孫壹奎(Sun Yikui):introduction about his biography and legends,main books and academic thoughts.

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孫壹奎(Sūn Yīkuí).

Brief Introduction
漢語名(Chinese Name): 孫壹奎(Sūn Yīkuí)Alias: 文垣(Wén Yuán),東宿(Dōng Sù)
Popular name: 生生子(Shēngshēng Zǐ)English Name: Sun Yikui, or Yikui Sun(Given/Sur Name)
Hometown: Xiu Ning,AnhuiDates: about 1520 or 1522~1619 A.D.
Main works: 《赤水玄珠》(Chi Shui Xuan Zhu, or the Black Pearl of the Red River) in 30 volumes,
《醫旨緒余》(Yi Zhi Xu Yu, or the Supplement of the Treatment Fundamental Points) in 2 volumes, 《孫文垣醫案》(Sun Wen Yuan Yi An, or Case Records of Sun Wenyuan) in 5 volumes, 《痘疹心印》(Dou Zhen Xin Yin, or the koan of exanthema variolosum) in 2 volumes.
Representative works: Chi Shui Xuan Zhu(the Black Pearl of the Red River) in 30 volumes,Chi Shui Xuan Zhu Quan Ji(Collected Works of the Black Pearl of the Red River).

Biography and legends:

 Herbalist Sun Yikui 孫壹奎(Sūn Yīkuí), a famous herbalist lived during the Ming dynasty, native to Xiu Ning of Anhui, alias 文垣(Wén Yuán), alternative name 東宿(Dōng Sù), monastic name 生生子(Shēngshēng Zǐ), he was born at Jia Jing Years of Ming(1520 or 1522 A.D.), passed away during Wan Li Years of Ming(1619 A.D.), visiting his elder brother who lived at Kuocang, and on the way, he met a Taoist who taught him Taoism, after that he started to learn left books of Huangdi and Shennong, and various schools of medical books, set up the will to study medicine. He seeks taught from masters at different areas of the lower reaches area of the Yangtze River, for over 30 years, and started to treat folks in early years of Wanli(1573~1620 A.D.), often treat folks with severe disease successfully, thus was known well. He ever learned with herbalist 汪石山(Wāng Shíshān) and 黄古潭(Huáng Gǔtán).

 Sun Yikui is talented, and wise intelligent than others ever since he was a child, he learned Confucianism and achieved much, at his 15 years age, travel to Kuo Cang area to visit his eldest brother and learn to do business, and occasionally met a Taoist, who taught him Taoism and traditional medicine, very miraculous and effective in practice. After the Jiajing years of Ming(year 1522~1566 A.D.), crafty sycophant was full in the court, obstacles the official routine of those able and virtuous persons, many scholars gave up their official careers and turned to medical practice, at the same time Sun knew clearly that his father generation studied very hard but his physical condition is weaker and tired, his father studied with Confucianism and joined test many times, but never passed, fell sick from overwork, hard and trudge in official career, so he gradually changed his life plan, and gave up official career. Ever since his father caught a disease, he aspired to learn medicine, studied with legacy classics of Huang Di and Qi Bo, and works of those great herbalists, never stopped reading for 3 years, later he followed with herbalist Huang Gutan, a disciple of herbalist Wang Shishan, Wang inherited theory of herbalist Zhu Danxi and also affected with the theory of herbalist Li Dongyuan, good in the application of herb Ginseng and Astragalus, attention with Ying-Qi and Wei-Qi. Herbalist Huang often holds above normal viewpoints, and Sun asked his teaching when met trouble disease, and never gave up easily for those cases hardly to be diagnosed with hesitation, those high-level healing arts of Huang got herbalist Sun benefit a lot both in medical theory and practice. Although herbalist Sun was then passed on a disciple of herbalist Zhu Danxi, he did not learn his theory “Yang is usually redundant, while Yin is ever deficient.”, instead, he was good in warm tonics in academic aspects.

