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I. On the Significance of the Huang Di nei jing Su wen / II. Principles of additions to older text portions marked with pointed brackets date from. This is the first of two volumes of an annotated English translation of the ancient Chinese life sciences text Huang Di nei jing su wen (short: Su wen). Annotated Translation of Su wen 1 through is based in yin and yang. Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen: An Annotated Translation of Huang Di's Inner Classic – Basic Questions: 2 volumes First Edition, Volumes of the Huang Di Nei Jing.
See Unschuld, page Recent studies[ edit ] The Chinese medicine history scholars Paul Unschuld, Hermann Tessenow and their team at the Institute for the History of Medicine at Munich University have translated the Neijing Suwen into English, including an analysis of the historical and structural layers of the Suwen.
Significant portions of the above Suwen translation but with only a fraction of the annotations are currently available in Huang Di nei jing su wen: See Unschuld in cited references below. Only the first two discourses out of the total eighty-one are translated. An edited version of the Neijing with the treatises reordered by topic. About a percent of the Neijing both Suwen and Lingshu is translated.
Includes annotations and commentaries by translator. Yellow Empero's [sic] Canon of Internal Medicine stated to be Wang Bing's version, but a quick examination shows it to appear to be identical to the authoritative version, but without the commentarytranslated by Nelson Liansheng Wu and Andrew Qi Wu. Complete translation of both Suwen and Lingshu. Contains the Neijing text in simplified Chinese characters, along with alternate variants of Neijing text also in simplified characters.
The alternate variants of the Neijing are not translated, only the main version is translated. None of the commentary by Wang Bing is translated. Medical History Translations Huang Di nei jing su wen: Analysis and history of the Suwen. Includes significant portions of the Suwen translated into English. University of California Press, December,pages.
General Catalog with Abstracts and 4 the first thirty-four chapters treatises of the Suwen. Includes an extensive introductory study with illustrations. The first published English translation of the Suwen.
Originally copyrighted in Sample Text from Suwen: The yin qi has not yet stirred, the yang qi has not yet dispersed, food and drink have not yet been taken, the [main] channel vessels [of qi and blood] are not yet overly active, the [qi and blood of the] network vessels [that branch out and enmesh the body] are harmonious and stable, and the qi and blood are not yet disordered -- thus, for these reasons, an abnormal pulse can be detected.
Zhong Yi Xue Ji Chu, page The name of the watch corresponding to a. Further, the second paragraph in the above translation states the doctor is to observe the five colors of the patient, something that is not going to be accurately done at 3: To correctly perceive the colors of the complexion without bias, natural lighting i.
It may also mean the essence of the mind or emotions. Thus, it may be referring to judging the mental and emotional state of the patient as well as the general level of vitality and spirit present as observed via the patient's eyes. To regard long for short, to regard white for black, if this [occurs] then the essence is feeble-and-declining!
Translation and notes by Robert A. Threlfall, January 24, Unschuld's Translation page The laws of diagnosis [are as follows].
As a rule, it is at dawn, before yin qi has begun its movement, before yang qi is dispersed, before beverages and food have been consumed, before the conduit vessels are filled to abundance, when the [contents of the] network vessels are balanced, before the qi and blood move in disorder, that, hence, one can diagnose an abnormal [movement in the] vessels.
Squeeze the vessels, whether [their movement] is excited or quiet, and observe the essence-brilliance. Investigate the five complexions. All this is brought together to reach a conclusion [enabling one] to differentiate between [the patient's] death and survival. In this situation can the pulse condition be diagnosed effectively.
The medical manuscripts excavated in from Tomb 3 at Mawangdui show that the early medical classics, especially the Huangdi neijing The Yellow Emperor's Inner Classicwhich is revered as the oldest writings of its kind, had not only been compiled much later than it is commonly believed in the Chinese tradition but even the views represented in them could not have developed before the Han. Thus the standard view of medical tradition of the last fifteen-seventeen hundred years in China contradicts to the reality manifested in the Mawangdui manuscripts.
Based on the manuscript texts, one can determine that at the time of Qin BC — BC and the beginning of Western Han most of the typical features of Chinese healing art had not been formed yet. One must also point out here the significance of the Nanjing Classic of Difficult Issues and its role in establishing a new direction towards a standardized and systematic body of knowledge. The tradition Traditional Chinese medicine has been practically unknown in the West until very recently.
The pioneers in this subject were the Jesuit missionaries traveling and living in China starting from the 17th century; this was also the time when Western medicine was introduced to China for the first time. In later centuries, as political and cultural connections between East and West grew stronger and became more frequent, most aspects of Chinese culture, including traditional medicine and pharmacology, came to be an object of increasing curiosity in the Western world.
