Hua Tuo is the Chinese God of Medicine. He’s worshiped in China and by many overseas Chinese around the world, including Thais of Chinese origin.
The dates of his life are uncertain. He could have lived anywhere from 110CE to 265CE. His life is recorded in the books, “Records of the Three Kingdoms” and “Book of the Later Han.”
Hua Tuo is reputedly the first physician in China to use anaesthesia during surgery, by combining wine with a herbal concoction called “cannabis boil power.” He’s also known for practicing acupuncture and the Five Animals Kungfu style, based on the movements of the tiger, deer, bear, ape and crane.
One of his many great accomplishments included treating the grave wounds of legendary general, Guan Yu. Partly historical and partly mythological, the following is one of the many tales told of Hua Tuo.
During Hua Tuo’s lifetime, Cao Cao was the Chancellor of the Eastern Han Dynasty. He was so-called the “Forever Chancellor,” as no one thought he would ever give up his power, or be removed from power. (Sound familiar?)
One day, suffering from a nasty bout of headache, Cao Cao invited Hua Tuo to treat his ailment. However, while the physician was able to ease the pain, the headache never went away. To cure the headache completely, Hua Tuo recommended a head surgery. It would hurt greatly, but only once, and the Chancellor’s head will be cleared ever after.
Cao Cao was suspicious, thinking the physician might be up to no good. Political sabotage? Assassination? All were possibilities. After all, Hua Tuo once healed Guan Yu, Cao Cao’s mortal enemy. Could they be in league?
The Chancellor thus ordered the imprisonment of the physician, in which the unfortunate Hua Tuo languished until his death in 220CE.
Within the same year the physician parted from life, Cao Cao also took his last breath. But before he died, the Chancellor had one regret, his son recently passed away due to an illness. Cao Cao could only wonder, if the physician had lived, might he not have saved his son’s life.
Moral of the story?
When grave illness is upon us, act fast and listen to the doctor, before it’s too late and everyone perishes.