I can never forget that walk in the city forest in Delhi on October 13, 2006. On that beautiful day, my wife Renu (An Ayurvedic doctor) and I was walking through the city forest and appreciating the freshness of the jungle. I noticed a man collecting a long climber and removing the leaves and then chopping into small finger size pieces and packing them in a sack. We approached him and asked what was he doing. He said “aaj-kal bahut log bukhaar sae pareshaan hain. Hum inko ubaal kar din main 3-4 baar unehe pila dete hain toh who theek ho jate hain“. Renu immediately recognised that it was Patha that he was collecting and told me about its antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties, that she had learned during her college days.
On 13 October 2006, six persons had died due to dengue fever in Delhi. Highest mortality in a single day. The enormousness of the news was noticed when a practicing doctor and a student, Tom Anthony Richardson Wright studying at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences died due to dengue fever. I realised that as of 30 September 2006 at least 12 medics and 5 employees of AIIMS tested positive with dengue fever. During the same time, two grandsons and son-in-law of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were admitted to the private ward of AIIMS for suspected dengue fever.
My chanced interaction with the Patha-man turned in to discovering the magic of Ayurveda and with an Ayurvedic doctor friend Dr. Vichitra Gupta to guide me became a big plus for me. During my long journey, I have been able to make a blend with additional herbs to provide a solution to viral fevers. When Pandemic came along, the users of my blend informed me of its magical effects on their viral infection related symptoms. I am humbled my journey of Ayurveda that was ignited during a walk in the city forest. I can never forget that.