pepper, granulatedd sugar, and orange peels till they are fully cooked. Then dry them in the sunlight again. Steam them for a while and preserve them in a porcelain container. When using them, rub them with sesame oil and add some vinegar. Steam them over rice [when cooking rice].


Quail-like eggplants (anchunqie鵪鶉茄)


Pick tender eggplants and cut them into slim threads. Boil them with boiled water and strain them. Blend them with salt, soybean sauce, Chinese pepper, dills (shiluo蒔蘿), fennels, liquorice, preserved orange peels, apricot kernels, and ground red beans. When they are evenly flavored, dry them in the sunlight. Then steam and gather them. When using them, soak them in boiled water till they turn soft. Dip them in sesame oil and quickly fry them in oil.  [The resemblance to quail is hard to find; possibly the spicing was that used for quail in those days.]


Good-tasting gourds and eggplants (shixiang guaqie食香瓜茄)


Use any amount of [gourds or eggplants] and cross-cut them into pieces. For every jin of them, use eight liang of salt. Blend “taste-good” (or “eating fragrance”; shixiang食香)[57] and the gourds evenly. Salt them in a jar for one or two days. Then take them out and dry them in the sunlight. At night, place them in the brine again. On the next day, take them out and dry them in the sunlight again. Repeat this three times; do not let them get too dry. Keep them in the jar for future use.


Gourds and eggplants in dregs (zaoguaqie糟瓜茄)


For every five jin of gourds or eggplants, use ten liang of salt. Blend them with brewing dregs (zao糟) evenly. Spread fifty bronze coins on every layer of gourds or eggplants. After ten days, take away the coins. Do not replace the dregs.  Keep all in a bottle. They will keep as green as if fresh for a long time. [Not to be recommended; the green would come from copper salts, which are poisonous.]


Salted wild rice stems (jiaobaizha茭白鮓)


Cut fresh wild rice stems (jiaobai茭白) into slices. Boil them briefly and strain them. Blend them with finely sliced green onion, dill seeds, fennel, Chinese pepper, ground red yeast (hongqu紅麴), and salt. Eat them after two hours. Use the same method to make salted lotus root tips (ousaozha藕梢鮓).


Sugar-and-vinegar eggplants (tangcuqie糖醋茄)


Cut fresh eggplants into triangular pieces. Boil these in water and strain them. Wrap them in cloth and extract the water. Salt them for one night. Then dry them in the sunlight. Blend them with sliced ginger and perilla (zisu紫蘇). Fry them and pour the mixture of sugar and vinegar on them. Then place them in a porcelain container. The same method can be applied to gourds.


Ginger in dregs (zaojiang糟薑)


Use any amount of tender ginger before the Spring or Autumn Festival for the Earth God[58]. Remove the leaves and clean them. Blend them with liquor, dregs, and salt. Place them in a porcelain jar and add one block of granulated sugar (shatang沙糖) on top. Wrap the jar with bamboo leaves and seal it with mud. After seven days, they can be eaten.


Pickled and salted vegetables (yanyancai醃鹽菜)


Remove the roots and yellow, old leaves of bok choy (baicai白菜). Wash and strain them. For every ten jin of vegetables, use ten liang of salt and several pieces of liquorice. Place them in a clean jar. Spread the salt into the leaf junctions of the vegetables and place them in the jar. Add a small amount of dill seeds (shiluo蒔蘿). Press tightly with hands. When half of the jar is filled, add more several pieces of liquorice. When the jar is full, press the vegetables with bricks and stones. Salt them for three days and then pour the vegetables out. Squeeze the brine out and place the vegetables in another clean container. They should be kept from contact with unboiled water. Pour the brine over the vegetables instead. After seven days, follow the previous step and pour out the vegetables and soak them in the brine that is newly squeezed out. Keep pressing bricks and stones on top of them. The leaves will be delicious and crisp. For those that have not been used up, blanch them in boiled water and dry them in the sunlight and preserve them. In the summer, soak the vegetables in warm water and squeeze them till they are dry. Add sesame oil to them and blend. Put in a porcelain bowl and place the bowl over rice. Eat them after steaming.


Wax gourd with garlic (suan donggua蒜冬瓜)


Choose large ones and remove the peels and pulp. Cut it into pieces as wide as one finger. Add alum and calx (baifan shihui白礬石灰) to boiled water. Blanch the vegetables in the water. Then take them out and strain them. For every jin of vegetables, use two liang of salt and three liang of garlic. Mash the garlic and put together with the wax gourd in a porcelain container. Soak in boiled fine vinegar.


Recipe for making salted, pickled leek (yanyanjiufa鹽醃韭法)


Before frost comes, choose large leeks without yellowish tips and wash them. Then strain them. Place one layer of leeks in a porcelain basin and then spread one layer of salt till the leeks and salt stuff the basin. Salt them for one or two nights. Stir them for several times and then place them in a porcelain container. Use the original brine. It will be even better if a small amount of sesame oil is added. One can also salt small cucumbers and small eggplants with the leeks. Salt them to extract the water and then blend them with the leeks. Put in a jar and preserve them.


Recipe for making vegetables with grains (zao gucai fa造穀菜法)


Use spring stalks of caitai [a mustard-green-like vegetable] that are not yet old (chunbulao caitai春不老菜苔) . Remove the leaves and wash them. Mince them into bits as big as the hole in a coin. Dry them in the sunlight and let the vapor go off. Do not let them get too dry. Add fried soybean halves (huangdouban黃豆瓣) with sliced ginger. For every jin of vegetables, use one liang of salt. Add the same amount of “taste-good” (see above; shixiang食香)[59]. Knead the vegetables with the salt (rouhui luxing揉回鹵性). Keep in a jar. Use them when they are ready (houshu suiyong候熟隨用).


Yellow sprouts of vegetables (huangyacai黃芽菜)


Cut the stalks and leaves of bok choy and keep only the hearts. From two cun away, pile earth (fentu糞土, wet soil) around the hearts, as high as they are piled. Cover with a large jar and pile soil outside of the jar tightly. Do not let gas in. After half a month, pick it and it tastes the best. The same method can be used to produce yellow sprouts of leeks, ginger, turnips, and Sichuan rhizome (Cnidum, chuanxiongya川芎芽)[60].


Recipe for making fermented soybeans in liquor (jiu douche fang酒豆豉方)


Use one dou five sheng of yellow bits (huangzi黃子)[61] and sift them to remove the flour. Use five jin of eggplants, twelve jin of gourds, one jin fourteen liang of ginger, sliced oranges as much as one wants, one sheng of fennel (xiaohuixiang小茴香), four jin six liang of stirred-and-baked salt, and one jin of green pepper. Blend them and place them in a jar. Press them tightly. Pour the Jinhua liquor (jinhuajiu金花酒) or fermented rice (jiuniang酒娘) into it till the liquor is about two cun higher than the vegetables. Wrap the jar with paper and bamboo leaves and seal it with mud. Place it outside for forty-nine days. Write down something[62] on the jar to mark it (tanshang xiedongxi zi jihao壇上寫東西字記號). When they have been dried for enough days, pour the vegetables into a large tub. Dry them in the sunlight and cover them with a mat made from yellow grasses.


Red salted beans (hongyandou紅鹽豆)


First, place a flowering-apricot fruit frosted with salt (yanshuangmei鹽霜梅) at the bottom of a wok. Use large green beans (qingdou青豆), that have been washed, to cover the apricot. Make a pit in the middle of the peas and add salt to it. Add a small amount of alum (baifan shihui白礬) to boiled water that is cooked with sapanwood (sumu蘇木). Pour the water around the rim of the wok till it is as high as the beans. Heat it till the water is gone. When the beans are fully cooked, the salt will not be visible, and they turn red.


Five-beauties ginger (wumeijiang五美薑)


Slice one jin of tender ginger. Mash half jin of white mei (baimei白梅, a type of preserved mei) and remove the kernels. Add two liang of stirred-and-baked [rock] salt to it and blend them. Dry them in the sunlight. Then add to it one qian of nard/spikenard (gansong甘松), five qian of liquorice, and two qian of sandal powder (tanxiangmo檀香末). Again blend them and dry them in the sunlight for three days. Then take and contain them.


Salted mustard greens (yanjiecai醃芥菜) (the principle is to use eight liang of salt for every ten jin of vegetables)


Use fresh, tender mustards that are picked in the tenth month. Mince and blanch them in boiled water. Scoop them up with the boiled water in a basin. Blend them with raw lettuce (celtuce, i.e. thick-stemmed lettuce; woju萵苣), cooked sesame oil, mustard flowers (jiehua芥花), sesames, and salt. Pack them in a jar. After three to five days, eat them. They will not spoil till spring.


“Taste-good” (“eating-fragrance,” shixiang食香)[63] turnips (shixiang luobo食香蘿蔔) (use eight liang of salt to salt every ten jin of turnips)


Cut the turnips into dice-like squares. Salt them with sea salt (dayan大鹽) for one night. Then dry them in the sunlight. Slice ginger and oranges. Blend them with aniseeds and fennel (daxiao huixiang大小茴香). Boil vinegar and pour it onto the vegetables. Contain them in a porcelain bottle and place the bottle in the sun. Preserve them after they are dried.


Turnips, wild rice stems, bamboo shoots, gourds, eggplants, and so on in dregs (zao luobo jiaobai suncai gua qie糟蘿蔔,茭白,筍菜,瓜,茄等物)


Add alum and calx (baifan shihui白礬石灰) to boiled water and let it cool down. Soak above vegetables in it for one day and one night. Warm up liquor and add salt to dregs. Also add one or two bronze coins to them. Measure out the dregs and add them to the vegetables. After ten days, take up the vegetables and replace the previous dregs with fine dregs. Add salt and liquor to them. Blend them and place them in a jar. Wrap it with bamboo leaves and seal with mud.


Recipe for making five-spice vinegar (wula cu fang五辣醋方)


Use one spoon of soybean sauce, one qian of vinegar, one qian of white sugar, five to seven Chinese peppers, one or two peppers, and one fen of raw ginger. It would be even better if one or two cloves of garlic.




WILD VEGETABLES (yesulei野蔌類) (new section)


What I have selected is totally different from what Wang Pan[64] has done.  I dare record only those that people recognize and are edible, not what Mr. Wang has selected. This is because I want to accomplish something.  [The hapless Wang must have recommended some pretty inedible items.]


Yellow fragrant daylily (Hemerocallis flava, huangxiangxuan黃香萱)


Pick the flowers in the summer and wash them. Blanch them in the boiled water and then they can be eaten when blended with spices. If they are added to vegetarian food that have been boiled in flavored sauce (aosupin熝素品), such as Toufu, the taste is very good. If one wants to eat this wild vegetable, he should wash it and make it clean. He should still look for small worms hiding on the back of the petals and not eat them by mistake. First, prepare a flavored sauce (liaotou料頭). For every large cup of vinegar, add three fen of liquorice powder, one qian of white sugar frost (baitangshuang白糖霜), and half cup of sesame oil. Blend them and use this as a flavored sauce to stir with the vegetables. Adding some mashed ginger to it gives another recipe. For flowers that have picked and cleaned, blanch them in boiled water and rinse them in water for two hours. Then take them up and squeeze them till they are dry. Blend them with spices and then they can be served. Their color will not change and be as if fresh. At the same time, they are crisp, tender, not mashed, and have more flavor. The same method can be applied to domestic vegetables. As for the roasted, the quickly-fried, and the minced (zhibozuoji炙煿作齏), they are included in this recipe.  [Daylily flowers are still a common food in China, and are excellent eating.  The buds or just-opening flowers are used.  These have to be gathered early, since, as the name implies, the flower opens, blooms, and fades in a day.]


Chamomile shoots (“sweet chrysanthemum,” ganjumiao甘菊苗)


Pick tender tips of well-grown chamomile shoots in the spring and summer. Blanch them in the boiled water as previous recipe. Then eat them. If they are coated with the mixture of liquorice liquid (gancaoshui甘草水) and yam powder (shanyaofen山藥粉) and then deep-fried, they will be extremely delicious.


Wolfthorn heads (gouqitou枸杞頭)


Use tender wolfthorn leaves and sprouts. Follow the above cooking method. They will taste even better if they are used in cooking congee. Of the four seasons, eat only in winter.

[This refers to Lycium chinense.  Wolfthorn berries now very often come from Lycium barbarum, which has inedible shoots.]


Water caltrops (lingke菱科)


Pick them in the summer and autumn. Remove the leaves and roots and only keep the round clusters on the stalks (gengshang yuanke梗上圆科). Use the above method. It tastes delicious when fully cooked. It tastes even better when blended with dregs (zaoshi糟食). It is of the first rank in the wild vegetables.


Water shield (Brasenia, chuncai蓴菜)[65]


Pick [shoots] in the fourth month and blanch them in the boiled water. Then rinse them in water for future use. These can be eaten with ginger and vinegar. They can also be used in cooking meat congee (rougeng肉羹[66]).


Wild amaranth (yexiancai野苋菜)


Pick it in the summer [when young] and eat it when fully cooked. It can also be blended with pices or fried. It is more delicious than domestic amaranth.


Wild white mustard (Sinapis alba or Brassica hirta, yebaijie野白芥)


Pick [sprouts] in the fourth month. The tender ones can be eaten when they are raw or fully cooked.


Wild radishes (yeluobo野萝卜)


The vegetable is like the radish [or turnip]. One can pick the root and shoots. Fully cook it and then it can be eaten.


India wormwood herb (Artemisia selengensis /Artemisia absinthium /Artemisia vulgaris, louhao蒌蒿)


Pick the hearts in the early spring. These are most fragrant if added to tea. The leaves are edible when fully cooked. In the summer and autumn, the stalks can be used to make a minced mixture (ji齑)[67].


Chinese goldthread heads (Coptis, huangliantou黄连头)


It is the same as the huanglian used for medical purposes. Pick the heads and salt them. Dry them in the sunlight. It tastes best when added to tea. It is also delicious when fully cooked.


Bengal water-dropwort herb or water-cress (shuiqincai水芹菜)


Pick them in the spring months and boil them in boiled water. Blend them with ginger, vinegar, and sesame oil. it is very delicious. Or one can also add salt to the boiled water and blanch the vegetables in it. Dry them in the sunlight. It is also good if it is added to tea.


Jasmine leaves (moliye茉莉葉)


Pick tender jasmine leaves and wash them clean. Boil them with toufu in the flavored sauce (lushi熝食) and it is of the best grade of food (juepin絕品).


Goosefoot flower (ejiaohua鵝腳花) [an unidentified plant called “goosefoot” in Chinese, not the familiar plant called “goosefoot” in English]


Pick the univalve [?  Obscure character, hard to understand] flowers, which are edible. The multivalve flowers are harmful. Blanch them in the boiled water. Add salt and blend them with spices. It can also be boiled in flavored sauce (lushi熝食). [Lushi, today, means a rich stock.]  It can also be fried with minced gourds. In the spring, the sprouts are edible.


Gardenia (zhizihua栀子花), also called yanpu檐葡


Pick the flowers and wash them clean. Rinse them in water to remove the smell (xing腥). Add sugar and salt to flour and make it into a paste. Coat the flowers in the paste and deep-fry them and then they can be eaten.


Cassia seeds (jindour金豆儿); the same as juemingzi决明子


Pick the beans (dou豆) and blanch them in boiled water. They can be added to tea and taste delicious and sweet.


Broom flowers (jinqiao’r金雀兒)


Pick the flowers in the early spring. Blanch them in salted boiled water. They can be added to tea. They can also be blended with spices and become a dish.


Purple flowers (zihuar紫花兒) [unidentified]Both the flowers and leaves are edible.


Cedrela sinensis A. (a.k.a. Toona sinensis; xiangchunya香春芽)


Pick the heads and sprouts and blanch them in the boiled water. Add a small amount of salt and dry them in the sunlight. They can be preserved for more than one year. Blend them with sesame and serve. The fresh ones can be added to tea. They are most suitable for adding to fried gluten (chaomianjin炒麵觔). Toufu and vegetables can also be added.

[These intensely-flavored shoots are still a fairly well-known food.]


Penghao (a mugwort, a type of sagebrush; 蓬蒿)


In the second or third month, pick the tender heads and wash them clean. Salt them in a small amount of salt. Blend them in flour and make them into cakes. Deep-fry them and they are delicious.

[Various mugwort or sagebrush cakes are still very common in Korea, but have become rather rare in China.]


Grey amaranth (huixiancai灰莧菜)


Pick the whole plant and boil it. It can be boiled or fried (jianchao煎炒). It is more delicious that the domestic amaranth.


Ear fungus on mulberry and agaric growing on willow (sangjun liujun桑菌柳菌)[68]


Both of them are edible. Pick them and boil them with vegetarian food in flavored stock (lushi熝食).


Aquatic malachium herb /Malachium aquaticum Moench /(echangcao鹅肠草)


Use the thick ones.  Pick them and blanch them in boiling water. Blend them with spices and then they can be eaten.


Eritrichium pedunculare (jichangcao鸡肠草) can also be cooked in the same way as the above.


Cotton fiber tips (mianxutou綿絮頭) [unidentified]


These are white and grows on the field levee (tiangeng田埂). Pick them and wash them clean. Mash them till they are like cotton. Add them into flour or powder and make cakes with them.


Buckwheat leaves (qiaomaiye荞麦叶)


In the eighth or ninth month, pick the newly growing tender leaves . They can be eaten after being fully cooked.


Western ocean great purple (seaweed? xiyangtaizi西洋太紫)


In the seventh and eighth month, pick the leaves. Use them to boil toufu in the flavored soup. It is wonderful.


Mushroom (mogu蘑菇)


Pick and dry them in the sunlight. When raw or made into a thick soup, these are so delicious that they cannot be described in words. This is the best among vegetarian foods.


Dictyophora (zhugu竹菇)


This is even more delicious.  [Than the best?]  It can be eaten when fully cooked.


Trollius chinensis Bunge? (jinlianhua金莲花; the name now refers to nasturtium, but that flower was unknown to China in Ming)


In the summer, pick the leaves and stalks that are floating above the water. Blanch them and blend them with ginger, vinegar, and oil. Then they can be eaten.


Solanum indicum L. (tianqier天茄兒)


Blanch them in salted, boiled water. Add them to the tea. It can also be made into a dish after being blended with ginger and vinegar.


Alopecurus aequalis Sobol (Amur foxtail, kanmainiang看麥娘)


It grows along with wheat in the field. Pick it in the spring. Eat it after fully cooked.


Cochinchina leaf-flower herb (goujiaoji狗腳跡)


At frost time, its leaves are like the footprints of a dog. Pick them and eat when fully cooked.


Xie artemisia (xiehao斜蒿)


It grows in the third and fourth month. For the small ones, the whole plant can be used. For the large ones, pick the tender tips. Blanch them in boiling water and dry them in the sunlight. When eating them, soak them in boiled water and blend them with spices.

[Another mugwort or sagebrush, edible only when very young.]


Potamogeton distinctus (pondweed, ganzicai眼子菜)


Pick them in the sixth and seventh month. It grows in the water and marsh. The leaf is green and the back is purple. The stalk is soft, smooth, slim, and as long as several chi. Pick it and blanch it in the boiled water. Eat it when fully cooked.


Nostoc commune /T.japonicum (Bluml) Makino (ditaye地踏葉) [an alga]


It is also called di’er地耳. It grows when it rains in the spring and summer. Pick it after the rain. Fully cook it and blend it with ginger and vinegar. When the sun is out, it disappears and withers.

[This is an algae growing on wet soil or mineral springs.]


Snail mustard (woluojie窩螺芥)


In the first and second month, pick it and fully cook it.


Purslane  (Portulaca oleracea, machixian馬齒莧)


Pick it in the early summer. Blanch it in the boiled water. Dry it in the sunlight. Eat it when the winter comes.


Kalimeris indica heads/sprouts (malantou馬蘭頭)[69]


It grows in clusters in the second and third month. Fully cook it. It can also be made into a minced dish (ji齏).


Artemisia apiacea (yinchenhao茵陳蒿) it is the same as qinghaor青蒿兒


Pick it in the spring. Add it to flour and make it into cakes.


Wild goose intestines (yanrchang雁兒腸) [unidentifiable]


It grows in the second month. It is like green bean sprouts. Fully cook it. It can be eaten when it is raw.


Wild rice stem (yejiaobaicai野茭白菜)


In the early summer, it grows in the marsh. It is the same as jiaoyar茭芽兒. Fully cook it.

[Probably a Zizania, not true rice, but term rather ambiguous.]


Shepherds’ purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris, daoguanji倒灌薺)


Pick it and fully cook it. It can also be minced for eating.

[Still a common food all over Eurasia.]


(kumatai苦麻台) [unidentified]


Pick it in the third month. Mash the leaves and add it to flour. Make cakes with it and eat.


Cole flowers (huanghuar黃花兒)[70]


Pick it in the first and second month. Fully cook it.


Wild water chestnuts (yebiqi野荸荠)


Pick them in four seasons. They can be eaten when they are raw or fully cooked.


Wild green beans (yelüdou野绿豆)


Its leaves and stalk are like those of green bean but smaller. It grows in the wild field and has many vines. It can be eaten when it is raw and fully cooked.


Lustrous herb (youzhuozhuo油灼灼) [unidentified]


It grows by the water. The leaves are glossy (guangze光澤). It can be eaten when it is raw or fully cooked. It can also be salted and then dried. Steam it when eating.


Bannqiaoqiao(板蕎蕎) [unidentified]


Pick it in the first or second month. When eating, cook it. It cannot be eaten in the third or fourth month.


Cardamine hirsuta L. /(suimiji碎米薺) [a small mustard of good flavor]


Pick it in the third month. It can be eaten only when it is minced and mingled with spices.


Heavenly lotus roots (tian’ou’r天藕兒)


Its root is like that of the lotus but smaller. It can be eaten after it is fully cooked and blended with spices. The leaf cannot be eaten.


Broad bean (Vicia faba) sprouts (candoumiao蠶豆苗)


Pick it in the second month. Fry in sesame oil and then boil it with soybean sauce and salt. Add a small amount of ginger and green onion.


Broad cocklebur leaves (Xanthium sibiricum, cang’er cai蒼耳菜)


Pick tender leaves and wash them clean. Blanch them in the boiled water. Blend them with ginger, salt, and bitter liquor (kujiu苦酒). It cures the rheumatism/wind-damp illness (fengshi风湿). The seed can be blended with rice powder and made into dry provision (qiu糗)[71].

[Not gourmet fare, but widely eaten to this day.  Only very young leaves are edible.]


Lotus flower (furonghua芙蓉花)


Pick the flowers and remove the pistil and petal. Blanch it once or twice in boiled water. Blend it with toufu and add a small amount of pepper. It is red and white and lovely.


Mallow (?Althaea rosea or, more likely, Malva spp.; kuicai葵菜) this is the Sichuan mallow (shukui蜀葵). The cluster is short and leaves are larger. Its nature is mild (xingwen性温).

Pick the leaves. it can be eaten when cooked in the same way as cooking thick vegetarian soup (caigeng菜羹).


Osmanthus (danguihua丹桂花)


Pick the flowers and spread liquorice liquid on it. Blend it with mashed rice and make it into cakes (gao糕). Its pure fragrance will fill the mouth.


Lettuce stem (wojucai莴苣菜)


Pick the stem and remove the leaves and skin. Cut it into pieces one cun in length. Soak them in boiled water. Add ginger oil, sugar, and vinegar to them and blend them.

[Now called “celtuce” when it appears in English-speaking markets.]


Great burdock (Arctium lappa Linne, niupangzi牛蒡子)


In the tenth month, pick the root and wash it clean. Avoid to boiling it too much. Take it up and mash and flatten it. Press it till it is dry. Blend it with salt, soybean sauce, dill (luo萝), ginger, Chinese pepper, cooked oil. Soak it in the spices for one or two days. Then take it and bake it till it is dry. It tastes like dried meat.


Pagoda-tree Pod (Sophora japonica L)  leaves (huaijiaoye槐角叶)


Pick narrow, clean, tender leaves and mash them till the juice comes out. Blend it with flour [and make it into flour food]. Rinse it in the mixture of vinegar and soybean sauce (xijiang醯酱) . Add fully cooked, minced food to it and it can be eaten.


Cedrela chinensis root (chunshugen椿樹根)


Pick the root before the autumn. Mash and sift it. Blend it with flour and make it into small dough/patches. Boil it in pure water and eat it.


Lily bulbs (baihegen百合根)


Pick the bulb and dry it in the sunlight. Blend it with flour and make it into noodle. Steam the noodle and eat it. It enhances the qi and blood.






Snake gourd (Trichosanthes kirilowii Maximovich) root (kuolougen括蔞根)


Dig deeply to get the large root. Peel it till it is white. Cut it into pieces one cun in length and soak them in water. Change the water every day. After five to seven days, take them and mash them into pulp. Use a piece of thin silk to sift through thin pulp and powder [sic; “powder” here seems likely a scribal error of anticipating the next sentence]. When it is dried, it turns into powder. Mix it with non-glutinous rice powder (jingfen粳粉) and make it into congee. If it is added with cheese, it will be very tonic (bu補).


Few-flowered wildrice fruit (diaogumi調菰米)[72]


Few-flowered wildrice is now called Barbarian Rice (huji胡穄). Dry it in the sunlight. Hull and wash it. Steam it and its fragrance cannot be expressed in words.


Weigela florida (jindaihua錦帶花)


Pick the flowers and use them to make a thick soup. They are soft, crisp, and edible.


Sweetgrass Acorus calamus and/or Acorus tatarinowii  Schott, changpu菖蒲)


Boil sweetgrass (shichangpu石菖蒲) with atractylodes (Atractylodes macrocephala or A. ovata, baishu白術) together till they turn into paste. Use three jin of Chinese yam rhizome (shanyao山藥) for every jin of this powder. Add honey water (mishui蜜水) to the flour and make cakes with it. Steam the cakes and eat.  [This would be a medicinal recipe. Presumably the rhizome of the sweetgrass is used; the leaves do not cook down to pulp.]


Plum (lizi李子)


Take large plums and remove the pits. Take white mei (baimei白梅) and liquorice and soak them in boiled water. Blanch the plums in the boiled water. Add white sugar to ground pine nuts (songzi松子) and terminalia (Terminalia superba or T. catappa L., lanren欖仁). Stuff them in a steamer and eat it when it is fully cooked.


Yam tubers (shanyutou山芋頭)


Pick yams and slice them. Boil them with torreya nuts (feizi榧子). Make bitter apricot seeds (kuxingren苦杏仁) into powder. Add a small amount of soybean, water, and salt to the bitter apricot seed powder and make into a paste. Dip the sliced yams in the paste. Then deep fry them and eat.


“East-wind vegetable” (dongfengji東風薺) [the author’s note:] it is the same as shepherd’s purse (jicai薺菜)


Pick one or two sheng of shepherd’s purse and wash them clean. Add three he of taomi(淘米), three sheng of water, and one ginger sprout to them. Mash them and blend them in a pot till it are even. Pour one clam shell (xianke蜆殼) of sesame oil to it. Then do not move it any more. Boil over fire. If it is moved, there will be a greasy flavor. Do not add any salt or vinegar. If one tastes this, he will feel that the eight precious foods of seas and lands (hailubazhen海陸八珍) are as nothing.  [Hyperbolic praise for a boiled-down weed.]


Plantain lily (Hosta fortunei, yuzanhua玉簪花)


Pick the half-blossoming flowers and split them into two pieces or four pieces. Dip them in paste and deep fry them. If add a small amount of salt and white sugar to the paste and blend them evenly. It is very delicious after being dipped in the paste [and deep fried].


Gardenia (zhizihua梔子花), another recipe, recorded for a second time.


Pick the half-blossoming flowers and blanch them in alum water (fanshui礬水). Add thinly sliced green onions, aniseeds and fennel (daxiaohuixiang大小茴香), Chinese pepper, red yeasts (hongqu紅麴), and yellow steamed rice (huangmifan黃米飯) to them. Grind them till they are mashed. Blend evenly with salt. Salt it for half a day and eat. When it is blanched with alum water and soaked in honey, it is very delicious.


Wood fungus /timber fungus (mujun木菌)


Use decayed mulberry wood (sangmu桑木), camphor wood (zhangmu樟木), and Persea nanmu Oliver/Phoebe zhennan wood (nanmu楠木). Cut them into pieces one chi in length. In the twelfth month, sweep decayed leaves and choose a rich and shady place (feiyindi肥陰地). Bury the wood and leaves deeply at the place, using the same method of planting vegetables. In the spring months, irrigate it with water that has been used to wash rice. Soon, fungus grows. Irrigate it three times every day. Then it will grow as large as a fist. Pick it and fry it with vegetarian food. It is also delicious when withered. It grows on the wood and is not harmful.

[Not the usual substrates for shiitake; possibly for oyster mushrooms, at a guess.]


Sollya (Wistaria?)  (tenghua藤花)


Pick the flowers and wash them clean. Pour salted water on them and blend them evenly. Steam them in a steamer till they are fully cooked. Then dry them in the sun. They can be used to make a stuffing. It is delicious. When it is mixed with meat, they are also delicious.


River Shepherd’s-purse (jiangji江薺) [Presumably a riparian form of, or close relative of, shepherd’s-purse]


It grows in the twelfth month. It can be eaten raw or fully cooked. Do not eat the flower. However, the flower can be made into minced dish (ji齏).


Poke Phytolacca arinosa Roxb. Or Phytolacca esculenta van Houtte (shanglu商陸)


Pick the seedling and stalk. Wash them clean and steam them till fully cooked. Add salt and spices to them. The purple ones are tasty.


Achyranthes spp. (?) (niuxi牛膝)


Pick the seedlings using the same method of cutting leeks. It is edible.  [Achyranthes is a genus of rather small, tender herbs.]


Lotus rhizomes growing in a lake (hu’ou湖藕)


Pick raw lotus rhizomes and cut them into pieces about one cun in length. Blanch them in boiled water. Then salt them to remove some water. Add a small amount of green onion, oil, sliced ginger roots, sliced orange peel, aniseeds, fennel, and yellow steamed rice (huangmifan黃米飯). Mash them and blend them carefully. Wrap them with lotus leaves tightly. Leave overnight, then eat.


Ledebouriella seseloides (=Saposhnikovia divaricata) (fangfeng防風)


Pick the seedlings. These can be made into vegetarian food. Blanch them in boiled water and blend them with spices. It is very good at removing the wind (qufeng去風).


Plantain/Chinese banana (bajiao芭蕉)


There are two kinds of plantains (jiao蕉). Those having sticky fruits (gen根) are glutinous plantains (nuojiao糯蕉). They are edible. Pick the fruits and cut them into pieces about the size of a hand. Boil them in the ash-liquid (huizhi灰汁)[73] till they are fully cooked. Remove the ash-liquid and boil them in clean water. Replace the water twice till the smell of ashes disappears. Take the leaves and press them till they are dry. Grind salt, soybean sauce, aniseeds, fennel, Chinese pepper, dried ginger roots, and cooked oil, carefully. Blend them with the plantains. Salt them in a jar for one or two days and then take them out. Bake them for a while till they are almost cooked and turn soft. When one eats it, it tastes exactly like fatty meat (feirou肥肉).


Water cress (shuicai水菜)


Its shape is similar to bok choi (baicai白菜). It grows in the seventh and eighth month, in the field or on the water bank. It grows in clusters and its color is dark green. Blanch it in boiled water. Boil it with soybean sauce and then it can be eaten.


Lotus seed pod (lianfang蓮房)


Pick the tender ones. Remove the peel, seeds, and stalks. Boil it with ashes and boil it in clean water in order to remove the taste of ashes. Bake them with the plantains till they are dry. Flatten them with stones. Then slice them and eat.


Sesame leaves (kupencai苦盆菜) [the author’s note:] it is also called huma胡麻


Pick the tender leaves and make them into thick soup. It is large, sweet, crisp, and smooth.


Pine-needle-shape vegetable (songhuarui松花蕊)


Pick it and remove the red skins. Use the tender and white ones and soak them in honey. Bake them for awhile till the honey is fully cooked. But do not let it be overcooked. It smells good and it is crisp and tasty.


Angelica dahurica Benth. et Hook (baizhi白芷)


Pick the tender roots. Soak them in honey or preserve them in dregs. Then they can be eaten.


Ledebouriella sprouts (fangfengya防風芽)


Pick the scarlet-colored sprouts (yanzhi胭脂). Blend them with spices like normal vegetables and eat.


Lilyturf  (Ophiopogon spp.) sprouts (tianmendongya天門冬芽)


Use [lilyturf or] ligusticum sprouts (chuanqiongya川芎芽), sokji (Cassia?) sprouts (shuizaoya水藻芽), Achyranthes sprouts (niuxiya牛膝芽), chrysanthemum sprouts (juhuaya菊花芽), and Villarsia nymphaeoides (? Or Nymphoides spp.) sprouts (xingcaiya荇菜芽). Blend them with spices. Eat it when fully cooked.  [The identification of these wild sprouts is dubious.]


Water [Sphagnum?] moss (shuitai水苔)


In the early spring, pick the tender tips. Wash and trim them till they are very clean. Wash away any sand, gravel, and worms. Press them with stones till they are dry. Add salt, oil, Chinese pepper, and minced leeks. Blend them and place them in a bottle. Add vinegar and ginger. It is very delicious. It can also be fried with oil. It is also good when it is added with salt and soybean sauce.


Pulu sprouts (puluya蒲蘆芽)[74]


Pick the tender sprouts and cut them. Blanch them in boiled water and wrap them in cloth. Press them till they are dry. Then add spices. It tastes like dried fish and it is very delicious.


Garden Balsam (Impatiens balsamina) stalks(fengxianhuageng鳳仙花梗)


Pick the thick stalks and peel them. Peel them till they are clean. Add them into dregs in the morning and eat at noon.


Safflower seeds (honghuazi紅花子)


Pick the seeds. Soak them in water and remove those floating on the surface of the water. Mash them in a pestle and soak the mashed material in boiled water to get the liquid. Mash it again. Boil the mash and liquid. When the water is boiled in the pot, add vinegar into it in order to let it coagulate. Use a piece of thin silk cloth to strain it. What has been obtained [i.e., the residue after straining] is like fatty meat. If it is added to vegetarian food, it will be extremely delicious.


Golden-bird flower (jinquehua金雀花) [broom]


It blossoms in the spring. The appearance of the flower is like a golden-bird (siskin, canary or goldfinch; jinque金雀). Each flower is worthy of being picked. Blanch them in boiled water and they can be served as tea food (chagong茶供). If it is blended with frost sugar [fine crystallized sugar], oil, and vinegar, it can be served as a dish. It is very pure (qing清).


Cold bean sprouts (handouya寒豆芽) [presumably a kind of pea, not literally cold sprouts]


Wash peas till they are clean. Wrap them in the container made from cattail (pu蒲) leaves when they are still wet. In the spring and winter, place them near the kang (raised household heating platform, 炕), where is close to fire. In the summer and autumn, this is not necessary. Spray water on it every day. When the sprouts grow, remove the shells and wash them till they are clean. Blanch them in boiled water and serve them as tea food. If the sprouts are long enough, they can be made into a regular dish.


Soybean sprouts (huangdouya黃豆芽)


Use large soybeans and follow the above method. When the sprouts grow a little bit, take them and remove the shells. Wash them till they are clean and fully cook them. Add Arthraxon hispidus (?) (xiangjin香藎), sliced oranges, wood-ear fungus (muer木耳), and sliced Buddha’s-hand citron (foshougan佛手柑) to them. Blend them till they are even. Add as much as possible of sesame oil and frost sugar. Then add vinegar. Serve it after blending them.




