Definition and connotation of traditional Chinese medicine have experienced three great changes amid the development process over thousands of years. The first change is during the Spring-Autumn Period and the Warring States Period. Then traditional Chinese medicine refers to the core medicine of the Chinese nation; the second change is during the flourishing period of Tang Dynasty. The traditional Chinese medicine at that time refers to traditional medicine of Han nationality including medicine of imperial China, medicine of world center and medicine of Chinese nation; the third change is in late Qing Dynasty. Traditional Chinese medicine at that time is a system taking traditional Chinese medicine of Han nationality as the core, mainly relative to Western medicine.
Buddhist medicine culture’s impact on traditional Chinese medicine mainly has five aspects. One of the implications is on Chinese medical literature. According researchers, there are 453 monographs involved in medicine and more than 4,000 pieces of Buddhist scriptures involved in medical knowledge and regimen in more than 5,000 Buddhist texts; there are 558 categories of titles (641 works) concerned with the Buddhism in more than 8,000 works of TCM literature; there are 79 works by Buddhist doctors of all ages; various medical works of all ages refers to 203 203 Buddhist terms. A great many of monk doctors with rich clinical experiences and superb skill from ancient times to the present. Some of them translated Buddhist texts as the monk and were not famed the world for medical works. But most of them were proficient in medical knowledge, helped those in distress and aided those in peril, having become an important force of our nation’s medical group in ancient time. Meanwhile some took medicine as a profession and left precious literature of Chinese medicine in history.
(From Shaolin Encyclopedia)