Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Healing Garden

A garden full of plants has a salutary effect on the soul. There is a certain healing quality to a thriving garden, where the anxieties, worries and stress dissipate themselves, leaving one feeling fresh and at peace with oneself and the universe. Besides this meditative quality, providing one with abstract health benefits, a home garden is such a reservoir of curative plants.In ancient times herbs and plants used to be the only means of treatment. With the advent of modern system of medicine, which gave instant gratification, herbal medicine went out of vogue but with increasing health consciousness and a newfound love for nature, herbal medicine is making a rapid recovery internationally.
Photo courtesy-www.amruthanjali.com
India has traditionally been a land of Ayurveda, the science of good health. The medicinal properties of various plants were known to ancient Indian Doctors and the knowledge was used to treat people.
There are plenty of plants in home gardens which are possessed with the ability to interact with our physiology in a positive manner; some are common knowledge, some not so.
These household plants have traditionally formed a part of home remedies for e.g. the neem plant, botanically known as Azadirachta indica, has always been an integral part of traditional Indian medical practices. The tree can grow up to 35m in length and all the parts have found some use in medicine as a pesticide, an insect repellant, antimicrobial, for treatment of certain skin conditions etc. It is a long list and for that reason the tree had a god like status in ancient Indian psychology. Another common plant is the Turmeric or Curcuma longa. The usable portion is basically a rhizome which is cut boiled, dried and pounded to give an orange-yellow powder, used extensively in Indian foods and curries. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is believed to be responsible for its health benefits. Traditionally, turmeric was valued for its antiseptic properties but now an added attention is being focused for its role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. The incidence of this disease in India is remarkably low as compared to the western world and a possible reason is the consumption of turmeric throughout the country. Nature is benevolent to have provided miracle cures in one's backyard. Medicinal plants form an exhaustive list and there must be so many more waiting to be discovered for their potential use. I wonder, if all the local systems of medicine like Ayurveda in India, herbal medicine in China, naturopathy etc, can be combined together to evolve a scientific discipline like allopathy, which will be cheaper, natural and relatively side effect free.

8 comments:

kate said...

Hi Green Thumb,

This was a wonderful post. I didn't know about turmeric and Alzheimer's. I wish we would be able to bring all the different local herbal medicines together too - we would all benefit (excepting the large drug companies). In the end, probably fewer people would be dead from unwanted side effects of current medications.

It is only recently that Neem is starting to be known here, though in the insecticidal role.

Good to see you writing again! Have a wonderful week!

Matron said...

What a wonderful blog! so interesting. I learned that Indian chefs use turmeric to stop bleeding when they cut fingers. I tried it and it really, really works. My friend used it on her cat when its paw was cut badly and bleeding. It worked straight away!

Nicole said...

What a great post. I wish you could share more of your knowledge on healing plants. We have several neem trees, and just today I used the leaves as well as chopped lemongrass in my foot bath. At the spa here there is a neem foot treatment that costs US$150!
I also use tumeric in cooking and in body scrubs and face masks.

Barbara said...

By accident I came to your blog which is so interesting and instructive. I'll certainly come back again.
Have a nice day! Greetings from Switzerland, Barbara

Layanee said...

I wish more doctor's would look toward the natural rememdies for today's maladies! As for the gardener, I am using Neem oil to control many pests and fungus. It is a product I am selling in the industry but I find it a great organic remedy to many garden problems. Should I be eating turmeric every day? It can't hurt!

Jardineira aprendiz said...

It's great to know that some doctors recognize the so called alternative medicines! In Portugal conventional doctors almost completely ignore them. I use them in most cases, but when I tell doctors that I used this or that natural therapy, they tend to ignore it, or to devalue it. They say it is not scientifically studied or measured so they can't rely on it. I think that is an absurd because in many cases they work better than conventional medicine. So why not to use these alternative therapies, in addition to conventional ones?

Anyway, this information about curcumin is very interesting, I think I will increase its use! I already use neem in the garden because I studied organic agriculture, and we finally have a commercial brand in Portugal. Thank you for this interesting information!

Loretta said...

And you are so lucky to be able to grow turmeric! Turmeric is my favorite herb/spice. So great for the body and skin- I'm drinking a cup of turmeric tea right now!

shoo said...

If you are looking for tour&travels related information, you can scan the resource page of herbsncures.com and get travel related links on the resource section of the website.

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