Recipes Worth a Thousand Gold: The Food Sections
Translated by Sumei Yi, Dept. of History, University of Washington, Seattle, with notes summarized, from edition published in Peking, 1985; ed. E. N. Anderson
Introductory Notes by E. N. Anderson
Sumei Yi, a graduate student in Chinese history at the University of Washington, has done the world a signal service in translating the material on food and nutrition from the medieval Chinese work Recipes Worth a Thousand Gold (654 A.D.).
The following is a preliminary version. I have lightly edited it but neither of us has, so far, checked it over carefully or compared it with other editions. Ms. Yi is releasing it to the Chinese medical world for help and advice. We need help especially with the medical terms.
The book is the work of Sun Simiao (581-682; see Engelhardt 2001), one of the most interesting, influential, and thought-provoking writers in the history of science. Known, alas, only from fragmentary and corrupt texts, Sun was a leading synthesist of Chinese medicine in the early Tang period. He seems not to have been a discoveror, innovator, or original thinker, still less a research scientist in any modern sense. What he could do what what Chinese scholars did best: bring together and evaluate the work of the past, producing a new synthesis with a characteristic slant or viewpoint.
Sun’s viewpoint was, basically, that of a totally eclectic but quite hard-headed medical man. He was perfectly happy to incorporate demonic and magical medicine, fivefold correspondence theory, Daoist medicine, folk medicine, Buddhist medicine newly arrived from the western world, and hardheaded empirical lore presumably gathered not only from reading, but also from talking to actual practitioners (see Unschuld 1985, esp. pp. 42-45, 1500-151, 160-161, 225). He produced a number of works, notable for the range of theory they cite, but he is most famous for his “Recipes Worth a Thousand Gold” (more literally, “Emergency Instructions: Desirable Recipes Worth a Thousand Gold”).
One of the most stable and unchanging tenets of Chinese medicine, over the millennia, has been its focus on food as the first line of defense and of nutrition as the most important consideration in health maintenance. Sun’s material on food is thus particularly interesting.
Like medical books before and since, he gives the natures of the food in terms of fivefold correspondence (sweet, sour, etc.). This fivefold theory was developed by philosophers during the Han Dynasty, and applied to medicine most exhaustively and innovatively in the elaborately worked-out logic of the Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine; Unschuld 2003; Veith 2002; note that the translation of nei “inside” as “internal medicine” is controversial, and I personally am not satisfied with it). Paul Unschuld holds that the Yellow Emperor’s Classic was a particularly innovative book, a true work of theory and synthesis, advancing a rational, secular theory of medicine in a world previously dominated by demons and ghosts (Unschuld 1985, 2003). Tomb texts make this thesis less easy to maintain; they reveal that the Yellow Emperor and his teachings had a history, and no short one either (Harper 1998). However, unquestionably, the Yellow Emperor’s Classic was the definitive text of its movement, and as brilliant a job of working out the full logic and implications of a naturalistic theory as Galen’s writings were in the west. In terms of the utility of the theory for actual treatment, Galen—a highly experienced doctor with some solid common sense—still seems to have the edge, but we have not analyzed the Yellow Empeor’s Classic with full scholarly apparatus so far.
Ute Engelhardt (2001:180) reveals Sun drew heavily on the great polymath Tao Hongjing (452-536), whose herbal works are one of the great achievements of Chinese scholarship. About 110 of Sun’s roughly 154 food entries are taken more or less directly from Tao’s Shennong Bencao Jing Jizhu (The Shen Nong Herbal Classic Edited with Commentaries). He draws on Tao’s ordering and classification (see Engelhardt for discussion). However, he does not mindlessly accept Tao; he described grapes and jujubes as sweet and lotus seeds as bitter, which differs from Tao’s codings. Some minor information is left out.
The main change, however, is the addition of contraindications and interdictions to the longer entries. This was, in fact, a new thing for food manuals and herbals, so far as we are currently aware. Many of these come from Yellow Emperor material. Many others came from Zhang Zhongjing’s work (Engelhardt 2001:183). As in later food manuals such as the Yinshan Zhengyao (Buell, Anderson and Perry 2000), most of the interdictions concern animal foods.
China has always preserved a number of magical beliefs about foods, especially anomalous animals, and these are abundantly attested here. Almost all of them are cited to the Yellow Emperor or some other ancient sage, and at least some of the rest are in obviously interpolated passages. In short, most of this material is not Sun’s own work. Sun seems to have been a highly rational individual with a sense of empiricism. He was a devout believer in the fivefold correspondences so basic to early Chinese medicine, but not a dogmatist. He accepted the physiology of his time, and he did not do anything like case-control experimentation (which had been used in China in agricultural research and could easily have been applied to nutrition), but seems not to have accepted the specific food lore without some kind of verification or cross-checking.
Sun also provides an assessment of its heating, warming, or cooling qualities; this derived from a fusion of yang-yin theory and the Yellow Emperor material with Western medicines, Hippocratic-Galenic and Indian, introduced by Buddhist medical missionaries. Sun is quite explicit about Buddhist influences on his work: “As it is written in the commentaries of the Buddhist sutras, man is composed of earth, water, fire, and wind. Whenever the influence of fire in man is not in perfect harmony [with the other influences], vapor and heat arise in the body” (Unschuld 1985:150-151)…. Sun tried to combine this fourfold system (which is, of course, Greek, not the traditional Indian threefold system) with China’s fivefold system. This led to some mathematical problems. He calculated that there were 404 diseases, caused by humoral imbalances, 81 for each of the five phases (Unschuld 1985:151; one wonders what happened to the 405th; could it be the healthy state?
The contrast of Sun’s theory and the Yellow Emperor’s comes out extremely clearly and sharply in the following text. Sun very often supplements his own writing with quotes from the Yellow Emperor’s Classic or other Yellow Emperor material. Sun seems to rely more on fivefold correspondence medicine and its accompanying physiology than on any other tradition, but he conspicuously avoids the long chains of fivefold correspondence logic and the formulaic, true-believer attitude that the quotes reveal. In particular, a great deal of quite magical thought—fear of anomalous or odd-looking animals, in particular—appears in these quotes. It had evidently become attached to the Yellow Emperor tradition. It has remained a part of Chinese medicine. Sun’s own writing is more down-to-earth, more grounded in description of real-world phenomena, and less often driven by what appears to be logic divorced from real-world feedback.
Sun was influential from his time onward. The section discussing foodstuffs in the Yinshan Zhengyao (1330) draws heavily on him; it agrees with his codings (including the grape and jujube cases) and often quotes him verbatim on uses and prohibitions.
Did Sun’s medicinal advice work? This is an interesting question. Historians of medicine now religiously the issue, because they want to understand earlier medical theories in their own terms. This often leads to concern with theory rather than with practice; for example, Andrew Wear’s long and important book, Knowledge and Practice in English Medicine, 1550-1680 (2000), is excellent in treating knowledge, but says less about practice; from it, one can get only a shadowy idea of what doctors actually did. (I single out Wear’s book because he explicitly uses the word “practice” in his title.) For pragmatic, eclectic, empirical medical practitioners like Sun, this is a strange way to do business. Sun was most certainly concerned with whether his advice was valuable in terms of producing outcomes. He seems to have been less wedded to theory than to clinical success. He seems, also, to have observed the effects of some of his prescriptions; at the least, he tried to find evidence of effectiveness. If Sun came back to life today, he would be fascinated with modern medical practice, and would surely want his book evaluated in terms of it, more than in terms of the theories he used in a rather ad hoc fashion. In seeing Sun this way, I am relating him to Chinese medical practitioners I knew in Hong Kong and Malaysia in the 1960s and 1970s; they were rather impatient with theory, far more concerned with their and others’ clinical experience of what actually seemed to work in practice. The same observations are made in the far more brilliant and profound studies of Judith Farquhar (1994) and Elizabeth Hsu (2001). Farquhar’s book title, Knowing Practice, says it well.
The question then breaks into three. First, did his medicine work in his terms? What did he look for in clinical practice? Second, did it work out as a consistent body of knowledge that fit the theories of its time? Third, does it work in modern biomedical terms? Unfortunately, we cannot answer any of those questions at this time, because of inadequate knowledge of just what the illness terms meant. We do not know enough about what actual clinical syndromes were identified as deficiency of the Middle Burner, inadequate spleen qi, or centering wind (zhongfeng). Other symptoms are clear enough, but too general to help us much; a vast range of things can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and so a wide range of things can alleviate them. In the cases where it appears that we can link Sun’s text with a specific biomedical entity, the medicine often appears fairly hopeless. Many things are prescribed for “fits caused by fright.” From both his description and my experience with modern Chinese folk medicine, this must mean panic attacks and similar conditions. Yet the foods prescribed would have no effect on such psychological ailments. One must suspect that fright-fits were not just panic attacks. Perhaps the term included mental conditions caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies and thus correctable by food. Overall, most of Sun’s recommendations for treating specific illnesses with specific foods would not have proved very useful empirically.
This said, many of the recommendations are more reasonable. The foods recommended as nourishing are indeed nourishing—perhaps not specifically to the stomach qi or the lungs, but certainly to the body in general. The foods that are recommended as helpful to discharging urine are mostly actual diuretics. Foods recommended for helping with defecation are generally high-fibre and do relieve constipation. Eating various meats can cause worms (meat was often eaten raw or rare in Tang). Conversely, eating meats with high protein and mineral content, low fat, and high digestibility does strengthen the body and its organ systems, and is still used very effectively in Chinese folk medicine, as I have observed on countless occasions. Several other bits of practical advice are noted where they occur below.
Further evaluation must await better control on nosological terms and entities in Tang. We sorely need studies of what the Chinese doctors were actually observing and treating when they wrote of “noxious wind” or “stagnant qi” or “deficiency in the Middle Burner.” They were not hallucinating; they were seeing perfectly real symptoms, and probably treating them with effect. Again, I am speaking from my experience with traditional Chinese medical practice in the 1960s and 1970s. Therapists spoke of everything from soul loss to blocked qi, but treated real conditions with apparently effective drugs. Often, the drugs were known in biomedicine to have the stated effects. Other drugs were not well studied, but certainly had some effect, of a sort seen as “curative” by the therapists in question. Sometimes a biomedical researcher would have seen otherwise, especially in cases of magical medicine, but—again—we need study both of biomedical values and perceived traditional values of these therapies.
Sun’s book probably did little harm and a fair amount of good. It was no substitute for a modern nutrition text, but it was probably about as good as anything else the world had in 654. The only clearly superior material would be the Near Eastern work (notably at the great medical college at Jundishapur) that was then advancing Galenic nutritional therapy. No doubt, ordinary folk around the world knew a great deal from common experience, and ate well enough when they could afford it, but theories of nutrition were few and sketchy.
Just as Boyle, Sydenham, and Hooke believed in the power of God and the angels (Boyle was a leading religious thinker as well as a father of modern medicine), Sun had a solid, no-nonsense belief in deities, immortals, ghosts, and spirits. He has many remedies for the mysterious gu poison. Some later sources say this poison was made by putting poisonous creatures into a jar—the Chinese character shows three insects above a jar—and letting them eat each other to concentrate the poison. Others credit it to the evil wizardry of barbarian peoples. In any case, it was a malignant creation of human evil, not a natural illness.
The enormous importance of food to Tang Chinese medical writers is obvious (see, again, Engelhardt 2001). Some points need making. First, there is great emphasis on weakness, thinness, and deficiency. Almost everything nutritious is specifically noted as curing these. Especially noteworthy is the importance of foods that can “compensate” for weakness, debility, or deficiency in bodily systems (notably those Three Burners). This is related to, and probably ancestral to, the modern Chinese concept of bu “supplementing, strengthening.”
Thinness was dreaded in Tang, not the least famine-plagued of China’s dynasties. Tomb figurines and other art depict a bodily ideal corpulent enough to send a modern biomedical doctor through the roof. Sun’s constant attention to curing thinness and putting on weight, and his almost total lack of concern with obesity, confirm the implications of the art pieces: thinness was feared and fatness valued. Obviously, many people—surely the vast majority of Tang Chinese—were too thin or at imminent risk of being so.
Many identifications herein are still unclear. Most of the herbal and animal names are constant, but some are doubtful. Terms for illnesses are extremely unclear. Neither Sumei Yi nor I are expert in Tang medical terminology. Back-projection of recent Chinese traditional medicine would be a mistake; Chinese medicine may not have changed quite as much as Western medicine has since 654, but it certainly has not stood still. Theories of physiology and nosology changed profoundly in Song, Ming and Qing. The fact that everybody kept citing the Yellow Emperor need not delude us. One has only to look at how very different Sun Simiao’s own terms and concepts are from those of the Yellow Emperor in Sun’s own quotes. Chinese medicine changed just between late Han and early Tang.
Modern nosological entities, products of a completely different medical world with a very different concept of nosology, do not map well onto Tang terms. General terms like “diarrhea” and “ulcer” are reasonably commensurable. Of course, tapeworms and other large worms were impossible to miss, though even here the implications of worms were different; Tang doctors saw Three Worms (or three types of worms) as normal but ultimately fatal inhabitants of the human body. These worms acquire magical properties in some texts, though Sun is usually fairly realistic about worms.
Thus, where possible, the translation attempts to avoid using biomedical terms. Thus zhongfeng is “centering wind,” though in modern Chinese it can mean “stroke.” Probably the Tang doctors thought it was actually the result of an invisible moving force striking the center of the body. On the other hand, I have taken the liberty to translate feng as “wind,” where Sumei Yi left it as feng. Indeed, in nosology, feng refers not to large masses of moving air, but to forces that are similar in that they move actively, can be felt but not seen, and are outside human control unless one has special skills. Still, this is a translation, and one must translate when one can.
The translation resorts to words like “cholera” only for lack of a better word; it is recognized that the modern concept of cholera—infection by Vibrio cholerae—is nothing like any Tang idea. The Tang doctors seem to have recognized a symptomatology not far from the defining symptoms of modern cholera, hence use of the term, but it presumably included conditions that a modern biomedical researcher would attribute to various microorganisms.
In some cases an illness is described precisely enough to allow a fairly firm biomedical identification, as in the case of metastasizing cancer, well described in some entries. Usually, however, we are dealing with a different medical logic, in which environmental influences—“wind,” wetness, heat, cold, foods—affect different systems within the body. Some of these bodily systems remain incommensurable with biomedical categories; the San Jiao (Three Burners), for instance, are totally mysterious. (We have thus generally left them as Jiao instead of imposing a translation.) Basically, they were inferred organs of metabolism. In more recent texts, they sometimes seem to be one diffuse metabolic system (the “triple burner”), but Sun is clearly thinking of three specific, separate organs.
Three minor points of usage may be made anent Engelhardt’s work, which is more informed by specific theories of Chinese medicine. First, I have seen fit to translate ping (lit. “level”;平) as “balanced,” because my consultants in folk communities in East Asia usually saw it that way; ping foods had a balance of heating and cooling qualities. Engelhardt (following many others) translates “neutral,” which seems to me a bit more Galenic and less Chinese. I freely admit to inconsistency here; I translated it “neutral” in the Buell, Anderson and Perry translation of the Yinshan Zhengyao! Second, Ms. Yi follows the modern editor of the Beijing edition in assuming that “middle” (zhong) used by itself as a body part term refers to the Middle Burner. Engelhardt makes it “splenetic and stomach orb/system,” which I take to be her assumption of what the Middle Burner “really” is. As noted above, the confusion in both China and the west about what the Three Burners are remains to be resolved. Third, Ms. Yi has followed tradition in translating terms that literally mean “stomach,” “lungs,” etc., as referring to “organs”; Engelhardt follows German scholarship in referring to “orb fields.” Chinese anatomical charts and writings leave no doubt that the primary referents of the words involved were indeed the actual, literal organs. However, descriptions of them in medicine do often refer to functions and energies, not to anatomical structures, and this is what Engelhardt’s usage recognizes. Chinese emphasis on function, energy, and activity contrasts with biomedicine’s emphasis on anatomy, though this is less and less true every day as biomedicine becomes more dynamic. Indeed, the contrast may have been strongest at the dawn of biomedicine in the west in the 17th and 18th centuries (see e.g. Wear 2000).
In what follows, material in parentheses is directly relevant to the text—the actual characters; scientific names; alternative translations; etc. Material in square brackets is commentary by Sumei Yi or myself. Footnotes are largely translated literally from the 1985 edition, but some are Sumei Yi’s notes, are these are not distinguished except by context and style.
Preface to the New Version of Important Prescriptions for Emergency that are Worth One Thousand Jin of Gold (beiji qianjin yaofang備急千金要方)
In the past, the God of Agriculture (shennong神農) tasted hundreds of medicines in order to discern the tastes of five kinds of bitterness and six types of flavor. Medical soup (tangyezhiji湯液之劑) would not have been invented if there were no Yi Yin伊尹. The Yellow Emperor created nine needles cure the Three Yin (sanyin三陰) and Three Yang (sanyang三陽) illnesses. [Before that,] he learned from Qibo歧伯 the essence of applying the stone needles and wormwood (bian’ai 砭艾). Though great sages intended to save the people from sickness, the world had to wait for wise, upright, knowledgeable vassals—who sometimes lived before the sage, sometimes lived after him—so that what sages had done could be useful forever. A doctor’s main business would be learning from the [above] two sages and two wise men. [With this] he can deal with every kind of situation. In recent times, those focusing on medical techniques (fangshu方術) know medicine but not the usage of burning or fumigating (jiu灸); they are not well enough trained to know all the rules for curing (zhiliaozhiti治療之體). Those who know how to use burning and fumigating but not acupuncture do not have an adequate understanding of all the changes between outer and inner.
If one could combine the deep meanings of all that the sages and wise men said, he would be the best of famous doctors! In the Tang dynasty, the perfected man (zhenren真人) Sun Simiao孫思邈 was such a doctor. Capable of superior wisdom, he wished to bring good order to the time. During the balanced reign of the emperor Taizong太宗 , Sun thought about assisting the emperor to protect the people, this being the ultimate goal of the best doctors. He was truly a follower of the sage, as well as an imperial official. Therefore he tracked down the ideas of the God of Agriculture and the Yellow Emperor and exposed the learning of Qibo and Yi Yin. He selected [cures] from the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Eighty-One Difficulties (huangdi baishiyi nan jing黃帝八十一難經), written by Bian Que扁鵲. He adopted Chenyu Yi淳於意’s Prohibited Prescriptions (xijin fang習禁方), Zhang Zhongjing張仲景’s earlier work The Yellow and White (huangsu黃素), Yuanhua元化’s The Green Book Case (lüzhi綠袟), the “old transcendent gentleman” Ge’s (ge xianweng葛仙翁)’s What You Need to Follow (bixiao必效), the lay Buddhist Hu’s (hu jushi胡居士) Experiences (jingyan經驗), Zhang Miao’s 張苗 Responding Medicines (yaodui藥對), Shuhe’s 叔和 Methods of Using Pulse (mafia脈法), Huangfu Mi’s 皇甫謐 Three Boards (sanbu三部), and Tao Yinju’s 陶隱居 One Hundred One Prescriptions (baiyi百一). Besides these, there were Guo Yu郭玉, Fan Wang范汪, Seng Tan僧坦, and Ruan Bing阮炳. From the origin of writing to the Sui Dynasty, no matter what theories or prescriptions appeared, there were none that had not been collected by him. He combined the essential secrets of each and every school and abandoned what they had not [adequately] reached. Finally he wrote a book: thirty chapters in all, plus a catalogue. It includes theories of the internal organs (zangfu藏腑), methods of applying needles and wormwood and of discerning the pulse symptoms (maizheng脈證), and proper food for cure (shizhi食治). It begins by discussing women, and goes on to babies and children. Then, [subsequent sections] begin with athlete’s foot (jiaoqi腳氣) and continue with stroke (zhongfeng中風), typhoid (shanghan傷寒), ulcer (yongju癰疽), thirst (xiaoke消渴), and dropsy (shuizhong水腫). It also deals with the illness of the seven apertures (qiqiao七竅), the poison of five kinds of stones (wushi五石), prescriptions for emergencies (beiji備急), and arts for nourishing life (yangxing養性). It includes 232 chapters with 5300 prescriptions or theories. They will not fail to cure illness and their effectiveness can be tested. The book musters all the four sorts of grains (sizhong四種). [Sun’s] virtue is worth more than one thousand jin of gold. The methods he left behind will pass on to hundreds of generations. Perfected Man Sun hands these down so that the glory of the two sages and two wise men will not suffer downfall. The world can reach the remote through the ladder of the recent. People can know the mysteries of the three earliest emperors.
However, the custom [today] is to pursue the dangerous and weird. Our [Sun Simiao’s] Way is pure and upright. It does not tell of such uncanny things as cutting abdomens open or transposing hearts. Worldly matters [i.e., ordinary texts dealing with problems] are simplistic and curt. Our book is broad and complete. One cannot know it from hearsay. Therefore, few people have learned it. Gradually the book was scattered (i.e, chapters became separated and disconnected) and lost. Wise men did not inherit copies. The book became broken and incomplete. Those who did not understand the book abandoned it for contrary theories (yiduan異端). Those who loved the book had to give it up because of its incompleteness and doubtful fragments.
However, in our dynasty, loving life is virtue and broadening love is humanity. Confucian officials have been summoned to rectify this fallen learning. Our arts are diverse and we are professional at collating texts.
Hence, we asked for the fine copy collected in the imperial library and searched various quotes in the Daoist Canon. We have searched almost every public or private copy and been able to correct the errors and add what had been lost. The repetitive has been deleted; the disordered has been organized. We have put things in order and classified by categories. Within a month, the project has been finished.
Even though principles have been set up, there might be dubious parts that prevent the understanding of the text. Thus in order to correct the details we use fine editions [of related books], such as Pure Questions (suwen素問), Nine Relics (jiuxu九墟), Spiritual Center (lingshu靈樞), Number One and Two (Jiayi甲乙), Supreme Purity (taisu太素), Mr. Chao’s Theory on the Origins of Various Diseases (chaoyuan巢源), The Herbals (bencao本草) by various authors, previous books on pulse (maishu脈書), Gold Cabinet and Jade Box (jinkui yuhan金匱玉函), Handy Prescriptions for Emergency (zhouhou beiji肘後備急), Prescriptions that Get Rid of the Complicated (shanfan fang刪繁方) by Xie Shiqin謝士秦, Theory Left Behind by the Ghost (guiyi lun鬼遺論) by Liu Juanzi劉涓子, and other works. Wherever the book is related to something that comes out of the above books, we have studied it carefully. Where there was still something missing, we have traced it back to its origin, in for instance The Classic of Five Mirrors (wujian jing五鑒經), Assistance Worth One Thousand Gold (qianjin yi千金翼), Mr. Cui’s Summary (cuishi zuanyao崔氏纂要), Secret Notes on Prolonging Life (yannian milu延年秘錄), Extending-Benefits Prescriptions in Zhengyuan (zhenyuan guangli正元廣利), Supreme Secret of the Provincial Official (waitai miyao外臺秘要), The Manuscript of the Chief in the Board of Military (bingbu shouji兵部手集), and Passing On Prescriptions (chuanxin傳信) by Mengde夢得. Whatever the school may be, we have checked the principle, used one to correct the other, and done anything else necessary. Therefore, the lost words and dubious texts can be easily understood.
