The Pathologies and Formulas of the Decoction Classic Tangye Jing

The Treatise on Cold Damage and Complex Disorders is a unique clinical handbook. Nothing of its kind was ever before seen in the pre-Han history of Chinese medicine. Its clinical and academic value is unrivalled. But when reading all medical classics preceding the eastern-Han dynasty, it is hard not to wonder what the blueprint for the formulas in this work was?

Many historical physicians have contemplated this question but only Jin-dynasty masters like Huang Fumi and Tao Hongjing formulated an actual answer. The answer at the time being that Zhongjing’s formulas belong to the transmission lineage of the Divine Farmer, and were a continuation of the formulaic science of western-Han dynasty’s Decoction Classic tangye jing.

But for modern man it was hard to confirm this opinion. And it was even harder to actually establish the source of Zhongjing’s formulas. Until the first part of the twentieth century, when among the medical books found in the Dunhuang caves in Northwest China, a work by Tao Hongjing was found, titled Secret Key to the Essential Methods for the Application of Herbs for Viscera and Bowels. In these Secret Keys, Tao Hongjing records a total of sixty formulas from the Decoction Classic, among which the major and minor tonification and purgation formulas, and the major and minor Dawn and Six Constellation decoctions. Upon inspection, it is not hard to discern their similarities with Zhongjing’s formulas. Thus it became finally possible to confirm that these formulas without any doubt have functioned as blueprints in the design of Zhongjing’s prescriptions.

Though the seminar will give a detailed overview of the historical situation and importance of the Tangye Jing, this seminar will still have a stronger clinical emphasis and will mostly instruct on the pathologies indicated for the use of the formulas recorded. The pathology part of the instruction will be a pure Neijing Suwen and Lingshu instruction, drawing from multiple chapters and passages. The second part of the instruction will elucidate on the architecture of the Tangye Jing formulas, and their relationship with Zhang Zhongjing’s formulas. Lastly, the final part of the formula instruction will concern the elaborate modification system presented in the Tangye Jing as a guide for advanced modifications of Zhang Zhongjing’s formulas.

Your instructor, Dr. Arnaud Versluys, will draw upon years of experience with Canonical Formulas, as well as his doctoral research performed in China on the Tangye Jing. The seminar is only open to ICEAM’s graduated Diplomates of Canonical Chinese Medicine.