The New Book on Prolonging Parents’ Life and Nourishing the Elderly, in Four Juan


This work has four juan in three volumes. It was first compiled by Chen Zhi of the Song, later supplemented by Zou Xuan of the Dade reign of the Yuan, and edited by Huang Yingzi. It was first issued in the 11th year (1307) of the Dade reign, with a preface by Wei Chesun. Copies of the original edition are now very rare. This copy, of which the table of contents and juan one are shown here, was printed by Zhang Shihong in the second year (1342) of the Zhizheng reign of the Yuan dynasty. Zhang Shihong’s family owned a copy of the work in their collection. He adhered to the tenets of the book in caring for his mother Li, who was reported to be over 80 and still in very good health. The characters of Zhang’s copy became faint and blurry, and some parts were lost. In 1341 he acquired a complete copy of the work from Li Zizhen, which he had engraved and printed at the academy. Chen Zhi wrote juan one, entitled Shou qin yang lao shu (Book on prolonging parents’ life and nourishing the elderly). Little biographical information about Chen Zhi is available. He was the magistrate of Xinhua Xian, Taizhou Prefecture during the Yuanfeng reign (1078−85) of Emperor Song Shenzong. The main subject of Chen’s work is nurturing the life of the elderly. It contains 15 essays on proper nutrition, examination of symptoms and pulse diagnosis, strengthening medications, personality and hobbies, feasts and daily life, social standing of rich and poor, warning against vices, an introduction to nourishment of the elderly throughout the year, recipes to tempt the sick and treat illnesses, and simple but effective formulas for emergencies. During the Dade reign (1297−1307), Zou Xuan of Taining (now in Fujian Province) supplemented the work, adding three more juan and changing the name to Shou qin yang lao xin shu (The new book on prolonging parents’ life and nourishing the elderly). Zou Xuan’s style name was Binghe and his self-styled name Jinzhi Laoren (The old man who respects Zhi). His grandfather, granduncle, and two mothers all followed the regimen prescribed in Chen’s work, and all lived beyond the age of 90, while Zou was already 70 when he wrote his work. Zou’s additions to the original work are wide-ranging and varied. Juan two contains essays on health maintenance, medication, and other subjects. Juans three and four discuss daily life and drinking and eating, formulas for dietary treatment for women and children, qigong exercises to enhance energy for life, cultivation of the inner nature, and other topics. Zou also discussed other means of nurturing, including tea, wine, incense, outings, vehicles, keeping turtles, collecting paintings, and playing the zither.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Zhang Shihong


Title in Original Language

壽親養老新書 : 四卷

Type of Item

Physical Description

4 juan, 3 volumes

Last updated: June 25, 2015