The Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Divine Farmer’s Classic of Materia Medica, 神農本草經), which was written around the end of the first century CE, is the earliest extant Chinese text that focused solely on the medicinal use of plants. Organizing 365 substances into 3 categories; upper herbs to be taken daily, middle herbs to be taken in deficiency, and lower herbs to be used to treat disease, the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing provides us with a crucial perspective on how to use herbs safely and effectively.
For a list of the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing division of herbs into upper, middle and lower categories please view the following PDF document: Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing Division of Herbs
For an in depth discussion on the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, join us online or in person for the Classical Herbalist Seminars in 2014, or view the lecture The Study of Herbs for free on our site.
Look for JulieAnn Nugent-Head’s article on the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of Chinese Medicine!