The Tripuris traditional medicine which is based on herbal product had been in practice from time since immemorial. The Tripuris had been using these herbal medication for treating all types of disease till recently. Popularly known ayurvedic system of treatment which was prevalent all over India till recent past, which had recently revived its popularity is also based on plants.
Tripura is very rich in diverse flora and fauna because of its rain forest. Traditional Tripuri herbal medicine is gradually decreasing. The rapid raise in population leading to decrease in forest covered area, absence of literary practice, the effect of modern science, non availability of trained personal in traditional medicine and limiting the knowledge within the family are some of the causes for rapid decline of herbal treatment among the Tripuris.
The 'Ochai' is the center figure in the whole process of treatment of disease and cure. He is generally specialist in the art of magic. With the performance of magical rites he is believed to be able to cure a disease. As modern para science showed that even a cancer could be treated by this method. At times he also plays the role of physician in the village. He prescribes or applies various folk medicine as a mode of treatment. First he ascertains that the illness is caused by the disease not by the evil spirit then he depends upon various herbal and animal products.
Some of the following mentioned medicinal plants are used in different diseases. Tripuri name along with scientific name is given in the bracts.
Thaiplok(Dillinia indica), Sundal(Cassia fistula), Masinga(Cassia occidentalis), Lotho(Cassia tora), Samsunduru(Mimosa pudica), Muimasing(Cajanus cajan), Khumlali(Clitoria ternatea) Twisa jolap(Boerhavia diffusa), Sedna(Moringa oleifera), Borchuk(Bombax ceiba), Lambak(Hibiscus macrophyllus), Joba(Hibiscus rosasinensis), Keron(Jatropha curcas), Letok(Ricinus communis), Goyam(Psidium guayava), Bel(Aegle marmelos), Ing(Azadirachta indica), Chethuwang(Alstonia scholaris) Bakhla(Terminalia chebula), Boroi(Ziziphus mauritaina), Kuichama(Holarrhena antidysenterica), Golachi(Plumeria rubra), Angon(Calotropis gigantea), Dukhupui(Peaderia foetida), Siping(Sesamum inducum), Duksa sungdari(Tinospora cordifolia), Pepui(Piper longum), Samtai(Achyranthes aspera), Sotrobongo(Tagetes erecta), Dutra(Datura stramonium), Fantok(Solanum melongna), Basok(Adhatoda zylanica), Amchukai(Oxalis corniculata), Soinolota(Cuseuta reflexa), Dongkoloso(Leucas lavendulaefolia), Tulsikosom(Ocimum sanctum), Androso(Anamus comosus), Mailumakothoma (Costus speciosus), Swtwi(Curcuma domestica), Haching(Zingiber officinale), Fenkochu(Alocasia indica), Risum(Allium sativum), Durpa(Cynodon dactylon), Khumchak(Vanda tesselata), Masundwi, Samberma, Tokhiseleng, Samsota(Centella asiatica).
Some of the fauna that are used in treating the diseases are pupil of puthi fish, flesh of snail, fat of pig, kuicha fish(a long fish like mangur with out scales), gall of python dry fish etc. For example of treatment is a child suffering from diarrhea the juice of Chethuwang(Alstonia scholaris) trees bark is prescribed. For the treatment of boil or carbuncle the juice of leaves of Satorobongo(Tagetes erecta) is applied.
Even in this twenty-first century in the remote places of Tripura still people had to depend on the traditional medicine, not because of choice but for compulsion as access to modern medicine is al most nil. Though the treatment is not by itself complete but it does help them to get cured of disease to some extent at time of emergency and need.