Great Khan's Medicine: New Expedition to World

Genghis Khan's 13th century swords, helmets and horses have amazed Europeans. But what about his medicine?

Few people know about Mongolian traditional medicine, which is said to have saved thousands of the soldiers who built the largest empire in the world.

Soon more will be known about Khan's medicine as Mongolians are preparing for a medical expedition to the West.

"Mongolian medicine has a history of 800 years. It is said to have instantly stopped Genghis Khan from bleeding," said expert Ukula, a Mongolian doctor.

In the 13th century, when the Great Khan was in battle he was shot on the neck. The army doctor successfully used a traditional treatment, a mixture containing koumiss, to stop the bleeding.

Ukula said that in traditional Mongolian medical treatment, plants, metal, animal bones and guts, as well as acupuncture are frequently used.

Mongolian medicine which is said to have curative effects on vascular diseases and even AIDS, is looking for investments for research and is ready to enter the international market.

Experts say Mongolian natural medicine could cure (or perhaps prevent) over 90 percent of cardio- and cerebro-vascular diseases such as coronary heart disease and strokes which are main causes of death.

Inner Mongolia University Professor Bo Geriletu has developed three kinds of polysaccharide compounds which he says effectively immobilize the AIDS virus.

No foreign company has been involved in the Inner Mongolian medical industry and it is thought Westerners have little knowledge of oriental medicine.

But a policy has been set to change this. The autonomous region chairman Uyunqimg said, "Preference policies are under way to attract investments."

Due to its primitive make-up and other reasons, the potential of Mongolian medicine has remained untapped. Experts hope it will attract users who respect natural medicine.

China's western development plan incorporates the development of Mongolian medicine. The local government has promised an initial input of one million yuan (US$121,212) to build and fund a medical research and development center. An estimated 5 billion yuan (US$60.6 million) will follow in the next five years.

Experts expect to cultivate four to five types of medicine for the international market in the next five years, increasing the output of the whole industry to represent 10 percent of the autonomous region's annual GDP.

(Xinhua News Agency, October 17, 2001)

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