Bao Gu ― the healing legacy and spirit

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Caroline Young, artwork and text

QFWF, © Source: The art of Caroline R. Young (2002)

Bao Gu, from the Eastern Jin dynasty (317-420), was the beautiful young daughter of Bao Qian, a revered doctor who had a vast knowledge of medicine and the techniques used for refining and making the legendary pill of immortality.

In an era when girls were taught embroidery and painting, Bao Qian took his daughter into the mountains with him to gather herbs and other medicinal plants.
He taught her everything he knew.

He instilled in her the art of healing, so much so, that she devoted her entire life to medicine and healing the sick.

When her father finally died, she naturally assumed his role as village doctor, and her reputation spread far and wide as a gifted healer.

Her mystical ability to cure the sick and save the dying earned her great respect from later generations.
She was an early pioneer of women’s rights and role model for young girls through the ages interested in studying and practicing medicine.

As an adopted child of Chinese-American expatriates living in Hong Kong, I have always been intrigued by how the Chinese culture explained the mysteries of the universe.