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Medicine Woman
by Rajeshree Sisodia Bookmark and Share

"My daughters are strong women, I am, and so was my mother," says Dr Tsewang Dolkar Khangkar, 49. Her slight build and gentle demeanor belies a passion for her job - which is her life - as the first Tibetan physician for the community in Delhi. 

Dr Dolkar, as she is known, has an illustrious heritage - there have been physicians in her family for three centuries! She opened a clinic in the Indian capital in 1981, and later began treating patients in Bombay and Hyderabad as well. 

Her mother - the late Dr Lobsang Dolma Khangkar - is often referred to as the 'Mother of Tibetan Medicine'. She was not only the first woman in the family to become a doctor but also the first family member to become a royal physician. Between 1972 and 1978, Dolma was the Chief Medical Officer to the Dalai Lama and his government in exile at the Tibetan Institute of Medicine and Astrology (TIMA) in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. In fact, she paved the way for future generations of Tibetan women to become physicians.

"Traditionally, Tibetan physicians are men," says Dolkar. "So [what my mother did] was rare. She was also an accomplished astrologer."

Dolma, who also ran a clinic in Dharamsala, travelled the world lecturing on Tibetan medicine and treating patients. Her experience proved invaluable when she set about the task of training her daughter to become a doctor. Training was an intense process that began non-formally for Dolkar at the age of 12. Her formal study was at TIMA between 1972 and '78. 

Dolkar learned about pulse reading, urine analysis, the identification of hundreds of medicinal plants, herbs and minerals used in compounding Tibetan medicines, pharmacology, astrology and worked in her mother's practice from 1978 until 1981. After this internship, she established her own clinic in Delhi on the advice of a junior tutor to the Dalai Lama. 

Dolkar was born in Skyid-gron, southern Tibet, but fled the country via Nepal and into India with her mother after the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1959. It was a journey she barely remembers, but it was a forced exodus that cost the lives of her two elder brothers. "I was two or three-years-old [when I left Tibet]," she says. "I was in shock. There was a lot of shouting. We all remember running away."

Today, at the Dolkar Herbal Medicine Clinic in Kalkaji, south Delhi, the Tibetan doctor meets between 40 and 50 patients a day, six days a week, with the help of a seven-member staff. She also treats patients in Mumbai and Hyderabad by fax and email, and visits each of the two cities every second month.

Tibetan medicine, which pre-dates the seventh-century arrival of Buddhism to Tibet, bases itself on using herbs and minerals to make pills and powders to treat patients. Physicians carry out a physical examination of the patient, but also consider the patient's lifestyle and environment and actions that she may have carried out in her past lives and in her current life. Some of these may -according to Tibetan medicine - influence mental and physical well being. 

"People say they want Tibetan medicine because they are sick of western medicine but I say that's wrong, they should look at positives in all forms of medicine," says Dolkar, and that Tibetan medicine can be used alongside other schools of medicine. To raise awareness about Tibetan medicine globally, she has been travelling often during the past eight years, both to lecture and treat patients. She has also written books on Tibetan medicine. "If people take an interest in it, (Tibetan medicine) can contribute a lot...many of the Tibetan plants (that are used to prepare medicines) have not been researched..."

Dolkar has two daughters - Sonam Paldom and Dechen Dolma - who are now 24 and 22-years-old respectively. While Sonam works with the hotel industry, Dechen has a degree in law. Dolkar's husband, the late Kalsang Dhondup, was a writer and a former leader of the Tibetan Communist Party in exile. 

The precarious balance between work and family life is something that Dolkar took in her stride as a matter of course, despite the fact that she was running the Delhi clinic and looking after her little girls while her husband was in Dharmasala. "I used to carry my babies in my lap while seeing patients. If you make it difficult, it is difficult otherwise life just goes on," she says.

Her pragmatic attitude manifests itself in all aspects of her life. Helping her daughters to develop into strong, capable women - as well as treating her patients to the best of her ability - is what inspires Dolkar. She says, "I want my daughters to be independent emotionally, not [to] depend on me. That's important because life is very unpredictable. If they are very attached to me and something happens to me they would be broken-hearted. Because of losing family in Tibet I know. I want to spare my daughters heartbreak and I want them to stand on their own two feet. They are fantastic."

