Chinese Herb - Asiatic Plantain (Cheqian) & Asiatic Plantain Seed (Cheqianzi)
Asiatic Plantain is also called Cheqian (in Chinese - meaning "before cart"). Its discovery can be traced back to the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - A.D. 220). by the name of Ma-Wu.
At that time, there was a Chinese general called Ma-Wu. In One summer, the country was undergoing a severe drought and the people were suffering from famine. As if things weren't bad enough for Ma-Wu, he had been defeated on the battle-field that summer and his entire army was forced to retreat to a remote region where nobody lived. Ma-Wu's soldiers couldn't find any water to drink there, nor could they find any food to eat.
Many soldiers and horses died of starvation and the surviving soldiers and horses had become so weak that virtually all of them had been under the attack of one disease or another. There was one particular symptom that almost every sick soldier and horse seemed to have and that was presence of blood in the urine.
One of the grooms under Ma-Wu was in charge of three horses and one cart. When this particular groom, who took his duties very seriously, saw that he and his three horses all showed blood in their urine, he desperately began to look for treatment.
One day, to his delight, the groom noticed that none of his three horses showed blood in their urine. Wondering what they possibly could have done, he made it a point to watch his horses very closely over the next few days and noticed that they were eating plants that were a few inches tall and crept along the ground and had oblong leaves and light-green flowers. So, he pulled out a few plants, boiled them in water and drank the liquid himself. After a few days of consuming this drink, the groom saw that the blood in his urine had completely disappeared.
The groom was so excited that he immediately told General Ma-Wu, who issued an order to ll his soldiers to take this remedy themselves and to feed it to their horses. A few days later, none of the soldiers and their horses showed any sign of blood in their urine.
“Where did you find the plants?” the general asked the groom.
“I found them before the cart,” replied the groom.
“What a wonderful plant before the cart!” shouted the general.
And so, the plant has been called “plant-before-cart” ever since.
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