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6th Newsletter


Korean Medicine seen by the books

All noteworthy branches of the medical front have much literature published regarding them.
And Korean Medicine is no exception. Innumerable books have been written over a long period
of time. Some have been excellent pieces. Others have not been such. We have picked out five
prominent works of medical literature from the archive and introduced them here with the purpose
of making it easier for you to understand Korean Medicine.

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Quick link

1.Dongeuibogam
2.
Dongeuisusebowon
3.Magwahwetong

4.Euibangyuchui
5.Jejungsinpyon

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Dongeuibogam

An old set of Dongeuibogam <Dongeuibogam> is a medical text compiled by Heo Jun, Jung Jak, Yang Yae Soo and others by the order of King Seonjo in his 29th year(1596). Compilation finished in the second year of Gwanghaegun‘s reign(1610). 5 years in total was taken in publication of this medical book by the royal clinic. The publication of <Dongeuibogam>was ordered by King Seonjo to Heo Jun in order to put together pre-written medical books in the country. However the publication business was put to stop when in 1597 the Japanese war broke out and caused the medical practitioners to scatter. After the war, King Seonjo again ordered Heo Jun to continue working on <Dongeuibogam> and provided him with 500 volumes of books in the palace library as reference. Heo Jun put all his effort in the business but before he was half finished, king Seonjo passed away. The book was finally finished in the second year of Gwanhaegun’s regime, 15 years after the beginning of the publication. Compared to <Hyangyakjipsungbang> published in King Sejong's time, <Dongeuibogam> not only has a very organized structure but being written in reference of <Inner Classics>, its contents contain medical knowledge of the Jin and Yuan dynasty of China. Among the medical knowledge of the Jin and Yuan dynasty, <Dongeuibogam> contains mostly Li Dong Yuan and Zhu Dan Xi‘s medical theory. The medical theory of these two find the cause of the disease within the patient, not outside. Thus, their idea is to put human in the center of studying the disease. Having inherited this idea, <Dongeuibogam>'s structure differs from other books. It is made up of two parts, the internal and external parts. The former part of the book tells about the human body, the latter explains ways to preserve health and ways of curing a disease. Contents are divided into five categories: internal organs, external form, maladies, potions, and acupuncture. Each category lists its clause according to type, and type of each clause divides to item. After each clause, facts of diseases and ways to cure them along with their sources are listed thoroughly. Ancient solutions to each disease are listed for readers to easily see and in some parts, traditional remedies and actual experiences are listed.


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Dongeuisusebowon

<Dongeuisusebowon: Longevity& Life Preservation in Eastern Medicine > is the book of four constitutions compiled in the later period of the Chosun dynasty. It consists of four books in two volumes in wooden printing type. One of the major medical books written by Lee Jae-ma, it started compilation by order of King Gojong on July 13th of his 30th year(1893) of reign and finished on the 13th of April the following year. “Dongeui”as in the title of the book was named to distinguish it from Chinese medicine. "Suse“ stands for increase of longevity of people in the universe, "Bowon” means preserving “truth”. Lee Jae-ma's accomplishment in proposing the "4-type constitution theory" has opened a new era for Korean Medicine. Lee's theory is a theory of theology and has provided great effect leading Lee to the medical community. In 1900, he tried reediting the book from "the discourse on Nature and Order" to "the discourse on Tae-Eum person", but died before finishing the rest. The book was published the next year, in the names of Lee's students. The book consists of 17 theories ;

The Discourse on Nature and Order, the discourse on the Four Principles, the discourse on the Establishment and Supplement, the discourse on Viscera and Bowels, the discourse on the Origin of Eastern Medicine, the discourse on So-Eum Person's Exterior Febrile Disease -induced from the Kidney Affected by Heart, the discourse on the So-Eum Person's Interior Cold Disease induced from the Stomach Affected by Cold, the General Remarks on the So-Eum Person, the discourse on the So-Yang Person's Exterior Cold disease induced from the Spleen Affected by Cold, the discourse on the So-Yang Person's Interior Febrile disease induced from the Stomach Affected by Heat, the General Remarks on the So-Yang Person, the discourse on the Tae-Eum Person's Exterior cold Disease induced from the esophagus affected by Cold, the discourse on the Tae-Eum Person's Lumbar Vertebrae disease induced by external pathogens, the discourse on the Tae-Yang Person's small intestine disease induced by internal pathogens, the discourse on the general health maintenance, the discourse on identifying the Four Constitutions, and prescribed medicine for corresponding Four Constitutions in four volumes.