 To raise his academic level Sun ever travel far to the area of Xiang Gan Zhe Jiang seek teachers and herbalists friend, he traveled out from Xin Du(today's Xin Du county of Si Chuan) far to Poyang Lake and Lu Shan Mountain, Yuan Jiang River, and Xiang Jiang River, Su Nan and Jiang Zhe, visit famous teachers everywhere, consulted and learned widely, suffered from asthenia in his strong age, got treated and taught the essential point of Qi Bo and Huang Di by talented herbalist, he recovered from the deficiency syndrome, this experience of disease triggered his wills to learn medicine well and to relieve sufferings for folks, learned various kinds of treatment methods, so gradually his knowledge turned rich, studied with medical crafts, and gradually became excellent in medicine in 30 years, treat folks and good result every case, famous from near to far area. Experienced over 30 years of study and travel, at early years of Wang Li(1573~1620 A.D.), he moved to and lived at Wu Xing, started his clinical practice to save folks, his prescriptions often successfully treated severe and lingering illness, high success rate to the diagnosis of life or death for others, so his fame rose soon, enjoyed quite a reputation. Herbalist Sun Yikui emphasized the study of theory in-depth and against follow medical formulary as the nearest way, thus he did make some establishment in theory, based on the sustaining of the Yang Qi, gave some in-depth study of the life-gate, the triple energizer, and related it closely with practice.

 Portrait of Sun Yikui 01 Sun Yikui is not only good in clinical practice, but also gave development and elaboration in medical theory, famous for his specific theory of the life-gate(gate of vitality, or vital gate) and theory of the triple energizer, from the preface of his works, later folks knew that his medical study and clinical practice experience may similar as ancient herbalist Cang Gong and Bian Que, full of legendary characters, and he was respected as a famous herbalist at the epoch. In scholarship, herbalist Sun holds opinion against "use recipe books as fast track" and thought highly of theory study, he not only buried himself in ancient classics Nei Jing(the Inner Canon), Nan Jing(the Difficult Classic) and herbal classics, also combined various schools after herbalist Zhang Zhongjing, putting together to achieve mastery through a comprehensive study, he holds a viewpoint that "A herbalist could think about the ancient methods, and question the epoch and case of the ancient methods applied, so can understand the goal of the ancient herbalist.", and he proposed to read works of ancient folks, must do the in-depth study with their initial intention and meanings in writing itself, gave complete analysis and emphasis that in the medical study should learn widely from others' strong points, his scholastic spirit still worthy to be referred for today's folks.

 In practice, Sun Yikui attached importance to syndrome differentiation and identification first. He held viewpoints that “for the cases whatever serious or mild, big or small, all have differences on cold, heat, deficiency, excess, external, internal, Qi, blood”, and pathological changes often have cases start from the same conditions and end with different conditions, so the treatment also should not hold one method without vary and changes. Based on this kind of guiding ideology, he pointed out that those errors and mistakes of those doctors at the same epoch abuse herbs with cold and bitter characteristics for syndromes including fever due to internal injury, asthenic disease, blood disease, and feared to use herbs with warm and sweat property. He thought highly of protection and treatment with the Primordial Qi of the Triple Energizer, against abuse cold herbs, and also pointed out the problems of overuse herbs with hot bitter property, and herbs to dredge and eliminate dampness and diuresis, he proposed that not only the herbs with pure Yin property and cold bitter property may lead to weakness of spleen stomach, exhaustion of Primordial Qi, or if overuse herbs for dredging, may also lead to exhaustion of Primordial Qi. And if abuse and overdose of herbs for dredging and eliminating dampness and diuresis, may often lead to the Kidney-Qi deficiency, syndrome of the Primordial Qi at Triple Energizer may occur, its pathological changes may include different cases like (kidney) could not receiving and holding Qi, grain and water could not be transformed, unable to distinguish clarity and turbidity(essence and waste of digested food), etc. In the pathological changes of the Triple Energizer, herbalist Sun paid high attention to the Cold and Deficiency of the lower energizer, in his treatise and discussion about abdominal distension with Qi-deficiency, the kidney type diarrhea, hold an opinion these all attributed to deficiency and cold of the lower energizer. And other cases like retention of urine, enuresis, urinary incontinence, etc, may also be related to it. And, for the treatment of lower dispersion(renal diabetes) and (kidney) could not receive and hold Qi, he also attention treatment together with Essence and Qi together.

