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The concept of yin and yang is also applicable to the human body; for example, the upper part of the body and the back are assigned to yang, while the lower part of the body are believed to have the yin character.The concept of yin and yang is also applicable to the human body; for example, the upper part of the body and the back are assigned to yang, while the lower part of the body are believed to have the yin character.[46] Yin and yang characterization also extends to the various body functions, and – more importantly – to disease symptoms (e.g., cold and heat sensations are assumed to be yin and yang symptoms, respectively).[46] Thus, yin and yang of the body are seen as phenomena whose lack (or over-abundance) comes with characteristic symptom combinations:

  • Yin vacuity (also termed "vacuity-heat"): heat sensations, possible sweating at night, insomnia, dry pharynx, dry mouth, dark urine, and a "fine" and rapid pulse.[47]
  • Yang vacuity ("vacuity-cold"): aversion to cold, cold limbs, bright white complexion, long voidings of clear urine, diarrhea, pale and enlarged tongue, and a slightly weak, slow and fine pulse.[46]

TCM also identifies drugs believed to treat these specific symptom combinations, i.e., to reinforce yin and yang.[31]

The meridians (经络, jīng-luò) are believed to be channels running from the zàng-fǔ in the interior (, <

The meridians (经络, jīng-luò) are believed to be channels running from the zàng-fǔ in the interior (, ) of the body to the limbs and joints ("the surface" [, biaǒ]), transporting qi and xuĕ.[78][79] TCM identifies 12 "regular" and 8 "extraordinary" meridians;[56] the Chinese terms being 十二经脉 (shí-èr jīngmài, lit. "the Twelve Vessels") and 奇经八脉 (qí jīng bā mài) respectively.[80] There's also a number of less customary channels branching from the "regular" meridians.[56]

Gender in traditional medicine

In traditional clinical encounters, women and men were treated differently. Chinese doctor Cheng Maoxian, born in 1581, lived and practiced medicine in Yangzhou in the 1610s and 1620s. He took diligent care to write case studies of his interactions with his patients and their ailments as well as his prescribed medicines.[81] Doctors such as Maoxian treated men as well as women, however Cheng described each case study with reference to contemporary social structures.

In encounters between sick women and their male doctors, women were often shy about their issues and frequently made the doctor's work more difficult by concealing the extent all symptoms. Even if they did confess all their symptoms, doctors, such as Cheng, would consider the major

In traditional clinical encounters, women and men were treated differently. Chinese doctor Cheng Maoxian, born in 1581, lived and practiced medicine in Yangzhou in the 1610s and 1620s. He took diligent care to write case studies of his interactions with his patients and their ailments as well as his prescribed medicines.[81] Doctors such as Maoxian treated men as well as women, however Cheng described each case study with reference to contemporary social structures.

In encounters between sick women and their male doctors, women were often shy about their issues and frequently made the doctor's work more difficult by concealing the extent all symptoms. Even if they did confess all their symptoms, doctors, such as Cheng, would consider the majority of the illness to be linked to some problem concerning the woman's reproductive system or cycle.<

In encounters between sick women and their male doctors, women were often shy about their issues and frequently made the doctor's work more difficult by concealing the extent all symptoms. Even if they did confess all their symptoms, doctors, such as Cheng, would consider the majority of the illness to be linked to some problem concerning the woman's reproductive system or cycle.[citation needed] <!- the ref only had cite book|last1=Congzhou|first1=Cheng with no title --> One of the stories Cheng discussed in his case studies was that of Fan Jisuo's teenage daughter, who could not be diagnosed because she was unwilling to speak on her symptoms. In this particular case, the illness involved discharge from her intimate areas. Cheng insisted on asking more about her illness and the patient's modesty became a frustrating obstacle.

