Thursday, June 19, 2014

History of sickness and medical art 27:  China 2

 Medical treatment scene of doctor Bian que 

< 1. Medical treatment scene of doctor Bian que >

This time, I look at the change of medicine through the activity of the doctor.


Capital's remain of Yin dynasty 

< 2.  Capital's remain of Yin dynasty >


In the entire world, the medical treatment by fortune telling or prayer was in the mainstream in ancient times.
Similarly, medicine man (witch doctor) was most valued in the royal palace of Yin that occurred in the 16th century B.C.
However, a portent of experience medicine was seen also in Yin dynasty, and, in Western Zhou Dynasty in the 8th-11th century B.C., the tendency further was progressing more.

医 師


Duke of Zhou is a Prime Minster of Yin dynasty and seemed to have written ”Rites of Zhou”

 3.  Duke of Zhou is a Prime Minster of Yin dynasty and seemed to have written ”Rites of Zhou”

According to ”Rites of Zhou” in which the administrative organization of Western Zhou Dynasty is described, there was a medical special department that separated from magic and religion.
It included the disease prevention, the treatment, the management about medicine and medical appliances, and the accountancy.
The ranking of medical person was indicated in that order: the doctor (he collected medicine and superintended inferior doctors), food doctor (he prescribed food and drink), internist, surgeon, and veterinarian.
The doctor had been classified by the results and was obliged to report his failure or his success as the judgment data.
In the middle of next chun qiu Zhan guo shi dai (end of the 8th-3rd century B.C.), the change appeared furthermore.
As we had looked a famous physician of the King of Qin last time, doctors like Bian Que (the 5th century B.C.) came to play an active part among many thinkers (Hundred Schools of Thought) that went around feudal lords of each country.


a relief engraving(hua xiang shi) in the 2nd century A.D. showed Bian Que carrying out acupuncture.

< 4. a relief engraving(hua xiang shi) in the 2ndcentury A.D. showed Bian Que carrying out acupuncture. >

The bird expresses the doctor, and his name means the magpie of a wise bird.
He visited main five countries of those days.
He was skillful at pulse diagnosis and also was excellent in internal medicine, surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, five senses (eye, ear, nose, mouth, and tongue), acupuncture and moxibustion.
He was dealt with in “Records of the Grand Historian”, and it was written that he cured the diseases of from feudal lords till common people of each country.
In his words, there was “there are six cureless sickness", and one of that was " a person believes pythoness and does not believe medical art."
This shows a firm belief in medical art of those days, and it shares similarity with Hippocrates of Greece of the same period.
However, the experience medicine did not replace magic medicine.
In the preceding paragraph story of the famous physician of the King of Qin last time, the King was divined by pythoness as “King was cursed as that king had killed two men by his hand, therefore he must die.”


 “Shennong Ben Cao Jing” is a Chinese book on agriculture and medicinal plants 

< 5.  “Shennong Ben Cao Jing” is a Chinese book on agriculture and medicinal plants >


The sick classification was hardly based on cause of disease, but was based on "proof” of the condition or pulse diagnosis.
Therefore, the ancient name of disease is uncertain.
As for the oldest specialized book of materia medica, there is “Shennong Ben Cao Jing”(the 1st century B.C.).
The disease names being written in this book covered 170 different types including jaundice, malignant tumor, cold, etc.
And it explained each disease of internal medicine, surgery, gynecology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, and dentistry.

病 気


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