A general overview of the Tibetan medical system and its history, written by one of the greatest authorities on Tibetan medicine, Desi Sangye Gyatso, prolific author and regent of the Fifth Dalai Lama.
Unlike his other well-known medical work, the Blue Beryl, whih is a detailed commentary on the Four Tantras, this work is a self-standing volume. The treatise presents the Tibetan understanding of human physiology and anatomy, the various methods of diagnosis, such as pulse reading and urinalysis, and the typologies of disease and their corresponding remedies, including surgical treatments.
Desi's work provides an insight into the synthetic nature of the Tibetan medical system, wherein the essentials of Indian Ayurveda and Persian medical theory and practice are incorporated into an indigenous Tibetan practice, including its pharmacology based primarily upon herbal and mineral remedies. To this day Desi's medical writings are used as textbooks in the Tibetan medical colleges both inside and outside of Tibet.