Main books and academic thoughts:

 Portrait of Sun Yikui 02 Sun Yikui is the author of the book Chi Shui Xuan Zhu(the Black Pearl of the Red River) in 30 volumes, Yi Zhi Xu Yu(the Supplement of the Treatment Fundamental Points) in 2 volumes, Sun Wen Yuan Yi An(Case Records of Sun Wenyuan) in 5 volumes, and Dou Zhen Xin Yin(the koan of exanthema variolosum) in 2 volumes, these books were collected by his sons, in which he advocates the combination of various schools and maintains that a doctor should be conversant with all the theories to master the whole art of healing. With careful and hard study over 30 years, herbalist Sun Yikui gradually learned wide knowledge and rich experience, finally reached to very high state both in theory and practice, in theory his experience and level going up to like "as know the theory in mirrors", in practice his level reached to "effective and cured once a prescription issued", and his medical crafts already reached to very high accomplishments, and ever since he bears some great eminence, during the years of his clinical practice, he ever compiled great works, and what survived till today are known as:Chi Shui Xuan Zhu(the Black Pearl of the Red River) in 30 volumes, over 70 sections;Yi Zhi Xu Yu(the Supplement of the Treatment Fundamental Points) in 2 volumes, over 70 articles, collect his articles on the Taiji, the theory of Yin and Yang and the five elements, Zang and Fu viscera, meridians of hands and feet, the thoracic qi, the Wei Qi and Ying Qi, the triple energizer and collaterals of the uterus, the life-gate, and ministerial fire, and meanings of meridian coordination, discussion, and differentiation of syndrome; and Sun Wen Yuan Yi An(Case Records of Sun Wenyuan) in 5 volumes, collected total 398 cases, it was also known in other names include Sheng Sheng Zi Yi An(Case Records of Sheng Sheng Zi); and these three works got collected by later folks and titled as Chi Shui Xuan Zhu Quan Ji(Collected Works of the Black Pearl of the Red River), as he proposed in the preface: "The Tao of treatment intiated from the Ben Cao of Shen Nong, and the Nei Jing of Huang Di, Tang Ye of Yi Yin, ...those who drink water, should know its origins, those residue works of Xuan Yuan and Qi Bo, are the top Kunlun Mountains of ancient alchemy. Those schools after herbalist Zhang Zhongjing, are all the branches of the Kunlun Mountains. Those herbalists will get refine study if a profession in it, or miscellaneous if not a profession in it. Those who hold wills, unchanged if one will, interrupt if wills. The ancient story about Weixun shoot the louse, for the cause of professionalism....thus the book is mainly for evidence. About treatment skills, the difficulty is syndrome differentiation and syndrome identification, the easiness is to use recipes. For the cases, whatever severe or mild, big or small, all have differences in cold, heat, deficiency, excess, external, internal, Qi, blood. If one knows these eight words in a real sense, then will not lose the odds. Ancient saying watches the syndrome as interrogation with the enemy, know oneself as well as the enemy, fight a hundred battles, win a hundred victories." These works generated an important influence on later generation field of treatment and left a very previous legacy for later herbalist, these works still kept and gleaned the wisdom and those creative insights of this great herbalist Sun and his legendary story.

