As it often happens while traveling, access to pharmacies and doctors is limited and so we tend to revert (with an open mind and hopeful spirit) to the local remedies on offer. And so, when Matthieu showed his big, inflamed knee that he hurt while trekking, to Anandi, our witty neighbor-lady in Nau Ghar, she exclaimed with a nod and serious face: “Shishoon. You need shishoon.” We nodded too. That sounded like good, knowledgeable advice. Bring it on…
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In the evening, with Matthieu’s knee still on fire and in a desperate attempt to make some sense of it all, we finally found the following information from Dr. Google:
Stinging nettle has fine hairs on the leaves and stems that contain irritating chemicals, which are released when the plant comes in contact with the skin. […] Scientists think nettle does this by reducing levels of inflammatory chemicals in the body, and by interfering with the way the body transmits pain signals. […] Stinging nettle has been used for hundreds of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia.
An astringent shrinks and tightens the top layers of skin or mucous membranes, thereby reducing secretions, relieving irritation, and improving tissue firmness. It may also be used topically for dandruff and overly oily hair and scalp. (Thanks goodness ‘Head & Shoulders’ is easy to be found in India. Matthieu decided to refrain from a repeat treatment…)