Traditional Medicine Practices of Northeast India: Ancient Wisdom and Healing Methods


Northeast India, with its rich cultural heritage and diverse indigenous communities, is a treasure trove of traditional medicine practices. The region boasts a deep-rooted connection with nature and the utilization of herbal remedies, ancient healing techniques, and holistic approaches to healthcare. These traditional medicine systems have been passed down through generations, embodying the wisdom and experiences of the local communities. In this article, we delve into the traditional medicine practices of Northeast India, exploring their origins, principles, and the role they play in the region’s healthcare landscape.

  1. Ayurveda: The Science of Life:

Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine, has been practiced in Northeast India for centuries. The region is home to numerous Ayurvedic practitioners who rely on a holistic approach to restore balance and harmony in the body. Ayurvedic treatments encompass herbal remedies, dietary guidelines, massage therapies, and meditation practices. The knowledge of Ayurveda is preserved in ancient texts and passed down through gurus and apprentices, ensuring its continuity.

  1. Siddha Medicine: Unleashing the Power of Herbs:

Siddha Medicine, originating from Tamil Nadu, has gained popularity in Northeast India. It is based on the concept of “Tri-dosha,” which emphasizes the balance of three fundamental energies—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—for optimal health. Siddha practitioners in the region utilize a vast array of herbs, minerals, and animal products to prepare medicines and concoctions tailored to individual needs. These remedies are believed to address a wide range of ailments, from respiratory disorders to skin conditions.

  1. Manipuri Traditional Medicine: The Art of Natural Healing:

The Manipuri community in Northeast India practices its unique form of traditional medicine. Rooted in indigenous knowledge, Manipuri traditional medicine employs a combination of herbal remedies, rituals, and therapeutic practices. The healing process often involves the use of medicinal plants found in the region’s forests, with a particular focus on the interplay between physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

  1. Tibetan Medicine: A Fusion of Traditions:

With the presence of Tibetan settlements in Northeast India, Tibetan Medicine, known as Sowa-Rigpa, has become an integral part of the region’s traditional medicine landscape. Tibetan practitioners utilize a holistic approach that combines herbal medicines, dietary advice, acupuncture, and external therapies. The Tibetan medical system is known for its emphasis on diagnosing imbalances through pulse reading and treating ailments by restoring harmony among the three humors—Lung, Tripa, and Beken.

  1. Traditional Bone-Setting: Restoring Mobility and Healing Fractures:

Traditional Bone-Setting is a remarkable aspect of traditional medicine in Northeast India. Practitioners, known as ‘bone-setters,’ possess an intricate understanding of the musculoskeletal system and employ specialized techniques to reset bones and treat fractures. This ancient practice relies on manual manipulations, herbal poultices, and external applications to facilitate the healing process and restore mobility.


The traditional medicine practices of Northeast India showcase the region’s cultural diversity and the profound wisdom of its indigenous communities. Ayurveda, Siddha Medicine, Manipuri Traditional Medicine, Tibetan Medicine, and Traditional Bone-Setting exemplify the holistic approach, utilization of natural resources, and profound knowledge passed down through generations. While modern medicine plays a crucial role in healthcare, traditional medicine practices continue to offer valuable alternatives and complementary treatments. It is essential to recognize, preserve, and promote these ancient healing methods to ensure their sustainability and to honor the profound heritage of Northeast India’s traditional medicine systems.



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