Bengaluru: At a time when people run to the chemist for over the counter (OTC) drugs to get fast relief for common cold and fever, this government hospital might be exactly the right place to rethink your dependence on antibiotics.
A little garden right outside the Trauma Care Centre houses close to 30 herbal plants with immense medicinal value. The brainchild of microbiologist Dr Asima Banu, who is also the Nodal Officer at the Trauma Care Centre, and Dr Balaji S. Pai, Special Officer of Trauma Care Centre, the garden is a sight for the sore eyes.
Dr Banu's passion for curbing multiple drug resistance crisis spurred her on to plan the garden. “There are simple and small remedies for common cold, loose stool, indigestion and stomach ache, and people do not need to rely on antibiotics for these health issues. The reliance on OTC drugs has already led to the problem of multiple drug resistance and people need to be informed about age-old remedies and benefits of certain medicinal plants that can be grown at your backyard," she says.
Her journey started with 'Kayakalp', an initiative launched by the Union Health Ministry, to promote cleanliness, hygiene and infection control practices in public health facilities. She says, “The selection process has various stages and we have reached the last stage in which will be an external assessment across districts. In one of the phases, a criterion was flora and fauna and its upkeep. Instead of going for the usual garden, we decided to have a herbal garden.”
This month-old garden has a board attached to each plant-pot with its botanical name, common name and its uses and benefits. From the simple ones like holy basil, mint, peppermint, curry leaf, wheat grass or betel to little unknown ones like dhavana, moruga, nagathali or jewel orchid, gloxinia, tincture and many others.
The garden has already attracted a lot of attention. “We have patients who are waiting asking us about the plants and their uses. Many also want it for free from the garden," Dr Banu says with a laugh. The centre has already been shortlisted at one of the Community Health Centres under the central government initiative.