SOME TRADITIONAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS OF INDIA :
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION
In this Appendix, we will give a brief description of the following indigenous systems : Siddha, Unani-Tibb and Traditional folk medicine. We also briefly touch on Yoga, Naturopathy, Homeopathy and Tibetan medicine.
THE SIDDHA SYSTEM OF HEALTH AND MEDICINE
The Siddha system of medicine owes its origin to the Dravidian culture which is of the Pre-vedic period. An examination of the ancient literature would reveal that the vedic Aryans owed allegiance to the cult of Shiva and the worship of the phallus (linga) which was later on absorbed by, and incorporated into the Vedic culture. The Shiv Cult is associated with its medical counterpart, the Siddha system of medicine, which is mainly therapeutic. Mercury, sulphur, iron, copper, gold, bituman, white, yellow and red arsenic and other materials as well as vegatable poisons are extensively used in the pharmacopocia of the Siddha tradition. The Siddha system of medicine is prevalent in the Sourthen States of India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Singapore, where the Dravidian civilization was document.
In the North of India, the Siddhar-Kalpa system (Siddha means one who has attained immortality. Kalpa means panacea) is known as Tantric Science. Siddha Science considers nature and man as essentially one. One who knows the anatomy of nature and its five elements knows well the anatomy of men. Nature is the foremost physician.
The Tamils who are inhabiting the Southern peninsula of the sub-continent of India have an impressive and venerable past, as ancient as that of perhaps the Egyptians. They undertook a systematic study of nature and its elements and from what they were able to grasp, they had developed a highly systematised medicine which is now known as Siddha system. It is well founded on the basic principles of nature and its elements offer a careful and thorough study of the human system.
The Siddhars : The ancient Tamils in their quest for knowledge for longevity developed two ways by which man can achieve mastery over nature. One is the Yogic way and the other is through medicines The persons who dedicated themselves to this task were themselves great yogis known as Siddhars. Hence the system of medicine propounded by them came ot be known as Siddhars system of Medicine. This system can be traced to the prevedic period.
Siddhar, a Tamil word that is derived from its root ‘chit’ means perfection in life or heavenly bliss. It generally refers to eight kinds of supernatural powers attainable to man. The persons who had attained such miraculous powers attainable to man. The persons who had attained such miraculous powers in life are known as Siddhars. They are men born with great talents who lived thousands of years ago in Tamil country, who by their devotion and search for truth, avhieved perfection in their life time.
Ancient Siddha Medical Works : The earliest mention the use of medicinal plants is to be found in Thirumular Thirumantiram-Ennayiram, Tholkappiam and the ancient Tamil works of Sangarm Literature which are believed to have been written thousands of years before the Christian era. There are now more than 500 works in Tamil dealing with various subjects such as science of life, nature of universe, astronomical data, cosmic dance, atomic theory, space travel, alchemy, ‘Kaya Kalpa’ medicine, etc.
The Neem Tree : The Neem tree was regarded as sacred in Mohenjo-daro Civilization. In the annals of the ancient Siddha System of Medicine, the first medicinal plant mentioned as well as found a place, in ancient Tamil literature is Margosa or Neem. This has been used by Tamils from time immemorial as a deterrent for smallpox and other infectious diseases and also considered to possess powers to ward off evil spirits. Perhaps they were aware of the germicidal action and the medicinal properties of the Margosa, Tirumular, the great siddha is said to have been in deep penance for several thousands of years before the Christian Era in eternal bliss under a sacred pipal tree.
Basis of the Siddha System : According to Siddha medical science the universe consists of 5 elements. Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether which correspond to the five senses of the human body. Man consumes water and food, breathes the air and then maintains the heat in the body. He is alive because of the life force given by ether. The earth is the first element which gives fine shape to the body, including bones, tissues, muscles, skin, hair etc. Water is the second element representing blood, secretions of the glands, vital fluid etc. Fire the third element that gives emotion, vigour and vitality to the body. It also helps digestion, circulation and stimulation besides respiration and the nervous system. Above all other is the characteristic of man’s mental and spiritual faculties. A suitable proportion of these five elements in combination with each other produces a healthy person. These elements are divided into two halves, namely physical and subtle. And this subtle part is futher sub-divided into two equal parts of which one is retained as such and the other part is again subdivided into four equal parts. This is what is known in Siddha system of Medicine as the theory of Panchikarnam (Fivefold combination). It is fact the functioning of the five elements in the human body. The ideal of the unification of energy and matter and the synthesis of the various phenomena of sound, light, heat, etc. which modern science has been endeavouring to establish were achieved by the ancient Siddhas, when modern equipements was not available for research. Siddhas also held that he who knows the secret doctrine of the five elements, could change a baser metal into gold. And Siddhas alchemy is based on this theory.
