Asian Dandelion (Pugongying)

Asian dandelion has a bitter taste. However, the Chinese in the rural areas still like to use it to make tea, and then drink it as remedy for eye diseases, redness in the eyes, nose diseases and urination disturbances.

Chinese called this herb "Pugongying".

In ancient China, a 16-year-old daughter of a government official was suffering from mastitis with a triangular lump underneath her left breast.

She was in pain and was becoming very worried, but she dared not tell anybody about it, because deep down inside she felt very ashamed. But her disease was subsequently found out by her maid, who disclosed it to her father, pleading with him to hire a doctor.

On inquiry into his daughter's condition, the official became very angry, as he suspected that his daughter must have done something immoral to have caused it. He rushed to his daughter's room and began to strike her in the face. “How could you do such a shameful thing, you are a disgrace to your family," shouted the father. The maid insisted that his daughter had never gone out alone and could not have possibly done anything immoral. The father wouldn't listen and so the daughter ran away from home that night out of shame and desperation.

She went to the river bank and, thinking that no one would be around at that hour to see her, quickly jumped into the river in an attempt to commit suicide. However, a fisherman was fishing from a rowboat nearby with his 16-year-old daughter. When they heard the splash, the fisherman's daughter instantly jumped into the river to save her. Once they were both on board, the fisherman was surprised to see that the girl was just about the same age as his daughter.

The fisherman's daughter began to change the girl's clothes and in the process, discovered the swelling in the young lady's left breast. At that moment, she immediately understood the reason for her attempted suicide. After telling her father about it, the fisherman replied,”We will go dig some plants for her breast first thing in the morning."

The plant turned out to be a perennial herb, with white milky juice in it, yellowish flowers and straight but fleshy and thick roots. They found the plants on the roadside not far from the river. They dug out a few plants that were about 100g in weight, washed them clean and boiled them in water. Then they told the girl to drink the liquid. In the meantime, they crushed some of the plants and applied them to her breast externally.

Upon hearing of the whereabouts and the attempted suicide of their daughter, the official and his wife, feeling greatly worried and deeply regretful, rushed to see the fisherman and to take their daughter home. Their daughter, grateful and in tears, said good-bye to the fisherman and his daughter and went home with her parents, bringing a bunch of the plants with her. Before she left, the fisherman kept reminding her to continue using the herbs for her illness.

After she had recovered from her illness, she told her maid to plant the herb in their garden. So that she would always remember the fisherman, she named the plant after him without knowing his name.

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