Invention and Innovation of Xujiang River Medicine
Mar 6, 2015 09:47 AM  

Innovation is the driving force of promoting the continuous progress and development of traditional Chinese medicine. TCM experts in Xujiang River basin committed to the innovation and invention of medical theory and medical technology, created more than ten first medical prizes, and made brilliant contributions to the Chinese and world medical history.

The Complete Effective Prescriptions for Women, written by Chen Ziming of the Song Dynasty in Linchuan district of Jiangxi province, is the largest comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology monograph in the ancient China.

Although there were a few books ofobstetrics and gynecology, the frameworks of them are scattered and not unified. And some of the contents wereomitted and uncompleted. Chen Ziming learned from different experts and concentrated on his main medical techniques. He summarized the academic experiences and achievements of obstetrics and gynecology before the Southern Song Dynasty, the first comprehensive system expounded the physiology and pathology of women’s menstruation, leucorrhea, fetus, production and their diagnosis and treatment, making our country’s ancient obstetrics and gynecology a systematic specialty department. As the earliest monograph of obstetric and gynecology, The Complete Effective Prescriptions for Women has been regarded as the foundation of TCM gynecology and its author has also been regarded as the major founder of obstetrics and gynecology in China. The Breech Delivery Method in The Complete Effective Prescriptions for Women was the earliest medical literature of the world. Chen Ziming used the rabbit brain, assisted with aromatic medicine, to create the ecbolic pills to dredge the channels and help delivery. Until the 1930s and 1940s, the western medical experts found that the brain pituitary oxytocin in animals’ brains had the function of helping delivery. He advocated late marriage and late childbearing, putting forward that the males have semen at sixteen and should get married at thirty, and females have menstruation at fourteen and should get married at twenty. Bearing and rearing better can make children robust andlongevous. He vigorously espoused the new ideas of eugenics. He advocated fetal education during the pregnancy. In The Complete Effective Prescriptions for Women, there is a column of fetal education method, which systematically discussed methods of fetal education. His academic viewpoints still have certain reference significance to today’s eugenics. The word tuberculosis was first used in The Complete Effective Prescriptions for Women. There are introductions on women’s tuberculosis, and all the descriptions fully grasped the clinical characteristics of local tuberculous cold abscess. The book first proposed the differential diagnosis and prognosis of breast carbuncle and breast cancer, which still have certain clinical significance nowadays. Essence of Diagnosis and Treatment of External Diseasesanother monograph of Chen Ziming, is the earliest Chinese medical book entitled with surgery. The book created a precedent of the syndrome differentiation of surgery. Acupuncture bloodletting therapy was used on asthenia patients with back carbuncle, with swelling pain subsiding quickly and heavy pain relieving rapidly, which created a new way to treat carbuncles.

Xi Hong was an acupuncture expert of TCM in Linchuan district of Song dynasty. In his family, acupuncture technology was handed down for 12 generations. From the Song dynasty to the Ming dynasty, acupuncture technology was widely spreading and lasting long, with disciples through Jiangxi province and expanding to Jiangsu, Anhui, Sichuan, Guangdong province, forming the biggest acupuncture family in the Chinese history. He focused on acupuncture manipulation methods, and his manipulation methods of twirling, reinforcing, and reducing are of distinct features. And his book Ode to Xi Hong is widely spread and his acupuncture techniques have played a positive role in promoting the development of later acupuncture and moxibustion. Wei Yilin of Nanfeng city in the Yuan dynasty was a famous medical inventor in the ancient China. His Effective Formulas Handed Down for Generations has a special chapter called bone-setting and gold arrow department, which makes bone-setting an independent subject. So some scholars call this material as the first Chinese monograph of orthopaedics and traumatology, and Wei Yilin was called the first bone-setting scientist of China. He was the first doctor in the world using suspension resetting method to treat spinal fracture, which is earlier 600 years than the British doctor Davis who used the same method. Ladder (vertical stool) resetting method, created by Wei Yilin, is used for repairing the whole dislocation of shoulder joint. It is earlier 200 years than Barre, who adopted the same method in 1572 and was considered one of the founders of the modern surgery. Effective Formulas Handed Down for Generations gives an account of using Kusnezoff Monkshood Root Powder for general anesthesia to undergo surgery of metal-inflicted wound and bone-setting, which is the earliest known general anesthesia record of the world history of anesthesia. Wei's application of Datura stramonium and Radix Aconiti kusnezoffii for general anesthesia is earlier at least 460 years than the Japanese surgeon Huagang Qingzhou who used Datura stramonium for anesthesia in 1805. Fan Shuqing of Linchuan district in Yuan Dynasty is the earliest throat specialist according to the historical records, and Wei Yilin was under the tutelage of him. In Effective Formulas Handed Dow n for Generations, the department of mouth and throat was set up for the first time, forming the new views about the eighteen syndromes of throat illnesses, which has an important influence on the later development of laryngeal science. As a TCM expert in Qingjiang district of Yuan dynasty, Du Qingbi revised and enlarged Ao Jiweng’s book Records of Golden Mirror, increasing the original twelve tongue figure to thirty-six figure. And he composed Ao's Records of Golden Mirror of Febrile Diseases in 1341. This book is the earliest existing monograph of tongue diagnosis.

Gong Yanxian, a TCM expert with rich knowledge and experience in Jinxi district of the Ming dynasty, saved uncountable patients. He was awarded the medical champion by the king of Lu Vassal. Hence he became the first doctor with the title of champion in Chinese medical history. He was diligent in writing all his life and composed eighteen medical books, eighty nine volumes in all. His representative works are Restoration of All Diseases and Longevity and Health Preservation. He became one of the medical experts with lots of books before the Ming dynasty, and his masterpiece Secret Prescriptions of Tuina for Children was the earliest pediatric massage monograph in Chinese medical history. The earliest literature record about using arsenic formula for treating syphills appeared in Realgar Baidu San and syphilitic sores recipe of his book Restoration of All Diseases and in Shiquan Pills in Longevity and Health Preservation. (From professor He Xiaohui of Research Council ofXujiang River Medicine)

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