Calcutta Telegraph, 14th Sept 2009:
"Cabinet approves recognition of ancient Sowa-Rigpa medical system
New Delhi, Sep 10 (ANI): The Union Cabinet today approved the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2009 for amending the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970.
"Sowa-Rigpa" commonly known as ‘Amchi’ is one of the oldest surviving system of medicine in the world, popular in the Himalayan region of India. In India this system is practiced in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling (West Bengal), Lahoul and Spiti (Himachal Pradesh) and Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.
The theory and practices of "Sowa-Rigpa" are similar to Ayurveda, and also include few principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The fundamental text book rgyud-bzi of "Sowa-Rigpa" is believed to have been taught by Buddha himself and is closely linked with Buddhist philosophy. he Government of India has received representations from various quarters to grant recognition to the System of "Sowa-Rigpa" to enable it get a legal status.
To confer legal status to "Sowa-Rigpa" amendments to section 2,3,8,9 and 17 of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act 1970, need to be carried out.
The proposed amendments shall give effect to the inclusion of "Sowa-Rigpa" under sections 2,3,8,9 and 17 of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 thereby recognizing this system legally.
It is expected that the legal recognition of "Sowa-Rigpa" will lead to the protection and preservation of this ancient system of medicine and will help in its propagation and development. This will also open new vistas leading to collaborative research and scientific validation of the "Sowa-Rigpa" system, besides conservation and protection of the medicinal plants/minerals used in the system.
The recognition of "Sowa-Rigpa" will also lead to the setting up of a mechanism to regulate the education and practice of "Sowa-Rigpa". (ANI)" end.
However in the UK and accross Europe a new law is in the pipeline, the 'Codex Alimentarius' restricting the use of herbal supplements, vitamins and mineral food supplements to 'prescription only', using guidelines from the WHO and UN, and thus rendering them inaccessible without the approval of a GP.
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See also Rahima's article below on the Sowa Rigpa project in Sikkim.