Top 10 classics on traditional Chinese medicine

By Xu Lin
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 The Inner Canon of Huangdi (《黄帝内经》)


The Inner Canon of Huangdi, one of the 'top 10 classics on traditional Chinese medicine' by

Huangdi Neijing (The Inner Canon of Huangdi)

The Inner Canon of Huangdi or Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon (Pinyin: Huangdi Neijing) is the earliest existing works on the theories of TCM that has been regarded as the source doctrinal for Chinese medicine for more than two millennia. The works are composed of two texts each consisted of nine volumes, or eighty-one chapters, in a question-and-answer format between the mythical Huangdi (Yellow Emperor) and a few of his equally legendary ministers.

The first text, Basic Questions (Pinyin: Suwen) covers the theoretical foundation of TCM and its diagnostic methods. The second text, Spiritual Pivot (Pinyin: Lingshu), discusses acupuncture therapy in great detail.

Completed during the Spring and Autumn Period, the body of work is a systemic summary of the theories of yin-yang and the five natural elements, the adaptation of the human body to its natural surroundings, five movements and six climates, viscera and channels and collaterals, mechanism of diseases, diagnostic methods, rules of treatment and acupuncture. It covers not only medical science but also other scientific achievements of human beings in astronomy, geography, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, war strategies, mathematics and ecology, which astonishingly revealed a lot of achievements that the modern science tries to prove or is about to prove.


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