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Traditional Tibetan Medicine – Plant and Food Medicine

Traditional Tibetan

Traditional Tibetan Medicine

The most important principle of Traditional Tibetan Medicine is that it sees you, and treats you, as a whole person, not just a body.

Sowa Rigpa is the Tibetan name for the entire system of medicine that we know as “Traditional Tibetan Medicine”. The term can be translated as “healing science”, or “healing wisdom”. However, there is also another very revealing meaning: “the nourishment of awareness”. This carries the meaning that Tibetan Medicine goes beyond treating our bodies as machines. It is a science of healing combined with a profound emphasis on a balance of mind. So, Traditional Tibetan Medicine is a holistic system. It addresses every person as a complete, integrated and unique individual: body, mind and spirit. This covers your internal environment, as well as your unique interaction with the external world.

Traditional Tibetan Medicine doesn’t just treat you when you’re ill. It is a vast and rich system of health optimisation. It combines techniques for diagnosis and understanding you as an individual with a wide range of natural treatments, principles for optimising your diet and lifestyle. We interpret the principles of Tibetan Medicine individually for each person, to create harmony in your body and mind, so they encapsulate your work, your personal lifestyle and your value as an individual.

In all, there are over 250 medicines, most of which are made up of between 3 and 150 medicinal herbs and minerals.

An important principle of Traditional Tibetan Medicine is that a deep connection with nature helps to balance our lives on every level: physical, mental/emotion, energetic and spiritual. 

  • “Tendrel” describes the Buddhist philosophy of the interconnection and the interdependence of all things. Another way of explaining this concept is “Unity in Duality”. This describes the interrelated nature of existence. 
  • When we live by this principle, we are better able to create inner and outer harmony, both of which contribute to general health.

There are many channels of energy that run through your body. When these are out of balance, your health can suffer. TTM has powerful ways of assessing these to determine how best to restore balance. 

The process of diagnosis in TTM is very personal. It consists of:

  • Observation (your visible symptoms);
  • Palpation, touching (e.g., pulse analysis);
  • Conversation and questioning (a discovery process to learn more about your lifestyle, diet and feelings).

An illness can have many causes and conditions, because an individual has a unique combination of characteristics. This means that the treatment should be based on the unique combination of causes, not on a ‘catch-all’ formula designed to treat a theoretical ‘average’ of the disease. 

  • Customised medicine is essential to treat the root cause of any illness.
  • The main aim of TTM is to restore balance to every aspect of your life.
  • Digestion and gut health are closely related to your mental as well as physical health, so we develop your own personal food pyramid that’s right for your body.
  • Good nutrition is based on eating foods that are as close as possible to their natural state.
  • Tibetan medicine formulas will be prescribed where necessary.


The right plants and foods for your body, life stage or disorder are the primary source of ‘medicine’.

Herbs and Spices as Medicine

Herbs and supplements should be tailored to your specific needs and should be as close as possible to their original state.

External Therapies

External Therapies such as Moxibustion, Acupuncture, Message, Herbal Bath Therapy, Hot and Cold Compresses to treat a range of conditions.

Plant and Food Medicine

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Contact Us to learn more about how to make every part of your life work for your health and vitality.

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