Tibetan Healing
Tibetan Medicine
Books, Tapes and Videos

basicadvancedart books


Tibetan Medicine Resources

Dharma Haven

Basic Books on Tibetan Medicine

basicadvancedart booksaudiotapesvideos

Books on Special Topics:
Death & Dying -- Healing Meditation -- Tibetan Self Care

Tibetan Medicine
Gerti Samel

Explains the history of Tibetan medicine, the classification systems and types of treatments prescribed, including instructions for healing exercises. Offers practical advice for people suffering from a range of common ailments, so that readers can use this book to treat themselves.

Tibetan Healing: The Modern Legacy of Medicine Buddha

Can the ancient healing wisdom of Tibet help us to improve our own well-being? Peter Fenton thinks so, after his journey to India and Nepal to see how traditional Tibetan healing practices are used today. Full of fascinating stories and interviews, and illustrated with photos, charts, and botanical drawings, the book offers a relatively balanced view of all the many facets of healing that are integrated in traditional Tibetan culture. Exploring physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of healing, he includes topics such as healing sounds and symbols, and shamanic healing and divination, that are not usually addressed in books on Tibetan medicine.

In Search of the Medicine Buddha:
A Himalayan Journey
David Crow

An American practitioner of Chinese medicine travels to Nepal on a medical and spiritual pilgrimage, studying Tibetan and Ayurvedic healing methods and the source of all this ancient medical wisdom, the Medicine Buddha.

Books by Dr. Yeshi Dhonden -- Dr. Dhonden received the traditional Tibetan medical training in Lhasa, Tibet, and served for over two decades as the personal physician to H.H. the Dalai Lama. He re-established the Tibetan Medical Center in Dharamsala, India, and achieved fame by successfully treating many people, some of whom were respected public figures from Western countries. His books are widely considered to be the clearest and most informative works on Tibetan medicine available in English, appropriate both for lay people and professionals.
Healing from the Source
Published 2000

Principles of Tibetan Medicine -- Dr. Tamdin Sither Bradley

This simple introduction includes: 

         Theory and practice of Tibetan Medicine 
         Historical Background 
         Diagnosis, treatments and therapies 
         Tips for healthy diet and lifestyle 

Trained at the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute in Dharamsala, India, the author now practices Tibetan Medicine in England. 

An article by the author is available on the Web: 

"Introduction to Tibetan Medicine"

Health for Life: Secrets of Tibetan Ayurveda
Robert Sachs

This comprehensive guide to physical and mental health distills a wealth of traditional Tibetan health practices and teachings into a manual of preventive health care for people of all ages and constitutional types -- guidelines on nutrition, exercise, relaxation, rejuvenation, detoxification, meditation and spiritual practices, as well as other activities for creating strength, vitality, and mental clarity. A self-profile test will help readers determine their physical/personality type according to the traditional Tibetan system. The book keys dietary and lifestyle recommendations to these different personal types.

An article by the author is available on the Web: 

"The Healing Tradition of Medicine Buddha"

The Tibetan Book of Healing
Lopsang Rapgay

This is a thoughtful and comprehensive look at the Tibetan approach to healing, which has points in common with Ayurveda from India and with Chinese medicine. The book discusses how to test for constitution, diagnostic techniques, nutrition, behavior, Tibetan Pancha Karma, herbal therapeutics, spiritual practice, rejuvenation therapy, self-healing through the Medicine Buddha Practice, and how to use the Tibetan horoscope for health maintenance.

Lectures on Tibetan medicine -- Dr. Lobsang Dolma Khangkar.

The late famous Tibetan woman, Dr. Dolma, was a respected teacher of Tibetan medicine. This book contains her lectures on the fundamental concepts of Tibetan medicine and answers numerous questions. She discusses Budhism and medicine, massage, child conception, breathing exercises, the relation between body, speech and mind, the three humours, diagnosis, diet and behavior.

Positive Health in Tibetan Medicine -- Vaidya Bhagwan Dash & Ven. Doboom Tulku.

In Tibetan medicine emphasis is placed on food, drinks, life style and conduct for the preservation and promotion of positive health--it is one of the eight special branches of traditional medicine. Food and regimens for different parts of the day, night and seasons form the basis of this branch. This work deals with all the different aspects of positive health and conveys it through excerpts translated and commented on from Tibetan and Ayurvedic medical works.

