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Family of herbal healers

Matilda Simmons
Friday, February 23, 2018

GROWING up, Govind Dass remembered going into the deep forest of his rural home in Uttar Pradesh, India to meditate and be one with nature.

He was a child then, but it was a practice that has been followed by his father, grandfather and many before him.

"I come from a family of herbal healers, astrologers and fortune tellers," he said in a thick Indian accent.

"Growing up I had to learn the names of the different herbal plants and their functions. It was a fascinating experience.

"The quietness of the forest and the sound of birds as I meditated, it never fails to amaze me how nature has evolved and continue to function despite humans destroying almost everything with development."

The 65-year-old arrived in Fiji on the invitation of some Fijians who sought his services.

Dressed in a white dhoti that went over his shoulder and wearing a long beard, the Indian national looked regal in stature.

This is his third visit to the country. The last time he was here was six years ago and before that 17 years.

"I have been coming just on the request of Fijians here," he said.

"People have sworn by my herbal medicine which has been in use for generations in my family.

"From stroke, stress, sinus and so on, we have managed to cure them. The medicine has been well researched and have proved time and time again that it heals."

Mr Dass had brought a big container containing 25 different herbal medicines packed in small containers. It was quite a sight seeing this gentleman heaving his products up the stairs to our office. He was there to see a client when we met him.

"Fiji, you are blessed with many forests and herbal plants," he shared.

"I once visited one of your areas and it was rich in varieties of plants. It's important that you conserve it and keep the knowledge alive. The Fiji Indians should make use of these herbal medicines that are available to them," he said with finality.

He returned to India yesterday.

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