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Chinese Literature
Huangdi neijing 黃帝內經 "The Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor"

The most important book of Chinese medicine and a very important book of Daoist practice is the Yellow Emperor 黃帝. It consists of two parts, the Suwen 素問 "questions of fundamental nature" and the Lingshu 靈樞 "spiritual pivot", a book also called Zhenjing 針經 "Classic of Acupuncture" because the latter is its main content . The book is concepted as a dialog between the Yellow Emperor and Qi Bo 歧伯, his doctor. There is a complete translation by Maoshing Ni (1995), The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine; Boston: Shambala, in which the translation of chapter titles is rather made according to the content than literally.

1. 上古天真論篇 Shanggu tianzhen The universal truth
2. 四氣調神大論篇 Siqi diaoshen dalun The art of life through the four seasons
3. 生氣通天論篇 Shengqi tongtian The union of Heaven and human beings
4. 金匱真言論篇 Jinkui zhenyan The truth from the Golden Chamber
5. 陰陽應象大論篇 Yinyang yingxiang dalun The manifestation of Yin and Yang from the macrocosm to the microcosm
6. 陰陽離合論篇 Yinyang zahe The interplay of Yin and Yang
7. 陰陽別論篇 Yinyang bielun Further discourse on Yin and Yang
8. 靈蘭秘典論篇 Linglan midian The sacred teachings
9. 六節藏象論篇 Liujie cangxiang The energetic cycles of the universe and their effects of human beings
10. 五藏生成篇 Wuzang shengcheng Dysfunction of the five zang viscera
11. 五藏別論篇 Wuzang bielun Further discourse on the five zang viscera
12. 異法方宜論篇 Yifa fangyi Methods of treatment
13. 移精變氣論篇 Yijing bianqi Treatment of the mind and the body
14. 湯液醪醴論篇 Tangye liaoli The art of medicine
15. 玉版論要篇 Yuban lunyao Doctrine of the jade tablet
16. 診要經終論篇 Zhenyao jingzhong Diagnostic importance and discussion of the collapse of the meridians
17. 脈要精微論篇 Maiyao jingwei The methods of pulse examination
18. 平人氣象論篇 Pingren qixiang Pulse analysis
19. 玉機真藏論篇 Yuji zhenzang Seasonal variations and abnormalities in pulses
20. 三部九候論篇 Sanbu jiuhou Determining life and death
21. 經脈別論篇 Jingmai bielun Meridian pathology and corresponding pulse signs
22. 藏氣法時論篇 Zangqi fashi Seasonal organ pathology
23. 宣明五氣篇 Xuanming wuqi Paradigm of the five elemental phases
24. 血氣形志篇 Xueqi xingzhi Channel constituents and acupuncture techniques
25. 寶命全形論篇 Baoming quanxing The preservation of health
26. 八正神明論篇 Bazheng shenming Acupuncture in accordance with cosmic cycles
27. 離合真邪篇 Lihe zhenxie Pathogens
28. 通評虛實論篇 Tongping xushi The nature of excess and deficiency
29. 太陰陽明論篇 Taiyin yangming Discourse on the taiyin and yangming channel
30. 陽明脈解篇 Yangming maijie Disorder of the yangming channel
31. 熱論篇 Relun Discussion of febrile disease
32. 刺熱篇 Cire Acupuncture in the treatment of febrile disease
33. 評熱病論篇 Ping rebing A discourse on Wen Bing
34. 逆調論篇 Nidiao Imbalances
35. 瘧論篇 Nüe Malaria-like illnesses
36. 刺瘧篇 Cinüe Acupuncture in the treatment of malaria
37. 氣厥論篇 Qique Pathologic disorders of heat and cold
38. 欬論篇 Kailun Etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of cough
39. 舉痛論篇 Jutong Differentiation of pain
40. 腹中論篇 Fuzhong Conditions of the abdomen
41. 刺腰痛篇 Ciyao tong Acupuncture in the treatment of back pain
42. 風論篇 Fenglun The pathology of wind
43. 痺論篇 Bi The bi syndrome
44. 痿論篇 Wei Wei conditions
45. 厥論篇 Que Jue conditions: The separation of Yin and Yang
46. 病能論篇 Bingneng Normal and abnormal courses of illness
47. 奇病論篇 Qibing Unusual illness
48. 大奇論篇 Daqi Extraordinary illness
49. 脈解篇 Maijie Channel pathology in accordance with the energy almanac
50. 刺要論篇 Ciyao Rudiments of acupuncture
51. 刺齊論篇 Ciqi Needle depth in acupucture
52. 刺禁論篇 Cijin Contraindications in acupuncture
53. 刺志論篇 Cizhi Principles of tonification and sedation in acupuncture
54. 鍼解篇 Qianjie The art of acupuncture
55. 長刺節論篇 Changci jie Acupuncture techniques
56. 皮部論篇 Pibu Dermatomes of the channels
57. 經絡論篇 Jingluo Channels and collaterals
58. 氣穴論篇 Qixue Acupuncture points
59. 氣府論篇 Qifu Pathways of the channels
60. 骨空論篇 Gukong Acupoints along skeletal indentations
61. 水熱穴論篇 Shuirexue Acupuncture treatment in water and febrile diseases
62. 調經論篇 Diaojing Regulation of the channels
63. 繆刺論篇 Miuci Acupuncturing the superficial Luo
64. 四時刺逆從論篇 Sishi cini cong Acupuncture according to the seasons
65. 標本病傳論篇 Biaoben bingchuan Biao and Ben and the transmission of disease
66. 天元紀大論篇 Tianyuanji dalun Energy almanac
67. 五運行大論篇 Wuyunxing dalun The Five Phases circuits
68. 六微旨大論篇 Liuweizhi dalun The six atmospheric influences
69. 氣交變大論篇 Qijiaobian dalun Effects of the five elemental phases and the six atmospheric influences
70. 五常政大論篇 Wuchang zheng dalun Rules of phase energetics
71. 六元正紀大論篇 Liuyuan zhengji dalun The six macrocosmic influences
72. 刺法論篇 Cifa Acupuncture in epidemiology
73. 本病論篇 Benbing Etiology of disease
74. 至真要大論篇 Zhizhen yao dalun Essentials on disease and therapy
75. 著至教論篇 Zhuzhijiao The Yellow Emperor on pathology
76. 示從容論篇 Shi congrong The importance of correct diagnosis
77. 疏五過論篇 Shu wuguo The five failings of physicians
78. 徵四失論篇 Zheng sishi The four lapses of physicians
79. 陰陽類論篇 Yinyanglei The three yin and the three yang channels in the human body
80. 方盛衰論篇 Fangshengshuai Growth and decline of energy
81. 解精微論篇 Jiejingwei Subtle reasoning
Exemplarious translation:

