Human beings normally have a life expectancy of around 80 to 85 years, the figure being a little higher only in some countries of the world. While the average life span of Chinese people is close to 75 years, this man from China lived for 256 years.
According to a research published in The New York Times in 1933, a Chinese Herbalist and Martial-artist named Li Ching-Yuen had lived for 256 years. Li was born in 1736 in Sichuan, China and spent his entire lifetime there. The man is known to have died on May 6, 1933, 256 years later. It is believed that he had 23 wives and more than 200 children.
Li had once shared some documents with Chinese historian Wu Chung in which the Imperial Chinese Government had congratulated him on his 150th and 200th birthday.
A passionate and popular herbalist of China, Li had started collecting herbs at a very young age. These herbs are considered to be the secret behind his long and healthy life. He even went to faraway places like Thailand in his hunt for these herbs. The herbalist also sold the herbs that he gathered. When he stopped collecting herbs himself, he still continued selling the ones that others gathered for him.
Li had a perfect memory and was very particular about his lifestyle. He never drank any hard drinks, nor did he ever smoke. He made sure to have his meals on time, go to bed early and wake up early.
His formula for longevity was: “Retain a calm heart, sit like a turtle, walk swiftly like a pigeon and sleep like a dog”.
One of his followers revealed that Li had learnt the secrets of a long life from a man who lived for 500 years. Drinking rice wine was one of these secrets. Another secret was meditation. Li would sit with his hands in his lap and eyes closed for hours at a stretch. He asserted that a peaceful mind is the key to at least a century of healthy life.