Medicine Lady Han Cured Patients With Esophageal Cancer

Qiu Zhen

PureInsight | September 19, 2012

[] In ancient times, Chinese people used the term “zhen ye” to refer to esophageal cancer. “Zhen ye” literally means “genuine choking.” It was an incurable disease, and many renowned physicians felt helpless treating such an illness. However, during the Ming Dynasty, there was a medicine woman at large commonly known as Medicine Lady Han who was said to have cured many zhen ye patients.

According to the book of Shanxi Tongzhi (Records For Shanxi Region), Medicine Lady Han travelled all across the country practicing her medicine. Once she reached a certain county, the county’s magistrate asked Han to help cure his mother’s zhen ye. Lady Han agreed and eventually healed the mother from zhen ye. The county magistrate was moved and he decided to carve a stone to memorialize this incident.

The words on the stone read as follows: My mother suffered from zhen ye, she was not able to eat or drink for seven days, and her life was coming to an end. I heard that Medicine Lady Han could cure zhen ye. I hurriedly invited her to come over to help my mother. Lady Han arrived and immediately started boiling water with spicy peppers. She then asked my mother to keep regurgitating with the pepper water for a while. After that, Lady Han brought out a white stone-like stick; it was around 3 inches in length. One end of the stick was sharp, and there appeared some visible red lines around the sharp end. My mother was asked to suck the sharp end of the stick and the stick started to dissolve. It was actually some kind of medicine. Lady Han then pressed her fingers around my mother’s neck and at the same time took a chopstick and pried at my mother’s throat. Suddenly, my mother vomited and a piece of flesh came out of my mother’s mouth. The flesh was slithery like a snake, it even moved a little bit. Lady Han said that there were two substances that were choking my mother. One at the throat which had just been thrown up, and there was yet another one around the heart. Lady Han started repeating the procedure that she had just performed on my mother, and after a while, another piece of flesh was thrown up from my mother’s mouth. Lady Han then asked my family to prepare a meal as well as some teas for my mother. Three days later, my mother recovered and she was able to get up from the bed. I wanted to give Lady Han some silks, some coins as well as a horse for her to ride as my appreciation for what she had done to save my mother. Lady Han took the coins but refused the rest altogether. Alas, when an ancient person from Qinyue cured a certain prince’s incurable disease, the famous historian Mr. Shima marveled endlessly. Nowadays, anyone who suffers from zhen ye is destined to die from the disease. Yet, Lady Han was able to rescue my mother from the brink of collapse, and in just three days, my mother’s zhen ye was remedied. Can we compare that person from Qinyue to Lady Han? I don’t think so. Alas, Medicine Lady Han has mastered a miraculous medical skill, and yet she was not greedy in the least bit. She is a super-human being for sure!

Even though Lady Han’s medical skills have been lost, nonetheless, such incredible practices once existed in the world. From this incident, we can conclude that ancient Chinese medical practices were very well developed.

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