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The illustrations of Compendium of Materia Medica © Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences

Ben Cao Gang Mu (《本草纲目》 Compendium of Materia Medica)

Registration year: 2011
Submission year: 
2010
Collection ID: 
2010-15

Ben Cao Gang Mu (《本草纲目》 (Compendium of Materia Medica)) is is the most complete and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine. Compiled and written by LI Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over a period of 27 years. The first draft was completed in 1578 when Ming China was at its imperial heyday

The compendium lists, analyses and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties. The compendium in effect epitomizes the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors' achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception as regards the nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. The compendium in fact heralds the dawning of modern pharmacological studies.

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Compendium of Materia Medica (Ben Cao Gang Mu) © Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences
Compendium of Materia Medica (Ben Cao Gang Mu)
© Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences

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The preface of Compendium of Materia Medica © Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences
The preface of Compendium of Materia Medica
© Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences

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The editors' names of Compendium of Materia Medica © Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences
The editors' names of Compendium of Materia Medica
© Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences

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The illustrations of Compendium of Materia Medica © Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences
The illustrations of Compendium of Materia Medica
© Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences

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Certificate for the book being collected in National Precious Ancient Works Directory © Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences
Certificate for the book being collected in National Precious Ancient Works Directory
© Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences

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Compendium of Materia Medica is safely preserved in camphor wood bookcase © Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences
Compendium of Materia Medica is safely preserved in camphor wood bookcase
© Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences

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Compendium of Materia Medica is safely preserved in the Rare Book Stack under climate-controlled condition © Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences
Compendium of Materia Medica is safely preserved in the Rare Book Stack under climate-controlled condition
© Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences

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Various editions of Compendium of Materia Medica © Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences
Various editions of Compendium of Materia Medica
© Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences

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A scholar is doing research on Compendium of Materia Medica © Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences
A scholar is doing research on Compendium of Materia Medica
© Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences

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The statue of Li Shizhen in front of his grave © Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences
The statue of Li Shizhen in front of his grave
© Library of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences
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