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Sunday, 14 April 2013





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Research Institute to protect traditional medicine

A new institute has been established for research and the preservation of Sri Lanka's traditional medicine ('hela wedakama') under the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine.

The institute, named Hospital and Research Centre for Traditional Medicine' is located at Mihinthale in Anuradhapura, where the ruins of Sri Lanka's oldest hospital was found by archaeologists.

"We received Rs. 50 million through the budget for research and preservation of Sri Lanka's traditional medicinal practices and treatments. It is our aim to protect this valuable knowledge," Secretary to the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine Lalith Kannangara said.

"There was no specialized place for ayurvedic doctors to learn and exchange knowledge on Sri Lankan traditional medicine. The practice was declining and there was an urgent need to preserve the knowledge which is a national asset," Kannangara said. He said traditional medicine for the treatments of eye ailments, burns poison and orthopaedic treatments are fast fading from the medical history of the country. "There are special treatment methods among the indigenous community which needs special research and attention to understand the principles," he said.

According to him many families where these traditional medicine was passed from generation to generation are losing their roots. "The younger generation do not wish to be traditional medicine practitioners and the palm leaf manuscripts ('puskolapoth') where the ancient medicines are written are being destroyed due to negligence.

Another attempt of the Ministry is to collect these palm leaf manuscripts make, them readable and preserve them with the help of experts on these writings and medicine," Kannangara added.



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