I am very pleased that Men-Tsee-Khong is bringing out an English-version of book on dietary. The book manuscript that I have received was equally pleasing. I am impressed with the concept and usage of language, which laymen can understand without much difficulty. I am glad that this important translation has been made available, which I am sure will reach across wider audience and so do its beneficial values.
The Tibetan Medical System is basically derived from tradition of Indian Ayurveda and later on Tibetan scholars have made tremendous indigenous contribution to it. So in that sense, Tibetan Medical System has evolved into quite a unique tradition of its own unlike the other various subject which remain just to the Indian tradition aloe. The Ancient Medical System in general and the Tibetan Medical System in particular do not just treat the disease nor does it looks only after the physical body of the patient. Rather, it looks after the entire individual in a holistic manner and treats to reduce and eliminate the case of disease so to achieve a disease-free health of body and mind together. In short, this system teaches the people about dietary behaviour and equilibrium of emotions. Therefore, the preparation of food ad usage of food articles become one of the principle tenets of the healing system.
This book deity explains the unique concept of Tibetan Medical System understanding of relationship between outer and inner elements (environment and human body), the three characteristic classifications of individual human personality, how the disturbance of any one element within the body results in aggravation of mental and physical health, or for that matter, imbalances of outer environment elements and inner elements of body. In a nutshell, this book familiarize us with the basic approach to holists health from viewpoint of Sowa Rigpa (Tradition of Tibetan Medicine), highlighting the remedial effects of dietary intake – in accordance with place (environment), time (season / time of day) and according to age factor or one’s intrinsic nature (domineering or compositional energy) – to maintain the harmony of mind & body and to correct the ailments, if any.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this book finds its place in kitchen cupboard alongside recipe book given the rich detail of preparation, taste nature, potency of vegetable foods that is being elaborated herein. When many of the diseases today having to do something with the lifestyle and important deity behavior, this book is right effort in right direction and important contribution from Tibetan Medical System and Men-Tsee-Khong to the health world. I congratulate the Men-Tsee-Khong and the team behind initiative for the good this book is capable of.
Human kind has depended on cold and raw organic matter like shrubs, fruit, water, etc., in order to survive. They gradually found the means of cooking them with fire, which lead to cooking and boiling the raw and cold organic matter. In that process, it also leads to an invention of dietary habit. Tibetan people which habituating on mountain and hilly areas invented their own specific dietary habit based on their experience of surviving on particular region.
Since our body (subject of treatment), the disease and the remedies (diet and medicine) are all based on five elements and that they are of common nature and related to each other, knowing how to use correct combination of diet and medicine which is the outcome of five elements significantly aid in treating our body which is the outcome of five elements or three Nyes-pa (three principle energies). It can help in acting as a precaution against the disease thereby prolonging the state of positive health; treating someone afflicted with disease and increasing the life span, and fulfilling the objective of life by facilitating spiritual growth, financial gain and happiness.
Food and exist drink, which are natural with minimal side effects not only exist before medicinal substances but they are also the primary source of treatment in the four main treatment regimens of Tibetan medicine (diet, behavior, medicine and accessory therapies). Healing through diet is more appropriate than medicinal treatment. Therefore, the basic principle of treatment in Tibetan medicine is administrating proper diet and behavior regiment into account of patient’s nature, strength of body and disease. If the modification of diet and behavior fail to show any positive changes, only then the administration of medicine and accessory therapies are employ.
The Tibetan dietary knowledge has gradually developed and evolved with the time and change in an environment. There are marked increase in different food and drink in the Tibetan kitchen and the way they are prepared as compared to few foods and drinks like meat, tsampa (roasted barley flour), butter, cheese, bread, both, radish, onion, garlic in former times. The food and drinks accustomed and liked by elderly people are not fancied by younger people and vice versa. But the vegetable is one kind of diet, which is most adjustable to mankind, and is also most utilized. It not only disease, it also has qualities of having high nutritional value, grows fast and easy to find as compared to other organic matter. The use of vegetable has become one of the important vegetable has become one of the important ingredients of daily food in present day and it has become natural to think there isn’t anything to eat or prepare without for organic food to inorganic, and the positive gentle effect of such medicine, and with the changes in time, environment and people’s mindset, the interest over natural green food has increased over the period of time.
