National Research Institute for Sowa-Regpa is a peripheral Unit of Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic sciences, Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. It was established in 1976 in Leh- ladakh for research and development of Himalayan art of healing “Sowa-Regpa” popularly is known as Tibetan or Amchi medicine. Since its inception this research centre has been doing considerable work in research and development of Sowa-Regpa with its limited resources.

Main Aims and Objectives?

  • To conduct fundamental and clinical research on various formulations of Amchi medicine.
  • To explore and document herbal and mineral resources of ladakh, Himalaya.
  • To conduct research on rich literary wealth of Sowa-Regpa
  • To develop and strengthen Amchi practice.

Activities and Achievements?

Clinical research

Under this project clinical research has been conducted on various diseases with Sowa-Regpa formularies and parameters. In most cases Amchi medicine proved to be very effective. Some major areas taken up for study are-

  • Padkam-sMugpo ( Peptic ulcer)
  • Tek-dum ( Arthritis)
  • Paga-nad (Skin deseases)
  • Thaglung-stop-tsangs (Hypertension)

Herbal and mineral exploration

Under this head extensive medico- botanical survey of ladakh and Lahul-Spiti has been undertaken by this unit. Around 10,000 plant species were collected, out of which 525 plant species are found to be used in various Indian system of medicines. Medicinal plants used by Amchis are documented in the form of research papers and a comprehensive checklist book on Trans -Himalayan medicinal plants has been published. Around 50 different minerals stones are collected from different places of ladakh.

Extension activities

Various reorientation trainings, seminars and workshops have been organised by this unit to develop and strengthen Amichi practice in ladakh. The research findings of the unit and new development in the field of Traditional medicine and medicinal plants are being conveyed to Amichis through these activities.

Cultivation and Conservation of Medicinal Plants

The current increasing demands for herbal products, ecological changes, unscientific and over exploitation etc. are causing great threat for survival of many Himalayan plant species. To prevent such situation in Himalayas National Research Institute for Sowa-Regpa has been engaged in cultivation and conservation of some important and threatened medicinal plants of ladakh by adopting few ruler Amichis (traditional healers) for cultivation of medicinal plants in their farm lands. A comprehensive project for establishing a Trans- Himalayan medicinal plants garden have been started by this Institute on 10 hectares of land for conservation and display of cold desert Himalayan plants.

Revitalization of Sowa-Regpa practice in Leh-Ladakh

Two projects for revitalization of Sowa-Regpa practice and strengthening of Public Health in ladakh through traditional medicine is initiated by the institute. Under the project training has been provided to around 180 Amichis (Sowa-Regpa practitioners), 50 Amichis are supported to establish ruler clinics in different villages. In ladakh Amichi Sabha is supported to establish centralised Amichi medicine manufacturing Unit. Documentation of Amichi knowledge is also going under this project.

(Source; CCRAS)

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