Revised Zhenghe Edition of Classified and Practical Basic Pharmacopeia Based on Historical Classics


The author of this work is the famous Song physician Tang Shenwei, a native of Huayang (in present-day Chengdu, Sichuan province) , who came from a family of many generations of physicians. He was particularly known for his practice of herbal medicine and his collections of prescriptions found in classic works. Si ku quan shu zong mu ti yao (Annotated bibliography of the complete imperial library) lists two works attributed to him: Daguan ben cao (Classified herbal medicine of the Daguan period) in 30 juan, and Zheng lei ben cao (Classified herbal medicine) in 32 juan. This is the 1468 reprint edition, published by Yuan Jie, provincial governor of Shandong, based on the 1057 edition of Jiayou ben cao (Materia medica printed in the Jiayou reign), but it includes new materials that Tang collected from 247 classics of philosophy, history and other natural and social sciences, as well as the Buddhist canon. Tang also added information about methods of processing and effective prescriptions that were drawn from his own experience as a practitioner. The work is classified according to the subjects of jade, stone, grass, wood, human, animals, birds, insects and fish, fruits, grains, and vegetables. While Jiayou ben cao lists 1,118 herbal medicines, this work is expanded to 1,746 medicines. The book is a prominent representative of Song medical literature. It was published privately but promulgated officially and was popular for several hundred years.

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Publication Information

Yuan Jie, Shandong, China


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Physical Description

30 juan, 24 volumes ; 25.7 x 16.9 centimeters


  • Only prefaces and tables of contents are included in the WDL presentation.

Last updated: January 3, 2018