Tibetan Astrology -- Philippe Cornu.
Used for public and personal divination, in the practice of  Tibetan medicine, and for understanding the cycles of time itself, as a fundamental feature of relative existence. This comprehensive introduction to the subject, the first in any Western language, includes detailed instructions for horoscope casting and interpretation.

Tibetan Buddhist Medicine and Psychiatry
Terry Clifford

Presented here is a comprehensive and clearly laid-out introduction to the Tibetan art of healing. In straightforward language, the author discusses the many components of Tibetan Buddhist medicine--its religious, philosophical and psychological foundations, its history and deities, its tantric and ritual aspects, meditations for healing and views on dying, and its humoral theory and unusual methods of diagnosis and cure.

Tibetan Medicine and Other Holistic Health-Care Systems
Tom Dummer.

The author, an osteopath and Tibetan Buddhist, describes the theory and practice of Tibetan medicine in a straight-forward way that Westerners will appreciate. First he describes the Tibetan analysis of bodily functions, concepts of health and susceptibility to disease and methods of diagnosis and treatment. In the second part, he shows how Tibetan and Western holistic medicine can be practised together--western herbal medicine and homeopathy with Tibetan herbal treatments, the similarities between osteopathy and Tibetan massage, and the use of Tibetan medical philosophy and Buddhadharma as a basis for counselling therapy.

TIBETAN MASSAGE CHART, 18" x 24" Snow Lion, $6.95

Illustrated wall-chart of Tibetan massage and acupressure, describing traditional Tibetan lotions and methods for helping to remedy problems with headache, anxiety, insomnia, female difficulties, and many more. Very clear and easy to follow. Written by Dr. Rapgay, well-known Tibetan physician. 

top of page

Advanced Books on Tibetan Medicine
basicadvancedart booksaudiotapesvideos

The Quintessence Tantras of Tibetan Medicine.
Translated by Dr. Barry Clark;
Foreword by H.H. the Dalai Lama;

"I am happy that after more than ten years studying Tibetan medicine, both in theory and practice under the tutelage of a number of Tibetan physicians, Dr. Barry Clark has compiled The Quintessence Tantras of Tibetan Medicine. In it he presents clear and accurate translations of the Root and Explanatory Tantras, two works of such fundamental importance in the Tibetan medical system that they are commonly memorised by medical students."--The Dalai Lama
Quintessence Tantras of Tibetan Medicine contains the first complete translation of the Root Tantra and Explanatory Tantra of Tibetan medicine. It is the most thorough, detailed and systematic reference for Tibetan medicine in English. It contains the Tibetan views and defining characteristics of healthy and diseased bodies. The remarkable diagnostic techniques of pulse and urine analysis are presented together with the principles of right diet, right lifestyle and behavioral factors, and a treasury of knowledge about the beneficial applications of herbs, plants, spices, minerals, gems, etc. Also included are the subtle and psychological techniques of therapeutics and the standard of ethics and conduct required of a Tibetan physician--a warrior-like person equipped to overcome even the most formidable internal and external obstacles.

Tibetan Precious Pills - The Rinchen Medicine
Jürgen C. Aschoff  & T. Y. Tashigang 

Rin-chen pills, i.e. Jewel Pills, these most potent of all administrable pharmaceuticals in Tibetan Medicine, have been known in Tibet for more than 1000 years. The capacity of these very special pills for extraordinary therapeutic effects is based on special and often unusual ingredients and their complex pharmacological processing methods - but also on the spiritual power and concentration of the physician who prepares the medicine. 

ISBN 3931997138  Fabri Verlag, Ulm / Germany  July 2001
144 p., $16.00 / Euro 17.- 

Tibetan Medicine -- Ven. Rechung Rinpoche.

Another, quite different translation of the Explnatory Tantra, as well as the biography of the Great Physician-Saint Yuthog the Elder, who brought together the threads of Tibetan medicine into a coherent system around the turn of the 9th Century. 

Ambrosia Heart Tantra: The Secret Oral Teachings on the Eight Branches of the Science of Healing. Annotated by Dr. Yeshi Dhonden, trans. by Jhampa Kelsang. 128 pp.

Available from Snow Lion -- $11.00

The first volume of a key medical treatise known as The Four Secret Oral.  Teachings on the Eight Branches of the Science of Healing--the body, pediatrics, gynecology, disorders of wounds, toxicology, geriatrics, fertility and reproductivity.

Studies in Tibetan Medicine -- Elisabeth Finckh.

