According to Chinese legend, the Emperor Shen Nong discovered a wide range of medicines almost 5000 years ago. These included cannabis, the first caffeinated tea and ephedra (used in making amphetamine).
Emperor Shen Nong prescribed cannabis tea for gout, malaria, beriberi, rheumatism, and, curiously, poor memory. Caffeinated tea was recommended as an antidote to the poisonous effects of many other herbs. Ephedra was a natural stimulant that helped asthma.
Source: Earleywine, M. (2002). Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence. Oxford.
||Caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, etc.), Cannabis (marijuana), Stimulants (amphetamine, methamphetamine)
Related Timeline Items
Too much cannabis leads to seeing devils, Pen-ts'ao Ching (c. 50 CE)
The use of cannabis in medicine was a very early development. But according to a famous early book on Chinese herbal medicine, the Pen-ts'ao Ching (The Divine Farmer's Materia Medica), "ma-fen (fruits of hemp) . . . if taken in excess will produce hallucinations (literally seeing devils)." On the other hand, moderate use over a longer time has benefits. "If taken over a long term, it makes one communicate with spirits and lightens one's body."
The Pen-ts'ao Ching is attributed to the legendary Emperor Shen Nong, who is said to have taught the Chinese people how to farm. The book was actually compiled in the first century CE but was apparently based on early traditions passed down from pre-historic times.
Shennong as depicted in a 1503 painting by Guo Xu