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Yi Yin Inventing Decocction
 
In the late Xia Dynasty (21th century -16th century B.C.), there was a tribe named Shang in the downstream Yellow River.  The head of the tribe was Tang.
 
Slavery was popular at that time, so his wife brought some slaves as dowry when she married him.  One of them was Yi Yin.
 
Yi Yin was very intellegient and later became an assistant to Tang, helping him overthrow the Xia Dynasty and establish the Shang Dynasty (16th century-11th century B.C.).  Yi Yin finally became the Prime Minister of the Shang Dynasty.
 
At first Yi Yin worked as a cook in Tang’s house.  His skills left nothing to desire and he could make various delicious dishes.  Most importantly, he knew how to treat diseases with food.  When he talked with Tang from time to time, he often talked about cooking.
 
He knew food properties and places of origin very well.  He knew ginger and cinnamon not only used as flavor but also as medicine to relieve the exterior syndrome by inducing sweat.  Yi Yin was referred to as the father of decoctions.

 

 


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