Meet Ezekiel Poulose - the urban medicine man

Ezekiel Poulose’s house is a green surprise.

Published: 04th May 2022 06:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th May 2022 05:11 PM   |  A+A-

Ezekiel Poulose

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ezekiel Poulose’s house is a green surprise. His diverse farming methods on the sprwawling four acres of land adjacent to his house have created an eco-friendly farm on Kochi’s outskirts with a bounty of natural resources — fish farming, tubers, nutmeg and whatnot! An electronic architect by profession, farming is a hobby Ezekiel picked up almost a decade ago. Now, the Chottanikkara native is known as the grower of nearly 500 varieties of medicinal plants on 2.5 acres of land. 

Ezekiel calls himself a ‘collector of herbs.’ It was his father who started collecting medicinal plants and Ezekiel developed an interest in it. “Back then, farming fed our family. Seeing my father’s interest, I was also influenced.He worked with the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation. He had to travel a lot for his work. During his journeys, he would collect saplings of varous medicinal plants. I grew up hearing about the medicinal properties of the plants. Those dialogues increased my curiosity,” says Ezekiel.

The Rudraksha tree, commonly found in the Himalayas, was the first in his collection. The dried fruit is worn by sages and is believed to prevent heart ailments. “Sages often put the beaded chain into a ‘kamandalu’ (pot to store drinking water) before doing any activity. The water absorbed the essence of the fruit, which they later drank,” adds Ezekiel. 

Soon, the almost endangered but charismatic Paarijatham, atthi, chakkarakolli (a plant that reduces the craving for sweets), Lakshmi taru, betadin plant (its gummy fluid can even heal deep wounds) and more were added to the space. He introduced exotic plants, including the carnivorous pitcher plant. 
As years passed, Ezekiel met several plant parents with members hailing from Thiruvananthapuram, Kannur, Shivamogga in Karnataka. He research deeply to source plants from their natural habitat. 

Ezekiel’s rare medicinal varieties include Shimshapa from Sri Lanka, tree turmeric proven to be effective for skin-related issues, and anali vegam from Agasthyamalai used as antivenom. “If you truly care for plants, then you’ll convince people about their importance. That is when rare plants become common,” he says.

Stress buster
For Ezekiel, caring for plants and his farm is therapeutic. “Apart from the serenity of being in a green space, it also makes me happy to see the trees grow,” says Ezekiel, who aims to plant more than 1,000 species. He wants to start a herbal retreat for students. “I want to show them a world beyond academics. I also want to make value-added products from these plants,” he says.


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