In times of late I have not been well at all. Having suffered (and survived!) in the past from the infamous Indian ‘Delhi belly’ I have developed, quite proudly, guts of steel. During my last stint living in India I got sick once- not a bad record for two years! I definitely found myself suffering basically never from the seasonal colds and flu viruses that the UK is plagued with. I found the extra sunshine and healthy diet (due to abundance of cheap fruit and veg) and addition of health giving spices was eliminating the experience of being bed-ridden from my life.
This time around however the story has been very different. It started with a stomach infection or sorts. My partner took me to the doctors. I relayed my symptoms to him and he immediately thrust two pills into my hand. ‘Take these now.’ he commanded. My refusal to take the random medicine and daring to question what it was and what it was for dented his ego somewhat. ‘Doctors are like gods here,’ explained my partner, ‘this guy is respected all around the area and people queue to see him because he is the best.’ I begged to disagree as the doctor had promptly prescribed me some random medicine, which upon looking up was not only completely unrelated to my ailment but I was also allergic to!
One week later I was still sick and sought the help of a gastroenterologist. He went on to prescribe no less than five different types of medicine, some of which made me feel high as a kite but totally did cure me… Until I got some other horrific tonsillitis/flu/fever/sinus infection. Thanks antibiotics, my immune system has totally gone to pot! A week after recovering from that delight I once again have tonsils the size of laddoos.
India, for all its culture of Ayurveda and holistic health seems to very happy to put blind faith in allopathic doctors. There seems to be a culture of taking antibiotics for everything and anything and rushing to the doctor at the appearance of the smallest sniffle. However, maybe it’s a wise thing to seek medical help with the threat of Dengue and Malaria ever lurking (I’m half convinced maybe I had mild Dengue). However, I do worry that the knowledge we now have about the overuse of antibiotics and the development of antibiotic resistant ‘super-bugs’ has not quite filtered down to the Indian GP or indeed the common man.
My Indian family are totally caring and wonderful when it comes to looking after each other (and me!) when they are ill. I’m perhaps not as big a fan of seeing doctors and taking medicine as them but I know they have the best of intentions to help and looking after one’s health is considered very important in our family. I hope maybe I have learnt a little from them to take care of my health as a priority as well as some good home remedies. As always I hope I can give something back to them with a few of my home remedies.
Below are some useful links for home remedies to keep at bay the necessity to take antibiotics, as well as some articles on why we need to curb their use, in India especially ASAP. I’ve also put a link to a good site & project about Dengue prevention.