Top 10 classics on traditional Chinese medicine

By Xu Lin
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 Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders (《伤寒论》)

Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders, one of the 'top 10 classics on traditional Chinese medicine' by

Shang Han Lun (Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders)

Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders or Treatise on Cold Injury Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders (Pinyin: Shang Han Lun) is a Chinese medical treatise describing the treatment of the common cold, its variants and related complications. It was written by Zhang Zhongjing at the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty between 200 and 205. The book was actually compiled by later generations from his original works Treatise on Cold Diseases and Miscellaneous Diseases (Pinyin: Shang Han Za Bing Lun). The other book compiled from the same works is called Prescriptions from the Golden Cabinet (Pinyin: Jin Kui Yao Lue).Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders is the oldest clinical textbook in the world, and one of the four canonical works that the TCM-majored students must study.

Composed of 12 volumes and 22 pieces, the book has 397 sections with 112 herbal prescriptions. It organizes all the diseases into the six divisions called "six channels," based on the ways treatment can be applied accordingly.

The six channels are:

Tai Yang (greater yang): a milder stage with external symptoms of chills, fevers, stiffness, and headache. Therapy: sweating.

Yang Ming (yang brightness): a more severe internal excess yang condition with fever without chills, distended abdomen, and constipation. Therapy: body cooling and discharging body waste.

Shao Yang (lesser yang): half outside, half inside, half excess and half deficiency, with chest discomfort, alternating chills, and fever. Therapy: harmonizing.

Tai Yin (greater yin): chills, distended abdomen with occasional pain. Therapy: warming the body with supplements.

Jue Yin (absolute yin): thirst, difficult urination, physical collapse. Therapy: warming the body with supplements.

Shao Yin (lesser yin): weak pulse, anxiety, drowsiness, diarrhea, chills, cold extremities. Therapy: warming the body with supplements.

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