Practical English-Chinese Library of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Prescriptions of Traditional Chinese Medicine
By Li Dungqing, Jiang Jingxian, Gao Yi, Shi Lanhua
Publishing House of Shanghai College of TCM, 1990
Paperback, English and Chinese
A prescription book entitled "The Prescriptions for Fifty-two Kinds of Disease" was unearthed in 1979 from the No. 3 Han Tomb at Ma Wang Dui, Changsha, Hunan Province. It is the earliest extant medical formulary in China. Dr. Zhu Su of the Ming Dynasty and others collected almost all the medical formularies having been used before the fifteenth century and compiled the most voluminous medical book "Prescriptions for Universal Relief" with as many as 61739 prescriptions in it.
The formation of a prescription is neither simply to pile up drugs with similar functions and effects nor "to treat the head when the head aches and to treat the foot when the foot hurts," that is to say, only to treat the symptoms but not the syndrome in TCM or the disease. It is on the basis of the differentiation of syndromes and establishment of the therapeutic methods, to pick out proper drugs and organically constitute them in the light of the principles of forming a prescription.