Kalpa Treatment : Ancient Siddha devoted time in finding out suitable remedies rather than describing the causes of a disease in detail. The scope of ‘Kaya Kalpa’ treatment is two-fold; one is to cure degenerative diseases and the other is to prolong the life span. Kalpa serves as an anti-degenerative elixir -- that can cure cancer and heart diseases is itself rejuvenation.1
THE UNANI SYSTEM OF HEALTH AND MEDICINE
Unani Tibbor Graeco-Arab medicine may be traced to that system of Greek medicine which was developed during the Arab civilization. The Muslims still call it Unani (lonian) medicine out of adherence of its true historial derivation, whereas European historians call it Arab medicine. It is now practiced in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent.
Basic Concept of health and disease under this system : The basic framework consists of the four-humour theory of Hippocrates, which pre-supposes the presence in the body of four-humours : blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. The body is regarded as comprising the following :
1 Dr.V. Shanmugavelan. Siddhar’s Science of Longevity and Kalpa Medicine of India. Part I. Antiquity of Siddha system. (Madras: Pub: by Sakthi Nilayam, 8 Umayal St. Alagappa Nagar, 1963), pp.17-19, 23, 28, 31-32.
It will be seen that these seven working principles are comprehensive in that the arkan includes the elementary constituents of the body; the mizaj; the physiochemical aspects of the body; the akhlat, the bodily humours, A’da, the anatomy of the body; ruh, the life force or vital force; quwa’, energy, and af’al the physiology of the body including the biochemical processes.
In addition to these natural principles, there are 9 non natural principles such as (1) foods, (2) drinks, (3) movement, (4) repose, (5) sleep, (6) wakefulness, (7) excretion, (8) retention and (9) passions. These could be classified into six categories (1) atmospheric air, (2) food and drink, (3) physical movement and repose, (4) psychic movement of repose. (5) sleep and wakefulness, and (6) evacuation and retention. The natural principles which constitute the human body, were also considered responsible for the maintenance of health. The loss of any one of these components could cause even death.
In Unani medicine, great emphasis is laid on human nature, and the physician is advised to activate and follow this power and not to antagonize it. According to Hippocrates (480-377 B.C.) "Nature heals; the physician is only nature’s assistant. "Sohl Masilu (died 999) the teacher of great Ibn Sina states "the word physics (tabiat) occurs in two senses (1) the faculty which administers the body involuntarily and (2) the power which performs actions suitable to the body... when a disease is chronic, them in most of the cases, physics removes it little, or it becomes perplexed and powerless against it".
The Greeks, however, were not content with borrowing the Indian drugs only, and they subjected new therapeutic measures, such as applications of leeches and antidotes for snake bite that were current in India, to their own tests before they adopted them as useful therapies. Celsus (25 BC 50 AD) has given as excellent account of lithotomy and cataract operation, as developed and practised by the ancient Hindus and described in the Sushmita Samhita. Following the decline of the Greco-Roman Empire, the torch of science was kept aglow mainly by the Muslims.
The names of several Indian products like Indian sword, camphor, sandal and aloes are found in the poetry of pre-Islamic period. During the Abbasid Caliphate, Ayurvedic medicine was introduced with new vigor in Arab countires. A number of renowed Indian vaidyas were invited ot Baghdad and several Ayurvedic treatises were translated into Arabic, for example, the Sushruta Samhita was translated into Arabic as Kitab-Shawasoon-al-Hind, and the Arabs developed great respect and love for Indian culture as well as Indian medicine. With the advent of Muslim rule, the Greco-Arabian medicine also came to India and was enriched by addition of many therapeutic measures of Ayurveda, in particular the use of plentiful herbal products.
