許叔微(Xǔ Shūwēi):introduction about his biography and legend,main books and academic thoughts.
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知可(Zhī Kě),近泉(Jìn Quán)
許學士(Xǔ Xuéshì, Scholar Xǔ)
Xu Shu-wei, or Shu-wei Xu(Given/Sur Name)
about 1079~1154 A.D.
《類證普濟本事方》(Lei Zheng Pu Ji Ben Shi Fang, or Effective Prescriptions for Universal Relief) in 10 volumes,《傷寒百證歌》(Shang Han Bai Zheng Ge) in 5 volumes,《傷寒發微論》(Shang Han Fa Wei Lun) in 2 volumes,《傷寒九十論》(Shang Han Jiu Shi Lun), 《治法八十壹篇》(Zhi Fa, or Zhi Fa Ba Shi Yi Pian, or Eighty One articles on treatment methods),《辯類》(Bian Lei) in 5 volumes,《翼傷寒論》(Yi Shang Han Lun),《仲景脈法三十六圖》(Zhong Jing Mai Fa San Shi Liu Tu), etc.
《傷寒百證歌》(Shang Han Bai Zheng Ge) in 5 volumes,《傷寒發微論》(Shang Han Fa Wei Lun) in 2 volumes,《傷寒九十論》(Shang Han Jiu Shi Lun),《類證普濟本事方》(Lei Zheng Pu Ji Ben Shi Fang, or Effective Prescriptions for Universal Relief) in 10 volumes.
Introduction: ✵許叔微(Xǔ Shūwēi)(1079~1154 A.D.): a prominent physician of the Song Dynasty. He prepared graphic illustrations of 36 varieties of the pulse based on Zhang Zhongjing's work and propounded the theory of using herbs with the intensity of the disease. Xu was the author of several medical books, among which the Lei Zheng Pu Ji Ben Shi Fang(the Classified Effective Prescriptions for Universal Relief) (1132?) in 10 volumes has been one of his most widely read books. Xu Shu-Wei was the representative herbalist of Meng-He School during the Song Dynasty period(the Meng-He School could be traced back to the Dong Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdom period, originated and related with herbalist and Taoist Ge Hong.).
許叔微(Xǔ Shūwēi), his alias is 知可(Zhī Kě), his alternative name is 近泉(Jìn Quán), he was native to Zhen Zhou BaiSha or Pi Ling of Song, a famous herbalist and ever lived during the years of the North Song and the South Song Dynasty.
許叔微(Xǔ Shūwēi) born at a poor family, at Yuan You Five Year(Yuan You was the reign title of emperor Song Zhezong, or year 1090 A.D.) his father and mother all passed away due to plagues, he was 11 years old at that year, he studied hard with both traditional Confucian classics and medicine, get a Jinshi title in the imperial examination at the Shao Xing 2nd year (year 1132 A.D., Shao Xing was the reign title of the emperor Zhao Gou), then he was assigned a drillmaster of Hui Zhou and Hang Zhou, Xue Shi of Han Lin Ji Xian Yuan(scholar, National Sages Academy), so later he was also called "Xu Xueshi", since young age he learned all medical books available around and studied with ancient medical classics in fine details, he was very good at medical science and was famous in hometown till his middle age. At Jian Yuan 1st year of the South Song Dynasty(Jian Yuan is the first reign title of Song Gaozong Zhao Gou, or year l127 A.D.), epidemic disease spread widely at the ZhenZhou area, herbalist 許叔微(Xǔ Shūwēi) tried diagnosis with folks in their home, saved eight to nine among ten patients, his reputation rose up soon and well known for a lot of patients were saved by him.
At the Shao Xing 2nd year or 3rd year(Shao Xing is the second reign title of Song Gaozong Zhao Gou, year l132 or 1133 A.D.), 許叔微(Xǔ Shūwēi) passed the imperial examinations and was selected as Jinshi, got assigned as official titles Huizhou HangZhouFu Jiao Shou(drillmaster of Hui Zhou and Hang Zhou) and Xue Shi of Han Lin Ji Xian Yuan(scholar, National Sages Academy), folks called him Xu Xueshi(Scholar Xu), later for unsatisfied with emperor Song Gaozong content with temporary ease and comfort at the south of Yangtze River, and crafty sycophants, he resigned the official position and went back to the countryside, live in Ma Jishan, goes on with studying and practicing medicine and saving people, any patients seek for help, no matter day or night, no matter they are poor or rich, he just goes for treatment and aims at saving lives, his personality and characters are kindhearted, loyal, blunt, bold and forthright, he was praised favorably by local folks.
