Bhubaneswar: Age-old traditional remedies still find a place in most Odia households. Peeping into the kitchen, collecting herbs and slicing barks of trees with medicinal properties to treat simple ailments, the knowledge has been passed from one generation to another.
The five-day Kalinga Herbal Fair 2017, which ends today, can be seen as an acknowledgment of the traditional practices while keeping pace with the taste of the youngsters.
The cold drink stall is a case in point. Tapping into the craze for carbonated soft drinks, the stall is selling healthy and tasty drinks in different flavors like lime-ginger, minty mango, juicy jal jeera, and triphala madhu.
The crowded evenings with people looking for a cure to ailments in Ayurveda speaks volumes about the trust it still enjoys. The recent past has also witnessed a paradigm shift from allopathy to Ayurveda and Naturopathy.
At the fair, Lalan Das offers to help you break addiction habits. “Addictions lead to a lot of social issues from domestic violence to rapes to murders. So, we decided to find a solution in Ayurveda and the Odisha government, too have appreciated our efforts in this direction.”
Book lovers have a spot for themselves there, too. Youngsters from Delhi had put up a stall in the fair. “Books are an integral part of life. We have books on herbs and medicines, too,” one of the owners said. Another attraction is the pickle stall which has on display a variety of mouth-watering pickles. Besides, it also had other snacks like papad, aamsata, and kurkuri (a healthier version of kurkure).
The dusk at the fair begins with live yoga demonstrations by children from various schools and organizations.
There were 123 stalls and 13 among them have been put up by companies from various parts of India and the rest are from Odisha. Almost all of them belong to the tribal belt of Odisha, where they prepared medicines at home with the help of herbs and trees found in the forest.
An elderly tribal man at a stall that boasted of treating all ailments with medicines prepared from different parts of a neem tree, said, “Vrukhsa bina naahi jeebana, vrukshara hrudyare sabu aushadhi. Vruksha ku kaatile nischaya sansara ra chhyati,” which means, ‘there’s no life without trees and we can find cures to all disease in the heart of the trees. Cutting trees will definitely harm the environment’.
Besides, there are other stalls selling saplings and plants, decorative items made of bamboo and nutrition supplements.
The herbal fair organized by the State Medicinal Plants Board, Odisha, ends today at 9 pm. You do have some more hours to go try medicines and eatables from the heart of nature!