Article ID: CBB088240303

A Tibetan Herbal Formula Understood from a Phytotherapeutical Perspective of TCM (2015)


In this article I aim to describe the Tibetan formula Padma 28 from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) phytotherapy as practised in Europe. As a biomedical physician and TCM practitioner, familiar also with traditional Tibetan medicine (TTM), I would like to underline that these two Asian medical systems are on one hand fundamentally different based on culturally distinct concepts and practices of health and illness, including different body images. On the other hand, they can be, and in fact are, correlated with each other in practice via their shared specific materia medica. This article represents a first attempt at establishing an understanding via translation, by relating distinct TTM and TCM efficacies as well as my own personal tasting of the single ingredients of the Tibetan formula Padma 28. TCM terminology translated into English is relatively well established and may provide a lingua franca, other than predominant biomedicine, for communication about Tibetan and Chinese prescriptions, and about individual plants. From a TCM perspective, Padma 28 has an overall neutral or slightly cool temperature effect and an acrid, bitter, and slightly aromatic taste. This formula can be used to promote the movement of qi and blood in a mild way without injuring the yin. Furthermore, it strengthens the spleen qi and spleen yang. Responding to the regulatory context in Europe, certain ingredients in this Tibetan formula have been left out and substituted by others—a practice that is regarded as common in TCM formulations.

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Authors & Contributors
Craig, Sienna R.
Bolsokhoyeva, Natalia
Adams, Vincanne
Samuel, Geoffrey
Connor, Linda H.
Akasoy, Anna
Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Journal of Medical Biography
Bergin & Garvey
Berghahn Books
Princeton University Press
Medicine, traditional
Medicine, Chinese traditional
East Asia, civilization and culture
Time Periods
21st century
17th century
20th century, late
20th century
Early modern
Central Asia
Buryatia (Russia)
Malay; Malaysia

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