The book Shi Jing(The Book of Songs), written in the western Zhou Dynasty and recording over 50 medicinal herbs including leonurus, the fruit of Chinese wolfberry and sweet wormwood, is the earliest existing book about the medicines in China. Zhou Li(The Rites of Zhou) classified medical personnel into food doctors, internists, surgeons and veterinarians. The diagnosis methods like observation, auscultation and olfaction, inquiry and palpation and the therapeutic methods such as medicines, acupuncture and moxibustion and surgery were already used in Zhou Dynasty. According to the records of Zuo Zhuan (Chronicle of Zuo), in the Spring and Autumn Period, the doctor was called Yiyan in the State of Jin, Yihuan and Yihe in the state of Qin, as well as Qiyi(doctors in the State of Qi) and Chuyi(doctor in the State of Chu), all of which were the official doctors at that time. The famous doctor in the Warring State Period Bian Que was proficient in observation and palpation, and left behind many splendid cases.
By summing up the theories and experience of the predecessors, Sun Simiao in the Tang Dynasty, who was called “King of Medicine” collected more than 5000 prescriptions and adopted the treatment based on syndrome differentiation. After the Tang Dynasty, a lot of works and theories concerning TCM were introduced to Korea, Japan and countries and regions in Central Asia and Western Asia, etc. During the Song Dynasty, some valuable work for medical development was carried out by the court such as setting up the Imperial Medical Academy, dividing the medicine to systematical branches, unifying the position of the acupoint, and publishing the Tu Jing, (Illustrated Classics). During the following long period, famous doctors and medical classics came forth in large numbers, various academic schools formed, different specialties such as pediatrics, gynecology and surgery had been maturing gradually, and people’s understanding about the effect, preparation and compatibility of medicines had been improving.