Chinese Alchemy

Chinese alchemy is a part of the larger tradition of Taoist body-spirit cultivation that developed from the traditional Chinese understanding of medicine and the body. According to original texts such as the Cantong qi, the body is understood as the focus of cosmological processes summarized in the five agents, or wu xing, the observation and cultivation of which leads the practitioner into greater alignment with the operation of the Tao, the great cosmological principle of everything. Therefore the traditional view in China is that alchemy focuses mainly on the purification of one's spirit and body in the hopes of gaining immortality through the practice of Qigong and/or consumption and use of various concoctions known as alchemical medicines or elixirs, each of which having different purposes.

Pao zhi (Pao chi) refers to the alchemy of processing Traditional Chinese medicines, such as honey or wine frying and roasting with toxic metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic.

According to J.C. Cooper's "Chinese Alchemy: The Taoist Quest for Immortality," Taoism had two distinct parts, the classical Tao Chia, which was mystical and stemmed primarily from Laozi and Zhuangzi, and the more popular Tao Chiao, which was the popular, magical and alchemical side of Taoism. Cooper states that a common viewpoint is that "classical Taoism was original but was too austere and rarefied for the general populace ... Tao Chiao fulfilled the day-to-day needs of the people."

Read more about Chinese AlchemyProcess and Purpose, Origins, Outer Alchemy (Waidan), Inner Alchemy (Neidan), Associated Risks, Conception of Medicine

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Alchemist - History - Chinese Alchemy
... Main article Chinese alchemy Whereas Western alchemy eventually centered on the transmutation of base metals into noble ones, Chinese alchemy had a more obvious connection to medicine ... to the Grand Elixir of Immortality sought by Chinese alchemists ... Black powder may have been an important invention of Chinese alchemists ...
Chinese Alchemy - Conception of Medicine
... Medicines can be used to heal ailments on the exterior or interior of the body, to control the ageing of the body, or even to prevent death ... The term medicine and elixir are virtually interchangeable because of the array of ailments they can influence ...