The Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum of Beijing University of Chinese Medicine tells stories about the development of Chinese medicine from prehistorical period to the founding year of new China, 1949.
Mawangdui is an archaeological site of the western Han dynasty (206 BC – 9 AD) located in Mawangdui Town in Hunan Province. The site consists of tombs of Marquis Li Cang, his wife, and a male believed to have been their son. Tombs and were by far the best preserved. Among the awe-inspiring artifacts, more than ten species of herbs were also uncovered.
2. Huangdi Neijing
Huangdi Neijing, one of the earliest extant medical books in China, was written during Warring State period and Qin and Han Dynasties. It embodies Chinese people’s wisdom in fighting against disease.
3. Hua Tuo: Trailblazer of Surgery
Hua Tuo invented an anesthetic that assisted him to have an abdomen operation, the first case of abdomen operation in the world.
4. Bian Stone
Bian stone was applied in cutting carbuncle, draining pus and puncturing blood vessels during Neolithic period. It served as the oldest surgical equipment in the era when metal appliance was nowhere to be found.
5. Majiayao Pottery
Chinese pottery has been famous since ancient times. However, compared to its counterparts in other period, Majiayao Pottery has more patterns both on outside and inside. Moreover, these patterns are more sophisticated and exquisite, which showcase local people’s flexible imagination.
6. Oracle Bone Script and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Oracle Bone Scripts are symbols and markers engraved on turtle shells and animal bones for divination and prayer over 3,000 years ago. As the earliest known Chinese writing, they recorded what happened at that time. Many characters related with disease were carved on the oracle bone.
7. Drinking Vessel and Medicinal Wine
In Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties, the drinking vessels developed rapidly, particularly emphasis on wine ritual. Medicinal wine is a mixture of alcohol and traditional Chinese medicine. It is safe, effective and easy to get. This is because alcohol can easily dissolve all active ingredients in drugs and enhance the efficacy of medicine.
8. Jade Handle for Circulation of Qi
The jade handle is carved with formulas for practicing Qigong. It’s an effective fitness facility for the old people to maintain good health.
9. The Classic of Herbal Medicine
Shennong Bencaojing, or the Classic of Herbal Medicine, is the earliest extant pharmacology monograph of China. It embodied the efforts of many medical scientists during the Qin and Han period. It is the first classified summary of Chinese herbal medicine.
10. Zhang Zhongjing
Zhang Zhongjing was a famous physician in Eastern Han dynasty. His masterpiece, Shanghan Zabing Lun, or Treatise on Cold Pathogenic and Miscellaneous Diseases, has been considered as one of the most influential medical classics in Chinese medicine history.
11. Sun Simiao: King of Medicine
Sun Simiao was titled as China's King of Medicine for his significant contributions to Chinese medicine. His masterpiece, Qian Jin Yao Fang and Qian Jin Yi Fang are acclaimed as the first encyclopedias on clinical medicine in Chinese history, and revered by Japanese scholars as the "Treasure of Humankind."
12. Ge Hong and Alchemy
Ge Hong, the alchemy master, enhanced the efficacy of chemical drugs and produced the majority of chemical compounds that met the needs at that time.
13. Imperial Medical Academy of Tang Dynasty
Imperial Medical Academy of Tang Dynasty is the world’s first medical school. It was where imperial families, dignitaries and government officials got treatment.
14. Anatomy in Ancient China
The word “Anatomy” first appeared in Huangdi Neijing. There were detailed information about bone, organs, blood vessels and their measurements in length, weight, volume and capacity in this monumental work of traditional Chinese medicine.
15. Acupuncture Bronze Statue
354 acupuncture points were carved into the statue. There were wooden organs and bones inside the statue. The bronze acupuncture statue was not only the most sophisticated educational tools in imperial medical academy of China, but also served as the first national standard for acupuncture.
16. Li Shizhen: Read more, Travel more
Li Shizhen was a doctor, scientist, pharmacologist, herbalist and acupuncturist of the Ming dynasty. His masterpiece, Bencao Gangmu, or Compendium of Materia Medica, is widely regarded as the classified introduction of herbal medicine before the 16th century and acclaimed as the Monumental Encyclopedia of Oriental Pharmacology.