Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Indigenous Medicine or Desiya Vedakama in Sri Lanka

Ayurveda is a common name for the science of medicine that prolongs or guards one's life. Whatever the method it employs the main target is to save life. Sri Lanka had its own system of medicine.

It is known as Indigenous medicine or Desiya Vedakama. It was a very rich science, though in recent years it has been declining. Indigenous treatment depends totally on herbs or plants.

The Indigenous physician need not have many varieties of herbs for his practice. One kind of herbal plant is used in many diseases. The different parts of the plant possess different curative properties. The efficiency of the herb depends on the total effect of the plant content rather than on the one or more chemical fractions separated from the herb. Moreover the time of collection, stage of growth of plant, locality, natural occurrence or place of cultivation, all influence the properties of the herb.

History proves that we had a valuable system of medicine. Sri Lanka is a granary of herbal plants. The more we peep into our gardens or neighboring groves the more can we collect enough herbs for any emergency such as for cuts, bleeding, aches and pains. We need not borrow any medicine from other sources.

All we need to do is open the old manuscripts and identify the herbal plants and learn their uses. These herbs have been tested and experimented with a thousand and one times. The traditional physicians have with them the secrets of this valuable medicine, but they fear to part with them. The reason for this is that when medicine is commercialized, the tendency is for it to be adulterated. The most essential thing for the upliftment of the Indigenous practice is to enrich the knowledge of students in the use of herbs with the aid of the traditional. physicians. They have much valuable knowledge which cannot be proved scientifically.