The Chinese associate the apricot with education and medicine. For instance, the classical word 杏 壇 (literally: "apricot altar ") which means "educational circle", is still widely used in written language. Chuang Tzu , a Chinese philosopher in the fourth century BCE, told a story that Confucius taught his students in a forum surrounded by the wood of apricot trees.  The association with medicine in turn comes from the common use of apricot kernels as a component in traditional Chinese medicine , and from the story of Dong Feng (董奉), a physician during the Three Kingdoms period , who required no payment from his patients except that they plant apricot trees in his orchard upon recovering from their illnesses, resulting in a large grove of apricot trees and a steady supply of medicinal ingredients.  The term "expert of the apricot grove" (杏林高手) is still used as a poetic reference to physicians.