Background of Xin’an Medicine
Huizhou cultures are one of three major regional cultures in China. They are aggregates of material and spiritual civilizations in one prefecture and six counties. They differ from Anhui cultures. Huizhou refers to today’s Huangshan of Anhui Province, Jixi County, and Wuyuan County of Jiangxi Province. Huizhou cultures are regional cultures with distinguishing regional characteristics. With extensive, profound and systematic content, they deeply reveal puzzles of the Oriental society and cultures. Holistically containing basic content about folk economy, society, life and cultures of the late feudal society of China, they are honored as typical symbols of the society. Academicians have studied these cultures for more than half a century at minimum. Huizhou cultures were listed as one of three major Chinese cultures which are prevalent in local areas and develop on a worldwide basis, including Dunhuang studies and Tibetan studies.
Huizhou cultures mainly include Huizhou land systems, Huizhou businesses, clans, Huizhou historical figures, Huizhou education, Huizhou technologies, Xin’an theories, Xin’an medicine, Huizhou Pu theory, Huizhou operas, Xin’an art schools, Huizhou seal carvings, Huizhou prints, Huizhou crafts, Huizhou carvings, Huizhou literature, Huizhou instruments, Huizhou architecture, Huizhou villages, Huizhou folk custom, Huizhou dialects, Huizhou cuisine, Huizhou religion, Huizhou geography, Huizhou animals and plants and so on. They are associated with disciplines such as economy, society, education, academics, literature, arts, crafts, architecture and medicine. All content related to social and historical development of Huizhou is part of Huizhou cultures. In general, we summarize Huizhou cultures as “aggregates of material and spiritual civilizations”.
Xin’an medicine stands out on the fertile land of Huizhou cultures as traditional Chinese medicine. Xin’an is an ancient designation of “Huizhou Prefecture” (governing Xhe County, Yi County, Xiuning County, Jixi County, Qimen County and Wuyuan County. It is named after Xin’an River and Xin’an Mountain within the territory. Originating from Xin’an medicine of ancient Huizhou, it started development in Song/Yuan dynasties and prospered in Ming and Qing dynasties. Over hundreds of years, there have been 1,000 medical scientists and more than 800 masterpieces about Xin’an cultures, which can be demonstrated by literature. There are numerous famous doctors, masterpieces, schools, theories, drugs and prescriptions with distinctive characteristics of Xin’an, which have made considerable contributions to development of TCM. With numerous doctors, medical books and significant impacts, Huizhou can be reckoned as No.1 among different areas (prefectures) in medical cultures.
Xin’an medical scientists dare to make breakthroughs and bold innovations in accumulating clinical experiences and performing academic studies about TCM. They have put forward a range of influential academic viewpoints, including Wang Ji’s theory of “consolidating foundation”, “Yingwei theory”, theory of “newly contracted warm diseases”, Sun Yikui’s theory of “activating qi and vital gate”, “theory of swelling and fire decline”, Fang Youzhi’s theory of “error detection and correction”, Wu Cheng’s theory of “treating Yin deficiency”, Yu Cong’s theory of “converting thermal energy into moisture”, Cheng Guopeng’s “eight-principle pattern differentiation” and “eight principal rules in the practice of medicine”, which occupy important positions in the academic history of traditional Chinese medicine.
In fact, “consolidating foundation” means caring and exciting human bodies’ self-organization and self-restoring capacities. This fundamental thought, as an important complement of modern medicine, is of significant academic value. Wang Ji is reckoned to be founder of the school of “consolidating foundation”, which can be traced back to Zhu Danxi’s and Li Dongyuan’s theories. Followers of these theories include Wang Fuhu, Huang Gutan, Sun Yikui and Wu Zhenglun and so on. Fang Youzhi developed the theory of “error detection and correction”, which was followed by plenty of physicians such as Yu Jiayan, Zhang Lu, Cheng Yingmao and Zheng Chongguang (local physicians of Xin’an). Cheng Yingmao and Zheng Chongguang wrote Treatise on Discussion of Typhoid and Classified Annotations of the Treatise on Typhoid, which are collectively referred to as “three Xin’an treaties about cold together with Fang Youzhi’s Treatise on Discussion of Typhoid. So far, these treaties still have academic impacts.
