'Early human beings, living in the bosom of nature, were clairvoyant. Legends tell of a time when mankind talked to the gods and when animals could speak. It was then, also, that some of the plants received ancient names, which indicate their hidden nature.'
The use of plants as medicines predates written human history. Archaeological evidence indicates that humans were using medicinal plants during the Paleolithic, approximately 60,000 years ago. In India, Ayurveda medicine has used many herbs such as turmeric possibly as early as 4,000 BC.
The Khasi tribe from Meghalaya been using plants as medicines for centuries, now. From minor ailments like cold, fever, and cough to chronic diseases such as asthma, gastritis, back pain, rheumatism, diabetes, and kidney stone problems. Or even strengthening joints and healing fractures. Traditional healers of Meghalaya use herbs, plants, and oils to treat people and restore them back to good health.
A few of these traditional healers and practitioners are sought by not just the locals but by people from all over the world. The Khasis have always believed that nature has pure products, enough to keep you blooming with health and well-being, at a fraction of the cost.
That's why we retell this ancient Khasi folk story. It makes sense of Nature's holistic healing gifts. It led these indigenous folks, to find health the simple way Nature ordained. We hope it will lead you too, to live a better and more natural life.
Here's How it All Started:
Long ago in the land of the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya, there lived a couple and their two small children. One day the father fell ill and died. The mother and her two children found themselves without any means of livelihood.
In their village, there also lived a rich but evil man- a sorcerer, who soon proposed to marry the widow. Although she did not want to marry again, she agreed for the sake of her children.
The new husband ill-treated them from the start. Many times they went to bed without food and were very unhappy.
One day, the stepfather had to go on a business trip. The mother took this opportunity to take her children on an outing to a dense forest. They enjoyed their time out and gathered wild edible plants to eat. The mother cooked a meal but as they were about to have it, she realized they had no salt. The children told their mother not to bother as they could season the food with ash from burnt wood. She refused to listen and went on ahead, although it was getting dark.
On the way back, however, she lost her way in the darkness. When she didn’t return the children started to worry. They moved about looking for a safe place to spend the night. To their luck, they found a hut in mid-forest that looked unoccupied.
When they entered, they found little monkeys inside eating food. The children were so hungry they snatched the monkeys’ food. The animals resisted but could not match the children’s strength. So the monkeys decided to leave the hut and live on trees, eating only fruits from that time onward.
Early the next morning, the mother found the hut and the children sleeping. She saw there was enough food besides a safe shelter and decided never to return to the cruel husband.
As days went by the cruel stepfather got enraged. In his anger, he summoned all the evil spirits through sorcery. He ordered them to inflict every kind of disease on humankind.
Soon everyone began to suffer. Illness and death permeated the earth and the whole of it writhed in anguish. Very soon the good spirits of the waters, hills, and dales heard the humans' plaintive cries. They felt sorry for them and reported their plight to God the Creator.
God took pity on them and devised a plan to teach humankind the technique of taking care of their health. He gave them seeds of plants with properties to cure any ailment. He also gave them knowledge and understanding about diseases and their remedies. The herbs not only helped cure but kept them healthy and well.
Thus, to this day most Khasi's use Nature's pure products to stay healthy. Whenever they fall ill they take recourse to plants and herbs to revive and rejuvenate. Illnesses may be minor colds and fevers, or cuts and bruises. They may be major fractures and cancers, or snake-bites or dog-bites. The healers have the right remedies.
In fact, on record, there are more than 800 medicinal plants and herbs in the Khasi hills that provide not only nourishment but cures for ailments of every kind.
This might be folklore but one with profound lessons. It underpins Nature's deep connection with our lives.
The woman and her children's predicament identify life's constant changing order. The stepfather, the sorcery and the diseases signify the threats and challenges we face. The forest, the monkeys and the good spirits and God himself are opportunities. These are guides that help us meet the challenges. God's gift of the seeds and knowledge of herbs unveils for us Nature's plan on how to surmount problems. When people applied that knowledge they overcame one of life's greatest adversities. Nature helped them to revive and rejuvenate.
Ancient Khasis knew that everything they needed was already in place in Nature's bounty. There was a harmonious rhythm in existence. Everything designed was to preserve unbroken, inter-dependent links among the elements. The elements – mineral, animal, vegetable, human and ethereal all existed resonating with one another. People showed reverence to that order and reaped rich rewards.
Real Health in Herbs
Modern research now increasingly corroborates what the ancients had always known. Plant phytochemistry now, more than ever, inspires modern drug formulations.
Scientists know the functions of biologically active compounds in plants. No wonder over 50% of modern drugs contain ingredients derived from plants. Over 50% of approved cancer drugs have origins in phytochemicals.
When you fall sick, choose natural products first! They are nature's balm to soothe you. They will turn your daily rough and tumble into a smooth cruise so you not only live, you thrive and survive.
And when you have good health, you can enjoy a life accomplished in every respect, revived and rejuvenated every day.