Shen Nung 2696 BCE



Shen Nung, the Father of Chinese medicine (approximately 2695 BCE) noted for tasting 365 herbs and dying from a toxic overdose, also wrote the treatise On Herbal Medical Experiment Poisons. This treatise was later expanded by countless generations of doctors and is a main reason why knowledge of remedial herbs is so expansive in China.

Toxicological Perspective

According to legend, Shen Nung is the father of Chinese medicine and pharmacology. He sought out and investigated hundreds of herbs documenting many of them in his treatise mentioned above and is still worshiped by native Chinese medicine men.


Shen Nung was an ancient Chinese Emperor believed to have lived 5,000 years ago. He is often referred to as the Yan Emporer and the literal meaning of his name translates to "the divine farmer" because he is credited with bringing agriculture to ancient China. He is widely respected in Chinese mythology and is accredited as being an ancestor to the Vietnamese people as well as the Chinese.


Washington State University College of Pharmacy. Pharmacy in Ancient China. Retrieved 11-15-06.