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Himalayan Herbs Against COVID-19

"Scientists say Himalayan herb is modern day sanjeevani"

An excerpt from an article published in The Hindu. While the article focused on one particular type of species named Rhodiola and its anticipated aids, the potent benefits and the wild, agrestal disposition of Himalayan herbs are not ambiguous to any of us. Starting right from the lemongrass you put in your morning tea or the Tulsi you use to make it crisp, the raw turmeric you rub on your wounds to the unadulterated aloe vera that helps treat your acne are all byproducts of the nature's mechanism to a biotic and healthy life found in abundance in the Himalayan regions of North India. These herbs have been known to cure some deadly diseases, the likes of which include, but is not limited to pneumonia, typhoid, pox and are put to use even for regulating blood sugar levels, healing aches and boosting power and immunity.

With COVID-19 and corona virus pandemic the focus is back on Himalayan herbs and their healing as well as nutritional benefits. While research is already underway for Cannabis as cure to Coronavirus, there is an abundance of healthful of other Himalayan herbs that is waiting to make its way through to your kitchen. Let us enlist a few of them which are a sure shot at a healthy lifestyle:


Scientific Name: Urtica dioica

Also known to locals as Bicchu Ghaas (translates to scorpion grass) which justifies its nomenclature and stings you real bad if you happen to run into a bush of nettle. Nettle leaf attends to disorders of the kidneys and urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, locomotor system, skin, cardiovascular system, hemorrhage, influenza, rheumatism, and gout.

On a note of caution, children in our Uttarakhand get thrashed off of it if they trouble their mothers! You can also try making its chutney by blending it with salt and chilli and enjoy. Also for Bichu Ghas ka Saag you can check out Chef Kunal Kapoor's video.


Scientific Name : Terminalia chebula

You will be shocked to know the gravity of this little herb in Ayurveda also known as Haritaki. The literal meaning of a line in Haritaki in Ayurveda reads "the home which does not have a mother, has harad; a mother might get angry at times, but harad shall not."

Harad is known to help with sore throat, allergies, constipation , indigestion, hair growth, cavity prevention, pain relief and blood sugar to name a few. You can find people putting a little harad in their mouth while travelling as it is a great remedy for nausea. It is also made into a paste and fed to infants for stomach issues.


Scientific Name : Rhodiola rosea

Yes, you read it right. The same "sanjeevani" we started off with! Solo is majorly cultivated in Ladakh and higher altitude regions of Himalayan earth. Used by the locals as a leafy vegetable, it's medicinal denotation is very recent in the tabs of Indian research. Radiation protecting abilities due to the presence of secondary metabolites and phytoactive compounds are unique to the plant.

It was also highlighted by our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, who suggested how defense personnels can hugely benefit from its intake. Watch here. You can consume solo to boost your immune system or to increase appetite. It is known to have antidepressant properties as well and can help with anxiety.


Scientific Name : Ophiocordyceps sinensis

The original name of the herb comes from Tibet, Yart Swa Gun Bu, which means ‘herb in the summer and insect in the winter”. This is primitively a fungus that grows on insects. It acts as a power inflating agent and is known to increase libido and cure impotency. It is also famous as Himalayan Viagra.

In the months of May-June, when the time is apt to pick Yarsagambu, people in flocks can be seen herding towards high altitude plains where it is founded. It has a high demand - high price footing in the Himalayan regions and hence is a great source of income for local communities.

Positioned on the lap of Himalayas, Uttarakhand is a home to a number of such medicinal and aromatic plants that the locals have used since time immemorial. Ever had the famous masala chai straight from pahad with the added flavours of Methi (fenugreek seeds) and Ajwain (carom seeds)? Do try it at the roadside shed shops and discuss the herbs and medicinal plants next time you take a trip to Uttarakhand.


Shared by Nikita Bisht

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