There were physicians in the Alai period (1296-1216) whose genius and accomplishments in the treatment and cure of diseases could be compared with those of Galen and Hippocrates. Barani mentions, in particular, the "master physician" (Ustad-ul-Atibba) Maulana Badr-ul-Dindimeshiqi who occupied an asteemed position during the entire Alai period. The physicians of Delhi learnt the Tibbi medicine from him. He could treat the patient only through pulse reading. He had such proficiency in medicine that if the urine of different animals mixed together was brought before him he could recognize it and smilingly state the urine of various animals was intermixed in the bottle!
The basic philosophy of Tibb is that the body, composed of matter and spirit, is taken as a whole because harmonious life is possible only when there is a proper balance between the bodily and spiritual functions. Unani Tibb seeks the restoration of the body as a whole to its original state.
Unani practitioners hold a respectable place in society, particularly in rural communities. In urban areas, Tabibs are often consulted for treatment of diseases and in matters relating to the protection of health. The Tabibs adhere to the traditional moral and social values while treating their patients. The pharmacopoeia consists of an extremely rich armamentarium of natural drugs, mainly herbal, but also including animal, mineral, and marine drugs. The drugs can be used singly or as polypharmaceuticals, in the form of decoctions, infusions, tablets, powders, confections, syrups and aquas. It is true that the Unani pharmacopoeia is lacking in detailed experimental, physiochemical and biomathematical data, but, it is nearly always safe. One keynote of Unani medicine is that the drug should not serve as a quick curative and in the end generate serious side effects such as those sometimes observed with synthetic drugs. Another aspect is that the physical faculties (temperament) should be allowed to function according to their own nature and their own speed under the operation of the operation of the natural laws, and their functioning should be given help in every possible way.1
1 Robert H. Bannerman and associates (Ed.)Traditional Medicine and Health Care Coverage,Chapter 5 : Unani System of Health and Medicare, World Health Organisation. (Geneva : 1983)
Mention must be made of Homeopathy. Although not of Indian origin, Homeopahty is fairly widely practised in India. It’s originator, Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) was a German. Despite its European origin Homeopahty has taken a firm root in India, and is recognized by the government. Homeopathy came to India in 1810 when Dr. Honigberger a German physician came to India and treated people in Bengal, including Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
History : In 10 B.C the Hindu sages had described what Hippocrates did in 400 B.C. and then Samuel Christian Hahnemann, a German physician, in the early 1800’s, first tested the principle ‘like is cured by like’ and thus discovered homeopathy. While translating lectures on the Materia Medica by William Cullen, a Scottish Professor, Hahnemann discovered homeopathy. The author claimed that cinchona bark or quinine cured intermitent fever (malaria). So he tested the medicine on himself. This was the first proving or testing a medicine on a healthy individual. The principle is to cure a disease by imitating nature -- the medicine will produce a similar but artificial disease and the body fights to cure the orginial one. So this is how ‘like is cured by like’ was tested and proven. When Europe came down with an epidemic of cholera, Hahnemann’s pupils put his principles into practice in Leipzing, and treated 154 victims homeopathically. He lost six, while orthodox doctors treating 1500 victims, lost 821.
Basic of Homeopathy : In 1810 Hahnemann published the ‘Organon of the Art of Healing." According to him, the human body functions by a vital force. In acute disease, this force is disordered to a great extent, but it still retains the capacity for self adjustment. In chronic disease, this capacity is almost lost. Disorders are classified into functional hypertropic and degenerative or psoric, psychotic and syphilitic.
Symptoms of disease are considered as healthy body reactions by homeopaths. By suppressing these symptoms, the body is unable to use its self curing symptoms and by frequent suppression, can become ineffective. Diagnosis is made by finding the totality of the symptoms of the patient. Noticing every detail of the patient is important, e.g. the expression, the grooming, complexion, hair, nails. Symptoms are asked in great detail. Symptoms which are peculair to the patients, and not the disease, are relied on. Usually, all the symptoms of the patient will fit into on remedy. Homeopathy approaches the problem of each individual uniquely -- although the disease for which different patients are consulting the physicians may be the same, the remedy may be different for each one. In homeopathy the physician’s interest is not only the alleviation of the patient’s present symptoms, but also his long term well-being.
In molecular Homeopathy, Dr. R. R. Sharma (1984 Falcon Publication) reports success with treatment of Indian cases with biopsy-proved childhood cirrhosis; he quotes W. V. Jackson who followed up 1200 cases of cancer for 12 years and found a recovery rate of 92%. He finds improvement in migraine, allergic disorders, asthma, epilepsy, spondylosis, renal stones. In hepatitis A, acute upper respiratory infections, gastroenteritis, homeopathic medicines can modify the course of the disease. It was of great help in the epidemic of acute viral conjunctivitis in Delhi a few years back.