When a woman fell ill, an appropriate adult man was to call the doctor and remain present during the examination, for the woman could not be left alone with the doctor. However, this was not always the case. In particular cases, when a woman dealt with complications of pregnancy or birth, older women became involved and assumed the role of the formal authority. Men in these situations would not have much power to interfere.[81]

However, when a doctor's visit was absolutely necessary, a breaking of norms was sometimes necessary. To properly examine the patient, doctors were faced with the task of going beyond the norm of female modesty. As Cheng describes, there were four standard methods of diagnosis—looking, asking, listening and smelling and touching (for pulse-taking). To maintain some form of modesty, women would often stay hidden behind curtains and screens. The doctor was allowed to touch enough of her body to complete his examination, often just the pulse taking. This would lead to situations where the symptoms and the doctor's diagnosis did not agree and the doctor would have to ask to see more of the patient.[82]

Gender was presumed to influence the movement of energy and a well-trained physician would be expected to read the pulse and should have been able to identify two dozen or more energy flows.[83] Yin and yang concepts were applied to the feminine and masculine aspects of all bodies at large, implying that in nature the differences between men and women begin at the level of this energy flow. According to Bequeathed Writings of Master Chu the male's yang pulse movement follows an ascending path in "compliance [with cosmic direction] so that the cycle of circulation in the body and the Vital Gate are felt...The female's yin pulse movement follows a defending path against the direction of cosmic influences, so that the nadir and the Gate of Life are felt at the inch position of the left hand".[84] In sum, classical medicine marked yin and yang as high and low on bodies which in turn would be labeled normal or abnormal and gendered either male or female.[81]

Women

The act of diagnosing women was not as

The act of diagnosing women was not as simple as the diagnosing of men in traditional Chinese medicine. This was for several reasons: first, the treatment of sick women was expected to be called in by and take place under male authority.[85] The visiting physician would then discuss the female's problems and diagnosis through the male. Second, women were often silent about their issues with doctors and male figures due to the societal expectation of female modesty and the presence of a male figure in the room.[85] Third, the presence of male authority in the sick room and the patriarchal dominated society also caused doctors to reference their women and children patients "the anonymous category of family members (Jia Ren) or household (Ju Jia)"[85] in their journals. This anonymity and lack of conversation between the doctor and woman patient led to the inquiry diagnosis of the Four Diagnostic Methods[86] being the most challenging. Male doctors in China traditionally used a figurine known as a Doctor's lady, on which female patients could indicate the location of their symptoms. [87]

The study of medicine for women was called Fuke[85] (known as gynecology and obstetrics

The study of medicine for women was called Fuke[85] (known as gynecology and obstetrics in modern science and medicine); however, it has little to no ancient works based on it except for Fu Qing-zhu's Fu Qing Zhu Nu Ke (Fu Qing-zhu's Gynecology).[88] The most challenging part of a woman's health in Traditional Chinese Medicine was pregnancy and postpartum, this is because there were many definitions of pregnancy in traditional Chinese medicine.[85]

The recognition of pregnancy in the Western medical world has been around since the publication of the Hippocratic Corpus, circa mid-fifth century to the mid-fourth century BCE, in the gynecological treatises On the Nature of the Woman, On the Diseases of Women, Generation, On the Nature of the Child, On Sterile Women, On Fistulae, and On Hemorrhoids. The term Caesarean section derives from an ancient Roman, or Caesarean (from Caesar) law that demanded that when a pregnant woman died, her body could not be buried until the unborn child had been removed. Ancient Roman doctors were forbidden from performing this procedure on living women, however.[89]

Traditional Chinese medicine's attempts to grapple with pregnancy are documented from at least the seventeenth century. According to Charlotte Furth, "a pregnancy (in the seventeenth century) as a known bodily experience emerged [...] out of the liminality of menstrual irregularity, as uneasy digestion, and a sense of

Traditional Chinese medicine's attempts to grapple with pregnancy are documented from at least the seventeenth century. According to Charlotte Furth, "a pregnancy (in the seventeenth century) as a known bodily experience emerged [...] out of the liminality of menstrual irregularity, as uneasy digestion, and a sense of fullness".[85] These symptoms were common among other illness as well, so the diagnosis of pregnancy often came later in the term. The Canon of the Pulse or the use of pulse in diagnosis stated that pregnancy was "a condition marked by symptoms of disorder in one whose pulse is normal" or "where the pulse and symptoms do not agree".[90] Just as in the normal diagnosis process, women were often silent about suspected pregnancy, this led to many men in the households not knowing their wife or daughter was pregnant until complications arrived.

