Public health concern on tuberculosis in tipitaka

How to cite this article:
Wiwanitkit V. Public health concern on tuberculosis in tipitaka. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2016;9:132-3


How to cite this URL:
Wiwanitkit V. Public health concern on tuberculosis in tipitaka. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2016 [cited 2016 Aug 29];9:132-3. Available from:

Dear Sir,

Tipitaka canons are the main concepts for any form of Buddhism. Of interest is the fact that there are many medical issues within the tipitaka that can be applicable for the present modern medicine. [1],[2] “Internal Medicine, curative medicine including symptoms, methods of diagnosis, theories of causation, materia-medica, therapeutics and treatment” can be seen in this main Buddhist literature. [3] In view of public health, there are many parts of tipitaka that involve the communicable diseases and their prevention. Here, the author would like to present and discuss the public issue of tuberculosis that existed in tipitaka. According to Girimananda Sutta part of tipitaka (see more details on this issue on the website [Last accessed on 2015 May 31], it is clearly written that “And what is the perception of drawbacks? There is the case where a monk – having gone to the wilderness, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty dwelling – reflects thus: ‘This body has many pains, many drawbacks. In this body, many kinds of disease arise such as seeing diseases, hearing diseases, nose diseases, tongue diseases, body diseases, head diseases, ear diseases, mouth diseases, teeth diseases, cough, asthma, catarrh, fever, aging, stomachache, fainting, dysentery, grippe, cholera, leprosy, boils, ringworm, tuberculosis, epilepsy, skin disease, itch, scab, psoriasis, scabies, jaundice, diabetes, hemorrhoids, fistulas, ulcers; diseases arising from the bile, from the phlegm, from the wind-property, from the combinations of bodily humors, from changes in the weather, from uneven care of the body, from attacks, from the result of Karma; cold, heat, hunger, thirst, defecation, urination.’ Thus, he remains focused on the drawbacks with regard to this body. This is called the perception of drawbacks.” Based on the Buddhist view, tuberculosis is an important disease that is mentioned as an obstacle to normal life and needs good management. Sickness becomes the problem to both the body and the mind and the Buddhist concept confirms the necessity for a holistic approach for the control of both the body and the mind for the management of this disease. This is an important issue to consider for public health care workers. In general, most practitioners mainly focus on the physical problem of patients with tuberculosis and pay little attention to their mind. As noted by Bhavnani et al., social background and mental factors are important for unsuccessful outcomes of tuberculosis treatment. [4]

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Witoonpanich P. Tipitaka in modern Thai medicine. J Med Assoc Thai 2004;87(Suppl 3):S91.
Narayana A, Lavekar GS. Ayurveda gleaned through Buddhism. Bull Indian Inst Hist Med Hyderabad 2005;35:131-46.
Bhavnani D, Lancki N, Winter I, Macaraig M. Treatment outcomes of patients with tuberculosis in New York City. J Public Health Manag Pract 2014.

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.168700

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