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I.—/lnalysis of a Tibetan Medical Work. By M. ALEXANDER CSOMA
though not introduced into the Kah-gyur or Stan-gym‘ collections.
When in Tibet I requested the LAMA, my instructor in the language of the country, to give me an account of its contents, which he did in an abridged compilation divided, like the original, into four parts. The present translation of the LA1viA’s manuscript may be interesting to those who are curious on the subject of Tibetan literature, and the state of medical practice in that remote part of the world. The materials of the original are as usual all derived from Sanskrit works, which have not however hitherto been made known in an English dress.
The following is the account given in the work itself of the manner in which this Treatise of Medicine found its way to Tibet.
In the time of Knar-snono DEHU'rsA'N (in the 8th or 9th century of the Christian era) a Tibetan interpreter Bamorsana (or Vairo- _ chana) having translated it in Cashmir, with the assistance of a physician-pandit (§'q'3¢:\;/aygsiq-Dave’. ml.\lon-gah) presented it to the above mentioned Tibetan king. At that time it was received by “ gru-T1100” a learned physician, and by several others, and afterwards it devolved successively to others till grv-Tuoo, (the 13th in descent, from the first) styled the New gYUTHOG, to distinguish him from the former physician of the same name, who is called ‘ the ancient.’ This physician much improved and propagated it ; and at that time, it is stated, nine men became learned in medicine.
The LAMA, who wrote me this extract, enumerated several works on medicine, current in Tibet, of which the most celebrated is a
(medical) tract. It is divided into six chapters.
In this is described how CHOMDANDAS (Srrnxvn) transforming llimselfinto the shape of a chief physician, in a forest of medicalplants, delivered his instructions, in a superb palace, in the presence of gods, sages (or Rislzis), and a large train both of heretic and orthodox hearers.
He (SHAKYA) addressed his audience thus :—“ Assembled friends I be it known to you, that every human creature who wishes to remain in health ; and every man who desires to cure any disease, and to prolong life, must be instructed in the doctrine of medicine. Likewise, he that wishes for moral virtue, wealth, or happiness, and desires to be delivered from the miseries of sickness; as also, he that wishes to be honoured or respected by others, must be instructed
in the art ofhealing.” Then one of the hermits or Rishis (§C'fi'/C-Drang-Srong) expressing his desire of promoting the well-being of others, requested his advice as to the manner in which he might become instructed in the doctrine of medicine. Then the teacher (Snaxvn) said : (or commanded)” He must be instructed in the four parts of the medical science, which are the
i§'1~"l<3'§s,- ;1ms'u<3'— ; wl'=Kl'ii'-_; and _1§'a¢<‘1"§s
root or theory, explication, instruction, and lastly manual operation; farther, he must be instructed in the eight branches of healing; viz. 1, the curing of the whole body; 2, of particular diseases, incident to children; 3, to women; 4, the curing of diseases caused by evil spirits; 5, of wounds made by aknifer spear, &c.; 6, of all sorts of venomous or poisonous infections ; 7, of the infirmities of old age; and 8, the increasing of virility in men. These are the principal divisions of the Whole medical treatise.
The number of chapters in the four parts of this medical tract, amount to 156. _
In the explanatory part, there are 11 places or sections, and 31 chapters; in the instructive part on cures or remedies for each specified disease, there are
15 circumstances and 92 chapters ;—the last part has four divisions and 27 chapters.
The theory of the human constitution is illustratcdby a similitude taken from the Indian fig-tree (fiQ'§':5"a\J§ )_ Thus, there are three roots or trunks ; thence arise nine stems ; thence spread 47 boughs or branches; thence 224 leaves; two blossoms, and three fruits. The explication of the simile as applied to the states of the body. The single root or basis of diseases; the stems, branches, andleaves arising thence, taken or considered in a. healthy and in a diseased state. Distinctions with respect to wind ; ditto, with respect to bile ; as also to phlegm; their re
spective oflices, operations or influences. There are seven supports of the body on which life depends ; the chyle,
blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow, and semen. Description of the three sorts of excretions or sordes of the body; ordure, urine, and sweat.
The three generative causes of disease are: lust or ardent desire; passion or anger ; dolness or ignorance. By the first is caused wind; by the 2nd, bile; by the last, phlegm. The accessory causes of disease are four: 1, season with respect to cold and heat; 2, any evil spirit; 3, wrong use of food; and 4, ill conduct of life. _
The parts of the body, commonly subject to diseases, are six: the skin, the flesh, the veins, the bones, the viscera, and the bowels.
