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Top 10 classics on traditional Chinese medicine

File photo: Shennong Ben Cao Jing (Shennong's Herbal) 资料图片:《神农本草经》

File photo: Shennong Ben Cao Jing (Shennong's Herbal)
2. Shennong Ben Cao Jing (Shennong's Herbal) 2. 《神农本草经》 
The "Shennong Ben Cao Jing," also known as "Shennong's Herbal," is considered to be the earliest pharmacopoeia in Chinese history. Being the first systematic summary of Chinese medical herbs, it was completed during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) by a number of medical specialists in the Qin and Han dynasties based on their experiences and achievements on pharmaceutics. The title of the works borrowed the name of Shennong, who was a mythical Chinese emperor and was said to have tasted hundreds of herbs to test their medical effect. 《神农本草经》是中国现存最早的药物学专著。该著作成书于东汉(25-220年),是秦汉时期众多医学家总结当时药物学经验成果的专著,是对中国中草药的第一次系统总结。该书的标题借用了“神农”这个名字——他是传说中的中国帝王,为了测试中草药的医用价值而尝遍百草。
The works are divided into three volumes containing 365 entries on medicaments and their descriptions derived from 252 kinds of plants, 67 kinds of animals and 46 kinds of minerals. The medicaments are rated with three grades: top, medium and lower. It is a compilation of all the medicaments knowledge in China before the Han Dynasty. In the book, four energies (rise, down, float and sink) and five flavors (spicy, sweet, sour, bitter and salty) are used to describe the performances and functions of the herbs. It also provides the methodology of the compatibility, processing and storage of medicines and other related issues. 全书分三卷,载药365种:植物药252种,动物药67种,矿物药46种,分上、中、下三品。书中汇集了古时至汉代以前的药物知识,分别用四气(升降浮沉)五味(辛甘酸苦咸)概括药物的性能和作用;创立了方剂的有关配伍方法;对于药物的炮制、贮藏方法和经验也作了描述。

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