Herbalist 許叔微(Xǔ Shūwēi) was admitted as one big scholar in the academic field of Shang Han Lun during the Song Dynasty, he proposed many detailed interpretations, supplement with the syndrome differentiation and treatment theory, he said that: “the treatment of cold-induced disease, should be clear with interior and exterior, excess or deficiency. As long as know the meaning of these, the 397 methods of herbalist Zhang Zhongjing, could be used easily.” Herbalist Xu Shuwei often help to treat strange disease and difficult case, and say farewell for thanks, ever made excellent study with the theory of the exogenous febrile disease, emphasized that the importance for the treatment of exogenous febrile disease is the identification of the deficiency, excessive, cold and heat. And later he compiled related works include 《傷寒百證歌》(Shang Han Bai Zheng Ge), 《傷寒發微論》(Shang Han Fa Wei Lun), 《傷寒九十論》(Shang Han Jiu Shi Lun), etc, devoted to the development of the exogenous febrile disease study, not only inherited the thought of ancient herbalist Zhang Zhongjing, also gave further interpretations. His main interpretations on Shang Han Lun and treatment of cold-induced disease are introduced:
⑴.The key to the syndrome differentiation of the cold-induced disease is the differentiation of the exterior and interior, the deficiency and excess. This conclusion was recorded in his book Shang Han Bai Zheng Ge(the hundred syndromes songs of the exogenous febrile diseases), that "the most important for the cold-induced disease is to firstly differentiate with the exterior and interior, the deficiency and excess. There are cases of exterior excess, exterior deficiency, interior excess, interior deficiency, there is also the case of the excess of exterior and interior, and case deficiency of exterior and interior. Differentiate with these 6 types, then use prescriptions, all cases will be relieved without exceptions.", and he summarized and pointed out four types of syndromes with four types of recipes, and pointed out different types of recipes are for different types of syndromes, "the Mahuang decoctions are set for the exterior excess syndromes, the Guizhi decoctions are set for the exterior deficiency syndromes, for the interior excess syndromes should use Chengqi decoctions, for the interior deficiency syndromes should use Sini decoctions, or Lizhong decoctions.", he summarized recipes of Shang Han Lun with exterior interior and deficiency excess, this is a further development and interpretation of Zhang Zhongjing's differentiation based on six-meridian syndrome differentiation, he also proposed the syndrome differentiation based on exterior interior and deficiency excess, should combine with Yin and Yang, cold and heat; the points for syndrome differentiation of doubtful cold and heat syndrome, should refer to the synthetic analysis of pulse and syndrome; these discussions and interpretations had influences on the later establishment of the differentiation of eight principles.
⑵.The emphasis on the importance of the Primordial Qi in the treatment of cold-induced disease, as herbalist Xu proposed "in cases of the cold-induced disease, whatever Yin syndrome or Yang syndrome, Yin toxin or Yang toxin, the key point is that it is easy to treat for the case with strong Primordial Qi, it is difficult for the case with weak and deficient Primordial Qi.", this conclusion came from his practice.
⑶.The development of the "affection from deficiency" pathogenesis theory of Nei Jing(the Inner Canon): "the pathogens accumulated, the Qi is surely deficient." is an important pathogenesis theory from the ancient book Nei Jing(the Inner Canon), herbalist Xu proposed that the endogenous pathogenic reasons are more due to deficiency of the healthy energy, but once affected by the pathogens and the pathogens are detained, the nature of the disease normally develops with changes of excess, thus, herbalist Xu pointed out that treatment should follow the principle "eliminate the pathogens firstly, invigorate secondly", "eliminate the pathogens, is supporting for the healthy energy.", and "to dispel or eliminate the pathogens, should be based on syndrome differentiation, should not stick to one method only.", herbalist Xu not only applied the prescriptions of Zhang Zhongjing flexibly, he also created new prescriptions to dispel the pathogens.
