A Story About Yin Chen

There was a woman who suffered from severe jaundice. She knew that Dr Hua Tuo was a famous Chinese medicine doctor and went to see Dr Hua. After observing her symptoms, Dr Hua told her that there was no cure for jaundice at that time. Very disappointed, she went home.

Three months later, Dr Hua saw the same woman on the street. To Dr Hua’s surprise, that woman’s jaundice was gone and appeared to be very healthy. “Lady, may I ask you who cured your jaundice? I’d like to learn from that great physician.” “I’m so sorry Dr Hua, no doctor treated me.” The women replied.

“You must have taken some medicine. Jaundice cannot heal by itself. Can you remember anything different you did from your ordinary life?” Dr Hua further asked.

“Let me think… Oh, there was a major famine going on. Without food, I ate the grass from the hill for a month and my jaundice disappeared afterward.” The woman replied.

“That grass is the medicine! Please take me to that place!” Dr Hua was very excited.

When the woman took Dr Hua to the hill, he saw that the grass the lady had eaten was Yin Chen Hao (Artemisia Capillaries). Dr Hua harvested the Yin Chen Hao and took some back to his clinic. He was excited to know there was a cure to jaundice! To his great surprise, it did not work on his patients. Dr Hua puzzled went back to the woman and asked in great detail of when and how she ate the Yin Chen Hao and found out that she ate it in the spring. Next spring, Dr Hua harvested the Yin Chen Hao, which worked great on his jaundice patients. Later on he named the Yin Chen Hao, that he harvested in the spring, as Yin Chen, And wrote a poem, “March Yin Chen is a great medicine, April Yin Chen can only be firewood.”

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