Health in the Qing Court

Making the Emperor Work: Producing and Ensuring Health in the Qing Court

Xueling GUAN

Cooperation Partners: 

The Palace Museum Beijing


A record kept in the Imperial Household Department Archive of the Qing Court (1644-1911) indicates that the medicine dealers purchased the medicine for the Imperial Palace.

Keeping the emperor healthy was an issue of national concern. To meet this end, the court took several measures. In respect to medicinal supplies, the specialized system of direct and converted taxes in medicinals secured a constant and abundant availability of recipe ingredients. The concoction and quality control of existing recipes and the introduction and development of new ones were under the control and the responsibility of the Imperial pharmacy. This project explores how different imperial agencies coordinated and shared the responsibility for making the emperor and his household work.