|Year : 2019 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 57-61
Studies on Xin'an Medicine (新安医学) since the Ming and Qing Dynasties
Jian Wang, Yebo He
Institute of Sciences and Humanities, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China
|Date of Web Publication||19-Jun-2019|
Dr. Yebo He
Institute of Sciences and Humanities, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
This article reviews the studies on Xin'an medicine since the Ming and Qing dynasties and introduces the representative Xin'an physicians in different periods and their medical works as well as the efforts made by researchers and scholars in the 20th Century, aiming to interpret the historical values and impacts of Xin'an medicine and hence facilitate its development in future.
Keywords: Academic characteristics, Ming and Qing Dynasties, Xin'an medicine (新安医学)
|How to cite this article:|
Wang J, He Y. Studies on Xin'an Medicine (新安医学) since the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Chin Med Cult 2019;2:57-61
| Introduction|| |
Xin'an medicine (新安医学), characterized by regional culture, has a long history which can be traced back to 800 years ago. Being widely accepted and followed with interest, it is renowned for numerous prominent physicians, profound cultural heritage, and abundant medical classics. Its medical achievements in the Ming and Qing dynasties are the most remarkable. To comprehend and recognize the historical values and medical impacts of Xin'an medicine, it is imperative to review the studies on Xin'an medicine which date back to the Ming and Qing dynasties as well as to investigate its socio-cultural background.
| The Study on Xin'an Medicine in the Ming Dynasty|| |
As far back as the 16th century when Xin'an medicine was in its golden age, a great literator and dramatist from Huizhou, Wang Daokun (汪道昆1525–1593), wrote in the foreword of Yi Fang Kao (《医方考》Investigations into Medical Prescriptions) [Figure 1] that the TCM practitioners in out prefecture are the most prominent ones. They are respected just as the Confucian scholars are esteemed. Besides, the prominent TCM practitioners are all transferred from Confucians.
|Figure 1: The bamboo paper and thread-bound edition of Yi Fang Kao (《医方考》 Investigations into MedicalPrescriptions) in the Ming dynasty and its foreword (on the left) written by Wang Daokun (汪道昆)|
Click here to view
| The Systematic Records on Xin'an Physicians and Their Medical Books in the Early Qing Dynasty|| |
In 1748, Wang Yi (汪沂), a scholar in Huizhou, wrote in the foreword of the emendated version of Yi Xue Xin Wu (《医学心悟》Medical Enlightenment), “Huizhou is famous for its great mountains and beautiful rivers. People in this area are mostly renowned for their achievements in medicine. For examples, Wang Shuangxi (王双溪) wrote Shang Han Lun Zhu (《伤寒论注》Annotated Treatise on Cold Damage); Zhang Gao (张杲) wrote Yi Shuo (《 医说》On Medical History and Treatment); Bao Yongliang (鲍用良) wrote Jing Yan Zhen Fa (《经验针法》Experiential Acupuncture); Cheng Wenbin (程文炳) wrote Jing Yan Fang (《经验方》Experiential Effective Prescriptions); Lu Yangong (陆彦功) wrote Shang Han Bian Lan (《伤寒便览》Brief Guide for Treatise on Cold Damage); Wang Shishan (汪石山) wrote Wang Shi Shan Yi Shu Ba Zhong (《汪石山医书八种》Wang Shishan's Eight Medical Books), Tui Qiu Shi Yi (《推求师意》 Interpretation of the Master's Teachings) and Shi Shan Yi An (《石山医案》Wang Shishan' Medical Cases); Cheng Songya (程松厓) wrote Song Ya Yi Jing (《松厓医经》Songya' Medical Classic); Jiang Zhengpu (江正甫) wrote Yi Xue Yuan Li (《医学原理》Medical Principles and Theories); Wang Huan (汪宦) wrote Yi Xue Zhi Yi (《医学质疑》Medical Queries); Xu Chunpu (徐春甫) wrote Gu Jin Yi Tong Da Quan (《古今医统大全》Complete Compendium of Ancient and Modern Medical Works) and Yi Xue Jie Jing Liu Shu (《医学捷径六书》Six Books of Medical Shortcuts); Wang Yongbin (汪用宾) wrote Fang Shu Ji Shuo (《方书集说》Collection of Theories in Prescription Books); Wu Shanshi (吴三石) wrote San Shi Yi Jiao (《三石医教》Sanshi' Medical Teachings); Bi Maoxiang (毕懋襄) wrote Yi Hui (《医荟》Medical Treasury); Zhou Shixian (周士先) worte Ming Yi Zhai Cui (《明医摘粹》Selection of Medical Quintessence in the Ming Dynasty); Yu Zijing (余子敬) worte Zhu Zheng Xi Yi (《诸证析疑》Analysis and Clarification of TCM Patterns); Wangang (汪昂) wrote Su Wen Ling Shu Lei Zuan Yue Zhu (《素问灵枢类纂约注》Classified Compilation and Concise Annotation of Lingshu and Suwen), Ben Cao Bei Yao (《本草备要》Complete Essentials of Materia Medica) and Yi Fang Ji Jie (《医方集解》 Collected Exegesis of Medical Prescriptions). Moreover, there are other prominent physicians such as Zhang Zichong (张子充), Jiang Mingyuan (江明远), Wu Nanxun (吴南熏), Ma Zhuqing (马竹庆), Hu Qingyin (胡清隐), Cheng Shiqing (程时卿), Cheng Jiangtong (程敬通), and Cheng Changyu (程长裕).”
