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Demand for Tibetan Traditional Medicine and Incense Booms during SARS Epidemic - 2003-05-13

As the SARS epidemic goes on unabated in China, the demand for Tibetan traditional medicine has boomed. Phone interviews with two Tibetans, a Pharmacist in Lhasa who does not want to be identified, and Mr. Tenwang, the Tibetan Medical Institute’s representative to Beijing, the Lhasa Pharmacist said that since the spread of SARS in China, there is more demand for a Tibetan medicine called ‘Dhangjor’ and for incense in China. He said that although ‘Dhangjor’ doesn’t cure or directly treat the SARS disease, ‘Dhangjor’ is thought to help boost the immune system of our body. Burning incense is believed to clean the living and working environment. He further said that the demand for these two things is so high that his pharmacy can’t meet it. His business has increased by more than twofold in the last one and half months because of the high sale of Dhangjor and incense to China. Mr. Tenwang said that although SARS disease cases appear to be decreasing in Beijing, people from other cities in China call his office to order Dhangjor and incense.