THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ‘Healing Walk', a programme organised by 'Tree Walk', an NGO based in Thiruvananthapuram, was an eye-opener for the students and teachers of the Government Ayurveda Medical College, Pulimoodu. The students had decorated the trees especially 'neermathalam' and 'frangipani' with boards in which quotes from Madhavikutty's writings was inscribed, a fitting tribute to her on her birthday dated March 31.
The highlights of the walk were the presence of two climbing perennials in the campus with high medicinal value - 'ekanayakam' (Saptrangi) used in the treatment of diabetes and 'marikunni' (Hawaiian Baby Woodrose) the seeds of which have high entheogenic value. The therapeutic value of manila fruits, helps in curing abdominal problems.
The ancient-looking gum arabic tree (Babool) in the campus was an example of how systematic planting from far away places like Africa were foreseen and planted in this campus years ago. Other tree varieties in the campus include Indian Ash tree, Indian beech tree, the Devil tree and Birdcherry which can withstand the extremes of climate change.
Tree Walk aims to spread awareness regarding the relation between human health and nature. The cool atmosphere of the campus with a sharp decrease of over three-degree centigrade from the outside proved the green lung effect of trees.
While the presence of the flowering Java plum ( Njaval) in the compound imparting shade and coolness to the patients led to a discussion on the vitamin content of the Jamun-made wine, it also led to a confab on the use of its seeds in Unani, Ayurveda and Chinese medicine.
The flowering Tabebuia attracted the attention of the group as its pale lilac flowers formed a carpet on the path which was aesthetically magical.
The Tree Walk was coordinated by Anitha S, Nirmala Suresh, Beena Dharan, Renu Henry and Suresh Elamon. Two faculty members, Dr Anand and Dr Sunitha added to the knowledge base of the group as they shared their expertise on the beneficial uses of each tree.