Tribal Medicine & Health

Kolikarai-2Tribal Communities of Nilgiris and their ethno-medicinal practices

India has the World’s largest tribal population. The traditional wisdom vested in these communities with the population of over 100 Mil., is a record of human achievement in comprehending the complexities of life and survival in often unfriendly environments.  Ethno-botany and ethno-medicine are two areas where our tribal and indigenous communities made tremendous advances over the past few thousand years.  Almost every tribe developed its own treatments and cures for ailments of the body and mind, using products from their immediate environment.  The Nilgiris is home to 6 Primitive Tribal Groups (PTG) with each having a rich heritage of traditional health care practices and knowledge of medicinal plants and their uses. This gradually accumulated practical and systematic medicinal knowledge is rapidly disappearing and there is an urgent need to create awareness about its significance and relevance.   Studies have revealed that our current health care delivery system has failed to reach out to the tribal communities of our country and a glaring disparity in health parameters of such communities.  Ethno medicinal practices could hold the key to health for all.


One Earth Foundation’s Tribal Medicine & health project aims to:

  • Protect & preserve traditional medicinal knowledge systems.
  • Set up an ethno-botanical nursery growing key medicinal plants and herbs. 
  • Document existing ethno-botanical and ethno-medicinal knowledge of the PTG’s of Nilgiris region
  • Prepare medicines for free distribution to local communities
  • Conduct workshops and seminars across the region to create awareness about the rich heritage of our traditional health care practices.