According to the research of historians and archaeologists, stone tools that were made over ten thousand years ago can be found in Tibetan areas of Ngari and Kham. From these stone tools, they assess that Tibetans not only have an outstanding culture, but were also among the earliest humans who appeared on earth. ?Although the origins of the Tibetan medicine are not certain, from the earliest Tibetan medical works the 71st, 72nd and 73rd volumes of the Bon Kangyur, and the Bangye, and the medical masterpiece of Denpa Shere Menoche, founder of the Bon religion. From these two documents, we can see that Tibetan medicine is both complete and possesses scientific theory. ?As Denpa Shere Menoche was born in 1917 BC, Tibetan medicine has a history of more than 3900 years. ?From the Bangye, we can see that Tibetan medicine existed even before this time, and Denpa Shere Menoche developed it toward a period of great prosperity.
The Tibetan king Trisong Detsen, born in AD 617, widely welcomed Buddhism. Together with the spread of Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan medicine also absorbed the essence of Chinese and Indian medicine, developing and enriching it to another higher level. During his era, Trisong Detsen invited nine famous Indian and Chinese doctors as well as many Tibetan doctors to do research on Tibetan medicine, as well as translating many medical documents into Tibetan. ?He also set up medical schools. Trisong Detsen's imperial physician, the Earlier Yothok Yonden Gonpo (born in AD708) put great efforts in it. He summarized his predecessors' medical experiences and former famous medical documents into the renowned Tibetan Medical book, The Four-Volume Medical Code. This is the significant foundation of Tibetan medical theories. We can find detailed descriptions about bacteriology and embryology in the Four-Volume Medical Code and the theories are similar to western medicine. From this we can see that the Tibetan medicine at the time was an advanced system of knowledge that was in accordance with the spirit of science. ??
In the twelfth century, the Later Yothok Yonden Gonpo did some supplementary work on the Four-Volume Medical Code. After him, many other great Tibetan doctors such as Shongpa, Namgyal Tasong, Suke and Rangnyi appeared and produced many famous Tibetan medical books. They also accumulated many precious prescriptions about Tibetan medicine. Tibetan medicine is particularly effective against rheumatism, epilepsy, strokes, diabetes, liver diseases, stomach aches, neuropathy, etc. This fact is both nationally and internationally accepted.
Traditional Chinese medicine includes two major medical systems, Chinese medicine and Tibetan medicine. Tibetan medicine is included in the twelve internationally accepted medical systems. ?Thus, we need to put greater efforts into preserving the tradition and developing new theories.