This scholarly collection of papers on specialized topics in Tibetan medicine deals with various aspects of the medical system, including comparisons with the Chinese system. It presents the Tibetan medical tree and diagrams all its parts.

Contents: Tibetan Medicine: Theory and Practice; The System of Tibetan Medicine; Notes on Pulsology; Characteristics of Pharmacology; Constitutional Types.

Tibetan Medicine Series: A Publication for the Study of Tibetan Medicine, by physicians & scholars of Tibetan medicine. 12 volumes, Snow Lion, $29.95

This series is devoted to the study of Tibetan medicine and contains articles of scholarly and general interest by teachers and doctors. Thirteen have been published, twelve are avialable covering a wide and fascinating range of subjects. Many of the articles are by Dr. Yeshi Dhonden, Dr. Lobsang Rapgay, Dr. Lobsang Dolma Khangkar, and Dr. Pema Dorjee. Topics include general topics as well as diagnosis, pharmacognosy, childbirth, cancer, dermatology, pulse and urine analysis, glossary of plants and their relation to modern chemical activity, specific diseases and their treatment, mind and mental disorders, rituals of the dead and diagnosis of the signs of death, relaxation yoga, the secrets of the black pill.

Handbook of Traditional Tibetan Drugs, by T.J. Tsarong; Tibetan and English names, composition, use, action, and dosage of 175 popular Tibetan natural drugs. 

Ayurveda, Siddha, Herbal, and Alternative Medicines
  • Medical Plants of Himalayas, Vol.1, by Gyanendra Pandey; US$ 33.30
  • Encyclopaedia of Tibetan Medicine, by Vaidya Bhagwan Das Vols 1,2,3,4; US$ 40.00 Per Vol. 
  • Materia Medica of Tibetan Medicine, by Vaidya Bhagwan Das; US$ 80.00 
  • Pharmacopeia of Tibetan Medicine, by Vaidya Bhagwan Das; US$ 26.60 
  • Positive Health in Tibetan Medicine: Vaidya - Jiva - Sutra, by Vaidya Bhagwan das and Ven. Doboom Tulku; US$ 10.00. [This book is described in the basic books section.]
  • Many works on Ayurvedic medicine are listed on the same page.

  • top of page

    Tibetan Medicine Art Books
    basicadvancedart booksaudiotapesvideos

    The Buddha's Art of Healing : Tibetan Paintings Rediscovered
    John F. Avedon (Editor).
    Hardcover -- Paperback

    "a rich introduction to the world of Tibetan medicine, a cultural achievement considered by the Dalai Lama to be one of Tibet's most valuable contributions to the modern world. Illustrated with intricate and vivid scroll paintings based on The Atlas of Tibetan Medicine, a seventeenth-century masterpiece that is the foundation of Tibetan medical education..." 140 illustrations, 120 in color.

    The Tibetan Art of Healing -- Romio Shrestha (Illustrator), and Ian A. Baker

    Romio Shrestha, who has been called "Tibet's foremost traditional artist," uses the age-old technique of painting with rich minerals such as gold, lapis, and garnet to provide a beautiful re-creation of revered, 400-year-old, Tibetan thangkas on the art of healing--long considered lost. Tibetan scholar Ian Baker guides us through these exquisite paintings, unfolding their invaluable insights to remedies for a myriad of illnesses. In full color.

    Tibetan Medical Paintings: Illustrations to the Blue Beryl Treatise of Sangye Gyamtso (1653-1705)

    Edited by Yuri Parfionovitch, Fernand Meyer, and Gyurme Dorje; foreword by the fourteenth Dalai Lama, introduction by Fernand Meyer.Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1992.  2 volumes (Plates and Text); large format, boxed.

    List price: $195.00

    Sangye Gyamtso, regent of the Fifth Dalai Lama and founder of the first monastic Tibetan medical school in Lhasa, created The Blue Beryl treatise which integrates Tibetan medicine's complex and diverse wisdom into a coherent body of knowledge visually presented in 76 brilliant paintings. This set includes summaries of the treatise, and translations of the inscriptions on the colorplates.

    These are the medical illustration thankas used to train Tibetan physicians. Beautiful and fascinating for laypersons, as well.  The image of herbs at the top of this page and the two images of the causes of disease at the head of the Videos Section and the Training Centers Section come from this text -- each image strip is a small part of one of the plates. See also the image of the Mandala of the Medicine Buddha from our pages on the Spiritual Basis of Tibetan Medicine, which comprizes most of the complete painting.

