National University of Natural Medicine,
College of Classical Chinese Medicine
Chinese herbal formulas are typically distinguished as jingfang (classical remedies) or shifang (contemporary remedies). During the last millennium, the origin of all classical formulas has generally been attributed to the Shanghan zabing lan (Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders and Miscellaneous Diseases), Chinese medicine’s seminal work on the systematic categorization of disease patterns and corresponding formulas by the Han dynasty scholar-physician Zhang Zhongjing (150-219 ACE). Historical sources reveal, however, that at least eleven classical herb primers (jingfang) existed before Zhang’s birth.