⑷.Interpretation on the pulse methods of Zhongjing, herbalist Xu attached great importance on the pulse manifestations, and he proposed that "To treat the cold-induced disease, should be based on the pulse methods of Zhongjing.", and he summarized the complicated pulse manifestations with principles of Yin and Yang, to tell the good or ill luck, and the prognosis, then sum up various pulse manifestations, differentiate the exterior interior deficiency excess with pulse floating or deep, powerful or weak, differentiate the location in the Zang viscera or the Fu viscera with rapid pulse or slow pulse, and make it clear and flexible for applications. Herbalist Xu also pointed out the difference of pulse manifestations between cold-induced disease and miscellaneous diseases, summarized common pulse manifestations of the cold-induced disease, for examples, floating and slow is the pulse manifestation of Zhongfeng(wind affection), floating, uneven(hesitant) and tight is the pulse manifestation of Shanghan(cold affection), floating and rapid is the Yang pulse of Yang syndrome, string-like, slow pulse, with the coldness of hands and feet is the pulse of Shao Yin syndrome, etc, he pointed out characters of cold-induced diseases and made it easier for disciples to learn. Herbalist Xu also emphasized the diagnosis of Ren Ying, Cunkou, FuYang, TaiXi, and pointed out that "The Cunkou of the right hand is main for Qi, the RenYing is main for blood. The Cunkou is tight then it is surely hurt from the diet, the Ren Ying is tight then it is the severe case of wind affection", "the Fuyang stomach pulse determines life or death, the Taixi kidney pulse is the root and base.", the first conclusion has values for differentiation between exogenous wind affection and endogenous hurt from diet and drink, the second conclusion has special values for the prognosis of diseases. He also pointed out that although the diaphoresis, emesis, and purgative methods are big methods for the treatment of the Shanghan(cold affection), they are only suitable for excess type syndromes, should never be used for syndromes of the deficiency type. Thus, he also pointed out that "In case the pulse is weak and big, should avoid leading to vomiting; To use the purgative method should avoid case feeble and thready pulse; In case the pulse is deep and weak, weakness of Qi, it is difficult to induce sweating; These three principles should be remembered carefully.", this is really a summarized conclusion from experiences. Besides, he also attached great importance to the varies of pulses, to differentiate the development, transmission or not, and prognosis of the diseases, and he proposed that "the case pulse nine arrives in one breath, it is the case the essence and Qi are collapsing, the chaos of spirit and Qi, should be saved immediately; case pulse nine to ten arrives in one breath, as flowing out of the spring water, the pulse has no Qi flowing inside, it is the case collapse of the Primordial Qi, surely are symptoms of dying.", and he also has many other intensive and profound conclusion of pulse manifestations based on learning of Zhongjing's pulse theory and his own experiences from practice.
⑸.Interpretations and summarization on the applications of the cold-induced syndromes and prescriptions: herbalist Xu not only has an in-depth study of the syndrome differentiation, pulse manifestations of Shang Han Lun but also has many developments and innovations. His related works Shang Han Jiu Shi Lun recorded 61 cases of the cold-induced disease, listed pulse manifestations and syndromes according to the entries and articles of the book Shang Han Lun strictly, and these cases all proved the precise effects of those prescriptions and syndrome differentiations from Zhongjing's theory. He also uses the prescriptions flexibly, for example, he uses Xiao Chaihu Tang plus Dihuang for the heat invading the blood chamber syndrome of woman, etc. For those syndromes with no listed prescriptions in Shang Han Lun, he often collected other medical works include Nei Jing, Nan Jing, Qian Jin Yao Fang, Wai Tai Mi Yao, and supplement it syndrome with a relevant prescription, to guide the practice. Except for the flexible applications of Zhongjing's prescriptions, herbalist Xu also summarized Zhongjing's theories: for example, he summarizes the Taiyang-Yangming combined syndrome as (1st). The case diarrhea is the syndrome of decoction Ge Gen, (2nd). The case vomit throws up but no diarrhea is the syndrome of Ge Gen Jia Ban Xia, (3rd). The case panting and fullness in the chest is the three syndromes of mahuang decoction, he also summarized the Tai Yang Zhong Ye syndrome as three types, (1st).The case sweating and aversion to cold, heat of the body and thirst, is the case of Tai Yang Jing Zhong Ye, (2nd). The case fever and aversion to cold, pain of the body, the pulse is string-like thready gaseous(hollow) and late, (3rd). The case gets hurt of cold water in summer, water flow in the skin, the heat of the body, heavy pain and ache, the pulse is weak and feeble; and he pointed out that the 1st case should use Gua Di San, the other two cases should use the White Tiger and Ginseng decoction; His summarization crystallized the theory of Zhongjing, and provide a clear, exact theoretical basis for practice, he also summarized and classified Zhongjing's methods include diaphoresis, emesis, purgation, fire, water, acupuncture, moxibustion, analyzed and listed them in orderliness, provided convenience for later generations to study the theory of Shang Han Lun, and these represented his correct and penetrating views of Shang Han Lun.
