Li Shizhen

Chinese polymath and scientist

1517   -   1593

country of citizenship: Ming dynasty
occupation: botanist, physician, writer, naturalist, pharmacist

Ebooks: on Wikisource

Li Shizhen (July 3, 1518 – 1593), courtesy name Dongbi, was a Chinese polymath, physician, scientist, pharmacologist, herbalist and acupuncturist of the Ming dynasty. His major contribution to clinical medicine was his 27-year work, which is found in his scientific book Compendium of Materia Medica. He is also considered to be the greatest scientific naturalist of China, and developed many innovative methods for the proper classification of herb components and medications to be used for treating diseases.The Compendium is a medical text with 1,892 entries, with details about more than 1,800 drugs (Chinese Medicine), including 1,100 illustrations and 11,000 prescriptions. It also described the type, form, flavor, nature and application in disease treatments of 1,094 herbs. The book has been translated into many different languages, and remains as the premier reference work for herbal medicine. The treatise included various related subjects such as botany, zoology, mineralogy, and metallurgy. The book was reprinted frequently and five of the original editions still exist.
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