According to one article in New York Times, from 1930, Wu Chung-chieh, who was a professor of the Chengdu University, has discovered some Imperial Chinese government records from 1827, congratulating Li Ching-Yuen on her 100th birthday, and further documents later congratulating her on her 150th birthday in 1877.
In the 1928, one correspondent at the New York Times wrote that many of the old woman in Li’s neighborhood claimed that their grandfathers knew her when they were only little boys and that in that time she was a grown woman.
Li Ching Yuen reportedly started her herbalist career when she was 10 years old, gathering herbs in the mountain ranges and learning about their potency for longevity. For almost 40 years, she survived on a diet based on herbs like lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shou wu and gotu kola and rice wine. In 1749, when she was 71, he joined the Chinese armies as a teacher of martial arts. She was said to be a much loved figure in the community around her, being married 23 times and mothering over 200 children.
According to the tales told in his province, which were generally accepted, she had the ability to read and write as a child, and by his 10th birthday she had traveled in Kansu, Shansi, Tibet, Annam, Siam and Manchuria gathering herbs. During the first hundred years, she continued with her occupation. After that she switched to selling herbs gathered by other people. She sold lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shou wu and gotu kola along with another Chinese herbs, and she also lived off a diet of these herbs and rice wine.
– BUT, SHE WAS NOT THE ONLY ONE!
According to one of Li’s disciples, she had once encountered an even older man, who was 500 years old, who taught her Qigong exercises and dietary recommendations, which would help him in extending his lifespan, to some superhuman proportions. Apart from Qigong and a herb-rich diet, what are the other things that we can learn from this Master of Longevity?
And how about this: on her death bed, Li said famously: “I have done all that I have to do in this world”.