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Heart Transmission Of Medicine

Heart Transmission Of Medicine

This book is a Qing dynasty primer on the study and practice of Chinese medicine. Originally written in verse as a mnemonic device, this book was meant to be memorized and not just read. Even today, this book is required reading by Chinese medical students in many provinces in the Peoples' Republic of China. Both beginners and experienced practitioners will find it a mine of clinically useful information. In particular, the author advocated the use of only a small repertoire of formulas which are then modified to fit a wide range of real-life situations.


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JCM Review

Virtually nothing is known about Liu Yi-ren except that he lived during the reign of the sixth emperor of the Qing dynasty (1821-1851 CE). Despite this, this book has been continuously published since the nineteenth century and is still a required text for doctors and students in some Chinese provinces. The reason for this is that Liu Yi-ren offered what is essentially a clinical primer for the practice of herbal medicine, in fact this book was first published in New China under the title A Short Cut to Chinese Medicine. Rather than discussing the 7,500 prescriptions listed in the 1993 Dictionary of Chinese Medicine, or even the 300 in common use today, Liu Yi-ren confines himself to a relatively small number of prescriptions and shows how they may be adapted to many clinical situations. The book commences with short sections on pulse diagnosis ("The above explanations are not derived from works by the ancients but a subtle knowledge attained through my heart") and an illuminating passage on the necessity for rational enquiry: .

"There are sick persons, who are confined to a secluded room, behind the drapes, or even have their heads covered up with quilts. They refuse to talk of their disease but ask the physician to make a diagnosis. If asked about the causes and origins (of their diseases) in some detail, they will say the (attending) physician is not qualified, If one is not allowed to make a study of the physical form and complexion or sound and voice, or to inquire about the condition, but (is only allowed) to feel the pulse, it is a masterly physician who can determine death and life for the hundreds of diseases". .

Several chapters then discuss individual herbs, which channels they enter, and how they should be used for different symptoms and diseases, for example: "Headache neccesitates the use of Chuan Xiong (Radix Ligustici Wallichii). If it fails to effect a cure, add appropriate channel conductors. For the Tai yang, add Qiang Huo (Radix et Rhizoma Notopterygii) and a little Chai Hu (Radix Bupleuri). For the yang ming, it is neccessary to prescribe Bai Zhi (Radix Angelicae Dahuricae). For the tai yin, add Cang Zhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis) and a little Xi Xin (Herba Asari Cum Radice). In case of the jue yin, using Wu Zhu Yiu (Fructus Evodiae Rutecarpae) is never a mistake. Pain at the top of the head may differ from person to person; it requires use of Gao Ben (Radix et Rhizoma Ligustici Chinensis) in place of Chuan Xiong (Radix Ligustici Wallichii)". .

The book then proceeds through chapters entitled "Songs on Additions & Subtractions to Si Jun Zi Tang (and to Si Wu Tang, Er Chen Tang, Xiao Chai Hu Tang and Ping Wei San. The bulk of the book, however, is devoted to the discussion of many clinical situations, disease causes and treatments, for example "Sudden Wind Stroke Has Four Causes & Is Classified as Three Categories of Treatment", "Fire Has Seven Types", "The Root of Nosebleeding Is in the Lung Channel", "Rib Side Pain Differs on the Two Sides" and "Dizziness Never Arises Without Phlegm". .

There is much material of great clinical value in this book and Blue Poppy Press are again to be credited for their valuable work of translating important Chinese medicine texts, despite the fact that as yet the market for these titles is relatively small.



Translator's Foreword

Chapter One
Heart-imparting Rhymes on Pulse Examination

Chapter Two
General Essentials of Pulse Examination

Chapter Three
The Six Methods of Pulse Examination

Chapter Four
Poem on the Study of the Three Positions as a Whole

Chapter Five
The Necessity of Rational Inquiry

Chapter Six
Channel Conducting Medicinals

Chapter Seven
Prose & Verse Transmitting the Heart of Using Medicinals

Chapter Eight
Rhymes on the Ruling Medicinals (Used) in Treating Disease

Chapter Nine
Song on Additions & Subtractions to SiJun Zi Tang

Chapter Ten
Song on Additions & Subtractions to Si Wu Tang (Four Materials Decoction)

Chapter Eleven
Song on Additions & Subtractions to Er Chen Tang (Two Aged [Ingredients] Decoction)

