Qian Yi’s Key to Therapeutics of Children's Diseases


This work, which was issued in either three or eight juan, was written by Qian Yi (circa 1032–1113), a physician of the Song dynasty, compiled by Yan Xiaozhong, a Song pediatrician, and issued in the first year of Song emperor Xuanhe, who reigned in 1119–25. This three-juan copy was reprinted at the workshop of Qixiutang during the Ming dynasty. Qian Yi’s father was also a physician who enjoyed drinking and travel. One day he went to the sea and never returned. Qian Yi searched repeatedly for his father and eventually found him, but by then Qian Yi was 30 years old. Qian Yi also lost his mother when he was young, so he was raised by his aunt. Suffering from consumption, he compounded his own medicine. He went to the Eastern Mountain to pick fuling fungus (Poria cocos), a medicinal mushroom. He eventually regained his health and died at the age of 82. Qian Yi specialized in the treatment of children and already in his lifetime enjoyed a reputation as a pediatrician. In this famous work he introduced his herbal tonic formula, which became widely used for treating children and the elderly. He was called to the imperial court to treat the illness of the oldest princess and was later given the title of Hanlin physician. He also cured the convulsions of the young prince. The emperor promoted him to court physician and richly rewarded him, while the nobility and their families flocked to him for care. This work had far-reaching influence on pediatric medicine in China. The work also includes Qian Yi’s biography, written by Liu Qi, and two appendices, Fu fang (Prescriptions) by Yan Xiaozhong and Dong shi xiao er ban zhen bei ji fang lun (Dong’s prescriptions for emergency treatment of typhus in children) by Dong Ji, another Song pediatrician, with a preface by Qian Yi (dated 1093).

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3 juan, 4 volumes ; 21.6 x 15.6 centimeters


  • Only preface and partial text of juan 1 are included in the WDL presentation.

Last updated: March 5, 2014