By Yu Shen
Trade paperback book
The Fu Ke Xin Fa Yao Jue is the gynecology section of the imperial compilation known as the Golden Mirror of Orthodox Medicine, a comprehensive, 90-volume compendium of medical theory and practice compiled by court physicians in 1742 and used as a textbook for the Imperial Medical School in the Qing Dynasty. The Golden Mirror was so-named because it contained the core of Chinese medical doctrine: this “bright, golden mirror,” replete with vivid illustrations and effective therapies for many disorders, allowed scholars to clearly see the origin and lineage of orthodox Chinese medicine. The Chinese name for this particular text includes the phrase xin fa, which means “heart approach.” A “heart approach” refers to an understanding that comes after a sustained period of reflection.
The Fu Ke is distinguished by its concise and well-expressed insights, which are presented in verses complemented by annotations. The text is highly regarded as a rigorous and scholarly work that covers a wide variety of gynecological issues in a manner that allows the key clinical points to be rapidly assimilated. Furthermore, the formulas contained within are effective and are based upon generations of experience.
In the six-volume gynecology section, the most common topics related to women’s health are presented. Chapters are structured with verses followed by annotations and are dedicated to menstruation, fertility, pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care. Altogether, 161 classical formulas and their variations are presented. Focusing on identifying yin and yang patterns of illness based on presenting signs, the Fu Ke explicates women’s health in a clear and systematic way, epitomizing the unique and sophisticated philosophy and style of Chinese medicine, drawing from major medical classics and concisely presenting information. It is a unique text that represents the pinnacle achievements of Chinese medicine prior to the modern era.
More than a medical classic of the past, it is also a useful text in the modern day. It covers conditions that are timeless and common, and provides relevant insights into the evolution of Chinese medical theory. It offers the reader a glimpse into history and culture while simultaneously offering clinically valuable approaches for modern practice. Readers will understand how to utilize many classical formulas and their variations, as well as create their own formulas, based on what they have learned from this text.
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