As for the future, Dolkar says she hopes to use her medical clinic as a tool with which to keep the flame of Tibetan culture alive. Her innate optimism and humor shine through as she talks about what she believes the future holds for her on a personal level. "I don't think much about my {personal} future though at first, I thought about becoming a nun," she adds. "Then I realized I would not be a good nun as I am quite flirtatious."    

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Comments on this Article

Comment My wife is diabetic from last 12 years and hypertensive from 2 yrs and thyroid. She detected CKD- 3 , plz advise course of treatment for her . Her urea -54, and cretenine is 2.2 .can your medicine improve her kidney function plz . Hb is 9.5 and swelling on feet & albumin in urine
When can I come n meet you . Thanks I m worried plz help
Yashpal singh
Agra .
Oh- 9596837149.

Yashpal singh
09/05/2021 10:38 AM

Comment My self Anuj jain My mother is patient of gall bladder and liver cancer I go for operation but doctor told me dor palliative care and also told me chemo is not effective I am from Agra on which day I have to come

Anuj jain
09/21/2020 03:03 AM

Comment Dear Dr. Dolkar ma'am,

My mother is being treated for lung cancer at CMC vellore and doctor has said that her cancer can't be cured.And day by day her condition is deteriorating and pain is increasing.

We are completely hopeless now.

Please send your email address so I can email her Lab results.
And Please confirm if you are available in Kalkaji, Delhi, during February or March.

Thanks & regards,
Vivek Tarun

Vivek Tarun
02/16/2020 23:06 PM

Comment Hi I want to refer a patient from Goa. Not able to get through your clinic numbers .

Pls help me with correct contact number.

Dr Alok Arora

Dr Alok Arora
10/02/2019 00:28 AM

Comment Dear Dr. Dolkar,

I'd like herbal help for my Thyroid. Years ago my friend Alehea F. was successfully treated by you for her Thyroid condition and hasn't had to use meds since. Please send your email address so I can email my Lab results.

Thank you,
Donis Chopelas

Donis Chopelas
03/12/2019 20:14 PM

Comment Dear Dr Dolkar,

May I have your email-id, though have your clinic address, which will be easier & faster and confidential mode for communication about my problems.

Your reply at your earliest convenient time will be highly appreciated
Thank you

Best regards,

10/29/2016 20:58 PM

Comment I want complete address of Dr Dolkar's clinic.

Yogeshwar Wadehra
01/19/2016 02:14 AM

Comment Hello Dr.
I am a kidney patient.My both kidneys r shrinking and now size is 7.3 for both.I have started taking Tibet medicine from nizamuddin which was prescribed by Tibet Dr at Tibet house exhibition held last month..Since you are in kalkaji and I am at kalkaji D D A FLAT which is quite near to me.Could u give me time to come to your clinic if feasible.
It is great your doughter is in hotel industries.I am also an ex hotelier.
with best rgard
U N Pandey
mob 9871896472

u n pandey
11/12/2015 09:53 AM

Comment Dear Doctor,

My mother is diabetic for last 18 years...though her diabeties is very much in control but she has been having back pain, leg pain issues for last 10 years which have now turned severe....every second years her feet goes numb and she is not able to walk for days....she has psychological problems as well... Want to consult you please for treatment and to know how can I get your appointment please.....please advise.

10/23/2015 03:45 AM

Comment Dear Madam,

My father has been diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma and doctors have advised palliative care.

I came to know about you through a close relative which shows a glimmer of hope for me.

I shall be gratfeul if you could review the case and advise if there is a suitable treatment under your therapy.

i am willing to pay any treatment cost in this regard. Also please confirm if we can avoid carrying the patient as we are stationed in Patna and the patient is too weak to travel.

soliciting your feedback at the earliest possible.

Kind Regards / Ajay kumar

Ajay Kumar
10/18/2015 02:16 AM

Comment my mother is patient of cancer . i want to meet on your delhi kalkaji address. please send your address and availibility timings. thanks

arvinder singh
08/11/2015 02:22 AM

Comment Dear Dr. dolkar
My mother is diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease stage 2 recently. Her creatinine is in between 1.7-1.8 mg/dl.

Can Tibetan medicine help to improve kidney functionality.

I read somewhere that herbal medicines contains high level of Iron and Potassium which is not suitable for a CKD patient. Please guide how to not let the situation go worse.

Please help.

