Effective Formulas Tested by Physicians for Generations


Presented here is one of the famous encyclopedias of formulas of traditional Chinese medicine. It was compiled by Wei Yilin (1277‒1347) of the Yuan dynasty. The original inscription on the piece reads: “Printed by Chen Zhi, medical superintendent of Jianning Lu; compiled by Wei Yilin, medical instructor of Nanfeng Prefecture; edited by Yu Cishan, vice medical supervisor of Jiangxi and other areas.” Wei Yilin, other name Dazhai, a native of Nanfeng, Jiangxi, came from a family of physicians and began his medical study at a young age. He worked in Nanfeng as a medical instructor. With his extensive knowledge and medical practice, Wei collected the experiences of five successive generations of his physician family, examined the famous formulas collected by the members of the family, and consulted all 13 medical specialties of the Yuan dynasty. He completed this work in ten years. After the official inspection by the Imperial Academy of Medicine, it was printed in the fifth year (1345) of the Zhizheng era of the Yuan dynasty. At the start is an inscription by the Imperial Academy of Medicine dated 1339, signed by various officials. The work also has three prefaces, by Wang Chongyun (1338), by Chen Zhi (1343), and by the compiler himself (1337), and it includes an official dispatch note, dated 1337. Each formula is given relevant references. The work is in 20 juan and is arranged in the order of the 13 departments set by the Yuan Imperial Academy of Medicine. It provides diagnoses and treatments and the formulas dealing with internal medicine, external medicine, women, infants, bone fractures, and the five sense organs. Juan 1‒10 discuss diseases of adults and miscellaneous ailments; juan 11‒12 are on children; juan 13 deals with wind-related diseases; juan 14‒15 are on obstetrics and miscellaneous women’s diseases; juan 16 deals with ophthalmology; juan 17 is on dentistry, the pharynx, and larynx; juan 18 concerns bone orthopedics and wounds from weapons; juan 19 addresses sores, carbuncles, and wounds; and juan 20 contains an appendix, a work by Sun Simiao (died in 682, also known as True Master, a physician and author of the earliest encyclopedia for clinical practice) on nurturing health. Information on the use of acupuncture is also attached to each juan. The work is an essential reference for the study of traditional Chinese medicine and for clinical use. This copy is preserved in “jade set in gold” binding, a book-binding method to protect the original leaves. It is in good condition. Paper slips are attached to certain pages.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Chen Zhi, Fujian


Title in Original Language

世醫得效方 : 二十卷

Type of Item

Physical Description

20 juan, 24 volumes

Last updated: January 16, 2018