Chinese Mythology

The Folk Gods and Spirits of the Middle Kingdom

SHENNONG

Chinese Agriculture God

Also known as SHEN-NONG, SHEN-NUNG, SHEN-NONG-SHI, SHENG-NONG, SHENG-NUNG

God of Plants, Agriculture and Herbal Medicine

The second of the San Huang to rule over China, Shennong was a mortal in the very earliest days of China (2800 BC). Announcing himself ‘Lord of the Burning Wind’, his slash-and-burn policy of clearing scrublands left the ground rich in potash ready for plowing and planting. He then taught his fellow mortals how to farm, and became known as the Holy Plowman King.

But he’s best known for his knowledge of herbs, drugs and medicine. He single-handedly tasted each and every plant in China to see what was yummy and what would kill you. Legend tells that during his research he was once poisoned no less than seventy-two times in a single day. Amazingly, he suffered no long-term ill effects. Perhaps the medicinal plants and poisonous plants canceled each other out.

Apart from that, he has a transparent stomach, which did come in very handy for seeing what all those plants were doing to his insides. He also has a head of oxen. Does that mean he had an ox’s head or that he drove oxen? Or even that he drank Oxo? It is all very garbled.

He possiby married Can Nü, possibly had a son called Chiyou, and then the computer crashed and lost all our notes. We shall return in due course.

Shennong Facts and Figures

Name: Shennong
Pronunciation: Sshun Norng
Alternative names: SHEN-NONG, SHEN-NUNG, SHEN-NONG-SHI, SHENG-NONG, SHENG-NUNG

Gender: Male
Type: God
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Agriculture and Farming
Area of expertise: Agriculture, Farming

Good/Evil Rating: Unknown at present
Popularity index: 1037

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Article last revised on April 21, 2019 by the Godchecker data dwarves.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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