Tan Yunxian / 谈允贤
I noticed we haven’t featured a lot of medieval POC women in science, so here’s one.
Tan Yunxian (1461–1554) was a doctor in Ming Dynasty China. She came from a family of physicians, specialised in gynecology, and lived to the age of 93.
She’s unusual in that she left behind a book, titled Sayings of A Woman Doctor / 女医杂言. It’s made up of 31 case studies - "habitual abortion, menstrual disorders, postpartum diseases, and abdominal lumps" - which she treated using traditional techniques such as moxibustion.
I couldn’t find any portraits of Tan Yunxian, but there’s currently a TV drama being made inspired by her life, called The Imperial Doctress / 女医·明妃传. I’m sure it’s going to be wildly inaccurate, but at least it’ll remind folks that women’s history in old China wasn’t just about bound feet.
Wikipedia on Tan Yunxian
Women doctors of Ancient China