Annotated Book of Alchemy by Tao Zhi


Tao gong huan jin shu (Annotated book of alchemy) is an important work on alchemy, based on an original text by Tao Zhi, a Daoist priest of the ninth century. Shown here is a Ming edition of the Jiajing period (1522–66), in one juan, one volume, annotated by Shao Fu, a native of Wulin. Shao Fu was also referred to as Qiwan in one of his other works, Jingyang han shi ji (Stone inscriptions of Jingyang). He studied Daoist theory, and his commentaries reflect his knowledge on the subject. The original work by Tao Zhi had three essays, including one entitled Dao zang (Daoist canon). Chinese alchemy, a part of the larger tradition of Daoism, centers on the practice of nurturing the body–spirit connection. Besides focusing on the purification of the spirit and the body, the practitioners believed in summoning benevolent spirits and expelling demons. They hoped to gain immortality through Qi practices (movement of vital forces) or use of various alchemical elixirs. The work includes two prefaces, one by Tao Zhi, the original author, and the other by Shao Fu, the annotator.


Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information



Title in Original Language


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 juan in 1 volume

Last updated: January 3, 2018