Complications through the misdiagnosis and silence of pregnancies often involved medically induced abortions, according to Furth's book, Dr.Cheng (her case study) "was unapologetic about endangering a fetus when pregnancy risked a mother's well being".[85] The method of abortion was used through the ingestion of certain herbs and foods. The practice of abortion was contrasted with the families disappointment and disapproval of the loss of the fetus and often led to familial complications down the line.[85]

If the baby and mother survived the term of the pregnancy, childbirth was then the next step. The tools provided for birth were: towels to catch the blood, a container for the placenta, a pregnancy sash to support the belly, and an infant swaddling wrap.[91] With these tools, the baby was born, cleaned, and swaddled; however, the mother was then immediately the focus of the doctor to replenish her qi.[85] In his writings, Dr.Cheng places a large amount of emphasis on the Four Diagnostic methods to deal with postpartum issues and instructs all physicians to "not neglect any [of the four methods]".[85] The process of birthing was thought to deplete a woman's blood level and qi so the most common treatments for postpartum were food (commonly garlic and ginseng), medicine, and rest.[92] This process was followed up by a month check-in with the physician, a practice known as zuo yuezi.[93]

Female health and medicine (fu ke)

For each of the functional entities (qi, xuĕ, zàng-fǔ, meridians etc.), typical disharmony patterns are recognized; for example: qi vacuity and qi stagnation in the case of qi;[46] blood vacuity, blood stasis, and blood heat in the case of xuĕ;[46] Spleen qi vacuity, Spleen yang vacuity, Spleen qi vacuity with down-bearing qi, Spleen qi vacuity with lack of blood containment, cold-damp invasion of the Spleen, damp-heat invasion of Spleen and Stomach in case of the Spleen zàng;[31] wind/cold/damp invasion in the case of the meridians.[97]

TCM gives detailed prescriptions of these patterns regarding their typical symptoms, mostly including characteristic tongue and/or pulse findings.[46][97] For example:

  • "Upflaming Liver fire" (肝火上炎; gānhuǒ shàng yán): Headache, red face, reddened eyes, dry mouth, nosebleeds, constipation, dry or hard stools, profuse menstruation, sudden tinnitus or deafness, vomiting of sour or bitter fluids, expectoration of blood, irascibility, impatience; red tongue with dry yellow fur; s

    For each of the functional entities (qi, xuĕ, zàng-fǔ, meridians etc.), typical disharmony patterns are recognized; for example: qi vacuity and qi stagnation in the case of qi;[46] blood vacuity, blood stasis, and blood heat in the case of xuĕ;[46] Spleen qi vacuity, Spleen yang vacuity, Spleen qi vacuity with down-bearing qi, Spleen qi vacuity with lack of blood containment, cold-damp invasion of the Spleen, damp-heat invasion of Spleen and Stomach in case of the Spleen zàng;[31] wind/cold/damp invasion in the case of the meridians.[97]

    TCM gives detailed prescriptions of these patterns regarding their typical symptoms, mostly including characteristic tongue and/or pulse findings.[46][97] For e

    TCM gives detailed prescriptions of these patterns regarding their typical symptoms, mostly including characteristic tongue and/or pulse findings.[46][97] For example:

    The process of determining which actual pattern is on hand is called 辩证 (biàn zhèng, usually translated as "pattern diagnosis",[31] "pattern identification"[46] or "pattern discrimination"[98]). Generally, the first and most important step in pattern diagnosis is an evaluation of the present signs and symptoms on the basis of the "Eight Principles" (八纲; bā gāng).[31][46] These eight principles refer to four pairs of fundamental qualities of a disease: exterior/interior, heat/cold, vacuity/repletion, and yin/yang.[46] Out of these, heat/cold and vacuity/repletion have the biggest clinical importance.[46] The yin/yang quality, on the other side, has the smallest importance and is somewhat seen aside from the other three pairs, since it merely presents a general and vague conclusion regarding what other qualities are found.[46] In detail, the Eight Principles refer to the following:

    • Yin and yang are universal aspects all things can be classified under, this includes diseases in general as well as the Eight Principles' first three couples.[46] For example, cold is identified to be a yin aspect, while heat is attributed to yang.[46] Since descriptions of patterns in terms of yin and yang lack complexity and clinical practicality, though, patterns are usually not labelled this way anymore.[46] Exceptions are vacuity-cold and repletion-heat patterns, who are sometimes referred to as "yin patterns" and "yang patterns" respectively.[46]
    • Exterior (; biǎoAfter the fundamental nature of a disease in terms of the Eight Principles is determined, the investigation focuses on more specific aspects.[46] By evaluating the present signs and symptoms against the background of typical disharmony patterns of the various entities, evidence is collected whether or how specific entities are affected.[46] This evaluation can be done

