On urine analysis and Tibetan medicine's connections with the West

Yoeli-Tlalim, Ronit. 2010. On urine analysis and Tibetan medicine's connections with the West. In: Sienna Craig; Mingji Cuomu; Frances Garrett and Mona Schrempf, eds. Studies of Medical Pluralism in Tibetan History and Society. Halle: International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, pp. 195-211. ISBN 978-3-88280-087-6 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

The 1979 study by Christopher Beckwith (“The Introduction of Greek Medicine into Tibet in the Seventh and Eight Centuries”) brought into light the significance of medical knowledge originating from the West within early Tibetan medicine. In this article I deal with one of the vast questions opened up by Beckwith’s article, namely: Can we trace any specific medical inputs from the Arab-Persian worlds within early Tibetan medicine? Focusing on one of the earliest extant texts of Tibetan medicine, the Lunar King (Sman dpyad zla ba rgyal po) in comparison with Ibn-Sina’s Canon of Medicine, I show that there is a remarkable similarity in their dealing with the inspection of urine as a method of diagnosis.

Item Type:

Book Section


Tibetan medicine, Islamic medicine, Lunar King, Ibn Sina, zla ba rgyal po, Galen, Dunhuang, Persia, khrom, urine analysis, uroscopy, Ayurveda, Book of Urine, Kitab al-bawl, Canon of Medicine.

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Research Office > REF2014




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Date Deposited:

30 Sep 2010 12:13

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 10:39



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