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  A.D

Li Shizhen is one of the well known Chinese Physician in the county of Chai Zhou in Hubei province. He was also claimed to be China's greatest naturalist. He was very interested in the proper classification of the components of nature. His major contribution to medicine was his forty odd years of project of sifting through the vast array of herbal lore and writing down the information that he deemed a reliable reflection of reality. In 1596 he compiled a book entitled "Bencao Gang Mu; contains 1892 different herbs and is divided into 6 sections, 52 scrolls and 60 different categories". The book has been used as a pharmacopoeia but it was also use in treatise on botany, zoology, mineralogy and metallurgy. The content of his book was so useful that it was reprinted frequently and five of the original edition still exist.  The book also caught the attention of two British doctors (Porter and Smith who were working in China in the 19th century) together, they translated it into English. A further research later show that extracts of "Bencao Gang Mu" had been published in Europe since 1656.

Li Shizhen also took great risk while he undertook  the research of the life and habitat of Chai snakes which were considered a precious complimentary medicine during his time.  He later published the "Chai Snake Compilation" detailing its use. 



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