First Discovered by Shen Nong

    Tea plants have been growing in southwest China for millions of years, but when did the Chinese people discover and make use of tea? The history can be traced back to our ancestor Shen Nong who lived about 5000 years ago.

It is often said that the Chinese people are the descendants of Emperors Yan and Huang, and Emperor Yan is known as Shen Nong. There are many legends of the ways in which Shen Nong brought benefits to future generations, the most famous one being the story of ‘Shen Nong testing hundreds of herbs’. In this fable, Shen Nong tasted and assessed countless herbs for their beneficial and harmful effects, and risked his own life to find ways to heal the sick. One day, he ate some highly poisonous herbs and lost consciousness beneath a tall tree. Suddenly, a gust of wind blew and shook the branches, and a pair of big leaves drifted down towards him. With his last fighting breath, Shen Nong caught and chewed the leaves, and as if by a miracle, he was roused from his coma and found he was able to stand. The leaves of the tall tree were tea leaves, and only these leaves were able to save the life of China’s ancient Emperor.

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