Back to Nature and Naturals: A MYTH or SCIENCE?

Post penicillin generations are used to quick relief for their symptoms through the use of allopathic drugs. Many consider the therapeutic value of natural remedies nothing but a myth. How often do you hear someone say “I don’t think much of them” or “I would never use them”.

Earlier generations, especially those stemming from ancient civilizations, felt secure in being treated with natural medicines prescribed and prepared by their hakims / vaids or even grandmothers. They regarded these medicaments as part of their heritage. Ancient sages developed these formulations over time; sourcing medicinal plants, preparing administrable formulations for human consumption and local application. They noted detailed observations of their beneficial and toxic effects on the human body. The information was passed down from one generation to the next by the families of vaids / hakims, from yogis and fakirs to their followers and from elder women to their next of kin.

Many of these formulations formed the basis of Ayurveda. Surely, the natural remedies passed down from generation to generation, cannot be dismissed as just ‘myths’. They conform to strict principals of scientific investigation and clinical research. The fact that this investigative work was not carried out in modern laboratories and research centers, does not negate its validity.

As a practitioner of allopathic medicine, I paid little attention to natural remedies. Occasionally, an asthmatic patient would ask if he/she could use homeopathic or ayurvedic medicine instead of allopathic for symptom relief. My invariable answer would be; “Yes, but not during an acute attack and make sure it contains no steroids.” It was very recently that a personal experience forced me to learn about natural remedies and products. The more I learnt about them, the more amazed I was to discover how just a flower, a leaf, a stem or a root could be a source of natural compounds of known pharmacological significance and therapeutic value.

I salute the efforts and perseverance of those ancient sages who so painstakingly developed natural remedies to benefit mankind and that too in the absence of all the information available to us today. For me, natural compounds and remedies are no longer a myth, but real ‘science’.