Aarti Dhar

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2009 for amending the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 to give recognition to ‘Sowa-Rigpa,’ one of the oldest surviving systems of medicine in the world, popular in the Himalayan region of India.

‘Sowa-Rigpa,’ also known as ‘Amchi,’ is practised in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling (West Bengal), Lahaul and Spiti (Himachal Pradesh) and the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.

The theory and practice of ‘Sowa-Rigpa’ are similar to those of Ayurveda, and include some principles of traditional Chinese medicine. The fundamental text book ‘rgyud-bzi’ is believed to have been taught by the Buddha himself and is closely linked to Buddhist philosophy.

The government had received representations from various quarters to grant recognition to this system of medicine.