⑹.Interpretations on the prescriptions and application of Shang Han Lun: herbalist Xu has fine discussions on the prescription applications of Shang Han Lun, he connected and combined the pathogenesis and interpretations from previous herbalist Wang Shuhe and Sun Simiao, and has his own specific creative opinion on the three main types of the Tai Yang syndromes(the Gui Zhi syndromes, the Mahuang syndromes, and the Qinglong syndromes), as he explained: the pathogenesis of the wind affection(Zhongfeng) is "the wind hurt the Wei system, then wind pathogen attack the Yang Qi, the Yang Qi lost solidity...exterior deficiency", thus should harmonize and expelling pathogenic factors from muscles and skin with the Gui Zhi decoction; The pathogenesis of cold affection(Shanghan) is "the cold hurt the Ying system, then pathogen attacks the Yin and blood", and also attacks the Wei Qi, thus should induce sweating to relieve the exterior with the Mahuang decoction; In case observed cold pulse in case of the wind affection(Zhongfeng), or wind pulse in case of the cold affection(Shanghan), is the case wind and cold doublely hurt the Ying and Wei system, should treat with the Qinglong decoction, but should follow the principle that "the symptoms and syndromes are in consistent, then could apply." His interpretations made the three outlines from herbalist Wang Shuhe and Sun Simiao clear and distinct, have a great influence on later herbalists. Besides, herbalist Xu also has his special opinion on the applications of decoction and pills from Shang Han Lun, and proposed his principle that "the treatment of cold-induced diseases, pills should be used cautiously."; He also pointed out the difference between the white peony root and red peony root in applications, the difference between the Gui Zhi(cassia twig) and Rou Gui(the cinnamon bark), he agrees with herbalist Wang Shuhe's opinion on "the Dachaihu decoction, not use the Dahuang, is a mistake", and emphasized that "although Dahuang is a general herb, but to eliminate the accumulated heat, dispel old retentions, it is a key herb in Shang Han", should use it properly. He also proposed that "the croton seed only dispel food retention but could not eliminate heat toxins", should void using it for the case of endogenous heat toxin accumulation. These theses and discussions are very apt to practice, generated a big influence on the later applications of Zhongjing's prescriptions.
Except for interpretations on Shang Han Lun and treatment of the cold-induced diseases, herbalist Xu also has academic achievements on the treatment of miscellaneous diseases, attached importance on the aspect of life activities and pathological functions of the spleen and stomach, master in ancient prescriptions, create new prescriptions, these interpretations are briefly introduced:
⑴.Studies and interpretations on the theory of the spleen and stomach: herbalist Xu attached great importance to the important functions of the spleen and the stomach viscera. As he repeatedly pointed out in his works(Pu Ji Ben Shi Fang, Shang Han Bai Zheng Ge) that "The manifestation of Die Yang stomach pulse determines life or death, the manifestation of Taixi kidney pulse is the root and base", he pointed out that the spleen and stomach closely related with life and death, the kidney is the root of the essence and Qi of the body, the spleen and kidney viscera are closely related with life and death of a human. Thus, in severe cases, should take pulse of Taichong to see the state of the stomach Qi, take pulse of Taixi to see the sufficiency or deficiency of the kidney Qi, if the state is not good for these two pulses, mostly are cases of syndrome with unfavorable prognosis, and symptoms of case in danger. Besides, herbalist Xu also set up proper methods for related syndrome and with his famous prescriptions, include Ren Cen Pills, Qi Zhen San, Zhu Ru Tang decoction, Qu Shu Wan, Bai Shu Tang decoction, etc, and they all have good effects for related syndromes. He also has other creative methods and prescriptions for the treatment of kidney deficiency syndromes, and syndromes of spleen and kidney deficiency.
