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谁能介绍一下中医名家李时珍??

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2009-9-11 12:32
 

李时珍 (1518年-1593年)

  字东璧,晚年自号濒湖山人,湖北蕲州(今湖北省黄冈市蕲春县蕲州镇)人,汉族,生于明武宗正德十三年(公元1518年),卒于神宗万历二十二年(公元1593年),生于蕲州亦卒于蕲州。其父李言闻是当地名医。李时珍继承家学,尤其重视本草,并富有实践精神,肯于向劳动人民群众学习。李时珍三十八岁时,被武昌的楚王召去任王府“奉祠正”,兼管良医所事务。三年后,又被推荐上京任太医院判。太医院是专为宫廷服务的医疗机构,当时被一些庸医弄得乌烟瘴气。李时珍在此只任职了一年,便辞职回乡。李时珍曾参考历代有关医药及其学术书籍八百余种,结合自身经验和调查研究,历时二十七年编成《本草纲目》一书,是我国明以前药物学的总结性巨著。在国内外均有很高的评价,已有几种文字的译本或节译本。另著有《濒湖脉学》。

  李家世代业医,祖父是“铃医”。父亲李言闻,号月池,是当地名医。那时,民间医生地位很低。李家常受官绅的欺侮。因此,父亲决定让二儿子李时珍读书应考,以便一朝功成,出人头地。李时珍自小体弱多病,然而性格刚直纯真,对空洞乏味的八股文不屑于学。自十四岁中了秀才后的九年中,其三次到武昌考举人均名落孙山。于是,他放弃了科举做官的打算,专心学医,于是向父亲求说并表明决心:“身如逆流船,心比铁石坚。望父全儿志,至死不怕难。”李月池在冷酷的事实面前终于醒悟了,同意儿子的要求,并精心地教他。不几年,李时珍果然成了一名很有名望的医生。

  《本草纲目》共五十二卷,分十六部、六十类。经二十七年(1578年)著成。共收载历代诸家本草所载药物一千八百九十二种,其中植物药1094种。矿物、动物及其他药798种,有374种为李氏所新增。每种药首先以正名为纲,附释名为目;其次是集解、辨疑、正误,详述产状;再次是气味、主治、附方,说明体用。内容极其丰富,是我国药物学的宝贵遗产,对后世药物学的发展作出重大贡献。

  《本草纲目》的故事于行医的十几年中,李时珍阅读了大量古医籍,又经过临床实践发现古代的本草书籍 “品数既繁,名称多杂。或一物析为二三,或二物混为一品”(《明外史本传》)。特别是其中的许多毒性药品,竟被认为可以“久服延年”,而遗祸无穷。于是,他决心要重新编纂一部本草书籍。从三十一岁那年,他就开始酝酿此事,为了“穷搜博采”,李时珍读了大量参考书。家藏的书读完了,就利用行医的机会,向本乡豪门大户借。后来,进了武昌楚王府和北京太医院,读的书就更多,简直成了“书迷”。他自述“长耽嗜典籍,若啖蔗饴”(《本草纲目》原序)。顾景星在《李时珍传》里,也赞他“读书十年,不出户庭,博学无所弗瞡”。他不但读了八百余种万余卷的医书,还看过不少历史、地理和文学名著及敦煌的经史巨作连数位前代伟大诗人的全集也都仔细钻研过。

  他还从中摘录了大量有关医药学的诗句。而这些诗句也确实给了他许多真实有用的医药学知识,帮助他纠正了前人在医药学上的许多谬误。如古代医书中,常常出现“鹜与凫”。它们指的是什么?是否有区别?历代药物学家众说纷纭,争论不休。李时珍摘引屈原《离骚》中的“将与鸡鹜争食乎”,“将泛乎若水中之凫乎”两句,指出诗人把“鹜”与“凫”对举并称,就是它们不是同一种禽鸟的明证。他又根据诗中对它们不同生活环境的描绘,证明“鹜”是家鸭,“凫”是野鸭子,药性不同。屈原的诗赋,竟成了李时珍考证药物名实的雄辩依据。 在编写《本草纲目》的过程中,最使李时珍头痛的就是由于药名的混杂,使药物的形状和生长的情况十分的不明。过去的本草书,虽然作了反复的解释,但是由于有些作者没有深入实际进行调查研究,而是在书本上抄来抄去在“纸上猜度”,所以越解释越糊涂,而且矛盾倍出,使人莫衷一是。例如药物远志,南北朝著名医药学家陶弘景说它是小草,像麻黄,但颜色青,开白花,宋代马志却认为它像大青,并责备陶弘景根本不认识远志。又如狗脊一药,有的说它像萆薢,有的说它像拔葜,有的又说它像贯众,说法极不一致。类似此情况很多,李时珍不得不一次又一次地搁下笔来。这些难题该怎样解决呢?
  在他父亲的启示下,李时珍认识到,“读万卷书”固然需要,但“行万里路”更不可少。于是,他既“搜罗百氏”,又“采访四方”,深入实际进行调查。 李时珍穿上草鞋,背起药筐,在徒弟庞宪、儿子建元的伴随下,远涉深山旷野,遍访名医宿儒,搜求民间验方,观察和收集药物标本。


