Early C20 Chinese Lithograph: 'Fan' diseases

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Lettering

TITLE: Mosquito fan; Youyan [a kind of millipede with a poisonous bite?] fan; Vinegar Pig(?... an insect) (cuzhu) fan. CAPTIONS: See 'Description of Image Content'


    Description

    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 Mosquito fan, Youyan [a kind of millipede with a poisonous bite?] fan and Vinegar Pig(?) (cuzhu, an insect) fan.

    In Mosquito fan, the patient brings up sticky mucus and falls into a coma from which s/he cannot be roused. This can be treated by massaging the pit of the stomach with distilled spirit, striking the area until it becomes red.

    The symptoms of Youyan fan are headache and swollen legs; sore, swollen throat; and numbness in the mouth. This is treated by administering fresh ginger juice, washed down with cold water.

    In Vinegar Pig fan, the limbs are cold, the whole body shivers, the heart is painful and hot, and purple boils appear underneath the tongue. This is treated by lancing the boils with a needle and rubbing in salt.


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        'Early C20 Chinese Lithograph: 'Fan' diseases' . Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY


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