Even though the book is old, if it is used in a new way, it could save those having souls and assist the sage with a rulership that loves life. It could also be passed on for ever and thus accompany the emperor’s heart of extending love. It does not merely show the ultimate refinement of the literature in a balanced time, but actually can enhance the happiness of the royal family.
With the collation done and the book neatly copied, we submit it to Your Majesty. It is ready for Your Majesty to read.
Chapter One: Introduction
[Zhang] Zhongjing [author of the great Shanghan Lun, ca. 2nd century AD] said: The human body is in balance and harmony. It need only be well cared for. A person should not not take medicine hurriedly. The force of medicine causes stress, making the visceral qi (zangqi髒氣) unbalanced and thus vulnerable to outside attacks.
No one that breathes can survive without food, yet people do not know the right and wrong of eating. The “hundred surnames” [the ordinary people] daily use food without knowing this. It is like dealing with water and fire without thought of drowning or burning. I sigh over this. To enlighten the childlike people, I have used my leisure time to compose a work on the five flavors and on food rules and their benefits and costs (wuwei sunyi shizhi pian五味損益食治篇). I hope that people will be diligent and carry these [rules] out as closely as possible.
Wei Xun衛汛 from the east of the Yellow River, cites Bian Que扁鵲, “human beings rely on the body (xing形). What disturbs the harmony of qi (heqi和氣) is disease (bing病). What treats anxiety and sorrow (fandu煩毒) is medicine (yao藥). What saves life and helps the endangered is the doctor (yi醫).” Keeping the body secure depends on food. Curing illness in a timely manner depends on medicine. Those who do not know what is suitable to eat are not able to survive. Those who do not understand which medicines should be avoided cannot get rid of the ailment. These two things are most important for human beings. If the people ignore them and will not learn, it is pitiful! Therefore, food can eliminate the noxious (pathogenic, noxious; xie邪), make the viscera secure, make one’s spirit joyful, and benefit one’s blood and qi. If one can use food to heal, set people free from sorrows, and get rid of illness, he should be called a wonderful worker (or, “this should be called wonderful work”; lianggong良工). Eating in this wonderful way for years, till reaching old age, is a technique for prolonging one’s life to the extreme.
A doctor, first of all, should understand the origin of illnesses. When he knows what is hurt, he uses food to cure it. if food cannot cure it, then he prescribes medicine. The nature of medicine is strong and harsh. It is like controlling an army. While the army is audacious and violent, how could we dispatch it in a rush? If we dispatched it inappropriately, what could have been hurt could have been many. Using medicine for an illness inappropriately is the same. Wang Xi王熙 from Gaoping高平 says: food should not be diverse (za雜, implying “just any old food”). Diverse foods could conflict with (fan犯) each other. If there are conflicts, there could be harms. A person might not feel any pain at the time, but if harms accumulate for a long time, pain will come.
When having salmon and other such delicious foods, he must take only a few sorts and a small amount. For fish, meat, and fruits, he should eat only what is good for health. With ordinarily used foods, he should be sparing. If he is gluttonous and has multiple meals, he becomes overly full from the dishes, feels his abdomen enlarged, and is short of breath after the meal. He can then be attacked by severe illness, or at least diarrhea (huoluan霍亂). Between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox, he should be careful about the fatty and oily, cakes and meat broth (binghuo餅臛), and ghee (suyou酥油). The nature of these foods is very similar to that of liquor, melon, or fruits. For those who are frequently ill, it may be because of taking overly cold food in the spring or summer, or eating without letup. Fish and smelly and cold food (xingleng腥冷) are alike often bad for health. It would be better to give them up. Eat milk, junket, or ghee frequently. They will make one have strength, bravery and talent (dangan膽幹), as well as moisturizing skin and body. Finally, if one has enough of them, they will help with flatulence (luzhang臚脹) and gradually cure diarrhea.
The Yellow Emperor said, “Five flavors enter the mouth and go to each place they are supposed to go. Therefore, each flavor has its own sickness. The sour goes to the tendons (jin筋). Too much sour food makes one weak. I do not know how it comes to be like this.” Shaoyu 少俞 answered, “When the sour enters the stomach, its qi is astringent and would withdraw. It goes to the Two Burners (liangjiao兩焦). The qi stops between the Two Burners and cannot come outside of it. when it cannot come out, it flows into the stomach. The stomach warms the qi and thus it continues to infuse into the bladder (pangguang膀胱). When the bladder lets it out, the bladder becomes thinner and softer. When the sour comes again, it would purse up. When it is tied up, it will not be open. When the water way (shuidao水道) is not good, the person is weak. The Yin陰 is where all the tendons wind up in one end. Therefore, the sour enters the stomach and goes to the tendons.”
“The salty goes to the blood. If the person eats too much salty food, he will feel thirsty. Why is that?” The answer is, “When the salty enters the stomach, its qi goes to the Middle Jiao (zhongjiao中焦) and flows into the mai (pulse, 脈). The mai is what the blood goes through (possibly, less literally but more believably: “The mai is the blood’s usual coursing”). If the mai is joined with the salty, the blood coagulates. When the blood coagulates, the fluid in the stomach becomes unsmooth. When the fluid is not smooth, the stomach becomes dry. When it is dry, the throat is parched. When it is parched, the tongue is dry and thirsty. The blood mai is the way to the middle jiao. Therefore, the salty enters the stomach and goes to the blood.”
“The spicy goes to the qi. If the person eats too much spicy food, it will give him heart pains (yunxin慍心). How is that?” The answer is, “When the spicy enters the stomach, the qi goes to the upper jiao (shangjiao上焦). The upper jiao receives the qi and stores it in the yang. The qi of ginger and leek reach the rong and wei 榮衛. Sometimes the rong and wei bears it. But it could also slide to the heart. Therefore, the heart is tied up (yun慍). Tying up means pain. The spicy goes with the qi. Therefore, the spicy enters the stomach and thus goes to the qi. It comes out with qi. So the qi proliferates.”
“The bitter goes to the bones. If the person eats too much bitter food, it might make him vomit. How is that?” The answer is, “When the bitter enters the stomach, its qi is dry and hot (zao燥) and disperses in every direction. The qi of the five main grains cannot stand the bitter. The bitter goes to the lower gorge (xiaguan下管). The lower gorge is the pass towards the Three Burners (sanjiao三焦). If all of them are closed, they are not open. If they are not open, the qi turns to vomiting. The teeth are the end of the bones. Therefore, the bitter enters the stomach and goes to the bones. It enters and then comes out. The teeth must then become yellowish and sparse.” [Which, indeed, would be an effect of constant vomiting.]
“The sweet goes to the flesh (rou肉). If the person eats too much sweet food, it will make him sick (e xin噁心). How is that?” The answer is, “When the sweet enters the stomach, its qi is weak and bad. It cannot go up to the upper jiao (shangjiao上焦) and stay in the stomach together with the grains. When the sweet enters the stomach, it turns soft and slow. When it is soft and slow, the worms [presumably the “Three Worms” or “corpse worms” inferred by medicine of the time, but possibly also real worms] move. When the worms move, it makes people sick. Its qi is connected to the outside flesh. Therefore, the sweet goes to the flesh. When the flesh has enough of it, it gets goosebumps and calluses.”
The Yellow Emperor asked, “May I ask what is the main function of the five flavors of the food?” Bogao伯高 answered, “Those (subsisting by) inhaling the wind would be spiritual and could ethereally ascend to heaven. Those consuming qi would be in harmony and tranquil and live long. Those eating grain will be wise but consume their divine spirits. Those who eat grass and herbage become stupid and laborious. Those who eat meat will be brave but easily angered.
“The liver is wood. Blue/green (qing: green, blue or gray) is its color and the sour is suitable to it. The heart is fire. Red is the color and the bitter is suitable to it. The spleen is earth. Yellow is its color and the sweet is suitable to it. The kidney is water. Black is its color and the salty is suitable to it. Inside there are five internal organs. Outside, there are the five agents (wuxing五行) . Also the colors match each of the five regions (wufang五方).”
The method of concerting the five internal organs (wuzang peihe fa五臟所合法): the liver is related to the tendons (jin筋) and [the food acting upon the liver] would affect the nails. The heart is related to the mai脈 and [food acting upon the heart] would affect the complexion. The spleen is related to the flesh and [the food acting upon the spleen] would affect the lips. The lung is related to the skin and [the food acting upon the lung] would affect the hair on the body. The kidney is related to the bones and [the food acting upon the kidney] would affect the hair on the head.
The method of avoiding certain food for the five internal organs (wuzang buke shiji fa五臟不可食忌法): eating too much of the sour makes the skin wither and the hair shed early. Eating too much of the bitter makes the tendons shrink and nails dry. Eating too much of the sweet causes bone ache and the loss of hair. Eating too much of the spicy causes calluses and chapped lips. Eating too much of the salty causes the mai to congeal (ningqi凝泣) and the complexion change.
The method of eating appropriate food for the five internal organs (wuzang suoyi shifa五臟所宜食法): for the liver illnesses, eat hempseeds (ma 麻), dog meat, plum, and leek are suitable food. For the heart diseases, wheat, mutton, apricot, and Chinese onion (xie薤) are suitable. For the spleen diseases, seeds of barnyard grass (baimi稗米), beef, date, and mallow (Malva verticillata, kui 葵) are suitable. For the lung illnesses, yellow millet (huangshu黃黍), chicken, peach, and scallion are suitable. For the kidney illnesses, soy bean, yellow twist [probably dried and twisted curd skimmed from soybean milk; see grains section below], pork, chestnut, and hyssop (huo藿) are fine.
The method of curing illnesses caused by moving five flavors (wuwei dongbing fa五味動病法): the sour goes to the tendons; thus, for the tendon illnesses, do not eat the sour. The bitter goes to the bones; thus, for the bone illnesses, do not eat the bitter. The sweet goes to the flesh; thus, for the flesh illnesses, do not eat the sweet. The spicy goes to qi; thus, for the qi illness, do not eat the spicy. The salty goes to the blood; thus, for blood illnesses, do not eat the salty.
The method of concerting five flavors (wuwei suopei fa五味所配法): grain is sweet, hempseed (ma 麻) is sour, soybeans are salty, wheat is bitter, yellow millet is spicy, dates are sweet, plums are sour, chestnuts are salty, apricots are bitter, peaches are spicy, beef is sweet, dog meat is sour, pork is salty, mutton is bitter, chicken is spicy, mallow is sweet, leek is sour, hyssop is bitter, and scallions are spicy.
The method of curing diseases of five internal organs accordingly by using five flavors (wuzang bing wuwei duizhi fa五臟病五味對治法): if the liver suffers from moving too quickly (kuji苦急), eat the sweet immediately to slow it down. If the liver needs to be relieved (san散), eat the spicy to relieve it and use the sour to clear it out, but avoid the wind. If the heart suffers from moving too slowly, eat the sour immediately to contract it. If the heart needs to be soft, eat the salty immediately to soften it and use the sweet to clear it out, avoiding warm food and thick clothes. If the spleen suffers from being wet (shi濕), eat the bitter immediately to dry it up. If the spleen needs to be slowed down, eat the sweet immediately to slow it down and use the bitter to clear it, avoiding warm food, being full, wet places, or wearing wet clothes. If the lung suffers from that the qi comes up against the breath (nixi逆息), eat the bitter immediately to clear it. If the lung needs to be contracted, eat the sour immediately to contract it and use the spicy to clear it, avoiding cold food or drink, and cold [thin] clothes. If the kidney suffers from being dry, eat the spicy immediately to moisturize it. [The spicy would] open up the grains in the skin, create more slaver, and channel the qi. If the kidney needs to be solid (jian堅), eat the bitter immediately to tie it up and use the salty to clear it, avoiding burning, hot clothes, or warm food.
Moreover, use poisonous medicines (duyao毒藥) to attack the noxious (gongxie攻邪), the five staple grains to nourish, five meats to benefit, five fruits to assist, and five vegetables to complete. The essence (jing精) is used to consume the qi (shiqi食氣). [Unclear; maybe the essence inhales the qi.] The qi nourishes the essence and thus affects the complexion [lit. color]. The body (xing形) consumes flavors (shiwei食味). The flavors nourish the body and thus bring strength. This is it.
There are five kinds of spirits and internal-organs (shenzang神髒) respectively; five times five makes twenty five kinds. The body’s internal organs (xingzang形髒) have four divisions. There are four times, four seasons, and four limbs. Five times nine is forty-five. [Presumably these four sets of four, plus the five former sets, make up the nine. Sun’s numerology is unclear. The text has likely become corrupt.] Using these to assist the spirits will elongate one’s life; one will not turn old.
The essence (jing精) complies with five qi and thus makes the spiritual (ling靈). If inhaling qi’s creates mutual worsening, this hurts the essence. The body (xing形) receives flavors and thus comes into being. If flavors are not compatible with each other, it would hurt the body. Therefore, the sages first used eating taboos to keep life (cunxing存性) and then made medicines to protect life (fangming防命). So for those whose body is not sufficient, warm them up with qi. For those whose essence is not sufficient, compensate them with flavors. The qi and flavors nourish warmly and thus keep the body and essence.
Qibo歧伯 said, “Qi is yang, while flavors are yin. Flavors belong to the body, the body belongs to the qi, the qi belongs to the essence, and the essence belongs to the change (hua化). Having the qi is having the essence, while having flavors is having the body. The change creates flavors, while the qi gives birth to the body. The flavors could hurt the body, while the qi could hurt the essence. The essence could change into the qi and the qi could be hurt by the flavors. The yin flavors come out from the lower orifices (xiaqiao下竅), while the yang qi comes out from the upper orifices (shangqiao上竅). Thick flavors (weihouzhe味厚者) are yin, while thin flavors are the yang of the yin. Thick qi is yang, while thin qi is the yin of the yang. If the flavor is thick, it will excrete (xie泄). Whereas the flavor is thin, it will flow without hindrance. If the qi is thin, it will vent (faxie發洩) . Whereas the qi is thick, it will close. The qi of scorching fire (zhuanghuo壯火) is weak, while the qi of lesser fire (shaohuo少火) is strong. Scorching fire eats up the qi, while the qi eats up lesser fire. Scorching fire scatters the qi, while lesser fire creates qi. Flavors such as spicy and sweet emanate the yang, while the sour and bitter pour out yin. If the yin wins, the yang will get sick; if the yang wins, the yin will get sick. When the yin and yang are harmonious, the person will be in balance and secure.”
During the 72 days of spring, save [eat sparingly] the sour and add the sweet [i.e., eat more of the sweet foods] to nourish the qi of the spleen (piqi脾氣). During the 72 days of summer, save the bitter and add the spicy to nourish the qi of the lungs (feiqi肺氣). During the 72 days of autumn, save the spicy and add the sour to nourish the qi of the liver (ganqi肝氣). During the 72 days of winter, save the salty and add the bitter to nourish the qi of the heart (xinqi心氣). During the eighteen days of the third month of each season (jiyue季月), save the sweet and add the salty to nourish the qi of the kidney (shenqi腎氣).
Chapter Two: Fruits
Betel nuts (binglang檳榔): spicy (weixin辛), warm (wen溫), astringent or acerbic (se澀), and nonpoisonous (wudu無毒). It helps digest grains (xiaogu消穀) and drain water (zhushui逐水). It gets rid of phlegm (tanbi淡澼). It also kills the Three Worms (sanchong三蟲), drives off lying corpses (fushi伏屍), and treats threadworms (cunbai寸白). [It is still used as an effective vermifuge.]
Cardamom (doukou豆蔻): spicy, warm, astringent, nonpoisonous, and able to warm the Middle Jiao (wenzhong溫中). Its major effects are to cure heartburn and stomachache, stop vomiting, and get rid of bad breath. [All of which fits perfectly with modern experience.]
Grape (putao蒲桃): sweet, spicy, balanced (ping平), and nonpoisonous. Its major effects are to cure the illness caused by wetness (shibi濕痹) in tendons and bones. It is good for qi (yiqi益氣), enhances one’s strength as much as severalfold (beili倍力), and strengthens one’s memory (qiangzhi強志). It will make people strong and healthy, capable of enduring hunger, wind and cold. If one keeps taking it, his body will be lightened and he will not get old [presumably meaning something like “senile” here]. It elongates life. It also helps with the water in intestines (changjianshui腸間水), nourish the Middle Jiao (tiaozhong調中). It can be used to make wine, which is good for health if one keeps having it. It would drain water (zhushui逐水) and is diuretic (li xiaobian利小便). [The west Asian grape was still something of an exotic plant in China in Sun’s time, which may explain the preposterous claims made for it here.]
Raspberry (fupenzi覆盆子): sweet, spicy, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It is good for qi, lightens one’s body, and keeps one’s hair from turning white.
Jujube (dazao大棗; presumably the dried one, as usually sold; fresh ones get a separate following entry): sweet, spicy, hot (re熱), smooth (hua滑), and nonpoisonous. Its main effects include curing the sinister qi (xieqi邪氣) in heart and stomach; pacifying the Middle (Jiao); nourishing the qi of spleen; helping with the twelve jing (shier jing十二經); pacifying the qi of stomach; open up the Nine Orifices (jiuqiao九竅); increasing qi and saliva if one is short of them; compensating the incompleteness of one’s body (shenzhong buzu身中不足); curing great fright (dajing大驚) and heaviness in four limbs (sizhizhong四肢重). It can be used to make dozens of medicines. It nourishes the Middle Jiao (buzhong補中), is good for qi, enhances memory, rids anxiety and depression (fanmen煩悶), cures hang-ups under the heart (xinxiaxuan心下懸) and liquid staying in the intestines (changpi腸澼). If one takes it for a long time, he will lighten his body and will not feel hunger for years, and will become an immortal (shenxian神仙).
Fresh jujube(shengzao生棗): sweet and spicy. If one takes too many of them, it will make him hot, thirsty, and qi-swollen (qizhang氣脹). If one is afraid of cold or heat, or is weak and thin, he should not eat it. It will hurt his health.
Lotus seed (oushi藕實): bitter, sweet, cold (han寒), and nonpoisonous. If one takes it, it will give him a happy heart (xinhuan心歡). It treats thirst (zhike止渴) and rids heat (qure去熱). It also nourishes the Middle Jiao and the spirit. It is good for qi and strength and rids one of dozens of illnesses. If one keeps taking it, it will lighten his body, slow down the process of turning old, let him not feel hunger, and elongate his life. It has another name: water elixir (or water sesame; shuizhi水芝). Lotus rhizome is cold, treats hotness and thirst, and makes gores disappear(po liuxue破留血).
Chicken-head fruit (Euryale ferox, jitoushi雞頭實, the seed of a water lily): sweet, balanced, and nonpoisonous. Its major effects include curing wet illness (shibi濕痹) and pain in waist, back, and knees. It nourishes the Middle Jiao and prevents outbursts of sudden and violent diseases (baoji暴疾). It is good for essence and qi. It strengthens memory and mind. It makes one’s hearing and seeing accurate and sharp. If one keeps taking it, it will lighten his body, make him resistant hunger and aging, and let him become an immortal.
Water caltrop (Trapa bispinosa, jishi芰實): sweet, spicy, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It pacifies the Middle Jiao and nourishes the five internal organs. It prevents hunger and will lighten the body. It has another name, ling菱. The Yellow Emperor said, “do not eat uncooked water caltrop in the seventh month, or it will cause threadworm.” [Sound advice; it carries water-borne parasites.]
[Ute Engelhardt, 2001:182, translates: “…sweet; pungent; [qi:] neutral, not toxic. Soothes the centre…, replenishes the yin orbs, eliminates the desire to eat and lightens the body. Another name…ling. The Yellow Lord said: During the seventh month one should not eat raw waterchestnuts, [for] they will cause roundworms.” “Waterchestnut” is a common, but inaccurate, translation for jishi. “Centre” is literal; we have assumed it applies to the middle burner.]
Chestnut(lizi栗子): salty, warm, and nonpoisonous. It is good for qi and enhances [health of] the intestines and stomach. It nourishes the qi of kidney and makes one endure hunger. If one eats uncooked chestnuts, it will cure failure (busui不遂) in waist or legs.
Cherry (yingtao櫻桃): sweet, balanced, and astringent. It balances the Middle Jiao and is good for qi. One can eat many of them. It will make one’s complexion pretty and beautify one’s mind and temper (zhixing志性).
Mandarin orange (ju橘) and shaddock (you柚): spicy, warm, and nonpoisonous. Their main effects are curing hardness and fullness in the chest (xiongzhong jiaman胸中瘕滿) and rising qi (niqi逆氣). They are good for water and grains (or: good for water grains? li shuigu利水穀). They help qi moving down (xiaqi下氣) and stop throwing up or coughing. They rid lingering heat in the bladder (pangguang liure膀胱留熱) and seeper (tingshui停水). They also treat five kinds of urinary diseases (wulin五淋) and are diuretic. They also cure the illness in which the spleen cannot digest grains but drive the qi to the chest. They treat vomiting, cholera (huoluan霍亂), and diarrhea. They expel tapeworms (cunbai寸白). If one keeps taking them, they get rid of bad breath, help the qi move downwards, and communicate with the supernaturals (tongshen通神). [These fruits are still very widely used in rituals to communicate with supernaturals in the Chinese world.] They lighten one’s body and elongate life. Mandarin orange peel has another name, jupi (橘皮). It is good if it has been preserved for a long time.
(jinfuzi津符子): bitter, balanced, and smooth. If one takes too many of them, it will make one lose the ability of tasting (koushuang口爽) and he will not tell the differences between the five flavors.