 The book Chi Shui Xuan Zhu(the Black Pearl of the Red River) 30 volumes, was published in the Wan Li 12th year(the year 1584 A.D.), accumulated his 30 years of experiences, it was compiled with references to 93 kinds of classical books, 182 kinds of prescription books. The book gave detailed discussions on internal, external, gynecology, pediatrics, pathogenic reasons and pathogenesis of commonly encountered and frequently encountered diseases, syndromes and symptoms, treatment principles and methods, prescriptions and applications. The edition style starts from quotations of Nei Jing(the Inner Canon), followed by syndrome differentiation and treatment experiences of previous various schools before him, combined with his own viewpoints, then listed with treatment principles and methods, prescriptions. The content of the book is composed of over 70 departments, works of literature quoted are about 265 kinds. The main subject of the book is "Ming Zheng"(syndrome identification or differentiation), its differentiation on the confusion or obscure syndrome names of ancient and today is especially clear. His syndrome differentiation set the eight principles as "exterior and interior, cold and heat, deficiency and excess, Qi and blood", herbs and prescriptions selected are consistent with the syndromes. The discussion of various syndromes is in relative detail, with his viewpoints. For legacy works and viewpoints from previous herbalists, he took those which are consistent with practice and guiding on syndrome differentiation and treatment, and gave correction on those jaundiced opinions to alert later generations. The selected prescriptions are relatively practical. It also recorded many new prescriptions he established, reflect some characteristics of his emphasis on warming tonification theory. Since the book has a consistent discussion and combination of both ancient theory, annotations, and with his own viewpoints, with many enlightenment viewpoints, so it was recommended by later generations. But his certain article under the subject "asthenia" in the 10th volume, recorded 1 small fault too. The book name "Chi Shui Xuan Zhu" inscription was from Luofu Taoist, borrow from the ancient story about the Yellow Emperor seek "Xuan Zhu(the black pearl)" from the "Chi Shui"(the red river), the story was recorded in ancient works Zhuangzi·Tiandi(Chuang Tzu·Sky and Land): "the Yellow Emperor traveled to the north of the Chi Shui(the red river), climb up to the mountain of Kun Lun, and returned from the south, lost his Xuan Zhua(the black pearl). Ever asked Zhi to seek it but not found it, asked Lizhu to seek it but not found it, asked Chigou to seek it but not found it. Then asked Xiangwang to seek it, Xiangwang found it." Xiangwang was a virtual character.

 The book Yi Zhi Xu Yu(the Supplement of the Treatment Fundamental Points) in 2 volumes, over 70 articles, is the medical academic thesis collection of herbalist Sun Yikui. It uses the theory of Zang-Fu viscera, Qi and blood, meridians and collaterals, acupoints, to interpret and explain the theory of Yin Yang, and the theory of the five elements, gave proper and fair comments on previous schools of thoughts. Besides, it also collects some essential medical discussions and several articles of Ling Shu(the Spiritual Pivot). Its discussions are based on ancient works Nei Jing(the Inner Canon), Nan Jing(the Difficult Classic), with reference to Zhou Yi(the I Ching, or the Book of Changes), Li Xue(a Confucian school of idealist philosophy of the Song and Ming Dynasties), the discussions are mainly about the quality and functions of Zang and Fu viscera, diagnosis and differentiation of syndromes, and treatment, and it has an in-depth study of the book Nan Jing(the Difficult Classic). He elucidated some controversial subjects include questions of the triple energizer, the life-gate, the pericardium collaterals, these discussions had great influences on later generations. For example, his discussions on the triple energizer are based on the ancient works Nei Jing(the Inner Canon) and Nan Jing(the Difficult Classic), refuted the theory "the triple energizer has a physical entity" of several schools, orderliness, and clear, strong persuasiveness. The discussion and differentiation of ancient syndrome and disease, is still valid today. The detailed description of the interior is excellent and second to none. The second volume gave discussions on the ancient theory of prescriptions and fair comments on previous prominent herbalist after Zhang Zhongjing. The articles are the works of his study of traditional Chinese medicine for whole life, it reflects the main academic thoughts of herbalist Sun Yikui.

