The Chinese people knew how to cure the sickness and protect their health by medical drugs long ago. Currently,traditional Chinese medical science and medicine has been spread to many places all over the world.
Legend has it that Shennongshi of ancient times once tasted 100 herbs in person to distinguish herbal plants. China’s earliest existing medical book te Canon of Medicine of the Yellow Emperor, systematically summarized medical experience before the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States periods(770-221 BC), laying a theoretical foundation for traditional Chinese medical science. The famous doctor of the Warring States Period,Bian Que,was the first to use observation,auscultation and olfaction,interrogation,and palpation for diagnosis. Observation is to observe the paients’ appearance and mental state;auscultation and olfaction are to listen to the patients breathing; interrogation is to inquire about the onset of the problem and the patients’ own feelings,diet and daily life; and palpation is to feel the pulse of the patient.
Traditional Chinese medicine mainly comes from plants,and also some animals and minerals. These are made into oral or external medicines after being specially prepared. The famous medical book of the Han Dynasty(206BC-220AD) Shennong’s Materia Medica recorded 365 herbs. The well-known, doctor Tao Hongjing of the Northern and Southern Dynasties(420-589) added another 365 herbs and wrote Variorum of Shennong’s Materia Medica. The Compendium of Materia Medica, writeen by the famous doctor Li Shizhen of the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644), was finished in 1578. The book is composed of 52 volumes,including nearly 1 892 medicines( Li’s newly-added medicine was 374). 1 109 pictures of medicine and 11 096 prescriptions (of which 8 000 ones were collected and set by Li). Such a masterpiece can be considered as one of the representative workds of Chinese medical science
There are numerous famous doctors in Chinese hisotry, such as Bian Que,Hua Tuo, Zhang Zhongjing, Su Simiao, Li Shizhen,who relieved patients of pain with their consummate medical skills. In modern China, there are also many famous doctors who try hard to resolve serious difficulties and work for the well-being of the people. The medical sciences of China’s ethnic minority groups, with distinctive features,have also contributed much,including that of the Mongolian, Tibetan,Uygur and Dai groups.