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Early C20 Chinese Lithograph: 'Fan' diseases

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Credit: Early C20 Chinese Lithograph: 'Fan' diseases. Wellcome Collection. In copyright

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Huitu zhenjiu yixue (Illustrated Acupuncture Made Easy), by Li Shouxian, was composed in 1798 (3rd year of the Jiaqing reign period of the Qing dynasty). It comprises two volumes (juan), plus a supplementary volume containing illustrations of the 'Seventy-two fan'. The 'Seventy-two fan' are not mentioned in any other early Chinese medical sources. Judging from the accounts given in this text, fan must be a generic term for a category of acute illness of unexplained origin. The word fan is qualified by names of animals and insects to characterise the external manifestations of these illnesses. This illustration shows the manifestations of Turtledove (banjiu) fan and Severing Knife (kandao) fan. According to the captions, the signs of these conditions are as follows: In Turtledove fan, the head is outstretched, the limbs are cold, and the whole body trembles. This is treated by administering one or two twigs from a turtledove's nest, burnt to ash, washed down with yellow rice wine. In Severing Knife fan, the patient plucks at his/her mouth with both hands. To treat this, one should administer calcined and finely powdered stork's beak stork, to be taken with yellow rice wine.


TITLE: Turtledove (banjiu) fan; Severing Knife (kandao) fan. CAPTIONS: See 'Description of Image Content'


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