Tibetan medicine is 5000 years old, yet its wisdom is still very relevant to our lives today. The ancient texts teach us that true health is achieved when there is a balance between three energetic principles (or humours) in the body, namely rlung (pronounced loong), tripa and péken. These humours are similar to the three doshas in the Ayurvedic tradition. If there is an increase, decrease or disturbance of a humour from its rightful place in the body, we experience disease.
The humours can be disturbed by physical factors such as stress or diet, as well as certain thought patterns. Since Tibetan Medicine is based on Buddhism, it makes no distinction between body and mind, a positive mental attitude is as important as a healthy lifestyle for good health. Those that strive to achieve can be prone to rlung disorders and those who anger easily tend to suffer from an imbalance of tripa. People who are ‘laid back’ and do not like to compete, are more likely to suffer from péken disorders.
We are all different and we have our own constitutional balance of the three humours. It is very useful to learn what works for us and what tends to make us ill. Tibetan Medicine can give us an insight into how we can promote balance in our lives and maintain optimal health.
Myrobalan (pronounced Mi-rob-al-an) is the name of a Tibetan medicine which is considered to be the most wonderful and healing of all the medicines available. It is known as the life prolonging fruit of the Himalayas. In Tibetan it is called Arura.
Myrobalan has the rare ability to provide all the properties and potencies which can be provided by a medicine, all in one plant. The Buddha is said to have eaten one fruit after seven weeks of fasting in order to cleanse his system and prepare him for the intake of food again.
The special place of the Myrobalan in the Tibetan Materia Medica is indicated by the depiction of the Medicine Buddha holding either a fruit or a sprig of Myrobalan in his hand whilst seated in meditation.