Flowering-apricot fruit (Prunus mume, meishi梅實): sour, balanced, astringent, and nonpoisonous. It helps the qi move downwards. It treats heat and anxiety. It pacifies the heart. It cures pain in limbs, paralysis that affects only one side of the body (pianku偏枯), numbness (buren不仁), and dead muscles (siji死肌). It also rids blue and black spots (qingheizhi青黑志). It cures leprosy (eji惡疾). It stops diarrhea (xiali下利), the illness of frequent spitting (haotuo好唾), and thirst. It is good for tendon and pulse (mai). If one eats too many of them, they erode his teeth.
Persimmon (shi柿): sweet, cold, astringent, nonpoisonous. It opens up the nose and the qi of ears (erqi耳氣). Its main effects include curing water remaining in intestines (changpi腸澼) and incompleteness (buzu不足). It also relieves pain caused by burns (huochuang火瘡) and cuts (jinchuang金瘡).
Quince (muguashi木瓜實): sour, salty, warm, astringent, and nonpoisonous. It mainly cures the illness caused by wet qi (shibiqi濕痹氣), cholera, violent vomiting, ongoing spasms in the back part of the legs (houjiao zhuanjin buzhi後腳轉筋不止). Its uncooked bark is nonpoisonous. It is edible after being boiled.
Chinese torreya (feishi榧實, the nuts of a type of yew tree): sweet, balanced, astringent, and nonpoisonous. It mainly cures five kinds of hemorrhoids (wuzhi五痔) and three kinds of worms (sanchong三蟲). It also gets rid of the poison caused by gu (gudu蠱毒), ghostly disease that is contagious and chronic (guizhu鬼疰), and rampant poison (edu惡毒). [They are still used medicinally for soothing the throat, being highly astringent.]
Sugar cane (ganzhe甘蔗): sweet, balanced, astringent, nonpoisonous. It helps the qi move downwards and harmonizes the Middle Jiao (hezhong和中) and nourishes the qi of spleen. It is good for the large intestine. It stops thirst and rids anxiety. It also treats intoxication caused by alcohol.
Date-plum persimmon (ruanzao軟棗): bitter, cool (leng冷), astringent, and nonpoisonous. If one eats too many of them, it will cause outbreaks of chronic diseases. It is good for the cool qi. It also causes coughing.
Taro (yu芋): spicy, balanced, smooth, poisonous. It broadens intestines and stomach. It also supports the skin. It smooths the Middle Jiao. It has another name, earth purple-fungus (tuzhi土芝). It can not be eaten too much. Otherwise it will influence the coldness latent in body for a long time (suleng宿冷).
“Black taro” (wuyu, Chinese arrowroot, 烏芋, Sagittaria sagittifolia; misidentified as Eleocharis dulcis in our modern edition of Sun, but the alternative name jigu gives its true identity away): bitter, sweet, a bit cold, smooth, and nonpoisonous. It is important for treating the illness of becoming thin and thirsty (xiaoke消渴) and the illness of feeling heat (danre癉熱). It is also good for qi. It has another name jigu藉姑, or shuiping水萍. It should be collected in the third month.
Apricot kernel (xingheren杏核仁): sweet, bitter, warm, cool, good laxative, diuretic (li利), poisonous [from hydrocyanates]. It is important for treating rising breath caused by coughing, thundering in intestines (changzhong leiming腸中雷鳴), the swollen throat (houbi喉痹), intestinal gas (xiaqi下氣), ulcer caused by giving birth or cutting (chanrujinchuang產乳金瘡), the illness of a cold heart running like a pig (presumably a heart beating with a fast, erratic rhythm like a running pig; hanxin bentun寒心奔豚), fright illness (jingxian驚癇), anxiety and heat under the heart (xinxia fanre心下煩熱), the illness of the wind qi coming and going (fengqi qulai風氣去來), and chronic headache (shixing toutong時行頭痛). It also relieves hunger (jieji解肌) and anxiety under the heart (xiao xinxia ji消心下急). It rids toxins from dog bites (shagoudu殺狗毒). It should be picked in the fifth month [when apricots are ripe]. If there are two kernels in one pit, they hurt people and should be discarded. When the apricot is still unripe, it is very sour. The kernel in it is not hard. Collect it and expose it in the sun till it is dry. Eat the dry kernel and it is very effective for ceasing thirst and ridding poisons of cool or hot nature. Bianque 扁鵲said, “Apricot kernels cannot be taken over a long time. Otherwise, it will make the person blind, cause his eyebrows or hair fall, and arouse all kinds of chronic illnesses. ” [This would be due to the hydrocyanic acid liberated by chewing them; chewing releases an enzyme that acts on hydrocyanic glycogens in the seed. The seeds are still an extremely common medicine in China, used for throat and respiratory conditions among other things. They are usually powdered and cooked to eliminate the poison.]
Peach kernel (hetaoren桃核仁): bitter, sweet, spicy, balanced, nonpoisonous. It makes gores disappear. It treats blood tumors caused by the closure of arteries (xuebijia血閉瘕) and sinister qi (xieqi邪氣). It kills small worms. It treats rising breath caused by coughing. It dispels hardness under the heart (xinxia ying心下硬). It also treats sudden bleeding caused by speaking (chu zubaoshengxue除卒暴聲血). It treats hardness in the stomach (zhengjia症瘕). It makes the menstrual blood flow without impediment (tong yueshui通月水). It stops heartache. It should be collected in the seventh month. Whenever there are two kernels in one pit, they are harmful and should not be used. Its fruit (peach) is sour and nonpoisonous. If one has too many peaches, it will cause him feel hot. The Yellow Emperor said, “When one takes a bath after eating a lot of peaches, it will cause the illness of ceaseless urination (linbing淋病).”
Plum kernel (liheren李核仁): bitter, balanced, nonpoisonous. It mainly treats the symptom of falling down dead (jiangpuji僵僕躋), gores, and bone ache. Its fruit (plum) is bitter, sour, a little bit warm, astringent, nonpoisonous. It rids obstinate heat (gure固熱), harmonizes the Middle Jiao, and is good for the heart. It cannot be eaten too much. Otherwise, it will make the person weak. The Yellow Emperor said, “Plums cannot be taken with white honey (baimi白蜜). That will erode the five internal organs (wunei五內).”
Pear (li梨): sweet, a little bit sour, cold, astringent, poisonous. It rids the invading hot qi (kereqi客熱氣) and stops anxiety (xinfan心煩). It cannot be eaten too much. Otherwise, it will chill the Middle Jiao. Those having cutting wounds and lying-in women should not have it. otherwise, it will make them ill [specific meaning unclear here] and chill the Middle Jiao.
Crab apple (linqin林檎, rinkin, Malus asiatica): sour, bitter, balanced, astringent, nonpoisonous. It ends thirst. It makes people want to spit. It cannot be taken too much. Otherwise it will make the mai weak.
Apple (Malus pumila, naizi奈子): sour, bitter, cold, astringent, nonpoisonous. It makes people endure hunger and is good for heart and qi. It cannot be eaten too much. Otherwise it will cause flatus (luzhang臚脹). If one has been sick for a long time, his situation will become even worse after eating it.
Pomegranate (anshiliu安石榴): sweet, sour, astringent, and nonpoisonous. It ends hotness and thirst in the pharynx. It cannot be eaten too much. Otherwise it hurts the lung.
Loquat leaf (pipaye枇杷葉) [the fruit is probably meant, in spite of this term—loquat fruit syrup is still a standard and thoroughly effective Chinese medicine for exactly the conditions specified here]: bitter, balanced, nonpoisonous. Important for treating unstoppable hacking (wabuzhi啘不止) and passing gas. Peel the raw bark and chew it, or swallow a little sap, or boil the sap and take it. It is really good.
Walnut (hutao胡桃): sweet, cool, astringent, nonpoisonous. One cannot eat too much. Otherwise it will arouse phlegm, make people sick, or make them vomit liquid or food.
Chapter Three Vegetables (58 items)
Chinese wolfthorn leaf (gouqiye枸杞葉): bitter, balanced, astringent (se澀), and nonpoisonous. It restores the body from being weak and increases the essence and marrow (jingsui精髓). The proverb says, “If you leave home for one thousand li, don’t eat luomo蘿摩 or wolfthorn.” This is because they are very strong in the Dao of yang and then will assist the qi of yin and soon cause diseases. [Chinese wolfthorn leaves and fruits are among the most vitamin- and mineral-rich foods known, and have been used for millennia in China as the equivalent of vitamin pills.]
luomo蘿摩: sweet and balanced. It has another name, kuwan苦丸. It is nonpoisonous. Its leaves are thick and large. It produces vines. If you cut the living vine, white liquid flows forth. Households plant large amounts of it [or: of households, many plant it]. It can be eaten raw. It can also be taken after being steamed or boiled. Its benefits are similar to those of Chinese wolfthorn leaves. [The plant is a vining milkweed.]
White winter melon seeds (Benincasa hispida, guazi瓜子): sweet, balanced, cold, and nonpoisonous. It makes the skin shiny and puts good complexion on a person. It increases qi and will not make the person feel hunger. If one takes it for a long time, it will lighten his body and help him resist aging. It also rids unhappiness stuffed in the chest. If one takes it for long, it will chill the Middle Jiao. It can be used to make facial lotion. [And still is; the oil is good for the complexion.] It has another name, shuizhi水芝, or baiguazi白瓜子. Actually, they are the same, white gourd seeds (dongguaren冬瓜人). It should be collected in the eighth month.
White winter melon (baidonggua白冬瓜): sweet, slightly cold, and nonpoisonous. It rids one of watery swelling (shuizhang水脹; retaining water) in the lower abdomen. It is helpful for discharging urine. It also holds back thirst. [The flesh is diuretic, so all these tips are quite accurate and practical.]
Gourds (gua) [most likely bottle gourd, Lagenaria siceraria, here, but possibly another gourd] are sweet, cold, smooth, and nonpoisonous. They hold back thirst. The Yellow Emperor said, “In the ninth month, don’t eat frosted gourds. It is towards the winter and will cause cold, hot, or warm illness (han re ji wenbing寒熱及溫病).” When one starts to eat it, it causes nausea. After one finishes with it, it remains in the heart as water and it cannot be digested. Otherwise it returns to the stomach (fanwei反胃). If one eats gourds that sink into the water, he will have cool illness (lengbing冷病) and will not be cured in life.
Chinese melon (yuegua越瓜): sweet, balanced, nonpoisonous. One cannot take it too much. It is good for intestines and stomach.
Cucumber (hugua胡瓜): sweet, cold, poisonous. It cannot be frequently taken. It causes coldness and heat. It leads to malaria (nuebing瘧病). It also causes blood congestion or heat (jiyu xuere積淤血熱).
Green zao gourd (zaoqinggua早青瓜, identification unclear): sweet, cold, nonpoisonous. If one takes it, it will get rid of his heat and anxiety. But it cannot be taken frequently. It will cause loss of memory.
Mallow (dongkuizi冬葵子): sweet, cold, nonpoisonous. It mainly cures coldness, hotness, or weakness in the five internal organs and six hollow organs (wuzangliufu五臟六腑). It breaks the five kinds of urinary problems (wulin五淋). It is helpful for discharging urine. It also cures the difficulty of producing milk by women. It cures blood stoppage (blocking; xuebi血閉). If one takes it for a long time, it will strengthen the bones and make the muscles grow, lighten the body, and lengthen life. In the twelfth month, gather the leaves, which are sweet, cold, smooth, and nonpoisonous. It is good for spleen. If one takes it for a long time, it is good for the stomach qi. Its heart [usually this would mean central shoot and bud, but they are harmless and a common Chinese food, so woody lower stem is probably meant here] harms people. With every kind of medication, eating the heart is contraindicated. The heart is poisonous. The Yellow Emperor said, “If one takes frosted mallow that has previously been preserved without cooking it, it will cause five kinds of liquid illnesses (liuyin流飲). When the liquid accumulates too much, it will make him vomit. ” [I.e., it ferments too much.] When mallow and carp (liyu鯉魚) or fish in general (zha鮓) are taken together, this harms people. In all four seasons, when the earth is prosperous (tuwang土王), avoid raw mallow. It will cause indigestion and arouse chronic diseases. [Probably this means that if the mallow flourishes too much because of good growing conditions, it should be avoided; indeed, mallow, though highly nutritious, can become hard to digest and over-rich in nitrates if overgrown. Mallow is another plant notable for high levels of vitamins.]
Purslane (xiancaishi 莧菜實, Portulaca oleracea): sweet, cold, astringent, nonpoisonous. It mainly cures blue barriers in the eyes (qingmang青盲) and white barriers in the eyes (baiyi白翳). It is good for eyesight (mingmu明目). It dispels noxious qi (xieqi邪氣). It is helpful for discharging urine and stool. It rids coldness and heat. It kills roundworms (huichong蛔蟲). If one takes it for a long time, it is good for qi and strength, and he will not feel hunger. His body will be lightened. It has another name, maxian馬莧, or moshi莫實, which are machixiancai馬齒莧菜. It treats wounds shaped like blossoming flowers (fanhuachuang反花瘡)
Small amaranth (Amaranthus spp., xiaoxiancai小莧菜): sweet, very cold, smooth, nonpoisonous. It can be frequently taken. It increases qi and strength. It rids heat. It cannot be taken with turtle meat (bierou鱉肉), or it will cause the turtle disease (biejia鱉瘕). When brake (juecai蕨菜) is taken with turtle meat, it will also cause the turtle disease.
“Noxious daisy” (xiehao邪蒿): spicy, warm, astringent, nonpoisonous. It mainly treats the smelly and noxious qi in the chest [presumably this explains the name]. It is good for intestines and stomach.
Sow thistle (kucai苦菜, lit. “bitter vegetable”): bitter, very cold, smooth, nonpoisonous. It treats especially noxious qi in the five internal organs. It also treats the loss of appetite for grains (yangu厭穀), stomach disease caused by coldness, wind, or wetness (weibi胃痹) and intestine disease caused by liquid (changpi腸澼). It cures extreme thirst, heat in the Middle Burner (lit. “hot center,” rezhong熱中), sudden diseases (baoji暴疾), and bad wounds (echuang惡瘡). If one takes it for a long time, it will pacify his heart, increase the qi, make him smart (congcha聰察), let him lie down less (shaowo少臥), lighten the body, resist aging, and resist hunger and cold. It is also called, tucao荼草, or xuan選, or youdong遊冬. It does not die in the winter. It should be collected during the first ten days of the fourth month.
Shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris, jicai薺菜): sweet, warm, astringent, nonpoisonous. It is good for liver and harmonizes the Middle Jiao. It kills every kind of poison. Its seeds are especially good for eyesight; it treats eye ache and tearing. Its root especially treats astringent eyes or eye ache.
Turnip (wuqing蕪菁) and radish leaf (lufucai蘆菔菜): bitter, cool, astringent, nonpoisonous. They are good for the five internal organs, lighten the body, and are good for the qi. They can be taken frequently. Turnip seeds are good for eyesight. When they are steamed and sun dried for nine times, they can treat jaundice (huangdan黃疸) and are helpful for discharging urine. When one takes it for a long time, he will become an immortal. The root mainly treat heat cause by wind (fengre風熱) and poisonous bumps (duzhong毒腫). It cannot be taken too much. Otherwise it will cause the swelling of gas (zhangqi脹氣).
Celery cabbage (“Brassica pekinensis,” a form of B. chinensis or B. campestris; songcai 菘菜): sweet, warm, astringent, nonpoisonous. If one takes it for a long time, it will move away barriers in his intestines and stomach and get rid of anxiety in his chest. It ceases the illness related to the loss of weight and thirst (xiaoke消渴). Originally it was a turnip (manjing蔓菁). When the turnip was planted in the lower Yangtse River Valley, it turned into celery cabbage. This is like the bitter orange (zhiju枳橘), which changes when transplanted. [This refers to the fact that oranges “change” into the thorny trifoliate orange when grown in north China, because the fruiting orange was grafted on, and would freeze and die. This left the thorny trifoliate-orange used as an understock to grow up in place of it. This observation is recorded and explained in the Nanfang caomu juang of the 4th century, and I (ENA) have seen it happen many times in California. In the case of the cabbage, we have a different case: the rape-turnip and the celery-cabbage were selectively bred, in different areas, from the same ancestor.]
Mustard leaf (jiecai芥菜): spicy, warm, nonpoisonous. It treats nose problems (guibi歸鼻). It dispels noxious qi in the kidney. It breaks spells of vomiting caused by coughing. It makes qi move downward. It is good for the nine orifices. It is good for eyesight and hearing. It pacifies the Middle Jiao (anzhong安中). When one takes it for a long time, it warms the Middle Jiao, though alternatively it is said that “it chills the Middle Jiao.” Its seeds are spicy. The spiciness also treats nose problems (guibi歸鼻). The seeds are poisonous. They especially treat throat illnesses caused by wetness, wind, or cold (houbi喉痹). They can rid every kind of wind poison and bump [boil? Tumor?] caused by living in wet and lower places (fengduzhong風毒腫). The Yellow Emperor said, “Mustard leaves cannot be taken along with rabbit meat. Otherwise they will cause bad and noxious disease (exiebing惡邪病).”
Medic clover (Medicago spp., muxu苜蓿): bitter, balanced, astringent, nonpoisonous. It pacifies the Middle Jiao and benefits the four limbs (siti四體). It can be taken frequently.
Common perilla (renzi荏子): spicy, warm, nonpoisonous. It treats especially vomiting caused by coughing (keni欬逆) and helps the qi move downward (xiaqi下氣). It warms the Middle Jiao and is nutritious to the marrow. Its leaves are notable for harmonizing the Middle Jiao and getting rid of bad breath. It should be collected in the ninth month and be dried in the shade. Its oil can be used to make raincoats (youyi油衣). [The water-repelling oil was long used to treat fabric for this purpose.]
Smartweed seed (Polygonum hydropiper L, liaoshi蓼實): spicy, warm, nonpoisonous. It is good for eyesight and warms up the Middle Jiao. It is also helpful to resist hunger, wind or cold. It decreases the watery qi (shuiqi 水氣) and treats bloated face (mianmu fuzhong面目浮腫) and noxious ulcer (yongju癰疽). Its leaves are spicy and eventually fall [back] to the tongue (guishe歸舌). They also treat noxious qi in the large and small intestines. They benefit the Middle Jiao and are good for the mind (yizhi益志). The Yellow Emperor said, “If one has too many smartweed seeds, they are poisonous and cause heart ailments [heartburn?]. If it is taken with raw fish, it will cause him to lose his breath (tuoqi脫氣) and cause pain in the testicles (yinhe陰核), such that he would rather die than bear it. For a woman, when her period is coming, she should not have smartweed or garlic. They will cause endless bleeding (xuelin血淋) and the excretion of mucus from the genitals (daixia帶下). In the second month, do not eat smartweed. Otherwise it will hurt the kidney.” Bian Que扁鵲 said, “If one has taken smartweed for a long time, it causes the feeling of cold and hot. It is harmful to the marrow and kills the yin qi (yinqi陰氣) of the man and decreases the semen.”
Green onion seed (Allium fistulosum, congshi蔥實): spicy, warm, and nonpoisonous. It is beneficial to the lung and eventually goes to the head (guitou歸頭). It is good for eyesight and compensates incompleteness of the Middle Jiao. Its white stalk is balanced, smooth, and usable in soup. It mainly treats cold (shanghan傷寒) and cold and hot (hanre寒熱). It also treats pains in bones and flesh (gurou suitong骨肉碎痛). It can be used to make people sweat. It treats paralysis (zhongfeng中風), swelling in face, and stuffiness in the throat (houbi butong喉痹不通). It secures the fetus (antai安胎). It eliminates poison from cassia (Chinese cinnamon, shagui殺桂,; possibly overdose of cassia oil is meant here, but more likely poisoning by a related species; cassia has several deadly relatives). Its green leaves are warm, spicy, and eventually go to the eyes. They eliminate noxious qi in the liver and pacify the Middle Jiao. They are good for the five internal organs. They are good for the eyes (mujing目精). They cause jaundice. They cure hundreds of kinds of toxic reactions caused by medication. Its fibrous roots are balanced. They are important for treating headache. The mucus from its stalk (congzhongti蔥中涕) and the raw juice extracted therefrom (shengcongzhi生蔥汁) are balanced and smooth. They can treat the presence of blood in the urine (niaoxue尿血). They can relieve poisoning caused by goosefoot (lilu藜蘆; goosefoot being nonpoisonous, probably a similar but more dangerous herb is meant here] and cinnamon. The Yellow Emperor said, “Taking the raw green onion is equal to take honey, which turns into diarrhea (xiali下利). If one takes burned green onion and honey, he will die from being screened from the qi (yongqi擁氣). In the first month, people should not eat raw green onion, which will cause moving wind (youfeng逰風) on his face
Longroot onion (gecong格蔥): spicy, mildly warm, nonpoisonous. It gets rid of noxious poison caused by miasma (zhangqi瘴氣). If one has taken it for a long time, it is beneficial to the gall qi. It also strengthens the mind. Its seeds mainly treat the discharge of semen (xiejing泄精).
Scallion (xie薤): bitter, spicy, warm, smooth, nonpoisonous. It is good for the heart. The spiciness eventually goes to the bones. It mainly treats cutting wounds and ulcer. It can let the muscle grow. It lightens the body and help people resist hunger and aging. It is also called caizhi (菜芝). It eliminates cold and hot, and watery qi. It warms up the Middle Burner and disperses stagnant qi (jieqi結氣). It is good for women that have just given birth, as well as for the sick. For every kind of ulcer, paralysis and cold (zhongfenghan中風寒), extended swelling in the body caused by an excessive accumulation of fluid (shuizhong水腫), mash the raw scallion and apply it on the affected place. For fishbones or [other] bones that choke one in the throat, one will get rid of it after eating a scallion. The Yellow Emperor said, “Scallion cannot be added to beef stew; this will cause the hardness in the stomach (jiaji瘕疾). Leek (jiu韭) will cause similar illness. In the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth month, don’t eat raw scallion, which will increase the excretion of nose mucus and saliva.”
Leek (jiu韭; this entry may include Chinese chives, Allium tuberosum): spicy, sour, warm, astringent, nonpoisonous. The spiciness will eventually go to the heart. It is good for the liver. It can be eaten frequently. It pacifies the five internal organs and eliminates heat in the stomach. It is not good for the sick. If one whose heart and stomach has frozen coldness (guleng固冷) eats it, his illness will be worsened. Its seeds mainly treat the discharge of semen in dreams (mengxiejing 夢泄精) as well as white-colored urine. Its roots can be boiled and the soup is nutritious for hair. The Yellow Emperor said, “The frost leek is frozen and cannot be taken when it is raw. Otherwise it will arouse the water stagnant for a long time (sushui宿水), and if one drinks too much, he will vomit water. In the fifth month, do not eat leek, which damages one’s taste and makes him short of strength. In the second and third month, it is preferable to eat leek, which is very good for the heart.”