BREWS (niangzaolei釀造類)


These are liquors made in the families of Mountain Persons [i.e. immortals, hermits, or the like; shanren山人] for the purpose of nourishing life. Either they are sweet, or they are medicines. They are very different from those tasty foods. Those who booze [lit. “drink immoderately”] should not join our conversation here.

[These are basically medicinal or herbal ales.  Most old brewing recipes are hard to follow, and translations below are highly tentative. One often suspects that our author had not tried these himself. A brewing expert would have to look at them and try them before serious translation.  On all these, see Huang 2000.]


Liquors (jiulei酒類)


“Peach flower stream” liquor (taoyuanjiu桃源酒) [The name refers to Tao Yuanming’s famous story of a fisherman who followed a trail of peach flowers up a stream and found a land of Mountain Folk]


Use twenty liang of white yeasts (baiqu白曲) and cut them into almond shape[75]. Soak them in one dou of water and let them ferment (fa發). Wash one dou of sweet rice till it is very clean. Steam it till it is mashed. Spread the rice and let it cool down. Add it to the yeast liquid according to the changing weather of the four seasons (yi sishi xiaoxi qihou toufang quzhi zhong以四時消息氣候投放曲汁中). Stir it and make it into a thick congee. When it ferments, add two dou of steamed rice. if it does not [yet] taste like liquor, one should not feel surprised. Let it ferment and two more dou of steamed rice. Then the liquor is ready. If the weather is warm, there will be clean liquid emerging in the jar three to five days after it is ready. Take the liquid and drink it. Even if one guzzles this liquid, it will not be harmful. This recipe was originally [hyperbolically said to be] obtained at Peach Flower Stream, Wuling. Then it was recorded in Qimin yaoshu齊民要術. Neither entry catches the full wonder of this liquor. This recipe is the only true version. Now I think that it will be even better if one uses only water to soak the rice. When making the liquor, boil one dou [presumably of sweet rice][76] and then take one sheng of clean liquid. Then soak the yeast in it. One day after it ferments, steam rice and let it cool down. Take [the rice] out of the jar and mix it with yeasts. Then place it back into the jar. Repeat this step for every time of brew (dou酘). For the third and fifth brew, place the rice in the jar one day after liquor emerges. When it has been moved for five times, press it one or two days after liquor emerges. Then more than half of the rice has transformed into liquor. If the taste is hard (ying硬), steam three sheng of sweet rice for every dou [of rice]. And use a large spoon of yeasts made from shoots growing from old barley (damai niequ大麥櫱曲) and a large fen of white yeast powder. Blend them evenly and place them in a cambric bag. Contain it in a liquor jar. When it becomes sweet and tasty, remove the bag. However, since it is cold in the north, it is proper to brew at one’s will. Since it is warm in the south, it is proper to make liquor when the weather is extremely cold [otherwise it goes off to vinegar easily].


Fragrant-snow liquor (xiangxuejiu香雪酒)


The requires one shi of sweet rice. First, use nine dou of sweet rice and wash it till it is very clean and there is no sediment in the water that was used to wash the rice. Contain the carefully measured sweet rice in a barrel. Add the same amount of water to the sweet rice. It is proper to add one more dou of water in order to compensate the washed-away sediments of sweet rice. Soak the sweet rice in a jar. Then use one dou of sweet rice. Wash it as previously it has been done. Steam rice and place it on the sweet rice. Cover the jar with grasses. After more than twenty days, [the steamed rice] floats [indicating top-fermentation here, as in ale]. Take the steamed rice dregs (fanke飯殼) first and then the sweet rice. Let them dry. Then steam the rice and use it when it is just fully cooked. Use the water that was used to soak the rice and remove the sediments in it. Use twenty jin of white yeasts that have been cut into small pieces. Blend them. Place the steamed rice dregs (mi ke米殼) at the bottom of the jar. If it is warm, let the warmth [of the steamed rice] come out for awhile and then stir and blend them till they are even. Then cover the jar. After one day and one night, rake over the rice for the first time and do not cover the jar. After one day or one night, rake it over for the second time. If it is warm, one should rake it to let the warm gas get out. Rake it thoroughly for the third time. Then cover the jar and wait till it is ready. If one uses a normal recipe, the rice must normally be fine and white. The rice should be washed and clean. When raking over, the warm gas should be let out completely and then the rice will not spoil.


Greenish-and-Fragrant liquor (bixiangjiu碧香酒)


Use one sheng of sweet rice and wash it till it is clean. Use nine sheng of the sweet rice and soak them in a jar. Use one sheng of steamed rice and blend four liang of white yeast power with it. Bury a bamboo sifter (chou篘) in the soaked rice. When the steamed rice floats, dredge it out [with the sifter]. Steam nine sheng of rice and blend sixteen liang of white yeast powder with it. First, place the clean steamed rice at the bottom of the jar. Then place the soaked sweet rice and steamed rice in the jar. Use ten jin or twenty jin of the liquid that was used to wash the rice. Use four or five layers of paper to seal the jar tightly. In the spring, it takes several days. If the weather is cold, it will be ready in one month.


The twelfth-month liquor (lajiu臘酒)


Use two shi of sweet rice, two hundred jin of yeast-in-water (shuiyujiao水與酵) [presumably concentrated starter liquid] in full measure (zucheng足秤), forty jin of white yeast in full measure, two dou of sour steamed rice (suanfan酸飯) or two dou of fermented rice. The liquor tastes thick (nong濃) and spicy. It is made in the twelfth month. When boiling it, use two baskets with large meshes to hold liquor bottles and place them in the boiled water. When the liquor is boiled, take them out.


Red liquor from Jianchang (jianchang hongjiu建昌紅酒)


Use one shi of fine sweet rice and wash it clean. Place the sweet rice in a jar and make a small pit in the middle of the sweet rice. Pour one shi and two dou of water in the jar. Use another two dou of sweet rice and boil it till it is fully cooked. Spread it and let it cool down. Make it into a ball and place it in the pit. Then cover the jar. After more than twenty days, the cooked rice starts to float and the liquid in the jar becomes sour. Remove the floating cooked sweet rice and dredge out the soaked sweet rice. First, wash five dou of rice till it is clean and spread it at the bottom of a steamer. Place wet rice on it. Spread a little bit the cooked rice and let the gas out. Then cover the jar. Use eight dou of the liquid that was used to soak the rice and one liang of Chinese pepper that is fried and just comes out of pan. When [the Chinese pepper] is cooled down, use three jin of white yeast, three bowls of finely mashed yeast (jiaomu酵母), and proper amount of rice just as in brewing normal liquor. Do not make it too thick. If it is very cold, place it in a warm place. Wrap it with grass for one night. Divide the cooked rice into five portions in the next morning. Place each portion in one small jar and use one sheng of red yeast, half sheng of white yeast. Divide the yeast (jiao酵) into five portions too. Blend each portion with each portion of the cooked rice till they are even. Force them down in the jar and place the remaining cooked rice on top of it. Then cover the jar. After two days, beat and rake over it. If the surface is thick and it cannot be thoroughly beaten in three or five days. After being beaten, the surface will float and puff up. Then beat it one more time and still cover the jar. It will be ready in twenty days if it is in the eleventh month, in one month if it is in the twelfth month, and in twenty days in the first month. In the other months, it is not appropriate to make this liquor. Squeeze it and let it settle down. Then add a small amount of white sandalwood (baitan白檀). Wrap [the jar and seal it] with mud. Use boiled water for the original dregs (touzao頭糟) and add any amount of dregs to it at will. After two nights, the mixture can be squeezed.


Five-flavor distilled liquor (wuxiang shaojiu五香燒酒)


For each brew, use five dou of sweet rice, fifteen jin of thin yeast, three large jars of white distilled liquor, sandalwood (one liang) and five qian of muxiang (木香), frankincense (ruxiang乳香), ligusticum (chuanxiong川芎), and myrrh (moyao沒藥) respectively, five qian of cloves (dingxiang丁香), four liang of ginseng, fifteen jin of white frost sugar, two hundred walnut kernels, and three sheng of red jujube with the seeds removed. First, steam the rice till it is fully cooked. Let it cool down. Follow the normal way to make liquor and stuff the jar with the rice till it is almost to the brim. Seal the jar tightly. When it starts to spread heat slightly, add sugar, distilled liquor, spices, walnuts, jujubes, and so on, to it. Seal the jar with thick wrappers. Do not let the gas out. Open it for every seven days. Seal it for forty-nine days. Squeeze it as in the above method. When one drinks one or two cups and eats the foods soaked in it, it feels like the genial wind in the spring.


Yam liquor (shanyujiu山芋酒)


Use one jin of yams (shanyao山藥), three liang of ghee (suyou酥油), three liang of lotus seed pulp (lianrou蓮肉), and half fen of borneol (bingpian冰片). Grind them together and make them into pills. For every bottle of liquor, throw one or two pills in it. It is good for health if one drinks it when it is warmed up.


Grape wine (putaojiu葡萄酒)


Use one dou of grape juice and four liang of yeast (qu曲). Blend them evenly and place them in a jar. Seal the jar and it will become wine naturally. It has a special fragrance.

Another recipe: use three jin of honey and one dou of water. Boil them together and then pour them in a bottle. When it is mildly warm, add two liang of yeast powder (qumo曲末) and two liang of white yeast (baijiao白酵) to it. Seal the bottle with wet paper and place the bottle in a clean place. In the spring and autumn, it takes five days. In the summer, it takes three days. In the winter, it takes seven days and it is also good. When one is practicing kongfu and doing exercises of guiding qi and stretching the body (xinggong daoyin行功導引)[77], he should drink one or two cups. Then he will feel dozens of pulses grow fluid and open, and will feel the qi move without obstruction. The wine is what one should not abandon if he wants to take care of his own health.  [Excellent advice.  This is, of course, a bit of western influence in Gao’s work, but grape wine was long nativized in northwest China by this time.]


Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum spp.) root liquor (huangjingjiu黃精酒)


Use four jin of polygonatum root, three jin of Chinese asparagus (tianmendong天門冬) with the hearts removed, six jin of pine needles (songzhen松針), four jin of Atractylodes macrocephala (baishu白術), and five jin of wolfthorn [presumably berries]. All of them should be raw. Contain them in a pot and add three shi of water to it. Boil it for one day and remove the dregs. Use the liquid to soak yeast (qu曲) as homemade brews. When the liquor is ready, use the clean liquid. One can eat at will. It cures the hundred illnesses, prolongs life, changes one’s beard and hair [i.e. from gray back to black, a common belief about this substance in old times], and makes teeth grow. It has wonderful functions that cannot be exhausted.  [The ingredients are particularly famous “Mountain Folk” medicinal foods.]


Atractylodes macrocephala liquor (baishujiu白術酒)


Use twenty five jin of Atractylodes macrocephala. Slice them and soak them in two shi and five dou of flowing water (shuliushui束流水) in a jar for twenty days. Then remove the dregs and pour the juice into a large basin and place it in the inner yard (tianjing天井) at night. After five nights, the juice turns blood-colored and then it can be used to soak yeast. Make it into liquor and drink it by itself. It cures illnesses and prolongs life, changes hair and strengthens teeth, and makes face radiant. One will live longer if he drinks frequently.


Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch liquor (dihuangjiu地黃酒)


Use a large dou of thick, large rehmannia roots. Mash them. Cook five sheng of sweet rice, use a large sheng of yeast (qu曲). Knead these three materials in a basin till they are evenly mixed. Pour it into a jar and seal it with mud. In the spring, it takes twenty-one days. In the autumn and winter, it takes twenty-five days. When the date comes, open the jar and take a look. There will be a cup of green liquid on the surface, which is the essence. Drink it first. Squeeze the remaining material with a piece of new cloth (shengbu生布) in order to get the liquid. Preserve the liquid. It tastes sweet and delicious. It has functions as the above.


Sweetgrass liquor (changpujiu菖蒲酒)


Use sweetgrass (Acorus calamus) with nine nodes (jiujiechangpu九節菖蒲) and squeeze out five dou of raw juice by mashing it. Cook five dou of sweet rice and blend five jin of thin yeast (xiqu細曲) with it evenly. Place them in a porcelain jar and seal it for twenty one days. Then open the jar and drink it after warming it up. Drink it three times a day. It will open veins and pulses, nourish stomach, cures the illness of migratory arthralgia/”wind and numbness” (fengbi風痹), the illness of being as thin as “standing bones” (guli骨立) and the illness of losing functions for some part of body and being yellowish (weihuang痿黃). It cures those that cannot [otherwise] be cured. If one takes one prescription [every day], after one hundred days his skin will have brighter color and be radiant, his feet will have strength several times than they had previously, his ears will be able to catch subtle sounds and his eyes become brighter, his white hair will turn black, his falling teeth will grow again, he will have brightness at night (yeyouguangming夜有光明; see clearly at night?) , his lifespan will be extended and he will achieve longevity. Its functions cannot be totally described here.


Lamb liquor (yanggaojiu羊羔酒)


Use one shi of sweet rice and soak it [in water] to get the liquid following the normal method. Use seven jin of fat lamb, fourteen liang of yeast (qu曲), one jin of apricot-red (xinghong杏紅; apricot flowers?), which has been boiled in order to remove the bitter liquid. Then boil it with the lamb in plenty of water till the meat can be easily mashed. Keep seven sheng of the soup and blend it with the sweet rice mentioned previously. Add one liang of muxiang(木香) to it and brew them together. Do not let water get into it. After ten days, it can be eaten. It tastes sweet and smooth.

[Various forms of lamb or mutton wine or tincture remained common in China through the 20th century.  ENA knew a man in Hong Kong in the 1960s who had drunk a lot of it to treat his malaria; he was healthy at the time of interviewing.]


Lilyturf liquor (tianmendongjiu天门冬酒)


Use one dou of ripe liquor (chunjiu醇酒), one sheng of yeast powder (qumo曲末) [made on] the sixth day of the sixth month, and five sheng of sweet rice.  Make them into a drink. Boil five sheng of lilyturf root. The rice should be washed and dried in the sunlight. Use the boiled soup of lilyturf root to soak the rice. First, soak the rice in the liquid with yeast as the normal recipe. When it is ripe, cook rice and blend the cooked rice with the boiled liquid according to proper heat so that [their flavors will] penetrate each other. In the spring and summer, it takes seven days. One should frequently check it because it can easily get too warm. In the autumn and winter, it takes ten days to be ripe. Su Shi’s poem reads: “when the lilyturf [liquor] is ripe, a happy new year comes. The yeast and rice are so fragrant that they can be smelled all over the house.” This is true.


Pine blossom liquor (songhuajiu松花酒)


Use pine blossoms [pollen cones] like mouse tails in the third month. Scrape and use one sheng.  Place in a bag made from thin silk cloth. When one makes distilled liquor (baijiu白酒) and it is ready, place the bag in the middle of the liquor and then place [the liquor jar] in a well. Soak it for three days and then take it out. Pour out the liquor and drink it. It tastes pure, fragrant, sweet, and delicious.


Camomile liquor (juhuajiu菊花酒)


Pick camomile (ganjuhua甘菊花) in the tenth month and remove the petals. Use only two jin of the flowers and trim them. Then them in liquor in which dregs have not been removed (pei醅) and blend them evenly. In the next morning, it is fragrant and limpid after being squeezed. For flowers having fragrance, such as osmanthus, orchids, and wild roses (qiangwei蔷薇), liquor can be made with them in the same way.


Brewed-three-times liquor with wujia bark (Acanthopanax spinosus) (wujiapi santou jiu五加皮三骰酒)


Use a large sheng of wujia roots and stalks, Achyranthes (niuxi牛膝), red sage root (danshen丹参), wolfthorn roots, honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica Thunb.) (jinyinhua金银花), turpentine (songjie松节), orange (zhike枳壳, referring to various citrus spp.) branches and leaves, respectively. Boil three large shi of water in a pot and use six large dou of it. Remove the sediments and let it settle down in order to get the pure water. Then soak yeast (qu曲) in the water for several times. Cook five large dou of rice. Then use one dou of raw rehmannia roots (dihuangjiu地黃) and mash all till it is like mud. Blend it with the rice and place it in a jar. For the second time, cook five dou of rice. Then use two dou of finely minced great burdock (niupangzi牛蒡子) roots and mash it into mud-like stuff. Blend it with the rice and place it in the jar. For the third time, cook two dou of rice and boil one dou of bimazi蓖麻子; lit. “castor bean fruits” but these are poisonous, so something else must be implied). Then finely mash the castor beans and blend with the rice and place in the jar. Follow the normal recipe when it becomes too cold or too warm. The taste of the liquor is good. One should drink it after removing the dregs. If the liquor is too cold to be fermented, add yeast powder (qumo曲末) into it. If the taste is bitter and thin, cook another two dou of rice and brew it. If the rice is too dry to be fermented, boil those herbs (yaowu药物) and receive the liquid and add them to the rice when they are still warm. When the liquor is ripe, the dregs should be removed. If one drinks it for a long time, the flavor of the liquor will not disappear (時常飲之多少,常令有酒氣). Both men and women can drink it. There is no food that he cannot eat because of drinking it. If one drinks, it can remove the wind, the tiredness, and the cold qi (qufenglao lengqi去風勞冷氣). It cures illnesses that have accumulated and persisted in the body for a long time. It makes people gain weight and health, and walk as does a running horse. Its functions and benefits are numerous.

[Wujiapi medicinal wine remains one of the few really common medicinal liquors in China.  It certainly has a warming, tonic effect, whatever other virtues it may have.]





Whether the liquor tastes good or bad is determined by the fineness of the yeast and the purity of water. Therefore, yeast is an important material (yaoyao要藥). If the yeast is not good, how can the liquor [that is produced with it] be good? So I record wonderful recipes of making the yeast, below.


White yeast (baiqu白曲)


Use one dan擔 of white yeast and one dou of sweet rice powder (nuomifen糯米粉). Add water to it and stir it till it is evenly wet. Sift it and tread (ta踏) it into cakes. Wrap it with paper and hang it in the wind. After fifty days, take it down. In the day, dry it in the sunlight; at night, place it outside and let the dew fall on it. For every dou of rice, use ten liang of yeast.


Secret recipe of making yeast, from the royal inner palace (neifu michuan qufang內府秘傳曲方)


Use one hundred jin of white flour (baimian白麵), four dou of yellow rice (huangmi黃米), and three dou of green beans (lüdou綠豆). First, grind the green beans till their shells are peeled. Toss them and remove the shells. Soak [the shells] in water for future usage. Second, grind the yellow rice and add it into the flour and the green bean powder. Place the soaked green bean shells into the mixture of rice, flour, and green bean powder. Blend them. If the mixture is dry, add more soaked green bean shells till it can be twisted together into dough. Tread it into square yeast (fangqu方曲). [I.e. press into square yeast cakes?] The more solid (shi實), the better. Dry it in the sunlight on a rough board? (cuzhuo粗卓). It would be wonderful if it is made in the third hottest period (sanfu三伏). When one makes liquor, add seven jin of yeast to every shi [of rice]. Do not add too much yeast into it. Then the liquor will be pure (qinglie清冽).


Lotus yeast (lianhuaqu蓮花曲)


Use three jin of lotus blossoms, one hundred fifty liang of white flour, three dou of green beans, three dou of sweet rice (author’s note: all should be ground into powder), and eight liang of Sichuan pepper. Make and tread it (zaota造踏) as normal.


Dew-on-the-golden-stalk yeast (jinjingluqu金莖露曲)


Use fifteen jin of flour, three dou of green beans, and three dou of sweet rice. Make them into powder and tread [the powder].


Xiangyang yeast (xiangyangqu襄陽曲)


Use one hundred fifty jin of flour, three dou of sweet rice (author’s note: make it into powder), five jin of honey, eight liang of Sichuan pepper.


Red-and-white liquor-making material (hongbai jiuyao紅白酒藥)


Use five tsaokou cardamoms (caoguo草果), two jin of green tangerine peel(qingpi青皮), royal cinnamon (guangui官桂), large cardamoms (sharen砂仁), galangal (liangjiang良薑), cornel (or evodia; zhuyu茱萸), and (guangwu光烏) respectively, one jin of dried orange peels (chenpi陳皮), Amur cork tree bark (Phellodendron amurense; huangbo黃柏), Cyperus rotundus Linn. rhizome (xiangfuzi香附子), atractylodes (cangshu蒼術), dried ginger (ganjiang乾薑), camomile (ganjuhua甘菊花), and apricot kernels respectively, half jin of turmeric (jianghuang薑黃) and mints (bohe薄荷) respectively. For one jin of such a mixture, add one dou of sweet rice, three to five jin of smartwee (laliao辣蓼), two jin of mashed water ginger (shuijiang水薑), and one jin four liang of French chalk/talcum powder (huashifen滑石粉). Put in jar as usual. Add spices such as long pepper (bibo蓽撥), clove (dingxiang丁香), asarum (wild ginger, xixin細辛), four liang of Alpinia oxyphylla (yizhi益智), (dingpi丁皮), and large cardamom (sharen砂仁).


Dongyang liquor yeast (dongyang jiuqu東陽酒麴)


Use one hundred jin of white flour, three jin of walnut kernels (taoren桃仁), three jin of apricot kernels, one jin of aconite (caowu草烏), three jin of aconite [presumably a second species, but we have no way to tell what two species are meant here] (wutou烏頭)—if it is peeled, the amount can be reduced to half, and five sheng of green beans. Cook them till they are fully cooked. Use four liang of muxiang (木香), eight liang of royal cinnamon, and ten jin of piquant smartweed (laliao辣蓼 [presumably Polygonum hydropiper, one of the “hot” spicy species that give the plant its English name]). Soak them in water for seven days and then let them dry. Use ten jin of mother’s vine (muteng母藤), cocklebur (cangercao蒼耳草) (author’s note: wrapped with two pieces of mulberry leaves, alongside with the previous prepared three kinds of spices): smartweed (蓼草 [presumably a less piquant species), royal cinnamon, and muxiang (木香). Boil them together with the green beans. Add one jin of yeast to every shi of rice. It will not be good if one adds too much of yeast.


Smartweed (Polygonum sp.) yeast (liaoqu蓼曲)


Use any amount of sweet rice and soak it in the juice of smartweed for one night. Take the rice out of the juice and blend it with flour. After a while, sift it and remove the extra flour. Kep it in a thick paper bag. Hang it in a windy place. In the summer months, it can be used after two months. If one uses it to make liquor, the liquor will taste very delicious.






SWEETS (tianshilei甜食類)—author’s note: fifty-eight sorts


Recipe for making sugar syrup (qi tanglu fa起糖鹵法)


Whenever one makes sweets, he should prepare sugar syrup first. This is a secret recipe coming from the Imperial inner palace (neifu內府).


Use ten jin of white sugar (or one can use any amount of sugar. I now use ten jin as a standard). Use a movable stove or hearth (xingzao行竈) to set up a large boiler. First, use two and a half scoops of cold water. If the scoop is small and the sugar is too much, add the proper amount of water. Stir it and break the sugar into pieces. Boil it with mild fire. Pour (dian點)[78] two scoops of water that has been mixed with milk into it. If there is no milk, water mixed with egg white is also fine. When it is boiled, add the milk liquid (or egg white liquid) to it. Remove the firewood and quench the fire. Cover the boiler with a lid for enough time to eat a meal. Remove the lid and then set up the fire in the stove. When it is boiled, pour [the liquid] into it. After it is boiled for several times, one should have poured [the liquid] like this. If the foam in the sugar floats, use a skimmer to take it off. Be careful and do not let it burn. Use a brush to dip in the previously prepared liquid and brush [the boiler]. For the second time that the foam gathers, use the skimmer to get it out. For the third time, use high fire and pour pure water to the foam. The milk will be boiled and separated [from the foam]. When [the foam] gathers for the time that one meal takes, all the foam should be picked out. When the black foam is removed and white flower-like stuff can be seen, it is good. Use clean cotton cloth to sift it and contain it in a bottle. The utensils should be clean and avoid grease and pollution. Whenever one makes sweets and uses black granulated sugar (heishatang黑砂糖), he should boil it—no matter how much of it—thoroughly. Then use fine ramee cloth (xixiabu細夏布) to sift it. Otherwise, it is not good for making sweets. If one uses white granulated sugar, he should first dry it in the sunlight.

[The milk and/or egg are used to clarify the sugar—to get out any protein and other materials other than pure sucrose.  They clump with it and can be skimmed off.]


Recipe for roasted flour (chaomian fang炒麵方)


Sift white flour for three times. Place it in a large wok. Use a wood rake (mupa木耙) to stir it till it is fully browned. Place it on the table and grind it into fine powder. Then sift it again. Thus it can be used to make sweets.


Whenever one uses ghee, the ghee should be fresh. If it is old, it cannot be used.


Recipe for pine-nut cookies (songzibing松子餅)


For one serving of pine-nut cookies, use six liang of ghee, six liang of white sugar syrup, and one jin of white flour. First, melt the ghee and put it in a porcelain container when it is still warm. Pour the white sugar into it and rub it evenly. Then add white flour into it and blend them. Knead and rub it till it is even. Place it on the table and mould the dough (ganmian擀面) into a flat shape. Use bronze circle molds to print on it and make it into round pastes. Spread pine nuts on them and then place them in a tray, which is used to bake them.  [This is strikingly similar to New Mexico’s “pine-nut shortbread,” and must be a western recipe, almost certainly from the Near East—a rare bit of western borrowing in this book.]


Recipe for oil-harmonized-with-flour [candies] (mianheyoufang面和油方)


Use any amount of [flour]. Use a small pan, two scoops of sugar sauce, and any amount of ghee. Fry the sugar sauce in shallow ghee in the small pan. Sift it with thin cloth. Add uncooked flour (shengmian生面) to it with one’s hand till it is neither thin nor thick. Use a small rake to stir it till the flour is fully cooked. First, cook the sugar syrup over slow fire till one can draw threads of sugar from it. Use a stick to dip in it and test it. Add proper amount of the flour that has been fried in ghee. Stir it and then remove it from the pan. Spread it on the board when it is still hot. Mould it [with a rolling pin] and cut it into eye-shaped [or eye-sized] pieces (xiangyankuai象眼塊).  [This and several following recipes are Near Eastern halwah recipes.]


Recipe for pine nut hailuo (松子海羅[口幹]方) [hai luo, literally “sea radish,” clearly a transliteration of halwah]

One can also use both walnut kernels and gourd seeds (guaren瓜仁)


Put sugar syrup in a small wok. Cook over slow fire for one meal’s time. Stir it till it is cooled down. Add fried flour to it with one’s hand. Then add chopped pine nut kernels and stir them till it is even. Spread ghee on the board and place [the dough] on the board. Mould it with a rolling pin and cut it into eye-shaped pieces. When one cuts the dough into pieces, he should do it when the dough is still warm. If the dough is cold, it is hard. It would be difficult to cut and one would be afraid of breaking it into crumbs.  [Again a Near Eastern recipe—the transliteration clinches it.]


Recipe for white and moist [candy] (bairunfang白閏方)


Add a small amount of ghee to the sugar syrup and cook over slow fire. Add fried flour to it conveniently (suishou隨手) and stir it evenly. Place it on the board and flatten it with a rolling pin. Cut it into eye-shaped pieces. If one uses bronze circles as molds, it will be called Sweet-Dew Gluten (ganlujin甘露筋).  [Again, apparently a halwah recipe.  It is sweet and looks like gluten cakes.]


Recipe for snow-flake shortbread (xuehuasu雪花酥)


Melt ghee in a small pan and sift it. Add heated flour to it with the hand. Stir it till it is even, neither thin nor thick. Then remove the pan from the fire. Spread white sugar powder on the mix and stir it. When they are mixed together, place it on the board and mould it with a rolling pin. Cut it into eye-shaped pieces.


Recipe for Manchu candied fritter (shanshima fang芟什麻方)[79], called “poured-and-cut” in the south


Cook sugar syrup in a small pan over slow fire till one can draw threads of sugar from it. First, peel sesame seeds and dry them in the sun light. Or bake them briefly and grind them into powder. Add them into the sugar conveniently. Stir and make it mix together, while it should be neither thin nor thick. Spread sesame powder on the board in advance and let it not be sticky. Place [the dough] on the board when it is still warm. Spread sesame powder on the dough, which will keep it from being sticky. Mould it with a rolling pin and cut it into eye-like pieces.  [This is straightforward sesame halwah!  Similar Manchu recipes survive today, and have been noted by Charles Perry; see footnote.]


Recipe for yellow and moisturized halwah (huangrun fang黃閏方)


[It is] the same as the homemade (jiachang家常) ones. Sift black [dark brown] granulated sugar. Cook it along with sugar syrup over slow fire. Add a small amount of honey. Then let it cool down. Add toasted flour conveniently. Still spread ghee on the board. Mould it with a rolling pin and cut it into eyelike pieces.


Recipe for slices with mint (boheqiefang薄荷切方)


Dry mints in the sunlight and grind them into fine powder. Put sugar syrup in a small pan and cook over slow fire till one can draw threads of sugar from it. Add a small amount of toasted flour in advance. Then add mint powder and mix them together. Spread mint powder on the board in advance and place [the dough] on the board when it is still warm. Spread more mint powder on the dough. Mould it with a rolling pin and cut it into eyelike pieces.  [These mint candies look, once again, Near Eastern.]


Recipe for a nest of threads [taffy] (yiwosi fang一窩絲方)


[Author’s note:] prepare a piece of fine stone as a board and spread cooked sesame oil on it. Sift toasted flour till it is pure. Prepare them in advance.  [All candy makers will recognize this!]

Fully cook sugar syrup over slow fire till one can draw threads of sugar from it and it is slightly burned (aocheng laosi熬成老絲). Pour it on the stone board. Use two chopping knives to scrape it up alternatively (zhuanzao lueqi轉遭掠起). When it is cooled down and gets thicker, pull (ba拔) it with hands till it is elongated. Fold it in half [and pull it again]. When it is pulled for more times, it becomes whiter. If it is cold and hard, bake it on fire. Stretch it for dozens of times and make it into a double-circle shape (shuangquan雙圈) and place it on the board. Spread toasted flour on it. Then it requires two persons, face to face, to pull it in opposite directions and turn it around clockwise (erren duiche shunzhuan二人對扯順轉). Pour toasted flour on it at his convenience. Pull it for dozens of times till it turns into thin threads. Sever them with knife, separate and make them into small nests. When one pulls the sugar and place it on the board, he should fold it in half and make it into a circle. Then pull it, fold it and make it into a circle. Repeat this for dozens of times and it will become thin threads.


Recipe for comb-print crisps (su’eryin fang酥兒印方)


Use uncooked flour and add soybean powder (doufen豆粉) to it. [add water to them and blend them](tonghe同和). Knead it into bars (tiao條) as large as the tip of a chopstick (jintouda筋頭大). Cut it into pieces as long as two fen分. Use a small comb to print patterns on them separately. Contain them and deep fry them with ghee till they are fully cooked. Pick them up with a sifter. Then spread white granulated sugar over, and mix.


Recipe for puffed buckwheat (qiaomaihua fang蕎麥花方)


First, bake buckwheat till it is puffed into flower-like [popped] kernels. Measure it. Add a small amount of honey to sugar syrup and put in a wok. Do not move them. Cook them till one can draw threads from it. Then [let the fire] higher (luedaxie略大些). Add the puffed buckwheat into it at one’s convenience and stir it evenly. Do not let it become thin. Spread puffed buckwheat on a board, which will prevent stickiness. Move the puffed buckwheat with sugar from the wok to the board and spread it. Mould it with a rolling pin and cut it into eye-like pieces.  [This is similar to Mexican alegría—a rather striking parallel.  Alegría is pre-Columbian, except for the sugar, but again there must be some Near Eastern influence here.]


Recipe for goat marrows (yangsui fang羊髓方)


Use half a bottle of goat/sheep milk (yangruzi羊乳子) or cow milk (niuruzi牛乳子) and add half a cup of water to it. Add three pinches of white flour to it. Sift it and place it in a wok. Cook over slow fire. When it is boiled, add white granulated sugar or sugar syrup at one’s convenience. Then use high fire [to cook it]. Beat it with a wood rake. When it is fully cooked, sift it and place it in a bottle. Pour it out in a bowl and serve it.  [This is evidently a form of the various milk sweets of India.]


Recipe for black and moist [candy] (heirun fang黑閏方)


Cook black [very dark brown] granulated sugar with slow fire and sift it till it is pure. Add the same amount of sugar syrup and mix them. place them in a wok. Cook them for one-meal’s time, add half a bottle of ghee to it. Cook and add fried flour and Chinese pepper powder to them at one’s convenience. Blend them into one piece. Then place it on the board and knead it till it is flattened. Cut it into eye-like pieces.


Recipe for saboni (灑孛你方)


Cook material that has been used to cook mushrooms (aomoguliao熬磨古料) with slow fire. Do not use walnuts. Scoop it out and spread it on a board. Circle and fix it with sweet rice (jiangmi江米). Print it with bronze circles. This is saboni灑餑你. When one cuts it into eye-like pieces, it is called white sugar squares (baitangkuai白糖塊). [This recipe is incomprehensible, and evidently involves transcriptions.  The mushroom reference makes no sense, and aomoguliao is very probably a transcription of a foreign word, as saboni certainly is.  Charles Perry informs ENA, per email of Aug. 25, 2015: “There was a medieval Arab sweetmeat called sabuniyyah which had something of the crumbly texture and faintly sinister luster of soap and was probably cut into pieces resembling bars of soap (sabun): Dissolve sugar and set aside. Put half the syrup in the pan, dissolve starch, add, and stir continuously on the fire; for every raṭl of sugar, use two ūqiyahs of starch. Stir with sesame oil, slowly moisten with the rest of the syrup, and stir. When it comes off the fire, add honey, the same amount by weight as the starch. When done, set aside and work in, for every raṭl,two ūqiyahs of blanched almonds or pistachios and an ūqiyah of rosewater. Then spread it out and sprinkle with sugar.” Further email, Aug. 26: ”It’s a recipe that all the 13th-century cookbooks of the eastern Arab World swiped from some earlier source. You can credit ‘The Description of Familiar Foods,’ which I translated in Medieval Arab Cookery, Prospect Books: Totnes, Devon, 2001. I can hazard a guess for aomoguliaoal-maghli, something that has been boiled. It’s not a literary word (in form it’s a passive participle and the verb ghala is intransitive) but it exists in two senses: 1) herb tea or decoction and 2) in Lebanon and Syria as the name of a sort of rice pudding made with water instead of milk (the rice is ground to a powder and it is boiled with sugar and spices for an hour to thicken) which is served on the birth of a son. In the second sense the first vowel is generally u: mughli, which could be a colloquial pronunciation of mughla, the proper word for ‘something that has been boiled.’”


Clearly this is our saboni, and the aomoguliao must be the ingredients called for in Perry’s recipe (translated from a medieval Arab source).]


Recipe for pepper-and-salt cookies (jiaoyanbing fang椒鹽餅方)


Use two jin of white flour, a half jin of sesame oil, a half liang of salt, and one liang of good pepper peels [sic, probably a miswriting], a half liang of aniseeds (huixiang茴香). Divide [the flour] into three equal portions. For each one of them, use only oil, pepper, salt, and aniseeds to mix with the flour. Then make them into the stuffing (rang穰). If one adds some coarse sesame crumbs to it, it would be even better. For each cookie, insert one piece of the stuffing. Knead the cookie till it become thinner. Then place them in the oven. Another recipe: mix the same amount of boiled water and oil. For the stuffing, use sugar and sesame crumbs and the oil [mixed with boiled water].  [This is a thoroughly Near Eastern recipe; cf. kourabiyeh.  The lack of sugar in the dough is evidently a mistake; probably the “good pepper peels” were sugar until a bad copyist got at this recipe.]


