Tibetan medicine is a rarified field with few publications in English; it is also one of the most comprehensive of alternative therapies, addressing body, mind, and spirit. Written for intermediate-level practitioners, Essentials of Tibetan Traditional Medicine brings this important healing tradition to Western practitioners. The book begins by summarizing the basics behind Tibetan medical theory and its methods of diagnosis. The second part of the book presents the core concepts of wind, bile, phlegm, dark phlegm, epidemic fever, heat, and cold, along with their corresponding nosologies, differential diagnoses, and treatments. The third section covers therapeutics, with an emphasis on medicinals—the mainstay of contemporary practice. A chapter on therapeutic strategies discusses unclear diagnosis and other challenging clinical situations. Other chapters explore the crucial components of lifestyle and diet. Each herb and animal product used in Tibetan medicine is profiled on its own page, with its Tibetan, common, and botanical names; its key properties and clinical uses; its known pharmacological properties; and a simple illustration. This useful handbook concludes with a description and indepth analysis of some 60 frequently used formulas.
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Thinley Gyatso has been practicing Tibetan medicine since 2002. Chris Hakim is the co-author of Handbook of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Chinese Medicine: An Integrated Approach.Review:
“This book is the fruition of an ambitious project to present the essence of the ancient Tibetan medical system to a Western audience. The work combines a logical order and systematic presentation of the material with much detailed data not only on healing plants and herbs but also on a wide variety of food sources and spices. This book is valuable in breaking new ground so as to reveal more valuable knowledge of Tibetan medicine.”
—Dr. Barry Clark, translator of The Quintessence Tantras of Tibetan Medicine
“For most readers, the most important part of this book will be the Materia Medica section, where the herbs (and in some cases, the animals and minerals) used in Tibetan medicine are described... What is most interesting is to see how the remedies fit into the Tibetan system of medicine, their commonality with other types of traditional medicine, and of course it is always gratifying to see the use of some of these remedies now being supported with modern scientific evidence... As an introduction to Tibetan medicine, this book fulfills its aim, and a gap in the literature on the subject; it is also well written and worth the modest price tag.”
—Phytotherapy Research Journal
“[Essentials of Tibetan Traditional Medicine] is a very interesting and unique position on the market of TTM books, offering extensive medical teachings for advanced students. It assumes the reader to have knowledge of the basics of Tibetan medicine and so focuses primarily on the pathology and therapies—the last two tantras of the rGyud bzi, (currently still untranslated into English and hardly accessible). It is well written and is clearly and logically structured. An excellent book for those who wish to deepen their medical knowledge.”
—The Journal of Traditional Tibetan Medicine
“The Four Tantras is considered the fundamental treatise on Tibetan medicine, yet more than half of the chapters have never been translated into English. Fortunately, Essentials of Tibetan Traditional Medicine now offers a distillation of the text, in English, using non-academic language. The book starts by unpacking the basics of Tibetan medical theory and methods of diagnosis, then addresses the humors, their corresponding illnesses, and the possible treatments. Lastly, the book dives into therapeutics, such as diet, lifestyle, bloodletting, and material medica—mostly herbs but also ingredients of animal and mineral origin.”
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