Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Medicine or Adjuvant ? : Dabur Lal Tail

For quite some time I wanted to write on this subject of Natural remedies.
The recent mail from Indiblogger triggered that interest in me to  open the web link of Dabur’s Laltail and  two things  caught  my attention. One was  the hindi  word for 'oil' ( sanskrit thailam). It could have been spelt 'thel' or 'thail' which are definitely different from 'Tail'. Some one should not make fun that the child would end up with a 'red tail' - ha ha just in lighter vein :) 
The other one is  the statement  “ Ayurvedic Medicine”.  Is it medicine or adjuvant?
We will come back to this later, as I like to touch upon why I wanted to write on natural remedies.
Ever since my father, in his 80+,  was successfully cured of his nervous disorder through an ayurvedic doctor in Kerala I wanted to write on this subject viz Chemical based Allopathy  vis a vis Nature based Remedies.
In 2010,  suddenly his speech started to slur and developed difficulty in eating. We thought it was facial palsy which could be temporary and with some physiotherapy he would recover. It was not to be.
After treating for more than four months under special supervision at NIMHANS Bangalore and other specialists in the field,  we were losing hopes of his recovery. He could not swallow even normal liquid food and had gone in to deep depression resulting in loss of weight. All that the specialists could do was prescribe a tablet –costing nearly Rs 57 per day- that temporarily strengthened his nerves in throat and mouth so that he could eat some food. After an hour the problem would be back with a bang. Slurred speech and uncontrollable saliva secretion made his days quite miserable.  The name of the disorder was myasthenia gravis.
A sinking person would cling to anything that offers hope. Our attention turned towards ayurvedic remedy. Through fortunate circumstances he was led to an Ayurvedic specialist near Palakkad and better days began. He did not mind the extreme bitterness of couple of decoctions nor the trouble of preparing them fresh everyday. Supported with few  ayurvedic tablets his condition gradually improved. Within next six months his speech returned to near normal he could eat food without any difficulty and  started gaining the body weight!!
One of my uncles who visited him later considered it as a “miracle” recovery. I responded saying 'our body itself is a miracle'. Nature has gifted  everyone with a programmed mechanism to recover from injuries and ailments and diseases provided we know how to recognise it.  We needlessly intervene in its mechanism with our own chemical based correction which not only supresses the symptoms of one disease but also creates many undesirable side effects !!
Today most natural therapists recommend fasting and resting as the pre-requisite to help the body to work on its damage control.  Ayurvedic herbs mostly help as very good adjuvants in strengthening the mechanism of repair rather than directly dealing with the disease.  They provide the necessary tools to the system to  correct and eliminate undesirable toxins which are responsible for the disease unlike the allopathy  that suppress and accumulate undesirable chemicals inside the body. Thus it aggravates the problems further to complicate the life of the individual.
 During the treatment period my father was also prescribed medicated oil massage  which  very religiously he used to apply everyday. That reminded me of the frequent appeals of my mother for weekly oil bath a typical south indian tradition in our younger days.
She is a staunch believer of regular oil bath for cooling the body the way oil cools the auto engine. She never gave up that comparison despite our protests that a steaming hot water bath after oiling the body could never cool the body. Little we understood the connotation of cooling in traditional  system is different from external bathing condition. However with passing years it dawned on me that even the exposed skin is a living cell and can absorb and transfer the molecules by osmotic diffusion that can help in absorption of useful nutrients through blood

Coming back to Dabur’s Laltail, it is good to see traditional knowledge is being experimented and  getting validated through modern way of scientific experimentation.  This will go a long way in reinforcing the new generation  that what is traditional does not mean outdated belief systems but very much live and kicking to be noticed for the benefit of mankind.

Since the use of Laltail is being recommended for all babies for a healthier growth, it is preferable to call it as an Ayurvedic Adjuvant rather than Ayurvedic Medicine. In my humble understanding of English language the word medicine connotes that which helps "to cure a disease " whereas an adjuvant is the one which supports and accelerates the benefits of a nutrient or medicine.  
Thanks to indiblogger for inviting bloggers  to share their  views on this important issue of remaining healthy through natural ways.


Dr. Lawrence Kindo said...

Nice post. And all the best for the contest.

By the way, my contest entry is Be sure to read it!