Traditional Healing Practices in India: Exploring Ayurveda, Folk Medicine, and More

Are you curious about the traditional healing practices in India? India has a rich history of traditional medicine systems that have been practiced for centuries. In this article, we will explore some of the traditional healing practices in India and delve into their origins and principles. From Ayurveda to folk remedies, India’s healing traditions offer a holistic approach to health and well-being. So, let’s dive in and discover the fascinating world of traditional healing practices in India.

Traditional healing practices in India

Here are 10 different traditional healing practices in India:

  1. Ayurveda: Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. It emphasizes the use of natural remedies, including herbs, diet, and lifestyle changes, to promote health and prevent disease1.
  2. Folk Medicine: Folk medicine is a traditional healing practice that is deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of India. It includes home remedies, cultural practices, and locally-available substances to treat minor illnesses and manage health problems.
  3. Yoga: Yoga is a traditional Indian practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation to promote physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. It is widely practiced in India and around the world3.
  4. Naturopathy: Naturopathy is a traditional healing practice that emphasizes the use of natural remedies, such as herbs, nutrition, and lifestyle changes, to promote health and prevent disease. It is widely practiced in India and around the world.
  5. Unani Medicine: Unani medicine is a traditional system of medicine that originated in ancient Greece and was later adopted and developed by Arab and Persian physicians. It uses natural remedies, such as herbs and minerals, to treat various ailments.
  6. Siddha Medicine: Siddha medicine is a traditional system of medicine that originated in South India. It uses natural remedies, such as herbs, minerals, and animal products, to treat various ailments.
  7. Homeopathy: Homeopathy is a traditional system of medicine that originated in Germany but is widely practiced in India. It uses highly diluted substances to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes.
  8. Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a traditional healing practice that originated in China but is also practiced in India. It involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate healing4.
  9. Ayurvedic Massage: Ayurvedic massage is a traditional healing practice that uses herbal oils and massage techniques to promote relaxation, improve circulation, and relieve stress1.
  10. Cupping Therapy: Cupping therapy is a traditional healing practice that involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. It is believed to promote healing by improving blood flow and relieving pain.

Traditional healing practices in India offer a holistic approach to health and well-being, addressing not only physical ailments but also mental and spiritual aspects. These practices have stood the test of time and continue to be relevant in modern times, with a resurgence of interest both in India and around the world. I shall now take you through other relevant questions about Traditional healing practices in India that you might want to know.

Uses, costs, and quality of traditional healing for minor and major morbidities in India

Traditional healing practices in India are widely used for treating both minor and major morbidities. These practices include Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, homeopathy, yoga, naturopathy, and folk medicine.

For minor conditions like fevers, coughs, colds, digestive issues, traditional remedies are the first line of treatment for most Indians given their easy availability, cultural acceptability, and low costs. The quality of treatment for minor morbidities is generally good.

For major chronic or complex conditions, traditional practices are often used alongside modern medicine. Costs can range from affordable to expensive depending on the treatment. Quality varies among traditional healing systems and individual practitioners. Rigorous testing and standardization is still developing. Overall effectiveness depends on the ailment, healer skills, and individual response.

2. Differences between folk healers and Ayurvedic practitioners in India

Some key differences between folk healers and Ayurvedic practitioners in India are:

  • Training: Folk healers gain knowledge informally through apprenticeship within their community and lineages. Ayurvedic practitioners undergo formal training in Ayurvedic medical colleges.
  • Literacy: Folk healers are often non-literate in texts while Ayurvedic practitioners study ancient Sanskrit texts.
  • Diagnostics: Folk healers rely on simple observation, dialogues, and intuition. Ayurvedic practitioners use pulse examination, constitution analysis, clinical evaluation.
  • Medicines: Folk healers use locally available herbs, minerals, animals products. Ayurvedic doctors follow complex herbal formulae and may also use rasa shastra.
  • Customization: Folk medicine is more individualized. Ayurveda provides disease-centered treatment plans.
  • Recognition: Folk healers are informal community resources. Ayurvedic doctors are officially recognized professionals.
  • Accessibility: Folk healers are abundant in rural areas. Ayurvedic practitioners cluster around urban centers.
  • Costs: Folk healers charge modest fees. Ayurvedic treatment can be more expensive.

3. Vitally important traditional healing practices in India

Some traditional healing practices considered vitally important in India are:

  • Yoga: Practices like asanas, pranayama, meditation promote holistic wellbeing.
  • Ayurveda: Considered a complete natural medical system providing comprehensive diagnostics and treatment protocols.
  • Homeopathy: Widely used for acute and chronic diseases. Low cost and no toxicity appeals to many.
  • Siddha: Tamil traditional medicine using herbs, minerals, yoga with strong preventive approach.
  • Unani: Prominent in North India using temperament-based diagnosis and herbal therapies.
  • Nature cure: Focus on natural elements like air, water, diet to restore health. Appeals due to simplicity.
  • Spiritual healing: Faith and energy healing through rituals, prayers, visits to spiritual healers. Provides mental solace.
  • Community herbalists: Local folk healers providing accessible first-line of treatment and health advice.

