This traditional therapy is performed by applying the 5 entrails (heart, liver, lungs, spleen and kidneys) on the relevant points (Heart is applied on an area close to the patient’s heart, kidney is applied on an area close to the patient’s kidney etc.) of the body, absorbing diseases from those areas.
Nomadic herders of the north gained enough knowledge and experience to treat internal organ diseases using animal entrails or its head and brain. For example, methods to treat headaches by boiled-down meat from a sheep’s head, tongue diseases using a wolves’ tongue, lung diseases by fox’s lungs, kidney diseases by sheep’s kidney, heart diseases by hare’s or antelope’s hearts, bladder diseases by marmot’s bladder and gastritis by wolves’ stomach have been passed on. As soon as they slaughtered the animals, they would take the 5 entrails out, because the entrails must be warm when applied. Two kidneys are applied on the ears of the patient, the liver is placed on the patient’s liver area, intestines are placed on the stomach, and the heart and lungs are placed on the appropriate (corresponding) points of the body to absorb illnesses from the organs. To prevent from rising temperature, a wool cloth with cold water is placed above the patient’s head. These entrails applying methods are still used among the Mongolians today.
As recorded in “Brief Practical Guide to Healthy Diet” white sheep’s head is effective to treat paralysis, fatigue, emaciation and giddiness. To make the preparation, first a white sheep’s head must be shaved and cleaned. Then it must be boiled down and chopped in small pieces and flavored with 5 juices. Eating the preparation treats the above mentioned illnesses. Because this therapy is similar to the “sheep’s head shaz (boiled down meat),” one of the traditional treatment methods, we conclude that the therapy dates back to at least the 14th century.
Typhus and Communicable Diseases
According to the historical records the knowledge on typhus and other communicable diseases was studied and developed day to day and its symptoms were widely known as were the provisions for prevention and treatment which were developed from previous encounters.
When the disease occurs, it was immediately announced and the population became aware that the disease could be spread. The announcement also became an up-to-date method of information about its spread. At the offering ceremony to Chinghis Khaan “Sutra of sprinkling of horse milk,” a long literary work, the word “announce,” means disease information. The terminology “Typhus,” was first introduced a long time ago. The tradition to “sacrifice the fire,” is a poem of folklore, which originated in the times of shamanism. It was mentioned: “Dispel the bad fortune, typhus and mental disease.” Even though it was through folklore, it is historic evidence that people knew about the infectious nature of typhus. Typhus and other infectious diseases were easily spread in places where many people gathered, such as cities and ruins. However the Mongolian population had been distributed all over the country and lived in small groups. During natural disasters, mostly in the remote areas, the outbreak of typhus occurred many times. For instance: “History of Yuan Dynasty,” noted that during the Yuan Dynasty in 1354, the outbreak of typhus took place in 20 families’ districts. In 1580 widespread typhus had occurred in present day Ulaan tsav aimag (now Inner Mongolia, China) and the number of dead was innumerable, therefore the Government of that time established the “Bureau of medicine,” and delivered medicines to the people. This was mentioned in the manuscripts of ancient and present times.
In 1226 typhus had spread among Mongolian soldiers, who had been healed with the root of rhubarb and it was noted in the “History of Yuan Dynasty.” (Picture 18) There are many examples along these lines throughout history.
During the outbreak of typhus and infectious diseases, the sick persons were isolated, and suspected items which came from outside were disinfected and many other measures were taken to prevent from disease spread. Particularly William de Rubric noted in his work that, “Saying briefly they believe that all things are disinfected with fire.” All things or written messages and persons, who came from distant places, should go through the fire between the two parts of fire flames for disinfection. In this way they prevented any possible harm which could be brought from the outside. The above historic records have shown that disinfection by fire became a tradition with the Mongols since ancient times. Mongols have used isolation of the sick, which was proved as a good method to prevent the spread of disease and is confirmed by present science. This isolation method was used during historical times by Mongols, which was noted in the history of the 13th century.
The famous Italian traveler Giovanni Del Plano Carpine had noted that “When someone fell sick and died, his ger or tent is pierced by a spear and its top is wrapped in black felt. This is the sign of danger and nobody will come near this ger.” “This sign is a precaution for outsiders that there is a sick person and they should not visit this place, only a nurse can come into the ger,” wrote William de Rubric. Untill nowadays this sign shows quarantine and it is prohibited to visit the sick. At present the quarantined household hangs a red cloth on the door or puts a piece of rope on the way to the ger to expresses it in different ways. To prevent the newborn from getting any infection the horizontal rope is put on the way to the ger until the baby reaches the age of one month. During this month only the nurse taking care of the mother can enter into the household. Besides that, the dignitaries of the palace of Khubilai Khaan used a special spittoon for saliva. There is other evidence of prevention from infections as well – the waiters of the Khaan used to cover their mouths with a scarf to prevent food contamination and the spreading of diseases. All these show how precautionary measures were taken and developed to prevent typhus and the spread of other infectious diseases.