There are now 122 homeopathic medical colleges in India with an intake of 7500 students a year. There are about 30,000 qualified homeopaths, 80 homeopathic hospitals, and 2000 dispensaries. There are two research institutions in Calcutta and Kerala and three regional institutions in Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala.
FOLK AND TRIBAL MEDICINE
Folk medicine : Folk medicine reaches very far back in time. Nature opened the first drugstore. primitive man and animals depended on preventive use of the shock of plants and herbs to avoid disease and to maintain health and vigor. Because men and animals were constantly on the move, nature’s drug store has branches everywhere. Wherever in the world people are sick, there will be found medicines in the fields -- to cure the sicknesses-- materials for curative herbal teas and ointments. Now and then one finds people taking it for granted that "Folk medicine" is a vague term for a collection of medical old wives’ tales. It is inevitable that some myths would creep in along the way.
Our pioneer ancestors discovered the rudiments of their folk medicines in the healing plants sought out by animals suffering from alimentary disturbances, fever and wounds. By observing how animals cure themselves from disease, they learned how to keep themselves healthy by nature’s own methods.
Tribal Medicine : The Tribals not only country, but throughout the Third World use this form of medicine. The knowledge of tribal medicine has not been put down in a scientific manner, as the art has been taught from one generation to the next. But they have definite knowledge of various disorders like T.B., epilepsy, jaundice, mental disease, skin disease, etc. They do not like to divulge thei knowledge, they feel it will become ineffective. If all the scattered knowledge is collected together, it will enrich the experience of every Indian. The first national round table conference on Tribal Medicine was held in Digha, West Bengal in January, 1987.
Yoga is a traditional science which helps us to coordinate body and mind more effectively. It enables a person to maintain tranquility of mind and greater calmness in the conscious state and is perhaps the easiest and the safest method of promoting mental health. It can also be used as a preventive and curative technique for the management of various psychic and psychosomatic disorders.
"The self cannot be known by one who is dull or restless, who is not strong, disciplined and self controlled. Neither can it be known by much learning nor by reasoning. It can be known only through calmness of mind, through practice of yoga and through meditation."
The founders of Yoga were the Rishis and Maharishis, and the Sages, who had mastery of mind and body. They recognised the limitations of life, the purpose beyond suffering, the power of the mind. Knowledge was transmitted to the disciples (chelas) and later on spread all over India. Yoga is a timeless pragmatic science evolved over thousands of years dealing with the physical, moral, mental, and spiritual well being of aman as a whole. The word yoga is derived from the Sankrit root Yuj, meaning to bind, join, attach, and yoke, to direct and concentrate one’s attention on, to use, and apply. It also means union or communion. it means a poise of the soul which enables one to look at life in all its aspects evenly.
The founders of Yoga were the Rishis and Maharishis, and the Sages, who had mastery of mind and body. They recognised the limitations of life, the purpose beyond suffering, the power of the mind. Knowledge was transmitted to the disciples (chelas) and later on spread all over India. Yoga is a timeless pragmatic science evolved over thousands of years dealing with the physical, moral, mental, and spiritual well being of man as a whole. The word yoga is derived from the Sankrit root Yuj, meaning to bind, join, attach, and yoke, to direct and concentrate one’s attention on, to use, and apply. It also means union or communion. it means a poise of the soul which enables one to look at life in all its aspects evenly.
History : Although Yoga is known as Indian, it is not necessarily only Indian. It is a way which every man may attain the awareness of the supreme being within. The Yoga Sutras (Yoga aphorisms) of Patanjali, called Sankhya Pravachana are the common source and authority for all schools of Yoga. Patanjali lived approximately around the 3rd century B.C.; he systematized the concepts and practices of Yoga that were present. After him, several historians, philosophers and yogis wrote commentaries on the sutras on Patanjali. Yoga was known in India long before the Sutras and commentaries were composed. Older Indian Scriptures including the Vedas refer to Yoga. The Indian steatite seals of the Indus Valley civilizationtion show that Yoga postures were known in India before 2500 B.C. In ancient times Yoga was specifically associated with the power of the sacrificial fire that bore up the human offerings to the gods. Yoga referred to the power of inner psychic fires that united the individual with the highest sacred reality. Even today Yoga is used as a generic term to include both the process and the goals of binding the individual spirit to the universal spirit. It is the Yoga philosophy as systematized by Patanjali and his commentators that is recognised today as one of the six orthodox systems of Indian philosophy.
