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Prescriptions of Universal Relief

Pu Ji Fang (Prescriptions of Universal Relief) is the most extensive prescription book in Chinese history, with 61,739 prescriptions in it.

It was published in 1406, compiled under the leadership of Emperor Zhu Di of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Pu Ji Fang gathered great mass of data. In addition to the contents of prescription books before the Ming Dynasty, it has also collected data in other aspects, such as biographies, magazines and so on, so its contents are very rich and detailed. As the number of printed copies was very small and the book was so useful, many people made copies by writing from one to another. The rarer, the more valuable. Pu Ji Fang was very precious at that time. After some times, the original block-printed edition of Pu Ji Fang was already lost.

The original of Pu Ji Fang was in 168 volumes, and later it was changed into 426 volumes, containing 217 categories and 788 therapies. There are 239 pictures in the whole book. The contents include the general remark, the human body, miscellaneous diseases of enteric fever, surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, acupuncture and moxibustion and so on. The book described the treatment of many diseases, such as decoction, massage, acupuncture and moxibustion, and so on. Pu Ji Fang is a very practical medical formulary. Under each disease, some prescriptions are listed,so, what the scholar or doctor has to do is just to find the prescriptions according to the disease, and then choose one from the many prescriptions. The book also serves as a very precious medical literature.

In 1959, the People's Medical Publishing House of China proofread and reprinted the book Pu Ji Fang on the basis of many fragmentary copies of earlier times. Pu Ji Fang published by the People's Medical Publishing House is in 10 volumes. Volume 1 is on physiology, Volume 2 on the human body, Volume 3 to Volume 6 on miscellaneous diseases, Volume 7 on skin and external diseases, Volume 8 on women, Volume 9 on children, and Volume 10 on acupuncture and moxibustion. Thus, the book becomes concise and clear.

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