4. Contribution of traditional Tibetan medicine to Healthcare in India

Traditional Tibetan medicine, known as Sowa-Rigpa or Amchi medicine, has been practiced in India’s Himalayan regions for centuries. Some contributions to India’s healthcare include:

  • Treatment using unique Tibetan diagnostics like urine analysis and pulse reading.
  • Medicines derived from high altitude herbs and minerals found in the Himalayas.
  • Specialized knowledge of internal organ health and disorders.
  • Holistic approach combining herbal remedies, external therapies, diet, lifestyle, spiritual practices.
  • Affordable and accessible care in remote mountainous areas where allopathy is limited.
  • Preservation of centuries of indigenous Tibetan medical knowledge and texts.
  • Integration of Tibetan and Ayurvedic medical systems in the training of new Amchi physicians.
  • Inclusion of Tibetan medical curriculum in Indian systems of medicine at institutes like Varanasi Ayurveda University.
  • Contribution to medical tourism through reputed Tibetan treatment centers.

5. Examples of folk medicine practices in India

Some common folk medicine practices in India include:

  • Local herbalists using indigenous plants for healing based on traditional knowledge.
  • Ritual healing traditions involving mantras, worship, offerings, and astrology.
  • Bone-setters manipulating bones based on knowledge passed down generations.
  • Traditional midwives assisting in child-birth and using herbs post-partum.
  • Healers specializing in poisonous bites using herbs, mantras and suction.
  • Martial therapy traditions like kalari payattu using massage and pressure points.
  • Metallic preparations from local shamans used as talismans or medicine.
  • Knowledgeable elders dispensing diet, lifestyle and activity advice for ailments.
  • Practitioners doing cupping therapy and acupuncture based on village wisdom.
  • Spiritual rituals involving trance and oracle for mental afflictions.
  • Medicinal knowledge of certain tribes used within their communities.

6. Role of yoga in traditional healing practices in India

Yoga has a central role in traditional healing practices in India:

  • Asanas help strengthen the body, stimulate organs, relieve common ailments.
  • Pranayama oxygenates the body, builds immunity, alleviates respiratory issues.
  • Meditation reduces stress and mental health issues like depression, anxiety.
  • Yogic cleansing practices like neti help detoxify the body.
  • Lifestyle principles from yoga boost healthy living for disease prevention.
  • Yogic philosophy of non-harming and moderation supports healing.
  • Chanting mantras calms the mind, uplifts emotions, and activates self-healing.
  • Practices like yoga nidra induce deep rest for recovery from illnesses.
  • Proper diet principles from yoga aid in healing digestive problems.
  • Yogic outlook emphasizes the mind-body connection vital for holistic healing.
  • Yoga therapists prescribe integrated yoga regimes for specific health conditions.

Overall, yoga provides multiple evidence-based modalities for promoting health and wellbeing.

7. Significance of naturopathy in traditional healing in India

Naturopathy plays a significant role in India’s traditional healing systems:

  • Promotes healing through natural methods like diet, lifestyle, herbal medicine.
  • Holistic approach addresses root cause of disease, not just symptoms.
  • Emphasizes disease prevention and building immunity through natural living.
  • Offers drugless, non-invasive treatment appealing to many patients.
  • Treatments like water therapy builds on ancient health traditions of India.
  • Principles of naturopathy align with teachings of natural living from India’s sages.
  • Naturopathic clinics provide traditional healthcare option for chronic conditions.
  • Helps counter issues like liver damage from modern pharmaceuticals.
  • Treatments relatively affordable compared to conventional medicine.
  • Graduates qualified as Naturopathic doctors recognized by the government.
  • Reputable institutes like National Institute of Naturopathy popularize these therapies.
  • Naturopathy bridges traditional practices with modern natural medicine.

8. Comparison of traditional healing and Western medicine in India

Comparing traditional healing systems and Western medicine in India:


  • Acute conditions – Comparable outcomes. Western medicine perceived as faster.
  • Chronic conditions – Mixed evidence. Traditional medicine offers drugless relief.
  • Preventive healthcare – Traditional systems have more comprehensive protocols.
  • Mental health – Traditional approaches seen as better for minor conditions.
  • Side effects – Traditional medicine is safer, gentler with less adverse effects.


  • Traditional medicine predominates in rural areas while Western medicine dominates cities.
  • Language and cultural barriers limit accessibility of Western systems for some populations.


  • Traditional medicine typically has lower treatment costs, making it more affordable.
  • Western medical costs are rapidly rising, becoming unaffordable for many Indians.


  • Traditional systems take holistic approach customized to individuals.
  • Western medicine uses disease-centered approach focusing on specializations.

Overall, both systems have value in the Indian context. Integrating them can optimize healthcare access, quality and costs for all Indians.