Chapter Twelve
Song on Additions & Subtractions to Xiao Chai Hu Tang (Minor cBupleurum Decoction)

Chapter Thirteen
Song on Additions & Subtractions to Ping Wei San ( Calm the Stomach Powder)

Chapter Fourteen
Prose & Verse on Disease Causes
1. The Hundreds of Diseases All Arise Out of the Six Qi
2. None of the Various Diseases Escape the Four Causes In Relation to Cold Damage, One Must Be Familiar with the Six Channel Shift
4. For Scourge Epidemic Disease, One must First Be Clear About the Contraction & Offense of the Four Qi
5. For Internal Damage of the Spleen & Stomach, One Should Identify Superabundance & Insufficiency
6. In External Contraction of Febrile Disease, One Should Know Summerheat From Spring Warmth
7. Sudden Wind Stroke Has Four Causes & Is Classified as Three Categories of Treatment
8. There Are Three Categories of Breaking & Damaging Wind and Its Treatment Is Based on the Division of Three Channels
9. Summerheat Stroke Has Stirring & Still Varieties
10. Dampness Affection Is Divided into Internal & External
11. Fire Has Seven Types
12. Phlegm Has Ten Causes
13. The Qi Has Nine Problems
14. Depression Has Six Names
15. Malaria Is Due to Assailment by Summerheat Wind, but May Be Complicated by Phlegm & Food
16. The Causes of Dysentery Are Dampness, Heat and Accumulation & Collecting
17. Retching & Vomiting Is Caused by Counterflow of Stomach Qi Which Refuses to Descend
18. Diarrhea is Due to Damaged, Unbalanced Spleen Qi
19. Sudden Turmoil Is a Result of Spleen Cold & Food Damage
20. Glomus Fullness Develops from Fatigued Spleen & Damp Accumulation
21. Hiccup Is Due to Stomach Qi Not Flowing Normall
22. Cough is Due to the Lung Qi Not Clearing
23. Eructation Is Invariably Impugned to Phlegm (or) Fire
24. Swallowing Acid Is, Without Exception, the Work of Food Collection
Appendix: Clamoring Stomach Pathocondition
25. Center Fullness Drum Distention Is Due to Vacuous Spleen Not Moving
Appendix: Puffy Swelling
26. Dysphagia Occlusion & Stomach Reflux Are Due to Qi & Food
Congealed Together
27. Rapid Panting Has Vacuity & Has Repletion (Types)
28. Tetany Has Yin & Yang (Types)
29. The Five Accumulations & Six Gatherings Are Nothing Other Than Qi Congealed with Phlegm & Blood
30. The Five Taxations & Six Extremes Are All Due to Fire Scorching the Heavenly True
31. Blood Ejection Comes from the Bowel of the Stomach
32. The Root of Nosebleeding Is in the Lung Channel
33. Blood in Phlegm Drool Is Ascribed to the Spleen
34. Hacking & Spitting of Blood Are Ascribed to the Kidney Channel 35. Gaping Gums Are Produced by Extreme Heat of the Yang Ming
36. Tongue Bleeding Arises from the Fire of the Shao Yin . . .
37. Abdominal Constriction Is Classified into Phlegm & Fire .
38. Vexatious Heat in the Chest Can be Divided into Vacuity & Repletion
39. Fright Palpitations Are the Result of Confounding Phlegm & Fear 40. Impaired Memory Is a Product of Shortage of Blood Due to Anxiety & Depression
41. Mania & Withdrawal Are Divided into Extreme Heat of the Heart & Liver
42. In Epilepsy, One Should Detect Serious & Slight Phlegm & Fire
43. Turbid Urine Is Divided into Red & White
44. Sweating May Be Called (Either) Spontaneous or Night
45. The Nine Kinds of heart Pain Are Located in the Stomach Duct
46. The Seven Categories of Mounting Qi Are Diseases of the Jue Yin
47. Rib Side Pain Differs on the Two Sides
48. Head Wind Is Divided into Left & Right
49. Lumbago Is Due to Kidney Vacuity or Wrenching & Contusion
50. Abdominal Pain Is Due to Cold Qi or Food Stagnation
51. Wilting Is Due to Insufflciency & Damp Heat ..................
52. Impediment Is Caused by Overwhelming Cold, Dampness & Wind
53. The Four Categories of Seminal Emission Are All Due to Noninteraction of the Heart & Kidneys
54. The Five Categories of Jaundice Are Produced by Damp Heat Fuming & Steaming
55. Dizziness Never Arises Without Phlegm
56. Wasting Thirst Never Arises Without Fire
57. Insomnia Is Due to Phlegm Fire Effulgence & Shortage of Blood
58. Profuse Sleeping Is Due to Spleen-Stomach Fatigue & Spirit Clouding
59. Constipation Is Due to Blood & Fluid Dryness & Binding
60. Urinary Block Is Due to Stagnant Qi Not Moving
61. Hemorrhoidal Disease & Intestinal Wind Are the Result of Damp Heat
62. Macular Eruptions & Addictive Papules Are Produced by Overwhelming Wind Heat
63. Deafness Is a Result of Kidney Vacuity
64. The Cause of Eye Disease Is Liver Fire
65. Toothache Is a Result of Stomach Heat & Qi Vacuity
66. Throat Impediment Is Due to Stirring Fire & Upborne Phlegm
67. Nasal Congestion Is Due to Inhibited Lung Qi
68. Mouth Sores Are Due to Wandering Spleen Fire
69. Women's Menstrual Irregularities Are All Ascribed to Qi Counterflow
70. Women's Heart Vexation & Tidal Fever Mostly Arise From
71. The Cause of Vaginal Discharge & Sand Strangury Is Damp Heat
72. Flooding & Leaking of Blood Are Due to Detriment of the Ren & Chong
73. The Treatment of Disquiet Fetus Has Two Principles
74. Postpartum Fever Has Seven Causes

