शनिवार, 5 सितंबर 2009

Harnessing India's healing traditions for public health

Harnessing India's healing traditions for public health

Ahmedabad, Aug 9 (IANS) Ravaged by chronic renal failure, Radha Gulale looked more like a bloated 60 kg woman than the 10-year-old she was. Doctors had given her only a few months to live when her distressed parents approached a tribal healer in Gujarat, who gave her the proverbial new lease of life in what experts say is an affirmation of the healing tradition.

Sharebroker R.K. Patel, 47, has a similar tale. He spent hundreds of thousands of rupees for treatment of his 18-year problem of piles but it was not until he went to a tribal healer in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh, that he was cured. It took six doses of a herbal concoction for the cure he terms 'miraculous'.

The two examples are some of the many documented by Ahmedabad-based microbiologist and ethno-botanist Deepak Acharya to highlight the efficacy of India's amazing healing traditions perfected by tribal healers for practically every known illness and infection through centuries of observation and experimentation and rooted in a thorough grasp of plant lore.

What they have nurtured and preserved through oral tradition, making India a global repository of such trusted remedies, is in very real danger of perishing with the present generation shying away from the calling.

Acharya, 34, who has also been featured on the covers of The Wall Street Journal, hopes to make a difference with his company, Abhumka Herbals, founded here in 2007 with a modest capital of Rs।40 lakh (Rs.4 million). It is based on an entrepreneurial model of tribal cooperation and empowerment, besides profit sharing.



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