All over the world, there is a growing awareness and interest about the multidimensional and multi-faceted culture including religion, philosophy, arts and traditional medicine of Tibet. Tibetan medicine which is even now practice in that country and her neighborhood had become the centre of this interest. For the medical men and scientists, the language barrier and cryptic nature of description, specially with reference to therapeutic remedies have worked as deterrent. These recipes are lying scattered in different texts and even physicians of Tibetan medicine are facing difficulties in the absence of their compilation and codification. Thus a vast wealth of knowledge accrued through centuries of experience is not being properly utilized for welfare of the suffering humanity.
To overcome this difficulty, 205 popularly used and therapeutically effective recipes from the treasure of Tibetan medicine are compiled and elaborated with reference to their composition, parts of these ingredients and weight in which these are added along with methods of preparation, indication and dosage. Of late commercialization of manufacture of these recipes has created many problems and to overcome them, these pharmacopoeia is necessary to ensure quality control. The problems and methods of standardization and good manufacturing practices to be followed are elaborated.
This worked will be of immense help to physicians of Tibetan medicine, Ayurveda and modern medicine, and to scientists and scholars interested in Tibet logy and Indology.
Vaidya Bhagwan Dash has had an outstanding brilliant academic career. In the course of over three decades dedicated to research and practice of Ayurveda, Dr. Dash has attended several international conferences and seminars all over the world. He has to his credit over forty important publications on different aspects of Ayurveda and Tibetan Medicine including the Encyclopedia of Tibetan Medicine a multivolume work.
In View of the present day popularity of Tibetan medicine among the people of Tibet, Bhutan , Mongolia, northern borders of India and in foreign countries, the need for pharmacopoeia need no emphasis here. It will be a prelude to the preparation of a standard pharmacopoeia for single drugs and compound preparations used by Tibetan physicians. It will also provide information about the ingredients. It will also provide information about the persons who are not acquainted with the traditional Tibetan culture including medicine. Earlier, the author published a formulary of Tibetan Medicine containing only 164 recipes. In the present work”Pharmacopoeia of Tibetan medicine,” description of 205 recipes is provided. Pharmacopoeia is a book of standards. The problems and methods of standardization are high-lighted in the introduction.
Thousand of recipes are described in Tibetan classics and used by Tibetan physicians in their practice. Only the selected and more popular ones are included in this volume. There are culled from authentic medical texts. Some of the these classical recipes have been amended by the physicians to make them more effective. Some recipes which are not mentioned in classics but popularly used by physicians are also include.
Mode of Arrangement
Even though ten categories of recipes are used in Tibetan medicine, the most popular ones are in the form of powder and pill. In the present monograph, mostly powders and pills are described except few decoctions, khandas and medicated butter. In certain cases powders are also medicated butter. In certain powders are also prepared in the form of pills and vice versa. In view of this the recipes in this monograph are arranged in their Tibetan alphabetical order indicating the pharmaceutical process alphabetical order indicating the pharmaceutical process involved in the “method of preparation.” There are however some minor discrepancies in this alphabetical order for which I apologies and seek the indulgence of scholars,
Description of Ingredients
For Convenience of reference, ingredients are numbered and listed in vertical column. The name(s) of the recipe and ingredients are given in Romanized form for those who are not acquainted with Tibetan alphabets. The Romanization table is given hereafter.
The part(s) of the drug, used in the recipe is given in abbreviated form in English against each item. Explanation of these abbreviations are listed in the prefatory matter. The quantity of each drug for manufacturing a unit of the recipe is given against each ingredient, in metric.
Methods of Preparation
General methods of preparation are given in Appendix II. Only the special methods of preparation (Las thabs) are given after the description of each recipe.
These recipes are used for the treatment of several ailments. Only such ailments and conditions, for which these are popularly and commonly used, are given in each recipe under the caption “nus pa”
The dose (thun) in which these recipes are generally administered and the time of administration are indicated for each recipe.
Tibetan recipes are generally used in different conditions with different types of vehicles (sman rta). There are also indicated for each recipe along with precautions if any.
Man has eternally endeavored to keep himself free from three types of miseries, viz, (1) miseries arising out of one’s own physique, (2)miseries caused by factors including organisms surrounding him and, (3)miseries caused by supernatural elements, man’s aspirations to overcome these miseries are reflected in his three eternal desire to acquire . (1) the desire to live a long-healthy life. (2) the desire to acquire wealth for use in bad days, and (3) the desire to attain salvation or nirvana after death.
For a long and healthy life, different drugs, diet and drinks were repeatedly experimented upon and suitable as well as therapeutically useful ones were selected and propagated. Some of these were used empirically as found in the folk-traditions of several countries. In the centres of ancient civilization, the use of drugs was rationalized with scientific concepts and explanations. Like other countries, Tibet had its folk-medicine that was later enriched by the classical and rational system of medicine which came from India, Mongolia and china. Therefore, in Tibet, at present, a symbiotic and harmonious relationship exists between the folk-stream and classical stream, each borrowing from and lending to the other.
Traditional medicine of Tibet commonly known as “Gso ba rig “ or Tsh yi rig byed” is very popular amongst the people of that country and also among those of the neighboring countries like Bhutan, Mongolia, Buriyatiya northern border region of India and Nepal and some other parts of china. According to Tibetan traditional science of medicine is one of the five major groups of knowledge (rig gnas=vidya sthana),and its practitioners are variously called gso rig pa or em chi (mostly in Mongolia and Ladakh in India) and Drun tsho in (in Bhutan). Most of the important texts on the fundamental and applied aspects of this medical science are written in Tibetan language as well as script, and therefore, not easily accessible to outsiders. There works were printed by wooden block printing methods (xylograph) in important educational centres of Tibet, Mongolia and Bhutan. There works are gradually becoming rare. Several words composed by compiling therapeutically efficacious recipes. Such books, enlisting the vast experience of Tibetan physicians are gradually becoming extint.
Fundamentals of Drug composition and Drug Action Tibetan medicine has its unique way of explaining the drug composition and drug action, which is significantly differently from modern physical and chemical concepts some of these fundamental concepts are given below.
I. Sa, chu, me, rhun and nam ’kha
There are the ‘five basic elements’ which enter into the composition of all matter in the universe, including drugs, diet, drinks and the physique of sentient reatures. In the body, these are present in the for of nes pa, luszuns and dri ma, and in drugs, diet as well as drinks, these basic elements are manifested in the form of ro (taste), nus pa 9potency) and yon tan (attributes). While diagnosing a disease and suggesting a treatment, this concept is always kept in view.
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