08/07/2015 15:34 PM

Comment Hello Doctor,
My father is suffering from enlarge prostate weight 45. He has burning sensation while urination. There is post void urine causing infection. There is a cyst developed under right kidney too. The bladder has become weak so he needs to press the lower abdomen for proper urination directed by an allopathic physician. PSA was normal but I am worried if infection caused by post void urine continues and the cyst remains there could create some major problems further. Can you please guide me what to do? My father is more than 78 so I do not want to go for any surgery. I live in Delhi and I can come to your clinic if it is needed.My father was here for 6 months. I took him to many allopathic doctors every one was recommended for surgery. Then I took him to Men-Tsee-Khang Nizamuddin. He is now in Gorakhpur and using tibetan medicine. He has no problems except burning sensation while urinating.

Santosh Singh
05/20/2015 07:29 AM

Comment Dear Dr. Dolkar,
My mother in lae is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She is to undergo the 5th Chemo at govrnment hospital in kakinada andhrapradesh. He would like to consult with you. Please let us know your time schedule in hyderbad so that we can meet you. I Know you from the treatment . Please let us have your phone no.
Thanking You,

a v v styanarayana
04/17/2015 06:59 AM

Comment Good day Doctor,

May I have your mail-id, though have your clinic address, which will be easier & faster mode for communication.


kind regards,

04/13/2015 01:53 AM

Comment good day madam,

after successful medicine of my sister. i decide to start my wife's treatment from you. mostly she is suffer from body boons pain. mostly shoulder and back point pain. while she wake up in the morning she is facing too much body pain and sleeping hands problem. I am from punjab near by jalandhar. Pl let me know can we start corespondent medicine or not. if not than send me your schedule so i plan visit accordingly.


waiting for your favorable reply ,

aman waia

aman walia
04/04/2015 10:24 AM

Comment Respected Ma''am,

My Father is a patient of CA Prostate (IV th stage). I came to know about your healing practice through a friend. I will be very grateful if you u can let us know whether there exists any medicine to relieve the intense pain my father is going through. He is so weak that he cannot even stand on his own. In case you are visiting Mumbai in near future please do let me know and i will somehow bring my father for relieving his pain.

Kindly let me know your dates when you will be visiting Mumbai.

Kind regards,

Nishkam Sharma

Nishkam Sharma
02/04/2015 00:38 AM

Comment My mother is on diaysis since oct 2013 creatine level is 6 to 8 is there any treatment avl in Tibet medicine. to improve kidney function

sanjay malik
11/25/2014 12:31 PM

Comment Dear Dr. dolkar
My father is currently suffering from kidney problem and his creatine is around 5-6.He lives in meerut and i want to know whether your medicine will be helpful for him to recover .he is suffering from this past one year .He would like to consult with you.So please let us know your time schedule in delhi so that we can meet you.
Thanking you.

Regards, Abhishek Agarwal

Abhishek Agarwal
09/16/2014 09:50 AM

Comment Hello Doctor Ji
My mom is diagonised with Chronic Kidney Disease stage 5 recently. Her creatinine is in between 6 to 7 mg/dl.
blood Urea is 102 - 119mg/dl
Can tibetian medicine help to improve kidney functionality.

07/07/2014 17:59 PM

Comment Dear Dr. Dolkar,

I am suffering from gathia bai from one year. My R.A Factor is Positive, and I feel pain every time in my joints. My friend told me about you. Is my problem is curable. Please tell me so that I can meet to you,
Cont. No. 9311171450

02/22/2014 07:19 AM

Comment Dear Dr.dolkar,
I am dechen from Bhutan, i recently heard about u from family members that you visited Bhutan and treated patients here which unfortunately we missed. My aunty is not well she has been taking allopathy medicines and doesn't get well she has undergone endoscopy and ultrasound which indicates she has chronic gastric.i would like to know if you would visit Bhutan again if so when otherwise we would like to come n visit u in Delhi. Could you please provide us details of your clinic I would like to hear from you. Here is my email Id thank you

10/27/2013 01:17 AM

Comment Is der treatment for cancer which is spread all over body n evn hvin brain tumour along with it plz lemme know asap need to know urgently plz mail me back wid answer n dr.dolkar's contact details


