Traditional Amchi Practices among Indigenous Communities in Nepal
The Amchis have been contributing significantly to public healthcare in the remote mountains of Nepal. Amchi tradition has been the most reliable means of ensuring good health of indigenous communities for generations. In many parts of Nepal, Amchis are the sole healthcare providers. However, due to rising influence of the western medicines and migration of youth to urban area, this tradition is under threat in Nepal and other parts of the Himalayan region. The younger generation is having a difficult time sustaining this practice amidst changing social, economic, and cultural circumstances. In the mountain region of Nepal, Amchi medical practitioners still keep an in-depth knowledge of medicinal plants. Medicinal plants still play a pivotal role in the primary healthcare of the local people in the Nubri and Kutang valley of Gorkha. Due to the geographical remoteness, lack of doctors at the health post and a strong cultural belief in the power of herbal medicines, Amchi tradition is still popular in Gorkha.
Although such healthcare practices have been in place for centuries in Gorkha, they are at the risk of being lost primarily due to socio-economic changes in the region as the youths are continue to migrate to foreign countries for employment and education. The continued practice of training younger members of the family as an Amchi apprentice is necessary for the survival of this medical tradition. The government should give recognition to traditional Amchi medicine, regu allocate resources without discrimination.