Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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(2,273 words)

As in other civilizations, the art of healing has been known in China since prehistorical times. The development of medicine as such has been recognizable in China since about the 3rd century BCE. At the time, there began the acquisition of scientific insights of a systematic correspondence among all phenomena and their transfer to dealing with the human organism and its deviations from an assumed norm, which were interpreted as diseases. This took place within the framework of a dualism called yinyang and a fivefold system called five phases ( wu xing ). In the course of the followin…

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Unschuld, Paul U., “Medicine”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 01 March 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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