|Traditional Chinese Medicine in Lanxi|
Since the Song Dynasty, Lanxi has had many pharmaceutical merchants, pharmacies, and doctors. Dubbed “the city of medicine in Jiangnan,” Lanxi was a well-known center of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) historically.
Finding opportunities in the healthcare industry, Lanxi has created a cultural brand of TCM in recent years to keep developing its TCM culture and promote the high-quality development of the TCM industry.
In 2017, Lanxi took the lead in combining Lanxi’s TCM history and culture with local characteristics and promoting TCM culture in schools. By forming a “four-in-one” system to enhance cooperation among government, schools, hospitals, and companies, Lanxi has created an educational brand of TCM culture, which other cities can learn from.
In 2019, all of the 27 primary schools in Lanxi began activities to promote TCM culture in schools. Lanxi has planned to put forward such activities in all of its primary and secondary schools by 2023.
According to Sun Liyang, secretary of the Party Committee of Lanxi Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yaohuang Temple witnessed the development and glory of Lanxi’s TCM industry. Yaohuang Temple was first used to enshrine Shennong, the Chinese god of medicine and agriculture, and later became the office of pharmaceutical merchants. It was once the site of Lanxi Vocational School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and now is a practice base of TCM culture and education.
Zhang Shanlei (1872-1934) was a director of Lanxi Vocational School of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In order to commemorate Zhang’s contribution to Lanxi’s TCM development, Lanxi has held four consecutive sessions of Zhang Shanlei Traditional Chinese Medicine Cultural Festivals since 2017. During the festivals, Lanxi held TCM exhibitions and promotions, provided convenient services, and organized industry forums. In this way, Lanxi has expanded the influence of its TCM culture and built Lanxi’s brand of TCM culture.
In addition, Lanxi has created the “auditorium + TCM industry culture” mode by using rural cultural auditoriums as an important carrier of promoting traditional culture, providing services, and carrying out a series of activities there to promote TCM culture in the countryside.
Lanxi’s pharmaceutical industry has existed for over 800 years. According to The Commercial Profile of Lanxi Experimental County, written in 1935, there were no less than 5000 people engaged in the pharmaceutical industry and 74 drugstores in Lanxi at that time.
Lanxi has achieved the high-quality development of the TCM industry by building innovative technology platforms, developing characteristic industrial bases, establishing a cooperative service system, and promoting industrial cluster development. Lanxi’s planting area for plants used in TCM has reached 0.76 square kilometers, with a total output of 929 tons to date. Lanxi has also established a provincial TCM demonstration area mainly covering the Chinese hibiscus and white chrysanthemum industrial bases, and formed a complete industrial chain integrating planting, processing, R&D, manufacturing, and sales.
Thanks to the favorable market environment, the number of local pharmaceutical and healthcare companies in Lanxi has surged. The TCM industry is becoming an engine of Lanxi’s economic transformation and upgrading, and also a pillar industry to improve people’s livelihood. (Translated by Jin Haiqiong, edited by Kendra Fiddler)