The unsung home healer

The unsung home healer


 The therapist in my Ajji clearly went unnoticed during her lifetime. Representative image/Pixabay

My long departed ‘Ajji’ (Grandma) was never tired of suggesting remedies for common ailments. Growing up, we were fed on a staple diet of her health-related do’s and don’ts, most of them unsolicited. Little did we realize back then, that her medical assertions were not empty banter but pearls of wisdom.

During a recent visit to the ophthalmologist, in response to my question whether there was something I could do to better my condition, the doctor replied that I could do very well to not rub my eyes vigorously. I recalled that Ajji always discouraged us from rubbing our eyes. She simply said, "It’s not good for your eyes." Young and hot-headed that we were, her advice had received instant dismissal, and we continued to do what we liked.

I recently read an article titled, "Deep breathing might have benefits we're only beginning to understand." It was based on an interview with a respected cell biologist. This thought sounded very familiar. Ajji’s words instantly echoed in my ears. She used to exhort us to take deep breaths mindfully, especially after a long and tiring day. Did we follow her advice? No!

My third anecdote relates to my acid reflux problem, which was not showing any signs of abatement, in spite of me popping an endless number of antacid tablets of every conceivable
brand in the market. I turned to my family physician for help. Pat came the remedy, although he delivered it in the form a question, "have you tried consuming raw cucumber?." Yet again there was a familiar ring to this. I could almost hear my Ajji say it, for, she had lauded the benefits of raw cucumber decades ago!

Thanks to the internet, the results of medical research are more readily available to the common man today. I see many of these as vindications of what my Ajji encouraged us or forbade us to do, keeping our wellbeing in mind.

It amazes me to no end that somebody who was borderline illiterate, for she could barely sign her name, was the storehouse of such hard-nosed advice. The therapist in my Ajji clearly went unnoticed during her lifetime. Sitting back and reminiscing those days, I can picture her mockingly exclaiming, "I told you so!" No prizes for guessing who has had the last laugh.

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