Case Number 31

  • Asaf Goldschmidt
Part of the Archimedes book series (ARIM, volume 54)


This case is especially interesting since Xu’s patient belonged to the household of the Imperial Physician. This has far-reaching implications. First, he implies that the Imperial Physician did not or could not treat a female member of his household. Besides the challenge to the clinical qualifications of Imperial Physician, it is highly prestigious that Xu was called for help. Second, according to Xu, the Imperial Physician or members of his household could not tell the difference between two basic drugs – Cassia Bark and Cassia Twig. Third, we learn from this case that the Imperial Physician’s household, and we may infer the same to other elite households, held a stock of drugs and other medicinal materials. Fourth, even members of the Imperial Physician’s family when they needed drugs, they did not purchase them from the Imperial Pharmacy.


Other Sources:

  1. Bensky, Dan, Steven Clavey, and Erich Stöger. 2004. Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia medica. 3rd ed. Seattle: Eastland Press.Google Scholar
  2. ———. 2009. The Evolution of Medicine in China: The Song Dynasty, 960–1200. In the Needham Research Institution Series, London: RoutledgeCurzon Press.Google Scholar

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asaf Goldschmidt
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of East Asian StudiesTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Visiting ProfessorRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina

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