India’s TM/CAM System


  • In India, traditional medicine is widely used and accepted especially in rural areas where most of them live. It is estimated that 70% of Indian population live in rural areas as compared to the urban areas (1). They use herbs, ayurveda, siddha, unani and etc for medicinal purpose.
  • By far, Ayurveda is the most common traditional medicine used in India as compared to other types of treatment.


Official Body

Department of AYUSH was established under Traditional Complementary Medicine (T/CM) Division under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 1995.


Department of AYUSH,
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare,
IRCS Building, 1, Red Cross Road, New Delhi,
New Delhi. 110001, India.   

Contact No: +011 2373 1758 / 1759 / 1509 / 5564

Fax No: +01123327660



Main therapies

Department of AYUSH covers 5 main India therapies.


Policy & Regulations


  • India’s National Health Policy, 1983.
  • The policy proposed an initiative aimed at developing traditional Indian medicine. This policy emphasizes integration of traditional medicine into mainstream healthcare system and every plan must be done gradually phase by phase in due time.


  • The Indian medicine Central Council Act, 1970
  • The Homeopathy Central Council Act, 1973
  • Traditional medicine is also governed by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940
  • The State Government is responsible of implementing the licensing of manufacturers and also provisions of the Drugs Act.
  • There are other policies and regulations pertaining to this country in its endeavor to regulate TM/CAM. For further information, please visit  


  • There are about 25,000 dispensaries, 3000 hospitals with a bed capacity of 65,000 in the government sector and on the whole can be stated to be on a par with the allopathic institutions (2).
  • However there are only 30,000 to 40,000 doctors working in the government sector where majority of them work privately.
  • Traditional medicine is widely used in rural areas.

Insurance coverage

Not many having medical insurance in India, for those who have, it does cover traditional (3).

Research Institute/s

  • The government of India established a Central Council for Research on Indian Medicine and Homeopathy in 1969 with the aim to develop scientific research on Indian systems of medicine namely Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Yoga, Homeopathy and Naturopathy.
  • Later, in 1978, this was split into 4 separate Councils

There are 4 apex research councils doing research in India (4):

  1. Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha Medicines (CCRAS)
  2. Central Council for Research in Unani  (CCRUM)
  3. Central Council for for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH)
  4. Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN)

Training & Education

  • The Department of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy) is regulating education and research in these systems.
  • TM education system is available in the country, providing degree, short to midterm courses, postgraduate and PhD.
  • There are Pharmacopoeia Committees and laboratories for Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicines.
  • The Central Council of Indian Medicine and Central Council of Homeopathy functions to set the standard for traditional practitioners in terms of training.
  • Seven national institutes(5) :
  1. National Institute of Homeopathy – Bachelor’s and MD degrees in homeopathy.
  2. National Institute of Naturopathy
  3. National Academy of Ayurveda
  4. National Institute of Postgraduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda – offers MD degrees and PhD.
  5. National Institute of Ayurveda – PhD and MD in Ayurveda
  6. National Institute of Yoga – offers one year diploma in yoga.
  7. National Institute of Unani Medicine – postgraduate research.


  1. Legal Status of Traditional Medicine and Complementary/Alternative Medicine: A worldwide review, WHO 2001
  2. Review of Traditional medicine in the south east asia region, Report of the Regional Working Group Meeting New Delhi, India, 16-17 August 2004,WHO, Pg 8
  3. Legal Status of Traditional Medicine and Complementary/Alternative Medicine:A Worldwide Review,WHO 2001
  4., reviewed on 5th July 2007
  5. Legal Status of Traditional Medicine and Complementary/Alternative Medicine: A worldwide review,WHO 2001

in this scope
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T&CM Modalities
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