9. Traditional healing practices specific to certain Indian regions/communities

Some region or community specific traditional healing in India:

  • Siddha medicine in Tamil Nadu using herbs, minerals, and alchemy.
  • Amchi medicine of Tibetan Buddhists in Ladakh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Garo and Khasi tribal practices using plants and rituals in Meghalaya.
  • Mishing tribe’s herbal healing traditions of Assam.
  • Kalari martial therapy of Kerala.
  • Middle Eastern influenced Unani medicine in Hyderabad.
  • Namda tribe’s bone setting skills of Uttarakhand.
  • Odia vaidyas of Odisha practicing plant-based medicine.
  • Banjara nomads’ knowledge of herbs and healing rituals.
  • Chamunda Tantrik healing tradition followed by Chamars of North India.
  • Dubli herbal tradition of North Karnataka.
  • Terai folk medicine practiced in foothills of Nepal-Uttarakhand.
  • Warli tribe herbal medicine from Maharashtra-Gujarat region.

10. How traditional healing practices in India address mental illnesses

Some ways traditional healing in India addresses mental health:

  • Yogic practices like pranayama, meditation, and chanting for anxiety, depression.
  • Ayurvedic herbs like brahmi, ashwagandha to balance mind-body energies.
  • Homeopathic remedies individualized to patient’s symptoms and nature.
  • Siddha practices like yoga, diet regulation, and alchemy for psychiatric issues.
  • Spiritual healing through faith, prayer, astrology, amulets, talismans.
  • Naturopathy’s lifestyle changes and natural substances for non-clinical cases.
  • Folk practices of exorcism, rituals, and oracle for psychosomatic troubles.
  • Unani’s temperament-based therapy using herbs, music, advice.
  • Community elders providing counselling based on wisdom and experience.
  • Kaya kalpa rejuvenation therapy in Siddha medicine to uplift mental faculties.
  • Growing integration with modern psychiatry for clinical depression, schizophrenia, etc.

11. Different types of traditional healers and specialties in India

Major traditional healer types and specialties in India include:

  • Vaidyas: Experts in Ayurveda conducting comprehensive diagnosis and treatment.
  • Hakims: Unani medicine practitioners prescribing diets and herbal formulas.
  • Siddha Vaidyars: Tamil healers using herbs, minerals and alchemy.
  • Homeopathic doctors: Prescribing micro-doses of remedies tailored to patients.
  • Yoga therapists: Providing yoga-based solutions for specific health conditions.
  • Naturopaths: Advocating natural living and drugless therapies to boost self-healing.
  • Spiritual healers: Using rituals, amulets, chants and psychic powers for healing.
  • Bonesetters: Experts in setting fractures and correcting bone injuries.
  • Birth attendants: Assisting in childbirth using traditional knowledge and herbs.
  • Herbalists: Village elders and local specialists using locally available medicinal plants.
  • Oracle healers: Channeling spirits for psychic surgery, exorcism, divination.

12. Integration of traditional healing into modern healthcare in India

Traditional healing is integrated into India’s modern healthcare system in various ways:

  • Government established AYUSH ministry to promote traditional medical systems.
  • Traditional medicine offered alongside modern medicine in many major hospitals.
  • Studies evaluating scientific basis of traditional remedies and therapies.
  • Ayurveda, Unani and homeopathy colleges accredited by government alongside allopathy colleges.
  • Registered practitioners of traditional medicine can work in clinical establishment.
  • Health schemes like Ayushman Bharat covering expenses for AYUSH treatments.
  • Pharmacies stocking Ayurvedic, Unani, and homeopathic medicines alongside allopathic medicines.
  • Integrative medicine models combining both traditional and modern systems for comprehensive treatment.
  • Cross-learning where doctors refer patients to traditional healers and vice versa.
  • Cultivating medicinal plants to maintain supply chains for traditional pharmaceutics.

Despite the integrative measures, traditional medicine remains complementary and subordinate to allopathy’s dominance in mainstream healthcare.

13. Social, economic and cultural paradigms of healthcare in India

Some key paradigms influencing healthcare in India:

  • Poverty limits access to expensive modern medicine, making traditional practices the norm.
  • Healthcare expenditures push many into debt and poverty due to low health insurance penetration.
  • Rural-urban divide with access to healthcare much better in urban areas.
  • Social inequity leads to poorer health outcomes for disadvantaged castes and classes.
  • Gender bias reduces healthcare access for women who are dependent on male family members.
  • Cultural belief in karma and destiny leads to acceptance of health problems as fate.
  • Preference for quick fixes makes allopathy more popular despite side effects.
  • Patriarchal family structures where male elders or husbands make health decisions.
  • Belief in supernatural causes for diseases persists, leading to spiritual solutions.
  • Trust in traditional medicine stemming from India’s ancient holistic health traditions.
  • Lack of regulation and tendency to self-medicate increases risks.

14. Government support for traditional healthcare systems in India

Some ways the Indian government supports traditional healthcare:

  • AYUSH ministry to promote alternative medicine systems like Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy.
  • Funding programs for research on evaluating safety and efficacy of traditional medicine.
  • Financial allocation for cultivation of medicinal plants used in Ayurveda and Siddha.
  • Establishment of National Institutes teaching Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Unani.
  • Loans and subsidies for clinics and small companies manufacturing Ayurvedic products.
  • Regulations and licensing policies to standardize Ayurvedic, Unani, homeopathic education.
  • Recognizing qualified graduates in Ayurveda, homeopathy, etc. to practice medicine.
  • Health schemes like Ayushman Bharat covering expenses for hospitalization in AYUSH facilities.
  • Initiatives to collate and digitize old manuscripts and document indigenous healthcare knowledge.
  • Promoting integrative models blending traditional medicine with allopathy.

