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Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum

Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum

Written by Kelly PangUpdated Nov. 26, 2021

Located at 1200, Cailun Road, Pudong Xinqu,  Shanghai, it is a museum that is dedicated to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and traditional Chinese pharmacology (TCP). The collections contained there include over 140,000 articles of traditional Chinese medicine and pharmaceutical artifacts dating from the New Stone Age. It also contains more than 6,000 volumes of traditional and modern medical classics, and more than 3,000 different medical journals or newspapers, many of which are from the 1920s and the 1930s, and are rarely seen. The museum is further divided into the Museum of Miscellaneous Artifacts and five themed museums: the Museum of Health Nourishing and Rehabilitation, the Museum of Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Massage, the Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine Prescriptions, the Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine Culture, and the Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Education.

The Museum of Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Massage

The artifacts on display there mainly include an acupuncture bronze figure which was cast in 1744, which is a model showing the main and collateral bodily channels and acupuncture points, and was used in ancient China for teaching acupuncture and moxibustion; instruments and tools for acupuncture, moxibustion and massage; and Bianshi, a type of medical equipment used in the Stone Age. A Bianshi is a stone needle that can be used to treat patients. It is composed primarily of micrite, but it also contains over 30 rare earth elements and trace elements that are beneficial to human bodies, such as strontium, titanium, chromium, manganese and zinc. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that a top grade Bianshi could tranquilize both the mind and the body, nurse qi (a traditional Chinese medicine term for vital energy) and blood, and dredge the channel, to name a few benefits. A Bianshi is primarily used to make the boards in Holographic Meridian Scraping Therapy.

The Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine Prescriptions

Exhibited in this museum are valuable ingredients of traditional Chinese medicine, such as Zanthoxylum, Hierochloe and cassia bark, which have been excavated from the Han tombs at Mawangdui; pills excavated from the Jin tombs; Rosewood Heart Wood and Chinese Eaglewood found in a sunken ship from the Song Dynasty in Quanzhou Bay; various medical containers and pharmaceutical tools from the Qing Dynasty; and ancient pharmacopeias.

The Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine Specimens

With more than 3,000 traditional Chinese medicine specimens and Chinese patented drugs in its collection, this museum puts an emphasis on introducing the properties and effects of traditional Chinese medicine, as well as promoting awareness of the science and technology of traditional Chinese medicine. There are some rare and precious specimens on display, such as musk, wild ginseng and Cordyceps sinensis; more than 150 traditional Chinese medicine specimens made out of animals and plants and preserved in special liquids; traditional refined yinpian (prepared herbal medicine in small pieces ready for decoction); well-known, high quality and new Chinese patented drugs; as well as herbarium sheets of famous and precious medicines.

There is also a garden called "baicaoyuan xinglinyuan" covering more than 9,300 square meters inside the museum, where hundreds of herbs grow.

Opening hours: 09:00-16:00 (the museum closes on Mondays except during National Day, International Labor Day and the Chinese Spring Festival, when it will remain open).

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