The school of “nourishing yin and moisturizing”, which is well-known and developed by Zheng Meijian in Qing Dynasty, is an important academic characteristic of Zheng’s laryngology family in Xin’an and fairly influential. In Jiangnan, physicians mostly won victories by taking advantage of light and magic drugs. The most representative figures included Ye Tianshi, whose father Ye Chaocai and grandfather Ye Zifan were famous doctors in Xin’an, and migrated to Suzhou subsequently. Ye Tianshi, Cheng Guopeng, Cheng Zhitian and Ye Xingu were representatives of this school, who are still influential nowadays. These are major characteristics of medicine for TCM differentiation in Jiangnan. The theory of “treating Yin deficiency” is an innovation of Xin’an medical scientists. Wu Cheng, a famous medical scientist of Qing Dynasty, firstly upheld this theory. His representative work titled Non-Resident Collection firstly developed the concept of “external damages”, which greatly enriched the TCM theory about deficiency.
Apart from theories about phlegm, blood stasis and Luobing theory, there is also theory about “preventive treatment”, which has been advocated over the past two years. The theory of “preventive treatment” is mostly misunderstood as new theory of the modern world. In fact, Sun Yikui, a medical scientist of Ming Dynasty in Xin’an, observed that phlegm was produced because of blood stasis. Theoretically, this phenomenon was explained in details from the perspective of theories. According to Luobing theory, Ye Tianshi, documented in the Guide to Clinical Medical Records in Qing Dynasty that medical scientists of Xin’an practised and utilized the theory of “preventive treatment” to a great extent based on Huangdi Neijing.
In Xin’an, there was a great variety of medical specialties, which were passed on from generation to generation and formed many “clan chains”, which still survive. For instance, “Huang’s obstetrics” of Huang Xiaotong, who was expertise in medicine in the Southern Song Dynasty, has been inherited for 25 generations; other theories that have survived until today also include Zhang Yitie’s internal medicine, which originated from Jiajing’s period of the Ming Dynasty from 1507 to 1567 when “Zhang Yitie” became famous and has been inherited for 15 generations, “internal medicine” developed by Yu Wuting and Wu Zhenglun in Ming Dynasty, Wang’s Medicine of Xin’an developed by Wang Xuejian in Qing Dynasty, “Nanyuan ENT” and “Xiyuan ENT” developed by Zheng Yufeng and Zheng Yufan. These specialities, covering rich content and unique experiences, occupy critical position in the development history of TCM. Throughout their dissemination, Xin’an medical masterpieces have played positive roles in promoting development of medicine in Japan, Korea and different countries of Southeast Asia.
Famous Doctors of Xin’an
Since the ancient times, there have been numerous famous doctors about Xin’an medicine who have made significant contributions to development of traditional Chinese medicine. Famous physicians included Zhang Kuo of Northern Song Dynasty, Zhang Gao of Southern Dynasty, Cheng Ruqing and Wang Guorui of Yuan Dynasty, Cheng Chong, Wang Ji, Wu Zhenglun, Wu Kun, Cheng Jie, Cheng Yandao, Jiang Guan, Jiang Long, Fang Youzhi, Yu Wuting, Sun Yikui, Wang Huan, Xu Chunpu, Chen Jiamo, Fang Guang and Ding Zan of Ming Dynasty, Cheng Zhengtong, Cheng Lin, Cheng Jiaoqian, Wang Ang, Zheng Chongguang, Cheng Guopeng, Wu Qian, Zheng Meijian, Zheng Shufu, Wang Wenqi, Xu Yuhe, Wang Fu, Wu Shilang, Cheng Xingxuan and Xu Zuoting. Wang Ji was honored as one of TOP4 medical scientists in Ming Dynasty and Wu Qian was renowned as one of TOP4 medical scientists of Qing Dynasty. Modern famous physicians included Wang Yuetao, Li Jiren, Wu Jinhong, Wang Zhongqi and Cheng Menxue .