⑵.Creative innovations on syndrome differentiation and treatment of endogenous wind: herbalist Xu has many creative conclusions on the differentiation and treatment of endogenous wind syndrome, and recorded in his book Pu Ji Ben Shi Fang, had great enlightenment to later generations. He classified the wind affections as 3 major types, known as (a).wind affection the channels, (b).wind affection the Fu viscera, (c).wind affection the Zang viscera. "In the case wind affection the channels, then facial paralysis is observed", other symptoms are body heat and aversion to cold, syncope of phlegm and cephalea(headache), stiffness of the neck and back, should dispel wind and remove the meridian obstruction; "In case wind affection the Fu viscera, then the limbs are disabled", should "relieve by inducing sweating"; "In case wind affection the Zang viscera, then life is in danger", should prompt vomiting with an urgent method, reduce phlegm and inducing resuscitation. He also suggests treating wind affection with moxibustion and listed out 12 acupoints special for it. For the palpitation syndrome due to fear, as its pathogenic reason is "a wind in the liver and spleen", the liver(wood) restrict the spleen(earth), repeatedly dizziness and vertigo, spasm and contracture, herbalist Xu proposed "to treat it with warm prescriptions, the wind turns worse, to treat it with cold prescriptions, the Qi is deficient...now use warm tonics with neutral nature, restrict the liver and invigorate the spleen, gradually it can be relieved."
⑶.Herbalist Xu is also good in the treatment of miscellaneous disease, for example, accumulation and mass, numbness syndromes, pain and ache syndromes, etc. He often uses a method known as Sou Ti Qu Xie Fa(sourcing and kicking dispelling method), use prescriptions majorly composed of insects and worms, include scorpion and earthworms, etc, to free the meridians and relieve pains. And he also pointed out the proper applications and proper insect herbs for various accumulation and retention syndromes.
⑷.Herbalist Xu is also good in the application of ancient prescriptions with flexibility and modifications, create new prescriptions, his book Pu Ji Ben Shi Fang recorded over 370 kinds of prescriptions, some of them came from ancient famous medicine books Qian Jin Fang, He Ji Ju Fang, Bi Yong Fang, Huo Ren Shu, Qian Jin Sui, Jing Xiao Chan Bao, Wan Jin Fang, some came from ancient famous herbalists and Taoist(include Pang Anshi, Sun Zhao, Yang Jilao, Shen Kuo, Cai Taishi, Zhang Changshi, Chao Tuiguan, Zheng Kangde, Cui Yuanliang, Tian Zi, Zhenxin taoist, etc.), herbalist Xu classified the effective prescriptions he collected into different entries under title five Zang viscera syndromes, recorded syndromes and listed prescription, supplement with notes of its origin, or records about its efficacy. Thus, herbalist Xu had done a good reservation and inherit the valuable experience from previous professionals and kept precious history literature for later generations. Except for his reservation work, herbalist Xu also attached importance on the modification of ancient prescriptions and those prescriptions from Shang Han Lun, get good efficacy in practice. He also creates new prescriptions for wide applications, some of them are known to include Qi Zhen San, Qu Mu Yuan, Mi Rong Yuan, Er Shen Yuan, Jing Qi Yuan, Xiong Qiang Tang, etc. These prescriptions have many influences on later generations.
The three major books with topics on Shang Han Lun from herbalist Xu, known as the Shang Han Bai Zheng Ge in 5 volumes, Shang Han Fa Wei Lun in 2 volumes, Shang Han Jiu Shi Lun, were revised, printed and published widely in the 18th and 19th centuries, these books got known widely and became popular, ever since then, the academic values of these books from herbalist Xu got sufficient confirmation in the fields of TCM, herbalists admitted that he is one representative herbalist of the Song Dynasty with great achievement in the interpretation and application of the theory from Shang Han Lun, he was admitted as one outstanding and prominent herbalist in the development of TCM, his theory and experiences still have important guiding functions and practical values for today's practice.
