Uyghur Medicine in Practice: A Study in Khotan

Tursunjan Mattohti


Issues: In Xinjiang, health-seeking behavior among Uyghur’s are not restricted to visitation to doctors of modern medicine. Traditional Uyghur medicine is at their disposal as well. A most Southern city of Xinjiang, Khotan is a thriving center of Uyghur medicine, bolstered by a college of Uyghur medicine, a market specialized in the trade of Uyghur drugs, and an assemblage of skilled Uyghur doctors. Project: The author carried out a study in Khotan on issues of etiology, diagnosis, and treatment in the practice of Uyghur medicine. Findings: Uyghur medicine is influenced by religious, cultural, geographical, and environmental factors, which have sustained a long established cultural model of illness that in turn profoundly defines health-seeking behavior and medical choices among the Uyghur people in Xinjiang. This paper focuses on the cultural model of illness via an examination of how it is manifested in etiology, diagnosis, and treatment.


Uyghur medicine, etiology, diagnosis, treatment

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