Among this, 13 theories below the discourse on the Origin of Eastern Medicine excluding the discourse on the general health maintenance, thus 12 theories along with prescribed medicine for corresponding Four Constitutions are the key points in actual medical practice. The other five theories are mostly ideological. In it's core theory, the four diving theory, man is categorized into four types, and according to what type an individual is, choice of prescription and medicine differs. Thus, So-Eum person has large Kidney, small Spleen, Tae-Eum person, large Liver, small Lung, Tae-Yang person large Lung and small Liver and So-Yang person, large Spleen and small Kidney. The theory says each type is different in their physiology and pathology according to the size of the internal organs and thus treatment must also be different according to each person.


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Magwahwetong

<Magwahwetong> is a book specializing in smallpox. Written by Jung Yak Yong in year 22 of King Jungjo‘s regime. An individual book is not handed down but it is written in the 7th volume of <Yeoyudangjeonjip>. <Yeoyudangjeonjip> was compiled in 1938 by Jung's grandson Kim Seong Jin. In the preface, Jung says the book is based on <Majinseo> written by Lee Hyun Gil who saved Jung's life. This book contains the cure for smallpox in reference of many Chinese books about smallpox which were in the country. First, the prefaces of each book were selected and recorded, followed by 7parts; 원증편, 인증편, 변사편, 자이편, 아속편, 오견편 and 합제편. The symptoms and treatment of smallpox that were active in Korea are especially recorded in 아속편 and 오견편. In 원증편, 인증편, 변사편, ways of distinguishing smallpox from similar diseases are recorded. In 아속편, introduction to many Korean medical branch’s cure for smallpox and comments of it are recorded. 오견편 contains the writer's personal opinion. 합제편 explains the contents of prescriptions mentioned in the former parts. When Jung was in exile, 아속편 and 오견편 were deleted and the rest were published into another book. This book is the four volumes of <Mabangtonghui> written by Hong Seok Ju.

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Euibangyuchui의방유취(醫方類聚) (Assortment of medical treatments)


<Euibangyuchui>(醫方類聚) means Assortment of Medical Treatments. It is a book of medical treatments published as a national project in the Chosun dynasty's King Sejong period. Since 1443, Kim Ye Mong, Yu Seong Won, Min Bo Hwa were ordered to collect all medical treatments and assort them into a book. It was then edited by Kim Mun, Shin Seok Jo, Lee Ye, Kim Soo On, along with physicians Kim Soon Eui, Choi Yun, Kim Yu Ji. Finally, it was supervised by Prince Anpyeong Yong, Kim Sa Cheol, Lee Sa Soon, Roh Joong Rye. In 1445, 3 years after the initiation, the book was completed in a form of 365 volumes. But the size was later dramatically decreased into 246 volumes when it was published in King Seongjong period. Since its completion in 1445, this book was printed until the time of King Munjong. From King Sejo's 5th year to 10th year, with Yang Seong Ji as the head, many staffs were mobilized to edit and organize the book. In the May of 1477, Han Gye Hee, Lim Won Jun, Kwon Chan and others published the book in 30 book wrappers. It took several years to edit and organize

