王冰(Wáng Bīng):introduction about his biography and legend,main books and academic thoughts.

TCM Knowledge:Prominent Ancient Herbalists ✵To help clients and TCM fans know better with the common knowledge of ancient TCM and syndrome differentiation, there comes the online knowledge database in classified categories.

 ✵The main content including: the introduction of the most famous and talented Ancient Herbalists and Distinguished Physicians, the most influential and Well-Known Ancient Works, common Diagnostic Methods, the introduction of Common Disease and Syndromes, etc.

王冰(Wáng Bīng).

  
Brief Introduction
漢語名(Chinese Name): 王冰(Wáng Bīng)Alias: 啟元子(Qǐ Yuánzǐ)
Popular name:  啟玄子(Qǐ Xuánzǐ)English Name: Wang Bing, or Bing Wang(Given/Sur Name)
Nationality: HanBelief:  Taoism
Hometown: UnknownDates: about 710~805 AD
Main works: 《補養方》(Bu Yang Fang) 3 volumes,《必效方》(Bi Xiao Fang) 3 volumes,
《黃帝內經·素問》(Huang Di Nei Jing·Su Wen),《玄珠》(Xuan Zhu),
《昭明隱旨》(Zhao Ming Yin Zhi) in 3 volumes,《天元玉册》(Tian Yuan Yu Ce) in 30 volumes,
《元和紀用經》(Yuan He Ji Yong Jing) in 1 volume,
《素問六氣玄珠密語》(Su Wen Liu Qi Xuan Zhu Mi Yu)in 10 volumes.
Representative works: 《重廣補註黃帝內經素問》(Chong Guang Bu Zhu Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen)
Reputation: 王太仆(Wáng Tàipū)Star-rating:   

 Introduction: Wáng Bīng
 ✵王冰(Wáng Bīng,c710-805),physician specializing in the art of healing and health preservation,who spent twelve years rearranging and revising the Su Wen,or Plain Questions,one of the two component parts of Huangdi's Internal Classic,into 24 volumes, with notes,commentaries and supplements.

 ✧王冰(Wáng Bīng), alias 啟玄子(Qi Xuanzi), or 啟元子(Qi Yuanzi), born at around Jing Yun 1st year(710AD), passed away at ZhenYuan twenty years(or year 805AD),native county not known, assigned as an official titled "太仆令"(Taipu ling) at year 762~763, also called Wang Taipu.

 ✦王冰(Wáng Bīng) personal character peaceful mind,pure heart and few desires,fond of health preserving method and searching for various health maintenance crafts,also good in study with Taoism,ever followed with famous herbalist 孟詵(Meng Shen) for health preserving methods,孟詵(Mèng Shēn) was a excellent and master medicine treatment and alchemy,and also a disciple of herbalist sage 孫思邈(Sūn Sīmiǎo),who inherited the true teachings from 孫思邈(Sūn Sīmiǎo) including crafts of YinYang,calendars deduction and medicine treatment,and ever wrote classics 《補養方》(Bu Yang Fang) 3 volumes and 《必效方》(Bi Xiao Fang) 3 volumes. Followed with 孟詵(Meng Shen) several years,王冰(Wáng Bīng) learned deeply the essence and miracle crafts of ancient herbalism and also affected by his Taoism.

 ✧When he aged 20,王冰(Wáng Bīng) heard that a strange eccentric herbalist named 玄珠(Xuan Zhu) got a copy of Huang Di Nei Jing·Su Wen,but he lived seclusion with practice in some Taoist temple, with great talent, then 王冰(Wáng Bīng) decided to visit him and seek taught, with guidance from some related person,王冰(Wáng Bīng) came to the Taoist temple where Xuan Zhu stayed and practice. Xuan Zhu ever traveling around four seas and treat folks in his early age, live in solitude in his late study deep theory and writing medicine classics. Xuan Zhu laid very strict criteria for disciple selection,and he required 王冰(Wáng Bīng) know well and practice with basic guide of “Principles and Sincerity of Master Herbalist”(these request were given by herbalist Sun Simiao in his classics 《千金要方》(Qian Jin Yao Fang, or Invaluable Prescriptions)),and also should familiar with basic knowledge from previous classics 《內經》(Nei Jing, Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor)《難經》(Nan Jing, Classic of Questioning)《甲乙經》(Jia Yi Jing, the Systematized Canon of Acupuncture and Moxibustion)《本草》(Ben Cao, Herbal Canon of Shen Nong)《經方》(Jing Fang),and also should study with basic crafts and academics related with Yin-Yang and Five Elements, and should be a herbalist with morality opinion and ethics.

 ✦王冰(Wáng Bīng) fond of health nourishing,wish to be immortal,and return with sky land and all things,join the follower admirer of Taoism,and his own few desire-belief also consistent with those Taoism opinions “無為letting things take their own course”, “desire-lessness”, “Indifferent to fame or benefit”.So worship Taoism and fond of crafts is the main pursuit in his life, this also one reason for his alias 啟玄子(Qǐ Xuánzǐ).

