Growing up in the 90s, I used to rush home from school, breeze through my homework and sit with my sister and watch the TV series. Dr Quinn – Medicine Woman. I loved Jane Seymour. Some of my friends had your typical girl crush on Claire Danes or Alicia Silverspoon but I simply wanted to be Plain Jane or at least her alter TV ego Dr Mike. Like I mean, the lady was hero material, even starting with her name – Dr Mike. She was a female doctor in a small wild-west town, in a man’s world. What could you not love about her?
What attracted me to Dr Quinn though was not just her courage and strength but something much more – it was her desire to administer natural herbal medicines as used by the native Indians for centuries. This was pioneering. This was on television. I didn’t like it so much when my own Dr Quinn, my Mother, would administer the same medicinal practices on us as a family. One of my fondest memories of my Mother, my Dr. Tina, was when I was probably in Year 3. I had contracted the mumps like probably most of my peers in my classroom. Rather than take me to our family doctor (a jovial Indian man who loved prescribing Amoxicillin for every ailment you could dream of – I am sure it was his own Miracle drug), Mum feathered and tarred me! Literally! She used a bird’s feather and coated my throat with a mixture of vinegar and white slaked lime and sent me back to school. I don’t think the teachers were pleased.
Another incident was when our father had injured himself and sliced his ankle to the bones with the blade of our tractor whilst he had the grass cutter blades on. Poor Dad. The tractor had rolled over and his leg and foot were caught underneath. He was bleeding profusely and we lived at least 2 hours at the time from the nearest medical facility. My Mum went to assist my Dad and to stem the bleeding she applied instant coffee…yes that’s right!…your every day Nescafe Original in a jar variety, which could be found in all rural and remote homes in Australia then, once the bleeding was stopped, she then pounded up some turmeric and mixed it with garlic infused coconut oil (this oil was in a crystal decanter and stood pride of place on a shelf above the beloved Encyclopedia Britannica – we used this oil for everything) and wrapped it around the wound AND THEN took him to the hospital. When she got to the emergency room, the attending doctor asked if she was going to make a cup of coffee out of Dad or a salad dressing – Mum wasn’t amused, she had saved my Dad’s foot after all.
Before all the commercial hype, Dr Tina was prescribing her family daily doses of moringa (moringa oleifera- otherwise known as the Miracle Tree), soursop leaves (annona muricata), brahmi (bacopa monieri), gotu kola and sambiloto and anything else she could grow in that dispensary of hers on our farm. I suppose we had our own farmacy. Pardon the pun.
(Take the time yourself, to Google each leafs health benefits. But please consult your doctor prior to changing your medication or using these herbs)
As a kid, of course I hated it. Give me Panadol any day even that awful cherry flavoured one, a shot of penicillin, and a dose of aspirin. No! none of that was happening in her practice; ailment: fever, prescription: basil leaves and ginger; ailment: toothache, prescription: chew on the root of a kava plant (Piper methysticum).
Damn those hocus-pocus potions!
But now as an adult, I am avid user of these natural remedies probably to the point of addiction because I can finally see and understand, that my mother, her mother and those before me, lived long active lives due to a daily dose of these ‘green leaves’. And funnily enough through societies desires to find natural, healthier alternatives, more and more people are enjoying the benefits of these green leaves as an alternative to modern drugs.
Thank you Dr. Tina and I am glad you only charged me family rates.