The arrow and the disease

Another word with the radical 疒 disease is of great interest: 疾 jí, which also means disease.
It is composed of the radical of the disease and the arrow character 疒+ 矢 shǐ.

Man or bed

For the formation of 疾, opinions differ. Some say that the original character was formed by a man hit by an arrow, see the first two spellings of the image from the top.

ji disease 疾 Chinese character old spelling

Later in the Spring and Autumn period -771 to 481/453 BC-, the man would have left his place to the radical of the disease, which in its original form indicated a bed, third image; the arrow would have remained on the right. Others think that there was never part of the man on the left.
At that time, there were many wars and arrow wounds, as well. It was considered that the disease struck man like an arrow, and when it spread, it gave fever, hence the character 病 (bìng) seen recently with a part inside reminiscent of a stove.

病 and 疾

What is the difference between 病 and 疾? Cui Yujiang, a Chinese doctor, explains that 疾 is less severe than 病. He takes the example of hypertension. Hypertension can be the consequence of a bad lifestyle, stress, fatigue. At this point, we can talk about 疾. If the harmful factors are not eliminated and do not adopt a better lifestyle, we do not treat the root of the problem, then hypertension will worsen, and we will have 病.
To summarize, 疾 corresponds to a first stage with symptoms, but if the necessary is not done, the aggravation leads to the second stage, the disease that sets in with 病.

To be continued…

Related Articles :
Further explanation on 病, illness
All articles on characters with the key to the disease

17 July 2020

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