      1. in respect of the meridians (经络辩证; jīngluò biàn zhèng)[98]
      2. in respect of qi (气血辩证,; qì xuè biàn zhèng)[98]
      3. in respect of xuè (气血辩证; qì xuè biàn zhèng)[98]
      4. in respect of the body fluids (津液辩证; jīnyè biàn zhèng)[98]
      5. in respect of the zàng-fǔ (脏腑辩证; zàngfǔ biàn zhèng)[98] – very similar to this, though less specific, is disharmony pattern description in terms of the Five Elements [五行辩证; wǔ xíng biàn zhèng][97])

      There are also three special pattern diagnosis systems used in case of febrile and infectious diseases only ("Six Channel system" or "six division pattern" [六经辩证; liù jīng biàn zhèng]; "Wei Qi Ying Xue system" or "four division pattern" [卫气营血辩证; weì qì yíng xuè biàn zhèng]; "San Jiao system" or "three burners pattern" [三焦辩证; sānjiaō biàn zhèng]).[97][102]

      Considerations of disease causes

      Although TCM and its concept of disease do not strongly differentiate between cause and effect,[54] pattern discrimination can include considerations regarding the disease cause; this is called 病因辩证 (bìngyīn biàn zhèng, "disease-cause pattern discrimination").[98]

      There are three fundamental categories of disease causes (三因; sān yīn) recognized:[46]

      1. external causes: these include the Six Excesses and "Pestilential Qi".[46]
      2. internal causes: the "Seven Affects" (七情; qī qíng,[46] sometimes also translated as "Seven Emotions"[54]) – joy, anger, brooding, sorrow, fear, fright and grief.[54] These are believed to be able to cause damage to the functions of the zàng-fú, especially of the Liver.六经辩证; liù jīng biàn zhèng]; "Wei Qi Ying Xue system" or "four division pattern" [卫气营血辩证; weì qì yíng xuè biàn zhèng]; "San Jiao system" or "three burners pattern" [三焦辩证; sānjiaō biàn zhèng]).[97][102]

        Considerations of disease causes

        Although TCM and its concept of disease do not strongly differentiate between cause and effect,[54] pattern discrimination can include considerations regarding the disease cause; this is called 病因辩证 (bìngyīn biàn zhèng, "disease-cause pattern discrimination").[98]

        There are three fundamental categories of disease causes (三因; sān yīn) recognized:[46]

        1. external causes: these include the Six Excesses and "Pestilential Qi".[46]
        2. internal causes: the "Seven Affects" (七情; qī qí

          Although TCM and its concept of disease do not strongly differentiate between cause and effect,[54] pattern discrimination can include considerations regarding the disease cause; this is called 病因辩证 (bìngyīn biàn zhèng, "disease-cause pattern discrimination").[98]

          There are three fundamental categories of disease causes (三因; sān yīn) recognized:[46]

          1. external causes: these include the Six Excesses and "Pestilential Qi".There are three fundamental categories of disease causes (三因; sān yīn) recognized:[46]

            In TCM, there are five major diagnostic methods: inspection, auscultation, olfaction, inquiry, and palpation.[106] These are grouped into what is known as the "Four pillars" of diagnosis, which are Inspection, Auscultation/ Olfaction, Inquiry, and Palpation (望,聞,問,切).

            • Inspection focuses on the face and particularly on the tongue, including analysis of the tongue size, shape, tension, color and coating, and the absence or presence of teeth marks around the edge.
            • Auscultation refers to listening for particular sounds (such as wheezing).
            • Olfaction refers to attending to body odor.
            • Inquiry focuses on the "seven inquiries", which involve asking the person about the regularity, severity, or other characteristics of: chills, fever, perspiration, appetite, thirst, taste, defecation, urination, pain, sleep, menses, leukorrhea.
            • Palpation which includes feeling the body for tender A-shi points, and the palpation of the wrist pulses as well as various other pulses, and palpation of the abdomen.

