Historical roots, spiritual significance and the health benefits of mKhempa-lJong gNyes Tshachu (hot spring) in Lhuntshe

Wangchuk, Phurpa, and Dorji, Yeshi (2007) Historical roots, spiritual significance and the health benefits of mKhempa-lJong gNyes Tshachu (hot spring) in Lhuntshe. Journal of Bhutan Studies, 16. pp. 112-128.

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Abstract

Bhutan is a country blessed with many rich natural medicinal resources such as minerals, animals, plants, sman-chu (medicinal waters) and tshachu (hot springs). While minerals, animal parts and medicinal plants are used by the Institute of Traditional Medicine Services (ITMS) for compounding herbal medicines to provide health care services in Bhutan, tshachu are popularly used by the public as an alternative curative therapy for treating various diseases. Given such inherent health benefits that the tshachu reportedly have, the ITMS has carried out research on seven popular tshachu in Bhutan with a view to document, identify, validate and classify them according to the therapeutic properties described in the gSo-ba Rig-pa texts. Amongst all the seven tshachu studied, Kurtoe mKhem-pa lJong gNyes tshachu (in Lhuntshe-located in the north-east of Bhutan) was found to have profound religious, spiritual and historical significance, supported in many texts going back as far as the 8th century. It was reported that this tshachu was blessed by Guru Rimpoche and for the benefit of all sentient beings his manifestation Terton Pema Lingpa revealed it in the year 1475. Mainly for these reasons, it is considered the most sacred tshachu in Bhutan and people believe that it also cleanses one's defilements and sins. The literature reports the presence of nine related pools in the mKhem-pa lJong gNyes areas. However, only three pools in close proximity, called Guru tshachu, Tshe-dpag-med-tshachu and mKha'-'gro'i tshachu exist today. The users of this tshachu are mainly the people of Kurtoe, Kurman, Mongar, Tashigang, Tashi Yangtse and Bumthang. It is estimated that every year about twenty groups of at least 10 people each, visit this sacred tshachu. The study carried out by ITMS in 23rd January 2001 identified and established the main medicinal substances as well as the therapeutic properties of these three pools. The identification was based on their organoleptic properties.

Item ID: 32821
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1608-4128
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2014 04:54
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960807 Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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