His major works and books: Herbalist Xu Shuwei compiled many works in his life, his works known include Ben Shi Fang(or Lei Zheng Pu Ji Ben Shi Fang) in 10 volumes, Shang Han Bai Zheng Ge in 5 volumes, Shang Han Fa Wei Lun in 2 volumes, Shang Han Jiu Shi Lun, Zhi Fa, Bian Lei, Yi Shang Han Lun, Zhong Jing Mai Fa San Shi Liu Tu, Xu Ben Shi Fang in 10 volumes, etc. Among them, the content of the book Shang Han Bai Zheng Ge is in the form of rhymes style to present the theory of Zhang Zhongjing in 100 syndromes, for the convenience to study, in the case "syndrome without prescriptions", then supplemented with other prescriptions from classics include Qian Jin Yi Fang, etc; in the case the discussion was not sufficient, supplemented with theory and discussions from Chao Shi Bing Yuan, and quotations from other herbalists include 朱弘(Zhu Hong), 孫尚(Sun Shang), 孫用和(Sun Yonghe), etc. The classics Shang Han Fa Wei Lun recorded a totally 22 discourse on prescriptions, the first discourse listed the 72 syndromes of the exogenous febrile disease, gave detailed interpretations, the second discourse and following gave records of the author's viewpoints. The content of the book Shang Han Jiu Shi Lun starts with the syndromes and symptoms, treatment procedure, and comments, similar to later medical records. The Lei Zheng Pu Ji Ben Shi Fang is an academic work and it recorded the clinical experience of herbalist Xu himself for passing on, it classified diseases into 23 parts, collected over 300 prescriptions, listed with main indications, prescription name and doses firstly, then recorded treatment method, instructions, attached with 1 to 2 cases, added comments in the end. Many of his specific viewpoints are insightful, for example, the Qi syncope should not be treated as symptoms of apoplexia, to invigorate the kidney better use nourishing herbs, differentiation with hemorrhoidal hemorrhage, bloody stool, blood hemorrhoids, etc. Later wise herbalist commented very highly of his achievement, for example, later herbalist 叶桂(Yè Guì) commented on herbalist Xu: "He was a scholar and professional in treatment. He holds a will for universal relief, and interpret secret from ancient herbalists, to benefit offsprings, a great achievement.", his theory and prescriptions showed a big and far influence on generation herbalists of the Song Dynasty and later.
Herbalist Xu Shuwei also ever compiled herbal classics 《類證普濟本事方》(Lei Zheng Pu Ji Ben Shi Fang in 10 volumes) in his late, published. The herbal classics 《普濟本事方》(Pu Ji Ben Shi Fang) recorded herbal recipes over than 390 pieces, provided comparatively reliable identification and differentiation method for many syndromes with similarity, in a specific theory, herbalist Xu proposed his special viewpoint for the relationship of spleen and kidney, that it is necessary to invigorate the kidney before to invigorate the spleen, as if the kidney Qi is deficient, the Genuine Qi is weak and deficient, food could not be digested, this theory had its important influence on visceral manifestation theory of later generation. He laid important emphasis on the relationship between the spleen and kidney and considered the spleen as the root of the body, the spleen and stomach are closely related with life or death, among them the kidneys should be regarded as the chief, to replenish the spleen “should always warm and invigorate the kidney Qi”, this viewpoint showed it enlightenment to later generation for further study with spleen-kidney relationship and clinical practice.
Among his works, 《傷寒百證歌》(Shang Han Bai Zheng Ge) in 5 volumes, 《傷寒發微論》(Shang Han Fa Wei Lun) in 2 volumes, 《傷寒九十論》(Shang Han Jiu Shi Lun), 《類證普濟本事方》(Lei Zheng Pu Ji Ben Shi Fang) survived till today, his other works lost in ancient time, and those books were known as 《仲景脈法三十六圖》(Zhong Jing Mai Fa San Shi Liu Tu), 《翼傷寒論》(Yi Shang Han Lun), 《傷寒類論》(Shang Han Lei Lun), 《治法八十壹篇》(Zhi Fa, or Zhi Fa Ba Shi Yi Pian, or Eighty-One articles on treatment methods), 《辯類》(Bian Lei) in 5 volumes, etc. These books are identified from herbalist Xu Shuwei himself, there is an ancient book 《續本事方》(Xu Ben Shi Fang, or Supplement of Effective Prescriptions for Universal Relief) in 10 volumes, it attributed its authorship to herbalist Xu Shuwei too, yet the contents and academic viewpoints of some applications have some differences from herbalist Xu Shuwei which presented in his book 《類證普濟本事方》(Lei Zheng Pu Ji Ben Shi Fang), so the book 《續本事方》(Xu Ben Shi Fang) is suspected as a doubtful ancient book forged its author to herbalist Xu Shuwei, but not his book.
