The upper class of drugs comprises of 120 kinds. They are the rulers (chun). They control the maintenance of life and correspond to heaven. They do not have a markedly medicinal effectiveness (wu-tu). The taking [of these drugs] in larger amounts or over a long period of time is not harmful to Man. If one wishes to take the material weight from the body, to supplement the influences [circulating in the body], and to prolong the years of life without aging, he should base[his efforts] on [drugs mentioned in] the upper [class of this] classic.

The middle class of drugs comprises 120 kinds. They are the ministers (ch’en). They control the preservation of the human nature and correspond to Man. One part of them possesses medicinal effectiveness, another part does not. For every application, the choice of the suitable [drugs] should be considered carefully. If one wishes to prevent illnesses and to balance depletions and consumption, he should base [his efforts] on [drugs mentioned in] the middle [class of this] classic.
The lower class of drugs comprises 125 kinds. They are the assistants (tso) and aides (shib). They control the curing of illnesses and correspond to earth. They possess a markedly medicinal effectiveness (yu-tu) and must not be taken over a long period of time. If one wishes to remove cold, heat, and [other] evil influences (hsieh-ch’i) from the body, to break constipations [of any sort], and to cure illnesses, he should base [his efforts] on [drugs mentioned in] the lower [class of this] classic.
The three classes together are composed of 365 drugs. This corresponds to 365 degrees. One degree corresponds to one day. Together that makes one year.The drugs are subdivided into rulers, ministers, assistants, and aides. They should be combined according to mutual usefulness. Suitable [is the combination of] one ruler, two ministers, three assistants, and five aides. [The combination of] one ruler, three ministers, and nine assistants and aides is also possible. [In prescriptions] drugs are [matched according to whether they belong to the] yin or yang [categoryl. There are child/mother and older! younger brother [relationships], there are also root-, stalk-, blossom-, and fruit-drugs, as well as herb-, mineral-, bone-, and flesh-drugs. There are [drugs] which prefer to act alone (tan-hsing), others whose effectiveness depends [on one or more other drugs] (hsiang-hsi~). There are [drugs] which reinforce each other [in their effectiveness] (hsiang-shih), and those who fear each other (hsiang-wei). Some [drugs] hate each other in combinations (hsiang-wu), and others are directly opposed in their effectiveness (hsiang-fan). [Finally, there are drugs] which kill each other (hsiang-sha).These seven emotions must be kept in mind when combining (drugs). If the application of drugs which depend upon and support each other is called for, one should by no means use those which directly oppose or hate each other. If it is necessary to combine drugs with strongly medicinal effectiveness, drugs which weaken or neutralize each other can be used. The combination [of drugs] must conform strictly to these principles.The drugs have the five basic tastes (wu-wei): sour, salty, sweet, bitter, and acrid. Furthermore, they possess four kinds of [thermo-] influence (ssu-ch’i): cold, hot, warm, and cool. [Some drugs] have markedly medicinal effectiveness, others none. [There are drugs which must be] dried in the shade, [others which must be] dried in the sun. The time of the collection and preparation [of drugsl, whether they are raw or boiled, the place of their origin, adulteration and genuineness, as well as whether [the drugs are to be used after having been] stored or in fresh state, everything is subject to specific rules.







Nutrition & Herbs