  他首先在家乡蕲州一带采访。后来,他多次出外采访。除湖广外,还到过江西、江苏、安徽好多地方。均州的太和山也到过。盛产药材的江西庐山和南京的摄山、茅山、牛首山,估计也有他的足迹。后人为此写了“远穷僻壤之产,险探麓之华”的诗句,反映他远途跋涉,四方采访的生活。 李时珍每到一地,就虚心地向各式各样的人物请求。其中有采药的,有种田的,捕鱼的,砍柴的,打猎的。热情地帮助他了解各种各样的药物。比如芸苔,是治病常用的药。但究竟是什么样的?《神农本草经》说不明白,各家注释也搞不清楚。李时珍问一个种菜的老人,在他指点下,又察了实物,才知道芸苔,实际上就是油菜。这种植物,头一年下种,第二年开花,种子可以榨油,于是,这种药物,便在他的《本草纲目》中一清二楚地注解出来了。


  不论是在四处采访中,还是在自己的药圃里,李时珍都非常注意观察药物的形态和生长情况。


  蕲蛇,即蕲州产的白花蛇。这种药有医治风痹、惊搐、癣癞等功用。李时珍早就研究它。但开始,只从蛇贩子那里观察。内行人提醒他,那是从江南兴国州山里捕来的,不是真的蕲蛇。那么真正蕲蛇的样子又是怎么样的呢?他请教一位捕蛇的人。那人告诉他,蕲蛇牙尖有剧毒。人被咬伤,要立即截肢,否则就中毒死亡。在治疗上述诸病有特效,因之非常贵重。州官逼着群众冒着生命危险去捉,以便向皇帝进贡。蕲州那么大,其实只有城北龙峰山上才有真正的蕲蛇。李时珍追根究底,要亲眼观察蕲蛇,于是请捕蛇人带他上了龙峰山上。那里有个狻猊洞,洞周围怪石嶙峋,灌木丛生。缠绕在灌木上的石南藤,举目皆是。蕲蛇喜欢吃石南藤的花叶,所以生活在这一带。李时珍置危险于度外,到处寻找。在捕蛇人的帮助下,终于亲眼看见了蕲蛇,并看到了捕蛇、制蛇的全过程。由于这样深入实际调查过,后来他在《本草纲目》写到白花蛇时,就得心应手,说得简明准确。说蕲蛇的形态是:“龙头虎口,黑质白花、胁有二十四个方胜文,腹有念珠斑,口有四长牙,尾上有一佛指甲,长一二分,肠形如连珠”;说蕲蛇的捕捉和制作过程是:“多在石南藤上食其花叶,人以此寻获。先撒沙土一把,则蟠而不动,以叉取之。用绳悬起,刀破腹以去肠物,则反尾洗涤其腹,盖护创尔,乃以竹支定,屈曲盘起,扎缚炕干。”同时,也搞清了蕲蛇与外地白花蛇的不同地方:“出蕲地者,虽干枯而眼光不陷,他处者则否矣。”这样清楚地叙述蕲蛇各种情况,当然是得力于实地调查的细致。 李时珍了解药物,并不满足于走马看花式的调查,而是一一采视,对着实物进行比较核对。这样弄清了不少似是而非、含混不清的药物。用他的话来说,就是“一一采视,颇得其真”,“罗列诸品,反复谛视”。