The Stages of Yoga : The right means are just as the end of view. Pantanjali enumerates these means as eight limbs or stages of Yoga for Quest of the soul. They are :
Yama and Niyama : Controls the Yogi’s passions and emotions and keeps him in harmony with fellow men. Asanas keep the body healthy and strong and in harmony with nature. Finally, the Yogic becomes free of body consciousness. He conquers the body and renders it a fit vehicle for the soul. These three stages are outward quests. The next two two stages, Pranayama and Pratyahara, teach the aspirant to regulate the breath and thereby control the mind. This helps to free the senses from the thraldom of the objects of desire. These are the minor quests. Dharana, Dhyana and Samdhi take the Yogi into the innermost recesses of his soul. The Yogi doesn’t look heavenward to find God. He knows that He is within, being known as the Inner Soul. These stages keep him in harmony with himself and his Maker - These are called the quest of the soul.
Asanas : The third limb of Yoga is Asana or posture. Asana brings steadiness health and lightness of limbs. Asanas are not merely gymnastic exercises; they are postures. By practicing them one develops agility, balance, endurance and great vitality. Asanas have been evolved over the centuries so as to exercise every muscle, nerve and gland in the body. By performing Asanas, the Sadhaka (Seeker) first gains health, which is not mere existence. It is an asset to be gained by sheer hard work. It is a state of complete equilibrium of body, mind and spirit. Forgetfulness of physical and mental consciousness is health. Where does the body end and the mind begin? Where does the mind end and the spirti begin? They cannot be divided as they are inter-related and but different aspects of the same all-pervading divine consciousness.
Pranayama : is a very important practice in keeping the health. It is the fourth step in the path of Yoga. In Pranayam practices, the nostrils, nasal passages and membrances the wind pipe, the lungs, and the diaphragam are the only parts of the body which are actively involved. These alone feel the full impact of the force of prana, the breath of life. Therefore do not seek to master it in a hurry, as you are playing with life itself. By its improper practice resporatory diseases will arise and the nervous system will be shattered. By its proper practice one is freed from most diseases. The emptying of the mind of the whole of its illusion is true exhalation. The realization that I’am spirit’ is the true inhalation. And the steady sustenance of mind on this conviction is the true retention. This is true Pranayama. Says, "Sankaracharya’.
Margas : There are different paths (or margas) by which a man travels to his Maker.
It is generally believed that Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga are different and opposed to each other that the Yosa Sutras of Padanyah deal with spiritual discipline. It is not so, for Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga complement each other and form a single approach towards liberation.
Yoga Nidra : "Yoga Nidra means sleep with a trance of awareness. It is a state of mind in between wakefulness and dream. When your practice Yoga Nidra you are opening the deeper phases of your mind. At this moment, your intellectual mind is operating, but when you are able to relax, the subconscious and the unconscious levels of the mind opens. If you practice Yoga Nidra, then the nature of your mind can be changed, disease can be cured, and your creative genius can be restored. Subconscious and unconscious mind are the most powerful forces in the human being. This simple practice of Yoga Nidra has the capacity of penetration into the depts of the human mind. The subconscious mind is a very obedient disciple, and immediately carries out the orders that you put to it. If you know how to practice Yoga Nidra, you can train your subconscious mind completley. Then the ordinary mind and intellect will follow suit."1
Conclusion : Thus Yoga is truly a very important preventive, curative, promotive and rehabilitative measure for maintaining sound mental helath. There is, therefore, a great need to conduct extensive scientific studies on the subject and to standardise techniques to that many more people can make full use of them throughout the world. Most of the States in India have Yoga training centres. Bihar School of Yoga is famous in its research and extensive studies in Yoga.
Introduction : Nature cure principles might have been obvious to early man before systematised medicine came into being. Early Egyptians used massages; the Romans used baths extensively; Jews had rules of diet and hygiene; Paracalsus in 1493 was renowned for his natural methods.