This foreword recorded 24 Xin'an physicians and 28 medical books from the Northern Song dynasty (1056–1063) to the reign of Qianlong during the Qing dynasty, not including Cheng Guopeng (程国彭) and his Yi Xue Xin Wu (《医学心悟》Medical Enlightenment). To be specific, there were seven physicians and three medical books in the Song and Yuan dynasties, i.e., Zhang Zichong (张子充), Wu Nanxun (吴南熏), Zhang Gao (张杲) and his Yi Shuo (《医说》On Medical History and Treatment), Wang Shuangxi (王双溪) and his Shang Han Lun Zhu (《伤寒论注》Annotated Treatise on Cold Damage), Jiang Mingyuan (江明远), Bao Yongliang (鲍用良) and his Jing Yan Zhen Fa (《经验针法》Experiential Acupuncture), and Ma Zhuqing (马竹庆); there were 17 physicians and 25 medical books in the Ming and Qing dynasties, i.e., Cheng Wenbin (程文炳) and his Jing Yan Fang (《经验方》Experiential Effective Prescriptions), Lu Yangong (陆彦功) and his Shang Han Bian Lan (《伤寒便览》Brief Guide for Treatise on Cold Damage), Wang Shishan (汪石山) and his Wang Shi Shan Yi Shu Ba Zhong (《汪石山医书八种》Wang Shishan's Eight Medical Books), Tui Qiu Shi Yi (《推求师意》Interpretation of the Master's Teachings) and Shi Shan Yi An (《石山医案》Wang Shishan' Medical Cases), Cheng Songya (程松厓) and his Song Ya Yi Jing (《松厓医经》Songya' Medical Classic), Jiang Zhengpu (江正甫) and his Yi Xue Yuan Li (《医学原理》Medical Principles and Theories), Wang Huan (汪宦) and his Yi Xue Zhi Yi (《医学质疑》Medical Queries), Xu Chunpu (徐春甫) and his Gu Jin Yi Tong Da Quan (《古今医统大全》Complete Compendium of Ancient and Modern Medical Works) and Yi Xue Jie Jing Liu Shu (《医学捷径六书》 Six Books of Medical Shortcuts), Yu Zijing (余子敬) and his Zhu Zheng Xi Yi (《诸证析疑》Analysis and Clarification of TCM Patterns), Wang Yongbin (汪用宾) and his Fang Shu Ji Shuo (《方书集说》Collection of Theories in Prescription Books), Wu Shanshi (吴三石) and his San Shi Yi Jiao (《三石医教》Sanshi' Medical Teachings), Bi Maoxiang (毕懋襄) and his Yi Hui (《医荟》Medical Treasury), Zhou Shixian (周士先) and his Ming Yi Zhai Cui (《明医摘粹》Selection of Medical Quintessence in the Ming Dynasty), Hu Qingyin (胡清隐), Cheng Shiqing (程时卿), Cheng Changyu (程长裕), Cheng Jingtong (程敬通), as well as Wangang (汪昂) and his Su Wen Ling Shu Lei Zuan Yue Zhu (《素问灵枢类纂约注》Classified Compilation and Concise Annotation of Lingshu and Suwen), Ben Cao Bei Yao (《本草备要》Complete Essentials of Materia Medica). This is known to be the earliest retrospective documentation on Xin'an physicians and their medical books.
In Wang Yi's foreword of Yi Xue Xin Wu (《医学心悟》Medical Enlightenment), the Xin'an physicians and their medical books were recorded systematically and held in esteem. Some scholars hold that Wang Yi is the first one to study Xin'an medicine. However, many physicians and their medical books or achievements recorded in this foreword were unknown today or lost in the river of history.
