Chinese Medicine History

Hua To [Hua Tuo]

















Hua Tuo also named Yuan Hua of Hao county in Anwei province. was the first famous Chinese surgeon. He is the first in the world to developed the use of anesthesia, and furthered the limited Chinese knowledge of anatomy.  When using acupuncture and herbs, he preferred simple methods, using a small number of acupuncture points and formulas comprised of only a few herbs. He practiced Chi-kung [Qi Gong] and taught the "frolics of the five animals," a practice still used today. The five animals are Tiger, Deer, Bear, Ape and Crane.

One day a patient came to see Hua Tuo. Hua Tuo diagnosed the patient with Ulcerative Colitis (bleeding ulcer in the large intestine). He thus decided that surgery was needed. He gave the patient "Anesthetic powder", as the patient lost feeling he performed the operation. He cut the abdomen open and located the ulcer in the intestines. Clearing the infected area he sawed it back and applied "Spirits Lotion". In one month the patient recovered completely. Later on a famous general named Zao Cao contracted illness called "Tou Feng". The general came to see Hua Tuo and was advised to have an operation. The general suspected Hua Tuo wanted to harm him and thus ordered the death of Hua Tuo. A very loved and revered physician was lost to the world.

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