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The Study of Shuizhi (戒腓) used to treat Disease in the Northern Song Dynasty in China

Tao Zhenggang (The Shanxi Institute of Archaeology, China)

The Kaihua Monastery of the Five Dynasties is located to the east of Gaoping city, Shanxi province, China. The fresco regarding the story of how Sakyamuni became the Buddha painted in the third year of the Shaosheng Period of the Northern Song Dynasty are tound within the Great Hall in the Monastery.

On the west wall within the palace, there is a group of frescoes concerning the traditional Chinese medicine. One picture depicts a patient sitting there with arms and legs naked, leeches scattering all over the body. To his left, a doctor is concentrating his mind on the patient and to his right, a monk is also anxiously looking at the patient.

Recorded in the "Lun Heng" (抚�) by Wang chong of the western Han Dynasty and the "Ben Cao Gang Mu" (�臾���) of the Ming Dynasty, leeches are used to treat the fester around the wound by sucking the blood and work very well. Therefore, judging from this fresco, the leech - employing treatment of the fester can late back to the year 1096 A.D. in ancient China.


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