主 办:北 京 中 医 药 大 学
ISSN 1006-2157 CN 11-3574/R

JOURNAL OF BEIJING UNIVERSITY OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE ›› 2019, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (2): 93-98.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1006-2157.2019.02.001

• Theoretical Studies •     Next Articles

The metaphor analysis of “monarch, minister, assistant and envoy” in TCM formula based on the concept of “a prescription being a state”

Ma Sisi1, Jia Chunhua1#, Guo Jin2   

  1. 1 School of Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China;
    2 China Press of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100013, China
  • Online:2019-02-28 Published:2019-02-28
  • Contact: Jia Chunhua, Ph.D.. School of Chinese Medcine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. E-mail: jiachunhua125@163.com

Abstract: Objective To explore the metaphorical nature of the “monarch, minister, assistant and envoy” theory in TCM formula. Methods In this paper, we use the method of metaphorical cognition to explore the cognitive process and application of the theory of “monarch, minister, assistant and envoy” in TCM Formula. Results It is found that from the perspective of official system, “monarch-minister-assistant-envoy” composition is a three-level structure characterized “monarch-minister-assistant”. The core of the “monarch-minister-assistant-envoy” formula is the relationship between monarch and minister. There are different levels of spatial metaphor in the concept of “monarch, minister, assistant and envoy”. Firstly, the effect of medicinals on the main pattern is a three-level gradient spatial metaphor; Secondly, the importance of disease and manifestations is another three-level gradient spatial metaphor. There is no way to apply the “monarch, minister, assistant and envoy” theory without analyzing the importance of the disease and its manifestations. Medicinal gradient is based on the recognition of symptom gradient. Conclusion It is concluded that the essence of “monarch, minister, assistant and envoy” metaphor is the mapping of human conceptual thinking from the field of social system to the field of formula based on spatial metaphor. The essence of metaphor is pathway-sharing and chaos-sorting. Therefore, the theoretical system of TCM based on metaphor can guide the clinical practice of “taking unblockage as harmony” and “taking balance as the goal”.

Key words: TCM prescription, “monarch, minister, assistant and envoy”, spatial metaphor, state, three-level gradient, relationship between monarch and minister

CLC Number: 

  • R289.1