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Motherwort and Temple of Heaven

Motherwort and Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven was built in 1420. In it, motherwort used to be exclusively planted. Before the foundation of Republic of China, there are several stores nearby Temple of Heaven selling the motherwort-made healthcare cream, but late were removed out.

There was a story about Temple of Heaven. Before the construction of Temple of Temple, the place was a large farmland and several farmer families lived nearby. There was a peasant household with surname Zhang. The old house-master died for a long time and only an old lady stilled lived there. This old lady only had a daughter at the age of 17. They led a poor life. Because of missing the dead husband and worrying about lack of manpower to mange the farmland, after a long time, the old lady get sick and became more and more serious. Her girl was quite upset. She invited a lot of doctors and bought plenty of herbal medicines, but both were useless. The daughter decided to search for the effective medicine in mountains after all corns on farmland were brought back this autumn.

In her childhood, her parents told her many valuable herbs and medicine in the Valley of North Mountain and all serious diseases can be cured as long as the seekers overcame the problems on the way. Miss Zhang kept in mind eternally. She said to her mother of her decision to look for effective medicine. Her mother could not set her heart at rest and said:”you are a little girl and how can you walk such a long way?” Miss Zhang posed to relaxation and answered:”Mom, do not worry, I would be careful.” She requested the neighbor to look after her mother for her. And she departed for his venture.

Actually, Miss Zhang was quite anxious. She did not know where the north mountain was. Se thought that the north mountain certainly was in north and walking toward north was right. She walked a day and saw a mountain, and went on for three days, but she still did not arrive in North Mountain. But Miss Zhang got closer to North Mountain. Miss Zhang also met a problem that she did not know which pass accessed to mountain and she was in hesitation. Suddenly, a senior man in goatee appeared and told Miss Zhang”Miss, you are just a little girl, but why do you come here?”. Miss Zhang told him the reason and asked the old man:”Grandpa is there effective medicines in this mountain? ”. The old answered:”yes, there is”. Miss Zhang also asked:”Grandpa, do you know how to enter this mountain? ”. The old man smiled and sung a song, in which the way was told. She partially understood what he sung. She fellow the guide of the old man and arrived at a hill top. And a beautiful lake was located at the center of the hill. When Miss Zhang was in a daze, suddenly somebody called her. She turned around and saw two little lovely girls walked to her. One wore a snow-white clothes and the other wore straw-yellow clothes.

After they stopped, the girl in white-snow clothes smiled and said:”sister, why are you in a daze? This is the place called Heaven on Earth.”. Miss Zhang was amazed and asked:”Sisters, do you have effective medicine? ”. The girl in straw-yellow clothes said:”sister, we have known because the old man has told us. We have a bag of effective medicine, you take it back and boil it into the solid ointment, and serve it to your mother. You mother will be cured quickly”. The girl with snow-white clothes also said:”there is also the seed of the effective medicine in bag, and in future, the patients catch the same disease as your mother got will be easily cured”. Miss Zhang was grateful and thanked again and again. Not far Miss Zhang left; she turned around and saw the real shapes of two girls: a white parrot and a spotted deer, both of who were flying and running towards west.

It is really as effective as two girls said. After Miss Zhang’s mother ate the medicine, she cured soon. Miss Zhang and neighbors were fairly happy. Miss Zhang following the suggestion of two girls scattered the seeds of effective medicines into the soil and harvested a lot each year. The women in village caught the diseases could be cured after ate such medicine. But this herb was unnamed. The villagers said:” this kind-hearted girl brought it back for curing her mother, so we name it Motherwort”. Since then, motherwort was spread.

After a long time, Beijing became the capital, and the place where used to be planted with motherwort was the site of a newly-built building called Temple of Heaven. But the vacant area was filled with motherwort. The emperor was angry and ordered the understrappers to pull up all motherwort. A minister told this emperor:”Your majesty, it is not the wild grass but Dragon-Beard Vegetable. You are a Dragon! If clear away all, it will mean that emperor can not wear beard”. The emperor thought for a second and agreed to keep the motherwort in Temple of Heaven. From then on, the bud of motherwort has been named Dragon-Beard Vegetable or Long Xu Cai (龙须菜).






 


Writer: David from Seeraa International
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