Mioga ginger (baixianghe白蘘荷): spicy, mildly warm, astringent, nonpoisonous. It treats especially the disease caused by gu 蠱 and malaria (nüebing瘧病). Mash and drink the juice. After boiling it and drinking the soup for the first time, add water to the remaining, boil it again, and drink it. Take it twice a day. Its root mainly cures every kind of ulcers.
Sugar beet (tiancai菾菜): sweet, bitter, great cold, and nonpoisonous. It mainly treats fever associated with certain season (shixing zhuangre時行壯熱), the illness caused by the hot feng (fengre風熱), and noxious poison.
Perilla (zisu紫蘇): spicy, mildly warm, nonpoisonous. It helps the qi move downward and stops coldness in the Middle Burner. Its seeds are even better.
Chinese artichoke (jisu雞蘇): spicy, mildly warm, astringent, nonpoisonous. It mainly treats hematemesis and helps the qi move downward. It has another name, shuisu水蘇.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum, luole羅勒): bitter, spicy, warm, balanced, astringent, and nonpoisonous. It eliminates the water remaining in the body (tingshui停水) and dispels poisonous qi. It cannot be frequently taken, or it will make the circulation of qi in the body difficult (se rongwei zhuqi澀榮衛諸氣).
Stinking Elm (wuyi蕪荑): spicy, balanced, hot, smooth, nonpoisonous. It mainly treats the noxious qi in the five internal organs and dispels poison warmly advancing in the body (yinyin wenxing du淫淫溫行毒), in the skins and condyles (gujie骨節). It eliminates the Three Worms (sanchong三蟲). It can help digest the food that has not been digested overnight. It dispels threadworms (cunbai寸白). It also dispels the roaring noise of gas (wowo chuanxi溫溫喘息) in the abdomen. It is also called wugu无姑, or diantang[艹殿] 蓎. If it is stored in certain container, it can avoid the leech. Its odor is stinking. This is how mountain elm pods (U. davidiana, shanyuzi山榆子) dispel the leech. The (ordinary) elm (Ulmus spp., yu榆) leaves are sweet, balanced, smooth, and nonpoisonous. It mainly treats children’s epilepsy (xiao’erxian小兒癇) and helps the discharge of urine. It also treats the attack caused by the summer heat, tiredness and frost. Boil, and drink the soup, when it is cool. The raw white bark of elm is sweet, cold, and nonpoisonous. It helps the discharge of urine and breaks the five kinds of urine diseases (wulin五淋). Its flower is especially important as a cure for ulcers on children’s heads (xiao’ertouchuang小兒頭瘡).
Coriander (Chinese parsley, cilantro) seeds (huxuzi胡荽子): sour, balanced, nonpoisonous. They help digest grains and recover one’s appetite. Its leaves cannot be taken frequently, or it will cause short memories (duowang多忘). Hua Tuo said, “If one has armpit odor (lit. “fox smell,” huchou 胡臭), bad breath (kouqichou 口氣臭), or (?chi[匿蟲]齒), taking coriander leaves will worsen it. if one is suffering from noxious qi in the abdomen, he should never take it. Otherwise, it will arouse his chronic conditions. One having cut-wounds should not eat it either.”
Kelp (haizao海藻): salty, cold, smooth, and nonpoisonous. It mainly treats tumor (yingliu癭瘤) and the blockage in the circulation of the qi (jieqi結氣). It dispels the ache caused by the tumor (yinghetong硬核痛) in the neck. It treats thundering noise going up and down in the intestines (changnei shangxia leiming腸内上下雷鳴). It helps lessen the Twelve Kinds of swellings (xia shi’ershuizhong下十二水腫). It helps discharge urine. It arouse the yin qi of a man.
Kombu seaweed (kunbu昆布): salty, cold, smooth, nonpoisonous. It helps lessen the Twelve Kinds of swellings. It treats tumor (yingliu癭瘤) and the blockage in the circulation of the qi (jieqi結氣). It also treats the passage created by ulcers (louchuang瘻瘡). It also breaks up the coagulation in the body (po jiju破積聚).
Crown daisy (tonghao茼蒿): spicy, balanced, nonpoisonous. It pacifies the heart qi and nourishes the spleen and stomach. It also eliminates thick or thin mucus in the respiratory tract (tanyin痰飲).
Wormwood/hairhead wormwood (baihao白蒿): bitter, spicy, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It nourishes the five internal organs. It is good for the Middle Jiao and enhances qi. It helps hair grow. If one has taken it for a long time, he will not die; white rabbits take it and become Immortals.
Hollyhock/althea (wukui吳葵): it has another name, shukui蜀葵. It is sweet, mildly cold, smooth, and nonpoisonous. Its flower stabilizes the heart qi. Its leaves eliminates the heat caused by outside sources (kere客熱). It helps empty the intestines and stomach. It cannot be frequently taken, or it will slow one’s mind. If one is bit by a dog and then takes it, the wound will never recover.
Leaves of red beans (huo藿): salty, cold, astringent, nonpoisonous. Good for the kidneys. Used especially to treat frequent bowel movement or urination (daxiaobian shu大小便數). It eliminates anxiety and heat.
(xiangrou香葇): spicy and mildly warm. It mainly treats cholera (huoluan霍亂), stomachache, vomiting and diarrhea (tuxia吐下). It lessens the swelling caused by liquor (shuizhong水腫). It also dispels anxiety and hotness.
Bottle gourd (tianhu甜瓠): sweet, balanced, smooth, and nonpoisonous. It mainly treats emaciation and thirst (xiaoke消渴), noxious ulcer, festering and aching in the flesh of the nose and mouth. It leaves are sweet and balanced. They primarily helps resisting hunger. Bian Que said, “If one has beriberi (lit. foot qi, jiaoqi 腳氣) or is weak and swelling (xuzhang虛脹), he should not eat it, or his illness will never end.”
Water shield (chun蓴): sweet, cold, smooth, nonpoisonous. It treats principally loss of weight, thirst (xiaoke消渴), and paralysis caused by heat (rebi熱痹). If one has taken too much of it, it will arouse hemorrhoids (zhibing痔病).
Malabar spinach (luokui落葵): sour, cold, nonpoisonous. It smooths the Middle Jiao and dispels heat caused by bloom of noxious qi (reshi熱實). It makes one’s face shining and appealing. It has another name, tiankui天葵, or fanlu蘩露.
Chickweed (fanlou蘩蔞): sour, balanced, nonpoisonous. It treats especially the deteriorative ulcer that exist for years, and hemorrhoids that cannot be cured. Pick it at noon, the fifth day of the fifth month. It is also called zicao滋草, or jichangcao雞腸草. Dry and burn it. Use the parched ashes for medication. Bian Que said, “If a man has a deteriorative ulcer, or his glans (yintou陰頭) and penis have ulcers and are festered, and the pain is intolerable and the ulcer cannot be healed up for a long time, take one part ashes to two parts mud recently excreted by an earthworm. Add water and fully blend them. Make a paste like the dough that is used to make a pancake before it is fried. Apply the paste on the ulcer and change it when it is dry. Do not consume alcohol, flour food, the five spices (wuxin五辛), or hot food (reshi熱食).” The Yellow Emperor said, “When fanlou is taken alongside with (?zha[鱼旦]鲊), it will arouse the illness of losing weight and being thirsty and make the person forgetful.” There is another species, growing in warm and wet location, for instance a place close to the aqueduct. It grows in the winter and its shape is like coriander (husui胡荽). It is also called jichangcao雞腸草. It can be used to cure hemorrhoids. It has another name, tianhusui天胡荽.
Houttuynia (a medicinal herb, ji蕺): spicy, mildly warm, mildly poisonous. It mainly treats the ulcer that is caused by being touched by the urination of the worm of juesou (juesou niao chuang蠼螋尿瘡). When one has taken it for a long time, it will cause the shortage of breath. It is not good for feet. If one has frequently taken it, he will have a foot ache.
Garlic (hu葫): spicy, warm, and poisonous. The spiciness will go to the five internal organs. So it dispels deteriorative ulcer (yongju癰疽) and cures (?chuang[匿蟲]瘡). It eliminates the noxious feng (fengxie風邪) and kills the poisonous qi expelled by a gu (gu duqi蠱毒氣). When the bulb has only one clove, it is best. The Yellow Emperor said, “If one takes raw garlic with salted herring (qingyu zhashi青魚鮓食), it will cause ulcer in his abdomen, or swelling in his intestines, or ache and hardness in the abdomen (shanjia疝瘕). If one has frequently taken raw garlic, he will hurt the qi of his liver when he is having sex. It will make one’s face lose color. In the fourth and eighth month, do not eat garlic. Otherwise, it will hurt the spirit (shen神) as well as the qi of the bladder. It will cause gasping and the feeling of being frightened (chuanji喘悸). It will cause the shortage of the qi around the ribs and the upper part of the side of the body (xielei qiji脅肋氣急). It will also frequently cause one to lose sense of his taste.”
Small garlic (xiaosuan小蒜): spicy, warm, nonpoisonous. The spicy will go to the spleen and kidney. It mainly treats cholera and uneasiness in the abdomen. It helps digest the grains and settle the qi of the stomach. It warms up the Middle Jiao. It also eliminates paralysis caused by noxious qi (xiebi邪痹) and poisonous qi. Collect it on the fifth day of the fifth month. Dry it under the sunlight. Its leaves mainly treat anxiety and ache in the heart. It expels every kind of toxin. It cures children’s reddish rash (danzhen丹疹?). It cannot be frequently taken, or it will hurt the strength of one’s heart. The Yellow Emperor said, “If one has xiaosuan and raw fish, it will take his breath away and cause the ache in his testicles(yinhe陰核) such he would like to die. In the third month, do not eat xiaosuan, or it will hurt the mind and temper (zhixing志性).”
Tea (mingye茗葉): bitter, salty, cool, nonpoisonous. It can be taken frequently. It will let the person have strength and make him happy. It arouses the qi a little bit. The Yellow Emperor said, “It cannot be taken together with the leek, or it will increase his weight.”
Mint leaves (Mentha spp., fanheye蕃荷葉): bitter, spicy, warm, nonpoisonous. Can be frequently taken. These make the qi of the kidneys recede. They make one’s breath pleasant and clean. It is especially good for dispelling noxious poison (xiedu邪毒) and it eliminates tiredness (laobi勞弊). If one is thin and tired, he should not take it frequently, or it will arouse the illness of losing weight and feeling thirsty.
Cocklebur (cang’erzi蒼耳子): bitter, sweet, and warm. Its leaves are bitter, spicy, mildly cold, astringent, and mildly poisonous. It principally treats the coldness caused by wind (fenghan風寒), headache, wind paralysis and wetness (fengshibi風濕痹), and spasm and ache in the four limbs (sizhi juji luantong四肢拘急攣痛). It heals inflamed flesh and necrotic muscles (erou siji惡肉死肌). It cures the ache in the knees and the poisoning caused by stream worms (or: the worm hidden in the river; xidu溪毒—hard to identify). It one has taken it for a long time, it will enhance the qi, bring a good eyesight and hearing, enhance memory, and lighten one’s weight. It has other names, huxi胡葈, dikui地葵, shi葹, or changsi常思. In the area of Shu蜀, it is called yangfulai羊負來. In Qin秦,it is called cang’er蒼耳. The Wei魏 people call it zhici只刺. The Yellow Emperor used to say, “Cang’er with shell cannot be eaten together with pork, or it will hurt people. When one has sweet conjee and adds the shell of cang’er to it, it will run wild in the body (zouzhu走注) [explained as bringing out noxious qi and causing inharmony between proper kinds of qi] and hurt the two sides of the torso. After the Beginning of the Autumn, it should not be taken.”
Dogwood (Cornus officinalis Sieb. et Zucc., shizhuyu食茱萸): spicy, bitter, greatly warming, nonpoisonous. It should be collected in the ninth month. When preserved for a long time, it becomes better. When its fruit is closed [presumably: not ripe enough to burst open], it is poisonous and should not be used. It stops pain and helps the qi move downward. It terminates vomiting caused by coughing. It eliminates coldness in the five internal organs. It warms up the Middle Jiao and treats every kind of cold shi that will not disappear (lengshi buxiao冷實不消). Its raw, white bark mainly treats the illness of being attacked by noxious qi (zhong’e中惡), stomachache, and toothache. Its thin roots treat Three Worms and threadworm. The Yellow Emperor said, “In the sixth and seventh month, do not eat dogwood, or it will hurt the spirit and the qi and arouse hot-summer qi (fuqi伏氣).” If one’s throat is not clear, or if wicked wind attacks people (zeifeng zhongren賊風中人), or one’s mouth is wry and cannot speak, take one sheng升 of dogwood and get rid of black seeds and closed fruits. Take three sheng of fermented soy beans (chi豉). Add pure liquor (qingjiu清酒) to the dogwood and beans. Boil them till they reach the boiling point for four or five times. Take the juice and cool it down. The patient has half a sheng of the juice three times a day. After it sweats him a little, he will recover. If one is stung by a scorpion (chai蠆), he should chew dogwood, put what has been chewed up on the wound, and the poison will be dispelled.
Chinese pepper (shujiao蜀椒): spicy, very hot, poisonous. It treats especially the noxious qi. It warms up the Middle Jiao and helps the qi move downward. It also eliminates phlegm that has remained in the fauces (liuyin留飲) and food that has not been digested overnight (sushi宿食). It can cause the patient suffering from pain to feel itchy and those suffering from itch feel painful. If it has been taken frequently, it will cause the person to be short of qi, and can even cause blindness. It particularly treats vomiting caused by coughing. It eliminates coldness in the skin. It heals necrotic muscles (siji死肌) and painful paralysis caused by wet circumstances (shibitong濕痹痛). It also cures cold qi under the heart. It rids of coldness in the five internal organs and six hollow organs as well as remaining coldness in hundreds of joints. It heals the illness that the patient first has a fever and then feels cold (wennue溫瘧). It cures great wind (dafeng大風; more recently used to mean “leprosy,” but clearly not so specific in Tang), and sweating that has no reason (han zichu汗自出). It stops diarrhea (xiali下利) and dispels noxious wind (fengxie風邪). If the pit is closed, it is harmful to people. If it is black, it is mildly poisonous and helps the discharge of water (xiashui下水). Zhongjing used to say, “use it after slowly boiling it for some time.” The Yellow Emperor said, “In the tenth month, don’t eat Chinese pepper. It will harm the heart and hurt the tubes that carry the blood.”
Dry ginger (ganjiang幹薑): spicy, hot, and nonpoisonous. It is especially valuable for treating fullness in the chest and vomiting caused by coughing, and rising qi. It also warms up the Middle Jiao and terminates continuous bleeding (louxue漏血). It heals sweating. It heals paralysis caused by the feng and wetness. It treats the liquid remaining in the intestines and diarrhea (changpi xiali腸澼下利). It cures coldness and stomachache. It treats the illness of being attacked by the noxious qi. It cures cholera. It treats fullness in the stomach (zhangman脹滿). It treats noxious winds and every kind of poison. It treats the blockage of the qi (jieqi結氣) in the skins. It treats the illness of spitting blood (tuoxue唾血). When it is raw, it is better.
Ginger (fresh; shengjiang生薑): spicy, mildly warm, nonpoisonous. The spiciness will go to the five internal organs. It mainly treats spells of cold (febrile conditions; shanghan傷寒) and headache. It also eliminates phlegm and helps the qi move downward. It helps sweat break out (tonghan通汗). It breaks through blockage in the nose. It treats vomiting caused by coughing, and rising qi. It stops vomiting. It dispels the bad qi above the midriff (xiongge胸膈). It lets the spirit free (tong shenming通神明). The Yellow Emperor said, “In the eighth and ninth month, do not eat ginger. It will hurt the spirit and shorten the lifespan.” Hermit Hu (hujushi胡居士) said, “Ginger kills the long worms in the abdomen. If one has taken it frequently, it will lessen his memory and wisdom and make his temper worse.”
Buttercup (jinkui堇葵): bitter, balanced, and nonpoisonous. If one has taken it frequently, it will eliminate anxiety and fussiness. It arouses the cold phlegm (tanleng痰冷). It increases one’s weight and makes him lazy.
Colewort (yuntai芸臺): spicy, cold, and nonpoisonous. It mainly treats numbness in the waist and feet (yaojiaobi腰腳痹). [But] if one has suffered from pain in the waist and feet for a long time, he should not eat it. Otherwise, it will make it worse. It also treats (youzhong油腫) and cinnabar poison (or: St. Anthony’s fire, erysipelas; dandu丹毒). It enhances fox odor (armpit odor, huchou胡臭). It heals the person that has been put under every kind of spell (jinzhou禁呪). In this case, it is more effective than Buddhist knowledge (wumingjing五明經). Its seeds specially treat involuntary discharge of semen in dreams, or men having sex with ghosts. Hermit Hu said, “The populace call it hancai寒菜. It is very spicy.” If one has fox odor (armpit odor), the symptom will turn worse. The Di氐 and Qiang羌 peoples in Longxi隴西 often cultivate and eat it.
Bamboo root (zhusun竹筍): sweet, mildly cold, nonpoisonous. It treats eespecially the loss of weight, and also thirst. It benefits the waterway (li shuidao利水道). It enhances strength. It can be frequently taken. If one suffers from feeling cold all the time, he will have heart illness after eating it.
Wild chicory (Cichorium intybus L, yeju野苣): bitter, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It one has frequently taken it, it will decrease his weight and he will sleep less. The Yellow Emperor said, “It cannot be taken together with honey. Otherwise it will cause hemorrhoids.” White endive (baiju白苣) is bitter, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It enhances strength. The Yellow Emperor said, “It cannot be taken together with junket (lao酪). Otherwise it will turn into worms.”
Fennel (huixiangcai茴香菜): bitter, spicy, mildly cold, astringent, and nonpoisonous. It is particularly important for treating cholera. It prevent sunstroke (bire辟熱) and gets rid of bad breath. If one boils smelly meat in water, add a little of it and the smell will go away. So it is called “the return of the good smell“. If the sauce is smelly, adding fennel to it will rid of the smell. Its seeds treat, especially, snakebites that have not healed for a long time. Crush and apply on the wound. It also treats nine kinds of swelling in the neck (lou瘺).
Champignon/gill fungus (xuncai蕈菜): bitter, cold, and nonpoisonous. It esepecially treats poisonous swelling such as children’s cinnabar poison (or: St.anthony’s fire/erysipelas; huodan火丹). It dispels high fever (pure暴熱).
Knotgrass (lancai藍菜): sweet, balanced, nonpoisonous. If one takes it frequently, it is extremely beneficial to the kidney. It fills the brains. It is helpful to the five internal organs. It harmonizes the six hollow organs. Hermit Hu said, “The qiang barbarians (qianghu羌胡) often cultivate and eat it. In the Chinese area, it is seldom found.” Its leaves are long and thick. After boiled, they are sweet and delicious. It can survive the winter. In the spring, it blossoms. Its flower is yellowish and grows pods and seeds. Its seeds cure the illness of sleeping too much.
Knotgrass, pinkweed (bianzhuye萹竹葉): bitter, balanced, astringent, nonpoisonous. It particularly treats unceasing tearing or sweating (jinyin浸淫). It cures scabies (jiesao疥瘙), ulcers and hemorrhoids (juzhi疽痔). It kills the Three Worms. It cures women’s incompleteness (inadequacy?) in the vulva (yinshi陰蝕). Bian Que said, “Boil it and cool down the juice. Let children drink it and it will treat bellyworms.”
Celery (qincai斳菜): bitter, sour, cool, astringent, nonpoisonous. It enhances strength and prevents sunstroke (fure伏熱). It cures five kinds of yellowish diseases (huangbing黃病). Mash it and take the juice. Drink one sheng of the cool juice twice a day. The Yellow Emperor said, “On the fifth day of the fifth month, do not eat any kind of vegetable. It will cause hundreds of diseases. For all the vegetables, cook fully and eat it when it is warm. If one eats any kind of meat together with garlic after the epidemic(shibing時病) that he had is cured and then has sex, his illness will recur and he will doubtless die. If he has not fully recovered from the epidemic and eats raw green vegetables, his hands and feet will turn blackish and swell. If he has not fully recovered from the epidemic and has sex after eating green vegetables, his illness will recur and he will definitely die. In the tenth month, do not eat vegetables that are covered with frost. It makes people lose the sheen in the face, and causes dry and astringent eyes. It might also cause malaria, heartache, pain in the waist, or heart disease (xinnue心瘧), which when it happens the patient’s hands, feet, fingers, and toes are blackish and he becomes flaccid (kunwei困痿).”
Chapter Four: Grains
Job’s tears (yiyiren薏苡人): sweet, warm, nonpoisonous. It especially treats spasm, when tendons (jin juluan筋拘攣) cannot bend or stretch. It also treats numbness and pains caused by wind wetness (fengshibi風濕痹). It helps the qi move downward. If one has taken it for a long time, it will lighten his weight and enhance his strength. Its raw roots get rid of the Three Worms. The Famous Doctor (mingyi名醫) said, “Job’s tears eliminates noxious qi, and numbness (buren不仁) in tendons and bones. It is beneficial to intestines and the stomach. It removes the swelling of water (shuizhong水腫). It makes people want to eat.” It has another name, [艸贛], or ganmi感米. People in the Shu蜀 often cultivate and eat it.
Sesame (huma胡麻): sweet, balanced, nonpoisonous. It especially treats hurt Middle Jiao (shangzhong傷中) and weakness (xulei虚羸). It is nutritious to the five internal organs. It enhances the qi and strength. It builds muscles. It fills the head with brains. It strengthens tendons and bones. It cures cutting wounds and relieves pain. It treats the striking cold (shanghan傷寒) and the illness in which at first the patient has fever and then feels cold (wennue溫瘧). It treats the feeling of weak, heat, and tiredness after excessive vomiting and diarrhea (datuxia hou xure kunfa大吐下後虛熱困乏). If one has taken it for a long time, his weight will be lessened and he will not get old [presumably “old” means “senile” here]. It is helpful to hearing and eyesight. It helps people resist cold and heat. It elongates one’s lifespan. Its oil is mildly cold. It particularly helps the large intestines (li dachang利大腸). It deals with the problem when a lying-in woman has difficulty pushing out the afterbirth (chanfu baoyi bu luo產婦胞衣不落). It will let hair grow on a bald head. One can use raw sesame to rub a wound or swelling (chuangzhong瘡腫). It eliminates wandering wind (youfeng遊風) on head and face. It has other names: jusheng巨勝, goushi狗虱, fangjing方莖, or hongzhi鴻芷. Its leaves are called qingxiang青蘘. It treats the striking heat (shure暑熱). Its flowers especially treat loss of hair. On the seventh day, pick those growing on the top (zuishang piaotou最上摽頭) and dry them in the shade for future use.
