Dr Prathibha Vinay is a doctorate in botany, and resident of JP Nagar since 1997. From 2002 onwards she has dedicated herself to promoting medicinal plants. She even planted them at JP Nagar’s Dhanwantari park.
In 2002, she founded TULSI (Treasure and Utilise the Life Sustaining Ingredients of Nature) an NGO that promotes medicinal plants for health and raises awareness on conservation of such plants.
Pratibha earned her doctorate degree in Palynology-a super speciality in Botany in 1972. Later she was awarded Post Doctoral Fellowship at Bangalore University -Department of Botany in 1973. In the due course she was also invited by Washington University, St Louis, Missouri USA as Research Associate Professor around 1975. She is also the first non-physician member of the Indian College of Allergy and Immunology.
TULSI is dedicated towards educational programmes to various user groups, promoting medicinal plants for family health care and creating awareness, conservation and sustainable utilisation of it.
Pratibha’s has even authored a book, First Aid by Nature in 2007. In March 2012, the same book was translated and published in Kannada as Prakruthiyindha Prathama Chikitse.
Her late husband P M Vinay was the CEO of Mallaya Hospital-Bangalore and Wellington Hospital, Chennai.
Meet the impressive Dr Pratibha
How did you develop interest in medicinal plants and herbs. In general, what are the benefits of these plants?
Being a student of botany and having specialised in palynology and airborne allergens, I thought there was a call to bring the awareness of preventive and curative properties of Medicinal plants that our nature has provided as a solution for every ailment.
The knowledge of medicinal plants as healers dates back since the origin of man. Ironically humans in their quest for materialistic gains have forgotten that health and discipline are the basic insignia of life. Medicinal plants can be used for common ailments and also as first aid in primary health care. These medicinal plants and trees not merely facilitate people in breathing healthy air but also prevent spreading of highly communicable, dreadful respiratory and allied maladies like tuberculosis, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, lung cancer amongst others.
Tell us about TULSI.
TULSI has worked for various civic parks and unutilised public parks and private lands planting medicinal herbs and plants. I conduct workshops on the Awareness of Primary Health Care and Home Remedies for common ailments. A practical demonstration of simple home remedies is given.
Among school children, I inculcate them a sense of clean environment care. I also give them saplings and plants to grow, to encourage a better utilisation of the natural resources.
The UGC has approved a syllabus for a Certificate Course in BioDiversity and Role of Medicinal Plants in Primary Health Care as a career oriented programme. I had proposed this. Today it is being applied in some colleges in Bangalore where I am invited as visiting professor to teach the subject.
Where in Bangalore people can avail these plants?
Dhanavantri nursery at Bangalore University Campus; Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) Jarakabande, Bangalore; Biological Research Centre, Bannerghatta Road; Lalbagh Nursery and also a few private nurseries.
Do you think indigenous medical traditions are dying in Bangalore? In the age of allopathic medicines where do you place the role of herbal plants and medicines?
As our government is also encouraging holistic approach for the treatment at the hospitals, people are getting aware of the usage of the indigenous medical traditions more so in Urban areas. Hence I do not think the usage of traditional medicines are neglected nor forgotten as both allopathic and traditional medicines are parallel.
There are lot of parks in Bangalore, can this space be used?
Yes the park spaces can be utilised. A directory of the plants should be posted at the parks giving their botanical names/common names and their uses for public information.
One favorite place you would often like to go in bangalore.
I like visiting Lalbagh gardens
Other than spreading awareness about medicinal plants, what is your favorite past time?
I read books on spiritual masters for their inspiration and their guidance on human services.⊕
Dr Pratibha’s ready reckoner for some common ailments using home remedies.
Hair Loss and dandruff
Paste of red Hibiscus flowers and few leaves along with hand full of leaves of Wedelia Chinesis (Peeta Bhringaraja) when applied to the scalp for about 20 minutes and washed will relieve dandruff when used twice a week over a period of 2 months.
Turmeric root burnt over a flame and fumes inhaled through the nostrils alternatively for 5 minutes twice a day, will reduce the sinus problem.
Pimples and black patches
Paste made from a handful of fresh mint leaves(Pudina) along with a teaspoon of turmeric powder and a one teaspoon of lime juice when applied to the face and left for 20 minutes and then washed will reduce the black patches and pimples.
Ulcers in the mouth
1gm of alum dissolved in water to be gargled once a day before meal.
Gargle mouth with fresh unboiled milk once a day.
For Flatulence and gas
Mix 1 gm of rock salt with 5 gms of fresh ginger chewed together twice a day during morning and night will reduce flatulence.
One glass of lime juice made with water mixed with one pinch of cooking soda taken once a day will reduce the problem.
One ripened banana (Pachha bale) eaten along with 2 pinches of cardamom in the night will relieve constipation.