Formula Index
General Index


AuthorLiu Yi-ren, Translated by Yang Shou-zhong
PublisherBlue Poppy Press
Number Of Pages216
Book FormatSoftback


An excerpt from The Heart Transmission of Medicine

This book was written by Liu Yi-ren. We know literally nothing about the author except that he lived during the reign of Dao Guang (1821-1851 CE), the sixth emperor of the Qing dynasty. This book is a condensed primer on Chinese medicine and particularly on treating the most common traditional Chinese disease categories with Chinese medicinals. As such, it is an excellent abridged guide for students and a handy reference for clinicians. To become a doctor in old China, one had to apprentice for many years under the personal guidance of a mentor-physician. During the first years of apprenticeship, all one's days were spent running errands and doing all sorts of chores seemingly irrelevant to the practice of medicine. If one's performance as an obedient servant proved satisfactory, then one might be allowed to begin studying medicine per se. This second period of training was no less arduous than the first. At first, one simply had to sit by the side of the master while he received his patients, watching and listening to the master and copying his prescriptions. In his spare time, the student was required to memorize oceans of formulas and the subtle differences of signs and symptoms of innumerable diseases. Such traditional apprenticeships typically lasted more than 10 years. Only after that was the student allowed to start seeing patients by themselves. After Liberation (i.e., 1949), this traditional medical educational system was completely transformed. The above-described one-on-one method of instruction was largely abandoned. Special schools of Chinese medicine have been set up throughout China which can accommodate hundreds or even thousands of times more students than in the past. This has made it possible to not only mass produce qualified physicians but also to introduce modern concepts and methods of education. Medical students are no longer required to do their teachers' household chores and everyday tasks. However, the laborious task of learning all of the sophisticated theories of Chinese medicine and a repertoire of medicinal formulas still remains. Therefore, in the present as in the past, students of Chinese medicine still need a single book which contains the most complicated theories in easy words and short passages. Unlike the classics which may be a challenge even to learned scholars, what has perennially been wanted is a book which is accessible to beginners who have only a rudimentary knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine. In addition, it would be a blessing for students of Chinese medicine if one only had to memorize a handful of formulas rather than myriads. In response to this ongoing need, many contemporary as well as past scholars have attempted to compile easy readers of Chinese medicine to reduce the difficulty of learning this complex art. However, rarely have the authors of such primers escaped the blame of erroneously oversimplifying the coherent, grand system of traditional Chinese medicine. The crux of the issue has always been to create a concise work without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. On the other hand, some premodern works, like the Yi Xue Ru Men (Entering the Gate of Medicine), which, judging from their titles, seem like primers for beginners, are, in fact, too voluminous for beginning students' needs. Therefore, few of these efforts are truly recommendable. This present work is one of the few successes within this genre. First of all, this work is a primer in its true sense. It is not a difficult job to memorize such a thin book by heart. More importantly, this book contains the very essence of Chinese medicine. Since the material in this book is undiluted, it can come in a small package.

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