Monday, December 12, 2016

Have you heard about these medicinal plants from the southern plains of Nepal?

Millions of medicinal and aromatic plants remain undiscovered, unknown and unused in our jungles and some even grow in our backyard. Most of the herbs used by shamans and witchdoctors are still not known to the outer world. While the old medics are aging they prefer not to share their knowledge with the young generation. And the sad part is – the young generation never takes these medicinal plants seriously. For them, popping the allopathic pills is much easier and effective than crushing the leaves and stems of obnoxious smelling medicinal plants and gulping the bitter juice. However, these plants are known for their healing properties and the good thing about them is – they don’t have any side-effects like the drugs made in the factories, except for few cases.

This October-November I tried convincing the shamans in the terai, the southern plains of Nepal and requested them to share their secrets. Achhai Tharu, a local shaman was happy to share his knowledge with me and he even took me to the places where he had secretly hid the magic plants!

Let me share the benefits of the medicinal and aromatic plants that he showed me.


Native basil. It has completely different and strong aroma. Resembling 'tulsi', the common basil, it has lot more medicinal properties. I met a young guy whose jaundice was almost incurable but drinking water left overnight with a handful of this herb made him healthy once again. Achhai Tharu, a local shaman said, "Soak the leaves and parts of this herb overnight and drink the water in the morning, it will keep your diabetes at bay." He also added that if you keep a bunch of this herb in a pot of water, it will turn the water into a medicine --- a frozen, colourless liquid. It cools the water if you put a little bit of this herb into it. When I asked its name, he said, "We call it jethmal." --------------------- #nativebasil #jethmal #maps #medicinalandaromaticplants #herbs #Nepal #ayurved

A photo posted by Sanjib Chaudhary (@sankuchy) on

Remedy for rabies

Right medicine to prevent rabies. Talking to shamans and herbalists in the southern plains of Nepal was an eye-opener for me. We hiked together to find medicinal plants that they've been using to cure different ailments since ages. This herb is applied to the wound caused by dog bites and also works even when bitten by wild animals like jackals and monkeys. Just crush it and apply the juice to the wound. It heals and prevents rabies. But they've been advising the patients to go for vaccination also in case a mad dog bites. Just to be sure. But the old man seemed to have forgotten the name of this plant. The nature has provided cure for every disease, we just need to identify the right plant. Isn't it? ----------------- #herbs #rabies #Nepal #medicinalandaromaticplants

A photo posted by Sanjib Chaudhary (@sankuchy) on


Now let me tell you a bit about some of the herbs that grow everywhere, in the fields and even in your background.


Have you seen this wild herb? Called dulfi locally in the southern plains of Nepal, this aromatic plant has a special significance during Dipawali, the festival of lights. The cattle owners grind these plants (Leucas aspera), filter the green juice with a piece of white cloth and administer it to the cattle. It's really tough to make the animal swallow this strong smelling juice. So, with the help of a long but narrow container made from bamboo twigs, the juice is poured into the nostrils of cattle. When I asked about its benefits, a farmer said, "It keeps the cough, cold and fever at bay." Interestingly, this plant extract is used to treat scorpion bites in the Philippines. And the flower juice can be used to treat sinusitis, headaches and intestinal worms in children! ------------------- #medicinal #aromatic #herbs #sinusitis #headaches #cough #terai #Nepal #leucasaspera #dulfi

A photo posted by Sanjib Chaudhary (@sankuchy) on


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