Journal of Plant Science

ISSN: 2573-7988

Impact Factor: 0.583


Page No: 45-52

Sowa-Rigpa: A Healthcare Practice in Trans-Himalayan Region of Ladakh, India


Bhupendra Singh Adhikari, Gopal Singh Rawat


AdhikariKunzes Angmo, Bhupendra S. Adhikari and Gopal S. Rawat, Sowa-Rigpa: A Healthcare Practice in Trans-Himalayan Region of Ladakh, India(2017)SDRP Journal of Plant Science 2(1):45-52



The science of Tibetan healing system is known as Amchi system of medicine i.e. Sowa-rigpa, which encompass and explain the moral conduct of patients and physicians, causes of diseases and methods of treatment. It is practiced mainly in the Trans-Himalayan region i.e. Ladakh (ca. 67,000 km2) located on the extreme north-eastern part of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, India.  


Various methods of disease diagnosis and treatment methods are used by the Amchis depending upon the nature and severity of the ailment.  


A total of 181 Amchis practice the traditional way of healing system in Ladakh, which include monks and nuns. Across the valleys the concentration of Amchis is highest in Indus (66%) valley followed by Changthang plateau (24%) and Zanskar and Nubra valleys (6% each). Sixty percent of the total population is dependent on Amchi system, while veterinary health care is also being taken care by Amchis. The main constituents of Amchis medicine are metals (gold, silver and copper), stones (calcite and resin) apart from 315 medicinal plants and 38 animal parts used in Tibetan system. The medicine is locally prepared in the form of decoction, powder, pill, paste and concentrate.


The plant diversity has gone down over the period and few of them have become rare due to developmental activities, such as road construction, illegal collection and anthropogenic pressure.


Keywords: Amchis, Traditional health care system, Trans-Himalaya


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