Masterpieces of Xin’an
Medical masterpieces of Xin’an mainly include Medical Theory, which was written by Zhang Gao (from She County of Song Dynasty), and classical masterpieces of Xin’an medicine, Ophthalmology Masterpiece written by famous medical scientist Cheng Jie in Ming Dynasty (She County), Medical Cases of Wang Ji written by Wang Ji of Ming Dynsty who was born in Qimen County, Medical Case Records of Famous Practitioners (the first monograph summarizing medical cases of past generations in China), Bencao Mengquan, Posthumous Publications of Shenzhai and Complete Collection of Medical Science in Past andPresent Age. Modern masterpieces included Collection about Essence of Xin’an Medicine, A Collection of Medical Records from Xin’an, Xin’an Medicine, Medical Essence, Examination of Famous Doctors in Xin’an and Examination of Xin’an Medical Books.
At present, there are numerous masterpieces about medical histories and materials. Zhang Gao, was named Jiming and born in She County of the Southern Song Dynasty. His grandfather Zhang Hui and his father Zhang Shimeng engaged in medicine when his father’s brother worked in Pang’an. Zhang Gao served as practitioner for over 5 decades. To uphold practices of Xuan Zhi and ancient famous physicians, ancient physicians and medical records were recorded and integrated into the Medical Theory, which was published in 1189. The book has 10 volumes, which has 47 disciplines and over 110 famous physicians. Top 7 disciplines were about summary of medical books, acupuncture and types of medical consultations. They were subdivided into six disciplines about miscellaneous diseases, subtypes for women, two disciplines for pediatrics, sore and five classics, three disciplines for hernia. The returns to medical contributions should be written at the end of the volume. Comments and personal practices were attached at the end of the book, while materials were relatively abundant. Besides, some prescriptions which were not made public a lot in the ancient times were recorded. This was more or less useful for storing and disseminating ancient medical books. Although Gan Bozong of Tang Dynasty wrote Biography of Famous Doctors before Zhang Gao, the original book was lost, so Medical Theory is the earliest book with many monographs of medical figures and books about historical medical materials and the first relatively complete masterpiece about Xin’an medicine. It was said that this book was published in the 15th year of Li Si’s reign in Korea (AD1488) and the second year of the Manji era (AD1659). Therefore, Medical Theory was the first Xin’an masterpiece that was spread abroad.Wang Guorui of Yuan Dynasty and
He was a famous acupuncture doctor of Yuan Dynasty from Wuyuan of Huizhou. His father Doumo studied acupuncture for 20 years. Acquiring all skills from Doumo, Guo Rui was apprentice to his father from his childhood, mastered all skills and imparted them to his son Ting Yu. Sun Zongze, embarked on medicine all his life and became an acupuncture master of Yuan and Ming dynasties. He wrote Spiritual Acupuncture from Bian Que, which imposed significant impacts upon acupuncture of the later generations. However, no inscribed copy has been seen. At present, Siku Quanshu and its monograph as well as the 1995 annotated compilation of Shanghai science and Technology Press.
3. Wang Ji (1463-1593), also named Xingzhi, was born in Qimen County and lived in Shishanwu of Qimen County all his life, so he called himself Shishan. After death, he was buried in Qingluo Temple of Qimen County. He read poems when he was a little kid and became a scholar of the country. He determined to concentrate on studying medicine as his mother was not cured after a long period of vomiting. He treated his mother’s disease with ancient secret formulas, thus curing his mother’s disease. Engaging in medicine for more than 4 decades in his life, he received patients from different areas and never wasted any time. Being inquisitive and knowledgeable, he wrote many works, including over 13 types of works such as Du Su Wen Chao, Yun Qi Yi Lan, Zhen Jiu Wen Dui, Ben Cao Wen Dui, Rules and Case Studies of External Conditions, Ben Cao Hui Bian, Dou Zhi Li Bian, Tui Qiu Shi Yi, Shang Han Xuan Lu, Shishan Medical Cases, Yi Du, Bu Ding Mai Jue Kan Wu and Annotations of Internal Medicine.
