Odisha man cultivates garden of over 3,000 medicinal plants and receives praise from Prime Minister Modi

A 65-year-old man from Kalahandi district in Odisha has been hailed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for planting over 3,000 medicinal plants spread over 1.5 acres of land.

A resident of Nandol village, Patayat Sahu, cultivated the plants using organic manure instead of chemical fertilizers.

A farmer by profession, Sahu helps locals and villagers cure their illnesses.

Sahu’s journey as a traditional healer

At a young age, Sahu started learning traditional medicine as a hobby. However, with each passing year, he began to develop a huge interest in it.

“My grandfather was a Vaidya (Ayurvedic practitioner). After finishing my studies, I learned traditional healing practices from him. I also have access to many manuscripts on traditional healing practices and herbal medicines,” Sahu told India Today.

A 65-year-old man from Kalahandi district in Odisha has been hailed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for planting over 3,000 medicinal plants spread over 1.5 acres of land. (Photo credit: India Today)

Sahu started planting in his garden 40 years ago and has continued to add new plant species over the years.

Its garden is filled with rare species of plants including Ashoka, Lodhra, Bidanga, Sambarsingha, Rasnajadi, Tihudi, Bhin Kakharu, Maeda, Sarpagandha and Shatavari. Also, it has five varieties of Bhringraj, Pengu, Panikusuma, Rajapatha, Nagavel, Debanasan, Jaladimbiri and Jyotismati. He also cultivated all species of Dasamoola which are used in many Ayurvedic medicines.

Of the 3,000 species in his garden, he collected 500 species from different parts of India during his visits, facilitated by the Odisha Medicinal Plant Board.

A resident of Nandol village, Patayat Sahu, cultivated the plants using organic manure instead of chemical fertilizers. (Photo credit: India Today)

Sahu said, “I picked up some plants from the hills of Kalahandi district and the dense forest of Mohangiri. I even visited the Niyamgiri Hills with Forest Department officials to collect herbs and plants.

Sahu presents himself as a farmer by day and a Vaidya by night. However, he does not charge any fees from people who visit him for treatment and accepts anything they offer.

“I was suffering from a sleep disorder, and I had run from pillar to post for treatment. I visited several allopathic clinics, but to no avail. I heard about the traditional healer Patayat Sahu and after having his herbal medicines for a few months, I was cured of my disorder,” said a local named Abhijit.

PM Modi praises Sahu

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his speech at Mann ki Baat, praised Patayat Sahu and said there had been an increase in curiosity and awareness about health care and wellbeing in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Traditionally, natural products beneficial for well-being and health are available in abundance in our country. Patayat Sahu ji, who lives in Nandol, Kalahandi, Odisha, has been doing unique work in this field for years,” said the Prime Minister.

Sahu in his backyard. (Photo credit: India Today)

“He planted medicinal plants on one and a half hectares of land. Not only that, Sahu ji also carried out documentation on these medicinal plants,” he added.

The Prime Minister also hailed the link between agriculture and health, saying it is “an example in itself”.

Alvin J. Chase