In pursuit of a greener and happier planet with inspiration drawn from the Himalayas
Changed Profile Photo
me on a boat in Nainital
It struck me today that my profile photo being used in the blogs is from work whereas I write on everything else besides work in the blogs. Therefore today I changed it to another more informal one. it shows me on a boat in the middle of Nainital lake a few years ago. The picture was snapped by Shankar, the driver who drove me to Nainital every weekend, and everywhere else besides with the blessing of the goddess of Nainital. He was sitting on the other side of the boat while we were in the middle of the lake. My home, provided by work place, was in the foothills region of Nainital District at that time.
Before modern medicines became prevalent, humans treated
many ailments with flowers, leaves, roots and barks of plants and trees.
Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medicinal science, makes use of many herbs and plant materials without substantial extraction of active ingredients as modern medicine does. The idea is that additional compounds in a medicinal or edible plant is an organic whole and a part of life that supports other life. The complimentary compounds appear to play a useful balancing role whereas individually extracted and isolated compounds can be harmful. A modern example in wide use as food is sugar, a pure chemical isolated from the juice of sugar cane.
Indeed there is no food or herb that does not contain a compound or two that could be from mildly to extremely dangerous if isolated and consumed but is beneficial as a group with other compounds. That is the reason why alcohol distilled from a natural fermented fruit juice and then diluted with water can give a headache an…
Whereas most humans recognize that we live on an extremely beautiful planet consisting of mountains, oceans, rivers, forests and grasslands, most humans also recognize that some very ugly spots have developed on our planet as a result of adverse human activity. No other species on the planet has scarred the land more than humans through felled forests, jungles of concretes and unsanitary filthy human habitations. At the same time humans have the capabilities to restore the planet or parts of it to a healthy green state. One myth that stands in the way of greening the Earth is that trees and flowers do not grow in salt water and salty soils. Nothing could be further from the truth. While it is true that a large number of plants do not survive in salt water, there are also a very large number of plants that do rather well in saline conditions. The myth that plants do not grow in salty conditions needs to be busted. If it was so, the ocean floors would not be teeming with life.
Trees add value to the planet since all produce oxygen,
add organic matter to soil, help stabilize climate and offer sites for birds
and insects to make their homes and playgrounds on. Some trees produce
food for humans and diary animals and these need to be given emphasis in modern times because of a
currently huge and rising population on the planet. Nonetheless, beauty is
required too because While fruit and seeds feed the
body, beauty feeds the soul.
While it is trees like the almond, peach and cherry that
provide beauty as well as food in cooler parts of the planet, it is trees like Palash,
Gulmohar and Jacaranda that are some of the most beautiful trees in regions
with hot summers. The Gulmohar tree is a beautiful tree
because both its flowers and feathery fern-like leaves are exceedingly
beautiful. Flowers range in color from yellow to bright red. The botanical
name of this plant is Delonix regia. It is also known as the flame of the
The seeds yield about 20 percent…
Here we go round the mulberry bush, The mulberry bush, The mulberry bush. Here we go round the mulberry bush - Nursery Rhyme In earlier posts it was mentioned that the almond tree is a heavenly tree and the Drumstick tree is one that is beautiful and easy to grow. However, whereas the first is a delicate tree requiring much care to grow, the second is a fragile tree that does not grow well in colder parts of the earth. The mulberry tree on the other hand grows widely on our planet in most climatic conditions where humans live. It grows easily in wild areas and it is a source of food besides much more. If a tree is to be regarded as a godly hermit tree on our planet than this tree is a strong contender for the title. Mulberry trees can be planted easily from seed or cutting and with its deep green foliage, it is a beautiful tree that offers much shade in summers. This tree and others of its family are an excellent source of food and good health not just for silk worms but also for birds, ca…
a flowering tree in the family Bignoniaceae,
native to tropical and subtropical regions of South America.
It has been planted widely in Asia and Australia
now. Jacaranda can be propagated from grafting, cuttings and seeds though plants
grown from seeds take a long time to bloom. Jacaranda grows in well drained
soil and tolerates drought and brief spells of frost and freeze. Several are widely
grown as ornamental trees throughout the subtropical regions of the world
because of their intense flower displays. It has a delicate and pretty foliage
too and makes a great potted plant as well until it grows to a height of three
feet or so at which time it must be transferred to garden, park or the forest.
Blue Jacaranda is used in medicine and industry. It’s wood,
in a cream and pink tone and pleasant smell, is used in cabinet making and
carpentry, specially in the automotive industry for luxury cars. The method of using jacarandas as medicine varies. Some
experts use essential …
In some parts of the world, particularly the less developed
and tribal parts, there is a belief that harm can come to one from the evil eye.
Such a belief still exists in parts of Africa, India and Arab countries,
especially rural areas, particularly amongst the superstitious and less
educated. To ward of such evils many antidotes are prescribed such as throwing
salt and red pepper over and around the heads of the affected, putting black
dots on bodies, an assortment of amulets, hanging of lemons and chilies on a
thread outside homes etc. all depending on local customs. In primitive cultures, including Europe some centuries ago, they even used to burn witches and women suspected of an evil eye. They still do in some parts.
From a modern educated, even post modern point of view, a human
needs to answer two questions in this regard,
1. Is there any
such thing as an evil eye at all? Is it at all possible?
2. If it is possible, what is the best way to ward it off.
It may easily be …
There is an older
article in this blog on the Neem tree and its medicinal benefits but it
does not mention its effects on sleep. For years now what was happening to my sleep is that after
sleeping well for a few hours, sometime in the middle of the night I used to
get up and feel completely awake. If I stayed
awake after that, I would feel tired the next day. Therefore I would just take
a cup of tea, sit out in the patio for about half an hour, or work on a computer
when after an hour or so a second round of deep sleep came. However, this also
delayed the morning hour to get up.
Four days ago, due to some unrelated reasons, I took a bunch
of Neem leaves from a tree nearby and chewed them in the evening at around 5 pm. That night, I
woke up again in the middle of the night for a visit to toilet and from old
habit decided to check emails for an hour or so. But the moment I turned on the
computer, I was sleepy again and began to doze off on the keyboard so I shut
off the computer and wen…
Climate changes and global warming do appear to be taking
place due to man-made causes but hitherto it is possible that the cause of it all may have been incorrectly
identified by a majority of experts. Statistical correlations can mislead and it appears that the assigned cause - carbon
dioxide emissions - may be less relevant to the issue at hand than has been presumed. While a minority had expressed dissent from the start, they were not heeded, perhaps because of socio-political and psychological reasons that fall outside the realm of scientific reasoning. It seems, humans believe more readily what they wish to believe.
The simple and
straightforward cause to climate changes aside from natural cycles may be a a reduction of forest and tree cover on the
planet over the last century rather than minute increases, in percentage terms, of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Far larger quantities of another greenhouse gas - water vapor- have been present in the atmosphere even if it is sub…
"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate
from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The
striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true
religion. Not to nourish it but to try to overcome it is the way to
reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.” Albert Einstein It is so much nicer to talk of beautiful things that exist on our lovely planet that it is really a pity that I had to write this post that touches on something that to me is evil. Nevertheless I have written it because if an evil is ignored it is difficult to eradicate it. The evil I am referring to is about the denial of freedom of belief and imposition of beliefs on people and that is something even the followers of the greatest of religions on earth have not been free of though they have done so much good besides contributing to much human p…