The book 《傷寒百證歌》(Shang Han Bai Zheng Ge) in 5 volumes, is his book mainly about the syndrome differentiation outline of the cold-induced diseases, syndromes, and symptoms, prescriptions. The 1st and 2nd volume are formulas in verses about the general principles of the syndrome differentiation of cold-induced diseases, the 3rd to 5th volume are formulas in verses about the syndromes of cold-induced diseases. It collects over 100 verses in easy and understandable common sentences, based on the author's in-depth study of the ancient works Shang Han Lun, main subjects are about exterior and interior, Yin and Yang, pain in the throat, Huo luan, vomit and throw up, fullness in the abdomen, spontaneous sweating, pulse manifestations, disease involving two or more channels, disease of one channel involving another channel, therapy, etc. With annotations and reference quote from ancient works Zhu Bing Yuan Hou Lun, and theories from herbalist Zhu Gong, Sun Yonghe, Pang Anshi, Song Di, Wang Shi, gave supplement and elaboration, with his own experience and theories from many years study of the works Shang Han Lun, to benefit later generations. It set the exterior-interior and deficiency-excess as an outline for the syndrome differentiation of the cold-induced diseases, also boost the spread and popularization of the works Shang Han Lun and its syndrome differentiation methods, it stated essential meanings from the works Shang Han Lun.
The book 《傷寒發微論》(Shang Han Fa Wei Lun) in 2 volumes, collected his 22 academic articles, the 1st article listed 72 syndromes of the cold-induced diseases, explained and interpreted the pathogenesis, experiences of syndrome differentiation and prescriptions, the 2nd and later articles collected short articles of the author about own viewpoints about notes, discussions, for example, the difference of white peony root and red peony root in the Gui Zhi decoction, the differences of the Gui Zhi and Rou Gui, the importance of Primordial Qi in the cold-induced diseases, etc. Its contents are mainly from experiences of the author on the study of the cold-induced diseases, include syndromes and symptoms, pulse method, treatment, and prescriptions, etc, in fine details.
The book 《傷寒九十論》(Shang Han Jiu Shi Lun) collected 90 cases from the author's practice, among them there are 61 cases is about the classical cases originated from the works Shang Han Lun, related with 36 types of classical prescriptions. Each case recorded the syndromes and treatment procedure, followed by pathogenesis interpretations according to ancient works Nei Jing(the Inner Canon), Nan Jing(the Difficult Classic), Shang Han Lun(the Treatise on Cold-induced Diseases) and other relevant works, combined with the author's viewpoint, is an early consilia, and an important reference book to study the works Shang Han Lun.
There is a legendary story about herbalist Xu Shuwei for treatment with himself when he was young and studied very hard, he holds a habit of drinking wines before rest, years later, he often felt sounding in the stomach, and hypochondriac pain, the diet is reduced, vomit out some gastric juice every 10 days or half month, when summer comes, the left side of his body does not sweat, only the right side perspire. He made a careful analysis of his own case, and hold a viewpoint that the disease is due to dampness obstacle the stomach, the spleen and stomach are hurt, the spleen is deficient and water could not be transformed, caused dampness obstruction in the stomach, thus caught the internal dampness syndrome which appears with symptoms include sounding in the stomach and sweat on right body side only, vomit gastric juice, etc. Thus, herbalist Xu tried to treat himself and followed his academic thought "medication in essence", selected the herb Cangzhu as the main components, use powder of CangZhu 1 jin, Dazao 15 pieces, raw sesame oil half Liang to prepare small pills, took 50 pills daily, and increased to 100 to 200 pills daily gradually in later days, his strange disease got relieved months later, and finally recovered. The herb CangZhu has a fragrance smell, its nature is hot, warm and taste bitter, enter into the spleen and stomach meridians, as a fragrant herb, it could wake up the spleen and transform the dampness, damp pathogen and Yin Qi will be transformed when get warmed. Herbalist Xu made a correct syndrome identification himself, selected exact herbs, and got miracle effects, he knew in depth that the characters of dampness pathogen are sticky and stagnating, not easy to dispel out in a short time, hold on taking the herbs and gradually increase the dosage, then the power of the recipe could be accumulated in the body and finally drove the dampness pathogen out.
1.許叔微(Xǔ Shūwēi):introduction about his biography and legend,main books and academic thoughts.