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THE CRADLE OF CHINESE MEDICINE

The history of China attested by written memorials counts nearly four thousand years. But even in those times to which belongs one of the most ancient texts known to humanity dated by the year 2059 B.C. on the territory of China there existed a highly developed civilization. When elamites were just coming to Mesopotamia and Mediterranean culture was just laying its foundation around the walls of Knossky palace Yui led the Huanhe river to the south Zin-zhou through Lun-men canyon until the Hua mountain. Then he made it flow to the east along the Menzin tributary… In the north-west the soil is light and yellow. The land is most fertile… People render jasper and other rare minerals as a tribute to the emperor. To bring them to the capital they put their boats with the river stream. Nomandic tribes in that area are subdued to them. They bring furs and textiles from the very Kunlun mountains. In the east between Taishan mountain and the sea the Zin province streches out. Here lays the border behind which permanent seaside residents live. The soil of this area is white and dense…

People render the emperor special tribute: salt, different gifts from the sea, lead, rare minerals, yarn. The residents of Lai region are namands-shepherds. They bring to the emperor silk of the wild silkworm.

The aforesaid refers to the Yu epoch (the tenth), which started by Huandi, the Yellow Emperor. According to the legend, his reign began in 2698 B.C.

It is not yet clear if Huandi was a historic person or if it is a symbolic name of the whole period that lasted for several centuries. But in the period titled by this name there existed quite a definite and rather developed civilization. In that time they built piled houses, cultivated land by means of pack animals, they could breed silkworms, reel the silk and make textiles and the pottery was decorated by multi-coloured painting in the shape of spirals and nettings.

But let us turn to even more remote ages to the heroes of ancient Chinese legends Sheninun and Fusi, i.e. to the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3d millennium. Although the data about those times are not quite clear to the archeologists these semi-legendary heroes are considered the founders of Chinese medicine. However we can not refer to them only. Because if Sheninun, according to the legend, "tried all the herbs" and Fusi "produced needles" (for acupuncture) then it should be presumed that in the first half of the 3d millennium on the basis of collective experience in a general way the curative and poisonous properties of different plants had been determined and in the same way the correlations between pricking with a needle and progress of a definite disease were discovered and established.

Thus without turning to even more distant historical materials we can draw a conclusion that Chinese medicine is one of the most ancient medicines of the nations inhabiting the Earth.

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