10/24/2013 16:36 PM

Comment 30 years ago I were initiated by a certain Ven. lama Wangchen of the karmapa Kagyu tradition to The Buddha Menla here in Groningen in The Netherlands. it made agreat, high impression to me. He also gave me a Buddhist name: Karma Palden Dorje. Since there were no follow up training in medicine after the initiation , I am ofcourse not able to act as a phisician. In 1994 I were offered World Largest Pearl, The pearl of lao-Tsu or pearl of Allah, wich is a Magical amulet of hands of Dr Lao-Tsu himself, 2600 years old, and dedicated to Wisdom Wealth and Longuevitty. It were of course too expensive for me ( usd. 75.000.000,-) and was the initiative jewel for chinese emperors. them 3 years later I became diagnosed for the sickness of Schizofrenia by a local psychiatrist. Since I am not hallucinating, hearing and seeing things (though i can visualise lightly but do not consider this as Illness.), So I do not trust this Diagnosis also not after a second opinion. It seems if I am oppressed by the medicinal thought. What to do for me?

RenéP.C. Guthschmidt

Rene P.C. Güthschmidt
09/28/2013 06:14 AM

Comment I stay in Mumbai n I am 42 years n hv vvvvvvv weak eyesight ... Pls help me

Maalvika Hariani
09/21/2013 07:56 AM

Comment am lately suffering from a skin disorder like white patches all over,,,,,,i would like to attend a test in your mumbai clinic,,,,,,

posting my oersonal mobile nmbr _8000666911

hope i will recive an aknowlgment soon......

09/15/2013 01:09 AM

Comment My daughter's mother-in-law who is 65 years old and has undergone operation for stomach cancer in the month of April 2012 has become worsen now and at present admitted in Holy Spirit Hospital at Andheri (East), Mumbai. The Dr. treating her has said that her cancer is at IVth stage and the cancer is spread over in her body. At present she cannot eat anything and even if she takes liquid, vomiting starts.

I have come through my close friend about the Herbal treatment by Dr. Dolkar who is at New Delhi. But I have been informed that she comes atleast once in a month in Mumbai and she is treating the patients somewhere in Fort area.

I desire to consult Dr. Dolkar immediately either personally, by email or on phone for somehow relief to the mother-in-law of my daughter.
Kindly arrange to mail me email ID, contact Nos. in Delhi as well as in Mumbai and procedure to take appointment of Dr. Dolkar if possible in Mumbai.

I shall be highly obliged the necessary information is given to me as early as possible.
With kind regards,

T.S. Revadkar
(M.No.: 09820167108)

T.S. Revadkar
05/04/2013 02:41 AM

Comment Dear Ms. Rajeshree Sisodia, please send me your contact datas.
I wish to contact you about a threatment for my 35 years old sister.
She is suffering of cancer since her daughter was born 5 Jears ago.
in between she was operated for about 9 times and it does not become better.
Then more worst. Now we are looking for some alternative therapy.
We get your Name from another Doctor here in Germany.
Please excuse my English.

hopefull greetings

Jure Pavic

Jure Pavic
03/13/2013 13:27 PM

Comment My father has been diagnosed witb cancer. I would like to consult you for his treatment .
Kindly mail me your contact no. , clinic timings in Delhi and email ID.

Deepak Narang
02/22/2013 07:26 AM

Comment i want to ask u that u r only cancer doctor or all type of treatment u r doing?normal problems u r treated or not?pls tell me.i want to know

11/28/2012 01:13 AM

Comment You all could just contact her clinic. Bellow is the link. Best wishes...

09/08/2012 07:44 AM

Comment My wife is suffering from severe backache.doctors have suggested major surgery.She is on intravenous painkiller injections.She cant sleep whole night due to pain .Can you see possibilty of some hope for treatment in your system of medicine.Please give your telephone no. so that we can fix appointment.

05/28/2012 13:55 PM

Comment Dear Dr. Dolkar,
My wife is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She is to undergo the 7th Chemo at Sushrut Hospital in Mumbai. He would like to consult with you. Please let us know your time schedule in Mumbai so that we can meet you. Please let us have your phone no.
Thanking You,

Regards, Manish gathani

Manish Gathani
11/20/2011 04:06 AM

Comment Dear Dr. Dolkar,
My friend Mr.S.T.Ved's wife is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She is to undergo the 7th Chemo at Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai. He would like to consult with you. Please let us know your time schedule in Mumbai so that we can meet you. I Know you from the treatment my late father had from you in 2005. Please let us have your phone no.
Thanking You,

Regards, N.S.Mahadev

10/06/2011 02:07 AM

Comment Request confirmation that Dr Dolkar is available for medical consultancy and treatment and her timings etc...Anil Arora

Anil Arora
08/09/2011 03:17 AM

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