Complete Book on Infant Care


Bao ying quan shu (Complete book on infant care) was compiled by Xue Kai and expanded by Xue Ji, his son. This edition was printed in the 17th year (1589) of the Wanli reign by Zhao Kehuai (died 1603), a circuit inspector in Shaanxi. It has three prefaces: by Wang Ji, dated 1583; by Zhao Kehuai, dated 1582; and by Gong Yiqing, dated 1584. In his preface, Wang Ji indicated that the work had two juan, called internal and external juan. Zhao Kehuai stated in his preface that he acquired first, the internal juan, while on inspection in eastern Guangdong and had it printed under the title Bao ying cuo yao (Essentials of infant care). He acquired the external juan later. Initially he wanted to give it the title Bao ying xu ji (Sequel to infant care). Upon the suggestion of Wang Ji, the title was changed to its present form, and the work was printed in Fujian, in 20 juan, and 20 volumes. During a posting to the Guanzhong region, Zhao was told by provincial government officials that the Shaanxi region lacked good physicians, whereupon he requested the regional office of the provincial administration commission to reprint the work. The compiler, Xue Kai, courtesy name Liangwu, a native of Wuxian, served at the Imperial Academy of Medicine during the Hongzhi reign (1488−1505). He held in high esteem Jin physician Zhang Yuansu (1151−1234) and Song pediatricians Chen Wenzhong and Qian Yi (1032−1113). Xue Kai’s son, Xue Ji, expanded and supplemented the work, which was printed in the 35th year (1556) of the Jiajing reign. Xue Ji (1487−1559), courtesy name Xinfu, style name Lizhai, carried on the family profession and became a member of the Imperial Academy of Medicine in the early Zhengde reign (1506−21). He was later promoted to Imperial Physician at the academy and appointed administrative assistant at the headquarters of the academy in 1519. He retired to his home in 1530. He became well known in internal medicine, especially for his focus on the spleen, kidneys, and stomach. He followed the tradition of warm tonifying (using herbs that were sweet flavored and warming), of other Chinese herbal remedies, and treatments that included raising the qi, as represented by Song physician Li Gao (1180−1251), and he emphasized the important roles in the body of the spleen and stomach. He was the author of a number of works, including Nei ke zhai yao (Essentials of internal medicine), Wai ke fa hui (Views on external medicine), Wai ke xin fa (The inner essence of external medicine), Nü ke cuo yao (Essentials on women’s diseases), and Kou chi lei yao (Classified synopses of oral and dental diseases). The prefaces, table of contents, and Juan 1 are presented here.

Last updated: October 29, 2015