Kashmir Has Its Own Traditional Way To Defeat Swine Flu

21 February 2015
Greater Kashmir
Shabir ibn Yusuf

Srinagar: Amid outbreak of deadly Swine Flu, Kashmir's traditional ways of tackling such diseases has once again come to light. Experts believe if the traditional means are followed in letter and spirit, the deadly virus H1N1 can be kept at bay. With Kashmir facing shortage of Tamiflu vaccines, people are using Phatkar (Alum) and Mushk Kafore (Camphor), traditional means of fighting infections, to keep the Swine Flu virus away. 'Rub these things on a handkerchief and occasionally touch your nostrils with it at least five times during the day,' experts informed. Since the outbreak of Swine flu, people in Srinagar and elsewhere are seen buying Phatkar and Mushk Kafore. Traditionally used as an after-shave, Phatkar has other wonderful uses too. It is either sold as fine powder or in blocks in market. 'Alum purifies the water,' said a Kashmiri doctor posted in AIIMS. He added that it is also used for canker sores, treatment for cracked heels, and even for mouth odor. 'You can treat a variety of diseases at home!' The doctor said that once it is rubbed on any part of the body, no virus or germ can survive. 'When you touch nostrils with Alum handkerchief, it won't allow any germ or virus to survive,' he said adding that at the same time any virus or germ will stay at bay because of the smell of Phatkar. Experts also suggest Mushk Kafore (Camphor) for keeping viruses and germs at bay. 'Camphor is used as a stimulant, antispasmodic, antiseptic, decongestant, anesthetic, sedative and nervous pacifier, anti-neuralgic, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant and insecticide substance,' experts said, adding that Mushk Kafore boosts the activity of circulatory system, metabolism, digestion, secretion and excretion. 'This property helps in treating problems and ailments associated with improper circulation, digestion, sluggish or overactive metabolic rates, obstructed secretions, and a wide variety of other less common conditions,' experts added. An ayurvedic doctor said that oil can also be one of the protections against swine flu. 'If oil is rubbed in nostrils, it will act as a mask and won't allow any virus to enter,' she said, adding that liquids like Barg Tulsi, Barg Neem, Kha Zaban develop immunity against swine flu and other viral diseases. People have started rushing to the old markets like Zaina Kadal, Maharaja Bazar here to get Alum. 'I came to know about the traditional treatment from my grandfather. I bought Alum and will use it accordingly to fight the Swine Flu,' said Ubair Nazir, a resident of Nowhatta. Alum is available in all the old markets of city including Bohri Kadal, Rajouri Kadal, Saraf Kadal, Habba Kadal. 'I have rubbed the Alum on my handkerchief and I clean my nostrils many times a day with the same. My grandmother told me about this treatment,' said Asim Bashir. 'This seems an effective way of tackling the virus that has already entered into our community. Somebody told me that Tamiflu injection is not available in the hospitals let alone in the market. So traditional means to fight Swine Flu is the need of the hour.'