Shen Nong Bencao Jing: The Divine Farmer's Classic of Materia Medica (3rd ed.)
This long-awaited English translation and critical edition of 'The Divine Farmer's Classic of Materia Medica by well-known medical historian and translator Dr. Sabine Wilms is a product of her triple engagement with the worlds of applied Chinese medicine, academic sinology, and sustainable agriculture.
The 365 substances covered are categorized in three books, associated with Heaven, Humanity, and Earth respectively. Coming from the perspective of alchemy and the pursuit of health and longevity, treating disease and expelling pathogens by ingesting substances that have a strong directly-discernible effect on the body is viewed as the lowest goal. By contrast, the higher-ranked medicinals often have no discernible effect when ingested, but especially when taken over long periods of time have such ambitious and intangible goals as connecting the human spirit to heaven, lightening the body, or staving off aging. The information contained in this book and the vision of the world and of the effect of natural substances on the human body expressed here are bound to inspire any practitioner of the Chinese art of yǎngshēng 養生 ("nurturing life").
The present edition is aimed primarily at modern students and practitioners of Chinese medicine, but also at academic researchers and students of medical history, Chinese classical literature, and natural science. To make it as useful as possible for these audiences, this book includes the following features:
> 50 pages of prefatory matters, including a foreword by Dr. Eugene Anderson and a preface and introduction by Sabine Wilms. > 469 pages of text in both classical Chinese and contemporary English. > A critical edition of the Chinese source text, based on the leading current Chinese editions and incorporating philological, etymological, and archaeological findings. >A literal yet elegant translation into English, crafted with careful attention to different possibilities inherent in the classical Chinese but also to readability, to reflect the elegance of the original. > A crisp clear layout, featuring the Chinese text immediately above the English translation in a structure that makes cross-referencing easy even for a beginning student of medical Chinese. Click this link for a sample of two minerals from Book Two. > 15 gorgeous illustrations (3 linoleum prints and 12 sketches) of medicinal substances by Maria Hicks > Endnotes that discuss such diverse topics as medicinal identification, grammar questions, and character variations, based on extensive research in historical and contemporary commentaries. > Explanations of ancient disease names on the basis of classical medical texts, most notably Sūn Sīmiǎo's 孫思邈 Bèi Jí Qiān Jīn Yào Fāng 備急千金要方 and Cháo Yuánfāng's 巢元方 Zhū Bìng Yuán Hòu Lùn 諸病源候論. > References to modern clinical TCM, for example in regards to the usage of medicinals and disease names. > A glossary with explanations for diseases, an index of both historical and contemporary references, and a general index.