Recipe for crisp cookies (subing fang酥餅方)


Use four liang of ghee, one liang of honey, and one jin of white flour. Blend them into pastes. Place it into molds and make it into cookies. Then bake them in a oven. Otherwise, one can also use lard. If he uses two liang of honey, it will be even better.


Recipe for wind-dissolved cakes (fengxiaobing fang風消餅方)


Use two sheng of sweet rice and mash it into very fine powder. Divide them into four portions. One portion is used to make a dough (米孛). Another portion is mixed with water, made into cakes and fully cooked. Blend the remaining two portions [of sweet rice powder]. Use a small half cup of honey, two pieces of fermenting liquor in which the dregs have not been removed (zhengfa jiupei正發酒醅), and white maltose (baixing白餳)[80]. Melt them and then mould it with the sweet rice cakes till it is as thin as a spring [roll] wrapper (chunbing春餅). If the wrapper is broken, there will be no problem. Bake it on a tray and do not let it burn. Then hang it in a windy place. Measure how much [sweet rice] has been used, deep fry it in lard. When one deep fries it, use chopsticks to stir it. At the same time, mix white sugar and fried flour. Then use raw hemp cloth (shengmabu生麻布) to rub the mixed crumb onto the wrappers.  [I.e., thin tortilla-like cakes have crumbs shaken over them as topping.]

Another recipe: use only a small amount of fine and cooked powder and boil it. Then spread it on a sifter and dry it one hundred percent in sunlight. For every dou of sweet rice powder, use twelve liang of yam powder (yumo芋末). This recipe is simple and wonderful.

[With this we leave the Near Eastern-style recipes and move to more purely Chinese ones, though a few exotic recipes appear below.]

Recipe for meat-and-oil cake (rouyoubing fang肉油餅方)


Use one jin of white flour, one liang of cooked oil, one liang of sheep and pig fat respectively ([the author’s note:] cut them into small-pea-like pieces). Use two cups of liquor that comes out in the summer (dajiu大酒)[81] and blend it with the flour. Divide it into ten pastes. Mould it into wrappers and wrap lean meat in the wrapper. Bake the pie in an oven till it is fully cooked.  [This rather resembles a moon cake.  Possibly an ancestral form.]


Recipe for vegetarian oil cake (suyoubing fang素油餅方)


Use one jin of white flour and one liang of real sesame oil (zhenmayou真麻油). Blend them and make them into pastes. Insert granulated sugar stuffing at one’s convenience. Then print patterns on the cake and bake them in an oven.  [Same comment.]


Recipe for snow-flake cakes (xuehuabing fang雪花餅方)


Use one hundred percent snow-white flour that has been sifted thoroughly when first sifted (shifen touluo xuebaimian十分頭羅雪白面). Steam it till it is fully cooked and it is one hundred percent white. For every jin of flour that has been used, use six liang of lard and half jin of sesame oil. Cut the pig grease into dice-like squares and mix it with a small amount of water and cook them with slow fire. When the grease is about to disappear and there is yellowish and burnt stuff, use a skimmer [scoop, sifter] to pick [the yellowish and burnt stuff] out. If [the grease] does not disappear, one should continue to cook it and then pick [the yellowish and burnt stuff] out with the skimmer. When one has done this, the lard will be white. Mix the lard with the flour and make it as the foundation of the wrappers (bingdi餅底). Place some grass and wood ashes (caochaihui草柴灰) on the baking tray and then place a piece of paper on it. Place the wrapper on [the paper] and bake it.


Recipe for taro cake (yubing fang芋餅方)


Mash raw taro (yunai芋奶)[82] and blend it with sweet rice powder and make into cakes. Deep fry them. Or one can stuff them with sugar and bean paste (dousha豆沙). Or one can stuff them with walnut and sliced orange peels that has been mixed with pepper, salt, and sugar.


Recipe for leek cake (jiubing fang韭餅方)


Use pork with fat and make it into ground meat (saozi臊子). Fry oil till it is half cooked. Use raw leek and mince it. Mince goat fat. Blend Chinese pepper, Amomum villosum cardamoms (sharen砂仁), and soybean sauce evenly. Mould [the dough into] two thin cakes. Stuff them with the stuffing and bake them. When one uses shepherd’s purse (jicai薺菜), the recipe is the same.


Recipe for white crisp cakes (baisu shaobing fa白酥燒餅法)


Use one batch of dough (mianyige面一個), two liang of oil, and good liquor in which dregs have not been removed. Use the liquor as yeast. When the dough is one hundred percent leavened, knead it. Make exactly as with sesame and sugar (zhimatang芝麻糖) above. When one uses one batch of dough and two liang of sugar, he can make sixteen baked cakes.


Recipe for Solomon’s-seal cakes (huangjingbing fang黃精餅方)


Steam Solomon’s seal root till fully cooked. Remove its peels and fibrous roots. Mix it with baked and fully cooked peeled soybeans. Mash them in powder. Then add white sugar sauce to it and make them in dough. When one uses it to make cakes, it tastes pure.


Recipe for fried rolls (juanjianbing fang卷煎餅方)


This wrapper is the same as a thin pie (baobing薄餅). For the stuffing, one should use two jin of pork, one jin of pig fat or chicken. It is similar to the stuffing in a bun (mantou饅頭) and uses a lot of green onion whites or withered bamboo shoots and so on. Wrap it in the wrapper and make it into a roll. On both ends, [seal the holes] with paste. Deep fry it and let it float on the surface of the oil (fuyou浮油) till it turns reddish and slightly burnt. Or one can just bake it till it is fully cooked. Serve it with five spices and vinegar (wulacu五辣醋). The vegetarian stuffing is made with the same recipe.  [Note that mantou still meant a filled dumpling at this time, as in earlier centuries.  Today it means an unfilled steamed bread roll, and filled dumplings are jiaozi.]


Recipe for sugar Torreya nuts (tangfei fang糖榧方)


Add yeast to white flour and leave it for leavening. Add boiled water to [the flour] and make it into paste. Cut it into pieces that look like Torreya nuts (feizi榧子). Place them in completely boiled oil and deep fry them. Then pick them out and wrap them in the mixture of sugar and flour (chan纏). The mixture is made by mixing the same amount of sugar and flour.

[These classic fried dumplings are probably another Near Eastern recipe; they resemble western doughnuts.]


Recipe for meat cake (roubing fang肉餅方)


Use one jin of flour and six liang of oil. The stuffing is the same as that for the fried rolls (juanjianbing卷煎餅). Bake them in a tray. Cook maltose (xingtang餳糖) [till its color changes] and brush it on the paste to color it.


Recipe for oily shilaier (youshilaierfang油[食夾]兒方) [meaning unclear; lit. “oil eat-come-lets” but surely another transliteration]


Use flour to make paste. Stuff it and make it into shilaier [食夾]兒. Deep fry in oil. The stuffing is the same as that for the meat pie.

[Diligent search throughout Asian cookbooks fails to retrieve anything that could serve as an original for the name, but it is obviously a western dish with a transliterated western name.  The nearest ENA can find is an Azerbaijan delicacy called shor, which is more similar in recipe than in name.]


Recipe for sesame-butter cakes (mani bingzi fang麻膩餅子方)


Use a fat goose. Fully cook it and remove its bones. Cut the fat and lean into strips. Place blanched leek, sliced raw ginger, blanched and sliced wild rice stems, sliced fungus (mu’ersi木耳), and sliced dried bamboo shoots in bowls respectively. Steam sesame butter (mani麻膩) till it is fully cooked. Pour the hot soup that has been used to boil the goose onto the sesame butter (mani麻膩). The cake is like the spring cake (chunbing春餅) but a little thicker and smaller. Wrap the prepared materials and eat it.

[Somewhat unclear, but sounds good.]


Recipe for five-spice cake (wuxiang gao fang五香糕方)


Use two portions of the best white sweet rice (shangbai nuomi上白糯米) and six portions of non-glutinous rice (jingmi粳米), one fen of dried foxnuts (qianshi芡實), ginseng, Atractylodes macrocephala (baishu白術), tuckahoe (Poria cocos, fuling茯苓), and Amomum villosum cardamoms (sharen砂仁), one fen in total. Grind till the powder is very fine and sift it thoroughly. Blend [the rice with] white granulated sugar and boiled water till it is even. Place in a steamer. For one dou of powder, use four liang of foxnutd (qianshi芡實), two liang of Atractylodes (baishu白術), two liang of tuckahoe (fuling茯苓), one liang of ginseng, and one qian of the cardamom (sharen砂仁). Grind them into fine powder and blend it with the powder. Then blend one sheng of white sugar wit it.


Recipe for fluffy cake (songgao fang松糕方)


Use one dou of old non-glutinous rice and three jin of granulated sugar. Wash the rice till it is very clean and bake it till it is dry. Mix it with sugar and spread water on it. Then mash it in a mortar. Keep two fen of rice to blend with [the mashed rice]. Mash [the rice] till any coarse grains disappear. Or one can add honey to it. Or one can use the pure powder and pick out the blackish rice. When one makes fluffy cakes, he should wait till the water is boiled and add the powder to it gradually. So the steam will move upwards. Do not let the steam out. Do not stop [the process] in the middle. It is fine to place the cakes sparsely in the steamer. Or one can spread straws in the steamer.


Recipe for wrapped cake (guogao fang裹糕方)


Steam sweet rice till it is soft and fully cooked. Blend it with sugar till it is even. Wrap it with bamboo leaves and make it into small-corner shape (xiaojiao’er小角兒). Then steam it again.

[“Small corner” refers to dumplings with pointed ends like corners or horns.]


Recipe for ground spices (fanyong xiangtou fa凡用香頭法)


Use one jin of granulated sugar, three garlic (for the large ones, cut them into pieces as long as three fen), seven stalks of green onion white with roots, seven slices of raw ginger, and a piece of muskiness (shexiang麝香) as large as a pea. Place them at the bottom of a steamer. Then place sugar on them. First, wrap it with bamboo leaves (?; huaruo花箬). Then seal it with a single piece of oilpaper. Then steam it for one day and one night (chongtang重湯). It will not spoil for years. When one uses it, use a small amount of it and [the food] will be delicious.


Recipe for round dumpling (rice ball or sweet soup ball pudding) (zhushatuan fa煮砂團法)


Add granulated sugar to red beans or green beans. Boil them till they become a dough. Wrap it with raw sweet rice paste and make it into large balls. Steam them. or one can boil them in boiled water.


Recipe for sticky rice dumplings (zongzi fa粽子法)


Wash sweet rice till it is clean. Add jujubes, chestnuts, dried persimmon (shigan柿幹), ginkgo biloba/gingko (yinxing銀杏), and red beans to [the rice]. Wrap [the mixture] with wildrice (Zizania aquatica/Z. latifolia) leaves (jiaoye茭葉) or bamboo leaves. Another recipe is to soak rice and wormwood leaves (aiye艾葉) in water and wrap [the rice]. This is called wormwood-rice dumpling (aixiang zongzi艾香粽子). When one boils rice dumplings, he should use the liquid that has been used to wash straw or fire wood ashes. Sometimes people also add some lime (shihui石灰) to the water when they boil rice dumplings. [By doing this,] they want to keep the greenness and fragrance of the wildrice leaves (jiaoye茭葉). [These are still made, and resemble contemporary Korean dumplings made of powdered wormwood leaves mixed with sticky rice.  Sumei Yi remembers bathing in wormwood-infused water, and putting wormwood branches in front of the house to drive off insects.]


Recipe for the Jade-Filled-Lung (yuguanfei fang玉灌肺方)


Use zhenfen (真粉, unclear), oily pies (youbing油餅), sesame, pinenuts, walnuts, and aniseeds. Blend these six ingredients and make them into rolls. Steam them in a steamer till they are fully cooked. Cut them into squares. It is very delicious. There is no need to add oil. If one uses powders and flours of every kind and blend them and steams them, it is also wonderful.  [Again this is basically a Near Eastern recipe.]


Recipe for ground pork paste (saoziroumian fa臊子肉面法)


Use tender pork and remove the tendons, skin, and bones. Use the same amount of fat and lean meat and cut them into dice-like pieces. Use proper amount of water and liquor to boil [the pork] till it is half cooked. Grind the fat (yizhi胰脂) into paste. Then blend it with soybean sauce and afterwards add fragrant pepper (xiangjiao香椒) and Amomum villosum cardamom (sharen砂仁) to it. Use the spices to flavor it. Do not use too much water and liquor. Place the fat pork [into the boiler] first. Then add green onion whites. Do not add green leaves of green onion. Blend green bean powder [with water] to make a paste (jiang糨).


Recipe for wonton (huntun fang餛飩方)


Use one jin of white flour and three qian of salt. Blend them for a continuous dough sheet (luosuomian落索面). Add water to it frequently and knead it into paste. After a while, knead it for one hundred times. Twist and break it into small pieces. Mould it with a rolling pin. Use green bean powder as wrapper? (bo[米孛]). The four margins should be thin. Stuff [the wrapper] with the stuffing. The wrapper should be strong. No fat should be mixed with the lean meat. Fry [the meat] with green onion white and oil till it is fully cooked. Then [the meat] will not have a rank smell. Use proper amount of Chinese pepper, minced ginger, apricot kernels, Amomum villosum (sharen砂仁), and soybean sauce and blend them. It will be even better if one adds it with deep-fried bamboo shoots (suncai筍菜), or any kind of radish (laifu萊菔), or shrimp meat, crab meat, Wisteria (Sollya; tenghua藤花), or any kind of fish. When one places the dumplings in a wok and boils them, he should stir the soup and place a bamboo utensil (zhuxiao竹篠)[83] in the boiled soup. Stir [?] frequently and let the soup be boiling as if fish are making bubbles. The wonton will not be broken and the wrapper will be strong (jian堅) and smooth.

[Fine wonton recipes, but Gao is stretching his definition of “sweets” quite far.  Evidently any casual snack could qualify.]


Recipe for water-smooth pastry (shuihuamian fang水滑面方)


Use one hundred percent white flour. Knead it into paste. For one of flour, make it into more than ten pieces. Place them in water. When the dough is fully leavened (houqi mianxing fade shifen manzu候其面性發得十分滿足), stretch and pull (chouzhuai抽拽) it off piece by piece and place it in boiled water. Fully cook them. It will be good if the stretched-and-pulled pieces are broad and thin. Use sesame butter (mani麻膩), apricot kernel butter (xingrenni杏仁膩), salted dried bamboo shoots, pickled gourd (jianggua醬瓜), salted eggplants (zaoqie糟茄), ginger, salted leek (yanjiu醃韭), and sliced cucumber. Make them into minced sauce (jitou齏頭). If one adds fried meat to it, it will be even better. [These “water-smooth” or “water-polished” noodles again seem Near Eastern or Central Asian in ultimate inspiration.  The name, and also the sauce mixture, especially the nut butters, are close to the mysterious and elaborate Central Asian recipes in the Yinshan Zhengyao.]


Recipe for in-mouth crisp (daokousu fang到口酥方)


Use ten liang of ghee, seven liang of white sugar, and one jin of white flour. Melt the ghee and pour it into a basin. Add white sugar to it and mix them evenly. Knead it with hands for one hour. Then add it to the flour and blend them into dough. Let it be even. Then mould [the dough] with a rolling pin and make into a long strip. Then divide it into small cakes and bake them in an oven with low fire. When it is fully cooked, one can eat it.

(Near Eastern or Indian background.]


Recipe for midriff-purifying cakes with persimmon frost(shishuang qingge bing fang柿霜清膈餅方)


Use two jin four liang of persimmon frost (shishuang柿霜)[84], eight liang of orange peels, four liang of Platycodon root (jiegeng桔梗), two liang of mints, two liang of dried kudzu vine root (gange幹葛), four liang of fangfeng root (Ledebouriella seseloides, 防風), and one qian of (piannao片腦) [an aromatic, almost certainly borneol camphor; see fn 98, p. 101; lit. “sliced brain,” a disturbing image]. Make them into powder. Blend them with liquorice paste (gancaogao甘草膏) and make them into cakes. Then print patterns on the cakes and [cook them and then] eat them. Another recipe: add one liang of Sichuan one-hundred-medicine decoction (chuanbaiyaojian川百藥煎)[85].


Recipe for chicken-crisp cakes (jisubing fang雞酥餅方)[86]


Use ten liang of white mei pulp (baimeirou白梅肉), six liang of lilyturf root (maimendong麥門冬), one jin of white sugar, six liang of perilla (zisu紫蘇), four liang of one-hundred-medicine decoction (baiyaojian百藥煎), two liang of ginseng, two liang of black plums (wumei烏梅), and four liang of mints. Make them into powder. Blend them with liquorice paste till the paste is even. Make the paste into cakes. Or one can make it into pills (wan丸) and coat them with white sugar.


Recipe for mei and perilla (meisuwan fang梅蘇丸方)


Use two liang of black mei pulp (wumeirou烏梅肉), six qian of dried kudzu roots (gange幹葛), one qian of sandal wood (tanxiang檀香), three qian of perilla (zisu紫蘇) leaves, one qian of baked salt, and one jin of white sugar. Make all the ingredients into powder. Mash the black mei pulp into mud-like stuff. Blend it with other ingredients and make it into small pills for usage.


Recipe for watery-and-transparent corners [pointed dumplings] (shuimingjiao’r fa水明角兒法)


Use one jin of white flour and dust it into boiled water bit by bit. Keep stirring it with hand till it becomes a thick porridge (hu糊). Divide it into ten to twenty portions and soak it in cold water till it turns snow white. Place it on a table and squeeze it till the water comes out. Add the same amount of soybean powder into it and knead it into thin wrappers (baopi薄皮). Wrap sugar and fruits in it as the stuffing. Then steam it in a bamboo steamer. It tastes very good.


Recipe for poppyseed curd (zaosufu fa造粟腐法)


Grind poppy seeds (yingsu罌粟) and water till fine. First, use a piece of cloth to sift through the shells. Then use a piece of silk cloth to sift. Add to boiled water and it will be like the fluid (jiang漿) for making toufu. Place it into a wok and boil it. Then add green bean powder and stir it till it is made into curd (fu腐). For one portion of poppy seed, use one portion of green bean powder.

Sesame curd should be made in the same way.

[Interesting recipes of obscure origin.  Poppy seed in China is generally a marker of an introduction from the far west—west Asia or Europe.  But no such dish exists there.]


Fish-like-taste bran (fuzha麩鮓)


Use one jin of bran (fu麩) and cut it into thin strips.  [The bran is evidently made up into some kind of cake.] Dye them with red yeast powder (hongqumo紅麴末). Use one sheng of miscellaneous spices (zaliaowu雜料物), dried bamboo shoots, carrots, and green onion white (all should be sliced). Use two qian of fully cooked sesame and Chinese pepper, half qian of Amomum villosum cardamoms (sharen砂仁), dill seeds (shiluo蒔蘿), and aniseeds, a small amount of salt, and three liang of fully cooked sesame oil. Blend them till they are even. Then it can be served. It will also be fine if one blend every kinds of ingredients and fry them with oil and make them into a minced dish (ji齏).


Fried bran (jianfu煎麩)


Place bran and germ (fupei麩胚) in a steamer and do not use a rock to press it. Steam it till it is fully cooked. Then cut it into large slices. Fully boil spices (liaowu料物), liquor, and soybean sauce. Dry it in the shade. Deep fry it with oil (fujian浮煎) and it can be eaten.


Cakes for immortals and rich-and-powerful people (shenxian fugue bing神仙富貴餅)


Use one jin of atractylodes (baishu白術) and one jin of sweetgrass (Acorus calamus, changpu菖蒲). Soak them in the water that has been used to wash rice. Then scrape off the blackish peels and cut them into slices. Add a small piece of [mineral] lime (shihui石灰) and boil it with them till the bitter flavor is removed. Dry them in the sun light. Then add four jin of yams (shanyao山藥) to them and make them into powder. Blend them with flour and make them into paste. Then steam the paste and make them into cakes and eat them. Or one can add white sugar to it and mould it into thin wrappers. It can be steamed or baked. It originally has a flavor of purity and luxury (fugui富貴).


Recipe for ghee (zaosuyou fa造酥油法)


Boil cow milk once or twice in a boiler. Then pour it into a basin. When it is cooled down, the surface will be congealed into a thin skin of cheese (laopi酪皮). Bake (jian煎) the layer of cheese in a wok till grease (you油) comes out of it. Pour the grease into a bowl and it is ghee. [Not a very good description of any normal ghee-making process.  Gao seems to have confused methods for making qaymaq and for making ghee.]


Recipe for pure baked cakes (guangshaobing fang光燒餅方)


For baked cakes, use one jin [of flour] and one and half liang of oil (shaobing meimian yijin, ruyou laingban 燒餅每面一斤,入油兩半). Use one qian of baked salt and blend it with [the flour] and cold water. Knead it into [dough] and mould [the dough] with a rolling pin (guluchui骨魯槌) till it is flattened. Bake it on a pan (ao鏊) till it becomes harder. Bake it with slow fire till what is inside is also fully cooked. When it is tasted, it is very delicious.


Recipe for twice-oven-baked cakes (fulu shaobing fa複爐燒餅法)


Use one jin of peeled walnut kernels and mince them. Add one jin of honey to [the minced walnuts]. Make one jin of ghee cakes baked in an oven (lushao suyoubing爐燒酥油餅) into crumbs. Blend them till they are even and make them into small balls (xiaotuan小團). Use the ghee cake crumbs to wrap [these] and make them into cakes. Then place them in an oven and bake them till they are fully cooked.

[I.e., make a coating of the blended crumbs for the walnut mixture.  This is a very Near Eastern or Central Asian recipe, not far from baklava.]


Recipe for thin-and-crisp caramel (tangbocui fa糖薄脆法)


Use one jin four liang of white sugar, one jin four liang of vegetarian oil (or clear oil; qingyou清油), two bowls of water, and five jin of white flour. Add a small amount of ghee, pepper, and salt to them. Knead them into dough. Then mould it into thin pies as large as the mouth of a liquor cup. Evenly spread peeled sesame on them. Place them in an oven and bake them till they are fully cooked. It tastes delicious and crisp.  [Another shortbread recipe of obvious Near Eastern origin; similar cookies are made in the Middle East today.]


Exclusive recipe for the yellow crisp (suhuang dufang酥黃獨方)


Slice fully cooked yams (yu芋). Make apricot kernels and Torreya nuts (feizi榧子) into powder. Blend them with flour and make them into a paste. Dip the yam slices into the paste and deep fry the yam slices with oil. It is delicious.


Recipe for Koguryo chestnut cake (gaoli ligao fang高麗栗糕方)


Use any amount of chestnuts. Dry them in the shade and remove the shells and mash them into powder. Use one third of it and blend it with sweet rice powder till they are even.[87] Blend honey liquid with it and moisturize it. Steam it till it is fully cooked. It is very good if one adds white sugar to it.

[The Korean origin is explicit here, and indeed similar recipes still exist in Korea.]


Recipe for catnip candy (jingjie tang fang荊芥糖方)


Use thin sticks of catnip (Schizonepeta) and bundle them up like flowers. Dip them with one layer of sugar sauce and then one layer of sesame. Bake them till they are dry. They can be eaten.


Recipe for crabapple cakes (huahong bing fang花紅餅方)


Use large crabapples (Malus asiatica) and remove the peels. Dry them in the sun for two days. Flatten them with hands. Then dry them in the sun again. Steam them till they are fully cooked. Then store them in a container. The large and hard ones [apples] are good. One should a knife to carve ridges [on the cakes].


Recipe for soybean paste cake (dougaobing fang豆膏餅方)


Bake and stir large soybeans and then remove the peels. Make them into powder. Then add white sugar, sesame, ground spices (xiangtou香頭). Blend evenly. Then make them into cakes and print patterns on them. Then these can be eaten.




FORMULATED MEDICINES (fazhi yaopin lei法制[88]藥品類), twenty-four kinds


Recipe for processing Pinellia ternata Breit. (fazhi banxia法製半夏)



[it] opens the stomach and strengthens the spleen. It ends throwing-up. It removes phlegm congested in the chest. It also helps letting the lung qi.


半夏 八兩圓白 者切二片  晉州絳 四兩

丁皮 三兩   草荳蔲 二兩   生薑 五兩切 成片

Use Pinellia ternata Breit rhizome ([the author’s note:] eight liang. Use the round and white ones. Cut them into halves.) , four liang of the reddish alum (jiangfan絳[89]) from Jinzhou晉州[90], three liang of (dingpi丁皮), two liang of tsaoko cardamom (caodoukou草荳蔲), and five liang of sliced ginger.


右件洗,半夏去滑,焙乾.三藥麄剉.以大口瓶盛生薑片. 前藥一處用好酒三升浸.春夏三七日,秋冬一月.却取 出半夏,水洗焙乾.餘藥不用.不拘時候,細嚼一二枚,服 至半月,咽喉自然香甘.

Wash the materials mentioned on the right. Remove the smooth part (quhua去滑) of the Pinellia rhizome and bake it till it is dry. Roughly cut the three kinds of medicines and contain the sliced ginger in a large bottle. Use three sheng of good liquor to soak the medicines. In the spring and summer, it takes three to seven days. In the autumn and winter, it takes one month. [When it is ready,] take out the Pinellia. Wash it with water and bake it till it is dry. Do not use the remaining medicines. Whenever one has time, chew slowly one or two pieces. When he has taken it for half a month, his throat will be naturally fragrant and sweet.


Recipe for processing orange peels (fazhi jupi法製橘皮)



Rihuazi said, “[orange] peels are warm. It removes phlegm and stops coughing. It cures the illness of having moving or fixed hard tumor in the stomach. It cures the illness of having a tumor in the groin. And it cures the illness of having a tumor in the chest. (po zhengjia xuanpi破癥瘕痃癖)”[91]


橘皮 半斤 去穰  白檀 一兩   青鹽 一兩

茴香 一兩

Use half jin of orange peels ([the author’s note:] remove the pulp.), one liang of white sandalwood (baitan白檀), one liang of greenish salt (qingyan青鹽), and one liang of aniseeds.


右件四味用長流水二大椀同煎,水乾為度.揀出橘皮, 放於磁器内.以物覆之,勿令透氣.每日空心取三五片 細嚼,白湯下.

Use two large bowls of flowing water to boil the four materials mentioned on the right. When the water is out, it is ready. Then pick the orange peels out and place them in a porcelain container. Use something to cover it and do not let the gas come in or out. Every day one should eat three to five pieces with pure boiled water (baitang白湯), chewing carefully.


Recipe for processing apricot’s seeds (fazhi xingren法製杏仁)



[it] cures the qi in the lung. It kills coughing. It terminates short and fast breath. It cures congestions in the stomach and spleen. It cures anxiety and depression.


板杏 一斤滚灰水焯過,晒乾.麩炒熟.煉蜜拌杏仁勻,用下藥末拌.   茴香 炒   人參  砂仁 各三 錢    粉草 三錢    陳皮 三錢  白荳蔲 木香 各一錢

Use one jin of flat apricots’ [seeds] (banxing板杏). Blanch them in boiled limewater, and then dry them in the sun. Then stir and bake [them with]the bran till they are fully cooked. Then blend the apricot’s seeds with refined honey (lianmi煉蜜) till they are even. Then add the powder medicine of lower rank (xiayaomo下藥末) [to it] and blend them. Use three qian of baked aniseeds, ginseng, and Amomum villosum seeds (suosharen砂仁) respectively, three qian of (fencao粉草), three qian of preserved orange peels, one qian of white cardamom (Elletaria cardamomum, baidoukou白荳蔲) and muxiang(木香) respectively.



Grind the ingredients mentioned on the right into fine powder and blend it with the apricots’ seeds till they are even. Every time eat seven pieces. Eat them after meal.


Recipe for making crisp apricot seeds (su xingren fa酥杏仁法)


杏仁不拘多少,香油煠燋胡色為度.用鐵絲結作網兠 搭起.候冷定,食極脆美.

Use any amount of apricot seeds. Fry them with sesame oil till they are slightly burnt. Make a string bag with iron wires and put the seeds in it. When they are cooled down, one should eat them. they are very crisp and delicious.


Recipe for processing Amomum villosum cardamom fruits (fazhi susha法製砂)



It helps digesting liquid and grains. It warms up the spleen.


砂 十兩去皮,以朴硝水浸一宿, 䀶乾.以蔴油焙燥,香熟為度.   桂花  粉草 各一錢半,已上共碾為細末.

Use ten liang of fruits. Peel them and soak them in the liquid dissolved with rough nitre (poxiaoshui朴硝水) [92] for one night. Then dry them in the shade. Then bake them with sesame oil till they smell good and are fully cooked. Use one and a half qian of osmanthus (guihua桂花) and (fencao粉草). Grind all the materials mentioned above into fine powder.



Blend the materials mentioned on the right and make them into pills. One should chew it carefully after he drinks liquor or eats.


Precious crumbs for Tipsytown (i.e., for a drunken man) (zuixiang baoxie醉鄉寶屑)



It sobers [the drunken man] up. It broadens/relaxes the internal organs (kuanzhong寛中). It dissolves phlegm.


陳皮 四兩   砂 四錢   紅豆 一兩 六錢  粉草 二兩 四錢

生薑 三錢   丁香 一錢 剉  葛根 三兩已上 共㕮咀   白荳蔲仁 一兩 剉  鹽 一兩   巴豆 十四粒不去皮殻,用鐵絲穿.

Use four liang of preserved orange peels, four qian of Amomum villosum (suosharen砂), one liang six qian of red beans (hongdou紅豆), two liang four qian of (fencao粉草), three qian of raw gingers, one qian of ground clove (dingxiang丁香), more than three liang of kudzu root (gegen葛根) (carefully chewed.[93]), one liang of ground white (small) cardamom (baidoukouren白荳蔲仁), one liang of salt, fourteen croton beans (badou巴豆) (do not peel them. piece them together with a iron wire)



Boil the ingredients mentioned on the right with two bowls of water till the liquid is gone. Then remove the croton and dry [the remaining ingredients] in the sun. [when they are dry,] one can chew them carefully and eat them with pure boiled water.


Boiled muxiangjian (木香煎)


木香二兩,搗羅細末.用水三升煎至二升.入乳汁半升, 蜜二兩,再入銀石器中煎如稀麵糊.即入羅過粳米粉 斗合.又煎.候米熟稠硬,捍為薄餅,切成棊子,晒乾為度.

Use two liang of muxiang. Mash them into fine powder and boil them with three sheng of water till the liquid reduces to two sheng. Then add a half sheng of milk and two liang of honey to it. Boil it in a silverware or stoneware till it turns into a thin glutinous mush. Then add one dou one he of sifted non-glutinous rice powder. Boil it again till the rice is fully cooked and [the paste] turns thicker and harder. Then mould them into thin cakes and cut them into chess-piece-like pieces. Dry them in the sun till they are dry.


For processing quince (fazhi mugua法製木瓜)

取初收木瓜於湯内煠過,令白色,取出,放冷.於頭上開 為盖子,以尖刀取去穰了,便入鹽一小匙.候水出,即入 香藥:官桂,白芷,藁本,細辛,藿香,川芎,胡椒,益智子,砂仁.

Use freshly picked quinces and blanch them in boiled water till they turn white. Then take them out and let them cool down. Then cut one piece of skin from the base of the fruit and use the cut piece as a lid. Use a sharp knife to remove the pulp (rang穰) and add a small spoon of salt. When the liquid comes out, add spices and medicines (xiangyao香藥): royal cinnamon (guangui官桂), Angelica dahurica Benth. et Hook root (baizhi白芷), (gaoben藁本)[94],  Asarum sieboldii Miq (xixin細辛), ageratum (huoxiang藿香), Ligusticum Wallichii (or Conioselinum univittatum Turcz) (chuanxiong川芎), pepper, Alpinia oxyphylla fruit (yizhi益智), and Amomum villosum seeds (sharen砂仁).

右件藥搗為細末,一箇木瓜入藥一小匙,以木瓜内鹽 水調勻.更曝.候水乾,又入熟蜜令滿.曝.直候蜜乾為度.

Mash the medicines mentioned on the right into fine powder. Place a small spoon of the medicine into each quince and blend [the medicine] with the salty liquid inside the quince. Then dry them in the sun. When the liquid is gone, stuff with cooked honey (shumi熟蜜). Then dry it in the sun again till the honey is dry.  [Quince-honey syrup is still a standard, and very effective, cough medicine and throat soother in China.]


Recipe for processing shelled shrimps (fazhi xiami法製蝦米)



鰕米一斤去皮殻,用青鹽酒炒,酒乾再添,再炒,香熟為 度.真蛤蚧青鹽酒炙,酥脆為度.茴香青鹽酒炒四兩.淨

椒皮四兩青皮酒炒,不可過濁.煑酒約二升,用青鹽調 和為製.

Use one jin of shelled shrimps. Stir and bake them with blackish-salt liquor (qingyanjiu青鹽酒). When the liquor is dry, add liquor to [the shrimps] and stir and bake them again till [the shrimps] smell good and are fully cooked. Roast real gecko (zhengejie真蛤蚧)[95] with the blackish-salt liquor till it is crispy. Stir and bake four liang of aniseeds with the blackish-salt liquor. Stir and bake four liang of pure Chinese pepper skins (jingjiaopi淨椒皮) with the greenish-skin liquor (qingpijiu青皮酒)[96] and [the liquor] should not be too turbid. Boil about two sheng of liquor and blend it with blackish salt.


右先用蛤蚧,椒皮,茴香三味製鰕米.以酒盡為 度.候香熟,取上件和前三味一併拌匀.再用南木香麄 末二兩同和,乘熱入器盫,四圍封固,候冷取用每一兩. 空心,鹽酒嚼下.益精壯陽,不可盡述.

For the ingredients mentioned on the right, first use the three ingredients of gecko, pepper skins, and aniseeds to process the shrimps. When the liquor is gone, [the shrimps] are ready. When [the shrimps] smell good and are fully cooked, blend [the shrimps] with the three ingredients previously mentioned till they are even. Then blend them with two liang of coarse powder of southern muxiang(南木香) [unclear]. Place them into a container when they are still warm. When they are cooled down, one should eat one liang of them. Eat them with empty stomach (kongxin空心) and chew them with the salty liquor. It benefits the essence and strengthens the yang (yijing zhuangyang益精壯陽). [Its benefits] cannot be fully described.

Delicious tea cakes (xiangcha bingzi香茶餅子)


孩兒茶芽茶四錢,檀香一錢二分,白荳蔲一錢半,麝香 一分,砂仁五錢,沉香一分半,片腦四分,甘草膏和糯


Use four qian of cutch (hai’rcha孩兒茶) and sprout tea (yacha芽茶)[97], one qian two fen of sandalwood (tanxiang檀香), one qian half fen of white cardamom (baidoukou白荳蔲), one fen of musk (shexiang麝香), five qian of Amomum villosum cardamom seeds (sharen砂仁), one and a half fen of Aquilaria agallocha Roxb. (lignaloes) (chenxiang沉香), four fen of borneol camphor (piannao片腦)[98], liquorice paste (gancaogao甘草膏), and sweet rice paste (nuomihu糯米糊). Blend them and make them into cakes.


Recipe for processing sprout tea (fazhi yacha法製芽茶)


芽茶二兩一錢作母.荳蔲一錢,麝香一分,片腦一分半, 檀香一錢細末,入甘草内纒之.