Vinconz Priessnitz (1799-1851) was the man who first started a nature cure clinic in Grafenburg over a hundred years ago. Dr. Henry Lindlahr is one who devoted his life and started everhing to spread nature cure. He established Lindlahr Institutions, and under these he conducted two nature cure sanitoriums for the treatment of patients. His leading motto is "Nature’s remedies are the best."2
History of Naturopathy : Nearly 100 years ago there came into existence a new doctrine of dealing with human system when subjected to disease, While the originators of this new idea were ordinary persons having no scientific medical training, its future exponents were prominent physicians of old medical school who had become extremely dissatisfied, as a result of obervations extending over a number of years, with drugging methods. They claimed that drugs possessed very little power to cure disease, that they suppressed the symptoms of disease, which in itself was an attempt on the part of living organism to set attempt of the organism by natural means such as Air Water, Light, Food Exercise, etc. This new method became known by various names, such as Nature Cure, Natural Therapeutics, Naturopathy, Hygeiotherapy, Drugless Medicine, Rational Medicine, etc. Thanks to the painstaking researchers of a number of eminent physicians and health-reformers in this branch of healing art, this new medical doctrine has become a science like any other medical system claiming to have a scientific base.
Basis of Naturopathy : In the study of the cause and character of disease we must endeavour to bengin at the begining and that is Life itself; for the process of health, disease and cure are manifestations of what we call life, vitality, life elements, etc. There are two concepts in the nature of LIFE or VITAL FORCE : the material and the vital. The former looks upon life or vital force with all the electric, magnetic and chemical activities of the physical - material elements composing the human organism.
The vital conception of life regards it as a primary force of all forces, coming from the great central source of all powers. It is this supreme power and intelligence, acting in and through every atom, molecule and cell in the human body which is the true healer; which always endeavours to repair, to heal and to restore the perfect type. All that a physician can do is to remove obstruction, and to establish normal conditions within and around the patients, so that ‘the healer within’ can do his work to the best.
According to nature cure health is normal and harmonious vibration of the elements and forces composing the human entity on the physical, moral and spiritual planes of being in conformity with the constructive principle of Nature applied to individual life. Disease is abnormal or inharmonious vibration of the elements and forces composing human entity on one or more planes of being in conformity with the destructive principle of Nature applied to the individual life.
Orthodox medical science attributes disease largely to accidental causes: to chance infection by disease germs or parasites, etc. Nature cure believes that it is caused by violation of Nature’s laws; that it is corrective in its purpose; that it can be overcome only by compliance with the law. Self control in obdeience of natural law is the master key to health.
The medical treatment of the Nature Cure consists largerly in the proper selection and combination of food materials. It stands to reason that Nature has provided within the ranges of the natural foods all the elements which man needs in the way of food and medicine. Naturopathy is recognised by the Government of India. Gandhiji started a nature cure centre at Uruli Kanchan in Maharashtra State. There are many nature cure centres in India now. Dr. Lindlahr’s publications are available which were printed in about in 1937 by M.B. Godbole with permission.
For 13 generations in the snowy and ancient land of Tibet, the Tibetan medicine was ministered to the sick and the dying. It was in keeping with this tradition that 15 years ago, twelve year old Dolkar Khanghar was apprenticed to her mother, Dr. Dolma, a renowned physician in her own right.
Seven years hence Dolkar completed her academic pursuits and donned her mother’s mantle to continue the family vocation in Delhi, India. Dr. Lobsang Dolma’s fame has spread in India and abroad.
Basis of Tibetan Medicine: According to Tibetan medicine the human body is made up of three basic constituents like in Ayurveda: Vayu, Pitta, and Phlegm. If these three are properly balanced the body is said to enjoy good health.
Chronic diseases respond well to Tibetan medicine. Cancer is treated with medicine containing 40 different herbs and minerals. It is useful in early stages of cancer.
There is a Tibetian Institute of Astro-Medical at Dharamshala. The training takes 8 years. There are three parts to this training- theory and learning Mantras in Tibetian takes 4 years, then practical training under a senior Lama, then pharmacy preparation and dispensing of Medicine. Prayers are used for every disease. Tibetan medicine is taught only to certain chosen people among them, who have the aptitude for it. At Dharamshala 60 doctors are being trained at the Tibetan medicine Institute, other centres are in Mysore, Darjeeling, Bombilla and Nepal.