Local Medicinal Trip (Amchi)
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Local Medicinal Trip (Amchi)

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Best Time: June September

“Tibetan medicine”, also known as the Amchi System of Medicine in Ladakh and commonly known as Sowa-Rigpa, has similarities with Ayurvedic medicine in India and it is the traditional medicine in many parts of the Himalayas. It is one of the most ancient, well documented living medical traditions in the world. Sowa- Rigpa means “science of healing” and is known for its rich accumulation of science, art and philosophy. It aims to systematically and logically understand the body, disease in relation to the environment.

Diagnostic methods
A physician of Sowa-Rigpa employs three main tools for diagnosing a patient: (1) visual diagnosis, (2) diagnosis by touch and (3) diagnosis by questioning. Visual diagnosis is comprised of two main methods of tongue examination and urinalysis. Various diseases can be diagnosed by checking the nature, colour and smoothness etc. of the tongue.

Methods of Treatment
The methods of treatments include four major areas: (1) diet, (2) behaviour, (3) medicine and (4) accessory/external therapies. In each of these areas, right administration is very important. Minor ailments can be treated with proper regulation of diet and behaviour alone. A patient who is in medium condition can be treated with medicine like decoction, powder, pills, purgatives, emetics etc. And in advanced stages, a disease can be cured by application of accessory/ external therapies like moxabustion, venesection, fomentation, massage, surgery, etc. Buddhist rituals and mantras also play a very important role in the treatment of diseases. Moreover, it is known that the role of a physician is very important in the treatment of a patient. Therefore, special emphasis is given to this aspect in Amchi medicine.

Pharmacology
Based on the theory of five elements, pharmacology of Sowa-Rigpa presumes that every substance on earth has medicinal value and therapeutic efficacy. Traditional values that are associated with these various resources (i.e., medicinal plants) have gained tremendous importance in the present century. In addition, cosmetics industries are increasingly using natural ingredients in their products, and these natural ingredients often include extracts of medicinal plants. Among the richest arrays of registered medicinal plants of India, Himalayan plants found in Ladakh are among the most well-known medicinal plants. Apart from being income-generating commodities, medicinal plants are the main medicinal sources of underprivileged communities. A great deal of traditional knowledge about the use of various plants is still intact within the Amchi community.

The trip itinernery only on request.