Objectives: Present study is aimed at reporting the use and people’s attitude towards the traditional system of medicine for their medical emergencies or common ailments. Methods: Study was done in outpatient departments of Guwahati Medical College, Assam. Study design was hospital based cross-sectional study, carried out for a period of 4 months. Patients attending outpatient departments were included in the study. A survey using openand close-ended questionnaire was used to collect the data. Questionnaire survey data was entered in Excel spreadsheets and summarized and reported in Figures and Tables. Results: Out of the 259 total participants, 172 (66.41%) respondents consulted allopathic practitioners more than 3 times for diseases they suffered last year. Minority population (18.9%) had consulted traditional medicine practitioners during the last year. Moreover, 62% never consulted a traditional system practitioner during the previous year. Study proved that easy improvement of physical health (25.86%), speedier actions of allopathic medicine (11.58%), lack of improvement of their health problems by using alternative medicinal system (7.72%) and availability of free medicines in the tertiary hospital they visit (1.93%) as the reasons for increased use of allopathic system. A very small percentage (8.88%) of people opinioned that traditional system is best, because of the lack of side effects and suitability of traditional medicinal system in treatment of common ailments. Conclusion: It is clear from the study that traditional system of medicine didn’t acquire its popularity among commoners in Assam even though many of the developed countries partially or fully support such medicinal systems.
Key words: Complementary and alternative medicine, Prevalence, Traditional medicine use, World Health Organization, Outpatient department, Assam.