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CCTV+: Lyrics of White Peony Root into the Air


Located in southeast China, Jiangxi is ringed on three sides by mountains, bordering rivers and lakes on the north. Mountains and hills undulate in the region, with large basins scattering in the middle. The complex and diverse terrain, is a cradle for a variety of plants.

The humid and hot monsoon climate safeguards their growth. Soils of red, yellow, and other “colors” are highly-favorable for medicinal plants. The excellent environment makes Jiangxi one of the major birthplaces of the traditional Chinese medicine culture. There is a saying that goes “Nowhere can you find. More Chinese medicine than in Zhangshu, and nowhere can you have better Chinese medicine than in Zhangshu.” Cutting is one of the specialties of Zhangbang medicinal materials, which has a history of more than 1,800 years. Zhang Xiaobo, 52 years old, is a national intangible cultural heritage inheritor of traditional Chinese medicine processing, passing down the specialized processing techniques of Zhangbang traditional medicine and dedicating to this mission for two entire decades. “White peony root into the air” is the ultimate embodiment of Zhangbang’s specialized cutting technique. An experienced technician can cut an inch of white peony root into more than 300 pieces. And the key to this skill is the moistening of medicinal materials. The slices will be affected when cutting, and the white peony root is cut into pieces in the blink of an eye. One cutting after another, and day after day, the spirit of Zhangbang in traditional Chinese medicine has no difference. For more than a thousand years, this is not only the inheritance of techniques, but also the insistence of benevolent hearts. “The white peony root slices can fly into the air, the tangerine peel is like a thread.” The pursuit of the ultimate techniques and medicinal properties has made Zhangbang’s Traditional Chinese medicine processing technique, one of the four major traditional processing schools in China. Jiangxi accounts for half of the traditional Chinese medicine sector.

The traditional Chinese medicine culture represented by Jiangxi follows the Chinese people through five thousand years of ups and downs. In theory and practice, between inheritance and innovation, traditional Chinese medicine has been passed down generation after generation.