    Tibetan Medicinal Plants, by T. J. Tsarong. 120 pp., 95 color photos $19.95
    Available from Wisdom Books

    In the Himalaya mountains grow some of the loveliest and most colourful flowers in the world. Many of these wild and exotic plants have been used for centuries as ritual offerings and healing drugs by the lama-physicians of Tibet. These healers, through painstaking trial and observation, have identified these plants and documented their therapeutic action and uses in herbals.

    This is the latest book by the famous teacher who has spent his life devoted to the preservation of Tibetan medical wisdom. Here are excellent photos and descriptions of many medicinal plants giving both the Tibetan and Latin names as well as indigenous information about their taste, potency, action, uses and the parts that are to be utilized in medicine.

    Oriental Medicine: An Illustrated Guide to the Asian Arts of Healingpaperback -- hardcover

    A lavishly illustrated, comprehensive survey of traditional medical and healing arts of India, Tibet and China, from the perspective of both Western scholars and traditional health practitioners. An authoritative introduction to the history, theory, and practice of the Asian healing arts, this is also a beautiful 12" x 9" gift book, featuring magnificent full-page color images of body charts, herbal medicines, and other paraphernalia, exquisite artworks including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics; and revealing views of contemporary medical practice throughout Asia.

    top of page

    Audio Tapes on Tibetan Medicine
    basicadvancedart booksaudiotapesvideos

    Tibetan Medicine Conference Tapes Available

    Audio tape recordings of many presentations and public discussions from the First International Congress on Tibetan Medicine, held in Washington, D.C. in November of 1998, are available from: 

    Conference Recording Service

    top of page

    Tibetan Medicine on Video
    basicadvancedart booksaudiotapesvideos

    Tibetan Medicine: Buddhist Approach to Healing -- Video
    Filmed at the Tibetan Medical Center in Dharamsala, India, this video explores the combination of modern and traditional styles of healing through the work of Dr. Ama Lopsang Dolma, Tibet's first woman doctor. Examining patients, devising and applying traditional herbal remedies, and using acupuncture and moxibustion to help them heal themselves, Dr. Dolma successfully treats a wide range of complaints.

    The Knowledge of Healing. Directed by Franz Reichle. 1:30. Switzerland 1997 (93 min.). In English, Tibetan, Russian, Buryat, Swiss dialect and German with English subtitles. 

    Available from Wisdom Books

    Tibetan medicine incorporates the science of healing with the philosophy of Buddhism. This philosophy defines human existence as a cosmic integrity that spiritual well-being depends as the basis for bodily health. Thorugh interviews with Dalai Lama, his personal doctor, Tenzin Chaedrak and others, this ancient medicine is made understandable to westerners. Case studies show how these ancient cures work where modern ones have failed, even against paralysis and kidney failure.

    Tibetan Medicine by Dr. Lobsang Rabgay

    Outlines the principles behind Tibetan medicine. Rigpa, London, 1985.

    Wisdom Publications, 120 min.

    The Tibetan Way of Healing with Dr. Lobsang Rabgay

    A seminar covering Tibetan medicine and pharmacopeia, massage, acupunture, moxabustion, yoga and therapeutic ritual. Rigpa, London, 1985. 

    Wisdom Publications, 9 hrs.

    Tibetan Medicine

    Produced by Russel Pariseau in 1982. Features a group of doctors from Harvard Medical College visiting Tibetan Medical Institute in Dharamsala and examines Tibetan medical systems and also experimentations of Tumo (heat) meditation with Tibetan lamas who practice this typre of meditation.

    Produced by Russel Pariseau in 1982. (Distributor unknown) 45 min. 3/4" film 

    The Principles of Tibetan Medicine

    Dr. Tenzin Choedak, personal physician to the Dalai Lama, gives a series of talks introducing Tibetan medicine. Rikon, Switzerland, 1985.

    Wisdom Films, approximately 5 hrs.

    Cancer and Aids: The View of Tibetan Medicine
    with Dr. Tenzin Choedak

    Wisdom Films, 120 min.

    Introduction to Buddhist Psychotherapy

    Dr. Lobsang Rapgay explores the parallels between approach to psychotherapy and the Tibetan. 
    Wisdom Films. 4 hrs.4 hrs. 

    top of page


    Your Comments and Suggestions

    Revised on April 2, 2002

    Copyright © 2002 Dharma Haven

    top of page