 The book Sun Wen Yuan Yi An(Case Records of Sun Wenyuan) 5 volumes, it collected a total of 398 cases, it was also known in other names Sheng Sheng Zi Yi An(Case Records of Sheng Sheng Zi), the book was compiled by his disciples 余煌(Yu Huang), 徐景奇(Xu Jingqi), and his sons 泰来(Tailai), 朋来(Penglai), it is a summary of his clinical practice experiences. The cases were named by the locations of practice, recorded the details of the treatment procedure, expatiated the medical theories in syndrome differentiation and treatment, the cases are majorly internal miscellaneous diseases, syndromes of gynecology, disease of five sense organs, strange diseases, curative effect is outstanding, with reference values, in the cases, detailed medical history of the patient was asked, pulse manifestations and syndromes are analyzed, the clinical practice of syndrome differentiation and treatment was guided by fundamental theories of traditional Chinese medicine.

 The book Dou Zhen Xin Yin(the koan of exanthema variolosum) 2 volumes, was a compilation book with a large volume of prescriptions about exanthema variolosum, it was finished in the Dingyou year of Wang Li(about the year 1597 A.D.), later it was compiled and edited in the book Chi Shui Xuan Zhu(the Black Pearl of the Red River), the content does not have many influences on today's clinical practice.

 The books of herbalist Sun Yikui are a series of works with good reference values for the fundamental theory of TCM and clinical practice, which were recommended by herbalists of later generations.

 Tai Ji Tu Shuo of Sun Yikui The characteristics of Sun Yikui's academic thoughts: during the Song and Ming dynasties, the school of Li Xue was popular, many branches of learning were influenced by it. The school of Li Xue is a philosophical system that combined Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism as an integration, emphasize on study of Tai Ji(the Supreme Ultimate) and Yuan Qi(the Primordial Qi), discuss Tai Ji as a kind of entity to study the generation of the universe, the generation and transformation of all things. Herbalist Sun Yikui's theory of Tai Ji was influenced by the school of Li Xue, influenced by the theory in Zhou Yi(the I Ching, or the Book of Changes) that Yang is noble and Yin is humble, Yang is the master of Yin, influence from his teacher and clinical experiences formed his theory of supporting Yang and suppressing Yin, warming tonification. And he also borrows the concept of Tai Ji(the Supreme Ultimate) from the Li Xue school to explain those controversial subjects, such as the life gate, the triple energizer. His academic thoughts are introduced briefly in 8 points:(1). Herbalist Sun Yikui's life gate theory and his study on the inner scene of Zang viscera are all established on the theory of Tai Ji, the Li Xue school itself is a confluence result of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, the essential part represents in ancient works Zhou Yi of the Confucianism, the medical classics Nei Jing(the Inner Canon), and Nan Jing(the Difficult Classic) are all related with the theory of Zhou Yi, Sun Yikui hold a viewpoint that the Taoism and Buddhism are important for medical study too," the medical study is hosted with the gate of life and death, those who do not know the nature and life, no need to discuss medical theory. The Confucians detect the theory of nature as to know the life, so it is a compromise, the theory of Laotzu focused on both nature and life, the theory of Buddhism focused on understand the heart and know the nature, these theories could be used as references, of course.";(2). Discuss medical theory, based on Ling Shu, Su Wen and wide references: the theory of Sun Yikui was based on the theory of ancient works Ling Shu, Su Wen, in his book Chi Shui Xuan Zhu, for syndromes of every category, he surely quoted classical discussions from Nei Jing(the Inner Canon), in his works Yi Zhi Xu Yu he also gave some thorough elaboration on some subjects of Nan Jing, especially on the subjects of the right kidney, the life gate, the triple energizer, his theory borrowed those strong points of previous herbalists, but also