Hempseed (baimazi白麻子): sweet, balanced, nonpoisonous. Good for the liver. It relieves the Middle Jiao (jiezhong解中) and enhances the qi. It makes people stout and resists aging. It treats stroke (zhongfeng中風) and sweating. It expels the water (zhushui逐水) and helps discharge urine. It breaks down congested blood (po jixue破積血). It treats the pain and swelling caused by winds (fengduzhong風毒腫). It helps the blood and mai recover. It treats the illnesses that happen after childbirth. It helps hair grow and can be used as body wash. If one has taken it for a long time, he will become an Immortal.
Maltose (yi飴): sweet, mildly warm, nonpoisonous. It treats weakness and the feeling of cold. It enhances the qi and strength. It stops intestine thundering (changming腸鳴). It cures painful throat. It cures bloody slaver (tuoxue唾血). It terminates coughing.
Yellow coil made from soybean (dadou huangjuan大豆黃卷; probably soybean skin—the skin that forms on boiling soybean milk—rolled up, coiled, and dried for storage): sweet, balanced, nonpoisonous. It is particularly good for treating numbness and pain from wind. It also treats spasm and painful knees. It eliminates [pathogens from] the five internal organs. It treats congestion of qi in the stomach. It enhances qi and eliminates poison. It rids black spot and (mian?面[黑干]). It moisturizes the skin and hair. It is good for the kidneys. Raw soybean is sweet, balanced, cold, and nonpoisonous. Mash it and mingle with vinegar. Apply the plaster [to the affected part] and it cures all kinds of poison and swelling, and kills pain. Take the cooled-down juice that is obtained from boiling the soybean; it kills ghost poison (guidu鬼毒). It also expels swelling caused by water (shuizhang水脹). It eliminates the heat in the stomach and wind numbness. It treats harm to the Middle Jiao. It treats difficulty in urination (linlu淋露). It relieves congested blood. It expels cold piled up in the five internal organs. It counteracts the poison caused by the wolf’s bane (wutou烏頭). It treats intoxication caused by Three Jian (sanjian三建). It relieves intoxication caused by hundreds of medicines. It cannot be taken over a long time or it will increase one’s weight [a rare allusion to problems with obesity]. Its powder that is obtained by slowly boiling [and drying, presumably] is sweet, warm, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It treats especially the heat in the stomach. It rids swelling from the body. It rids numbness. It helps digest grains, and terminates the fullness of the stomach. Pick it in the ninth month. The Yellow Emperor said, “when one takes soybean powder, he should not take pork. Fried beans cannot be given to children who are above one year old and under ten years old. If one eats pork after having soybeans, he will die from failure of breath (yongqi擁氣).”
Red bean (chixiaodou赤小豆, probably Vigna angularis): sweet, salty, balanced, cold [interesting; today it is considered heating, and in the Yinshan Zhengyao they are balanced], nonpoisonous. It terminates swelling caused by water. It expels affected blood (nongxue膿血). It is also called chidou赤豆. It cannot be taken frequently. Otherwise it will cause dryness and thirst (kuzao枯燥).
Green bean (Vigna radiata, qingxiaodou青小豆): sweet, salty, warm [today, and also in the Yinshan Zhengyao, cooling], balanced, astringent, and nonpoisonous. It mainly treats fever/cold and heat (hanre寒熱), heat in the Middle Jiao (rezhong熱中), loss of weight, and thirst (xiaoke消渴). It terminates diarrhea and helps discharge urine. It stops vomiting, retention of water in the body (pi澼), and swelling and fullness in the lower abdomen. It is also called malei麻累, or hudou胡豆. The Yellow Emperor said, “If one eats green bean together with carp, it will cause his liver…when it is the fifth year, it will turn into the illness of feeling thirsty and losing weight (ganxiaobing乾痟病).”
Pickled soybeans (dadouchi大豆豉): bitter, sweet, cold, astringent, nonpoisonous. They particularly treat striking cold and headache. They treat fever/cold and heat (hanre寒熱). They dispel poisonous qi (zhangqi瘴氣) and evil poison (edu惡毒). They treat the feeling of being anxious and stuffy (manmen滿悶). They treat tiredness caused by weakness (xulao虛勞) and gasping (chuanxi喘吸). They treat painful and cold feet. They kill the poison in the fetus of the Six Domestic Animals (liuchu taizi zhudu六畜胎子諸毒).
Barley (damai大麥): salty, mildly cold, smooth, nonpoisonous. It is good for the heart. It treats principally the illness of losing weight and feeling thirsty. It gets rid of fever. If one has taken it for a long time, it will increase his strength and allow him to walk a long distance. Its sprout is warm. It helps digest food and harmonizes the Middle Jiao. Slowly boil it till it is mashed and turns reddish and blackish. Mash it and make into powder. It treats diarrhea. Blend with pure vinegar and take three times in the day and once in the evening.
Wheat (xiaomai小麥): sweet, mildly cold, nonpoisonous. It nourishes the qi of the liver. It rids fever caused by invading qi (kere客熱). It terminates anxiety and thirst. It treats dry throat. It helps discharge urine. It stops loss of blood (louxue漏血) or blood in slaver (tuoxue唾血). It helps women become pregnant. It can easily be made into leaven, which, if made in the sixth month, is warm and nonpoisonous. It treats especially children’s epilepsy (xiao’erxian小兒癇) and helps digest food. It rids the Five Hemorrhoids (wuzhichong五痔蟲). It pacifies qi in the stomach. It helps digest grains and stops diarrhea. Its powder is warm and nonpoisonous. It cannot eliminate fever or anxiety. It cannot be frequently taken. Otherwise, it will aggravate chronic diseases, and enhance “stranger qi” (keqi客氣), which is difficult to cure.
Green millet (qingliangmi青粱米): sweet, mildly cold, and nonpoisonous. It is particularly good for treating numbness and pain in the stomach (weibi胃痹) and heat in the Middle Jiao. It also eliminates the illness of losing weight and feeling thirsty. It stops diarrhea. It helps discharge urine. It is beneficial to the qi and strength. It nourishes the Middle Jiao. It lessens weight and prolongs lifespan.
Yellowish millet (huangliangmi黃粱米): sweet, balanced, nonpoisonous. It enhances qi, harmonizes the Middle Jiao, and stops diarrhea. People call it “bamboo-root grain” (zhugenmi竹根米). It also prevents diseases that are caused by lying in the wind leading to wet and cold striking the Middle Jiao (que dangfeng wo shi hanzhongzhe卻當風臥濕寒中者).
White millet (bailiangmi白粱米): sweet, mildly cold, nonpoisonous. It rids heat/fever and enhances qi.
Millet (sumi粟米): salty, mildly cold, nonpoisonous. It nourishes kidney qi. It eliminates numbness and pain in the bones (gubi骨痹). It warms the Middle Jiao and enhances qi.
Old millet (chensumi陳粟米): bitter, cold, nonpoisonous. It particularly treats heat in the stomach. It treats the loss of weight and feeling of thirst. It helps discharge urine.
Reddish millet (danshumi丹黍米): bitter, mildly warm, nonpoisonous. It treats especially vomiting caused by coughing, and the illness from rising qi. It treats cholera. It terminates diarrhea. It rids one of heat or fever. It eliminates anxiety and thirst.
White millet (baishumi白黍米): sweet, spicy, warm, nonpoisonous. It is beneficial to the lung, nourishes the Middle Jiao, and enhances qi. It cannot be taken too much. It has too much heat and will make humans anxious. The Yellow Emperor said, “If one eats any of the Five Kinds of Millets (wuzhong shumi五種黍米) together with mallow (Malva verticillata, kui葵), he will have chronic disease (guji痼疾).” If one eats any of the Five Kinds of Millets in which smoked meat (pula脯臘) is preserved, it is said that “it will cause the shortage of breath (biqi閉氣).”
Old rice (chenlinmi陳廩米): salty, sour, mildly cold, nonpoisonous. It rids anxiety and heat. It helps the qi move down. It nourishes the stomach. It terminates diarrhea. The Yellow Emperor said, “If smoked meat has been preserved in rice for three months and the person does not know it and eats it, it is harmful to him.”
Millet or rice sprout (niemi蘖米): bitter, mildly warm, nonpoisonous. It mainly treats the coldness in the Middle Jiao. It helps the qi move down and rids off the heat.
Shu millet (sorghum? shumi秫米): sweet, mildly cold, nonpoisonous. It mainly treats the cold and fever. It is beneficial to the large intestines. It cures the rashes caused by lacquer (qichuang漆瘡). [Sorghum may not have reached China by 654. The term shu mi shifted from one of the millets to sorghum at some point in the medieval period.]
Liquor (jiu酒): bitter, sweet, spicy, very hot, poisonous. It helps with efficacy of medicines (xing yaoshi行葯勢). It kills hundreds of kinds of noxiousness (xie邪) and bad qi (eqi惡氣). The Yellow Emperor said, “If one drinks alcohol after having an acute diarrhea (baoxia暴下), the alcohol will turn into enormous heat (fure伏熱) above the midriff (geshang膈上). If one eats raw vegetables and drinks alcohol, he should not heat his abdomen (jiufu灸腹). Otherwise, his intestines will be knotted.” Bian Que said, “If one has frequently drunk alcohol, it will erode his intestines and stomach, let his marrow lose [volume] and steam his tendons [sic, but hard to understand], hurt his spirit and longevity. If one is drunk and lies in the wind, shaking a fan for himself, he will get bad wind (efeng惡風). If he is drunk and takes a cold bath, he will have a painful numbness (tengbi疼痹). If he is drunk and sweats, he should do something to dry his body. If he lets his body dry by itself, it will arouse the disease of wind numbness and pain (fengbi風痹). If it is a normal day and not the end of the year yet (changri weimo常日未沒) and he has eaten his meal, he should not drink and will not suffer from hacking [cough] for his whole life. If he is full and drinks a lot of water or alcohol, it will turns into hardness in the stomach (piji痞疾).”
Broad bean (Vicia faba, biandou扁豆; term now often used for New World beans, but they had not reached China in Tang): sweet, mildly warm, nonpoisonous. It harmonizes the Middle Jiao and helps the qi move down. Its leaves are balanced and mainly treat cholera, nonstop vomit or diarrhea.
Millet (jimi稷米): sweet, balanced, nonpoisonous. It enhances the qi and pacifies the Middle Jiao. It supplements weakness, modulates the stomach, and is good for the spleen.
Japonica rice (jingmi粳米): spicy, bitter, balanced, nonpoisonous. It especially treats distraction (xinfan心煩) and stops diarrhea. It pacifies stomach qi and helps the muscles grow. It is warm. It is also said that, “The raw is cool and the cooked is hot.”
Sweet rice (nuomi糯米): bitter, warm, nonpoisonous. It warms up the Middle Jiao and makes people want to eat. It has much heat. It causes the stool hard [its easily digested starch leads to small hard stools].
Vinegar (cu酢): sour, warm, astringent, nonpoisonous. It resolves tumor and dispels watery qi (shuiqi水氣). It kills noxious poison (xiedu邪毒) and treats fainting cause by the loss of blood (xueyun血運). Bian Que said, “If one has too much vinegar, it hurts his bones.” It can harmonizes various medicines (li zhuyao理諸藥) and sterilizes (xiaodu消毒).
Buckwheat (qiaomai喬麥): sour, mildly cold, nonpoisonous. It is difficult to digest and arouses great hot wind (dong darefeng動大熱風). If one eats the raw leaves, it will arouse the prickly feng (cifeng刺風) and makes him feel itchy [allergy, or reaction to strong tannins]. The Yellow Emperor said, “When it is made into noodles (zuomian作面), cooked with pork or mutton, and one has had it for eight or nine meals, it will arouse the hot wind (refeng熱風) and cause the loss of brows and beards. They will grow again. But they will be sparse. In the north of the Jing涇 River and Bin邠, people often have this disease.”
Salt (yan鹽): salty, warm, nonpoisonous. It kills ghosts (gui鬼), gu蠱, and xie邪. It eliminates poisonous qi (zhu duqi注毒氣). It treats the ulcer in the private part (xiabu ?chuang下部[匿蟲]瘡). It treats striking cold and the illness of cold and fever. It can help the patient spit out phlegm and terminates sudden pain in the heart and abdomen (xinfu cutong心腹卒痛). It strengthens muscles and bones. It cannot be taken too much. It hurts the lung and causes coughing. It makes the skin color dark. It wears away tendons and strength. Bian Que said, “Salt can eliminate all kinds of great wind and pains (dafeng jitong大風疾痛) when frying and using it as a hot pack.” The Yellow Emperor said, “If one has sweet conjee and then salt, he will throw up or have cholera.”
Chapter Five: Birds and Beasts, forty items (worms and fish attached)
Human milk (renruzhi人乳汁): sweet, balanced, nonpoisonous. It nourishes the five internal organs and makes human beings robust, white, and shiny.
Horse milk (maruzhi馬乳汁): spicy, warm, nonpoisonous. It relieves thirst.
Cow milk (niuruzhi牛乳汁): sweet, mildly cold, nonpoisonous. It nourishes the weak and relieves thirst. When it is added with ginger and the white parts of green onions (congbai蔥白), it prevents babies from throwing up milk (tunai吐奶). It is helpful to the illness of tiredness (bulao补劳).
Sheep or goat milk (yangruzhi羊乳汁): sweet, mildly warm, nonpoisonous. It is helpful in treating the illness of feeling cold, being weak, or lacking blood. It helps warm the Middle Burner (rezhong熱中).
Donkey milk (lüru驢乳): sour and cold. It is also said to be greatly cold. It is nonpoisonous. It particularly treats great heat, and jaundice, and stops thirst.
Pig milk (muzhuru母豬乳): balanced, nonpoisonous. It treats especially children’s fits from fright (panic attacks and the like; xiao’er jingxian小兒驚癇). After drinking it, it is miraculously effective.
Horse, cow, or sheep or goat cheese (ma niu yang lao馬牛羊酪): sweet, sour, mildly cold, nonpoisonous. Beneficial to the lung and helps the discharge of the large intestine. The Yellow Emperor said, “After one eats sweet cheese and then drinks strong vinegar (dacu大酢), it will turn into the congestion of blood (xuejia血瘕) or blood in urine (niaoxue尿血).” Hua Tuo said, “When a scutiger (youyan蚰蜒; millipede, creepy-crawly) creeps into the ear, pour pastes made from horse, cow, or goat milk into the ear and the scutiger will come out.”
Butter made from the milk of “sand cow” [water buffalo, almost certainly] and white sheep (shaniu ji baiyang su沙牛及白羊酥): sweet, mildly cold, nonpoisonous. It mainly eliminates the guest qi (keqi客氣) in the chest. It is helpful to the discharge of the large and small intestines. It cures ulcer in the mouth.
Butter made from yak milk (maoniusu牦牛酥): sweet, mildly cold, nonpoisonous. It eliminates every kind of illness that involves numbness and pain and caused by wind and wet environment (fengshibi風濕痹). It dispels heat. It helps with bowel movements. It helps digest food that has not been digested overnight.
Clarified butter (ghee, tihu醍醐): sweet, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It nourishes the weak and eliminates every kind of illness that involves wind numbness and pain. When it has been purified for one hundred times, it is the best. It is very effective in curing lunar eclipse ulcer (yueshichuang月蝕瘡). It increases the marrow and nourishes the Middle Burner. It fills the bone. When one has frequently taken it, his lifespan will be elongated.
Bear meat (xiongrou熊肉): sweet, mildly cold, mildly warm, nonpoisonous. It treats especially the illness or numbness (buren不仁) caused by wind. It cures tightness in sinews (jinji筋急) and the Five Slownesses (wuhuan五緩). If one eats bear meat while there is something piled up in the stomach (fuzhong yousuo jiju腹中有所積聚), or he has the illness of cold and fever, or he is weak and [excessively] thin, his disease will never eliminated. Bear fat is sweet and mildly cold. Its functions are similar to the bear meat. Meanwhile, it cures ulcers on the head (touyang頭瘍), white baldness (baitu白禿), (mian??面[黑干][黑曾]), and vomiting (shiyin outu食飲嘔吐). If one has eaten it frequently, it will fix his memory and let him resist hunger. His weight will be lessened and he will have longevity. The Yellow Emperor said, “All kind of meat that have not been fully cooked or have not been preserved when it is raw, having them will turn into congestion (jia瘕). The fat of bear and pig cannot be used for lighting. If the smoke produced from burning them touches a person’s eyes, he will be blind and cannot see things a long distance away.”
The horn of black sheep or goat (guyangjiao羖羊角): sour, bitter, warm, mildly cold, nonpoisonous. It mainly treats glaucoma (qingmang青盲) and improves eyesight. It kills mites that causes itch (jiechong疥蟲). It terminates cold and diarrhea (hanxie寒泄). It treats the disease of feeling frightened (xinwei jingji心畏驚悸). It eliminates the qi that stays stagnant in every joint of the body (chu baijie zhong jieqi除百節中結氣). It treats windstrike (fengshang風傷) and gu poison (gudu蠱毒). It treats vomiting of blood. It treats postpartum pain (furen chanhou yutong婦人產後餘痛). When it is burned, it can kill ghosts (guimei鬼魅) and prevent [attacks of] tiger and wolf. If one has taken it for a long time, it will pacify his heart, enhance the qi, and lessen his weight. Do not let its core be dampened, or it will be poisonous (wuling zhong shi youdu勿令中濕有毒). Its marrow (sui髓) is sweet, warm, and nonpoisonous. It especially treats harm to the Middle Burner, for both men and women (nanzi nürenshangzhong男子女人傷中). It cures incompleteness of yin and yang qi (yinyang qi buzu陰陽氣不足). It dispels wind heat (fengre風熱). It expels poison. It is beneficial for the blood mai (xuemai血脈) and enhances the qi of jing (jingqi經氣). It can be taken together with alcohol. It will not hurt health if taken for a long time.
The bile of a gray sheep or goat (qingyang danzhi青羊膽汁): cold and nonpoisonous. It principally treats every kind of ulcer. It can enhance one’s mai (sheng renshen mai生人身脈). It cures glaucoma (qingmang青盲) and improves eyesight. The lung of the gray sheep is balanced. It nourishes the lungs and cures coughing. It stops thirst. It also treats the illness of frequent urination. It treats harm to the Middle Burner. It stops the disease of being weak and compensates for what is incomplete (bu buzu補不足). It rids wind evil (zhi fengxie止風邪). The liver of of the gray sheep can nourish the liver and improve eyesight. The heart especially treats the feeling of sorrow and hatred (youhui憂恚). It treats the disease in which the qi in the midriff moves in a contrary direction [to normal] (gezhong niqi 膈中逆氣). The kidney of indigo [bluish?] ram nourishes the weakness of the qi in the kidney. It benefits the essential qi and the marrow (jingsui精髓). The skull (tougu頭骨) of an indigo ram especially treats children’s fits caused by fright (panic attacks and the like; xiao’er jingxian小兒驚癇). Boil the skull and let the child have a bath in the soup. The hoof meat (tirou蹄肉) is balanced. It mainly treats men’s disease as Five Kinds of Tiredness and Seven Kinds of Hurt (wulao qishang五勞七傷). The meat of the gray sheep is bitter, sweet, greatly hot, and nonpoisonous. It especially warms the Middle Burner and relieves pain. It treats diseases of childbirth (ziru yuji字乳餘疾). It also treats the disease of head and brain struck by great wind (tounao zhong dafeng頭腦中大風). It treats the illness of sweating without reason (han zichu汗自出). It treats weakness caused by fatigue and the cold. It can nourish the Middle Burner and enhance the qi and strength. It pacifies the heart and stops the feeling of fright. It is good for women in labor. But it is not good for patients during epidemic (shihuanren時患人). The meat on the head of the gray sheep is balanced. It especially treats the blackouts or fits caused by wind, and the disease of being thin (fengxuan shouji風眩瘦疾). It treats children’s fits caused by fright (xiao’er jingxian小兒驚癇). It also treats the diseases known as the Five Kinds of Tiredness and Seven Kinds of Hurt (wulao qishang五勞七傷). The bones [of the gray sheep] are hot. They treat weakness, cold Middle Burner, and being frail and thin (leishou羸瘦). If one frequently feels heat, he cannot have it. The raw fat (shengzhi生脂) of the gray sheep stops diarrhea and rectocele (tuogang脫肛). It rids wind poison (fengdu風毒). It treats the disease of women that have abdominal colic after child birth (furen chanhou fuzhong jiaotong婦人產後腹中絞痛). The stomach (du肚) of the gray sheep especially treats the stomach ailment characterized by an urge to vomit (weifan胃反). It treats weakness and frailness. It treats frequent urination (xiaobian shu小便數). It stops sweating caused by weakness (xuhan虛汗). The Yellow Emperor said, “If one has mutton with vinegar, it will hurt his heart. Mutton cannot be taken together with raw fish or yogurt. Otherwise it is harmful to the body. Wherever there is something pearl-white in the hoof nails of a sheep, it is called the sheep hanging-jin (fan yiqie yangtijia zhong you zhuzibai zhe ming yangxuanjin凡一切羊蹄甲中有珠子白者名羊懸筋). If one takes it, it will make him mad (dian癲).” If a white sheep has a black head and one eats its brain, he will have intestinal ulcers (changyong腸癰). If one often has sheep stomach with food and drink, it will turn into the stomach disease characterized by an urge to vomit, or the disease of choking (yebing噎病). If one has sweet conjee with sheep stomach, it will amke him have too much slaver and make him feel compelled to spit limpid slaver (xitu qingshui喜吐清水). As for sheep brain (yangnao羊腦) and pig brain (zhunao豬腦), if a person eats either of them, it will hurt the essential qi (jingqi精氣) and cause him to have fewer children (shaozi少子). If one really wants to eat it, he can grind it into powder and eat it together with vinegar, while the effect is not as good as not eating it.
