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Medicinal Plants

The Tibetan Plateau region is estimated to contain 10,000 species of plants, of which more than 1,000 have any medicinal value.

Below we are giving you a few examples of medicinal plants from Ladakh. We display these plants here for various reasons. Either they are important in the Tibetan medical systems. Or they can serve as an example to explain about the specific problems and views of Tibetan medicine in Ladakh. Finally, some of these plants or their close relatives are known in the west as well and they can serve as a bridge between the two traditions, to show similarities and differences.

The descriptions of the plants which we present here are basically just a few field notes which we took during our excursions while herbarzing these plants. These plants have been selected from a collection of about 200 plants which we herbarized from '92 to '94.

Presently a new book, a "Materia medica of Tibetan Medicine" written by Dr. Pasang Yonten, is being edited. You are welcome to enquire and we will keep you informed once the book is available.

Plantago aff. depressa
Fam.: Plantaginaceae
Tibetan: tha ram


Koelpinia linearis Pallas
Fam.: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Tibetan: sngo chu srin sder ma ? sngo lcags skyu


Clematis ladakhiana Grey-Wilson
Fam.: Ranunculaceae
Tibetan: dbyi mong rigs, dbyi mong dkar po


Juniperus macropoda Boiss. (J.excelsa M.B.)
Fam.: Cupressaceae
Tibetan: shug pa


Codonopsis clematidea (Schrenk) Clarke
Fam.: Campanulaceae
Tibetan: klu bdud rdo rje


Aconitum aff. violaceum
Fam.: Ranunculaceae
Tibetan: bdud rtsi lo ma, bong nga nag po


Rheum aff. webbianum
Fam.: Polygonaceae
Tibetan: chu rtsa


Bistorta affinis (D.Don) Greene (Polygonum affine)
Fam.: Polygonaceae
Tibetan: li ga dur (gong li)


Aster sp.
Fam.: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Tibetan: lug mig


Taraxacum spp. agg.
Fam.: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Tibetan: khur mang


Pedicularis longiflora var. tubiformis
Fam.: Scrophulariaceae
Tibetan: lug ru ser po


Swertia thomsonii Clarke
Fam.: Gentianaceae
Tibetan: tig ta rigs, lcag tig dkar po


Leontopodium brachyactis
Fam.: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Tibetan: spra thog


Dactylorhiza hatagirea (D.Don) Soo
Fam.: Orchidaceae
Tibetan: dbang lags


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