The Daoist medecine that kills the Three Worms.



In addition to fasting and abstinence from cereals, the drugs to destroy the Three Worms are ancient and countless. These recipes, which have the power to destroy the Three Worms forever, are themselves made with plants but also with rice or millet beers. Beer serves here as a solvent for the vegetable principles thanks to alcohol. It should be remembered that the Asian brewing methods (amylolytic ferment), as generalised since the Han, produce more alcoholic beers (15% to 20% alcohol). The following recipe, dating from the 4th or 5th century, is ascribed to Zhou Yishan, an imaginary immortal :

« The recipe for kill (the Three Worms) uses 5 oz of aconite, 7/10 bushel-sheng of hemp seeds, 6 oz of rehmannia glutinosa, a root Xanthoxylum 7 inches long, 7 oz of smilax, 4 oz cinnamon, 5 oz of agaric inflorescence in shape of cloud: total of seven (different) drugs. Before that, we took a root of bulrush (acorus celamus) that we made boil into beer to get an essential liquor weighing a bushel and a half of infusion.

We put in it the seven drugs to macerate, we decanted (all) in a vase; but this is not yet ready. After letting soak three nights, pick them up and let them under the sun to dry. (Then) again we take the aforementioned liquor and we imbibe (the seven drugs) for three nights; and they are picked up again (from beer) and exposed to the sun (and we continue to dip them in beer and dry them alternately) until the beer is soaked up; so we constantly expose and dry them. We pound it in an iron mortar, and filter through a tight sieve to reduce it to powder. We take some white honey to mix it with the powder, and make pills. On morning, facing East, we first roll two pills as big as a pea; then we increase (every day) with one pill up to ten or more.

This diet heals the tertian fever inside the belly, really raises the breath so that the heart and chest are clear of any obstruction, coagulates the flesh and the skin, makes the body light and gives it a halo. When we took a full dose, the Worms from cereals die; when the Worms are dead, the Corpses dry out, and when they are dry, they fall themselves. This must be done several times, and do not stick to a single dose. » (Maspero 1971. jiu=beer. The word 'wine' given by the Maspero's translation has been replaced by 'beer' which better fits the true nature of the fermented beverages drank by the Daoists[1]).


Here is another recipe given by the great Taoist physician of the 7th century, Sun Simiao :

« Sumac, 2/10 bushel; rhubarb powder, 6 ounces; beer 1 tenth and a half bushel; turnip seeds powder, 3/10 bushel.

Heat up together over a low heat the four products above until pills can be made; (make pills) as big as a grain of eleococca. Take three pills before eating. After ten days the impure blood come down through the nose; at the end of thirty days, the Worms will all become withered; after fifty days, the body will be shining; after one year, one will equal on racing with a galloping horse ... » (Maspero, 371).



[1] Maspero Henri 1971, Le Taoïsme et les religions chinoises, p. 371. The subtlety of these recipes cannot be understood by translating jiu with wine. Jiu = beer = a grain-based alcohol used to fight the 3 Worms originating from a grain-based human diet. So eliminate "evil" with "evil".

18/06/2012  Christian Berger