K. Arul Pandi’s garden has a remedy for every ailment. T.S. Atul Swaminathan reports

It is a quiet and cool place birds chirping in the background. We are at Sharma Centre for Heritage Education in Sholinganallur, which has rare herbal plants.

Set up in 2006 by K. Arul Pandi, vice-principal, Ellen Sharma Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Sholinganallur, the garden has around 165 herbal plants with medicinal qualities.

Adathoda helps treat chronic bronchitis and asthma, amman pacharisi cough and mouth ulcer, agaram diseased gums, mudakattran knee pain, manathakali stomach ulcer, kadukai burns and nanjuarrapan snake bites.

Mr. Arul Pandi also runs a laboratory that contains more than 200 herbal products. The list includes nellika powder for building strong teeth, sirukurinjan for treating diabetes, citharathai for running nose and cough. Over 150 magazines on herbal plants are also displayed.

The aim of the centre is to propagate their medicinal importance among visitors.

“My grandfather Velliah Nadar and mother K. Sellammal were experts in Siddha medicine and are my role models,” he says.

The saplings are procured from a herbal garden, near Poondi dam in Tiruvallur taluk.

“School students, as part of Scouts and Guides and Junior Red Cross, come and spend a day here,” says Mr. Arul Pandi.

He thinks steps must be taken to cultivate herbal gardens in homes. At least 25 herbal saplings should be planted, either in the garden or terrace. It (herbal garden) is a low-cost gardening method and has multiple health benefits, he adds.

Awareness

Awareness has to be created, especially among youth on the importance of herbal plants. Schools can set up herbal garden on campuses and encourage students to do the same in their homes. It will attract lots of birds and butterflies, he adds.For details, contact K. Arul Pandi at 9790787695.

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