pointed out shortcomings, for example, he holds a viewpoint that Danxi's theory "Yang is usually redundant, while Yin is ever deficient" was due to abusing of warm tonics suggected by Ju Fang in that period, the establishment was to correct the mistakes at that period, so should not apply it mistakenly without knowing the historical background;(3). Follow the Nan Jing, advocate theory "motivative Qi of the life gate": influenced by the theory of Li Xue school, to interpret medical theory with the theory of Zhou Yi is a fashion, Sun Yikui knew well the theory of Zhou Yi before his medical practice, his interpretation on the theory of Tai Ji was mainly recorded in his works Yi Zhi Xu Yu, the theory of life gate is his main contribution, this theory was different from the traditional life gate theory from ancient works Nan Jing, his theory of life gate had influences on later herbalists Zhao Xianke and Zhang Jiebing;(4). Discussions on theory of Danxi, analyzed the ministerial fire, established a theory that "the ministerial fire is a healthy fire":the concept ministerial fire was known early in the ancient works Nei Jing, herbalist Sun Yikui hold a viewpoint that the monarch fire is a master while the ministerial fire is a power, these two fires support each other, the monarch fire and ministerial fire are healthy fire, the pathogenic fire is exogenous fire from seasonal pathogenic factors, and endogenous pathogenic fire from excessive five internal wills, the healthy fire support the primordial Qi while the pathogenic fire hurt the primordial Qi, with this theory herbalist Sun Yikui emphasized the importance of Yang Qi, and warn physicians should not hurt the ministerial fire, it is a correction of the prescription fashions abusing cold and cool herbs which based on Danxi's theory "Yang is usually redundant, while yin is ever deficient";(5). Advocate the theory "the triple energizer is invisible or intangible":the discussion of the triple energizer from herbalist Sun Yikui, followed the related theory "the triple energizer is intangible" from Nan Jing, he advocated the theory "the triple energizer is intangible" from ancient works Nei Jing and Nan Jing;(6). Emphasis on the study and explain the inner scenes: herbalist Sun Yikui focused on the study of theory, and detect the inner scene, explained the study of Tai Ji Tu(the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate) and the life gate theory, his study of the inner scenes are mainly from ancient works Zhou Yi(the I Ching), Nei Jing, Hong Fan, Huang Ting Jing, his understanding about the inner scenes is relatively complete, mainly recorded in his works Yi Zhi Xu Yu, described the motivating changes of the endogenous activity, embodied the essential part of "theory of visceral outward manifestation";(7). The motivative Qi of the life gate theory: the motivative Qi of the life gate theory from Sun Yikui was a development and supplement of his teacher Wang Shishan's theory "Ying Wei(Yin Yang) is one Qi", he also gave a detailed explanation on the related thoracic Qi theory from ancient works Ling Shu;(8). Identify the syndrome names, good in syndrome differentiation, applications do not follow old rules: in his long term practice, herbalist Sun Yikui deeply knew "for the practice, it is difficult to identify the syndrome, it is not difficult in prescription applications.", so he extremely emphasized the importance of syndrome differentiation and identification. Combined with his practice, he studied various syndrome names and identified chaotic conditions related to syndrome names recorded in ancient works. To differentiate and identify syndromes, he follows the principles “cold and heat, deficiency and excess, exterior and interior, Qi and blood”, the efficacy of his practice has a close relationship with the syndrome differentiation principle. He also advocated prescription application should follow the principle of flexibility according to conditions, emphasize the consistency of theory, method, prescription and herbs. These correct and penetrating views of herbalist Sun Yikui still has very important guiding significance for study and practice.

