Tibetan Medicine Herbs In Tibetan medicine, medication is a time-honored treatment. Tibetan drugs are large in number. There will be a section in this book dealing exclusively with the Tibetan pharmacopoeia. Here only recipes and drug forms will be mentioned.
In ancient Tibetan medicine, the drug forms are varied, including decoction, powder, pill (bolus), and paste. There were also nasal and eye dripping and suppository. As time passed, the drug forms were mostly bolus and powder. The reason for this change may be credited to the condition of the plateau where preparation of a decoction was so much trouble. The boiling point there was very low due to the low atmospheric pressure, and some of the effective ingredients could not be dissolved in the solution under such conditions. By contrast, bolus and powders were convenient and more effective under such conditions. Most Tibetan prescriptions are compound recipes, with ingredients ranging from about 3-5 to as many as over 100, and, commonly, a score in number. In the compound recipe, there is one ingredient playing the main role of therapeutic action called the monarch (or king); while the other ingredients are ministerial, official and attendant ingredients. Within the compound, all ingredients are mutually promoting, offering synergies and strengthening to exert better effect, while at the same time they are mutually restrictive, making use of each other’s strong points to overcome their own weak points.
Early in Si bu yi dian (Rgyud bzhi), it was mentioned that the treatment given in Tibetan medicine is diversified. There is a chapter in Gen ben yi dian (Rtsa rgyud) exclusively dealing with treatments, in which it is mentioned that these fall into four categories, namely, diet therapy, regulation of daily living activities, medication and external therapy. In diet therapy, there are various kinds of foods and drinks for different disorders. Regulating the conditions of daily life includes the home, the surrounding environment, clothing, travel, and making friends. In medication, it mainly deals with oral administration, including decoction, powder, pill or bolus, medicinal dew, medicinal oil, cathartics, tonics and emetics. External treatment includes medical instrument therapy, oil rubbing, massage, acu-moxibustion, bloodletting, perspiration, hot compress and medicinal bathing. It is said that altogether there are 98 kinds of such therapies. When compared to other traditional chinese medical systems, this is also quite a unique phenomenon.
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