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Traditional medicine roots may be older than thought

BEIJING: The therapeutic system of traditional Chinese medicine might have taken shape hundreds of years earlier than previously thought, according to researchers from Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Sichuan province.
Their assumption is based on a study of ancient medical books made of 920 bamboo slips unearthed from an ancient tomb in Sichuan from 2012 to 2013.
The bamboo slips found in the ancient tomb in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, have more than 200 names of diseases. They are named after the pathogenesis, etiology and changes of diseases, according to Li Jiming, dean of the School of Chinese Classics at Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Since 2013, Li has studied the characters on the bamboo slips with a team of researchers.
The medical books made of the bamboo slips have many similarities to the medical book Treatise on Febrile and Miscellaneous Diseases written by Zhang Zhongjing, one of the country’s most celebrated physicians, during the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD25-AD 220).
The similarities include diagnosing patients by inspection and pulse-taking, use of acupuncture, description of diseases, prescription for diseases and arrangement of different medicinal herbs in the same dose, Li said.
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