4. Sun Yikui (1522-1619), also named Wenyuan and Dongsu, nicknamed Shengshengzi, was born in Xiuning. Apprenticed to Huanggutan, Yi County, he travelled to Pengli, Lujiang, Fu County, Yuan River, Hunan, Wu Prefecture, Wuxing Prefecture and Huiji Prefecture. Visiting famous doctors and learning from them modestly, he consulted all those benefiting them. His masterpieces included Chishui Xuanzhu, Yizhi Xuyu, Sun Wenyuan’s Medical Case and New Records about Acne.5. Wu Kun of Ming Dynasty, Su Wen Wu Zhu and Investigations of Medical Formulas.
Wu Kun (1552-1620), named Shanfu and born in Hegao Mountain, was also nicknamed Can Huang Zi. He lived in Chentang, She County during Jiajing’s reign and Wanli Period. Wu was born in a scholarly family, where numerous books were collected. Wu Kun, who was smart from his childhood, accumulated rich knowledge about Confucianism and had studied medicine since he was 15 years old. Apprenticed to Yu Wuting who was his countryman, he studied medical classics and typical medical books for 3 years. Later, he travelled across the country and made friends with famous doctors of the world as his master wished. He was apprenticed to over 72 people in succession and learned from their strong points. After 16 years of clinical practices, he realized that therapeutic effects were unapparent if diseases were simply treated by copying ancient people’s prescriptions. In addition, diseases would be easily wrongly treated. To use ancient prescriptions, it is necessary to master prescription mechanisms and norms for addition and subtraction. Thus, “he deliberated more than 700 good ancient prescriptions, corrected them, made slight movements and compiled them into 6 volumes. Covering 20 types, the book was named Investigations of Medical Formulas (the first monograph about annotation of medical formulas). His masterpieces included Huangdi Neijing Suwen Wuzhu, Investigations of Medical Formulas, Zhen Fang Liu Ji, Mai Yu, Shi San Ke Zheng Zhi, Can Huang Lun, Yao Zuan and Bian Ruo Kao.
6. Fang Youzhi of Ming Dynasty and Classified Annotations of the Treatise on Typhoid
Fang Youzhi (1523-1599), named Zhonghang, was born in Lingshan, She County. Attaching great importance to studying Shang Han Lun, he thought that the content of this book would be inevitably erroneous owing to simple compilation. Although this book was sorted out by Wang Shuhe, the modified one was not the same as Zhong Jingxue. It cost him 20 years to write the Classified Annotations of the Treatise on Typhoid, and articles of the Treatise on Typhoid was re-edited. Theories about protection against rheumatic diseases, typhoid and both diseases were detected in terms of errors and revised after the Treatise on Typhoid, which was the first one that schools of typhoid competed for.
7. Jiang Guan of Ming Dynasty and Medical Case Records of Famous Practitioners
Jiang Guan (1503-1565), named Minying and Huang Nanzi, was born in She County and a scholar of Jiajing’s period in Ming Dynasty. Later, he engaged in studying medicine, collected many cases about ancient/modern famous doctors’ determination, repeatedly examined and optionally documented them. It took him more than 2 decades to write the first medical monograph.
8. Xu Chunpu of Ming Dynasty and Complete Collection of Medical Science in Past andPresent Age
Xu Chunpu (1520-1596), named Ruyuan, Donggao, Simin and Sihe, was born in Qimen County. When he was a little kid, he was apprenticed to Ye Guangshan in an imperial college. Later, he became apprentice of Wang Huan (a famous doctor of Qimen) to study medicine. During the Jiajing period of Ming Dynasty, he practised medicine in Jiangsu and Zhejiang. With excellent medical skills and great reputation, he was recommended to act as medical official of the imperial hospital. Over 10 years, he wrote many books.
Complete Collection of Medical Science in Past and Present Age is one of TOP10 complete books about TCM.
