Covid19 is a known disease to all of us. Covid-19 patients faced various hardships including mental turmoil besides a serious impact of social stigma. But, in my observation this disease is not so dangerous for those having a disciplined way of life with the courage and positive thinking along with certain observation of protocols and timely treatment. Medical facilities available in the state can successfully treat patient if treatment starts in early stages without waiting high fever and breathing problem. In other words, there is little chance of infection if we follow Covid19 protocols, and even when it becomes positive among us there is full chance of curing it under medical treatment. To many of the positive persons it is something like a mystery as to how they got infected while it may not be that surprising to many others.
While we are positive we took utmost care and use certain medicines under the advice of doctors. Besides, it can be mentioned that certain indigenous foods and medicines were administered and given for those persons who are at home isolation. It is evident that these indigenous medicines are very helpful to improve the condition of health during and after the illness. From my own experience the use of indigenous foods and medicines along with the medicine prescribed by doctor is very useful in strengthening the immunity of my health and maintaining physical and mental wellbeing. Of course, vaccination and the advice of doctors are all the need of hours. To meet the challenges, however, wise use of traditional foods and certain freshly prepared medicines at home helps to bring our health in normal condition.
Some of the home made medicines are prepared from some of the easily available herbs and plants like, Nongmakha (Phlogacanthus thyrsiformis) for drinking and steaming, Leipung khangnga ( Solanum ferox, Linn),to take bath with water boiled with leaf of Neem (Azadirachta indica), and Tairen (Toona Roxb), ginger, leaf of Tuningkhok (Cordata Thunb) and their roots, Mukthrubi (Acanthopodium DC), Tulshi (Ocimum Sanctum Linn), Peruk (Centella Asiatica) etc. The use of these indigenous medicines is generally done under the advice of experienced elder people. Many of the elderly have the knowledge as to how to use these medicines for certain diseases in proper time with proper dose. They have learnt the logic of indigenous knowledge from their forefathers, who handed over from generations to generations in written as well as in oral having a story of each application of the medicines with some sort of secrecy and certain conditions.
Manipur is surrounded by the ranges of the hills. Besides it is the meeting area of the two biodiversity hotspots. Therefore, the area is very rich in fauna and flora with pleasing ecology and environment. It is also learnt that there are various unexplored (many of them kept under secrecy with logic) plants, herbs and trees which possess medicinal values. It is felt that the traditional knowledge on medicine if we utilized in proper time and manner could help in facing diseases coming up from time to time.
At present, vaccination, timely medication and to follow the SOPs are the only options to fight Covid19 successfully. In addition, it is evident that indigenous food and traditional medicines are also helpful for speedy recovery. It is known from collection of information from some of the Covid-19 survivors that they have all used these medicines and found helpful to them. So, there has been shortage of above materials in the markets and in home of the localities. It can be observed that the values of traditional medicines are recognised among the people when they are sick and use it wisely. But it would be much better to ascertain the value and the application of the medicines in time to meet any eventuality.
The medicinal properties of these plants, herbs and trees will have the scope of helping by applying to many of the other diseases which may come up from time to time. But, if the timing and dose of the medicine are reasonably known these traditional medicines will be helpful. If the knowledge is known it can be handed over to the people for future generation. If the properties of the medicine are made known to them there will be enthusiasm to protect the plants, herbs and trees among the general people. It is also a means to preserve the knowledge from forgetting and losing them slowly in due course. It is natural that human being would love and protect those things which would give them benefit during their hard time, illness and epidemics. It would be deserving to promote and protect the plants, herbs and trees which have been suited to the soil and climate of the state. The useful result of the protection of these items will continue to give benefit to the present generation as well as for the posterity to come.
The writer is a PhD Scholar, Manipur University and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org