Use two liang one qian of sprout tea as the base (zuomu作母). Use one qian of white cardamom (doukou荳蔲), one fen of musk (shexiang麝香), one and a half fen of borneol camphor (piannao片腦), and one qian of fine powder of sandalwood (tanxiang檀香). Add them into liquorice and mix them.


Extremely fragrant pill (toudingxianwan透頂香丸)

孩兒茶,茶芽各四錢,白荳蔲一錢半,麝香五分,檀香一 錢四分,甘草膏子丸.

Use four qian of cutch (hai’rcha孩兒茶) and sprout tea (yacha芽茶) respectively, one and a half qian of white cardamom (baidoukou白荳蔲), five fen of musk (shexiang麝香), one qian four fen of sandalwood (tanxiang檀香), and liquorice paste. [Blend them and make them into] pills.


orax/sodium borate pill (pengshawan硼砂丸)


片腦五分,麝香四分,硼砂二錢,寒水石六兩,甘草膏丸, 硃砂四錢為衣.

Five fen of borneol camphor (piannao片腦), four fen of musk (shexiang麝香), two qian of borax (pengsha硼砂), six liang of calcite(?) (hanshuishi寒水石), and liquorice paste. [Make them into] pills. Use four qian of cinnabar (zhusha硃砂) for coating the pills.


Hawthorn paste (shanzhagao山查膏)


山東大山查刮去皮核,每斤入白糖霜四兩,搗為膏.明 亮如琥珀.再加檀屑一錢,香羙可供,又可放久.

Use large hawthorn paste (shanzha山查) and remove the skins and kernels. For every jin of them, add four liang of white frost sugar. Then mash them into a paste till it is as transparent as amber. Then add one qian of sandalwood powder (tanxie檀屑). It smells good and tastes delicious. It can also be preserved for a long time.


Sweet dew pill (ganluwan甘露丸)

百藥煎一兩,甘松,訶子各一錢二分半,麝香半分,薄荷 二兩,檀香一錢六分,甘草末一兩二錢五分,水撥丸.晒 乾,用甘草膏子入麝香為衣.

Use one liang of one-hundred-medicine decoction (baiyaojian百藥煎), one qian two and a half fen of spikenard (gansong甘松) and Terminalia chebula Retz fruit (hezi訶子),[99] a half fen of musk (shexiang麝香), two liang of mints (bohe薄荷), one qian six fen of sandalwood (tanxiang檀香), and one liang two qian five fen of liquorice powder. Add water to them and make them into pills. Then add musk into liquorice paste and make it into a coat [for the pill].


Recipe for salted apricot seed (xian xingren fa醎杏仁法)

用杏仁連皮以秋石和湯作滷,㣲拌,火上炒香燥,食之 亦妙.

Use unpeeled apricot seed and Prepared Salt (qiushi秋石)[100]. Add the Prepared Salt to boiled water and slightly blend it with [the apricot seeds]. Then stir and bake [the apricot seeds] on fire till it smells good and turns dry. It tastes also good.

Delicious orange cakes (xiangcheng bingzi香橙餅子)

用黄香橙皮四兩,加木香,檀香各三錢,白荳仁一兩,沉 香一錢,蓽澄茄一錢,氷片五分,共搗為末.甘草膏和成 餅子,入供.

Use four liang of yellow fragrant orange peels (huang xiangcheng pi黄香橙皮). Add three qian of muxiang (木香) and sandalwood (tanxiang檀香) respectively, one liang of white cardamom seeds (baidouren白荳仁), one qian of Aquilaria agallocha Roxb. (lignaloes, chenxiang沉香), one qian of cubeb (bichengqie蓽澄茄)[101], and five fen of borneol camphor (bingpian冰片). Mash them into powder. Blend it with liquorice paste and make them into cakes. Then it can be eaten.


Lotus seed twist (lianzichan蓮子纒)

用蓮肉一斤煑熟,去皮心,拌以薄荷霜二兩,白糖二兩. 褁身烘焙乾入供.杏仁,欖仁,核桃可同此製.

Boil one jin of lotus seeds till they are fully cooked. Remove the peels and hearts. Then blend two liang of frosted mint (boheshuang薄荷霜), two liang of white sugar. Coat the lotus seeds with [the mixture] and bake them till they are dried. Then they can be eaten. Apricot seeds, olive seeds (lanren欖仁), and walnuts can be processed in the same way.

Recipe for processing torreya nuts (fazhi feizi法製榧子)

將榧子用磁瓦刮黒皮,每斤淨用,薄荷霜,白糖熬汁拌. 炒香燥,入供.

Use porcelain or tile fragments to scrape off the blackish skins of the seeds (feizi榧子). Use the peeled seeds. Blend them with the syrup made from boiling frosted mint (boheshuang薄荷霜) and white sugar. Stir and bake them till they smells good and are dried. Then they can be eaten.

Recipe for processing gourd seeds (fazhi guazi法製瓜子)


Blend large gourd seeds found in the area of Yan燕[102] with the liquid made from dissolving Prepared Salt (qiushi秋石) in water. Then stir and fry them till they smells good and are dried. Then they can be eaten.

Canarium album pills (ganlanwan橄欖丸)

百藥煎五錢,烏梅八錢,木瓜,乾葛各二錢,檀香五分,甘 草末五錢,甘草膏為丸,晒乾用.

Use five qian of one-hundred-medicine decoction (baiyaojian百藥煎), eight qian of blackish (smoked) mei (wumei烏梅)[103], two qian of quince and dried kudzu roots (gange幹葛), five fen of sandalwood (tanxiang檀香), and five qian of liquorice powder. [Blend them] with liquorice paste and make them into pills. Dry them in the sun and then they can be used.


Recipe for processing  white cardamom (fazhi doukou法製荳蔲)

白荳蔲一兩六錢,腦子一分,麝香五厘,檀香七分半.甘 草膏,荳蔲作母,腦麝為衣.

Use one liang six qian of white cardamom (baidoukou白荳蔲), one fen of borneol camphor (naozi腦子)[104], five li of musk (shexiang麝香), seven and a half fen of sandalwood (tanxiang檀香). Use liquorice paste and white cardamom as the base and use the borneol camphor and musk as the coat.
Another recipe for processing orange peels (youzhi juepi又製橘皮)



Use twenty liang of orange peels found in Tangnan塘南[105] ([the author’s note:]boil them with salt), four qian of tuckahoe (fuling茯苓), four qian of (dingpi丁皮), seven qian of liquorice powder, and three qian of Amomum villosum seeds (sharen砂仁). Make them into powder and blend them with the orange peels. Then bake them till they are dried. Then they can be used.

Recipe for decocting liquorice paste (jian gancao gaozi fa煎甘草膏子法)

粉草一斤剉碎,沸湯浸一宿.盡入鍋内,滿用水煎至半. 濾去渣,紐乾,取汁.再入鍋.慢火熬至二碗.換大砂鍋,炭 火慢熬,至大碗.以成膏子為度.其渣減水煎三兩次,取 入頭汁内併煎.

Use one jin of (fencao粉草)[106]. Mince them and soak them in boiled water for one night. Then pour [the liquid with liquorice] in a boiler. Add water to the boiler till it is full. Then boil it till the liquid is reduced by half. Then sift through the dregs. Twist [the liquorices] till they are dried and take the liquid from them. Then place [the liquid] in the boiler and boil it with slow fire till the liquid turns into the amount of two bowls. Then replace the boiler with a large marmite/casserole (shaguo砂鍋) and boil it with slow fire (burnt from charcoals) till the liquid turns into the amount of one large bowl. When the liquid turns into a paste, it is ready. For the dregs, reduce the amount of water and boil them for two or three times. Then place them in the liquid that has been gathered for the first time and decoct them.


Recipe for decocting the Jade-Dew Frost (shenglian yulushuang fang升煉玉露霜方)

用真豆粉半斤,入鍋火焙無豆腥.先用乾淨龍腦,薄荷 一斤入甑中,用細絹隔住,上置豆粉,將甑封盖,上鍋蒸 至頂熱甚,霜以成矣.收起粉霜,每八兩配白糖四兩,煉 蜜四兩,拌勻.搗膩,印餅或丸.唅之消痰降火,更可當茶. 兼治火症. Use half jin of real soybean powder (zhendoufen真豆粉). Place in a wok and bake till it does not have the smell of beans. First, place one jin of clean borneol camphor (longnao龍腦) and mints in a steamer. Use a piece of thin silk cloth to cover them and then place the soybean powder on it. Cover the steamer and steam it till the top of the steamer is hot. Then the frost is ready. Gather the frost made from the soybean powder. For every eight liang of the frost, add four liang of white sugar and four liang of refined honey. Blend them till they are even. Mash them into butter. Mould them with print mold and make them into cakes or pills. When one place it in his mouth, it can remove the phlegm and reduce the fever. Moreover, it can be used as tea. It also cures the diseases that are caused by fire (huozheng火症).


Methods for taking cinnabar (fushifang lei服食方類) [107]

[Note that most of what follows in this section is traditional alchemy; by this time, “internal alchemy” consisting largely of meditation and herbs was replacing outright use of poisonous metal salts (“external alchemy”), but obviously had not replaced it in Gao Lian’s world.]


髙子曰:余錄神仙服食方藥,非泛常傳本,皆余數十年 慕道精力,考有成據.或得經驗,或傅老道,方敢鐫入.否 恐悞人,知者當着慧眼寳用.

Gaozi[108] says, “The recipes and medicines, used and taken by the immortals, that I have recorded, are not ordinary editions. They are the result of what I have learned after dozens of years of longing for and concentrating on the Dao. Some are what I gain from my own experiences. Others are what I learn from senior Daoist priests. Only them dare I record. Otherwise, I am afraid of misguiding people. The wise men should look upon them with insights and cherish them. ”

Method for taking pine resin (fu songzhi fa服松脂法)   採上白松脂 一斤,即今 之松香.  桑灰汁 一石.    先將灰汁一斗煑松脂半乾.將浮白好脂摝入冷水  凝.復以灰汁一斗煑之.又取如上.兩人將脂團圎  扯長十數遍.又以灰汁一斗煑之.以十度煑完遂成.  白脂研細為末.毎服一匙,以酒送下,空心近午晩,日  三服.服至十兩不饑,夜視目明,長年不老.

Pick one jin of the best white pine resin (shangbai songzhi上白松脂), which is now rosin (dried resin with volatiles evaporated out; songxiang松香). Use one shi of mulberry-ash liquid (sanghuizhi桑灰汁). First, use one dou of the ash liquid to boil the pine resin till [the liquid] dries to the half. Then place the good white rosin floating on the liquid into cold water and let it congeal. Then use another dou of ash liquid to boil the rosin. Then pick the rosin as above. Ask two persons to pull the rosin and let it elongate for more than ten times. Then boil it with the ash liquid. After it has been boiled for ten times, it is ready for use. Grind the white rosin into fine powder. Every time, take one spoon of it and take it with liquor. One should have an empty stomach and take it when it is close to noon or night. Take it three times every day. When one has taken about ten liang of it, he will not feel hungry. And he can see at night with bright eyes. He will not get older for years.

又一法 以松脂一斤八兩,用水五斗煑之.侯消去濁滓,取清浮 者投冷水中.如此投煑四十遍,方換湯五斗又煑.凡三 次一百二十遍止.不可率意便止.煑成脂味不苦為度. 其軟如粉,同白茯苓為粉,同煉脂,乘軟丸如豆.毎服三 十丸,九十日止.久當絶穀,自不欲飲食矣.

Another method

Use one jin eight liang of rosin and boil it with water. When the turbid sediments settle down, one should pick the pure and floating stuff and place it in cold water. Then boil it for forty times and replace five dou of water and boil it again. Repeat it for three times and thus boil it for one hundred twenty times in total. One should not be negligent and stop at will. Boil the rosin till it does not taste bitter. Then it is as soft as powder. Make it into powder together with white tuckahoe (baifuling白茯苓). Then make them into butter (zhi脂). Knead it into soft pills as big as peas. Every time one should eat thirty pills. After ninety days, he can stop. When one eats it for a long time, he will naturally stop eating grains. He will not want to eat food by himself.


又一蒸法 上白松脂二十觔為一劑.以大釡中著水,釡上加甑,甑 中先用白茅鋪密,上加黄山土一寸厚,築實以脂放上, 以物密盖,勿令通氣.灶用桑柴燃之.釡中湯乾以熱水 旋添.蒸一炊久,乃接取脂入冷水中凝.又如蒸.如此 三遍,脂色如玉乃止.每用白脂十觔,松仁三斤,栢子仁 三斤,甘菊五升,共為細末.煉蜜為丸,桐子大.每服十丸, 粥湯下.日三服或一服.百日已上,不饑,延年不老,顔色潤.

Another method (steaming)

Use twenty jin of the best white rosin for one dose (ji劑). Add water to a large boiler. Place a steamer on the boiler. Spread a thick layer of cogon grass (Imperata cylindrica, baimao白茅) in the steamer and then add a layer of yellow mountain earth (huangshantu黄山土) as thick as one cun. Punch the earth and make it tight. Then place the rosin on the earth and cover it with something tightly. Do not let the air come in or out. Use mulberry wood as the firewood. As soon as the liquid in the boiler is dry, add boiled water to it. Steam it for the time of a meal. Then pick the rosin and place it in cold water. When it congeals, steam it again. Repeat it for three times and stop when the color of the rosin is like that of jade. Use ten jin of white rosin, three jin of pine nuts, three jin of cypress nuts (baiziren栢子仁), five sheng of camomile (ganjuhua甘菊), and make them into fine powder. Refine it with honey and make it into pills as large as a tung nut (Aleurites fordii; name also includes Idesia polycarpa fruit) (tongzi桐子). Take ten pills with congee or soup. Take it three times or one time every day. After more than one hundred days, he will not feel hungry. His lifespan is elongated and he will not turn old. The color of his skin is shiny and moisturized.

Method for taking arsenic sulphide/king’s yellow/realgar (fu xionghuang fa服雄黄法)

透明雄黄 三兩,聞之不臭 如雞冠者佳.  次用甘草, 紫背天葵, 地胆, 碧稜花, 各五 兩. 四味為末,入東流水,同雄煑砂礶 内.三日漉出.搗如麄粉.入猪脂内,蒸一伏時.洗出又同 豆腐内蒸.如上二次.蒸時甑上先鋪山黄泥一寸,次鋪 脂,蒸黄.其毒去盡,收起成細粉.毎黄末一兩,和上松脂 二兩,為丸如桐子大.每服三五丸,酒下.能令人久活延

年,髪白再黒,齒落更生,百病不生,鬼神呵護,頂有紅光, 無嘗畏不敢近.疫癘不惹,特餘事耳.

Use three liang of transparent arsenic sulphide (realgar, xionghuang雄黄)[109] (those that do not smell and are in shape of cockscomb are best). Then use five liang of liquorice, Begonia fimbristipulata Hance (zibei tiankui紫背天葵)[110], cantharide beetles (didan地胆)[111], and (bilenghua碧稜花) respectively. Grind the four ingredients into powder and add them into water that is flowing east (dongliushui東流水). Boil them together with the arsenic sulphide in an earthenware pot (shaguan砂礶). After three days, pick them out. Mash them into coarse powder and steam them with pig fat for one day and one night. Take them out and wash them. Then steam them with toufu as mentioned above. Repeat twice. When steaming them, spread a layer of yellow mountain earth as thick as one cun. Then place the pig fat [on top of the earth]. Steam them till they turn yellow. Therefore, the poison毒 is removed. Pick them up and grind them into fine powder. For every liang of the yellow powder, add two liang of the best pine resin. Then make them into pills as large as a tung nut (Aleurites fordii; name also includes Idesia polycarpa fruit) (tongzi桐子). Every time, one should eat three to five pills with liquor. It can enable a person to live longer. It can change one’s white hair into black and make his teeth grow where they fell. He will not have any of the one hundred kinds of diseases. The ghosts and gods will protect him. On top of his head, there is red light. The ghost called “impermanent” is afraid of him and would not approach him.[112] Epidemic diseases would not touch upon him. Those will be matters that he does not have to pay attention to.

Another recipe for preparing arsenic sulphide (you zhixiong fa又製雄法)

用明雄 二兩,  先將破故紙 四兩,  杏仁 四兩,  枸杞 四兩,  地 骨皮 四兩,  甘草 四兩,  用水二斗煎至一斗,去渣留汁.又 取灶上烟筒内黒流珠四兩,山家灶中百草霜四兩,同 雄一處研細,傾入藥汁内,熬乾.入羊城礶内.上水下火, 打四炷香取出,冷定收起.每用以治心疾,風痺,及膈氣, 咳嗽,毎服一分效.

Use two liang of transparent arsenic sulphide (mingxiong明雄). First, use four liang of old paper (poguzhi破故紙), four liang of apricot seeds, four liang of wolfthorn fruits, four liang of the peels of wolfthorn roots (digupi地骨皮), four liang of liquorice, and boil them with two dou of water till the liquid reduces into one dou. Remove the dregs and keep the liquid. Then use four liang of black beads (heiliuzhu黒流珠)[113] that are taken from the chimney connected to the stove and four liang of frost of one hundred grasses (baicaoshuang百草霜)[114] that are taken from a stove of a household living in mountain area. Grind them into fine powder together with the arsenic sulphide. Then pour it into the liquid and boil it with slow fire till it is dry. Then place it into a Yangcheng pot (yangchengguan羊城礶)[115]. Add water to the upper portion and set on a fire in the lower portion. After burning four sticks of incense [for timing—so presumably these are burned consecutively], take them out and let them cool down. Then put in container.  They can be used to cure heart diseases (xinji心疾), the wind-and-numbness disease (fengbi風痺)[116], the qi in the midriff (geqi膈氣), and coughing. After the patient takes one fen of the medicine, the medicine will have effects.


Another recipe(又一法) 以黄入鴨肚煑三日夜,取黄用者.

Stuff arsenic sulphide into a duck’s stomach. The boil the duck for three days and nights. Then use the arsenic sulphide.

[Arsenic was well known as an alchemical drug; of course is was deadly, and countless adepts, including probably a few emperors, died of consuming arsenic and mercury compounds and other fatal medications.]


服椒法 陳晔恬為之歌

Method for taking Chinese pepper ([the author’s note:] Chen Yetian composed a song for it)


The Old Man from Qingchengshan (qingchengshan laoren青城山老人)[117] takes Chinese pepper and obtained wonderful ideas about it. He is more than ninety years old, yet does not look like an old man. I saluted him again and again and asked him for the tips. He was glad to tell me:


蜀椒二斤淨(揀去梗核及閉口者.淨秤.) ,解鹽六兩潔 (其色青白,龜 背者良.細研.)

Use two jin of clean Sichuan pepper ([the author’s note:] pick out the sticks and closed ones. Clean the steelyard.) and six liang of pure salt from Xiezhou ([the author’s note:]the salt is good if it is greenish and white, in shape of a turtle’s back. Grind it finely).


Blend [the Sichuan pepper] with the salt and boil them with slow fire. When [the pepper] is fully cooked, roll it in chrysanthemum powder; blend the salt with the Sichuan pepper. Soak the Sichuan pepper with boiled water as high as five cun. After one night, boil it in a silver or stone boiler with slow fire. Then keep a half cup of the liquid. Then sweep the floor and place a piece of clean paper on the floor. Pour the Sichuan pepper on the paper and cover it with a new basin. Then seal it with yellow earth. After one night, place the Sichuan pepper in a basin and blend it with six liang of dry chrysanthemum powder. Let them be even. Then spread the remaining liquid on them. Then spread them in a sifter and dry them in shade. The chrysanthemum is real only when it is with small flowers, being yellow, with thick leaves and purple stalks, smelling good and tasting sweet, called camomile blossoms (ganjurui甘菊蕋), and can be used to make a soup. Dry them in shade and make them into powder).


At first, one should take fifteen grains of [Sichuan pepper]. He should not stop in the morning or in the evening.


He should gradually increase the number of Sichuan pepper grains [small fruits] he eats every month. Gradually he comes to take two hundred [every day]. ([The author’s note:] for the first month, he should take fifteen grains in the morning. At noon and night, it is the same. For the second month, he should take twenty grains in the morning and evening. For the third day[118], add ten more grains. Increase the amount to two hundred grains and then stop increasing.)


Salted liquor or salted soup, drink as you want [when you take the Sichuan pepper].


After you have taken the Sichuan pepper for half an year, you will feel your midriff be slightly stuffed.


Then decrease ten grains every day till you takes fifteen grains every day.

俟其無碍時,數復如前日. (服半年後,覺胷膈間横塞如有物礙,即毎日退十粒,退十五粒止.俟其無礙,所服仍如前.)

When you feel comfortable with this, take the same amount of [the Sichuan pepper] as you did before. After you have taken it for half an year, you will feel stuffing in your midriff. Then decrease ten grains every day and stop decreasing when you take fifteen grains every day. When you feel all right, take the same amount of the Sichuan pepper as before.)

常令氣裏蒸,否則前功失. (須終始服之,令椒氣早晩裏蒸. 如一日不服,則前功俱廢矣.)

Keep making the qi [of the Sichuan pepper] surround and steam (guozheng裏蒸) you. Otherwise, what you have done before will be wasted. ([Author’s note:] you should keep taking it and let the qi of the Sichuan pepper surround and steam you day and night. If you do not take it for one day, what you have achieved before will be wasted.)


For food and vegetables, you do not have to avoid eating anything or having a diet on anything.


After one year, you will see the result. Your face will turn shiny.


Your eyes will be bright and your ears be alert to any sound. Your beard will turn black and your head hair, too.


[the Sichuan pepper] nourishes the kidney and lightens waist and weight. It solidifies the qi and benefits the essence and blood.


The Sichuan pepper is mild and the salt is mild, too. The nature of chrysanthemum is to reduce anxiety and fever.


One should take it when he is forty years old. And when he takes it, he should not be negligent.


After dozens of years, his efforts will be comparable to those of the nature.

耐老更延年,不知幾歳月.(四十歳方可服. 若四十歳服,至老只如四十歳人顔容.此其騐也.)

He will not get old easily and his lifespan is extended. He will not feel how many years pass by. ([the author’s note:] one should take it when he is forty years old. When he takes it at forty, he will look like a person of forty years old when he gets old. This is the effect [of this recipe].)


If he could forget desires, the effects will be even better.


I wish people peace and thus compose this song sincerely.


Method for taking Siegesbeckia orientalis Linn (fu xixian fa服狶薟法)

狶薟俗呼火忺草,春生苗葉,秋初有花,秋末結實.近世 多有單服者,云甚益元氣.蜀人服之法:五月五日,六月

六日,九月九日,採其葉去根莖花實,淨洗,曝乾,入甑.層 層洒酒,與蜜蒸之.如此九過則已.氣味極香美.熬搗篩 蜜丸服之.云治肝腎風氣,四肢麻痺,骨間疼,腰膝無力. 亦能行大腸氣.張垂崖進呈表云:誰知至賤之中,乃有 殊常之效.臣吃至百服,眼目清明.至千服,髭鬢烏黒,筋 力較徤,效騐多端,陳書林《經騐方》叙述甚詳.療諸疾患, 各有湯使.今人採服.一就秋花成實後,和枝取用,洒酒 蒸,曝,杵臼中舂為細末,煉蜜為丸,以服之.

  1. orientalis Linn (xixian豨薟)[119] is called by the commoners huochuicao火忺草. In the spring, it grows sprouts and leaves. in the autumn, it blossoms. By the end of the autumn, it bears fruits. In recent years, people take it by itself and claim that it is good for the original qi (yuanqi元氣). This is how Shu people 蜀人 take it: on the fifth day of the fifth month, sixth day of the sixth month, ninth day of the ninth month, pick the leaves and remove the roots, stalks, flowers, and fruits. Wash them till they are clean and dry them in the sun. Place them in a steamer and spread liquor on each layer of the leaves. Steam them with honey. After nine times, stop steaming them. They will smell very good. Then boil and mash them. Sift them through and make them into pills with honey. Then they can be taken. It is said that it can cure the wind qi in the liver and kidney (ganshen fengqi肝腎風氣)[120], numbness in four limbs (sizhi mabi四肢麻痺), aches in bones (gujiantong骨間疼), and lack of strength in the waist and knees (yaoxi wuli腰膝無力). It can also make the qi in the large intestine (dachangqi大腸氣) move. Zhang Chuiya張垂崖[121] submitted a memorial and reported, “who knows that [S. orientalis] is among the things of lowest rank but having extraordinary effects? When I have taken one hundred doses, my eyes turn bright. When I have taken one thousand doses, my beard and hair turn black. My strength is enhanced. Its effects are various.” Chen Shulin陳書林described it in details in Jingyanfang經騐方. It cures every kind of diseases and it can be used for different decoctions. Order someone to pick it. Another method is to pick the branches with [the leaves] after it blossoms and bears fruits. Spread liquor on them and steam and dry them in the sun. Pound them into fine powders with a pestle and mortar. Refine honey and make them into pills. Then they can be taken.

Method for taking mulberry fruit (fu sangshen fa服桑椹法)

桑椹利五臟,闗節,通血氣.久服不飢.多收晒乾.搗末.蜜 和為丸.每日服十六丸.變白不老.取黒椹一升,和蝌蚪 一升,瓶盛封閉,懸屋東頭,盡化為泥,染白如漆.又取二 七枚,和胡桃二枚,研如泥,抜去白髪,填孔中,即生黒髪.  出本草拾遺.

Mulberry is good for the five internal organs and the joints. It opens the blood qi (tong xueqi血氣). After one has taken it for a long time, he will not feel hungry. Pick many of them and dry them in the sun. Then mash them and blend them with honey. Make them into pills. Take sixteen pills every day. It can change white hair and make the person look less old. Use one sheng of black mulberry and blend them with one sheng of tadpoles. Contain them in a bottle and seal the bottle. Hang the bottle in the east side of the house. When they turn into mud, [use the mud] to dye the hair and the hair will be as black as lacquer. Another method: use twenty-seven mulberries and blend them with two walnuts. Grind them into mud-like stuff. Pull out white hairs and [stuff the mixture] in the pores. Then black hairs will grow [out of the pores]. This comes from Bencao shiyi本草拾遺.

Recipe for baby chick cinnabar (jizidan fa雞子丹法)


黄白,即以上好舊坑辰砂為末. (硃砂有毒,選豆辨舊砂, 豆腐同煑一日,為末.)  和塊,入卵中,蠟封其口.還令白雞抱之.待雛出,藥成.和 以蜜服,如豆大.毎服三丸,日三進.久服長年延算.

Raise pure white cocks and hens and do not let other chickens mix with them. Open a small hole on a raw egg [laid by the white chickens]. Pour out the yolk and white. Then make the best cinnabar found in the old mines in Chenzhou (shanghao jiukeng chensha上好舊坑辰砂)[122] into powder. ([Author’s note:] cinnabar is poisonous. Choose the bean-segment-like old cinnabar bits and boil them with toufu for one day. Then make them into powder.) Blend [the cinnabar] with water and make into a paste. Stuff the paste into the egg. Seal the egg with wax. Still let the white chicken sit on it. When the chicks hatch, the medicine is ready.  [Since the chick in the egg would be killed, this probably refers to other eggs in the clutch—used basically as timers.] Blend it with honey and make it into [pills] as large as peas. Every day take two pills and take them three times a day. After one has taken it for a long time, he will live longer and his lifespan is extended.

Long-life purple miraculous cinnabars made with pearls nourished by a greenish dragon (canglong yangzhu wanshou zilingdan蒼龍養珠萬壽紫靈丹)


The method to make the cinnabar: [one should] enter the deep mountain and choose a pine tree big enough that one’s arms can barely reach around it. Pick a day that heavenly virtue, moon virtue, metal, and wood converge (yong tian yue de jin mu bing jiao ri shang用天月德金木并交日上). Dig a square hole on the waist of the tree. The hole should be as large as three to four cun by each side. Dig deeply into the middle of the pine tree and then stop digging. Dig a deep concave place under the hole. Then use one jin of the best cinnabar found in the old mines in Chenzhou and eight liang of transparent arsenic sulphide. Make them into powder and blend them together. Wrap them with cotton paper and seal it with red thick silk cloth. Then place the wrapper into the tree hole and stuff the hole with tuckahoe (fuling茯苓) powder. Cut a wedge with skin as large as the hole and pound it into the hole. Use a piece of black dog fur to cover the hole. Since spirits and gods might come to take the cinnabar, one should ask someone to stay in the mountain and watch over it. This will use the pine resin (songzhi松脂) to boost the miraculous qi [of the cinnabar and arsenic sulphide] and the cinnabar and arsenic sulphide will be cultivated into miraculous cinnabar (lingdan靈丹). After they are inserted into the tree for one year, fluorescence appears on the tree. After two years, the fluorescence becomes larger. After three years, the fluorescence lights up the whole mountain. Take out the two kinds of powder and grind them into dust-like stuff. Blend [the dust] with jujube pulp and make them into pills as large as a Chinese parasol tree fruit (Firmiana simplex, wuzi梧子). First, use one plate of the pills to offer to gods in heaven and earth. Then take ten to twenty pills with well water, which is freshly taken in the morning (jinghuashui井花水), in the early morning. After one month, he can read tiny words in the evening. After half a year, he can walk as fast as riding a horse. After one year, the Three Corpses/Cadavers (sanshi三尸)[123] will be separated out. The Nine Worms (jiuchong九蟲)[124] will flee and hide. The Jade Girl (yunü玉女) will come to protect him and the Liujia God (liujia六甲)[125] will come to do the cooking. If he accumulates hidden merits and virtues (yingong jide陰功積德), at least the position of an earthly immortal (dixian地仙) can be secured for him. The pine tree is the essence of a greenish dragon. The cinnabar is the body of a reddish dragon. They obtain the qi of water and fire that naturally ascends and descends in heaven and earth. Then they become cinnabar. They are not produced by human beings. How miraculous this all is!


Nine cycle longevity miraculous-tripod-and-jade-liquid cream (jiuzhuan changsheng shending yuye gao九轉長生神鼎玉液膏)

白术氣性柔順而補,每用二斤,秋冬採之,去粗皮 赤术即蒼术也。性剛雄而發,每用十六兩,同上。

The qi nature of Atractylodes macrocephala (baishu白术) is soft and compliant. Use two jin of it and pick it in the autumn and winter. Remove the coarse peels. Atractylodes sinensis (chishu赤术) is the same as (cangshu蒼术).[126] The nature of the latter is hard, male, and (gangxiong er fa剛雄而發). Use sixteen liang of the rhizomes. Repeat the method above [rather unclear which is intended].


Mash these two medicines in a wood or stone mortar and then place them in an urn. Soak them in the One-Thousand-li water (qianlishui千里水)[127] for one day and one night. Mountain spring water is also good. Then place them in a earthenware pot and boil them for liquid. Then contain the liquid. Then boil them again. Use thick silk cloth to sift through the dregs and remove them. Refine the liquid with slow fire by burning mulberry woods. When it is slowly boiled into a cream, contain it in a porcelain jar and seal it. Inter the jar in the earth for one or two days in order to remove the fire qi (chu huoqi出火氣). Take it on a date of Heavenly Virtue (tianderi天德日). Take three qian of it every time with pure boiled water. Or he can also take it in his mouth and let it thaw. After he takes it for a long time, his weight will be lightened and his lifespan be extended. His skin will look shiny. He should avoid eating peach, apricot (li李), sparrow (que雀), clam (ha蛤), and sea food. Moreover, there is a method to enhance the effects of the medicine, which is called Nine Cycle.


The second cycle: add three liang of ginseng. Boil the ginseng twice to get a thick liquid and boil the thick liquid slowly tillit forms a cream. Then add the cream to the previous made cream. This is called Miraculous-Mushroom-for-Longevity Cream (changsheng shenzhi gao長生神芝膏).



The third cycle: add one jin of polygonatum root (huangjing黃精). Boil it and use the liquid to refine a cream. Then add the cream to the previously made cream. This is called the Three-Prime-Minister-Extend-Lifespan Cream (santai yisuan gao三台益算膏).



The fourth cycle: add tuckahoe Polygala root (yuanzhi遠志)[128]. Remove their hearts. Use eight liang of them respectively and boil them slowly till they turn into a cream. Add this cream to the previously made cream. This is called Four-Immortal-seek-Cream (sixian qiuzhi gao四仙求志膏).



The fifth cycle: add eight liang of angelica (danggui當歸). Wash it with liquor and boil it into a cream. Then add the cream into the previous made cream. This is called the Five-Old-Men-Paying-Homage-to-the-Premordial-Celestial-Worthy Cream (wulao chaoyuan gao五老朝元膏).



The sixth cycle: add antler velvet of a young deer (lurong鹿茸) and elk’s horn (mirong麋茸). Add three liang of them respectively. Grind them into powder and boil them into a cream. Add this cream into previously made cream. This is called the Six-Dragon-Ruling-Heaven Cream (liulong yutian gao六龍御天膏).



The seventh cycle: add amber (hupo琥珀). The amber that is as red as blood is best. Steam it on rice till the rice is ready. Then grind the amber into fine powder. Use one liang of it and add it to the previous made cream. This is called the Seven-Stars-Returning-Their-Original-Status Cream (qiyuan guizhen gao七元歸真膏).



The eighth cycle: add sour jujube kernels (suanzaoren酸棗仁). Remove the kernels [and evidently grind them to pulp] and use eight liang of the pure pulp. Boil them into a cream and add it to the previously made cream. This is called the Eight-Gods-Protecting Cream (bashen weihu gao八神衛護膏).



The ninth cycle: Add arborvitae seeds (baiziren柏子仁). Use four liang of the shelled seeds and grind them into mud-like stuff. Add it to the previously made cream. This is called the Nine-Dragon-Enhancing-Longevity Cream (jiulong fushou gao九龍扶壽膏).



The cinnabar is made by adding ingredients in nine ways, which are based upon the disease one has and [the ingredients] are added. I am also afraid that if one uses all of them to make the cream at one time and the heat is not reached yet, some effects of the medicine are done and others are not. Therefore, when the ancient sages make a recipe, they must have a wonderful way.


The Mysterious-Origin Protecting-Life Purple-Miraculous-Mushroom Cup(Xuanyuan huming zizhibei玄元護命紫芝)


This cup can cure the Five Strains and the Seven Impairments (wulao qishang五勞七傷)[129], every kind of weakness and one hundred sorts of damages (zhuxu baisun諸虛百損), paralysis (zuotan youhuan左癱右瘓), every kind of wind sickness (fengji風疾)[130], every kind of bad influences and one hundred kinds of illnesses (zhuxie baibing諸邪百病). Once there was a Daoist practitioner Wang Jin who took it. When he was dying, he had a dream, in which two ghosts opened the door and came in. They watched him for a while and then left. Later he had another dream, in which someone told him that, “you should have died at that time. When the two Impermanent Ghosts came to catch you, your face had a red light because you had taken the miraculous cinnabar. Therefore, the ghosts could not approach you. After this event, your lifespan cannot be measured.” Later, this Daoist priest lived for over three hundred years and then achieved transcendence.



Use one and a half jin of transparent and clean pieces of cinnabar (mingjing zhusha明凈朱砂). First, take four liang of them and place them in a water-and-fire Yangcheng pot (shuihuo yangcheng guan水火陽城罐)[131]. Boil them with high fire for one day and one night. Then take them out and grind them finely. Then add another four liang [of cinnabars]. Repeat the process of adding [cinnabars] and boiling [cinnabars] with high fire till the sixth time. Make all the cinnabars into fine powders. Forge the iron lamp into a large liquor cup. Polish it and make it into a mould (zuosu作塑). Then hang it in the Yangcheng pot. Paste five layers of gold foils on the body of the iron cup. Stuff the pot with cinnabars and place the cup on the mouth of the pot. Burn it with high fire for three days and nights. Frequently rub the iron cup with water till [the cinnabars] congeal and form a cup attached to the iron cup. Then take [the cinnabar cup] off. Use three li of good bright arsenic sulphide (mingxiong明雄). Grind it and place it in the cinnabar cup. Pour warm liquor into the cup and drink it. Drink two cups every time and then keep the cup for future use. It is so wonderful that cannot be described.


