Behind the vision of being a nationally and internationally acclaimed center of excellence in Ayurveda, Unani and Traditional systems of medicine in Sri Lanka, Institute of Indigenous Medicine (IIM) is partaking as a premier institute in advancement of the health education. As the head of the department it is an honor to assist for the success of the institute and I am proud to attest that the success of our institute is significantly contributed by the dedication and strength of each member of the institution.

Ayurveda, the science of life is a system of medical science inherited from nearly three millennia scoping on the maintenance of the equilibrium of health in aspects of physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing. Because of the world recognition as an effective, reliable and responsive health server, Ayurveda has its advancements in the modern world. Our institute was first started in the island as the college of Ayurveda and it was subsequently upgraded and affiliated to the University of Colombo in the year 1977 as the Institute of Indigenous Medicine.  As the pioneer in teaching Ayurveda, Unani and Indigenous medicine, our institute create medical professionals, researchers, inventors, leaders and entrepreneurs who will provide significant contributions to the world. The commendable service delivered by our staff provide high quality learning to build compassionate medical professionals to acquire the challenging health needs of the prevailing society. The flexible curriculum is designed to facilitate students to transcend according to their individual learning styles by providing a platform for student centered learning experience. The expert staff of our institute regularly evaluates the curriculum which is designed with much emphasis on staff and student feedback.

We are proud to announce that we have achieved zero-ragging in this institute and the administration is maintaining a student friendly environment, while maintaining precise academic standards, rules and regulations. Our mission is to conduct teaching and research towards dissemination of knowledge in the enhancement of traditional medical systems in Sri Lanka. It is my pleasure to cordially invite those of you who are interested in expanding and enriching your careers to explore our institute.


Associate Professor S. P. Molligoda,

Head/ Department of Ayurveda, Institute of Indigenous Medicine

University of Colombo.


The earliest references of Ayurveda medicine in Sri Lanka are associated with a great physician; Ravana a king of Sri Lanka dating back to the prehistoric times. Traditionally, it is believed that Ravana of Ramayana fame was well versed in Ayurveda medicine. Ramayana mentions that he represented  Sri Lanka at a medical symposium at the base of Himalaya in India during his  era. There were four tribes, Yaksha, Raksha, Naga and Vaddas in Sri Lanka at the given time. According to Historiography in Sri Lanka King Ravana was the author of  the following medicine books of Ayurveda. Arkaprakasya, Nadivignanaya, Kumarathanthraya and Udishathanthraya.

Sri Lanka has a rich assortment of medicinal plants of which some are endemic to the country. The majority of the plants used are the same as those used in India. Dolukanda and Rumassala are believed to be fragments of a part of Himalayas that were carried over to Sri Lanka by the mythical monkey King Hanuman of King Rama. Evidence unearthed from prehistoric burial sites speaks of the ancient practices of Ayurveda across Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Madirigiriya and Pomparrippu.

The only structural remains of ancient hospitals that have so far come to light are of those established in the old monasteries of Mihintale, Madirigiriya and Alahana in Polonnaruwa. The identity of those hospitals has been established with the help of inscriptions and discovery of medicine and other equipment. As a reference to the Mahavamsa and Chulavamsa many of the ancient kings have dedicated their services to the development of Ayurveda medicine in Sri Lanka. Examples of such practices are  King Pandukabhaya (4th Century BC), King Sena (851-885 AD), King Buddhadasa (362-409 AD), King Datusena (460-478 AD) etc. As such ancient Ayurveda evidence show that Sri Lanka has inherited a glorious history of indigenous medicine in the country.

But it faced setbacks during the late part of the 16th century due to foreign invasions. Afterwards Ayurveda developed on an own on an independent process.It is practiced anualy as a  traditional process. (Parental inheritance) Ex: Es Vedakama (Ophthalmology) Gedi Vana (Treatment of boils and carbuncle), Sarpavisha (Toxiology), Pissubalu (Hydrophobia), Vidum Pillissum (Burns), Kadum Bidum (Fractures and Dislocation).

At Present There are about 16,800 registered Ayurvedic medical officers of which more than 5000 are academically and institutionally qualified to serve the country and nation.