Sweet Apricot Seed (Tian Xing Ren) & Water Lily (Chicken Head Kernel)

A 60-year-old woman in the Wen Feng Commune suffered from a severe illness and was very overweight. Seeing that nothing could help her, her family started preparing her funeral.

Meanwhile, an old Chinese doctor of traditional Chinese medicine told her to grind 450g of sweet apricot and 450g of water lily into a fine powder and to take the powder regularly. No sooner had she finished all the powder, than the woman recovered from her illness; continuing to take this powder, she was free from illness thereafter. The water lily fruit looks like the head of a chicken, which is why the Chinese call it "chicken head kernel."

There are two kinds of apricot kernel: bitter apricot kernel, called kuxingren and sweet apricot kernel, called tianxingren.

Tianxingren is larger than kuxingren. Kuxingren can expel sputum, suppress coughing and lubricate the intestines and is good for coughing and asthma and abundant sputum due to the common cold, as well as for constipation. Tianxingren can lubricate the lungs, suppress coughing and make the intestines smooth; it is better for a chronic cough or a dry cough without sputum due to yin deficiency of the lungs.

In his celebrated classic, entitled One Thousand Ounces Gold Classic, published in 682, Sun Shu Mao (581-682) presented a formula for longevity called "sweet apricot mixture." You fry 5kg of sweet apricot kernel quickly over low heat until dry, grind it into powder and immerse it in rice wine. Next, you strain it and mix the liquid with 2.5kg of honey to make a 7.5kg mixture, which you boil over low heat again, until it becomes as thick as jelly. Then you put it in a container and seal it tightly. Take 20 to 35g of this liquid per dosage to recover from an illness and achieve longevity.

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