I personally have this intention of compiling a book to introduce knowledge of diet from Tibetan Sowa-Rigpa in terms of maintaining health and the food and drink used extensively in rest of the world, which is quite alien to Tibetan people. Co-inciding with the primary health care project of preventing disease initiated by clinical research department of Men-Tsee-Khang, a compilation of this book “boh-ki-sowa-rigpay-tsowa-sey-kom-ley-nyo-tsel-ghe-phenyon-dhang-lak-len” (Tibetan Medical Dietary book: Vol I:, potency & Preparation of Vegetables) came into existence based on my almost 10 years of practical experience of treating patients around the world through diet and medicine, and researching and taking pictures of different vegetables and spices available in garden and market. This compilation apart from being solely based on Tibetan Sowa-Rigpa medical system and practical experience is also referred to text and dietary knowledge of Indian Ayurveda medicine, Chinese medical system and western medicine.
This illustrated book contain: I) a brief history of Tibetan Sowa-Rigpa (Tibetan knowledge of healing): II) human body system: III) the human nature; IV) the relationship between disease and diet; V) the taste, nature and potency of food and drink; VI) proper diet and its process of digestion; VII) diet in accordance with place, time and person’s nature; VIII) vegetables and spices, it explains in length about: 1) each vegetable in a alphabetic order to make it easier to read; both the general and local name of each vegetable and spice has been mentioned and incase of any alien name for Tibetan medical text or the general name of Indian, Chinese and Western have been loosely translated to enable the readers to understand it; 2) the structural party of its root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit and its habitat; 3) the part (root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit) to be used and the means of consumption; 4) taste and nature; 5) its potency; 6) and its contra-indications relating to three Nyes-pa, parts of body and any particular disease. This book can be used by people from an age and background who wish to make optimum use of food and drink and can also be referred by physicians in advising their patient on diet.
With the constant changes in taste, potency, nature and color of all the organic matters due to change in environment and use of different chemicals, and especially with the limitation of time in publishing this book and with my limited knowledge in this field, there is bound to be an area where I have lacked in understanding or misunderstood. I request all the learned people to be generous with their suggestion.
Understanding the importance of unearthing the secret of long-life-disease-free-state for every sentient being in this world, and especially to be aware of the fact that all the diseases springs out from improper diet and behavior, a particular chapter focusing in diet is explained in the fundamental text of Tibetan Science of Healing –Gyud-she (Four Tantra). The chapter elucidate on the nature of diet, inappropriate combination of particular food and drink and their restriction, combination of right amount of diet and particularly the taste nature, potency, post-digestive-taste and qualities (like, heavy, light, warm etc.) of each food and drink. It is time tested and practically proven that applying this knowledge greatly aid not only in maintaining the state of positive health but also in treating a diseased one.
Embracing the responsibility of primary health care and preventive measurement against disease of the world in general and Tibetan community in particular, clinical research department of Men-Tsee-Khang (Tibetan medical & Astrological institute) has taken initiative of compiling a series of illustrated Tibetan medical dietary book that will include the picture, name, type, nature, potency, usage, etc, of various section of foods like-grain, meat, vegetable, spice, fruit and drink like –milk, water, oil , wine, etc. The series of book will be written in Tibetan and translated into English gradually.
Dr. Yangbum Gyal had taken special responsibility I compiling this book-“Boh-ki-sowa-rigpay-tsowa-seykom-lay-nyo-tsel-ghe-phen-yon-dang-lak-len” (Tibetan medical dietary book: Vol-I, Potency & Preparation of Vegetables) where one can find the name, structure, usage, taste, nature, potency and contra-indication of each vegetables, which exist and are already in use and those discovered afterwards. With the successful publication of this book and being able to being that art into the masses for the first time, I pay and hope, it will be helpful not only for those people who desire for optimum health and free from sickness but also for all the physicians and healers in advising their patients on diet.
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