– Tobacco was introduced in China in 1575.

– The Zhen Nan Ben Cao (Ming) concludes that tobacco is pungent in taste, hot and toxic without any medicinal effect.

– The Ben Cao Cong Xin says “People nowadays inhale smoke down to the throat: this damages Blood and the voice.”

– Emperor Chong Zhen (Ming) enacts laws against smoking.

– Qu Ci Shan (Qing) says: “Tobacco is pungent and drying, it burns Jing (Kidneys) and the Fluids, damages the throat, the Stomach and the Lungs…it enters the Heart orifice causing mental confusion as if one were drunk. It makes the tongue coating dark-yellow or black, food and drink have no taste, the medical texts have no treatment for this.”

– Zhao Xue Min (Qing) thought that smoking damages the Lungs, exhausts Blood, injures Shen and shortens life.The above statements are interesting as they show that, according to Chinese medicine, tobacco is drying, it dries up Fluids and the Jing (Essence).

So, Western medicine focusses on the effects of tobacco on the lungs while Chinese medicine considers it to deplete Kidney-Jing as well.

This would explain the toxicity of tobacco in pregnancy.