Despite the growing interest, even in our times, and despite the fact that the major works of ancient European medical science have been translated into Western languages with dependable philological and medical annotations, the ancient Chinese medical writings, with a very few exceptions, are still not available in any of the main European languages. Thus the range of specialists who could make serious and reliable research in comparing medical systems of different cultures, when it comes to Chinese medicine, is limited to those few people who are able to read the original texts.
As is the case with many other aspects of Chinese culture, the authorship of medical classics has been assigned to mythical personages and pushed back to times of remote antiquity. Huangdi was the one who taught people the knowledge of raising silk-worms, riding boats and carriages, also he was the one who invented writing, music and medicine.
Chinese historical records date the reign period of Huangdi and, consequently, the Huangdi neijing to B. The Huangdi neijing is one of the first, and undoubtedly the most important, classic in the history of Chinese medicine, which had an enormous influence on the medical thought in later centuries.
According to the medical tradition starting from the Shiji 91 BCthis book is a work of Bien Que, a physician who is supposed to have flourished sometime between the sixth and third centuries B.
Later, the Nanjing was added to the Yellow Emperor tradition and was assigned to the Yellow Emperor himself. Until very recently, the Nanjing was thought to be a commentary to the Huangdi neijing, elaborating on certain obscure passages and issues from it. The difficult issues, however, despite their apparent similarity, cannot be found in the Huangdi neijing; in many cases they in fact do shed light on obscure parts of the Huangdi neijing, but this is due to the fact that the Nanjing explains medical theory and practice in a much more clear and lucid way than the Huangdi neijing.
Regardless of their high esteem in Chinese tradition, almost everything about these classics is uncertain, especially their authorship and date. The transmission of the principal medical texts including the Neijing is submerged in utter darkness from the end of the Han well into the Sui period, that is, for a span of ten generations. Most of the Western scholars date the book anywhere from the first to third century AD; in general, their calculations are based on the dating of the Shanghan lun, written by Zhang Ji ?
As I mentioned above, the Nanjing is also referred to as Huangdi bashiyi nanjing. The Shiji quotes a book called Bashiyi nan fourteen times and all of the quotes can be identified in the present version of the Nanjing; therefore, we have a clear evidence that at the time of the compilation of the Shiji, i. On the other hand, the Mawangdui texts, as I will attempt to prove below, demonstrate that the Nanjing was composed after the burial date B.
Unlike the Nanjing, the Huangdi neijing is a text that was put together over a span of several centuries by a number of individuals; one can finds esoteric and self-cultivating cosmology next to Confucian discussions on ethical considerations; there are highly rational and scientific arguments a few pages after appraisal of physiological alchemy; certain parts of the book may go back to pre-Qin times and other parts are from the Tang dynasty.
There has been an extensive debate over the last few decades regarding the authorship and dating of this book, yet, to present day, no generally accepted and solidly based theory exists. Since it is a compilation, it is extremely hard to label it with a particular date. The title first appears in the "Yiwenzhi" chapter of the Hanshu, among the bibliography of medical classics. Of course, there is no way of knowing, whether that title referred to the same content and, similarly, other titles could have included parts of the present text.
The name Huangdi neijing is generally prefixed to the titles of four books, Suwen, Lingshu, Taisu, and Mingtang. We do not have a Han copy of any of the texts and all of the extant texts have undergone further editing and revision after the Han. There are also two other texts, the Jiayijing — and the Maijing ca. This shows that the Huangdi neijing was already present at least during the Latter Han, however, it is very hard to establish to what extent was this original text damaged by later revisions.
A detailed analysis of the various time layers in the Huangdi neijing and the dating of these text fragments is a task far beyond the scope of this paper. Before the Nanjing and Huangdi neijing, we do not see comprehensive works on medical theory; there are only practical manuals and reference books, entirely focusing on the practical applications of treatment.
Even the Nanjing follows this tradition, closely concentrating on medical questions. The Huangdi neijing is probably the first medical book which aims to interweave medical experience with the wider cosmogonic ideology into a coherent system.
Medical theory has always been traced back to the Nanjing and Huangdi neijing which served as an absolute standard for all works after the Han; this kind of continuous authority, produced as a result of the well-known traditionalism of Chinese scholarship, resulted in an unusually homogenous and coherent conceptual structure. On this part of the world, just like in other ancient societies, the idea of evolution worked seemingly backwards, the original settings were the best and ever since the times of antiquity everything has been deteriorating.
While in the modern, "scientific" West it is customary to think that the newer a thing is the better, in traditional Chinese thought this appears to be just the opposite; a new thing could be justified and accepted if one could prove that it has been already mentioned and thought of in ancient times. As a result of this traditionalistic approach, medicine in China has been regarded as a body of knowledge which has undergone very little, if any, changes through the span of history.
