Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Full Access The Transmission of Medical Knowledge on 'Nurturing the Fetus' in Early China

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

The Transmission of Medical Knowledge on 'Nurturing the Fetus' in Early China

  • PDF
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Asian Medicine

Early and medieval Chinese medical authors produced, preserved, and transmitted medical information on 'nurturing the fetus' as an important aspect of literature on 'nurturing life' and ensuring the continuation of the family lineage. This article demonstrates the origin and development of a textual tradition from the Mawangdui manuscripts in the early second century BCE to early medieval formularies such as the Beiji qianjin yaofang and material found in the Japanese compendium Ishimpō. In this process, early descriptions of the month-by-month development of the fetus and corresponding instructions for the mother were preserved almost literally, but gradually supplemented with elements that reflected developments in medical theory and practice. These include correlations between months, five phases, and internal organs according to the theory of systematic correspondences; detailed descriptions of acupuncture channels and points prohibited during each month of pregnancy; medicinal formulas for the prevention and treatment of disorders of pregnancy; and, lastly, ten line drawings that depict the monthly changes in the naked body of a pregnant woman and her fetus, as well as prohibited acupuncture channels and points. Texts on 'nurturing the fetus' thus show the influence of cosmology and yin-yang theory, formulary literature, acumoxa charts and prohibitions, and vessel and visceral theory, but most importantly, a growing attention to the gender-specific medical needs of female bodies in the context of 'formulas for women.'


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation