Essentials on External Diseases, with Appendices


Wai ke jing yao & fu lu (Essentials on external diseases, with appendices), a treasured work in the National Central Library, was compiled by Chen Ziming of the Song dynasty, annotated by Xue Ji of the Ming, and printed during the Jiajing reign (1522‒66) of the Ming. Chen Ziming (1190–1270), courtesy name Liangfu, a native of Linchuan (in present-day Jiangxi Province), was a Southern Song physician and a medical official at the Mingdao Academy in Jiankang. In addition to this work, he also compiled Fu ren da quan liang fang (Collection of effective formulas for women) and Guan jian da quan liang fang (Collection of effective formulas for emergencies). According to Wang Xun’s preface, dated the 27th year (1548) of the Jiajing reign, Xue Ji (1487‒1559) was originally a medical official at the Imperial Academy of Medicine, but in middle age he resigned from his post and devoted himself to studying and writing to remedy what he saw as the deficiencies of medical scholarship. After extensive study of Su wen (Plain questions) and Nan jing (Classic of difficult issues) and other scholarly works, he selected Chen Ziming’s Wai ke jing yao as his preferred text and provided annotations and supplements to the original work. Wang Xun suffered from gangrene on his foot but recovered from after treatment by Xue Ji’s methods. In his own preface, written in the 26th year (1547) of the Jiajing reign, Xue Ji explained that even though Chen Ziming focused on external diseases, as seen in the title, his treatments often were combined with those used in internal medicine. This reflected the fundamental theories of Nei jing (The inner canon of the Yellow Emperor), an ancient Chinese medical text. This work has 54 chapters in three juan and appendices on 13 topics, under the title of Cang shang yin kuo guan jian chu zhi zhi fa (Sores and wounds and formulas for their key treatments). Juan 1 contains 22 chapters, with the first on diagnosis and treatments of anthraces and subcutaneous ulcers and the last on the five sources of subcutaneous ulcers on the back. Juan 2 includes chapters 23‒38, listing first the distinctions between internal and external anthraces and subcutaneous ulcers on the back and ending with changes of formulas. Juan 3 begins with chapter 39 on using the lotion made of Maifan mineral stone to treat anthraces and subcutaneous ulcers, and ends with chapter 54 on fistulas formed from anthraces and subcutaneous ulcers. Included in the appendices are formulas such as the leech therapy and treatments for wounds inflicted by metal, arrows, wood, and bamboo using boiling to produce concentrated doses. The preface, table of contents and juan 1 of this work are presented here. 



Author of Introduction, etc.

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

外科精要, 附錄

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 juan in 2 volumes


  • Originally 54 chapters in three juan

Last updated: May 31, 2017