1. 上古天真論
黃帝乃問於太師歧伯:「余聞上古之人,春秋皆度百歲,而動作不衰。今時之人,年半百而動作皆衰者,時世異耶?人將失之耶?」歧伯對曰:「今時之人不然也,以酒為漿,以妄為常,醉以入房,以欲竭其精,以耗散其真, 不知持滿,不時御神,務決其心,逆於生樂,起居無節,故半百而衰也。」
The universal truth
During his reign, the Yellow Emperor discoursed on medicine, health, lifestyle, nutrition, and Taoist cosmology with his ministers Qi Bo, Lei Gong, and others. Their first discussion began with the Yellow Emperor inquiring, "I have heard that in the days of old everyone lived one hundred years without showing the usual signs of aging. In our time, however, people age prematurely, living only fifty years. Is this due to a change in the environment, or is it because people have lost the correct way of life?" Qi Bo replied, "... These days, people have changed their way of life. They drink wine as though it were water, indulge excessively in destructive activities, drain their jing (the body's essence that is stored in the kidneys) and deplete their qi (energy). They do not know the secret of conserving their energy and vitality. Seeking emotional excitement and momentary pleasures, people disregard the natural rhythm and order of the universe. They fail to regulate their lifestyle and diet, and sleep improperly. So it is not surprising that they look old at fifty and die soon after..."

