Tibetan medicine database to be built

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A database specializing in Tibetan medicine will be built by 2015 as Tibet Autonomous Region's health sector becomes more digitized, the region's culture authorities announced on Wednesday.

The database, based in the Library of Tibet, will have information on pharmacology, the effects of pharmaceutical products and the composition of Tibetan medicine. This will help researchers gain knowledge about the traditional medicine, a statement from the region's culture department said.

Tibetan medicine, also known as Sowa Rigpa in the Tibetan language, is at least 2,300 years old. It has absorbed the influences of traditional Chinese, Indian and Arab medicine and is in practice in Tibet and the Himalayan region.

Similar to traditional Chinese medicine, Tibetan medicine uses herbs, minerals and sometimes insects and animals for treatment.

However, papers and information on Tibetan medicine are found in different databases across the country, according to Pasang, deputy director of the region's pharmaceutical administration.

There is a database in Lanzhou city of northwest China's Gansu province. This has information on experts, prescriptions and research organizations.

A database on Tibetan medicine prescriptions was set up in the region's Tibetan Hospital in the regional capital of Lhasa in October.

The new database will include all the information which can be found on the current databases, according to Pasang.

Meanwhile, the hospital and Tibet University have jointly despatched a team of researchers to survey medicine resources. More than 3,000 samples of medicinal plants will also be put into the database.

"It will be a giant database in which researchers can find anything they want," Pasang added.

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Abstracted from chinadaily.com.cn.

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