CRUSADE, through the Herbal Garden venture, aims to:
- Provide better health care in the beneficiary areas
- Educate rural women as trainers in medicinal plant growing methods
- Create a nursery for the provision of herbal plants
- Support the creation of 220 family herb gardens and thus reaching an estimated 880 people.
- Increase the biodiversity of previously underutilized land
- Support rural families which would otherwise fund it as uphill task to pay for their healthcare
- Revitalise knowledge on the use of herbs in a safe and effective way for everyday ailments and as first aid
- Encourage women to grow herbs in Kitchen Gardens
Reconnecting traditional methods of health care
“My son Elango who is three years old suffered acute stomach pain. He was not eating any food for two months. My neighbor Amudha who is part of CRUSADE’s Herbal Project advised me to give my son Acalypha Indica with castor oil. After taking this oil mixture, my son’s health improved and he started to eat well”. Parvathi – mother of Elango.
It is observed that 80% of health problems of the community are minor and curable if treated early using locally available herbals. However lack of knowledge on identification and processing of herbal cures stand in the way.
CRUSADE has implemented a pilot Home Herb Garden project involving 220 households in the project villages for two years. The technical input for the project was provided by FRLHT Bangalore who have done pioneering work on preserving and promoting the traditional health knowledge using locally available herbal plants/trees.
Based on the experience gained in the pilot project, CRUSADE sent a proposal to National Medicinal Development Board for Conservation and & sustainable Development of medicinal plants through promotion of Home Herbal Garden among Women SHG members. The project has been sanctioned in October 2013 for creation of 300 herbal garden with a total outlay of Rs 6,00,000. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare released part of the amount as first instalment.
A few plants at our Herbal Garden:
Hibiscus rosa sinensis
Common diseases found in the area of our work:
CRUSADE conducted a baseline survey in 430 households and followed it with Participatory Rural Appraisal in 17 Panchayat Villages. The PRA Listed highly prevalent diseases which affect women and those which need expensive treatment.
On average 45-50 women participated in PRA sessions and listed 50-55 diseases. About 10-15 disease were prioritized on the basis of grading and around 20 plants were identified by the participants along with uses of the plants. The top ten priortised diseases are leucorrhoea, common fever, common cold and cough, menstrual disorders, jaundice, Diarrhoea, anemia, Knee joint pain, piles and ear ache.
CRUSADE trains the village women to learn the process of setting up herbal gardens in their home itself. Here the women are learning the art from trained personnel.
Amudha is one among the 10 volunteers of CRUSADE who was trained in raising herbs at home and to process the plants for treating minor ailments. She also has practical knowledge about home herbal medicine. With the training from CRUSADE, she started treating simple health problems of her family members and neighbours.