15. Origins of traditional wellness theories and systems in India

The origins of India’s traditional systems trace back to:

  • Vedic knowledge compiled in ancient Hindu scriptures like Atharva Veda around 5000 years ago.
  • Early Hindu texts like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita with medical insights.
  • Monastic traditions based on yoga, meditation and nature’s healing powers.
  • Influence of Ayurvedic and Siddha medicine masters like Charaka, Sushruta, Agastya.
  • Unani medicine brought to India by Arabs and Persians around the 10th century CE.
  • Homeopathy brought to India by European missionaries in early 19th century.
  • Naturopathy pioneered by enlightened yogis promoting food as medicine.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine entering India through early Buddhist contacts.
  • Tribal folk medicine traditions passed down orally over millennia.
  • Encounters with European natural medicine influences during the colonial era.
  • Revival of ancient systems like Ayurveda as part of the Indian independence struggle.

16. Contribution of traditional healing to indigenous knowledge and medicine in India

India’s traditional healing systems significantly contribute to preserving indigenous medicine by:

  • Passing down medical wisdom through ancient Sanskrit, Tamil and Persian texts.
  • Keeping alive oral folk medicine traditions among rural and tribal communities.
  • Maintaining native healing practices evolved in the Indian subcontinent over millennia.
  • Safeguarding medicinal plant knowledge that led to botanical medicines.
  • Upholding theories of wellness, illness, and healing based on Indian philosophies.
  • Retaining medicinal formulations adapted to Indian constitutions and environments.
  • Carrying forward unique diagnostics like pulse reading and urine examination.
  • Protecting therapeutic protocols attuned to Indian lifestyles and diet.
  • ProvidingHolistic perspectives toward health aligned to Indian thought.
  • Sustaining healing modalities like Panchakarma, yoga, meditation, and medicinal oils.
  • Training new generations through guru-shishya lineages unbroken for centuries.
  • Blending spiritual and material approaches to medicine characteristic of Indian wisdom.

17. Traditional healing practices in India for specific ailments/conditions

Some traditional healing practices used for specific health conditions in India:

  • Diabetes – Ayurvedic herbs like neem, methi, karela.
  • Arthritis – Ashwagandha, turmeric, massage oils per Ayurveda.
  • Dysentery – Buttermilk with roasted cumin and yogurt.
  • Jaundice – Katuki clay, kutki, chiretta as per Ayurveda.
  • Headache/migraine – Navarakizhi massage per Ayurveda principles.
  • High blood pressure – Meditation, magnesium-rich foods in naturopathy.
  • Skin infections – Neem, haldi, black pepper used topically.
  • Coughs/colds – Pepper rasam, basil, honey in traditional recipes.
  • Snake bites – Herbs like sarpgandha, mantra chanting.
  • Toothache – Clove oil, pepper, camphor used topically by traditional vaidyas.

18. How traditional healing practices address women’s health issues in India

Some ways traditional medicine addresses women’s health in India include:

  • Menstrual issues – Ashoka, aloe vera prescribed in Ayurveda.
  • Menopausal problems – Shatavari, chamomile, ashwagandha used in Ayurveda and homeopathy.
  • Antenatal care – Sesame oil massages, herbs for nausea prescribed by vaidyas.
  • Postpartum recovery – Warmth promoting foods like pepper rasam given after childbirth.
  • Lactation – Fennel, cumin, garlic added to diet by traditional midwives.
  • Gynecological disorders – Dashmoola formulations in Ayurveda, homeopathy.
  • Anemia – Traditional iron-rich drinks like ragi kanji, horse gram rasam.
  • Contraception – Herbs like neem, papaya used traditionally as contraceptives.
  • Infertility – Traditional fertility treatments involving herbs, diet, spiritual remedies.
  • Pregnancy healthcare – Precautions and restrictions suggested by traditional midwives.
  • Abortion – Certain herbs used though illegal; better options needed.
  • Menstrual taboos – Some traditional cultural taboos exist requiring sensitization.

Legal frameworks for traditional healing practices in India

Major legal frameworks around traditional healing in India include:

  • The Indian Medical Council Act recognizing Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani practitioners.
  • Central Council for Homeopathy monitoring qualifications and licensing.
  • Central Council for Indian Medicine regulating education and practice of AYUSH systems.
  • Individual state laws requiring licensing of traditional medicine practitioners.
  • National AYUSH Mission monitoring herbal gardens, medicinal plant production.
  • Regulatory bodies like AYUSH ensuring approved formulations and drug quality.
  • 1970 Drugs and Cosmetics Act regulating traditional medicine products.
  • Protection measures for medicinal plant biodiversity and biopiracy.
  • Wildlife Protection Act controlling use of certain rare animal species in formulations.
  • Lack of legal standing for informal folk medicine practitioners.
  • Limited regulations around spiritual healing practices, yoga and naturopathy.

