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    Tibetan Medicines

    Tibetan medicines

    Yuthok Nyima Yonten Gonpo (founder of Tibetan mediciane)

    Traditional Tibetan medicine is a 2300-year-old science, and its history will be longer when tracing back to prehistoric times in legends. This science is a summary of experience from continuously fighting against diseases during the long-time production and life practice of the Tibetan ancestors; It has learned and absorbed the essence of medicine from other ethnic groups and neighboring countries under conditions in Tibet and the development and application of medicine resources; Through continuous research and repeated practice, a system has been gradually formed containing human physiology, pathology, diagnosis, treatment, prescription, preparation and special treatment and so on, and is eventually formed into a complete distinctive local medical system.
    In 617 AD, King Songtsan Gampo was born and under his demand, Thonmi Sambhota was sent to India to learn Sanskrit and the Indian culture. After returning to Tibet, he began to reform the letters, tones and meanings of the original Tibetan language. And he created the whole set of Tibetan language which is known to all today, laying a solid foundation for the development of all Tibetan culture especially medical science. In 650 A. D. , Songtsen Gampo hired three famous doctors from mainland China, India and Tajik as court physicians. At that time, the three doctors coauthored a seven-volume comprehensive medical book.
    In AD 710, Tara Materia Medica presented to zap by the Indian doctor Xiandigawa and seven imperial doctors included 250 medicinal materials and 365 formulations, while Manjusri Materia Medica written by Lotsawa vairotsana included 170 single medicinal materials and 139 formulations. Those two are the earliest “Compendium of Materia Medica”. Yuthok Nyima Yonten Gonpo (now commonly known as Old Yuthok), born in 708 AD, was a great Tibetan medical scientist. According to records, he lived up to 125 years old. Based on researches of the predecessors and his experience in training doctors and treating patients, he composed the Tibetan medical masterpiece “The Four Medical Tantras” during his lifetime.
    In the 10th century, Yuthok Sama Yonten Gonpo (now known as Yuthok Sama who was the 13th generation of Yuthok Yonten Gonpo, has travelled to Nepal, Sri Lanka and other countries for 6 times with the help of various remarkable abilities. Through comparative studies on all medical books spreading in Tibet, Yuthok Sarpa wrote a medical book “Probe into Disease Diagnosis by Pulse-taking” divided into five parts and the “Clinical Brochure”. Meanwhile he also compiled many books of medical value, such as the “The Great Materia Medica” including 199 medicinal materials and “A Map of Human Main and Collateral Channels”.
    Thang Tong Gyalpo (1361-1485 A. D.) is the founder of Chokpori Drapoling (Medicine King Hill and Yao Wang Shan in Chinese) in Tibet. Thang Tong Gyalpo wrote something about health and created Zhituojiebai pills that were said to cure all diseases, the pills that had a special curative effect on the pestilence and other medical and surgical diseases and other precious Tibetan medicines. These pills are all passed on to later generations. One of his main disciples was Karma Chondorji (1284-1339 A. D.) who was proficient in five kinds of knowledge and wrote the masterpiece Names of Drugs which recorded efficacy of over 830 kinds of drugs. This book was a famous classic medical masterpiece, which was regarded as and cited by subsequent medical scientists as reliable and accurate information.
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