 The theory establishment of Sun Yikui: the TCM theory establishment of herbalist Sun Yikui are mainly related to the life gate, the triple energizer and ministerial fire, the monarch fire and the ministerial fire, and applications methods in practice, they are introduced in 4 key points:(1).the life gate and motivative Qi: the concept of Ming Men(the life gate) was recorded earliest in ancient works Ling Shu·Gen Jie Pian(the Spiritual Pivot·Gen Jie Pian), it recorded "Tai Yang root in the ultimate Yin, accumulated in the Ming Men(the life gate), Ming Men, is the eyes.", but ancient works Nan Jing(the Difficult Classic) had a different viewpoint, herbalists of various periods paid attention to the study of the life gate, gave elaborations based on theory from Nan Jing(the Difficult Classic). Herbalist Sun Yikui also gave contributions to the development of the life gate theory. (2).the triple energizer and the ministerial fire:the theory about the triple energizer of Sun Yikui is majorly based on ancient works Nan Jing(the Difficult Classic), the ancient works Nan Jing·San Shi Ba Nan(the Difficult Classic·the 38th difficult issues), his theory about the triple energizer support his theory that the triple energizer is intangible. Herbalist Sun Yikui holds a viewpoint that the triple energizer and the pericardium collateral belong to the ministerial fire, so, they are in an exterior-interior relationship. (3).the monarch fire and the ministerial fire: His theory about the ministerial fire has practical values and correct some mistakes of the popular treatment principle "nourishing yin to reduce pathogenic fire" at that epoch. The discussion on the subject of fire by Sun Yikui actually has a close relationship with his theory of the life gate and the triple energizer.(4).applications methods in practice: the practical applications of herbalist Sun Yikui have these characteristics, first, he emphasized syndrome identification and differentiation firstly, the principles he established is "whatever syndromes, severe or mild, small or big, all have (differences on) cold and heat, deficiency and excess, exterior and interior, Qi and blood.", and he pointed out mistakes of "abusing cold and cool herbs in the treatment of endogenous hurt fever, deficiency, and asthenia, blood syndrome, but fear to use sweet and warm herbs". Second, in practice and prescription applications, his emphasis is consistent with his theory of the triple energizer and life gate, and he thinks not only the pure Yin bitter cold prescription could hurt the spleen and stomach, exhaust the primordial Qi, and "if use spicy aromatic herbs exhausting Qi, dryness and heat hurt Qi, primordial Qi is exhausted and eliminated." and over using of dredging agent also exhaust the primordial Qi, and hurt the kidney Qi. Based on the theory of Nan Jing, Sun Yikui holds a viewpoint that the syndromes of the triple energizer and primordial Qi should be treated in three parts.

