The use of herbal medicines in China has been traced to the Zhou Dynasty, late Bronze/early Iron Age, about 2500 to 3000 years ago.
In 1596, hundreds of years before the age of modern Western medicine, Li Shizhen spent decades documenting the vast knowledge of herbal lore.
His book, the Ben Cao Gang Mu (1596), has been used as a pharmacopoeia, but it was also a treatise on botany, zoology, mineralogy and metallurgy.
The Ben Cao Gang Mu mentions 1,892 different herbs and is divided into 6 sections, 52 scrolls and 60 different categories.
It has been reported that Darwin had a copy of the Ben Cao Gang Mu with him on his voyage of discovery in 1831.
The World Health Organization says, “Traditional herbal medicines are naturally occurring, plant-derived substances with minimal or no industrial processing that have been used to treat illness within local or regional healing practices.”
I think that today’s profit-based corporations that produce modern medicine probably don’t want people to be free to use herbal medicine. because it cuts into their profits, but—if given a choice—I’d rather use herbal medicine first and modern medicine as a last resort.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
Finalist in Fiction & Literature – Historical Fiction
The National “Best Books 2010” Awards
Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
2012 San Francisco Book Festival
2012 New York Book Festival
2012 London Book Festival
2009 Los Angeles Book Festival
2009 Hollywood Book Festival
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