In ancient China, renowned masters of traditional Chinese medicine cultivated ethical behavior. They either avoided material gain and wealth, or pledged their life to the service of others. They saved people’s lives and relieved their suffering. There are many folk legends about their efforts.
Aromatic orange well water
There was a famous physician called Su Dan, who lived during the benevolent rule of Emperor Wen of the Han Dynasty. He was an excellent physician, but never charged patients for treatment. Due to his virtuous character, people called him the Immortal Su.
One year, Su Dan left home to further his education. Before departing, he said to his mother:
“According to the theory of Five Movements and Six Qi, I deduced that there will be a typhoid epidemic next year. Many will suffer from severe fever and chills. Please boil an orange leaf with a liter of well water, and serve the concoction to the patients. When they’re cured, don’t accept any compensation, as I never do.”
The typhoid epidemic occurred as predicted by Su Dan. His mother followed his instructions and cured many patients. Later, more patients traveled long distances to receive the well water and orange tree-leaf medication. The remedy saved many people’s lives.
In fact, orange tree leaf is a herbal medicine that cleanses the liver and circulates qi, and it is also an expectorant. Hence, the story of Su Dan’s Orange Well Water has been passed down from generation to generation. “Aromatic Orange Well Water” or “Coiling Dragon Orange Well Water” has become the terminology for praising a practitioner of Chinese medicine who has exhibited noble ethical conduct.