  Wáng Bīng✧王冰(Wáng Bīng) fond of Yi-ology and Taoism in his young age, pay attention in medicine study, especially hobby in classics Huang Di Nei Jing, ever "inherited a secret classic copy from ancestor teacher Zhang Gong at the place of his teacher Guo Yuzhai.", herbalist 王冰(Wáng Bīng) gave supplements and notes to the ancient classics since year TianBao nine years(year 750AD) till Bao Ying 1st year(year 762AD), totally 12 years,finally edited and compiled out the classics 《素問》(Su Wen, Plain Questions of the Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor) in 24 volumes,and total of 81 articles, for the original classic copy 王冰(Wáng Bīng) got lost the 7th volume,he added with the volume which collected in some old copy(which means those seven great treatises edited in the published copy volume 19th to volume 22th),combined and re-edited into 24 volumes,which made devotions for the reservation and spread of ancient medicine literatures. The legend noted herbalist 王冰(Wáng Bīng)ever wrote other classics, like 《玄珠》(Xuan Zhu), which lost in Song Dynasty,and other classics titled 《昭明隱旨》(Zhao Ming Yin Zhi) in 3 volumes,《天元玉册》(Tian Yuan Yu Ce) in 30 volumes,《元和紀用經》(Yuan He Ji Yong Jing) in 1 volume,and these books possibly wrote by some later generations authors with 王冰(Wáng Bīng)'s title as Pseudo author.

 ✦Herbalist 王冰(Wáng Bīng) got the secret copy 《素問》(Su Wen, Plain Questions of the Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor) from ancestor teacher Zhang Gong,and compare proofread with the copy 《內經訓解》(Nei Jing Xun Jie) which written by previous herbalist 全元起(Qquán Yuánqǐ, birth date unknown, live during the Qi and Liang of South Dynasty epoch),with careful study and combine reference to hiw own academic thoughts and experience,Herbalist 王冰(Wáng Bīng)applied methods like title combination,contents differentiation,shift chapter,supplements etc,re-edit and re-compile the classics 《素問》(Su Wen),and with specific methods like fill,error correction,delete extra sentence,embroidery,systemly and completely emendate,interpretation,notes and elaborate the classic copy,and complete at year 762AD and the final copy titled as 《次註素問》(Ci Zhu Su Wen),also named 《重廣補註黃帝內經素問》(Chong Guang Bu Zhu Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen),totally 24 volumes and 81 articles(9*9 big theory).Due to his seriousness and strict academic attitude, hardworking detecting research and style, the ancient classics 《黃帝內經素問》(Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen)possibly survived and completely reserved. The printing technique applied characters cut in intaglio and characters cut in relief to differ in the block printing, the compilation and supplement of 《黃帝內經素問》(Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen) of herbalist 王冰(Wáng Bīng), had a crucial contribution in the history of Chinese medicine. The classic copy 《素問》(Su Wen) edited by him was referred by later herbalists as the blueprint.Some opinion and creative ideas of medicine from herbalist 王冰(Wáng Bīng), still has very important value for reference and study. Other classics ever written by 王冰(Wáng Bīng) all lost in ancient times, could never be seen again, the only survived copy is the 《次註素問》(Ci Zhu Su Wen),his academic opinion also mainly represented in the supplement notes of 《素問》(Su Wen).

  Wáng Bīng✧Herbalist 王冰(Wáng Bīng) had depth study with the Qi directing practice, the detailed theory was recorded in those supplements and notes in the Seven Articles of Great Treatise, and was traced and respected as the essence and basis of Qi-directing theory of later generations. Combined with his own rich knowledge of medicine,王冰(Wáng Bīng) gave the classics 《素問》(Su Wen) easier and smooth for understanding,those articles he added in, which titledTian Yuan Ji Da Lun, Wu Yun Xin Da Lun, Wu Chang Zheng Da Lun, Liu Wei Zhi Da Lun, Liu Yuan Zheng Ji Da Lun, Qi Jiao Bian Da Lun, Zhi Zhen Yao Da Lun, these articles represents the main essence of the Qi-direction theory. These articles under title great treatise gave detailed and deep interpretations of the related questions, like deep interpretation of the question of mutual rooting of yin-yang. According and reference to the theory recorded in the classics《素問·四氣調神大論》(Su Wen·Si Qi Tiao Shen Da Lun)“cultivate Yang in spring and summer, cultivate Yin in autumn and winter, to follow their roots”, Herbalist 王冰(Wáng Bīng) gave very incisive exposition about the question mutual rooting of Yin-Yang. He proposed that: “The Yang rooted in Yin, the Yin rooted in Yang; the Yang could not revive without Yin, the Yin could not trandform without Yang; All Yin could not polarize the Yang, all Yang could not exhaust the Yin. To grow the shrubs should solid its root, cut off the root then the above ground part will die.”, his interpretation sounds very simple clear and to the point, got real essence from 《內經》(Nei Jing), and has guiding significance for clinical practice.