  当时,太岳太和山(武当山)五龙宫产的“榔梅”,被道士们说成是吃了“可以长生不老的仙果”。他们每年采摘回来,进贡皇帝。官府严禁其他人采摘。李时珍不信道士们的鬼话,要亲自采来试试,看看它究竟有什么攻效。于是,他不顾道士们的反对,竟冒险采了一个。经研究,发现它的功效跟普通的桃子、杏子一样,能生津止渴而已,是一种变了形的榆树的果实,并没有什么特殊攻效。 鲮鲤,即今天说的穿山甲,是过去比较常用的中药。陶弘景说它能水陆两栖,白天爬上岩来,张开鳞甲,装出死了的样子,引诱蚂蚁进入甲内,再闭上鳞甲,潜入水中,然后开甲让蚂蚁浮出,再吞食。为了了解陶弘景的说法是否对头,李时珍亲自上山去观察。并在樵夫、猎人的帮助下,捉到了一只穿山甲。从它的胃里剖出了一升左右的蚂蚁,证实穿山甲动物食蚁这点,陶弘景是说对了。不过,从观察中,他发现穿山甲食蚁时,是搔开蚁穴,进行舐食,而不是诱蚁入甲,下水吞食,李时珍肯定了陶弘景对的一面,纠正了其错误之处。


  就这样,李时珍经过长期的实地调查,搞清了药物的许多疑难问题,于万历戊寅年(公元1578年)完成了《本草纲目》编写工作。全书约有200万字,52卷,载药1892种,新增药物374种,载方10000多个,附图1000多幅,成了我国药物学的空前巨著。其中纠正前人错误甚多,在动植物分类学等许多方面有突出成就,并对其他有关的学科(生物学、化学、矿物学,地质学,天文学等等)也做出贡献。达尔文称赞它是“中国古代的百科全书”。
[编辑本段]李时珍的太医院生涯


  1551—1556年这段时间内,封建皇帝征如医官,下令各地选拔医技精湛的人到太医院就职,于是在武昌楚王府的李时珍,也被推荐到了北京。


  关于李时珍这一段在太医院工作的经历,史学界有诸多争论,有人认为李时珍曾出任太医院院判(正六品),但也有人认为他只是担当御医(正八品)。无论其职位高低,李时珍被荐于朝是不可否认的事实。太医院的工作经历,有可能给他的一生带来了重大影响,为他创造《本草纲目》埋下很好的伏笔。


  这期间,李时珍非常积极地从事药物研究工作,经常出入于太医院的药房及御药库,认真仔细地比较、鉴别全国各地的药村,搜集了大量的资料,同时他还有机会饱览了王府和皇家珍藏的丰富典籍,与此同时他也可能从宫廷中获得了当时有关民间的大量本草相关信息,并看到了许多平时难以见到的药物标本,使他大大开阔了眼界,丰富了知识领域。谈到这一点,就必须联系到明代宫修的另一部著名本草书籍——《本草品汇精要》。


  2002年,中国文化研究会全文影印出版了《本草品汇精要》,该书是明孝宗于弘治16年(1503)8月下诏太医院编修的一部国家药典。在司设监太监刘文泰的组织下,一个设有总督、提调、总裁、副总裁、篡修、验药等9种职位的修撰班子组成,包括誊录、绘画人员在内共49人。在经历一年半修订后,药典编纂完成。编撰者按照宋人唐慎微的《证类本草》旧例顺序,把入药之物分为玉石、草、木、果等10部,每部分为上、中、下三品编写,全书共收药物1815种,正文用朱墨两色分写。正文之前绘有精美的彩色写生图达1358幅之多,是中国第一部大型彩绘图书。同时编撰者还舍弃了当时已比较成熟的雕版印刷技术,而由14位工匠分色缮写文字,8位宫廷画师负责绘图。全书完成后,由明孝宗亲自撰写序言,并仿照《永乐大典》格式装帧成36册,装入楠木盒中保存,是为明代宫廷的正统抄本。


  但是,此书完稿后仅两个月,明孝宗却意外“驾崩”,其死因成为天大疑案。而原书编纂人员中的49人中有12人涉嫌谋害孝宗皇帝,遭到查办,于是这部明代药典《本草品汇精要》一直封藏在宫中内库里。后不知通过何种途径(传教士或英法联军)于1877年藏入罗马国家图书馆。