4. 金匱真言論
The truth from the golden chamber
天 Heaven 方位 direction 東 east 南 south 中 center 西 west 北 north
季節 season 春 spring 夏 summer 長夏 late summer 秋 autumn 冬 winter
氣候 weather 風 wind 熱 heat 濕 damp 燥 dry 寒 cold
星宿 planet 歲星 jupiter 熒惑星 mars 鎮星 saturn 太白星 venus 辰星 mercury
生成數 numerology 3+5=8 2+5=7 5 4+5=9 1+5=6
地 Earth 品類 element 草木 plants 火 fire 土 soil 金 metal 水 water
五畜 animal 雞 chicken 羊 goat 牛 cow 馬 horse 彘 pig
五穀 cereal 麥 wheat shu-millet ji-millet 穀 rice 豆 bean
五音 music jiao (lute) zheng (pipe) gong (drum) shang (resonant) yu (string)
五色 color 青 green 赤 red 黃 yellow 白 white 黑 black
五味 flavor 酸 sour 苦 bitter 甘 sweet 辛 pungent 鹹 salty
五臭 smell 臊 urine 焦 scorched 香 fragrant 腥 fishy 腐 rotten
人 Man 五臟 zang organ 肝 liver 心 heart 脾 spleen 肺 lung 腎 kidney
九竅 orifice 目 eyes 耳 ears 口 mouth 鼻 nose 二陰 anus and urether
五體 body 筋 tendon 脈 vessels 肉 muscles 皮毛 skin 骨 bones
五聲 sound 呼 shout 笑 laughter 歌 singing 哭 weeping 呻 moaning
五志 emotion 怒 anger 喜 joy 思 worry 憂 sadness 恐 fear
病變 pathology 握 spasm 憂 anxious look 吐 spitting 咳 cough 栗 shivering
病位 location 頸項 head 胸脅 chest 脊 midback 肩背 shoulder 腰股 hips
神 spirit 魂 soul 神 spirit 億 logic 魄 courage 志 will
5. 陰陽應象大論
故積陽為天,積陰為地。陰靜陽躁,陽生陰長,陽殺陰藏。 陽化氣,陰成形。寒極生熱,熱極生寒;寒氣生濁,熱氣生清;清氣在下, 則生飧泄,濁氣在上,別生嗔脹。此陰陽之反作,病之逆從也。陰味出於下竅,陽氣出上竅。 味厚者為陰,薄為陰之陽;氣厚者為陽,薄為陽之陰。
The manifestation of yin and yang from the macrocosm to the microcosm
In the universe, the pure yang qi ascends to converge and form heaven, while the turbid yin qi descends and condenses to form the earth. Yin is passive and quiet, while the nature of yang is active and noisy. Yang is responsible for expanding and yin is responsible for contracting, becoming astringent, and consolidating. Yang is the energy, the vital force, the potential, while yin is the substance, the foundation, the mother that gives rise to all this potential.
Extreme heat or extreme cold will transform into its opposite. For example, on a hot day the heat will rise, causing condensation and eventually rain and therefore cold. Coldness produces turbid yin, heat produces the clear yang. If the clear yang qi descends instead of rising, problems such as diarrhea occur in the body. If the turbid yin qi becomes stuck at the top and fails to descend, there will be fullness and distension in the head. These conditions are imbalances of yin and yang... Taste is a yin quality and has a descending nature, while qi is yang and rises to the upper orifices. Heavy tastes are pure yin, light tastes are considered yang within yin. The heavier qi is pure yang in nature while the lighter qi is yin within yang.

10. 五臟生成
心之合脈也,其榮色也,其主腎也。肺之合皮也,其榮毛也, 其主心也。肝之合筋也,其榮爪也,其主肺也。脾之合肉也,其榮唇也, 其主肝也。腎之合骨也,其榮髮也,其主脾也。
Dysfunction of the Five Zang Viscera
The vessels correspond with the heart, which manifests its essence in the facial complexion. However, the heart is controlled by the kidneys. The skin corresponds with the lungs, which manifest their essence in the body hair. However, the lungs are controlled by the heart. The tendons correspond with the liver, which manifests its essence in the nails and is controlled by the lungs. The flesh and muscles correspond with the spleen, which manifests its essence on the lips and is controlled by the liver. The bones and marrow correspond with the kindeys, which manifest in the head hair and are controlled by the spleen.
是故多食鹹,則脈凝泣而變色。多食苦,則皮槁而毛拔。多食辛,則筋急而爪枯。 多食酸,則肉胝皺而唇揭。多食甘,則骨痛而髮落。此五味之所傷也。
Overindulgence in salty food will coagulate the blood circulation and will change the color of the blood. Overindulgence in bitter food will cause the skin to become shriveled and dry and the body hair to fall out. Overindulgence in pungent food can cause spasms, tremors, and poor nails. Overly excessive consumption of sour foods can make the skin rough, thick, and wrinkled, and cause the lips to become shriveled. Overindulgence in sweets will cause pain in the bones and hair loss. All these symptoms and conditions are a result of overindulgence of the five flavors.