Overall, the regulation of traditional medicine is still evolving and requires more streamlining.

20. Addressing spiritual well-being in traditional healing practices in India

India’s traditional healing systems address spiritual wellbeing in various ways:

  • Ayurveda emphasizes moral and ethical living for balance.
  • Yoga and meditation integrate spiritual realization for holistic health.
  • Homeopathy considers mental, emotional traits in treatment.
  • Siddha includes spiritual alchemy practices.
  • Unani medicine factors in emotions and disposition.
  • Naturopathy values living in harmony with nature.
  • Fasting, prayers, pilgrimage prescribed for mental cleansing.
  • Astrological rituals and gem therapy to empower the planets’ influence.
  • Amulets, talismans and tabeez for spiritual protection.
  • Chanting, havans, and vows for divine intervention during illnesses.
  • Temple medicine like offering sesame oil for healing.
  • Uplifting music therapy and positive healing environments.
  • Counselling based on wisdom from saints and scriptures.

21. Cultural beliefs and philosophies underpinning traditional healing in India

Traditional healing in India is shaped by cultural philosophies like:

  • Ayurvedic principle of interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit.
  • Belief in prana or vital life-force permeating wellbeing.
  • Karma and dharma as determinants of one’s destiny and health.
  • Concept of panchabhutas – five elements underlying creation and physiology.
  • Dosha theory of health based on vata, pitta and kapha humors.
  • Holistic outlook toward individual and community health.
  • Fatalistic acceptance of disease as divine will or fate.
  • Vegetarianism and non-violence towards all life.
  • Notion of moderation in diet and lifestyle.
  • Interdependence of people, nature, and the cosmos.
  • Spiritual approaches to health like surrendering to divine grace.
  • Faith in mystical causes of disease like evil eye or supernatural forces.

22. How traditional healing in India addresses chronic diseases

Some ways traditional healing addresses chronic diseases in India:

  • Ayurveda offers herbal medicines, Panchakarma detox, Rasayana rejuvenation to strengthen and balance body systems.
  • Homeopathy stimulates the body’s vital force to heal holistically using individually selected remedies.
  • Yoga’s lifestyle wisdom helps manage lifestyle disorders like diabetes. Pranayama benefits lungs in asthma.
  • Naturopathy’s nutritional principles and hydrotherapy help reverse conditions without drugs.
  • Unani medicine provides temperament-based herbal treatments for long-term illnesses.
  • Siddha’s Siddha Varmam therapy uses pressure points for chronic neuromusculoskeletal conditions.
  • Acupressure, acupuncture, and sujok therapy provide drugless relief for persistent ailments.
  • Community herbalists offer supplements to support organ function in age-related diseases.
  • Chronic stress-related problems benefit from meditation, chanting, and traditional counseling.
  • For terminal illnesses, traditional medicine provides holistic palliative care – managing pain and suffering through a spiritual approach.

23. Traditional practices for children’s health in India

Some traditional practices benefitting children’s health in India include:

  • Massaging infants with herbal oils for strengthening bones, muscles and immunity.
  • Colostrum, gold, honey given for boosting intellect and immunity.
  • Wearing gems and consecrated amulets for protection from evil eye.
  • Chanting of sacred mantras like Gayatri for spiritual empowerment.
  • Talismans with Vedic numerology and astrology etched for luck and positive energies.
  • Temple visits for blessings believed to grant health, intelligence and strength.
  • Fasts, prayers and rituals for milestones like annaprashan, first haircut, first learning.
  • Elders sharing medicinal herbs, home remedies and diet wisdom for common childhood illnesses.
  • Applying healing turmeric, oils and leaves for infections, rashes, wounds.
  • Yoga asanas and pranayama modified for children as young as 5-6 years for fitness.

24. Contribution of traditional healing to environmental health in India

Traditional medicine promotes environmental health in India through:

  • Emphasis on living harmoniously with nature.
  • Reverence for trees, plants, rivers, and wildlife integral to Indic worldview.
  • Medicinal plant conservation to sustain herbal medicine resources and ecosystems.
  • Ayurvedic advocacy of ecological balance for human health.
  • Treatments using biodegradable materials like leaves, mud, cow products.
  • Preference for reusable natural remedies over disposable chemical pills.
  • Focus on locally grown and in-season foods recommended in naturopathy.
  • Yogic principle of mitahara or moderation in consumption for sustainability.
  • Treatments like medicinal plant fumigation with minimal carbon footprint.
  • Unani medicine’s waste-free and vegan pharmacopoeia protecting fauna.

Overall, India’s holistic healing traditions promote living in harmony with nature, not exploitation, thus protecting both human and environmental health.