            The Immortals’ Method for Taking the Miraculous Herb Sweetgrass (Acorus calamus) (Taiqingjing shuo shenxian lingcao changpu fushi fa《太清經》說神仙靈草菖蒲服食法)

The method: pick sweetgrass  (changpu菖蒲)] on the third day of the third month, the fourth day of the fourth month, the fifth day of the fifth month, the sixth day of the sixth month, the seventh day of the seventh month, the eighth day of the eighth month, the ninth day of the ninth month, the tenth day of the tenth month. One should pick those growing in water above clean rocks and it would be better if the stream flows south. It is not good if the stream flows north. Wash the picked sweetgrass till it is clean. Remove all the root hairs carefully. Then contain it in a bag and soak the bag in water. Remove the turbid liquid and hard pieces and slice up. Dry it in the sun.  Pestle it into powder and sift it through to get really fine powder. Select an auspicious day of the Heavenly Virtue and the Yellow Path (huangdao黃道)[132] to make it. The method of making it: soak aged sweet rice in water for one night and then remove the rice wash water (migan米泔). Grind [the soaked sweet rice] in a sandstone mortar and make it into fine powder. Cook [the powder] into congee on fire. Then blend [the congee] with the previously made sweetgrass powder. More than two hands are required to make them into pills. Otherwise, it is difficult to make them into pills when [the congee] is dried. The pill should be as large as a tung nut (wutongzi梧桐子). Dry them in the sun light and contain them in a box. First, take ten pills every time and then chew one mouth of rice and swallow it with the pills. Later on, drink liquor to swallow [the pills]. It would be even better if he eats [the pills] with some dimsum (dianxin點心). He should not worry about avoiding anything. He will feel his body become warm. Decoct one or two qian of Gentiana macrophylla Pall. roots (qinjiao秦艽)[133] into a soup. Drink it when it is cooled down and [his body temperature] will be normal because the gentian serves as an envoy drug (shi使). After he takes it for one month, his spleen will be pacified and it helps digesting (hepi xiaoshi和脾消食). After two months, any cold diseases (lengji冷疾) will be cured. After one hundred days, one hundred kinds of diseases will disappear. Its functions include pacifying the heart (relieving palpitation; zhenxin鎮心)and enhancing and replenishing qi (yiqi益氣). It strengthens the memory (qiangzhi強志) and the spirit (zhuangshen壯神). It replenishes the marrows (tiansui填髓) and the sperm (bujing補精). It blackens the hair (heifa黑髮) and lets the teeth grow (shengchi生齒) [in place of fallen teeth]. After ten years, one’s skin become fine and smooth. One’s face is like a peach blossom. Thousands of spirits serve and watch over the taker. His essence will never be exhausted (jingxie bugan精邪不乾).[134] He is promised longevity and transcendence (dushi度世).[135]



The Recipe for the Immortal’s First-Rate Yellow-Dragon Cinnabar (shenxian shangcheng huanglong dan fang神仙上乘黃龍丹方)

Ten liang of halloysite (red bole, chishizhi赤石脂)[137], three large sheng of yellow cow [an ordinary cow, as opposed to special cattle such as black cattle or water buffaloes] meat juice (huangniu rouzhi黃牛肉汁)[138], one jin of transparent frankincense (mingruxiang明乳香)[139],one jin of white honey (baimi白蜜), three liang of liquorice powder, and three dou wu sheng of white non-glutinous rice (baijingmi白粳米) ([author’s note:]divide it into five portions to cook with the medicine till it is fully cooked).

赤石脂十兩 黃牛肉汁三大升 明乳香一斤 白蜜一斤  甘草末三兩 白粳米三斗五升,分作五分炊藥,以熟為度


Use the above six ingredients. Make the red bole into powder. Put it in a raw thick silk bag and soak [the bag] in water which was used to wash rice, for half a day. Knead the medical bag with hands and shake it in water. Take the stone powder that settles at the bottom of the water and place it on a piece of paper to let it dry. Use five liang of clean and fine powder and contain it in a silver box. If there is no silver box, a Blue-and-White porcelain round box (qingbaici yuanhe青白磁圓盒) is also fine. For the first time, on the seventh or eighth day [of the month], wash seven sheng of the rice and place it in a steamer. Then place the box containing the medicines inside of the rice and cook them till the rice is fully cooked. Then remove the cover of the box and place it under the stars for one night. For the second time, on the day around full moon(yuewang月望), cook seven sheng of rice as before. Place the box inside of the rice and steam it. Then remove the cover and place it in the sun light. Therefore, it absorbs the three kinds of lights of the Sun, the Moon, and the stars. For the fourth time, first pour three sheng of cow milk into an earthware pot. Boil it with charcoal fire till the water has bubbles as large as fish eyes. Then add the frankincense powder into it. When this melts, add the red bole powder that has been steamed for three times into the cow milk. Use a willow stick (liutiao柳條) to mix them till they are even. Then pour them into a mortar and grind them thoroughly. Then place them into the previous box again. Steam seven sheng of rice and place the box inside of the rice. Take the box out when the rice is fully cooked. For the fifth time, add two jin of honey into the earthen pot and boil it with slow fire till the boiling water has bubbles as large as fish eyes. Then pour the medicines in the steamed box into the honey and continuously stir it with a willow stick till it is even. Then add three liang of liquorice powder and boil them together till it is wet (daishi帶濕). Then place seven sheng of rice into the steamer and then place the box into the rice. Steam it till the rice is fully cooked. Then take out the box and place it in a basin of water. Soak the box in the water for half day and do not let the water get into the box. Then take the box out and place it in a clean container. When one starts to take it, he should choose an auspicious day having the Heavenly Virtue, the Moon Virtue, and the Yellow Path (tianyuede huangdao jiri天月德黃道吉日). In the early morning, he burns incense and salutes the east for seven times with an empty stomach. Then mix it with a spoon of good liquor [and take it]. This is an immortals’ cinnabar that is precious in this world and can prolong one’s lifespan. It does not have the poison of metals and rocks (jinshizhidu金石之毒). Neither does it have the mechanics that incurs loss in one’s life (wushengzhili誤生之理). After one takes it, the Four Qi is harmonious (siqi tiaohe四氣調和)[140] and the “hundred bones” [the hundreds of bones in the body] are eased (baihai shuchang百骸舒暢). Its wonderful functions cannot be entirely recorded. If he only uses it to help others achieve transcendence and does not make profits from it, its effects will be especially fast. After one takes the pill for about ten days, he will feel his internal organs being opened (zangfu tongkuai臟腑通快) and his spirits pure (jingshen qingshuang精神清爽). All kinds of diseases that are difficult to treat, such as the Wind Diseases [paralysis and the like], the Labor Diseases [tuberculosis?], the Cold Diseases, and the Qi diseases (feng lao leng qi風勞冷氣), will be cured. If he takes double doses, he will live as long as one hundred years. For every person, he should nourish his spleen. If the spleen is nourished, the liver will flourish (piyang ze ganrong脾養則肝榮)[141]. When the liver flourishes, the heart will be strong (ganrong ze xinzhuang肝榮則心壯). When the heart is strong, the lung will be vigorous (xinzhuang ze feisheng心壯則肺盛). When the lung is vigorous, the Original Organ will be solidified (feisheng ze yuancang shi肺盛則元藏實)[142]. When the Original Organ is solidified, the foundation [of the body] is stabilized (yuancang shi ze genben gu元藏實則根本固).Therefore, the way to deeply cultivate and solidify the root as well as a wonderful way to achieve longevity can be found in this medicine. How could it be any ordinary medicine? The vessels used to make the medicine are described as below:



Two silvers: one large silver pot and one small silver box. The smaller one can contain five or six liang of medicine and has a cover. The capacity of the larger one is five dou. If the pot is porcelain inlaid with silver, it is wonderful.



Three unused earthen basins. They should be able to contain one dou of beans.



One wood steamer. It should be able to contain one dou of cooked rice.



One basin that is used to cover the steamer, one set of unused pot and stove, one mortar, two bamboo or wood spoons (large and small), three to five willow forks (liumuqiao柳木鍬), one small bamboo strainer (zhaoli笊籬), and one hundred jin of firewood.




Wolfthorn tea (gouqicha枸杞茶)

Pick red and ripe wolfthorn fruits in the late autumn. Blend with dry flour and make them into a paste. Then mold into thin cakes with a rolling pin and dry in the sun. Then grind them into fine powder. For every liang of river tea (jiangcha江茶), use two liang of the wolfthorn fruit powder. Blend them till they are even. Then add three liang of melted ghee or sesame oil. Then immediately add boiled water and make them into a paste. Add a small amount of salt and decoct them in a pot till they are fully cooked. Then they can be drunk. It is very good for health and brightens eyes.

[An interesting contrast with the wild alchemy above.  This is a perfectly practical recipe which would, in fact, work, because of the high vitamin and mineral content of the wolfthorn berries.]


The recipe for the Replenishing-Qi Cow Milk (yiqi niuru fang益氣牛乳方)

Yellow cow milk is best for old men. Its nature is neutral (xingping性平). It enriches the blood and pulses (buxuemai補血脈). It replenishes the heart qi (yixinqi益心氣). It lets the muscles grow (zhangjirou長肌肉). It enables the body to be healthy, strong, radiant, and moisturized (lingren shenti kangqiang runze令人身體康強潤澤). It makes one’s face radiant with good color (mianmu guangyue面目光悅). It makes the memory not decline (zhibushuai志不衰). Therefore, people should take it frequently and make it a daily food. Or one can make milk cakes (rubing乳餅) or milk drinks (ruyin乳飲) as long as he would like to take it and takes plenty of it. This thing is much better than meat.

[Again, we are back to perfectly practical advice here. “Yellow cow” probably means ordinary cow as opposed to water buffalo, not necessarily a literally brown or yellow cow.]



The Jade Cream of Mr. Iron Jar (tieweng xiansheng qiongyu gao鐵瓮先生瓊玉膏)

This cream replenishes the essence and marrows (tianjing busui填精補髓). It transforms the intestines into tendons (chang huawei jin腸化為筋).[143] It makes thousands of spirits complete (wanshen juzu萬神俱足) and enriches the Five Internal Organs (wuzang yingyi五臟盈溢). It transforms the white hair into black. It rejuvenates the old man into a childlike condition and enables him to walk as fast as a galloping horse. If he takes it several times a day and does not eat other food, he will not feel hungry. it opens [the body] and strengthens the memory (kaitong qiangzhi開通強志). It enables the person read ten thousand words a day. It makes his spirit superior (shenshi gaomai神識高邁) and enables him not to have dream at night (ye wu mengxiang夜無夢想). After he takes ten doses, he will suppress his desires (jueqiyu絕其欲) and cultivate secret virtues and become an Earthly Transcendent (xiu yingong cheng dixian修陰功成地仙). Divide one dose into five portions and each portion can cure five patients with grievous sores (yongji癰疾). Divide one dose into ten portions and each portion can cure ten patients with the Labor Diseases/phthisis (laoji癆疾). When one makes the medicine, he should take a bath and purify his mind and does not show it to others impudently.



Twenty-four liang of Silla [Korean] ginseng (xinluoshen新羅參) ([author’s note:] remove the leaves?(lu蘆)). Sixteen jin of raw Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch roots (sheng dihuang生地黃) ([author’s note:]take the juice). Forty-nine liang of peeled white tuckahoe (baifuling白茯苓). Ten jin of refined and pure white granulated honey (baishami白沙蜜).

新羅參二十四兩,去蘆 生地黃一十六斤,取汁 白茯苓四十九兩,去皮  白沙蜜十斤,煉凈


Make the above-mentioned ginseng and tuckahoe into fine powder. Sift the honey with a piece of raw thick silk cloth. Squeeze the natural juice (ziranzhi自然汁) from the Rehmannia roots. When mashing these, do not use bronze or iron vessels. After taking all of the juice, remove the dregs. Blend the medicines together till they are even and contain them in a silver or stone ware or good porcelain container. Use twenty or thirty layers of paper to seal the container. Place [the container] in boiled water and boil it with mulberry firewood for three days and nights. Then take [the container] out. Wrap the mouth of the bottle with several layers of wax paper. Then place [the bottle] in a well in order to remove the fire poison (huodu火毒)[145]. Take it out after one day and one night. Then place it into the previous boiled water and boil it for one day. Let the vapor out and then take [the bottle] out. Unseal [the bottle] and take three spoons [of the medicine] and contain them into three cups. [Use the three cups of medicine] as offerings to gods in heaven and on earth. He should be pious when he sets up the offerings and salutes.every day, he should mix the medicine with a spoon of liquor and take it with an empty stomach. The original recipe is like this. However, for those who have phthisis and cough, whose qi is high (lao sou qisheng癆嗽氣盛), who have blood deficiency and lung-heat (xuexu feire血虛肺熱), ginseng should not be used.



The Earthly-Transcendents’ Decoction (dixianjian地仙煎)


It cures aches in the waist and knees (yaoxi tengtong腰膝疼痛) and every kind of Cold Diseases in the stomach (funei lengbing腹內冷病). It makes one’s skin easy on the eyes and moisturized (yanse yueze顏色悅澤). It strengthens the bones and marrows and enables people walk as fast as galloping horses.治腰膝疼痛,一切腹內冷病,令人顏色悅澤,骨髓堅固,行及奔馬。


One jin of yams (shanyao山藥). One sheng of apricot seeds ([author’s note:]soak them in boiled water and remove the peels and tips (pijian皮尖)).two jin of raw cow milk.

山藥一斤 杏仁一升,湯泡去皮尖 生牛乳二斤


Grind the above mentioned apricot seeds finely. Then add cow milk and yams into [the apricot seeds]. Blend them and squeeze them to get the juice. Put [the juice] in an unused porcelain bottle and seal [the bottle]. Boil [the bottle] for one day. Every day one should mix one spoon of the medicine with liquor and take it with an empty stomach.




The Golden-Water Decoction (jinshuijian金水煎) [146]


[it] elongates the lifespan. It replenishes the essence and marrows (tianjing busui填精補髓). If one takes it for a long time, his white hair will change into black and he will be rejuvenated and become like a child.



Any amount of wolfthorn fruits. Pick the red and ripe ones.



Soak the above ingredients in No-Ash liquor (wuhuijiu無灰酒) for six days if it is in the winter and for three days if it is in the summer. Place [the wolfthorn fruits] in an earthen basin and grind them very finely. Then use a cloth bag to squeeze juice [out of the ground wolfthorn fruits]. Then boil [the juice] and the previous used liquor with slow fire till they become a cream. Place the cream in a clean porcelain container and seal it. Then steam [the container]. Every time, take one spoon of it. Add a small amount of sesame oil to it and mix it with warm liquor. Then take it.



Lilyturf Cream (tianmendonggao天門冬膏)


It cures the Accumulated Disease (jiju積聚)[147] and removes  the wind-phlegm (fengtan風痰)[148]. It cures epilepsy (dianji癲疾). It kills the Three Worms and lying corpse (fushi伏尸). It drives off the epidemics (wenyi瘟疫). It lightens the body and replenishes the qi (qingshen yiqi輕身益氣).



Any amount of lilyturf  roots. Peel them and remove the hearts. Wash the roots till they are clean.



Mash the above material and squeeze juice out of them with a piece of cloth. Then sift through [the juice] and take the pure liquid. Pour the liquid in a porcelain, sandstone, or silver pot and boil it with slow fire till it turns into a cream. Every time, take one spoon of it and mix it with warm liquor and then eat it with an empty stomach.


[The Three Worms, or Three Types of Worms, are in the body and nourished by grains; a goal of alchemy is reducing or even getting rid of them—but some say they are essential and can only be reduced.  No doubt the idea came from observing parasitic worms.]


Not-Fearing-Cold Recipe (buweihan fang不畏寒方)


Use lilyturf (tianmendong天門冬) and tuckahoe (fuling茯苓) and make them into powder. Mix them with liquor or water and take them. every day, take them frequently. When it is extremely cold and [one takes it], he will sweat and forget out the coldness even if he wears one-layer clothes.


Sayings about taking Acanthopanax spinosus Miq bark(fu wujiapi shuo服五加皮)


Shun used to climb up [Mt.] Cangwu and said, “This is a Golden-and-Jade fragrant herb (jinyu xiangcao金玉香草).”He is referring to the acanthopanax bark (wujiapi五加皮). If one takes it, he will achieve longevity. Therefore, it is said that, “one would rather have a handful of acanthopanax than a cart full of gold and jade. One would rather have one jin of Sanguisorba officinalis root (diyu地榆)[149] than precious pearls like a bright moon.” In the past, the mother of Lord Dinggong in Lu drank acanthopanax liquor alone and achieved longevity. As for Zhang Zisheng, Yang Shijian, Wang Shucai, and Yu Shiyan, they are ancient persons. They drank acanthopanax liquor and had sex (fangshi房室) frequently. [Wujiapi liquor abounds today in Chinese markets, so the reader can try this.]  All of them achieved longevity and had many children. There are many persons who achieved longevity by drinking acanthopanax liquor. [Author’s note:] this comes from the Perfected East-Flower’s Classic of Boiling Rocks (donghua zhenren zhushijing東華真人煮石經) .



The method of taking pine nuts (fu songzi fa服松子法)


Use any amount of pine nuts and grind them into a cream. Mix one spoon of it with warm liquor and take it with an empty stomach. Take it three times every day. Then he will not feel hungry or thirsty. If he takes it for a long time, he will be able to walk five hundred li every day and his body is lightened and becomes strong. [In spite of the wild exaggeration at the end, the ancient and still-current tradition of eating pine seeds for health is a sound one.  These seeds are extremely rich in vitamins, minerals, and easily digested proteins and oils.]



The method of taking Sophora japonica (pagoda tree) fruits (fu huaishi fa服槐實法)


Soak the pagoda tree fruits in cow gall (niudan牛膽) for one hundred days and then dry them in the shade. Every day, one should take one piece and his body will be lightened after one hundred days. After one thousand days, his white hair will become black. After he takes it for a long time, he will become enlightened (tongming通明).




The method of taking lotus blossoms (fu lianhua fa服蓮花法)


Pick seven fen of lotus blossoms on the seventh day of the seventh month. Pick eight fen of lotus roots on the eighth day of the eighth month. Pick nine fen of lotus seeds on the ninth day of the ninth month. Dry them in the shade and eat them. they will let people not turning old.



The method of taking pine roots (fushi songgen fa服食松根法)


Use pine roots that grows eastwards (dongxing songgen東行松根). Remove the white peelings and finely cut them up. Then dry them in the sun and pestle and sift them. One should eat them till he feels full. Then he will be able to renounce grains (juegu絕谷). If he feels thirsty, he can drink water.



The method of taking tuckahoe (fushi fuling fa服食茯苓法)


Remove the black skins of the tuckahoes and mash them into powder. Fully soak them into good liquor in a earthen ware. Then cover the earthen ware and tightly seal it with mud. After fifteen days, open the earthen ware and make [the tuckahoes] into cakes like making cinnabars (ershi餌食). Eat it three times a day. One can also make them into powder and take one one-cun-square spoon (fangcunbi方寸匕)[150] of it. He will not feel hungry or thirsty. It cures illnesses and helps people achieving longevity.



The method of taking (fushi shu fa服食术法)


Use one shi of Atractylodes macrocephala root found in Yuqian (yuqianshu于潛术)[151]. Wash them till they are clean. Then mash them. Use two shi of water and soak in the water for one night. Then boil them till the liquid is reduced to half. Then add five sheng of pure liquor (qingjiu清酒) and boil them again. Take one shi and squeeze them and remove the dregs. Then boil them with low fire. Add two sheng of soybean powder and one sheng of lilyturf root (tianmendong天門冬) powder. Blend and make into pills as large as a bullet. Take three pills in the morning and take one pill during the day. One can also use it to replace food when he lives in mountains or travels. It helps people resist the wind and chill (naifenghan耐風寒). It helps people achieve longevity and make him not affected by any illnesses. This method is invented by Cuiyezi. One should remove the hearts and peels of the lilyturf.


The method of taking Solomon’s seal (fu huangjing fa服食黃精法)


Finely cut one shi of Solomon’s seal. Use two shi five sheng of water ([author’s note:] another saying is six shi) to boil over low fire from the morning to the evening. When they are fully cooked, one should take them out and let them cool down. Then mash them with hands. Use a cloth bag to squeeze juice from them and boil [the juice]. Dry the dregs in the sun and make them into powder. Add [the powder] into [the liquid] in the pot ad boil them slowly. Then make them into pills as large as eggs. Take one pill every time and take three times every day. Then he will not want to eat grains (juegu絕穀). And it cures the hundred diseases. His body will be lightened and become strong. If he takes less of it, he will become normal. But he should not take too much of it or stop taking it in the middle. If he feels thirsty, he can drink water. This method is the best. It comes from the Five Charms五符.


Another method又法


Mash the Solomon’s seal and take three sheng of the juice. If they cannot produce so much juice, pour water on them and then squeeze them to get the juice. Use three sheng of raw Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch roots (sheng dihuang生地黃) juice and three sheng of lilyturf root (tianmendong天門冬) juice. Blend them and boil them with low fire till the liquid is reduced to one half. Then add five jin of white honey into them and boil them again till they can be made into pills. Make them into pills as large as a bullet. Take them three times every day. Then he will not feel hungry and his skin color will be good. One can also merely squeeze three sheng of the juice and boil it till it can be made into pills. Take one pill as large as an egg every day. After he takes it for thirty days, he will not feel hungry and will be able to walk as fast as a galloping horse. One should remove the hearts and peels of the lilyturf.



The method of taking Maianthemum racemosum(fushi weirui fa服食葳蕤法)


Usually pick Maianthemum racemosum [false lily-of-the-valley, a small lily-like plant] leaves on the ninth day of the second month. Then mince the leaves and dry them. Then take one one-cun-square spoon of it every time and take it three times a day. One can also take it as taking the Solomon’s seal [and?] cinnabar. It opens the qi pulses (daoqimai導氣脈) and strengthens the tendons and bones. It cures stroke/the strike of a wind (zhongfeng中風). It cures twisted tendons and muscles (diejin jierou跌筋結肉). It removes wrinkles in the face (mianzou面皺). It makes one’s skin color good. If one takes it for a long time, he will achieve longevity and become a transcendent.



Method of taking lilyturf (fushi tianmendong fa服食天門冬法)

Use ten jin of dried lilyturf root and one sheng of apricot seeds. Mash them into powder and blend (the powder) with honey. Take one one-cun-square spoon full (fangcunbi方寸匕) three times during the day and once at night. This is what Gan Shi甘始[152] took. It is called the Immortals’ Food (xianren liang仙人糧).


Method of taking black sesame (fushi jusheng fa服食巨勝法)

Use any amount of black and thick sesame seeds. Winnow them with a bamboo fan (bozhi簸治) and steam them. Let the hot steam surround them as in cooking rice. Then put them under the sun. On the second day, steam them and place them in the sun again. Repeat the process nine times and then stop. If the sunlight is scorching, one can steam and dry them in the sun three times a day. Thus he can finish the procedure of nine times of steaming and drying in the sun in three days. When they are thoroughly dried, briefly dip them in boiled water and mash them in a mortar till they become white. Then dry them in the sun again and winnow them in order to remove the peels. Then cook them till they smell good. Then mash them quickly and sift them roughly. Take them at will. Take two or three sheng of them one day. One can also make them into honey-blended pills as large as an egg. Take five pills one day. One can also blend them with maltose (yi飴) or blend them with liquor. Gradually reduce [the dose]. After one hundred days, he will not have any diseases. After one year, his body and face will be smooth and radiant. When he washes [his body and face], the water will not stay on the flesh. After five years, water or fire will not harm him and he can walk as fast as a galloping horse.


The Immortals’ method of taking caltrop (shenxian er jili fang神仙餌蒺藜方)

Use one shi of caltrop (Tribulus terrestris). It is usually ripe in the seventh and eighth months. Pick them then. Then dry them in the sun. First pestle them in a mortar in order to remove the sticks (ci刺). Then make them into fine powder. Take two spoonfuls of them each time. Blend them with water taken recently (xinshui新水)[153] and eat them. Take them three times a day and do not terminate [the process]. Taking [them] will help one achieve longevity. After taking them for one year, he will neither feel cold in the winter nor feel hot in the summer. After taking them for two years, he will be rejuvenated. His white hair will turn black. His fallen teeth will be replaced by new ones. After taking them for three years, his body will be lightened and he will achieve longevity.


The Immortals’ method of taking Sophora japonica (Chinese scholar tree) seeds and thus achieving longevity and being ageless (shenxian fu huaizi yannian bulao fang神仙服槐子延年不老方)

Usually the seeds should be picked on the third day of the third month.[154] Then place them in a new porcelain container and cover [the container] with a basin. Seal it with mud and do not let the gas come in or out. After twenty one days, open it and remove the peels. Take them in the beginning of a month. Take one pill with water every day. Take one more pill every day till the fifteenth day of the month. Then take one pill less every day. Repeat the process. It will make the person be able to see tiny characters at night. After taking them for a long time, his strength will be enhanced one hundred times.


The method of eating no grains and living and eating (bigu zhushi fang辟谷住食方)

Use one dou of sorghum and rice(shumi秫米),fried with six liang of sesame oil and then cooled down. [It would seem that abstaining from grains is not quite total here!] Use ten liang of salt powder, Sichuan ginger (chuanjiang川薑), and small peppers (xiaojiao小椒) respectively. Use three sheng of turnip seeds (manjingzi蔓菁子) and five sheng of large dried jujubes (gandazao乾大棗).

秫米一斗,麻油六兩炒,冷 鹽末 川薑 小椒各等分,十兩 蔓菁子三升  乾大棗五升


Make the above six ingredients into thin powder. Take one large spoon of it with water newly taken (xinshui新水) every time. Take three times every day. One will feel hungry or thirsty (ru jike如飢渴).[155] He will gradually have strength. He can eat every kind of fruits and teas at will. He must not eat meat. It is the greatest taboo.

There are eight great taboos in food:



A horse that dies when walking, a donkey that dies when drinking, a cow that dies when it is overfed, and a ram with red eyes.



A pig that dies by itself, a turtle with eggs,[156] a pregnant rabbit, and a scaleless fish.



In the ancient book, it is said that, “all of them cannot be eaten. If one eats them, he will have one hundred kinds of diseases.”


[Likely true for the self-dying animals—they would be sick—but the other taboos seem more related to conservation and to possible religious influence.]

The method of eating no grains and escaping from famine (bigu bihuang fang辟谷避荒方)

On the seventeenth day of the second month, the second year of the Yongning永寧 Reign (120-121), the Attendant at the Yellow Gate (huangmen shilang黃門侍郎), Liu Jingxian劉景先, submitted a memorial, saying that “I met a hermit from Mountain Taibei and received this recipe. I hear that the price of rice in the capital runs very high. I think that it is appropriate to relieve it by using this recipe. It will let a person avoid feeling hungry. His eyes will turn bright and his ears can hear weak sounds. The color of his skin will be radiant. If I am lying, my whole family should be punished by the law. In the four seasons, use five sheng of black beans. Wash them till they are clean and then steam them for three times. Then dry them in the sun light and remove their peels. Then use three sheng of large hemp seeds (dahuomazi大火麻子) and soak them in boiled water for one night. Then take them out of the water and dry them in the sun. Blend them with the sticky liquid (jiaoshui膠水) and dry them in the sun. Then peel them and wash them till they are clean. Then steam them three times and mash them with a pestle. Then add soybeans to them and make both of them into thin powder. Blend [the powder] with sweet rice congee and make them into round pills as large as a fist. Then place [the pills] in a steamer and steam them from the evening to the midnight. Then quench the fire. Take [the pills] out [of the steamer] at the three to five o’clock in the morning. Place them in a porcelain container and cover them and do not let them be dried by the wind. Take three pieces every time. Refrain from eating till full. Do not eat any other food. After the first meal, he will not feel hungry for seven days. After the second meal, he will not feel hungry for seven times seven days. After the third meal, he will not feel hungry for three hundred days. His looks will be good and not emaciated. If he feels thirsty, he should grind hemp seeds and drink the liquid, which nourishes the internal organs. If he wants to eat [ordinary] food again, he should mash three he of cluster mallow fruits (kuizi葵子) and boil them into a soup and drink the soup. The soup will open the stomach (kaidao weiwan開導胃脘) and make it peaceful (chonghe冲和). It is harmless.”this recipe is carved in a stone at the Taiping Xingguo Temple太平興國寺 in Mt. Dabieshan大別山, Hanyang Military Prefecture漢陽軍.



The recipe of the Purple-Cloud Cup(zixia bei fang紫霞杯方); this is a wonderful secret recipe.此至妙秘方。

This cup of medicine [helps the person be] in tune with nature (peihe zaohua配合造化) and nurses the yin and yang(tiaoli yinyang調理陰陽). It takes the peaceful qi in heaven and earth and acquires the recipe that saves one from fire and water (duo tiandi chonghe zhi qi, de shuihuo jiji zhi fang奪天地冲和之氣,得水火既濟之方). It is neither cold nor hot, neither slow nor fast. It has the effect of achieving longevity and the anti-aging effect. It has the wonderful effect of transforming one’s inner embryo and bones (tuotai huangu脫胎換骨). It can greatly purify the upper [body] and nourish the lower [body](qingshang buxia清上補下). It makes the yin and yang rise up and fall down (shengjiang yinyang升降陰陽). It opens the nine holes (tong jiuqiao通九竅)[157]. It kills the Nine Worms (jiuchong九蟲). It prevents wet dreams (nocturnal emission, mengxie夢泄). It makes one looking pleasant (yue rongyan悅容顏). It relieves the head wind (jie toufeng解頭風)[158]. It makes the body lighter and stronger. It makes the internal organs work in harmony (zangfu hetong臟腑和同). It opens the chest midriff (kai xiongge開胸膈). It removes phlegm and saliva. It brightens one’s eyes. It moisturizes the skin. It increases the essence (or sperm, tianjing添精). It cures hernia (juan shanzhui蠲疝墜)[159]. It also cures the women’s diseases of weakness and cold in the blood sea (xuehai xuleng血海虛冷)[160],and the gynecological disease of having red and white sticky discharges (chibai daixia赤白帶下). Only the pregnant women cannot use this medicine. For other men and women, the old and young, in the early morning, pour warm liquor into the cup and drink two or three cups of it. It cures one hundred kinds of diseases. Other medicines cannot be better than this recipe. [the author’s note:]when one uses the cup for a long time, it becomes thin. Then take one bowl of bran (kangpi糠皮) and place the cup in the bran. Then pour the liquor into the cup and drink it. If the cup is broken into pieces, take one fen of the medicine in the cup and grind it. Then add it to the liquor and drink it. When the pieces of the cup are used up, make another one.



One qian of pearls (zhenzhu真珠), one qian of amber, one qian of frankincense (ruxiang乳香), twenty pieces of gold foil (jinbo金箔), one qian of arsenic sulphide (xionghuang雄黃), one qian of actinolite (陽起石yangqishi)[161], one qian of fragrant Angelica dahurica Benth. Et Hook (xiangbaizhi香白芷), one qian of cinnabar/cinnabaris (zhusha硃砂), one qian of hemonode (xuejie血結), one qian of borneol camphor (piannao片腦), one qian of camphor (chaonao潮腦)[162] ([Author’s note:]add it when the cup is toppled), seven and a half fen of musk, one qian of Kaempferia galanga (sannai三奈), one qian of purple powder (zifen紫粉), one qian of halloysite (red bole, chishizhi赤石脂), one qian of muxiang (木香), one qian of benzoin (anxi安息)[163], one qian of lignaloes (chenxiang沉香), and one qian of myrrh (moyao沒藥).

真珠一錢 琥珀一錢 乳香一錢 金箔二十張 雄黃一錢 陽起石一錢 香白芷一錢 朱砂一錢 血結一錢 片腦一錢 潮腦 一錢,傾杯方入 麝香七分半 甘松一錢 三奈一錢 紫粉一錢 赤石脂 一錢 木香一錢 安息一錢 沉香一錢 沒藥一錢


Method of making sulfur (liu硫)


Place Spirodela polyrhiza (zibei fuping紫背浮萍) in a pot. Wrap sulfur with a piece of thick silk cloth bag and hang the bag in the pot. Boil [the sulfur] till the liquid is boiled for dozens of times and then take it out and let it dry. Grind it into powder. Use ten liang of the powder and previously mentioned spices and place them in a bronze spoon. Melt them down with slow fire. Then taken them out and let the fire qi disperse for awhile. Use a liquor cup with a good shape and wrap it with cloth and paper. Open a hole in the [wrapper] and pour the sulfur into it. Hold the cup with a hand and rotate it till [the sulfur] is even. Then place [the cup] in a basin of cold water. Then take it out. If one has fire diseases (huozheng火症), he should not take it.


The method of making the Rising-and-Mysterious Transparent Powder(shengxuan mingfen fa升玄明粉法)

Use five jin of good and pure sulfate of soda (pixiao皮硝), half jin of Chinese honey locust Fruit (zaojiao皂角), and more than ten jin of white daikon (bailuobo白蘿蔔). Slice [the daikon] and use more than half pot of water and boil the slices for more than ten times. Then take out the daikon slices and do not use them. Then slice the daikon and boil the slices again. Repeat this for three or four times till the daikon does not have a bitter taste. Then use a thin silk to sift through dregs and contain it in a pot. Place the pot outside for one night. On the next day, teeth-like soda sulfate (yaxiao牙硝) appears in the pot. Take it out and wrap it with a piece of cotton paper bag. Hang the bag in a windy place and it will turn into powder by itself. In the summer months, for every liang of the powder, use one qian of liquorice and blend. Take one qian of it with boiled water every time. It can greatly relieve the summer-heat (jie shure解暑熱) and dissipate phlegm that has been there and cannot be eliminated for a long time (hua wanjie laotan化頑結老痰). It is a wonderful medicine for releasing the phlegm fire from the after-body (cong hou xiechu tanhuo shengyao從後瀉出痰火聖藥)[164].


The Above-the-River Gentleman’s method of taking foxnut medicinal powder (Heshanggong fu qianshi san fang 河上公服芡實散方)

Use one jin of husked foxnut (qianjitoushi千雞頭實), honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica, rendong忍冬) stalks and leaves ([the author’s note:]pick the fresh and thick ones with no worm’s stains. It is the same as the gold-and-silver flower,jinyinhua金銀花.), and dried lotus roots respectively.

千雞頭實去殼 忍冬莖葉揀無蟲污新肥者,即金銀花也 乾藕各一斤


Cut the three above ingredients into slices and pieces and steam them till they are fully cooked. Then dry them in the sun and mash and sift them into powder.  After one has a meal, he should eat one one-qian spoon of it with warm soup in the winter and with water in the summer. After he takes it for a long time, he will achieve longevity and his body will be lightened and he will not become old. The color of his skin will be pleasant. It will strengthen the skin and the spleen and stomach. It will remove what stays inside of the body (qu liuzhi去留滯). Its good effects cannot be entirely listed. One will know it by himself after he uses it for a long time.


