The Forest Heals: From Shamans To Plant Medicine

The story revolves around Parvati T, a holistic coach and therapist, who embarked on a journey to document the traditional healing practices of various tribal communities across India. Her project, ‘Wellness Secrets of India’s Tribes’, was supported by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the Tata Steel Foundation.

During her extensive travels, Parvati encountered several tribes with unique healing practices. In Madhya Pradesh, she met the Gond, Kwandar, and Pardhi tribes, each with their traditional knowledge. In Uttarakhand, she connected with the Jaunsari and Bhutia tribes, learning about their herbal remedies and spiritual healing rituals. West Bengal introduced her to the Santhal and Murmu tribes, whose deep understanding of nature’s healing powers left a lasting impression. In Jharkhand, she spent time with the Munda, Bhil, and Baiga tribes, witnessing their medicinal practices and profound respect for the environment.

Parvati’s book, which includes extensive images, also features insights from other tribes, each contributing to the rich mixture of India’s indigenous healing wisdom. The tribals welcomed her into their homes, showing her a level of personal care and respect that was truly heartwarming. However, she acknowledges that these traditional practices are changing rapidly due to the influence of modernity.

Parvati believes that these traditional practices, whether through spiritual power or botanical expertise, offer a holistic approach that incorporates the mind, body, and spirit. She asserts that while modern medicine offers many solutions, traditional practices provide a profound impact on individuals and communities alike.

Parvati is planning to continue her research into alternative and traditional forms of healing, aiming to build awareness of tribal knowledge and other forms of natural and self-healing techniques that are still relevant and have many takers in contemporary times. Despite the advancement of modern medicine, many still seek cures from tribal communities due to the enigma surrounding their healing practices.

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