Saturday, November 29, 2014

2838: Chinese discover worlds best asthma remedy

While Nei Ching is the oldest known recorded Chinese medical treaties, Shen Nung, who lived from 2838-2698 B.C., is often considered as the founder of Chinese Medicine as well as the "Fire Emperor."  (1) 


Shen Nung (2838-2698)
Shen Nung created the Pen Ts'ao, or "Divine Husbandman's Materia Medica."  It's basically a pharmacopoeia describing how to create remedies from drugs and plants to treat various diseases. He was the first to mention using the plant Ma Huang for treating respiratory disorders.

The leaves and/ or stems of the Ma Huang plant were dried prepared in such a way that it was served as a drink, often as a bitter tasting tea. Nung believed Ma Huang worked by reversing the flow of Qi.

Leaves of the plant were crushed and served in a bitter tasting yellow tea.

Western medicine reached China early in the 17th century. But, another 300 years would go by before ephedrine was discovered by the modern world. (2).

We might fairly assume that the Chinese had the best asthma remedy in the ancient world. It was taken by mouth and offered quick breathing relief.

So, while Ancient Chinese asthmatics obtained quick asthma relief by using ephedra, the rest of the world (except for maybe Japan and Korea) would have to wait.

References:
  1. Saunders, M, J.B. Dec, "Huang Ti Nei Ching Su Wen -- The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Mediciner,"  Calif Med1967 July; 107(1): 125–126
  2. Veith, Ilza, author /translator, "The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine," 2002, Los Angeles, pages 4-6
  3. Ibid, page 97-8
  4. Ibid, pages pages 98 and 10-14
  5. "Qi Theory,  damo-qigong.net,  http://damo-qigong.net/qi-theory1.htm
  6. Ibid, http://damo-qigong.net/qi-theory.htm
  7. Veith, op cit, pages 49 and 50
  8. Veith, op cit, pages 57-8, also see chapter 26 beginning on page 217
  9. Navara, Tova, "The Encyclopedia of Asthma and Respiratory Disorders," 2003, New York, page 177
  10. Veith, op cit, page 1
References:
  1. Navara, Tova, "The Encyclopedia of Asthma and Respiratory Disorders," 2003, New York, page 177
  2. Veith, Ilza, author /translator, "The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine," 2002, Los Angeles, pages 4-6

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