            Tongue and pulse

            Examination of the tongue and the pulse are among the principal diagnostic methods in TCM. Details of the tongue, including shape, size, color, texture, cracks, teethmarks, as well as tongue coating are all considered as part of tongue diagnosis. Various regions of the tongue's surface are believed to correspond to the zàng-fŭ organs. For example, redness on the tip of the tongue might indicate heat in the Heart, while redness on the sides of the ton

            Examination of the tongue and the pulse are among the principal diagnostic methods in TCM. Details of the tongue, including shape, size, color, texture, cracks, teethmarks, as well as tongue coating are all considered as part of tongue diagnosis. Various regions of the tongue's surface are believed to correspond to the zàng-fŭ organs. For example, redness on the tip of the tongue might indicate heat in the Heart, while redness on the sides of the tongue might indicate a heat in the Liver.[107]

            Pulse palpation involves measuring the pulse both at a superficial and at a deep level at three different locations on the radial artery (Cun, Guan, Chi, located two fingerbreadths from the wrist crease, one fingerbreadth from the wrist crease, and right at the wrist crease, respectively, usually palpated with the index, middle and ring finger) of each arm, for a total of twelve pulses, all of which are thought to correspond with certain zàng-fŭ. The pulse is examined for several characteristics including rhythm, strength and volume, and described with qualities like "floating, slippery, bolstering-like, feeble, thready and quick"; each of these qualities indicate certain disease patterns. Learning TCM pulse diagnosis can take several years.[108]

            Herbal medicine and pseudoscience

            There are roughly 13,000 compounds used in China and over 100,000 TCM recipes recorded in the ancient literature.[113] Plant elements and extracts are by far the most common elements used.[114] In the classic Handbook of Traditional Drugs from 1941, 517 drugs were listed – out of these, 45 were animal parts, and 30 were minerals.[114]

            Animal substances

            Some animal parts used can be considered rather strange such as cow gallstones,[115] hornet nests,[116] leeches,[117] and scorpion.[118] Other examples of animal parts include horn of the antelope or buffalo, deer antlers, testicles and penis bone of the dog, and snake bile.[119] Some TCM textbooks still recommend preparations containing animal tissues, but there has been little research to justify the claimed clinical efficacy of many TCM animal products.[119]

            Some compounds can include the parts of endangered species, including tiger bones[120] and rhinoceros horn[121] which is used for many ailments (though not as an aphrodisiac as is commonly misunderstood in the West).[122] The black market in rhinoceros horn (driven not just by TCM but also unrelated status-seeking) has reduced the world's rhino population by more than 90 percent over the past 40 years. [123] Concerns have also arisen over the use of pangolin scales,[124] turtle plastron,[125] seahorses,[126] and the gill plates of mobula and manta rays.[127] Illegal pangolin sales at animal markets are suggested as a possible method of the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to humans.[128]

            Poachers hunt restricted or endangered species to supply the black market with TCM products.[129][130] There is no scientific evidence of efficacy for tiger medicines.[129] Concern over China considering to legalize the trade in tiger parts prompted the 171-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to endorse a decision opposing the resurgence of trade in tigers.[129] Fewer than 30,000 saiga antelopes remain, which are exported to China for use in traditional fever therapies.[130] Organized gangs illegally export the horn of the antelopes to China.[130] The pressures on seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) used in traditional medicine is enormous; tens of millions of animals are unsustainably caught annually.[110] Many species of syngnathid are currently part of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species or national equivalents.[110]

            Since TCM recognizes bear bile as a treatment compound, more than 12,000 asiatic black bears are held in bear farms. The bile is extracted through a permanent hole in the abdomen leading to the gall bladder, which can cause severe pain. This can lead to bears trying to kill themselves. As of 2012, approximately 10,000 bears are farmed in China for their bile.[131] This practice has spurred public outcry across the country.[131] The bile is collected from live bears via a surgical procedure.[131] As of March 2020 bear bile as ingredient of Tan Re Qing injection remains on the list of remedies recommended for treatment of "severe cases" of COVID-19 by National Health Commission of China and the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.[113] Plant elements and extracts are by far the most common elements used.[114] In the classic Handbook of Traditional Drugs from 1941, 517 drugs were listed – out of these, 45 were animal parts, and 30 were minerals.[114]

            Animal substances<

            Some animal parts used can be considered rather strange such as cow gallstones,[115] hornet nests,[116] leeches,[117] and scorpion.[118] Other examples of animal parts include horn of the antelope or buffalo, deer antlers, testicles and penis bone of the dog, and snake bile.[119] Some TCM textbooks still recommend preparations containing animal tissues, but there has been little research to justify the claimed clinical efficacy of many TCM animal products.[119]

