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Locating the MedicalExplorations in South Asian History$
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Rohan Deb Roy and Guy N.A. Attewell

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199486717

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199486717.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 October 2021

Absence, Abundance, and Excess

Absence, Abundance, and Excess

Substances and Sowa Rigpa in Ladakh since the 1960s

(p.169) 7 Absence, Abundance, and Excess
Locating the Medical

Calum Blaikie

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the ways in which changing patterns of materia medica circulation have shaped Sowa Rigpa (Tibetan medicine) pharmacy, practice and social organization in Ladakh since the 1960s. It argues that rapid growth in the availability of formerly limited raw materials was key to the emergence of larger scales of drug production and to the proliferation, complexification and commodification of medicines. These phenomena, in turn, allowed for the emergence of professionalized forms of medical practice, the enfranchisement of certain groups, ideas and practices, and the marginalisation of others. By charting the shifting material, social, economic and pharmaceutical dimensions of Ladakhi Sowa Rigpa in relation to one another, the chapter questions the constitution and boundaries of ‘the medical realm’.

Keywords:   Sowa Rigpa, Tibetan medicine, materia medica, Ladakh, raw material, drug production, medical realm, professionalization

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