Methods of Making the Wondrous Pillow >神枕法 신묘한 베개를 만드는 법

△ English version of 『Dongui Bogam』.

『Dongui Bogam-Internal Bodily Elements(동의보감-내경편』 Ⅰ. Body(신형 身形)

Written By Jun Heo(許浚, 1539~1615), Translated by Namil Kim, Wung Seok Cha et al., Published by Ministry of Health & Welfare (Korea)

① Long time ago there lived an old man. Wudi of the Han dynasty, traveling east, met the old man weeding a field. There were several chunks of white sparkles coming from the old man’s back. Wudi (武帝) curiously asked him if he trained himself in the Tao. The old man answered: “Long time ago when I was 85 years old, I got weak and was about to die with white hair and sparse teeth. A hermit told me how to do away with grains, eat jujube and water, and how to make the wondrous pillow. 32 kinds of herbs were used in the pillow. 24 of them correspond to the 24 divisions of the year, and 8 of them pertain to poison and correspond to the eight winds. Using the pillow, I got younger, my hair turned black, teeth regrew, and I could walk 300 li a day. Now I am 180 years old. With longing for my offspring, but I could not leave the secular world, and so I started eating grains again. It has been 20 years since. However, with the help of the wondrous pillow I do not age. In Wudi (武帝)’s eyes, the old man’s face looked only 50. Neighbors all told him that the old man was 180 years old. Wudi (武帝) followed the method and made the wondrous pillow but could not do away with grains or drink only water.

② Cut an arborvitae tree in the mountain on May 5th or July 7th and make a pillow from it. The length is one ja two chon, and the height is 4 chon; empty the insides until there is space for one mal two doe. Also, make a top lid that is two pun thick from the red center of the arborvitae tree; the top must fit the pillow perfectly. Make 40 pores in the top in size of a millet in three rows, which makes 120 pores in total.

③ Prepare Cnidii Rhizoma (川芎), Angelica Gigantis Radix (當歸), Angelicae Dahuricae Radix (白芷), Magnoliae Flos (辛夷), Asari
Forbesii Herba (杜蘅), Atractylodis Rhizoma Alba (白朮), Angelicae Tenuissimae Radix (藁本), Magnoliae Sieboldii Flos (木蘭), Zanthoxyli Pericarpium (川椒), Cinnamomi Cortex (桂皮), Zingiberis Rhizoma (乾薑), Saposhnikoviae Radix (防風), Ginseng Radix (人參), Platycodonis Radix (桔梗), Poria Sclerotium (白茯苓), Viticis Fructus (荊實), Cistanchis Herba (肉蓗蓉), Cardui Crispi Herba seu Radix (飛廉), Thujae Semen (柏子仁), Coicis Semen (薏苡仁), Farfarae Flos (款冬花), Cynanchi Radix (白薇), Zanthoxyli Pericarpium (川椒), and sprout of Cnidium officinale Makion (蘼蕪). These 24 herbs correspond to the 24 subdivided seasons in a year. There are eight toxic herbs that correspond to eight winds (八風), which are Aconiti Tuber (烏頭), Aconiti Lateralis Radix Preparata (附子), Veratri Rhizoma et Radix (藜蘆), Gleditsiae Spina (皂角), and Natrii Sulfas (芒硝), Alumen
(礬石), Pinelliae Tuber (半夏), and Asiasari Radix et Rhizoma (細辛). Prepare 1nyang of these 32 herbs and cut them. Fill the inside of the pillow with the toxic herbs on top, and make the cover of the pillow with hemp cloth. Sleep with this pillow and the face will shine after a hundred days. After a year, the disease in the body will heal one by one and the body will become fragrant. After four years, the white hair will turn black, teeth will regrow, and eyes and ears will become good again. The mysterious secret prescription is not passed down unless the receiver is a good man. Wudi (武帝) asked Dongfangshuo (東方朔), and he answered “Long time ago, Nulian (女廉) passed it on to Yuqing (玉靑), Yuqing (玉靑) passed it on to Guangchengzi (廣成子), and Guangchengzi (廣成子) passed it on to Huangdi (黃帝). Recently Taoist Master (穀城道士, Gucheng daoshi) Chunyugong (淳于公), used this herb pillow and his hair remained black after 100 years. Diseases invade the body through the yang meridian, so the pillow protects the body from wind pathogens. This is a very obvious principle. Also, eventhough the pillow cover is made of hemp cloth, the pillow must be put in a leather sac during the day and put out only when sleeping.” Wudi (武帝) granted the old man one pil of silk, but the old man did not accept this and said “the relationship of the emperor and the official is like that of a parent and child. The child hears the Tao and tells what they heard to their parents; therefore it is not natural to receive prizes. Also, I am not one who sells the Tao; I am only telling this to you because you like the right and benevolent act.” Hearing this, Wudi (帝) granted many herbs again as prizes.