Author(s): Panda AK, Misra S
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Abstract Ancient medical systems are still prevalent in Sikkim, popularly nurtured by Buddhist groups using the traditional Tibetan pharmacopoeia overlapping with Ayurvedic medicine. Traditional medical practices and their associated cultural values are based round Sikkim's three major communities, Lepcha, Bhutia and Nepalis. In this study, a semi-structured questionnaire was prepared for folk healers covering age and sex, educational qualification, source of knowledge, types of practices, experience and generation of practice, and transformation of knowledge. These were administered to forty-eight folk healers identified in different parts of Sikkim.490 medicinal plants find their habitats in Sikkim because of its large variations in altitude and climate. For 31 commonly used by these folk healers, we present botanical name, family, local name, distribution, and parts used, together with their therapeutic uses, mostly Rheumatoid arthritis, Gout, Gonorrhea, Fever, Viral flu, asthma, Cough and Cold, indigestion, Jaundice etc. A case treated by a folk healer is also recounted. This study indicates that, in the studied area, Sikkim's health traditions and folk practices are declining due to shifts in socio-economic patterns, and unwillingness of the younger generation to adopt folk healing as a profession.
This article was published in J Ayurveda Integr Med
and referenced in Journal of Traditional Medicine & Clinical Naturopathy