In the foreword of Liao Fu Ji (《聊复集》Collection of Wang Bichang's Medical Books), Wang Ziwan (汪滋畹) said, “Most of the Xin'an people are well familiar with medicine and capable of treating diseases. They are not only proficient in medicine, but also strict about their behaviors.” Gao Xuewen, a celebrity who studied in Hubei province, had a foot disorder for 3 years which many physicians were unable to treat. Wang Chunbu (汪春溥), a famous Xin'an physician, treated him for more than a month, and the disease was cured. Hence, Gao Xuewen wrote in the foreword of Shang Han Jing Xi Yi Zheng Wu (《伤寒经晰疑正误》Clarification and Correction of Treatise on Cold Damage), “I have travelled many places over the last 20 years such as Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, and Guangdong, and I often heard that Xin'an is a place renowned for numerous great physicians.” Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, and Guangdong were generally regarded as medically advanced areas in the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The fact that Xin'an medicine is highly praised by people in these areas demonstrated that Xin'an medicine has been well known and highly esteemed in China since the Qing dynasty.
| The Foundation-Laying Study of Xin'an Medicine in the 20th Century|| |
In the 20th Century, the review and study of Xin'an medicine began in a real sense.
In 1930, the medical community of She County (歙县) established the Shexian Branch of General Medical Council and created the Shexian Journal of Medicine (《歙县医药杂志》) to oppose the draft of “Abolition of Traditional Chinese Medicine” proposed by the Kuomintang Government. The journal mainly published some Xin'an medical works popular among the people, such as Yu Shi Yi Yan Lu (《余氏医验录》Yu's Effective Medical Cases) and Wu Liao Shan Guan Yi Cui (《乌聊山馆医粹》Yu Fushan' s Medical Quintessence).
In 1932, a journal named [Figure 2] Huizhou Daily (《 徽州日报 》) was founded. In 1936, it set up a supplement named Xin'an Medicine Semimonthly (《 新安医药半月刊 》) which was edited by Cheng Liuru (程六如) and Bi Chengyi (毕成一). It covered seven regular columns, i.e., local medical conditions, works of medical predecessors, biographies of renowned Xin'an physicians, medical research, clinical notes, folk remedies and recipes, and medical questions and answers. The articles, written by Huizhou medical celebrities, were mostly about medical prevention, hygiene and epidemic prevention. Occasionally, there were some introductions to the medical experience of Xin'an medical predecessors. It served as a supplement to Huizhou Daily and published at home and abroad. From December 1936 to September 1937, it released 19 issues in total. For 5 consecutive issues, it published the biographies of renowned Xin'an physicians and introduced 29 famous Xin'an physicians in the Ming dynasty.
|Figure 2: The Shexian Journal of Medicine (《歙县医药杂志》) in 1932 and the Xin'an Medicine Semimonthly (《 新安医药半月刊 》) of Huizhou Daily (《 徽州日报 》) in 1946|
Click here to view
1946, Huizhou Daily set up a column named Xin'an Medicine (《新安医药》) which was edited by Huang Congzhou (黄从周), the 24th generation descendant of Huang's Gynecology. The content was changed from scientific popularization to academic research. However, there were no researches or analyses in terms of the Huizhou culture, geography, society, politics, and economics. An issue was released every 10 days, and there were 40 issues in total.
In the 1950s and 1960s, scholars began to study the prestigious Xin'an physicians represented by Wang Ji (汪机), Cheng Guopeng (程国彭), Ye Gui (叶桂), and Wang Zhongqi (王仲奇) as well as the Xin'an medical classics such as Ming Yi Lei An (《名医类案》Classified Case Records of Celebrated Physicians), Yi Xue Xin Wu (《医学心悟》Medical Enlightenment) and Lin Zheng Yi An Zhi Nan (《临证指南医案》Guide to Clinical Practice with Medical Records). There were some scattered reports and discussions in the journals. In the late 1950s, Professor Gao Ruhe (高如鹤) in Anhui College of Traditional Chinese Medicine conducted textual researches on renowned Xin'an physicians from the perspective of medical history. In September 1963, the Anhui Branch of China Association of Chinese Medicine was established. At the inauguration ceremony, professor Cui Jiaoru (崔皎如) in Anhui College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, presented his paper entitled “ Characteristics of Xin'an Medical School” (《新安医学派的特点简介》) and elaborated on the formation, origin, influence, achievements, and characteristics of Xin'an Medical School.
