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Traditional Medicine

There were many great inventions in ancient China. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) was one of them. TCM is not merely a general invention, but also a great invention, which in fact, can be called the "fifth great invention in ancient China." TCM's contribution to the world is not only an original medical system but also a part of China's traditional culture.

Traditional Chinese Medicine-The Fifth Great Invention of China

Scientist Francis Bacon once gave a high opinion, when he appraised China's four big inventions' contribution to the world, saying, "They completely changed the world's appearance…there was no other country, religion, or person who had displayed as big an influence on human progress than them."There were many great inventions in ancient China. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) was one of them. TCM is not merely a general invention, but also a great invention, which in fact, can be called the "fifth great invention in ancient China."

First, TCM (the classical Chinese medicine system, which developed from ancient times to 1840) was originally created by China and is an outstanding representative of ancient China's science and technology.

Second, since the 1970s, Chinese medicine has spread to more than 140 countries and areas. Its scientific value and remarkable curative effect have been recognized by the medical circle and accepted by more and more people.

Third, as a "great invention," Chinese medicine has value and significance that are recognized by the whole world.

Chinese Medicine's Importance to Civilization and Society

For one thing, Chinese medicine has many differences to western medicine. Chinese medicine can use its advantages to cover the disadvantages of western medicine, hence contributing to overall human health.

Next, Chinese medicine is deeply rooted in the study of life flow in the human body. Many famous foreign medical scientists have repeatedly pointed out that the theory of jingluo (channels) is profound and significant, adding that if China wants to take the Nobel Prize in medicine, Chinese medicine would be the most promising subject.

China's renowned scientist Qian Xuesen once said that the modernization in Chinese medicine would impel a breakthrough in human science and cause a new Renaissance in the East.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Has Surpassed Other Four Great Inventions

First, TCM is different from papermaking, gunpowder, compass, and movable printing (which are technological inventions) in that TCM is more of an academic system both in technology and science.

TCM surpasses the other four big inventions in scientific discovery and contribution. It has its special theory system, prevention and control principle, and treatment method. The most important is its understanding and control in the complex phenomenon of human life.

Second, the original four great inventions were the products of a single person or dynasty. However, TCM is a kind of synthetic academic system, created by medicine scientists over countless generations. In particular, TCM is a product of the long-existent traditional Chinese civilization, and contains a spirit richly full of philosophy and humanity, covering aspects like academic thought, theory viewpoint, and clinical practice.

Therefore, TCM's contribution to the world is not only an original medical system but also a part of China's traditional culture.