25. Traditional healing practices in India for addiction and substance abuse

Some traditional practices used for treating addiction and substance abuse are:

  • Yoga asanas like Surya Namaskar to detox and reduce cravings.
  • Meditation and pranayama for mental strength and discipline against addiction tendencies.
  • Ayurvedic detox Panchakarma involving massage, sweat therapy, emesis, enemas, to clear toxins.
  • Homeopathic remedies like Nux Vomica for alcoholism and opium for withdrawal pangs.
  • Naturopathic diet and lifestyle changes to balance neurochemistry and physiology.
  • Unani medicine temperament analysis to customize herbal formulas that reduce addictive behavior.
  • Siddha formulas using herbs like brahmi, ashwagandha, shankapushpi to calm nerves and strengthen willpower.
  • Spiritual remedies like prayers, talismans and amulets for divine intervention.
  • Community support groups and traditional counseling methods providing motivation.
  • Nature-based treatments away from triggers in peaceful ashrams facilitating recovery.

26. How traditional healing addresses reproductive health issues in India

Some ways traditional medicine approaches reproductive health in India:

  • Prenatal care based on herbs, diet, rituals and restrictions prescribed by traditional midwives.
  • Postpartum recovery facilitated through oil massages, warming foods and tonics.
  • Fertility issues addressed through shodhana detox, aphrodisiacs and divine offerings.
  • Contraception via Ayurvedic herbs, spermicidal plant preparations when desired.
  • Abortion medically unsafe; more empathy, rights-based perspective needed by traditional practitioners.
  • Menstrual problems managed via herbs, yoga, meditation, energy meridian therapy.
  • Breast care through Ayurvedic lepas, Siddha oils and yoga marman points.
  • Menopause symptoms treated by adaptogenic herbs, homeopathy, Unani formulas.
  • Sexual issues handled sensitively via counseling, meditation, naturopathic remedies.
  • Basic antenatal and birthing services to rural women by traditional daais.
  • Working within cultural norms yet efforts needed to gently counter damaging taboos.

27. Traditional healing practices for pain management in India

Some traditional practices used for pain management in India include:

  • Ayurvedic oils and lepas using herbs like ginger, turmeric, pepper applied locally.
  • Siddha treatment Varmam employing pressure, massage on meridian points.
  • Unani practice of medicated wax bandaging or hijama relaxes muscles, joints.
  • Homeopathy’s hypericum for nerve pain and rhus tox for joint pain.
  • Naturopathy hydrotherapy using hot and cold compresses.
  • Acupressure, acupuncture and sujok therapy for chronic pain.
  • Kaya kalp practices like fomentation, sweat therapy to mobilize channels.
  • Yoga asanas like balasana, meditation and pranayama for pain relief.
  • Palliative herbs like opium in restricted medical use for terminally ill patients.
  • Spiritual approaches involving prayers, rituals and amulets.
  • Bonesetting using manipulation and touch by traditional practitioners.

28. Traditional healing for dermatological conditions in India

Some traditional dermatology practices in India include:

  • Ayurveda orals like Guduchi, Manjishtha and topicals using turmeric, neem.
  • Siddha preparations from minerals like red ochre, sulfur for skin conditions.
  • Homeopathy sulphur, graphites, petroleum for chronic skin disorders.
  • Unani pastes called lipa made from herbs, clay, minerals to heal wounds, infections.
  • Naturopathy advocating internal cleansing, dietary changes for skin health.
  • Application of medicinal oils, cow ghee, milk cream for dryness or burns.
  • Fruits like papaya used topically by traditional healers for skin repair.
  • Leaves like coriander, mint crushed and applied on rashes, insect bites.
  • Mud, ash, mineral salt used for skin exfoliation and improvements.
  • Poultices and soaks prepared from herbs, buttermilk for blisters, ulcers.
  • Yoga asanas, meditation for reducing cortisol and mind-body healing.

29. Traditional healing practices for dental/oral health in India

Traditional dental and oral health practices include:

  • Oil pulling with sesame or coconut oil to prevent decay, bleeding gums, bad breath.
  • Gargling and mouthwashes using Ayurvedic herbs like triphala, neem.
  • Medicinal smoking or dhumrapana with herbs for toothache relief.
  • Chewing sticks from neem, licorice, stems of certain plants for cleaning teeth.
  • Homeopathy remedies like silica for dental abscess, plantago for toothache.
  • Unani practice of mounha kalan (oral care) using arak-e-beh (distilled frankincense water).
  • Siddha use of herbal extracts like pungai maruthu for healthy gums.
  • Products like clove oil, pepper, camphor, ginger used for dental analgesia.
  • Saltwater rinse for sore throat or oral ulcers.
  • Naturopathy advocates oil consumption, citrus fruits for calcium and vitamin C.

30. Traditional practices for respiratory conditions in India

Some traditional remedies used for respiratory conditions in India include:

  • Steam inhalation with herbs like tulsi, eucalyptus, mint.
  • Ayurvedic kapha-balancing formulas like chyavanprash.
  • Siddha preparations using pepper, cloves, honey for colds and coughs.
  • Homeopathic remedies like bryonia and antimonium tartaricum for coughs.
  • Inhaling smoke from medicinal herbs and resins for lung decongestion.
  • Nasal cleansing through jal neti as part of yogic kriyas.
  • Unani practice of cupping or hijama on the back to relieve chest congestion.
  • Massage with medicated oils like anu tailam for chest rubs.
  • Pranayama like anulom vilom for strengthening respiratory stamina.
  • Avoiding cold, raw foods that aggravate kapha dosha as advised in ayurveda.