9. Wang Tian, imperial doctor
Wang Dian (1497~?) Named Banggong and Yi’an, he was born in Xiao Yaoshan. He was from Qimen County of Ming Dynasty. Studying many books like Suwen, he figured out the secrets of medicine, in order that therapies could be more effective and beneficial. His syndrome differentiation and treatment were often extraordinary. In the Records of Qimen County, it was said that “his treatment was not confined to ancient prescriptions.” During Jiajing’s period, Mr. Wang travelled to Kyoto for study. Thanks to his contribution to treating the prince, he was promoted to an imperial doctor and served his post for 10 to 15 years. He returned to his hometown 21 years after Jiajing’s period. He wrote Yixue Suijin (anonymous). He treated 87 cases for internal medicine, external medicine, gynecology and pediatrics. Recently, these cases were firstly discovered to be compiled into Wang Yi’an’s Medical Cases in China, of which the preface was written by Professor Geng Jianting.
10. Zhang Zongtian, imperial and Confucian doctor of Ming Dynasty
Zhang Zongtian, also called Zhang Bantie, was from Wuyuanjia Road. His biography remained to be examined. Mr. Zhang resigned his post from the imperial hospital and returned to his hometown. After his death, he still saved many people with preserved prescriptions. His townmen spoke highly of his medical skills and praised him that “half dose magical prescriptions were effective for bringing the dying back to life and he was eternally remembered for his great contributions. His descendants repaired his tomb, built ancestral temple and set up dozens of tablets along road trees.
11. Hu Shu of Qing Dynasty and Su Wen Jiao Yi
Hu Shu (1825-1872), named Gaifu, Ganbo and Shisheng, was from Jixi County. He was skilled in engraving and standard seal scripts. He was well-known for studying Sinology and passed the imperial exams during the 9th year of Hsien-Feng. With expertise in interpreting and making glossaries and commentaries on classic texts, he ever wrote the Popular Textual Evidences. He also studied medial skills because he was always sick during his middle age, and wrote Su Wen Jiao Yi, which was the first monograph that studied Nei Jing (Inner Classic) with methods of philology.
12. Jiang Yougao’s Suling Yundu.
Jiang Yougao, who was born in She County of Qing Dynasty, was a famous philologist of Anhui School. “Qing Dynasty was a period when ancient Chinese phonology developed vigorously. Through efforts of generations, including Gu Yanwu, Jiang Yong, Dai Zhen, Duan Yucai, Wang Niansun and Jiang Yougao, ancient melodies has been thoroughly studied as a whole. Studying components of ancient melodies was their major task. Jiang Yougao wrote 10 Books about Jiang’s Phonology, which included Suling Yundu, which was the first monograph that studied Inner Classic with phonologic methods.
13. Zheng Meijian and Zhong Lou Yu Yao.
Zheng Honggang (1727-1787) was also named Jiyuan and Meijian. He did what his father Yu Feng did, specialized in laryngology and internal medicine for pediatrics, especially achieving outstanding performances in laryngology. His masterpieces included Zhong Lou Yu Yao, Sha Yu Yi Yu, Monograph on Acne, and Magical Drugs and Secret Formulations. Zhong Lou Yu Yao, which is an important masterpiece of TCM laryngology, describes basic theories of laryngology, differential treatment, prescriptions for inner administration and external use. Furthermore, it has a special article about acupuncture therapies for laryngeal symptoms. In this book, there are extraordinary views about philology of diphtheria. It is proposed in this book that diphtheria “is called throat whitening because it is on one channel for lack of yin, where there is warm pathogen that steals the main qi of lung”. It is upheld that diphtheria should be treated with yin for moistening lung. This masterpiece is highly influential among descendants.
14. Wu Yiding and Shen Jiu Jing Lun (Classic of Miraculous Moxibustion) (an influential monograph about moxibustion methods in the early period)
This is a monograph about moxibustion like a summary, written in 153 (the 3rd Year of Xianfeng in Qing Dynasty). So far, more than 100 years have passed. However, there were very few versions spread in the world.It is a monograph about moxibustion that is relatively systematic and comprehensive in the development history of Chinee moxibution, with relatively great significance for the application of the advocated moxibustion methods.
