[Huangdi Neijing: a classic book of traditional Chinese medicine]

Author: S Cavalieri1, M Rotoli
1 Clinica Dermatologia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma.
Conference/Journal: Recenti Prog Med
Date published: 1997 Nov 1
Other: Volume ID: 88 , Issue ID: 11 , Pages: 541-6 , Word Count: 292

According to the data of the recent archaeological excavations, the history of traditional Chinese medicine begins in the neolithic period (10,000-4,000 years ago). The fundamental principles of the traditional Chinese medicine may be interpreted on the basis of two classic theories of Chinese thought: the Yin-Yang theory and the five phases theory. The former stated that our reality is the product of the continuous interaction and transformation of the Yin and Yang principles. The latter recognise the existence of five emblematic groups in which everything regarding humankind and nature may be classified. The five phases interact in two different ways: the cycle of production (Sheng) and the cycle of control (Ke). Theoretical basis of traditional Chinese medicine are described on the Huangdi Neijing (The Book of Yellow Emperor's: a classic of internal medicine) written during the period 475-225 b.C. as a dialogue between the mythical Emperor Huangdi and his physician Qibo. The book is divided into two parts: the Suwen (Questions about living matter) and Lingshu (The vital axe). Each part is composed of 81 sections. In this book are set correspondences between phases and organs, viscera, feelings, body fluids, flavours, foods, colours, and so on. We can also find the description of blood (Xue) and energy (Qi) circulation and the pathways of main, collateral and curious vessels. The origins of disease are also reported on the Huangdi Neijing. As regards the psychological point of view, special attention is dedicated to dreams and their possible causes and to the description of various kind of mental illness. The unknown Authors underline the five defects and the four mistakes of the physician, pointing out the importance to avoid them. Finally, it must be mentioned their special care to the principles of preventive medicine.

PMID: 9446158