The Mongolian art of bone setting, called ‘bone art’ in Mongolia, is a fascinating subject. It developed mainly during the Chin dynasty. The eminent practitioners were Tsorj-Mergen, Nara-Abai and Heru- Ishinga and various others. Bonesetters (Bariachi) used many interesting methods, such as applying cupping glasses (made of horn) to treat broken bones or a herbal compress, or, if necessary, used surgery with the aid of ice as a local anaesthetic. The Aduuchiin Minister called together 30 professionals in the field and established a special Bone Art Hospital at that time.
Bone Art is a completely independent branch of Mongolian medicine. The patient would feel no pain, but was usually advised to rest afterwards. These bom healers were just lay people without schooling, but neither spelled charms nor performed rituals. They cured bone disorders perfectly without complaint from the patient or pain afterwards, however serious the injury. The bones would heal quite soon afterwards. These healers had no special training except what was handed down to them, but they needed to have the ability bom in them. Their hands were the healing instruments, and setting was done by very sensitive touch.
Mongolia has a large land area with many pure rivers, lakes and springs, particularly hot springs. In view of this, balneotherapy has always been widespread in both Outer, and Inner, Mongolia. There are over 30 springs which can be used for treatment. Scholars have written books on the subject and about what kinds of diseases can be treated by it.
Four Seasons and the Diets of Five Colours
Various studies of Mongolian history, culture, literature and languages have been conducted, to date, by scholars around the world, which have uncovered interesting facts, However, diet is an area mostly left unknown investigation into diets of past culture has never been high on the list of researchers, except in the last 70 years or so, and then usually only as an aid to tracing the course of agricultural development, such as the discoveries during the autopsy or “Peat Marsh” in Britain and those of the “Ice Mummies”, in Iceland and Switzerland, etc., over the last decade or two. Until now, little or no research has been done into the implications of past diet in the culture or philosophy of earlier societies, or vice versa, or into the effects of diet on the stamina of the people at the time.
The four basic conditions are active causes of diseases according to Traditional Mongolian Medicine. Among them, diet occupies an important position. So we prepared a diet in accordance with the four seasons, extreme climate and the specific features of the body. From far-distant times there has been an accepted 5-diet system in Mongolia, which originally grew out of seasonal body needs. These 5 diets are: the black; the yellow; the white; the green and the red. One or another diet is prescribed depending on the four seasons spring, summer, autumn, or winter..
Black and Yellow Diet in Spring
Badgan (phlegm) accumulated during winter season due to intense cold disintegrates during the spring season due to sun’s heat. The sun opens the body pores with its warmness and this subsequently, lessen the fire energy. In the process, there is a weakening of the digestive heat which further leads to the manifestation of badgan. Because of the warming effect of spring on the body causing the phlegmatic aspect to peak, a combination of a black and a yellow diet, which is advisable, has a warm quality in order to maintain a balance between cold and hot states. In addition, one should adhere to food having bitter, pungent and astringent taste like a year old grain flours, meat of animals living on dry land, honey, boiled hot water. As a whole, one must take foods and drinks having light and rough potency. Regarding behavior, one should indulge in physical exercises, massage one’s body with dry grains powder and stay at a place endowed with flowers and fragrance.