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Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C.~A.D.220)

 

Characteristics of Medicine

Establishing the Therapeutic Principle of Syndrome Differentiation and Treatment
Syndrome differentiation and treatment is the basic principle of clinical treatment in traditional Chinese medicine and one of its outstanding characteristics.  The principle developed out of a process of accumulation of clinical practice and summarization of medical theory.  This principle was first discussed in Huang Di Nei Jing (Huangdi's Canon of Medicine).  Zhang Zhongjing, an outstanding physician of the Han Dynasty (206B.C.~A.D.220), incorporated this basic theory into actual clinical treatment and, giving it further summarization and elaboration, wrote the  Shang Han Za Bing Lun (Treatise on Cold-induced and Miscellaneous Diseases), which established this scientific principle still used today to guide clinical practice in traditional Chinese medicine.
 
 
Shang Han Za Bing Lun(Treatise on Cold-induced and Miscellaneous Diseases)
 
 

Laying the Foundation of Chinese Pharmacy and the Science of Prescriptions

Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Shen Nong's Herbal) was completed in the last years of the Western Han dynasty (206B.C.~A.D.24).  It is a summarization of pharmaceutical knowledge before the Han Dynasty (206B.C.~A.D.220).  It recorded 365 medicinal items and classified them into three grades according to their effects and purposes of use.  This book also includes a brief account of pharmaceutical theories, involving concepts of the soverign (jūn), minister(chén), adjutant (zuǒ), and courier (shǐ); the four properties and five tastes of medicinal substances.  This book also includes a description of the properties, places of origin, times for collection, processing methods, and methods for determining the quality of the medicine. This book laid the foundation of the Chinese pharmacy, and produced a profound influence over later generations.

Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Shen Nong's Herbal)
Thirteen prescriptions were recorded in Huang Di Nei Jing (Huangdi's Canon of Medicine) with descriptions of the compatibility of herbs, indications, methods of processing, and forms.  With the accumulation of clinical experience, the science of prescriptions flourished during the second century A.D.  Thus, when Zhang Zhongjing wrote his Shang Han Za Bing Lun (Treatise on Cold-induced and Miscellaneous Diseases), the science of prescriptions was considerably developed. In his book, Zhang Zhongjing recorded 375 prescriptions, involving 214 medicinal substances.  These included most of the commonly used prescriptions in all clinical areas.  The number of pharmaceutical forms recorded in the book far exceeded those in Huang Di Nei Jing (Huangdi's Canon of Medicine) or other ancient medical literature.  Those forms are still in use today.  It is no wonder Shang Han Za Bing Lun (Treatise on Cold-induced and Miscellaneous Diseases) has been regarded as "the father of medical prescriptions."
 
 
     
 Zhang Zhongjing                                 Shang Han Za Bing Lun
 

Outstanding Progress of Clinical Medicine

According to historical records, Hua Tuo was the first person in China and in the world to use anesthesia.  He invented Ma Fei Powder to aid surgery.  Although the formula contents and operating technique had already been lost, it enlightened later surgeons in its academic thought.  The invention of Ma Fei Powder has left an indelible and brilliant milestone in the medical history of the world.  Zhang Zhongjing's theory and practice of syndrome differentiation and treatment in dealing with exogenous febrile diseases and internal miscellaneous diseases has always been cherished by later physicians.
Hua Tuo

Appearance of Medical Case Records

Chun Yuyi, a famous physician of the Western Han Dynasty (206B.C.~A.D.24), inherited the academic experiences of his predecessors.  He kept all the detailed records of his patients such as name, status, place of birth, gender, disease name, cause of disease, pulse and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.  His records manifested the academic style of early medical case records, and set an example for later physicians in medical case writings.
 
 
 
Chun Yuyi

 

 

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