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


Chong xiu Zhenghe jing shi zheng lei bei yong ben cao (Revised Zhenghe edition of classified and practical basic materia medica based on historical classics) is an encyclopedic work on pharmacopeia by Song physician Tang Shenwei. Its origins range from Shennong ben cao jing (Shennong’s materia medica) of the Qin and Han dynasties to Zheng lei ben cao (Classified herbal medicine), also by Tang and published before this edition. The work lists 1,746 herbal medicines. It was widely known and recommended in medical circles for its rich contents and practical applications. This copy was based on Zhenghe ben cao (Classified and practical basic materia medica drawn from historical classics: Revised and enlarged during the Zhenghe Reign), printed and distributed by Zhang Cunhui of Pingyang, Shanxi, in 1249, around the time of Güyük Khan, known as Dingzong. It also incorporates elements from Kou Zongshi’s Ben cao yan yi (Augmented materia medica). The page design is very fine, with the text interspersed with illustrations, which are representative of woodblock engraving in the northern style. This copy was owned by numerous renowned book collectors, including Zhu Dashao, Xiang Dushou, and Qian Qianyi of the Ming dynasty, and Mao Jin, Ji Zhenyi, Xu Qianxue, Yuan Tingtao, Wang Shizhong, Jiang Guangyu, and others of the Qing dynasty, thus its provenance can easily be traced. It is of great value.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Zhang Cunhui, Pingyang, Shanxi


Title in Original Language


Type of Item

Physical Description

Stitched binding ; 17.2 x 13.2 centimeters

Last updated: July 31, 2014