In 1978, on the initiative of Wang Renzhi [Figure 3] (who was then the deputy director of the Department of Health of Anhui Province), the Shexian Health Bureau established the “Research Team of Xin'an Medical History”, aiming to collect the scattered Xin'an medical literatures. They compiled the Xin An Ming Yi Zhu Zuo Shu Mu (《新安名医著作书目》 Bibliography of Xin'an Medical Classics) which collected 218 books and recorded 275 renowned physicians. They also carried out a series of activities to exhibit the achievements of Xin'an medicine. 1978, Hong Fangdu complied the Xin An Yi Xue Shi Lue (《 新安医学史略 》A Brief History of Xin'an Medicine) and introduced the Xin'an physicians and medical books for the first time, thus filling in the gaps in the history of traditional Chinese medicine. From then on, the study on Xin'an medicine was officially initiated.
|Figure 3: Wang Renzhi (王任之), deputy director of the Department of Health of Anhui Province, member of the Academic Committee of the Ministry of Public Health, and the fifth generation of successor to Xin'an WANGs' Internal Medicine|
Click here to view
In 1978, the Anhui College of Traditional Chinese Medicine matriculated the first postgraduate who focused on the study of Xin'an medicine. In 1981, it had the right to grant master's degrees. In the 1980s, the Research Office of Xin'an Medicine was set up in Anhui College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and then the Southern Anhui Medical College followed up. Since then, the cultivation of Xinan medical talents has been on track.
From 1978 to 1985, there were more than 20 academic papers published, and some of them exerted significant influences. For examples, 1978, Yu Yingao (余瀛鳌) published the “Medical Contributions of Prestigious Physicians in Shexian County in the Ming and Qing Dynasties” (《明清歙县名医在医学上的贡献》), which promoted the study of Xin'an medicine; in 1979, Huang Zhongmin (黄忠民) published the “Contributions of Xin'an Medicine to the Treatment of Warm Diseases” (《浅谈”新安医学”对温病的贡献》), which reviewed the theoretical knowledge and practice of Xin'an physicians in the treatment of Warm Diseases; in 1980, Wu Jinhong (吴锦洪) published the “ Humble Opinion on Xin'an Medical Schools” (《 新安医学流派刍议 》), which ingeniously divided the Xin'an physicians into five schools; in 1985, Xiang Changsheng (项长生) published the “Contributions of Xin'an Physicians to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Their Status in Chinese Medical History” (《新安医家对中医学的贡献及其在中国医学史上的地位 》), which systematically introduced the medical achievements and historical status of Xin'an physicians.
In June 1985, the Department of Health of Anhui Province put forth the provincial medical development strategy of “Northern Huatuo and Southern Xin'an;” in August, the minister of the Ministry of Health, Cui Yueli (崔月犁), wrote an inscription: “Xin'an medicine will shine forever” (新安医学，永放光芒). In December, 101 representatives gathered in Tunxi (屯溪) to attend the Inaugural Meeting of Xin'an Medicine Research Society and theFirst Session of Academic Seminar. They discussed a wide range of topics covering medical history, Materia Medica, gynecology, laryngology, ophthalmology, exogenous febrile disease (cold damage), acupuncture and moxibustion, sphygmology, and nursing. There were 46 papers collected in the Document Assembly of Inaugural Meeting of Xin'an Medicine Research Society and theFirst Academic Seminar. In 1986, the Xin'an Medicine Research Institute was set up in Huizhou which was later changed into Huangshan Xin'an Medicine Research Center. In 1987, Hu Ximing (胡熙明), vice-minister of the Ministry of Health and director of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, wrote an inscription “ To inherit and promote the glorious traditions of Xin'an medicine.” He also wrote a similar inscription in 1990. Afterward, the study of Xin'an medicine began to blossom.
In the mid-1980s, the administration departments and TCM institutes in different areas of Huizhou began to explore and research Xin'an medicine. Under such circumstances, different journals were created, such as She Xian Zhong Yi (《 歙县中医 》Shexian Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine), Xiu Ning Zhong Yi (《 休宁中医 》Xiuning Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine), Shi Shan Yi Yuan (《 石山医苑 》Shishan Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine), Qian Shan Xing Lin (《 黔山杏林 》Qianshan Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine), Tun Xi Zhong Yi (《 屯溪中医 》Tunxi Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine), Huang Shan Zhong Yi Yao (《 黄山中医药 》Huangshan Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine), and Xin An Yi Yao Bao (《 新安医药报 》Xin'an Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine). To promote Xin'an medical communication and research, new columns were set up in the An Hui Zhong Yi Xue Yuan Xue Bao (《 安徽中医学院学报 》Journal of Anhui College of Chinese Medicine), An Hui Wei Sheng Zhi Tong Xun (《 安徽卫生志通讯 》Anhui Journal of Health Records and Communications) and Hui Zhou Yi Xue (《 徽州医学 》Huizhou Medicine) [Figure 4].
