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Traditional Mongolian medicine

Traditional Mongolian medicine developed over many years among the Mongolian people. Mongolian medical practice spread across their empire and became an ingrained part of many other people's medical systems. The principles of Traditional Mongolian Medicine (TMM) and a short history of this medical tradition as practiced in the Republic of Mongolia are provided. TMM represents an Asian medical tradition which is greatly influenced by Tibetan Buddhism and which had flourished for centuries in regions inhabited by the Mongols. After the communist ideology had gained recognition in Outer Mongolia in the early 20th century, an introduction of Western medicine and a decline of TMM could be observed. The revival of TMM in the Republic of Mongolia in the second half of the last century led to increasing scientific investigations in this ancient medical system in the country. Joint studies with foreign academic institutions followed.

The co-operations of Mongolian academic institutions with Austrian Universities regarding research in traditionally used medicinal plants are discussed and results of joint scientific projects are presented. Traditional Mongolian medicine is now expanding out of a relatively small circle of practitioners to reach more people. Khangai Baatar is head of the haematology and oncology department at the State-owned Inner Mongolia International Mongolian Hospital in Hohhot, capital of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region. He said: “Compared with Western medicine, traditional Mongolian medicine has relatively smaller doses and the medicine is mainly made of herbs and minerals, which are natural and easy to take.”