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TCM in America and Canada
In America, TCM, led by the widespread acceptance of acupuncture, has been or is being legally licensed in the majority of the states. As a result, TCM, including the increasing practice of traditional Chinese herbalism, is truly becoming an alternative holistic medical practice.
TCM in Europe
England, as the center of the Renaissance (14th-16th century), was one of the original places of modern medicine.
Other Places
At least 2.8 million Australians go to Chinese medicine clinics every year. With the widespread application of Chinese medicine, the import of Chinese herbs has quadrupled since 1992, gradually becoming an important component of the Australian medicine market.
The First Systematic Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion
Written by Huang Fumi (215-282), The Systematic Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion consists of 12 volumes and 128 chapters and is the earliest extant classic on acupuncture and moxibustion (a form of heat therapy) in China.
The Earliest Gymnastical Painting
In ancient times, Chinese people had already started to cure arthrosis (joint disease) with dance or movement. In the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476BC), people gradually summarized dao yin shu (medical gymnastics), tu na shu (breathing techniques), and other physical activities to prevent and cure the disease of people.
The first pharmacopoeia -- Xinxiu Bencao
Xinxiu Bencao (Newly Revised Canon of Materia Medica) is the first pharmacopoeia (a book listing drugs and their directions for their uses) published by the Chinese government and is widely considered as the "first pharmacopoeia in the world." Twenty-three people headed by Su Jing of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) compiled the book in 659.
The First Anesthetic in the World -- Ma Fei San
Ma fei san is the first anesthetic in the world and was invented by Hua Tuo, an outstanding doctor, in the 2nd century. Although Hua Tuo's ancient prescriptions are lost; the ingredients are thought to have included include cannabis and datura (a hallucinogenic plant), which later was recorded as an anesthetic during the Song Dynasty.
Classic of the Miraculous Pivot
Lingshu Jing (Classic of the Miraculous Pivot), or simply Lingshu for short, together with Su Wen (Questions of Fundamental Nature), is called Yellow Emperor's Internal Canon of Medicine, is one of the earliest medical classics in China.
Collected Writings on the Washing Away of Wrongs
The first monographic work on forensic medicine in the world is Xiyuan Jilu (Collected Writings on the Washing Away of Wrongs), written by Song Ci of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). It was written in 1247, and is the earliest systematic book on judicial examination in the world. Later, it was spread abroad, and was translated into English, French, Dutch, German, Korean, Japanese, and Russian as well as other languages.
Complete Dictionary of Effective Prescriptions for Women
Furen Daquan Liangfang, also called Furen Liangfang Daquan, Furen Liangfang Jiyao and Furen Liangfang, was finished in 1237, with Chen Ziming as the author.
Newly Revised Canon of Materia Medica
Xinxiu Bencao (Newly Revised Canon of Materia Medica) is the first pharmacopoeia (a book listing drugs and their directions for their uses) published by the Chinese government and is widely considered as the "first pharmacopoeia in the world." Twenty-three people headed by Su Jing of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) compiled the book in 659.
Plain Questions: Yellow Emperors Internal Canon of Medicine
Huangdi Neijing Su Wen (Plain Questions: Yellow Emperor's Internal Canon of Medicine ), is the earliest medical book available in China. Legend has it that it is a record of discussion between the Yellow Emperor and his six ministers, including Qi Bo and Lei Gong.
Prescriptions of Universal Relief
Pu Ji Fang (Prescriptions of Universal Relief) is the most extensive prescription book in Chinese history, with 61,739 prescriptions in it.
Prescriptions for Diseases
In November 1972,a grave was unearthed at Hantanpo in Wuwei City, Gansu Province. According to identification after research, the dead person in the grave might be an elder doctor in the early Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). There were 92 handwritten bamboo slips of medical literature in the grave. At first, people named these bamboo slips as Doctor of the Han Dynasty in Wuwei, but later they renamed it as Zhi Baibing Fang (Prescriptions for Diseases) as it contained such Chinese characters.
The Pulse Classic
Maijing (The Pulse Classic ), compiled by Wang Shuhe in the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316), is the first extant book specializing in sphygmology in China, and a summing-up of the knowledge on sphygmology before the third century in China.
Shennong Emperor's Classic of Materia Medica
Also called Shennong Bencao, Bencao Jing or Ben Jing, Shennong Bencao Jing (Shennong Emperor's Classic of Materia Medica) is a great classic of pharmacology.
Treasured Knowledge of Obstetrics
Jing Xiao Chan Bao (Treasured Knowledge of Obstetrics), also called Chan Bao, was compiled between 847 and 852.
Basic Theory of Chinese Medicine
The basic theory of Chinese medicine attempts to explain the nature of life cycle and disease changes. It includes five theories: Yin and Yang, the five elements, how to direct one's strength, zangfu, and channels.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine aims to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases. It mainly consists of natural medicines and processed ones, namely medicines made from herbal, animal, mineral, and some chemical and biological substances.
Acupuncture of Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture is an important part of Chinese medicine. It was initially invented as a medical treatment technique and gradually became a science. The science of acupuncture aims to record its technique, clinic regulation, and basic theory.
Cupping of Chinese Medicine
Cupping is a TCM therapy involving the placement of glass, plastic, or bamboo cups on the skin with a vacuum.
Gua Sha of Chinese Medicine
Gua sha is a traditional ancient Chinese healing technique used by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) dating back to over two thousands years and involves firmly rubbing a person's skin with a ceramic soupspoon or large coin.
Massage of Chinese Medicine
Massage (tui na in Chinese) means to manipulate the channels of the human body, thus preventing disease and maintaining health.
Four Natures and Five Flavors
Ancient Chinese people believed that foods, like herbs, could also be classified into "four natures" and "five flavors."
Introduction of Yangsheng
Yangsheng refers to the improvement of health and prolonging of life through the proper ways of caring for and nurturing one's body and mind.
Chinese Medicated Diet
Chinese medicated diet is a special highly finished diet made from Chinese drugs, food, and condiments under the theoretical guidance of diet preparation based on TCM's differentiation of symptoms and signs.
Excellent Choice: Tea and Medical Liquor
Tea for medicinal purposes has a history of 2,700 years in China. Many books, like Shen Nong Ben Cao , Cao Ben Shi Yi, and Cha Pu all recorded the tea's effect for medicinal purposes.
