FIRST ENCOUNTERS WITH VRKSHAYURVEDA
As a child I was very fond of gardening and at home we had small kitchen garden. We had an ash gourd (Benincasa hispida) plant which had profuse flowers. But not a single flower bore fruit and all the flowers withered away.
An old man used to come home once in a while to help with gardening. During one of his visits I mentioned this to him. "Oh, it's very simple to treat this," he exclaimed and asked for a piece of asafoetida (Ferula asafoetida). He dug a pit near the root and put the asafoetida into it. Within two weeks I noticed that the flower did not wither anymore and found tiny fruits. To our amazement that year we had a bumper crop of 100 ash gourds from one single plant!
It was more than 15 years after this event when I started looking at the literature on Vrkshayurveda that I was able to comprehend the rationale behind it. Asafoetida or hingu as it is called in Sanskrit, helps in correcting Vaatha dosha in living in systems. Since the process of transformation of flowers to fruits is governed by Vaatha dosha (Vaatha - a classification given to plants that are characteristically tall, slender and lightweight, with a rough surface and have leaves that wither and drop with the slightest heat from the sun), any imbalance in the functioning of this particular dosha will hamper the process and the flowers will wither away. The application of asafoetida near the root of the plant alleviates the imbalance and sets in motion the normal functioning of the system which resulted in my bumper harvest!
Research Director, CIKS