Yesterday, we saw that the word disease 疾 is composed of the disease radical 疒 and the arrow 矢. Let’s stay today on the arrow; it is interesting to see that it is part of the character meaning to heal, doctor.
In its traditional form 醫 and simplified form, 医 yī contains the arrow. Indeed, the evil was launched by evil spirits, so it had to be removed and sent back. Ancient writing on the right:
醫 consists of the arrow in his quiver in the upper left corner, which is beaten and pulled by one hand to the right. Underneath, alcohol in a jar can sterilize the wound. The simplified form has kept only the quiver and the arrow: 医 醫生/ 醫生 yī shēng means doctor.
Traditional character on the left, simplified on the right :
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.
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.