 The therapeutic characteristics of Sun Yikui: in the treatment, herbalist Sun Yikui paid attention to identify the syndrome first, with his principle "whatever cases or conditions mild or severe, all have cold and heat, deficiency and excess, exterior and interior, Qi and blood" differences, and the development of disease mostly has the condition of same at the initial stage but different in the end stage, as a result, the treatment should not only follow one method without flexibility. And he also pointed out the fashionable treatment mistakes of physicians at that epoch using bitter cold herbs in the treatment of endogenous heat, deficiency and asthenia, blood syndrome. These characteristics are consistent with his theory of the triple energizer and theory of life gate, so he paid attention to the protection of the triple energizer Qi in practice, against abusing the cold and cool herbs, also pointed out the harms of overusing hot spicy herbs, dredging herbs and herbs for eliminating dampness, his viewpoints majorly present in the treatment of disease conditions Qi deficiency and fullness in the middle syndrome, retention of urine and anischuria, kidney wasting thirst(renal diabetes) syndrome, kidney deficiency and Qi not returning to the origin syndrome, etc.

 The practical experiences of Sun Yikui: herbalist Sun Yikui is excellent in the four diagnostic methods of TCM, knew detailed properties of herbs well, emphasized "syndrome identification", he accumulated rich practical experiences in long period treatment practice. According to the content of his book on medical cases, he is better in internal and gynecology, obvious efficiency was achieved for most cases, and his cases recorded reflective comments on advantages and shortcomings, gains and loss during treatment, combines theory, methods, prescriptions, and herbs, its content is credible for studying, its methods are reliable for practicing. His treatment theory of four selected syndromes is introduced briefly:(1).Wind stroke: wind stroke is also known as apoplexia, its pathogenic reasons are attributed to worry sorrow anger, irregular diet habits, drink alcohol, and indulge in sensual pleasures, as a result, disorder of Zang and Fu viscera, the partial victory of Yin and Yang, with various symptoms and quick development, similar to the character of wind, thus it was named wind stroke, previous herbalists often classified it as an affection of the meridian or affection of the Zang and Fu viscera, herbalist Sun Yikui has his specific discussions and treatment in it, his viewpoint that the root causes is the blood syndrome and phlegm syndrome, the exogenous pathogens are the symptoms, his works Chi Shui Xuan Zhu listed wind stroke as one department, and classified it into Zhen Zhong(real wind stroke), Lei Zhong(syndrome similar to wind stroke), and An Fei(pyretic aphasia with sudamina), this classification is consistent to actual conditions. The treatment principles were also established accordingly; (2). Consumption:the consumption syndrome is also known as asthenia, attributed to various pathogenic reasons, the main pathogenesis is deficiency of the Zang and Fu viscera, deficiency of Qi and blood,Yin and Yang, it is a general name of various chronic asthenia syndromes, his works  Chi Shui Xuan Zhu listed Xu Qie(asthenia and fear), Xu Sun(deficiency hurt), Lao Zhai(consumption) as one department, his basic principle for the consumption syndromes is replenishing, according to the differences of pathological attributes, use various methods including benefit Qi, replenishing blood, nourishing Yin, warming Yang, etc, his treatment of consumption has own specific viewpoints, not only paid attention to warming tonification,but also attention to the food retention and phlegm stasis, he also pointed out there are three big mistakes in the treatment of consumption, attention to protect the spleen and stomach, and treatment with flexibility not only follow warming tonification; (3). Blood syndrome: the blood syndrome is a syndrome that the blood does not flow along regular channels, but bleeding from the mouth or nose at upper, or bleeding from the anus or external genitalia, or penetrating from the skin, are all known as blood syndromes, herbalist Sun Yikui hold a viewpoint that the treatment of blood syndrome should first identify which channel the blood comes out, and gave a new and specific viewpoint discussion on the pathological reasons and treatment;(4).Abdominal swelling: abdominal swelling is a syndrome that the abdomen swellings and looks like a drum, symptoms include enlargement of the abdomen, skin pale yellow, collaterals and blood vessels are visible, it is one of the difficult diseases in the viewpoints of herbalists, herbalist Sun Yikui hold a viewpoint that the swelling is attributed to deficiency and coldness of the lower energizer, its pathological reasons are complicated, pathogenesis mostly are deficiency of root cause and excess of symptoms, thus treatment should according to the pathogenesis itself.

 The influences of Sun Yikui's academic thoughts for later generations: herbalist Sun Yikui is one representative herbalist of the warming tonification school, other famous herbalists are Xue Ji, Zhao Xianke, Zhang Jiebing, Li Zhongzi. The main contribution of herbalist Sun Yikui is his life gate theory and his theory of the triple energizer and ministerial fire, and application of his theory in practice, his theory of the life gate combined the related life gate theory from Nan Jing(the Difficult Questioning) and Yi Jing(the I Ching), he also paid attention to protect the spleen and stomach. During the years of Jin and Yuan, people in the north area suffered from years of wars, hunger, labor, pavor, diseases of internal injury attack more often, it provided a clinical base for pathogenesis study of Zang and Fu viscera, till the Ming dynasty, the pathogenesis detection of Zang and Fu viscera gradually focused on syndromes of deficiency and asthenia, especially on recognition of life gate, water and fire, form the characteristics of applying warming tonification, the warming tonification school emphasized the functions of spleen stomach and kidney Yang for the life, good at using warm and sweet tonics, correct mistakes of that epoch, developed the life gate theory of TCM, and made a breakthrough in TCM academics. The influences of herbalist Sun Yikui are mainly his study methods, medical theory, practices, he holds a viewpoint that study should learn widely from others' strong points, but should not blindly follow the prejudice, insisting and never give up, enrich own experiences. His medical theory contribution is mainly the life gate theory and the theory of the triple energizer, he emphasized that the discussion on the triple energizer should focus on its functions instead of studying its physical shape, the development of the life gate theory and the triple energizer theory enlightened the later herbalists, the important meanings of warming tonification was recognized and understood gradually, thus pushed the development of practice. In the practice, herbalist Sun Yikui gave an in-depth development, he established the principle "cold and heat, deficiency and excess, exterior and interior, Qi and blood", standardized the syndrome names, it makes the principle "The same disease with different treatment, difference disease with same treatment" more practical, this integration of principle and flexibility, has its meanings for practice.

  • 1.孫壹奎(Sun Yikui):introduction about his biography and legends,main books and academic thoughts.

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