31. Traditional practices for digestive health in India

Some traditional remedies used for digestive health in India include:

  • Ayurvedic kalari recipes like pepper rasam, ginger pickle aid digestion.
  • Siddha preparations such as vilva leaf juice for anorexia, indigestion.
  • Unani medicines like sonth, amla to treat loss of appetite, diarrhea.
  • Homeopathy nux vomica for acidity, flatulence, constipation.
  • Yoga postures like pawanmuktasana to stimulate abdominal organs.
  • Naturopathy advocates food combining for optimal digestion.
  • Mint chutneys eaten before meals as a digestive stimulant.
  • Herbal teas like cumin-fennel-coriander for colic, gas, bloating.
  • Buttermilk spiced with roasted cumin seeds as a digestive after meals.
  • Small meals, avoiding iced drinks, food before yoga, as advised traditionally.
  • Probiotics like fresh yogurt, fermented rice gruels boost gut health.

32. Traditional healing for cardiovascular health in India

Some traditional practices used for heart health in India include:

  • Yoga asanas like halasana and surya namaskar to improve circulation.
  • Pranayama like anuloma viloma balances heart rate and breathing.
  • Meditation reduces blood pressure and psychological stress.
  • Ayurvedic herbs like arjuna, rauwolfia, guggul treat hypertension and angina.
  • Homeopathy mother tinctures of crataegus and convallaria help heart conditions.
  • Siddha preparations containing nux vomica seeds and pungam oil.
  • Unani medicines like arq-e-gauzaban for palpitations, irregular heartbeat.
  • Nutritional advice from Ayurveda like avoiding excess salt, fried food.
  • Massage oils like bala tailam strengthen muscles, improve blood flow.
  • Naturopathic hydrotherapy using hot and cold compresses.

33. Traditional practices boosting immune health in India

Some traditional practices believed to boost immunity in India include:

  • Yoga asanas like Matsyasana that stretch chest muscles increase lung capacity.
  • Ayurvedic rasayanas containing amla, ashwagandha, shatavari strengthen defenses.
  • Siddha kudineer herbal teas with immunomodulating phytochemicals.
  • Homeopathy remedies like echinacea, thuja occidentalis elevate immune response.
  • Naturopathy advocates cold water baths for vigor and vitality.
  • Unani medicines such as safoof-e-mohazzil treat weakness.
  • Turmeric, black pepper, long pepper in cooking combat infections.
  • Bone broths, ginger-garlic juices, infused medicinal oils nourish immunity.
  • Grandmother’s wisdom on food restrictions during illness preserve energies for recovery.
  • Rituals like oil pulling, fasting, prayer activate placebo benefits.

34. Traditional practices addressing neurological conditions in India

Some traditional approaches used for neurological conditions in India include:

  • Yoga and meditation benefit disorders like epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s by their calming effect on nervous system.
  • Ayurvedic brain tonics like brahmi, shankapushpi, jyotishmati for memory, cognition.
  • Homeopathy remedies like causticum for paralysis, gelsemium for anxiety, cimicifuga for headaches.
  • Siddha varmam therapy applies pressure on energy points related to nerve plexus.
  • Unani practice of Fasd-e-Dimagh involves gentle massage to treat neurological symptoms.
  • Naturopathy advocates cognitive activities and mental fitness exercises.
  • Spiritual healers chant mantras, rituals for psychological afflictions.
  • Herbal oils like brahmi oil used for soothing head massages.
  • Diet adjustments like avoiding fish, eggs, lentils as they’re believed to aggravate neurological disorders as per traditional wisdom.

35. Traditional practices for musculoskeletal health in India

Some traditional practices used for bone, joint and muscle health in India include:

  • Yoga asanas like Surya namaskar, Vajrasana strengthen muscles and improve flexibility.
  • Ayurvedic formulations contain bone-nourishing herbs like asthisamhar
  • Ayurvedic formulations contain bone-nourishing herbs like asthisamharaka and shallaki.
  • Siddha practices like thokkanam massage and varmam therapy target joints and muscles.
  • Homeopathy rhus tox, ruta graveolens and calcarea phos relieves arthritis, strains, sprains.
  • Unani Roghaniyat oils like Roghan baboona are massaged to ease muscle, joint pains.
  • Naturopathy advocates magnesium-rich diet and vitamin D through sunlight.
  • Local bonesetters use manual manipulations to set fractures and correct bone deformities.
  • Indian martial therapy traditions focus on flexibility, strength and vital points.
  • Yogic cleansing practices like dhauti maintain joint health by removing toxins.

