Indigenous Medicines and Foods
Dr Dhuni Soren Retired GP , Liverpool
Indigenous Medicines The indigenous medicines have different meaning for different people. The WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION defines traditional/ indigenous medicine as the sum total of knowledge; skills and practices based on theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not used in the maintenance of health as well prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness.
In some Asian and African countries up to 80% of population relies on such medicines. For government of India any system of medicines prevalent before the advent of Allopathy is Indigenous like Arurvedic, Unani, Siddha medicine etc.
According to UNO there are 370 million (37 crores) indigenous people in the world. 70% of them live in South East Asia (Indian subcontinent, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar and Thailand). India has the largest Adivasi population and is estimated to be around 100 million (10.42 crores) out of more than a billion population.