Herbal-healing is part of local tradition that has been used as an established practice of treating diseases since ages; the tradition continues in the remotest areas in J&K even in modern times. People like Ramzan Bi inherited it from their elders and continue to promote it.
Insha Latief Khan
During her childhood days, Ramzan Bi would accompany her mother to the mountains of Rajouri to get the herbs for the patients.
She would learn about various herbs and their treatments from her mother Hajra Bi, who was a well-known herbal healer, with the intention to continue her family tradition.
Ramzan, 60 hails from Dhanore, Loharan, a remote village of Rajouri tehsil. After her mother’s demise she took charge of treating patients.
“After my mother passed away, I continued practicing as part of my family tradition. I had to serve people with all the knowledge my mother had passed on to me as I never received any education,” said Ramzan.
Providing the treatment free of cost, she does the treatment voluntarily and has received huge support and appreciation from her patients. “The rush of patients since I have taken up has not reduced. The people have appreciated my work,” she said.
She would walk 20-25 kms to get the herbs. Instead of using machines, she would grind the herbs with hands which, according to her, is a difficult and very time-consuming process.
She further said that in the past, people of remote areas would rely more on the natural resources and herbal healing system was customary in those days.
“The herbs used in treatment have no side effects on human health. This is the main reason that this tradition is being followed by many people in rural areas,” she said.
Due to her rich experience in identifying the plants and their use for treating various diseases, she has been a guiding source to many botany scholars who visit her for research purposes.
Her two decades of experience in collection and preparation of herbal medication and identification of herbal plants, has made her expertise in the treatment of children.
According to her she has cured a good number of patients for various diseases. She is known as a child specialist and knows herbal treatment for kidney stones, abdominal disorders in kids etc.
Apart from that, she also treats children with a technique called “Chinese prick” etc.
As she charges nothing for treatment, people pay her an honorarium to travel and collect herbs for treatment.
Ramzan has been scouted by the National Innovation Foundation Cell J&K, Institute of Technology, University of Kashmir in 2013 and National Innovation Foundation-India (an autonomous body of Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India) has supported her passion for herbal treatment and many of her herbal practices are under validation at different research institutes.
NIF has filed patent applications for her herbal practices vide patent application numbers 201711038207 for “herbal formulations for treating diseases and complications caused by malarial parasite”, patent application number 201711044664 for “management of liver disorders and methods thereof”, patent application number 201811022172 for “therapeutic management of tuberculosis and process of preparation thereof” and patent application number 201811045514 for “herbal formulation for mouth diseases and management of oral hygiene”.
NIF is supporting grassroots innovations and traditional knowledge developed by the people from the informal sector of the society out of their own experience and creativity having no formal education in science.
Currently, her daughter Farzana is doing her research in Botany and is learning from the mother. She wishes to continue her family legacy and tradition of herbal healing.