Guest Author - Caroline Baker
Sun Simiao, sometimes referred to as the Medicine God or the King of Medicine, lived for 101 years and was perhaps the most influential Chinese physician to have ever existed. During his life, he wrote over 30 books describing ailments of all types and cataloging remedies for each. Many refer to his works as the first Chinese Encyclopedia for Clinical Practice and is still translated and used today.
Born in 581 AD, Sun Simiao was a sickly child who spent a great deal of time reading and studying. It is through this that he learned Chinese medicine and strengthened his own body. He was a giving man, providing cures for any and all that came to him. He refused several lofty positions, including several offers to be the Emperorís personal physician. Instead, he preached and followed a code of ethics that said healers should not be swayed by material gains but rather strive to heal others.
After receiving fame from his first book and all those he cured, he secluded himself on Wubei Mountain, which is today referred to as Medicine King Mountain. It is here that he cured and helped many. Even today, visitors can come to his shrine and cave for healing.
Sun Simiao was a devout Taoist with a close connection to Buddhism and Confucianism who combined many of the principles of the yin-yang and 5-elements to cultivate his healing practice. He is recognized as the first physician to cure many diseases with many natural products. Even testing today proves his cures effective and within line with other studies, such as animal liver (source of Vitamin A) to cure night blindness.
Sun Simiao valued life. His strict medical code of ethics influenced physicians all over the world and long after his death. He even paid a great deal of attention in his writing to women and children, which was the basis for gynecology, obstetrics, and pediatrics for decades to come.
With all the valuable contributions to medicine and his strong code of ethics, it is no wonder why he is still a well-recognized man in Chinese Medicine and often referred to as the Medicine King.