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Compendium of Materia Medica

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Have you ever heard of this book? The “Compendium of Materia Medica” (《本草綱目》) is a renowned Chinese herbal medicine book written by Li Shizhen during the Ming Dynasty. Li Shizhen, also known as Cao Gang Mu, was a prominent Chinese physician, pharmacologist, and naturalist.

The “Compendium of Materia Medica” remains a historical foundation for traditional Chinese medicine. While not a direct influence on modern medicine, its documentation of natural substances contributes to ongoing research, providing insights into potential therapeutic properties and serving as a reference for herbal studies.

The Compendium of Materia Medica is considered one of the most comprehensive and systematic works on traditional Chinese medicine. It was completed in 1578 and is a compilation of existing knowledge on medicinal substances available at the time, drawing from classical Chinese texts, folklore, and Li Shizhen’s own observations and experiences.

The book is organized into 52 volumes and contains detailed information on more than 1,800 medicinal substances, including plants, minerals, and animal products. Each entry includes descriptions of the substance’s properties, taste, therapeutic uses, and recommended dosages. Li Shizhen’s work also includes illustrations, making it a valuable resource for understanding traditional Chinese medicine and herbal remedies.

The Compendium of Materia Medica has had a lasting impact on the practice of traditional Chinese medicine and is still widely studied and referenced today. It reflects the rich heritage of Chinese herbal medicine and remains an essential text for those interested in traditional healing practices.

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Clinical Drug Development of Chinese Herbal Medicine

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