Why Medicine and Religion?

Until recently, the history of Chinese medicine has been one of genealogies, of histories of texts that were composed or compiled at one point in time, and then edited into different forms by various individuals or groups over time.  It was a history of great books and great men. But these histories, constructed narratives of elites and their texts, do not do service to the vast majority of healthcare in China, which was practiced by a broad range of people - from family members, first and foremost, to mendicants, herb-sellers, masseurs, cooks, attendants, priests, monks and ascetics.... 

Situating Drug Knowledge in China: A Digital Humanities Solution

Reblogged from The Recipes Project, 11.06.2015. Drugs, be they plant, animal or mineral, were important objects for trade, cure and even spiritual salvation throughout Chinese history even until today.  They appear in all sorts of diverse sources, from poems and diaries to scriptures, pharmacopoeias and recipe books. The historical record for the early imperial period (221 … Continue reading Situating Drug Knowledge in China: A Digital Humanities Solution

A Plant for the End of the World

Reblogged from The Recipes Project, 16.12.2014. Located in his mountain retreat near the Floriate Sunlight Cavern on Mount Mao, China’s earliest recorded pharmacologist, Tao Hongjing, is deep in his studies. He is editing the earliest known recension of the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, the Divine Husbandman's Pharmacopoeia (Shennong bencao jing 神農本草經). It is about the year 500, and Tao is also … Continue reading A Plant for the End of the World