<Euibangyuchui> since it had so many volumes. It is thought that the book was kept in various offices such as the royal clinic, the medical library, and some national hospitals. It is also thought that the book wasn't used widely since it wasn't reprinted and that the catalogue of the book wasn't easy to find. The original copy of the book was stolen by a Japanese in the Japanese was of 1597. 252 intact volumes are currently stored in the Japanese palace library. The printing type of the book is that of early Chosun dynasty's, and is similar to <SejongSillok(history text of King Sejong)>'s printing type. The book is a gigantic one, each of the 266 volumes consisting of some 100 pages. It is not too much to say that, just by reading the book, it is possible to know all the medical treatments of that time, since the book consist of some 153 medical books' assorted contents from Tang and Song dynasties in China and the early Yuan dynasty, without any editing. Furthermore, among the 153 medical books are some 40 books now lost. 400 years after the publishing of the book, in 1852, a Japanese doctor spent 10 years to reprint it in a minimized version, using wood printing type. This version consists of 266 books 264 volumes 12 volumes, which were lost when it was stolen, were added in the form similar to that of the original copy, making it possible for it to be printed in complete 266 books, the same number of volumes of the original copy. In King Gojong's 13th year, Japan contributed 2 copies of it to the Korean government as a gift, after checking that the original copy of the book is missing in our country. In the introduction of the 1st volume, things that were needed in the practice of medical techniques and medical actions were listed in 3 parts and they were as follow: On apprenticing to become a doctor: 論太醫習業, On sincerity and devotion in medicine: 論太醫精誠, On summarized treatment cases: 論治病略例, On diagnosis: 論診候, On prescribed medicine: 論處方, On usage of medications: 論用藥, On harmonization: 論合和, On taking medications:論服餌, On storing herbal medicine: 論藥藏, On orders in medicine: 敍爲醫, On vicissitudes of human body: 論形氣盛衰法, On changes in women: 論女子盛衰, and On vicissitudes of Viscera and Bowels: 論丈夫盛衰. All diseases were then divided into 91 great divisions and appropriate disease discussion was mentioned under each entry. Finally, prescriptions were listed according to the date of its source and they were also annotated according to the time order and the movement of letters. Furthermore, each treatments were excerpted and assorted without any editing. The book is of great value since it has virtually all of medical treatments of branches of clinics in its 91 entries of diseases.

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Jejungsinpyon濟衆新編

A medical prescriptions book written by the Royal doctor Kang Myung Kil (康命吉) by request of King Jung Jo (正祖) of Joseon dynasty. The actual book had been published in 1799 (after a reign of 23 years of King Jung Jo) and it is known as his publishment. But according to Lee Byung Mo's preface and Kang Myung Kil's epilogue the writer himself have written the book by order of the King Jung Jo and for each edition the king himself proofread each text. Therefore it is reasonable to see Je Jong Shin Pyun as King Jung Jo and Kang Myung Kil;s joint authorship.

The main text is mostly an essential summary quoted from Dong Eu Bo Gam (東醫寶鑑). The formation resembles that of Dong Eu Bo Gam but more convenient for clinical uses. Meaning that this book put off internal organ part (內徑篇) and external form part (外形篇) to the back of the formation and placed the six characteristics of illness; wind (風) coldness (寒) heat (暑) dampness (濕) dryness (操) fire(火) at the first part. At the second part he placed study about internal damages then later on described body forms, spirit (精) and ............(氣門). This formation follows the structures of clinical books such as Hyang Yak Jib Sung Bang (鄕藥集成方) and Eui Moon Bo Gam (醫門寶鑑). The theory and prescription method is an epitome of that of the Dong Eui Bo Gam (東醫寶鑑 ) that is to say, each causes and symptoms of a disease, the adequate purse diagnosis and the cure are not separated but summarized in general way. Most of the prescriptions' original source is from the Dong Eui Bo Gam (東醫寶鑑), but some are from other medical books. Also in 每文 the texts are more easily divided and sometimes combined compared to the Dong Eui Bo Gam (東醫寶鑑). Je Joong Shin Pyun 濟衆新編 is more practical in use of clinics. In books 1 to 7, pathological symptoms of each clinical department are discussed in the order of purse diagnosis and therapeutics. In book 8, Yak Sung Ga (藥性歌), all the 약성가괄 from Man Byung Hoi Choon (萬病回春) and Soo Se Bo Won (壽世保元) are compiled together along with 83 additional medications. The original book is published in 7 volumes as 8 parts in 1817, at the Chinese Capital 경국당 -_-. The press copy is published in 1975 and is kept in Hang Lim Library (杏林書院).


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