Tibetan medicine, which is thousands of years old, has been gradually emerging from traditional workshops in recent years, moving towards more scientific, large-scale, and standardized means of production and radiating a new vitality through the means of modern science and technology.
Tashitso, who works in quality control at the Qinghai Provincial Tibetan Medicine Hospital, said that each day, Tibetan medicines are “first sent to experts for visual inspection, then undergo biochemical tests. Modern scientific and technological methods supplement traditional ones to ensure the quality of Tibetan medicines.”
Tibetan medicine originated on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and has profound cultural connotations. With a history of more than 2,000 years, it is known as one of the four major traditional medicines in the world alongside traditional Chinese medicine, Indian Ayurveda medicine, and traditional Western medicine.
Traditionally, Tibetan medicines were largely gathered and manufactured individually by Tibetan medicine doctors, so there are inconsistencies in pill weight and water content, Tashitso said.
“For example, in the past, the Tibetan medicine liu-wei’an was packaged in paper bags, and the patient would take it home and use a spoon to measure each dosage. Not only would this make each dosage inaccurate, it was not convenient for keeping the medicine. Now this has been replaced with a brand-new production line and dispensing of single doses, which is safer and more effective,” she said.
At present, the Tibetan Medicine Preparation Division of the Qinghai Provincial Tibetan Medicine Hospital can produce 12 kinds of drug forms, including powder and pills, and 368 different varieties of Tibetan medicine.
In order to accelerate the development of the Tibetan medicine industry, in recent years, Tibet, Qinghai, and other regions have established a number of modern Tibetan medicine factories, which combine traditional Tibetan medicine production and processing methods with modern technology.
There are currently 15 enterprises that engage in the production of Tibetan medicine in Qinghai, which can produce 160 varieties of Tibetan pharmaceuticals. According to statistics by the Qinghai Province Chinese and Tibetan Medicine Administration Bureau, in 2016 alone, Tibetan medicine manufacturers in Qinghai produced a total industrial output value of 2.3 billion yuan.