Medieval Chinese Medicine: The Dunhuang Medical Manuscripts, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Medieval Chinese Medicine

The Dunhuang Medical Manuscripts, 1st Edition

By Christopher Cullen, Vivienne Lo


480 pages | 25 Color Illus. | 31 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2005-04-06
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In recent decades various versions of Chinese medicine have begun to be widely practised in Western countries, and the academic study of the subject is now well established. However, there are still few scholarly monographs that describe the history of Chinese medicine and there are none at all on the medieval period.

This collection represents the kind of international collaboration of research teams, centres and individuals that is required to begin to study the source materials adequately. The first book in English to discuss this fascinating material in the century since the Dunhuang library was discovered, the text provides a unique and fascinating interpretation of Chinese medical history.


'This book is among the few in English to tackle this eclectic period in Chinese History, and the only one to deal with Dunhuang medicine. For this reason alone, it is an invalueable contribution to the field.' - Medical History, January 2007

Table of Contents

1. The Dunhuang Collections and International Collaboration 2. Introduction Part 1: The Manuscripts 3. Manuscripts as Sources in the History of Chinese Medicine 4. A General Survey of Medical Works contained in the Dunhuang Medical Manuscripts 5. Comments on the Problem of 'Transcription' 6. Han Bamboo and Wooden Medical Records discovered in Military Sites from the North Western Frontier Regions Part 2: Divination, Iatromancy and Related Arts 7. Mantic Texts in their Cultural Context 8. Dunhuang Iatromantic Manuscripts: P.2856 V°and P.2675 R° 9. Love Charms among the Dunhuang Manuscripts 10. From Prognosis to Diagnosis of Illness in Tang China Part 3: Self-Cultivation and the Popular Medical Traditions 11. Introductory Essay 12. Quick and Easy Chinese Medicine: The Dunhuang Moxibustion Charts 13. Art of the Bedchamber 14. Daoism and the Dunhuang Regimen Texts Part 4: Pharmacology 15. The Dunhuang Manuscripts and Pharmacology in Mediaeval China 16. The Three juan Edition of Bencao Jizhu and Excavated Sources 17. Canonical Methods for Brews and Decoctions: A Lost Text Recorded in the Hanshu Bibliography 18. Wind Malady as Madness in Mediaeval China 19. A Treatment for Cardiovascular Dysfunction in a Dunhuang Medical Manuscript Appendix 1: Materia Medica Abstracts of 73 manuscripts containing medical information held in the British Library and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg and Ryukoku University Library

About the Authors

Vivienne Lo researches and lectures on the early and medieval history of Asian medicine at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, University College London.

Christopher Cullen is Director of the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge.

About the Series

Needham Research Institute Series

Joseph Needham's 'Science and Civilisation' series began publication in the 1950s. At first, it was seen as a piece of brilliant but isolated pioneering. However, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, it is clear that Needham's work has succeeded in creating a vibrant new intellectual field in the West. The books in this series cover topics relating broadly to the practice of science, technology and medicine in East Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The emphasis is on traditional forms of knowledge and practice, but without excluding modern studies which connect the topics with their historical and cultural context.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HEALTH & FITNESS / Acupressure & Acupuncture (see also MEDICAL / Acupuncture)
HISTORY / Asia / General
HISTORY / Asia / China
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies