The Jadeite Lady
In issue number 4 I wrote a very short piece entitled “The
Chinese Doctor’s Lady.” We’re talking over three years ago
folks…at the very inception of Tidbits. The article concerned
itself with ancient Chinese etiquette which prohibited doctors
from examining their female patients. In order for the patient
to show the doctor where it hurt, she would point to a statuette
the physician had on his desk, and show him, and based on this,
he would offer her the remedy to her ills.
Often, the doctor’s statuette was made of Jadeite, the most
valuable and desirable grade of Jade available. The material has
a semi-transparent to opaque look to it, and comes in a variety
of colors, ranging from white to green to brown, and many
variations stemming from those colors.
There are many mythological beliefs attached to this stone,
among them the following virtues. In an old Chinese encyclopedia
of the Ming dynasty–circa 1596–the following attributes are
granted to Jade and it’s cousins, including Jadeite and
Nephrite. When reduced to a powder the size of rice grains, Jade
strengthens the lungs, the heart, and the vocal organs…as well
as prolongs life. Ponce de Leon–for you historians, was clearly
on the wrong track. One way of ingesting the mineral was to
concoct a drink called the “Divine Liquor of Jade.” I have the
formula for this–believe it or not–but have decided not to pass
it on. Trade secrets to be used later on in life when I open my
new school on Alchemy and the Secret Cures for all Ills. Medicine
is medicine and magic is magic…and never the twain shall meet.
More attributes of Jade were–and probably still are–the
ability to strengthen muscles, and harden bones…to calm the
mind, to enrich the flesh, and to purify the blood. Additionally,
should someone dose themselves with the correct elixir and should
they continue the treatment for the allotted time, they would
cease to suffer from either heat, or cold, or hunger, or thirst.
No wonder then that this material was used as the statuettes in
the doctors’ offices of that time. Now then, the reason I bring
this all up–some of it for the second time–is that I found a
picture of m’lady, made of white and brown jadeite, resting on a
wooden platform, ready to lie on the physician’s desk for the
patient to point to while hanging her head in modesty, showing
the doctor just where it was that it hurt. It’s a beautiful
piece, and it wouldn’t be right of me if I didn’t share it with
all of you.
So…to my home page folks! Quick! Down the table menu, to
Tidbits Graphics, and the Jadeite Lady…and click!
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
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