Li Ching-Yuen or Li Ching-Yun (simplified Chinese: 李清云; traditional Chinese: 李清雲; pinyin: Lǐ Qīngyún) (died May 6, 1933) was a Chinese herbalist, martial artist and tactical advisor, known for his supposed extreme longevity.
His true date of birth has never been determined. Gerontologists consider his claims to be a myth
Li Ching-Yuen took life force in the mountains and was skilled in Qigong. He worked as a herbalist, selling lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shou wu and gotu kola along with other Chinese herbs, and lived off a diet of these herbs and rice wine.
It was generally accepted in Sichuan, that Li was fully literate as a child, and that by his tenth birthday had travelled to Gansu, Shanxi, Tibet, Vietnam, Thailand and Manchuria with the purpose of gathering herbs, continuing with this occupation for a century, before beginning to purvey herbs gathered by others.
It was after this he relocated to Kai Xian and there Li supposedly, at 72 years of age, in 1749, joined the army of provincial Commander-in-Chief Yeuh Jong Chyi, as a teacher of martial arts and as a tactical advisor.
In 1927, the National Revolutionary Army General Yang Sen (揚森) invited him to his residence in Wan Xian, Sichuan, where the picture shown in this article was taken.
The Chinese Warlord Wu Peifu (吳佩孚) took him into his home in an attempt to discover the secret of living 250 years.
He died from natural causes on 6 May 1933 in Kai Xian, Sichuan, Republic of China and was survived by his 24th wife, a woman of 60 years. Li supposedly produced over 200 descendants during his life span, surviving 23 wives. Other sources credit him with 180 descendants, over 11 generations, living at the time of his death and 14 marriages.
After his death, the aforementioned Yang Sen wrote a report about him, A Factual Account of the 250 Year-Old Good-Luck Man (一个250岁长寿老人的真实记载), in which he described Li’s appearance: “He has good eyesight and a brisk stride; Li stands seven feet tall, has very long fingernails, and a ruddy complexion.