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Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Pieces of Gold for Emergencies

2013-04-25 17:19:59


Beiji Qianjin Yaofang (Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Pieces of Gold for Emergencies), also called Qianjin Fang (Precious Prescriptions for Emergencies) or Qianjin Yaofang, was edited by Sun Simiao in the year 652. As Sun Simiao said, "Human life is of paramount importance,more precious than a thousand pieces of gold; to save it with one prescription is to show your great virtue", thus, "gold" is used in the name of the book.

From the Tang Dynasty (618-907) to the modern time, Beiji Qianjin Yaofang has had more than 40 versions at home and abroad, which are roughly divided into two categories.

The book is in 30 volumes. Volume 1 is the pandect of medical science, including medical ethics, materia medica, pharmacy and so on; Volume 2-4 are on gynecopathy; Volume 5 on pediatrics; Volume 6 on diseases of the seven orifices; Volume 7-8 on dermatophytosis of all kinds; Volume 9-10 on febrile diseases caused by cold; Volume 11-20 on viscera diseases; Volume 21 on diabetes and similar diseases; Volume 22 on skin and external diseases; Volume 23 on hemorrhoid; Volume 24 on disintoxicating and various treatments; Volume 25 on techniques for emergencies; Volume 26-27 on dietetic therapy and cultivation of mental poise; Volume 28 on normal pulse; and Volumes 29-30 on acupuncture and moxibustion. There are totally 233 categories, containing more than 5,300 articles. It has set up the format for compilation of prescriptions.

The book gives a systematic summing-up of the accomplishments in medical science before the Tang Dynasty. Its sources are extensive,and its contents are rich, covering all clinical sectors and many aspects such as acupuncture and moxibustion, dietetic therapy, medicament, prevention, hygiene and so on. It contains both discussion and description, having both proved recipes and classical prescriptions. It is the first comprehensive monumental works of medical science in China, another summing-up of Chinese medicine after Treatise on Febrile Diseases Caused by Cold and Miscellaneous Diseases by Zhang Zhongjing, and is praised as the earliest encyclopedia of clinical medicine in the Chinese history.