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Spirit, Science & Sophistication – a brief history of Chinese Medicine

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on Spirit, Science & Sophistication – a brief history of Chinese Medicine

Although it is common knowledge that Chinese medicine has been utilised for centuries, less is known about its sophisticated evolution and the scientific scrutiny it has undergone throughout its lifetime. Several ideas and concepts of medicine, assumed to be developed in the West, were actually developed in China and predated the West by thousands of years. For example the concept of how blood circulates around the body via the heart is attributed to William Harvey in 1628. It is well documented that the theory of circulating blood was developed prior to this, however Harvey substantiated the theory utilising experimental methods and therefore gained credit for the idea. Interestingly, the scholars whose theories dominated before Harvey were based on texts of an Arab of Damascus, al-Nafis, who historians believe, may have obtained his knowledge from China. In China, the concept of circulating blood in the body was established by the second […]

Autumn Mineral

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on Autumn Mineral

Although there are thousands historical examples of China’s scientific innovation, their success in the field of endocrinology I find simply amazing. Some current fertility drugs in the West contain hormones extracted from human urine. It is a common misconception that the utilisation of hormones extracted from urine is a European discovery from 1927. In fact, the Chinese, utilising their enthusiasm for alchemy, had been extracting hormones from urine to be used medicinally since the second century BC (at the same time Iron Age Britains were believed to be introduced to coins). The astonishingly sophisticated extraction process resulted in a product called “autumnal mineral”. One recipe states that they gather 150 gallons of human urine and heat it until it has evaporated leaving dried solids of urine. To purify and rid these dried solids of urea, salts etc., the Chinese utilised the process of sublimation (the transition of a substance from […]