The ancient maxim above was abbreviated as “two mustn’t”, which was first seen in the book Descriptions of Tongrentang Medicines written by Mr. Yue Fengming in 1706. It is a maxim abided by Tongrentang people to this day. The Description recorded that “all ancient prescriptions were effective, yet incorrect processing and recipe would make them ineffective. In our daily life, we were busy preserving peoples’ healthy with cautious. All pills and powders were processed in accordance with prescriptions which were effective for many years. Tongrentang people would often learn these ancient prescriptions. We followed the book named Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies and identified the places of origin of medicinal materials. Though the processing of medicines was complicated, we must not save labors; though the medicinal materials were expensive, we must not reduce any of them. We could question ghosts and gods, and treat illness, living up to ancestor’s ambition.”
The meaning of the “two mustn’t” is that aiming to maintain adequate efficacies, no matter how complicated the processing and procedures are, we must not get slack and cut down these steps; no matter how expensive and rare the medicinal materials are, we must not be stingy about medicinal materials.
The “two mustn’t” represents the value of quality based on integrity. On the basis of the “two mustn’t”, Tongrentang people have summarized the codes of conduct including the business philosophy that “integrity is the foundation and medicine virtue is the soul”, as well as “Virtue, Honesty and Integrity” for enterprises, which ensures “adequate efficacy” and realizes the ideal of “doing good to society and keeping people healthy”.
The “two mustn’t” highly aligns with the “integrity” required in the core values of Chinese socialism, which needs to be promoted with great efforts. Up to now, the “two mustn’t” is well-known to every household. Not only Tongrentang people regard it as “family heirloom” to carry forward, but many enterprises also incorporate it into their own business philosophy.