  李时珍是在距此事约50年左右进入太医院任职的,他不可能前朝旧事一无所知。而此时孝宗后继位的明武宗已逝,明世宗也已出任皇帝30余年,对故去的疑案未必再加关心,所以封藏在宫中的《本草品汇精要》有可能在不公开的情况下得以窥见,因此不能排除李时珍在太医院工作期间很幸运地看到了此书。也正是由于这个原因,促使他意欲编著一部能超出此书的新本草专著,而在太医院的工作环境是不可能满足他的想法、实现愿望的,因为李时珍淡于功名荣禄,所以在太医院任职没有太长时间,就托病辞职归家了。
《本草纲目》的重大贡献


  


  在李时珍任职太医院前后的一段时期,经长时间准备之后,李时珍开始了《本草纲目》的写作。在编写过程中,他脚穿草鞋,身背药篓,带着学生和儿子建元,翻山越岭,访医采药,足迹遍及河南、河北、江苏、安徽、江西、湖北等广大地区,以及牛首山、摄山、茅山、太和山等大山名川,走了上万里路,倾听了千万人的意见,参阅各种书籍800多种,历时27年,终于在他61岁那年(1578年)写成。


  《本草纲目》凡16部、52卷,约190万字。全书收纳诸家本草所收药物1518种,在前人基础上增收药物374种,合1892种,其中植物1195种;共辑录古代药学家和民间单方11096则;书前附药物形态图1100余幅。这部伟大的著作,吸收了历代本草著作的精华,尽可能的纠正了以前的错误,补充了不足,并有很多重要发现和突破。是到16世纪为止我国最系统、最完整、最科学的一部医药学著作。


  面对浩瀚的本草宝库,如何驾驭、操纵它便成为最关键的问题。可以说这是李时珍最大的贡献之一。他不仅解决了药物的方式、检索等问题,更重要的是体现了他对植物分类学方面的新见解,以及可贵的生物进化发展思想。李时珍打破了自《神农本草经》以来,沿袭了一千多年的上、中、下三品分类法,把药物分为水、火、土、金石、草、谷、莱、果、木、器服、虫、鳞、介、禽、兽、人共16部,包括60类。每药标正名为纲,纲之下列目,纲目清晰。书中还系统地记述了各种药物的知识。包括校正、释名、集解、正误、修治、气味、主治、发明、附录、附方等项,从药物的历史、形态到功能、方剂等,叙述甚详。尤其是“发明”这项,主要是李时珍对药物观察、研究以及实际应用的新发现、新经验,这就更加丰富了本草学的知识。


  根据马元俊先生的研究,李时珍在植物学方面所创造的人为分类方法,是一种按照实用与形态等相似的植物,将其归之于各类,并按层次逐级分类的科方法。李时珍将一千多种植物,据其经济用途与体态、习性和内含物的不同,先把大同类物质向上归为五部(即草、目、菜、果、谷为纲),部下又分成30类(如草部9类、木部6类、菜、果部各7类、谷5类是为目),再向下分成若干种。他不仅提示了植物之间的亲缘关系,而且还统一了许多植物的命名方法。


  总之,李时珍采用以纲挈目的方法,将《本草经》以下历代本草的各种药物资料,重新进行剖析整理,使近200万字的本草巨著体例严谨,层次分明,重点突出,内容详备。实乃“博而不繁,详面有要”。


  虽然《本草纲目》是一部药物学专著,但它同时还记载了与临床关系十分密切的许多内容。原书第三、第四卷为“百病主治药”,记有113种病症的主治药物,其中第三卷外感和内伤杂病中,就包括有专门治疗伤寒热病、咳嗽、喘逆类的药物,第四卷则主要为五官、外科、妇、儿科诸病。原书中明确提出能治疗瘟疫的药物有:升麻、艾叶、腊雪、丹砂、阳起石、火药、大青、麻黄、威灵仙、葎草、大麻、大豆豉、葫、竹笋、梨、松、猪苓、竹、石燕、犀、桃蠹虫等20余种。


  此外,《本草纲目》中收载各类附方11096首,涉及临床各科,包括内科、外科、妇科、儿科、五官科等,其中2900多首为旧方,其余皆为新方。治疗范围以常见病、多发病为主,所用剂型亦是丸散膏丹俱全,且许多方剂既具科学科,又有简便廉验之特点,极具实用性。如治疗咳嗽病的方剂,即在多种药物附方中出现,举例如下:


