According to ancient Tibetan medical texts, those living at that time seemingly knew quite a bit about epidemics. And interestingly enough, the epidemics described in the ancient texts were eerily similar to the coronavirus outbreak that the world is experiencing right now.
The medical texts, which are called Gyud-Zhi, detailed medicinal practices in Tibet and the Himalayan regions around 2,500 years ago. They described the epidemics by using the reference “nyen-rim”.
According to the texts, people become increasingly greedy by displaying bad behaviors, selfishness, misuse of spiritual powers, wars, religious fighting, and using chemicals to destroy the lives of humans, animals and insects. These behaviors disrupt the maras (spirits) as well as the Dakinis (gods and goddesses) which ultimately causes the epidemic to spread among humans by breathing and then turns into a pandemic.
Severe changes in the seasons, misfortune, disruptions to one’s emotional and/or physical well-being, fear, panic, and anger, as well as eating more junk and other foods that are not good for our overall health are all additional effects that could happen.
Those who caught the nyen-rim (or epidemic) would have experienced lung infections, difficulty breathing, coughing, stomach pains, fever, sweats, weakness, dark pimples, and dysentery (an intestinal infection that causes bloody diarrhea).
The ancient texts revealed that the virus is blunt, enters through the skin into the muscle tissue, then the circulatory channels, deep into the bones, and finally into the organs. Interestingly, COVID-19 is also round with blunt extensions. The virus, which was named “tre tre ho” entered the body through a person’s eyes, nose, mouth, ears, anal, and urethra areas, with the nose and mouth areas being the most susceptible which meant that people had to wear masks. They described it as being invisible, that it moved like lightning, and that it was composed of wind and fire elements.
In order for those infected to have gotten rid of the virus, they would have taken some herbs in the form of pills, powder, decoctions, tonics, pastes, and medicinal beers. Additionally, they would have worn blessed amulets with herbs inside of them around their neck in order to help them recover from the virus or to prevent them from getting it.
They also chanted mantras in order to keep their mind relaxed so that they wouldn’t develop anxiety and/or depression as that caused the virus to spread even quicker. “If a problem can be solved, don’t worry; if a problem can’t be solved, don’t worry. Worry will not solve any problem,” stated an 8th century Buddhist monk named Shantideva.
As of today, the COVID-19 pandemic has infected over 40 million people worldwide with more than 1.1 million deaths.