Home China Legendary Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors

Legendary Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors

Four famous figures stand out in the history of traditional Chinese medicine. They are Bian Que, Huatuo, Sun Simiao, and Li Shizhen. Bian Que is the earliest known physician, from China’s Warring States period, 770 to 221 B.C. According to historical texts, Bian Que had supernormal abilities and could see through a human body. He was the founder of the pulse-taking diagnosis.

Chinese_woodcut,_Famous_medical_figures;_Portrait_of_Bian_Que_Wellcome_L0039317
Chinese woodcut print of Bian Que. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Legend has it that Bian Que revived the crown prince of the state of Guo — believed to be dead. Using pulse diagnosis, Bian Que found the prince was in a coma, and treated him with acupuncture. Thus, Bian Que was known as “the doctor who brings the dead back to life.”

Hua Tuo is known as China’s first surgeon, living during the late Han Dynasty and early Three Kingdoms era. According to historical texts, Hua Tuo was called the “Divine physician” or “Shenyi” in Chinese.

 

Chinese_woodcut,_Famous_medical_figures;_Portrait_of_Hua_Tuo_Wellcome_L0039320
Chinese woodcut print of Hua Tuo. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Hua Tuo invented Ma Fei San — an anesthetic drug used to reduce pain during surgery. One story has it that Hua Tuo treated Guan Yu — the famous general of Emperor Liu Bei in the Shu state during the Three Kingdoms period.

A poisoned arrow had injured Guan’s right arm during a battle. Hua Tuo applied his anesthetic, made a cut in Guan’s right arm, and then cut away the poisoned part of the flesh. The surgery was done while Guan was playing a board game.

According to historical accounts, Hua Tuo saw a tumor in Cao Cao’s brain and suggested brain surgery. But Cao Cao — ruler of the Wei state during the Three Kingdoms era — thought Hua Tuo wanted to kill him. He imprisoned Hua Tuo, who died in prison. Later Cao Cao died of this illness.

Hua Tuo is also known for developing Wuqinxi — the Five Animals Daoist qigong exercises.

Sun Simiao from the Tang Dynasty was known as China’s King of Medicine. His key role was the compilation of pre-Tang Dynasty clinical practices and medical theories into two books.

Chinese_woodcut,_Famous_medical_figures;_Sun_Simiao_Wellcome_L0039324
Chinese woodcut print of Sun Simiao. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Li Shizhen from the Ming Dynasty is one of the greatest Chinese herbalists. He’s regarded as the father of traditional Chinese medicine and the patron saint of Chinese herbal medicine. Li’s key contribution was the Compendium of Herbs or Bencao Gangmu (本草纲目) in Chinese. The book covers nearly 1900 (1892) different herbs in 60 different categories.

360px-Li_Shizhen_figurine
Porcelain statue of Li Shizhen. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

In ancient China, these great physicians were said to have had supernatural abilities. They could see through the human body with the Third Eye.

According to traditional Chinese thought, this third eye is located in the forehead, slightly above and in between the eyebrows, and can be activated through spiritual cultivation practice. While this is a mystical concept, the Third Eye is part of the pineal gland. Today, modern medical science recognizes that the front part of the pineal gland contains the exact structure of a human eye.

Like this article? Subscribe to our weekly email for more!       

Vision Times Staff
Vision Times is a kaleidoscopic view into the most interesting stories on the web. We also have a special talent for China stories — read About Us to find out why. Vision Times. Fascinating stuff.

Most Popular

Parler CEO Lashes Out at Big Tech for Censoring Content

John Matze, the CEO of social media platform Parler, recently lashed out against Big Tech like Twitter and Facebook, saying that the censorship activities...

Waste Fishing Gear Threatens Ganges Wildlife

Waste fishing gear in the Ganges River poses a threat to wildlife including otters, turtles, and dolphins, new research shows. The study says entanglement in...

China Using LinkedIn to Recruit Spies

The Chinese government is using LinkedIn profiles to hire spies, says James Olson, who has spent 30 years working for the CIA and is...

Election Fraud Evidence: Invalid Residential Addresses and Fraudulent Mail-In Ballots

The FBI has asked election integrity researcher, Matt Braynard, to provide proof of voter fraud committed during the 2020 presidential elections. The evidence has...