If one eats the liver of the gray sheep with small beans (xiaodou小豆), it will cause the loss of eyesight (mu shaoming目少明). Whenever one eats raw sheep liver and Chinese pepper (jiao椒), it will break the five internal organs (po ren wuzang破人五臟), and hurt the heart, and it is extremely harmful to children. Especially, willow wood in the water (shuizhong liumu水中柳木) and aspen wood (baiyangmu白楊木) should be avoided (ji忌) [by the sheep, or the eater?]. The meat of black sheep or goats (guyang羖羊) should not be boiled in a copper vessel. If one eats it, the yang will be hurt, in a man (zhangfu sunyang丈夫損陽), or the yin will be extinguished, in a woman (nüzi jueyin女子絕陰). After one has a serious diarrhea (baoxia暴下), he should not eat mutton, marrow (yangrou sui羊肉髓), or the liquid in the bone (guzhi骨汁). [If he eats it,] it will turn into the feeling of anxiety and heat that is difficult to relieve (fanre nanjie煩熱難解) and it will be hard to return to the normal state of mobility (huandongli還動利).
Whenever the five internal organs of any of the six kinds of animals touch grass and it shakes (zhuocao zi yaodong著草自搖動), or when the meat does not change color when vinegar or salt is added, or does not sweat when it falls upon the floor (duodi buhan墮地不汗), or a dog would not eat it when it is given to the dog, in any of these circumstances, it is poisonous and it will kill people. In the sixth month, one should not eat ram meat, or it will harm the spirit and the qi.
[Many of these strange beliefs about sheep, especially anomalous ones, continue into the Yinshan Zhengyao (1330) and the Bencao Gangmu, and some even lasted into modern times. Some are clearly empirical and rational—one would certainly not want to eat mutton that a dog wouldn’t touch—but others are magical, and of very obscure origin. All these prohibitions need serious study.]
Buffalo marrow (shaniusui沙牛髓): sweet, warm, nonpoisonous. It pacifies the five internal organs and stomach qi. It helps open the Twelve Jingmai (tong shierjingmai通十二經脈) and takes care of the Three Burners (sanjiao三焦). It warms the marrow. It nourishes the Middle Burner. It heals cut-wound (or: cuts and wounds; jueshang絕傷). It enhances qi and strength. It stops diarrhea. It gets rid of the illness of losing weight and feeling thirsty. For all these illnesses, add pure alcohol [or: clarified liquor] to the buffalo marrow and warm it up before drinking. Buffalo liver helps brighten eyes (mingmu明目). Buffalo gallbladder can be used to shape hundreds of medical boluses (wan baiyao丸百藥). It is bitter, greatly cold, and nonpoisonous. It rids heat and thirst from the heart and abdomen. It stops diarrhea. It relieves dryness and heat in the mouth (qu kou jiaozao去口焦躁). It is good for eyes. Buffalo heart mainly treats weakness and amnesia (xuwang虛忘). Buffalo kidney expels the illness of numbness and pain solicited by wet environment (shibi濕痹). It compensates the qi in the kidney. It enhances the essence (yijing益精). Buffalo teeth especially treat children’s fits characterized by the patient making lowing sounds as a buffalo does (niuxian牛癇). Buffalo meat is sweet, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It particularly treats the illness of losing weight and feeling thirsty. It stops saliva from spilling out from the mouth. It pacifies the Middle Burner and enhances the qi and strength. It is good for the qi in the spleen and stomach. It cannot be eaten frequently, or it will arouse an inveterate disease (subing宿病). If the buffalo dies by itself (zisi自死), it cannot be eaten. Buffalo throat especially treats children’s swallowing (xiao’er xia小兒呷).
Urine of yellow castrated buffalo, buffalo, and black female buffalo (huangjian shaniu heiguniuniao黃犍、沙牛、黑牯牛尿) is bitter, spicy, mildly warm, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It mainly treats dropsy that both abdomen and legs are swelling to the greatest extent (shuizhong fu jiao juman水腫腹腳俱滿). It helps the discharge of urine. The Yellow Emperor said, “If a black ox dies by itself and its head is pointing to the north, its meat is harmful to human beings. If any kind of ox suddenly dies in an extremely hot weather, it cannot be eaten. If one eats it, he will have ulcers in the intestines (changyong腸癰).” If an ox has disease in its nails and hoofs (huan jiati niu患甲蹄牛) and one eats the expanding tendon (jujin拒筋) in the hoof, it will cause horny thickening of the skin on or near a toe (rouci肉刺). If one eats beef from an ox with only one [lobe to its] liver, he will be killed by it. if an ox eats snake, it will have only one liver. If one eats the meat of an ox or horse that has scabies (jie疥), it will cause itches on the human body. If one has beef and pork together, it will turn into cestode (cunbaichong寸白蟲; the danger is from rare meat, and raw and fish were eaten in Tang). If one dares to eat millet (shumi黍米), and distilled liquor/samshu (baijiu白酒; very likely indeed distilled liquor, in which case it is one of the earliest references in the world, but possibly meaning only whitish-colored undistilled liquor), together with raw beef, it will also cause cestode and it should absolutely avoided (daji大忌). If one has diarrhea and he eats beef from an ox that dies by itself, his illness will become more serious. If one drinks any kind of cow milk or horse milk or eats cheese together with raw fish, it will turn into “fish hardness” in the abdomen (yujia魚瘕). One should not eat the spleen of the six kinds of animals in his whole life. In the twelfth month, one should not eat beef. Or it will hurt his spirit and qi (shenqi神氣).
Horse heart (maxin馬心): it treats principally the illness of amnesia (xiwang喜忘). Its [horse’s] lung treats principally the illness of feeling cold and having a fever (hanre寒熱). It treats the illness in which the penis cannot achieve or sustain an erection (jingwei莖痿). Its meat is spicy, bitter, balanced (ping平), cold, and nonpoisonous. It treats principally damage in the Middle Burner (shangzhong傷中). It rids heat. It helps the qi move downward (xiaqi下氣). It helps tendons grow (changjin長筋). It strengthens the waist and spine (qiang yaoji強腰脊). It makes people strong and healthy (zhuangjian壯健). It enhances one’s memory (qiangzhi強志). It is beneficial for the mind (liyi利意; Engelhardt 2001:182 translates this “thought and imagination”). It lessens one’s weight and helps him resist hunger (qingshen buji輕身不饑). The Yellow Emperor said, “When a white horse dies by itself, eating its meat will harm the person. When the horse is white and its head is black, eating its brain will cause the person being mad. When the saddlearea on a white horse is black and the color is immersed into the flesh (baima anxia wuse che rouli白馬鞍下烏色徹肉裏), eating it will harm the person’s five internal organs. If one has diarrhea, eating horse meat will make it even worse. If a white horse has dark bluish (qing; Engelhardt translates “green”) hoofs, its meat cannot be eaten. Every kind of sweat, steam, or hair from a horse cannot be mixed into food (ma hanqi ji mao馬汗氣及毛). It is harmful to people. When one feels anxiety and dullness in the heart (xin fanmen心煩悶) after eating horse meat, drinking fine liquor (meijiu美酒) will solve the problem, while drinking distilled liquor (baijiu白酒) will make it worse. In the fifth month, do not eat horse meat. Or it will hurt one’s spirit and qi.” The penis of wild horse (yema yinjing野馬陰莖) is sour, salty, warm, and nonpoisonous. It principally treats illness in which the penis is unable to erect and shrinks (nanzi yinweisuo男子陰痿縮). It also treats the lack of essence/semen (shaojing少精). Its meat is spicy, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It principally treats fits and “horse seizure” (renmxjian人馬癇). It also treats the illness that the tendon and mai cannot freely contract (jinmai buneng zishou筋脈不能自收). It cures the illness of numbness (zhoubi周痹) and the illness that the muscles are insensible (ji buren肌不仁). If the patient is unconscious, he should not take it.
[As with sheep, anomalous-looking horses had magically disturbing properties throughout Chinese history; see e.g. Bencao Gangmu. Engelhardt’s translation differs in drawing on Engelhardt’s theories of medieval Chinese medicine; the above is a more literal one. Sun’s account is liberally drawn on in the Yinshan Zhengyao account of horse meat; Buell, Anderson and Perry 2000:534.]
Donkey meat (lürou驢肉): sour, balanced, nonpoisonous. It principally treats wind madness (fengkuang風狂), sorrow and unhappiness (chouyou bule愁憂不樂). It can pacify the qi in the heart. The patient that is unconscious (bingsi病死) should not use it. Burn the head of a donkey and thus get rid of the hair. Boil it and take the soup. Use the soup to soak yeast and make an alcoholic drink. It can perfectly cure the patient that has been struck by great wind and has been shaking endlessly (dafeng dongyao buxiu大風動搖不休). The glue that is made from its skin (pijiao皮膠) can be used to cure the illness of great wind, too.
Dog penis (gou yinjing狗陰莖): sour, balanced, nonpoisonous. It treats principally damage in the Middle Burner (shangzhong傷中). It also treats the illness in which a man cannot achieve an erection (zhangfu yinwei buqi丈夫陰痿不起).
Dog brain (gounao狗腦): it principally treats pain and numbness in the head caused by wind (toufengbi頭風痹). It treats ulcers (xiabu ?chuang下部?[匿虫]瘡). It treats the polypus in an ulcer (chuangzhong xirou瘡中息肉). Dog meat is sour, salty, warm, and nonpoisonous. It is beneficial for the kidney and pacifies the five internal organs. It compensates for serious wound and damage caused by laboriousness (jueshang laosun絕傷勞損). It is good for person that has had a chronic disease and has been very weak (jiubing daxu久病大虛). If one takes it, it will lessen his weight and enhance his qi and strength. The Yellow Emperor said, “If one eats white dog (baiquan白犬) and scorpion fish (haiyou海鮋), he will have a serious disease. If a white dog dies by itself and its tongue does not stick out (baiquan zisi bu chushe zhe白犬自死不出舌者), eating it will harm the person. In spring, the dog is most likely to be mad. If its nose is red and it gets up acting enraged (bi chi qi er zao zhe鼻赤起而燥者), it is going to be mad. Its meat cannot be eaten. In the ninth month, one should not eat dog meat. Otherwise, it will hurt one’s spirit and qi.”
Pig testicle (tunluan肫卵) is sweet, warm, and nonpoisonous. It eliminates the pain in the penis. It treats fits caused by fright (jingxian驚癇). It treats the illness of being afflicted by ghost qi (guiqi鬼氣). It treats the poison made from gu (gudu蠱毒). It expels the illness of feeling cold and having a fever. It treats the illness of feeling the heart beating like a running piglet (bentun賁豚, presumably a very fast heartbeat with a running rhythm, possibly an arrythmia). It treats the Five Blockages (wulong五癃). It treats the illness of contracture caused by noxious qi (xieqi luansuo邪氣攣縮). It has another name, tundian肫顛. It should be dried in the shade (yingan陰乾) . Do not let it be rotten.
Pork (tunrou肫肉) is spicy, balanced, and mildly poisonous. It cannot be frequently eaten. Otherwise, it will cause nipping pains in the tendon and flesh all over the body (bianti jinrou suitong遍體筋肉碎痛) and it also causes the lack of qi (faqi乏氣). The nails on the hind legs of a big pig (dazhu houjiao xuantijia大豬後腳懸蹄甲) are nonpoisonous. These treat principally the Five Hemorrhoids (wuzhi五痔). They treat heat residing in the abdomen (fure zai fuzhong伏熱在腹中). They treat intestinal ulcers and damage done to the inside (changyong neishi腸癰內蝕). Soak in alcohol for a half day and burn till parched. Then they can be used. The four hoofs of a big pig (dazhu siti大豬四蹄) are mildly cold and nonpoisonous. These treat especially wounds caused by hitting (shangta傷撻) and every kind of serious ulcer (baichuang敗瘡). Sow hoofs (mazhu ti母豬蹄) are cold and nonpoisonous. Boil and take the soup. It will help generate milk [an effective remedy, still used today; the feet are high in calcium and protein]. They are also quite effective in eliminating poison from mineral medicines (jie shiyao du解石藥毒; quite poisonous minerals were standard medicines in Tang). Meat on the head of a big pig (dazhu tourou大豬頭肉) is balanced and nonpoisonous. It compensates for weakness, and supplements the strength and qi. It expels fits caused by fright and ghost poison (guidu鬼毒). It cures the illness of feeling cold and having a fever. It treats the Five Blockages. Its [pig’s] brain treats principally wind dizziness (fengxuan風眩). Its heart is balanced and nonpoisonous. It especially treats the illnesses of fright and noxious [qi] (jingxie驚邪). It treats the illness of feeling sorrowful and hateful (youhui憂恚). It treats the illness of palpitation that is caused by being weak (xuji虛悸). It treats the illness characterized by qi moving upward instead of downward (qini氣逆). It treats post-partum wind at the center (furen chanhou zhongfeng婦人產後中風; stroke?) and the illness characterized by amassing blood and qi as well as fright (ju xueqi jingkong聚血氣驚恐). Its kidney (shen腎) is balanced and nonpoisonous. It eliminates the diarrhea caused by cold (lengli冷利). It regulates the qi in the kidney. It keeps the bladder dischargeable. Its liver is bitter, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It mainly makes eyes bright. Pig snout (zhuihui猪喙) is mildly cold and nonpoisonous. It especially treats the ache and itch caused by chilblains (dongchuang tongyang凍瘡痛癢). Its stomach (du肚) is mildly cold and nonpoisonous. It compensates the Middle Burner and enhances the qi. It terminates the feeling of thirst. It terminates the weakness caused by serious diarrhea (baoli xuruo暴利虛弱). Its intestines (chang腸) are mildly cold and nonpoisonous. They treat especially the illness of losing weight and feeling thirsty, and the illness of frequent urination (xiaobianshu小便數). They compensate for weakness and exhaustion in the Lower Burner (xiajiao xujie下焦虛竭). The fat within the meat (between muscles; roujian zhifang肉間脂肪) is balanced and nonpoisonous. It is used primarily to make every kind of plasters (jian zhu gaoyao煎諸膏藥). It breaks up the amassing cold (po lengjie破冷結). It dispels the amassed blood (san suxue散宿血). It removes the poison of cantharis (banmao斑貓) and that of Daphne genkwa (yuanqing元青). Pig anus (zhu dongchang豬洞腸) is balanced and nonpoisonous. It especially cures the illness characterized by the anus protruding, congested with blood (dongchang tingchu xueduo洞腸挺出血多). Male pig meat (jiazhurou猳豬肉) is bitter, sour, cool, and nonpoisonous. It cures especially madness that cannot be cured for days (kuangbing duori buyu狂病多日不愈). Every kind of pork (zhurou豬肉; probably means some particular kind of pork) is bitter and mildly cold. It is good for the kidneys. It is mildly poisonous. It compensates for weak and exhausted qi in the kidney. It cannot be eaten frequently. Otherwise, it will cause the shortage of semen (shao zijing少子精) or arouse chronic diseases (fa subing發宿病). It weakens the tendons and bones. It makes the blood mai closed. It makes people weak. If one has a cut-wound in the skin, eating [pork] will make it worse. Pig blood (zhuxue豬血) is balanced, astringent, and nonpoisonous. It is most valuable for stopping continual bleeding (zuxiaxue buzhi卒下血不止). Add fine pure liquor to it, fry, and take it (mei qingjiu hechao fuzhi美清酒和炒服之). It also cures stroke and serious wounds (jueshang絕傷). It cures wind dizziness (touzhong fengxuan頭中風眩) and every kind of urinary illness (linlu淋露). It cures the illness of feeling the heart beating like a running piglet (bentun賁豚) and the irascible qi (baoqi暴氣). The Yellow Emperor said, “Whenever one eats pig liver or lung together with fish (yuhuai魚鱠), it will turn into ulcers (yongju癰疽). If one has pig liver together with carp intestines (liyuchang鯉魚腸) or roes (yuzi魚子), it will hurt his spirit.” Pig brain (tunnao肫腦) hurts the way of yang in a man’s body (sun nanzi yangdao損男子陽道) and thus he will not be capable of having sex (linfang buneng xingshi臨房不能行事). In the eighth month, do not eat pig lung and maltose (yi[米台]). If one eats them together, in winter he will have ulcers (faju發疽). In the tenth month, do not eat pork, or it will hurt one’s spirit and qi.
The meat on a deer’s head (lutourou鹿頭肉): balanced. It treats especially the illness of losing weight and feeling thirsty. It also treats the illness characterized by the patient dreaming much, seeing unreal things (duomeng wangjian多夢妄見). It produces more blood (shengxue生血). It cures the ulcer and tumor (yongzhong癰腫). Its [deer’s] penis (jingjin莖筋) especially treats the damages caused by excessive labor (laosun勞損). Hoof meat (tirou蹄肉) is balanced. It treats especially the pain in feet bones and knees, which causes the patient incapable to step his feet on the ground (jiaoxi guzhong tengtong buneng jiandi腳膝骨中疼痛，不能踐地). The bones (gu骨) treat especially the weakness inside of the body (neixu內虛). They cure wounds involving severing (jueshang絕傷). They nourishes the bones (bugu補骨). They can be soaked in liquor [for medical purposes]. The marrow (sui髓) is sweet and warm. It mainly treats men and women that have damages in the Middle Burner (shangzhong傷中). It treats the illness in which the patient has the mai severed (maijue脈絕). It treats disease in which the patient has acute pain in the tendons (jin jitong筋急痛). It treats the illness characterized by the patient coughing and the qi moving in a contrary direction (kaini欬逆). It should be taken together with alcohol. The kidney (shen腎) is balanced. It especially compensates the qi in the kidney. The meat (rou肉) is bitter, warm, and nonpoisonous. It compensates [supplements, nourishes] the Middle Burner and strengthens the five internal organs. It enhances one’s qi and strength. The raw meat (roushengzhe肉生者) treats especially the illness in which the patient has a centering wind [stroke?] and thus his mouth is a wry mouth (zhongfeng koupi buzheng中風口僻不正). Chop it bit by bit and apply it on the wry area (xixi cuozhi yi bo pi shang細細剉之，以薄僻上). Hua Tuo華佗 said, “Pound it together with raw Chinese pepper till it becomes thin (he shengjiao dao bao zhi和生椒擣薄之). Ask the patient to stare at it (shiren zhuan kan zhi使人專看之). when [his mouth] is restored to the right position, remove it quickly (zheng ze ji quzhi正則急去之). If it was not removed quickly, the area that was not wry in the first place will have turned wry (buer fu qianxiang bupichu不爾複牽向不僻處).”
For the [deer] antlers (jiao角), grind them to get powder, one sheng升. Take five sheng of the white-honey alcohol (baimi白蜜, presumably liquor with white honey dissolved in it). Soak (sou溲) it. Boil it with small heat and let it get smaller and change color. Dry it in the sun. Grind it again and sift it. take the amount of a one-cun-by-one-cun square spoon (fangcunbi方寸匕). On the third day, it will lessen one’s weight and enhance his qi and strength. It will also strengthen his bones and marrows and compensate severing wounds. The Yellow Emperor said, “If the deer gallbladder is white, eating the meat will harm human being. The meat of a white deer cannot be mixed up with watery aspen (? pubai蒲白) to make a soup. Otherwise, it will cause virulent ulcer (echuang惡瘡). In the fifth month, do not eat deer meat. It will damage one’s spirit and qi.” Hermit Hu said, “The character of the deer is flighty and spirited (jinglie驚烈). Usually it can tell fine herbs (duobie liangcao多別良草) [from harmful herbs]. It often eats nine kinds of things (jiuwu九物) and never taste others. If deer live in groups, they must live beside a hill. When it is going to procreate, it moves to the lower swamp area. People use deer meat to treat the spirit [or: deity] because it is spirited and pure (xinglie qingjing性烈清淨).” Whoever is taking medicine should not eat deer meat because the medicine he is taking will not be effective. The reason [that the medicine is ineffective] is that the deer often eats herbs that can detoxicate [the body of the deer]. Therefore, those herbs will restrain the toxin (zhidu制毒), dispelling all sorts of medicines (san zhuyao散諸藥). The Nine Herbs (jiucao九草) are kudzu leaf and flower (geyehua葛葉花), deer scallion (lucong鹿蔥), deer medicine (luyao鹿藥), white wormwood (baihao白蒿), cress (shuiqin水芹), liquorice (gancao甘草), even-heighted wormwood (qitouhao齊頭蒿, presumably wormwood with short flower stalks all of one height), mountain cocklebur (shancang’er山蒼耳), and jini(薺苨, unclear).
Roedeer bones (zhanggu獐骨) are mildly warm and nonpoisonous. They treat principally weakness and damage (xusun虛損) and the illness of involuntary discharge of semen without orgasm (xiejing泄精). The meat is sweet, warm, and nonpoisonous. It compensates and benefits the five internal organs. The marrow enhances the qi and strength and makes the face glow and pleasant (yueze renmian悅澤人面). The roe does not have a gallbladder. Therefore, it is craven and can be easily frightened. The Yellow Emperor said, “In the fifth month, do not eat roe meat. It will hurt one’s spirit and qi.”
Elk fat (Alces alces, Eurasian elk, virtually identical to American moose, mizhi麋脂) is spicy, warm, and nonpoisonous. It particularly treats ulcer and tumor (yongzhong癰腫), virulent ulcer (echuang惡瘡), necrotic muscles ( siji死肌), and the illness of feeling cold and having a fever (hanre寒熱). It treats the illness caused by the wind and cold (fenghan風寒), the numbness and pain caused by damp (shibi濕痹), the illness in which the four limbs are slow to contract or cannot be drawn back (sizhi juhuan bushou四肢拘緩不收). It cures head wind (toufeng頭風) and the swelling qi (zhongqi腫氣). It makes the skin [pores] open (tong couli通腠理). It softens the skin. It cannot be put close to a man’s penis; it will cause him incapable to erect. It is also called gongzhi宮脂. Take it in the tenth month. The Yellow Emperor said, “If one eats raw elk meat with shrimp juice (xiazhi蝦汁), it will cause a heartache. If one eats raw elk meat with pheasant meat (zhirou雉肉), it will cause a chronic disease (guji固疾).”
