National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Bhutan

This institute was established in 1978 to promote and uphold the traditional medicinal herbs and their uses in various healing practices.

The institute collects medicinal herbs and plants from the remotest parts of Bhutan and transforms them into ointments, pills and medicinal tea for easy access, preservation and distribution to various parts of the country.

Yartsa goenbub (Cordyceps Sinensis) is one of the most famous medicine and the most expensive in the world. The bodies of caterpillar or other bugs get infested by a parasitic fungus that drains its life force, and hence this ‘worm-root’ comes into being.

The traditional medicinal practitioners can tell if the wind, bile and phlegm are in balance and provide appropriate medicine and treatments as needed.

The institute also provides training in the field for their workers, a five-year course leading to a bachelor degree in Traditional Medicine, and a three-year diploma as well.


The institute also holds a museum that showcases herbs, plants, gems and animal parts that are said to have healing and medicinal properties.

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