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First Chinese Doctor Discovering Scarlet Fever

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2022-03-24 10:23:36 | Author: Staff?Reporters


A cartoon picture of Ye Tianshi. (PHOTO:VCG)

By Staff Reporters

Ye Tianshi (1666-1745) was a well-renowned medical practitioner in the Qing Dynasty, and the first person who discovered scarlet fever in China.

During his lifetime, Ye was so busy treating patients that he had no time for writing. As a consequence, most medical works attributed to him were actually compiled by his disciples and descendants, including Wen Re Lun (Treatise on Warm and Heat Pathogens), and Lin Zheng Zhi Nan Yi An (Guide to Clinical Practice Based on Medical Case Records).

Ye posited that warm diseases develop and transmit through four stages, namely wei (defensive phase), qi (qi-phase), ying (nutrient-phase), and xue (blood-phase). The characteristics of wei are fever, sensitivity to cold, headache, and rapid pulse. Next qi is the phase of most active disease, characterized by high fever, sweating, dry mouth, and rapid pulse. Ying is characterized by rising fever at night, confusion, and weak pulse. Finally, xue consists of agitation, rash, and in some cases vomiting of blood or blood in the stool or urine.

Ye Tianshi's influence on the development of Chinese medicine extended to almost all areas of practice, from theory to treatment, from diagnosis to formula formation. He proposed new methods in tongue and pulse diagnosis, and many of the key formulas for treating warm diseases were derived from his case records. Yin Qiao San (gold silver flower and forsythia powder) and San Ren Tang (San Ren Decoction) are just a few widely known examples.

Editor: 毕炜梓

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