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Book Shanghan Lun 



Current Opinions On

Shanghan Lun


Martin Wang, MD. Ph D.


Chinese herbal therapy is one of the most effective therapies in whole Chinese medicine system. The book Shang Han Lun is the earliest book that systematically summarized the principle in the diagnosis and treatment with herbal therapy. The meaning of the original text is however difficult to understand because the book did not tell why to separate various disease as six major categories and why we should use such and such herbal formulas for the treatment. The book reads pretty much as a clinic handbook for use, instead of a thorough teaching. The experience of many famous Chinese medicine doctors in history indicated that the book is however very important to learn, though the understanding of the meaning of the original text is different among the doctors.

This book here dedicates to collect the ideas and opinions about the meaning of the book Shang Han Lun, from doctors in modern times. Because these doctors are also famous in China, we call this collection as a “summit” meeting. From the book here, readers can find that how each doctor understand the book and how do they make diagnosis for disease. Nowadays there are many similar lectures on the book Shang Han Lun by individual doctor, but there is, as we know, no any book as this one here, to collect the different opinions in the same book.  

This book focuses on the diagnosis of each disease and briefly mentions the name of the herbal formula that is needed for the treatment of that specific disease condition. In our another book, Chinese Herbal therapy: Summit for Jing formula application, will discuss more in detail about the structure of each herbal formula and the function of each ingredient in the formula.

The author of this book is not at all an expert in Chinese medicine but he hopes that this book would be helpful for those of doctors who want to learn and practice Chinese herbal therapy in their clinic, so as to increase their clinic success rate.


Dedicated to those: 3

Preface. 7

Note to Readers. 10

Declaration. 11

Basic concept. 12

1.      Taiyang stage: 18

2.      Yangming stage: 20

3.      Shaoyang stage: 21

4.      Taiyin stage: 22

5.      Shaoyin stage: 22

6.      Jueyin stage: 22

Six Jing diagnosis and treatment 24

1.      Taiyang stage. 24

1.1 Taiyang body surface conditions. 24

1.2 Taiyang inner condition. 30

1.3  Special types of the Taiyang stage. 36

1.4 Precaution with common cold or flu. 40

1.5 Turnover of Taiyang stage. 41

1.6 Usefulness of Sweating therapy. 44

1.7 Precaution in the use of Sweating therapy. 44

1.8 Conditions in which the Sweating therapy should not be used. 45

1.9 Modification of Guizhi Tang. 46

1.10 Disease condition change with even normal level of sweat via Sweating therapy. 48

1.11 Over-sweat due to the Sweating therapy. 52

1.13 Distinguishing the Taiyang stage from other conditions. 75

2.      Yangming stage. 77

2.1 Yangming Wind-attack stage. 77

2.2 Yangming Cold-attack stage 87

2.3 Atypical Yangming body surface condition. 89

2.4 Special types of Yangming stage. 90

2.5 Conditions in which Bowel-cleansing therapy should not be used. 92

2.6 Changes after Bowel-cleansing therapy. 93

2.7 Wrong treatment of the Yangming stage. 94

2.8 Distinguishing the Yangming stage. 95

2.9 Turnover of the Yangming stage. 97

3.      Shaoyang stage. 97

3.1 Shaoyang body surface stage. 98

3.2 Shaoyang inner stage. 100

3.3 Special types of Shaoyang syndromes. 104

3.4 Wrong treatment of the Shaoyang stage. 105

3.5 Wrong treatment of Shaoyang stage. 107

3.6 Turnover of the Shaoyang stage. 108

3.7 Distinguishing of the Shaoyang stage. 108

4.      Taiyin stage. 109

4.1 Taiyin body surface condition. 110

4.2 Taiyin inner condition. 110

4.3 Distinguishing diagnosis. 112

4.4 Special types of Taiyin stage diseases. 112

5.      Shaoyin stage. 113

5.1 Shaoyin body surface condition. 114

5.2 Shaoyin body inner condition. 116

5.3 Distinguishing the Shaoyin stage. 122

5.4 Notice of the Shaoyin stage. 124

5.5 Wrong treatment in the Shaoyin stage. 125

5.6 Turnover of the Shaoyin stage. 126

6.      Jueyin stage. 128

6.1 Four major characteristics for the Jueyin stage. 129

6.2 Treatment of Shifting Hot-cold condition. 132

6.3 Various Jue conditions that need to be distinguished with the Jueyin stage. 134

6.4 Turnover of Jueyin stage. 136

6.5 Wrong treatment in the Jueyin stage. 138

7.      Six Jing diagnosis–co-existing stages. 139

8.      Diagnosis and treatment of Cholera. 147

9.      New conditions after recovery from Shanghan disease. 149

10.    The time in which a patient recovers. 151

Supplementary readings. 153

Background for Shanghan Lun and its spread. 153

Relationship between Six Jing in the Six Jing diagnosis system and the Six Jing in the book Huangdi Nei Jing: 156

Relationship between the Six Jing diagnosis and meridians. 161

Relationship between Six Jing diagnosis and other diagnosis systems. 164

Difference between Classical formulas and Traditional formulas. 166

If the Classical formula system is good, why is it the minority in TCM?. 174

College TCM and folk TCM... 177

Relationship between the TCM classic books and TCM textbooks. 178

More about Shaoyang diseases. 183

Commonly used Classical herbal formulas. 185

Chinese and English names of herbs. 221

Our other publications. 221