Traditional Mongolian Medicine : There are sources written down 3,000 years ago that say that ancient Hünnü people and Mongols used to sterilize wounds using the pungent herbs Artemisia, thyme, and edelweiss. They produced essential volatile oils and emitted heat when they were burned, which guaranteed purity. The people of the forests and other parts of Mongolia had a good medicine called Kadif. They dressed wounds with medical herbs and treated typhoid with the root-stock of rhubarb. Old Man Tsargin twirled his beard and wafted smoke over the fainted hero Geser, after which he regained consciousness The nomadic Mongols treated mountain-sickness with the fumes of burning hair. This type of medicine was and remains very common among the nomadic people. It has become traditional. Every nation has specific magical ways of medical treatment or quackery. Central Asia has a severe continental climate with four seasons, in which nomadic Mongolians moved from place to place tending to their domestic animals. So their way of life and medical treatment are very peculiar. The methods of the medical treatment derived from their simple lives. Like medicine in the West, there are many traditional methods of treating illnesses in Mongolia, including:
1. Bleeding and lancing
4. Manipulation, massage and bone-setting
5. Dom: healing spells
These methods are famous as Oriental methods to treat illnesses and they have helped to cure many thousands of them. These kinds of treatments are valued highly. Medical herbs, limbs of animals, and minerals are used as natural forms of medical treatment. They are sometimes used individually and sometimes mixed with each other for medical purposes. The Mongolians’ five kinds of animals serve not only as a basis for basic necessities but also as a source of medical treatments. Mongolians combine medicine with psychological treatments and use sayings, such as mantras, shamanist charms, and prophesy. There are certain influences of Buddhism in our medical treatment, such as the use of spells and the stating of one’s requests and mantra expressions.
Traditional Mongolian Medicine
There are traditional sayings:
A person suffers from squeamishness (hypochondria) and recovers by piety (attachment) An experienced folk doctor woman is better than the green medical doctor It is best to be wealthy without debt and happy without illness An unhygienic person is frequently ill. A lazy person is frequently drowsy. Some tools for preparing the traditional medicine and medical herbs.
Some Traditional Methods of Treatment :
Determining Diseases By Divination
This divination can determine whether or not a disease can be treated. A sutra of diagnostics reports the following: “The number of days or months the patient has suffered from the start of an illness can be added to the sum of
number of the age of the patient in order to diagnose the patient’s illness. This sum can be multiplied by three and divided by nine. In this case, there shall be appeared 3.6.0 remainders. These numbers are used for the divination. It can be divided by those numbers. If there is a three, it means the life is safe. If six appears, the patient may recover without treatment. If zero appears, there is a probable death. For example, a patient who is 44 years old, who was confined to bed in
March and got treatment within 15 days:
This remainder means that the patient may recover without treatment.
Divination to discover a child’s sex
Divination to discover a child’s sex while still in its mother’s womb involves taking the sum of the numbers of both ages of spouses, multiplied by four and divided by three. If the remainder is two or zero, the child is a boy. If the remainder is one, the child is a girl.
When a child cries, the parent should take the swaddled child and, at twilight, reflect its face in a cup of water. This cup of water is passed over the head of the baby three times in a clockwise direction and three times in an opposite direction. The cup of water is then thrown in the direction of the north-west. This is called the water charm ritual.
Fire tongs’ charm
If a baby cries, the fire tongs are made hot at the moment of the appearance of the evening star. The tongs are then dipped into a pail of water which is placed near the baby. If the water hisses, we say shirėg, shirėg, shirėg (charm, charm, charm) and have a ladle of water over the child three times in a clockwise direction. We then wave it again over the child three times in an anti-clockwise direction, before throwing the water out of the door. This is called fire tongs’ charm.
• You can sleep if you fumigate yourself with the smokes of blue chips of the cow before you go to bed.
• If you are wakeful at night, rub your feet until they become warm, and then you will be able to sleep.
• If you have a facial tick, stroke your face with an agate snuff-bottle.
• If your mouth is twisted, take a piece of meat taken from the back of the thigh of a sheep and fry it with a clove of garlic in ghee. Apply some of the undercooked pieces of this meat in a compress to your mouth.
• Your delirium will be released by drinking the milk of a red cow.
