Monday, April 4, 2016

Meishan Healing Magic (梅山医药)

Meishan magic is one of Taoist schools now days still exist amongst Yao, Hmong and other tribes. Meishan priests not only expert in Taoist rituals, they have a set of very special treatments for general illnesses both using Han characters (汉字) and herbal medicines.

It is quite lengthy just to describe what type of herbs used for what type of illnesses; not to mention of those companion talismanic characters one need to learn. Just to make it a point we will just take the cure for diarrhea.

According to Meishan teaching, if one is besieged by diarrhea; a healer can first use sword mudra (剑指) to write two words: and ; each of the word should be encircled with one circle drawn clockwise. The characters should be drawn on the left palm for a man; and right for a woman.

After that the magician would take one piece of silver coin and wrap it with a piece of handkerchief. This handkerchief and silver coin are then boiled in a pot filled with water. When the water is boiled, the handkerchief is taken out; the water is given to the patient to drink and the handkerchief is used to wipe onto the palms of the patient until it becomes cold.

The above action shall stop diarrhea for now. After that, below herbs are grounded into powder form and prescribed to the patient:

Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxia (川椒), terminalia chebula Retz (诃子) and glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch (甘草).

The Zanthoxylum is for warming the internal organ, the terminalia is for stopping diarrhea while glycyrrjoza is for maintaining ‘chi’.

Though the above is just one example that magic is used in conjunction with herbs; it is actually on of typical example of Meishan healing formula. If space is allowed, then we could discuss further on other traditional healing methods which seemed to be impossible for modern medicine.

Let us not forget that those mountainous tribes have to struggle with the nature and dangers and they are far out of reach of modern medicines. It is precisely these traditional healing methods had survived the trial of time and being passed down from mouths to ears. Perhaps we should sit down and examine these healing systems before scorned at them as obsolete knowledge for one day; we might depend on them too.

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