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Books, Journals, New Media
April 11, 2001

Chinese MedicineScience and Civilization in China, vol 6: Biology and Biological Technology, part 6: Medicine

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001American Medical Association


by Joseph Needham and Lu Gwei-Djen, edited by Nathan Sivin, 261 pp, $75, ISBN 0-521-63262-5, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 2000.

JAMA. 2001;285(14):1891-1892. doi:10.1001/jama.285.14.1891

The Chinese developed a system of medicine 2000 years ago that is still widely used. The biologic actions of approximately 2000 natural products derived from plants, animals, and minerals were recorded and coupled with their notions about man's relationship with the universe and nature. The theories led to the application of a vast number of agents to prevent, diagnose, cure, and alleviate medical conditions. Chinese medical practitioners also noted that many products could interact to influence each other beneficially or adversely, and knowledge of this ability was exploited to write prescriptions with drugs in combination.

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