Sun Simiao

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Sun.
Yaowang in the Tianfei Palace, Nanjing

Sun Simiao (simplified Chinese: 孙思邈; traditional Chinese: 孫思邈; pinyin: Sūn Sīmiǎo; Wade–Giles: Sun Ssu-miao; died 682) was a famous traditional Chinese medicine doctor of the Sui and Tang dynasty. He was titled as China's King of Medicine (药王, Yaowang) for his significant contributions to Chinese medicine and tremendous care to his patients.

Sun wrote two books - Beiji Qian Jin Yao Fang ("Essential Formulas for Emergencies [Worth] a Thousand Pieces of Gold") and Qian Jin Yi Fang ("Supplement to the Formulas of a Thousand Gold Worth") - that were both milestones in the history of Chinese medicine, summarizing pre-Tang dynasty medicine.[1] The former listed about 5300 recipes for medicines, and the latter 2000. He also put forth the “Thirteen measures to keep health”, which claimed that actions like touching hair, rolling eyes, walking, and shaking heads improved health.[1]
Apart from this, he is known for the text "On the Absolute Sincerity of Great Physicians," often called "the Chinese Hippocratic Oath," which comes from the first chapter of the first of the above-mentioned two books. This portion of the book is still a required reading for Chinese physicians. The following is an excerpt of the text:

A Great Physician should not pay attention to status, wealth or age; neither should he question whether the particular person is attractive or unattractive, whether he is an enemy or friend, whether he is a Chinese or a foreigner, or finally, whether he is uneducated or educated. He should meet everyone on equal grounds. He should always act as if he were thinking of his close relatives.[2]

The work Essential Subtleties on the Silver Sea (银海精微, yínhǎi jīngwēi) was probably written by Sun Simiao. It was published at the end of the Yuan Dynasty (1271−1368) and has had wide influence on the Chinese ophthalmology until today.[3]

In addition to his medical work, Sun also engaged in alchemy and may have been an initiated Daoist adept.[4]


  1. ^ a b Sun Simiao, King of Medicine, Cultural China
  2. ^ Sass, Hans-Martin (September 2005), "Emergency Management in Public Health Ethics: Triage, Epidemics, Biomedical Terror and Warfare" (PDF), Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 15 
  3. ^ Agnes Fatrai, Stefan Uhrig (eds.): Chinese Ophthalmology – Acupuncture, Herbal Therapy, Dietary Therapy, Tuina and Qigong. Tipani-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2015, ISBN 978-3-9815471-1-5.
  4. ^ Nathan Sivin, Chinese Alchemy: Preliminary Studies (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968).

External links[edit]