  肺气喘急:马兜铃二两(去壳及膜),酥半两(入碗内拌匀,慢火炒干),甘草(炙)一两,为末。每服一钱,水一盏,煎六分,温呷或噙之。


  哮喘痰嗽:鸭掌散:用银杏五个,麻黄二钱半,甘草(炙)二钱。水一钟半,煎八分,卧时服。又金陵一铺治哮喘,白果定喘汤,服之无不效者,其人以此起家。其方:用白果二十一个(炒黄),麻黄三钱,苏子二钱,款冬花、法制半夏、桑白皮(蜜炙)各二钱,杏仁(去皮尖)、黄芩(微炒)各一钱半,甘草一钱。水三钟,煎二钟,随时分作二服。不用姜。


  肺热痰咳,胸膈塞满:用栝蒌仁、半夏(汤泡七次,焙研)各一两。姜汁打面糊丸梧子大。每服五十丸,食后姜汤下。


  因此,《本草纲目》在临床治疗方面亦有伋高的参考价值。


  《本草纲目》不仅为我国药物学的发展作出了重大贡献,而且对世界医药学、植物学、动物学、矿物学、化学的发展也产生了深远的影响。该书出版后,很快就传到日本,以后又流传到欧美各国,先后被译成日、法、德、英、拉丁、俄、朝鲜等十余种文字在国外出版,传遍五大洲。早在1951年,在维也纳举行的世界和平理事会上,李时珍即被列为古代世界名人;他的大理石雕象屹立在莫斯科大学的长廊上。不仅对中医药学具有极大贡献,而且对世界自然科学的发展也起了巨大的推动作用,被誉为“东方医药巨典”,英国著名生物学家达尔文也曾受益于《本草纲目》,称它为“中国古代百科全书”。英国著名中国科技史专家李约瑟在《中国科学技术史》中写道:“16世纪中国有两大天然药物学著作,一是世纪初(1505年)的《本草品汇精要》,一是世纪末(1595年)的《本草纲目》,两者都非常伟大。”


  李时珍行医,既珍视前人经验,又注重亲身实践,医术不断提高。很快他的名声即传遍蕲州。当时封藩在蕲州的第三个孙子富顺王朱厚焜,特请他到王府为自己的儿子诊病。此子爱吃灯花、生米、泥土,李时珍根据上述症状,诊其为虫病,于是用杀虫药物治好了这种怪病。


  不久,封藩在武昌的楚王,又把李时珍请去当侍医。一天,楚王的儿子突然昏厥不省人事,李时珍根据中医理论辨证后,大胆施用傕吐、攻下类药物,从死亡边缘救回了世子的性命。由此,李时珍被召聘为楚王府“奉祠正”(掌祭祀礼节的官署),并兼管王府的“良医所”,期间曾治愈许多疾病,楚王欲重金酬谢,但都被李时珍拒绝。由此可见,李时珍是一位不重权贵、不务名利、只求为病人解除痛苦的一位医德高尚的医生。
Li Shizhen

This is a Chinese name; the family name is 李 (Li).
Li Shizhen (traditional Chinese: 李時珍; simplified Chinese: 李时珍; pinyin: Lǐ Shízhēn; Wade-Giles: Li Shih-Chen, 1518–1593), courtesy name Dongbi (东璧), was one of the greatest physicians and pharmacologists in Chinese history. His major contribution to medicine was his forty-year work, which is found in his epic book the Bencao Gangmu (本草綱目 "Compendium of Materia Medica"). He is also considered to be the greatest naturalist of China, and was very interested in the proper classification of herb components.

The book has details about more than 1,800 drugs (Chinese Medicine), including 1,100 illustrations and 11,000 prescriptions. It also described the type, form, flavor, nature and application in disease treatments of 1,094 herbs. His Materia Medica has been translated into many different languages, and remains as the premier reference work for herbal medicine. His treatise included various related subjects such as botany, zoology, mineralogy, and metallurgy. The book was reprinted frequently and five of the original edition still exist. [1]
[edit] Biography

A bust of Li Shizhen in an herbal garden of Qizhou.In addition to the Bencao Gangmu, Li wrote eleven other books, [2] including Binhu Maixue (瀕湖脈學 "A Study of the Pulse") and Qijing Bamai Kao (奇經八脈考 "An Examination of the Eight Extra Meridians").[3] He lived during the Ming Dynasty and was influenced by the Neo-Confucian beliefs of the time. He was born in what is today Qizhou[4], Qichun County, Hubei in 1518 AD and died 75 years later, in 1593.[2]

