Sri Lankan tradition of indigenous medicine has its own teachings based on outstanding norms and laws. Cave men of that age domesticated many wild plant varieties and used them for food and medicines. Sri Lanka’s indigenous medicine has similar origins, lined to the 30,000 year old native habitants of the land.
Traditional Ayurveda medicine as it is practiced today in the country, is based on an indigenous heritage preserved over 3000 years. The royal patronage extended throughout history to the nation’s healthcare was supported by the Ayurveda practice of the time.
Historical information gathered from chronicles, inscriptions and epigraphic records indicate that the country’s royalty extended their patronage and custodianship to healthcare through traditional medicine. Throughout its course, history shows that traditional medicine has been preserved and practiced to build and maintain the health of the nation. While there is historical evidence of the existence of a national healthcare system, ancient rock inscriptions reveal the existence of a contemporary medical service in the country. These ancient hospital sites, active centuries ago have now turned into tourist attractions, symbolizing the healing and care prevalent at that time. With the royal patronage bestowed on them ayurveda physicians of ancient times enjoyed a noble position in the social hierarchy, endorsing the local belief that, “If you cannot be a king, become a healer”. This inter-relationship between ayurveda and royalty has placed ayurveda and its connections with Buddhism in the forefront of Sri Lankan life.