Sanyuan Gong

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Sanyuan Gong (三元宫Triple Origin Palace) is at the southern foot of Mount Yuexiu in Guangzhou. It is more than 1,600 years old. According to historical records, in 319, the second year of the Daxing reign period of the Eastern Jin Dynasty Emperor Yuandi, Governor Bao Jing of Nanhai built a house at the foot of Mount Yuexiu for his daughter, Bao Gu, to practice Daoism and medicine. The house was therefore called Yue Ridge Compound. In 1643, the 16th year of the Ming Dynasty Emperor Chongzhen’s reign, it was renamed Triple Origin Palace.

Bao Jing, a devout Daoist, was accomplished in Confucian classics, astronomy and geography, leading the Jin Dynasty emperor to promote him to governor of Nanhai. In 323, the second year of Emperor Mingdi’s Taining reign period, Bao Jing married his daughter off to his apprentice Ge Hong, who later went to Mount Gefu to refine pills and left his wife Bao Gu practicing medicine in the Yue Ridge Compound. Bao Gu was adept at acupuncture, especially for curing warts and other growths. She cured many of such ailments by using a mixture of mountain spring water and wild mugwort. After her death, the local people set up a statue for her in the Yue Ridge Compound, where the Bao Gu Well and a stele inscribed with a chart of acupuncture points can still be seen.

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