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

JOURNAL OF BEIJING UNIVERSITY OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE ›› 2020, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (6): 469-474.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1006-2157.2020.06.005

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Analysis of the concept of “Zhengqi” in Huangdi Neijing*

Shi Lingsheng, He Juan#   

  1. School of Chinese Medicine,Beijing University of Chinese Medicine,Beijing 102488,China
  • Received:2019-11-12 Published:2020-07-06
  • Contact: Prof. He Juan,Ph.D., Doctoral Supervisor. Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.Intersection of Yangguang Nandajie Street and Baiyang Donglu Road, Liangxiang Campus of Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Liangxiang Higher Education Park, Fangshan District,Beijing 102488. E-mail: hejuan6428@sina.com
  • Supported by:
    Beijing Natural Science Foundation (No.7182094)

Abstract: In modern Chinese medicine, “Zhengqi”, often juxtaposed with “Xieqi”,is an important concept in the theory of pathogenesis based on exuberance and debilitation of Xieqi (pathogenic factors) and Zhengqi (healthy qi).However,in Huangdi Neijing (Huangdi’s Internal Classic), “Zhengqi” originally meant “Zhengfeng” (right wind), essentially referring to wind in the right direction in the right season. Therefore, it was also an external pathogenic factor in modern sense because of its potential capacity to cause diseases. It was in the Wei, Jin, and Southern and Northern dynasties (220 AD-589 AD) when “Zhengqi” began to acquire its physiological sense. Later, it gradually became clear that the term referred to healthy qi.Its connotation of “Zhengfeng” was formally replaced with “healthy qi” in the sentence “when there is sufficient Zhengqi inside the body,Xie (pathogen) cannot invade the body” in the chapter “Discussion on Acupuncture Methods”, the original contents of which were lost in history and the present contents were added by scholars in the Song Dynasty to Suwen (Plain Conversation). Since then, it was thoroughly established that “Zhengqi” denoted antipathogenic physiological factors,providing significant theoretical basis for the modern concept of “Zhengqi”.

Key words: Zhengqi, wind, Zhengfeng, eight directions, eight kinds of wind, Zhengxie (Zheng pathogen), Zhengqi-Xieqi combination of diseases, Shifeng (invigorating wind)

CLC Number: 

  • R221