Case Number 50
The formula Xu Shuwei prescribed in this case contains two medicinals of animal origin among its chief ingredients. Both leeches and horseflies feed on blood. Their use is due to the fact that this is a deep-seated condition located entirely at the xue [blood] level, and Song-dynasty physicians believed these materials can break the stasis. In other words, this is an example of sympathetic medicine. Xu asserts that once the patient consumed the prescription, a few Sheng of xue [blood] will drain out. It is unclear what he means by this, since draining so much blood may even endanger the patient. Furthermore, he does not specify where the blood issued.
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