Dibrugarh: The cure to all diseases is found in nature! This time-tested nugget of wisdom is best manifested in the age-old practice of consuming 101 varieties of herbs during Rongali or Bohag Bihu. However, thanks to our insatiable appetite for commercialization, most of these herbs have either been pushed to the brink of extinction or today, lie out of our immediate reach.
With the fast-shrinking forests as well as individual backyards, these medicinal herbs are also disappearing. Much worse, the youth hardly gives its credence to such Traditional Knowledge (TR) of the Assamese society. In this backdrop, The Sentinel reached out to a couple of people to learn their views on the science behind the 101 herbs and the current state of the long-standing custom.
Dipali Gogoi, a housewife, said, “Each of these herbs has its own medicinal properties. For instance, the sour and bitter ones are said to purify blood. But unfortunately, due to excessive human interference in nature and its bounties, a lot of these beneficial herbs like Hopota, Tikoni Boruwa, Koriyabijol and Helonsi are facing threat. We must find ways to preserve them for good.”
Giving a slightly different picture, Rina Bordoloi, another housewife, said, “I believe things are slightly improving than what they were some years back. Of course, getting all 101 varieties sounds surreal, but many of the herbs which had gone unavailable in between are making a comeback through the Bihu-oriented haats.” A young marketing executive, Manjit Goswami, comments on the dwindling popularity of such herbs among the youth, “Efforts are needed from our generation to revive it. Our forefathers protected it for thousands of years. It’s up to us now.”
Also read: Assam news