Li's grandfather had been a doctor who traveled the countryside and was considered relatively low on the social scale of the time. His father was a traditional physician and scholar who had written several influential books. He tried to move up in society and encouraged his son to seek a government position. Li took the national Civil Service Exam three times, but after failing each one, he turned to medicine. At 78, his father took him on as an apprentice. When he was 27, and a practicing physician, he cured the son of a Chu prince and was invited to be an official there. A few years after, he got a government position as assistant president at the Imperial Medical Institute in Beijing. However, even though he had climbed up the social ladder, as his father had originally wanted, he left a year later to return to being a doctor.[2]

In his government position, Li was able to read many rare medical books; he also saw the disorder, mistakes, and conflicting information that were serious problems in most medical publications of the time and soon began the Bencao Gangmu to compile correct information with a logical system of organization. A small part was based on another book which had been written several hundred years earlier, Jingshi Zhenglei Beiji Bencao ("Classified Materia Medica for Emergencies") – which, unlike many other books, had formulas and recipes for most of the entries. In the writing of the Bencao Gangmu, he travelled extensively, gaining first-hand experience with many herbs and local remedies and consulted over 800 books – nearly every medical book in print at the time.[2]

Altogether, the writing of the Bencao Gangmu took 27 years, which included three revisions. Ironically, writing the book allegedly took a considerable toll on his health. [2] It was rumored that he stayed indoors for ten consecutive years during the writing of the Bencao Gangmu.[5] After he had completed it, a friend “reported that Li was emaciated.”[2]

Li died before the book was officially published, and the current emperor paid it little regard.[2] However, it remained one of the most important materia medica of traditional China.
Bencao Gangmu

Main article: Bencao Gangmu

The Bencao Gangmu was a massive literary undertaking. Li's bibliography included nearly 900 books. Because of its size, it was not easy to use, though it was organized much more clearly than others that had come before,[2] which had classified herbs only according to strength. He broke them down to animal, mineral, and plant and divided those categories by their source. Dr. S. Y. Tan[5] says: “his plants were classified according to the habitat, such as aquatic or rock origins, or by special characteristics, e.g. all sweet-smelling plants were grouped together.”[5]


Li had exemplary recording techniques. Seeking to fix the errors of previous works, the medicinal plants and substances in the Bencao Gangmu were clearly organized and categorized. With every entry, he included:


“Information concerning a previously false classification;

Information on secondary names, including the sources of the names;

Collected explanations, commentaries and quotes in chronological order, including origin of the material, appearance, time of collection, medicinally useful parts, similarities with other medicinal materials;

Information concerning the preparation of the material;

Explanation of doubtful points;

Correction of mistakes;

Taste and nature;

Enumeration of main indications;

Explanation of the effects; and

Enumeration of prescriptions in which the material is used, including form and dosage of the prescriptions.”[2]

The Bencao Gangmu contained nearly 1,900 substances, which included 374 that had not appeared in other works. Not only did it list and describe the substances, but it also included prescriptions for use – about 11,000 - 8,000 of which were not well known.[2] The Bencao Gangmu also had 1160 illustrated drawings to aid the text.


In addition to writing the Bencao Gangmu, Li was one of the first to recognize gallstones, use ice to bring down a fever, and to use steam and fumigants to prevent the spread of infection. Li also emphasized preventative medicine.[5] He said that “‘To cure disease is like waiting until one is thirsty before digging a well…’” and listed over 500 treatments to maintain good health and strengthen the body, 50 of which he invented himself.


The Bencao Gangmu still has scientific, medical, and historical significance today. A plant or substance’s inclusion in the Bencao Gangmu is a sign of posterity. Medical clinics and manufacturers use his name and image on their logos and products and there was even a movie made about his life in 1956. His image can be found at almost every traditional medical college in China, as well as many books on Chinese medicine and there is even a Li Shi Zhen award for “doctors and researchers who have made valuable contributions to traditional Chinese medicine.”


While only six copies of the original edition remain – One in the US Library of Congress, two in China, and three in Japan (another was destroyed during World War II)[5] – several new editions and numerous translations have been made throughout the centuries, and it was not replaced as the pharmaceutical materia medica of China until 1959: over 400 years after its first publication.[2]
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