Unit 3: Tibetan & Unani MedicineTibetan & Unani Online Course

Part A: Tibetan Medicine

Just as Ayurvedic medicine is influenced by Hinduism and Chinese medicine is influenced by Taoism, so Tibetan medicine is influenced by Buddhism. The gentle Buddhist approach to life shines through in this amazingly powerful branch of ancient medicine.

In this unit, you will study the basic principles of Tibetan medicine and relate these to Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. The unit includes the history and philosophy of Tibetan medicine (the Mind and the Three Mental Poisons, the Five Elements, the Three Humours (Wind, Bile and Phlegm), the Fifteen Humour Sub Divisions, Humours and constitutional characteristics, the Seven Bodily Constituents, Vital Essence (Dhang), the Three Excretory Functions, the organs, disease process according to Tibetan medicine (digestion including wind, bile and phlegm, Humour Imbalance in the Seven Bodily Constituents, Four stages of Disease, Hot and cold diseases, the 404 diseases of Tibetan medicine, diagnosis, dietary therapeutics, medicines and the medicine trees.

Tibetan medicine is a blend of Ayurvedic, Chinese and Greek medicine which you will clearly see as you work your way through this section. Tibetan medicine is based on the Gyud-Shi which translates as ‘The Four Tantras’ (Tantra = text). The Gyud-Shi contains the medical teachings that Buddha gave in Varanasi, India when he was 71 years old (c 870 BC). In the 8th century the Gyud-Shi was translated into Tibetan.

Part B: Unani Medicine  

Unani Medicine developed out of ancient Greek medicine (Unani=Greek; Tibb=medicine in Arabic).

In this unit you will learn about the similarities between other medical disciplines and Greek medicine. There are many similarities to Ayurvedic principles which surely had an influence upon Greek medicine and vice-versa. It is likely that the two disciplines developed independently through observation with the temperaments in the natural world.

This unit includes the history of Unani medicine, Unani medicine concepts (the body, the Seven Natural Principles, the Four Elements, the Four States of Matter, temperament, the Humours), the maintenance of health (the Six Essential Causes, Balance and Imbalance, concepts of disease and cure, the disease process, raw humours, black bile as a cause of disease, stages of disease, methods of diagnosis and concepts of treatment), the Four Humours and Psychological Profiles.

Unani medicine has its basis in the universal laws which were understood by the ancient Greek and Egyptians, as well as Arabs and non-Arabs of the middle ages. The earliest surviving manuscripts recording Greek medicine can be traced back to Hippocrates (ca 460BCE-370BCE) and Galen (ca 129CE-199/201CE), both of whom studied medicine in Egypt. Arabic translations did not become available until the seventh and eighth centuries.

Tibetan & Unani Medicine Course 

Units: 1
Study Hours: 100
Credits: 10
Time: Estimated 2 months (timing up to you)
Enrolment period: 4 months (with option to extend)
Books: Purchased separately
Certification: Certificate in Tibetan & Unani Medicine
Study Options: E-learning (online) or Correspondence (paper)

Aims of the course

  • To provide detailed information about these two eastern medical traditions of Tibetan and Unani medicine
  • To enhance understanding of an eastern medical approach and how to use this in practice
  • To enhance understanding of human nature through study of the three mental poisons and the four temperaments
  • To provide energetic nutritional approaches to enhance nutritional and naturopathic practice
  • To further an understanding of health and disease from an eastern medical perspective.

Why study Tibetan & Unani Medicine?

Tibetan and Unani medicine, together with Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine, make up the four main Eastern medical approaches to health and disease. Each discipline offers its own unique blend of amazing knowledge and when combined, gives the student a knowledge and understanding of health, disease and human nature that is unsurpassed in modern medical approaches.

An understanding of these combined four approaches provides an excellent foundation to progress to studying Naturopathic medicine in detail. The Eastern medicine modules will provide an unrivalled approach to Eastern nutrition which will set you apart from other practitioners using more orthodox nutritional approaches to health.


Part A: Tibetan Medicine
Learning objectives
Essential Reading 
Recommended Reading 

1. Introduction to Tibetan Medicine 
The Mind and the Three Mental Poisons
The Three Humours (Nes-Pas) 

3. Disease & Diagnosis
Humour Imbalance in the Seven Bodily Constituents 
Four stages of disease 
Hot and cold diseases 
The 404 diseases of Tibetan Medicine 

4. Treatment & Dietetics
Faulty Food Combinations

5. The Medicine Trees
Health Root: Trunk 1
Disease Root: Trunk 2 
Root of Diagnosis: Trunk 3: 6 leaves
Pulse Taking: Trunk 4:3 leaves
Interrogation: Trunk 5: 29 leaves 
Root of Therapeutics: Trunk 6:35 leaves
Behaviour: Trunk 7: 6 leaves
Medicines: Trunk 8: 50 leaves 


Part B: Unani medicine
Essential Reading
Recommended Reading 

1. Introduction to Unani Medicine 

2. Unani Medicine Concepts
The Body
The Seven Natural Principles
The Four Elements
The Four States of Matter

3. Maintenance of Health
The Six Essential Causes
Balance and Imbalance
Concept of Diseases and their Cure
The Disease Process
Raw Humours
Black Bile as a Cause of Disease
Stages of Disease
Concept of Treatment 

4. The Four Humours & Psychological Profiles
Psychological Aspects of the Four HumoursThe Four Temperaments in the 20th Century 

5. Conclusion

Tibetan medicine is a blend of Ayurvedic, Chinese and Greek medicine. Unani medicine has its basis in the universal laws which were understood by the ancient Greek and Egyptians.