Primary Causes of Disease

The primary causes (gyu) of disease are the fundamental mental afflictions that cause the humoral energies to become imbalanced. While the humors themselves are rooted in the Five Element, the root causes of imbalance are the psychological states of delusion, aversion, and clinging. These three share a common basis in ma-rigpa, or unawareness, which is fundamental ignorance of the true nature of reality.









Wind Humor


Bile Humor


Phlegm Humor

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These three mental afflictions, or poisons, create the energetic circumstances necessary for imbalance to take hold. While the secondary causes/conditioning factors are more recognizable factors in the arousal of a disorder (i.e. diet and lifestyle), without these three psychological factors there would be no basis from which disease could manifest. 

The three mental poisons are also linked to our typological orientation. While we all experience some degree of each of them, we will usually experience a greater degree of the affliction associated with our constitutional typology.


For instance, those with a rLung constitution may find themselves more likely to fall into addiction and anxiety, while those with a Pekén constitution may tend more towards depression and dissociation. Tripa constitutions are more prone to fits of rage and anger.

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© 2020 Shrīmālā Healing Arts. Tibetan Medicine is a millennia-old healing discipline formally acknowledged in Tibet, China, India, Bhutan, and Nepal. However, it is not a licensed medical discipline in the USA, UK, or EU, and therefore is not regulated by the FDA, AMA or any other regulatory body in these countries. Erik is not legally qualified to diagnose any conditions, and no herbal formulas recommended or supplied are intended to prevent, treat, or cure any disease. Therapies or treatments pursued under a Tibetan Medicine Practitioner should not be treated as a replacement for qualified care by a licensed physician.