He only consumed herbs and rice wine: How many years did the longest-lived herbalist live?

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Lee Ching-Yen he was born in 1677 and died on May 6, 1933, which means he lived for 256 years. He was a herbalist, martial arts teacher and tactical advisor.

Ching-Yen claimed to have been born in 1736, but they still exist documented data which prove that he was born in 1677 and lived for 256 years. If his claim were also true, then he would have been 197 years old when he died, so in both cases he lived the longest human life in the history of mankind, followed by the French woman Jenny Calment who lived 122 years and 164 days.

Ching-Yen was born in the town of Ki Jiang Xian in the Sichuan province of China. In 1930, Professor Wu Chung-chie of Chengu University discovered government documents dating back to 1827 congratulating Li Ching-yen on his 150th birthday. Then he also came across documents congratulating him on his 200th birthday in 1877. His fellow villagers say that he collected herbs in the mountains from the age of ten and also learned methods and techniques for a long life.

He lived on a special diet, consuming only herbs and rice wine. This is how he survived the first 40 years of his life, and in 1749 when he was 71 he moved to Cai Xian to join the Chinese army as a martial arts teacher and tactical advisor.

Some say that he died of natural causes, others doubt it because they claim that before he died he said to them:

"I've done everything, I have nothing else to do in this world, now I'm going home"

For quite a long period of his life, Li sold herbs and forest fruits together with other Chinese herbalists, he was married 256 times in his 23 years and outlived all his wives. After his death, General Yang Sen researched his entire life and based on the research, wrote a report about him which was then published.

After his death, he wrote a report called "The True Document of a 250-Year-Old But Happy Man", where he describes him as a man with good eyesight, a quick step, two meters tall, a ruddy complexion and very long nails.

The magazine Time in 1930 he wrote a text entitled "Tortoise-Pigeon-Dog" in which he recounts the life of Li Ching-Yen including his answer to the secret of long life:

"Have a calm mind, sit like a turtle, walk merrily like a dove and sleep like a dog."

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