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Standing in front of rows of neatly aligned glass jars, Gyatso Bista (pictured, right) runs his hands over the shelf and inspects each of the labels posted on it. Coming from five generations of Amchis, or traditional Tibetan healers, Bista is also the personal physician of the king of Mustang.
“This one is comprised partially of gold whereas the other one has some silver in it, the capsules are all from China,” Bista explains.from Upper Mustang who want to study to become Amchis. Students from any background, and even with no ties to Tibet, can come study here if they are interested,” says Bista.
The tradition of Amchis in Mustang, Dolpa, Mugu and Gorkha are not as strong as they used to be so Bista with his brother Tenzin established the Lo Kunphen Traditional Herbal Medicine Clinic and School in Lo Manthang to preserve the culture, which has been practiced in Nepal for the past 1,000 years.
While India and China have recognised the significance of Tibetan medicine and established a number of schools and training centres, Lo Kunphen is the only certified institution within Nepal teaching this ancient branch of medicine.
“It is not only people