Ven. Dr.Yeshi Dhonden, personal physician to His Holiness the Dalai Lama (1960-1980), is a renowned traditional Tibetan Medical doctor and one of the worlds foremost living authorities on Tibetan Medicine. He was born in the Tibetan year of the Fire Rabbit in 1927 to a prosperous farming family in the village of Yamdro in a district called Hlo-go, close to Lhasa, Tibet. At age six his parents sent him to a small monastery comprised of approximately 400 monks. Because of his exceptional abilities in memorization, at age eleven he was sent to Men Tsee Khang the Medical Collage in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. While there, he memorized the four Medical Tantras and then entered into formal training under the director of the college, Venerable Dr. Kyen-rab Nor-bu (b 1883-1962), who served as personal physician to both H.H. the 13th and 14th Dalai Lamas.
Dr. Dhonden began his medical practice in 1951, returning to his home district and developing a high reputation for his great skill. When His Holiness the Dalai Lama fled from the Chinese Communists in 1959, Dr. Dhonden also decided to leave Tibet for India where he began treating Tibetan Refugees.
In 1960, at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. Dhonden was appointed to be his personal physician and he moved to Dharamsala. There he also took on the challenge of founding Men Tsee Khang, the Tibetan Medical College. He was both Director and principal teacher until 1979.
In the mid -70′s, Dr. Dhonden was invited to the University of Virginia for the purpose of lecturing about Tibetan Medicine. Sitting in on the series, one of the university’s research professors was so impressed upon hearing Dr. Dhonden that he asked Dr. Dhonden to join him in conducting a laboratory study using Tibetan Medicine to treat mice with sarcoma. The fact that the information they discovered through this study could help a multitude of people encouraged him to proceed. Dr. Lobsang Tenzin, working for years with Dr. Dhonden as a Tibetan pharmacologist, and Professor Jeffery Hopkins, translator, completed the Tibetan team.
The outcome was big. It showed that the response of the mice to the Tibetan formulas was equal to chemotherapy and appeared to be without side effects. However, the results of the study were never published by the university. Because the professor did not judge the results important, this discovery went unknown.
Over the last 50 years, Dr. Dhonden has successfully treated patients with all kinds of maladies. One of his specialties is cancer. He has treated thousands of cancer patients from all over the world, including women with breast cancer The rate of survival for people treated with ancient Tibetan herbal therapies with or without adjunct Western cancer treatments appears to be much higher than those receiving allopathic cancer treatments alone.
Unfortunately, Tibetan Medicine is still virtually unknown in the West, where the cancer epidemic is out of control. In1994, upon meeting Dr. Helene Smith, renown cancer researcher, genealogist, and director of California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, and Dr. Debashish Triipathy, University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Dhonden, along with Marsha Woolf, director of Menla Tibetan Medical Institute, agreed to collaborate on the first formal FDA approved Phase I/II study in the world.
With undaunted dedication, Dr. Yeshi Dhonden has been a pioneer bringing world awareness of this very sophisticated, powerful and effective approach to healing to the West.