Li Dong-Yuan’s Treatise on the Spleen & Stomach
A Translation of the Pi Wei Lun.
- Publisher: Blue Poppy Press
- ISBN: 9780936185415
- 2004, 246 pages
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Li Dong-yuan’s Treatise on the Spleen & Stomach is one of the most important books in the history of Chinese medicine.
In it, Li lays the foundation for the elevation of the spleen and stomach as the postnatal root of qi and blood production.
Since the Jin-Yuan dynasties, the spleen and kidneys have been the two most important organs in TCM.
This is the book which established the spleen’s preeminence in both disease causation and as a focus of treatment.
However, this book is important for a number of other reasons as well.
Li underscores the importance of diet and emotional factors as causes of disease.
Since Zhang Zhong-jing, Chinese doctors had emphasized cold injury as the main etiological factor. But it was Li Dong-yuan who empahsized diet and emotions’ effect on the original qi. Li also introduced the concept of yin fire which is not to be confused with vacuity heat.
This important theoretical concept helps explain the causes and progression of a host of complicated diseases, such as AIDS, SLE, MS, CFIDS, and many cancers.
Recently in China, there has been much renewed interest in this concept as the answer to numerous hard to diagnose and treat pathoconditions. Now, for the first time in English, practitioners can read Li Dong-yuan’s theories on yin fire first hand.
In addition, Li discusses in this book the relationship of the cause and treatment of disease to Chinese biorhythms.
Known as wu yun liu qi, the five circuits and six qi, this has been considered by many of the greatest Chinese doctors of the last 400 years as the pinnacle of TCM theory. Using the stems and branches, one can not only clarify disease processes at work but also modify prescriptions so as to take into account both weather and astrological influences.
Western readers will find herein a number of other interesting and little known theories of Li Dong-yuan, such as the use of Cortex Phellodendri (Huang Bai) as an essence supplement.
This book is essential reading for those who wish to go deep into TCM theory and also treat complex, recalcitrant diseases.
Translation and annotation by Bob Flaws.