The Dragon-Bud Elixir Tradition
The Dragon-Bud Elixir Tradition ( 龍芽丹道 Longya Dandao ) is a Daoist alchemical term. The Dragon Bud, also called Dragon Beard ( 龍鬚 Longxu ) and Silver Bud ( 銀芽 Yinya ), etc, actually means raw argentums. According to the Essential Knowledge for the Elixir Chamber ( 《丹房須知》 Danfang Xuzhi ), Dragon Buds accrue in lead mine pits and look like bamboo shoots. Legendarily owning the way of change, it is regarded as "bud of nature" ( 自然芽 Ziran Ya ) and also named "raw lead" ( 生鉛 Sheng Qian ) or "lead of nature" ( 自然鉛 Ziran Qian ). Making elixir from dragon buds and refining lead into mercury is the basic mechanism of outer alchemy. Besides, in Daoism, lead and mercury are also amplified to mean the medicine of inner alchemy. As the way of refining essence into vital breath ( 煉精化氣 Lian Jing Hua Qi ), the way of alchemy in human body thus comes into form.