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C14 Chinese tongue diagnosis chart


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Credit: C14 Chinese tongue diagnosis chart. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

About this work


Illustrations of 'Vision of death tongue' (si jian she) and 'Yellow-coated tongue' (huangtai she) from a manuscript copy of Shanghan diandian jin shu (The Gold-dust Book of Cold Damage) dated '1st year of the Zhengyuan reign period of the Yuan dynasty' (1341), section entitled Yanzheng she (Examining the Tongue).

This book incorporates the teachings of Ao Jiweng (Song period, 960-1279) on the movement of Qi and those of Du Ben (Tao Hua) (Yuan period, 1206-1368) on pulse and tongue diagnosis, etc. Yanzheng she is based on an original text by Ao Jiweng, edited by Chen Shiwen and Shi Buni (Song period). It is a guide to the diagnosis of cold damage conditions according to the coating of the tongue, with 36 illustrations in colour.

The text states: In ' Vision of Death' tongue image, the body of the tongue turns black. Not one patient in a hundred can be cured when this tongue image is present.

In 'Yellow-Coated' tongue image, the tongue is white at the tip and yellow at the root. This tongue image indicates the presence of an unresolved exterior damage disease. To effect a cure, one must first resolve the exterior, and then proceed to drug therapy according to the symptoms.



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