Back To ‘Roots’

venerate nature's gifts

2000 B.C.E.  Here eat this root.

1000 C.E.    That root is heathen.
                  Here, say this prayer.

1850 C.E.    That prayer is superstition.
                  Here, drink this potion.

1940 C.E.    That potion is snake oil.
                  Here, swallow this pill.

1985 C.E.    That pill is ineffective.
                  Here, take this antibiotic.

2000 C.E.    That antibiotic is artificial.
                  Here, eat this root.


Healing has come full circle over the centuries. What’s in one year is out the next-then it’s back again. Our task is to reconcile extremes, recognize every method with merit, treat the whole person. To understand your emotions, explore all that will contribute to your growth. There is no one way. Talking therapy, medication, meditation, herbs, homeopathy, energy healing, spirituality, dreams- a rich tapestry of alternatives that can elegantly interact. What matters is which one moves you. There is spirit to any path you choose. Remember to align with it.
Intuitive Healing by Dr Judith Orloff

Living in a society where there are separate counters for selling natural produce such as organic vegetables or free range eggs, and they are more expensive, makes me shake my head in wonder now that we have to earn more and spend more in order to enjoy nature’s bounty.

I feel it more so since I grew up in a society defendant on home-grown vegetables (organic veggies that we took for granted! ) and wild herbs. I recall my late mother breaking off a woody piece from a wild creeper that she would twine around her wrist to help ease her body aches with miraculous effects.

She also kept a dried knotty piece of root to ward off snakes. When held in the hand, no snake would venture out coz they could smell it through to the human nose it was completely odorless.

And, the best part of the morning on Bohag Bihu, was the two of us searching our sprawling garden for 100 different varieties of leafy vegetables and wild herbs – some of them common garden weeds. There must have been a symbolic reason for having a soupy curry of assorted greens.

My guess, it was not only to celebrate the onset of spring but also to venerate nature’s gifts and partake of all natural curatives for just that one special day in the year. Aaaah…that reminds me of my favorite dish of stir fried tender shoots of wild ferns – “dhekia” – and garlic taken with purees of white flour.

I once travelled across the miles with a carefully packed moist bunch just to feed my non Assamese friends with wild ferns and they loved it, too!  I believe, only North East Indians eat this wild green, packed with all the goodness of nature and vitamins.

© Ritu Rangwala