Revitalize traditional medical science through potent therapies


The rich tapestry of Myanmar’s traditional medical science, rooted in ancient techniques documented on palm leaves, folded papers, and literary treatises, has been a cornerstone of healthcare for generations. Throughout the Tagaung, Sri Ksetra, Bagan, Inwa, and Konbaung eras in Myanmar, the efficacy of traditional therapies was evident, with skilled practitioners extending their services to the highest echelons of society, including his majesty kings, royal families, court counsellors, military personnel, and the general public.
Even today, over 70 per cent of Myanmar’s population, predominantly residing in rural areas, continues to rely on traditional medicines for their daily health needs. Recognizing the importance of this heritage, successive governments have established traditional medicine hospitals and clinics one after another across the nation to provide holistic healthcare services rooted in Myanmar’s cultural medicinal practices to the people.
In the face of global advancements in modern Western medical science, Myanmar emphasizes the intrinsic connection between food and medicine, echoing the traditional wisdom that “food is medicine, and medicine is also food.” Preserving the knowledge embedded in Myanmar’s traditional medicine is crucial, urging both the government and the people to collaborate with international organizations to elevate the standards of Myanmar’s traditional medicine to emerge potent therapies based on experimental tests and valuable experiences.
To ensure the transmission of invaluable therapies to future generations, Myanmar traditional medicine practitioners must generously share their experiences and knowledge with new-generation practitioners so as not to lose valuable therapies. Currently, modernizing Myanmar’s traditional medical science is imperative for the whole nation at this juncture. Embracing advanced technologies, studying outcomes from experimental tests, and disseminating knowledge globally will position Myanmar’s traditional medicine on the international stage.
Under the State’s guidance, the Ministry of Health allocates annual research funds with a focus on evidence-based medical education. The Department of Traditional Medicine plays a pivotal role in conducting research on Myanmar’s traditional therapies, medication methods, and herbal plants. This shift from experience-based to evidence-based medical education underscores the commitment to advancing Myanmar’s traditional medical science.
The journey to uplift Myanmar’s traditional medical science is a collective effort, requiring collaboration between the government, traditional medicine practitioners, and international partners. By embracing the wisdom of the past while embracing the opportunities of the present, Myanmar’s traditional medicine can not only endure but also flourish in the evolving landscape of global healthcare for the sake of the people.

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