New Delhi: No matter what comes our way, we Indians always have a home remedy or should I say ‘desi nuskhe’ to fight it. Our elders have left for us such recipes that can fight off just anything. In these horrifying times of coronavirus, again a recipe of a ‘potli’ is getting circulating in the WhatsApp groups and garnering a lot of attention. It comprises of camphor, laung, ajwain and a few drops of eucalyptus oil.
The message says that you need to keep smelling this potli day and night, which will help our body to keep oxygen levels increased. This potli is also given to tourists in Ladakh where oxygen levels are low. The message also says that many ambulances are now keeping this potli as a safety measure. The message ended with a contact number, when CitySpidey called on that, it was answered by Nandini Bhartiya.
Nandini Bhartiya, 39, a resident of Friends Colony, Delhi, is a housewife who is usually busy with her two kids. She said that she saw this message on WhatsApp and decided to do something about it. She says, “A message was being circulated which said that a combination of ajwain, laung, camphor and eucalyptus is helpful right now for decongestion and breathing issues. When a few people started enquiring from where this would be available, I instantly got an idea to make it at home and help everyone.”
She started this work as people wanted someone to make this so that they can acquire it from there. Nandini started preparing it at home with her mother-in-law, aunt and domestic helper. They sit together, make the potli and pack them. She says, “When I sent the first message about the potli, I was expecting at least 50 orders. But by the 3rd day we made over 600 potlis and orders are still pouring in.” She initially started selling this potli at Rs 25 but later increased up to Rs 50 in order to cover the cost of making. She says, “People have mixed reactions to its remedial properties. Some say that it helps a lot and there are messages which say it doesn’t help. My theory is that there are no damage or side effects, so no harm in using this, if nothing else, it will help in cold.”
To verify this message's authenticity, we spoke to Dr Shilpa Saraogi, an Ayurvedic expert. Dr Shilpa says, “As per Ayurveda principles, sniffing camphor reduces the production of expectoration (respiratory secretions/balgam) and also helps in nasal and respiratory decongestion. Similarly sniffing eucalyptus oil is also very helpful in decongestion as well as relieving headaches. While sniffing laung and ajwain doesn't have much medical value, these are more anti-inflammatory and helpful when ingested as advised. So while this mixture overall may help in relieving headache and respiratory congestion, thereby might be helpful in better breathing and improving lung oxygenation”.