Chinese alchemy  

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Chinese alchemy is a part of the larger tradition of Taoism(although some argue it has longer history than Taoism), which centers on the tradition of body-spirit cultivation that developed through the Chinese understandings of medicine and the body. These Chinese traditions were developed into a system of energy practices. Chinese 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.

Alchemical medicines were valued for two main reasons. First they granted transcendence and immortality and secondly they made it possible to summon benevolent spirits and expel demons. The alchemical practices outlined in Waidan or 'external alchemy' and Neidan or 'internal alchemy' are intended to increase life span or produce immortality amongst the people using these methods.

According to J.C. Cooper's "Chinese Alchemy: The Taoist Quest for Immortality," Taoism had two distinct parts, the classical Tao Chia, which was metaphysical 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 [Daoism] was original but was too austere and rarefied for the general populace ... [but] Tao Chiao fulfilled the day-to-day needs of the people."



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Chinese alchemy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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