This conservative attitude was largely shaken by the archeological discovery of medical documents dating back to early Han or pre-Han times. The Mawangdui documents Ina large number of silk and a smaller number of bamboo slip documents were excavated from Tomb Three of the Mawangdui site at Changsha, Hunan. The burial is dated to B. The total ofcharacters included the copies of the Yijing, the Laozi, Chunqiu shiyu, as well as other manuscripts on history, geography, military science, philosophy, astronomy, divination, and medicine.
The medical texts, representing every aspect of healing art in ancient China, amount to more than 23, characters, constituting one sixth of all the writings; the 14 individual medical documents, following the arrangement of the bibliographic catalogue in the Hanshu, can be grouped into four main categories: Classics of Medicine yijing: Collection of Prescriptions 1. Wushier bingfang Recipes for Fifty-two Ailments. Treatises on the Bedroom fangzhong: Yangsheng fang Recipes for Nurturing Life.
Za liao fang Recipes for Various Cures. Shi wen Ten Questions. He Yin-yang Joining the Yin and Yang. Methods and Prescriptions for Immortality shenxian 1.
Qugu-shiqi Rejection of Grains and Consumption of Vapor. Daoyin tu Illustration of Guiding and Conducting.
The Su Wen of the Huangdi Neijing (Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor)
Taichan shu Book of the Generation of the Fetus. Za jin fang Recipes for Various Charms. It is fortunate that all of the four categories in the Hanshu are represented among the excavated materials. What makes these documents so rare and valuable is that the exact date of the burial and the way name-taboo characters are used or omitted give us a solid chronological basis so unusual in this field.
Furthermore, since these manuscripts have been out of circulation during the centuries of changes, they allow us to lift up the veil covering the earliest phase of development of medical thought during the Eastern Han dynasty.
The Mawangdui documents present us an ideology remarkably different from the conventionally accustomed view of medical theory which, in its earliest form, is represented by the Nanjing and Huangdi neijing.
The more "primitive" and unstructured doctrines of the excavated material remind us of the grand process of standardization that took place sometime during the Latter Han. If we compare the Mawangdui medical corpus with the classics, a number of striking distinctions confirm the gap in time and ideology. The manuscripts within group A, categorized under the title "Classics of Medicine," are the ones immediately concerned with medical theory and ideology and in my study I would like to concentrate on these texts.
Below are descriptions of the main distinctions in the Mawangdui medical corpus as opposed to the extant medical classics. Acupuncture points None of the documents mentions names or even the existence of acupuncture points xue. The later classics discuss a large number of different types of acu-points, most of which are located along the ducts; the Huangdi neijing states that there are acu-points in the body which corresponds to the number of days in a year.
In traditional Chinese medical thought the needling of acu-points has been regarded as definitely the most important kind of treatment along with herbal therapy; consequently, the classics elaborate in detail on the name, location, category, and function of individual points, as well as the technique of piercing, including the depth, angle, body position, time interval, time of the day etc.
The origins of Chinese medicine
Evidently, the theory of acu-points was altogether a later development. Metal Needles Apparently as a direct consequence of the absence of the concept of acupuncture points, none of the texts in the Mawangdui corpus mentions the use of acupuncture needles.
Instead, as in B2, we find that stone probes were used to open up boils and abscesses, just as documented in writings from the Warring States period. In Chinese medical tradition acupuncture treatment with metal needles plays an extremely important role and even in the age of the Huangdi neijing there were already nine different needles in use with a specific name assigned to each of them. This is a clear proof that needling technique was unknown before B. In B1 we read, "pierce the side of the buttocks with a stone probe.
System of Ducts The documents only list eleven ducts none of which is connected to specific organs, as opposed to the usual twelve ducts being ascribed to twelve organs. Although most of the ducts can be identified, their names mostly do not match those of the present model.
Some scholars have related the descriptions of ducts in the Mawangdui documents to the Jingmai chapter in the Taisu part of the Huangdi neijing. According to their conclusions, A1 and the two editions of A2 could be regarded as the archetypes for certain chapters of the early Huangdi neijing; although many of the ducts can be identified with each other, in the Huangdi neijing, and consequently in all of the later medical tradition, their names have been altered.
Interestingly, the names for the same ducts within the individual documents of the Mawangdui corpus, such as A1 and A2, can be different too, while after the new names took their final form in the Huangdi neijing, they remained unchanged for the next two millennium up to the present day. This is a further evidence that at that time when the excavated Han documents were written, Chinese medical terminology had not become standardized.
A4 lists the qi, blood, bones, flesh, and muscles tendons in relation to the symptoms of death; according the five phase theory, the tendons, flesh, blood, and bones can correspond to wood, earth, fire, and water, respectively, but the qi cannot be associated with any of the presently known five elements.