Color inspection is similar to inspection in TCM, but not so extensive. In Tibetan medicine, it just includes the condition of the color(s), but not spirit, qi and the essence as in TCM.
However, Tibetan color inspection is also one that has ethnic uniqueness. For instance, the color of food is related to the quality of food, including its toxicity. Meat, for instance, when swollen, should be suspected of poisonous content. A small portion should be exposed to a flame, and, if it gives off a purplish blue color, then it is poisonous.
Tibetan medicine asserts that, when a person is thin with little fat, the skin color will be greenish; when a person has blood deficiency, the complexion will be grayish with lack of luster; when a person suffers from jaundice, the cornea,skin and urine are yellow, and even the sweat and tears are yellowish. The degree of jaundice is proportionate to the severity of the disorder.
In the patient's body, color inspection is also important and extensive, including skin, mucous membrane, tongue, gum, the cornea, and the color of the sweat, tears,urine and stool. Urine color is particularly significant. This will be dealt with in its own specific section below.
Therefore, it can be judged from the changes of the above colors what's wrong in the body, the severity of the illness, and the condition of the disease.There are individual variations in these colors to a certain extent, and especially, variations occur between different races. A rlung type body, for instance, can have a darker complexion, a mkhris pa type body can have a yellowish complexion, and a badkan type body has a paler complexion. These are normal variations.
Tibetan medicine claims that, under normal condition, the human body maintains a normal color, such as red blood, yellow urine, and yellow-brownish stool, which is related to color-changeable mkhris pa and painting mkhris pa. The former renders the essence absorbed to form red color in the blood, renders the bile a greenish brown color, and the muscle red; the latter also renders the skin free and lustrous.
To inspect the patient's mouth, including the mucous membrane, tongue,gums, teeth, throat, is also important. When rashes or vesicles are found in themucous membrane, it may indicate measles or other diseases with rashes. A dry or cracking mucous membrane may be due to feverish diseases.