• The heart meat of a rabbit is helpful for treating insanity.
• It is good to treat the hiccups by drinking boiled curds.
• If you are fatigued greatly it is good to boil whole bones of sheep and then bathe in the broth for a week.
• You can get strength and remove your fatigue if you bathe in the warm cow’s milk.
• It helps to fumigate the fainted person with the smoke of his burnt pubic hair.
• Bleed the tips of ten fingers when a person faints. If it is not successful, bleed the tips of this person’s ten toes.
• It is good to drop an extract of the herb syntagma on the bad eyes.
• It is very effective to look at the full moon of every month to improve one’s eye sight.
• It is good to burn and fumigate your eyes with birch’s bark, if tears are falling.
• When having a sharp pain in the ear, it is good to drop breast milk into the ear.
• When having a sharp pain in the ear, lancing the special part of the little finger of the ear-hurting side is good.
• In case of hearing impairment, it is good to bind magnet powder in the wool and stuff the ear with it.
• It could stop your nose bleeding if you bind your thumb and index fingers of your left arm with scarlet red thread.
• It is good to fumigate your stuffed nose with pungent plants which block up your nose.
• One can remove an ulcer from one’s nose by smearing the mixture of ghee of the mare’s fermented milk with salt.
• It is good to rinse your mouth with the sap of the pasque ambigua when your throat is red.
• It is useful to rinse your mouth with thick extract of nettle when your throat is yellow.
• Eat the flesh of a lark when you get a hoarse voice.
• Keeping copper in the mouth is good for healing mouth-wound.
• In case of child’s thrush, it is good to dip the child’s head into the cold water three times.
• It can help to heat hilt of a knife in a fire and compress it to blistered lips. Then we say “lick it until it bares its horn.” If you wish to lick the knife hilt, compress the blisters seven times.
• It can help to compress your lips with the brim of the silver-cased cup if your lips are chapped.
• There is no pain if you rinse your mouth with the stale milk of a ewe when your teeth ache.
• It is helpful to rinse your mouth with boiled and cooled sap of salex for your teeth.
• Your teeth shall be strong when you wash them with the extract of junipers needles.
• It can help to compress the bite with camels’ milk and also to drink the boiled milk of a mare-camel.
• It is better to apply a heated cupping vessel to the place of the bite.
• It is helpful to bind the place of the bite
• It is helpful to bind the place of the bite with crop tuber.
• If a wolf or dog bites, it is necessary to drink the scrapped remains of the bottom of a cooking pot into the mouth.
• If a dog bites, the hair of the dog must be burnt and then the ashes are smeared on the wound.
• If you suffer from rheumatism, soak the dry pellets of sheep and cover the area that is painted with the pellets. It can help you to remove rheumatism.
• If you mix the ashes of dung from a cow and a horse into a good consistency and cover the place of rheumatism with it, it can help you to get rid of this condition.
• Rheumatism can be removed if you bind the rheumatic limbs with bandage that includes the leaves of the crop tuber.
• It is also helpful to remove rheumatism in the legs by applying a lotion of the ashes of the dung of a cow, camel and horse, each of which must be at least three years old, mingled with cow’s milk and mare’s fermented milk.
• Apply a lotion of worm wood Artemisia which is boiled down in the whey;
• Take a beverage of boiled yogurt with grape and sugar;
• Apply a thick mixture of the ashes of stellar on leg’s and hand’s illness.
Leg and hand pain
• One’s legs and hand’s pains are released by binding them with bandages of fleece-wool felt absorbed the salty milk.
• It is helpful to take an extract of walnut and to bind the growth of calcaneum with the bandage absorbed the bile of sheep and cattle.
• Place the pods of peppers under the insole, if your feet freeze.
• You can remove your rheumatic pain by covering your legs and hands with the lotion of the boiled juniper with the milk of white mare.
• You can treat your scurvy by drinking the mixture of the juice of the blooms of a wild rose with its stem’s sap.
• To heal scurvy, you can cut about four fingers of size from the point of the spring nettle and make a huušuur and eat it.
• It can help to remove herpes by smearing the tar or hot juice of burned
salex on the herpes.
• Pressing hot brass coin on the herpes is good for healing.
• You can remove your freckles by smearing raw milk of a nanny-goat.
