Considered one of the key achievements of China's ancient civilization for its wealth of information on medicine, mineralogy, botany, zoology, and natural science, Compendium of Materia Medica covers the long period between remote antiquity and the Ming Dynasty when the book was first published in 1593.
As early as the 17th century, it is introduced through translations to some other countries in Asia, Europe and America as an essential work for the study of Chinese medical science and technology and ancient Chinese culture and history. However, with the exception of a complete Japanese translation published in Japan in the 1970s, only parts of Compendium of Materia Medica-mostly having to do with pharmacological therapeutics-have been translated. More difficult sections of the book involving history, culture and science have never been translated, with only abridged versions of the book available in the West.
To fill the void and make accessible to Western readers the full knowledge contained in this great scientific encyclopedia of China, the Foreign Languages Press is now pleased to present the first full English translation of the entire Compendium of Materia Medica. The translator and other experts have given many years of dedicated work to this project, trying to be true to the original text while providing notes to explain some of the contents in light of modern scientific research.