Tiger meat (hurou虎肉) is sour and nonpoisonous. It specially treats bad heart sickness (exin噁心) and the illness of feeling the urge to vomit (yu’ou欲嘔). It enhances qi and strength. It stops the illness of too much slavering. It cannot be eaten when it is hot; it will deteriorate the teeth. Tiger head bones (hutougu虎頭骨) cure wind evil (fengxie風邪). Tiger eyes (huyanjing虎眼睛) mainly treat fits caused by fright (jingxian驚癇).
Leopard meat (baorou豹肉) is sour, warm, and nonpoisonous. It is beneficial to the kidney. It pacifies the Five Internal Organs. It compensates the severed wounds. It lessens one’s weight and enhances the qi. It is good for health if it is eaten frequently.
Leopard-cat meat (lirou狸肉; the ordinary wild cat) is warm and nonpoisonous. It compensates [for frailty in] the Middle Burner. It lessens the weight and enhances the qi. It also cures all kinds of zhu illnesses (zhu注). The Yellow Emperor said, “In the first month, do not eat tiger, leopard, or leopard-cat meat.Or it will hurt one’s spirit and shorten one’s lifespan.”
Hare liver (tugan兔肝) treats especially the illness of blurring eyes (muyan目闇). The meat is spicy, balanced, adtringent, and nonpoisonous. It compensates [for frailty in] the Middle Burner and enhances qi. It resists thirst. The hare does not have spleen and thus it can run. It belongs to the second month and the position of wood (shu eryue jianmao muwei屬二月建卯木位). The wood is against the earth. Therefore, [the hare] have no spleen. The horse has no spleen and thus it also can run. The Yellow Emperor said, “If one eats hare meat together with the otter liver (tagan獺肝), in three days it will turn into the disease in which one should avoid seeing a corpse (dunshi遁屍). If one eats it together with the liver or heart of a white chicken, it will cause the loss of color in the face (renmian shise人面失色). In one year, it will turn into jaundice (danhuang癉黃). If one eats it together with ginger, it will cause cholera. If one eats it together with the meat of a white chicken, it will make the blood and the qi of the person incapable to move. In the second month, do not eat hare meat because it hurts one’s spirit and qi.”
The weasel (shengshu生鼠) is mildly warm and nonpoisonous. It mainly treats sprains in the feet, and fractures (woshe踒折). It joins severed tendons and compensates [for deficiency in] the bones (xujin bugu續筋補骨). Pound it till it becomes thin. Change it every three days.
Otter liver (tagan獺肝) is sweet and mildly poisonous. It specially treats ghost disease that is contagious and chronic (guizhu鬼疰) and gu poison (gudu蠱毒). It removes fishbones stuck in the throat (yugeng魚鯁). It stops chronic coughing. For all these illnesses, burn it into ashes, mix it with liquor, and drink it. The otter meat (tarou獺肉) is sweet, warm, and nonpoisonous. It particularly treats epidemic disease (shibing時病) and the qi causing general sickness (yiqi疫气). It treats the cow and horse epidemics (niu ma shixingbing牛馬時行病). For these illnesses, boil it and drink the soup after it is cooled down. For the six demostic animals, force them to drink it.
The fox penis (hu yinjing狐陰莖) is sweet, balanced, and mildly poisonous. It mainly solves the problem of female infertility (nüzijuechan女子絕產). It treats the itch in the private parts. It treats the children’s illness characterized by the testicles hanging downward and swelling (yintui luanzhong 陰[疒頹]卵腫). The meat, the five internal organs, the intestines, and the stomach are bitter, mildly cold, and poisonous. It principally treats gu poison and the illness of feeling cold and having a fever. It treats the illness characterized by the five internal organs being hard and cold (wuzang gulen五臟固冷). It treats children’s fits from fright. It treats the illness in which an adult becomes mad and sees ghosts (daren kuangbing jiangui大人狂病見鬼).
The Yellow Emperor said, “if one eats the meat of musk deer (sherou麝肉) together with the swan meat (hurou鵠肉), it will cause the illness characterized by hardness in the stomach (zhengjia症瘕).” [This passage seems out of order; probably a section has been lost.]
Wild boar (yezhu野豬) with blackish hoof is not edible. Animals with red feet are not edible, either. Wild animals that die by themselves and whose heads are pointing to the north, lying on the ground are not edible. Animals with biforked tails are inedible. When a domestic animal dies, if one eats it together with meat juice (huizhi膾汁), it will cause ulcers (juchuang疽瘡). In the eleventh month, do not eat smelly meat that has been held from the summer. It will cause the illnesses of dropsy (shuibing水病), dizziness (touxuan頭眩), and male impotency. On the day of jiazi甲子, do not eat any animal meat and it will be extremely lucky (daji大吉). When a bird flies to someone and does not want to leave, there must be something in its mouth. If there is nothing in it, pluck a feather and let it go. It will be extremely lucky. Any birds or animals that die by themselves and do not have any wound are inedible. On the third day of the third month, do not eat the five internal organs of any bird or animal, any fruit, vegitable, or the five spices. It will be extremely lucky. [This bizarre list of magical beliefs seems interpolated; it does not read like Sun’s work, nor does it fit with the rest of the section.]
Red cock’s meat (danxiongjirou丹雄雞肉) is sweet, mildly warm, and nonpoisonous. It principally treats women’s illness characterized by blood debacles and lingering period (bengzhong louxia崩中漏下). It also treats reddish leucorrhea (chibaiwo赤白沃). It compensates the weakness and warms the the Middle Burner. It can cure the wound or ulcer (fachuang乏瘡) that cannot be healed for a long time. It [can be used to] communicate with the spirit (tongshen通神) and kill bad poison (sha edu殺惡毒). [Interesting in view of the more recent Chinese folk belief that cock’s meat brings out or potentiates poisons.]
Yellowish hen’s meat (huang ciji rou黃雌雞肉) is sour, salty, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It treats especially damage to the Middle Burner. It treats the illness characterized by loss of weight and feeling thirsty. It cures the illness characterized by frequent urination, and that in which the patient cannot hold his urine (xiaobian shu er bujin小便數而不禁). It cures the illness characterized by the liquid remaining in the intestines and diarrhea (changpi xieali腸澼泄利). It compensates and benefits the five internal organs. It cures the wound involving severed body parts, and five kinds of damages caused by laboriousness (jueshang wulao絕傷五勞). It enhances the qi and strength.
Yolk (jizihuang雞子黃) is mildly cold. It especially dispels heat. It treats burning wounds (huozhuo火灼) and deteriorative ulcer (lanchuang爛瘡). It cures tetanus conditions (chi痓). It can be used as the magical item, amber (hupo shenwu虎魄神物).
Egg white (luanbaiqing卵白清) is mildly cold. It principally treats heat in eyes, redish eyes, and pain in eyes (mure chitong目熱赤痛). It dispels heat latent under the heart (xinxia fure心下伏熱). It stops the illness of feeling anxious and full (fanman煩滿). It cures vomiting caused by coughing (keni欬逆). It cures children’s diarrhea. It cures women’s dystocia, the problem that the afterbirth will not come out (baoyi buchu胞衣不出). It should be swallowed when it is raw.
White cock’s meat (bai xiongji rou白雄雞肉) is sour, mildly warm, and nonpoisonous. It helps the qi move downwards. It dispels the madness and perverseness (kuangxie狂邪). It pacifies the five internal organs. It cures damage to the Middle Burner. It cures illness characterized by the loss of weight and thirst.
Black cock’s meat (wu xiongji rou烏雄雞肉) is sweet, warm, and nonpoisonous. It compensates [for deficiencies or debility in] the Middle Burner. It stops heart pains.
Black hen’s meat (hei ciji rou黑雌雞肉) is sweet, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It dispels wind-cold illness, and illness characterized by numbness and pain and caused by wetness. It cures the Five Kinds of Slowness and the Six Kinds of Quickness (wuhuan liuji五緩六急). It secures the embryo (antai安胎).
The Yellow Emperor said, “if one eats any chicken and fish soup together, it will turn into the disease characterized by parasites existing in the heart (xinjia心瘕). If one eats the meat of any chichen having five colors, he will become mad. If [the chicken] has six toes and four back-toes (ju距), or a black chicken has a white head (xuanji baitou玄雞白頭), or a domestic chicken mates with a wild chicken or bird and has young with distinctive color or texture (jiaji ji yejiniao shengzi youwen 家雞及野雞鳥生子有文), or any chicken with the mark in shape of the character for “eight” (baziji八字雞), or any wild bird that dies without stretching its claws, are harmful to human beings. If one eats egg white together with garlic, it will cause shortage of breath (duanqi短氣). If one eats chicken and turtle (bie鱉) steamed together, it is harmful. If eats chicken and otter meat together, it will cause the illness in which the illness is roving [probably metastasizing cancer] and in which the patient should avoid any corpse (dunshizhu遁屍注), which cannot be cured by any medicine. If one eats egg together with raw green onion, it will cause the shortage of breath. If one eats chicken and dog liver or kidney together, it will harm him. If one eats raw chicken together with chicken or dog meat, it will cause bleeding in the tunnel between rectum and anus till death (gudao zhongshen liuxue穀道終身流血). If one eats black chicken’s meat together with carp, it will cause ulcers. If one eats chicken with hare meat or dog meat, it will definitely cause diarrhea. If one eats wild chicken with domestic chicken, it will turn into the disease in which the illness is roving and the patient should avoid any corpse. The ghost of the corpse will attach to him and his four limbs and dozens of joints will ache. Children under five that have not stopped breathfeeding should not eat chicken. In the second month, do not eat egg; it often makes people sick. On the day of bingwu丙午, if one eats chicken or pheasant meat (zhirou雉肉), men will die of fever (zhangfu shaosi丈夫烧死) and become blind. Women will die from bleeding and see unreal things (wangjian妄見). In the fourth month, do not eat hatching chicken (baoji暴雞). It will turn into internal ulcers that have leaking orifices under the chest and armpits (zuo neiju zai xiongyexia chu loukong作內疽在胸腋下出漏孔). It will also cause men losing the yang and women being unable to get pregnant. It will cause the feeling of weakness, laborousness, and the shortage in qi. In the eight month, do not eat chicken meat. It will hurt one’s spirit and qi.”
Pheasant meat (zhirou雉肉) is sour, mildly cold, and nonpoisonous. It compensates the middle burner and enhances the qi. It terminates diarrhea. If one has frequently eaten it, it will make him thin. It treats especially the illness of ant-leak (yilou蟻瘻). The Yellow Emperor said, “If one eats pheasant meat on the jianyou建酉 day of the eighth month, it will cause the shortage of breath. In the eighth month, do not eat pheasant meat. It will hurt one’s spirit and qi.”
White goose fat (baiezhi白鵝脂) especially cures sudden loss of hearing (erzulong耳卒聾). It should be poured into the ear (xiao yi guan’er消以灌耳). The plume (mao毛) especially cures the poison caused by the shegong worm hiding in the water (shegong shuidu射工水毒). The meat is spicy, balanced, and beneficial to the five internal organs.
Wild duck’s fat (wufang鹜肪) is sweet, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It mainly treats the weakness caused by the wind and the illness characterized by feeling cold and having a fever (fengxu hanre風虛寒熱). The meat compensates for weakness and fatigue (xufa虛乏). It rids off the invading heat (kere客熱). It is beneficial to the internal organs (zangfu臟腑). It is beneficial to the water way (shuidao水道). The Yellow Emperor said, “In the sixth month, do not eat wild duck’s meat. It will hurt one’s spirit and qi.”
Mandarin duck’s meat (yuanyangrou鴛鴦肉) is bitter, mildly warm, and nonpoisonous. It particularly treats ulcers that create leaks (louchuang瘻瘡). Soak it in pure liquor. Roast it till it is warm. Apply it [on the affected area]. Or take it after roasting. It also treats the patient that dreams of, misses, and admires someone (mengsimu夢思慕).
Wild goose’s fat (yanfang雁肪) is sweet, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It mainly treats the illness that is caused by the wind and characterized by twitch and hemiplegia (fengluan juji pianku風攣拘急偏枯), and the illness in whcih blood and qi cannot move freely (xueqi bu tongli血氣不通利). The meat is sweet, balanced, and nonpoisonous. If one has eaten it for a long time, it helps the hair on the head, hair on the temples, moustache, and eyebows grow. It enhances the qi and helps resisting hunger. It lessens weight and helps resisting summer heat. The Yellow Emperor said, “In the sixth month, do not eat wild goose’s meat. It will hurt one’s spirit and qi.”
Swallow excrement (yueyanshi越燕屎) is spicy, balanced, and poisonous. It mainly kills gu蠱 poison and the disease characterized by roving ghosts (guizhu鬼注). It expels inauspicious, noxious qi (buxiang xieqi不祥邪氣). It breaks up the Five Blockages (wulong五癃) and is beneficial for urination. Slowly boil it with spices (aoxiang yongzhi熬香用之) and apply it to the blister in the mouth. It cures the blister. The meat is not edible. It will make one get killed by a dragon (jiaolong蛟龍) when he enters the water. The Yellow Emperor said, “In the eleventh month, do not eat rat meat or swallow meat. It will hurt one’s spirit and qi.”
Honey (shimi石蜜) is sweet, balanced, mildly cold, and nonpoisonous. It treats especially the evil qi in the heart and abdomen. It cures fits caused by fright and characterized by twitching (jingxianjing驚癇痙). It pacifies the five internal organs. It cures every kind of incompleteness (buzu不足). It enhances the qi and compensates the Middle Burner. It kills stomachache. It detoxicates every kind of toxin in medicines. It dispels various kinds of diseases. It can be used to make dozens of medicines. It nourishes spleen qi. It extinguishes the feeling of being vexed (xinfan心煩). It treats the problem of being unable to eat or drink (shiyin buxia食飲不下). It stops the illness characterized by the liquid remaining in the intestines (changpi腸澼). It expels the pain in muscles. It cures ulcers in the mouth (kouchuang口瘡). It enhances the hearing and eyesight. If one has taken it for a long time, it will solidify his memory, lessen his weight, help him resist hunger and aging, elongate his lifespan, and help him become an immortal. It is also referred to as shiyi石飴. [Honey] that is as white as fat is good, which is found in the mountain and cliff. Black-red honey (qingchimi青赤蜜) is sour. If one swallows it, it will make him feel vexed. The bee is black, like a horsefly (meng虻; this is probably one of the local Apis species of east Asia, different from the domestic A. mellifera). The Yellow Emperor said, “In the seventh month, do not eat raw honey. It will cause serous diarrhea (baoxia暴下). It will cause cholera.” Beeswax (mila蜜蠟) is sweet, mildly warm, and nonpoisonous. It mainly treats diarrhea and pyaemia (nongxue膿血). It compensates the middle burner. It heals wounds involving severed body parts, and cut-wounds (jinchuang金瘡). It enhances qi and strength. It helps resist hunger and aging. White wax (baila白蠟) mainly treats the patient that has long suffered diarrhea and just recovers from it, and then is found bleeding (jiu xiepi chaihou chongjian xue久泄澼瘥後重見血). It compensates [for damage done by] wounds involving severed body parts. It is beneficial to children. If one has taken it for a long time, it will lessen his weight and help him resist hunger. It grows in the honeycomb or on a rock or lumber. It [the bee, presumably] dislikes lilac daphne and lily (wuyuanhua baihe惡芫花百合). This is what we use nowadays.
Pallas pitviper meat (fushe rou蝮蛇肉) is balanced and poisonous. It can be used to brew alcohol. It rids one of skin pustules (laiji癞疾). It cures the Nine Kinds of Fistulas (jiulou九瘻). It cures the pain in the heart and abdomen. It helps the gathering qi move downwards (xia jieqi下結氣). It rids one of gu poison. When it has swallowed a rat into its stomach, it is balanced and mildly poison. It mainly treats the rat fistula (shulou鼠瘻).
The male moth of the silkworm breaking out of eggs in the summer and autumn (yuancan xiong’e原蠶雄蛾) is salty, warm, and mildly poisonous. It mainly enhances the essence and qi. It strengthens the Dao of yang for men, so the man will not get tired after intercourse. It is significantly effective in curing the illness of involuntary discharge of semen without orgasm (xiejing泄精). Those connected to each other should not be used.
Siluroid (a catfish, yiyu鮧魚) is sweet and nonpoisonous. It can cure dozens of illnesses.
Sea eel (manliyu鰻鱺魚) is sweet, greatly warm, and poisonous. It mainly treats the Five Kinds of Hemorrhoids and fistulas. It kills every kind of worms.
Fresh water eel (?yurou[魚旦]魚肉) is sweet and greatly warm. The black ones are nonpoisonous. It mainly compensates the middle burner and nourishes the blood. It cures slobbery lips (shenchun瀋唇). On the fifth day of the fifth month, capture it. The head bone is balanced and nonpoisonous. Burn and take it, which cures diahrrea.
Fesh water eel (shanyu鱓魚) is balanced and nonpoisonous. It mainly cures the disease characterized by lacking breath or short breaths (shaoqi xixi少氣吸吸). It also treats the patient whose feet cannot stand on the ground. The Yellow Emperor said, “In the fourth month, do not eat snake meat or fresh water meat. It will damage the spirit and hurt the qi.”
Cuttlebone (wuzei yugu烏賊魚骨) is salty, mildly warm, and nonpoisonous. It especially treats the illness of women’s long period (nüzi louxia女子漏下) , reddish leucorrhea (chibai jingzhi赤白經汁), end of period (xuebi血閉), eating away of yin (yinshi陰蝕), illness characterized by swelling and pain (zhongtong腫痛), illness characterized by feeling cold and having a fever, illness characterized by hardness in the stomach, and the illness of being unable to get pregnant. It also cures the illness in which the patient have been scared and thus some kind of qi is created, which enters the abdomen and causes pain surrounding the navel (jingqi rufu futong huanqi驚氣入腹，腹痛環臍). It also treats men that have pain in penis or swelling penis (zhangfu yinzhong tong er zhong丈夫陰中痛而腫). It allows people to have offspring. The meat is sour, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It enhances the qi and strengthens the memory.
Carp meat (liyurou鯉魚肉) is sweet, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It treats especially vomiting caused by coughing (keni欬逆) and wheeziness (shangqi上氣). It cures jaundice. It helps resist thirst. The Yellow Emperor said, “If one eats carp meat after eating cinnamon (gui桂), it is harmful. If one has old disease in the abdomen (fuzhong su zhengbing腹中宿症病) and eats carp meat, it harms him.”
Crucian (jiyu鯽魚) is sweet, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It cures all kinds of wounds. Burn it into ashes and blend it with soy sauce. Apply the mixture [on the wound] twice a day. It also cures intestinal ulcers (changyong腸癰).
The Yellow Emperor said, “Any fish that has white eyes is inedible. If one eats fish with horns, it will frighten and hurt him (faxinjing hairen發心驚害人). If a man has eaten fish having no intestines or gallbladder for three years, he will be incapable of having an erection. If it is a woman, she will be unable to get pregnant. If the fish has black spot on its body, it is inedible. If the fish has red eyes and someone eats it when it is cut into small pieces (zuo kuaishi作膾食), it will cause hardness in the abdomen (jiabing瘕病). If someone eats [the fish having black spots] when it is salted (zuo zuoshi作鮓食), it will harm the person. Any fish that is eaten together with vegetables will cause roundworms or threadworms. Any fish tail is not good for human when it is eaten. It often has hook-shaped bones (gougu勾骨) , which cling to the throat and thus harm the person. Any fish that has horns and white back is inedible. Any fish having red scales is inedible. Any fish having no gills is inedible. Any fish having no complete gill will cause ulcers (yongju癰疽) when eaten. Skate (bubiyu鯆魮魚) is not good for humans. Its tail is poisonous, but can cure toothache. Puffer fish (houyiyu鯸鮧魚) is poisonous and inedible. On the gengyin庚寅 day of the second month, do not eat fish. It is a very bad deed (da’e大惡). On the fifth day of the fifth month, do not eat carp eggs with pig liver. It will not be digested and turn into serious illness (ebing惡病). Any person that has diahrrea and then eats fish will face more serious illness and it will be difficult to cure. Spoiled steamed rice (huifan穢飯) , decayed meat (neirou鯘肉), and smelly fish (chouyu臭鱼) cannot be eaten together. This harms people [a rare bit of practical advice!]. In the third month, do not eat dragon meat (jiaolongrou蛟龍肉) or any fish meat. It will cause indigestion (yinshi buhua飲食不化), arouse chronic diseases, hurt the spirit and qi, let him lose the qi (shiqi失氣) and fall into a trance (huanghu恍惚).”
Turtle meat (bierou鱉肉) is sweet, balanced, and nonpoisonous. It especially treats damage to the Middle Burner. It enhances qi and compensates the incomplete. It cures foot qi (jiaoqi腳氣). The Yellow Emperor said, “If one eats turtle eggs with abalone roe (baoyuzi鮑魚子) on the fifth day of the fifth month, it will cause jaundice. If the turtle has the character wu五 on its belly, it is inedible. If one eats turtle meat or hare meat together with mustard sauce (jiezijiang芥子醬), it hurts the person. If one eats a turtle with only three legs, it is harmful. If one eats turtle meat with amaranth (xian莧) or brake leaves (juecai蕨菜), it will cause the illness of turtle-lump (biejia鱉瘕) and harm the person.”
Crab shell (xieke蟹殼) is sour, cold, and poisonous. It particularly treats abnormal heat that acculmulates in the chest and causes pain (xiongzhong xiere sujie tong胸中邪熱宿結痛). It cures (?pi[口蝸]僻) and swelling face (mianzhong面腫). It disperses lacquer [presumably ulcer caused by lacquer, as below; fresh lacquer is intensely burning to the skin, and causes serious ulcers]; it can invite mice when burned (sanqi shao zhi zhishu散漆燒之致鼠). The crab yellow (huang黃, the ovary and digestive glands of a crab) can dissolve the gathered and disperse the accumulated blood (jiejie sanxue解結散血). It cures the lacquer ulcer (qichuang漆瘡). It nourishes the tendons and enhances the qi. The Yellow Emperor said, “If one eats any crab that is cross-eyed and has spots on its feet (xiemu xiangxiang zuban蟹目相向足斑), it harms the person. In the twelfth month, do not eat crab or turtle. It hurts the spirit and the qi.” He also said, “If one eats tortoise (gui龜) or turtle meat together with pork, it harms the person. If one eats fruits and vegetables in the autumn with tortoise meat, it makes the person short of breath (duanqi短氣). If one drinks alcohol and eats tortoise meat together with wild rice stem (gubaicai菰白菜, stem of Zizania caducifolia), it will make the person feel cold and have a fever. On six kinds of days marked with jia (liujiari六甲日), do not eat tortoise or turtle meat. It hurts the heart and spirit. If one eats snail (luo螺) or clam (bang蚌) together with vegetables, it will cause heattache and it will break out three times a day. If one eats chopped shrimp (xiakuai蝦膾) with pork, it will make him sick and have too much slaver. It harms the spirit and color (jingse精色). If the shrimp does not have palps and its belly is totally black, it is harmful to human if it is eaten. This is a major prohibition (daji大忌); do not overlook it (wuqing勿輕). In the eleventh and twelfth month, do not eat shrimp, clam, or any creatures with shells (zhuojia zhi wu著甲之物).