The method of taking lilyturf root (fu tianmendong fa服天門冬法)

Use two jin of lilyturf and one jin of cooked Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch roots (shu dihuang熟地黃).Mash and sift them into powder. Refine honey and make them into pills as large as a bullet. Take three pills with warm liquor every time and take it three times every day. After one takes it for a long time, it will strengthen the bones and marrows, rejuvenate the looks, and remove the Three Corpses. It helps the person abstain from grains, and lightens his weight. It helps him achieve longevity and is anti-aging. He will not have any diseases. If he takes it with the same amount of Tuckahoe, he will sweat even if he wears one-layer clothes in the winter. He should not eat carp or any kind of rank-smelling food.[165]



The method of taking lotus seeds and stalks (fu oushi jing fa服藕實莖法)

It tastes sweet. Its nature is neutral. It is cold. It is non-poisonous. (wei gan ping han wudu味甘平寒無毒). It mainly nourishes the Middle Burner and the spirit (buzhong yangshen補中養神). It enhances the qi and strength. It cures one hundred kinds of diseases. After one takes it for a long time, his body will be lightened and he will not turn old. He will not feel hungry and he will achieve longevity. It is also called shuizhi水芝. In the Danyaoxinglun丹藥性論 (Thesis on the Nature of the Cinnabars), it is said that, “the lotus juice can also be used separately. It tastes sweet. It can trim the bruises that have not disappeared for a long time. Mash the lotus burls and take the juice. It mainly cures continuous bleeding in the mouth and nose and hematemesis (koubi tuxue buzhi口鼻吐血不止) and it can cure all of them.” It is also said that, “the nature of the lotus seed is cold. It mainly cures the deficiency in the Five Internal Organs (wuzang buzu五臟不足), the damaged Middle Burner and breathlessness (shangzhong qijue 傷中氣絕),and benefits the blood qi [circulating in] the twelve pulses (liyi shier jingmai xueqi利益十二經脈血氣)[166]. If one eat the raw [lotus seeds], it will slightly arouse the qi (wei dongqi微動氣). It is good if he eats the lotus seeds after steam them. Besides, when they are cooked, remove the hearts and make them into powder. Blend them with wax-like honey (lami蠟蜜) and make them into pills. Take ten pills every day and they will let the person feel no hunger. This recipe is used by the transcendent.”Chen Cangqi陳藏器 said that, “the lotus pedicel (hebi荷鼻) tastes bitter and its nature is neutral. It is non-poisonous. It mainly prevents miscarriage and protects the embryo (antai安胎). It removes bad blood and keeps the good blood (qu exue, liu haoxue去惡血,留好血). If one has bloody diarrhea (xueli血痢), he will be cured after taking the boiled lotus pedicels. As for the lotus leaves, pedicels, and lotus seed pod (heye bing di ji lianfang荷葉并蒂及蓮房), they mainly cure hemorrhagic distension and stomachache (xuezhang futong血脹腹痛). It cures the condition of failure to deliver the afterbirth (chan hou taiyi buxia產後胎衣不下). Boil them with liquor and take them. Besides, if one is poisoned by poisonous mushrooms, he can be cured by boiling and taking them.”The lotus starch (oufen藕粉) was made by  Shuiyunshenchu水云深處 (the deep place amidst the clouds and water)[167]. Take the thick [lotus rhizomes] and wash them till they are clean. Mash them and squeeze them with a piece of cloth in order to get the liquid. Then use a piece of thickly-woven cloth (mibu密布) and sift [the lotus root powder] again. Then let it settle down and remove the clean water above. If the liquid is too thick to be settled down, add water to it and stir. Then it will become the starch. [Note that this very standard method of getting lotus starch—once a very common starch in China—is found earlier in the book by itself as a simple recipe.] If one eats it, his body will be lightened and he will achieve longevity.


The method of taking the Cinnabar-and- Arsenic Sulphide Cup (fu zhusha xionghuang bei fa服朱砂雄黃杯法)

Grind the cinnabar found in Chenzhou into thin powder. Melt down white wax and add the cinnabar into it. Then pour them into a liquor cup and make them into a cup as the previous mentioned method. It pacifies the heart and the mind (ningxin anshen寧心安神) and it helps one person achieve longevity. If one takes arsenic sulphide, the method is the same. It has the power of detoxification and repelling one hundred kinds of worms (jiedu bi baichong解毒辟百蟲). I am afraid that these two kinds of cups are not as good as the Purple-Cloud Cup.



The Transcendent’s Recipe of the Black Sesame Pill (shenxian jusheng wan fang神仙巨勝丸方)

It lightens the body and strengthens the yang (qingshen zhuangyang輕身壯陽). It rejuvenates the person. It removes the Three Corpses. It kills the Nine Worms. It cures ten thousand kinds of diseases.



Use one liang of black sesame ([Author’s note:] soak them in liquor for one night. Then steam and dry them in the sun for nine times), Achyranthes bidentata (niuxi牛膝) ([author’s note:] soak them in liquor and slice and bake them), Morinda offcinalis root (bajitian巴戟天)[168] ([author’s note:]remove the hearts), lilyturf roots (tianmendong天門冬) ([author’s note:] remove the hearts and bake them), cooked and dried Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch (shu gan dihuang熟乾地黃), tender cinnamon branches(liugui柳桂)[169] ([the author’s note:] remove the rough peels), jujube kernels (suanzaoren酸棗仁), raspberry (fupenzi覆盆子)[170], Cuscuta sinensis Lam. seeds (tusizi兔絲子) ([author’s note:]soak them in liquor and mash them and bake them till they are dry), wild yam (shanyu山萸), Polygala root (yuanzhi遠志) ([author’s note:] remove the hearts), chrysanthemum, ginseng, white Tuckahoe (beifulin白茯苓) ([author’s note:] remove the black peels) respectively.

巨勝酒浸一宿,九蒸九暴 牛膝酒浸切焙 巴戟天去心 天門冬去心焙  熟乾地黃焙 柳桂去粗皮 酸棗仁 覆盆子 兔絲子酒浸別搗焙乾  山萸 遠志去心 菊花 人參 白茯苓去黑皮。各一兩


For the above fourteen ingredients, pick and trim them. Then mash and sift them into powder. Blend them with refined honey and make them into pills as large as a tung nut (tongzi桐子). When one takes it, he should have an empty stomach and take twenty pills with warm liquor. After he takes it for one month, his body will be lightened and strengthened. Ten thousand kinds of diseases will not strike him.


The method of taking cypress seeds (fu baishi fa服柏實法)


In the past, in the eighth month, dry the cypress seed pod (baifang柏房) in the sun. Let it breach and the kernels will fall down by themselves. Place [the kernels] in clean water and take the heavy ones that sink at the bottom of the water. Then pour out the water and lightly pestle the kernels in order to take the seeds. Every time, take one two-qian-capacity spoon of it with liquor. In the winter months, take it with warm liquor. Take one doze in the early morning, at noon, and at dusk. Gradually increase the dose to four or five qian. One can also add the same amount of chrysanthemum to it and make them into honey-mixed pills (miwan蜜丸) as large as a tung nut. Take ten pills or twenty pills every time. Take it three times every day with liquor.


The method of taking the Great-Tuckahoe Pills (fushi dafulin wan fang服食大茯苓丸方)


Use one liang of white Tuckahoe ([author’s note:] remove the black peels), Tuckahoe that have a piece of wood in the middle (fushen茯神)([author’s note]: it is said to embrace a piece of wood. Remove the wood), large jujubes, and cinnamon ([the author’s note:]remove the rough peels) respectively. Use twelve liang of ginseng, Atractylodes macrocephala (baishu白術), Polygala root (yuanzhi遠志) ([author’s note:] remove the hearts and stir and bake them till they turn yellow), Asarum (xixin细辛) ([author’s note:] remove the sprouts and leaves), sweetgrass (shichangpu石菖蒲) ([author’s note:] use those as long as one cun and having nine joints. Soak them in  rice washing liquid (migan米泔) for three days and replace the liquid every day. Then finely mince them and dry them in the sun). Use eight liang of liquorice ([author’s note:]dip them in water and split them. Then roast them), and five liang of dried ginger ([author’s note:]roast it till it is split).

白茯苓去黑皮 茯神抱木者,去木 大棗 桂去粗皮,各一兩 人參 白术 遠志去心炒黃 細辛去苗葉 石菖蒲一寸九節者,米泔浸三日,日換泔浸,碎切曝乾,各十二兩  甘草八兩,水蘸擘破炙 乾薑五兩,炮裂


As for the above eleven ingredients, mash them and sift them till they become powder. Refine honey till it is yellow and skim the foam. Let it cool down and blend it with [the powder] and make them into pills as large as a bullet. Take one pill every time. After one takes it for a long time, he will not feel hungry or thirsty. If he eats raw food and fruits with cold water and will not digest, he will immediately be well after taking it. For those having the reversing qi gather in the Five Internal Organs (wuzang juji qini五臟聚積氣逆), those having sharp heartaches or stomachaches (xinfu qietong心腹切痛), those having stagnant qi and abdominal distension (jieqi fuzhang結氣腹脹), or those that throw up and cannot ingest any food (tuni bu xiashi吐逆不下食), take the pill with boiled ginger soup. If he is weak and skinny and does not have an appetite, take it with liquor. As long as he takes it, it will cure ten thousand kinds of diseases and allow the person achieve longevity. When making the medicine, one should do it at the chen hours[171] of the chen day (chenri chenshi辰日辰時), in an empty room, wearing clean clothes, and do not let chickens, dogs, women, or sons in mourning (xiaozi孝子) see it.


Li Babo’s recipe of the Apricot Golden Cinnabar (Li Babo xing jindan fang李八伯杏金丹方)

Use five dou of thick apricot seeds and put them in a cloth bag. Soak [the bag] in well water that is freshly taken in the morning (jinghuashui井花水) for three days. Then place [the seeds] in a steamer and cover it with a piece of thick silk cloth. Then place yellow mud as thick as five cun on top of it. Steam it for one day and then remove the mud and take out [the seeds]. Then place [the seeds] in the middle of millet (su粟) and steam them for one day. Then steam [the seeds] in the middle of wheat (xiaomai小麥) for one day. Press [the seeds] to get five sheng of oil from them. Then let it settle down and remove the dregs. Make a silver bottle in shape of a bottle for containing water. If one does not have silver, he should make a good earthenware pot. Put the oil in [the silver bottle] and do not let the bottle be full. Then use a piece of round silver foil as large as the bottle mouth to cover the mouth. Melt down silver and use the liquid silver to seal the apertures around the bottle mouth. Then place the bottle in a large pot and boil it for seven days. Stir it frequently. When the oil congeals (kan you jie看油結), open [the bottle] and take out the medicine. Put it in a container. When the fire qi disappears, [the medicine] becomes a liquid (huoxiao chengzhi火消成汁). Pour out the liquid and let it cool down. the color [of the medicine] is like that of gold. Then place [the medicine] in a mortar and mash it. When it can be made into pills, make it into pills as large as glutinous millet grains (huangmi黃米). One should have an empty stomach when taking it and take it with liquor in the morning and at evening. Or he can take twenty pills with saliva (jinye津液)[172]. After one takes it for a long time, it will save the qi (baoqi保氣)  and help the person achieve longevity. It will turn his white hairs into black. It can cure ten thousand kinds of diseases.




The recipe for the Lightening-Body-and-Achieving-Longevity Theurgical Pill (qinshen yannian xianshu wan fang輕身延年仙術丸方)


Soak Atractylodes sinensis  (cangshu蒼術) in rice swill for three days if it is in the summer and autumn or for seven days if it is in the spring. Remove the peels and wash them till they are clean. Steam them for half day. Then slice them and bake them till they are dried. Mash them in a stone mortar and make them into powder. Blend them with refined honey and make them into pills as large as a tung nut. Take fifty pills in the morning and at noon every day.


The recipe for the Wolfthorn Decoction (gouqi jian fang枸杞煎方)


Use any amount of wolfthorn fruits and remove the pedicels. Wash them with clean water and take them out of the water and drain them. use one double-layer cloth bag and place the wolfthorn fruits in it. Pestle [the bag] on a clean chopping block. Then take the natural juice (ziranzhi自然汁) and let it settle down for one night. Then remove the dregs and boil it in a piece of stoneware with slow fire till it becomes a decoction. Then take it out and contain it in porcelain. Take half spoon of it with warm liquor every time. It brightens eyes and prevents one’s looking old (zhuyan駐顏). It strengthens the vital qi (zhuang yuanqi壯元氣) and moisturizes the skin. If one takes it for a long time, it is very beneficial. If it is warm when one makes it, the pressed juice do not need to be preserved overnight. This decoction will not spoil in two or three years. If one takes the decoction long after it was made, it does no harm to boil it again [before taking it].


[Again, a rare recipe for something actually practical.]


The recipe for the [Curing-]Ten-Thousand-Disease Solomon’s-seal Pill(wanbing huangjing wan fang萬病黃精丸方)


Use ten jin of Solomon’s- seal (huangjing黃精) ([the author’s note:] clean them. Steam them till they can be easily mashed), three jin of white honey, three jin of lilyturf ([author’s note:] remove the hearts and steam them till they can be easily mashed).

用黃精十斤凈,洗蒸令爛熟 白蜜三斤 天門冬三斤,去心蒸令爛熟


As for the above three ingredients, blend them till they are even. Place [the mixture] in a stone mortar and pestle it for ten thousand times.  [Hopefully intended as a hyperbolic number!] Then divide it into four portions. Pestle each portion for another ten thousand times. When they are thoroughly mashed, take them out and make them into pills as large as a tung nut. Take thirty pills with warm liquor every time. Take it three times every day. One does not have to take it at specific times. It helps achieve longevity and nourishes the qi. It cures ten thousand kinds of diseases.  One can expect to obtain the position of a transcendent.


The recipe for the Anti-Aging Seven-Essence Powder (quelao qijing san fang卻老七精散方)


Use three liang of Tuckahoe, which is the essence of heaven. Use two liang of Rehmannia glutinosa (dihuanghua地黃花), which is the essence of earth, and mistletoe (sangjisheng桑寄生)[173], which is the essence of wood, respectively. Use one liang three fen of chrysanthemum, which is the essence of moon. Use one liang three fen of bamboo fruits(zhushi竹實)[174], which is the essence of the Sun, Kochia scoparia seeds (difuzi地膚子)[175], which is the essence of the stars, and plantain seeds(Plantago sp., cheqianzi車前子)[176], which is the essence of the thunder, respectively.

用茯苓,天之精三兩 地黃花,地之精 桑寄生,木之精各二兩 菊花,月之精一兩三分 竹實,日之精 地膚子,星之精 車前子,雷之精各一兩三分


As for the above seven ingredients, they are correspondent with the Sun, the Moon, and stars above the sky. If one wants to make this medicine, he should pick a thriving or supportive date in the four seasons(sishi wangxiang ri四時旺相日)[177], fast for nine days, burn incense in a quiet room, and make the medicinal powder by mashing and sifting. Every time, take three one-cun-square spoon of it with well water that is freshly taken in the morning.He should face the Sun when he takes the medicine. Take one dose on a yang date and two doses on a yin date. After forty nine days, it will solidify the essence and help the person achieve longevity. It will cure one hundred kinds of diseases. It will improve eyesight and hearing. It is very effective. The Rehmannia should be picked in the fourth month. Bamboo fruits are found in the bamboo forests in Lantian.


The Removing-the-Three-Corpses and Killing-One-Hundred-Worms and Beautifying and Improving-Eyesight-and-Hearing arsenic sulphide Pill (qu sanshi mie baichong mei yanse ming ermu wan去三尸滅百蟲美顏色明耳目雄黃丸)


Use one liang of arsenic sulphide ([author’s note:] use transparent ones in shape of cockscomb that is not mixed with other rocks. Mash and sift them) and rosin (songxiang松香) ([the author’s note:] pick the transparent, clean, and pure white rosin. Boil it in water for once or twice. Use what is floating [on the water] as the previous method mentions).

用雄黃透明如雞冠,不雜石,搗羅一兩  松香採明凈純白者,水中煮一二炊,將浮起者取用,如前法


Blend above two ingredients till they are even. Pestle them and make them into pills as large as a bullet. Take one pill with liquor every morning. After ten days, the Three Corpses and the One Hundred Worms will be excreted from the lower part of the body. The purple and black complexion (qise氣色) on the face will be eliminated, too. After one takes it for one month, one hundred kinds of diseases will be cured. He should keep pure and clean. Otherwise, [anything that is not pure or clean] will harm the efficacy of the pill.


Mr. Gao’s Theory on the Harms of the Sex Drugs (Gaozi lun fangzhong yaowu zhi hai高子論房中藥物之害)

Mr. Gao[178] says, “ever since Bijue比覺’s theory of the Mud-and-Water [medicine] (nishui zhi shuo泥水之說) became popular, the art of the bedchamber (fangzhong zhi shu房中之術) is rampant. Therefore, the medical stones/medicines (yaoshi藥石) start to poison human beings. [I.e., people are having too much sex and then depending too much on dangerous aphrodisiacs.] How can the harms be entirely enumerated? A human being receives the essence/sperms and blood (jingxue精血) from his parents. If [the essence/sperms and blood] are thick, his life is strong. Thus he will have enough to spend even if he has many desires. If [the essence/sperms and blood] are thin [depleted], his life is weak. Thus he will be inefficient even if he has few desires. There are strong persons dying because of having too much sex, while there is not a single weak person achieving longevity because he has excessive sex. Drinking, eating, and sex are major desires of a human being. He should neither quit them nor have too many of them. If he has too many of them and is not content with them, he will be tired and cannot bear them anymore. Then he will seek medical stones to strengthen his body in order to satisfy his desires. Therefore, the magicians and sorcerers (fangren shushi方人術士) are able to meet his interests and show off their techniques. They make hot and poisonous medicines and claim that [the medicines] come from mysterious recipes from oversea. For the ears, there is the Ear-Pearl Pill(erzhudan耳珠丹). For the nose, there is the Enhancing-the-Desire Incense (zhuqingxiang助情香). For the mouth, there is the lignaloes Mixture (chenxianghe沉香合). For grasping in the hand, there is the Violet-Gold Seal(zijinqian紫金鈐). For sealing the navel, there are the Protecting-the-Nature Cream (baozhen gao保真膏), the One-Sphere-of-Gold [Pill](yiwanjin一丸金), the Steaming-the-Navel Cake (zhengqibing蒸臍餅), and the Fire-Dragon Talisman (huolongfu火龍符) . For strengthening the waist, there are the Spider Cream(zhizhugao蜘蛛膏) and the Massaging-the-Waist Cream (moyaogao摩腰膏).  For inserting the penis (han yu gui含於龜), there is the Nourishing-the-Nature One-Pill Cinnabar (xiantian yili dan先天一粒丹). For applying on the penis, there are the Three-Li powder (sanlisan三厘散) and the Rejuvenating-in-Seven-Days Recipe (qiri yixin fang七日一新方). For tying the penis, there are the Mr. Lü’s Cord (lügongtao呂公縧), the Sulphur Band (liuhuanggu硫磺箍), the Centipede Tie (wugongdai蜈蚣帶), the Precious Tie (baodai寶帶), the [Feeling]-the-Wonderful-Night-Too-Short [Medicine](liangxiaoduan良宵短), and the Fragrant Silk Kerchief (xiangluopa香羅帕). For covering the lower abdomen, there are the Downwind Flag (shunfengqi順風旗), the Jade-Toad (yuchan 玉蟾), and the Dragon-and-Tiger Coat (longhuyi龍虎衣). For rubbing the penis, there are the Long-Penis Recipe (changjingfang長莖方) and the Gold-in-the-Hand (zhangzhongjin掌中金). For inserting in the vulva (yinhu陰戶), there are the Lifting-the-Quilt Fragrance (jiebeixiang揭被香), the Warm-Stove Powder (luanlusan暖爐散), the Narrow-Vulva Cream (zhaoyingao窄陰膏), and the Every-Night-Is-Licentious (yeyechun夜夜春). For inserting anally, there is the Kingkong Wedge (jingangxie金剛楔). These are applied on the skin and ignite the fire in the kidney by using the qi (yi qi gan shen jia xiang huo以氣感腎家相火) . Then the person can erect for a while and [the medicines] can enhance his desire and support him to enjoy the sex. If he does not cease to use them, the poison will turn into a Waist ulcer (yaoju腰疽) if it flows and turn into a Excretion carbuncle/ulcer(bianyong便癰) if it gathers. It will cause the glans penis (guishou龜首) and the anus to rot.  [All these conditions sound suspiciously like syphilis, but they might also follow from too many medicines containing heavy metals and the like.] Although the harm is as rampant as roaring flame, the person can still extricate himself. If one uses only one or two [of those medicines], they are useful and not all of them are [as ferocious/harmful] as tigers and wolves (hulang虎狼). For internal medicines (fushi zhi yao服食之藥), there are many of them, such as the Peach-Headstream Secret-Treasure Cinnabar (taoyuan mibao dan桃源秘寶丹), the Male-Dog Pill (xionggoudan雄狗丸), the Sealing-the-Sperms Talisman (bijingfu閉精符), and so on. The toxicity in those medicines harms people. Nine out of ten persons will die after taking them.  They cannot be saved.  And [the medicines] frequently cause serious calamities and diseases, making the intestines fester and the skin chap. These are faults that happened to or were made by people in the past. How could one not know them? [As to the libertine,] his desire is stronger than his knowledge and he [is like someone who] would like to step on a knifepoint. Seen from those persons that eat greasy and delicious food and drink good liquor, nourish their lives every meal, even they cannot reverse the passing of months and days. They cannot avoid becoming thin [eventually]. Neither are they able to make the essence and spirit complete. However, [those magicians and sorcerers claim that] a small amount of medicinal pills and powder can make an impotent person erect immediately and allow the tired person to be potent. How wonderful are their effects!”

[This is an amazing insight into the sexual life of late Ming!  One recalls, vividly, that Gao was writing about the same time that the author of the Jin Ping Mei was immortalizing many of the practices above.]



[Those medicines have some effects because they] rely upon toxic heat (redu熱毒) in them. For example, gecko (gejie蛤蚧)[179], sea horse (haima海馬), dog kidney (goushen狗腎), earthworm (dilong地龍), musk bag of musk-deer (sheqi麝臍), spirifer (shiyan石燕)[180], (woliu倭硫), actinolite (yangqi陽起), honeycomb (fengfang蜂房), ants or ant eggs (yizi蟻子), and so on. This is like that one boils water by blaze. The blaze warms up the water just as the kidney is warmed up at the moment and thus the person is able to erect. How could those medicines be the transcendents’ cinnabars and elixirs, which have miraculous effects so fast? How could people who nourish the life not fear, and stop having the idea of improving [the potency] ? A guest may say, “someone named XYZ uses some medicine. He achieves longevity. How could you be so starchy about all this?” I say, “this is really true. However, two or three out of ten persons using the medicines for external use would survive, while there is not a single person out of ten or one hundred persons survive after he takes the oral medicines. As for the oral medicines and medicines for external use, how could there not be any person who has real miraculous power? How could one obtain his miraculous teaching? Bijue’s theory is a side door beside the Great Way. It uses the yin and yang wonderfully. Thus he belongs to the Righteous School (zhengmai正脈) . His theory is not used to achieve licentious pleasure. The activity of a human body is related to the Ren and Du Pulses (Ren Du ermai任督二脈). The Du pulse is the father of yang, while the Ren pulse is the mother of yin. [The acupuncture points of](weilü尾閭) and (jiaji夾脊) are the gates of the Du pulse, while [the acupuncture points of]the Middle Stomach (zhongwan中脘)[181] and (danzhong膻中)[182] are the holes of the Ren pulse. The Ren qi gathers in the sea of qi, while the Du qi gathers in the brain (niwan泥丸)[183]. Yin and yang rise up and fall down. When the person inhales, [yin and yang] are rising up from the navel. When he exhales, [yin and yang] are falling down to the brain.[184] The vital qi (xingqi行氣) meets and converges. When [the vital qi] moves to the anal, the qi converges if the person makes [the anal] contract tightly (jinti緊提).when [the vital qi] moves to the Earth Gate (dihu地戶)[185], the qi meets if he closes [the Earth Gate] tightly. As the Genuine Qi (zhenqi真氣) descends, the Heavenly Qi (tianqi天氣) comes in and meets with the Earthly Root (digen地根). It stops there since it gets the earth (detu ze zhi得土則止). As the Genuine Qi ascends, the Grain Qi (guqi谷氣)[186] comes out and meets with the Heavenly Root (tiangen天根)[187]. It rests there since it meets with the earth. This is the most important key of yin and yang. Its principle is the most apparent as well as most secret. This is so called that the nature and the life stay together (xing yu ming xiangshou性與命相守), while the spirit and the qi depend on each other (shen yu qi xiangyi神與氣相依). Therefore, it is said in the Classic, ‘the spirit controls the qi and the qi keeps the body (qi liu xing氣留形). One needs no other medicines to achieve longevity. If one acts like this morning and night, he will naturally have plenty of essence (jingman精滿) and the Gu Gods exist (gushen cun谷神存)[188]’. At the important moment of life and death, one should understand that exploring the extremes of this wonderful state (qiong cimiaojing窮此妙境) is the greatest medicine for me to take care of my life(wu sheng booming dayao吾生保命大藥). If one seeks the miracles of the nature from metals and stones—[medicines] like tigers and wolves, how many mistakes he is making? I am deeply sighing for those who die while not knowing the harms [of the metal and stone medicines]!”



The Thesis on What is Bad for Drinking and Eating(yinshi dang zhi suo shun lun飲食當知所損論)

Mr. Gao says, “Drinking and eating can nourish the life.But the greed for eating without any restriction could benefit people as well as harm people. Especially for those who eat what is not nourishing the life and just want to taste special food and satisfy his mouth, the hidden damage is usually not trivial. I mean one serving of vegetable, one serving of fish, one serving of meat, and one serving of rice are rich for a scholarly official. However, they are not enough for a feast with lovely songs, liquor, musical instruments, and silver mats. If one prepares food that fill the Five Tripods (wuding五鼎)[189] and displays the Eight Precious Dishes (bazhen八珍), they are sumptuous even for what the Emperor’s kitchen serves. Why will someone still collect strange food from far away in order to satisfy his mouth and stomach? I think that both the Qiongsu liquor (qiongsu瓊蘇)[190] contained in a jade cup and ordinary liquor contained in an earthenware jar can make a person drunk. Both chicken claws and bear paws (jizhi xiong雞跖熊蹯) and brown rice and wild vegetables (lifan lizheng糲飯藜蒸) [i.e. the greatest delicacies and the plainest food] can feed a person. If one can be drunk and fed up by either liquor and food, why we discriminate [food] by luxury and thrift? How could one person not know that good fortune should be cherished? Nonetheless, it is said in the Treatise on the Principle of Things (Wulilun物理論)that, ‘if the Grain Qi is more thriving than the Vital/Original Qi (yuanqi元氣), the person will be fat. But he will not achieve longevity.’The techniques of nourishing the life require the Grain Qi to be little. Thus the person will not have diseases. It is required such as this for the Grain Qi. For the delicious food with five flavors, aren’t they harmful to the Five Internal Organs? I conclude that birds and beasts which eat grains are good for human beings. They are the normal food in the world. As for those precious food coming from far away and the wild animals from remote valleys, I am afraid what they eat have a lot of toxicity. Even though sometimes people advocate precious food, whether those foods are good or bad for the internal organs of a man is unknown. How precious would it be to satisfy the mouth and feed up the intestines? Therefore, the sage from the West asks us to stop killing and eat vegetables. Is he really pursuing a different/vicious Dao? When the person does not kill, his nature is lenient and has good will (shannian善念). [If he] eats vegetables, his heart is pure and his stomach and intestines are thick. [If he] is neither angry nor greedy, he will not be unlike this. Therefore, aren’t Confucius’ praises of coarse clothes and rough food (eyi eshi惡衣惡食) and his saying one should not seek to be full when eating (shi quqie bao食無求飽) the same Dao? I record the maxims from every kinds of scriptures and feel that they knew how to restrict drinking and eating and thus they achieved longevity.”



It is said in the Internal Classic Neijing內經 that, “If the person is cautious when making the five flavors, his bones will be rectified and his tendons will be soft (guzheng jinrou骨正筋柔). His qi and blood will flow fluently. His skin will be tight. He will have the life bestowed by Heaven for ever. Too much sour food will harm the spleen. The muscles will crumple up and the lips will peel. Too much salty food will harm the heart. The blood will congeal and the color [of the skin] will change. Too much sweet will harm the kidney. The bones will be sick and the teeth will be rotten. Too much bitter food will harm the lung. The skin will be dry and the hair will be shed. Too much spicy food will harm the liver. The tendons will contract and the nails will be dry.”When eating, one should first eat hot food, then warm food, and then cold food. After he eats the hot and warm food, if there is no cold food, he should drink one two mouth of cold water. It is very good. If one can keep this in mind for ever, this would be the key method of nourishing the life. When eating, one should inhale once or twice and then eat. It will make him avoid diseases. The Perfected Person (zhenren真人) said, “hot food harms the bones. Cold food harms the internal organs. [One should not eat] hot food that burns his lips. [One should not eat] cold food that causes a toothache. If one walks slowly after a meal, he will achieve longevity. If he is full, he should not speak aloud. Drinking too much [liquid] will close the blood pulses. Being drunk will make the mind distracted. In the spring, it is good to eat spicy food. In the summer, it is good to eat sour food. In the autumn, it is good to eat bitter food. In the winter, it is good to eat salty food. These [techniques] will help the Five Internal Organs and nourish the blood qi and cure every kind of disease. Do not eat too much sour, salty, sweet, or bitter food. In the spring, do not eat liver. In the summer, do not eat heart. In the autumn, do not eat lung. In the winter, do not eat kidney. In the four seasons, do not eat spleen. If one can eat none of the Five Internal Organs, he will follow the principle of the nature even closer. Do not eat sparrow, which will turn into a jiao dragon (jiao蛟) in water. Do not kill what a snake swallows. If one lies down immediately after he is fed up, he will be sick and have a backache.



One should not drink too much liquor. If he drinks too much liquor, he will throw up and throwing up is not good. If one is drunk and lying down, he should not stay at a windy place. Neither should he use a fan. [The wind and the fan] will harm him. Do not eat white honey with plum (lizi李子). It will harm the Five Internal Organs. If one is drunk, he should not be forced to eat. Otherwise he will have superficial infection (yongju癰疽) and ulcer (chuang瘡). If one has sex (jiaojie交接) when he is drunk and full, he will have a blackish and withered face (miangan面皯) and cough if it is not serious; or he will be unlucky, his internal organs and pulses will be hurt, and his life is damaged, if it is serious.



As for food, one should keep eating warm foods, which are appropriate for ingesting and easy for digesting. [Keeping eating warm foods] are better than being used to cold foods.



As for food, the fully cooked is better than the raw. Eating less is better than eating more. If one is full and rides a horse, his heart will be stupefied (xinchi心痴). When drinking, one should not ingest the water quickly. Otherwise he will have a qi disease (qibing氣病) and water tumor (shuipi水癖). When eating cheeses, one should not eat vinegar. Or [the cheese and vinegar] will transform into bloody phlegm (xuetan血痰) and haematuria (niaoxue尿血). When the person is eating hot food and thus is sweating, he should not wash his face. It will make him lose the [healthy] color [of the skin]. And he will feel as if a worm is crawling in his face (mian ru chong xing面如蟲行). After eating hot food, one should not rinse the mouth with vinegar. Or he will have bad breath and bleeding teeth (xuechi血齒). If the sweat, breath, and tail hair of a horse is mixed with food, it will harm people, too. Do not eat chicken, rabbit, and dog meat together. If the water drops from a rotten animal hutch and has stood overnight, it is called yupu鬱脯. Eating it will harm people.



Perfected Person Sun (Sun zhenren孫真人)[191] said, “if one has been hungry for a long time, he should not eat too much. If he eats too much, he will have a tumor (pibing癖病). If one is fed up and sleeps at night without having himself covered, the person will usually die from cholera (huoluan霍亂). If one is recently recovered from an epidemic (shibing時病), he should not eat raw fish. Or he will have unstoppable diarrhea. If one eats raw fish, he should not eat cheese, or they will transform into worms. When one eats rabbit meat, he should not eat dried ginger. Or they will cause cholera. When one eats meat, he should not choose the fattest portion, which everyone would like to choose. Eating it will cause a qi stagnation (jieqi結氣) and contagious diseases (zhuli疰癘) . If one eats it, he will have it.”



It is said in Mr. Councilors’ Book (Canzanshu參贊書)that, “do not eat raw fruits with an empty stomach. It will cause the heat above the midriff (geshangre膈上熱) or it will cause bone steaming transform into  ulcers (guzheng zuo yongjie骨蒸作癰癤)[192]. If one covers food with a bronze and sweat is falling into the food, eating the food will cause ulcers on the head and in the muscles(fachuang rouju髮瘡肉疽). If one catches a cold and does not recover from it (chuhan weijie觸寒未解), he will have a spiky wind (chifeng刺風) when eating hot food. If one drinks liquor and feels hot, he should not wash face with cold water before the heat is over. Ot he will have ulcer in the face. When drinking and eating, one should not wash the hair. Or he will have a head wind (toufeng頭風). If one eats buckwheat (qiaomai蕎麥) together with pork for three meals, he will have the hot wind (refeng熱風). Dried meat should not be placed in a millet container(shumi秫米). Eating it will cause the person to choke up (biqi閉氣). If one does not move the dried meat when roasting it, moves it when taking it out of the fire, and the tendons intersect when the meat is cut open, eating this meat will cause disease (huanren患人) or cause the person to commit manslaughter (sharen殺人). A piece of ball-like meat in a sheep spleen is called yangxuanjin羊懸筋. Eating it will cause epilepsy (dianxian癲癇). For every kind of wet food (shishi濕食) that does not have a shape or shadow, eating it will cause a contagious disease (zhu疰) and abdominal distension (fuzhang腹脹). One must not drink liquor after being struck by a serious disease suddenly. It will cause the heat above the midriff.”



It is said in What Should Not Be Eaten(Shiji食忌), “When one is recently recovered from a disease, he should not eat raw jujube, lamb, and raw vegetables. They will damage the color [of his skin] and it will be so for his whole life. It usually cause death and the heat and steaming above the midriff (geshang re zheng膈上熱蒸). If one eats hot greasy cakes, he should not eat cold vinegar or liquor. Otherwise, he will lose his voice and speak as if sobbing. Eating raw green onion white with honey will harm people. One should definitely avoid it. If dried meat moves by itself when being placed in water, it will kill people. If one dries meat in the sun in order to make dried meat while the meat cannot be dried, do not eat the meat. Do not eat sheep liver with pepper. They will hurt the heart. If one eats (hugu胡菰) together with lamb, he will have fever.”



