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Gorkha and Other Ethnic Herbal Medicines

by H. K. Pradhan

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Publisher: Universal-Publishers
Pub date: 2004
Pages: 419
ISBN-10: 1581125100
ISBN-13: 9781581125108
Categories: Medical & Health ScienceMedicine & Health


Gorkhas are inhabitants of the southern foothills of the Eastern Himalayas and the adjoining plains. Using their own ethnic medicines they survived thousands of years in the chilly hills and sultry mosquito and fly infested regions below. H. K Pradhan belongs to this community. Noticing miraculous effects of some such medicines, yet in early teens, he started garnering their secret tips about 45 years ago. These tips/ medicines had gradually evolved at the least since as far back as 6 millennia. He came across medicines possibly learnt by chance, by trial and error, by observing animals using herbs as medicines, and some of them believed as learnt in dreams or even with the help of occult rituals. He was curious as to how such communities could know innumerable medicines even before modern science evolved. According to a hint in the Atharvaveda, the precursor of the Ayurveda, and the Ayurvedic nomenclature of the herb, a subgroup among the ethnic Gorkha community known as Kiratas, most of who worshiped spirits, had discovered the medicinal use of the Swertia chirata herb about six millennia ago. His association with the practice of the medicines made him wonder about the discovery of so many medicines without any scientific basis.

Ultimately, he stumbled on some powerful category of shamans who are believed kidnapped in their childhood, taken possibly to the nether world and trained in Shamanism and herbal medicines by some mysterious spirit and not by human gurus. He now feels that this mysterious phenomenon also, if true at all, could be behind the huge collection of herbal medicinal tips among such tribes. This book contains over 500 detailed herbal formulations and an exclusive essay 'Bunjhankri' on the claim in first person of one such shaman, on how he was kidnapped at the age of six, taken to the nether world, trained for 86 days and left back at the very spot where from he was abducted, besides many hither to unknown aspects of herbs and herbal medicines.