The Origin Of Thai Medicine

It is believed that the practice of Thai medicine begun some 2500 years ago.

Thai medicine is based on two core concepts of 'four tatva' (elements) and 'five aggregates' (五蕴): matter (色), feeling (受), perception(想), volitional activities (行) and consciousness (识) encompassing with applied pathology (病理), etiology (病因) and disease (病变) with reference to individual and the society.

Thai medicine put much emphasis on the treatment of diseases according to elemental causes, prevention of diseases, diagnosis according to 'wind observation', and a special feature of thai medicine is the use of 'kata' or mantra accompanying physical treatments and medications.

Following the introduction of Buddhism and the invention of Thai scripts, and following the increased of across country trades and cultural exchanges; the Thais absorbed medicinal knowledge from other healing systems such as Ayurveda and Chinese thus forming the unique Thai Medicine.
There is a story told about the origin of Thai medicine showing the influence of Buddhism and Hinduism:

During the time the Buddha was still alive, He thought all his medicinal knowledge to Rusei Chiwok. The Buddha also gave Rusei Chiwok a bag full of herbs.

One day, the Buddha became sick and he sent his servant the Hanuman to look ofr Rusei Chiwok but the playful monkey was engrossed in playing games and by the time Rusei Chiwok learnt about the news, it was already too late; the Buddha has become 'enlightened'.

Feeling sorry and sad, Rusei Chiwok spread all his herbs all over the Indochinese mountain ranges. He also taught Thai folks how to treat various illnesses and someone copied down Rusei Chiwok's teaching hence forming Thai medicine that we know to day.