Buell, Paul D.; E. N. Anderson; Charles Perry. 2000. A Soup for the Qan. London: Kegan Paul International.
Engelhardt, Ute. 2001. “Dietetics in Tang China and the First Extant Works of Materia Dietetica.” In Innovation in Chinese Medicine, ed. by Elisabeth Hsu. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 173-191.
Farquhar, Judith. 1994. Knowing Practice. Boulder: Westview.
Harper, Donald. 1998. Early Chinese Medical Literature: The Mawangdui Manuscripts.
London: Kegan Paul International.
Hsu, Elisabeth. 1999. The Transmission of Chinese Medicine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology, 7.
Unschuld, Paul. 1985. Medicine in China: A History of Ideas. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Unschuld, Paul. 2003. Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen: Nature, Knowledge, Imagery in an Ancient Chinese Medical Text. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Veith, Ilza. 2002. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. New edition with foreword by Ken Rose. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Wear, Andrew. 2000. Knowledge and Practice in English Medicine, 1550-1680. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
 The Yellow and White Prescriptions (huangsu yaofang黃素藥方)
 Namely, Hua Tuo華佗.
 Ge Xuan葛玄
 Hu Qia胡恰.
 Responding Herbal Medicines (bencao yaodui本草藥對)
 Wang Shuhe王叔和.
 The Yellow Emperor’s Three Boards of Classics on Acupuncture (huangdi sanbu zhenjing黃帝三部針經)
 Tao Qian陶弘景
 One Hundred One Complementary Handy Prescriptions (buque zhouhou baiyifang補闕肘後百一方)
 Pure Questions On The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic (huangdi neijing suwen黃帝內經素問)
 The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic on Nine Relics (huangdi jiuxu neijing黃帝九墟內經)
 The Spiritual Center Classic from the Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic (huangdi neijing lingshujing黃帝內經靈樞經)
 The Yellow Emperor’s Acupuncture Classics: Number One and Two (huangdi zhenjiu Jiayijing黃帝針灸甲乙經)
 The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic of Supreme Purity (huangdi neijing taisu黃帝內經太素)
 Mr. Chao’s Theory on the Origins of Various Diseases (chaoshi zhubing yuanhou lun巢氏諸病源候論)
 The Herbals for Food Recipes (shiliao bencao食療本草), The God of Agriculture’s Classic of Herbals (shennong bencaojing神農本草經), Making The Herbals Good (bencao shiyi本草拾遺), The New Edited Herbals (xinxiu bencao新修本草).
 The Classic Held in Gold Cabinet and Jade Box (jinkui yuhan jing金匱玉函經)
 Extending-Benefits Prescriptions Collected during the Reign of Zhengyuan (zhenyuan guangli fang貞元集要廣利方)
 Passing On Prescriptions (chuanxin fang傳信方)
 Liu Yuxi劉禹錫
 Official titles are omitted.
 Here it means shangjiao上焦, which is considered to refer—at least in later texts—to the upper meatus of the stomach between the abdomen and thorax, and zhongjiao中焦, which is in the middle of the stomach. More generally, jiao can refer to metabolic function. However, note that—contra some recent translations such as “Triple Burner”—this text makes it quite clear that there are indeed three separate burners.
 The original note says the rong is close to the circulation of arteries, while the wei is similar to the circulation of veins. According to a dictionary, rong means the blood circulation, while means the circulation of qi. It is, however, unclear what Sun knew or thought about the circulation of the blood.
 We suspect the term is corrupt.
 Or breathing problems?
 Anus and vaginal orifice or penis orifice.
 Ears, eyes, nose, and nouth.
 Zhong means zhongjiao, or the Middle Jiao.
 Zhong means zhongjiao, or the Middle Jiao.
 Lin is a kind of illness in which one has to urinate frequently. Bladder infections are certainly part of what is meant here; they have these symptoms and citrus fruits do indeed treat them. The “five lin illnesses” (wulin五淋) are explained as follows: The lin illness in which the penis is stone (shilin石淋); the lin illness of qi (qi lin氣淋 ); the lin illness in which the urine is like plaster (gaolin膏淋)、the lin illness aroused by tiredness (laolin勞淋)、the lin illness aroused by heat (relin熱淋).
 A kind of fruit grows in mountains, particularly in Burma.
 The character ji肌 might be ji饑.
 I suspect 正爾 is added later by mistake.
 Metaplexis japonica (Thunb.) Mak. The proverb rhymes in Chinese.
 Metaplexis japonica (Thunb.) Mak.
 Cucumis melo L. var conomon (Thunb) Mak. (?)
 Malva verticillata.
 It is caused by the liquid that remains in the body and cannot be excreted out of the body.
 Sonchus oleraceus.
 Perilla frutescens (L.) Britt.
 Literally youyi means a coat that has been soaked in oil for the purpose of waterproofing.
 Sui does not make sense here. Probably the text is corrupted.
 Could it be youfeng油風, which means incomplete loss of hair?
 Allium victorialis, a common medicinal.
 Allium macrostemon Bunge or Allium chinense G. Don.
 Zingiber mioga Rosc
 Beta vulgaris.
 Perilla frutescens (L.) Britt, var crispa (Thunb) Hand-Mazz.
 Stachys baicalensis Fisch., a mint whose edible tubers resemble Jerusalem artichokes.
 Ulmus macrocarpa Hance.
 The character [匿蟲] is not in available dictionaries. Could it mean decayed teeth?
 Sargassum fusiforme (Horv) Setch.
 Laminaria japonica Aresch, Ecklonia Kurome Okam, or Undaria pinnatifida (Harv) Sur.
 Chrysanthemum coronarium L. var spatiosum Bailey.
 Artemisia vulgaris L. var vulgatissima.
 Althaea rosea (L.) Cov.
 Vigna calcarata Roxb, or Vigna. angularis Wight.
 Elsholtzia splendens Nakai ex F. Maekawa.
 Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl var. clavata Ser.
 Brasenia schreberi J. F. Gmel.
 Basella rubra L.
 Stellaria media (L.) Cyr.
 I cannot find [鱼旦] in the dictionary. [鱼旦] 鲊might mean some kind of salted fish.
 Houttuynia cordata Thunb.
 I cannot find the character [匿蟲] in the dictionary. ?chuang[匿蟲]瘡 seems some kind of ulcer.
 Allium macrostemon, misidentified in our modern edition as A. scorodoprasum.
 Xanthium sibiricum part. Ex Widd.
 Misidentified in our modern edition as Zanthoxylum ailanthoides Sieb. et Zucc.
 Shi實 is an important concept in Chinese medicine, which means the noxious qi proliferates so much that it fills certain parts of the body.
 Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim. Or Z. simulans Hance.
 The original note provides two theories. One says that jinkui is Ranunculus sceleratus L., a buttercup. The other says that the name was also used in olden times for celery, Apium graveolens L. var dulce DC. In neither case is this the standard name, but it is indeed used regularly for the buttercup; the use for celery seems nonstandard.
 Wuming means five kinds of knowledge, including medication, in Buddhism.
 Polygonum tinctorium Ait.
 Polygonum avicularis L.
 Coix lachryma-jobi L.
 Cannabis sativa L.
 Probably some characters are missing here. Another version has buzu不足.
 I cannot find the character in the dictionary.
 Three Jian are three kinds of poisonous herbs: the wolf’s bane (wutou烏頭), fuzi附子, and tianxiong天雄.
 Some characters might be missing here.
 The character chong might be superfluous. The Five Hemorrhoids are male hemorrhoids (muzhi牡痔), female hemorrhoids (pinzhi牝痔), mai hemorrhoids (maizhi脈痔), intestine hemorrhoids (changzhi腸痔), and blood hemorrhoids (xuezhi血痔).
 Probably Setaria italica (L.) Beauv. Here and later, though, Setaria and Panicum remain hard to distinguish, as they are in all early Chinese taxonomies. Cautious avoidance of scientific names is maintained below.
 Panicum miliaceum.
 It means white, red, yellow, black, and brown millets.
 Something is missing here. One would expect it to be a discussion of indica rice, the commoner variety in China. The entries were probably consolidated by scribal error, leaving out a line. This would explain the incompatible “balanced” and “warm” indications.
 Invading, foreign qi. It is contrasted to the right qi that one has in his body, or zhengqi正氣.
 According to the footnote, this kind of ulcer becomes more serious when it is plenilune and gradually relieves when the moon eclipses.
 I have not found which are the five kinds. Huan, or slowness, refers to the symptom that the mai is slow.
 There are two kinds of explanations for wulao. One is tiredness caused by long-time watching久視, lying久卧, sitting久坐, standing久立, or walking久行. 《素问·宣明五气篇》：“久視傷血，久卧傷氣，久坐傷肉，久立傷骨，久行傷筋，是謂五勞所傷。”The other explanation for wulao emerges no later than the Song Dynasty. It is tiredness in mind志勞, tiredness caused by missing思勞, tiredness in heart心勞, tiredness caused by sorrow憂勞, and tiredness caused by fatigue疲勞.《云笈七籤》卷三二：“《明医论》云：疾之所起自生五勞……五勞者，一曰志勞，二曰思勞，三曰心勞，四曰憂勞，五曰疲勞。”
There are at least three theories for qishang. Zhubing yuanhoulun諸病源候論written by Chao Yuanfang in the Sui offers two. The first theory is that if one eats too much, it will hurt the spleen傷脾. If he is too angry, the qi will move in the opposite direction and hurt the liver傷肝. If one forces himself to lift up heavy stuff or sits on the wet floor for a long time, it will hurt the kidney傷腎. lf he walks in a cold environment and drinks the cold, it will hurt the lung傷肺. If he is sorrowful and missing, it will hurt the heart傷心. If he suffers in the rain, the wind, the cold, and the hot, it will hurt the shape傷形. If he cannot help but feel very angry, or frightened, it will hurt the mind傷志.
The second explanation in the same book written by Chao Yuanfang refers qishang as seven kinds of diseases in genitals. They are coldness in the genitals 陰寒, incompetent genitals陰萎 , being incapable of holding back urination裏急, dripping semen精連連, scant semen and wetness in the genital area精少陰下濕, limpid semen精清, frequent feeling of wanting to urinate but being incapable of discharge小便苦數、臨事不濟.
The third theory is provided by Jingui yaolue金匱要略. The seven kinds of hurts are hurt by eating食傷, sorrow憂傷, drinking飲傷, houses房屋傷, hunger饑傷, fatigue勞傷, and jingmai and qi經絡榮衛氣傷.
 There are two kinds of explanation for fengxuan. One is as the translation above, some types of blackout or fits. The other is epilepsy, but this is a modern nosological category not established for Tang.
 Another explanation for changyong is appendicitis.
 Or can we translate Jingqi as semen and qi?
 There are three sets of yin jingmai and three sets of yang jingmai in the arms and legs, which form the Twelve Jingmai. The general idea is of main strands of the body.
 I suspect here jueshang is corrupt. It might have been jueyang絕陽, which means the qi of yang is disconnected in the jingmai.
 It is unclear what jujin means.
 Jia is a kind of illness that there is hardness in the stomach, probably caused by parasites.
 xiaqi下氣means breaking wind.
 “Horse seizure” is one kind of seizure that the patient has the following symptoms: he cannot breathe smoothly, his breath is short, and the sound he is making is like that a horse makes. Other symptoms are having phlegm, reddish face, staring eyes, sticking out the tongue and biting his tongue.
 I cannot find the term zhoubi周痹 in the dictionary. Could it be mabi麻痹?
 This term has appeared before. I cannot identify it.
 Long 癃 means that the liquid cannot be discharged. According to Lingshujing靈樞經, there are five kinds of excretions (urine, breath, sweat, tear, and slaver) and the blockage of each one might cause illness.
Clause 36. The Yellow Emperor asked Qibo, “When water and grains enter mouth and are transported to the intestines and stomach, it turns into five kinds of liquid. If it is cold and one wears thin clothes, it turns into urine and breath. If it is hot and one wears thick clothes, it turns into sweat. If one is sorrowful and the qi is blocked, it turns into tears. If the Middle Burner is hot and the stomach is moving slowly, it turns into slaver. If the noxious qi flows inwards instead of outwards, the qi is blocked and cannot move. When the qi cannot move, it turns into swelling.”
 The Five Hemorrhoids are male hemorrhoids (muzhi牡痔), female hemorrhoids (pinzhi牝痔), mai hemorrhoids (maizhi脈痔), intestine hemorrhoids (changzhi腸痔), and blood hemorrhoids (xuezhi血痔).
 This is my guess. I can not find the term in any dictionary.
 This is my guess. I can not find the term in any dictionary.
 The commentary for the book says yuanqing元青is the same as yuanqing芫青, which I do not know. Is it yuanhua芫花, Daphne genkwa ? The definition I find in the dictionary for yuanqing元青 is dark green/blue. The Daphne is a poisonous but medicinal plant, so a remedy for its poisonous effects would be desired. But perhaps yuanqing was a somewhat toxic copper mineral of some sort, copper salts being generally green/blue.
 This is a strange term. I cannot find the term in any dictionary. The commentary from the book explains that zhu dongchang豬洞腸is the same as zhuchang豬腸. I am suspecting that dongchang洞腸 is actually donggang洞肛, which means anus. This definition can explain the following sentence, in which dongchang洞腸 appears again.
 I cannot find the character [米台] in any dictionary. I am suspecting it is yi飴.
 There might be some characters corrupted in the part of yi bo pi shang以薄僻上.
 baimi白蜜 has at least three meanings: one is white honey; the second is a kind of alcohol, based upon some poems in the Song; the third is a kind of lizhi荔枝.
 It is a kind of measuring spoon used by doctors.
 According to the original note, pubai蒲白 might be pugenbai蒲根白, or shuiyang水楊. Shuiyang is a kind of tree that defoliates in the autumn.
 jiuwu九物 is the same as jiucao九草, which is explained by the end of this paragraph.
 Artemisia vulgaris L. var vulgatissima.
 toufeng頭風 could be a headache, or ulcer on the head, or the loss of head hair.
 I do not know what this means.
 According the original note, gong宫 should be guan官. The commentator uses another evidence form Benjing本經. However, gong means castration, which makes more sense here.
 According to the original note, zhu注 is a kind of illness characterized by the capability of moving. It is unclear what this means. It seems that it implies that the illness that can move from one organ to another, or from one person to another.
 Jian建 means the direction that the Dipper is pointing to. Based upon different directions that the Dipper is pointing to, the year can be divided into twelve jian, which correspond to twelve months and thus twelth branches and twelve animals. The second month is mao 卯, which corresponds to the hare.
 According to Li Shizhen李时珍, a medical expert in the Ming, dunshi遁屍 is one kind of disease that attaches to the flesh and enters the bones, breaking into the blood mai. Whenever the patient has it, he should not see a corpse. If he hears the weeping [when someone dies], the disease will break out. It belongs to the illness of liuzhu流注, which is a type of ulcer that happens in the inner body. It can flow to other areas and break out anywhere. The explanation is that when the virulent toxin (xiedu邪毒) remains in the flesh or bones, it makes the blood and qi incapable of moving normally. At first, the patient has a painful tumor, which does not break out, and the skin color does not change. Gradually, the skin turns reddish and transparent and there is a spot. When the ulcer grows to its final depth, it breaks out. The initial ulcer can be contained or treated, but even before one site has recovered, there is another outbreak somewhere else. This seems to be an account of metastacizing cancer, which was described in similar terms in folk medicine in China in the 20th century.
流注的一种。 明 李时珍 《本草纲目·草七·忍冬》：“五種尸注……遁尸者，附肉入骨，攻鑿血脈，每發不可見死尸，聞哀哭便作也。”
 According to the original note, shengshu生鼠 is rat. I am suspecting it is shengshu鼪鼠, which is weasel. On the other hand, the rat is traditionally slightly warming and nonpoisonous, the weasel warming and nonpoisonous; see Bencao Gangmu.
 Bengzhong is a kind of illness characterized by overly bleeding from vagina.
Zhi is a kind of illness caused by the wind. It is characterized by twitching tendons and mai, and tetany in body parts.
风病。指筋脉拘挛强直一类病症。《素问·气厥论》：“肺移熱於腎，傳爲柔痓。” 王冰 注：“柔，謂筋柔而無力。痓，謂骨痓而不隨。氣骨皆熱，髓不内充，故骨痓强而不舉，筋柔緩而無力也。” 姚止庵 注：“痓者，筋脉抽掣，木之病也。”《医宗金鉴·刺灸心法要诀·足部主病针灸要穴歌》：“晝發痓證治若何，金針申脉起沉疴。” 明 李时珍 《本草纲目·百病主治药上·当归》：“客血内塞，中風痓，汗不出。”
 Fanman is an illness caused by heat that gathers inside body and cannot be dispersed. The symptoms involve the loss of appetite, foaming, reddish face, etc.
煩懣亦作“ 煩滿 ”。中医谓内热郁结之症。《素问·评热病论》：“汗出而身熱者，風也；汗出而煩滿不解者，厥也。病名曰風厥。”《史记·扁鹊仓公列传》：“病使人煩懣，食不下，時嘔沫。”《三国志·魏志·华佗传》：“ 廣陵 太守 陳登 得病，胸中煩懣，面赤不食。”
 The original comment assumes that wuhuan五緩 is wuchi五遲 and liuji六急 is liuji六極. According to this theory, wuchi are five kinds of stunts that make children stand, walk, grow hair, grow teeth, and speak very late. liuji六極 are six kinds of illnesses that are developing to their full extent. They include the most serious illness of the tendons, bones, blood, flesh, essence, and the qi (jinji筋極, guji骨急, xueji血急, rouji肉急, jingji精急, qiji氣極).
However, I doubt this explanation. wuhuan liuji五緩六急 is commonly seen in medical works and huan/slowness and ji/quickness are opposite. The above explanation does not catch this.
 Jia is the illness caused by parasites and the symptom is a hard lump in the abdomen.
特指由寄生虫引起的腹中结块的病。《灵枢经·厥病》：“腸中有蟲瘕及蛟蛕，皆不可取以小鍼。”《史记·扁鹊仓公列传》：“ 臨菑氾里 女子 薄吾 病甚……臣 意 診其脈，曰：‘蟯瘕。’” 张守节 正义：“人腹中短蟲。”
 According to the original note, yilou is caused by being bitten by ants. The symptom is blisters growing under the feet and there are small orifices on them.
 According to Chaoshi zhubing yuanhou zonglun巢氏諸病源候總論, a medical work written in the Sui, the nine kinds of fistulas are wolf fistula(langlou狼瘻), rat fistula (shulou鼠瘻), mole cricket fistula (lougulou螻蛄瘻), bee fistula (fenglou蜂瘻), ant fistula (pifulou蚍蜉瘻), chafer grub fistula(jicaolou蠐螬瘻), floating ulcer fistula(fujulou浮疽瘻), scrofula fistula(luolilou瘰癧瘻), and twisted mai fistula (zhuanmailou轉脉瘻). Those having wolf fistula are not self-controlled when they are young. They get extremely angry and the angry qi does not move down; this causes the wolf fistula. When it first breaks out, it is on the neck. The root is located at the quepen缺盆 aperture, which is in the middle of shoulder. It is indirectly connected to the ears. Originally its root is in the liver. Those having rat fistula do not care about what they eat; worms [existing in the food] cause it. It makes people feel cold and have fever. Its root is in the lung. Those having mole criket fistula do not avoid fruits and gourds that have worms. They eat them carelessly. [The worms] end up in the gang 綱 outside and end up in the intestines inside. The poison will not go away and turns into the mole cricket fistula. When it first breaks out, it is on the neck and is shaped like a snail. The breakout takes the form of hives (yingzhen癮胗). Its root is in the large intestine. Those having bee fistula are eating too frequently to be tired [?]. They are thirsty and exausted. They drink a lot of fresh water and then they get the bee poison (fengdu蜂毒), which does not go away and turns into fistula. When it first breaks out, its root is on the neck. There are three or four affected areas. Each is swelling and rankling. The shape of the ulcer is like yong癰. When it heals, the fistula will move to other places. Its root is in the spleen. Those having the ant fistula are flatulent because of cold. The cold poison (handu寒毒) will not go away and turns into fistula. When it first breaks out, it is on the neck. It makes people have a high fever (zhuangre壯熱) like being stricken by cold. It is like acariasis. The orifice of the fistula comes out. Its root is in the lung. Those having the chafer grub fistula are frightened and sorrowful. They cry endlessly. The remainly poison turns into fistula. When it first breaks out, it is on the neck. It does not have head or tail and it takes the form of jujube pit. Sometimes it moves in the skin and makes the patient feel cold, have a fever, and have a full heart (xinman心滿). Its root is in the heart. Those having the floating ulcer fistula are rage-filled and want to withdraw what has been done, which cause the fistula. When it first breaks out, it is on the neck or under the armpit. It is like two fingers, having no head or tail. It makes the patient feel cold, have a fever, and want to vormit. Its root is in the gallbladder. Those having scrofula fistula enter the water, sit on the wet ground, or let sweat enter the head and flow to the neck when having a bath. When it first breaks out, it is on the neck. It is always accompanied by purulence. It makes people feel cold and have a fever. Its root is in the kidney. Those having the twisted mai fistula cannot sleep balancedly because they are drunk after drinking too much. They are scared and want to vomit. When they turn over, they [get disoriented and] lose the pillow, which causes the fistula. When it first breaks out, it is on the neck and the zhuo mai濯脉. When the patient turns over, his body is like being shaken. The fistula makes the patient feel cold and have a fever. Its root is in the small intestine.
 The commentor thinks this is fresh water eel. But I have never seen black fresh water eel (dark ones do occur, however). The following piece is about shanyu, which, normally, is fresh water eel. But the modern editor thinks that it is crocodile—surely a slip of the pen.
 Shiqi can also mean stopping breathing, or breaking wind.
 I cannot find any explanation for this term.