12. 異法方宜論
東方之域,天地之所始生也。魚鹽之地,海濱傍水。 其民食魚而嗜鹹,皆安其處,美其食。魚者使人熱中,鹽者勝血, 故其民皆黑色疏理,其病皆為癰瘍,其治宜砭石。故砭石者,亦從東方來。
Methods of treatment
The east is the direction of the birth of heaven and earth. The weather is mild, and it is close the the water. Many varieties of fish and salts can be found, so the local people eat many kinds of fish and like the salty flavour. But because they eat so much fish, which is considered a hot food, heat accumulates and stagnates in the body. They also eat too much salt, which dries, exhausts, and drains the blood. This is why people of the east often have dark skin. The commonly suffered illnesses are boils and carbuncles. The treatment of this disease often utilizes needles made of stone, which are thicker, and bleeding, which releases the heat.

26. 八正神明論
凡刺之法,必候日月星辰,四時八正之氣,氣定乃刺之。 是故天溫日明,則人血淖液,而衛氣浮。月始生,則血氣始精,衛氣始行。 是以因天時而調血氣也。
Acupuncture in accordance with cosmic cycles
All methods of acupuncture must be in accordance with the movements of the four seasons, the moon, the sun, and the stars. These factors will impact the functions of the human body. During warm weather and bright, cloudless days, blod flow is smooth. The wei qi (defensive energy) floats to the surface... During the new moon, the blood and qi also begin to flow more easily... One must follow these changes of nature to properly regulate qi and blood.

60. 骨空論
風從外入,令人振寒、汗出、頭痛、身重、惡寒。 治在風府,調其陰陽。不足則補,有餘則寫。大風頸項痛,刺風府。 風府在上椎。大風汗出,灸?譆。?譆在背下俠脊傍三寸所。厭之令病者呼?譆,?譆應手。
Acupoints along the skeletal indentations
When the wind pathogen attacks, it causes chills, sweating, headaches, heaviness, and aversion to wind. One must harmonize the yin and yang by acupuncturing fengfu (DU16), located above the first cervicle vertebra and below the external occipital protuberance. If the antipathogenic qi is weak, one should use the tonification method. If the pathogen is of an excess nature, one should sedate. After a more severe exposures to wind, one will manifest severe neck pain and stiffness. Acupuncture fengfu (DU16) again. If the patient is exposed to a big wind and experiences sweating, the physician should moxa yixi (B45), which is located at the level of the sixth thoracic vertebra, three cun (inch) laterally. Palpate the point to elicit an "yixi" (painful exclamation) expression from the patient.

62. 調經論
人有精、氣、津、液、四肢、九竅、五臟、十六部、三百六十五節, 乃生百病;百病之生,皆有虛實。皆生於五臟也。夫心臟神,肺臟氣,肝臟血,脾臟肉, 腎臟志。而此成形,志意通,內連骨髓,而成身形五臟。五臟之道, 皆出於經隧,以行血氣;血氣不和,百病乃變化而生,是故守經隧焉。
Regulation of the channels
In the human being there are jing (essence), qi (energy), jin ye (body fluids), four extremities, nine orifices, five zang organs, sixteen channels, and three hundred and sixty-five joints. All are capable of becoming disordered and diseased. In each disorder there are distinctions of deficiency and excess... The five types of excess and deficiency are borne from the five zang organs. For example, the heart houses the shen (spirit); the lungs house the qi, the liver accomodates the blood, the spleen houses the form and flesh, and the kidneys house the zhi (will). They must all function together as the zhi and the shen are functioning in concert psychically, connecting with the bones and marrow withing and forming the shape of the body without. This creates an entire functional being and is the makeup of the human body. Within the five zang, communication occurs via pathways or channels, which transport the qi and blood. When the qi and blood are not regulated, illness occurs. Diagnosis and treatment are thus dependent on the channels and pathways.
Translated by Maoshing Ni.
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

July 24, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail