Excellent Remedies Beneficial to Mankind


Wan shi jia chao Ji shi liang fang (Excellent remedies beneficial to mankind), also called Wan shi Ji shi liang fang, is a work by Wan Biao (1498‒1556). Wan, style name Minwang, also known as Luyuan, a native of Yinxian, Zhejiang, was a political and military figure. He received the degree of jin shi in 1520 and held various posts, including that of provincial military commander in Huai’an region and commander-in-chief of the Nanjing Chief Military Commission during Emperor Jiajing’s reign (1522‒66). He was the author of a number of works. This one, dating from 1609, was originally in five juan. It was edited and revised into six juan by his son Wan Dafu, an assistant regional commander in Guangdong and other regions. It was further expanded into seven juan by his grandson Wan Bangfu, also a commander-in-chief in Fujian and Zhejiang areas. This copy is a re-issued edition in seven juan. Juan 1 includes prefaces, an editorial guide, and the table of contents. Juan 2‒5 cover more than 90 types of ailments with diagnoses and prescriptions, listing various diseases, including colds, fevers, and strokes, as well as infant and women’s diseases. Juan 6 is entitled Xin zeng dou an bing mai jue (Newly added essay on the loss of voice due to smallpox and on pulse formulas). Juan 7, entitled Xin zeng ben bao yao xing (Newly added juan on properties of materia medica), is divided into sections covering grasses, woods, vegetables, fruits, bones, stones, animals, insects, fish, and human beings and discusses the characteristics of herbal medicine. Both the materials and sources in the book are very rich, making it a useful tool for clinical practices. Preceding the text are three prefaces written by Shen Jinjie,Hong Qirui, and Zhu Daoxiang, who also confirmed the contribution of Wan Dafu and Wan Bangfu. There is also a fragmented postscript. Although incomplete, this Library of Congress copy is the only existing one outside of China.

Last updated: January 16, 2018