It is said in Prolonging Life (Yanminglu延命錄): “drinking nourishes yang, while eating nourishes yin. One should always eat less food, while he should not make the stomach be empty. If one is not hungry and still eats, the spleen will be tired. If one is not thirsty and still drinks, the stomach will have gaseous distention. In the winter, do not keep the stomach empty in the morning. In the summer, do not be full at night. If one is fed, he should not lie on his back. Otherwise, he will have the qi tumor in the chest and abdomen (qipi氣痞). If one sleeps right after eating, he will have one hundred kinds of diseases. For food, do not eat those with a bad color. Do not eat those with a bad smell. If the food is not well cooked, do not eat it. If it is not the meal time, do not eat it. Do not eat [the animals] that belongs to your parents’ or your zodiac sign (shengxiao生肖). Do not eat uncovered food. Do not eat preserved food that has not been tightly sealed. Do not eat abnormal food. Do not eat the Three Abominations (sanyan三厭).[193] If a fish does not have intestines or gall, do not eat it. Do not eat food of strange shapes. If a mushroom has hair or it does not have patterns on the back, do not eat it. Do not eat Chinese pepper that does not open the mouth (bikoujiao閉口椒). [The peel of a mature Chinese peppercorn splits; before that it is generally too green to eat.] Do not eat food that has tiny white or black powder on it. Do not eat roasted food that is still hot. Do not eat preserved food that emits gas. Do not eat food that is covered by a bronze vessel. Do not eat raw vinegar that is recently made. Do not eat animal brains. Do not eat the Six Kinds of Domestic Animals (liuchu六畜)[194] that die by themselves. If a kernel has two seeds, do not eat them. If a piece of meat moves by itself, do not eat it. Do not eat chicken heart. Do not eat animals that have hair on their paws and claws. Do not eat birds that have six fingers, three feet, or four short fingers on the back of the bird’s legs(ju距). Do not eat eggs that have a mark like character ‘八’. For every kind of living beings/raw food (shengwu生物), what should not be eaten in certain month (yueling dang ji月令當忌), and what is harmful to the Five Internal Organs, one should prepare the Edible Herbs (Shijian bencao食鑒本草) on his desk. Then he can look up everyday food in this book and should not think it trivial. Drinking liquor and eating meat is called the Stupid Grease (chizhi痴脂), who is sorrowful, mad, and not persistent (youkuang wuheng憂狂無恒).  Those who eat good medicines (liangyao良藥) and the five grains are satisfied and pleasant (chongyue充悅), who are the Middle shi (zhongshi中士). They would worry about the diseased and the suffered. Those eating qi and maintaining the spirit and gods are called the Upper shi (shangshi上士). They will live as long as Heaven.”

[Long lists of food prohibitions, mixing practical and magical lore, are a stock feature of Chinese medical-nutrition books. Many of the above tips are shared with the Yinshan Zhengyao.]




Mr. Gao says, “if one knows what should not be eaten, there are eighteen kinds of good ways to achieve longevity:



Vegetarian food and soup, happily eaten, can bring longevity.



Following time and following a proper course, and not having vile ideas, can bring longevity.



Not being obsessed by slaughtering, or making oneself an opponent to living things, can bring longevity.



Finding it unbearable to cook or cut up the living can bring longevity.



If one feels the suffering when hearing the sounds [of slaughtering],or one feels the pain when seeing the killing, one can achieve longevity.



For birds and animals, do not seek them far away, and you can achieve longevity.



Do not eat the farm cattle, do not eat the Three Righteous (sanyi三義), and you can achieve longevity.([Author’s note:] the Three Righteous are the wild goose, dog, and mullet.)



Do not eat raw meat frequently, do not too much meat preserved overnight, and you can achieve longevity.



Do not hinder [the growth of] sprouts, disturbing the nature of Heaven, and you can achieve longevity.



Being afraid to use knife and chopping block, and hating cooking pots, can bring longevity.



[If you do not use so many] peppers and other spices with the five flavors that you poison the five sense organs, you can achieve longevity.



What a bird carries in the beak and what mice steal, do not eat, and you can achieve longevity.



Do not eat [animals] killed by others, do not eat [animals] killed at home, and you can elongate your years.



Do not eat when hearing [an animal] being killed, do not eat when seeing [an animal] being killed, and you can achieve longevity.



Do not pursue food, by setting up crafty snares, and you can achieve longevity.



Do not punish the cook for ruining the taste, and you can achieve longevity.


[The previous directions have been Buddhist morality, but this one is a solid Chinese secular injunction.]


For every bowl of congee and every plate of vegetables, by cherishing thoughts of their origins, one can achieve longevity.




If you cannot bear to waste even a bit or grain, you can achieve longevity.



靈秘丹藥箋  上卷






[1] An office from the Han dynasty, taking charge of food in the palace.

[2] Ear, eye, mouth, nose, and tongue.

[3] The author meant Sun Simiao.

[4] It is because the spleen belongs to the earth and the earth is yellow. It is also because the spleem assumes the nourishing role of mother or grandmother.

[5] The upper cinnabar field (shangdantian上丹田).

[6] The original meaning of li is that water cannot flow freely. It is used to refer natural disaster or illness.

[7] Zang includes heart, liver, spleen, lung, and kidney. Fu includes stomach, gallbladder, triple burners, bladder, large intestine, and small intestine.

[8] A stringed instrument.

[9] The formal way to write it should be 香葇. It is also called xiangru香薷.


香薷, 一年生或多年生芳香草本植物。茎和叶可以提取芳香油。全草入药。 宋  赵叔向 《肯綮录·香薷》:“藥有所謂香薷者,薷字不見于《篇韻》,獨《本艸》音柔,今人多不識此字,北人呼爲香茸,南人呼香蕕,其實皆音譌耳。” 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·草三·香薷》:“香薷有野生,有家蒔。中州人三月種之,呼爲香菜,以充蔬品。”

[10] Or baitiao白鰷.

[11] 車螯, 蛤的一种。璀璨如玉,有斑点。肉可食。肉壳皆入药。自古即为海味珍品.

[12] 一种油炸的面食。 北魏  贾思勰 《齐民要术·饼法》:“環餅,一名‘寒具’;截餅,一名‘蝎子’。皆須以蜜調水溲麪。若無蜜,煮棗取汁。牛羊脂膏亦得;用牛羊乳亦好--令餅美脆。”明  李时珍 《本草纲目·穀部四·寒具》:“ 林洪 《清供》云:寒具,捻頭也。以糯粉和麪,麻油煎成,以糖食之。可留月餘,宜禁煙用。觀此,則寒具即今饊子也。以糯粉和麪入少鹽,牽索紐捻成環釧之形,油煎食之。”

A kind of fried pastry. Before frying, add honey water, jujube juice, cow and sheep fat, or cow and sheep milk, to the flour.

[13] This is a metaphor. The image of hanju is like a flattened gold bracelet.  There is a double-entendre for lovesickness here.

[14] It is said in Buddhist scripture that tiansutuo is the food served in heaven or the ancient India. 古 印度 酪制食品名。《法苑珠林》卷一一二:“諸天有以珠器而飲酒者,受用酥酡之食,色觸香味,皆悉具足。” 宋  林洪 《山家清供·玉糁羹》:“ 東坡 一夕與 子由 飲,酣甚,槌蘆菔爛煮,不用他料,只研白米爲糝。食之,忽放箸撫几曰:‘若非 天竺 酥酡,人間決無此味。’”Unknown in China.

[15] The collected works composed by Wenzhongzi, or Wang Tong, Sui Dynasty.

[16] Huang Tingjian.

[17] Also called chicken-head; Euryale sp.

[18] It is also called wujincao烏金草.

[19] Here I follow the translation provided in the book, in which binzha is bin and zha, or pinang and crab apple. But there is a kind of plant called binzi槟子, a kind of apple, which is red and turns purple when ripe, small, sour and acerb. 槟子树,一种苹果树。果实红色,熟后转紫,个小,味酸甜带涩

[20] It is also called chilu池鷺  and luci鸬鹚.

[21] It is zhuyu茱萸.

[22] Or wujing芜菁.

[23] Nowadays Southern Sichuan, Northern Yunnan and Guizhou.

[24] in Zhejiang.

[25] Dragon-well might be wrong.

[26] Said to be a ginger-like plant, spicy.  We cannot trace it; presumably a type of cardamom, possibly fresh large cardamom.

[27] A kind of medicine made from gallnuts and tea.

[28] A cream made by cooking liquorice with honey.

[29] Slipperiness refers to the intestines. When the intestines are slippery, they cannot absorb nutrition in the food and the food will slide out.

[30] This should be a book title. Brief.

[31] 多年生草本植物。叶椭圆形,开白色小花。块茎可入药,为利尿剂。Chinese editor’s note.  We can’t trace the plant.

[32] It is a kind of weakness in yin. According to Chao Yuanfang, the root of guzheng is located in the kidney. The patient’s body is cold in the morning, while hot at night. 骨蒸, 中医学病症名。为阴虚劳瘵的一种症状。 隋  巢元方 《诸病源候论·虚劳病诸候下》:“夫蒸病有五,一曰骨蒸,其根在腎,旦起體凉,日晚即熱。”

[33] Xiayuan is located under the navel. It is said in Yunji qiqian, composed in the Song, that there are three cinnabar fields in the human body, which are the upper yuan, midlle yuan, and lower yuan…the lower yuan cinnabar field is the sea of qi, which is also called the gate of the essence.


[34] 药草名。多年生草本植物,羽状复叶,叶片狭长,开白色小花。根供药用,有镇痛、祛痰等作用。《新唐书·方技传·许胤宗》:“即以黄耆、防風煑湯數十斛,置牀下,氣如霧,熏薄之,是夕語。” 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·草二·防风》:“銅芸、茴草、屏風、蕳根、百枝、白蜚。防者,禦也。其功療風最要,故名。屏風者,防風隱語也

[35] It is also written as huangqi黄芪. 多年草本植物,奇数羽状复叶,小叶卵形,花黄色,果为荚果,其根入药.

[36] Bake new bamboo stalks on fire and there will be clean juice trickling down from inside. This liquid is zhuli.

[37] It is also called maimendong麦门冬, maidong麦冬, or tianmendong天门冬. 一种多年生草本植物,叶条形,丛生,初夏开紫色小花,总状花序,果实裂开露出种子,块根略呈纺锤形,可入药. 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·草五·麦门冬》:“虋冬, 秦 名羊韭。俗作門冬,便于字也。”

[38] 荩草 [hispid arthraxon]。一种一年生草本植物(Arthraxon hispidus),茎很细,花灰绿色或带紫色,茎和叶可做黄色染料,纤维可做造纸原料。[The plant is an annual herb, usable for dye or fibre as well as medicine.]

[39] 旧俗农历十二月廿五日煮赤豆粥,全家计口而食,称“口數粥”或“口數”。 宋  范成大 《腊月村田乐府十首》序:“二十五日煮赤豆作糜,暮夜闔家同饗,云能辟瘟氣,雖遠出未歸者亦留貯口分,至襁褓小兒及僮僕皆預,故名口數粥。”按,一说云:廿四日作糖豆粥,谓之“口數”

[40] ,亦作鮆 [long-tailed anchory]。体狭而扁,头小,口大,脊鳍短,臀鳍甚长,生活在近海,春季上溯于江河而产卵。太湖中亦有产者,全体银白色,亦名“刀鱼”、“鲚刀鱼”


[42] The editor notes that this might be wrong because fish cannot be eaten together with catnip. Also the recipe did not mention how to deal with the fish afterwards.  [The catnip might be necessary as a preservative.  The fish is obviously put in the scale stock—the scales have a jelling agent in them—and then the dish cooled.]

[43] 蛤蜊科的双壳类软体动物。壳形卵圆,长寸余,壳色淡褐,稍有轮纹,内白色,缘边淡紫色,栖浅海沙中,肉可吃

[44] 鲱科鱼,体侧扁,长70厘米,银白色,分布于中国、朝鲜、菲律宾沿海,是一种名贵食用鱼

[45] When lotus seeds are withered in the autumn and become as hard as stone, they are called stone lotus seeds, or shilianzi.

[46] The text does not mention five qian of what. Since it does not mention salt at all, we suspect it means salt.

[47] Maihuang is a kind of cake made from Aspergillus fungus (qumei曲霉) and its substrate (usually wheat, bran, and soybean). It is used for brewing liquor or making sauce. In Bencao gangmu, Li Shizhen explains that huangyi is also called maihuang, which is made by blending rice and wheat flour and steaming them till they turn yellowish. That is how it gets its name.

麥黄, 用曲霉和它的培养基(多为麦子、麸皮、大豆的混合物)制成的块状物,用来酿酒或制酱。 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·穀四·黄蒸》:“黄衣,麥黄。此乃以米、麥粉和罨,待其薰蒸成黄,故有諸名。”

[48] Moxiang means ground eaglewood, sandalwood, and so on.

末香, 指捣成细末状的沉香、檀香等。 明  沈榜 《宛署杂记·经费下》:“末香一斤,價二分五厘。”

[49] Sentence raised in our edition.

[50] This is a couplet.

[51] Sheri is a festival to make sacrifices for the earth gods. Usually, it is the fifth day (using the ten heavenly branches to count days) after the days Spring Begins or Autumn Begins.

[52] We cannot find what sanhecai means here. Cai means vegetables or food. Sanhe has three meanings. But none of them seems to explain our case. First it means tuning a stringed instrument three times. Second, it means three kinds of offerings. Third, it was a word used in the Yuan and Ming: Feeding domestic animals was called sanhe. Sanhe means feeding three times.  Literally, the word means “three harmony vegetables,” and one suspects from the recipe that the name here simply refers to harmonizing the three liquids used.

三和1.三次调弦演奏。 北周  庾信 《周祀圜丘歌》之三:“六變鼓鐘,三和琴瑟。”2.指三种祭品。 北周  庾信 《周祀五帝歌》之六:“三和實俎,百味浮蘭。”3. 元  明 俗语,喂牲口谓之撒和,三和谓喂料三次。 明  朱有燉 《香囊怨》第二折:“便驢騾也與他槽頭細草添三和。”

[53] It is unclear what this recipe refers to.

[54] Since no garlic was mentioned in this recipe at all, I suspect that garlic/suan was a typo for sour/suan酸.

[55] I.e., unboiled water

[56] Made from baked bran (chaofupi炒麩皮) and soybeans [as in above recipe].

[57] According to the Chinese editor’s note, shixiang is a mixture of aniseeds, fennels, ginger, and vinegar.

[58] She,社. People made sacrifices for the Earth God twice a year, in spring and autumn respectively.

[59] According to the editor’s note, shixiang is a mixture of aniseeds, fennels, ginger, and vinegar.

[60] 芎藭, 植物名。多年生草本,叶似芹,秋开白花,有香气。或谓嫩苗未结根时名曰蘼芜,既结根后乃名芎藭。根茎皆可入药。以产于 四川 者为佳,故又名川芎。

[61] It is made from baked bran (chaofupi炒麩皮) and soybeans; see above.

[62] The date or when the vegetables are contained?

[63] According to the editor’s note, shixiang is a mixture of aniseeds, fennels, ginger, and vinegar.

[64] Wang Pan王磐, zi Xilou, a Gaoyou native in the Ming.

[65] Perennial aquatic herb. The leaves are round and float on water. There is sticky liquid on the stalks and the back of the leaves. The flower is dark red. The tender leaves can be used to cook soup.


[66] Geng means a kind of food that has thick juice or is pasty, usually being boiled or steamed.

[67] Ji means one sort of food that is composed of minced vegetables or meat and blended with vinegar and soybean sauce. 用醋、酱拌和,切成碎末的菜或肉。

[68] 桑菌,即桑耳。木耳的一种。 宋  黄庭坚 《上萧家峡》诗:“趁虚人集春蔬好,桑菌竹萌煙蕨芽。”一说为桑椹。[A Song poet wrote about the mulberry ear-fungus.]

柳菌,木耳的一种, 生于柳树上的木耳。 唐  韩愈 《独钓》诗之二:“雨多添柳耳,水長減蒲芽。” 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·菜三·木耳》:“柳耳,主治補胃理氣。”


[69] 馬藍頭,亦作“ 馬藍 ”。亦作“ 馬蘭頭 ”。亦作“ 馬攔頭 ”。

野菜名。即马兰。也称鸡儿肠。 清  顾张思 《土风录》卷四:“有馬藍頭可食。按《爾雅·釋草》:‘葴,馬藍。’ 郭璞 注:‘今大葉冬藍也。’俗以摘取莖葉故謂之頭。” 清  袁枚 《随园诗话补遗》卷四:“ 汪研香 司馬攝 上海縣 篆,臨去,同官餞别江滸。村童以馬攔頭獻。某守備賦詩云:‘欲識村童攀戀意,村童争獻馬攔頭。’馬攔頭者,野菜名。京师所謂‘十家香’也。用之贈行篇,便爾有情。” 章炳麟 《新方言·释植物》:“﹝馬藍﹞今人摘食其芽,謂之馬藍頭。”

[70] 3.指菜花。 晋  张翰 《杂诗》之一:“青條若總翠,黄華如散金。” 唐  司空图 《独望》诗:“緑樹連村暗,黄花入麥稀。” 清  袁枚 《随园诗话》卷十五:“ 張翰 詩:‘黄花若散金’,菜花也。通首皆言春景。 宋真宗 出此題,舉子誤以爲菊,乃被放黜。”4.指金针菜。 老舍 《四世同堂》十五:“又关了城?我还忘了买黄花和木耳,非买去不可呢。”

[71] Qiu means baked wheat or rice flour, which is used as dry provisions.

[72] Chinese editor’s note: it is the fruit growing from the wildrice or “barbarian rice” stem before the black-powder fungus influences it.  [I.e., apparently, the mushroom-like beginning of a fungal infection is what is used here.  That would make this Zizania, still eaten when fungus infection makes the stem thick and succulent.]

[73] the ash-juice is made as below: burn plants into ashes, soak the ashes in water, let the ashes settle down, and the clear liquid is ash-juice.

[74] Pulu has two meanings: one is Typha angustifolia (cattail, pucao 蒲草) and bulrush (luwei芦苇); the other is puqie蒲且,which we cannot identify at present.  Presumably the cattail is meant, being common and edible.

[75] The text uses zaohe枣核, jujube kernel shape.

[76] It is very confusing here. The author assumes the audience knows what he omits.  And he may not have known the process well himself.

[77] 导气引体。古医家、道家的养生术。实为呼吸和躯体运动相结合的体育疗法。近年出土的 西汉 帛画有治疾的《导引图》。《素问·异法方宜论》:“其民食雜而不勞,故其病多痿厥寒熱,其治宜導引按蹻。” 唐  慧琳 《一切经音义》卷十八:“凡人自摩自揑,申縮手足,除勞去煩,名爲導引。若使别人握搦身體,或摩或揑,即名按摩也。”

[78] The liquid should be made to flow in a small stream, like one coming out from the mouth of a tea pot, and with strength.

[79] Should it be saqima? 薩齊瑪,糕点名。满语。今写作“萨其马”。 清  富察敦崇 《燕京岁时记·萨齐玛》:“薩齊瑪乃 滿洲 餑餑,以冰糖、奶油合白麪爲之。” Saqima is a Manchu word, and this Manchu—ultimately Near Eastern—sweet was and is popular in the north.  In a later variant, it is made into puffy noodle-like strands, pressed and cut into cubes.  Charles Perry informs ENA that it is made by cutting dough into tiny bits, frying these, and binding them with honey or syrup.  He sees no relationship between “shanshima” and “saqima”—the latter is a noun from the verb “sachimbi,” “to chop.”  Charles Perry, email of Feb. 4, 2015.

[80] White maltose is a kind of sugar made by cooking rice or other grainswith wheat sprouts or rice sprouts with slow fire.白餳,用米或杂粮加麦芽或谷芽熬成的一种糖。 北魏  贾思勰 《齐民要术·饧餔》:“煮白餳法:用白芽散糵佳;其成餅者,則不中用。用不渝釜,渝則餳黑。”

[81] 大酒1.醇酒。常与“肥肉”并举,谓酒席丰盛。 2. 宋 代称冬腊酿蒸,候夏而出者为“大酒”。

[82] It should be 芋艿.

[83] A kind of tool used to weed in the field.

[84] When persimmon is dried, there is white sugary material like frost congealed on its surface. This is called shishuang, or persimmon frost.

[85] Baiyaojian is a kind of medicine. It is a grey and bitter liquid. It is also called xianyao, or Immortal’s medicine.

百藥煎,中药物。褐色味苦的液体,作收敛剂用。又名仙药。 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·虫一·五倍子附百药煎》:“百藥煎,功與五倍子不異,但經釀造,其體輕虚,其性浮收,且味帶餘甘。治上焦心肺、咳嗽、痰飲、熱渴諸病,含噙尤爲相宜。”

[86] Chicken is not mentioned or used in this recipe.  However, Sumei Yi remembers a pastry like this in Guangjou that does have chicken in it.

[87] Or blend it with sweet rice powder, whose amount is one third of the chestnuts?

[88] Fazhi means law and regulations, or formulations.

[89]Jiangfan is one kind of alum. It is made from the greenish alum (qingfan). It is reddish and is a lucid crystal. It is found in Shanxi and Anhui.

【絳礬】明矾之一种。由靑矾煅成,呈赤色,为透明结晶体。产于 山西 、 安徽 等地。可用于粉刷涂料及油漆。 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·石三·绿矾》:“緑礬、 晉 地、 河 内、 西安 、 沙州 皆出之,狀如焰消。其中揀出深青瑩浄者,即爲青礬。煅過變赤,則爲絳礬。入圬墁及漆匠家多用之。”

[90] Jinzhou is in Shanxi.

[91] Zhengjia is one kind of illness that the patient has a hard tumor in the stomach. If the hard tumor does not move and the aching place is fixed, it is called zheng. If the hard tumor forms and disappears and the aching place is not fixed, it is called jia.

【癥瘕】腹中结块的病。坚硬不移动,痛有定处为“癥”;聚散无常,痛无定处为“瘕”。 晋  葛洪 《抱朴子·用刑》:“夫癥瘕不除,而不修 越人 之術者,難圖 老  彭 之壽也。” 明  刘基 《听蛙》诗:“烏鳶逐響蛇聽音,寧顧入腹生癥瘕。” 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·果二·山楂》:“﹝實﹞,化飲食,消肉積癥瘕。”《医宗金鉴·妇科心法要诀·症瘕积聚痞瘀血血蛊总括》:“癥積不動有定處,瘕聚推移無定形。”注:“癥者,徵也,言有形可徵也;瘕者,假也,言假物成形也。”

Xuan  has three meanings. 1. Xuan is one kind of illness. The patient has a hard tumor in the stomach.

  1. xuan means one kind of illness, in which the lymph gland in the groin is swollen.
  2. Xuan is also written as眩, which means dizziness in head.

痃1.中医学病症名。指腹中癖块。《医宗金鉴·妇科心法要诀·带下门》:“臍旁左右一筋疼,突起如弦痃證名。”注:“妇人臍之兩旁,有筋突起疼痛,大者如臂,小者如指,狀類弓弦者,名曰痃。”2.横痃。腹股沟淋巴结肿大的一种病,也叫便毒。3.用同“ 眩 ”。头晕。《太平广记》卷四八引 唐  李复言 《续玄怪录·李绅》:“﹝ 李紳 ﹞少時與二友同止 華陰 西山舍。一夕,林叟有賽神者來邀,適有頭痃之疾,不往。”

Pi is one kind of illness, the hard tumor in the area confined by the ribs.

癖.中医指两胁间的积块。《灵枢经·水胀》:“寒氣客于腸外,與衛氣相搏,氣不得榮,因有所繫,癖而内著,惡氣乃起。” 隋  巢元方 《诸病源候论·癖病诸候·癖食不消》:“此由飲水積聚,聚於膀胱,遇冷熱相搏,因而作癖。” 唐  王焘 《外台秘要·疗癖方》:“三焦痞隔,則腸胃不能宣行,因飲水漿,便令停止不散,聚而成癖。癖者,謂僻側於兩脅之間,有時而痛是也。”

[92] Poxiao is a kind of medicine. In Bencao gangmu, Li Shizhen explains that, since it dissolves in water and it can dissolve many things, it is called “disappear” (xiao). It is found in alkaline land and its shape is like powdered salt. Skins such as cow skins and horse skins should be tanned with it. So it is commonly called salt xiao or skin xiao. Boil it and contain it in a basin. Then it will be congealed under the liquid. The rough and plain is called plain xiao. Those having awns are called awn xiao. Those in shape of teeth are called horse-teeth xiao.

【朴消】亦作“ 朴硝 ”。药名。 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·金石五·朴消》:“此物(皮消)見水即消,又能消化諸物,故謂之消。生於鹽鹵之地,狀似末鹽,凡牛馬諸皮須此治熟,故今俗有鹽消、皮消之稱。煎煉入盆,凝結在下,粗朴者爲朴消,在上有芒者爲芒消,有牙者爲馬牙消。”消,今多作“硝”。此物用于硝皮革,医药上用作泻药或利尿药。通称“皮硝”。

[93] This is weird. This explanation for fuju 㕮咀 is provided by the Chinese editor.  We cannot find the term  in dictionaries.

[94]Gaoben, a kind of fragrant grass. It is a perennial herb. It has pinnate leaves. it blossoms in the summer and the flowers are white. The fruits has sharp edges. The root is purple and can be used for medical purposes.

Gaoben is similar to ligusticum; or it is also called chuanxiong when it is found in Sichuan).

In Huainanzi, it is said that, the root is like liguisticum or conioselinum “compared to gaoben, …they are similar.” [In other words, it is some sort of Apiaceous root.]


The editor explains that gaoben is also called xixiong西芎or fuxiong抚芎. But I can find neither of them in the dictionaries.

[95] gejie蛤蚧 is also rendered as蛤解. It is a kind of reptile. It is like wall lizard (bihu壁虎) but larger. It has purple and grey spots on its back. Its stomach is grey and white with pink spots. It lives in rocks, tree holes, or on the wall. It captures insects and small birds. When it is dried, it can be used as a medicine. It has the function of strengthening. It cures weakness and tiredness /phthisis (xulao虚劳), coughing, asthma. It is also called larger wall lizard (dabihu大壁虎).

【蛤蚧】亦作“ 蛤解 ”。爬行动物。形似壁虎而大。背部紫灰色,有红色斑点;尾部暗灰色,有七条环带斑纹;腹部灰白色,散有粉红色斑点。栖于山岩间、树洞内或墙壁上,捕食昆虫、小鸟等。干燥体入药,有强壮作用,主治虚劳咳嗽、气喘等症。也称大壁虎。《方言》第八:“ 桂林 之中守宫大者而能鳴,謂之蛤解。” 郭璞 注:“似蛇醫而短身,有鱗采, 江 東人呼爲蛤蚧。” 唐  刘恂 《岭表录异》卷下:“蛤蚧,首如蝦蟇,背有細鱗如蠶子,土黄色,身短尾長,多巢於樹中。 端州 古牆内有巢于廳署城樓間者,暮則鳴,自呼蛤蚧……里人採之,鬻于市爲藥,能治肺疾。醫人云:藥力在尾,不具者無功。” 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·鳞一·蛤蚧》﹝集解﹞引 李珣 曰:“生 廣南 水中,夜即居於榕樹上,雌雄相隨,投一獲二。” 清  吴炽昌 《客窗闲话初集·双缢庙》:“遽爾雙璧同組,立絞鴛鴦之頸;循環合體,牢牽蛤蚧之身。”

[96] Should qingpijiu be a typo? Should it be qingyanjiu?

[97]Hai’rcha is a kind of medicine tea. It is also called wudieni乌爹泥 or wuleini乌垒泥. It can reduce the fever in the upper midriff (qing shangge re清上膈热). It dissolves the phlegm and promote the production of saliva. It terminates bleeding and removes rheumatism/wind-damp (qushi去湿). It promotes the growth of muscles and kills pains. It cures all kinds of pyocutaneous diseases (chuangyang疮疡). An author from the Ming mentioned that hai’rcha is one kind of medicine commonly used by doctors. Because it is commonly used to cure children’s sores and tumefaction (chuang疮), it is called children’s tea.

【孩兒茶】药茶名。又名乌爹泥、乌垒泥。能清上膈热,化痰生津,止血去湿,生肌定痛,疗一切疮疡。明  谢肇淛 《五杂俎·物部三》:“藥中有孩兒茶,醫者盡用之……俗因治小兒諸瘡,故名孩兒茶也。”

Sprout tea (yacha芽茶) means the most tender tea leaves or sprouts.

[98] Although I cannot find any definition for piannao片腦, I suspect that it is borneol camphor (bingpian冰片), which is also called bingnao冰腦. Besides, there is longnao龙脑 (also called瑞腦) , which is similar to bingpian.

【冰腦】中药名,即冰片。 宋  周密 《齐东野语·经验方》:“以之(熊膽)治目幛翳,極驗。每以少許浄水略調開,盡去筋膜塵土,入冰臘一二片,或淚癢,則加生薑粉些少,時以銀筯點之,絶奇。”


[99] Hezi is also called helile诃梨勒. It grows in India, Burma, South China. Its fruits can be used as a medicine.

【訶子】即诃梨勒。植物名。常绿乔木。产 印度 、 缅甸 以及我国的南部,果实可入药。

[100] Qiushi, or Prepared Salt, is a kind of cinnabar. Li Shizhen mentioned that, according to Huainanzi, Prepared Salt is white and hard. At Li Shizhen’s time, people used philtrum (renzhongbai人中白) to make a kind of cinnabar, which was also white and called qiushi because it came from what was left from the qi of essence. When it is refined, it was called Autumn Ice (qiubing秋冰), because it looked like salt obtained from sea water. Some alchemists also made fake qiushi by baking in an oven. People should be careful about this.

【秋石】丹药名。 唐  白居易 《思旧》诗:“ 微之 鍊秋石,未老身溘然。” 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·人·秋石》:“ 淮南子 丹成,號曰秋石,言其色白質堅也。近人以人中白煉成,白質,亦名秋石,言其亦出于精氣之餘也。再加升打,其精致者謂之秋冰,此蓋倣海水煎鹽之義,方士亦以鹽入爐火煅成。僞者宜辨之。”

renzhongbai人中白 is kind of medicine. It is also called renliaobai 人尿白or liaobaijian尿白碱. It is a solid stuff obtained after human urine is naturally settled and congealed. It reduces fever and detoxicates. It reduces blood stasis and terminates bleeding. In the past, people usually used the grey and white deposit in a urinal to make it.

【人中白】中药名。又称人尿白、尿白碱。为人尿自然沉结的固体物。清热解毒,祛瘀止血。旧时多用尿具内的灰白色沉淀物。《唐本草》作“溺白垽”。 宋  洪迈 《夷坚志再补·人中白》:“人中白者,漩盆内積起白垢也,亦秋石之類。” 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·人部·溺白垽》:“人中白。滓淀爲垽,此乃人溺澄下白垽也。”

[101] bichengqie毕澄茄 is also called chengqie澄茄. It is a kind of Chinese medicine. Li Shizhen mentioned that, it grows in countries oversea. It is called “tender pepper” (nen hujiao嫩胡椒).

【澄茄】中药名。即毕澄茄。 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·果四·毕澄茄》﹝集解﹞引 顾微 曰:“澄茄生諸海國,乃嫩胡椒也。”

[102] Area around Beijing.

[103] Wumei烏梅 is a kind of mei that has been smoked. It is blackish or brown. It can be used as a medicine. In Qimin yaoshu, Jia Sixie mentioned that pick the plums when they are green. Put them in a bamboo basket and smoke them on the stove or hearth till dried. Then they can be used. [Wu mei are still common but are now made by pickling.]

【烏梅】经过熏制的梅子,黑褐色,可入药。北魏  贾思勰 《齐民要术·种梅杏》:“作烏梅法:亦以梅子核初成時摘取,籠盛,於突上薰之令乾,即成矣。”参阅 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·果一·梅》。

[104] Naozi is also called longnao龍腦/龍瑙. It is a kind of spice. When it is oxygenated by nitric acid, it turns into camphor. It can be used for cardiac or freshener.

【龍腦】亦作“ 龍瑙 ”。即龙脑香。用硝酸氧化时,变化为樟脑。医药上用做强心剂和清凉剂。

[105] I think that this is a place name, though I do not know where it is.

[106]  I cannot find any definition for fencao粉草. Seen from this material, it is a kind of liquorice. Starchy liquorice?

[107] fushi服食 means taking cinnabars, particularly for Daoist practitioners.

[108] The author.

[109] 【雄黄】矿物名。也称鸡冠石。橘黄色,有光泽。可制造烟火、染料等。中医用作解毒杀虫药。

Xionghuang is a kind of mineral. It is also called jiguanshi鸡冠石. It is orange and shiny. It can be used to make fireworks and dyes. In Chinese medicine, it can be used to detoxify and repel snakes.

[110] The editor’s note: the root of tiankui can be used for medical purposes. It is also called tiankuizi天葵子. The root has alkaloid生物碱, coumarins香豆精类, hydroxybenzene ingredients酚性成分. It reduces fever, detoxifies, subside a swelling, and be diuretic. It is also called qiannianlaoshushi千年老鼠屎,jinhaozishi金耗子屎, tianquzi天去子, sanxuezhu散血珠.

[111] The editor’s note: didan is a kind of Meloidae芫青科insect. It should be caught in the summer or autumn. Boil it and dry it in the sun before using it for medical purposes. It can detoxify and has the function of bruise trimming. When external use, it also cures bad tumefactions, rhinopolypus鼻息肉. It can also be used as an internal medicine and it can cure scrofula (luoli瘰癧). It is also called yuanqing蚖青, qinghong青虹, qingmao青蟊, and dulong杜龙.

【瘰癧】病名。即淋巴腺结核。俗称疬子颈,多发生在颈部,有时也发生在腋窝部。《灵枢经·寒热》:“ 黄帝 問于 岐伯 曰:‘寒熱瘰癧在於頸腋者,皆何氣使生?’ 岐伯 曰:‘此皆鼠瘻寒熱之毒氣也,留於脈而不去者也。’”《医宗金鉴·外科心法要诀·瘰疬》“小瘰大癧三陽經,項前頸後側旁生,痰濕氣筋名雖異,總由恚忿鬱熱成”注:“此証小者爲瘰,大者爲癧……若連綿如貫珠者,即爲瘰癧。”

Lingshujing: the Yellow Emperor asked Qibo, “which qi causes the cold and scrofula on the neck and under the armpit?” Qibo answered, “these are poisonous qi of the Mouse Disease*. When they stay in the pulse and do not go away, [they will cause a scrofula.]”

*the Mouse Disease is scrofula. Contemporaries thought that it could be cured by eating raccoon dogs狸. Since raccoon dogs eat mice, the disease is called Mouse Disease. 汉  王充 《论衡·福虚》:“狸之性食鼠,人有鼠病,吞狸自愈。物類相勝,方藥相使也。”

Yizongjinjian: “small luo 瘰and large li癧 are caused from the Three Yang Pulses (sanyangjing三陽經)*. They grow in front of and behind the neck and on the side. It is caused by different reasons, such as phlegmatic hygrosis/phlegm-damp (tanshi痰濕) and qijin氣筋. No matter what the reason is, it is fundamentally caused by vexation, irritation, and heat accumulation/heat retention (huifen yure恚忿鬱熱).” Note by the author: “the small disease is called luo and the large disease is called li…if it is continuous and like a string of pearls, it is called luoli.”

*Sanyang is taiyang太阳, shaoyang少阳, and yangming阳明.

[112] Wuchang or the “impermanent” ghost is supposed to take a person’s soul to the nether world after he died.

[113] Liuzhu is also used to refer to producing cinnabar.

【流珠】炼出丹丸。 晋  葛洪 《神仙传·刘安》:“一人能煎泥成金,凝鉛爲銀,水鍊入石,飛騰流珠。” 北周  庾信 《谢赵王赉米启》:“非丹竈而流珠,異 荆臺 而炊玉。”


Baicaoshuang means the blackish ashes in the stove and chimney. Li Shizhen said, “[baicaoshuang] is the blackish ashes in the stove and chimney. Since it is light and thin, it is called ‘frost’.”

【百草霜】灶额及烟炉中的墨烟。 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·土·百草霜》:“此乃竈額及煙爐中墨烟也。其質輕細,故謂之霜。”

[115] I cannot find any description of this Yangcheng pot. From what is said after it, it is a kind of container that can contain water above and set on fire below.