15. Wu Qian and Yi Zong Jin Jian (one of TOP10 encyclomedia on TCM)
Wu Qian, named Liu Ji, was born in She County of Qing Dynasty, but his birthday was unclear. Being knowledgeable and talented with rich theoretical knowledge and sophisticated medical skills, he was one of 3 major famous physicians in early Qing Dynasty. He was promoted to right court judge of Qianlong’s imperial hospital in Qing Dynasty. Emperor Hong Li spoke highly of him and often said that “Wuqian, with good virtues and outstanding academic performances), was unlike ordinary physicians, and you should respect him”. During his reign, Emperor Qianlong issued an order to compile a systematic medical masterpiece under the lead of Wu Qian. Furthermore, he ordered Wu Qian and Liu Yuduo (serving the same post as Wu Qian) was appointed as chief repair officer), and wrote an immortal medical masterpiece known as Yi Zong Jin Jian in 1742.
16. Wang Ang
Wang Ang, named Ren An, was from Xiu Ning and was approximately alive from 1615 to1694. He embarked on Confucianism at the beginning. As scholar of Ming Dynasty, he gave up working for imperial organizations and devoted to studying Qihuang upon the disappearance of Ming Dynasty and resignation from his post. He wrote many works all his life, mainly including Su Wen Ling Shu Lei Zuan Yue Zhu, Ben Cao Bei Yao, Yi Fang Ji Jie, Tang Tou Ge Jue, Jing Luo Ge Jue, Jing Luo Ge Jue, Jing Luo Xue Dao Ge, Jing Luo Tu Shu, Dou Ke Bao Jing Encyclopedia and Wu Yao Yuan Quan. These books have been reprinted over and over again over the past 300 years and each of them has more than 50 versions. Ben Cao Bei Yao even has over 100 versions, which are only seen among existing medical books. What’s more, there are countless revisions, supplements, joint compilations and further annotations.
Apart from long-standing academic foundation for TCM, Xin’an Medicine also has distinguishing cultural traits of Huizhou studies. They are overlaps between scientific heritages of TCM and cultural heritages of Huizhou studies. Through these overlaps, TCM sciences are integrated organically with cultures of Huizhou studies.
Xin’an cultures such as Cheng Zhu’s theory, Jiang Dai’s topology, Huizhou carvings, Huizhou and Anhui seal carvings, all of which have profound impacts upon Xin’an medicine, the thought of “unification between nature and man”, the great aspiration for “becoming a good doctor in case of impossibility for becoming a good prime minister) and the benevolent spirit of “treating patients like family members” are real manifestations of Xin’an Confucian doctors over the past generations. So far, lots of medical and cultural sites are still preserved in different areas of Huizhou. Former residences, inscribed boards, memorial arches of some physicians were still in the places where they were, which revealed brilliance of the history.
Since the 21st century, many people have analyzed Xin’an medicine intensively in details with modern scientific and technological research methods like biological experiments. For instance, some relatively scientific outcomes have been achieved from research of the school for warming qi and consolidating basis. Several articles have been published in succession. Besides, efforts have been made to study laws of stroke and investigate how to improve cerebral ischemia by invigorating qi and promoting blood circulation. Moreover, lessons have been drawn from methods of molecular biology and modern compound pharmacologic experimental methods for the purpose of argumentation. The verification and research of these prescriptions have fully reflect that research on Xin’an medicine is modern and pragmatic as modern extension of the vitality of the medicine.
Thesium chinense is a type of authentic medicinal materials that government of Anhui Province pay close attention to. Its application from the ancient to the modern times just reflects the cultural essence of Xin’an medicine. For instance, Xin’an medicine is the theoretical basis for “consolidating foundation”, “nourishing yin, clearing away lung heat”, “relieving heat and removing sputum. The survival of these theories benefit from the guidance of famous doctors in Xin’an medicine. They are perfect integrations of 1,000-year inheritance and modern pharmaceutical technologies for 1,000 years.