Khusekhui was a Mongolian doctor who lived from the late 13th to early 14th century. The career of Khusekhui, as he states in preface to his book, was in the reign of Buvantu Khan in Mongolian Buyantu Khaan (1314—1320) of Yuan Dynasty. Around in 1315, Khusekhui initially emerged as the therapist of Empress Dowager, and soon was also the therapist of the acting Empress, and later received the rank of the chief Mongolian Imperial therapist and became responsible for food and drinks of the numerous Mongolian Emperor’s family. As tradition has it, Buyantu Khan, after several years of expeditions and irregular life, was overstrained and suffered acute pain in kidneys. The vegetable soup prescribed by Khusekhui cured the pains in 3 months, and one of Emperor’s spouses became pregnant. The Emperor grandly awarded Khusekhui as the cause of this “double joy”.
He was a dignitary in charge of food in the king’s palace as well as the royals’ doctor. Khusekhui wrote the book “Brief Practical Guide to Healthy Diet” (Yinshan Zhengyao) 1314 to 1320 in Chinese language He compiled materials of food and beverage, medications, bread, extract, dough, pharmacopoeia used in the palace of Mongolian Khaans since Khubilai’s time and secret recipes of famous doctors into “Brief Practical Guide to Healthy Diet” with the help of Pu Lan Shi. In 3rd year of Tian Lee the book was presented to Khaan of Yuan Dynasty. Khaan ordered official I U Ju to write an introduction to it. This book is considered to be written for long time from Khubilai’s time to Zayat Khaan. He kept record of daily dishes of Mongolian Khaans on the basis of careful observation. Later on medication and medical herb researcher Lee She Jing wrote in his book Herbal Medication that the Summary of Food and Beverage is about food and beverage of Khubilai Khaan. Undoubtedly, Mongolian Khaans used mostly Mongolian food and beverage. “Principle of Correct Diet” reveals rich practices of Mongolians on food and beverage as well as vitaminization.
“Brief Practical Guide to Healthy Diet” has three volumes.
Volume 1. Useful advice for a healthy life, special diets for pregnant women and for those who gave birth, food which is prohibited to eat with alcohol and other special foods were written in the first volume. Volume 2. Medical herbs, bread, any liquid medical extracts, nutritious food, food for 4 different seasons, instructions for taking medicines, food poisoning, useful and harmful influences of particular foods and unusual change of some birds and animals were discussed in volume 2 Volume 3. Level of nutrition, flavors, and useful elements of grain, com, birds, fish and vegetables were introduced with some illustrations. Also, there were some illustrations to demonstrate to pregnant women what to eat, to smell, to see and to listen to in order to have a healthy, smart baby. The book also demonstrated the importance of having a healthy mind along with a healthy diet. Therefore, Khusekhui stressed not only on having healthy food, but also on having a healthy mind, especially for pregnant women.