A Look at the Author: Zhang Zhongjing
The Shang Han Lun is an emblematic work in the world of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), written by Zhang Zhongjing more than 1800 years ago. Zhang Zhongjing, often celebrated as one of the most famous TCM doctors, lived during the Eastern Han period, around 150 AD. His deep empathy for the distresses caused by the epidemics of his time encouraged him to deepen his medical knowledge. This ancestral text largely shaped the use of herbs for healing. Through his writings, Shang Han Lun explores the complex interaction between the human body and diseases caused by environmental elements, notably cold.
Zhang Zhongjing, in developing Shang Han Lun, laid the foundations for a medical system that views the human body as an integrated set of interacting elements. Instead of targeting isolated symptoms, Shang Han Lun suggests herbal remedies to restore balance to the body, thereby addressing the root cause of illnesses.
Structuring the Six Stages of Disease Progression
The book is structured around six stages of disease progression, each detailing symptoms and associated treatments. Each stage corresponds to a level of depth where the disease takes hold in the body. This structuring allows a targeted approach to defuse the disease and restore bodily balance.
Tai Yang step:
Corresponds to the initial phase of an illness where the symptoms are generally superficial and often associated with illnesses caused by the cold.
Common formulations: herbal blends to expel cold and warm the body.
Yang Ming step:
The disease progresses, often characterized by fever and intense thirst.
Common formulations: blends to clear heat and hydrate the body.
Shao Yang step:
Alternating symptoms of cold and heat, indicating a fluctuating imbalance.
Common formulations: blends to harmonize the internal and external.
Tai Yin step:
Characterized by symptoms of coldness and digestive weakness.
Common formulations: blends to warm and support digestion.
Shao Yin step:
Symptoms of internal cold, weakness and fatigue.
Common formulations: blends to nourish and warm the body.
Jue Yin step:
The deepest phase, with symptoms of extreme weakness and body chill.
Common formulations: blends to warm and revitalize the body.
Each of these steps is meticulously detailed in the Shang Han Lun with recommendations for specific herbal formulations. Plants are chosen based on their unique medicinal properties, revealed through careful observation and deep understanding of nature. Zhang Zhongjing provided a rich description of each herb, its nature, taste, and affinity with different organs and meridians, allowing precise prescriptions to address specific imbalances associated with each stage of illness.
It is not just a book of prescriptions, but a philosophical exploration of how nature and the human body interact. Through the pages of Shang Han Lun, Zhang Zhongjing offers herbal formulations to restore harmony to the body, exemplifying a holistic approach that continues to inspire TCM practitioners even today.
Global Impact and Modern Inspiration
Shang Han Lun is much more than an ancient medical textbook; it is a window into a rich and complex medical tradition that has survived and evolved through the centuries. Zhang Zhongjing's legacy continues to resonate through the ages, providing a well of wisdom on how to understand and treat disease in an approach that respects the integrity of the human body.
Recognition of the value of Shang Han Lun is not limited to China's borders, but extends globally, with practitioners and researchers continuing to draw on its profound teachings. It is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for those seeking to merge ancient medical knowledge with contemporary health needs.
The Nuwa Menopause Formula : A Modern Adaptation
The Nuwa Menopause Formula, as the name suggests, is designed to help balance the body's energies and relieve the symptoms of menopause. It is inspired by Zhang Zhongjing's comprehensive approach to healing. The formulation of Nuwa Menopause is not a direct copy of the Shang Han Lun recipes, but rather a modern adaptation, implementing the book's core principles to address the specific challenges women face during this life transition.
The six herbs chosen for the Nuwa Menopause Formula – Goji Berries, Safflower, Rehmannia, Dodder, Wild Yam and White Mulberry – were selected not only for their individual medicinal properties, but also for the harmonious way how they interact together, echoing the way Shang Han Lun approaches combining herbs to treat bodily imbalances.