 ✦ When discussing and propose the distribution and metabolism of water and body fluid, he mentioned the important effects and functions of the organ Lung and Spleen, and especially emphasize the functions of Lung, Spleen, and Kidney on the water distribution and metabolism.His theory “The Chong meridian is the blood sea, the Ren meridian main for fetus, support eachother, so have offsprings.” was followed by later generation herbalists.

 ✧ Herbalist 王冰(Wáng Bīng) gave interpretations of pathogenic theory, and he summarized etiology and pathogenesis of various disease as four kinds, as “壹者始因氣動而內有所成;二者不因氣動而外有所成;三者始因氣動而病生於內;四者不因氣動而病生於外”. The concept "氣動”(Qi movement) mentioned by herbalist 王冰(Wáng Bīng), means the turmoil or turn chaotic conditions of visceral-qi, and classified the pathogenesis into 2 categories, one from Qi-movement, one not from Qi-movement, and further differentiate exogenous pathogenic factor or internal disorder.This kind of classification method combine pathogenesis with etiology, different from the three-factory theory, and praised by later herbalists 張元素(Zhāng Yuánsù) and 張從正(Zhāng Cóngzhēng).Furthermore,for the pathogenesis of exogenous febrile disease fever, asthenic disease,王冰(Wáng Bīng) hold very specific opinion too.For the propose in the classics《至真要大論》(Zhi Zhen Yao Da Lun)“謹守病機,各司其屬,有者求之,無者求之,盛者責之,虛者責之,必先五勝,疏其血氣,令其調達,而致和平”, he gave very high praise and also wrote notes more than 300 words, repeatedly emphasis to detect the pathogenesis through phenomena and various symptoms, gave a further interpretation of the pathogenesis analysis method.

 ✦ Herbalist 王冰(Wáng Bīng) gave very specific discussion of therapeutic method and rules,and clearly proposed treatment should be based on real pathogenesis, and based on Yin-Yang, clearly identify and differentiate deficiency and excess of Yin-Yang, Water-Fire, and proposed to treat deficiency of kidney-YANG should refer to “益火之源,以消陰翳”,treat deficiency of kidney-YIN should refer to “壯水之主,以制陽光”.These incisive expositions got high attention by all later generation herbalists and founded a basis for the formation of the later life-gate theory.About the question of routine treatment and counteracting treatment, he also gave a detailed analysis and pointed out “the straight treatment of serious cases, actually are counteracting treatment".And he used fire as metaphor to analysis the treatment method:“for the treatment of serious disease, better treat straight with its nature", and his discussion actually the origin of later treatment method under title “guide fire return to its origin", which has guiding essence for clinical practice.On other aspects, for the treatment of five types depression,王冰(Wáng Bīng) gave differentiation of the five types depression, and applied different methods vomit、sweat、eliminating wetness etc, which make the treatment method from 《素问》(Su Wen) more clear and exact,later generation herbalists seek reference from the method of 王冰(Wáng Bīng) for depression treatment and supplemented with their own inventions,and gradually treatment of depression formed a theory doctrine in the TCM theory system with clinical value.

 ✧ Herbalist 王冰(Wáng Bīng) hold his specific opinion on some questions of the TCM theory.For example,when he gave explain and interpretation of the propose “微者逆之,甚者從之” recorded in 《素問》(Su Wen),raise 2 concept about fire,人火(Ren Huo,or Man-Fire) and 龍火(Long Huo,or Dragon-Fire),these are actually metaphoric descriptions,as he explained: “夫病之微小者,猶人火也,遇草而芮,得木而燔,可以濕伏,可以水滅,故逆其性氣以折之攻之。病之大者,猶龍火也,得濕而焰,遇水而燔,不識其性,以水濕折之,適足以光焰詣天,物窮方止矣。識其性者,反常之理,以火逐之,則燔灼自削,焰光撲滅。”王冰(Wáng Bīng) hold a viewpoint that Ren-Huo and Long-Huo are two different fire with complete different essence.the first is common heat,its nature belongs to Yang-heat and may hurt Yin-fluid,can use herbs with cooling characters for treatment,for example the liver-fire and red eyes,stomach-fire and toothache etc, herbs with character clearing discharging stomach fire and liver fire could be selected, like radix Gentiana, rhizoma coptidis, shi gao, da huang, etc. But for the dragon-fire, its nature similar to the Dragon in ancient legend, Dragon live in water, water accumulated and Dragonfly out, thus the character of this type of fire is that herbs with cooling property not only could not help treatment, on the contrary, may also aid fire to generate more heat,thus 王冰(Wáng Bīng) hold a treatment viewpoint to exorcize fire with fire.

 ✦ Herbalist 王冰(Wáng Bīng) was really a generation master of Nei Jing(Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor),there were many later works forge author under his name,like those books titled Su Wen Liu Qi Xuan Zhu Mi Yu in 10 volumes, Zhao Ming Yin Zhi in 3 volumes,《Tian Yuan Yu Ce in 30 volumes,Yuan He Ji Yong Jing in 1 volume.

References:
  • 1.王冰(Wáng Bīng):introduction about his biography and legend,main books and academic thoughts.

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