• Freckles can be removed by smearing the mixture of an agaric (field-mushroom) and musk.
• If you sponge the mange with the boiled thyme, it can be removed.
• It is good to cure the mange with the pitch of millets.
• It is better to apply mixing of the sap of the cargana jubata plant with ghee on inflammations.
• Inflammations can be cured by binding a warm bandage of the liquefied sulphur.
Sweat gland problems
• Drinking soup of ephidra helps stopping over-perspiration.
• Smearing aftertaste of copper on the foot sole and underarm is helpful for decreasing over-perspiration malodours.
• Constantly washing your foot with radish juice helps eliminating malodour of foot.
• If a child drinks boiled agaric (field-mushroom), it can remedy child’s fever.
• The peony flower is very effective for removing infantile fever.
Diarrhea or looseness of bowels
• An infant diarrhea can be healed by eating a clove of garlic cooked in a fire.
• A rice concoction can remedy the trouble when the infant suffers from the looseness of the bowels.
• It is helpful to give a child a mixture of reindeer’s curds with cow’s or ewe’s milk when the infant suffers from the looseness of bowels or to wrap the abdomen of the infant with a warm greasy black cloth.
• It is helpful to cover the navel with its mother’s combings if exudes from infant’s navel.
• It is important to hang a small flask of holding water from the cradle of the swaddled infant in order to prevent a stomach upset.
Midwifery and Women’s Illness
Giving birth to a child
It is better to heat up the little toe of the left leg of a mother who experiences the pangs and efforts of childbirth; While the uterus is opened, the pregnant mother on her knees leans over the pannier and gives a birth to her child. This is the Mongolian method of giving birth. We believe that it keeps the mother from having a difficult birth. By leaning over the pannier and giving birth, the placenta is not pressed down onto the veins of the uterus. Nor does the mother feel the shortage of oxygen. Also, the infants do not suffer from strangulation or from crippling conditions. The vein does not enlarge. This method of giving birth is favored by doctors and researchers.
The post-effects of childbirth
• It is helpful to place a cup upside-down on the pit of the stomach if the uterus is convulsing after child birth.
• It is helpful to take cooled extract of the seeds of fleabane when the mother suffers from fever after child birth.
• It can help to take the bile of pig or musk deer if a girl menstruates without interruption.
• It is necessary to drink the water in which amber is boiled if a girl’s menstrual periods are changing.
• It is inevitably effective to drink boiled brackish water with Artemisia, if a girl’s menses ceases.
• If the new mother is short of milk, it is necessary to drink the boiled tea with millet or to eat the roasted millet. It can increase the yield of milk.
• Mixing vodka with the ashes of antler and drinking it can help to remove the breast swelling.
• It is very good for the heart if you drink water boiled with a saiga horn.
• The juice of hawthorn is useful for healing the heart disease.
• It is useful to step on the crystal salt with your bare feet when you suffer from high blood-pressure.
• You can decrease high blood-pressure if you walk on fresh green grass barefooted.
• It is useful for chronic liver problems to drink the whey produced from the boiled curds of ewe’s raw milk.
• Drinking the milk of a white mare can decrease liver trouble.
The secretion of bile
• A beverage of boiled birch leaves can normalize the secretion of bile.
• A drink made from the extract of leaves from an aspen tree is good for gallstone.
• The milk of a nanny-goat is good for liver and bile troubles.
• Boiling Saussurea involucra in milk is good for pulmonary disease.
• Drinking a mare’s milk dipped with copper is good for healing a type of pneumonia.
• Drinking a white mare’s milk and airag helps to treat a type of pneumonia.
• The extract of thyme should be covered with a lid and then later drunk. This is good for bronchitis
Problems with the spleen
• If you place a loadstone on the front side of the spleen, iron the spleen’s back side, and wrap it closely, this can regulate spleen’s action.
• The fever of spleen can be removed by drinking the boiled juice of the herb ephedra.
• If you mingle a piece of agarics (field-mushroom) with the powder of pearls and smear this mixture on the wound caused by edged tools, it could be cured.
• If there is a cut on the face, the scar can be removed by applying breast milk in which pure silver has been dipped.
• The flesh of a snow-cock can cure and develop human flesh.
