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Xin Xiu Ben Cao (Newly Compiled Materia Medica of Tang)
Xin Xiu Ben Cao (Newly Compiled Materia Medica of Tang) was compiled by over 20 officials and practitioners led by Su Jing when the government of the Tang Dynasty (618~907) ordered to collect samples of all medicinals from all over China.  For the first time in history illustrations were used in books of material medica.
Xin Xiu Ben Cao contains 844 medicinal herbs.  The 54-volume book is divided into three parts: herbal explanation, illustrations, and herbal description.  The book tells about the property, place of origin, and collection methods.  Illustrations provide paintings of the herbs while description is the textual explanation of the medicinal herbs.
The first two parts of the book were lost in the Song Dynasty (960~1279), and the last part about herbs existed in the form of hand-written copies.  One handwritten copy found in the Dunhuang Cave scattered in foreign countries.  Only a few pages are now kept in the Museum of Great Britain and Paris Library.  The present available Xin Xiu Ben Cao (Newly Compiled Materia Medica of Tang) is based on the handwritten copy found in Japan.
 
 
Xin Xiu Ben Cao (Newly Compiled Materia Medica of Tang)
 


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