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Some Sri Lankan Medical Manuscripts of Importance for the History of South Asian Traditional Medicine

Jinadasa Liyanaratne
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Vol. 64, No. 3 (2001), pp. 392-400
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3657607
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Some Sri Lankan Medical Manuscripts of Importance for the History of South Asian Traditional Medicine
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Abstract

This paper is a philological study of twelve Sri Lankan medical manuscripts preserved in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and the Cambridge University Library. It shows the impact of Buddhism on the development of traditional medicine in South Asia and the important role played by South Indian Vaidyas in the propagation of medical knowledge in Sri Lanka. Those Vaidyas appear to have been well versed in Siddha medicine and proficient in both Sinhala and Tamil languages. Only the historical and cultural aspects revealed in these documents are dealt with here. The therapeutic aspect is no less important in view of the large number of medicinal prescriptions, some of which are said to be of proven efficacy. The material presented may be of interest to students of the history of medicine and medical anthropology.

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