Posted by Steven McCall

The Longevity Of Li Ching Yuen. 200+ years?

Li Ching Yuen was a seven foot tall Chinese herbalist, martial artist and tactical instructor who died in 1933 but his actual date of birth has been widely disputed.  A 1930 New York Times article stated that there were Chinese records from 1827 congratulating him on his then 150th birthday (which would make his birth year 1677).  Two years prior to this a correspondent from the same newspaper had interviewed old men from Li's neighborhood who asserted that their own grandfathers knew Li as boys who at that time was already a grown man.  Li himself claimed to be born around 1736, nearly six decades later than the Chinese government had stated.  

There are multiple documentations of his birth being as early as 1677.  This was asserted by Wu Chung-chieh- a professor at Chengdu University.  Whether it's true or not the story of Li Ching Yuen is intriguing and adds insight to the importance of herbs and breathing exercises for longevity.  According to one of Li's disciples, he once encountered a 500 year old man who taught him Qigong exercises and breathing recommendations that help extend longevity to world record levels. 

Li's advice- "Make your heart calm like water, sit like a tortoise, walk sprightly like a pigeon and sleep like a dog."  That is a famous quote from Li when asked about his secret to longevity.  He answered this to Wu Pei Fu, a warlord who took Li into his home to learn the secrets of longevity.  Li believed that inward calm and piece of mind combined with breathing techniques were the secret to longevity. 

He was a lifelong believer in the power of mushrooms.  He picked wild mushrooms and swore by strains such as red reishi. This is a major link to health that comes from Chinese folklore.  The Chinese region has relied on mushrooms such as cordyceps for thousands of years.  They claim it helps boost energy levels and can help with sexual performance (ED).  They have also been thought to fight cancer, to lower blood sugar and act as blood thinners.  A lot of claims can be backed up by modern science.  We know that these mushrooms have strong antioxidant ability and many mushrooms have heavy vitamin D content.  This modern nutritional knowledge of what he ate paired with the effects of Qigong breathing exercises gives an idea of how healthy his lifestyle was.  He also exercised daily and lived mostly in rural areas. Essentially he had an lifestyle a quantum leap cleaner than that of a person living in the modern industrialized world.