[116] Fengbi, numbness caused by the wind, or migratory arthralgia, is a kind of disease caused by the wind and coldness and damp. Its symptoms include aches and numbness in joints. Lingshujing: “if the symptom can be seen, it is called fengbing, or the wind disease. If the symptom cannot been seen, it is called bibing, or numb disease. If the patient has symptoms seen and unseen, the disease is called fengbibing, or wind-and-numbness disease.” The symptoms also include being unable to speak, unable to move legs or arms.

【風痹】亦作“ 風痺 ”。中医学指因风寒湿侵袭而引起的肢节疼痛或麻木的病症。《灵枢经·寿夭刚柔》:“病在陽者命曰風病,在陰者命曰痺病,陰陽俱病,命曰風痺病。”《宋书·隐逸传·周续之》:“ 續之 素患風痹,不復堪講,乃移病 鍾山 。” 宋  苏辙 《记病》诗:“侵尋作風痺,兩足幾蹣跚。” 清  赵翼 《将至台庄忽两臂顿患风痺》诗:“陸程正擬上征鞍,忽中風痺兩手攣。”

[117] Qingchengshan is the famous mountain associated with Daoism and located in Sichuan.

[118] I suspect that “day” is a typo and it should be rendered “month” here.

[119] Xixian is a kind of medical herb. It is an annual herb. The whole plant can be used. It cures the rheumatism (wind and damp风湿), strengthens tendons and bones. Li Shizhen mentioned that, “in Chu, people call pig as xi and call grasses smelling spicy as xian. This herb smells like a pig and tastes as stinging as a xian grass. Therefore ,it is called xixian.”

【豨薟】药草名。一年生草本植物。中医以全草入药,有祛风湿、强筋骨等作用。 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·草四·豨薟》:“韻書: 楚 人呼豬爲豨,呼草之氣味辛毒爲薟。此草氣臭如豬而味薟螫,故謂之豨薟。”

[120] Fengqi is a kind of disease. It was mentioned in the Record of the Historian, the Northern History, and Yuandianzhang.

【風氣】病名。《史记·扁鹊仓公列传》:“所以知 齊王 太后病者,臣 意 診其脈,切其太陰之口,溼然風氣也。”《北史·阳元景传》:“﹝ 陽元景 ﹞後以風氣彌留,不堪近侍,出除 青州  高陽 内史,卒於郡。”《元典章·刑部十六·违枉》:“令人邀請 肥鄉縣 復檢官吏捏合屍狀,定驗作因風氣病身死。”

[121] I suspect that Chui is a typo for Guai. Zhang Guaiya张乖崖 is an official administrating Sichuan in the Northern Song.

[122] The best cinnabar is produced in Chenzhou (now Yuanling沅陵, Hunan). So it is also called Chensha.

[123] In Daoism, Sanshi are three gods residing in human body. They are also be called sanshishen三尸神. They would periodically report the errors and wrongs done by the person to the heavenly god. In the Tang biji Youyang zazu: “the three corpses have three audiences every day. The upper corpse is called qinggu, who attacks the eyes; the middle corpse is called baigu, who attacks the internal organs; the lower corpse is called xuegu, who attacks the stomach.”

【三尸】道家称在人体内作祟的神有三,叫“三尸”或“三尸神”,每于庚申日向天帝呈奏人的过恶。唐  段成式 《酉阳杂俎·玉格》:“三尸一日三朝:上尸 青姑 ,伐人眼;中尸 白姑 ,伐人五臟;下尸血姑,伐人胃命。”

[124] jiuchong is used to refer to every kind of corpse worms having bad impacts on human body. jiu, means nine internal organs. In the Jin, Ge Hong mentioned that the Three Corpses and Nine Worms make destroys. In the Song Daoist book, Yunji qiqian, it is said that: “a human being is born with the Three Corpses and Nine Worms. When a man is born, his body has lodged in his mother’s matrix and absorbed five grains and the essence qi. Therefore, he has corpses and worms in his stomach. they are the great harm towards human beings…in a human body, there are many kinds of Three corpses and Nine Worms.”

【九蟲】道教语。泛指在人身中作祟的种种尸虫。九,九脏。 晋  葛洪 《抱朴子·金丹》:“三尸九蟲,皆即消壞。”《云笈七籤》卷八三:“人身並有三尸九蟲。人之生也,皆寄形於父母胞胎五穀精氣,是以人腹中盡有尸蟲,爲人之大害……身中三尸九蟲種類群多。”

[125] Liujia is the name of a god, who is under the order of the heavenly god. Daoist priests can request them to repel ghosts or protect by sending talismans. In the Song History, it is mentioned that, “liujia is the emissary of heaven.  He makes wind and hail. He orders ghosts and spirits.”


[126] Cangshu is perennial herb. In the autumn it blossoms with white or pink flowers. The young sprouts are edible. The root is thick and can be used as a medicine. Li Shizhen mentioned that, “cangshu is also called shanji山薊, which can be found everywhere in the mountains…its root is like old ginger root, greenish and blackish. The pulp is white with cream.”

【蒼术】多年生草本植物,秋天开白色或淡红色的花,嫩苗可以吃,根肥大,可入药。 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·草一·术》:“蒼术,山薊也,處處山中有之……根如老薑之狀,蒼黑色,肉白有油膏。”

[127] I do not know what it is. Probably river water that flows for one thousand li?

[128]Yuanzhi is perennial herb. The stalk is thin. It has alternate leaves in line shape. It has racemes of greenish and white flowers. It has egg-like capsule. The root can be used as a medicine. It can calm the nerves (lit. “calm the spirit [within]”; anshen安神) and remove the phlegm. It is also called xiaocao小草. Li Shizhen mentioned that, “taking this herb can enhance the wisdom and strengthen the mind (yizhi qiangzhi益智强志). So it is called yuanzhi, or make the mind go further.”

【遠志】多年生草本植物。茎细,叶子互生,线形,总状花序,花绿白色,蒴果卵圆形。根入药,有安神、化痰的功效。又名小草。 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·草一·远志》:“此草服之能益智强志,故有遠志之稱。”

[129] Wulao has two meanings: one, when a person uses his eyes too much, or lies, sits, stands, or walks for too long, he will be overwhelmed and sick. The illnesses caused by these reasons are called wulao. In Suwen素问, it is said that, “using eyes too much harms the blood, lying for too long harms the qi, sitting for too long harms the flesh, standing for too long harms the bones, and walking for too long harms the tendons. These are harms done by five kinds of strains/laboriousness.” Two, wulao means the strain caused by the mind (zhilao志劳), by thinking (silao思劳), by the heart (xinlao心劳), by sorrow (youlao忧劳), and by tiredness (pilao疲勞). This explanation comes from Yunji qiqian云笈七籤.

【五勞】1.中医学名词。指久视、久卧、久坐、久立、久行五种过劳致病因素。《素问·宣明五气篇》:“久視傷血,久卧傷氣,久坐傷肉,久立傷骨,久行傷筋,是謂五勞所傷。” 2.中医学名词。指志劳、思劳、心劳、忧劳和疲劳。《云笈七籤》卷三二:“《明医论》云:疾之所起自生五勞……五勞者,一曰志勞,二曰思勞,三曰心勞,四曰憂勞,五曰疲勞。”

Qishang has three meanings. Two of them come from the same book, Zhubing Yuanhou lun诸病源候论, composed by Chao Yuanfang巢元方 in the Sui. One, being too full harms the spleen, being too angry harms the liver, lifting overly heavy objects and sitting on a wet floor harms the kidney, drinking when extremely cold harms the lung, worrying and missing people harms the heart, wind and rain and heat and cold harm the body (xing形), being too angry or scared without restraint harms the mind (zhi志). Two, qishang could also mean seven kinds of diseases related to the reproductive system: coldness in private parts (yinhan陰寒), impotence/withered yin (yinwei陰萎), strangury or urinary spasm (liji裏急), semen drizzling (jinglianlian精連連), semen sparse, and private parts wet (jingshao yinxiashi精少陰下濕), semen clear (jingqing精清), frequent urination and impotence ( xiaobian kushu小便苦數, linshi buji臨事不濟). Jinguiyaolue金匮要略provides a third explanation: “the harm caused by eating, by worries, by drinking, by residence, by hunger, by labor, and by the qi in pulses and blood.”

【七傷】中医学名词。 隋  巢元方 《诸病源候论》以大饱伤脾,大怒气逆伤肝,强力举重、久坐湿地伤肾,形寒饮冷伤肺,忧愁思虑伤心,风雨寒暑伤形,大怒恐惧不节伤志为七伤。同书又指生殖系的七种疾病:“七傷者,一曰陰寒,二曰陰萎,三曰裏急,四曰精連連,五曰精少陰下濕,六曰精清,七曰小便苦數、臨事不濟。” 喻嘉言 则以《金匮要略》之食伤、忧伤、饮伤、房屋伤、饥伤、劳伤、经络荣卫气伤为七伤。

[130] Fengji could be three kinds of diseases: one, paralysis (fengbi风痹); two, mental diseases (fengbing疯病); three, leprosy (mafengbing麻风病).

【風疾】1.指风痹、半身不遂等症。《後汉书·袁安传》:“ 封觀 者,有志節,當舉孝廉,以兄名位未顯,恥先受之,遂稱風疾,喑不能言。” 唐  韩愈 《顺宗实录一》:“上自二十年九月得風疾,因不能言,使四面求醫藥。” 元  关汉卿 《单刀会》第二折:“若有 關公 ,貧道風疾舉發,去不的!”

2.疯病。神经错乱、精神失常。 汉  应劭 《风俗通·过誉·司空颍川韩稜》:“位過招殃,靈督其舋,風疾恍忽,有加無瘳。” 明  冯梦龙 《古今谭概·儇弄·王中父》:“ 王介 ,字 中父 ,性輕率,每語言無倫,人謂其有風疾。”


[131] Previously it is rendered as 羊城礶. It can be a boiler and a stove at the same time.

[132] The Yellow Path is the path that the Sun goes in the sky when the observer is on the Earth. It is a hypothetic circle on the celestial sphere, which is the projection of the Earth’s orbit on the celestial sphere. The Yellow Path and the Red Path/equator (chidao赤道) intersect at the vernal equinox (chunfendian春分点) and the autumnal equinox (qiufendian秋分点) in the north hemisphere.

【黄道】地球一年绕太阳转一周,我们从地球上看成太阳一年在天空中移动一圈,太阳这样移动的路线叫做黄道。它是天球上假设的一个大圆圈,即地球轨道在天球上的投影。黄道和天球赤道相交于北半球的春分点和秋分点。《汉书·天文志》:“日有中道,月有九行。中道者,黄道,一曰光道。” 宋  沈括 《梦溪笔谈·象数二》:“日之所由,謂之黄道。”

The auspicious day of the Yellow Path relates to the gods. The gods of the Six Stars (liuchen六辰)—the Green Dragon (qinglong青龙), the Luminous Hall (mingtang明堂), the Golden Cabinet (jinkui金匮), the Heavenly Virtue, the Jade Hall (yutang玉堂), and the Controller of Destinies (siming司命)—are auspicious deities. When the six gods are on duty for the day, one can do anything on the day and does not have to worry about whether it is auspicious or not. This day is called the auspicious day of the Yellow Path.


[133] Qinjiao is a kind of herb. The root can be used as a medicine, which cures the rheumatism (fengshi风湿). Since the best ones grow in the area of the ancient Qin state (now Gansu and Shaanxi), it is called qinjiao. Li Shizhen mentioned that, “Qinjiao is found in Qin area. Since its roots are entangled (jiu or jiao), it is called qinjiao.”

秦艽,草名。其根可作中药,治风湿,以产于古 秦国 地区(今 甘肃省  泾川县 、 陕西省  鄜县 一带)为最佳,故名。 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·草三·秦艽》:“秦艽出 秦中 ,以根作羅紋交糾者佳,故名秦艽、秦糺。”

[134] I do not know what jingxie means.

[135] Dushi means renouncing this world and becoming a transcendent.


[136] The Academica Sinica text does not have this phrase. It appears in the Sikuquanshu text.

[137] Chishizhi is a kind of Chinese medicine. It is a kind of sand and earth having silicic acid and iron. it is pinkish. Its nature is warm. It tastes sweet and bitter. Its functions include hemostasia and antidiarrhea.

【赤石脂】中药名。砂石中硅酸类的含铁陶土,多呈粉红色。性温,味甘涩,功能止血、止泻。参阅 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·石三·五色石脂》。

[138] See the attached picture of huangniu.

[139] I cannot find mingruxiang in the dictionaries. But ming probably means transparent or bright, as in mingsha, or bright cinnabar.

[140] Siqi has two meanings. First, it means the qi of the four seasons, or the warm qi, the hot qi, the cool qi, and the cold qi. Second, it means the glad qi, the angry qi, the happy qi, and the sorrowful qi, which are correspondent to the qi of the four seasons. The famous scholar proclaiming the Correspondence Theory in the Han dynasty, Dong Zhongshu, mentioned that, “the glad qi is warm and thus is correspondent to the spring. The angry qi is pure and thus is correspondent to the autumn. The happy qi is extreme yang and thus is correspondent to the summer. The sorrowful qi is extreme yin and thus is correspondent to the winter. Both heaven and human beings have the four qi.”

【四氣】1.指春、夏、秋、冬四时的温、热、冷、寒之气。《礼记·乐记》:“奮至德之光,動四氣之和,以著萬物之理。” 孔颖达 疏:“動四氣之和,謂感動四時之氣,序之和平,使陰陽順序也。” 2. 汉 儒附会天人相应之说,以喜怒乐哀应四时为四气。 汉  董仲舒 《春秋繁露·王道通三》:“喜氣爲暖而當春,怒氣爲清而當秋,樂氣爲太陽而當夏,哀氣爲太陰而當冬。四氣者,天與人所同有也。”

[141] Rong means flourishing, having a good color, or being nourished. It is particularly used to describe the circulation of blood in Chinese medical theories.

[142] I do not know what yuancang means. It has cang, or internal organ.

[143] I do not think this makes sense, but I have checked both the Sikuquanshu version and the Academic Sinica version, the texts are the same.

[144] The academic sinica version is rendered as 沐俗至心, which cannot be explained. Now I adopt the sikuquanshu text.

[145] Huodu has four meanings. 1. The grievous toxin in certain medicine. Particularly cinnabar that has been recently made and taken out of the stove are thought to have huodu. Sometimes, people place newly made cinnabar in well water to remove the huodu.

  1. hot toxin, which incurs inflammation. Possibly this is intended here, since none of the ingredients is poisonous and there is no danger of CO or hot weather in this case.
  2. carbon monoxide poisoning caused by incomplete burning.
  3. extremely hot weather.

【火毒】1.指药物酷烈的毒性。《宋书·刘亮传》:“ 亮 在 梁州 ,忽服食修道,欲致長生。迎 武當山 道士 孫道胤 ,令合仙藥;至 益州 , 泰豫 元年藥始成,而未出火毒……﹝ 亮 ﹞取井華水服,至食鼓後,中間便絶。”《旧唐书·宪宗纪下》:“上服方士 柳泌 金丹藥,起居舍人 裴潾 上表切諫,以‘金石含酷烈之性,加燒鍊則火毒難制。若金丹已成,且令方士自服一年,觀其效用,則進御可也。’”2.即热毒,中医指导致人体外科痈疡等病症的一种因素。《宋史·刘遇传》:“﹝ 遇 ﹞晨興方對客,足有炙瘡痛,其醫謂:‘火毒未去,故痛不止。’ 遇 即解衣,取刀割瘡至骨,曰:‘火毒去矣。’”3.指烈火燃烧中因氧气稀少而产生的一氧化碳的毒性。《东周列国志》第三九回:“ 僖負覊 率家人救火,觸烟而倒,比及救起,已中火毒,不省人事。”4.形容酷热。

[146] The Academic Sinica version is jinsuijian 金髓煎. The Sikuquanshu version is 金水煎.

[147] Jiju is a disease in which the patient has a tumor in the abdomen. In Nanjing难经, it is mentioned that, “ji (what cumulates) is the yin qi. During the first outbreak, it appears in a specific location and the ache do not separate from the location…ju (what gathers) is the yang qi. During its first outbreak, it does not have any root [specific origin point]; [the ache] does not stay at one location…” Ge Hong mentioned in Baopuzi that, “when one eats, jiju forms. When one drinks, the phlegm disease forms.”

【積聚】中医指腹内结块的病症。《难经·五十五难》:“積者陰氣也,其始發有常處,其痛不離其部,上下有所終始,左右有所窮處;聚者陽氣也,其始發無根本,上下無所留止,其痛無常處謂之聚,故以是别知積聚也。”晋  葛洪 《抱朴子·极言》:“凡食過則結積聚,飲過則成痰癖。”

[148] I cannot find the term in the dictionaries.

[149] Diyu is a kind of medical herb, a kind of burnet. The root can be used. It is mildly cold. Its functions include cool the blood (liangxue凉血) and hemostasia. It cures hematochezia (bianxue便血), bloody diarrhoea (xueli血痢), gynecological diseases (daixia带下) and endometrorrhagia (xuebeng血崩). Relatives are used in the western world for similar conditions.


Daixia has two meanings. Literally, it means what is below the waist. According to Chinese medical theories, the dai pulse (daimai带脉) is like a belt circling the waist. Whatever below the dai pulse is called “daixia”. Therefore gynecological conditions and diseases are called daixia.

  1. the disease in which the vagina of the affected woman has sticky liquid. Since the colors of the liquid differ, there are white dai/leucorrhea (baidai白带), red dai (chidai赤带), red and white dai, yellow dai, green dai, black dai and five color dai. They are usually caused by infections, cervical erosion, cervicitis, or pelvic inflammation.


[150] Fangcunbi is a kind of measuring vessel. It usually is used to measure medicines. Its head is a square, one cun by each side.

[151] The best baishu白術 grows in Yuqian, Zhejiang provine.

[152] Gan Shi is a magician (fangshi方士) during the Wei (220-265).

[153] Xinshui has two meanings: 1. Water newly taken from a river or a well; 2. Water in the spring.

[154] Shangsi is a festival. During the pre-Han period, it is the si day in the first ten days of the third month. After the Han Dynasty, it is the third day of the third month. On this day, people place liquor containers in sinuous streams and let then float with the flow. They also have banquets and spring outings.

【上巳】旧时节日名。 汉 以前以农历三月上旬巳日为“上巳”; 魏  晋 以后,定为三月三日,不必取巳日。《後汉书·礼仪志上》:“是月上巳,官民皆絜於東流水上,曰洗濯祓除去宿垢疢爲大絜。”《宋书·礼志二》引《韩诗》:“ 鄭國 之俗,三月上巳,之 溱洧 兩水之上,招魂續魄。秉蘭草,拂不祥。” 唐  席元明 《三月三日宴王明府山亭》诗:“日惟上巳,時亨 有巢 。” 宋  吴自牧 《梦粱录·三月》:“三月三日上巳之辰,曲水流觴故事,起於 晉 時。 唐 朝賜宴 曲江 ,傾都褉飲踏青,亦是此意。”但也有仍取巳日者。 元  白樸 《墙头马上》第一折:“今日乃三月初八日,上巳節令, 洛陽 王孫士女,傾城翫賞。”

[155] I suspect the character ru is corrupted. It should mean one will not feel hungry or thirsty.

[156] I do not know how the word dan彈 makes sense here. I suspect it is dan蛋.

[157] Jiuqiao means the nine holes of the ears, eyes, mouth, nose, urethra, and anal.


[158] Toufeng has two meanings: 1. Headache. 2. Tumefaction on the head or loss of hair.

【頭風】1.头痛。中医学病症名。《云笈七籤》卷三二:“勿以濕髻卧,使人患頭風、眩悶、髮秃、面腫、齒痛、耳聾。”《二十年目睹之怪现状》第二七回:“只見他頭上紥了一條黑帕,説是頭風痛得厲害。” 2.指头疮、发脱之类。 金  董解元 《西厢记诸宫调》卷七:“頭風即是有,頭巾兒蔚帖。” 凌景埏 校注:“這裏指頭瘡、秃頭之類。”

[159] Shanzhui should mean the symptoms of shanqi疝氣. Shanqi is a kind of hernia in the groin. It is caused by the small intestine falls into the scrotum through the weak spot in the abdomen muscles. The symptoms are: the groin rises up and the scrotum is enlarged. The patient has sharp aches sometimes. It is also called xiaochang chuanqi小肠串气.


[160] Xuehai has four meanings in Chinese medical theories. 1. It is one of the four seas and it is the place that all the blood flows to. In Lingshujing灵枢经, it is said that, “the human being has the marrow sea (suihai) 髓海, the blood sea, the qi sea (qihai氣海), and the water and grain sea (shuigu zhi hai水穀之海). The four things are correspondent to the four seas.”


  1. it means the chong pulse (chongmai). In Suwen素问, it is said that, “when the ren pulse任脈 is open and the taichong pulse太冲脈 is thriving, the menstrual blood arrives on time and thus she can be pregnant.” Wang Bing王冰in the Tang dynasty makes a note, “the chong pulse is the blood sea and the ren pulse is in charge of the embryo. When the two pulses help each other, the person can be pregnant.”

2.中医学名词。或谓奇经脉中的冲脉。《素问·上古天真论》“任脈通,太冲脈盛,月事以時下,故有子” 唐  王冰 注:“冲爲血海,任主胞胎,二者相資,故能有子。”

It means the liver. In Suwen素问, it is said that, “when a person lies down, his blood returns to the liver.” Wang Bing王冰in the Tang dynasty makes a note, “the liver contains the blood. The heart makes the blood move. When the person moves, the blood moves in the pulses. When the person stops moving, the blood returns to the liver. Why? The liver is in charge of the blood sea.”

3.中医学名词。或谓肝脏。《素问·五藏生成论》“故人卧血歸于肝” 唐  王冰 注:“肝藏血,心行之,人動則血運于諸經,人静則血歸于肝藏。何者?肝主血海故也。”

It means an aperture (jingxue经穴). It is located in the inner side of the thigh and one cun from the pit behind the patella. In Yizongjinjian医宗金鉴, it is said that “the blood sea is located in the inner side above the patella.”


[161] Yangqishi is one kind of mineral. It is one kind of hornblende. It is green, celadon, or white. It is radiant. It is also called yangqishi羊起石. It tastes salty, mildly warm, and nonpoisonous. It can be made into a medicine. It can be used as invigorator and astringent. Li Shizhen mentioned in Bencao gangmu that, “yangqishi is found in Mt. Qizhoushan , Langye, Mt. Yunshan, and Mt. Yangqishan.”

【陽起石】矿石名。角闪石的一种。柱状或纤维状结晶,绿色、灰绿色或白色,有光泽。亦称羊起石。味咸,微温,无毒。可入药,中医用做强壮剂和收敛剂。 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·石四·阳起石》﹝集解﹞引《别录》:“陽起石生 齊州山 山谷及 琅琊 或 雲山 、 陽起山 。”

[162] Chaonao is the same as zhangnao樟脑.

[163] Anxi should mean anxixiang (Styrax spp.). The leaves are in the shape of an egg. The blossom is red. When the resin is dried, it is red-brown and half transparent. It can be made into a spice. The colophony can be made into a spice, anxixiang.

【安息香】落叶乔木,叶子卵形,开红花,产于 印度尼西亚 、 越南 等地。树脂干燥后呈红棕色半透明状,可制成香料。以其树脂为主要原料加工做成的香,也称安息香。

[164] Ii suspect that here the authors means the medicine can cause diarrhea and thus the phlegm associated with the fire factor is released.

[165] Here it means meat.

[166] Shierjingmai means the three yin pulses and three yang pulses in the hands and feet.


[167] I do not know whether shuiyunshenchu is a person or a shop.

[168] Bajiqian is a kind of evergreen shrub. It is also called sanmancao三蔓草 or budiaocao不凋草. It grows in the mountain. The leaves are like tea leaves. The root and stalk can be used as medicine. Its nature is mildly warm. It tastes spicy and sweet. Its effects include nourishing the yang of the kidney and strengthening the tendons and bones. It primarily cures the weakness in the kidney and the lassitude in loin and legs.


[169] Liugui is the tender branches of the cinnamon. See Bencaogangmu.

【柳桂】牡桂(肉桂)的嫩枝。 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·木一·牡桂》:“其最薄者爲桂枝,枝之嫩小者爲柳桂。”

[170] Fupenzi is a shrub. It has alternate palm-shaped leaves. The flower is white and the fruit is polymeric drupelets in egg shape. When it is ripe, it is red. The fruit can be used as a medicine. It is also called fupenzi. It nourishes the liver and kidney and strengthens the essence.


[171] Chen is the fifth of the twelve earthly branches. The chen hours are between 7 and 9 o’clock. The heavenly branches and earthly branches are also used to calculate the date.

[172] Jinye has two meanings. 1. Any liquid inside of human body, including blood, slaver, tears, sweats, and so on. Normally it means slaver. 2. Water or liquid.


[173] Sangjisheng is a kind of evergreen small shrub. It usually parasitizes Theaceae山茶科 and cupuliferous山毛榉科 plants. The leaves are coriaceous and in egg shape. It blossoms in the summer and autumn. The flowers are amaranth. The berry is round. There is also Loranthus yadoriki (maoye sangjisheng毛叶桑寄生), which is also called sangshang jisheng桑上寄生. Its branches, leaves, and flowers have brown hairs. The stalks and leaves can be used as a medicine, which is called guangjisheng广寄生. They can cure rheumatism and aches in the waist and on back.


[174]Zhushi has two meanings. 1. The fruits that bamboo grows. It is also called zhumi竹米. In Bencaogangmu, Li Shizhen mentioned that, “zhushi is found in Lantian. In Jiangdong, [the bamboo] blossoms but does not have fruit. The bamboo can grow fruits like wheat and they can be eaten as staple food.”

【竹實】1.竹子所结的子实,形如小麦。也称竹米。明  李时珍 《本草纲目·木四·竹实》﹝发明﹞引 陶弘景 曰:“竹實出 藍田 。 江 東乃有花而無實,頃來斑斑有實,狀如小麥,可爲飯食。”

  1. it is a kind of fungus growing on the bamboo roots. It is also called zhurou竹肉 or zhugu竹菰. In the Tang biji Youyangzazu, Duan Chengshi mentioned that, “there is zhumi in Jianghuai area. It grows on the bamboo joints. It is like a small ball and tastes like white chicken (baiji白雞).” In Bencaogangmu, Li Shizhen mentioned that, “ in Bencao本草, Chen Cangqi mentioned that, ‘zhourou is also called zhushi, growing on the branches of bitter bamboo (kuzhu苦竹). It is as large as an egg and like meat. It has strong toxicity. It should be boiled with ash liquid for twice. After boiling it, it can be eaten as normal vegetables. If it has not been fully cooked, it will thrust the throat and make the person bleed and the nails break off.’ This is similar to what Chen Cheng said about zhushi. I am afraid that they are the same. But the one growing on bitter bamboo is poisonous and it is different from zhumi. Zhugu grows on rotten bamboo roots. It is like agaric and it is red.”

2.即竹肉。亦称“ 竹菰 ”。生在朽竹根节上的菌类。唐  段成式 《酉阳杂俎·草篇》:“ 江  淮 有竹肉,生竹節上,如彈丸,味如白雞。”  明  李时珍 《本草纲目·木四·竹实》:“ 陳藏器 《本草》云:‘竹肉,一名竹實,生苦竹枝上。大如雞子,似肉臠,有大毒,須以灰汁煮二度,煉訖乃依常菜茹食,煉不熟則戟人喉出血,手爪盡脱也。’此説與 陳承 所説竹實相似,恐即一物,但苦竹上者有毒爾,與竹米之竹實不同。……此即竹菰也。生朽竹根節上。狀如木耳,紅色。”

[175]Difu is also called saozhoucai掃帚菜. It is a kind of annual herb. The stalk ramifies into several branches. The leaves are linear and lanceolate. It has small yellowgreen flowers. The stalks can be used to make a broom. The fruit is called difuzi, which is oblate and has wings. It can be used as a medicine.


[176] Cheqian is a perennial herb. It has ovate-oblong leaves. it blossoms in the summer and the flowers are pea green. The fruits are fusiform. The leaves and the seeds can be used as medicine. It is diuretic, kills cough, and cures diarrhea.


[177] Wangxiang is a constellation terminology. The Five Elements (wuxing五行) is matched to the four seasons. For each season, the Five Elements are described as thriving (wang旺), supportive(xiang相), resting (xiu休), imprisoned (qiu囚), and dead (si死). For example, in the spring, the wood is thriving, the fire is supportive, the water is resting, the metal is imprisoned, and the earth is dead. For the Eight Characters (bazi八字, which are the year, month, day, and hour of the person’s birth, recorded by the heavenly and earthly branches) of a person, if the heavenly branch of the date is correspondent to the thriving or supportive earthly branch of the month, his birth is fortunate. If the heavenly branch of the date is correspondent to the imprisoned or dead earthly branch of the month, his birth is not fortunate. The Qing scholar Zhai Hao翟灏 explained in Tongsubian通俗编, “in Lunheng論衡, it is said that ‘the spring and the summer are resting and imprisoned, while the autumn and the winter are thriving and supportive. It is not that one can make it. It is because the way of heaven is natural.’ I think that, according to the Yin-Yang philosophers, the Five Elements are thriving vicissitudinarily in the four seasons. One should act when the qi is thriving and supportive. For example, in the third month in the spring, the wood is thriving, the fire is supportive, the earth is dead, the metal is imprisoned, and the water is resting. In the third month of the summer, the fire is thriving, the earth is supportive, the metal is dead, the water is imprisoned, and the wood is resting. Therefore, it is commonly said that it will be thriving and supportive if one acts at the right time. It will be resting and imprisoned if he acts at the wrong time.”

【旺相】命理术语。星命家以五行配四季,每季中五行之盛衰以旺、相、休、囚、死表示,如春季是木旺、火相、水休、金囚、土死。凡人之八字中的日干逢旺相的月支为得时,逢囚、死的月支为失时,如日干为木,逢春为旺,逢冬为相,皆属得时。清  翟灏 《通俗编·祝诵》:“旺相……《論衡·禄命篇》:‘春夏休囚,秋冬旺相,非能爲之也,天道自然。’按,陰陽家書,五行遞旺于四時,凡動作宜乘旺相之氣,如春三月則木旺、火相、土死、金囚、水休;夏三月則火旺、土相、金死、水囚、木休。故俗語以凡得時爲旺相,失時爲休囚也。”

[178] The author.

[179] See the attached photo.

[180] Shiyan has two meanings. 1. A kind of rock looking like a sparrow. In Bencaogangmu, Li Shizhen mentioned that, “there are two kinds of shiyan. One is this, which is a kind of rock. Its shape is like a sparrow and has patterns on it. The round and larger ones are male, while the long and smaller ones are female.”

【石燕】1.似燕之石。明  李时珍 《本草纲目·石三·石燕》:“石燕有二,一種是此,乃石類也。狀類燕而有文,圓大者爲雄,長小者爲雌。”

  1. shiyan is a kind of bird like a bat. It lives in stone caves and tree pits. In Bencaogangmu, Li Shizhen mentioned that, “shiyan is like a bat. Its mouth is square. It drinks the water on the stalactites.”

2.鸟名。似蝙蝠。产于石窟树穴中。 明  李时珍 《本草纲目·禽二·石燕》﹝集解﹞引 萧炳 曰:“石燕似蝙蝠,口方,食石乳汁。”

[181] Zhongwan has two meanings. 1. The middle part of the stomach. In Nanjing难经, it is said that, “the Middle Burner is located in the middle of the stomach. It is neither up nor down.”


  1. Zhongwan is also an acupuncture point. It belongs to the Ren pulse. It is located one cun below the shangwan and four cun above the navel. It is located between the Screening-the-Heart Bone an d the navel.


[182] Danzhong has two meanings. 1. The place in the middle of the thorax and where the arcula cordis is located. In Suwen素问, it is said that, “danzhong is the office of the officials, where the happiness come from.” Wang Bing makes a note that, “danzhong is located between the two nipples. It is the sea of the qi.”

【膻中】1.中医名词。指胸腔中央心包所在处。《素问·灵兰秘典论》:“膻中者,臣使之官,喜樂出焉。” 王冰 注:“膻中者,在胸下兩乳之間,爲氣之海。”

  1. Danzhong is also an acupuncture point.


[183] Niwan is a Daoist term. It is the name of the god of the brain. In Daoism, the human body is a small cosmos. Gods reside in every part of the body. The God of the brain is Jinggen, whose alias is Niwan.

道教语。脑神的别名。道教以人体为小天地,各部分皆赋以神名,称脑神为 精根 ,字 泥丸 。

[184] Xingqi is a Daoist term. It means one set of techniques of nourishing the life, including inhaling and exhaling.


  1. xingqi also means the transportation of the vital qi (jingqi精气).


[185] I suspect it is an acupuncture point.

[186] Guqi means the stomach qi. See Suwen and Yizongjinjian.


[187] Tiangen has three meanings. 1. It is a constellation, the third one among the seven constellations in the east. It includes four stars.


  1. it means the nature.

2.自然之禀赋、根性。 means the heel.


[188] Gushen is a Daoist term. Originally gu and shen is used separately, while later they are usually used together. It is said in Laozi that, “if one gets a spirit (shen神), he will be miraculous. If he gets a valley (spirit; gu谷), he will be full.” It is also said that, “the grain and spirit do not die.” There are three different interpretations about what gushen means in Laozi.  Cf. Arthur Waley’s translation, “the Valley Spirit never dies.”


  1. gu means valley and shen means a mysterious and shapeless thing. Gushen means the Dao, which is empty, shapeless, changing, and never dying.


  1. gu means grain and thus it also has the meaning of raising and nourishing. Gushen means the god of fertility, or the Dao. Gao Heng notes, “the Dao can raise everything in heaven and earth. It is called gushen. That Gushen never dies means that gushen will exist for ever.”

(2)谷,通“ 穀 ”,义为生养。谷神谓生养之神,亦即“道”。“道能生天地養萬物,故曰谷神。不死言其長在也。”说见 高亨 《老子正诂》卷上。

  1. gu means grain and thus it has the meaning of caring. Shen means the Gods of the Five Internal Organs. Heshanggong notes, “if one can take care of the gods, he will not die. The gods mean the Gods of the Five Internal Organs. ” therefore, gushen means the techniques of taking care of one’s body.

(3)谷,通“ 穀 ”,义为保养。神,指五脏神。《老子》“谷神不死” 河上公 注:“人能養神則不死,神謂五藏之神也。”引申指导引养生之术。

[189] Wuding is the five ancient ritual vessels containing ram, pork, carved meat, fish, and dried meat respectively. See Yili.


[190] Qiongsu is a kind of ancient liquor that the transcendents drink.

[191] Sun Simiao.

[192] Guzheng is a kind of sickness in Chinese medical history. It is a syndrome in which  yin is weak and the patient is tired. In Zhubing yuanhou lun诸病源候论, Chao Yuanfang巢元方said, “there are five kinds of zheng diseases. one of them is guzheng, whose root is located in the kidney. The patient feel the body cold in the morning and feel hot in the evening.”

【骨蒸】中医学病症名。为阴虚劳瘵的一种症状。 隋  巢元方 《诸病源候论·虚劳病诸候下》:“夫蒸病有五,一曰骨蒸,其根在腎,旦起體凉,日晚即熱。”

[193] Sanyan are three kinds of animals that Daoist practitioners should not eat. They are wild goose (yan雁), dog, and mullet (wuyu乌鱼). See the photo.


[194] Liuchu are horse, cow, sheep/goat, chicken, pig, and dog.

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