The proper places of the three humours are: that of the phlegm in the upper part of the body, as the proper place of dulness, in the brain or skull; that of the bile, in the middle part of the body, which is appropriate to anger; and the wind resides in the lower part of the trunk, in the waist and loins, as in its proper place.
There are 15 ways or channels through which disease spreads itself. The channels of the motion of wind are, the bones, the ear, skin, heart, artery, and the guts. The blood, sweat, the eye, the liver, the bowels, are the ways or vehicles of bile. The chyle, flesh and fat, marrow and semen, ordure and urine, the nose and the tongue, the lungs, the spleen, and the kidneys, the stomach, and the bladder, are the vehicles for the conveyance of the phlegmatic humour.
With respect to the three hnmours, this further distinction is made: wind is predominant in the diseases of old people ; bile, in those of adolescents or youths ; and phlegm, in children.
With respect to place (or part of the body); Wind occurs in the cold parts of the body ; bile in the dry and hot parts ; phlegm abides in the moist and unctuous parts.
The several seasons, in which the diseases caused by any of these three humour: prevail, are thus stated : diseases, caused by wind, arise commonly during the summer season, before the dawn, and about mid-day. Those caused by bile, in autumn, about mid-day and mid-night. Phlegm prevails during the spring season, and in the morning and evening.
There are specified nine sorts of diseases, in which there is no hope of recovery.
On the 12 causes by which any of the diseases caused by any of the three humours, is changed into another, as wind into bile and phlegm, &c.
All diseases are classed under two heads : heat and cold. Those, in which wind and phlegm prevail, being of natural water, belong to cold. Blood and bile, being of natural fire, belong to heat. The diseases caused by the worms and the serum, belong both to cold and heat.
Fourth Chapter. On the symptoms of diseases. On examining the tongue and urine. On feeling the pulse. On asking (orally) after the circumstances, how the disease first arose, and its progress,-—what pain is felt, what sort of food has been useful or noxious P
Especially with respect to the tongue: If the tongue is red, dry, and rough, it is the sign of prevailing wind ; if covered with a yellowish white thick substance, it is the sign of bile; if covered with a dim, white, soft, and moist substance, it is the sign of phlegm.
With respect to the urine : If the urine of the patient is blue, clear like springwater, and has much spume or froth, it is the symptom of wind ; if yellowish red and thick, steaming or vapouring greatly, and diifusing a smell, it is the sign of bile; if white, with little smell, and steam or vapour, it is the sign of phlegm.
With respect to the pulse: When the physician feels the pulse, if beating greatly upwards it somewhat stops, (if irregular) it is the sign of wind; 9. quick full beating is the sign of bile; a sunk, low, and soft heating is the sign of phlegm.
The physician’s 29 questions to the patient about his food, exercise, and the pains or relief felt after having taken such and such a food, made such and such an exertion, &c. are herehdetailed.
Fifth Chapter. On the means of curing diseases.
1. With respect to food :
The several sorts of flesh, grain, vegetables, and liquids employed successfully in curing diseases caused by wind. Specification of the several sorts of animal and vegetable food, and of soup and liquids or potions, by which bile is cured. Ditto of those that are good against phlegmatical diseases.
2. With respect to one's conduct of life or exercise.
It is good against wind to remain in warmth, and to have a companion with whom one can best agree. Against bile : to remain in 0. cool and still place, or undisturbed. Against phlegm: to cease from exertion or business, and to remain in warmth.
3. With respect to medicaments to be used against these three humours.
Those against wind are of three different tastes: sweet, sour, and saline; and with respect to their efficacy, unctuous, heavy, and soft.
Those used against bile are, sweet, bitter, and nauseous bitter:—their efficacy ; coolness, thinness, and dulness, or bluntness.
Those used against phlegm are, hot, sour, and acrid:—their eflicacy: sharpness, roughness, and lightness.
Mixtures of medicaments with respect to their tastes ; for assuaging pains, and for carrying off diseases, or for purging.
I. Assuaging medicaments :
Against windy diseases : soup, and medical butter (a kind of sirup).
Against bile: liquid medicine and powder.
Against phlegm : pills and powdered medicine (aromatics ?)
The several kinds of soup are: of bones, flesh, butter, molasses ; of wine, 8:0.
There are specified five kinds of sirup, according to the diiferent principal in
gredicnts, their several applications and eifects.
In bilious diseases: a purging physio.
In phlegmatic diseases: emetics.