Tribals (majority Gond tribe) in Baster (Madhya Pradesh) have unique healing techniques. And their efficacy is more astounding than their simplicity. Here, I would like to share one such method of emergency treatment for wounds (esp. with excessive swelling)
I heard this method from a senior Ayurveda doctor posted in Madhya Pradesh tribal zone when I was still a student. Unfortunately, I do not recollect her name as we met very briefly and only once in a meditation center. However, years later, her story encouraged me to try wound healing experiments with sattu. I am incredibly grateful to her and wish her the best!.
Baster is a relatively backward area of Madhya Pradesh, blessed with beautiful forests and abundant wildlife. But other resources like proper medical care, education, infrastructure, etc. are not up to the mark. And therefore, tribals turn to nature for all their requirements. As my devoted senior went to stay and work in the rural areas, she learned to work with abundant natural resources. She had an excellent opportunity to learn the natural healing techniques first-hand from the tribal healers in Baster.
In our brief meeting, she described how she learned a non-invasive folk medicine method from the tribal healer who extracted a splinter from a leg based abscess. Interestingly, the tribal patient himself did not know that there was any foreign object inside the wound. He came with a complaint of a non-healing abscess. By that time, the injury was already 2-3 months old and badly festered.
Kachchi Pakki Roti
Roti is an Indian flatbread. It is heated on both sides equally to ensure proper cooking. However, if the roti is roasted only on one side, one side becomes slightly hard and dry, and the other unbaked part remains soft and doughy.
How to make Kachchi Pakki Roti
Make a regular wheat dough using boiled water.
Make a small roti (flatbread), large enough to cover the wound.
The ideal thickness should be around 3-6 mm. Increase roti’s thickness if the wound is deep and wide. Also, make sure that it is uniformly thick.
Heat the roti on tava for 1-2 min(depending on the thickness) to make one side roasted and slightly dry.
Make sure that the other side of the roti is slightly soft and raw.
The dry part also should not be too hard.
Where to use Kachchi-Pakki roti
In Charak Samhita (Chikitsa Sthana: Ch. 20), the use of roasted flour (rice, channa,jowar, etc.) is indicated to promote healing in the secondary stage of wound-healing.
In line with the above classical text, it is best to use Kachchi Pakki roti in case of edema of any origin. It helps to absorb the excess liquid and prevents fluid stagnation around the injury.
It can be used for extracting foreign objects from an abscess or as a poultice to heal normal wounds.
I would suggest this method in a wound where the basic blood mesh is already formed. It might work wonders for old wounds with a lot of swelling, redness, and inflammation.
I want to try Kachchi Pakki roti in the non-healing wounds of diabetic patients. I was detected with the pre-diabetic state, and my wounds would take an abnormally long time to heal. However, the use of sattu poultice (link) helped to cure my injury without the use of antibiotics. (link) Now, fortunately, with diet and lifestyle change, I am completely healthy.
The bottom line is that if sattu poultice can work for small wounds in a pre-diabetic state, Kachchi Pakki roti also can have a significant effect.
It is not advisable to use Kachchi Pakki Roti in deep wounds with excess blood flow. It can be used in a secondary stage when the initial blood flow has subsided.
How to use Kachchi-Pakki Roti
- Make a fresh warm roti immediately before use. The warmth of roti helps to boost blood circulation in the swollen area.
- Wipe away all moisture, sweat, or pus from the wound.
- To ensure complete dryness, sprinkle dry turmeric powder on the wound and let it sit there for a few seconds. It will absorb all moisture.
- Remove the wet layer of turmeric powder and sprinkle fresh powder.
- Repeat the process till all the moisture is completely removed.
- If possible, do a little massage around the swollen wound and apply hot, dry fomentation. You can use a heated cloth pad for it.
- If the wound has a thick layer of dead skin, try to it scrap away as much as convenient. This step will help the wound to heal faster and reduce the rate of decay.
- Sprinkle a fine layer of dry turmeric powder.
- Cover the injured area with the unbaked side of roti so that the dough sticks to the injured part.
- Tie roti with a bandage to keep it in the proper place.
- Reduce movement in the injured part to ensure that roti stays in place.
- Change the roti twice a day in a cold/normal climate. You can change it thrice in hot and humid weather.
I understand that this half baked (Kachchi-raw, Pakki-baked) roti resembles the skin in some manner – hard and dry externally, soft and meshy on the inside. And it can serve as an extra layer where the skin can safely deposit its debris without exposure to the harsh external environment or pathogens. Typically, abnormal protrusions like boils, warts, pimples, etc. also serve the same functions in the skin.
Let’s continue with the tribal story. With the application of this Kachchi Pakki(half baked) roti continuously for a few weeks, she could see the tip of a wooden chip emerging from the abscess. Even the patient had no clue that about the splinter(a sharp piece of wood) inside his calf. But his abscess failed to heal in any other way, which was an indication of something stuck inside.
After a few weeks (I do not have the full details), the fragment came out completely. It was stuck to the roti and was gently pulled out. In fact, the body needed a safe medium to open the abscess and expel the foreign object. Besides, this method also produced excellent results in swelling elimination as well.
This experiment is no more than a tale that I heard from a senior. The final proof in Ayurveda is pratyaksha praman(visible and replicable evidence). I am sharing this information so that if anyone has the facility to experiment on this method with animals/humans safely should try it. I have an intuition that it might work. And if it does, so many complicated things will become more straightforward, and with more such information, emergency healthcare will be so much cheaper, esp. in the rural areas.
Let’s hope that this information multiplies and. I have not used this method personally, and therefore, if you want to experiment with this treatment, try it on a tiny cut/wound. As soon as I get my next cut, I will make sure that I try it and share my experiences with all of you.
Thanks for reading!
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