‘Cave Remedies: Ancient Wisdom in Stalactites’

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Jue Jin (Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and University of Oxford)

This research aims to explore the mystique surrounding stalactitic formations and their significant roles within both Eastern and Western cultural contexts. The study focuses on Ancient China stalactites, which held a central position in traditional Chinese medicine and the daily lives of its inhabitants. By examining the meticulous application of these exquisite geological structures for medicinal purposes, this discourse provides profound insights into the intricate tapestry of Chinese therapeutic traditions. Additionally, it delves into the astonishing diversification of stalactite utilization, extending beyond the medical sphere to encompass non-medical applications.

The research project also investigates the rationale behind attributing extraordinary functions to stalactites within ancient civilizations, which serves as a central theme. Furthermore, it explores captivating beliefs and folklore that have enshrouded these formations across millennia. The resulting elucidations shed compelling light on the profound interplay between the natural world and the evolution of human culture.

The primary goal of this study is to unravel underlying commonalities between East and West that underscore the universal appeal and significance of these geological wonders within diverse cultural narratives.

The seminar in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology is convened by Alex Aylward (University of Oxford), Hohee Cho (Wolfson College), Mark Harrison (University of Oxford), Catherine Jackson (Harris Manchester College), and Sloan Mahone (University of Oxford)