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Traditional Medicine

Focus: GS II- Health

Why in News?

The Union Minister for Ayush and  Ports, Shipping & Waterways announced major initiatives to boost the traditional medicinal practice including Sowa Rigpa, Ayurveda and Naturopathy in the state of Sikkim.

  • The Minister was attending the National Workshop on Sowa Rigpa – the traditional & ancient medicinal practice of Himalyanan people in Sikkim.

About Traditional Medicine:

The traditional Indian system of medicine comprises of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH), is a perennially neglected alternative medicine sector.

Ayurveda:
  • The word Ayurveda means ‘Science of Life’ and employs treatment modalities, such as purification, palliation, prescription of various diets, exercises and the avoidance of disease causing factors and it evolved nearly 5000 years ago.
  • The Ayurvedic medicine, though practiced for a wide range of health needs, is more commonly used for preventive and health and immunity boosting activities.
Yoga & Naturopathy:
  • Practices of Yoga are reported to have originated in India and is now being adapted to correct lifestyle by cultivating a rational, positive and spiritual attitude towards all life situations.
  •  21st June is designated as ‘International Yoga Day’.
  • Naturopathy or the naturopathic medicine is a drugless’ non- invasive system of medicine imparting treatments with natural elements based on the theories of vitality, toxemia and the self-healing capacity of the body, as well as the principles of healthy living.
  • The common naturopathy modalities include counselling, diet and fasting therapy, mud therapy, hydrotherapy, massage therapy, acupressure, acupuncture, magnet therapy and yoga therapy.
Unani Medicine:
  • It was originated in the Arab world, though over a period of time it imbibed some concepts from other contemporary systems of medicines in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Persia, India, China and other Middle East Countries.
  • Unani medicine treats a patient with diet, pharmacotherapy, exercise, massages and surgery.
Siddha:
  • Originated in India and is amongst the oldest systems of medicine in the country.
  • It takes into account the patient, his/her surroundings, age, sex, race, habitat, diet, appetite, physical condition etc. to arrive at the diagnosis.
  • Siddha System uses minerals, metals and alloys and drugs and inorganic compounds to treat the patients.
  • Unlike most T&CM, this system is largely therapeutic in nature.
  • Siddha literature is in Tamil and it is practiced largely in Tamil speaking part of India.
Homeopathy:
  • The word ‘Homeopathy’ is derived from the Greek words, ‘Homois’ meaning ‘similar’ and ‘pathos’ means ‘suffering’.
  • It originated in Germany and was introduced in India around 1810-1839.
  • It uses highly individualized remedies selected to address specific symptoms or symptom profiles.
  • It is practiced in many countries and in India, where it is the second most popular system of medicine.
Sowa-Rigpa:
  • The word combination means the ‘science of healing’ and is considered one of the oldest living and well-documented medical traditions of the world.
  • It originated from Tibet and is widely practiced in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia and Russia.
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August 2022
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