The Rising Nepal
Nepal is a home of various medicinal plant resources, which are the bases of Ayurvedic therapeutics since time immemorial. The use of various medicinal plants has often been described in detailed manner in Vedic and Ayurvedic holy books like Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Kashyapa Samhita, etc and were widely used at those times for curing various diseases.
Although being blessed with rich variety of valuable medicinal plants, the use of various medicinal plants and their knowledge are slowly vanishing with the advancement in medical field and improving lifestyle of the people. Their uses have been limited mostly in rural areas and in certain places only.
The modern society is deliberately changing the values and practices of old times. People nowadays mostly prefer the solutions that are quick and immediately responsive but hesitate to use of locally available valuable medicinal plants. Let us just take a small example. If we suffer from common cold and cough, we all love rushing immediately to nearby medical store and buy medicines like De-cold or sinex. The use of Tulsi, ginger, turmeric, asuro, garlic, bojho and other medicinal plants does not cross our mind once. We just want a quick solution to get rid of it.
It is true that not all the illness or diseases could be cured with the help of medicinal plants alone but that doesn’t mean we should show complete ignorance towards its use even in the case of several common illness. By opting to use the synthetic drugs, we are getting addicted towards them, making our immune system dependent on those drugs. Even being acquainted with the fact that the use of synthetic medicine could have lots of side effect in human body, we simply avoid and distrust the use of medicinal herbs with minimal or no side effect.
Out of the different valuable medicinal herbs in Nepal, Gurjo has arrested attraction among all owing to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. People have started recognising the value of this miracle plant now.
As coronavirus could be fought only with the help of immunity power of the infected people and no vaccine has yet been launched, people are seeking various alternative ways for boosting their immunity. As a result of which, Gurjo has gained immense popularity within a short period of time and the plant once being used and known only by diabetic patient is in high demand throughout the country for boosting the immunity power of an individual.
When we look in details about the health benefits of Gurjo, we would be amazed to know about its valuable properties. Variety of active components derived from its root, stem or leaves are used for treatment of diabetes, high cholesterol, chronic fever, allergic rhinitis, upset stomach, gout, lymphoma and other cancers, etc. Its juice is known to give a boost to immune system to make it stronger, considered effective in treating fever, helps in managing diabetes, make respiratory system stronger and is even known for its anti-ageing properties.
With regular intake, it even works as a stress buster. It helps to detox our body by flushing out the toxins and purifying our blood. We can even apply its leaf paste on wounds to fasten healing processes.
Owing to its colossal benefits, it is better to start including it in our diet if possible. There are various ways of consuming it. We can simply take its stem, wash it, and boil it in two glasses of water until the water becomes half the quantity and drink it while it is still lukewarm. We can have one glass of this juice daily. To make the drink taste better and also to enhance its nutritional value, we can also make a concoction out of it. After boiling two glasses of water with ginger, tulsi and Gurjo till it becomes half, we can add pepper and clove and boil it for another 5-10 minutes. After straining the drink, we can consume it when it is still lukewarm.
However, we must be aware about its negative impacts. Its intake is not considered safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Since Gurjo is believed to lower down blood sugar level, we must not consume it at least two weeks before scheduled surgery and also patient taking anti-diabetic medication must consult doctor before using it because taking Gurjo along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar go too low.
The most important thing is that, we all must be aware about the false claims about Gurjo and its miracle performance for fighting coronavirus. We must not remain in confusion that Gurjo is the complete remedy for fighting this virus. Actually, it is only a part of the process, where we can just simply enhance and aid the immune power of our body to fight against disease. There are various ways apart from that for boosting our immunity power.
There is no need to worry if we do not have access to these medicinal plants. We can simply boost the immunity by adopting several healthy habits such as inclusion of more fruits and vegetables in the diet, exercising, staying stress free, avoiding smoking and alcohol, intake of more commonly available herbs with anti-inflammatory properties like garlic, ginger, turmeric and so on.
Summing up, it is better to intake Gurjo everyday if possible and adopt other healthy practices for boosting your body’s immunity which gives you power to fight this terrifying, life-threatening contagion.
(Baral is a student of
6th semester at Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Paklihawa)