CHENNAI:Milk fever or Postparturient Hypocalcemia, commonly known by its misnomer ‘fever’, is a very fatal disease in cows. Three stages of milk fever have been reported. The symptoms include hypersensitivity, ear twitching, head-hobbing, periphereal pulses and few more. Continued milk fever may lead to coma. Injecting intravenous calcium is prescribed in the modern system of medicine, but it is said to be lethal as it can cause heart blockade.
Our traditional medical systems not only care for humans, but also cattle and plants. Even for milk fever, our traditional systems of medicine have incredibly simple cures. Decoction of the bark of a tree is orally administered thrice a day for three days to alleviate this fever. This wonder tree is known as Dhava in Ayurveda, in Tamil it is called Vai Maram or Vetkaali; in Kannada it is known as Dindiga.
Botanically, this tree is known as Anogeissus latifolia. Popularly known as Axle Wood, it is a medium-sized, deciduous tree that grows up to 12 mtall. It has a straight trunk with drooping branches and grey-pubescent branchlets. The bark is pale yellow or pinkish brown, usually peeling off in thin papery flakes. The leaves are 5-10 x 4-8 cm long, oblong or obovate-suborbicular with stalks of 2cm length. The inflorescences are axillary heads, 1.5 cm across. Flowers are greenish-yellow, and about 5mm across. Fruits are drupes and in clusters.
It commonly grows in dry and moist deciduous forests, and is one of the most dominant tree species of dry deciduous forests in southern India. April to September is the flowering period, but fruits are persistent throughout the year.
This tree is good for increasing immunity, is used as an antidote for snake bites. The gum tapped out of the stem is known as gum-ghatti. It is known as Dabaadi Jad among the Lambani tribal community, and the gum is sold in and around Chitradurga district of Karnataka as an aphrodisiac, and is also said to be fight against early signs of aging. It is used as a substitute for Guggulu, as it decreases cholestrol levels in the blood. It has also wound healing properties. Most importantly, it is used to bring down the toxic effects of chemotherapy among cancer patients.