• It heals quickly if you sprinkle powdered conch shell on the wound.
• If you drink boiled Cuscuta, it can stop your bleeding.
• If you wrap the burned skin with urine, there will be no scar.
• It is very helpful to smear the grease of bear, boar, or badger on the burned skin.
• It is good to smear soap suds on the burned skin.
A bone injury
• It is good to drink cool water mixed with the remains on the bottom of a copper, bronze or cast-iron pot to care for bone injuries.
• It is helpful to drink the boiled juice of the leaves from the extreme tips of the branches of young cedar trees. It can help to consolidate bones.
• If you drink milk-vodka with calyx of the calcinated copper, your fracture will heal soon.
The enlargement of the veins
• The soot from the bottom of a bronze cooking pot, which had been heated seven times with the chips of cow, are mixed with water and then drunk. It can normalize one’s vein.
• The extract of field-bind-weed can help for driving out the blister and frostbite.
• The compression of the powdered agaric (field-mushroom) can drive a blister of frostbite.
• Cauterize the cross-point connecting the tip of the nose of the chilled person, the nape of the neck, and the extremes of two ears. If you cauterize it, it can help definitely.
• Smear the fat of boar on the frozen limbs.
Flu and colds
• If you wear a string of garlic cloves, it can prevent you from flu and colds.
• It is important to massage aloe on the side of one’s nose, the upper portion of temples, the roof of the nose between eyebrows, the nape of neck and wrists when you suffer from flu and a cold.
• The juice of icicle radish can cure whooping cough.
Kidney and bladder trouble
• Sand treatment: It is very important to cure kidney, hip and bladder troubles of a child. First, the sand is sifted out. Then fry the refined sand at frying-pot. Lay the troubled infant down on the warm sand, then swaddle it closely and cover it with a warm blanket. Let it sleep. Be wary if the infant has a fever or is weak, or if there is skin-eruption on the infant. It is totally forbidden to treat the infant with the sand treatment.
• The boiled juice of the current diacanthum is good for kidney and bladder.
• The compression of a warm black cloth with the grease of tailfat placed on the hypogastrium, helps to stop diabetes.
• The preparation of equal ingredients of the ashes of marmot’s head, myrobalan and crystal salt can cure an emictory child.
The retention of urine
• If somebody is constipated, it is necessary to cauterize two finger-size the navel, again two-finger-size below the cauterized portion of abdomen again two-finger-size below the second cauterized portion of the abdomen, again one-finger-size below the third portion of the abdomen. Then the constipated person discharges its urine.
• The soup of the caudal vertebrae of goat causes urine discharge.
• The milk of black ewe is mingled with the milk of black cow. The mixed milk is boiled. The hot milk is good for gastritis.
• It is good to drink the boiled ragwort for gastritis.
• If you suck the pit (stone) of myrobalan, it normalizes constipation.
• The seven jujubes are mingled with mare’s milk; it is boiled. The blends of mare’s boiled milk and mare’s cool milk are good to cure diarrheas and heartburn.
• One boiled dosage of the weathered bone of dragon can cure the chronic diarrheas.
• The cloves of garlic are mixed with milk and boiled. Then drink it. It can purge the ascarid.
• If somebody has looseness of the bowels, boiled water with salt causes vomiting. This vomit can cleanse stomach from foreign matter. Then bleed the tip of the finger with a lancet. It is a good treatment;
• If you boil the pits of the wild cherry’ berries and drink it, it stops the diarrheas.
• The milk of mare-camel which grazes on saltwort can remedy swelling by discharging urine.
• Boil sour curds produced from milk-vodka distillation in the mutton soup and drink it. It has a good effect for curing the swelling in the winter
• Haemorrhoids never appear if you press on the bumps every morning. Methods of defending from venomous snake and insects
• If you carry musk with yourself it can drive away the snake.
• If you burn horns of cattle and fumigate the household with its smoke, it can drive away the snake.
• If a snake enters the household, burn the weathered horn of a blue ram.
The snake will run away by the smell of smoking.
• If snake falls into a well, it might poison the water in it. Churn the water of the well with a stick of tamarisk.
• If you burn the dried bat, it can drive away flies and mosquitoes.
• The burning of thyme can drive away bugs.
Some tools used for traditional folk treatments