Whilst in the Mountains, we encountered Sancha carrying a heavy basket of vegetables up a steep mountain path that had us wheezing for breath because of the altitude. Sancha had a 20 Km walk to the nearest village and we were impressed by her energy. Whilst we were chatting, she crushed a handful of different leaves from her apron and began to chew. She told us that this kept her going throughout the day and cope with bringing up her children. She gave us a handful of her chewing mix as we parted. Our Ayurvedic UP & GO blend is based on Sancha’s hand picked mix of local herbs and plants – which her mother had given her ever since Sancha was a little girl …
We first encountered Jhotan whilst enjoying our lunch on a long walk between villages. He took a break from his relentless ploughing as curiosity got the better of him. We offered him some of our chapatti and Dahl but he politely refused. He pulled out a bag of herbal mixture and said that his tea was all he needed to sustain him through the day – which was a staggering 12 full hours of heavy work with a buffalo plough. He smiled ‘namasted’ and handed us a handful of his mixture – miming that we would be marching with increased vigour after drinking it. On our return to Delhi we were amazed to find the mixture included the little known herb Garcinia which is now being researched for its apparent ability to reduce appetite as well as Caralluma which helps to burn fat and increase the metabolism.
Whilst walking between villages we came across a small river that we were struggling to cross. From a nearby house a villager sprang across the fields, nimbly dropped into the river and helped us across. I looked into his lined face and sparkling eyes and asked how old he was. Arkhan amazed me by saying he was 76 years old. We were invited in for tea and Arkhan let us into one of his secrets – a recipe for a tea that he said left him sharp and full of vigor. When we analysed the ingredients later in Nagpur, it did not surprise us to find they were packed with antioxidants.
We stayed with Duruga and he had a lot to be anxious about. The harvest had to be gathered in quickly before the rains came and he was already behind schedule because his wife was pregnant and though helping, could not work as hard as last year. He’d work at night, but there was no moon and there was a danger of bears and other wild animals. He sat and chatted in the light of his kerosene lamp and boiled us a cup of his special tea. ‘I can’t afford to drink alcohol, but this is my tipple’ he laughed. Within minutes of sipping this delicious brew we began to relax with him and felt its warm waves overcome our own anxieties as he related a tale of a bear that attacked his flimsy hut only last month in search of food. We brought back his recipe which we feel is ideal for relieving the self-imposed stresses of our modern life …