National Research Institute for Sowa-Rigpa, Leh

The National Research Institute for Sowa-Rigpa, Leh is a peripheral Unit of Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India. It was established in 1976 in Leh-Ladakh for Research and Development of Himalayan art of healing “Sowa-Rigpa”, popularly known as Tibetan or Amchi medicine. Since its inception this Research Institute has been doing considerable work for preservation and promotion of Sowa-Rigpa in India. The mandate of the Institute is to preserve and promote Sowa-Rigpa system of medicine with following objectives:

  • To conduct fundamental and clinical research on various therapies and formularies of Sowa-Rigpa system of medicine.
  • To revalidate Sowa-Rigpa with scientific tools and parameters.
  • To explore and document herbal and mineral resources of Himalayas.
  • To conduct research on rich literary wealth of "Sowa Rigpa".
  • To develop and strengthen Sowa-Rigpa practice for public health.
  • Conservation and cultivation of Himalayan medicinal plants.
  • Health care services through Out Patient Department (OPD)
  • Tribal Health Care Research
  • Medico-Ethno-Botanical Survey
  • Cultivation of Medicinal Plants
  • Literary Research & Documentation
  • Health care services through Out Patient Department (OPD)
  • Tribal Health Care Research
  • Medico-Ethno-Botanical Survey
  • Cultivation of Medicinal Plants
  • Literary Research & Documentation

Clinical research

Under this project clinical research has been conducted on various diseases with Sowa-Rigpa formularies and parameters. In most cases Sowa-Rigpa medicine proved to be very effective. Some major cases taken up for study are Pad-kan-smugpo (Gastro Intestinal problem), Tek-dum (Arthritis), Pags-nad (Skin diseases) and Thaglung-stod-tsangs (Hypertension) etc.

Herbal and mineral exploration

Under this head extensive medico-botanical survey of Ladakh and Lahaul-Spiti has been undertaken by this unit. Total around 1000 plant species where collected, out of which 525 plant species are found to be used in various Indian systems of medicines. Medicinal plants used in Sowa-Rigpa are documented. Around fifty different minerals and stones are collected from different places of Ladakh.

Literary Research Project

Sowa-Rigpa has a rich literary wealth in Balti/ Tibetan language, which includes large number of translated Indian classical medical literatures and its commentaries written by Indian and Tibetan Scholars. A list of source and number of ancient medical literature in Ladakh has been identified. Cataloging of Sowa-Rigpa manuscripts and digitalization of some important manuscripts has been going on, completed and three Volumes of Catalogue book and 65 manuscripts have been digitalized. Translation and comparative study of important Sowa-Rigpa manuscript is initiated by the Institute.

Extension activities

Various reorientation trainings, seminars and workshops have been organized by this Unit to Develop and strengthen Sowa-Rigpa practice in Ladakh. The research findings of the Institute and new development in the field of Traditional medicine and medicinal plants are being conveyed to Amchis through these activities. The Institute has been also undertaking various projects to strengthen Sowa-Rigpa practice by helping traditional practitioners to setup clinics and strengthen Sowa-Rigpa health Centers.

Cultivation and Conservation of medicinal Plants

The current increasing demands for herbal product, ecological changes, unscientific and over exploitation etc. are causing great threat for survival of many Himalayan plant species. To counter such situation in Himalayas, National Research Institute for Sowa-Rigpa, Leh has been engaged in cultivation and conservation of some important and threaten medicinal plants of Trans-Himalayas. A comprehensive project for establishing a Trans-Himalayan medicinal plants garden have been started by this Institute on 10 hectors of land for conservation and display of Trans-Himalayan plants.

Revitalization of Sowa-Rigpa practice in Leh-Ladakh

The Institute has take-up projects for revitalization of Sowa-Rigpa practice and strengthening of public health in Ladakh through traditional medicine. Under these projects training has been provided to around 200 Amchis (Sowa-Rigpa practitioners), 50 Amchis are supported to establish rural clinics in different villages. The centralized Sowa-Rigpa medicine production unit of Ladakh Amchi Sabha is supported to produce Sowa-Rigpa medicine. Sowa-Rigpa Units in Govt. Hospital and PHCs are also strengthens by providing training and Medicines.

Mainstreaming of Sowa-Rigpa with other AYUSH systems

The National Research Institute for Sowa-Rigpa is Instrumental for recognition of Sowa-Rigpa by amendment to CCIM act. 1970 and is perusing regulation on Sowa-Rigpa system of medicine. It is also perusing the establishment of Institutions for Sowa-Rigpa.

National Research Institute for Sowa Rigpa,
Old Leh Road, Leh-194101
Phone: 01982-252449, Fax :251448
e-Mail: nrisr-leh@gov.in