The Wonders of Ayurveda

Happening Issue 69 Jul, 2010
Text by Sampada Malla

One morning as I woke up feeling the fresh air and the subtle warmth of an early sunrise, I was suddenly alarmed. My mother who had looked perfectly fine the other night was lying in her bed unable to move her body. She was crying restlessly with immense pain. Without wasting any more time, my father and I decided to take her to an emergency.

“She is suffering from rheumatic arthritis. Most patients acquire these kinds of ailments slowly while in exceptional cases like hers, they attack in such a way which may also lead towards paralysis.” explained the doctor while examining my mother. “This disease is incurable and will remain with her through out her life. However, it can be reduced by taking pain killers.” According to him, these kinds of ailments have no specific medicine. The doctor quickly wrote down the names of some pain killers and headed towards another patient.

Once at home, I helped my mother take her medicines. After gulping them down, she slept peacefully and woke up after nearly eight hours. The medicines were showing their effect as her pains decreased and she could move her body slowly. Observing such instant results in her, all of us were very happy. But, unfortunately, the effect of the medicines wore off within hours and she returned to the previous state wailing in pain. This routine continued for some time and slowly, after several months, even the prescribed medicines stopped having any effect.

My father and I knew how dangerous pain-killers can be, if taken on a regular basis. My mother was already dependant on them and she could not endure her pains without taking two pain- killers every day. Our whole household was depressed not knowing what to do. Then one of our neighbors suggested we try ayurvedic treatment. On further inquiry, he advised us to visit an ayurvedic clinic, Shree Kailash Parwat in Gaushala, Kathmandu.

The very next morning, we reached the clinic which was full of people suffering from similar ailments like my mother’s. While we waited for our turn, a woman shared her experiences, “I was suffering from paralysis and the doctor had lost all hope for me. But, after undertaking this treatment, I am improving gradually. I couldn’t walk before, but today I can, thanks to Dr.Rajan.” My mother’s treatment started and today, after a year, she is completely cured without having to depend upon pain killers.

My mother is just one example in the long list of critical patients that Dr. Rajan Ghimire, the man behind the clinic, has cured over the years. “Most of my patients are people who spent many years trying allopathic treatments, which did not help them. After losing all hope, they come here for ayurvedic treatment. This is mainly because of the lack of awareness about its importance and myriad benefits.” remarks Dr. Ghimire. His treatment is based on medicinal herbs and natural therapy.

Born in Ramechap, one of the rural districts of Nepal, Dr. Rajan spent his childhood among people who provided natural treatment to the villagers. “As a young lad, I would be assigned different tasks like grinding the herbs for medicines and sometimes, I even helped pregnant women with their delivery.” he remembers. Slowly, his interest grew into a passion and after gaining sufficient knowledge, he decided to spend his entire life in serving needy people.

Though Dr. Rajan treats all kinds of ailments, he specializes in arthritis and paralysis. His method of treatment is equally interesting. Patients visiting him for the first time are requested to come to the clinic in the morning hours without eating any food containing salt. Then, he tests the patients by examining the nerves in their hand and neck. This is his means of diagnosis after which he prescribes natural treatment. In the case of diseases related to nerves, Dr. Rajan follows an oil therapy along with herbal medicines. The sesame oil that is used is kept covered in mud for eighty days. It is then taken out and used for giving steam oil massages. He is also regularly invited by different hospitals of Katmandu like Norvic, Bir Hospital and Teaching Hospital to give oil therapy to the patients there.

“Though the results of natural treatments are comparatively slow, they are long lasting and have no side-effects. They have been in use for ages and have always proved their worth,” explains Dr. Rajan. He has recently developed a new herbal treatment to reduce weight which has reportedly proved quite successful. He believes one of the root causes of gastric, ulcer and arthritis is the harmful soap chemicals that remain in the utensils even after they are washed. “This chemical can be destroyed by scrubbing corn powder in the utensils after washing,” Dr. Rajan advises and laments, “Nepal is a goldmine for innumerable herbs which have immense medicinal values, but we are yet to capitalize on them.”

I myself have always suffered from problems related to my foot nails. They are buried so deep in the skin that I have excessive pain while trimming them. My cousin, who also has the same problem, recently undertook a minor operation. But, with the advice of Dr. Rajan, I just soaked my feet regularly for some days in a small bowl filled with lukewarm milk. And to my surprise, the nails simply protruded out of my skin helping me to trim them with ease. A school teacher of Lazimpat shares her own story, “I was suffering from immense neck pain and visited many doctors in Nepal and India. They treated me with physiotherapy for many months but my pain did not go down. In fact, it was so painful that I couldn’t sleep without taking sleeping pills. After visiting Dr. Rajan, he informed me that some bones in my neck were worn out causing discomfort. I was astonished because Apollo Hospital in Delhi had also given exactly the same diagnosis and I hadn’t said a word about it to Dr. Rajan. My treatment began and today, after nearly three months, I am totally cured.”

Many medicines prescribed by Dr. Rajan are easily available in our homes and are mostly used for eating purposes. “Jeera (Cumin) is a medicine for ulcer patients while dhaniya (coriander) should be eaten for stomach burns. teel (sesame) is the best medicine for constipation. Consuming tulasi leaves every day helps a person to remain healthy. Jwano (thyme) helps to purify blood, especially during women’s menstruation cycle and after giving birth to a child. This is the reason behind our tradition of feeding jwano to pregnant women. Supari (beetle nut) helps in digestion. “He explains.  “There is a health benefit behind every traditional food we take, but because of a lack of knowledge, the young generation does not understand its significance.”

Dr. Rajan is helping to revive our traditional medicines and treatments. And the fact that the number of sick people coming to him keeps growing rapidly means he is on to something important. g  For details: 4469546