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Medicine in China


More than ten thousand medical books survive from imperial China (221 B.C.E.–1911 C.E.). These include a small number of doctrinal works with a large accumulation of commentaries and scholarly studies; works on nosology and diagnosis; a great many formularies, most of which systematically set out therapeutic methods; collections of materia medica, which over the last millennium tended to incorporate compound drug formulas; collections of the medical case records of physicians; as well as more or less distinct genres for gynecology, pediatrics, and external medicine. Since the 1950s, scholars in China have edited, annotated, and reprinted many significant early works, and have translated some of the most important into the modern vernacular. Scholars in Asia and elsewhere have used this literature to throw light on a wide range of Chinese ideas, ranging from ethics to gender.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Mathematics to Methanal trimerMedicine in China - Literature, Doctrines, Therapy, Modernization, Bibliography