Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine
Chinese Medicine has its origins with seminal texts such as the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Huang Di Nei Jing) which is believed to have been written around 200–300 BCE. The Divine Farmers Materia Medica (Shen Nong Ben Cao) was the first Herbal being a collection of oral teachings, and was again probably written around C. 200 BCE.
Yin Yang is the foundation for Chinese Medicine and deeply infused in Chinese culture. It also shares a Five Element system, similar to Ayurveda, from which it may have originally been introduced.
There is also speculation that the early Chinese were heavily influenced by Egyptian and Mesopotamian travelers. Albert Terrien de Lacouperie, a French Sinologist published The Western Origin of the Early Chinese Civilization from 2300 B.C. to 200 A.D. in 1892. In it, he noted the hexagrams of the I Ching (Book of Changes) to be similar to Mesopotamian Cuneiform text. He also found evidence supporting early Chinese language to be influenced from Akkadian and Susian languages. Further, he equated the Yellow Emperor (Huang Di) with the Mesopotamian King Nakhunte who is said to have brought his people to the Yellow River Valley approximately 2300 BCE. He proposed the Chinese ‘Huang Di’ was derived from hun-te. Thus, the Yellow Emperor was possibly in fact Nakhunte (Nak-hun-ti), according to him. His theory was dismissed by both Chinese and European Sinoligists during the early 20th century. Nevertheless, more recent research, such as the earliest Chinese Bronze being found to have been created from Egyptian ore, not local ore, the caucasian mummies found in China, an the Pyramids of Xi'an would all support this notion. The modern sinologist John Didier (2009) made an extensive research into the connections between China and the Middle East. In his writings he gives numerous examples of the middle eastern (Babylonian) origin of astrology, calender systems, religious myths and figures, including the Yellow Emperor, Huang Di.
The Mesopotamians were the first in many areas, including having a written language and an advanced medical system involving accurate diagnosis with appropriate treatment. Thus it is possible early Chinese Medicine was influenced by the oldest medical system on the planet, although
While it is not directly a Humoral system of Medicine, TCM does share some of the same principles with the Humoral systems. TCM is actually a conglomeration of a number of systems including Yin Yang, Zang-Fu (Organ system), Meridian system, the 4 Levels, the 8 Parameters etc. However, it is arguably the Organ-based system of TCM that is most specialised and clinically, most useful. Like other systems, TCM has a Materia Medica derived from Animal, Mineral and Vegetable.
Therapies used include Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture, Bloodletting, Cupping, Massage etc.
Its strength lies in its Tonic medicines which are widely used and its systemic approach and differential diagnosis which has been well systematized over the past 50 years to make it remarkably efficient in modern clinic. TCM is by far the most successfully integrated of the Traditional Medicine systems. It is used alongside modern medicine in major TCM hospitals and TCM formulas and patent medicines can be paid for through the Chinese Health system (via money contributed monthly by workers and employers).
Chinese Medicine Materia Medica
Chinese Classification of the Materia Medica
Chinese Medicine Formulas
Chinese Medicine in European Texts
Chengdu Training Hospital of the TCM University
Sheng Ai TCM Hospital in Yunnan
Glossary of Chinese Medicine
Chinese Names of Western, Tibetan and Indian Medicines
Introduction to the Shang Han Lun
Chinese Medicines used in the West before TCM
Photos of Chinese Materia Medica
Photos of Aconite
Photos of Cordyceps