            Some compounds can include the parts of endangered species, including tiger bones[120] and rhinoceros horn[120] and rhinoceros horn[121] which is used for many ailments (though not as an aphrodisiac as is commonly misunderstood in the West).[122] The black market in rhinoceros horn (driven not just by TCM but also unrelated status-seeking) has reduced the world's rhino population by more than 90 percent over the past 40 years. [123] Concerns have also arisen over the use of pangolin scales,[124] turtle plastron,[125] seahorses,[126] and the gill plates of mobula and manta rays.[127] Illegal pangolin sales at animal markets are suggested as a possible method of the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to humans.[128]

            Poachers hunt restricted or endangered species to supply the black market with TCM products.[129][130] There is no scientific evidence of efficacy for tiger medicines.[129] Concern over China considering to legalize the trade in tiger parts prompted the 171-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to endorse a decision opposing the resurgence of trade in tigers.[129] Fewer than 30,000 saiga antelopes remain, which are exported to China for use in traditional fever therapies.[130] Organized gangs illegally export the horn of the antelopes to China.[130] The pressures on seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) used in traditional medicine is enormous; tens of millions of animals are unsustainably caught annually.[110] Many species of syngnathid are currently part of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species or national equivalents.[110]

            Since TCM recognizes bear bile as a treatment compound, more than 12,000 asiatic black bears are held in bear farms. The bile is extracted through a permanent hole in the abdomen leading to the gall bladder, which can cause severe pain. This can lead to bears trying to kill themselves. As of 2012, approximately 10,000 bears are farmed in China for their bile.[131] This practice has spurred public outcry across the country.[131] The bile is collected from live bears via a surgical procedure.[131] As of March 2020 bear bile as ingredient of Tan Re Qing injection remains on the list of remedies recommended for treatment of "severe cases" of COVID-19 by National Health Commission of China and the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.[132]

            The deer penis is believed to have therapeutic benefits according to traditional Chinese medicine. Tiger parts from poached animals include tiger penis, believed to improve virility, and tiger eyes.[133] The illegal trade for tiger parts in China has driven the species to near-extinction because of its popularity in traditional medicine.[134][133] Laws protecting even critically endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger fail to stop the display and sale of these items in open markets.[135] Shark fin soup is traditionally regarded in Chinese medicine as beneficial for health in East Asia, and its status as an elite dish has led to huge demand with the increase of affluence in China, devastating shark populations.[136] The shark fins have been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.[137] Shark finning is banned in many countries, but the trade is thriving in Hong Kong and China, where the fins are part of shark fin soup, a dish considered a delicacy, and used in some types of traditional Chinese medicine.[138]

            The tortoise (freshwater turtle, guiban) and turtle (Chinese softshell turtle, biejia) species used in traditional Chinese medicine are raised on farms, while restrictions are made on the accumulation and export of other endangered species.[139] However, issues concerning the overexploitation of Asian turtles in China have not been completely solved.[139] Australian scientists have developed methods to identify medicines containing DNA traces of endangered species.[140] Finally, although not an endangered species, sharp rises in exports of donkeys and donkey hide from Africa to China to make the traditional remedy ejiao have prompted export restrictions by some African countries.[141]

            Traditional Chinese Medicine also includes some human parts: the classic Materia medica (Bencao Gangmu) describes (also criticizes) the use of 35 human body parts and excreta in medicines, including bones, fingernail, hairs, dandruff, earwax, impurities on the teeth, feces, urine, sweat, organs, but most are no longer in use.[143][144][145]

            Human placenta has been used an ingredient in certain traditional Chinese medicines,[146] including using dried human placenta, known as "Ziheche", to treat infertility, impotence and other conditions.[142] The consumption of the human placenta is a potential source of infection.[146]

            Traditional categorization

            The traditional categorizations and classifications that can still be found today are:

            • The classification according to the Four Natures (四气; sì qì): hot, warm, cool, or cold (or, neutral in terms of temperature)[31] and hot and warm herbs are used to treat [146] including using dried human placenta, known as "Ziheche", to treat infertility, impotence and other conditions.[142] The consumption of the human placenta is a potential source of infection.[146]