The Shanghan Zabing Lun or the Treatise on Cold Damage and Complex Diseases is considered the forefather of all formula books. The original work was lost to the tooth of time, but most of its contents are preserved in two extant works called the Treatise on Cold Damage shanghan lun and the Concise Essentials of the Golden Cabinet jingui yaolue. The first work primarily addresses externally triggered disorders while the latter work describes the pathology and treatment of complex diseases generated internally. The herbal prescriptions or formulas recorded in this work form the basis for the practice of Chinese herbal medicine. And only in-depth understanding of the architecture of these formulas will ensure their effective and safe use in clinic. Furthermore, only an encompassing insight in the inter-connectedness of the formulas and their modular nature will allow a practitioner to expand on their clinical application ion modern clinic settings. As such, when studying these formulas, it is imperative to cross-reference the aforementioned two works because only cross-reference will allow the practitioner to see the greater picture and reveal the full application context of a prescription. Since complex diseases are often compounded versions of simplex conformation illnesses, Jingui formulas are often hybrid modifications of the Shanghan formulas and vice-versa. The course will instruct on the architecture of the classical herbal formulas of the Shanghan Lun and the Jingui Yaolue in cross-reference, demonstrating how they relate to each other and illustrating the full breadth of their clinical indications. The Shanghan Lun and Jingui Yaolue formulas are related like family members and their architectural characteristics will be taught in a modular pedigree fashion. As a starting point, the formulas will be categorized in formula families which will show their mutual relationships. The very concept of formula families was introduced by Zhang Zhongjing in the taiyin chapter of the Shanghan Lun, and was greatly expanded upon by two Qing dynasty Shanghan Lun specialists and commentators, Xu Lingtai in China and Todo Yoshimasu of Japan.
Practically the course will provide an in-depth discussion on a core selection of formulas, including both formulas for external invasion, as well as internal damage, all categorized along core formula families. The familial affinity of formulas revolves around shared herb methods. Herb methods represent the full spectrum functions of an herb in different formulaic contexts. The course will instruct on the formula families of some of the most central herbs methods of the Zhang Zhongjing universe. The families are: Guizhi family, Mahuang Family, Fuling family, Shigao Family, Dahuang Family, Huanglian Family, Chaihu Family, Ganjiang Family, Renshen Family, Banxia Family, Fuzi Family, Shengdihuang Family, and the Danggui Family, etc. These are the very herb methods whose diagnostic parameters were taught in the pulse and abdomen seminars. In total around 200+ prescriptions will be discussed, which is approximately 60% of the Zhang Zhongjing formula collective.