|The Palash Tree Flower|
Before modern medicines became prevalent, humans treated many ailments with flowers, leaves, roots and barks of plants and trees. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medicinal science that makes use of many herbs. Ancient spiritual persons led highly regulated lives and were very aware of their bodies. They discovered the effect of various herbs on their selves through experimentation. With further use amongst others, certain herbs were declared as being useful for certain ailments.
The difficulty with ancient herbal science is that it has not been put through the same sort of rigorous scientific analysis as modern medicines. Further the knowledge has not been recorded carefully. Names of some of the herbs are misunderstood and some have become extinct. There is also much fraud in this area as humans are prone to resort to whenever there is profit and when regulation is lacking. On the positive side, these herbs are natural substances unlike modern medicines that are unnatural because they are a product of a laboratory. Even when the original source is a plant, modern practitioners isolate the active or so called active agent and use that as a medicine, an unnatural product. The process of testing is so long that the scientist has little time to study the combined effect of other ingredients in the plant that God put in there along with the so called active substance. The result is that many modern medicines are far more likely to cause a harmful side effect as compared to a natural herb that comes from life and supports life, perhaps.
Even addictive herbs such as Marijuana and Opium in their natural state are far less addictive than some chemical medicines. Steps are underway around the world to legalize Marijuana which this author supports, since it kills far fewer people than Alcohol does but governments must be careful not to legalize their extracts and so called active agents.
May I now tell something about a personal near magical experience with just one herbal remedy – the Palash flower. Butea monosperma or Plash (dhak) is a species of Butea native to tropical and sub-tropical parts of India and Asia. Historically, dhak forests covered much of the area between the Ganges and Yamuna in northern India, but these were cleared for agriculture in early 19th century as the English East India Company increased tax demands on peasants. It is used for timber, resin, fodder, medicine, and dye. The wood is dirty white and soft and, being durable under water, is used for well-curbs and water scoops. Good charcoal can be made from it. The leaves are usually very leathery and not eaten by cattle. However, the leaves are great for making throw away bowls and plates after sewing together and drying and used widely in India for the purpose, a practice that is far more environmentally friendly as compared to the use of paper plates. It is a medium sized tree, growing to 15 m tall.. The flowers are 2.5 cm long, bright orange-red, and produced in racemes up to 15 cm long.
|Branch of a a Palash Tree in full bloom|
The plash tree is a medicinal tree and amongst its various uses it is used to treat inflammation, swelling,conditions related to bones etc. For some years now I have suffered from time to time with a stiffness of the back and a feeling of weakness and tiredness in that area that has increased with age, not quite an ache but nevertheless not comfortable. It is something that is common with age and those who lead a life on the desk. Therefore, a few months ago when I heard of the use of Palash flowers from a learned source, I visited a traditional supplier and procured some dried flowers and added them to my afternoon cup of tea. They produce a strong yellow color when boiled. The effect was magical. The back stiffness and feeling of back tiredness disappeared within a day. Last month I ran out of the flowers and gradually the back stiffness returned. Two days ago I procured some more flowers and repeated their use. Once again the effect was magical. The back pain disappeared within a day again. Praise the Lord who seeded our planet with such wonderful herbs that humans could benefit more from if they gave up on undesirable distractions and learned to love and nurture nature instead.
Palash flower image from
Palash tree image from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Palash_Tree.jpg