He is no greenhorn when it comes to herbs. Its a grand obsession with Gigo Kurien, who owns a 1.5 acre herbarium in interior Kottayam district, Kerala. He is known to stop in the middle of heavy rain upon spotting a rare herb on the way to his herb garden at Peruva, 32 km from Kottayam city. The the 42-year-old Kurien’s green obsession has led him to collect more than 350 medicinal herbs, some of which had completely disappeared from the verdant Kerala countryside.
“Herbs of various kinds including the common Indian borage and the rare miracle fruit cover every inch of my land,” says Kurien, who was a mechanical engineer in Saudi Arabia before returning home. Back in the idyllic landscape of his homeland rekindled his interest in medicinal plants.
“I was captivated with them since childhood when my mother used herbs to treat ailments like cuts and colds. However, I began to collect herbs only in the past 10 years.”
Kurien feels that many valuable plants are fast disappearing, because soil is damaged by weedicides and the after-effects of urbanisation. Such negative factors propelled him to start conserving them. “Many of the plants used in the preparation of ayurvedic preparations can rarely be found now. In the past, one simply had to step out of the house to find these herbs and plants that grew abundantly everywhere. They can even treat ailments such as kidney stones,” he says......Read more
Source web page: New indian express