|Figure 4: The Journals of Xin'an medicine compiled and printed in Huizhou in the 1980s and 1990s|
Click here to view
The last 15 years of the 20th century witnessed a series of fruitful achievements in the study of Xin'an medicine. Many of them were included in the research projects of Provincial Scientific Commission or Provincial Educational Commission. Li Jiren (李济仁) complied and published Xing Xuan Yi An Bing An (《 杏轩医案并按 》Xingxuan' Medical Cases with Comments) in 1986, Xin An Ming Yi Kao (《 新安名医考 》Investigation into Xin'an Prestigious Physicians) in 1990, and Da Yi Jing Yao: Xin An Yi Xue Yan Jiu (《 大医精要―新安医学研究 》Essentials of Great Physicians: Study of Xin'an Medicine) in 1999. Bian Yulin (边玉麟) and Xia Xuezhuan (夏学传) compiled and published Yi Li (《 医理 》Medical Principles and Theories) in 1987. Wang Letao complied and published Xu Yi Shu (《 续医述 》 Supplement to Medical Narration) in 1993 and Xin An Yi Ji Kao (《 新安医籍考 》Investigation into Xin'an Medical Books) in 1998 which recorded 835 medical books and conducted a comprehensive and systematic textual research into Xin'an medical books. Wang Hongyi (王宏毅) and Wang Yunchang (王运长) reviewed and published Wang Ren Zhi Yi An (《 王任之医案 》 Wang Renzhi's Medical Cases) in 1998. Hong Fangdu (洪芳度) complied and published Xin An Li Dai Ming Yi Ming Lu (《 新安历代医家名录 》Records of Xin'an Physicians in Each Dynasty) and Xin An Hou Ke Hui Cui (《 新安喉科荟萃》Collection of Xin'an Medical Theories and Therapies in Laryngology) in 1997. Particularly, the Anhui Science and Technology Publishing House organized the editorial committee of Xin An Yi Ji Cong Kan (《 新安医籍丛刊 》Xin'an Medical Books in Series) headed by Yu Yingao (余瀛鳌), Wang Letao (王乐匋), Li Jiren(李济仁), and Wu Jinhong (吴锦洪). From 1990 to 1995, 15 volumes were published, covering medical classics, diagnostics, herbal medicine, medical prescriptions, surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, acupuncture, laryngology, medical cases, medical history, and miscellanies. The book series contain more than 10 million words and include 54 medical books [Figure 5].
|Figure 5: The Xin An Yi Ji Cong Kan (《 新安医籍丛刊 》 Xin'an Medical Books in Series) published in 1990–1995|
Click here to view
At this stage, a lot of unpublished medical books were discovered. Among them, 15 types were edited, printed, and collected, especially in the Xin'an Medical Research Institute (Center). Moreover, there were 16 types of Xin'an medical books published by other provinces such as Ming Qing Ming Yi Quan Shu Da Cheng (《 明清名医全书大成 》Complete Compendium of Prestigious Physicians in the Ming and Qing Dynasties) published by China Press of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1999, which also contributed significantly to the literature research of Xin'an medicine.
These achievements in literature research, as well as the discovery of new literatures, laid a foundation for the study of Xin'an medicine.
The research papers were also published constantly. According to incomplete statistics, there were more than 300 papers on Xin'an medicine published from 1986 to 2000, covering genetic analysis, historical status, textual research on medical books, physicians from a family for generations, medical schools, academic thoughts, innovations, medical classics, medical cases and notes, therapies, prescriptions, academic organizations, Huizhou merchants, Huizhou culture, Huizhou book printing, international communication, extraterritorial influence, and modern Xin'an physicians. All of these usher in a new round of research climax in the 21st century.
When the medical civilization is salvaged and the dust of history is brushed off, a brilliant, fruitful, and distinctive medical school, Xin'an medicine, appears gradually before us.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Guopeng C. Medical Enlightenment. Zhenjiang: Ouwen Kui Tang; 1748. p. 6.
Yingao Y. Medical contributions of prestigious physicians in Shexian county in the Ming and Qing dynasties. J Anhui Coll Chin Med 1978;(4):72-5.
Zhongmin H. Contributions of Xin'an medicine to the treatment of warm diseases. Wannan J Med 1979;(10):5-6.
Jinhong W. Humble opinion on Xin'an medical schools. Tunxi: Inaugural Meeting of Xin'an Medicine Research Society & theFirst Session of Academic Seminar; 1986. p. 29-36.
[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]