People have been searching for ways to extend their lifespans since the dawn of existence, and to our credit, we’ve made a lot of progress. In the Middle Ages, you would be lucky to live to 40, while for many people today, 90 or even 100 isn’t out of the question.
But one man not only figured out the secret to a long life, he might have been the oldest person to ever live. And when you hear his story, you’ll be totally captivated!
This is Li Ching Yuen. According to a 1930 article from The New York Times, he reportedly lived to be 256 years old…
In 1928, professor Wu-Chung Chieh of Chengdu university discovered documentation congratulating Li on his 150th birthday in 1827, and even more documents congratulating him on his 200th birthday in 1877. According to the Times article, the old men in the neighborhood claimed that Li was already a grown man when they were just children.
Li began his career as an herbalist at just ten years old, and for almost forty years, had a diet of mostly herbs, goji berries, lingzi, wild ginseng, he shoo wu, gotu kola, and rice wine. He continued this for the next 100 years of his life.
At the age of 71, in 1749, he joined the Chinese army as a martial arts instructor.
He was a beloved member of his community, and reportedly married 23 times, fathering some 200 children in the process. But supposedly, he wasn’t even the oldest man that he knew! One of his disciples claimed that Li once met a 500-year-old man that taught him Qigong exercises and a special herb-rich diet that can help people live extraordinarily long lives.
When asked about the secret to his long life, Li had this to say: “Keep a quiet heart, sit like a tortoise, walk sprightly like a pigeon, and sleep like a dog.”
Whether or not you believe the story, that certainly sounds like sage wisdom. We could all stand to take a page from this incredible man’s book!
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