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Chinese woodcut: Eye diagnosis -- the Eight Regions (ba kuo)

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Credit: Chinese woodcut: Eye diagnosis -- the Eight Regions (ba kuo). Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Woodcut illustrating the 17th century Chinese medical text Yangyi daquan (Great Compendium of The Medicine of Sores) Gu Shicheng, from an edition published in 1901 (27th year of the Guangxu reign period of the Qing dynasty). It shows the Eight Regions (ba kuo) of the eye, according to Chinese medicine. The external parts of the eye were divided into eight diagnostic sectors, each of which was supposed to relate pathologically to a particular internal organ. They take their names from eight natural phenomena, or the Eight Trigrams, i.e. sky or heaven (qian), earth (kun), wind (xun), thunder (zhen), marshes and lakes (dui), mountains (gen), fire (li) and water (kan).


PICTURE TITLE: OTHER LETTERING: Spleen channel; acute canthus (i.e. outer canthus of the eye); gall bladder channel; small intestine; lung and large intestine; kidney channel; liver channel; heart channel; bladder; inner canthus; stomach channel. The large intestine conveys to the lung channel. Although the Triple Burner (sanjiao) relates to bodily fluids, its channel connects with the outer canthus of the eye. Gen - mountain region - stillness and tranquillity. Zhen - thunder region - guan quan (?). Qian - sky region - chuandao (path of transmission?). Kan - water region - Hui yin (Convergence of Yin; perineum - ). Kun- earth region - Shui gu (water and grains, i.e. food and drink). Xun - wind region - Nutrition. Li - fire region -- bao yang (?).. Dui - lake or marsh region - bodily fluids. Mingmen (right kidney considered as Portal of Life) conveys to the heart channel.



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