How ancient remedies are changing modern medicine
Long overlooked by Western science, traditional Chinese treatments are yielding cutting-edge cures.
The Chinese record dates back to the third century B.C., when healers began analyzing the body, interpreting its functions, and describing its reactions to various treatments, including herbal remedies, massage, and acupuncture. For more than 2,200 years, generations of scholars added to and refined the knowledge. The result is a canon of literature dealing with every sort of health problem, including the common cold, venereal disease, paralysis, and epilepsy. This knowledge is contained in books and manuscripts bearing such enigmatic titles as The Pulse Classic (third century), Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Pieces of Gold (seventh century), and Essential Secrets From Outside the Metropolis (eighth century).