Chao Yuanfang
Chao Yuanfang lived in a period from the end of the Sui Dynasty (581-618) to the beginning of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). His native place and dates of birth and death are unknown. Legend has it that he was from Xihua. Chao Yuanfang was most active during the Daye reign (605-615) of the Sui Dynasty, when he worked as an imperial physician, and made many brilliant achievements.
Chunyu Yi
Chunyu Yi was from Linzi in the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-8AD). He was born in 205BC, but the year of his death is unknown. As he once worked as a Taicang Zhang (an official in charge of tax and salary), he also had the honorary title of "Taicang Gong" (Sir. Taicang), simply as "Cang Gong".
Ge Hong
Ge Hong (284-354),was from Danyang County (now in Jiangsu Province) of the Jin Dynasty (265-420 ). His grandfather Ge Xi used to be a "Dahonglu" (a big official) of the Eastern Wu Kingdom in the period of the Three Kingdoms (220-265).
Huangfu Mi
Huangfu Mi was born in the year 215 in a poor farmhouse in Anding Chaona (now Lingtai of Gansu Province) of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). He was first named as Jing, later changed into Mi, with a style name of Shi'an. When he was young, he took the famous scholar, Xi Tan, in his village as his teacher, and several years later, he became a well-known scholar.
Hua Tuo
Hua Tuo,with a style name Yuanhua, also called Fu,was born approximately at the beginning of the second century AD and died before the 13th year of the Jian'an reign (208). He was from Qiao County of the Pei Kingdom (now Bo County of Anhui Province). He was an eminent medical scientist in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), especially good at surgical operation using anesthesia.
Li Shizhen
Li Shizhen(1518-1593),whose style name was Dongbi, also called Binhushanren (Person of the Mountain by the Lake) in his late years, was from Jizhou (now Jichun County of Hubei Province) of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). His grandfather was a doctor, and his father Li Yanwen (called "Yuechi") was also a famous doctor in the local place. As a child, Li Shizhen began to read some medical classics systematically, and sometimes went together with his father, treating diseases and copying prescriptions.
Sun Simiao
Sun Simiao (581-682) was a great medical scientist of China in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). His native place was Jingzhao Huayuan (now Sunjiayuan in Hui County, Shaanxi Province).
Wang Bing
Wang Bing,self-named "Qixuanzi", a famous doctor in the mid Tang Dynasty (618-907), lived roughly in the time from the Jingyun Period to the Zhenyuan Period (710-804) of the Tang Dynasty. His native place is unknown. He worked as a Taipu Ling (official title in the court, in charge of the emperor's carriages and horses) during the reign of Yingzhong (762-763) of the Tang Dynasty,hence, he was also called "Wang Taipu".
Wang Shuhe
Wang Shuhe, also named "Wang Xi", was from Gaoping (now Gaoping County, Shanxi Province) of the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316). He lived around the third century, but his accurate dates of birth and death are unknown. He was born into a noble family. The superior living and learning environment offered Wang Shuhe good education since his childhood. Later, because of frequent wars and turmoil, the family moved to Jingzhou of Hubei Province.
Zhang Zhongjing
Zhang Zhongjing was born in Nieyang of Nan County (now Rangdong Town in Deng County, Henan Province; or another saying, Nanyang City, Henan Province) of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). It is said that he was once conferred an honorary title by the court and worked as the satrap of Changsha. Zhang Zhongjing was fond of medical science since childhood,and learned medicine from Zhang Bozu in the same county when he was young. After many years of hard learning and clinical practice,he won high prestige and became an outstanding medical scientist in China.
Iatrology of Mongolian Ethnic Minority
Based on traditional medical experiences gathered by the Mongolian people in fighting against diseases and under the influence and direction of simple materialism and dialectic, Mongolian iatrology absorbed parts of basic Tibetan and Indian medical theories as well as the Han iatrological knowledge and came to form its own unique iatrology.
Tibetan Medicine
To date, the use of altogether 2,294 kinds of Tibetan medicine have been recorded. Over 300 of them are commonly in use, of which over 200 of them are plant herbs, making up 70 percent of the total; over 40 are animal medicines (12 percentl); and with the remaining plus-40 being minerals (14 percent).
Uygur Iatrology
The Uygur iatrology and medicine account for a rather large proportion of TCM. Till now, the medicines included in the national pharmacopoeia have amounted to 202 kinds, including 115 medicinal materials and 87 preparations.
Iatrology of Zhuang Ethnic Minority
The wide application of poisonous and alexipharmic (antidote to poison) herbs is an important character of and a prominent contribution to Zhuang iatrology.
Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi)
China's great physician Hua Tuo created the Five Animal Frolics (frolic refers to dance or movement) in the last stage of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). He summarized the traditional practice and invented gymnastics, including the movement of the bird, bear, monkey, deer, and tiger , hence the Frolics of the Five Animals.
Inner Landscape of the Human Body
There are two purposes for such an illustration. Strictly speaking, it is an anatomic painting of various organs and tissues. On the other hand, it is an instruction material for Taoism. It shows to practitioners in a very abstract but detailed way all the necessary skills of proper bodily functions.
Iron Ball
According to Chinese traditional medical theory, meridians (jingluo) are channels or pathways through which vital energy (Qi) circulates within the body.
Needles for TCM
Acupuncture-Moxibustion is one of the most ancient and characteristic therapeutic techniques of Chinese medicine.
Tai Ji Quan
Tai Ji Quan (Tai Chi Chuan) is a major division of Chinese martial art, meaning "supreme ultimate fist." Tai means "Supreme," Ji means "Ultimate," and Quan means "Fist."
Tongue Model
The tongue is one of the key examination sites in observation as its shape, color (including that of its coating), and texture reveals the changes of the inner body.
Chinese Medical Cosmetology and Banting
Chinese medical cosmetology has a long and glorious history in China.
Hong Kong Apothecary: A Visual History of Chinese Medicine Packaging
Designers and artists who are both nostalgic and fascinated with contemporary oriental design elements in packaging design; Creative practitioners and marketers seeking for marketing and design inspirations between design and our daily life; Socio-cultural historians having special interest in the changes of Chinese medicine tradition. --Reviewer --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Traditional Packing Type of Chinese Medicine Herb

Packaging: Small Changes Bring Big Upgrade Quality
The Chinese Herbal Medicine production enterprises must use standard packaging materials, and packaging capacity to a maximum of 1 kilogram.

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