Traditional practices for eye care and health in India

Some traditional practices used for eye health in India include:

  • Yoga – palming, trataka, eye muscle exercises strengthen vision.
  • Ayurvedic herbs like triphala, amalaki, bibhitaki in eye drops.
  • Siddha preparations like nanju marundhu improve conjunctivitis, fatigue.
  • Homeopathy remedies like euphrasia, belladonna for irritations.
  • Unani practice of Surma application of antimony-based kohl.
  • Naturopathy eye baths using cold water or rose water.
  • Herbal smokes called dhoopana administered to eyes.
  • Ghee, breastmilk drops to cleanse infants’ eyes and prevent infections.
  • Fennel seeds, rose petals boiled into eyewash for tired eyes.
  • Marigold flowers strained into collyrium for conjunctivitis, styes.
  • Carrot juice with turmeric consumed daily as folk ocular tonic.

37. Cultural factors influencing traditional medicine acceptance in India

Cultural factors driving traditional medicine acceptance in India include:

  • Alignment with Indian holistic worldview interlinking body, mind, spirit.
  • Family traditions passing down home remedies and vaidya knowledge through generations.
  • Promotion via popular media like cinema, television, and celebrity endorsement.
  • Mass availability, accessibility and affordability especially in rural India.
  • Trust in practitioners arising from shared language, ethnicity and community ties.
  • Perceived safety of natural herbals versus allopathic drug side effects.
  • Placebo benefits from elaborate rituals, astrology and spiritual symbolism involved.
  • Pride and desire to uphold India’s own medical heritage and legacy.
  • Lack of robust healthcare infrastructure in remote areas.
  • Wariness toward foreign systems like modern medicine due to colonialism.

38. Contribution of traditional healing to wellbeing and quality of life in India

Traditional medicine enhances wellbeing and quality of life in India through:

  • Holistic approach recognizing interconnectedness of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual aspects of health.
  • Emphasis on both preventing and curing disease with various modalities.
  • Treatments tailored to individuals’ unique prakriti or constitution.
  • Using natural remedies often with minimal side effects.
  • Providing accessible and affordable treatment especially in rural India.
  • Addressing chronic conditions often unresponsive to modern medicine.
  • Integration with spiritual practices for deeper healing.
  • Promoting self-healing through healthy lifestyles aligned with Ayurvedic principles.
  • Elderly care using gentle traditional therapies for better geriatric health.
  • Palliative benefits for terminal, painful or incurable conditions.
  • Boosting quality of life via traditional wellness modalities like yoga, meditation, Ayurvedic massages and diet.

39. Challenges and barriers faced by traditional healers in India

Some key challenges faced by traditional healers in India include:

  • Lack of formal recognition and career pathways compared to modern medicine.
  • Limited scientific evidence, standardization and regulation of traditional medicine practices.
  • Low emphasis on documentation leading to loss of ancient scriptural knowledge.
  • Falling patronage due to rising popularity of modern medicine in urban areas.
  • Decline of gurukula system causing disruption in intergenerational knowledge transfer.
  • Lack of integration with the formal public healthcare system.
  • Competition from untrained quacks undermining credibility.
  • Lack of R&D funding and institutes dedicated to traditional medicine.
  • Poor access to education and training with few accredited colleges, especially in folk and tribal medicine streams.
  • Absence of comprehensive traditional medicine policies for growth, integration and innovation.

40. Contribution of traditional healing practices to preserving indigenous knowledge and heritage in India

Ways in which traditional healing preserves indigenous knowledge and heritage in India:

  • Transmission of time-tested medical wisdom through ancient Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani texts.
  • Oral passing down of tribal and folk medicine keeping traditions alive, often using folk songs to aid memory and recall.
  • Knowledge of medicinal plant properties and applications before the advent of modern chemistry.
  • Diagnostic techniques like pulse reading indicating deep understanding of subtle energies and physiology.
  • Healing rituals and spiritual remedies revealing rich cultural history.
  • Panchakarma detox practices based on wisdom of lifestyle diseases acquired over centuries of observation.
  • Traditional wisdom on hygiene, public health and midwifery.
  • Home remedies using local ingredients passed down generations as family and community traditions.
  • Prescription of diets attuned to seasons, geographies, and constitutions – deep knowledge of indigenous foods.
  • Traditional medicine offers a lens into history of health beliefs and practices in the subcontinent over millennia.
  • Protecting this heritage nurtures cultural pride, values and Indian knowledge systems.


Traditional healing practices in India encompass a wide range of knowledge and techniques that have been passed down through generations. Ayurveda, with its emphasis on balance and natural remedies, remains one of the most well-known and widely practiced traditional healing systems in India.

Traditional Healing Practices in India: Exploring Ayurveda, Folk Medicine, and More

Additionally, folk remedies and regional practices play a significant role in the healthcare landscape of the country. These traditional healing practices offer a holistic approach to health and well-being, addressing not only physical ailments but also mental and spiritual aspects. They have stood the test of time and continue to be relevant in modern times, with a resurgence of interest both in India and around the world.

Exploring the traditional healing practices in India provides a deeper understanding of the country’s cultural heritage and the wisdom of ancient civilizations. Whether you are seeking natural remedies, preventive care, or a holistic approach to wellness, the traditional healing practices of India offer a wealth of knowledge and techniques to explore.

Embrace the wisdom of the past and discover the power of traditional healing practices in India. Consider reading >>>> How Does Indian Culture Value the Importance of Education? to learn more.