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C15 Chinese prescription book


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Credit: C15 Chinese prescription book. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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First page (first half-folio) of the appendix of Liangfang leibian (Classified Book of Effective Prescriptions), by Yang Ruiji, published in 1531 (10th year of the Jiajing reign period of the Ming dynasty, Xin Mao year).

Liangfang leibian is a remedy compilation drawing on three separate texts: 1) Xinkan jingyan mifang (Tried and Tested Secret Precriptions, Newly Engraved), compiled by Li Tanhuai and Hao Liaoyang in the Ming period (1368-1644) (28 remedies with an index showing the sapors of the drugs in each one); 2) Fangwai qifang (Egregious Prescriptions), anonymous (23 remedies with detailed notes on preparation and administration); 3) Jingyan yaofang (Tried and Tested Medical Prescriptions), compiled by Li Wenmin in the Ming period.

Most of the prescriptions included in the book are single-ingredient empirical remedies. In the appendix, Yang Ruiji has added seven magical remedies and five elixirs of his own.

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