Ancient China Medicine

Ancient China medicines were quite advanced for an emerging ancient civilization. The ancient Chinese believed that there were kings sent to earth to help people endure the new world.

One king was believed to be a taster of plants. The king tasted each plant and learned which plants were safe to eat.

The tasting king recognized an assortment of plants that could help someone in ancient China that was sick. Many ancient China medicines were made of a mixture of plants.
Chinese Herbs


The ancient Chinese invented acupuncture. The ancient Chinese believed the body consisted of several different systems.

The ancient Chinese believed these systems needed to be corrected at times. Acupuncture was performed to reset these bodily systems.

Ancient Chinese placed nine needles at specific locations in the body to adjust these systems. Early needles were made of bone.

Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang were introduced to ancient China through Taoism. Yin and Yang represented the good and bad of your life cycle.
Old Chinese Medical Chart
The ancient Chinese thought when your yin and yang were not equal you would become sick. The ancient Chinese believed that keeping your body in balance was important to your health.


Confucius was an important philosopher in ancient China. He taught that you needed to lead a moderate life style.

The life style included eating right and exercise to keep you systems in line with each other. Confucius also gave human body parts a secondary meaning.

For instance, the heart was the Supreme Ruler and the liver was the commander of armed forces. He believed that the Supreme Ruler had to stay in balance and rule by example.

Herbal medicines

In ancient China herbal based medicines were important. Typical medicines were made from roots, leaves, stems, seeds and flowers. Recipes were handed down from family members to family members.

The ingredients were mixed together based on a formula and usually ingested by drinking the herbal mixture with tea.

Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine

The most famous medical book in ancient China is named Huang Ti Nei Ching also known as the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.
Red Ginseng roots
The medical book was a mixture of ideas and philosophies about ailments and cures. The medical book also emphasized the need to live in harmony with nature.

The remedies in the book helped ancient Chinese restore the harmony and balance to their body.

Important facts about ancient China medicines

  • Ancient Chinese believe there was a tasting king that found all plants which were edible and good for their health.
  • Acupuncture was invented by the ancient Chinese.
  • Yin and Yang was a Taoist theory.
  • In ancient China medicine yin and yang needed to be balanced.
  • Confucius believed that ancient Chinese needed to live a moderate lifestyle.
  • Ancient China medicine including remedies made of specific plants.
  • The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine was the most important book about ancient China medicines.
  • Ancient China medicines were mixed with tea and then consumed.


1. Yin and yang were part of what ancient Chinese philosophy?


2. Who believed that moderation was important for good health in ancient China?


3. What type of ancient China medicine used needles?


4. What is the name of the most important book on ancient China medicines?

Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine